Open Door… been a while…

Quick reminder… EC has slashed prices on more than 150 titles at places like BN’s Nook store, the Kindle store and ARe.  If you’ve wanted to check out some of my EC titles, now is a good time.  There’s a link to Hunters Declan and Tori on my sidebar…it’s the featured read for the next few weeks.

I recently registered for the Moonlight and Magnolias conference in Decatur, Ga. I believe there is a booksigning…so I may be signing there in September.

I have copyedits.  Massive.  Not any rewrites, just line edits, typos, etc. I think it’s been probably well over a year since I’ve done any paper edits.  I think.  It’s weird.  One of my traditional pubs has switched to digital so having the pile of paper on my desk is weird.  I also have edits on Locked in Silence I need to get done.  They always hit in multiples, I swear.

It’s been a while since I had time to answer many Q’s.  But I’m not required to wear that other hat this week.  So, if anybody has any Qs…fire away…

Image via Photobucket | dbthielman

Kindle

Open Door

Just a reminder… I’m out of town still, but just to fill the page… *G*

Open door.

Image via Photobucket|dbthielman

So… anybody got any questions? Series stuff?  Previous books?  Writing stuff? Although I suck royally at that sort of thing.  I can’t promise I’ll get in there to answer today, but I’ll check in and answer as I can later, and if the questions are the sort that might make me think, I may use them for blog post fodder, just so ya know.

Kindle

Open Door

Wrote this ahead of time knowing, I’d be out of town, although by the time it posts, I’ll be home and buried under heaps of laundry.

Anyway,I’m skipping a for real blog post and doing an open door…

Image Via Photobucket|dbthielman

Got any questions for me?  Publishing stuff, although I’m no where near the whiz some people are.  Series, story, whatever?

Fire away.  Just remember, if it’s a question that might make good blog post fodder, I reserve the right to use it as such.  Otherwise, I’ll pop back in through the day (if I don’t suffocate in laundry) and answer any questions you might have.

But no, I don’t know things like the meaning of life, other than living, why the sky is blue or anything like that…I barely remembered what was for supper…

p5rn7vb
Kindle

Open Door…

Brain. Tired.  Last week was crazy week-finished up taxes-shudder.  Don’t ask.  Taxes for a writer are almost always scary…we’re self employed, which means we pay.  And this year, I’m paying in blood and gold.  o-O.  Well, almost.  But it’ll be okay.

Finished up an erotic paranormal romance-she’s a psychic, he doesn’t quite buy into it, but they are crazy about each other.  It’s going to Ellora’s Cave.  Also finished up book 3 in the Grimm series for Samhain.  Right now, the title is Crazed Hearts and it’s Ren’s story.  So…. anybody guessed who Ren is, or have any ideas?

This next week, I plan on focusing more on the next book in my romantic suspense trilogy for Ballantine, getting the first three chapters together and polished for my editor so she can see them before I start focusing on the rest of the book.  And there’s this strange contemporary I’m working on-I might finish that and submit it to Carina Press, see if they want it, dunno yet.

Needless to say, my brain is shot, and it’s tired.

So instead of thinking of something fabulously interesting to post about…I’ll ramble (which I did) and then do an open door (which I’m doing now).

Image via Photobucket|dbthielman

With an open door post, I just leave the door open for people to ask questions-simple things, I’ll answer in comments off and on through out the day, but it’s possible I may reply in a separate blog post…always need stuff for blog ideas.

Kindle

Open Door

So I’m running behind and I’m feeling lazy. We’ll just do an open door…. anybody got any questions?  (Remember, it’s possible I may reply in a separate blog post…always need stuff for blog ideas)
:-) And for those who like online time wasters (of the fun and weirdly addictive variety), go make a snowflake.

Kindle

Epubs… wondering where to start?

Left Behind and Loving It-Lynn Viehl

Left Behind and Loving It-Lynn Viehl

Had an open door post the other day and Edie asked what authors should know about epubs.  I can’t answer for authors in general, however, I can tell you what info I’d look for, and what would stand out as a red flag to me.  Since it’s time for PBW’s annual Left Behind and Loving It, I figured I’d use this as a mini-workshop.  Or rather… MY version of a mini-workshop.

Please note-I am out of town~in Washington DC for Nationals.  Internet access may be sporadic, but if you have questions, ask away…I’ll answer when I’m back home.  Just might take a few days.

Now I’m not looking for any new epubs, I’ve got my hands overly full already, however if I was looking, one thing I first look at is their website.

Website

  • Is it professional?  Or does it look like a freebie site somebody slapped together?
  • The covers.  Are they the kind of covers that made me cringe and cover my eyes?
  • Is there contact info?  Is there submission info?  Is there a customer service contact?

If a site doesn’t look professional, I’m not interested.

If the covers are crappy, it’s going to give me pause about whether or not I’d want to submit.  Now sometimes, you just get a lousy cover.  But if all of them look…well…. shudder…. then I’m not going to be as inclined to submit.

There needs to certain info posted-if the site isn’t live, the customer service contact isn’t AS important for me at this point, but after a site goes live, there had better be some contact info for customer issues.  If there isn’t a general contact page, then it’s going to make me wonder.  If there isn’t a decent amount of submission info posted, I’m not going to bother asking.

The books

  • Are they publishing the sort of stuff you want to read?  IE:  You can’t submit a sweet insprirational to Ellora’s Cave.  So make sure you understand what kind of books they put out.
  • Do you like their books?  Not all, of course, but have you read some that appeal to you?  A publisher can call itself an erotic romance publisher all it wants, but if I read a number  excerpt or books (although me buying the book is not likely-if the blurb and the excerpt don’t hook me, I’m not buying)  that reads more like a porn scene script, then I’m not giving them my work.
  • What’s their publishing schedule?  Do they stick to it?  If they claim they’ll have books released on this day and this day every week, a book a day, ten titles a week, three titles a week, whatever, and then they frequently DON’T have the books out when they claimed, that’s going to have me questioning their business model, and I’ll probably pass.

Business plans

Okay, for me, this isn’t as crucial if a publisher has been in business for several years and showing signs of growth-that tells me they have a biz plan that works.  But I’ll still want to know if they actively pursue new avenues-working to get their titles more widely available, if they have print program, etc, etc.

But for a new epub?  Before I’d even consider submitting, I’d want some idea of their business plan.

  • Do they have a realistic release schedule? And are they consistent?
  • Do they have a focus?  If they say they publish only erotic romance, but some of their titles read more like erotica, or just spicy romance, etc, etc, etc, I’m going to question their focus.
  • Do they have a set business plan for the next two years, five years, ten years?  I don’t really understand business plans, per se, but publishers need to.  If they don’t have a formal business plan, not happening, not for me.

Lets say I was looking and found a new publisher I want to try out.  I submit, then get a letter offering a contract.  There are a few details I’ll look at, questions I’ll ask.

  • Can they give me an idea when my title will be available for purchase?
  • How often can I expect to have a new title released with them?
  • Do I get to offer input on the cover?  (for epubs, this is a big one with me)
  • Do they have any plan to offer their ebook titles in print format?
  • What is the editing process?  If I’m pretty much flying solo, then I’m gone.  I want and need an editor.
  • Do they have distribution outside their website?  Books available at Amazon, or the Sony store, or Fictionwise, ARe?

Contracts

  • length of contract-some places do ask for length of copyright-the author has to decide if they want to do that.
  • are the contracts negotiable?  If the answer is no, then I’m looking elsewhere.
  • Royalty rate.  Anything under 35% for direct website sales, I’m not reading any more of the contract and I’ll look elsewhere

General stuff

  • I’m impatient. The submission process is time-consuming.  But after that, I’m not as likely to wait.  If an epub has my title and I ask questions and go weeks without answers, I’m probably not resubmitting.
  • I’m lousy at self-editing.  I do have readers that go thru my titles, but I also want reliable editors.  If I read titles at publisher XYZ and they are riddled with errors and typos, I’m not submitting.  It makes me think their editing process is somewhat lacking.
  • Publisher’s presence.  If those speaking for their publisher can’t do it without being professional, I’m not interested.
  • Do they understand the genre they claim to publish?  As I mentioned, a publisher can call themselves an erotic romance publisher all they want, but if their idea of erotic romance doesn’t jive with what many people view as erotic romance, then I think they don’t understand the genre, and if they don’t get it, they can’t represent my work very well.
  • Is there a lot of smoke?  Every publisher is going to have authors that are less than happy.  There’s no way around that.  A big publisher is likely to have more of those than a small publisher.  But if it seems a publisher has more UNHAPPY authors than happy ones, I’m going to have concerns.  Although I will admit, the only concerns I pay attention to are those that are voiced with some semblance of professionalism.  Example-a publisher has twenty unhappy authors.  The twenty voice their concerns in a calm, rational manner, explaining why they aren’t happy.  I’m going to give their opinions some serious thought and do some thinking of my own about whether or not I’d submit.  If a publisher has twenty unhappy authors who feel the best way to address their concerns are by ranting and railing and weeping….well, I’m not going to give their issues-legit or not-much attention.  I’d either look for the calmer authors or just start asking around on my own.  Actually, I’ll probably ask around on my own anyway.
  • Do they use that ‘family’ line?  I have a family-thanks.    I don’t need my publisher to be a family.  I need them to be my publisher, and I want them to act in a professional manner.  Many of the places that claim to be a ‘a big family’ don’t give off the professional vibes I’d look for in a publisher.

There are all sorts of things I’d look for, but I guess the key points are:

  • Does the publisher put out books you like?
  • Do you feel your book will fit in with their other books?  (genre-wise)
  • Are the contracts negotiable?
  • Are you comfortable with the contract terms?

Red flags

  • Non-negotiable contracts.  Most pubs have a ‘boilerplate’ contract-it’s their basic contract but they’ll negotiate with the author to some extent.  Contract non-negotiable? Red flag.
  • Inconsistent releases.  Release dates frequently missed?  Red flag.
  • Lousy website?  Red flag.
  • Every single cover is utterly hideous?  (This is personal for me, but it’s a red flag)
  • Apparent lack of understanding of the genre it claims to publish.  HUGE red flag.
  • Royalties less than 35%.  HUGE, HUGE red flag.
Kindle

Open door

Another open door…anybody have questions they’d like me to answer?

funny pictures of cats with captions

see more Lolcats and funny pictures

And even if you don’t, I’ve got one for you.  What is the one thing that will make you drop a book/throw a book in the middle of reading?  I’ve got a couple.  One is a little gross…it involves things like unusual sex acts and poor hygiene before/in between/after.  Makes the nurse in me go *shudder*.  Another is using food in sex-again, probably the nurse in me.  What about you all?

see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Kindle

Open door…

When I was out looking for ideas on blogging stuff, Marnie suggested:

I like it when authors take random questions for commentors and answer them…. such as….If you had to choose a character from your book to go on a 12 hour road trip who would it be? Why? Would you let them drive? Would you let them play with the radio?

I can do that.

So today is open…and if people ask me stuff and seem to like the way it goes, I might make this a regular thing.

If there’s a question you wanna ask, ask away.  I can’t guarantee when I’ll get to them all, and chances are, I’ll end up using some questions as something to blog about on a different day, especially if there’s not a quick, one line answer.

And to kick things off…

If you had to choose a character from your book to go on a 12 hour road trip who would it be? Why? Would you let them drive? Would you let them play with the radio?

A character to go on a 12 hour road trip…hmmm…maybe Ana or Nessa from the Hunters books.  Probably Ana.  Nessa would wanna fight to drive and I suspect her driving would be absolutely terrifying to me, and I don’t frighten easily.  Maybe Seth from Chains, and I’d let him drive if he wanted, because I’d just spend the time writing.  I love writing on road trips.

As to the radio-just depends on who is driving.  Ana has taste in music that’s similar to mine (which is varied) and I like being able to listen to what I like when I’m on the road.

There’s probably others I’d be okay driving with, but that’s too many characters to think through.  ;)

Anybody else got questions?

Kindle