Once I knew I was up against Heidi Cullinan and L.A. Witt, I knew I didn’t have a chance of placing first or second, but I’m beyond thrilled. Acceleration tied in 4th place with Finding Master Right by L.A. Witt, and Velocity ties for 7th place with two other books, which is more than I expected. Congratulations to Heidi for placing first, and to all the other finalists!
Category Archives: Acceleration
So, Tuesday I will be heading to Atlanta for my first-ever GayRomLit retreat. I will admit I’m a little nervous because this is the first time since he was born that I will be away from my six-year-old for that long. Until last month at GRNW in Seattle, I’d never been away from him longer than over a single night, and even then he was just a mile away at his grandmother’s house. Now I’m going to be across the country from him for five nights. Eep!
Also, I have absolutely no idea what to expect from GRL. I know I will be on a panel at the writer’s workshop on Wednesday afternoon, the BDSM panel that Sarah Frantz will be moderating. So I’ll have at least one opportunity to make an idiot of myself publicly. I think at least part of my fear is that I didn’t know until very late in the game about the YahooGroup that most of the GRL stuff was being discussed on, so I think I missed some pretty significant announcements and information. Thus, I’m clueless.
But before I go, some business to take care of. In case you have missed my tweets on the subject (and Heidi Belleau’s and Riptide’s) we have a sort of kink meme going on for some audience participation in the third Professor’s Rule book. This book will take us back to the “present day” in James and Carson’s lives, after the short trip into exploring their past in TPR #2. (Yes, I like non-linear storytelling. I feel like it often gives a narrative a sort of mobility that otherwise it wouldn’t have.) It’s time for James to re-unite with his Professor, and also for him to keep his date with menswear salesman Satish. Last week we were taking nominations for the sort of kinks you’d like to see in the next book, and this week we’ve narrowed the list to five and you get to vote on them. Those five are:
2. Fire Play
3. Needle Play
4. Breath Play
5. Sensory Deprivation
You can go here to take the survey. Thanks to The Jeep Diva for hosting this contest.
As for GRL, I will have some items available for free and for purchase there. I will have coupon codes to give away for Inertia, as well coupon codes you can purchase for downloads of Acceleration and Velocity, and for the All-in-One ebook volume of the Impulse trilogy. I will also have paperbacks of all three books available, 30 of Inertia and 10 each (I think? Maybe 15?) of Acceleration and Velocity. Riptide will also have a free version of Giving an Inch (TPR #1) to hand out, which will include excerpts from An Inch at a Time (TPR #2), Heidi Belleau’s Apple Polisher, and my upcoming release, Strain. So be sure to grab that! For autographs and whatnot, I’ll be in the supporting authors session, not the featured authors. So look for me there!
Annnd I think that is all my business to attend to before I leave, so I’d better get back to researching how to pack a week’s worth of stuff into a carry-on sized suitcase. Fun!
Both Acceleration and Velocity made it into the finalist round of the Rainbow Awards for LGBT Erotic Romance. I can’t say how thrilled I am that they have gotten this far. The other books in the category are amazing and it’s stunning to be ranked among them! Congratulations to all the other finalists!
Today, the second of five announcements regarding who rated an honorable mention in the Rainbow Awards was released, and Velocity was on the list.
The quotes from the judges regarding the books have been very rewarding as well.
April: The main character definitely kept me reading. I found myself liking him right from the start. He had character traits that were identifiable within all of us. The writing style also kept me reading, wanting more of the story. The author did a great job with the plot flow.
and re: Velocity
Christina: Beautiful story, I had feeling of being let into the lives of two men that I came to adore. I finished this story in just hours, so drawn into their romance, the struggles they overcame, and their everyday lives. I was glad to see them get their happy ending and embrace their love and commitment to one another.
For a little self-published trilogy from an author no one had heard of just over a year ago, I figure this is a great showing, whether or not the books become finalists in their category.
Again, if you have a chance, please be sure to stop by the cover contest and vote for Kerry Chin’s gorgeous artwork! http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/2374986.html
Elisa, who runs the Rainbow Awards, has started releasing the titles of the books that have won at least an Honorable Mention. Here’s what she has to say about this category:
To give to everyone the chance to enjoy the spotlight of their honorable
mentions, I decided to post a little of them every day until October 1, when I
will announce the finalists of the 2013 Rainbow Awards. An Honorable Mention
means a judge really liked the book, so much they gave it a rate above 36 out
of 40; an honorable mention doesn’t necessarily mean the book is a finalist,
you have to wait the actual announcement on October 1 to know that.
Acceleration was one of the first batch mentioned. So at the risk of tooting my own horn, congrats to me! No word on whether or not Velocity, which was also in this year’s awards, might also have won anything. I guess we’ll know over the next five days.
Just a reminder, also, there are still a few more days to vote in the Rainbow Awards cover contest, for which the covers of all three Impulse books are nominated. You can vote on as many as you like, no need to restrict yourself to just one. Please, take the time to make sure Kerry Chin’s gorgeous artwork gets acknowledged! Vote here: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/2374986.html
Alas, Inertia didn’t make the cut from the November round, but there are still chances to recognize Kerry Chin’s gorgeous work on the Impulse trilogy. For the next two weeks, voting is open for covers released in December, of which Acceleration was one. Drop by and vote for your favorite covers and let’s get Kerry the recognition she deserves!
Authorly thoughts here….
As I watch the reviews for Acceleration come in, I’m finding it interesting that there are no comments on the reviews. Nor are my books being talked about in general discussion on forums over at GoodReads, the Amazon Kindle forums, etc. A Google search for my name/titles turns up the reviews and announcements regarding my books, but no random mentions elsewhere. My guest blog posts and author interviews get almost no comments unless there’s a giveaway attached.
On the mercenary side, I don’t think it’s a far stretch to imagine that discussion generates sales and brand recognition. Naturally as someone trying to make a living at this gig, that’s a consideration.
But more importantly, on the perhaps somewhat egotistical side, I want to know that I’m making an impression. I put an awful lot of effort into my books to include things that will make people think about them and hopefully remember them. I want to know, is any of that getting through?
What is it, do you think, that makes a book discussion-worthy? What is it about some books that brings people together to discuss the book with one another? It’s obviously not just the quality of the book. After all, my books are getting great reviews and have great ratings, so obviously readers are finding it quality to be fairly high. So it must be something else. But what?
Is it author presence? I confess, I’m a horrible lurker. I follow a lot of sites but almost never comment. I rarely find places to introduce myself into a conversation, especially when we’re adding the fact of not wanting to appear to be engaging in crass self-promotion. Even if something in my books happens to be topical, I will often refrain from commenting somewhere because I don’t want to look like I’m pimping myself.
Furthermore, one of the earliest pieces of advice I got once I published Inertia was not to engage too much with readers. It makes them feel creeped-upon and inhibits open discussion, I was told. And in the worst case scenario, it might tempt trolls to try to bait you if they find you and/or your books objectionable for some reason. So I don’t comment to reviews beyond perhaps thanking the reviewer for their consideration. Should I be doing more?
Should I take reviews as an opportunity to generate discussion on particular themes? For example, one rare comment on a recent review basically implied that BDSM themes are being included in books lately because authors are trying to ride the coattails of the popularity of 50SOG.
If I didn’t have that policy of not engaging commenters, I would have explained that — leaving aside the discussion of the fact that every person with the slightest bit of education about BDSM knows that 50SOG is not about BDSM, it’s about romaticized abuse masquerading as BDSM — E.L. James did not invent BDSM fic. I was in the BDSM lifestyle fifteen years before E.L. James wrote the first word of that book. I wrote my first BDSM-themed fanfic back in the late nineties when online fandom was still a very new thing and almost NO ONE was writing BDSM fic in the (very few) online fandoms that existed at that time, and BDSM hadn’t yet gone mainstream. That particular series of fanfics I wrote became a hot topic of discussion not because they were necessarily great stories, but because it was something new and rare and it was on the forefront of a new trend.
Now, I’m not egotistical enough to claim to be the first. My fanfic may have been ONE of the first BDSM fanfics to be written in the age of online fandom (I don’t know how popular it was back in the days of print ‘zines) but it wasn’t THE first and I make no pretensions otherwise. There were, of course, the writings of the Marquis de Sade (from whom we get the term sadism) and Venus in Furs by Masoch (from whom we get the term masochism.) Then you also have Pauline Réage who wrote Story of O at least a decade before E.L. James (or myself) were born, and of course, Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy and Exit to Eden which was written back before I was old enough to know the definition of the word “dildo.”
In more recent history, of course, there’s Jacqueline Carey’s amazing trilogy that starts with Kushiel’s Dart, which was published in 2001, not long after I started writing BDSM fic myself. That really seems to me to be the crest of the first wave of mainstream BDSM fic.
So, no. The BDSM elements are not included in my stories because of the popularity of 50SOG nor am I attempting to ride anyone’s coattails. It’s included in my stories because I’ve been in the lifestyle and have a deeply personal insiders perspective that many recently popular BDSM fics lack. If anything, E.L. James is riding the coattails of those of us who brought BDSM fic into online fandom and mainstream pop culture long before Twilight fandom even existed.
I don’t say that to pat myself on the back. I know it probably sounds egotistical, and I don’t mean it to be. But it’s the truth. You can, however, see why I would refrain from saying this to a commenter even if I didn’t have a policy of not engaging commenters.
Part of why I lurk is also because I’m trying to be very careful of the reputation I establish for myself as an author. I’m an opinionated bitch at times (see above 😀 ) and I often present my opinions with an unvarnished “take me or leave me” approach that can rub people the wrong way. I don’t want to make enemies or offend people or attract trolls, so I sit on my fingers when I’m itching to opine.
So, back to the question of how to generate discussion. Is it the subject matter of the book(s) in question? I don’t think my books are lacking in themes people would find discussion-worthy, but are they presented in such a way that no one feels like they have anything more to add? I have a hard time imagining that, but I don’t know.
So, readers, other authors. What do you think promotes discussion and encourages people to not just read, but actually think about and talk about your books?
Joyfully Jay is recapping the Best of 2012 for each of their reviewers starting today and today was Melanie M.’s turn.
Melanie was the reviewer who read Inertia and Acceleration for JoyfullyJay, and if you haven’t checked out her review of Acceleration, please do so because it was just an amazing review and I was blown away by it. Melanie has put Acceleration on her list of best contemporary books and Inertia on her list of best first novels. So check it out!
Thank you, Melanie, for the generous mentions!
Acceleration is now available as a paperback. You can find it at Amazon!
In the wee-small hours last night, I sent to final proof of Acceleration to Michael at Booknibbles to be formatted and converted. Since the upload and approval process for Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo takes 24-48 hours, I will begin uploading it as soon as he has it back to me (hopefully tonight.)
What this means is that there’s a chance that Acceleration will actually be available for purchase at various times the day before the official release, since I have no control over when the file actually gets approved and posted to the various sites. I don’t know what time zone All Romance Ebooks is in, but I know it’s at least an hour or two ahead of me, so if you bought Acceleration on pre-sale there, it will be available perhaps midnight Central or Mountain time (maybe even Eastern, I dunno.) I plan to upload it and have it live at Rainbow Ebooks and SmashWords around the same time.
I will be posting buy links as they become available.
It may be another week or two for the paperback to become available, as that process takes considerably longer due to the need to ship and approve physical copies.
Now, for those of you who are interested, a little insight into the life of a self-published author.
I don’t usually bother saying stuff like this, because I want readers to buy from the website that is most convenient for them, which is why I have it available at so many places. But, if you’re indifferent to where you get the file and want to know which sites are the most profitable in me (thus enabling me to continue writing once my kid is in school full-time rather than getting a day job) here’s the breakdown of the royalties I get from the various sites:
Kobo: 80% through Nov 30, then 70% after
Amazon: 70% minus a few cents for the file transfer fee
Barnes & Noble: 65%
All Romance Ebooks, Itunes and Rainbow Ebooks: 60%
So SmashWords definitely pays me the best, though if I had to express a preference for where people buy, it would actually be Amazon and ARe, even though I get lower royalties there. The reason? Because they have bestseller lists (Kobo, Itunes and B&N probably do, too, but my sales on those sites are practically non-existent so I’m not going to hit them anyway, and SmashWords just doesn’t move the volume for it to matter if I’m one of their best sellers.) If I end up on the bestseller lists for Amazon or ARe, however, I will get a lot more exposure and sell a lot more books.
The same principle applies to the paperback. I make about $3 more on a paperback sold through the CreateSpace website than I do on one sold through Amazon, but sales on CreateSpace aren’t going to boost my rankings, thus giving me more visibility and sales.
Of course, the question everyone is going to be asking once they’re done with Acceleration is “When does Velocity come out?”
The good news is, I’m much more knowledgeable about the process going into Velocity than I was going into Acceleration. Inertia was a whole other animal. No one was expecting it, I hadn’t done any marketing beforehand or generated any sort of anticipation. There was no timeline except when I felt it was ready to be released.
I’m actually a bit embarrassed at my own naivete there. 🙂
It didn’t take me long to realize Acceleration would be different, because people were expecting it. I had to set a release date. I had to set target times for cover art and edits and such to be done and ARCs to be released, because people were watching and waiting for it. I didn’t plan ahead enough (for instance, I didn’t lock in my reservation for when my editor would be available until after I had the manuscript written, which meant that a lot of the delay was simply the manuscript gathering dust because it couldn’t go anywhere until my turn in her queue came up. Likewise, the cover art reveal was a little rushed and haphazard because I didn’t schedule a slot for my artist to work on the art until much later than I should have.
What this meant was that if I wanted to get the book released before the holidays (which I’ve since learned wasn’t really necessary as apparently ebook sales aren’t great in December–I imagine it’s actually after the holidays, when everyone is cashing in their bookstore gift cards, that ebook sales take off) I was really cutting it way too close. But even without the factor of the holidays, there was the fact that people were demanding Book Two and I really needed to get it out there before people lost interest and I fell off the map.
I’ve learned my lesson with Velocity and hopefully have my ducks in a much neater row. I’ve scheduled my slot with both my cover artist and editor well in advance this time. I hope to have the cover art by the end of December, preferably for a January cover reveal. The turn-in date for the manuscript to go to my editor in mid-December and I’ll have it back in mid-January.
So when will Velocity be out? Well, if you’re looking at that banner up top here on my blog, it says March 2013. At which point in March depends on how extensive the revisions I need to do once I get my edits back. If the revisions are minor, I hope to have ARCs available at the beginning of February and will release at the beginning of March. If the revisions are more extensive, we’re looking at mid-to-late February and March, respectively. I’ll have a better idea once I have my edits back in mid-January.
So. Keep an eye out. We’re in the final stretch of the wait for Acceleration. If you would like your chance to win a copy, the drawings at Stumbling Over Chaos and The Novel Approach are still open, so be sure to go register. And also, I’m doing my first GoodReads giveaway, too! I’ll be giving away a paperback of Acceleration at the end of December. Be sure to go enter!
Finally, for those of you who are interested, because it’s being released on November 30, Acceleration will still qualify for the Members’ Choice Awards over at the GoodReads M/M Romance group! Nominations close December 5. The award I’m most concerned with there is the Cover Art award, because Kerry and Michael’s hard work deserves to be recognized. Inertia has been nominated there, but Acceleration has not. If you want to know what other categories Inertia and Acceleration might qualify for, I will list them here:
Nomination – Favorite All Time M/M Romance Book (Inertia or Acceleration)
Nomination – Favorite All Time M/M Series (Impulse)
Nomination – Favorite All Time M/M Author (moi)
Nomination – Favorite All Time M/M Character(s) (Derrick and/or Gavin)
Nomination – Best Debut Book (Inertia has already been nommed)
Nomination – Best Cover (Inertia has been nommed, Acceleration hasn’t)
Nomination – Best Title (Inertia or Acceleration)
Nomination – Best Couple/MC’s (Derrick and/or Gavin)
Nomination – Best Sex Scene (take your pick from either Inertia or Acceleration)
Nomination – Best Side/Supporting Character (Miss Ingrid, LeeAnn, Andi, Devon or Hannah)
Nomination – Best Tearjerking scene (there’s one from Acceleration that just might qualify. You be the judge)
Nomination – Best First Time (this would be Inertia naturally, though honestly, after having read the first time in Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino? Hoo doggies! I don’t stand a chance.)
Nomination – Funniest Quotes/Best Lines (take your pick)
Nomination – Best book of the year (take your pick)
Nomination – BDSM (sex content) (probably Acceleration more than Inertia)
Nomination – Contemporary (genre) (take your pick)
Nomination – Hurt/Comfort (theme) (maybe? I dunno.)
So. If you decide you want to participate (and this is not meant to be pushy: as I’ve said, the only one that will break my heart to not see the books get the nod is the Cover Art category) check out the rules for the contest, and you have until December 5 to make your nominations.
Chris at http://stumblingoverchaos.com is hosting a giveaway for a shiny new copy of Acceleration on release day. Head on over and comment according to the rules to win!
Having now received my edits back, I can announce a release date for Acceleration, Impulse, Book Two. The release will be November 30.
My options for making pre-orders available are pretty much limited to AllRomanceEbooks, so that’s where you can go if you absolutely HAVE TO HAVE it ordered and ready to be all yours on November 30!
If you have a review site or blog feel free to contact me and ask for an ARC if I haven’t already contacted you!
So. Remember those new covers for Inertia I rolled out a couple weeks ago?
LOL, well, it turns out those aren’t going to be the final versions. While the high-contrast filters looked wonderfully bright and eye-catching on the computer screen, it just wasn’t going to work in print, especially on the Acceleration cover. So my wonderful cover artist Kerry put her head together with Michael from BookNibbles to come up with something that combined Michael’s eye-catching layout with Kerry’s brilliant art. The results are below.
Sorry things have been a mess while my lovely artists have worked this out, but I think it’s for the best. I’m waiting on the latest version of the print proof for Inertia, but assuming the proof goes well, I hope to have that available within another week or so. I had intended to have it available by now, but we faced two setbacks. One was that the cover simply didn’t work in print, and the other was that in the process of trying to remake the cover, a hurricane struck the east coast, which affected our ability to work with Michael to get things finalized. Of course, redoing the cover for the print version meant redoing the cover for the ebook version as well, so now I’m on my third release of this title with different cover art. the listing over at GoodReads is a mess, BUT I think it’s worth it to have the best possible cover.
Speaking of Hurricane Sandy, don’t forget that from now until Nov 7, I am donating a dollar for each copy of Inertia sold. If you’ve been thinking of checking it out, now is a great time to do so!
Another area the hurricane has affected has been the editing process of Acceleration. For a while it had looked like my editor might be able to get the edits back to me earlier than our contract had specified, but Sandy has set that back as well, and so now instead of the late November release I was considering, it might be pushed back into early December.
A lot of this can be chalked up to the fact that I’m such a neophyte at this self-publishing gig. I’m still learning the best and most efficient way to go about things. If I had to do it all again, I would have held off on the release of Inertia until Acceleration was closer to being ready for release, and I would have made any sort of public statement of intent for the release of Acceleration based upon mere estimates and guess work. I think things will be much more streamlined moving into Velocity as now I have a better idea of what all is involved of balancing a release with marketing. That wasn’t an issue I faced with Inertia.
One thing I will be working on more in the near future is adding more feature content to this blog. So far it’s been pretty exclusively dealing with details of my upcoming releases, etc. I actually feel quite self-conscious pimping myself so much, but so much of what I do now is focused on preparing for the print release of Book One and the release of Book Two that there isn’t much else for me to say. But as I build my back catalog and branch out into other realms, that’s going to change and hopefully the blog won’t be so much “oh, hey, look at my book! (that you’ve seen a hundred times before.)
Before I close this out, allow me to encourage all my readers in the U.S. to get out next Tuesday and vote. There is a lot riding on this election; don’t let your vote go to waste.
And while we’re speaking of voting, the M/M Romance group over at GoodReads has opened up nominations for their Readers’ Choice Awards. I’m not egotistical enough to nominate, or ask for nominations, for my own books, but I would really love to see Kerry and Michael’s hard work acknowledged by seeing one of these covers nominated for the Best Cover category.
So, I bobbled this a bit. The wonderful folks at Top2Bottom Reviews were supposed to host my cover reveal for Book Two and a special Halloween-themed excerpt. Which they did! But while they posted what was a very fun interview and a lovely review by Gabbi (thank you Gabbi!) there was some last-minute confusion and changes to the cover art so the version they have posted there isn’t the final version, and also the excerpt I sent them apparently wasn’t formatted properly so it’s a bit hard to read.
SO! I am going to put the cover art and excerpt here as well, with TONS of love to T2B for hosting me yesterday!
Special Excerpt from Chapter Seven of Acceleration
(ARC-quality excerpt; this has not received a final proof-reading)
Though this first chapter has been available at the end of Inertia for some time, I just realized I had never posted it here. I will do so now. Also, be sure to check out the other bonus excerpt from Acceleration over at Brandon Shire’s blog!
Stay tuned at the end of October for a third excerpt coming to Top2Bottom reviews, along with the cover reveal for Acceleration!
In celebration of completing Acceleration, Impulse Book Two, I have decided to have a little sale and drop the price on Inertia for a short while! The new list price is $2.99, available now at SmashWords, and likely within 12 hours at Amazon! If you’ve been interested in checking out Inertia, now’s the time!
Today I finished writing the first draft of Book Two. Now comes the editing.
This is unfortunately complicated by the fact that, going the self-publishing route, sales have not yet yielded enough for me to hire the freelance editor I used on the first book. The upside of self-publishing is that I get to use my own cover artist, who does such amazing work (seriously! I mean, LOOK at that!) The downside, however, is that editing comes out of pocket.
The deal I reached with my husband when he decided to invest in the first book was that we would find money in the household budget for editing the first book, and that the proceeds from that book would fund the editing of the second, etc. That goal has not yet been accomplished.
It was absolutely worth it, hiring Danielle Poiesz to edit the first book. She’s top-notch and I’m very grateful for her work. The story and characterization came out so much stronger, thanks to her. I look forward to working with her again. Having learned so much from the developmental/substantive edit she did on the first book, I’m hoping the story and characterization in the second book are solid enough that we can instead focus on a more technical edit and proofreading, which I had to shift for myself to do on Book One because I had spent my editing budget on the developmental edit.
I’m hoping sales will pick up soon, as more reviews come out. I know a few different review sites have looked at the book and will hopefully be posting reviews this month. I also have a lists of another dozen or so sites I didn’t know about, when my first inquiries about reviews/interviews/giveaways went out, which I can now contact now that I’m not busy writing all day. 😀
I’ve already been in contact with Kerry, my cover artist, and we’re brainstorming cover art. I hope to do an unveiling of that once it’s finished, by which time, hopefully, editing will be well underway and I’ll have a better idea of when I’ll be releasing Book Two.