Digital Rights

DIGITAL RIGHTS

“Brainstorming on the Beach” Conference with Novelists, Inc.                                                   

lunch2
Lunch Break

Panelists

Lucienne Diver, Literary Agent

Angela James, Executive Editor, Carina Press

Brian O’Leary, Magellan Media Partners

Sue Lange, Book View Café

Barbar Keiler, Author

Chris Kenneally, Copyright Clearance Center

Lou Aronica, Publisher, The Story Plant

J.A. Konrath, Author & Blogger

Here are my notes, keeping in mind this is what I heard and my interpretation.

Lucienne:  Unless you have an audience or a platform, you need a publisher.  And to reach the broadest possible audience, you need a publisher to put your book into the different formats.

Chris:  Digital publishing offers you a chance to experiment with a novella or a short story. 

Google editions may discourage piracy because people won’t share their Google accounts.

Lou doesn’t advice just putting your book up on Amazon.  They don’t put effort into marketing individual books.  Plus with so many formats, going with a publisher is better.

Joe Konrath believes consumers feel less toward digital copies than toward works in print. 

Agency Model: Publisher gets 70%, Amazon gets 30%, publisher sets price.  Out of the publisher’s share, the author may get 25%  and their agent gets 15% of that money.

Barbara:  How will mobile phones affect the art of writing?  Will readers have patience for paragraphs longer than 3 lines?  Will description be tolerated or will it be replaced by a video clip?  Will the Twitter novel become popular?  How about turning off your cell phones on airplanes? Does this mean you can’t read during takeoffs and landings?  People with shorter attention spans will want shorter books.

Brian:  Re contract clauses and reversion of rights and subrights, try for a shorter term, like 3 to 5 years, after which these items are negotiable. 

Publishers have to agree on terms of sale with eReader device providers in order to offer their stock in that format.

“Windowing” is when a hardcover comes out then the eBook comes out xx weeks later.  You have to market the book twice when this happens so it causes the author more work.  This also may happen with books that release in the U.S. market and later in the foreign markets.  You lose sales momentum.

Final Advice:                                                           

Nancy and Denise
Nancy Cohen and Five Star Editor Denise Dietz

Write more good books and write quickly.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the marketing aspects.

Spend time selling your book.  Work it into your calendar.

You don’t need an entire social media strategy.  Start with just one thing.

You can reinvent yourself.  Don’t be frightened by the prospect; be excited by it.

Be transparent for your readers; let them see who you are.

You can find a smaller, devoted audience without a blockbuster mentality.  This can be artistically liberating for writers.

Follow you own path while keeping in mind all your options.

Lunch
Enjoying Lunch
Coming Next: Writing for Worldwide Distribution

Author Interviews

I’m interviewed at several new sites this week  if you’d like to check them out:

Coffee Time Romance: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/Interviews/NancyCohen.html

Kate Hill’s Blog:  http://kate-hill.com/blog/?p=528

Vampire Books:  http://www.vampirebooks.ca/authorinterviews/nancycohen.html

Roses of Prose: http://bit.ly/9AQNzl

And every other Wednesday, I post at Kill Zone Authors.  My blog topic this week is Technology and You:  http://bit.ly/budtaX

Also, I’d like to remind you to sign up for my quarterly  email newsletter to receive breaking news about book sales, contest bonus awards, and more.  Go to https://nancyjcohen.com and fill out the opt-in form in the sidebar.

KAREN HAWKINS SPEAKS

NY Times bestselling author Karen Hawkins offered her advice this morning at the Florida Romance Writers meeting. Here are some of the guidelines she offered based on what she’s learned through the years as a professional writer.                           

  1. Don’t ignore the market unless you’re willing to wait for the market to swing around to what you want to write.  Write what you love and love the market, but stay true to your voice.  Find out where your voice will fit in the current marketplace.
  2. Don’t write for one editor. Write for the genre. Be broad enough so that your work has appeal.  (i.e. If you write to one editor’s tastes and she rejects your work, then where does that leave you?)
  3. Start a self-editing checklist.  If you’re hearing the same things over and over from contest feedback and critique partners, it’s time for you to listen.
  4. Treat writing as a business in terms of keeping ledgers, records of expenses, estimated tax payments, etc.
  5. You need at least four books in the same genre for readers to find you.  Don’t genre jump or jump on the new trend.  Every book you write should offer what readers expect from your brand.
  6. Be assertive. Stand up for yourself or get an agent who will do it for you. Don’t sell yourself short. There’s a lot more out there to ask for if you try.

We can learn from the mistakes other multi-published authors have made and the lessons they’ve learned, because we’ve all been down the same road at one time or another.

CONTEST

Only three more days to enter my May Madness contest!  

PRIZE: A free signed copy of one of my books, your choice of romance or mystery.

To enter the contest, please send an email to contest@nancyjcohen.com

 In the Subject line, put Contest

In the Body of the message, put the following:

 Your first and last name

Your email address

And the answer to this question:  

 Who does Silver intend to kill on Al’ron? 

Answers can be found in the excerpt on my website at http://bit.ly/9Yk8nI or on the Romance Books page at https://nancyjcohen.com

PRIZE: A free signed copy of one of my books, your choice of romance or mystery.

Bonus Drawing for Newsletter and Blog Subscribers: A blue gemstone necklace with a silver-toned chain.  (Open to U.S. Residents Only Due To Postage Constraints).  

Contest ends on June 13, 2010.  Three more days so enter now!  Winner will be announced on my website and blog the week of June 14. 

ONE ENTRY PER PERSON, please. 

FOR MORE CHANCES TO WIN A GREAT PRIZE of signed books by the Book Belles, VISIT http://www.thebookbelles.com

AUTHOR SANDRA SOOKOO

Interview with Author Sandra Sookoo     

Sandra is a writer of romantic fiction.  Her portfolio includes historical, contemporary, and paranormal romances and she loves to blend genres and spice them up and often times will add humor as well.    

After catching the writing bug at the young age of ten, she’s gone on to grow her unique writing style.  She’s a regular contributor for the Paranormal Romantic’s blog and blogs bi-monthly with a great group of women at Embrace the Shadows.

When not immersed in creating new worlds and interesting characters, Sandra likes to read, bake and travel.  Her favorite place to spend vacation hours is Walt Disney World.  It’s where dreams come true, and that suits her just fine.

Writing is her ultimate dream job.

                                     

TELL US ABOUT YOUR LATEST BOOK.

 My latest book is my first (and probably only) mystery, LOL. Why my only one? Because I really confused the heck out of myself while writing it, and it took a while to unravel. But it was great fun to write. It’s a “locked house” mystery where all the suspects are already there.

Here’s the blurb:

Dancing may be hard…but no one expected it to be murder.

When sexy tap dancer Abigail Carlton, a.k.a. Ruby Slippers, is found dead and arranged in an artistic fashion on her coffee table, it’s up to Special Agent Quentin Banks to solve her murder.

But nothing is ever as it seems. Not only is Quentin a FBI career man, he doubles as an officer for the Institute of Magical Instruction…and the dancer’s death has supernatural energy written all over it.

Quentin must find who murdered Abigail, and he only has 24 hours to do it before his superiors take over his case.

Book video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9K4AH-IKBU

Buy link: http://www.lyricalpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_25&products_id=154

WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN THIS GENRE?

 I’ve always been interested in mysteries. My bookshelves are full of cozy who-dunnits. One day I decided to try my hand at writing one, and while I had fun writing, trying to keep all the balls in the air while holding onto a story line, adding tension, etc., was a bit stressful. So, while I had a follow-up book planned, I’m not sure I’ll finish it. Of course, knowing me, that bug will come back to bite and I’ll be gripped by mystery writing again. LOL.

WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH DO YOU DO?

 Not a whole lot for this book. It ties into my Holiday Magic series (the first three books out now with Lyrical Press) so I already had a good handle on the magical side of the book. The rest was getting the characters down and motivation. After that, it pretty much fell into place.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO GET PUBLISHED?

 With this book, a few months; however, the edits took several weeks because of the details surrounding the mystery and set-up. Thank goodness for my super awesome editor (Steph Syzmanski) for her knowledge and insight into the crime solving world. Without her guidance, this book would have been one hot mess. LOL. I have a huge amount of respect for authors who write in this genre all the time. How do you keep the facts straight?

WHAT IS YOUR WRITING ROUTINE?

 On a good writing day, I’ll usually begin writing around one in the afternoon. Sometimes, I’ll be gripped by an idea and will start work earlier. Most times, I use the morning hours to do promo work or busy work (filling out forms, etc). Of course, all this is subject to change depending on my personal schedule.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NEXT?

 At the moment, I’m working on two books. The first is a historical romance set in 1900 Indiana. The second is a fantasy romance (which is a new genre for me).

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU OFFER TO ASPIRING WRITERS?

 Always write. Write something everyday and don’t worry about the rules. You will learn the craft best by writing. And don’t ever give up no matter the negative you’ll come across.

IF YOU HAD A SECRET SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

 I would love to be able to tell if people were telling the truth when they talked.

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION SITE?

 Hands down, Walt Disney World. The hubby and I try to go every year for our anniversary instead of giving each other gifts.

WHERE CAN WE FIND MORE DETAILS ABOUT YOU AND YOUR BOOKS?

 My website: http://www.sandrasookoo.com

I’m also on Facebook and Twitter. Links to both of these sites are on the front page of my website along with blog sites I participate in and a recipe of the month.

Thank you for having me on your blog today. As a special gift, I am offering a prize pak to a lucky commenter. Please remember to leave your email address with your comment. Winner will be drawn the following morning.

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FRW CRUISE CONFERENCE

FLORIDA ROMANCE WRITERS FUN IN THE SUN CONFERENCE ABOARD A CARNIVAL CRUISE SHIP!  

The Florida Romance Writers are proud to present              

Independence of the Seas
Independence of the Seas

Heather Graham, Joan Johnston and Sally Schoeneweiss
as the keynote speakers for the 2011 Fun in the Sun Conference.

Join us and Cruise with your Muse January 20th-24th, 2011
on-board the Carnival Destiny
Departs from Miami, Fl.
Ports-of-Call: Key West, Fl. & Cozumel, Mexico

Confirmed Agents and Editors are:
Wanda Ottewell- Harlequin,
Erica Tsang- Avon,
Lucienne Diver- The Knight Agency, and
Lucy Childs- Aaron M. Priest Literary Agency.

Current pricing valid thru June 15th, 2010, register today!               

Other Highlights include:
A sampling of events and workshops is available on our website at:
http://frwfuninthesunworkshops.blogspot.com/
* Sizzling Workshops
* Floridian Idol, Season 4
* Shipboard Entertainment
* Panoramic Ocean Views

Conference with FRW on our 25th Anniversary!
We promise to make it an amazing experience!

Space is limited, so don’t delay. Reserve your spot and get those passports ready.

For more information visit our website at http://frwfuninthesunmain.blogspot.com/

Passport is required!

You can also find us on Facebook @ FRW Cruise With Your Muse
http://www.facebook .com/group. php?gid=33410248 0558#!/group.php? v=wall&gid= 334102480558

We look forward to seeing you in January,
Kimberly Burke
Conference Coordinator
Email: FRWfuninthesun@yahoo.com

MOONLIGHT RHAPSODY

MOONLIGHT RHAPSODY is now available in digital format from Belgrave House.

I love the cover!  The colors are perfect and so is the couple.Moonlight Rhapsody

This story is book number two in my Light-Years futuristic series.

What is this paranormal romance about?

Disguised as a trader, Lord Rolf Cam’brii goes to the slave planet Souk on a secret mission to establish contact with the resistance. But his ship crashes during a storm and he’s taken prisoner. Maintaining his cover, he’s thrown into a slave labor camp where he catches the eye of the beautiful human female overseer, Ilyssa.

Ilyssa sees in him the chance to obtain her freedom. She possesses the gift of siren song wherein any male who hears her sing becomes mindwashed. The pasha Ruel uses her to tame his enemies, and he holds her parents hostage against her cooperation. She pleads with Rolf, a pilot, to help her. Entranced by her beauty and charm, he agrees, and they begin a trek to freedom. It’s a journey frought with perils, not in the least of which is their forbidden passion for each other. Ilyssa’s gift comes with a curse, and to follow her heart means to lose her lifelong dream.

The original edition of this book, published by Dorchester, was featured as a prop in the movie, View From The Top, starring Gwyneth Paltrow.  How cool is that?

 

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PUBLISHING TRENDS: ANGELS

A recent article (http://tinyurl.com/yghvnku) implies Angels are the next great thing in publishing. After vampires and werewolves come zombies, but zombies play better as evil beings. Hence the next bad boy hero: an angel who’s done something so bad he gets kicked out of heaven. What could be more appealing as a romantic hero than a man with a sullied reputation who seeks redemption? He’s dangerous, driven, and supernatural. Only the power of our heroine’s love can save him. Consider this theme as another variation on the Beauty and the Beast archetype. The alpha hero rules again, only this time he’s bigger than life, bad, and yet yearning for a second chance. Get ready: A new flood of fallen angel stories are about to descend into our literary arms.

angel
angel

The Fallen Angel can also be a villain, like in the Cotten Stone thrillers by Joe Moore and Lynn Sholes. (http://www.cottenstone.com) More fallen angels will be showing up in theaters and books as the trend takes off.

Who decides these trends? Is it based on reader demand? Popular movies? Do editors decide what’s coming next? Or do authors take up the slack and start submitting a slew of stories with this theme? They will now, once the pronouncement about the Next Best Thing in Publishing makes the rounds. If you were tired of vampires before, prepare for an onslaught of angels. But wait….they don’t all have to feature dark heroes. We can have comedic ones who are sent to Earth with a mission. Well-meaning guardian angels. Angels who have screwed up but are good at heart, who’ve been returned to life to make up for their mistakes. Better reserve that pair of wings for Halloween already.

What’s next? I’m waiting for a surge of mythological super beings. You know, the ancient gods from Greek, Roman, and Norse legends. My paranormal romance series is based on Norse mythology. Any publishers out there listening?

Today it’s vampires. Tomorrow, it’s angels. What’s next?

Do YOU believe in angels? If so, which kind: Guardian, Fallen, or the Heavenly halo type?

BOOK REVIEWS

Do you keep track of the books you read? Some readers maintain elaborate spreadsheets or use software programs to catalogue their collection. I prefer to write a brief blurb on each story and to list the books I read on a monthly basis. Since I haven’t shared these with you in a while, here are the last two months of books that have kept me hooked. I’ve thrown in a film review for your pleasure.

TEMPLE OF THE WINDS by Terry Goodkind (Fantasy)

This is the fourth installment in Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. I got hooked by watching Legend of the Seeker on TV and now I can’t put the books down. As in the other volumes, a love story propels the plot, which features woodsman Richard Cipher, now known as Lord Rahl and a wizard in his own right. His powers are tested as a plague sweeps the land, decimating his people and his army. Dark magic started the disease, and only magic can stop it, but at a terrible cost to both Richard and his lady love, Kahlan the Mother Confessor. The evil Emperor Jagang is determined to defeat them. Between him and Richard’s former nemesis Darken Rahl, they force Richard and Kahlan to pay a terrible price to save their people.

THE PROPHET OF YONWOOD by Jeanne DuPrau (YA Fantasy)

Eleven year old Nickie comes to Yonwood with her aunt to sell her late great grandfather’s house. The town is in an uproar after a citizen predicts the end of the world. To save themselves, the townsfolk follow the dictates of righteous Mrs. Beeson who seeks out evil like an incarnation of a Salem witch hunter. This is the third volume in DuPrau’s Book of Ember series, but unlike the other two, it takes place before the cataclysm that destroyed civilization as we know it. Although this story deploys the author’s theme about people’s intolerance of anyone who is different, I didn’t enjoy this story as much as the first two books. The City of Ember was wonderful, with imaginative world building and engaging characters. Like Legend of the Seeker, the film City of Ember hooked me on the series. The People of Sparks, the second book, shows how conflict can build between two groups who don’t understand each other. The Prophet of Yonwood introduces this same idea about intolerance but the lesson is almost too obvious to be appealing anymore.

SHERLOCK HOLMES (Film).

Robert Downey Jr. is good in the lead role, and all the other actors are convincible as well. The period sets are very atmospheric. The villain is so evil you don’t know how Holmes will stop him, and as a detective, Holmes’s deductive reasoning is logical if a bit hard to follow. I enjoyed Holmes and Watson being more action oriented in this film. It’s gritty and dark, giving a realistic view of the era, but satisfying in its climactic resolution. You’ll want to see it again to follow the clues.

KINDRED SPIRITS by Allison Lane (Regency romance)

Colonel Jack Caldwell is plagued by nightmares after cashing in his commission and retiring to his country estate. But peace is out of reach when he meets neighbor Marianne Barnett. Marianne, an orphan, is a victim of her guardian’s greed. The man will stop at nothing to acquire her inheritance. Since she’s about to come of age, he takes drastic steps to ensure control, playing on Marianne’s fears and memory lapses from a horrific event in her past. He doesn’t count on interference from Jack, who proposes a solution. Jack marries Marianne and together they forge a tentative bond while attempting to free themselves of the emotional shackles binding them. Their histories must come to light before they can move forward and find true happiness.

LARCENY AND LACE by Annette Blair (mystery)

Vintage clothing shop owner Madeira Cutler has enough to contend with before the grand opening of her store, but finding some old bones leads her to a long ago murder. The killer is still alive, however, and determined that Maddie doesn’t get a clue about what happened. With the help of her psychic abilities and a resident ghost, she follows the threads, weaves the clues together, and gets to the cut of the crime. Cleverly magical.

THE LADY AND THE CIT by Blair Bancroft (Regency romance)

Wealthy landowner Aurelia Trevor seeks a husband who can manage her estate and get rid of her cunning uncle and his son who covet her lands before she reaches her majority. When she meets London financier Thomas Lanning, she decides he’ll suit her needs. Surprisingly, he accepts her proposition, while guarding his own agenda. He doesn’t count on his quiet wife growing into a force of her own, nor does she realize there’s more to life than her small country world. Soon their life is turned topsy turvy as more family members descend on the newlyweds and Thomas aims for a political seat. Will Aurelia support him, or will she turn him out? Despite Thomas’s apparent aloofness, he isn’t immune to his wife’s charms and soon wants a lot more from their marriage than her dutiful support.

JEWEL OF ATLANTIS by Gena Showalter (paranormal romance)

Grayson James has been sent to Atlantis to recover the famed Jewel of Dunamis. Attacked by various beasts, he accepts aid from a mysterious woman named Jewel. Gradually, he realizes she is more than she seems, but by then she’s stolen his heart. How can they ever be together when their worlds are so different? If Jewel crosses into his domain, she might die. But neither can he leave his people behind. Is there any way for them to be together?

KENSINGTON’S SOUL by Faith V. Smith (paranormal romance)

Detective by day and vampire by night, Zachary Kensington rescues Dr. Miranda James when she is attacked by a couple of thugs. Doomed to spend eternity in his unwanted immortal form, he battles against the evil vamp Gabriella who turned him. When he falls for Miranda, can he keep Gabriella away from his love, or will she become the next victim? Savannah is the charming setting for this tale of passion and redemption that will have you cheering for Zach to achieve his heart’s desire.