Friday, February 1, 2013

Hello February!

So... I haven't done much editing. Probably not the news that people who want to read KM4 are wanting to hear. The good news is that it's the weekend and there's potential for editing... maybe even during the Superbowl! :) I finished "Falling Kingdoms," which I posted about last time. I really enjoyed the book and I'm excited to read the next one in the series when it comes out. I'm now reading "City of Dark Magic" by a writing duo who go by the name Magnus Flyte. Ehh... whatever. The authors make it seem like this person mysteriously dropped off his manuscript and they're his representatives. Maybe it goes well with the novel... I'm only like 50 pages in so far. It feels a little gimmicky, but we'll see.

Me: as a small blond, white boy.
So, funny story... or perhaps pathetic... overly optimistic? Creepy? Anyway... as I was reading "Falling Kingdoms" my brain wandered out of the story and I found myself kinda stroking the pages in a strange, awed daze. I went from happily reading, completely absorbed in magic and princesses and princes and scandalous feelings and waring kingdoms, to practically drooling over the soft pages and delicious smell of new print. It was a very strange moment. I don't often go gaga over books like that (unless you count my habit of buying books when I have over a 100 on my shelves that I need to read). So, after the "moment" passed and I realized that I looked like a crazy person (thankfully I was alone in my bedroom), I put the book down for a little while. I felt a mixture of "wow, you're a crazy lady" to "well, now I"m depressed." You see, my ultimate dream as a writer/author is to be published in the "traditional" way. I want to receive the "Tanya, I want to publish your book" call. I want to find an agent (I've been unsuccessful of late). I want the headache of dealing with publishers (as I assume it likely will be, unless I'm super lucky). I've wanted this since I was very little, nine-ish, maybe. Instead of an adorable white boy in the picture above, imagine a little biracial girl with her thick, unruly curls pulled back into three tight braids with bobbles at the end.

I want to be published. And although I am a published indie author--I'm doing it on my own and it's really hard. I know that each KM book needs more editing. I know the covers need a little more refining. I know I need to market more. It's hard to market myself. What do I do... go up to someone who might look like the like romantic comedies and tell them I have a self-published book with lingering typos that they might be interested in? That's awkward. I have a lot to learn about indie publishing and I'm feeling a little lazy at the moment, hoping that my name will get out there by word of mouth. That one day I'm just magically selling a 100 books a day. :) Pipe dreams!!! Well, no, not really... I know that I will be traditionally published one day soon. It'll happen. Did you hear that Universe?!?!?!?!?!

I thought of all this again today while browsing books at Target and saw that "50 Shades of Gray" is now in hardcover format.......................

I mean, can I catch that kind of break? First you have a e-book, then a paperback, and then a hardcover! The reverse process intrigues me. And it also makes me scratch my head in confusion. I mean, really? Was it that good? How big was this hardcover print run? Do they expect those books to fly off the shelves too? I kinda skimmed the cover looking for a "newly edited" stamp. If I did the reverse publishing thing I would be editing at every step. Of course, at that point I probably would've relinquished all control. Perhaps that's what happened here.  Maybe it's all about the money for this particular title. I'm still processing what I really think about this.

And, all that being said--I didn't write all week. Dang... what am I doing with my life besides watching murder shows on Investigation Discovery. I just can't seem to stop watching TV. :c/


  1. Keep in mind 50 shades was originally a Twilight fanfic and had a strong fanbase there before the author got a deal. I will admit considering the actually books it is a lucky break (not even because it's erotica, there's good erotica out there, but the actual writing is not my cuppa) but she found a niche and she filled it and everyone was looking for the next twilight, especially for adults and she had it.

    I've read a few books that were straight to hardcover that I absolutely loathed, more than a few, and even though I'm wondering what the publishers/public saw in it, I realised it fit the mold of what was popular at the time before it reached that point where you're like 'no more [insert here], I don't want another (insert title of book that started the trend)' I know that's a bit off since these books were probably written before whatever got popular but that's how it feels.

    Marketing... I feel that you should probably join some writing groups or go onto goodreads and find a bunch of popular indie authors and then visit their sites and see if they post about their process at all.

    I don't know if you've been following along with nano but they have a 'now what' page for revision/publishing support:

    And I get what you mean about publishing, I find it fascinating that ebooks are such a huge part of the process now. I started looking into publishing about six years ago (before I had completed a novel) and the only online books seemed to be self-pubbed or Erotica and in the past two/three years it's like if you can get picked up by a 'traditional' publishers ebook line where they provide you all of the support of a traditional novel and then going from there you can do the paperback/hardcover route depending on your publisher.

    1. I forgot that 50 Shades was a fanfic. I wonder what Stephanie Meyers thinks of that? I don't know how I would feel. Did EL James use Bella and Edward as the names before changing them? She definitely filled some kind of hole. I still don't understand why they would want to make a movie out of these books. I think I'm going to read the first one and see what all the fuss is about. I've thumbed through one, but not enough to know if I'll like the writing (doubtful) or the story.

      It's so true that sometimes hardcovers are crap. I definitely see a lot more erotic fiction on the shelves since 50 Shades. There's a huge section at Target now. What's funny is how similar the covers are to 50 Shades... I don't know that I've ever bought a book because the cover looks just like the cover of another book that I liked. I'd love to sit in on a marketing meeting somewhere!

      I should look for Indie writers to follow. I should probably read more of them too! Twitter can be more of a tool for me in that, I think. I've followed a lot of authors on there... I'm just not on twitter that much. It seems like a social app (?) that's better used when you have a good cell phone. I get bored sitting on twitter watching the feed roll. BUT... it could be a good avenue for connections.

      I haven't been following Nano, but I'm going to check out that link you sent. I want to get excited about this year's NaNoWriMo. I'm totally going to do it this year :)

  2. I know that it's actually a trend with a lot of books. Like last year was the year of the pretty dead white girl on YA covers *if* you saw their faces at all. Like the amount of floating/underwater/lying down/head pressed against a wall like a mannequin covers I saw made me extremely uncomfortable and I noticed it mainly because an author I followed pointed it out.

    But Twilight started the trend of pretty random objects on the cover and it just sort of continued. Or remember in thr 90s/early 2000s when every book regardless of whether it was chicklit or not had a cartoon on the cover?

    I think figuring out what people want from the cover of a book is hard so when agencies see something that works for one book they pretty much do it for all.

    Sometimes I think twitter i a great tool but at the same time, you have to be willing to invest the time. I have a personal one and all I do is retweet people. I was thinking about creating a 'professional' one for my writing but I don't think I'd interact enough on there.

    In regards to 50 shades, I don't think Stephanie can say much because aside from the initial inspiration and that the plot was based around her characters the actual storyline is nothing like hers. The main character is Anastasia Steele and the love interest is Christian Grey.

    I'm not a fan of the books to be honest. I tried to read the first one and I found the writing clunky and the characters unrealistic//annoying but I'm in the minority it seems. And what makes it even more frustrating is that there's a second Twilight inspired fanfic that has been reworked (vampire aspect, names, world have been changed) that is going to be published this year.

    Off topic: Have you noticed this 'New Adult' category that has been popping up lately? It's aimed at us pretty much, people who are no longer teenagers but aren't 'adults' or at least don't connect to adult novels so it's usually about people in their late teens early to mid-twenties, usually female and the challenges they face and the setting is usually college/university or the summer before that, or when they're in their first job.

    Here's an example:

    I like that they've finally acknowledged that category even if it might be viewed as just older YA. What do you think?

  3. There were a lot of floating/water covers last year! Ha, that's funny... I never really noticed it (or other trends) before. However, since putting KM1-3 up online, I've been paying more attention. Tonight I've been playing around with an idea for the cover of A Starter Boyfriend. I think for that one and for Hostile Kisses I'm going to go with a more "realistic" look. As you know, my KM series is pretty cartoon-y. I'm wondering if the covers don't draw as much attention as the other ones out there in romance/contemporary romance. I may be stuck in the early 2000s! I did write the KM series at that time :).

    I like the idea of having a New Adult category. I haven't really seen it popping up in the stores though. I definitely think there's an audience for it, myself included. I love YA stuff, but sometimes it just feels too young (HAHA, I'm 31, it SHOULD feel young!). At the same time, I really only read the paranormal/supernatural/fantasy YA stuff... not the "real life" drama of being a teen. I find the paranormal stuff to feel more adult in a way--or maybe it's just the writing that I enjoy.

    There's too big of a gap between YA and adult fiction. I feel like I've heard this "New Adult" category called something else--but I can't think of what. Meg Cabot's Heather Mills series flirts with this I think. The main character is out of college, but works as a Residence Hall director and is surrounded by college students. I actually love that series. It'll be interesting to see if this category gains strength.

  4. Sooo, I thought you were 26... LOL, I have no idea why, well, probably because you graduated from school recently and from your dp you look like you're in your 20s, but still random number, lol.

    I think the KM covers fit the series but then again I haven't read a chicklit book since early 2000s, lol. But A Starter Boyfriend and Hostile Kisses should definitely have more realistic covers so you'll probably have to buy stock images for that but it should be worth it.

    And I think it'll gain strength for exactly the reasons you started. There's a lot of love for YA but then after a certain age it just feels too young, at least with this it'll have a YA feel/emotional aspect but the ages will make it easier to connect to.

  5. I'm glad I look like I'm in my 20s! haha. Yeah, I'm getting old and crusty. :) They call these years the Dirty Thirties... I don't know what I think about that. I'm hoping that they're great years.

    I bought a stock photo package (about 5 images, I think) and I still have two left. I suppose those will have to go for Killing Models and HKisses. I still find covers very hard to create. If I ever decide to make KM paperback, I'll probably change the covers and make them a little more realistic looking--or maybe I'll slap on some kind of image/symbol (and I'll likely be way behind the trend then).

    Keep me posted on any good "New Adult" books out there. I'm curious if I'll like them more or if I'll stick with traditional YA.

  6. I don't know if this interests you, I feel a bit iffy about it but it is through a legitimate publisher and it cuts out on the whole agent process (I guess) but at the same time it's something of a popularity contest so I don't know.

    I'm probably going to sign up anyway.

  7. Hey! The only thing that I have that may potentially fit their requirements is Chemical Games (which is still a bit long at 76,000 words)... everything else of mine is double the max word limit. I think this seems like an interesting idea. Could be a good way to build a readership too.

    It's definitely something to think about. I'd have to edit Chemical Games first. :)

  8. It doesn't launch until Spring so if you do decide to give it a shot you have time and I definitely missed the bit about a wordcount... the whole hearts instead of 'o' thing when they write swoon made me skim everything which might be a sign of what to expect for the whole thing, hmm.

    I might check out some of their published works that are already out. So far it looks to be mainly UF/Dystopia type novels (here's the page for their teen novels but it says they do contemporary as well.

  9. I ended up reading through their FAQs (I was a little thrown by the heart o's too) and that's where I learned about the word count range. Just skimming through their facebook page, it could actually be a publisher that might consider my angel novels. I'm basing this off their covers--I haven't read any of the books, but I did have a little interest in Cinder.

    While I'm not sure about the "swoon" thing... I might keep an eye on them.

  10. Hi, I've just been reading some of your books and have found them fantastic. I got them off Smashwords and iBooks (btw iBooks only have downloads for your KM1 and KM3 books, not KM2 which is a bit confusing). I think at the end of your stories you need to push for fans to write reviews because that is what I and (I believe) the publishers are looking at before buying; lots of high ratings, great reviews and lots of downloads. Also provide internet links.

  11. Hi Lynette!

    Thank you so much for the feedback. I didn't think about encouraging readers to review at the end of the book. I kinda hound anyone who might be on my facebook page to do so, but it makes sense to tack it on to the end of the e-books too!

    I'm not sure why KM2 isn't up on itunes! The first and third books were delievered there from Smashwords, so I don't know why the second one didn't make it. Maybe it got lost in the loop. I'll see if I can have them redistrubute it.

    Thank you so much for reading. I'm glad that you're enjoying the stories. I'm halfway through my edit of KM4, which is the final one (there is one Adam/Daisy spin-off that I'll be editing soon too).