Showing posts from November, 2009

Carina Digital Publishing

In case anyone took yesterday's post as criticism of Harlequin - this is to redress the balance as I feel this is a company who appears to be doing its best to move with the times and provide opprtunities for new authors, which cannot be a bad thing.

Carina Press, is a new digital publisher dealing in Category Romance, hoping to produce its first titles in Spring 2010. The main differences between them, and Harlequin's traditional publishing, are:

* They don't give advances or DRM, [Digital Rights Management] but authors receive a higher royalty.
* There is no guaranteed series distribution and books are sold direct to the consumer through the website, plus 3rd party distribution on other websites.

You still need to be accepted for publication with Carina, who assist with editing and cover design to produce digital copies of their books. [There are no print runs or PoD] The promotional/marketing aspect are down to the author. They call it 'controlling your own brand' -…

Harlequin Vanity Press

My critique groups are buzzing with the Harlequin Enterprises announcement that they are going into vanity press, where an author pays for everything that a publisher should do for you if your work is accepted.

Harlequin is partnering with Author Solutions, who own other vanity presses eg. iUniverse, AuthorHouse. Vanity publishing isn't new, Random House owns 49% of Xlibris. Amazon owns CreateSpace, and Smashwords is a self publishing company partnered with Barnes and Noble, and keep 20% of an author’s sales.

Horizons charges - sorry 'Packages' are as high as $1,599 – and that doesn’t include editing, marketing, publicity, etc. They send you five author copies, or more depending on how much you pay, and then - not only do they own the ISBN, they also charge 50% of the proceeds of sales of the book you have paid to have published.

It's hardly surprising that the advent of personal computers and the internet have created more authors than ever before, and agents have their …

Unfashionable Writing?

Queen Henrietta Maria
I have been asked to review a new novel for the Historical Novel Review Blog that is about to be published by a UK company. This is a second novel and a sequel to the author's first - an historical family saga. It's a great story, beautifully written and the kind of thing I love reading, and writing. However, I am told that publishers, in particular UK ones, won't accept family sagas, especially historical ones as they are considered 'unfashionable?'

So we are back to the old question, do authors write for the market, or simply what appeals and hope publishers will like it enough to buck the trends?

On a personal level, I have found that publishers often say they like my story/writing style/author voice etc, but still don't feel my novel 'fits with what they are publishing at the moment'.

According to agent blogs I have read lately, publishers are looking for short, [80k to 95k wordcount] romantically centred works. Writers should avoi…

Sailing Away......

I'm feeling somewhat nervous today, and the writing is taking a back seat, due to the fact my daughter has arrived in Mindelo, in the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa to take part in an 'Atlantic Challenge'.

Joining a crew of fifteen on a 65ft yacht, they will sail to Barbados in the South Atlantic. The journey should take two weeks, barring storms, sharks, 45ft waves and pirates, after which she'll spend a week in the Bahamas before flying back to the UK.

An adrenalin-fuelled working holiday in fact, though from what it has cost her, she could have booked a first class cabin on the Queen Mary II and been served margeritas by hot hunks in uniform all the way!

Instead, she chose to sleep in a cramped crew quarters, or on deck if it's hot and do a four-hour-on, four-hours-off watch! Splicing the mainbrace and running up the mainsail isn't my idea of a holiday. But as they say, 'There's 'Nowt so Queer as Folk'

It's That Time Again

My inbox has filled up with messages over the last week from authors announcing that they will be 'unavailable' or in some cases, 'completely out of it', due to their participation in NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writers Month which falls each November. I'm sure I don't have to explain the rules, but authors 'win' the challenge by producing a 50k draft manuscript in 30 days.

I tried it last year, [and won with 60k] because I had an idea in my head and needed a good kick to get me started. There was lots of rewriting to do, which is accepted, but that manuscript is now ready to be submitted.

Fellow Author Emily Bryan has a different take on NaNoWriMo which really made me think. For instance, she says the NaNoWriMo website says:
"Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing." and she asks:
'Why is that a good thing?' Good point, I have never thought to question that statement.

Emily says she prefers to '…

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