Acknowledgements

I didn’t put an Acknowledgement page in Bittersweet because…well…I didn’t want to.  I’ve always put Acknowledgements in my books, but I wanted to do something different, more intimate by using a Dedication page.  Not only that, but I had a long overdue Dedication to make and given the nature of Bittersweet, the timing was perfect. 

But, that doesn’t mean I can’t let it go without mentioning a few names, so  here it goes.

First, a huge thank you to my beta readers, Edie Ramer and Stacey Curtis.  Bittersweet wouldn’t be anywhere had it not been for you guys calling me to the plate.  Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my fabu cover artist Jax Cassidy.  This girl rocks!  Also, Lisa Hazard of Hazard Editing, thank you for doing a fantastic job with keeping my grammar on track and giving me the ah-ha moments during my critique.  Like Jax, you have a client for life as long as you’re willing to have me.   🙂  Also, a big thank you to my fans.  This book is for you more than anyone else.  For that, I thank all of the indie/self-published authors who came before me and convinced me that this might be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made with regards to my writing career.  To some of my favorite teens and pre-teens Allie, Syd, Colby, Jorden, Sara, Jackie, Paige, and anyone else who I might have forgotten to mention, I love you guys. 

So, there you have it. And if you missed it, check me out my video interview with the amazing Kalayna Price.  😉

What do you guys think about Acknowledgements?  Do you read them or skim over?

Happy Release Day, Edie Ramer!

A huge CONGRATS to my buddy, Edie Ramer.  Her book, Cattitude, has been released on Smashwords, and I couldn’t be more proud of her.  Not only has she helped me write the blurbs on the back of all my published books, but she was also an American Title V finalist.  If that doesn’t say enough about her talent, then I don’t know what does.  I’ll be ordering my copy as soon as I finish writing up this blog. 

Here’s to your indie adventures.  May it lead to many sales, girlfriend.  😀 

Oh, and any plans for your other books?  Inquiring minds want to know.  Aw, heck.  Let’s just call this an ask-the-author blog and be done with it.   🙂

Publishing Blocks

There’s been so much talk in the news these days regarding Dorchester going epub and Amazon upping their payouts to self-pubbed authors who publish their books in Kindle.  In the last few days alone, I must have visited a dozen websites with everyone spouting pieces of advice and their predictions for the future.

The only thing I’m certain of is all eyes are on Dorchester right now to see if they’ll sink or swim.  From what I understand, they’ve been sinking for a while anyway.  Many think this new model of theirs won’t matter.  But I see it like a new pair of shoes.  You need some time to break them in, but eventually you’ll decide whether they’re worth the pain of squashed tootsies or not.  If you loves those shoes enough, you’ll stick with them.  Otherwise, they go.  If Dorchester cares enough to ride out the blisters and whelps they’ve accrued, they might actually succeed.  Only time will tell.  And just as a side note, I have no problem with Dorchester or their new model.  It’s been working well with places like Samhain and Elloras Cave for a while now.  The only difference is Samhain–I don’t write for Elloras Cave, so I don’t know–will actually keep their people abreast of their business affairs.  Dorchester might want to make note of that, assuming they have any authors left.  Bridges have been burned so bad, that the fires are eating up the hillside.

Publishing has been wavering for a while now.  Ever since the economy bellied up, everyone has been hurting.  Advances are getting smaller and it’s harder to sell to New York.  My friend Edie Ramer shared an article about Steve Coker, the founder of Smashwords that has had me thinking about my own writing career and what I want to do with it.  Reading Dean Wesley Smith’s blog hasn’t helped either.  I can’t help but wonder about the place I’m at in my career right now and what it means with regards to the future of publishing. 

Let me be blunt.  I’ve been seriously rethinking my NY goal long before the Dorchester upheaval.  I’m talking since the beginning of the year while I was on maternity leave.  While it’s great to be with the publishing giants, will they be there when I arrive?  I bet that has crossed the mines of anyone who just recently received a Dorchester contract in the past month.  Don’t get me wrong.  I want NY.  That’s where the money is and that’s where I’ll be in a better place to live out my dreams of writing full-time.  But I’m worried if that dream will come to a horrible end at some point because NY will either be too late to adapt or won’t adapt at all to the ever-changing market. 

Now let me be blunt about something else.  I like being with my small publishers, too.  Not because I’m making millions of dollars or anything.  😆  Yeah.  Right.  But at least I know what to expect from them.  There isn’t the pressure to make NYT or USA Today’s bestseller lists out of fear that my midlist-self will die a horrible career death.  I’m not saying it’s impossible to make those lists.  I’m just being realistic. 

If Dorchester succeeds, you’ll see more ebooks and POD trade paperbacks by more NY pubs in the coming years.  Indie publishing will continue to grow, too.  Advances will probably go down while royalties go up.  As for agents, I have to wonder if their jobs will become obsolete.  After all, you don’t need an agent to submit to an epub, which are on the brink of becoming a major force in their own right.  Small presses who have nothing to lose, might win because many of them have been embracing more ebooks, having small print runs that do less damage to their bottom line, and POD for when that print run runs out.

Oh, and as a side note, I wouldn’t mind indie-publishing a book or two, but I my hangup is I don’t want to go at it alone.  I’d prefer to do it with a group of authors forming our own publishing “group” where we critique each other’s manuscripts before agreeing to publish them.  Also, we agree to put up a certain amount of our own “starter” cash toward promotional expenses for said company until we can afford to peel some money from a reserve.  I’m talking ad space in popular places, along with hiring an artist to do all of our book covers and ad designs.  We’d have to make sure everyone is getting properly paid for their book(s), but I don’t mind pocketing $7.50 from each of my $10 books while $2.50 goes back to our company.  

Okay, so as you can see, I’ve thought about indie-publishing a lot.  😆  But look at the bright side.  We get the editing our books need, we hire a good cover artist to handle all of the artwork for less of the upfront fees that usually kills us all anyway, and we might be able to hire a promo company to handle a chunk of the word-of-mouth.  🙂

My last thought: all writer’s should know something about the business side of publishing.  You’ll need it now more than ever whether you have an agent or not.  The face of publishing is changing and you can either ride the wave or it’ll plant your face in the sand.

Anyway, those are my thoughts.  Care to share yours?

Repayment or Pay It Forward

I’m a firm believer in karma (ie. whatever you put into this world, that is what you’ll take out of it).  Not only have I lived it, but I’ve seen others live it.  They’re the most mean, spiteful people I’ve ever met in my life.  They constantly  wonder why the world is out to get them.  These people usually have poor health, poor home-training, and can’t make a good decision to save their sorry lives.  If they do something good, it usually comes with hooks. 

Not that long ago, I was put in a position where I needed some one to count on and was too scared to ask.  Out of nowhere, my friend Stacey (I don’t think she reads my blog and if she does, I’ll find out tomorrow) stepped up to the plate and came to my rescue.  I didn’t expect it, so I can’t begin to tell you the impact it has made on my life.  In fact, she continues to stick by my side, as do some of my closest friends who can’t physically be here.  You know who you are.  😉  One way or another, I’ll figure out how to Stacey back because I can’t help not to.

Edie Ramer is one of my inspirations for wanting to pay it forward.  Not only is she one hell of a writer, but she’s the best when it comes to helping me dig out the conflict and motivation behind my characters.  I run to her with my crappy blurb in one hand and my hair pulled out in plugs in the other.  She helps me mold my blurbs and make them better, and I love her for it.  So, showing her some love on my blog is the least I can do. 

People feel used and abused all of the time.  It makes it hard to give to anyone when you’re down in the dumps and don’t feel like it’s being reciprocated.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like this.  But I chalk it up to a lesson learned and make it a point to avoid those particular people. 

I’m not NY published and I don’t have an agent.  Very few people know I’ve been agented in the past (we had parted ways for reasons beyond either of our control).  Whenever my friends ask me agenting questions, I have no problem with sharing my experience.  When my crit partner asks me for help that has nothing to do with writing, you bet I’m going to give it to her because she’s my friend, too. 

Whether you like to repay or just pay it forward, it’s the thought that counts.  I think we get too caught up with “what’s in it for me” that we don’t put our heart into what we do for someone else.  We don’t think about the impact that we made on some else’s life because we’re all about “my needs” and “my wants”.  We all have those, so it’s nothing new.  But I find when I give to someone when they least expect it, that smile on their face makes it all worthwhile.  😀

In what ways do you try to repay or pay it forward?  Even if it doesn’t work out or you don’t follow through, just the fact that you tried is enough.  Unless, you’re a cold-hearted bastard who has a “I got mine, so you gotta get yours” attitude.  In that case, don’t leave a comment.  We’re better off not knowing.  😉

And before I forget, there’s a reason why I have that picture of the Sixth Sense on my blog.  Edie made it to the next round of American Title V contest for her paranormal DEAD PEOPLE.  If you think I’m lying about her mad skills as a best blurber/summarizer around, check out her summary for DEAD PEOPLE.  Then, vote for her by sending an email to votes@romantictimes.com and putting DEAD PEOPLE in the subject line.