Posts tagged with: publishing
Posted at May 17, 2013 4:27 pm in conferences, publishing, romance, RT, Shannyn Schroeder, writing
I had planned to post this earlier this week, but then page proofs for A GOOD TIME landed at my door, so my days have been filled with proofreading.
Last week I wrote about all the cool and fun things from RT. This post will be about the actual workshops and panels I attended. At least the ones that I have something to say things about. As I said, I didn’t attend lots of workshops, but I enjoyed the ones I did attend.
One of the first panels I went to was on social media. The panelists were Sarah Wendell (Smart Bitches, Trashy Books), authors Jaye Wells, Liliana Hart, and Shiloh Walker, and Mandi Schreiner (Smexy Books). I wanted to attend this panel because I’m still trying to figure out the social media thing. In general, I don’t worry about numbers when it comes to social media, which was one of the points the presenters made. It’s about chatting with people and having fun. So really, I didn’t learn much from this panel. There was one really important takeaway that I tweeted at the end: When you fuck up on social media (and everyone does), own it and apologize. Really apologize — not “I’m sorry if you were offended.”
I went to two panels on Contemporary Romance both because that’s the genre I write and because I am a fan of the authors presenting. The first was Reinventing the Modern Day Romeo (Beth Ciotta, Victoria Dahl, Sarah Frantz, Erin McCarthy, and Shannon Stacey, moderated by Louisa Edwards) There were lots of laughs in this one. The one I remember most was Victoria Dahl saying that all heroes have to have good aim (in the bathroom — she had just told a story about having to clean her sons’ bathroom).
The second panel was on the many flavors of romance (Roxanne St. Claire, Jill Shalvis, Ruthie Knox, Brenda Novak, and Julie James, moderated by Louisa Edwards). In this panel each author represented a smaller subgenre within contemporary. For example, Jill Shalvis will make you laugh, and Roxanne St. Claire will make you cry. Julie James writes big city, while Brenda Novak writes small town. Ruthie Knox was there as a digital first author. The thing was, even as each author represented one thing, there was cross-over everywhere. Jill Shalvis and Roxanne St. Claire also both do small town. Ruthie Knox has done small town and big city. One thing they all agreed on was that they liked to do series, and series generally do better. It was fun hearing the authors talk about which heroes they liked best and whether that differed from what they heard from readers.
I did quite a few industry-related workshops, like spotlights from various publishers to hear about what they’re looking for in each of their lines. I caught part of RT’s workshop on what RT editors want. While it’s really hard to get reviewed in RT, there are a lot of other opportunities for getting your name out there, especially in the on-line version and daily blog.
Finally, I attended a workshop on self-publishing and the future of publishing by Bob Mayer and Jen Talty. They have their own publishing company, Cool Gus, where they partner with authors. I’ve been following Bob and Jen for a while because I think they have some really good ideas and they’re forward thinking. One thing Bob said, which I think is really true is that publishing right now is run by fear. Authors are afraid to self-publish, agents are afraid for their jobs because so many authors are self-pubbing, and New York is afraid of change. I think a lot of publishers are changing, but they aren’t moving all that fast. Most (if not all) of the Big 6 now have digital first arms that allow them to accept more authors and take more chances. I think it’s a good thing because digital is where it’s at. They also pointed out that having multiple books out, especially a series was the way to go for both discoverability and sales.
In talking with many of my writer friends at RT, I found it fascinating that 75-80% of their sales come from ebooks, not print. We’re talking about some well-known, established print authors. This makes me happy that I went with a digital-first publisher, not that I ever really doubted the decision, but you know, there’s still that part of me that would like to see my name on a spine.
Be the First to Comment
Posted at Nov 6, 2012 12:49 pm in books, Dante JT Shepherd, NANO, publishing, rereading, romance, Shannyn Schroeder
It’s that time of year again — NANOWRIMO, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. I’ve never participated in NANO mostly because I feel like I’d be setting myself up for failure. When doing NANO, you’re supposed to write 50,000 words in 30 days. For me, that’s a little over half a book. Is it possible for me to do that? Sure. But the pressure of ’I need to meet this goal’ is overwhelming for me. Instead, I have a goal to finish my current WIP by the end of the year. I’m about 15,000 words in. That means I have about 75,000 words to go. Don’t explain the math to me. I know what it is, but I like to lie to myself.
Dante JT Shepherd from survivingtheworld.net is back with ways to ensure a book is re-read. When I came across this, I found it interesting because I think we all want our books to be keepers.
Most of these don’t apply to romance–at the end, HEA is expected and without it, I wouldn’t have a romance; if it’s incomprehensible, it will probably meet a wall. I think everyone shoots for amazing, but it’s up to readers to decide if we’ve achieved that goal. I do have soundtracks for my newer, uncontracted books. I’ve never thought about listing them anywhere but my web site, though.
What makes a book a keeper/re-read for you?
Posted at Oct 31, 2012 8:33 am in catching up, Dante JT Shepherd, fan fiction, publishing, Shannyn Schroeder, writing
Okay, so I’m still digging out from deadline stuff. I managed to not only turn in page proofs for More Than This (early), but I also got book 2 safely in the hands of my editor (also a little early). And I accomplished this with a sick kid home from school all last week. Right now, I’m playing catch up (and starting a totally new project that I’m loving), so the blog is still short. I promise a real post soon about books I’ve read.
There has been a ton of debate about fan fiction and how many people are getting book deals for their fan fiction. I’ve never been a reader of fan fiction. In fact, until I met my critique partner I had no idea how big it was. But when I saw this, I had to share…
Do you read any fan fiction? Are you willing to pay for it if it gets published?
Posted at Oct 5, 2012 11:57 am in August McLaughlin, banned books, banned books week, Chuck Wendig, creativity, Friday favorites, Jami Gold, Janet muffintopmommy, Kristen Lamb, Marcy Kennedy, Pat O'Dea Rosen, persistence, Pink Chocolate Break, publishing, Rachel Funk Heller, rejection, romance, Shannyn Schroeder, Sheila Seabrook, Tawna Fenske, The Bloggess, Tiffany White, TV, writing, writing advice
This past week was Banned Books week. For those of you who might not be aware, Banned Books week celebrates openmindedness. As a teacher, I loved Banned Books week. I started the year with a whole unit on Banned Books. The great thing about it was that I taught kids who were amazed that books still get banned. Personally, I don’t really censor what my own kids read. That’s not to say that I don’t care or that I don’t pay attention, but I don’t want to discourage them from reading. No, I wouldn’t hand them my book to read, but if it falls under YA, have at it.
Here are a couple of great posts for Banned Books week:
Pat O’Dea Rosan offers a post and video about banned books and Jenny, the Bloggess, tries to get her book listed as a banned book.
There was so much great advice about writing this week.
First up, August McLaughlin writes about having a teflon mind when it comes to rejection. If you’re a writer, rejection is part of the business. It’s a tough part of the business. I wouldn’t say that I’m as good as August, but I think I handle rejection pretty well. Some of the rejections I received stung, and I let them, but not for long. Then I pushed myself forward and moved on.
Marcy Kennedy talks about knowing when it’s time to quit. I don’t think I’ve ever given quitting much thought. I’ve set goals, and last summer, I told myself that if I didn’t have an agent and/or a book deal within a year, I would go back to teaching full-time. Notice, I didn’t say I would give up writing, but that it wouldn’t be my focus. For me, things aligned and within 8 months, I had both an agent and a 2-book deal.
Jami Gold talks about the writing process as compared to sculpting. Since I’m mostly a pantser (write by the seat of my pants with no outline), I do a little of both — I built the original story and then I chisel away at the parts that don’t fit. For me, the chiseling usually involves big giant parts, but you get what I mean.
Tawna Fenske cautions us to stop the glorification of busy. I totally understand what Tawna means when she feels like she’s been slacking when she doesn’t meet her daily word count. Right now, I don’t have a daily word count, or a page edit count, or anything. I’m getting ready to start something new. I have done no writing for weeks. In my head, I know this is good. I’m letting the story develop in my head and I’m getting to know the characters. I have completed collages and a soundtrack for my new WIP. But I still feel like a slacker. I have those moments of panic, like “Oh my God, I haven’t written. What if I fall behind? What if I can’t produce something quick enough?” Even though, in my head, I know this discovery time is well-spent, it’s hard to stop myself from writing simply because I feel lazy.
Chuck Wendig has a post for 25 things to do to get your writing groove back. As usual, he pulls no punches. Things like “Get out of the Goddamn House, you mumbling Shut-in,” and “Quit moaning and mount up, motherfucker” will surely offer you the right inspiration.
I didn’t even realize it until I got a message from Twitter earlier this week that I had been on Twitter for a whole year. For some of you that might not seem like much, but in 2 months time, I went from having zero presence on the Internet to being on Twitter and having a blog (I’m still avoiding Facebook, though). I felt good jumping in because I was taking a class with Kristen Lamb. She gave us each other so we had an instant following. My 1 year blog-aversary isn’t for a few weeks, but let me tell you, it was a great feeling sending out my first post and knowing that people would read it. I starting talking on Twitter and I had followers. It made social media much less frightening.
Rachel Funk Heller designed a graphic to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of our WANA class. And Sheila Seabrook also has a shout out for our class, but she also includes an infographic on creativity that fits in with my other writerly-type posts today.
Just for Fun:
Tiffany White talks about some upcoming new dramas this month. I have to say that Arrow looks good.
Janet, AKA muffintop mommy, made me laugh with the tale of her ill-fated phones. (and yes, that is plural -phones)
And finally, Pink Chocolate Break has a great post filled with inspiration quotes. Notice how many of them tell us to keep laughing.
What made you laugh this week?
Posted at Sep 28, 2012 3:56 pm in Chuck Wendig, Dana Kaye, Elena Aitken, Friday favorites, Lani Diane Rich, publishing, Renee Schuls-Jacobson, romance, Shannyn Schroeder, Sisterhood of Sensible Moms, Tawna Fenske, Tiffany White, TV
I’ve been swamped between the new school year, cheerleading, figuring out promotion for MORE THAN THIS, and thinking about starting something new. So while I’ve been active on Twitter, Friday Favorites hasn’t been happening because I fell behind on blog reading. I’m running late writing this now, but I did finally catch up on blogs. Please excuse the lack of organization I usually offer for these posts, but enjoy:
Tawna Fenske wrote a post on believing in a happily ever after. As romance writers, we must have some faith that the HEA exists, especially for our characters, but it’s just that — faith. In reality, more than half of married couples get divorced. We don’t even know what the statistics are on couples who aren’t married. But we want to believe that HEA is possible. It’s why we write romance.
The women over on the Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms write about how kids take over our lives. We do things like renovate our homes
to better accommodate them. And then they take over said renovations. Their artwork fills every empty space. Their toys litter tables. For as much as these things would bother some people, for me, it makes my house a home. I love seeing the evidence of my children everywhere.
Elena Aitken talks about how as a mom, sometimes we can’t fix it. For me, this is one of the hardest things about motherhood –knowing when to let go and let them deal with things themselves because I can’t fix it.
Renee Schuls-Jacobson posts a fabulous poem, An Unconventional List of My Transgressions.
Chuck Wendig offers up a post on 25 things you need to do before you start your next novel. As usual, Chuck’s post is dead-on. I need the reminder to really get to know my characters. It’s hard, though, because as soon as I think I know them well enough, I’m anxious to write. What ends up happening then (and I know this from experience), is that I write tens of thousands of words that get scrapped because those words just helped me understand the characters. So I’ve learnednot to rush the process. I am collaging and I’ve made a play list for the new book and the ideas are flowing.
Dana Kaye has a great infographic about the growth of ebooks.
Tiffany White does a roundup of some new fall shows that I didn’t talk about this week.
And finally, over on Reinventing Fabulous, Lani Diane Rich posted a message for the kind of woman I think we should all be.
Posted at Aug 28, 2012 11:33 am in Allie Pleiter, chunky method, publishing, Shannyn Schroeder, time management, writing, writing space
I’m finally feeling like I’m getting back into the groove of things. Kids are back in school and I finally feel like I can establish some routine (although that might just be wishful thinking on my part). Last night at my RWA chapter meeting, one of our members, Allie Pleiter, presented what she calls her Chunky method for time management. She writes full time and is working on her 19th book. At any given time, she’d got 4 projects going (writing one, editing one, selling one, proposing one). I’m not going to try to really recap her workshop, but a big part of it is figuring out what kind of chunks you need to be productive. Some people are big chunk people — they need an uninterrupted period of time where they can just focus on writing. Those people need their own space and because they’re writing for longer periods of time, atmosphere (including ergonomics) is very important. Other people tend to work best in little chunks — they write wherever, whenever and tend to flit around to do other things. Those people don’t need a special space and distractions don’t really bother them. Allie jokes that her first book was written in the ball pit at McDonalds.
After listening to her explanation, I immediately knew that I’m a small chunk person. I’ve taught myself to sit down and write in about 1 hours chunks of time and in that hour I can usually get 1K words in. An hour is the typical time for any extracurricular activity my kids have been in — ballet class= 1 hour, Tae Kwon Do=1 hour. I’m not easily distracted, so I can write in a restaurant or in the hall outside class without issue, but interruptions do make me nuts. This is why I rarely write while my kids are at home.
Once my youngest started first grade, I thought it would be great and I’d get so much more done. It hasn’t really happened. I am more productive, but I don’t spend all day writing. I can’t focus for that length of time without flitting to something else (day job, laundry, dishes, etc). I’ve found that I can edit during the day, but most of my writing still comes while the kids are in their after school activities.
my actual desk
I did, however, create a separate writing space for myself a few months ago. My husband didn’t get it. I have a desk in our room, but I almost never write there. I’m blogging from there now, but it’s rare for me to work on a manuscript here. The piles of paper you see all over? That’s normal. I’ve always been an organized chaos kind of person, even as a full-time teacher. I’d push the desk in my classroom against a wall because all it did was hold my mess. I never sat at it. My current organized chaos comes from running 3 different jobs from this desk. I have information from my husband’s construction company, my daytime editing job, and prep work for the college course I’m teaching at night. There’s really no wonder why I can’t write here.
my writing space
My new space is not cluttered with anything. I have a cup for pens, a notebook in case I need to write something quickly, and my laptop (which isn’t in the photo since I haven’t it taken out of my bag). I haven’t quite figured out how I’ve managed to keep it neat and orderly, and it might not last, but it’s worked long enough for me to finish editing book 2 and get it to my agent (Yay!) I have my bulletin board with my collages for my WIPs facing me for inspiration as I write (that’s another post altogether), but there are no other distractions. Maybe it’s because the room is at the other end of the house and it’s easy for people to forget I’m there, but it’s a pretty peaceful space.
Where do you write? Do you write in big chunks or little chunks? As a reader do you like this little bit of insight into an author’s world? (I know I do)
Posted at Aug 2, 2012 9:00 am in conferences, ebooks, publishing, romance, Rtias, RWA, Shannyn Schroeder, Stephanie Laurens, writing
I’m still slacking on my usual Thursday TV posts. Of course, I’m still watching lots of TV, but haven’t thought about what to write. So today, I’m going to write about what should’ve been Tuesday’s post. Last week was RWA’s (Romance Writers of America) national conference. I mentioned it last week and I followed #RWA12 on Twitter the whole time. Lots of interesting bits were sent out. One thing that I heard (read) was on promotions. It said that writers are on Twitter, but readers are on Facebook. That kind of sucks for me since I’m not on Facebook. Stephanie Laurens had a great keynote address that she posted on her web site. My favorite part is this:
We are the storytellers. Whether its offline or online, we are still the storytellers, the spinners of tales, the weavers of emotional magic, the essential creators. We tell stories – we create them, shape them, write them down – and none of that changes.
The other big news, huge really, was the awarding of the Ritas on Saturday night. The Rita is the romance equivalent of the Oscars. This year, some great stuff happened. Both the winner in the novella category and the winner in the single title contemporary romance category were digital-first books. The Earl, written by Caroline Linden is published by Avon Impulse. The Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe is a Carina book. As an author who is going to be published digitally, this is excellent news. For a long time, ebooks were largely ignored by such awards because in order to enter, a print book had to be submitted. That part of the rule hasn’t changed, but bigger publishers (like Avon and Harlequin) are printing copies of ebooks for this purpose.
Things are changing in publishing. They have been for a long time and I’m glad I didn’t shy away from something new just because I wanted to have a “real” book in my hands. While I don’t believe that traditional print publishing is dead, ebooks aren’t going anywhere.
Did you attend RWA nationals? What was your favorite part?
Posted at Jun 15, 2012 3:39 pm in Amy Andrews, books, characters, Dana Kaye, Emma Burcart, Friday favorites, Kat Latham, Myndi Shafer, Pink Chocolate Break, publishing, romance, Shannyn Schroeder, The Naked Hero, Tiffany White, TV, writing
Sorry for the lack of a good title for today’s post. My brain just isn’t into titles right now. Here are your links for great reading this week:
image from www.playerblock.com
Over at The Naked Hero, Amy Andrews touches on a hot button issue. Is it ever okay for a hero to cheat? Is it a redeemable action? For a long time, I would’ve said no, it’s completely unacceptable. And really for a romance hero, I think it should be unacceptable. BUT… this is something that happens in real life and real life couples sometimes do get past it. That makes me think that depending on the circumstances and how it’s handled in the book, it might be possible. My gut still says, though, that books are escapism and I don’t want too much reality there.
Dana Kaye, publicist, has a great flow chart of how a book is born. You can probably spent 10 minutes just following different paths.
Kat Latham posted a test to see how fast you read. I came in at 376 words a minute, which means I could read War and Peace in about 26 hours (not that I’d want to). I’m faster than 50% of people. I guess being an English major finally paid off.
Although not directly related to books, since I write romance and think about relationships for my characters, I’m adding a post by Emma Burcart here. Emma talks about choosing safe guys. You know the ones — you know exactly what to expect from them. They exist for a good time, no commitment, no permanence. Emma writes from her own experience in relationships, but for me, this is great fodder for character development. In fact, in the book I’m revising right now, the heroine always chooses guys who aren’t serious because serious scares her.
Myndi Shafer has a fabulous list of things she is pretty sure she knows. I personally love #4. It’s a common belief in my house.
(4) If momma ain’t happy, ain’t no-one happy.
One thing that I’m pretty sure I know is that a good book can often erase a bad day.
Over on Pink Chocolate Break this week, we have some quotes about love.
And finally, Tiffany White has a post about great summer TV. She manages to cover more shows than I did in my post because she talks about shows I haven’t watched.
What is one thing that you’re pretty sure you know?
Posted at Jun 8, 2012 9:37 pm in Amy Clark, August McLaughlin, Lani Diane Rich, Momadvice, persistence, Pinterest, publishing, romance, Shannyn Schroeder, Trish Loye Elliott, writing, writing advice
As the title suggests, I’m still slacking. I think it’s going to take me awhile to get used to the whole summer schedule. In the past, all I had to squeeze in around my kids was my work-from-home day job and my writing. Now, I’m teaching part-time and trying (and not necessarily succeeding) my hand at social networking. I do have some great posts, just not as many as I usually do:
First up, two great posts on Pinterest. I’ve joined Pinterest, but I’m still learning the ropes. You can find me here: http://pinterest.com/seschroeder/
Amy Clark from Momadvice has a post on being a Pinterest superstar. Then August McLaughlin offers 5 steps to making Pinterest-friendly blog posts. I know I’m nowhere near there yet (no great pictures to pin from here), but I hope to utilize that information soon.
Lani Diane Rich has an excellent post on how you need to fail in order to succeed. I think most people would agree with this, at least in theory. It’s something that I’ve tried to drill into my kids’ heads. But the thing is, I’m one of those people who have avoided doing anything unless I was pretty darn sure I’d be good enough at it to succeed. Writing for publication is the only risk I’ve ever really taken. I’ve always been a writer, and I knew I had skills, but writing for publication is more than being a good writer. You have to be a storyteller. That’s the part I’ve been so unsure of. How could I not be? After writing and getting rejections, you start to wonder. But when you look at some of those rejections, they can give you hope. I’m not one of those writers who has saved every rejection to either show to other new writers or to burn in a big pile when I think I’ve made it. I’ve only saved the ones that gave me hope. A little hope is all you need.
Finally, Trish Loye Elliot has a great post on advice to writers from the masters.
What was the best advice you’ve ever received?
Posted at May 11, 2012 11:25 am in Alisa Kwitney, Andris Bear, Bones, contemporary romance, Emma Burcart, heroes, Ingrid Schaffenburg, Maurice Sendak, Pink Chocolate Break, publishing, romance, Shannyn Schroeder, Sisterhood of Sensible Moms, Tiffany White, True Blood, TV, writing
I’m running late with today’s post because my modem decided to go crazy yesterday. Just stopped working (while I was in the middle of finalizing lesson plans for last night). Then it started working again hours later. Needless to say, a new modem is in my very near future.
So many good things to read this week!
First up, TV–
I talked yesterday about how excited I am that there’s less than a month until the return of True Blood. Chelsea Mueller over on Heroes and Heartbreakers has a post about one way in which the show improves on the books. I agree that having the story told from multiple points of view is great. I think the show gives us a better feel for all of the characters and their separate plots.
Over on Popwatch Denise Warner does a side-by-side comparison of the love stories of two of my favorite shows: Bones and Castle. The comparison only looks at the first 4 seasons, so it leaves out Booth and Bones getting busy, but for those of you who watched the Castle season finale know that Kate and Castle finally got together too.
Tiffany White has a post about the new shows that will be premiering this summer. I’m sure I’ll be checking some of them out.
Love and writing–
Since I write contemporary romance, I spend a lot of time thinking about couples and falling in love. Because of that, I thought it was silly to separate these categories.
Ingrid Schaffenburg writes about finding true love and how your soulmate will find you no matter what. I don’t know that I believe in the idea of a soulmate, mostly because that means that there’s really only supposed to be ONE person for us out there. I like the concept, and it certainly serves me as a writer, but I don’t know that I totally buy into it.
Emma Burcart had an enlightened moment when she discovered that personality really is more important than looks. She questions if you can be attracted to a guy who’s a jerk and I can absolutely claim that it’s a very real possibility. I’ve done it — lots
Over on the Lady Scribes blog, Andris Bear describes the meaning of different kinds of kisses. I think this is fascinating and something I will definitely incorporate into my writing.
Alisa Kwitney has a post about the flawed hero in contemporary romance. I found this really interesting because it touches on a couple of things I’ve talked about in recent weeks. While at the RT convention, Susan Elizabeth Phillips talked about the old school romances and why they were so popular — because the little secretary was able to conquer the shipping magnate. This post goes along with that idea and how heroes are presented today. Alisa also mentions a m/m book written by Damon Suede, who is the author that coined the term “come hands” that I mentioned in my post from RT about writing sex scenes.
For any mom who has ever had her own words thrown back at her, I give you Erin Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms. We’ve all been there
I found this post from Pink Chocolate Break especially timely because I’m working on creating a workshop for writers. A friend of mine commented on my ability to remain calm during my journey to publication and she suggested I create a workshop on Zen in Publishing. It’s only in its infancy (like I have notes scribbled down haphazardly) but this post might give me more ideas. Zen tips to live by.
And finally, I couldn’t finish this week without mentioning the loss of Maurice Sendak. I didn’t know his books as a child. I didn’t grow up in a house of readers and we had few books. But my children know his books and we’ve shared a lot of great times reading about the wild things.
What is your favorite children’s book?