Yoo-hoo! Large Print English-language rights to BORROWING ALEX have been sold to F.A. Thorpe in England for their Linford Romance line! These are the same folks who just published HEAD OVER HEELS in large print (scroll down the blog to catch a glimpse at the cover).
Archive for the ‘Publishers & Publishing’ Category
Woot! HEAD OVER HEELS is coming out in large print! I’ve accepted an offer from Ulverscroft in England for large print softcover world rights in the English language. So if you’re a German publisher and you want to buy large print German rights, no problem, those and other languages remain available.
Not that I think publishers are peeking at my website, but you never know. That’s how I sold BORROWING ALEX to Greece and HEAD OVER HEELS to Japan, after all. Those publishers came looking.
In the case of Ulverscroft, I queried like normal. So I went looking for them, and I was surprised to hear after only four months, which is very short in trad publishing land. 🙂
I am excited that HEAD OVER HEELS will be my first book out in large print, so people with vision problems who still prefer paper books can read and enjoy it.
The book will be published in the next 18 months and placed in libraries in England and also some in North America, plus in other institutions for visually challenged readers.
Deceiving Derek and Catching Claire are now available as audiobooks from One Acre Audio! I found out quite by accident, as the publisher uploads to Audible and then Audible determines the release date. We expected the short stories to release on audio maybe next week. However, a reader alerted me over the weekend that she had already purchased her copies from iTunes. So I checked, and yep, the audiobooks are up!
Here are some quick and easy links:
Both shorts are narrated by Ariana Westfield.
By the way, pop by on Wednesday. I’ll have a little surprise. 😉
Today my audio publisher, Jennifer Fedderson of AudioLark, is talking about Listen Up! Romance Audio Books Increase Author Profits over at Romance University. She asked both myself, as the author of Where She Belongs (which she is giving away on her blog post at RU), and Renee Chambliss, the narrator of two of my three books on audio, to pop in and also contribute descriptions of our parts in the process.
If you’re at all interested in getting your books into audio, or if you love reading audiobooks and want a look inside the process, please pop over.
Renee Chambliss, who narrated BORROWING ALEX, is also the narrator for WHERE SHE BELONGS. The audiobook should be available from AudioLark and third party sites like Audible, iTunes and Overdrive in mid-March. That’s the tentative release date. I’ll let you know if things change.
Meanwhile, the BORROWING ALEX audiobook has hitherto only been available from the AudioLark website, but now is in the queue to upload to Audible, iTunes and Overdrive.
I am very excited about getting both BORROWING ALEX and WHERE SHE BELONGS onto Audible. HEAD OVER HEELS has done very well there for sales, and hopefully my other two books will measure up.
Meantime, I’m finishing up the second of five short stories in an romantic comedy series I intend to self-publish. I’ll take a break between stories 2 and 3 to write a short for Penny. At least, that’s the plan for now. We’ll see how Elle Muse cooperates.
How are things going in your corner of the world?
Well, maybe not “big.” But I’m in Japan! Rather, my books are. Rather, HEAD OVER HEELS is.
Last week, I received a pleasant surprise. A registered letter containing a royalty check for the first Manga (Japanese comic book) print run of HEAD OVER HEELS. This was on top of the advance I received nearly two years ago. Which means the first print run earned out the advance—and then some. You could have knocked me over with a toothpick.
A day later, I received a registered package containing my author copies. And I love them! I only have a handful, and they’re going to immediate family and moi. I must keep track of myself for posterity, you know. People have been asking me where they can buy the Manga version of HEAD OVER HEELS. The only place I know of is Amazon Japan. Yep, check it out, I’m there all official-like. And, well, I’m pretty sure the comic is also available in bookstores in Japan.
If I ever find out the Manga version of my first book is available in North America, have no fear, I shall scream it from my blog. In the meantime, enjoy these photos (if you look real close, you can see my name on the back cover—the second photo).
It was such a rush “reading” my book back to front, seeing the Japanese characters and the wonderful illustrations. If I had more than 3 copies left to my name (after giving away the others to aforesaid family members), I’d crack the spine of one and scan a couple of inside pages. But I don’t have more than 3 copies left to my name, so I’m not going to destroy ANY of them for the sake of the blog. You’ll just have to take my word that the illustrations match up to the story. I have no idea if the text does, though, because I can’t read Japanese.
This is such a thrill for me, because this sale to Ozhora is another testament that HEAD OVER HEELS is The Little Book that Could.
Between Penny and, well, myself, I’ve published with several different publishers and have never received a box of print ARCs before (Advanced Reading Copies, for those not in the know). The “proofing” of the manuscript (the last chance an author has to catch errors in the typesetting before the “real” book is printed), for me, has always arrived by email in PDF form. So here I am, a good little writer, patiently waiting for the proofs for WHERE SHE BELONGS, my December release from Five Star/Cengage, to arrive in PDF form in my in-box, when a knock comes at the door.
I was expecting a delivery for My Liege, so wasn’t surprised to see a UPS van in the driveway. But the box the UPS woman delivered was much smaller than the package we’ve been expecting. Then she told me who had sent it—one of my publishers. I quickly scribbled in the little electronic window, raced to my office (already late for a doctor’s appointment), and tore open the box, wondering how my author’s copies could have arrived already when I hadn’t proofed the book yet,
WHERE SHE BELONGS is being published in library-edition hardcover, but the box contained several trade paperback copies and a list of where Five Star/Cengage has sent the book for review. Now I need to read one of the copies for errors and report them to the publisher, if I do find any. Then, what do I do with these babies? First thing is to make a media kit and then mail kit and book samples to other review outlets (like Romantic Times). Seeing as I’m Canadian, I’ll also try a home-grown publication or two. It can hurt. The worst thing that can happen is a reviewer tries to sell my ARCs on eBay, which is a no-no.
Okay, I know you really want to see the ARCs, so here’s the box. Then I’ll blab some more:
Ain’t they a thing of beauty? Notice how Procter is spelled with an E? Henceforth, always spell Procter with an E! It’s time to tick off the Proctors of the world. We “ers” have had enough.
Now, see that little white sticker on each book? It says NOT FOR SALE. That’s because these are Advance Reading Copies and are only supposed to be used for review purposes. So if you’re a reader and have never seen a book with “Advance Reading Copy—Not For Sale” on it for sale at your favorite used book store, that’s very good. If you have ever bought an Advance Reading Copy thinking it’s something special and you’re supporting the author, well, you aren’t supporting the author and buying the ARC is…not very good. In fact it’s kinda bad. Authors really disprove of it. And so do publishers. These copies might have typesetting errors and are not for public consumption, so to speak. But if you don’t send ARCs to review sites and magazines months ahead of the book’s release, then the book won’t get reviewed in time. If the reviewer for wherever it’s sent chooses to review it.
Authors don’t make a penny–nay, not even a ha’penny—off the sale of ARCs. The only person making money off the sale of an ARC is the person selling it. Which is unlike buying your favorite author’s novels at your favorite used bookstore. You know, when they don’t say ARC on them. When someone has bought them new, hopefully read them, then taken them to the USB. USB book sales don’t earn authors any money, either. Authors only earn money (in the form of royalties—a tiny percentage of the cover price) on print books when that first initial sale is made, in the bookstore, drug store, or grocery store. OR from on-line bookstores selling the book NEW (as opposed to used). Every time a book is sold after that initial sale, at garage sales or used book stores or library “these books are worn out” sales, or EBay and similar sites, the author doesn’t make a dime. But generally we’re okay with that. Used book stores and the like can subject our work to a wider audience, and hopefully that audience will someday buy new (or ask for a copy of the book to come into their local library). But buying ARCs? Try to restrain yourself, I beg you.
That’s my lecture for the day. I didn’t intend to give one. It just somehow happened.
Now, let’s all clap for ARCs!!!
New York, New York!
The highlights of my week in New York didn’t begin and end with seeing four musicals on Broadway. That was a major, to be sure, but not the reason I flew across the continent for the second time in a month (the first being the trip to Newfoundland with my husband in early June). I hadn’t been to an RWA National Conference in three years, so I was really looking forward to this one, and it did not disappoint.
On Tuesday, June 27th, I atttended The Golden Network Retreat, which was an all-day affair this year. Any RWA member who has finaled in the Golden Heart (unpublished manuscripts) contest, in the current year or any previous year, and who is a member of The Golden Network Chapter (ie. you must pay your dues) can attend the Retreat. I’ve attended three times, and each time has been more beneficial than the last. Honestly, I can’t remember what happened at the Retreat in 2007… Wait, just typing that brought back the memories. It was a Q&A session with agents and editors, but that was back before publishing took a nosedive. In 2008, it was another Q&A, and we were given the opportunity to do some speed-pitching. This year, it was another Q&A, featuring a morning and also an afternoon session. The same questions each session, but different agents and editors answering them.
The twist this year was that TGN members were to send in our questions a couple of months ago. Around April, if I remember correctly. They kept saying they needed questions, so I sent a few along (I won’t say which ones…ahem). At the time, the digital imprint from one of the “Big Six,” Avon Impulse, had just opened up and announced they would pay 25% on net royalties for the first 10,000 copies and 50% thereafter. So one of the questions sent in and asked of the panel was whether they thought 25% of net was “fair” to the writer. Well. The morning panel nearly didn’t want to answer the question. The afternoon panel did answer it, and the conversation became quite heated. The upshot was that agents didn’t think the 25% on net was fair, but editors (speaking for their houses, anyway) did. I also heard an editor say that ebooks should be priced the same as mass market paperbacks, which really surprised me. People who read ebooks are getting quite accustomed to paying below-mmpb prices, both because of on-line retailers like Amazon heavily discounting ebooks in effort to sell e-readers and because self-publishing (now usually termed “indie” publishing, because it’s easier to type, not being so many letters, plus it sounds cooler) has grown by leaps and bounds over the last year, and indie authors have learned that pricing books at $2.99 is the “sweet point” and that super-low pricing like .99 cents for a full-length novel might boost their sales (there’s also the argument that the super low pricing diminishes the value of the reading experience, but that’s a debate for another post). Authors who self-publish via Kindle at the $2.99 price point or higher earn 70% royalties, whereas authors who self-publish below $2.99 earn 35% royalties. So you can see why the question of 25% on net royalties being “fair” was asked by…someone.
At any rate, readers of ebooks have become accustomed to NOT paying the same as they would pay for a mass market paperback. I know I’m certainly not accustomed to paying the same for an ebook as I would a paperback, whether it’s mass market or trade pb. However, now publisher “agency pricing” has entered the picture, which means the publisher sets the price for their ebooks sold on places like Amazon. Amazon doesn’t set the pricing. And if the publisher decides their ebooks should be priced the same as their mass markets, then they will be. They are in control, not Amazon.
I understand the arguments about the publishers being in control of their own pricing, I just don’t understand the logic behind pricing ebooks the same as mass markets. Okay, if a publisher were to issue an ebook at the same time as the hardcover (hardcovers are usually released several months to a year before the mass market paperback), then I guess they could charge the same for the ebook as they would the mmpb. Because, well, if the mmpb isn’t available at the same time as the ebook, if only the ebook and a hardcover are available, then go for it. Price the ebook like you would the mmpb, then sit back and see what happens. But once the mmpb becomes available, or if a hardcover isn’t published at all (the vast majority of romance novels, which are either mmpb, trade pb or digital-first), then pricing the mmpb the same as the ebook…it just doesn’t make sense to me.
Isn’t the idea to sell more books, not less? Will the faithful reader pay the same for an ebook as a mmpb, even though she doesn’t have a paper copy to put on her bookshelf, lend to a friend, or sell to a used bookstore? I wouldn’t. I’d buy the mass market paperback because it’s more “tangible.” And I can take it into the bathtub.
Now, I love ebooks, and I love my Kindle. It’s very easy to order books, and for some reason I read them faster on my Kindle. But I don’t want to pay the same price as I would for a mass market or a trade paperback (and so far, I haven’t), because I don’t like jamming up my Kindle with books I’ve already read. I delete them (yes, even from the archive). It takes a lot for me to keep an ebook. But then it takes a lot for me to keep a paperback. I feel better about buying ebooks, because I’m not contributing to the landfill when I want to get rid of them, and I don’t have to stress about HOW I’m going to get rid of them without contributing to the landfill, either (I always feel a bit guilty recycling books, but I confess that I very often do). To my way of thinking, agency pricing is a way for publishers to protect their sales…but at what cost? How many readers will turn to self-published authors for the inexpensive reads they used to fulfill through waiting for the mass market to come out? How many readers will boycott authors published by traditional publishers because of agency pricing? Even though the trad-pubbed author has no control over the pricing? How many authors will be told by their houses that they aren’t selling, while ebook sales are going through the roof, but, weird, it’s the ebooks that are priced below mass market pbs that are selling like hotcakes. If the Big Six lowered their prices on ebooks, maybe those authors who “aren’t selling,” who are forced to take new names or who are simply just dropped from the house, might start selling—to the audience that has become accustomed to not paying the same for digital as they do for print.
I keep wanting to type Covert Art…
For the past few days, I have been obsessed with filling out Cover Art and Cover Copy forms for Penny’s single title erotic romance coming in the fall from Samhain Publishing. I’m very glad to report they are now in the hands of my editor.
Filling out Cover Art and Cover Copy forms sounds very exciting to an unpublished writer, and it IS exciting, even though I’ve been through it several times. I love to feel a part of the process of making my books come to life. But filling out these forms can also be nerve-wracking. I want to get it right. Because what I write down helps the art department and the story blurb people work with a vision that might otherwise remain in my head.
I write under two names and have worked with four publishers so far as Cindy and two publishers as Penny. Every publisher wants the forms filled out a little differently. Some forms are more challenging than others. However, not all publishers use the information on the forms, or they use it in a different way than you, as the author, might envision. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Just because the author writes the story doesn’t mean she’s the best person to decide on cover art.
In the case of Penny’s three novellas in print anthologies, the cover art has to reflect an overall tone for the four stories within each volume, not for one of the four individual stories. So, for me, the Red Sage author forms were easier to fill out. I considered it a marvelous fluke that the couple on Penny’s first anthology just happened to have the same hair color, etc., as the characters in my novella.
For WHERE SHE BELONGS, coming from Five Star Expressions in December, I wrote the cover copy, but I don’t know how much it will be massaged. I’m eagerly awaiting the final results.
This is sort of a scatterbrained approach to describing how authors go about filling out Art Fact Sheets, as they are often called, and Cover Copy Forms. Sometimes I need to provide a tag line, a short blurb and then a longer blurb (like you would find on the back of any romance novel). In the case of HEAD OVER HEELS and BORROWING ALEX, the blurbs appeared on the books exactly as I wrote them.
When I first saw the cover of HEAD OVER HEELS, I was ecstatic. I thought the artist did an excellent job of portraying the tone of my story. Whereas the cover for BORROWING ALEX had to grow on me. My initial reaction was that the cover art made the book like a romantic suspense. Sure, it has a kidnapping, but it’s a comedy. I talked about it with my editor, and she was able to allay my fears. After all, how many romantic suspense novels have pink covers? And the guy on the cover certainly looks like Alex, the hero of the story. The other elements on the cover are all included in the story.
No readers have complained that I gave them a romantic comedy packaged as a romantic suspense. So, it turns out, the cover artist did know what he was doing. I love the cover now.
Well, I’m not doing a very good job of describing the process, am I?
For those who aren’t writers, the Cover Art form might ask you for your synopsis or a shorter version (and then you have to write it—ack!), descriptions of the hero and heroine, descriptions of important scenes in the book or elements you might consider important. Do you hate covers where the hero’s head is cut off? The Cover Art form is the time to mention it (I love what I call “body part” covers myself, because they allow my imagination more rein). I always, always, always, include pictures to show an approximation of how I see the hero and heroine in my mind. For WHERE SHE BELONGS, I included pictures of the fictional setting (well, the real town and area on which Destiny Falls in the book is placed). Because the book is set in rural British Columbia and Five Star is in the Northeastern U.S., I felt it was important to show the setting on the Cover Art form. Whether the setting is used in some form or other on the cover remains to be seen. Just in case, I wanted to get in my two cents.
Some publishers also ask you to include links to or pictures of covers either from their publishing house or other publishers that you feel convey the tone of your story. I love doing this, although it takes a lot of time. But artists are, naturally, visual creatures, and providing pictures helps them.
However, in the end, the decision is up to the publishing house, not the author. We have input, but we don’t have final say. Unless you’re self-publishing AND creating your own covers as part of the process (rather than hiring a cover artist), describing your characters and tone of story and providing examples of what you might like to see is often the author’s one and only chance for some say in what her book looks like. If you hate the cover, it’s not often you get a chance to rectify it. Horror stories abound of an extra arm appearing on a book cover, or a cartoon cover that reflects a comedic tone when the book is really ultra-emotional. 99% of the time, the author just has to live with it.
Okay, class, time for break. My Peanut Butter Cup is at the ready.
It’s Debut Tuesday tomorrow over at AudioLark, and guess who’s debuting? Moi! Yes, BORROWING ALEX is now available in audiobook for your listening pleasure! If you have a device that can play MP3s, you can listen to my quirky story. Over and over again.
Debut Tuesday means special low pricing that’s in effect all week! You heard me, alllllllllll weeeeeeeeek!
In fact, I could say that it’s Debut Monday Night, because the audiobook is already on sale. Yoop!!
Play a sample audio clip here.
Here’s the audio cover and story blurb:
What’s a girl to do when her fiancé won’t set a date for the wedding? Pretend to have an affair with the best man, of course.
Nikki St. James knows kidnapping Alex Hart and whisking him off to secluded Lake Eden is probably a little extreme, but her fiancé barely seems to notice her existence any more, and she needs Alex to help her get his attention. Besides, she’s probably doing the college professor a favor—he’s so uptight a little R & R at a lakeside cabin is just what he needs. Not that she cares what he needs, or has noticed how handsome he is….
Alex needs a break from his quest to achieve tenure at warp speed—but being kidnapped is not his idea of a good time; especially not by his college buddy’s crazy fiancée! He’s not one to judge, but if what he’s heard is true—that she’s perfectly happy with an “open relationship”—why bother to get married at all?
Alex quickly realizes he’s been misled about Nikki. Worse yet, he’s beginning to fall for her. Can he make her see the truth about her impending marriage without ruining his chances for a happy ending?