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!
Tag Archives: velocity
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.)
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
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.
I started 2013 with the intention of publishing one novel-length story every three months (this was when I thought Strain would be published in the summer.) It hasn’t quite worked that way, because Strain has taken longer than I first was led to believe, and I also have had several novelette/novella length books released. I’ll have five releases by the end of the year, but only one will have been a novel.
March: Velocity (novel)
April: Giving an Inch (novelette)
May: The Laird’s Forbidden Lover (novella)
September: An Inch at a Time (novelette)
December (I think): Inch by Inch (novelette)
Conventional wisdom from authors attending the Gay Romance Northwest meet-up covered the subject of how often an author should publish in order to stay on the readers’ radar. The answer surprised me: there’s a push to publish quarterly to stay on top.
I am a prolific writer myself, but the thought of putting out something every quarter seemed pretty exhausting. After all, the process involves brainstorming, turning out a first draft, going back for the first edit, submitting, doing another, potentially more extensive edit for pre-publication that might involve re-writes, and galley approval. All of that for one manuscript–then the prospect of juggling four (or more!) manuscripts a year can be overwhelming.
That led me to take a look at my own experiences over the past year and a half. I started out submitting three manuscripts right out the gate. By the end of the year I’d submitted two more…
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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
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.
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.
So, imagine my surprise when I wake up this morning to see that Mandi at Smexybooks, who regularly rewrites a recommendations column for the Happy Ever After blog, chose to spotlight Velocity as one of her picks this week.
Thank you so much, Mandi! This is very exciting for me!
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:
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.
I’m not entirely certain why Amazon has discounted the paperback of Velocity by over $5 but it’s on sale right now, so by all means, if you want a physical copy in your hot little hands, grab it while the grabbing is good!
So, back in mid-December I was supposed to participate in the Next Big Thing blog hop. I’d been tagged by Anne Tenino and I had tagged Leta Blake. I failed miserably at it because the week that I was due to make my post, I had about five huge things going on all while I was coming down with a severe case of bronchitis. But I’ve actually reached a point where I feel like I should be making this post.
One of those huge things was that I was due to turn in Velocity to my editor on the day that I was supposed to make my post. That has come full-circle now, as today Velocity went live on all but a couple sites. The “official” release date isn’t until Saturday, March 2, but I uploaded early to account for processing time and it appears the process queues were actually moving very quickly, so it’s live early everywhere except on the sites where I was able to schedule the time it went live for sale in advance (which would be Itunes and Kobo at this point.)
Releasing Velocity is a bit of a bittersweet milestone for me. Derrick and Gavin are, for many, many reasons, very close to my heart and releasing this final chapter of their story into the world, knowing that their journey is done and that I’m not likely to be revisiting them much (if at all) is very sad. But I have had four months since I finished writing Velocity to prepare myself for it and I think I’ve come to some peace with it all.
So. The question is, what next? Well. My goal for this year was to publish at least four works, and I am well on track for that. Velocity is one down, and I already have three other works complete: one short story and two novels, both of which are nearly or more than twice the length of any of the Impulse books.
It’s looking like the short might be the first to see the light of day. Some of you who follow me on Twitter might remember back in August that I jumped feet first on the concept of a m/m Highland story. I wrote it in a little over a week (it was only about 8,000 words when I was finished) and then I let it sit on the shelf for several months as another project and Velocity took precedence. I came back to my Highland tale at the end of December, enriched and expanded it, and I am hoping to have an announcement regarding it in the coming weeks.
The title is Honor and Innocence, though I’m not entirely pleased with that and if a bolt of divine inspiration strikes with something that feels better to me, I may end up re-titling it. The title is definitely being redone. Stay tuned.
It’s an interesting tale because when we generally think of Highland historicals, we think of macho, hardened, mature warriors. Instead, my brain went somewhere else. It went to an exploration of young love between two boys who in their day and age have no gay role models and in a world where being an out gay man simply was never going to be a consideration. If you follow me on Twitter you might have even seen me calling it my Highland Twinks story. I wanted to know what they would do, would their love endure or would duty and honor present too big a conflict? I also wanted to explore the rarely-acknowledged fact that frequently in history, homosexuality was often met by people simply turning a blind eye and pretending not to notice, rather than with outright condemnation.
What will probably be coming down the pike after the Highland story is a near-future post-apocalyptic story titled Strain. I’ve discussed this one before, for a while referring to it as my Sooper Sekrit Projekt and finally letting people in on the title and little bits of information about it. Strain is the first story I wrote with the intention of submitting to a press. The first draft was ~65K and I wrote it in three weeks back in September for an open submissions call that closed on November 1. I submitted it in mid-October and just after mid-December I received a request to make some revisions and resubmit it, which I did in early-to-mid January, expanding it to ~103K and generally strengthening it on a number of levels. I am now waiting to find out if it has been accepted. In the near future (perhaps within the next month or so) I will either be making an announcement regarding it, or shopping for a new press to submit it to, or deciding whether to self-publish it. Since it’s been almost five months since I made the original submission, I’m very excited at the prospect of getting this story moving toward publication, however that ends up happening.
Strain is a very different piece for me, in both tone and content. It has a lot of hard edges as it depicts a brutal and desperate world where the characters’ choices are frequently ugly, and where sometimes the best way to save someone you care about is to do the unthinkable. It’s not going to appeal to the faint of heart, that’s for certain. Those looking for sweetness and tenderness will be better served sticking to the Highland piece.
The final story I have written is an amazing piece that absolutely ate my brain this past month. I really…there are no words to describe this story. I could be completely delusional. It may be that this story will not impact the readers nearly as strongly as it did me, though one of my beta readers did tell me that if other people respond to it the way she did, it could very well be my breakout piece, the work that puts me on the map as an author. From my own perspective, it is, bar none, the most powerful thing I’ve ever written. It came out to be 93K. I wrote it in two weeks, revised, edited and proofed it in another week, and submitted it to a press because it’s simply too important a work to be lost in the obscurity that attends a self-published author without a very large following yet.
The working title is Saugatuck Summer (and, like the Highland story, I’m still not entirely pleased with that and may end up re-titling it.) It is meant to be the first book in a series set in a town called Saugatuck on the shores of Lake Michigan. Saugatuck, and it’s neighbor, Douglas, are real place, a very popular vacation and tourism destination for LGBT folk around the midwest, much like Provincetown and Fire Island are on the east coast. Douglas hosts a gay resort called The Dunes that is quite famous and there’s even a gay RV park and campground. Having grown up in the suburbs of Grand Rapids, I’ve taken road trips to Saugatuck/Douglas and admired the beachfront homes and the picturesque town more than once. This series hopefully be very much like the Tucker Springs series by L.A. Witt, Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton in that it will be centered on the sometimes-intersecting lives of characters living in the same town. After all, why base a story in a town with a significant LGBT presence unless you can include lots of LGBT characters to explore?
But back to the story. It’s less of a romance (though there is a romance that develops and there is some, for my money, rather scorching erotic content) as it is a coming-of-age story. If I could manage to not write erotic content, it would probably actually be a perfect New Adult story but let’s get real, that’s never going to happen.
The main character, Topher, is a 21-year-old young man trying to outgrow a history of neglect and abuse and figure out who he is as he tries to rise above the temptation to let all the weight of his past drag him down. Topher is a very personal character to me because everything about his history is biographical of a person I know very intimately. Only the “present day” events of Topher’s life and a few other details are fictionalized, as if he and the person he is based off of diverged just before the time the story takes place. So you can see why it would be so close to my heart.
This is, again, a story that is going to have some themes that will be objectionable to some readers, because these characters make some horrible mistakes and bad choices as part of their journey and that’s going to make a lot of people uncomfortable. They do the stupid thing, the wrong thing and they face the consequences of their ill-advised choices. They are, in short, very fallible and thus very human. That’s probably not going to resonate with people who prefer the characters they read about to always do the right/smart/good thing.
But for my money it’s the most intense and hard-hitting thing I’ve ever written and I really look forward to putting it out in front of the world.
I am presently at work on the second Saugatuck story, which deals with a couple you meet in the first book, and that one is definitely going to be more of an erotic romance and probably won’t carry the same emotional impact as the first one. But that’s okay, too. Sometimes your characters just want a sexy romp!
So, that’s what is coming in the next year, and hopefully a lot more. I am hoping to write a million words this year. I’m already over 180K so I’m well on my way. With that much going on, I hope lots of exciting things will develop in the coming months!
So, for those of you who don’t know exactly how self-publishing works, here’s some insight.
Those nicely coordinated releases where a book hits everywhere at once? It doesn’t happen for me.
The problem is, is that except for a few places (namely Kobo, ARe and RainbowEbooks) unless you’re a major publishing house, you cannot upload an ebook to be released at a future date, the creating a pre-order page or even just obtaining a URL to which you can direct buyers to in advance. At Amazon, Barnes & Noble, SmashWords, and I believe Itunes, the moment it is uploaded and approved, it goes live.
This makes it very hard to conduct a coordinated release. If you upload to ARe and RainbowBooks and SmashWords, it goes live immediately. But Amazon might take 12-24 hours (48 internationally) to approve your upload and create your product page. B&N and Kobo can take up to 72, and Itunes can take a couple weeks.
Believe me, this makes it tough to coordinate release-day reviews, because what I need to do is get the ARC to reviewers weeks in advance, but they won’t have purchase links to put on their post. So then I upload the files as close to release day as possible in order to have them approved and have a URL for the book at Amazon or wherever, and then email the purchase links to reviewers sometimes less than 24 hours before their review is due to go live. It’s really quite annoying and life would be infinitely easier if every site would let you upload in advance and schedule a future date for the files to go live.
The point to all this rambling is to inform you that today I will begin uploading to Amazon and B&N. The files have already been uploaded and approved at Kobo, but of course, there I can schedule an offset release date. The files have also been uploaded to Itunes as of several days ago, but last I checked they hadn’t yet been approved for distribution and might not be for some time yet.
What this means is that Velocity might go live on Amazon and B&N sometime today or tomorrow, before the “official” release date. So if you’re an early bird, you might just be able to snag a copy.
If you’re holding off for ARe or Rainbow Ebooks, I’m sorry but those will not be going live until Saturday. The reason for this is that my sales took a significant hit with the release of Acceleration going the pre-order route at ARe. It turns out, unless you’re a hugely popular, well-known author, people aren’t that interested in pre-ordering an upcoming release. The times at ARe that I’ve made the most sales have been when my book was both live and near the top of the New Releases list. If I were to upload it for pre-order, it would have fallen to the bottom of the New Releases list before it ever actually went live. So, I’m holding off on those sites and will upload and release there on Saturday, the official release date.
Less than a week left to win Velocity (3 giveaways closing soon!) #mm #romance #gay #ebook #freeread #giveaway
There are presently three giveaways running for Velocity, all of which close soon:
Lisa at The Novel Approach will be giving away a copy this weekend, and she also has her 4.5 star review posted. Comment there to enter.
For those of you over at who like paperbacks, I’m also giving away a paperback copy of Velocity at GoodReads. To enter, follow the directions here.
Finally, Chris at StumblingOverChaos is hosting a giveaway as well. Just comment here to enter!
Good luck! 4 more days to release!
If you’re looking for epub format, Velocity is now available at Kobo for pre-order! Enjoy!
Lisa is hosting a Velocity giveaway over at The Novel Approach (and she shares her thoughts about the book as well!) Check it out!
Love, like fire, cannot subsist without constant impulse; it ceases to live from the moment it ceases to hope or to fear – Francois La Rochefoucauld.
Ladies and gentlemen, the results are in…
Lukas is a rat bastard. That is all.
What? You didn’t think I was going to tell you about those other results did you? Nah. For those results, you have to read the book, which I highly recommend you do if you’re at all invested in Gavin and Derrick’s relationship.
Yes, Gavin’s ex is back to cause no small amount of problems in this final episode of the Impulse series, as if Gavin didn’t already have enough on his plate to worry about. Lukas is around just to make sure he heaps a little more grief on that whopping pile of anxiety Gavin’s already burdened with, preying on the man’s doubts and fears, as well as manipulating…
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Due to the way things worked out when I approved the proof on CreateSpace, the paperback went immediately up for sale. The Kindle and other ebook versions won’t be available until release date (or shortly before if they are processed early on the sites which have to approve them) but if you want the paperback, you can buy it at Amazon now.
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.
Stumbling Over Chaos is hosting a giveaway for Velocity which will end on Release Day, March 2. To sweeten the pot, I’ve offered to throw in copies of Inertia and Acceleration for those who don’t already own them. This giveaway is for ebook copies of the book(s). Just comment here to enter!
For those of you over at who like paperbacks, I’m also giving away a paperback copy of Velocity at GoodReads. To enter, follow the directions here.
Finally, keep an eye on The Novel Approach. Lisa will be hosting another Velocity ebook giveaway this coming week!