Thursday, September 29, 2011
Food for Thought thursday is bring fantastic opportunity to authors on the 20th October 2011.
Elizabeth Newman is the Octagon Theatre Bolton's Associate Director, and after working with author Margaret West and her novel Abigail Cottage, she has decided to launch a competition to find three novelists who would be interested in coming to the Octagon Theatre to learn more about adapting their novel for the stage.
Ms Newman is currently leading a team of eight playwrights to adapt Frank L Baum's classic novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, for the Octagon audience which will open on the 19th November 2011.
The competition will open on Thursday 20th October on the Food for Thought blog day, at Authors promoting Authors. You will be able to post your submissions on the blog ONLY on two dates 20th/27th October.
Guidelines will be posted on Margaret West’s blog on Friday 14th October.
As this is in the UK, ONE international author will be chosen to have a skype session with Elizabeth about adapting their novel.
The lucky winners will not only attend the day workshop at the theatre, with playwrights who adapted The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but they are also invited personally by Ms Newman to see the show in the evening.
You will need to keep an eye on my writers blog for the competition guidelines, updates and rules, which will be posted in the next wekk or so.
You will also need to be a follower of authors promoting authors and margaret's blog, to be eligible to enter.
Please copy and paste this event to any of your groups.
This is open to any genre, with the exception of Erotic & Gay/Lesbian fiction.
Good Luck to you all. xx
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
About Lynne: I live in the north west of England and work as a data analyst for one of the local Health Authorities. I have been a prolific reader all my life, and for many years have spent the majority of my free time writing. As well as being educated up to degree level, I have completed courses and received diplomas from ‘The Writing School Ltd’ and ‘The Academy of Children’s Writers.’
Gertie Grimthorpe comes from a long line of witches. Unfortunately, she hasn't really got the hang of it. Being blonde haired, blue eyed and free of warts isn't much of an advantage.
Try as she might, Gertie's spells fall flat. She manages to give her bat-headed umbrella the ability to talk, but then wishes she hadn’t when all he does is complain and insult people. Even finding an owl to be her Familiar doesn't help. Then again, he is extremely shortsighted…
Gertie is sent to The Academy to improve her spell casting skills. She soon has a best friend in the form of Bertha Bobbit, a big girl, with a matching appetite.
Add to that a Moat Monster with a flatulence problem, the weirdest array of witch's Familiars possible, and a warlock determined to ruin Gertie's chances of success, and the story unfolds.
Not to mention the demon...
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The publishing World
So you've been offered a contract. When you’ve finished dancing around the house, it’s time to think about getting a solicitor or an agent to get their advice on it. Contracts are negotiable, so negotiate if you feel the need to. The contact will cover many areas. Some of which are;
2. How much, and in what form, your advance covers.
An advance is when a publisher works out how many copies they are likely to sell. They then decide how much of your royalty they will pay you up front. It can range from 30% to 100%). The advance is usually paid out over at least a year. As authors you must have noticed that Royalty rates are slipping. Sometimes to as low as 6% with some publishers. Check your contract has a clause that mentions ‘rising royalties'. This gives you a higher royalty once a certain number of books have been sold. You also tend to get different royalty rates for hardback and paperback books. Hardbacks seem to be slightly higher.
It is a sad fact that VERY few authors sell world rights to their titles. Getting your book published in one country is no guarantee that it will be published anywhere else. There are separate contracts for US rights, UK rights, German translation rights, French translation rights etc. If you sell to a book publisher you should really only sell the print rights. Publishers sometimes try to take the electronic rights, film rights, radio rights etc. Don't let them. Sell off your various rights one by one, so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket. Also find out how many FREE copies you will get. You’ll need those for your promotions.
Now you’ve sorted out the contract, you have the complexity of the editorial process.
The editing process really depends on the publisher. An editor will be assigned to your book and from then on, you will usually work on a one to one level with them. Most authors find it hard to view their work objectively. They are so immersed in their characters sometimes they don’t see the flaws. An editor can ask you to get rid of a character, revise one, cut scenes, all might enhance your story, but it will leave you with a great big headache.
One of the hardest thing an author can do is read read what someone else thinks of their work. A lot of emotional investment is in your book and cuts/changes made to it can slice into you like a knife. But do bear in mind that most books come out much better after the editor has had their hands on it.
Once you get on track and make the revisions as painless as possible, it goes back to the editor for a final perusal and then back to you for a final review. Now, during all this your editor should be talking to you about the book cover and any marketing strategies you may have. Authors do have a lot of say in their covers, but generally publishers have the last word.
So, now your book is published. Yaaaay. It never gets tiresome seeing a new book in print. Every time is exciting to me. BUT, what happens if, when you are admiring it, you see a glaring mistake on the very first page? I remember in my very first novel, my main characters name morphed from Brian to brain in the time it left my hands to go to print. I was mortified. But it CANNOT be corrected, it’s too late. So pray it doesn’t happen to you.
And finally a small tip. Sometimes bookshops are able to return books to the publisher, unpaid for, if they don’t sell. Which means, less profit for you the author. My advice! Sign as many of your books as you can, they can't then be returned, and they become guaranteed 'sales'.
Abused for years by a sadistic fiancé, Missy Green has finally had enough. Running away is her only recourse. Wanting a new life, she takes refuge with a group known as the Stargazers. Taken in by the illustrious Draco Starr, Missy is elated to finally find peace. Yet, something doesn’t seem right about her host.
Born in the pits of hell, Draco Starr was once a fearsome Demon. For centuries, he collected soul s for Satan. Having done his time, Draco sets out to start a new life. Even with more wealth and prestige than anyone could ever want, something is missing in his life.
Missy is about to have her world turned upside down. Discovering Draco is a demon is terrifying enough, but finding out she too is a demon is more than she can handle.
Can Missy deal with her new life, and the affection she is beginning to feel for Draco, or will her past come back to haunt her?
Monday, September 19, 2011
Looking back after my attendance at the Erotic Authors Association inaugural convention, several things became apparent to me. First off, the long time authors (hereby referred to as the Old Guard) started out with the desire and drive to write just like the new guard does but after time, changes must occur in how they proceed.
The new guard is driven by desire to write and make money, real money. And as Jean Marie Stine posted on WriteSEX, Erotica (and erotic romance) are the top selling genres in the e-book format. For those of us writing in either or both of these genres, this is great news. The problem comes when new publishers are constantly opening their doors, older publishers are dying off OR taking crap for submissions and hoping to polish them. Then your competition becomes stiff. And what we're left with is the trouble some readers (primarily your undeveloped audience) don't know about quality. Meaning, some authors just suck and can't be fixed or edited to a point of publication but some publishers still put out their work anyway, so you're stuck having to compete against them, lose potential sales and wonder what next to do.
The answer comes from the Old Guard lessons, combined with new guard marketing techniques. First things first. This is erotica so we have a built in audience. Stats at Amazon back that up. Second, this is writing, so it must be treated like a business. You are your own boss. This isn't that hard for most career authors becuase they already set schedules to write, edit, promote, email, and if there is time, sleep and eat. The extension comes from the business part.
Do you have a plan for your career? Are you looking at your career as being solely an author? Or, like me, are you an author that caters to a certain audience (erotic romance in all sub genres) AND caters to being the Author Expert via WriteSEX, panels geared towards WRITERS at conventions as well as being the focus of panels geared towards READERS at the same conventions?
Before I came onboard officially to Sizzler Editions, Jean Marie and M. Christian had a chance to meet and talk and lo and behold, she convinced him to work for Sizzler. Chris is a well known master of the literary erotic word with a good past behind him, but his career had petered out slightly, needing a kick somehow to resurrect it. I can only speculate but I imagine personal problems were the culprit. They often are for numerous writers.
Having worked with him for WriteSEX I learned a few things. While I'm old guard to most of you, he's even older guard than I am, if only by slightly a few years. He's worked with some big names in the business and had done his time to get where he was before his career was interrupted, but the VERY MOST IMPORTANT THING I've learned about him is that he's a team player. Even in his business focus, for both Sizzler Editions, WriteSEX and his career, he's got a plan. He treats his writing like a business that will make him a profit.
Let's scale back a bit and take another author (I frequently pick on) of mine. Margie Church. She's only been writing what, two years maybe? I believe she's over at Noble Romance but she also released her BDSM romance The 18th Floor through my Sizzler Intoxication line. She's done her best to learn the SEO stuff, give her career the boost it needs and treat her writing like a business from the start. While no one can predict the future, especially in this business, I believe she'll go far.
So, while we're going to sex up this blog a bit, once I take over and officially launch the erotica corner (or whatever Tina has in mind for a name) it's business. The difference is that we all get to come to the blog wearing our hottest lingerie, lower the lights a bit and talk about writing smut like grown adults who aren't afraid of making money writing sex.
It's a lot of work but then again what's the adage? Something doing is worth doing well.
Buy Light and Shadow - a Total E-bound Release - Will Stefan get Katalin's submission and heartor will his business mindset cause more problems?
Sensualities - An Erotic Collection for all
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
The sun us shining here after a hellish week of rain, storms, winds and then sunshine. No wonder we all get ill with such changeable temperatures.
On a brighter note, the winner of my fabbo prize last week is Michael Offutt
Hedge Witchery publishing house is here today to answer any questions you have about the publishing world. She is open for submissions and is especially interested in recieving short stories that could be published as part of a collection.
Here is a bit about Hedge Witchery Books
Hedge Witchery Books is a small publishing company based in Northumberland. We print New-Age, Alternative, Pagan and Paranormal fiction and non-fiction, and have recently expanded into audio media. We have been running for little over a year and are constantly growing as a company.
I asked Lily what she looks for in a Manuscript.
Lily. We don't need to see full manuscripts. 1-3 chapters with a synopsis is ample initially. A covering letter/email from the author detailing what they've done in the past, and links to any sites they have or are featured on.
It's also nice to see any social media details, twitter, facebook, blog, myspace, etc. We are into our social media marketing in a big way!
You can find Hedge Witchery on facebook
Lily will answer all your questions. it is a rare treat to have such an approachable pub;isher on a blog, so do take advantage of this opportunity. I look firward to your comments.
Have a great day
Jesse V Coffey, who also writes as J. W. Coffey and Meggie Chase, is the author of short story collection Illusions & Reality (J. W. Coffey) and new release The Brothers Cameron: An Opportunity for Resentment. She write a literary column and a writing column for the Lexington KY affiliate of Examiner.com, as well as a National Indie Romance Novel column. She also is the on air hostess of Edin Road Radio, an internet radio show that introduces new authors reading excerpts from their work. She is a member of ASCAP and the Erotic Authors Association.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Here is more about Michelle:
Michelle is a mother, artist, and writer who lives in the Rocky Mountains with her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She writes contemporary, literary, and fantasy fiction. Michelle graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor's Degree in English/Creative Writing in 2002. Her short fiction has been published in the University of New Mexico's national literary journal, Scribendi, 2002, the Rose & Thorn Journal, 2010, Suspense Magazine, June 2011, and Stories for Sendai Anthology, 2011. She served as the editor-in-chief of Utah Valley University's literary magazine and has won awards for her short stories. She is also an editor/publisher of “The Literary Lab Presents…” series of anthologies.
Michelle believes imagination is the only rule in fiction. This is the foundation of her writing, and she plans to strengthen it with each and every story she writes. Her first traditionally published novel, Monarch, will be released September 2011 by Rhemalda Publishing.
Oh, and she likes peanut butter and tomato sandwiches. And cheese. Lots and lots of good cheese.
Monarch looked so fascinating, I wanted to know all about the characters and settings and events--there is even a seventh question-and I hope these great replies by Michelle, draws you in and gives you plenty of reasons to buy this book today.
2. To have two daughters that resent what he's become, his career as a CIA agent must have started after the girls were of an age where they could really understand him. How old are they now? I'd peg them at mid to late teens which would result in Nick's CIA career being relatively short. Is he resentful of having to drop his career?
3. If the U.S. has been hunting Ferreira for years, I wouldn't expect Nick's final case to be very quick unless he was doing a burn mission, which wouldn't make much sense. So has he just promised to end his career once Ferreira is caught?
4. Nick does not seem to be a devoted family man. Is Lilian a woman from long ago, or more recent?
5. Is Ferreira based in the U.S. or does this story have a bit of international intrigue?
6. Does the story parallel the Monarch butterfly's migration?
7. Lilian Love owns a secluded Inn. But, I don't think she is the damsel in distress type. Am I right?
The blurb for MONARCH:
Nick’s life as a CIA spy should be fulfilling, but it has only given him unhappiness—a wife who committed suicide, and two daughters who resent everything he has become. Now, stuck in the Amazon on the last mission of his career, he must track down Matheus Ferreira, a drug lord and terrorist the U.S. has tried to bring down for years. If he succeeds, he’ll have the chance to start his life over again.
Just when Nick is on the brink of catching Ferreira, he’s framed for a murder that turns his world upside down. His only chance of survival lies in West Virginia where Lilian Love, a woman from his past, owns the secluded Monarch Inn. He’s safe, but not for long…
A random comment will win a free copy of Monarch (in PDF, Kindle or EPUB versions) to qualify, you have to be a follower of Michelle's blog or have given this author a like on Facebook :o) Contest open until 12:00pm EST, September 13th 2011.
Would you like to be interviewed for Six of A Story? Please send all requests to: email@example.com
Friday, September 9, 2011
The big trend lately is effective blogging and that’s a topic many authors who write romances are unable to grasp. We tend to deal in hard fiction, as it were and thus we tend to spout off on whatever random topic seems to come to mind without throwing a care to SEO or the mechanics of Google ranking. Worse yet, we tend to talk about things that don’t really matter as they don’t forward our career.
The problem with this is that it may show us having versatile interests; it doesn’t always draw attention to our platforms. When we speak of author platforms, we’re really trying to show how diverse our writing abilities are in a manner that does one of a few things. Either our blogs need to reflect our writing style as an extension of our brand, or they need to show more depth of who we are as authors.
So many blogs I’ve seen do little to help the author. Yes, in some instances we’re trying to strike controversy but does that help us? Take it from the KING of bad publicity (gay fish, anyone?) when I blog about my favorite oral fetishes on some romance blog, even if my language is appropriate for that blog, all I’m really doing is capitalizing on the short lived success of controversy. When I discuss cross dressing on my own blog though there is more relevance there due to my varied writing in erotic romance.
Be clear about our content. Ask yourself about the voice of the blog you’re writing for. Is it fun? It is quirky? Is it serious? Does it require a modicum of professionalism? Tailor your voice to suit that of the blog. On the Midnight Seductions Authors blogs for example, I tend to write about the process of writing from the standpoint of an established author. I have been writing longer than any other author in our blog aside from some of our guests. I have a lot of sage advice to offer.
Examine what topics you’re blogging on and why. When I put out a post on cross dressing, my point at the time was to use SEO tactics in hopes of capturing some traffic for affiliate marketing. I targeted that post to the few blogs I appear on where it’s appropriate.
Spend some actual time learning the delicate yet simple art of SEO. In this case I’m going to suggest you target your blogs to sites with a ton of traffic as I’ve learned from Student4Ever and a few others that back links from sites with a lot of traffic give Google the impression that you’re an expert. Learn proper link placement. It doesn’t make sense to use my name as a keyword. Nobody’s going to search for Sascha Illyvich the author, my analytical tools prove this. Sure I get hits based on that but it’s usually when I’ve said something of value.
These days blogging is still a needed form of promotion. Perhaps I'll cover that in later posts but right now I'm down from post con exhaustion, and I still have one more trade show to do!