How a Major Publisher Took Over My Self-Published Book

Spy Fall_QuincyThis is release week for my latest Regency historical romance, Spy Fall. Or maybe I should say re-release week.

That’s because I originally self-published the story that begins with a daring parachutist spy landing on our drunken rake hero.

Under the working title, The Parachutist, the manuscript finaled in, or won, several contests for unpublished novels. The self-publishing world seemed like it was on fire and, after a few rejections, the time seemed right for me to venture out into the self-publishing jungle.

I quickly realized I didn’t want to wear that many hats. I don’t know enough about marketing — or have a wide-enough reach, like some uber-successful authors — to make a real success of self-publishing. I sold a few copies, but not near as many as I’d sold with my previous publisher.

When book two in the series sold to Loveswept, a romance imprint of Penguin Random House, I mentioned that I had a related book. The editors there were interested in seeing Spy Fall and I can’t tell you how excited I was when they decided to acquire it.

The series got a new name, Rebellious Brides, and the cover was tweaked just a little because they liked both. And we were off!

The world of publishing is in a constant state of flux and, while I’m not sorry I ventured outside my comfort zone to try something new, I’m so much happier to have a major publisher behind my books. I guess I like being on a team!

Here’s a little about Spy Fall:

Lovers of historical fiction could hardly do better than Diana Quincy’s Spy Fall,” proclaims Fresh Fiction. In this uniquely fresh and innovative Regency romance, a fearless French parachutist lands on top of a wicked rogue who endangers her mission—and her heart.
 
Mari Lamarre is gaining fame on both sides of the Channel for her daring aeronautic endeavors, but she hasn’t come to Dorset to showcase her talents. Rather, she’s been tasked with recovering sensitive information that may have fallen into the hands of the Marquess of Aldridge. It’s the riskiest adventure of her career—and it begins with a crash landing. Her fall is broken by the Marquess’s very own son, Cosmo, who’s clearly a rake and a drunk, not to mention a liability. So why does Mari find him so utterly alluring?
 
When he first spots the vision of loveliness in the sky, Lord Cosmo Dunsmore surmises he’s imbibed one drop too many, and an angel has come to fetch him. Little does he know that this female daredevil will make him feel more alive than ever before. But when their torrid affair takes a shocking turn, Cosmo must choose where his loyalties lie: with his respectable father—or with the captivating beauty whose fierce passion makes him feel like a new man.

You can pick up a copy here:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

parachutistIn case you’re wondering, yes, there really were female parachutists in the early 1800s.

Mari, the heroine in Spy Fall, was loosely inspired by Elisa Garnerin, a real-life French balloonist and parachutist who made several jumps in the early 1800s. When I first learned about her, I realized I’d found the perfect inspiration for my next heroine.

Back then, parachutes had an attached basket and they’d ascend into the sky while secured to a hot air balloon. After cutting loose from the hot air balloon, they’d parachute down to safety.

Happy (almost) summer!

Diana

JB’s Steps to Indie Publishing 1 (An Author’s Legal and Financial Decisions)

I am on the path to indie-publishing my books and all the questions I’ve gotten make me think I should share what I’ve learned as I go. Today, I’ll jump forward to my “Step 2 PLUG AWAY AT THE BUSINESS SET UP END OF THINGS.” The most important piece of this—setting up my pen name legally—was complicated, so I’m dedicating a whole post.

Free Photos business exchange picture, Author: zcool.com.cn, from All-free-download.com

Free Photos business exchange picture, Author: zcool.com.cn, from All-free-download.com

Many authors use their real names everywhere and certainly it keeps things simple. I’ve also seen lots of authors who work their finances and legalities (money, taxes, bank, legal, copyrights, barcodes, etc) under their real name but use a pseudonym on the cover of the book and on social media. Personally, having no real legal rights to my pen name just feels like asking for trouble.

My goals in setting up the pen name legally from the start were thus: First, I wanted a bit of separation between the real me and the pen me. Second, I wanted to be able to keep all finances separate, both now in spending money to get started, and later, because I figure the more books out there (and hopefully growing income) the more complicated and expensive it will be to change. Third, I never want to find myself in a stressful and expensive legal mess.

There is very little solid information on this online, and over and over I read that you should consult with a qualified attorney as well as a certified public accountant (ideally both should be versed in issues specific to authorship like copyright issues, royalties, etc). I did, although I felt comfortable with the folks who already know my unique financial situation and whom I trust. I will attempt to put what I took from the process here in layman’s terms in hope’s that it’s helpful to another author. A caveat, however: do your own research and consults to figure out what makes sense for you, in your state. I am absolutely not qualified to give legal advice.

Many states require that if you do business as anything other than your legal name that you register a DBA (Doing Business As). I fully expected to go that route, but guess what? A DBA’s purpose isn’t to hide your real name. Quite the opposite in fact, it’s actually to provide the public with names of owners behind a fictitious business name. Basically, you are required to notify all counties you might do business in that person X is now doing business as person Y, and yes, this information is publicly accessible. So, whoa, a DBA in NJ is more like shouting your name to the world than hiding it…and just how many counties would that be? More information at: http://www.sba.gov/content/register-your-fictitious-or-doing-business-dba-name If, however, a DBA is right for you, you or your lawyer can register it via your county clerk.

In my case, both the lawyer and accountant urged me to become, with the pen name, a sole-proprietor LLC (a member-managed single-member limited liability company, taxable as a sole proprietorship). First, this affords more privacy than a DBA when it comes to the general public. And on my copyright pages I am legally allowed to put “JB Schroeder, pseudonym” and not list my real name at all. It also allows me to set up a bank account and credit card under that name, which I wanted for privacy and financial reasons. The LLC in conjunction with the bank account separates my pseudonym from my personal finances, my husband’s finances, and our joint finances. This is important come tax time, and in case of any eventual legal issues. The liability protection is basically none (but I’d at least have a leg to stand on if I ever needed to involve lawyers). I believe it also blocks anyone else (at least in same state) from using the exact same name. There is a fee of $125 to register the LLC with the state of NJ. The lawyer’s fee was heftier, but worth it because I’m confident that it’s done correctly and is my best option at this time.

Do realize that being an LLC does not mean that I am incorporated. If you are considering incorporating, be aware of two things. One, other authors tell me that it doesn’t make sense until you are making six figures regularly. And two, per my lawyer, incorporating means you must act like a multi-person corporation, even though it’s likely just you. Following the structure/rules/obligations of a corporation down to the letter sounded stressful, time-consuming, and rather ridiculous, but it’s a must—otherwise you might face legal or tax trouble. Beyond that, do your own research as I didn’t look into the details of incorporation.

Good luck making the decision for yourself, and please feel free to share any knowledge you’ve gleaned on this topic in the comments. I’ll cover what to do with this information next time.

Holiday Romance…it isn’t just for Christmas anymore

It’s that time of year again, when the days get short and the weather turns colder. I don’t like winters in general. I’d much rather be soaking up the sun on some beach somewhere. There is, however, one thing I do like about wintertime. To me, it means more time to read. There’s nothing better on a frigid winter day than curling up in my armchair with a cup of hot tea, some tea biscuits, and a good book. Although I have a huge pile of books next to my bed, waiting to be read, and another virtual pile on my tablet, I reach for holiday romances first at this time of year. To me, it feels strange to read a Christmas romance in July.

I love Christmas romances, and it appears I’m not alone. A quick check of Goodreads returned a list of nearly eleven hundred popular Christmas romances. When I searched Barnes and Noble, and the number was over six thousand romances available for purchase, while Amazon returned a whopping forty-thousand titles. Which is great for those of us who celebrate Christmas, and love a good Christmas love story.

Curious, I did another search for “Hanukkah Romance”. I’m happy to say, there were quite a few, although these were mostly in e-book format. However, there were nowhere near as many as there were for Christmas…only eighteen hundred titles. This is still enough to provide the average reader with Hanukkah romances to last a lifetime, though, so who am I to complain?

A search on Kwanzaa romances yielded more distressing results. Exactly two books came up in this search. I can’t help but wonder why. I have to believe that African-Americans read romance as much as any other ethnic group. I suppose the discrepancy could be chalked up to the fact that Kwanzaa is a relatively new holiday, only officially celebrated since 1966. Yet if we were using that reasoning, there should be more Hanukkah romances than Christmas ones, since Judaism has been around longer. If you say that Kwanzaa is actually a cultural holiday, rather than a religious one, I’m not sure that matters. Religion is a part of culture, isn’t it? Kwanzaa, at least in the northeast, is part of the conversation now.

Is it that the majority of editors and publishers are white Christians? Well, I don’t know the answer to that for sure, but I do know one thing. Romance publishers aren’t vampires, shape-shifters, Highland warriors or sheikhs, but they’re publishing tons of books about them. So why aren’t there more Hanukkah and Kwanzaa romances out there? I say, if you’re looking for a new angle, these would be good stories to write and pitch.  There, you have your new idea, and I promise I won’t take any credit for it.

I’m getting ready to re-read a favorite Christmas romance, What Happens at Christmas by Victoria Alexander. It’s a Victorian historical, and I particularly like it because it plays to the thespian in me. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

What Happens at Christmas

Do you have a favorite holiday romance? Why do you think there are so many Christmas romances, and so few Kwanzaa ones? I’d love to hear your theories on that, so please, sound off!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Joyous Kwanzaa!

Hugs,

Jaye

No More Spinning My Wheels: The Decision to Self-Publish

When I started my author page on facebook, I promised to keep updating folks on my path to publication. I shared when I landed an agent, finaled in contests, submitted manuscripts, and received rejections (of which there’ve been many). Lately, I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about the status of my manuscript submissions—which means it’s time to do a serious update. Picture flashing signs, exit looming, blinker on… ready?

©karenroach via BigStock

©karenroach via BigStock

In August I asked my agent to pull the submission of my second book from the last two editors who had it. I also told her that she and I should part ways. She was incredibly gracious, said she’d do the same in my position, and wished me well. A bold move from a newbie author who’s been trying hard to get published for years, right? Yes and no.

Let me preface by saying that I still believe in the traditional path. There are benefits, and I’m not ruling it out in future. (Heck, I spent twenty years working for or with traditional publishers as a designer. In truth, I feel quite a bit of loyalty in that direction.) But as time dragged on, I realized that path had me rather stuck in the road. I was hitting the accelerator, but my wheels kept spinning in the mud. Worse, I started to suspect that even if a tow truck came along, I wouldn’t like the driver’s plan to get me rolling, let alone his price. I began to fret: what if I did get an offer—something I’ve waited so long for—and I felt I had to decline? And while I waited, I daydreamed: What if I could make this happen myself—without paying into his big tow-truck conglomerate or signing his long-term contract?

Because I’ve been watching, carefully, ever since self-publishing got rolling. I’ve been noting the signposts. Do’s and don’ts. Possibilities. Warnings. Failures. And most of all success stories—especially the quiet ones…

I began submitting to editors via the agent in mid-April of 2012. In that time, my skills as a writer have grown. So has my confidence. The rejections I received are positive. The agent and I have exhausted the houses I was really gung ho about. The others, I feel, are not worth pursuing as they are unlikely to take a chance on my cross-genre books. The self-publishing world has grown and soared. Not just in scope, but in quality. And, as some surprise standouts have shown, the internet is often the perfect place for unusual books or new trends to find an audience.

I’m tired of waiting on a winch and a ramp and somebody else’s wheels. I’m ready to roll forward. Okay, maybe I’m not ready to drag race, but I’m certainly ready to leave the safety of the neighborhood. Because let’s face it. I’ve got to actually make money off this gig. I need to make a living, or I can’t keep spending my time writing. I don’t count on being some zillionaire. I just want steady income from my writing. I want my stories out in the world, touching somebody. And more and more, I find I want to be in control of how they get there. It’s bound to be a steep hill, especially at the beginning. I don’t have a built-in audience. I’ve got a helluva lot to do and to learn.
I will have to scrape and scrounge to afford to hire out those pieces I can’t do myself, like editing. I will have to keep writing even as I run a business. I fully expect to work harder than I ever have before.

But you know what? I only need to do better than the small newbie advance and set royalty percentage I might have eventually gotten from a traditional house. I only, at first, need to cover the costs of self-publishing. And then, to make a better income than what I’m making design-wise. Those are the baselines. If I hit them, I will consider myself successful. If I reach those marks sooner rather than later, I’ll be thrilled. I’m incredibly excited about the possibilities and, regardless of the level of success I achieve, I don’t doubt for a second that this is the right course for me. But it’s going to take time. And the road is long.

Am I terrified? Hell, yes. I could totally eat these words. I could be a dismal failure. I could end up hanging my head in shame—mortified because I shared all this and then blew it.

But then again, maybe not.

~JB

© JB Schroeder LLC

The Art of Contract Negotiation for Women Writers

We’ve heard it before: Women earn less money and benefits than their male counterparts. But the question is why? I believe the answer lies in the fact that women tend to shy away from negotiation. Women who do ask for more money or benefits are often viewed by society as overly aggressive or pushy. Overwhelmingly, romance writers are women who will find these essential skills helpful when negotiating their own publishing contracts.

3Contract

As an attorney, I’ve had the benefit of hours of negotiation training and have negotiated scores of civil settlements. Negotiation is a craft that can be studied and learned and will help with every facet of a writer’s career. I plan to blog about specific author contract clauses in the future, but I’m starting out with the very important art of negotiation.  Here are some tips:

 Don’t be afraid to ask.

I know as well as the next writer how hard it is to get “The Call.” I received many rejections before I sold my first book. We are all hesitant to ask for anything after waiting so long, and we feel we should be eternally grateful. But asking does not mean we aren’t grateful. Asking means we are taking our writing careers seriously and that we are intelligent businesswomen who intend to be successful in this profession.

Be Prepared.

Research is key.As members of RWA and our local chapters, we have excellent resources. The RWA website as well as the monthly Romance Writer’s Report magazine have a wealth of information on contract clauses. Conferences frequently offer workshops on author contracts and what’s standard in the industry. And don’t forget to ask fellow authors what is in their contracts and what clauses in particular they negotiated. Gathering as much information as possible is the best strategy.

Create a script in advance.

Before you call or meet with the editor or agent, you should have a mental outline of what you want. Items in that outline should include: your wish list; your reality list; and a deal breaker item, if there is one.

Develop options.

Understand in advance that you will not get everything you ask for. I’m not just talking about money here—there’s so much more to a contract. There are publishers that do not negotiate royalties or advances. This does not mean, however, that you cannot negotiate other sections of the contract to your benefit. What about the author’s grant of rights, for example, foreign rights? Publisher option clauses? Rights of reversion clauses? Basket accounting? Author’s rights in case of publisher bankruptcy? Or even more basic, what about more free and discounted author copies?

Know your negotiation power.

This is critical. If you are unpublished and you get an offer from an agent or editor, you have significantly much less negotiation power than a NY Times Bestseller. This doesn’t mean you have no power, but you must keep what you do have in perspective. An unpublished author cannot insist on a six figure deal and a cross-country book tour. That is demanding and unprofessional.

Stay Unemotional.

I know. This is your baby. You have spent countless hours polishing the first page, let alone the first chapter. But remember that publishing is a business, and the agent or editor is interested in selling your book and making money. The most effective negotiators are the unemotional ones.

Take a time out.

Don’t agree to anything immediately. Wait at least a day, preferably more, to think things through and clear your mind. Talk to other writers. Your spouse. Your critique partner. Your attorney, if necessary. That means if you get “The Call” and are jumping up and down with joy, do not agree to the representation or sign on the dotted line without waiting the requisite time period. After you calm down, you will be able to look at the fine print with different eyes.

Be professional.

Ask, don’t demand. Start out by saying, “I have a few concerns with the language of the contract…”

You’d be surprised what you can accomplish. Even if you do not get everything you hope for, you let industry professionals know that you are serious about your career and your books and that you are an author who is a worthwhile investment.

So have you ever negotiated any type of contract? What’s your best tip? I’d love hear your views, so please share!

And stay tuned  for my next blog on contract clauses.

Tina Gabrielle

In The Barrister's Bed    InTheBarristersChambers   Original Artwork A Perfect Scandal   LADYOFSCANDAL Cover

 You can find me at:

 www.tinagabrielle.com

 http://twitter.com/tinagabrielle

 https://www.facebook.com/TinaGabrielle

Lesson Learned From Frozen: Write To Your Own Trend

Sisters, Elsa and Anna

Sisters, Elsa and Anna

Last week I stepped outside the 5% of the US population who has not seen the movie Frozen. I had been wanting the see the movie for a long time. With my background in Musical Theatre, this type of movie is within my personal category of MUST SEE.  Unfortunately, my daughter initially saw the movie without me, and she fell into the minority of children in the United States who didn’t feel the need to see it again. We live busy lives, and at a certain point I realized I was destined to see the movie once it came out on DVD. Even then, I BEGGED her to watch the movie with me, and when begging didn’t work, I moved into the phase of motherhood I’m really good at. I tortured her with the promise I would not stop singing Let It Go until she agreed to watch the movie with me.  As a former professional singer, the threat initially fell flat. I sang the song a few times through while doing chores around the house, and while maybe my singing proved a distraction from her current focus (reading The Fault In Our Stars) I transitioned into singing Let It Go BADLY, changing as many words as possible to capture her attention.  When I started to incorporate some truly horrific dance choreography into the performance, she put the book down and raced me to the door to rent the DVD. Even an 11 yr. old has her breaking point!

I was expecting a typical Disney love story movie musical in Frozen. Perhaps my love of another Disney movie, Brave which I blogged about years ago (Brave: Tackling the Complex Mother/Daughter Relationship) should have told me to expect much more than your typical Boy-Girl story. Yes, there is an adorable dancing and singing snowman, and while love and relationships between a man and a woman is within the story, it resides within a subplot. The main focus of the story is the love found within a family, in this instance, the strong bond of love and friendship between two sisters.

The focus of family in this movie sensation caused me to take a look at my own writing and the writing industry in general. When it comes to market trends, we are told not to write to trends but to write ahead of a trend. Study the industry and figure out what might be the next big thing. If you want to jump on the werewolf, shape-shifter craze, you better have written it already because writing it while that market is hot, only means by the time you’re ready to bring your story to the world, you will have missed the trend. So what is an author who is trying to write a break out novel in the industry supposed to do? One of our Femmes, Michele Mannon, wrote ahead of a trend. She had the idea to write Hot Alpha Male MMA stories before it really became a trend and took hold in the market. This stroke of brilliance it has paid off in spades for Michele. Another Femme, Diana Quincy, paved her own trail or trend within the popular Historical Romance genre with her Accidental Peers series. Both wrote from their hearts stories they were destined to tell with unique hooks. So what then about a contemporary writer like me who writes humorous, sexy, family driven contemporaries? I’m not about to write a shape-shifting story in the hopes of making a market splash. It just isn’t in me. My writing time is so limited, I have to write something this is true to my soul otherwise the time spent on a project will feel empty and the story will fall flat.

The explosion of the movie Frozen with the focus of true love and sacrifice residing within the family structure has given me hope. This has reminded me that, regardless of current or past market trends, the trend or the importance of Family within our society will never die out. I will continue to write from my heart and produce funny, family centric stories. My next romance series will focus on more than one family and how all their lives intersect and impact one another within a community. I’m planning to explore more complex family relationships while keeping the focus on one couple’s messy journey to a happily ever after. I started to explore this a bit in the third installment of my Brothers of Audubon Springs series, The Right Chord, which releases on August 6th. Could this be the next trend? I don’t know, but I do know I’m excited to tell the stories within this new series set. As a writer, motivation and excitement for a project are half the battle.

I’m wondering if anyone else was surprise by the twist in the focus of Frozen? Also, what do you believe will be the next big trend and what current trends in the writing, movie, or television industries have captured your attention or surprised you?

Happy reading and writing!

Signature

Good Cover Design, Part 2

In Part 1 of Good Cover Design, I discussed Genre, Keeping it Simple, and Instant Readability. Here’s the link to that post if you missed it: https://thevioletfemmes.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/good-cover-design-part-1-2/. Today’s topics are: Clear Branding, Basic Design Principles, Trusting your Gut, and Working with a Professional Cover Designer.

[Please remember that I am not distinguishing here between self-pubbed examples and traditionally published ones in this post. I use the author’s name for simplicity, and my focus is simply Good Design. In some cases, yes, the design decisions were made by the authors, in others, kudos go to the publisher’s design (and perhaps marketing) departments.]

Image

Courtney Milan’s The Brothers Sinister Series

Image

Kristan Higgins’s Blue Heron Series

Image

Debra Webb’s Faces of Evil Series

Clear branding: Not only do you have to hit the genre correctly, it’s smart to develop an AUTHOR brand—a consistent treatment that speaks to your voice, your style, your genre—in other words, what a reader expects to find in a book written by YOU. The examples that always come to mind for me are Courtney Milan’s The Brothers Sinister series of historicals (same type treatment, a lone heroine, a jewel-colored dress, and muted wallpaper background), Kristan Higgins’s Blue Heron contemporary romances (happy color, spring/summer scenes, simple type that speaks to contemporaries with humor), and Debra Webb’s Faces of Evil romantic suspense’s (clearly dark and dangerous, heavy hitting, and part of a series. How cool is that film strip with the number of the book in the series? And wow do those solid background colors leap out at you). You don’t have to write a series, however, to make your name/your brand, recognizable. Kristan Higgins’s other books have similar art, the same overall style, and always the size and treatment of her name. Do note, however, that in all cases, the author’s name is more prominent than the book title. The authors I mentioned in Part 1 are known for following this principle as well. Many argue that the author’s name is the single most important aspect of the cover. Another point that bears mentioning is to make it easy on yourself: don’t choose a design that’s going to be hard to implement as your series or brand marches on.

Basic design principles: you want a balanced, eye-catching design with a pleasing color scheme. Unless you are working around the art, your type shouldn’t hop around. Meaning sometimes the title is centered and the author name must be flush right where it’s readable. But if there’s room and a choice, keep it consistent for balance. As for color—go attractive but not obnoxious. Complimentary to the art you’ve chosen, contrasting enough to be easily visible. The reason those solid brights work for Debra Webb is because the film strip itself is understated and the type is all black. And certain colors denote holiday stories, others imply genre. Had we chosen red type for the grayscale Katharine Ashe cover (see last month’s post), we might have inadvertently leaned towards a typical treatment for erotica, so just be mindful of the choices you make.

Your gut: you have to like it, of course! If one design furthers your excitement over this book you slaved over and another leaves you cold? Well, there’s your answer.

Working with a Professional Cover Designer: There are loads of good cover designers out there, found by a quick web search, or via the databases of your writing groups. You can get quality, custom designs, for incredibly reasonable prices these days, and most every designer will do their best to please you. The biggest deciding factor, to my mind however, is to choose one whose design style you really love. That way, chances are good, you and your designer will be on the same page from the get go. After that, communication is key. It will help them to know exactly what you want (or don’t want), what you like, why something bothers you, etc. Most designers will welcome visual examples of books and treatments you love, as well. Much like getting general feedback on a manuscript with a rejection, a mushy “it’s missing something” or doesn’t further the process very well. So use the words and expression that are a writer’s gift, and respectfully explain.

Thanks for visiting The Violet Femmes today! Hope you found the Cover Design posts helpful!

Good Cover Design—Part 1

example Katharine Ashe's My Lady, My Lord

example Katharine Ashe’s My Lady, My Lord

Given the surge of self-publishing in recent years, more and more authors are taking their covers into their own hands. Whether you purchase a graphics program and learn the skills to do it yourself, or hire a professional book designer like me, the fact is, the author has far more control than ever before. With that control, however, also comes the burden of getting it right. Never fear, by keeping in mind a few basic principles, you, or you in conjunction with your designer, will be able to create a cover that helps you sell. Today’s post will focus on Genre, Keeping it Simple, and Instant Readability.

[Before we get started, please note that I am not distinguishing here between self-pubbed examples and traditionally published ones in this post. I use the author’s name for simplicity, and my focus is simply Good Design. In some cases, yes, the design decisions were made by the authors, in others, kudos go to the publisher’s design (and perhaps marketing) departments.]

Genre: Reader’s don’t just need a HEA in a romance, first they’ve got to know it IS a romance, and better yet, what sub-genre of romance it is. Just like it’s okay to try something a little different to garner attention (see the cover I did with Katharine Ashe for My Lady, My Lord with it’s unusual grayscale image)—at the same time you must give readers what they expect. Typical in historicals, we used an embracing couple, added more hair, period clothing, and of course, some swashy type. Your setting is a big key to depicting genre. Think Marie Force’s The Fatal Series. She fades a nighttime cityscape and a couple together, with a dark feel: obviously a romantic suspense. Bella Andre uses a couple and setting in a similar way in The Sullivans series—yet through color and choice of art, the feel is completely different. Voila, a contemporary romance. Small town contemporaries, often show a couple posed on quaint main street or square, likewise, the backdrop for a western will use lush fields, a charming barn, or a dusty landscape. Likely, you know what the conventions and expectations of your genre are—but if you need a visual reminder go to an online book retailer and pull up a specific genre via keywords or the authors you are most similar to for comparison.
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Interview with an MMA Fighter

Hi everyone,

My second book, TAP OUT, releases April 14th. I’m on a total promotional blitz right now and you’ll find me on quite a few blogs in the next few weeks.

I thought for my own blog, here at the Violet Femmes, I’d follow the format of the best post I’ve written and recreate it for the Femmes. Something special, not found anywhere else except perhaps in my book.

Hope you enjoy it!

Best,

Michele

***

Michele Mannon interviews Caden Kelly, hero in her latest release TAP OUTUltimate American Male underwearmodel and MMA welterweight title contender

CARINA_0414_9781426898228_TapOut

 
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Publishing a Series Out of Order & Other Adventures in Publishing

UnderwoodKeyboardThe one thing all newer authors learn pretty quickly is that there is no blueprint, no “how to” guide, to publishing.

We kind of have to feel our way around, gleaning what information we can from conferences and loops while being careful not to ask our editors or agent too many questions for fear of being a pest or looking stupid (at least in my case).

I’m a new-ish author.  Even though I’ve published three books in the past year, I remain a novice in many ways and how I handled my first series certainly attests to that fact.

My debut novel, published in April 2013, was not the first manuscript I wrote; it wasn’t even the first book I sold. The first title I sold was Tempting Bella, the third book in the series. My fabulous agent went to bat for me right away, asking my editor to publish the second book in the series, Seducing Charlotte, first.

Why not the publish the first book in the series first? After all, that would make the most sense as reviewers have certainly pointed out.
(more…)

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