Tag Archives: Acceleration

Woohoo! Acceleration and Velocity both make it as runners-up in the #RainbowAwards

Rainbow Awards – Best LGBT Erotic Romance

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!

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Cyber Monday! Get a 50% rebate on all my titles @AllRomance #ebooks http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Amelia+C.+Gormley #mmromance

It’s that time of year again! Last year, All Romance Ebooks had a rocking Cyber Monday sale, offering a 50% rebate in store credit on all books! It might not be actually half-off, but it’s double the books for the same price! Since ARe also has this wonderful “Buy 10 Get One Free” thing they do, it’s a great time to stock up and get your free 11th book for the price of only buying 5 books. (If you’re willing to pay $1.50 more, you can buy all three Impulse books separately and get three credits toward your ten books, rather than buying the Impulse all-in-one volume, which would only give you one credit.)

FIND ME AT ALL ROMANCE eBOOKS HERE!

In case you’re wondering, this is what you’ll be paying after rebate:

The Laird’s Forbidden Lover: $2.00
Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1): $1.50
An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2): $1.50
Impulse: The Complete Trilogy: $5.00
Inertia (Impulse, Book One): $1.50
Acceleration (Impulse, Book Two): $2.50
Velocity (Impulse, Book Three): $2.50

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30% #rebate @AllRomance ebooks today! #mm #romance

FIND ME HERE AT ARe!

If you wanted to get my Impulse books, or any of my Riptide releases, today is a good day to jump on that. ARe is having a 30% rebate today only, plus there’s that “Buy 10, Get 1 Free” thing at ARe, so now would be a good time to chip away at your requisite 10.

 

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Taking care of business before #GRL2013

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.

TPR3Contest_newsletter

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:

1. Voyeurism
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!

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Acceleration and Velocity are both Rainbow Awards finalists! #mmromance

FinalistMD

 

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!

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Another Honorable Mention from the Rainbow Awards, for Velocity!

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.

Re: Acceleration

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

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Acceleration scores an Honorable Mention in the Rainbow Awards!

HonorableMentionSM

 

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.

Acceleration-ecover-200x300

 

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

Inertia-ecover-200x300 Velocity-ecover-200x300

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Filed under Acceleration, Announcements, Inertia, News for Released Titles, Velocity

Rainbow Awards Cover Contest, round 2

The Acceleration cover, featuring art done by the amazing Kerry Chin (aka Dragonreine) made it through to the second round of the Rainbow Awards. If you have a chance, hop on over at vote!

Acceleration-ecover-200x300

 

Edit: Oh! Inertia and Velocity made it, too!  Feel free to vote for those as well!

Inertia-ecover-200x300

Velocity-ecover-200x300

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20% off all my titles @RainboweBooks

Rainbow eBooks is having a Christmas in July sale (I presume today and tomorrow?) You receive 20% off throughout the store. All of my titles, including my all-in-one volume of Impulse: The Complete Trilogy, are on sale.

Check it out!

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An anniversary and a year in review

As of yesterday, it has been one year since I self-published my first book, Inertia.

I will be the first to admit that I went into publishing all wrong. I had no idea what it was about. A friend told me “you should do this” so I commissioned cover art, hired an editor, and did it. I knew nothing about the finer points of self-publishing or book marketing or the genre. I was fortunate in that one of the first contacts I made when I found out that offering copies for review was the thing to do was Cryselle, who runs her own review blog and also reviews for Jessewave and a few other sites. She was absolutely lovely and sort of took me in-hand and nudged me in the right direction.

Amusing anecdote time:

I was advised to self-publish by a friend in gaming fandom, whom we’ll call D.R. Her words were basically, “what you write is as good as any other the other stuff I’ve been reading in this genre, so you should go for it!” So I went for it. And because of that, I met Cryselle, who told me I should introduce myself to P.D. Singer, which I did. Pam was totally delightful and hugely helpful, and she told me to introduce myself to Angela Benedetti, who is also wonderful.

Then one night on Gchat, Angie and I were getting to know each other and she mentioned some fanfic pairings she read, one of which was somewhat unique, so I said, “hey, I know someone who writes that!” And she said, “You know T?” And I said, “No, but I know her wife” at which point Angie was all “Oh, you know D.R.!”

So. Apparently it is, indeed, a small world after all.

After releasing Inertia, which did, I admit, end on a rather abrupt note, a fact which has been pointed out many, many times, there was a lot of furor for Book Two. Unfortunately, my editor had quite a backlog, though, so I wasn’t able to release Acceleration until the end of November. As an author, I felt like Acceleration was a much more solid book, and both my editor and the reviewers seemed to agree with that assessment.

Luckily, by that point I was starting to get into a pretty smooth production groove. I knew Acceleration would be coming out in late November, so the last minute push there was going to each into NaNoWriMo. So I time-shifted my personal NaNoWriMo and began working on October 13, giving myself 30 days (until November 12) to write 50,000 words on Book Three, Velocity. I finished on November 4, scheduled editing for January, and planned the release for March. The entire process went incredibly smoothly.

In the meantime, I was also working on other projects. In August after I finished writing Acceleration, I wrote an 8K short based on nothing more than a mention I had seen on Twitter that there needed to be some m/m Highland romance. I really wasn’t happy with the result, though, so I shelved the short and began working on Strain.

Strain was an interesting endeavor, because it was written in response to Riptide’s At World’s End open call. Submission deadline was Nov 1, and I didn’t discover the call and realize I had a story idea for it until August 31, which meant I had two months to write and polish a novel for submission.

I finished writing Strain on September 28, and submitted it on October 10. It came in at ~65K. In 29 days. I thought that was pretty spiffy.

In mid-December, I heard back on the Strain submission and the manuscript wasn’t quite there yet, so the lovely Sarah Frantz gave me some revision suggestions and brainstormed with me and from the last week of December to mid-January, Strain went from 65K to 103K and I resubmitted it.  In December, Leta Blake also did a beta read of the Highland story and gave me some suggestions (and also reassured me that a lot of my problem with it was my inner critic being too harsh) and that story went from 8K to 13.5K and I submitted it to Riptide as well in mid-January. Then I got my edits back from my editor on Velocity, turned those around, and began sending out review copies.

Then my brain got eaten by zombies a story. It started in the car on the way to pick up lunch for my son and I one afternoon. A single line of dialogue. That was it. Just one completely out of context line that I knew I had to write. So I began building the world and plot around that line. It was easy, because the character who spoke that line was the most amazing, clear, intensely vivid character to ever give birth to himself in my mind. And he did. I claim no responsibility for creating Topher. He created himself, walked up to me, whispered that line in my ear, and demanded I write about him. And his voice! Oh, God, his voice. Clarion-clear from beginning to end.

I actually deviated from my refusal not to write out-of-sequence working on Topher’s story, because scenes were composing themselves in my head so clearly and loudly I had to get them out to make room for other things. Honestly, I don’t know how to begin describing the experience of writing Saugatuck Summer. It was magic. I knew as I was writing it that it was the best thing I had ever written, and quite possibly would ever write. I completed writing the entire 93K novel in 15 days, edited, polished, and submitted it. I actually waffled on whether or not to submit it or self-publish. I knew I could turn it around a lot faster if I self-pubbed, and I really, really wanted to get it into the hands of the public because it’s just such an amazing story. But I knew going through Riptide, it would reach a much broader audience and have a lot more marketing support, and it’s a book that really deserves that sort of backing.

Velocity released in March, and I began working up another story in the Saugatuck universe and conceptualizing a couple more novels. I received an acceptance for the Highland story, which was then expanded from 13.5K to over 20K and became The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, and Heidi Belleau surprised me with an invitation to write a novelette to fill a void in the Riptide schedule, which became Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1). We quickly completed TPR#2, An Inch at a Time, which is currently awaiting edits and is, for my money, better than the first. We have TPR#3 mostly written. All it’s awaiting for is an audience participation element that will take place when TPR#2 is published.

Giving an Inch was published in April, and The Laird’s Forbidden Lover was published in early May. During April, May, and June I worked on the second book in the Saugatuck universe, and also began a new and somewhat different project: a murder mystery, an honest-to-God whodunnit, which is called Third Wave. I’d say it’s about 2/3 complete in its first draft, but it definitely needs some work. I also am now working on a third book in the Saugatuck universe and I have a few other projects just beginning.

I admit, I’m hitting a bit of a slump at the moment. I’m trying not to stress out over it, because I know I’ve been plenty productive, but I’m one of those perfectionist people who feels utterly useless if they’re not actively working on something, so this not writing thing is grating on me. But between drafting, revisions and edits, I’ve written almost 500K so far in 2013 (closer to 700K if you go back a full year to when Inertia was first published), and I’ve gotten contracts on both Strain (coming January 2014) and Saugatuck Summer (coming May 2014). I’m not sure I’m going to meet my goal of writing a million words in 2013, but I can’t say I haven’t kicked some serious writing ass the last 12 months.

When I get back into the groove, I’ll be working on Third Wave and Risk Aware, which is the other Saugatuck story I have completed, but which needs some pretty extensive revision.

So, that’s my first year in publishing. Not bad, if I do say so myself. Can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

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Vote for Acceleration in the December Rainbow Awards cover contest.

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!

Acceleration-ecover-1800x2700

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Easter #sale 30% #discount @RainbowEbooks this weekend #mmromance #gay #romance #ebooks #amreading

Rainbow Ebooks is having an Easter sale this weekend, 30% off throughout the store, including Inertia, Acceleration and Velocity. Get ’em cheap!

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30% off all 3 Impulse books @RainbowEbooks! #mmromance #gay #romance #amreading #discount

Rainbow Ebooks is having a sale today (it might even be all weekend, the flier didn’t say) so here is your change to get 30% off all three volumes of Impulse.

Enjoy!

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Writing a novel in three parts: Let’s get some things straight

As I’ve said in the past, though I often refer to Impulse as a trilogy for the sake of simplicity, it’s actually more accurate to call it a novel in three parts, much like The Lord of the Rings. Which is why on the cover of each novel, it very clearly says “Impulse, Book One” or Book Two or whatever.

I remember back in…2001 the The Fellowship of the Ring movie came out, the very first day it opened, on a message board I hung out on frequently at the time, someone went rant about it. This person was  offended that she didn’t get the entire LOTR story in a single film. Even though it had been all over the media for a good four years or so that there would be three films, even though the original LOTR novel was divided into three parts. Even though she must have had some passing familiarity with LOTR prior to that since she was, by her own adamant admission “a HUGE Arwen/Aragorn shipper.”

She complained that she’d been ripped off, how this was just a cheap ploy by a Hollywood studio to bilk the consumer out of more money, how she wanted the ending RIGHT NOW, etc, etc, etc.

What she didn’t take into account was all the reasoning behind the decision to make the story into three films.

Why did Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema choose to make three movies? Well, for a number of reasons, most of which boiled down to the fact that there was no way to tell the whole tale and do it justice in accordance with Tolkien’s vision and the expectations of the devout fans in the length of a single film. Of course, they could have done it, had the film been ten hours long, but I think most reasonable people agree that 3-3.5 hours is pretty much the ceiling for the length of a film before the audience just becomes fatigued. A decision was made that it was better for the story, and better for the audience, to divide the story into parts and release them in sequence.

Now, I haven’t the ego to claim to be in league with the storytelling genius of Tolkien or the movie-making genius of Peter Jackson. Nonetheless, some of the same reasoning went into my decision to make Impulse into three parts.

First question: Why did I decide to split the story into three parts?

The first reason is narrative flow. I intended from the very start to deal with the stages of a new relationship in three very distinct chunks, in keeping with the three-act structure of any story: beginning, middle, end.

The first chunk is the “coming together” phase: flirting, ascertaining the other party’s interest, overcoming doubts to find the courage to reach other, and initiating sex.

The second chunk would be the “honeymoon” phase of the first 2-3 months of a new relationship, when the sexual chemistry is off the scale and the world pretty much just revolves around your need to bond and cement this new partnership.

The third chunk would be the settling in phase, where the immediacy of lust and the need for the other person cools down enough to enable the partners to stop living in the now and start looking both toward the future and toward the outside, at the issues facing them beyond the perimeter of the bubble they’ve been living in.

The second answer is optimal book length. When I discovered how many words were involved in such a story (I anticipated about 50,000 works for each act and came in pretty close at 46K, 48K and 58K respectively) I had to figure out if that was a feasible ebook length, or if it was too unwieldy.

In my research, I discovered a lot of people opining that the optimal ebook length was 50-80K. Now, this meant I could have made two books out of it and still fallen within that window, but it would have broken up the narrative flow in the wrong places. How would LOTR have worked out if it had been two books, one of which ended in the middle of what is the arc of The Two Towers? How would the original Star Wars trilogy have worked out if it had been two movies, the first of which wrapped up midway through the action of The Empire Strikes Back? There is a pattern to these things, which is why the three-act story arc is an absolute necessity. Beginning, middle, end. A duology doesn’t work nearly as well because it defies that mandatory storytelling structure. So, I had three very clear-cut ~50K novels.

Second question: Admit it, you broke it into three parts to scam the readers of more money, right?

No. From a business perspective, breaking the novel into three parts was a very good choice for me because otherwise I could not have afforded a professional editor. My editor charges $100-125 per 10,000 words depending on if she’s doing developmental editing or line editing with developmental features. This means it would have cost me $1500-$1850 to have the entire work edited as a single edition. If that had been the case, these books would never have happened, because I just could not have afforded to go that deep in the hole. By breaking the story into three chunks, I could get them edited in ~$500-600 increments.

I went into the hole for the first one, and all my sales from that first book I collected to pay for the production of the second book (and even then I still had to supplement with my birthday money to get the job done.) The third book is the first time this has become an entirely self-sustaining enterprise, and I haven’t even gotten out of the hole yet.

Between editing, cover art, formatting and design, I have spent $2200 to produce this three-part novel and I’ve only made about $1600 of that back so far. In fact, I still owe my family’s household budget $500 for the editing of the first book.

If money came into play in the decision to make this story three parts, it was not to bilk readers out of more money, it was to keep production expenses in reasonable chunks so that I could afford to produce at all.

Another reason to break it into three parts is pricing and salability. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Dean Wesley Smith, he’s pretty much the guru where indie publishing is concerned. Let’s take a look what he recommends for ebook pricing:

— Novels

Front list, meaning brand new. Over 50,000 words. $7.99

Shorter front list novels, meaning 30,000 to 50,000 words. $6.99

Backlist novels, meaning already published by a traditional publisher. $6.99

According to this guru in the industry, Inertia and Acceleration are underpriced by a dollar each, and Velocity is underpriced by two dollars.

Had I published the entire novel in a single unit, I would have had to charge $7.99. As an author no one has ever heard of before. With no opportunity to get a “backlist bump” with each subsequent release because there would be no backlist.

To get more genre-specific, Riptide Publishing uses the following pricing structure:

Under 5,000 words: $.99
5,000 to 9,999 words: $1.99
10,000 to 17,999 words: $2.99
18,000 to 29,999 words: $3.99
30,000 to 39,999 words: $4.99
40,000 to 49,999 words: $5.99
50,000 to 69,999 words: $6.99
70,000 to 89,999 words: $7.99
90,000+ words: $8.99

How many books do you think I would have sold had I priced the volume at $7.99-8.99? As a completely brand new, unheard-of author? Enough to ever make my investment back? No, of course not. No one would pay that amount for a book by someone they’ve never heard of before.

So again, we come back to the point that this novel-in-three-parts would never have existed if I had tried to publish it as a single volume. It would have been too expensive to produce, and I would never have earned back my investment to produce it.

Now, in case anyone thinks my books are overpriced, allow me to point out that my pricing is right in line or a little below what Riptide uses, as shown above. Need more?

  • Dreamspinner Press prices most of their novels around the length of mine at $6.99.
  • Samhain charges $5.50-$6.50 for novel-length new releases. 
  • Stormmoon Press charges $6.99 for a 75K word novel and $9.99 for a 107K novel.
  • MLR charges $8.99 for a 123K novel, $7.99 for 77K, and $5.99 for 39K
  • Torquere charges $6.99 for novels around the length of Inertia.

The price I have set for my novels is at or below industry standard for the m/m romance genre.

Third question: but you are still making bank, right?

You couldn’t be more wrong. I am, quite literally, working for free.

What I’ve listed above, the $2200 to produce these three novels and the $1600 I’ve recouped so far? That’s just with concern to paying for the external services to produce the novel, editing, cover art, layout, etc. It doesn’t even take into consideration paying a wage to myself. Let’s refer back to Dean Wesley Smith on the labor cost involved in writing a novel.

I find Smith’s estimate there of “paying” yourself $50/hour to be a little on the high end. After all, $50/hour for a 40-hour a week job would be over $100,000/year. Let’s say I wanted to make a more reasonable “supplement my family and keep us afloat” wage of $30,000/year, which is what I was making when I got laid off from my last job. I would need to pay myself ~$14.50/hour.

So. According to Smith math, 1000 words = 1 hour. Therefore 150K words (not including time spent editing, revising, marketing, etc; I actually work 14-16 hours a day right now) would be 150 hours. At $14.50/hour, I would need to pay myself $2175. That doubles the production cost of this 150K word novel to almost $4400.

Again, I’ve made $1600 so far. Eight months since I first published. $1600. Out of a $2200 monetary investment and a $2200 time investment. Not only am I still in the hole for the services I paid for to produce these books, I’m working for free. I have not made a single dime for myself.

That’s important to understand. What you have paid for my books goes to pay the booksellers (Amazon, ARe, etc) and my editor and my cover artist and my layout/design/formatting guy. Not a single cent of it has yet gone to pay me for the time I’ve spent writing the book. Not a single cent.

I’m working for free. And I will be for quite some time yet. I’d earn more flipping burgers for minimum wage at McDonalds.

I wrote those 150,000 words out of love for storytelling, not to get rich. I wrote them out of love for this particular story and these particular characters. I wrote them because I had a beautiful story I felt I needed to share with the world. I separated them into three parts so that I could feasibly bring them to the public, because otherwise it would not have been feasible for me to have done so.

That’s it. I write because I love to write, not because it makes me rich. Hell, it doesn’t even put food on my table.

Never at any point in time was my decision to divide the novel into three parts an effort to scam anyone out of more money. It was to make the novel salable and get it into the hands of the public and begin building up name recognition for myself while still making at least a token effort at recouping my monetary investment, if not my time investment.

Now, did I handle the denouement of Book One badly? Yes. I freely admit that. I was utterly at a loss as to how to end that because at the point where it ended, that WAS the close of the first act, the same way Frodo and Sam striking out on their own toward Mordor was the end of The Fellowship of the Ring. There WAS NO MORE STORY LEFT TO TELL in the first act. There simply wasn’t.

Was it clumsy? Yes, but it was the end of the first act.

The second act would begin the very next time the two characters saw each other, which would then be the beginning of the “Honeymoon” phase (launching, not without a hefty amount of symbolism, with their first act of intercourse.)

It wasn’t an optimal way to end Book One and I’ve taken my lumps for it left, right, and center. Perhaps if I’d been able to afford another round of developmental edits, my editor and I could have brainstormed a better denouement, but it was what it was.

It was never an attempt to write a cliffhanger. It was not sequel bait. And it certainly wasn’t an effort to con anyone out of more money. It was the organic ending of the first act of a three-part story. Full stop.

So. Perhaps now people will understand a little better why the novel is structured in three parts the way it is.

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Turning the day around — Look what a year has done!

So, as mentioned in my previous post, my day had a rocky and rather craptacular beginning in which a lot of my anxieties got triggered. Things seem to have calmed down and improved now, and as my less vocal, rational brain suspected, it was indeed mostly a case of atrocious word choice and the reality isn’t nearly so dire.

I also made lasagna today! Not sure I’ll be able to eat it with this stomach virus, but it looks delicious and I feel accomplished.

But what has really turned my day around was taking a glance at a stack of books on my dresser. My books.

See, yesterday I got my proof for the paperback of Velocity, so now I have print copies of three books all with my name on them. And all three of them were sitting there. Real. Tangible. They actually exist. I can touch them.

I have published three books.

This time last year, I had a manuscript. A manuscript which had to be 40-50% rewritten once I finally found an editor (with whom I wouldn’t make contact until March 23.)

That’s it. That’s all I had.

What do I have now?

Now, one year later, I have three books published (well, the third won’t be out for another nine days, but it’s pretty much a done deal. I could publish tomorrow if I wanted to.)

I have a lot of overwhelmingly positive feedback from readers and reviewers.

I have two more novels (each of which are nearly or more than twice as long as any of the three I’ve already published) written and submitted, both of which are some of the finest writing I’ve ever done, and a short story also written and submitted.

I am 21K and a lot of research hours into my next manuscript.

I set myself a goal of writing a million words this year, which means I need to average ~2800/day. So far my daily average is 3375, and that doesn’t include material trimmed out and rewritten in edits.

So. Looking back I’d say the last yeah has been extremely successful, at least on the productivity front.

In the weeks to come, I hope to be able to deliver more news on my upcoming projects but that is still up in the air at the moment. Stay tuned, though, for when I finally update about Strain and my latest project.

Meanwhile, if you want a hint of what might be coming down the pike, allow me to introduce you to my visual inspiration for Darius and Rhys from Strain.

Idris Elba as Darius

Jakob Bertelsen as Rhys

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Just in time for Velocity: 30% Kobo ebooks this weekend! code 30WEEKEND

Here’s another chance to get caught up on Inertia and Acceleration at a discount before the release of Velocity!  Remember, Velocity comes out March 2, just two more weeks!

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Just in time for Velocity — 50% rebate on Inertia and Acceleration at All Romance Ebooks!

Today, All Romance Ebooks is offering a 50% rebate today in honor of Valentine’s Day, so this is a perfect time to get caught up on Inertia and Acceleration, just in time for the release of Velocity!

Check it out!

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Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest for Romance: Second Round http://www.amazon.com/abna

This probably isn’t nearly as exciting as I find it to be, but still.

I entered Acceleration in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest in the Romance category. Today they announced the 400 books in each category that are moving up to the next round, and mine was one of them!

Of course, the chances of me getting into the 100 quarter-finalists for the next round probably aren’t that good, but STILL! I’m very excited!

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Crawling out from under my rock (with Velocity stuff and other news!)

So! Hi there! Yes, I’ve been very quiet the last month and a half or so, haven’t I? On December 19th I was supposed to participate in the The Next Big Thing blog hop, for which I’d been tagged by Anne Tenino and had tagged P.D. Singer and Leta Blake. Clearly, I completely spaced making that post. I also owe Leta a guest blog post I was supposed to get to her earlier this month.

Though the holidays and the release of Acceleration were a not-insignificant portion of my distraction, the main part of it has actually been illness. Around December 10, a mildly escalating cough became a case of bronchitis that has not wanted to let go. On Christmas Eve, when I was supposed to be getting my house ready to have MIL over for Christmas the next day, I was instead at the urgent care clinic having an albuterol treatment, where they also prescribed for me antibiotics and an inhaler. Two weeks later I went in to see my own doctor because I still hadn’t improved, and she prescribed for me a different inhaler with steroids in it. Now here we are nearly two months since the first cough began and I’m still not over it, though it does appear to be (very slowly) improving.

Despite my illness, the only aspect of my productivity that has taken a significant hit is my blogging obligations. 😀 I did manage a guest post for Chicks & Dicks, which will be up on Wednesday. Their theme for January is New Beginnings and I took an opportunity to discuss how that relates to some of my current projects and also my writing philosophy.

In addition, I’ve been very busy on the writing and editing front. On December 19th, I submitted Velocity to my editor. A couple days later, I heard back from the press to which I had submitted Sooper Sekrit Projekt, which I now feel comfortable letting you all know is titled Strain. I got a Revise and Resubmit letter and did some brainstorming with the editor I’m working with, which resulted in me significantly restructuring most of the 65K I had already written, and adding almost another 40K, making Strain nearly twice as long as the books of my Impulse trilogy.

If you would like some hints about Strain, since it was open on my desktop at the time, I used a couple snippets of it when P.D. Singer and Anne Tenino tagged me for the 7/7/7 game over on Facebook last week. You can find the posts here and here.

Back in August when I was trying to come up with something short to fill in the interim between the release of Inertia and Acceleration, I wrote a short story about Highland lads that I subsequently put on the shelf because I was under a deadline to write and submit Strain. After having Leta Blake take a look at it and assure me it didn’t go off the rails quite as badly as I seemed to think it had, I reworked and expanded it a bit and I’m rather pleased with the results. So finally I polished it up and sent it off, and we’ll see just where it ends up.

Then last week I got my edits back for Velocity. In addition to being ill, I’ve been a bit hesitant to release a lot of news about Velocity because I don’t have any cover art for it yet. Kerry Chin and I had originally targeted the end of December for having the cover art done, but health and RL issues have been plaguing her as well. This is why I still don’t have the first chapter up on my Coming Soon page. Now we’re hoping to have that done at the end of January.

While this has put me behind the ball on the publicity front, on the text front, things are going just swimmingly. I’m really happy that I made arrangements to do the edits so early, so I won’t be caught in a crunch to turn them around and get the ARCs out immediately after I get the edits done like I was with Acceleration, and I’ll have a lot more time for proofreading without hitting that point where I want to gouge my eyeballs out with a spork if I have to look at the text one more damned time.

With that in mind, assuming I have the cover art, the release date for Velocity will be March 2. I may have to reschedule if something goes wrong on the art end, but I don’t think that will be necessary. I will be posting more information as it becomes available.

If all goes well, I hope to release something every three months or so this year, whether by self-pub or through a press. I’m hoping to have the Highland story published around June, and Strain around September. What will I have for December? Well, that is the big question. I have a couple different ideas I’m tossing around that I hope to begin writing once I have Strain resubmitted. Stay tuned!

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Check out who made Melanie’s Best Of 2012 list at Joyfully Jay!

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!

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Acceleration is now available in print!

Acceleration is now available as a paperback. You can find it at Amazon!

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The music of Acceleration

Today Eden Winters posted the first of a pair of guest blog posts dealing with music mentioned in Acceleration. The second post will go up next week and deals with a different flavor of music. Be sure to check them out!

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Acceleration is now live!

Amazon has approved the file upload, so I’m gonna go ahead and declare Acceleration live. Some retailers will take longer. B&N, Kobo and Itunes haven’t finished processing yet. But Acceleration is here!

Amazon
All Romance Ebooks
Kobo
SmashWords
Rainbow Ebooks

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Less than 36 hours to go to Acceleration!

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:

SmashWords: 85%
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 AccelerationInertia 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.

So excited for people to start reading Acceleration! It’s almost here! Whee!

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Two chances to win Acceleration!

The drawing over at Stumbling Over Chaos is still open, if you want to enter. And also there is another drawing hosted by The Novel Approach. Don’t miss your chance to win!

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