Archive for November, 2009

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009
Computer Decisions and Follow Ups

My agent sent me a copy of the press releases for the new Carina and Harlequin Horizons ventures. One question that has been coming up all over the readers and writers sites is can an author who pays the vanity press, Harlequin Horizons to publish their work call themselves a Harlequin author? Apparently, the answer is a BIG NO! According to the press release, Harlequin doesn’t even plan to link to the books available at Harlequin Horizons. Kind of wondering if those of you who were thinking of ‘investing’ in this venture still think it’s a good idea?

I want to buy a new computer. My current machine is getting a little long in the tooth. I’m well aware that the new Windows 7 OS is supposed to be pretty good. That said, I’m trying to decide whether to buy a 27 inch iMac or a comparable Windows machine. I’d like to hear from those of you who’ve recently made a similar decision and those of you who’ve gone from a PC to a Mac. All opinions are welcome. 😀

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

I’d planned to write an entry about auditioning, since I spent a lot of years auditioning for bands and for commercials/television shows. I was going to tie the entry in with writing. (A surprise, I know. *g*) But the blog world is in such an uproar over THIS announcement that I thought it might be better to discuss the ramifications instead.

I have to admit that a friend of mine saw this coming months ago. She predicted that publishers would start with e-pubbing most authors with little to no advance, then have them pay to put their books in print. I am disappointed that Harlequin has chosen to go in this direction, especially since it’s such a good company. I have no doubt this, like the no advance epub only company they just started, is a good business decision for the corporation. But it’s definitely not good for the author.

What do you all think?

Monday, November 16th, 2009
Weekend At The Movies

Dh was out of town last week. I’d planned to spend the time working like a busy bee, but instead I socialized with friends and got my hair done. (Plus a few chapters edited.) I also actually did a tremendous amount of thinking while he was gone. I thought about everything from pen names to websites to computer systems (I’m thinking about changing to a Mac.).

I’m now a step closer to getting Gothic Passions up on Kindle. I’ve had the follow up to that story finished for years. If GP does well, then I’ll add the novella follow up. My second adult UF is now sitting in N.Y., which brings my New York submissions up to two urban fantasies and one contemporary romance. I’m finishing up my edits on my young adult urban fantasy. Hoping it will be ready to submit by Jan. After that I’m going to take some time to figure out what I am going to write next. May be going in a completely new direction or an old one, depending on your perspective.

This weekend we took the time to go the movies. On Saturday we went to see 2012. It’s definitely a boom, boom movie. It was like watching The Day After Tomorrow, The Poseidon Adventure, and Independence all at once. *ggg* Actually, it was entertaining enough if you ignored logic and most of the acting. (wg) Last night we went to see the Invention of Lying. It was definitely an interesting movie. Clever idea. (ie no one on the planet knows how to lie and they say whatever pops into their minds) It dropped the ball at times, but the middle and the ending came through.

Have you seen any movies worth noting? Please share. I’m open to all suggestions. 🙂

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
Things Keep Ticking Over

The face of publishing might be changing every few seconds, but that doesn’t change what a writer has to do. A writer writes. I’m currently editing the first hundred pages of my Young Adult novel, then I’m going to finish the manuscript. While I’m writing that book, I’m going to re-edit Gothic Passions, my Regency Vampire novel so that I can put it up on Kindle (and various other places). I’m getting a cover designed for it. One that will hopefully capture the story’s essence. I’m using the book as an experiment. I want to see what the sales are like if I self publish. My intention is to diversify (ie self-publish, e-publish, and sell to N.Y.). Not necessarily in that order.

I have three finished manuscripts sitting in my drawers that need to be edited. I also have a partial that’s ready to go out. I’m just trying to decide what direction to head in. It’s a tough decision. I need to write a bit more straight-forward so my audience can find me. *g* I’m just not sure how many genres that will encompass. Of course none of the above includes what I already have on submission. But I can’t worry about those. Now more than ever is the time to write what I want and as much as possible. Need to be ready when that ship comes by the island again. 😉

Monday, November 9th, 2009
The Big Lie

When I got back into writing romance, it was at a time when the ‘golden age’ was ending. The publishers were no longer giving the big advances that the ground-breakers received. The industry as a whole was changing. I always knew I wouldn’t get to experience what they had. Mostly it was my own fault. I had pursued romance over the years, but never stuck with it long enough to finish a book. That changed in 2000/2001.

When I returned to romance, ebooks were just beginning to catch on. New York wasn’t putting them out yet, but a lot of smaller companies were and I took advantage of the new technology with an eye toward eventually moving into N.Y. print. At the time if you wrote erotic romance, you could make a living with ebooks. Not sure that’s the case these days without killing yourself trying to put out a ton of books. I’d heard for years from N.Y. authors that you could make a decent living if you just had enough print books out. At least five was needed as I recall. Those days are over. And looking back, I’m not sure they ever existed. They’re part of the Big Lie. (Before you jump on me with examples that are exceptions, realize that I’m not discussing the random book lottery winners–those authors that receive a HUGE advance straight out the chute.) I’m talking about new authors–like I was–believing all the numbers being tossed around about how much you could make from this or that publisher and believing that if you just managed to publish ‘X’ number of books you’d be well on your way to making a living.

As some of you saw from Lynn Viehl’s blog post, not even most New York Times Bestselling authors could support their families much above the poverty level. She’s one of the brave authors. She’s one of the ones who will actually tell the truth about the money. Not many authors are willing to speak out. Mainly this is due to fear and embarrassment. Some hesitation comes from concern over the publishers ‘seeing’ the post. (ie If they see how little I’ve been paid, they may not want to pay me what I’m worth the next time, etc.) Can’t really blame them, but unfortunately the silence perpetuates the Big Lie.

The funny thing about this post is it isn’t the publishers who are spreading falsehoods. Sure, they’ve warned authors throughout the years to never discuss their contracts. That was in the publishers best interests because some contracts ARE better than others. You don’t want all those authors walking around with ‘good’ contracts, but they rarely talked about money. And they certainly didn’t go around telling new writers that they were going to be able to make a living writing. In fact, most said, ‘Don’t quit your day job’. They were right.

These days you can be the author of 30 published books and not come anywhere close to making a living. I don’t think there is a ‘specific’ number that will put you in a fairly ‘stable’ position. The responsibility of promotion has fallen squarely on authors’ shoulders. With advances falling and expenses rising, that leaves little room for profit. I truly believe we’ll see a lot of our favorite authors leaving the business over the next couple of years. Those who choose to stay will have to do more than write if they want to make a living. They’ll have to become savy and skilled at creating multi-media content. More and more authors will test the waters on self-publishing with the various ebook stores. I believe very few published authors will go the self-publishing route totally. It’ll just be one facet of a larger career.

Are you ready for the future? Because it’s here.

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009
Working On A Few Things

I’ve turned in my edits for the Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romances. It’s good to have them done. My story is called Heat of the Night. It’s a priest meets girl, girl likes priest story…sort of. 😉

My urban fantasy has been reworked and sent off to my agent. That will make number two in the adult urban fantasy category. I’m now officially back to work on my YA urban fantasy. (Yes, there is a theme.) Once I get the YA done, I’ll take another look at my story ideas folder to see what I’d like to do next. I’m not sure, but I do enjoy writing the books the way I want to write them without the pressure of a deadline. I’m sure that will change. *g*

I’ve decided to rework Gothic Passions, my vampire Regency historical romance and put it up on Kindle. I’m doing it as a kind of experiment much like other authors have done. Not sure how it’ll turn out, but it should be interesting.

Tomorrow I have to take my care in for repair. Apparently it needs a new alternator. *%$& I plan to take my YA to finish reading the chapters I’ve written and my Nintendo DS. I may even take a book along. Yes, I’m camping at the dealership until the work is finished. Should be fun—NOT!!!

Tis the season and all that jazz.

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

CRIMSON is finally here. Yep, today is release day. Much celebrating has commenced. Pick up your copy now. If you can’t find it in your local store, it’s available here, here, here, and here. Happy Reading! 😀