Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bend it Like Anna Campbell...

I am so glad I have my blogs to whine on. I tend to limit my 'wah, wah' moments to here, forgoing the soap-box climate of Facebook and snarky twittersphere. When it comes to social media, a person can sometimes go too far with rants, or not go far enough to sell yourself and your books. Where's the happy medium?

I have been observing one of my favorite historical romance authors, Anna Campbell, for some time now. I love how she handles herself on social media. She's approachable, shares to a certain extent, but not enough to overwhelm you with TMI, (too much information) answers every comment/question everywhere (blogs, FB, Twitter) and thanks people for sharing her info and tweets. Hey,she doesn't have an assistant! She does it all herself! Also re-tweets in return. She's my kind of chick. Her sunny smile and outlook can brighten anyone's day. Anna is someone I'd love to sit down with a pot of tea and have a chin-wag.

She's supportive to authors. Before I became published, I visited The Romance Bandits blog nearly every day, commented, and even won books! (Oh, how I wish I had that time now, I miss visiting blogs for fun) Anna is entertaining and knowledgeable. We both love Poldark and other classic and newer BBC costume dramas! She's from Australia and I'm from Canada, so we seem to have a similar outlook on life. When I received my first ebook contract in spring of 2011, Anna contacted ME and asked if I wanted to be on The Romance Bandits to promo my book.
Anna now has a fan for life. What a boost for a new author. Will never forget it. She still congrats me on Facebook for my teeny accomplishments. Wow. Cheers!

 I try to bend it like Anna Campbell. I thank everyone I can, I try and support Romance and Erotic Romance authors through the Erotic Romance News Twitter account, RT'ing when I'm on-line. I started hosting a few book spotlights at the blog of the same name. Its not much, I'm still a bit shy, but I did just join a blog with Canadian romance writers and am trying to reach out in other ways~

In the meantime, I will continue to contribute when and where I can, share a little something now and then (though thanks to Facebook algorithms, I doubt many see it) and continue to write, hot, emotional stories just like Anna Campbell and try and have fun doing it!

New and aspiring authors, look to established writers (print and ebook) and observe how they handle themselves on social media. Watch the ones who handle themselves with friendly professionalism, the ones who stay clear of on-line drama, carry themselves with dignity, but  are approachable and encouraging without overdoing it. The ones that are eager to share their books and stories without going overboard with the promo.

Bend it like Anna Campbell.

(One of my fav Anna Campbell books, and bonus! Model Nathan Kamp on the cover)




~ Grand Central Publishing -  26 August 2014

~ Harper Collins Australia - TBA
~ Mils & Boon UK - November 2014


This blog was originally posted at Erotic Romance News~

Saturday, April 19, 2014

So Just what does PAN Status Mean? #RWA

Okay. I know what I means, I looked it up a while ago. ;)

First off, I am not a member of the Romance Writers of America. (RWA) May never join, though I never say never about anything. Why?

1.  The yearly fees are too expensive. I'm cheap.
2.  I live hundreds and hundreds of kilometers away from the nearest chapter. Why join a group I can't participate in?
3.  I live too far away in northern Canada to attend any conventions, workshops, etc. And no, an on-line workshop doesn't appeal to me. The cost doesn't warrant it in my book.
4.  I find their attitude on erotic romance and LGBT romance rather archaic.
5.  I'm not a fan of contests of any sort, so that aspect of the organization doesn't appeal either.

I know this organization, which has been around for thirty plus years, is venerated by a large segment of romance writers and that is cool. Back in the days of print only, I can see where this kind of banding together for support would be an asset. Times have changed, however. Contests, agents, and organizations like this are not needed to get a contract with most publishers, at least the digital ones. I am not going to bash it or insult the members. Everyone has their own path to follow.

Now, to PAN Status. According to the RWA

The purpose of the Published Authors Network (PAN) is to establish within the RWA framework a network of communication and support to effectively promote and protect the interests of published romance authors; to open channels of communication between those romance authors and other publishing industry professionals; and to encourage professionalism on all levels and in all relationships within the publishing industry.

Okay, sounds fair enough.

General PAN Membership: Any RWA General or Honorary member in good standing who has earned at least: (1) $1,000 in the form of an advance on a single Eligible Novel* or Eligible Novella** (“Option One”); or (2) $1,000 in the form of royalties or a combination of advance plus royalties on a single published Eligible Novel* or Eligible Novella** (“Option Two”); or (3) $5,000 in the form of earnings for a Self-Published novel or novella (“Option Three”) that meets the definition of Romance Fiction shall be eligible for membership in PAN.
Provisional PAN Membership: Any RWA General or Honorary member who has contracted for the publication of an Eligible Novel* or Eligible Novella** for an advance of at least $1,000 shall be eligible for an 18 month provisional membership in PAN.
Membership in the PAN Community of Practice is available only for active RWA members.

So what does having PAN status mean really? Here is what Romance Author Jackie Barbosa had to say~

"So, what do you get for joining PAN? As far as I can tell, the perks consist primarily of getting a link on RWA’s website to yours and having the PAN designation on your name badge at conferences, which means other attendees will squint harder at your name and try to remember if they’ve ever heard of you, which in most cases, they probably haven’t.

To which I can only ask, “Why?” Why do you care so much whether RWA deems you published or not?  If you need an acronym on your name badge or a contest to make you feel like a real writer, maybe it’s time to rethink your priorities.
Because I’m here to tell you, being a member of PAN hasn’t made an iota of difference in my ability to sell another book in New York, and I know a number of RITA finalists who are also out there searching for a contract. PAN and the RITAs mean way more to people who are in RWA than they do to people who are outside of it (read editors and agents). To those folks, the things that matter are the writing and sales. Nothing else amounts to a hill of beans."

That is Jackie's opinion and she is certainly entitled to it and she also makes a lot of valid points. There are other writers out there that love the RWA and find it rewarding being a member. I think that's great. But at the end of a day, me achieving PAN status on a few books makes me a professional writer in the eyes of the RWA and its members. Outside of the RWA? Meh. I can't claim PAN status because I am not a member. And I am not going to join just to add that designation.
Maybe when I move back east in a few years and IF I am still writing, maybe I'll join the Atlantic Canada chapter. Like I said, I never say never. However, at this point in time, not in the cards. Do you love the RWA? Fantastic! Get everything you can out of it and take advantage of what they offer.
Me? I'll just keep my head down and continue writing~

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Governess and the Beast is Top 5 Bestseller for the Entire All Romance Site~

How cool is this? Yes, it was due mostly to a free giveaway, but because it got the exposure, it sold a nice tidy bunch of copies, enough to shoot up the charts of All Romance's top 50 list. I expect it to drop right off the list in a matter of hours or a day or two, but this is satisfying regardless.

The book will have been released one year next month, and it surprisingly has legs. I am pleased.

Decadent Publishing. Historical/Gothic/Erotic novella 
Book 2 in the Blind Cupid series
Approx 21,000 words

Released: May 14 2013

Don't forget the book is also now on audio!

Also available on Audio!

The Governess and the Beast: Blind Cupid Series

The audio book just received a 5 star review at ROMANCING THE BOOK.

Check it out HERE

 "Ms. Gerrard created a wonderful “retelling” of Beauty and the Beast with this one. She mixed in a bit of secrets to the story and produced a novella that was filled with steamy passion, incredible lust, and a yearning for more than just a one night stand."

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Silver Publishing~A Lesson in What, Exactly?

I got my rights back in Oct 2012 from Silver Publishing when they broke the contract for my two books.

Now the slippery owner has supposedly got the hell out of Dodge. See AJ Llewellyn's thorough and informative  post HERE  I want to bring up a few points of my dealings with them.

First, I want to correct a few misconceptions. When an e-pub implodes, others start wagging their fingers at authors, editors and anyone else who had signed on with said pub and admonishes them all for 'not doing their homework or due diligence on the pub in question'. Well, in Silver Publishing's case, I did and so did many others. When I signed a contract in the late summer of 2011, everything was hunky dory with a spiffy shine. They were professional, the editing process thorough.

Royalty payments arrived on time. So I sent them another manuscript. Accepted. Again, cover art, edit, everything went smoothly. My one complaint at the time? MF authors didn't seem to get the amount of promo the MM authors got, but, MM was Silver's bread and butter, so I got that. My second book came out July 2012. Well, by August, the payments stopped coming. the owner gave every excuse in the book, new software, illness, new staff to train, you name it. (these are now red flags to me in my dealings with any pub, thanks to my Silver experience)

I noticed the amounts on my statements changed every time I looked on-line at the reports. Again, he had excuses, blaming Amazon etc for late payments, computer failures, and staff mistakes. Then he stopped answering my emails. Come October and after witnessing the infighting going on, I had enough. I asked for my rights back, got them, and didn't look back. I never did get the third party sales payments for the two books. I am relieved it wasn't much money, unlike what others are owed. I put Silver behind me.

So what is the lesson? ANY publisher can implode, go tits up, circle the drain or whatever other metaphor you want to place on it. Even print (Dorchester, anyone?) Just because a publisher fails, it does not make everyone who worked for it total idiots or dumb rubes. Save the 'I told you so's' and offer sympathy instead. I for one, feel bad for the Silver authors that remained, were owed money, or just signed up with them recently. It was a personal decision for each individual who dealt with Silver. I don't condemn anyone in this mess but the owner himself.

The big lesson here is it can happen to any of us with any pub. Even if you do a thorough on-line investigation and everything seems cool, it can still blow to shit.

 I can't stand drama, especially on-line stuff. I am not one for bleeding all over my keyboard with regard to writing or my personal life. I don't go public with my dealings with publishers or other authors. In this case? I needed to say it can happen to anyone, anytime and the blame lands squarely on the owner.

So yes, do your homework. A pub is not family, I never thought so and glad I keep my dealings professional. I also from the start never put my eggs in one basket. If you want to go with publishers, spread your submissions around. But like life, stuff happens. Be prepared. Then move on. I have.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hiatus~Personal Reasons

Not sure if anyone noticed, but I have been more or less off the grid since March 19th. I have been dealing with a sudden and devastating illness for my dad. I am halfway across the country with family at the moment, and will not be back home until the middle of this month.

To say that writing, promo, editing etc has been pushed aside is an understatement. I am not even thinking about it. Family comes first, last, and always.

I will see to my prior commitments as to book spotlights at Erotic Romance News, but that is about it. I want to thank my publishers for allowing me to hit the pause button on a couple of projects.

Your best wishes and good thoughts would be most appreciated.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Taking a Step Back for a Bit~

I took down my previous hand-wringing post for the time being. It came across as a little whiny, not what I wanted to project. Anyway, at the end of the day, I write for ME, not what is the current trend. I will probably continue to walk that path when its all done and dusted,

Although I am not walking off in the sunset, I will be stepping back from this whole writing/social media/pub thing for a bit. It's March Break, I am just going to extend it a few weeks.

I have a couple of manuscripts almost ready for submission, and will no doubt send them out when my 'take a break' is over.

Here's hoping the snow will melt, that may improve my out look as well. :)


Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Romance Reviews 3rd Anniversary Party! You could win The Wicked Bad in Print!

You have to register in order to participate, simply answer the multiple choice question about The Wicked Bad! You could pin a paperback copy! Click on the link provided to find the answer! Runs for March 8th~

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