Showing posts from March, 2011

How Vampires Killed Publishing

You know me. If I can possibly blame anything on vampires—from the Russian Revolution to the current price of gas—I will. So here’s my theory about why publishing houses are crumbling, book stores are closing, and tens of thousands of writers are wondering how they are going to feed their families this year. It has absolutely no basis in fact, so please don’t look for one. From : Editor @ Bigass Publishing To : Pathetic Writer @ Nowheresville Subject : Sorry, Charlie Dear Pathetic, I’m afraid I have bad news. Despite the fact that your last two coming- of- age novels set in Small Town, USA, have received excellent reviews and done reasonably well for their genre, and even though your new proposal about a young nun who is struck blind and receives the gift of healing while on an archealogical dig in Syria does have a certain appeal, I’m afraid we will not be offering another contract at this point. The consensus of the editorial committee is that, while your writing is lyrical,

It's March, and I'm reading...

Patrick Taylor’s An Irish Country Courtship , of course! There is something about these Irish Country books that, for me, define the word “cozy”, although I’m quite sure that in terms of genre they are not categorized that way. They transport me to a quiet and peaceful world, where folks tend to meander rather than stride, where the problems are real but manageable, and where no one ever, ever texts. This is a world I want to live in. But because I can’t, I look forward once or twice a year to visiting there. As I look back over my reading life I realize that my love affair with peaceful, orderly worlds is decades old. I discovered the novels of Georgette Heyer when I was a teenager and devoured every one, pulling them off the library shelves like they were candy waiting to be unwrapped. Of course I realize that these books were technically Regency romances, but they were at heart stories about a kinder, gentler world where the rules of society were clearly understood and observed

The Worst Book EVER

You know I rarely give bad reviews. I respect the work of the author—however misled he/she might have been—too much to publicly defile it. I know what it takes to write 70,000 words. I know they can’t all be jewels. But O.M.G. I have just read the worst book ever written… And it was mine. The heroine was so stupid I wanted to slap her. Get a life, already! Are you supposed to be real, or did you just step out of a Marvel comic? Ever heard of a little thing called backbone?? Grow a set, already! The hero at least had two dimensions: flat, and flatter. Excuse me, even actors need motivation. Do you have any background whatsoever or did you spring full grown, Glock in hand, from the mind of a singularly demented writer? Are we supposed to believe that dialogue? Give me a break! And the plot! Don’t get me started. First of all, can we say Paranoid Delusional? And pul-eeze, it’s the freakin’ 21st century. Ever heard of a little thing called CSI? Not that hard to solve a crime, cupca

The Great E-Book Experiment: Conclusions

Well, this has been a fascinating few days. I thought the learning curve was high when I first began to tackle the process of formatting, uploading and designing covers for my e-book backlist, but I hadn't even scratched the surface.  In the past 72 hours I have written nothing, created nothing, accomplished nothing.  I have been down the rabbit hole and back.  I have read hundreds of thousands of words (ok-- maybe only tens of thousands) of blog and forum entries and posted comments on most of them. My quiet, calm, essentially secluded  writerly world has been invaded by dozens of internet personalities I don't even know.  I have an agent waiting for a proposal, a book I need to edit, and I can't seem to drag myself away from the internet long enough to do either.  I am about ready to start ravng like Charlie Sheen.     BUT... I have learned something. 1) I hate The Social Network, don't want to be a part of The Social Network, could care less what The Social Netwo

The Great E-Book Experiment: Results

This month marks the one- year anniversary of my Great E-book Publishing Experiment. With 11titles now live on Kindle and 5 live on all other platforms via Smashwords , I am here to report the results. Here’s a hint: they are somewhat less than spectacular. Background: around this time last year I became intrigued by the success of authors such as Joe Konrath who had begun making their backlist and original titles available on’s Kindle platform, and whose staggering monetary rewards far outshone any print deal offered them (or me!) by traditional publishers. One of my own print publishers had offered one of my titles for free on Kindle over the 3 day Christmas holiday and over 60,000 copies were downloaded (more importantly, my spring royalty check was 5 times higher than it had ever been before) Even more surprising to me was the fact that many of the most successful Kindle authors were completely self-published, with no previous New York publisher to give them a pla