Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Writers' Wednesday: Highlights from the February Writer's Digest

Hey, writers! Writer's Digest is a fantastic magazine resource for all authors, aspiring and best-selling, in all genres. Here's a rundown of the articles in the February 2014 issue, which arrived in my mailbox yesterday:

"Sizing up Small Presses" talks about the advantages of signing with a small press rather than a bigger, more traditional publisher. Among those advantages are closer communication with all staff at the press, including your editor, your cover artist, and many times even the owner of the press itself. (I can vouch for this one)

"What Writers Need to Know about the E-book Market" is an interesting read about how e-books have changed book distribution, marketing, pricing, contracts, and author-agent relationships. (I can vouch for this one too.) The fact that e-books are wildly popular, cheap, available at your fingertips in the stroke of a key or two, and easily produced by almost anyone, has both advantages and disadvantages for the market - but it's definitely changed how authors can get their stories into the hands of readers. One thing for writers to keep in mind: if you're looking for an agent to represent you in the e-book market, do your research carefully. Some agents are much more comfortable, experienced, and savvy that others in the e-book world.

Finally, "Best of Both Worlds" discusses the possibility of being a "hybrid" author; that is, publishing some stories in traditional channels and publishing others on your own. Indie publishing gives authors much more control over the whole product, from production to pricing, while it also incurs more risk and financial investment. Traditional publishing assumes that risk and can often put books in front of a wider audience of readers (especially in brick-and-mortar bookstores) but can dig in its heels when it comes to non-traditional titles, genres, or lengths. It also takes A LOT LONGER to publish a story through traditional channels. So why not do both? It's definitely something I've been thinking about over the last few weeks.

Check out more writing info, or get your own subscription, over at the Writer's Digest website. Happy writing!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Monday Mentionable: Kensington Acquires Lyrical Press....Meaning What, Exactly?

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and ate and drank appropriate amounts of holiday food while laughing with friends and family. Can you believe it's 2014? Well, two days into this new year, I got some interesting news from the publisher of my recent novel, Beacon of Love. Lyrical Press was acquired by Kensington, a well-known, well-established New York publishing house. (Here's the full press release.) Why? Well, advantages to Kensington would seem to be a backlist of 200+ romance titles and authors, as well a Managing Director who's spent the last 7 years running a digital press. I think New York houses are finally coming around and realizing the potential of the e-book market. The advantages for Lyrical are the chance for some of its staff and authors to join a larger publishing company which has wide-spread, well-established resources for sales and marketing.

What does this mean in the big picture? All Lyrical authors have the option to sign a new contract with Kensington, putting our previously-released books into Kensington sales channels. Lyrical will remain a romance imprint under Kensington, releasing new works digitally and longer (full-length, at least 60K words) works in Print-on-Demand as well. Royalties are competitive with other digital presses, as far as I can tell. Or authors can choose not to sign, and to keep our rights to those books published with Lyrical - we could perhaps contract them with other publishers or potentially publish them ourselves.

What does this mean for me personally? As of right now, Beacon of Love is no longer currently for sale. If I sign with Kensington, it will be re-released within the next few months. This also means, however, that until I decide what I'm doing with Beacon of Love, I won't be publishing Inferno of Love this month, as I had originally intended. (I'm sorry, I'm sorry....I know some of you were waiting for it!). Don't worry - it WILL come out, I promise! And I'll keep you posted on both stories and where you can find them in the next few months.

Tentatively, I can say that I'm excited about this chance to sign with a New York publishing house. While I enjoyed indie publishing The Promise of Paradise, and will probably indie publish again in the future, it's hard work to do so, folks - especially when I have a full-time teaching job that consumes my days as well. And to be honest, being able to say that I'm a Kensington/ New York author is a big feather in my cap, one I've been dreaming of since I first started this publishing journey.

I'll keep you posted every step of the way. I have to say, it's been a pretty exciting start to 2014 so far!