Because Hugh Howey says so. An Admission.

It’s something we don’t really talk about because we all like to be nicey-nice but his words resonated with me, probably because I am guilty of being nicey nice.

Hugh Howey’s Top 10 List of Counterintuitive Tips for Self-Publishers.

His tips are right on… nothing counterintuitive about them from my perspective.  Mr. Howey makes perfect sense.  The only one I can disregard is Number 6 because I ain’t got no agent.

However Number 10 hit a nerve:

10. Authors are not in competition with one another. We are in this together. A happy reader buys more books, so celebrate others doing well and help who you can. Remember those who helped you. Pass it along.

I’m a big nobody.  I’m serious when I say that– not on the NYT Bestseller List. Not on the Amazon Bestseller List.  Not on anyone’s Bestseller List. I am small potatoes.  Yet new authors approach me, have approached me, and I’ve helped.  I’m generous with my time, my knowledge, my experience, my site… I’ve always been happy to help out.  But I’ve noticed something, while some authors seem to understand we’re in this together, we can support each other, we can even be friends (and I’ve made some fantastic friends), others have used me as a stepping stone, asked me to help with promotion, proofreading, contacts, advice, and once they got the contract they coveted, dumped me like a hot small potato.  In fact, a few people could not dump me fast enough because I quickly became too small for them.

I’m just gonna say it–  That kind of behavior pisses the hell outta me, which is why I’ve begun turning down requests for the use of my blog for promotion, requests for book reviews, proofreading… by authors I don’t know or don’t know well.

Hey, it is so gratifying to help peeps, and I hope you know who you are. You are so very dear to me and I’m grateful for every word of help and support and advice you’ve generously provided over the years.  You are always welcome to my space and time.

But man, it feels lousy to be used.





The Next Big Thing!

I normally don’t participate in this stuff, but a dear friend, Sandra Cox, an author who has stuck with me since the day I signed my very first contract, tagged me, so here I go.  (Quick answers!)

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop (or Blog Tag)!

Ten Interview Questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?

Ack!  I have a bunch – finishing up my Daughters of Persephone Series- Exile, Return, Reborn and The Red Demon.  I have two WIPs in process – Kerosene (Romantic Suspense) and Salvation (Futuristic Fantasy).  I’m also working on One Hour (Science Fiction), Emma (Paranormal Romance) and the sequels to a couple of other books.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Haven’t a clue – but all my books begin in real life, even if they are science fiction/fantasy.  As far as Daughters of Persephone is concerned, my inspiration comes from my love of science fiction and fantasy novels. I simply decided to turn the concept around and put the focus on female warriors and saviors rather than males.

What genre does your book fall under?

Daughters of Persephone is definitely SFR (Science Fiction Romance).

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Think Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Time is relative.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self pubbed. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

One month for each of the four books.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Um… nothing I’ve read in my genre.  Outside of SFR, maybe Dune.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

See the answer to question two.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Think kick ass heroines who can travel through time and retain the memories of all their ancestresses.  And the sexy men who are blood-bonded to them.

Now I’m supposed to tag five authors.  Jeez, I hate doing this because we are all so busy -

J. W. Manus

Penny Watson

Kay Dee Royal

Savannah Chase

Delilah Hunt

The best part.

Oh crap, what is the best part?  I got nuthin’.  To be honest, I’ve been writing so much today I have no space left in my brain.  I feel like River Tam on Firefly.

Let’s see – we had some rain.  I like it!  I’m sure the vintners are hating it – height of crush.

New twitter followers.  Happy!  Smiley face!  :)

Disliking Facebook more and more and more.

Good family news and bad family news, now waiting for the third piece of news because you know these things come in threes.

So what is the best part of what?  Writing books?  Creating something out of nothing.  Shaping words on a page that reflect my thoughts.  Doing what I wanted to do way back when I still had dreams of writing.

Meeting amazing authors and artists.  Making great friends.

Oh!  Oh!  New discoveries -  musicians – The Joy Formidable – great band from Wales.  How I love them!  And Gin Wigmore.  I was a big Amy Winehouse fan.  Listening to Gin makes me feel better.



Exclusivity – Who Needs It?

Jacqueline George is my guest today.  I’m always interested in what an author has to say about the world of publishing.  She’s also involved in a book distribution venture:  Yellow Silk Dreams.

“You do not have to be in the writing business long before you realize  there is one thing the book trade demands from authors. Not literature, not brilliant writing, not even commercial prospects, but exclusivity.

“Even agents are likely to demand that you park your precious manuscript with them for months without letting anyone else look at it. Of course, agents don’t have much stroke, but if a publisher condescends to look at your book, they will absolutely insist they have a free hand with it.

“A free hand to do what, exactly? Why do they need a guarantee of exclusivity before they add your book to their slush pile? They say they do not want to invest time and effort in your manuscript if it might be snatched away before they can secure their position. Fair enough but… time and effort? Oh, come on! We are talking about a lowly paid intern flicking through it, rejecting it if it does not meet the House Standard, and writing a short précis if it might. Doesn’t sound like much time and effort to me. And bear in mind that the author’s prize for getting past this stage is to have their book trapped in an approval maze,  passing the secretaries of various august people, any one of whom might wake up with a hang-over and trash it.

“All the same, that sort of exclusivity is polite and genteel. It is when your book is accepted that the claws really come out. Now the default position is ‘All rights in the Universe, for the life of the copyright’. Really – the life of the copyright, which is until the author’s death plus 70 years. You will be in no condition to do anything with your book once the contract expires!

“And universal rights? They want the Bulgarian audio book rights? Forever? What for?

“The standard answer is that publishers need this sort of exclusivity to protect their investment. That is a sound commercial argument. If the publisher is going to spend in advance on promotion and marketing, they need to know only they (and marginally the author) will benefit from the resulting sales.

“This brings in the question of timing. If the publisher runs a marketing campaign, they will achieve peak sales in a year or two, and then numbers will decline to next to nothing as newer books are brought to the public’s attention.  What happens then? It is dog-in-the-manger time as the publisher does not care anymore, and the author, who might achieve continuing sales in a small way, has no control over the book. At this point, exclusivity benefits no one.

“I’m not sure if exclusivity is needed for the vast majority of today’s books and publishers. Typically modern authors make all the investment and do all the promotion. Many modern epublishers limit their involvement to displaying the book on their site, and handling the money. I am not sure that is even publishing; probably we should call it distribution.

“Exclusivity is a way of tying up an author and grabbing a lion’s share of the revenue from a book. Fair enough if a publisher is doing his job and selling many times more books than the author would manage by themselves; daylight robbery if the publisher is lazy or forgetful.

“Exclusivity is an asset to me, and anyone who really, really wants a share of it had better come to the table with an equitable deal. Authors are waking up…”

***Who is Jacqueline?Jacqueline lives in the far north of Queensland, Australia, on the shores of the Coral Sea.  She has a house built for the tropical climate – on tall stilts and with walls that open to let the breeze blow through.She lives with her husband who is easily managed, and her marmalade cat Rudy who definitely isn’t.
Jacqueline writes romantic stories because she is an unrepentant romantic at heart.  But she also loves travelling to interesting places and meeting new people, and they find a place in her stories too.When she is not writing, she is kept busy by her garden which is still maturing.  Right now her coconut trees look young and untidy
but come back in five years and they will be towering over the house.And what could be more romantic than a coconut palm?