Monday, May 16, 2016

News Update: Publishers, Rights Reversions, and Upcoming Releases by Karyn Gerrard @KarynGerrard #Romance

Wow, have sales taken a tumble in 2016. And in investigating I am relieved its not just me, though I feel for everyone in the same boat. I have to accept some hard truths these last months, and just when I was mentally preparing myself for turning this writing thing back into a part-time hobby, an opportunity has come up. If it all comes to pass (and I'm not holding my breath because...'the glass is half-empty' is just how I roll when it comes to writing) I will have enough to keep me busy.

Meanwhile, I am in the process of getting rights back on several older (and more erotic) releases. So, how is that going?

Finally after three years, I was able to ask for THE WICKED BAD back from Crimson Romance. I will admit here (and no reflection on the current Ex. Editor and team) but the edit was horrible! And it figures it became one of my best selling books. It was even chosen for a limited run trade paperback experiment with three other CR books. In hindsight, I should have passed. But the opportunity stroked my writer's ego. A book! On a shelf in Barnes and Noble! Okay, it didn't really sell, but still!
Needless to say without getting into too much regarding contracts, I will have to wait some months. If and when I do get it back, it needs major reworking. As for the second book, His Wicked Celtic Kiss? It maybe a year or more before I can request that one. So, the series is on hold for a while as yet. I really do want to continue. The third book is written. I am planning a novella (2.5) and revisions are on-going. I learned a lesson. When starting a series, have a clear plan to the finish line. I didn't with The Wicked Men of Rockland. Apologies to readers for the delay.

Knight of Christmas: Next month I can send a reversion request to Ellora's Cave for my one and only book with them. I want so much to just wipe my hands of this publisher and walk away. I've only been paid for royalties up to June 2015. Yes, they are almost a year behind. After the request, I have to wait another six months before rights are granted. So no release this Xmas for the book. Besides, it needs work. Listen up authors, stay away from EC.

My Evernight Publishing books: Five year contracts, there is one I can ask for this fall. Just a reminder that my older releases are more erotic. I don't write it any more.

My Decadent Publishing books: Slowly returning. By the end of this year all but one will be returned to me. That one was co-written and has a five year contract. Also, The audio rights to The Governess and the Beast are still in the publisher's hands. Another decision I wish I had passed on.

But, I am slowly revising these books and I hope to have The Governess and the Beast out by the end of the month. (New cover pictured)

After that, My Highlander Cover Model will be re-released. I can't see charging much money for re-released books especially under 30,000 words, so both will be 99 cents, with MHCM going into Kindle Unlimited.

What's next on my plate? First, I wait and see what comes of the opportunity I mentioned above. Then plan from there.

I do have another pen name, an erotic one, and any books I get back from publishers that I will not be changing the heat level on will be posted under that name.

I will continue on, not look at sales, and just enjoy the writing itself.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New Version of The Governess and the Beast #ComingSoon #CoverReveal by Karyn Gerrard @KarynGerrard #Historical

Look at this lovely cover. Cora Graphics outdid herself. This is the second book in the Blind Cupid Series, and the rights to the digital e-book were returned to me May 1st. It should be down at most sales channels now.

Unfortunately, the audio book is still under contract. For a few years yet. Another decision I regret, but time to look forward. Just know the audio book is the OLD version from Decadent Publishing.

I've added about 5000 words, I really haven't changed the story that much, why would I? It sold great and had very good reviews, why mess with it? I did dial back the language and heat just a titch, It's still pretty hot, lol.

I will be getting the rights back to the third and final book, The Copper and the Madam, December 1st.

Here is the new blurb: With a new name and an eagerness to begin a new life, Lila Jenner answers an ad for a governess and embarks on an adventure she did not expect. Hiding secrets and a past she longs to forget, she is disappointed to find out she has been employed to be a companion of a different sort: To a man who embodies both beauty and the beast.

In a gothic, crumbling manor on the edge of a North Sea cliff, Baron Simon Wolstenholme is cloistered away from society. Horribly scarred from battle wounds, the baron lives up to his infamous title “The Beast of Stonecliff” in appearance and attitude and comes to the realization he’s been alone too long.

Simon bargains with Lila for a singular night of passion. A storm rages outside, but it cannot compare to the clash of emotions between a lonely man and a distrustful woman. Secret desires are revealed, hearts are laid bare. Many obstacles lay before them until they can admit their true feelings, though pride could destroy the fairy tale before it begins.


BOOK #1 The Blind Cupid Series NOW AVAILABLE 99 cents!


THE SPINSTER AND MR. GLOVER (Blind Cupid Series #1)
By Karyn Gerrard
KG Publishing
Approx 15,000 words Short Story/Historical/Victorian

BLURB: His male beauty moved her. His vulnerability touched her. His past horrified her...

Anne Sommer, a spinster firmly on the shelf, does the unthinkable. She hires a man from the Blind Cupid brothel for a night of scandalous pleasure. Anne wants the sensual memories to keep her company in the lonely years ahead. However, she did not expect the young man to move her in ways she never imagined.

Desmond Glover gives sexual gratification—for a price. An orphan whose childhood was mired in scandal and poverty, Desmond has learned to close off his emotions with regard to his occupation. He did not count on a lonely spinster to awaken his hidden passion.

Not only do the years separate them, but so do their social standing. Can Anne and Desmond cross such a chasm and find mutual desire—or love?

This short story was previously published with a different title. Revised, re-edited, and more than 7500 words added. Heat Level: Very sensual 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Some Stark Truths: The Romance Digital Pub Biz in Crisis by Karyn Gerrard @KarynGerrard #Opinion #publishing

I wrote a blog post in January about fastening your seatbelts for a bumpy 2016 ride, It is turning out to be kinda the truth. Check HERE

So far in digital romance, we've had Secret Cravings cease production, Samhain Publishing announcing it is slowly winding down and will cease production in the coming months, Booktrope is out of business May 31st. Also Amber Quill Press ceased production March 31st. A lot of digital publishers have quietly cut back the number of releases each week. Maybe there is more examples, I've lost track. Oh, and Harlequin is cutting retail for a couple of  romance print lines and doing away with their Blaze line in June 2017.

So, this isn't good no matter how you slice it. A lot of it is the market correcting itself. The business model is not sustainable over the long run unless you have a ton of capital. But even Booktrope couldn't make a go of it with one million dollars in start-up investments Read Geekwire article HERE

What does that leave? My so-called prediction? The larger publishers (like the big 5 and maybe Kensington and Sourcebooks for example) will continued to have a romance digital line as a loss-leader, a place to try out new talent (or as the Kensington owner described it, much like the farm system/minor leagues in the MLB) If you hit one out of the park, you just might get a bump up to their print lines. And I say might. I read on the Avon Romance site some time back that so far, only ONE author moved from digital (Avon Impulse) to print. Not great odds.

Sales are down. Way down. Yes, there are the exceptions, those 1-5% of romance authors who have the golden touch. But the rest? We have hard truths to face.

I really can't see how small and mid-size digital romance pubs can keep going at this pace.
A digital publisher charging 3.99 for 28,000 words is not viable in this market. And they need to charge that much because of editing and cover art costs and other expenses. Some years back, an e-book sold at this price. They don't any more. With the market shrinking, and the dearth of free, 99 cents, and cheap box sets readily available, why would someone pay 3.99 for less than 30,000 words? Especially on a new, unknown author?

So with less options, a declining market, and soft sales, what does that leave? Self-publishing. Prepare for a flood of an already over-crowded romance digital marketplace. Hundreds, maybe thousands of authors are getting their rights back for various reasons from various publishers. Some may walk away and be done with writing/publishing. But the remaining have few options but self-publishing. It's not easy. It's not cheap if you wish to put out a quality product.

As I said in my Jan post: Just tell yourself this over and over: It's not YOU. Don't take low sales as a rejection of your writing or your talent. I predict (and this entire piece is just my opinion, I could be dead wrong as I'm no expert) things will continue to be in flux for the coming year and maybe the next. Accept the disappointments and move forward. Enjoy writing and don't let the dire market predictions (or my depressing post) ruin the fun of creating a story.

And fasten your seatbelts.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! My 5th Year as a Published Author, Lessons Learned, Bruises Earned by @KarynGerrard #opinion

I was going to let this anniversary pass with little fanfare, but I thought, the fact I got this far deserves a nod of acknowledgement.

My first contract offer from a publisher was March 2011, book published May 2011. In the following five years, I have evolved a lot. You see, I am not a 'trained' writer. I didn't go to university, did not take creative writing classes, so to say my early manuscripts were a mess is an understatement. I want to thank Evernight Publishing and Decadent Publishing—to call out a couple—for seeing beyond the grammar nightmare to the storytelling beneath.

I learned with each edit, good and bad, and I got both over the years. It gave me the confidence to write longer stories with more intricate plotting and characterization. To submit to bigger publishers. Okay, not everything worked out. Ellora's Cave turned out to be a hot mess instead of a stepping stone to bigger things. Thankfully, I only have the one book with them and will be able to get back the rights soon. (bruises earned)

It was then I decided to leave erotic romance behind and try something more mainstream. What came out of the EC debacle is I had originally sent a second manuscript to EC and smartly turned the contract down as things unfolded in the hot mess department. I then sent it to Kensington Publishing's digital line. Why not, worth a shot. I mean, people better trained and with more experience than I were rejected, I had no expectations. (lesson learned, always go for it)

Well, damn. It was accepted. And they wanted to know what else I had. I wound up with four contracts from a publisher based in New York. With offices and everything! This I didn't expect. I waayyy out performed my expectations.

At now standing here at this point, with an unsure writing future ahead of me, it was time to 'take stock' and accept some truths.

I can't see me doing this for much longer, in fact, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. E-book sales are soft across the board. My best year was 2013. Each year has declined more. I am so glad I don't depend on these royalties for anything. Like food or utility bills.
Because I don't 'need' the money, I can write at my own pace, write for myself and not the market, and I do realize that's probably one of the reasons (my) sales have declined. I accept that, it was my decision. We all have our own paths, one is not better than the other.

Personally, I do this for me. And to indulge myself, I am going to focus on self-publishing for a time. If I attempt any new writing, I will be pivoting back to contemporaries.

Reflecting back, there were many different paths I could have taken the past five years. More successful paths. But I didn't, and I'm cool with it. Could I have done things better? Made smarter, more calculated decisions? Sure. But as things stand, I am just amazed after five years I am still doing this. I love writing. The other stuff like promo, publishers, edits, etc? Not so much.

But the love of writing is still there, pulsing inside me. So I will bang away on my keyboard when the mood strikes me, try not to let the back chatter, social media, sales, reviews, promo etc to overwhelm me.

After five years, I learned valuable lessons and earned bruises along the way. I am finally comfortable in my writing skin. Happy anniversary.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT: The Vicar's Frozen Heart by Karyn Gerrard @KarynGerrard #Historical #Victorian @KensingtonBooks

The Vicar's Frozen Heart By Karyn Gerrard

Book #2 The Hornsby Brothers
approx 55,000 words
Heat Level: Sensual
Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Press
Release Date: March 1, 2016

NOTE: This is not an inspirational romance.

His heart begins to heal…

He gave her shelter from the storm, nursed her back to health, just as any good man might do for a damsel in distress. But Tremain Colson is more than just a small town vicar performing a gallant duty. He’s an ex-soldier whose spirit has been ravaged by war, a nobleman hiding his aristocratic heritage. Yet despite his secrets, he cannot help but feel drawn to the fallen beauty and soon asks her to stay and care for the orphan in his charge…

And hers is lost…

Disgrace sent Eliza Winston out into the world, a governess in ruin. But once she finds herself in Tremain’s home—and in his bed—she realizes her handsome rescuer is the one in need of healing. No sooner does Eliza thaw the vicar’s heart than she realizes her own is in danger. For Tremain is not only the man she dreams of marrying, but a blueblood whose noble birth makes him an impossible match…

EXCERPT: Eliza’s entire body throbbed with pain. The fall from the carriage no doubt did damage as she’d rolled down a slight embankment, landing in a ditch. That much she did remember. Groaning, she tried to lift her arms. No luck.
The door swung open and banged against the wall, startling her. A tiny squeak escaped her chapped lips. A tall, imposing man, leaning heavily on a cane crossed the threshold. Dressed entirely in black, he hobbled closer to the bed. All at once she was struck by his austere face. Deep frown lines were etched on either side of his mouth which was turned down in a fierce scowl. Here stood a man the furthest thing from a kind, older grandfather, more like a man of thirty-odd years. He would be considered handsome, she supposed, with his thick, raven-black hair and sculpted cheekbones, but the chilled expression he gave evoked no warmth at all and his silver-gray eyes held the shade of chips of ice from a frozen lake. Rather frightening and much like a stern schoolmaster or unforgiving, sober priest, both of which Eliza had enough of in her life.
“You’re awake then?” The words were clipped and precise.
“Tha...thank you, sir,” she croaked. “Your name?”
The cane thumped heavily on the floor as he made his way to stand at her bedside. “Tremain Colson.”
A deep voice, but it held no warmth at all. Well, she was thankful he found her and took her in, but had the distinct feeling she’d be out on her backside as soon as she became mobile. “My trunk?”
“I recovered it about an hour ago. I found you at half past four this morning. It is now three in the afternoon.”
Goodness. She’d slept near around the clock. With great effort, she managed to lift the blankets and peer under them. I’m only wearing my shift. Did this iceberg of a man strip off her clothes and lay his hands on her? “My clothes?”
“I hung them by the fire in the parlor. May I have your name?”
Right. “Eliza...Eliza Winston. Where am I?”
“The village of Hawksgreen. Where were you heading?”
His standing over her should be ominous for he had quite the presence. Yet the fright she experienced initially dissipated even though he continued to act in a grave, unfriendly manner. What a dark, brooding man.
“Dover...I think.”
“Are you in pain?”
Yes, you daft man, I was tossed from a moving carriage. She no longer wished to converse. Instead she gave him a brisk nod.
“Very well, I will make you a cup of willow bark tea.” He turned on his heel and hobbled out. Eliza admired the view. Well-proportioned with broad shoulders, at least it appeared as such considering he wore wool trousers and a matching coat. The clothes fit him well, the coat hugging a slim waist. He wore no cravat, but the shirt was buttoned up to his neck. Wonder how Mr. Colson injured his leg? He’d grimace in pain as he turned to leave. Even with his disability he brought her and her trunk into his home? Perhaps he also experienced discomfort this day.
Where on God’s Earth was Hawksgreen? She’d never heard of it. A shiver of apprehension ran down her spine. She needed time to construct a sound plan for her future, a plan all the harder to make since she’d been robbed. Not a farthing to her name and she possessed nothing of value to sell. Eliza doubted this man would be empathetic to her plight. Perhaps he had a long-suffering, kindly wife who would take pity on her. Nevertheless, if she must exaggerate her injuries to gain more time, she would.


Karyn lives in a small town in the western corner of Ontario, Canada. She whiles away her spare time writing and reading romance while drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea. A multi-published author, Karyn loves to write historicals, particularly in the Victorian era. She also writes contemporaries. Tortured heroes are a must. As long as she can avoid being hit by a runaway moose in her wilderness paradise she assumes everything is golden. Karyn’s been happily married for a long time to her own hero. His encouragement keeps her moving forward.

  Check out: BOLD SEDUCTION (The Hornsby Brothers #1)

The Hornsby Brothers #1
Karyn Gerrard
Release Sept 1st, 2015
Lyrical Press

No offer is more daring…


An Intriguing Proposition

Passion. Seduction. Pleasure. These are the qualities of any courtesan worth her salt. As owner of The Starling Club, London’s most notorious house of ill-repute, Madame Philomena McGrattan has seen it all, heard it all, done it all. There is little that surprises her anymore, and even less that excites her. So when she is presented a chance at an irresistible seduction, she can’t help but rise to the challenge.

A Dangerous Game

Studiousness. Practicality. Discipline. Such are the attributes of a good scholar, and such are the principles Lord Spencer Hornsby has built his life around. Alone in the Welsh countryside, with only his wolfhounds for company, Spencer has thrown himself into his work. There is little time for the pleasures of society, not even to think of the joys of the fairer sex. But when an unexpected guest arrives at his isolated hunting lodge, Spencer cannot help but be baffled by the presence of this dangerously beautiful woman. And when he discovers the reason for her arrival, and the pleasures she promises, he cannot help but find himself irresistibly intrigued . . .


Saturday, April 2, 2016

COVER REVEAL: My Highlander Cover Model by @KarynGerrard #ComingSoon #Rerelease #Timetravel Hot Highlander!

My Highlander Cover Model
by Karyn Gerrard
KG Publishing
Time Travel/Fantasy/Contemporary
Approx 27500 words

Blurb: Skye Bancroft, assistant art director at a small New York publisher, is used to dealing with the occasional spoiled and egocentric model. After all, it’s part of her job description. But during a photoshoot, she didn’t count on one to become so delusional as to think himself a Highlander from 1814 Scotland. 

Cailin Thorburn is every woman’s dream: A warrior who is fierce, passionate, and protective. Rendered unconscious during battle, he awakens in another place, time, and seemingly in another man’s body. Could this all be a dream? Convincing the bonnie lass, Skye, that he is Cailin is a daunting task. 

Regardless of his strange time travel story and sexy Scottish burr, believing this extraordinary man is from another era becomes hard to deny. The attraction between them sizzles and Skye is left to wonder: Is Cailin truly a Highlander from the clan Macbeth, or just a Highlander cover model?

THE SCOOP: This was originally published by Decadent Publishing from April 2013 to April 2016. I now have the rights back. I can now say I never cared for the original cover much, But, time to move on, and I will be revising, re-editing etc and self-publishing this soon. (This cover done by Melody Simmons)

When? No idea. I am taking things slow and I am dealing right now with Mr. Gerrard's health, so that takes top priority. 

Meanwhile, so far, I have added about 5000 words. Also, I no longer write erotic as such, so am dialing back the heat a notch. Or two. And deepening the characterization and romance. 

When I do release it, it will be 99 cents and put in Kindle Unlimited for a time. So stay tuned!

So, what about the first book in this series, My Vampire Cover Model? Sorry, no plans at the moment. It needs too much work and I've kicked it down the queue. May not get to even look at it until later 2017. 

That's if I am even still doing this in 2017. *wink*

Next? The Governess and the Beast. I get the rights back May 1st. Cover on order with Cora Graphics so will reveal it soon.

Have a good weekend~

Saturday, March 26, 2016

I'll Be Back Soon: Taking a Break, Taking Stock by Karyn Gerrard @KarynGerrard #Personal #Writing

This has been coming for some time. Mr. Gerrard has not been well for some time as well. He is about to undergo a serious operation and I will be turning my attention to him going forward while he recovers (operation to take place out of town in the first week of April)

Living in a small town really sucks especially when something medical pops up, and driving five hours for an operation doubly sucks. But, we will do what has to be done, so I will be stepping back from the internet and social media for a bit. (though I will check in here and there)

Also will be taking this time to take stock and figure out what direction I want to go next. I will continue with plans to re-release some stories I am getting the rights back to, but beyond that?

No idea.

Lots of different paths I can take. Going forward may entail sticking with self-pubbing. Who knows. Much to think about. Much to mull over.

Meanwhile, watch for MY HIGHLANDER COVER MODEL re-release coming soon. And also, THE GOVERNESS AND THE BEAST.


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