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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

And the Winners Are -- Holiday Title Contest

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Title we love but could never use:
Penny for "Santa's Erotic Adventures...One Elf's Untold Story

Best Double Entendre:
Cari Quinn for "She Came Upon A Midnight Clear"

Would make a great real title for an anthology:
Ms. Snarky Pants for "Tales From the Naughty List"

We wish we could fit it on a cover:
Sharon for "Five golden rings, four call girls, three French maids, two satin gloves, and a big ridge in a pair of jeans"

Because we love 'em all:
Bill Greer for his 'body of work': Astroglide for the Yuletide; Elves and Eggnog: The Untold Story; Jane Finds Her Clitoris Under the Christmas Tree

Winners, email Martha@ellorascave.com to let her know what EC or CP ebook you would like (and the format you need).

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Reminder: Hot Holiday Contest

The deadline for the "most intriguing, sexiest, wildest title for an erotic holiday story" is Monday, Dec. 21. Post your entries in the Comments of the contest post:
http://redlinesanddeadlines.blogspot.com/2009/12/hot-holiday-contest.html

Authors Advising Authors #10 - Carol Lynne

I've been a reading fanatic for years and finally at the age of 40 decided to try my hand at writing. I've always loved romance novels that are just a little bit naughty, so naturally my books tend to go just a little further. It's my fantasy world, after all.

When I'm not being a mother to a five-year-old and a six-year-old, you can usually find me in my deep leather chair with either a book in my hand or my laptop.

Email: carol@carol-lynne.net
Website: http://www.carol-lynne.net/

How many books did you write, and how long were you writing, before your first acceptance?
I was one of the lucky ones to have my first book accepted. I wrote Branded by Gold in June and submitted it to Ellora’s Cave in July.

What is the most important piece of advice you would give an aspiring (not yet published) author?

In my opinion, too many aspiring authors suffer from lack of confidence. I believe strongly in not going over and over a manuscript once it’s finished. I’m not talking about not checking your work, I’m simply saying, there was a reason you wrote the story the way you did. Second guessing yourself is counterproductive, in my opinion. You can go back and revise until the end of time, but you’re not enhancing the original story you wanted to tell, you’re merely changing it to what you think others want from you. Be true to yourself and your original story.

Is there a “warning” you would give an aspiring or new author about the writing profession or the publishing industry, something to watch out for?

Never allow a reader, a reviewer or another author to change the way you view yourself or your story. Not every book will appeal to every reader. As long as you know you’ve put your heart into the story, stand proud.

What was the most surprising thing you learned after you became published?

That people actually wanted to read the stories that fill my head on a daily basis. I was in a place in my life where I felt like nothing but a mother and housekeeper. Through writing, I once again discovered Carol. That’s by far the biggest surprise that came out of becoming published. Suddenly, people cared about what I wrote. I had a voice. I had a dream of making a better life for me and my children, and I made it come true.

What is your best advice or enlightening story about dealing with revisions and working with editors?
I’m a firm believer that you should drop everything and do your edits when you get them. If you were at a regular day job and your boss told you to fix a mistake you’ve made, you sure wouldn’t put it off for several days. Buck up, knuckle down and dig in. The sooner you get the edits finished, the quicker you can go on to the rest of your work.

What is your favorite promo tip?
Answer your emails! I can’t stress this enough. As a reader, I can’t tell you how many authors I email that don’t email me back. When you do email back, try and engage the reader in a short conversation with several emails back and forth. It not only gives you a chance to get to know your readers, but they’ll remember you and not just your book. Branding your name is a lot more important than spending all your time, money, and energy branding a single book.

Did you have an agent when you sold your first story? Do you have one now? At what types of houses are you published: e-publisher, small print press, traditional (NY) publisher, Harlequin/Silhouette category lines?

I’ve never considered trying to get an agent. I actually love writing ebooks. NY doesn’t hold the same appeal for me as it does other authors.
I’ve been extremely fortunate in my writing career. From the beginning, I’ve been lucky enough to make a living from my stories. Although my hours are long and my days off almost non-existent, I’m home with my girls doing what I love. I tend to focus my energy on series books and currently have over sixty-five stories released. It seems for every story I write, I think up two more I’ll probably never have the time to pen. It’s my life, and I absolutely love it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Authors Advising Authors #9 - Katie Allen

Katie Allen grew up in the Midwest with a horde of sisters (five) and one beleaguered brother. After an enjoyable four years working on her creative writing/art degree, and two not-so-pleasant years struggling toward her MBA, Katie somehow ended up as a mechanical engineer in Denver, Colorado. When her job disappeared during the recession, it was the kick in the rear she needed to head back to Minnesota and jump into writing full-time.

When she’s not writing (many books are necessary to pay for her unfortunate equine addiction), Katie rides horses, reads (of course), does gymnastics and looks for new (and occasionally insane) ways to research her books (cop school, anyone?).

Email: katie@ktallen.com

Website: http://www.ktallen.com/

Twitter: @KatieAllenBooks

How many books did you write, and how long were you writing, before your first acceptance?

I was writing seriously for about a year and wrote two books (including my first published book, Seeing Blind) before I was accepted.

What was the most surprising thing you learned after becoming published?

That my pre-published insecurity never went away. I’m working on my seventh book, and I still drive my editor nuts with my various writing-induced neuroses (sorry, about that, Kelli!). In all other facets of my life, I’m a fairly stable, easy-going person, but where my writing is concerned…sigh.

Got any advice or an enlightening story about dealing with revisions or working with editors?

I don’t know if it’s enlightening, but I have a story! After my first book was published and I was working on revisions to my second, I was assigned to a new editor. I was shocked at how traumatizing losing an editor was for me. I absolutely adore my current editor, and she did her best to make the transition easier on me, but I was a mess for a while. The moral of this story is that Kelli can never leave me. ;-)

What’s your favorite promo tip?

Tell everyone you meet about your books. The best promo is word-of-mouth, so do your best to get things started. I gave a signed paperback copy of Seeing Blind to the cop who responded when my house was burglarized the other day. She was thrilled.

Did you have an agent when you sold your first story? Do you have one now?

Nope (to both questions).

Do you feel there’s a stigma attached to writing erotica/Romantica™?

With some people, sure. I don’t care, though—I tell everyone I meet what I write. I’ve had a couple of shocked reactions, but overall, people think it’s great.

How do you handle writer’s block, or do you believe there’s no such thing?

I’ve never really experienced it, but I can’t say for sure that it doesn’t exist (I’m a writer’s block agnostic). For me, I need to be on a schedule. Some days I have to drag the words, one by one, out of my sullen brain and can barely hit a thousand words. On other days, my fingers can’t keep up with the flow of words and my total count is closer to four thousand. Either way, the important thing is that I block out time to write. If I waited to be fondled by my muse before starting, I’d never get anything written.

What lengths have you gone to in the name of research? What wouldn’t you do?

I’m going to cop school! Okay, you were probably referring to the sex research, but I’m excited about my upcoming law enforcement classes, so I had to mention them. I absolutely hate getting details wrong, so I’m a research fiend.

Hmm…what wouldn’t I do? I think I’d have to say “No, thank you” to most hands-on (whips-on?) BDSM research. (Actually, that probably should be “No, thank you, Sir.”) I just don’t really care for pain, and I’m a little claustrophobic, so the bondage thing isn’t for me. I can’t get facials because the esthetician has to get too close to my face. It freaks me out.

What’s the most importance piece of advice you have for aspiring (not yet published) authors?

Quit editing in place and finish the manuscript. It’s so much easier to edit a completed first draft than it is to rewrite the first part over and over (I still have to remind myself of this when I’m a few chapters into a new book).

Would you offer any word of warning for aspiring or new authors about the writing profession or the publishing industry?

Don’t quit your day job—at least not right away. It takes a while to earn enough money from the books, and heat and food are good things to have.

Anything you want to share with readers about yourself, or previous, current or upcoming EC releases?

Sure! Chasing Her Tail was recently released by EC. It’s a were-dog ménage with plenty of humor, action and wagging tails (oh yes, and lots of hot sex!). I’m currently working on a series featuring five men who’ve escaped from a lab, where they were subjects of an experiment intended to create the perfect soldier. You can check out all of my books on my Katie Allen author page on the EC website.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Authors Advising Authors #8 - Debra Glass

Growing up in the south where the air is thick with stories steeped in legend and truth, Debra came by her love of romance novels honestly. Well...sort of. At an early age, she pilfered from her grandmother's extensive library and has been a fan of the genre since.

A full time freelance writer, Debra especially enjoys combining history, mystery, and a touch of taboo to weave stories with unforgettable, haunted heroes. She lives in Alabama with her sexy real-life hero, a couple of smart-aleck ghosts, and a diabolical black cat.

Email: debralglass@gmail.com

Website: http://www.debraglass.webs.com/

How many books did you write, and how long were you writing, before your first acceptance?

I wrote countless books before my first acceptance. I started writing when I was eight (my first book was about a seahorse named Dinah Shore) and I sold the year I turned forty. I got serious about writing for publication in the 1990s and joined Romance Writers of America. The knowledge and support I gained from my local chapter was invaluable in learning the ins and outs of the romance genre. I realized there was so much more to writing than simply putting words on a page. There were submission guidelines, learning the lines at the different houses, learning what was taboo and what was allowed, and above all, learning patience.

What is the most important piece of advice you would give an aspiring (not yet published) author?

My advice to someone just starting out would be to join the local Romance Writers of America chapter and begin attending conferences and workshops. Even if your genre is not romance, RWA members can teach you much more than the basics of submitting for publication. They offer programs on everything from craft to workshops given by field experts and editors. The best advice as a writer, however, came from my real-life hero and husband, who told me, “If you want writing to be your job, then treat writing like a job.” That’s when the proverbial light bulb illuminated.

Is there a “warning” you would give an aspiring or new author about the writing profession or the publishing industry, something to watch out for?

Hooking up with a critique partner can be a wonderful thing but always remember that you are the author of your story. Take the advice of others with a grain of salt and listen to your inner voice.

What was the most surprising thing you learned after you became published?

The most surprising thing I learned after getting published was just how difficult and time-consuming promoting my books is. It is easy to get sucked into Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and maintaining a website and blog. If you are not disciplined, promo can eat up your writing time. Networking with other authors is the best way to learn what the most advantageous promotional tools are.

What is your best advice or enlightening story about dealing with revisions and working with editors?

I feel I am often too close to my story to see it objectively. I always welcome the editor’s input on how I can make the story or my writing better. After all, editors are editors for a reason. They are professionals who study and know what readers like and what they’re buying.

What is your favorite promo tip?

Visit and comment on other authors’ blogs and websites. Not only will you make new author friends, you’re getting your name out there. The brand to sell is your name followed closely by fantastic, tight writing.

Did you have an agent when you sold your first story? Do you have one now? At what types of houses are you published: e-publisher, small print press, traditional (NY) publisher, Harlequin/Silhouette category lines?

I do not have an agent but am working in conjunction with another author and her agent on a non-fiction project. I would like to write young adult fiction and feel I might need an agent for that. Currently, I write for Ellora’s Cave and do not feel the need for an agent.

I write mainly in two romance genres. Paranormals were my first love and my initial books with Ellora’s Cave were my three Phantom Lovers novels. I enjoy basing my paranormal heroes on actual historical figures and although my paranormals are contemporaries, if you like historical romances, you’ll find my Phantom Lovers deliciously haunting. Vying for my favorite genre is historical, light BDSM. I relish writing Regency romance but since I’m a Civil War historian, I especially enjoy writing steamy stories in that time period.

My latest release with Ellora’s Cave is Lucid, an Exotica which features mad, bad, and dangerous-to-know Lord Byron as a ghostly hero. For more information about what I’m writing, check out my website at debraglass.webs.com.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hot Holiday Contest

by Raelene Gorlinsky

Yes, indeed, definitely time for some holiday cheer in the form of a contest or two! Create your most intriguing, sexiest, wildest title for an erotic holiday story! Could be any of the end-of-year holidays--Christmas, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year, whatever. But make the title something that would cause a reader to sit up and take notice, that will melt that winter snow and heat the cider!

Post your entries in Comments. Deadline Dec. 21.

Give us some great titles, we'll give you some great ebooks.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Future of Print Runs

by Raelene Gorlinsky

Oh, please go read this.

Print on Demand Publishing - The Underdog with a Big Bark
by Doralynn Kennedy
http://dlynnkennedy.blogspot.com/2009/12/print-on-demand-publishing-underdog.html

What a nice way to start a dreary and cold week - an informative, sensible article about an aspect of the publishing industry. (And that mentions Ellora's Cave in a positive way.)

The days of huge print runs, and then books going out of print when the copies are gone, are changing fast. I think that model will soon be gone completely for any but the top of the list. It makes so much more sense to do a smaller initial run to fill existing orders, then print more as needed for additional orders. Far more cost effective! Paper is expensive, and so is warehouse space. And don't we all cringe about the discarded copies from too many printed? What a waste of resources. And authors would love it if the Print on Demand/Print to Order distribution model kept their books available basically forever.

Many smaller presses, like Ellora's Cave, do PTO. Lightning Source/Ingrams has long filled orders that way. I know of two of the big traditional publishers who now have a press line in their warehouse to immediately fill small orders. Yes, most of the big publishers, and most of the writer organizations, are still strongly biased against POD, but the comet has struck and these dinosaurs will need to evolve or risk dying out.

This is the sane and sensible way to produce print books. Or, of course, everyone could convert to the even more efficient and cost-effective digital books. ;-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Authors Advising Authors #7 - Anne Calhoun

After doing time at Fortune 500 companies on both coasts, I found myself living in the suburbs of a small Midwestern city. The glamour of various cube farm jobs had worn off, so I gave up making a decent living to take Joseph Campbell’s advice and follow my bliss: writing romance.

Email: Anne.m.Calhoun@gmail.com
Website: http://www.annecalhoun.com/

How many books did you write, and how long were you writing, before your first acceptance?
I wrote 3 books over about 18 months before hitting my stride and writing Liberating Lacey. That sold 2 years after I started writing.

What is the most important piece of advice you would give an aspiring (not yet published) author?
Write. You don't have to write every day, but I highly recommend writing 4-5 days a week. Not long ago someone asked me if I wrote when inspiration struck.
"Do you only go to work when you feel motivated to work?" I asked.
"Of course not!" he said.
"Me either!" I said.

Now, he worked for my husband (who was present) so this may have been obligatory, but it made my point. Frankly, most days I feel I have a better chance of being struck by lightning than by inspiration.

If you want to write and be published, you have to work at it. Craft, promotion, voice, story structure, finding a process that works for you...all of these things take time, and trial and error. If you're not writing a majority of days in the week, whether you feel like it or not, then publication will be difficult to achieve.

And while a career as a writer will involve all kinds of fun-with-sharp-objects stuff like contracts and promotion and figuring out your process (plotter or pantser? storyboard or writing software?), by "work 5 days a week" I mean "put words on the page 5 days a week". The rest of it is all extracurricular, that is, important but not the stellar grades that get you into college. I set a daily page goal of 5 pages, and work in the rest of the job after that's done.

Is there a “warning” you would give an aspiring or new author about the writing profession or the publishing industry, something to watch out for?
Watch out for fitting your story ideas or voice to whatever is popular at the moment.
Write what comes to you naturally, what fascinates you, what you love. Knowing your inclinations plays to your strengths and, in the early stages of your career, keeps you focused on writing, not on learning all about a world/market/craze you didn't care enough to read, so why would you write?

Also, watch what you put into the compost heap that is your story-generating brain.

Yes, you need to be familiar with your sub-genre and the current trends, but it's vital to read outside the genre as well. Find authors who blow you away, writers who, when you finish the book, make you think, "I want to read that again and FIGURE OUT HOW SHE DID IT." You'll learn from writers who make you think, "I can do that." You'll be energized and inspired by writers who make you think, "I can't do that...yet."

What was the most surprising thing you learned after you became published?
How much I had yet to learn. I feel like I'm just beginning to really hone my craft. Some days that's terribly depressing. I try not to dwell on it. I also self-medicate with chocolate.

What is your best advice or enlightening story about dealing with revisions and working with editors?
It's impossible to overestimate how busy editors are. Be kind to them. By and large they are overworked, underpaid, and in this for the love of the written word, much as you are. Also, an editor is supposed to read your work with a critical eye. That's her JOB. Submit your book knowing you've done the best you can in writing it (very important!) but that other people (editors and your critique partners) have a crucial distance that allows them to suggest ways to improve it. I have yet to undertake a round of revisions that didn't teach me something about craft or my own process. That's not to say I haven't stood firm on a suggestion or revised then gone back to the original version--I have--but for the most part, revising is where I learn the most.

My best advice for dealing with revisions and working with editors: get a very, very thick skin if you're serious about writing as a career, and above all, be professional. Aim to be remembered for your exceptionally polished behavior. One editor rejected my work in such scathing terms I was left sobbing like a bleating sheep (imagine the gasping hunnnnnnh, hunnnnnnnh noise small children make when they're in complete meltdown mode). The next day I sent her a thank you card for taking the time to call me...because she DID take the time to call (and in hindsight, some of her comments were dead on). This goes for email, blogs, posts to groups/loops, chat boards, forums, Twitter, elevator conversations at conferences, etc. If you wouldn't say what you're going to say in front of your dream editor/agent/publisher, don't put it in writing, electronic or otherwise.

When in doubt, hit delete, not send.

What is your favorite promo tip?
Write the best book you can. Spend more time writing than you do promoting. If you write a book that makes it to keeper shelves, you have a built-in sales force of readers.

Did you have an agent when you sold your first story? Do you have one now? At what types of houses are you published: e-publisher, small print press, traditional (NY) publisher, Harlequin/Silhouette category lines?
No agent, pre-pubbed or now. I'm published in electronic format only, with Ellora's Cave and Harlequin.

Anne Calhoun gave up business suits and cube farms to write but instead went to graduate school...then stayed home with a baby...then finally got around to doing what she loves most: writing hot romantic stories with unforgettable characters. Her husband thought hot meals would come with this career choice and has been sorely disappointed. Liberating Lacey is her first release with Ellora's Cave.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Authors Advising Authors #6 - Allyson James

Allyson James writes romance, mystery, erotic romance and mainstream fiction under several pseudonyms. She has made the USA Today bestseller list, has won several Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice awards, and won RWA’s RITA award. Her books have earned starred reviews in Booklist and Top Pick reviews in Romantic Times Book Reviews magazine. Allyson loves to write, read, hike, and build dollhouses. She met her soul mate when she was eighteen, traveled the world with him, and settled down with him and two cats in the desert southwest.

Email: allysonjames@cox.net
Website:
http://www.allysonjames.com/

How many books did you write, and how long were you writing, before your first acceptance?

I started writing books about age eight. I started writing seriously for publication in 1999 (won’t say how old I was then). I wrote seven romances and one mystery before my first acceptance. Sold romance ms #7 early in 2002, and mystery ms #1 later that year. Romance mss #1–#6 are best left gathering dust under the bed. I’ve sold about thirty-five or so books and novellas since then.

What was the most surprising thing you learned after becoming published?
1. That you really can make money being a full-time author; and 2. How books become USA Today or NY Times bestsellers (being a good book that readers like is only one part of it).

Got any advice or an enlightening story about dealing with revisions or working with editors?
I’ve been lucky to work with some terrific editors. I’ve had mss with very light revisions (one or two questions) all the way up to rewriting a third of the book.

A rule that’s helped me enormously is one I got from a college English professor. When he returned our papers, we weren’t allowed to contact him about them for 24 hours. He knew that we’d have a knee-jerk reaction to his grade, but after thinking about it for 24 hours, we’d be calm enough to either see what we’d done wrong or argue reasonably. So I employ the 24-hour rule for myself. I read through my editor’s suggestions, then think about it for 24 hours before contacting her with any questions. This has saved me from much embarrassment.

Working with editors is like being married—there’s a lot of give and take. If I’m convinced I’m right about a point, I will argue. Sometimes I win; sometimes the editor makes me understand her POV. I don’t think editors are always right (sorry, Kelli!), but I know I’m not always right either.

What’s your favorite promo tip?
Do what works for you (and what you can afford), and don’t sweat the rest. Keep your expenditure reasonable. Don’t spend $20K promo-ing one ebook that might make only $6K.

Did you have an agent when you sold your first story? Do you have one now?
I did not have an agent when I sold my first romance (Perils of the Heart, to a NY pub). My agent came on board after that and sold my first mystery series and a bunch more romances after that.

Do you feel there’s a stigma attached to writing erotica/Romantica™?
I think there is a stigma, but I can’t be paid to care. I enjoy writing erotic romance, the readers love reading it, and erotic romance readers are the friendliest bunch around. If someone doesn’t approve, tough darts. They can read something else.

How do you handle writer’s block, or do you believe there’s no such thing?
I have experienced writer’s block, which I call Writer’s Attitude or Writer’s Panic. I deal with it by making writing a habit. I can sit down for an hour, lock out all distractions with music on my iPod (no Internet allowed during the hour!), and write. I’ve trained myself over the years to crank out 1500 words an hour without realizing I’m doing it. If they’re terrible words, I’ll fix them later. The main thing is to get it down. If the novel turns out to be a very, very bad idea, I have no trouble throwing the whole thing away and starting again. Even if I’m in Writer’s Panic. Because I know I can crank out the words, because I’ve made it a habit.

What lengths have you gone to in the name of research? What wouldn’t you do?
My research tends to be the dull kind, sitting in libraries reading (well, I don’t think it’s dull, but anyone watching me would). I like to travel to the setting when I can or take up something to get into the mind of the character (I’ve learned how to oil paint, belly dance, and fence [with swords]). I’m a big chicken, so I doubt I’d skydive to write about a skydiver. I think I’d just interview people who’d done it. Nor will I attempt bank robbery to see how that feels. Of course, I’d probably get a lot of writing done after I was caught.

What’s the most importance piece of advice you have for aspiring (not yet published) authors?
Don’t. Give. Up. Ever. You really can get published (at a reputable publisher, for money). You really can have a career and make money. You just have to do it and never, ever, ever—even when it seems it’s frigging impossible—give up. And hone your craft. It does you no good to send in book after book that isn’t your very best work.

Would you offer any word of warning for aspiring or new authors about the writing profession or the publishing industry?
There are scammers everywhere, many with honest faces. Don’t EVER pay an agent or a publisher. They are supposed to pay you. (The money flows toward the author.) It’s terribly tempting, and they’ll spin you all kinds of tales, but the rule of thumb is—if they ask YOU for money, you walk. No negotiation. (If you’re thinking but…but…but… go back and read my first sentence again.)

Anything you want to share with readers about yourself, or previous, current or upcoming EC releases?
My most popular series at EC is the Tales of the Shareem series. The Shareem are big, bad gorgeous guys who were genetically created in a factory to do one thing—give sexual pleasure to women. They come in one of three flavors. Level 1, slow sensuality; Level 2, fun and wicked games; Level 3, the complete Dom.

I’ve done six of these tales—the first one is Rees, about the Shareem that never should have been made, one the researchers feared. The 5th book, Calder, was released in September 2009, and Eland, a short story, will be a free read (Naughty Nooner), released December 14 (2009).

The Shareem have their own page on my website (along with visuals) at http://www.allysonjames.com/ShareemSeries.html

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Royalties First and Second Hand

by Raelene Gorlinsky

The financial picture for e-publishers and authors keeps getting more complex, as the digital market expands and develops. For a long time, ebooks were sold from the e-publisher's site and a few vendor sites such as Fictionwise and All Romance eBooks, to name just two. Then the BIG boys got in the game - Amazon Kindle, Sony Store, Barnes & Noble.

The complexity in this is the income a publisher and author get for sales, depending on where that sale took place. If your ebook is sold direct from the publisher's site, you as author normally get X % of the gross cover or sale price of the book, as defined in your contract. But third-party ebook vendors function just like print bookstores - they take a very large percentage of the cover price of the book. And by large, I mean typically anywhere from 40% to 65%. So that leaves a lot smaller net amount for the publisher to receive and then pay author royalties on.

You quick-minded and business-oriented authors should have immediately made the intuitive leap to understanding that this is the whole reason behind why ebook prices have become so high. In order to get the same money they used to get for direct sales from their own website, e-publishers (especially those with older contracts where royalties are based solely on gross cover price) have had to basically double their book prices to get that same income now that large percentages of their sales are at third-party vendors. But maybe that's a whole other post for another day.

Rather than try to give a bunch of examples of how the money works myself, let me point you at an excellent post on the topic. Author Moira Rogers (who is actually a collaboration of two writers) provides very clear explanations and numbers. Every author and aspiring author needs to understand how their income will work, so please go read this.

Why 3rd Party Royalty Rates Matter
http://moirarogers.com/blog/?p=1537

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Authors Advising Authors #5 - Marie Treanor

Marie Treanor was born and brought up in Scotland, but for some years moved around the UK, working and studying. Now she is back home and happily married with three young children. Having grown bored with city life, she lives these days in a picturesque village by the sea where she is lucky enough to enjoy herself avoiding housework and writing stories of romance and fantasy.

Email: marie@marietreanor.com
Website: http://www.marietreanor.com/

How many books did you write, and how long were you writing, before your first acceptance?
I’m happy to say that the first story Marie Treanor wrote was accepted by the first publisher she submitted it to. But that’s slightly misleading! I had been writing seriously for maybe seven or eight years before that, under a different name, and had hawked two historical novels around traditional British publishers without more success than a few encouragingly kind rejections. I then discovered ebooks and sold my novels to an epublisher. Not long afterwards, my third child was born and my writing time severely curtailed. I was also getting into ebook romances and being blown away particularly by the wealth of imagination I found in the genre. So, with time constraints in mind, I tried my hand at a short, paranormal romance as Marie Treanor (instead of a long, research-heavy historical) and was fortunate enough to have it accepted.

What is the most important piece of advice you would give an aspiring (not yet published) author?
I think I'd tell them not to give up. Which doesn’t mean not taking advice, but learning from other writers and readers and from the comments of publishers and editors, and always to keep writing.

Is there a “warning” you would give an aspiring or new author about the writing profession or the publishing industry, something to watch out for?
I would say, research the publishers you’re considering submitting to. Find out if you can how long they’ve been in business and if other writers are happy there. Also, although it’s good to build up a reader base at one publisher, it’s also good to spread your favours, just in case one of your publishers (God forbid!) goes out of business. Despite the bankruptcy clause in most contracts, such an event could tie your books in legal limbo for several months while the courts decide what to do with your rights, and you don’t want to have nothing out there!

What was the most surprising thing you learned after you became published?
That I wasn’t immediately rich. :)

What is your best advice or enlightening story about dealing with revisions and working with editors?
I’ve learned from all the editors I’ve worked with, especially when I’ve grasped how the changes they ask for actually make my writing stronger. I don’t always agree with their suggestions--though more often than not, I do--but it always helps to discuss any points of difference so that we understand each other. After all, we’re both trying to make the book as good as it can be.

What is your favorite promo tip?
I don’t have one--I stink at promo :(

Did you have an agent when you sold your first story? Do you have one now? At what types of houses are you published: e-publisher, small print press, traditional (NY) publisher, Harlequin/Silhouette category lines?
No, I didn’t have an agent when I sold my first story. I do have one now :) And the inspiring part of this story is that he actually contacted me after reading one of my ebooks on Amazon Kindle. I’m currently published with several e-publishers and next year, thanks to the aforementioned agent, I will also be published with a NY house.


Marie Treanor writes steamy paranormal and futuristic romance. She currently has over twenty-five titles published with four different publishers. Her first vampire story for Ellora’s Cave, Hunting Karoly, was released in June 2009. Two sequels, Guitar Man and Freeing Al, will be published in 2010.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Baaad Sex in Books

by Raelene Gorlinsky

Jonathan Littell has won the seventeenth annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award, for The Kindly Ones.

The award was created in 1993 to draw attention to the "crude, tasteless, and often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in contemporary novels, and to discourage it."

The other finalist books include those by some well-known names:
The Humbling by Philip Roth
The Infinities by John Banville
Rhyming Life and Death by Amos Oz
The Naked name of Love by Sanjida O’Connell
A Dead Hand by Paul Theroux
The Death of Bunny Munroe by Nick Cave
The Rescue Man by Anthony Quinn
Love Begins in Winter by Simon Van Booy
Ten Storey Love Song by Richard Milward

You must go read the entries at http://www.literaryreview.co.uk/badsex.html ! Some of the best phrases:

"Her vulva was opposite my face. The small lips protruded slightly from the pale, domed flesh."

"This sex was watching at me, spying on me, like a Gorgon's head, like a motionless Cyclops whose single eye never blinks."

“turning his trousers into a tent with lots of rude organs camping underneath”

"Georgie has to roll Mr Condom down Mr Penis for him and she has to help insert him into Mrs Vagina."

"It is exactly as he imagined it - the hair, the lips, the hole - and he slips his hands under her wasted buttocks and enters her like a fucking pile driver."

"her bullet-proof pussy"

"her nipples, which are the size and texture of liquorice Jelly Spogs"

"River squeezes Bunny's cock with her muscular vagina. 'Wow,' says Bunny, from the depths of space. 'Pilates,' says River. 'Huh?' grunts Bunny. 'Cunt crunches,' says River, and contracts her pelvic floor again."

"he has been transformed into a delicate seismograph that intercepts and instantly deciphers her body's reactions"