In the Media: FT.com--veinglory

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I liked some of the points made by John Kay in his article today: research that aids publicists but not the public. If I may quote (and I may)...

"...I heard a platform speaker announce that 40 per cent of books would be electronically published by 2020. A pesky academic asked exactly what this number meant and what evidence it was based on. The speaker assured the audience that the number had been obtained in a survey by eminent consultants of the opinions of the industry's thought leaders."

Can you see the little aliens landing and saying: "Take us to your thought leader."? Surely that can remain one thing we do for ourselves? I often hear optimistic estimates about epublishing taking over the industry, from ebook writers and epresses. From other sources, not so much.

"I imagine most of the thought leaders had no more idea than anyone else what the question implied, or what the answer was, and did not devote more than the briefest consideration to their response, so I am not surprised that the median answer was close to a half. If you want to know the future of publishing, you will learn more by peering into a crystal ball. It will at least give you time to think."

The time is easy to find. What is more important is the inclination. And not only to think about publishing in general but to think very sceptically of any claims made by any person. I like ebooks, I guess. But I like guinea pigs too, but that doesn't mean I am expecting them to take over and revolutionise the publishing industry any time soon.

"Newspapers, broadcasters and consultants will start to distinguish bogus surveys from substantive knowledge only when their audience demonstrates that it knows the difference."

...And scam artistic and clueless optimists will stop starting 'fantasy' epresses that don't sell books only when authors demonstrate they aren't interested in submitting to them? (Just as readers are already demonstrating they don't want to buy from them).

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Mind the Gap--veinglory

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It has taken over a year, but I am finally getting there. Where? The place I had in mind back when I first started this blog. I wanted to help authors share information about scam or incompetent publishers. And I wanted to help authors find out which epublishers produce the best sales.

The funny thing is that in all this time I have had no negative feedback about the blog. I mean that, none whatsoever. The worst responses I have are all public as blog comments and none of them are enough to keep me awake at night.

But in a way the scam or novice press beat was probably the easier of the two. That kind of publisher is either not terribly influential, or improving in a way that will cause me to change my assessment. Posting publisher-specific sales figures might be a different sort of situation. I mean on the whole I believe in saying what I think as fairly as I can, and when I am wrong I am wrong. But sales figures are inexact, the sample is biased and small and usually out of date. So I am struck by an uncharacteristic fit of self-doubt.

Is posting publisher specific sales figures a step too far? How can it be when it was the whole reason I got started in this blogging biz?

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Some writers are more equal than others.... -- veinglory

Monday, October 29, 2007


Hanging out in writing forums I am sometimes struck by just how--okay I'm just going to say this--pretentious writers and wanna-be writers can be as a group. Here are some of the beliefs I see over and over.

1) Writing to please an audience or to be published is weak-minded and unethical as it distorts one's true artistic vision.

2) People only write about sex to be popular and because they are to inept to please readers any other way.

3) People only read sex because they are frigid, too ugly to get laid or perverted. People only read romance because their real life is drab, they have unrealistic expectations to they are too dumb to read real literature.

And I am sure you have come across a range of other, similar beliefs common in forums for writers. My latest reply was this and I rather like it as is manages to be more-or-less positive in tone.

I think people fail to understand that writing is just a method to communicate. Success is how well you communicate your message to your audience. Some people want to communicate only with themself (perhaps as symbolised by their muse or God). That's fine; that's what Emily Dickinson did. I prefer a wider audience. Some people's message is artistic bliss or philosophical concepts, mine is entertainment and emotion--including sexual feelings.

Writers' achievements should be measures against their own goals. Other writers strive to avoid what I strive to achieve. Ain't human diversity grand?

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Sunday, October 28, 2007



The very early beginnings of publisher-specific data.

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Hurt me, baby!--pepper

Friday, October 26, 2007

Well, better late than never, right?

I've been working on a paper today. Well, that's not quite true. I've been reading and waiting for some serious divine inspiration. So far, I've got nothing. I can't believe I have absolutely nothing to say about Lord Byron, but there ya go. Unfortunately, I can't write about how hot he probably was.

So since I'm busy for the 2nd week in a row, I must leave with questions that have been on my mind for some time.

1) What does "BDSM" mean to you? That is, when you buy a book with a BDSM title, what do you expect? If you write BDSM, what do you write?

2) Is there such a thing as going too far in BDSM books?

3) Do you think that gay BDSM is a bit more...realistic than het BDSM?

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Emily Begs for Data, Again--veinglory



The wiggly graph says: feeeeed me, feeeeed me. Send data, update data, email veinglory at gmail.com

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Keeping Records--veinglory

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My thought for the day is this: keep records.

I have always been bad at this but recently I started to both archive and print out and file sales reports, royalty payment receipts, contracts, extensions and any other important emails and documents. You never know what you might want to write off against taxes, so also keep receipts.

My thinking is firstly that it is important to preserve information and not rely too much on a single computer or email provider. Computers and online service providers--unlike elephants--will suddenly and catastrophically forget things.

Archiving and printing these documents also reminds me of things. Which publisher has the best terms? Which has the best sales? Which pays the most reliably? When are books going to outside distributors and are they selling well there? Are promo efforts resulting in sales upticks?

And finally, even the best epress typically has a hundreds of authors and thousands of books. Eventually mistakes will be made and we should be able to catch at least some of them. For example are the royalty payments consistent with the sales figures? Have expired contracts been properly terminated or renewed?

And finally, nobody expects things to go wrong, but when they do it is important to have proof. When were you last paid, for how many copies, from what source? What was in the contract, what was said in email and by whom?

So my questions is, what records do you keep and how do you keep them safe?

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State of the Blog--veinglory

Monday, October 22, 2007

39% of our visitors came here: only once
22% visited: over 100 times

Our most frequently used keyword is: erotic romance
Our top keyword that is a publisher is: extacy books
Our top keyword that is a name: emily veinglory (followed by book utopia mom)

The google rank of ERECsite.com: 2/5
but for this blog it is: 4/5

Average number of unique visitors per week: 435

96% of visitors have a screen resolution at least 1000 pixels wide.

Most of our visitors are from America
but visitors from Lithuania stay the longest
visitors from Georgia look at the most pages

Our top referring blog is karenknowsbest.blogspot.com
Our top referring forum is romancedivas.com

Did I mention that I like Google Analytics?

Oh, our technorati authority is 29
and rank is 283,266

However, this has been dropping sharply over recent weeks.

Please link?

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OH NO PROMO: The Best of Both Worlds--veinglory

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sorry, I do have to this from time to time, but there is actually a story here. A few weeks back I was feeling a little e-author guilt about just how much I enjoyed receiving a big box full of author copies for my first print novel King of Dragons, King of Men. I am also tidying up a 'lost chapter' of the book that I will send to anyone who provides me with a picture of them with a copy of the book in print form.

But I have also had reason to recall what I like about epublishers. I have always kind of wanted to write something about a rat shapeshifter. But who would want it. Well the answer is Aspen Mountain Press. And when the anthology (already reviewed by Elisa) was due to come out with only two stories I suggested an addition (a story by Fiona Glass about a were-pigeon that is very cute indeed). And Sandra the editor didn't hesitate to look at it, edit and add it in without even having to delay the release. Flexible, responsive and still putting out a good product. There is still a lot to love about writing for epublishers.

I don't know if I will ever submit to a large New York press, let alone be published by one. But I suspect I will always write ebooks, even if that should happen.

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The LoveBunny is In--veinglory

Saturday, October 20, 2007

"Dear LoveBunny,

Why is it that erotic romance writers always insist the story and relationship and characters are the important things, but promo almost nothing but sex?"


Whenever a person wants to start an erotic romance epublisher they make a pilgrimage to a distant and mysterious cave. They find within a cabal of witch-alchemists who present them with a series of tests and trials. If they are found worthy they are given the blessing of the cabal, along with a magical cauldron.

Now everyone knows that writers are artists driven by muses with only the purest cultural motivations, whereas reader are degenerates who are always either having sex, thinking about sex, watching sex or reading about sex. The new initiate has an answer to this apparent conundrum.

When a work of literature is placed in their new cauldron it is instantly transformed into a work of pornography and a pile of money. If the work has little artistic merit it becomes a some light slap-and-tickle and a fiver. If it is a work of pure majestic artistic genius is become an extended kink-fest complete with three-dicked alien pervatrons and a very large pile of money that smells strongly of sulfur and latex.

Whenever an author notices that the manuscript they submitted seemed to bear little relation to the book being marketed the witch-editor uses the money to pay them off, and so the great conspiracy is preserved.

So speaketh the LoveBunny.

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A quick questions about lesbians---pepper

Friday, October 19, 2007

Between life and school and a toothache, I didn't have time to think about and write my usual brilliant and witty posts (that was sarcasm by the way, though I was serious about not having the time).

But lately, I've been thinking about writing a f/f story. I'm not sure why, exactly. It's just been something nagging at the back of my mind. But it made me realize that there just aren't that many F/F stories being published. Not with my publishers, at any rate. Why is this? Women don't want to read about lesbians and men would rather watch lesbians? I'm sure there are actual lesbians interested in reading about lesbians. Anybody here write a lesbian erotic romance? What was your experience? Anybody here thinking about writing one?

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Ask the LoveBunny--veinglory

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Do you have any questions about erotic romance epublishing, but were afraid to ask? Send you questions to ERECmail at gmail.com marked 'Attention: the LoveBunny' or by comment (anonymous if you prefer).

Whether your questions are serious, sarcastic or just plain crazy the LoveBunny promises to have an answer. The correct answer? Well, we make no promises about that.

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Loose Id Bids on Triskelion's Contractual Assets--pepper

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Headline: Loose Id Bids on Triskelion's Contractual Assets

Dateline: 11 October 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada

Earlier this week, a representative of Loose Id, LLC entered a bid in the bankruptcy proceedings of Triskelion Publishing for the contractual assets of the company. If successful in their bid, Loose Id, LLC will release the majority of contracts at no cost to the authors who entered into them.

In a few cases, new contracts will be extended to the author from LooseId
in lieu of the Triskelion contracts. If an author chooses to reject the offer made them, their contract will be released by Loose Id, at no cost to the author.

Loose Id's intentions in bidding on the contracts are fourfold: (1) to facilitate the unencumbered acquisition of works offered to the company by former Triskelion authors; (2) to assist authors in securing release or reversion of rights to their work; (3) to potentially acquire and re-publish top flight manuscripts that match Loose Id's publishing guidelines; and (4) to reassure authors pursuing e-publishing careers of the sound business practices and corporate ethics of reputable e-publishers.

At this time, it is unknown whether Loose Id will succeed in its bid to acquire the Triskelion contracts. If the company is awarded the contracts, Editor in Chief Treva Harte indicates that all contracts to be released will be processed within 30 days of closing the deal and any offers of publication to be made shall be made within 60 days of close. No contract acquired by Loose Id will be held by the company against the will of the author.

Contact information: help@loose-id.com

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The Published Author Fantasy Role Playing Game---pepper

Friday, October 12, 2007

I'm stealing the term Published Author Fantasy Role Playing Game (and the concept) from "Uncle Jim," James Macdonald. He's posted about the Published Author Fantasy Role Playing Game more than once at Absolute Write, and I've been thinking about the concept a lot lately, for various reasons. He's usually referring to the people who are able and willing to pay vanity publishers to publish their books just so they can have the "experience" of being a published author. I think the sort of person who indulges in the Published Author Fantasy Role Playing Game isn't just limited to vanity publishers and scams like Publish America.

This is where I come clean with some unpopular opinions.

I hate NaNoWriMo. I don't even think the concept is sound. Yes, the most important of writing that book you've always wanted to write is to sit down and write it...but...well...I think it's a load of rubbish. I'll number my reasons for the benefit of people who want to tear my argument apart.

1)

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.


Writing a novel is nothing but time and effort. I'm not even sure what the point of writing 50,000 words of crap is. Just so you can say you've done it? If you're scared of the time and effort devoted to writing a novel, find a new hobby.

If you want to be an actual author, you will find time to sit down and write. Yeah, life is hard and hectic and full of distractions. But people always find time for what's important to them. Take me, for example. I'm currently working on MA in British and American Literature. This requires about 30 hours a week, in terms of reading, writing, and seminar time. I also teach one writing class with 25 students. We meet 3 times per week, and I've got to have lectures planned, assignments written, and of course, I have grading to do. This is about 10-15 hours of my week. I also write content for websites. This work is tedious and never-ending. I devote about 30 hours a week to it. I also am married and I enjoy spending time with my husband. I'm the only person with a car in my family, so it's up to me to run errands like going to the bank, the grocery store, the post office, etc. And I still write, at a minimum 4 hours a day. Every day. Period. Because it's important to me.

2) 50,000 words is not a novel. It's about 2/3 or 3/4 of a novel. And if it's 50,000 crap words, it's not even much of an accomplishment.

3) It encourages the myth that anybody can be an author.

In 2006, we had over 79,000 participants. Nearly 13,000 of them crossed the 50k finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.


I have a feeling they're dead serious. I can't even really wrap my mind around this belief. If I spend a month practicing first aid on my accident prone sister, does that mean I can call myself a doctor after thirty days?

Sorry, but that's not true. If you don't believe me, volunteer to read somebody's slush pile. Being an effective author is about more than just writing words on paper. You've got to have a handle on genre, voice, tone, characterization, plot, pacing, balance, literature, history, and language. You've got to be an expert in all sorts of ridiculous things ranging from the human body to ancient Greek weapons. You've got to be willing to research--you've got to know how to research. You have to have the fortitude to chuck it all and start over again when something isn't working. You need the patience of a saint.

4)
Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.


Well, at least they acknowledge it. NaNoWriMo produces a whole bunch of first drafts. I hope it's a whole bunch of first drafts that eventually become 2nd, 3rd, and 4th drafts. But when I read people explain why they signed up, it's always "I hope this motivates me to finish this year!" Dude, if you need a special month and contest dedicated to finishing a short novel just for motivation, I seriously wonder how editing will go. Because editing is hard. Editing will make you want to cry. It's brutal, if it's done right. Why isn't December "National Editing Novels Month"?

5) Maybe I should lighten up. It's just for fun, right? Who cares if people spend November writing 2000 words a day and feeling pleased with themselves? Shouldn't I, as a writing teacher, be happy and encourage this sort of thing? Why am I such a fucking Scrooge?

Because every month for me is National Novel Writing Month. Any month I don't complete at least 50,000 words is a month I've failed. Writing is Serious Business for me. And I feel vaguely offended by the notion that "anybody" can write a novel, and the only thing stopping them is not having the time. I've been working full time, treating writing like a career, for about four years now. I have some success by some measures, and no success by others. But I am constantly working to improve myself. I am constantly moving my life around to make time to write. And I strongly, strongly suspect that other professional, successful authors do the same.

Being an author is about making sacrifices and making hard choices. Sure, it's fun. If it wasn't the most fun I've ever had with clothes on, I wouldn't do it. But that doesn't mean I think writing novels should be treated like a game.

NaNoWriMo is just another element of the popular Pubished Author Fantasy Role Playing Game. "It's easy to write a book. It just takes a month of writing 2K a day! How could anything be more simple?"

If you want to write, don't rely on a gimmick to get yourself motivated. You deserve better than that, and so does your novel.

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I am putting myself under blog arrest--veinglory

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Having written nary a word for over two weeks I am swearing off blogs and forums for one week. The only exception being if some kind of digi-war breaks out in a forum I moderate. But I am sure I can leave Pepper in charge of you lot.

I encourage any EREC bloggers out there to fill the void with whatever it is you might have to blog about, even if it is just what you had for breakfast or speculation about George Clooney's... well, maybe not that.

When I come back in seven days I hope to have the first few chapters of a sequel to Father of Dragons--or at least to have decided on a title. The internet is a great and wonderful aid to writing, except when it is a ravening vampire sucking up my free time.

So, be good. Or if you can't be good eliminate the witnesses. If there is any down time just look at the picture below, imagine a high pitched whining noise, and wait for next Thursday.

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The slippery slope: Self-publishing versus Small Press--Cheryl Anne Gardner

This post by Cheryl is cross-posted from the POD People self-publishing blog. I found the parallels interesting. I think I may have discovered the common motivation behind starting EREC and POD People. The need for author scepticism and empowerment.




Every new author longs to be picked up by a publisher; that is a career dream for most writers, to do what they love for a living. So what does an author do while they wait amid the flurry of rejections letters and manuscripts collecting dust. If they want to see their work in print, they have but two choices: Self-publish or seek out a Small Press. Both of these are very respectable choices, no matter what people say regarding stigmas or other ridiculous notions perpetuated by the publishing industry, agents, and critics alike. I have read some excellent work from both. But the choice is not easy and both have their share of risks.

Self-publishing is a labour of love in more respects than simply the writing. It’s not for the squeamish nor it is for those who lack the digital skills required for such an endeavour. Covers must be designed, editing must done, typesetting, proper book formatting, and marketing, not to mention the legal issues involved such as copyright registration and properly documenting where you got that artwork for your cover … All these must be done, and it must be done to the level of professionalism the consumer has come to expect from the traditional publishing industry. The upside for authors, well, you have total and complete control of how shabby your product will be … or not. Once the critics and readers get a hold of your work, you will know, hopefully, if all your long hours of toil paid off.

Now, for those authors who do not possess the skill or simply do not want to take on the monumental tasks required to self-publish, you can seek out a small Indie press. Presumably, this gives more credibility to your work (in some circles I guess) and it alleviates many of the extraneous burdens a self-pub author has to face. But this is where things can get a little scary and a little dangerous … for the author. How does one find a qualified small press? A slippery question that one, as thousands of small presses out there are basically a person or two running the show from their basement, or a stand-alone author using a small press name to shield themselves from the stigma of self-publishing. Basically, it’s author beware and do your research. A press, no matter how small or large, should do the basics and do them well: Design your cover; typeset the book and format it professionally; provide an ISBN; provide listing and distributions services; have a competent editor who is attentive and available; and at least provide an intelligent press release (other marketing services may be done depending on the scale of the press). A true press should offer these bare minimums to its clients in return for a share of the profit.

So, how does an author know if the press is legit and can provide the proper level of service?
1. Check the press’s other releases and see what the rankings look like.
2. Look at reader reviews of the those releases.
3. Ask to see samples of their recent press releases, marketing kits, or tear sheets.
4. Ask if the editor is experienced in your genre and if they have any credentials to justify their editor status. I am not talking a degree being necessary, as a secretary by profession edits millions of business documents a year in some cases.
5. Buy a copy of one of their releases and check the editing and formatting yourself. Compare it to traditionally published books, from the front matter to the back cover, and do it with a discerning consumer eye.
6. Make sure you will maintain your rights. If a contract is required, have a professional look at it in order to make certain you will get what your writing deserves. I would question any press that offers publication services without an airtight legitimate contract. This should outline payment schedules, timelines, your legal obligations as far as producing the product, and your options should you desire to go somewhere else. These are but a few.
7. And make sure your expectations align with what the Press can provide. Do they specialize in your genre or do they take whatever comes along. Specialty presses are best.

The worst-case scenario for both options is you end up with a shoddy piece of work out there for the entire world to see. I am not talking about the actual story, opinions vary greatly regarding content and writing styles, I am strictly speaking of presentation. No matter how well you write, or how fantastic and original your story might be, no one will read it if it looks like a 5th grader slapped it together, edited it, and doodled on the cover. And if they do buy it, you can be certain they will post their disappointment in a rather unpleasant fashion via a review on the product page of your work – ruining your credibility.




Cheryl Anne Gardner, author of four novellas, is an Executive Assistant by day, an avid reader, and an independent reviewer with Podpeople.blogspot and Amazon where she blogs regularly on AmazonConnect. She is an advocate for independent film, music, and books, and when at all possible, prefers to read and review out of the mainstream Indie published works, foreign translations, and a bit of philosophy. She lives with her husband and two ferrets on the East Coast, USA.

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Post card winners

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Winners of $20 and appearing on EREC's promotional postcards in 2008 will be the following 5 entries:

Grand Winner--
7: CELEBRATING SENSUALITY by Pepper Espinoza


Also: 1: EXPLORE THE PASSION by Kendra Egert, 5: NEXT BEST REASON by Haven Rich, 6: ROMANCE SO HOT by Haven Rich and 8: WHATEVER WAY YOU PLAY by Anne Douglas

Thanks to everyone who entered and all of those who voted. It may take me a little while to get my act together and email all the winners so if you want to jump start the process and get your money please just email veinglory at gmail.com and tell me your paypal address. Once I have the cards printed I will be looking for volunteers to help distribute them to appropriate events.

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Free Reads?--veinglory

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Here is a question: do you offer complete free stories? If you do is it just as a service or perk, to get feedback or to encourage sales of your other work? My thinking so far is that if I place a story with an online market it does double duty as being a freebie I can show people, and introducing my work to the readers of that zine. Honestly I have so little writing time I prefer to have all my words out there earning for me these days. But presumably a sample is the best way for potential readers to work out whether they will enjoy a writer's published work....

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Snapshot--veinglory

Monday, October 08, 2007

Just for fun, post the last erotic/romance sentence you wrote, so we can see what everyone is up to. Mine is less than virtuoso, but here you go:

But somehow he knew they were meant to be together, and together they would be strong enough to face whatever the future might bring.

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If you haven't voted in the postcard contest yet... --veinglory

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Please do!. The contest closes on Tuesday.

All postcards receiving at least three votes will be used and receive the $20 prize but only one will be the grand winner and used in our first print run and distributed to a wide range of conventions and events. Um, of course I will be looking for people willing to take the cards to these cons for us. So please do let me know if you will be attending any meetings in the upcoming months and could drop some promo on the appropriate table :)

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Is e-publishing the answer?--veinglory

Saturday, October 06, 2007

When I spend time on forums for writers I tend to see the same questions come up over and over. One of them is 'should I e-publish?' And it seems to me that whether e-publishing is the answer really depends on the question.

Some people and groups push e-books as democratising the publishing industry, toppling the tyrants of literary culture and saving the environment at the same time. But realistically epublishing less than 1% of the industry and is likely to stay that way for decades to come.

If we live in the present, e-publishing is a niche and it does not compete with the mainstream in terms of average quality or sales volume. This is my opinion, not only as a writer, but as a reader--and many people may disagree. Indeed, when I specify that I am e-published and small press published many writers think I am suggesting embarrassment at that status. They think I am suggesting e-publishing is a distant second best.

The way I see it I am just being clear. 90% of people have no idea about e-books and even less about print-on-demand. I feel that saying how I am published and then explaining is better than letting them assume I am published like Brown or Rowling and then talking their expectations down to my level.

But that does not mean I e-published because I was not "good enough" for the mainstream, in fact I never even submitted to a major NY press. I e-published because it was the answer to my questions, and these were:

1) Where can I publish novella length gay romance?
2) How can I be active as a writer in a flexible way that will fit in with my main career?
3) How can I write in a way that is profitable but also enjoyable as a hobby and does not introduce yet another source of stress into my life?

So when any writer asks me: should I epublish? I say that epublishing an answer, but only if you are asking the right question. And that is something only the writer can know.

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My thoughts on editing, let me show you them---Pepper

Friday, October 05, 2007

I actually wrote this post for our Writing in Tandem blog last June, but it seems appropriate since September was the Month of Edits. Seriously, poor Vivien was drowning in them! I don't think most people think a lot about the editing process. I know I try not to think about it. It's always tedious, and sometimes a little disheartening. "Oh my god, I can't believe I did this. Gah! Who am I trying to kid here?!"

And that doesn't even take into account when you get your manuscript back from an editor. Some things you thought were brilliant will get the axe. Some things you don't even remember writing, and you're just mortified human eyes were allowed to see it. Some things make sense. Some things don't. And of course, since mistakes can, and do, happen, it's never enough to edit it once or twice. A smart author will go through it three, four, or even five times. Not counting the galleys.

It seems to me that writing with a partner should actually make the process easier. Two sets of eyes for two fresh perspectives. What I miss, she'll catch. And what she misses, I'll catch. Though, I gotta be honest with you, Vivien misses very, very little. Which is very, very good, because I can be a bit lazy when it comes to editing. And writing. And thinking. Honestly, she puts me to shame. But the process isn't actually easier now than it was before. It's just different.

Because I'm sure you're all fascinated, I'm going to outline the steps an average novel takes after we complete it, but before you, the viewer, buys it. Some of these steps can be switched around, depending on how busy we are and our broader circumstances. But this is usually how it goes.

The first round is about smoothing our voice and not looking like fools.
First Round:

  1. I read through the manuscript removing "dead words" and passive sentences. We're both in love with "that," so I often remove dozens and dozens of examples. We also like long, passive sentences, so I often rewrite dozens and dozens of sentences. I rarely read for content. Depending on the length of the MS, this could take me a day or a week. I also correct errors as I find them, though my attention isn't focused on searching for errors per. se. so I might miss a few.
  2. Vivien reads the manuscript for errors and content. If we fuck up on continuity, or we forget to finish a scene (it happens), or we write something that made sense to us two weeks earlier but not now, she fixes it. Also, she regularly asks me, "What do you mean here?" Content isn't SO important here, because we're polishing. And generally, we like our content quite a bit.
  3. We don't have a step three. Unless sending it to the appropriate editor/publisher is step three. And hey, that's an important step. Ask any editor who receives inappropriate or incorrectly marked material!
Then we wait and wait and wait for acknowledgment from the publisher. Amber Quill automatically sends us a contract for our submissions, so that's nice. Other publishers though make us wait a few weeks before we get the offer. Then the second round starts!

Second Round:
  1. It really depends on how busy we are for this step. If I'm in the middle of school and I have a shitload of papers to write, Vivien takes this step. If she's in the middle of editing something else, or otherwise engaged, I take this step. But one of us will go through the editor's suggestions and changes, accepting those we like, bitching about the ones we don't. Only one of us needs to do this, and depending on the editor and the length of the manuscript, it can be a pretty easy task.
  2. Vivien will generally take the time to read through an MS thoroughly here. Again, mistakes can and do happen. And we often miss little things--yeah, this is the fourth read-through and we're STILL finding things missed earlier. Thank God Vivien is a stickler for perfection!
  3. Are we having fun yet? Is reading this as tedious as actually editing? GOOD! Then we send the MS back to the editor for...
Round Three!:
  1. Depending on the publisher/editor, round three can either consist of a second round of edits/suggestions from her, OR the galleys. Either way, this is generally our last shot to clean things up. I'm beginning to suspect at this point that somebody hates us and is sabotaging us, because we always find a plethora of new mistakes. But there is one very good benefit to round three. Usually at this point, it's been weeks or even months since we last saw the MS. It's completely new to us in many ways. And completely thrilling.

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New Month's Resolution (Three Days Late)--veinglory

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

That's it. No more typos. I am not going to post or email anything without 1) spellchecking, and 2) closing the file and then coming back to double-check it. Writing online comments and forum posts that make me look semi-illiterate just can't be a good thing. You are now ordered to point at all my typos and other proofreading lapses and laugh loudly--like a pack of merciless hyenas. It's the only way I'll learn.

Anyone have their own long-standing bad habit to kick?

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Penta-pinion: Mya

Monday, October 01, 2007


Our second penta-opinion is from another author, Mya

1. Loose-Id
2. Samhain Publishing
3. Ellora's Cave
4. Torquere Press
5. Liquid Silver

I can never resist keeping a tally even when the maximum is 2 ;)

Ellora's Cave (2)
Loose Id (2)
Samhain (2)
Liquid Silver Books (1)
New Concepts Publishing (1)
Phaze (1)
Red Sage (1)
Torquere Press (1)
Wild Child/Freya's Bower (1)

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