Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Changes to Amazon's Publishing Program

Well, if you live in the self publishing world at all then you've probably heard about the changes KDP is making in regards to how authors enrolled in the select program will make money. Now it's based on pages read---this could be a good thing, could be a bad thing. I'm never very good at explaining royalties so I'm going to refer you to one of my fave blog sites on book marketing. I saw this woman, Penny Sansevieri, lecture last year at a writing conference. She rocks! Check out her views on this latest change!

The New Changes to Kindle Unlimited


Monday, July 6, 2015

RWA 2015~New York!!

I attended RWA 2014 last year in San Antonio and loved it!

Unfortunately, I won't be attending this year's conference in New York. The ever dreaded finances have gotten in my way. Am I depressed about it? You bet! I think RWA is one of the best conferences you can attend if you are a romance writer.

What is RWA? It stands for Romance Writers of America and is pretty big deal to be a part of. You have to have met certain criteria in order to be considered for membership, as well as, pay the membership dues. They have two levels: PRO and PAN and each forum for those groups is a great way to find a wealth of information about romance and the publishing world.

When I attended last year, I met writers from all walks of life and who write in all genres of romance. They had great workshops that also covered different styles of writing! One of my favorite parts was attending the book signings. It was a chance to get up close and personal with some of the biggest names in the world of romance today! Not to mention all the awesome free books get as well...

Speaking of those books, I made sure to grab the ones that were nominated for RITAs. I have enjoyed reading them this past year and getting a feel for what counts as award winning material in the world of RWA. Reading them inspired me to tighten up my own work and to delve more deeply into my material.

Another great thing about the RWA conference? It's a great place to meet agents and editors. However, if you've ever been curious about the small press or wanted to dip a toe in the world of self publishing, this conference provided a lot of insight into both.

So yeah...I'm bummed about not going to New York for RWA 2015, but hey...there's always next year! I'm already saving up for RWA 2016 in San Diego!


P.S. The The TAMING OF THE PRUDEis free all this week at Amazon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Need a quickie? Ravishing Rosaline is free...

Ravishing Rosaline is free this week at Amazon! Yay!

So much happened before Romeo met Juliet... 

Ravishing Rosaline...Romeo's first love or so the story of Romeo and Juliet tells us. But who was she really? In this sizzling erotic tale, we are invited in to Rosaline's world--a place where women are expected to be chaste and submissive. But Rosaline isn't like that. Her pleasures know no bounds, her need for revenge against a former lover consumes her. She will do whatever it takes to get her desires met--even if it means taking Romeo away from Juliet. 

Once again, Esmae Browder delivers a modern day prequel to one of Shakespeare's most timeless romances.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

How To Market the Heck Out of Your First Book--Without Expiring!

This is actually a repeat post. I decided to re-post it because I've been seeing a lot of chatter from writers about how hard it is to be in the business of writing. I agree that it is more difficult than it was even ten years ago. Publishing has changed so much and so have the demands of the marketing department. We simply can't sit back and expect that some other person is going to do the work for us! Check out this article for some great tips on marketing your book!---Mary Ann

How to Market the Heck Out of Your First Book--Without Expiring
Kathryn Jones

                Burned out?

                Many of us are, especially when it comes to marketing our first book, and I'm not counting the craziness of wondering where to start in the first place.
                But since I've suggested it, let's start there.
                Here's a long but sweet list of places/ways to market:
                1. Reviews
                2. Interviews
                3. Blogs
                4. Social Media
                5. Postcards
                6. Speaking Engagements
                7. Online Advertising
                8. Book Trailers
                9. Book Signings
                10. Contests
                Burned out yet? Just reading the list may do that to you. But I want you to notice something. Almost all of these ideas are online ways of marketing. And that's good. Why is that good?
                FREE. Don't you love the word FREE?
                Consider all of the money you'll be saving by plugging in an idea or two and running with it. Now, pay attention. I did not say you have to do all of these ideas at the same time, or that you had to do all of the ideas above, just that this was a list I was creating for you to look at.
                So why the list, you ask?
                Sure beats trying to figure out where to start. Now with that said, I want you to look over the list again. Pay special attention to the top two ideas.
                will get the word out about your book without too much work on your end. A search for reviewers need no longer difficult either. Consider all of the bloggers who read and who would love a free copy of your book so that they might review it. Sold. Think about all of the reviewers who will review a PDF copy of your book over a paperback copy. Even better. And think about this link:
                Interviews include blog interviews and blog radio interviews. Both of these come free to you and take very little of your time once you have them lined up.
                Blog interviews: Blog owner sends you a writer's questionnaire. Just fill it out and return it along with your author photo and book cover. The blog owner will do the rest.
                Try: http://www.4writersandreaders.com
                Blog radio interviews: Same as above, only you are recorded via blog radio. The host may send you a list of questions beforehand, or he/she may just schedule a day. The radio interview will be live or recorded.
                Try: http://www.wnbetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow.html
                Once you have a handle on Reviews and Interviews, go down the list. See what additional two you'd like to add to your marketing plan. For example, consider the ease with which you can talk to others about your books if you also have a postcard in hand to give them when they ask about it.
                Postcards are wonderful things. Consider how often you are at the grocery story, the bank, the doctor's office, just standing around waiting for someone or something. I get my postcards through Vista Print online. On one side of the card is printed my book cover. On the back? Information about me and about my book including my website, my email, my book's synopsis and my social media links.

                If the first two prospects, getting reviews of your book and obtaining interviews, scares you about as much as hanging off of the Eiffel Tower, start here. Get 500 cards made up and talk your book up.
                But don't make that your only task. I sometimes get burned out when I forget to balance my marketing with my writing. That means I don't market more than I write, and I don't write more than I market. Even then, I sometimes get burned out, but that's because I've forgotten that life is more than writing and marketing.
                And so I take a break.
                It's amazing what I can do with a fresh mind.

Kathryn Jones is a writer, publisher, and marketer. She loves to weed the garden, take early morning walks, and speak to fans about her books. She is currently, with the help of her genius husband, renovating her newly purchased home. She is a reader of the works of C.S. Lewis, whether it be fiction or nonfiction and is open to connecting with writers and readers alike.

·         http://www.ideacreationspress.com
·         http://www.twitter.com/kakido
·         http://www.facebook.com/kathrynelizabethjones.author



Friday, June 19, 2015

Kindle Scout and Erotic Fiction: Not a Perfect Marriage

Like many authors, I'm intrigued by the idea of the new KindleScout program. I've been watching it closely, paying attention to what other writers are saying about it on the RWA threads, and had come to the conclusion that it might be worth a try.

So I read the fine print, followed the instructions, came up with a cover, (see example) and uploaded my manuscript...only to have it rejected for the content. The eligibility guidelines indicate that they do not take manuscripts with excessive profanity, racial slurs, or sexual content that may be considered graphic or too offensive to others.

Hmm....okay, I went back to the drawing board and cut out all dirty sex words referring to male or female body parts beginning with the letter C. I figured that might help the content machine.

Nope. Still rejected. Same reason.

So I went back again and edited all the curse words which started with F, Sh, or started with an A and ended with the word hole. Actually, there were quite a few of those words. Excessive. Alright. I could see that.

Nope. Still rejected. Kept on trying.

Finally, after several more tries, Amazon sends me a letter saying that I've submitted a bunch of times, blah, blah, blah,...I email them back, trying to find out exactly what the problem is. Tell me what needs fixin', people! You do take erotic material, right? It's listed as a subgenre on your KindleScout site.

Received an email back saying they can't give me any exact information. And yes, they do take erotic fiction. Have a nice day.

At this point, I'm kind of done. Something in my work is too racy, but since they can't provide any real clue as to what it is, it seems sort of pointless to keep trying. I can only assume it has something to do with the sex scenes. However, since the story is an erotic fiction, it's not like I can cut them out!

So here's my word of advice: Be careful about submitting a story with sex in it to KindleScout. Apparently, they are really afraid of offending their readers! Like, really afraid....

Visit me at Esmae Browder Website

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bayou Scar free on Amazon June 18-22

I love to be able to offer free things to readers! So when it comes to Bayou Scar, I'm doing it! For the next five days, the second book in the Bayou Myth series will be available for your Kindle for free. I've had several fans ask me when the third book is coming out. Well...let's just say the hope is that it will be available for you as a Christmas present!

By the way, I love reviews--good or bad. Even the bad ones can help you grow as writer! So if you choose to take advantage of this free offer, would you be so kind as to leave me a review? Don't feel comfortable doing that? Feel free to drop me a note at my email address: maryannloesch374@gmail.com. Be sure and drop by my website to see what else has been going on in my world!


Being a teenage voodoo queen is never easy, especially when your heart is broken, a bossy arch nemesis lives in your house, and your psychic freakiness is suddenly the coolest thing in your high school.  Though she’s tried to clean up the tainted artifacts left over from the Fates Potion, Joan Renault’s mind has been on other things—namely the voodoo priestess trapped on the astral plain who is plotting revenge against her.

But the moment Joan Renault holds the Apple of Discord in her hand, its power ripples through her life like a poison. The least of Joan's worries should be some silly apple her nominee for the Winter Court Ball will have to carry but this is more than some symbol of high school pageantry. It’s poisonous. Toxic. And it just might kill the people Joan loves.

When the voodoo god, Baron Samedi, approaches her with a tempting offer that could put right all the things that have gone wrong, Joan must decide what’s more important: fixing the past or moving into an uncertain future filled with voodoo and witchcraft.

This is Book 2 in the Bayou Myth series. Haven’t read Book 1? Get your copy of Bayou Myth today!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Fade to Black or Explicit Sex? How do you know what to write in a novel?

I often get asked if sex scenes are necessary in a romance novel.

It's a valid question.

After all, if you look at some of the erotic fiction or romance books out there, it does seem that the sex scene can at times be a mite gratuitous. Why can't we have the sweetheart romance without knowing every intimate detail of what is occurring in our heroine's bedroom? Why does it matter that his member filled her with rapturous joy or that her bosom heaved with desire? Do we have to know what all of their "parts" are doing when the moment of climax arrives?


I think it depends on the reader and what they desire. Romance can be defined as many different things. To some, it's the thrill of the first date, the wind in his hair as he looks deeply into her eyes, the scent of lilacs surrounding them as she laughs at his jokes. For others, it's the desire to satisfy primal needs and enjoy the steamy passion of others if we can't create our own.

Sex scenes can also be tricky things to write. Some authors tease us with lots of build up and then leave it all to the imagination with a nice "fade to black" scene. Others go all the way--every steamy detail is out there to be examined.

As for myself, I've done both. I like a good tease where you get your reader riled up, but don't necessarily give them all the details. However, there are times when I think that technique can backfire. If your book is classified as a romance and the reader is expecting a hot read which doesn't "climax" in the bedroom, you can face some critical backlash. I've read plenty of books that were good, but would have been spicier if the sex had been a shade hotter or the sex is missing from the book. I would be wary of fading to black with every intimate scene in your manuscript. It gets boring after awhile.

If you aren't a fade to black writer and like to write juicy scenes where the sex is explicit, good for you! My advice to you is to write as if your mother is not looking over your shoulder. Mothers have a wonderful way of getting into our heads at all the wrong times. Nothing is worse than writing about masturbation and then hearing your mother's voice telling you that you are doing it wrong! Get rid of Momma and be brave, bold, and purposeful.

So how do you know if you've written a sex scene that is gratuitous?

If it the sex scene doesn't change something about the relationship of your couple or affect the plot in some way, it's gratuitous. Sex is a writing tool like anything else in a novel. It often changes the dynamic of the story. Sex in a book can be intimate,  causing some revelation of love or heartbreak from a character. It can also be unwanted which adds a new level of stress or unhappiness. Sex scenes can develop a character, taking them from shy, blushing flower to smoldering temptress. Again, the point is that whenever there is a sex scene, it should further the relationship or the plot. If it doesn't, it's an unnecessary scene.

Wow. I'm starting to feel a bit warm myself. I think I hear my latest character calling me. I left her deep in the throes of desire and have to decide what to do next. Fade to black? Detailed scene? Oh dear. I think I hear my mother calling, too....

Happy writing!