Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone.

The best and most prosperous new year to all our Write Words authors, and to writers everywhere.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First Hook 'em -- Writing tip

The first line in any story or article is your hook. Raise a question right away. Once a question is raised in the mind of the reader, he or she will want to keep reading to find the answer--and you have them "hooked."

The first "hook" in a short story usually foreshadows the central problem that will challenge the protagonist. In an article it asks a question on what the article is about. A hook should raise a question in the mind of the reader that will be answered before the story is over. Hooks heighten reader interest, pure and simple.

The good news is, you can write that line last, so don't waste time starting your story -- get the work done and then figure out the first line.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Bad Review - Writing Tip

If you receive a bad review, you are in good company. Plenty of good authors have been knocked by critics.

Someone complained to us this week that they received a bad review and were devastated so much that they questioned their decision to be writer. No one decides to be a writer other than that they are called to do it. Sure folks see all the money made by people like Steven King and think they want to be a writer, but when they get right down to it -- it's harder work than cleaning the oven. You end up standing on your head, up to your elbows in grease, and stiffled by noxious fumes. If writers had no calling, they'd be playing with their kids, going shopping or to the movies, or watching the Play-Offs. They would not be staring at the screen until beads of blood formed on their foreheads.

And after all that effort, we get trashed by reviewers? Yep. So it seems.

Remember, One Person's Opinion is just that. One person's opinion. Whether it's a critic for the NY Times or someone who posts a comment in an on line bookstore, it's only one person. Remember, even a bad review can lead to book sales.

So if you get a bad review, join the ranks of folks like Anton Checkov, Ernest Hemingway, Leo Tolstoy, John Steinbeck, Margaret Mitchell, and Mark Twain.

Then smile and go back to your keyboard.

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's all in the details - Writing Tip

Use what you have. That sounds simple, doesn't it. You would have thought I would know that from Jump Street, but I didn't.

I thought if I wrote a story about a wedding, I had to make up the church, spend a lot of time picturing what it was like, creating the whole thing in my mind before I tried to set it down faithfully in every detail.

Then I'd go on to do the same with the wedding dress, and then the next imaginary detail. Now I just describe my church, or a church I have been in, a bell-skirted wedding dress I saw in a magazine ad, the lace-encrusted shirt my son received as part of the rented tux when he acted as his friend's best man. The secret is that the reader will take the few details you include and imagine a church of his or her own.

Reading is participatory. If you use what you have in writing, the reader will bring his or her own imagery to the reading and create their own picture of a church, or wedding dress, or whatever you mention, in their imagination. What they envision may in no way resemble what you had envisioned in your own mind. But if you envision your church clearly, as you write, the reader will see it clearly, too.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Faith is the key!

If we would be blessed, then true faith is the key. Whatever we believe in, we should believe with all we are and ever can be.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Relax, it's the holidays - Writing Tip

When you construct a story, or even an article, don't worry too much about the "writing." There are at least a dozen good ways to say anything.

None are essentially right, or wrong. If you have a good smooth flow of language. If you have a good clear direction in mind and are already thinking things through--If you have all the information, and know what you want to say, I believe you'll find your story or article will "write itself."

The secret to writing is in knowing what is boring. If you've read enough (and lived enough) to know how to pick the most interesting information or turn of events and concentrate on the good stuff, then you are "home free." All you have to do is leave out the boring stuff.

If you write about what interests you and what you would enjoy reading, others will be interested and enjoy it, too.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow Daze still going on

We only had about a foot of snow, much lighter here than in Virginia where author Nikki Leigh lives. From the photos above that she sent, they had a couple of feet.

Our son, Sid, came by with his pick-up, Big Liz (1950 Ford with 4-wheel drive) and got the driveway open so we could get out if we needed to, but we were content to spend our anniversary sitting safely inside, drinking hot chocolate and "testing" the Schneckins I baked.

Funny how when I see snow coming down it triggers my cooking instinct. What does snow make you want to do?

Monday, December 21, 2009

A happy Anniversary

Fifty-three years ago today, I married the sweetest guy... this is the two of us on our 50th wedding anniversary.

He still is just as sweet as ever. Hope you are all as blessed as we are.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Fudge recipe -- for those with a sweet tooth

Today I'm making my Holiday Fudge. The following basic recipe is easy to make and lends itself to all manner of variations and flavors.

For many years I'd make about 40 pounds, in different flavors and colors, then mix them 2 dozen at a time into plastic gift bags, and pass them out to friends and relations in the holiday season.

Holiday Fudge

3 sticks of butter ( Warning: must be Real Butter!)
1 2 lb package of 10x sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt

Melt the butter in the microwave

Stir in vanilla and salt with a whisk or fork

Mix in the sugar, half at a time, stirring well

As you add the second half of the sugar, the mixture will form a thick consistency. Mix well with your hands until it is smooth and thick, like biscuit dough.
(If the final mixture is too dry, add 1 tbsp of cream.)
(If final mixture is too wet, add a little extra sugar.)

Spread doughy mixture on a greased cookie sheet (Pam works great) Patting it into a flat square shape with your hands.

Cut into squares and Refrigerate for half an hour or more.

When the fudge is firm, put the squares into plastic bags, or candy dishes. Store in a cool place.

The fudge will stay firm at room temperature, but should not be stored near an oven, or a wood stove. I usually put mine on the back porch. It's glassed in, and not quite as warm as the rest of the house.

For Chocolate Fudge

To the above recipe, add 3/4 cup cocoa to melted butter, then proceed as shown.

For Chocolate Nut Fudge

Add 3/4 cup cocoa and
1 cup pecan pieces
Or Black walnut pieces
Or whatever nuts you like best
Mix nuts in with the sugar.

For Pina Collada Fudge

Leave out cocoa and add:
1 tbsp coconut flavoring.
1 tbsp pineapple flavoring
Yellow food coloring (optional).

For Mint Fudge

Add 1 tbsp mint flavoring.
Green food coloring.

For Almond Fudge

Add 1 1/2 tsp almond flavoring
Red food coloring to make the mixture pink.

For Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge

To the basic recipe, stir 1 cup of peanut butter in with melted butter.
Stir in 3/4 cup cocoa.
Then proceed with the basic recipe.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Character Creation - Writing Tip

I have seen a number of "character planning sheets" some in courses I have taken and others in courses I have taught, but over the years found they all needed a bit of a refocus, to refine motivation as to why the character acts as he or she does.

This is the list of questions I came up with for my own character work sheets.

Who IS Your Character?

Plot should come out of character, evolving naturally from each character's beliefs and desires. To understand your characters' feelings, take a look at the events that shaped their lives. Look first at the character's emotional life, then at world events they may have experienced.

Use the following interview sheet to get closer to your characters.

Remember, good characters do things for good reasons and bad characters do things for bad reasons, but all characters should have a reason to do what they do other than that you need them to do it at that time and place.

Fill out a sheet for each major character. Questions with a (*) must be answered.

Name, date of birth and place of residence? (*)

What does he or she want? (*)

What stands in his or her way? (*)

How will the character change by the end of the story? (*)

What is the character’s reason for taking action? Note: His or her actions should be taken to get what they want, not by coincidence or "in the course of events."

What are his or her strengths and weaknesses? (*)

What secrets does the character have?

What childhood or personal events shaped the character’s life?

What world events shaped the character? Hint: If your character was in one of the Twin towers on 9-11, that will affect him one way or another for the rest of his or her life.

Physical description: (*) (Hint: Sometimes it helps to pick an actor to play the role, so you will always have a visual image of what he or she looks like)

If you keep these sheets on hand as your scenes develop it will help prevent you from giving them, as I have done, blue eyes on one page and brown on another.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Holiday Poem

Each year I write a poem for the Winter Solstice, to celebrate any and all holidays near that date. If I live long enough, I may have a collection. Below is the one for this year.

Love and Joy Come to You

Thoughts Upon the Winter Solstice

So many things bring joy
Softly falling snow
Moonlight breaking through rain
A lilac-scented spring wind

Fulfillment comes to those who wait
Satisfaction in a book read, or written
Exaltation in a favored melody, a task accomplished
Inspiration and hope for each day lived

Yet, there are times filled with troubles large and small
A cat who won’t come down from the roof
A check lost in the mail
A stay in the hospital, a burned pudding

But all in all, life can be good
For those who seek, each day may be filled with wonder
And a quiet joy
Wonder that kindness yet abounds
Joy that fulfillment is still possible

Today may you, too, know exaltation.

___Arline Chase
Winter Solstice 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dickens Anyone - a Writing thought

Watched an entertaining rerun of A CHRISTMAS CAROL last night on TV and it made me think about writers and entertainment and why we all enjoy it.

Dickens wrote "for the money" of course, doing a chapter a week for newspaper publication, that only got collected into "novels" afterward. He didn't expect his work to last two and a half centuries, or change the world, but it did. Though he wrote about characters who were poor, his work was read, absorbed, and admired by the rich and powerful, who identified with his protagonists.

When Dickens began to write, sweatshops hired children who were contributing breadwinners or often "on their own" from age seven or eight. There were no social services, or state help, but by the end of his career, those same upper classes who read his fiction had voted to change the deplorable social conditions he depicted so vividly. Laws against child labor had been passed. A school system for the lower classes was established. Life for the poor got better in England, because what Dickens had written touched the hearts and minds of the statesmen who made new laws there.

Dickens considered himself an entertainer at best. Someone to provide a few hours of escape. Yet he lived to change the world and he did it writing fiction.

Non-fiction gives us all information we may need, but fiction involves the reader's emotions and makes him or her care, not only about the characters involved in the story, but about issues that need to be changed.

When people say to you, as someone said to me recently, "Oh, you just write fiction. I never read that," implying by their tone of voice that reading fiction is a worthless pastime, remember Dickens and the social changes brought about in England by his work.

He blessed us every one.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Rose is Still a Rose...

Booksurge, our printer, has changed its name to CreateSpace. Someone contacted me this week who hadn't yet heard that news. I'm sorry for not posting it here sooner.

People with books on order should be aware that the arriving packages will say Create-Space, not Booksurge.

This news has been on other blogs and lists, including the EPIC Business list. What does this mean for us? No real changes that we can see, except that the printing and ordering software has all been revamped at this Amazon company to give publishers more autonomy and require less staff time at their end.

In short, the system is more automated, but just as efficient as before.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Good News on the medical front

The doctor says my health has much improved from where we were just after my hospital stay in August, though it's not yet what he'd like to see.

As for me, I'm feeling much improved and hope to soon be back to my normal self.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Time's A-flying!

Hope you all are getting ready for the holidays.

I have not yet begun, though I am still working on some books, I'm not getting much else done. I will be editing MAGGIE'S MIRAGE by Jeanine Milarsky, and OZARK WOMAN by Terry Piper, later today.

By this time last year, I had done a lot of shopping on line, made 35 pounds of fudge, and baked 24 dozen "Ugly Cookies" to give out to family and friends. Since I won't be doing much baking this year, I'll share my "Ugly Cookie" recipe with y'all.

These are not the pretty sugar cookies favored at this time of year, but they sure taste the best.


Into a bowl, mix:
1 cup cooking oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp butter flavoring
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder

Stir with a whisk until fully blended.

1 1/2 cups sifted flour

Mix well into a smooth batter.


1/2 pkg chocolate chips
1 cup pecan pieces
3 cups of rolled oats

Mix well.

Drop cookies onto a greased cookie sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Makes 6 dozen or so.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stay Active -- Writing Tip

Verbs are action words, everyone knows that. And it’s a good idea to use the active form of verbs whenever possible.

One thing that will make your writing read better is to avoid gerunds and verb participles, by using the more active form of the verb. That helps keep you in "active" voice. Almost all "ing" words follow a "to be" verb–is, was, were, are – one that's in static, if not exactly passive voice.

In fact if you search for was, were, etc. you can pick up on those passive phrases and turn them around pretty easily. Instead of "He was still chuckling as he closed the trunk...," try "He chuckled as he closed the trunk." It’s more direct, more specific. Better writing. Do you see what I mean? This is no big thing, but the writing will feel more “participatory” to the reader if you do that.

Someone wrote in this week to ask where I get all these tips. I was a writing teacher for 25 years, first for local colleges and I led workshops for some conferences, and later I taught for Writer's Digest Correspondence School for 15 years. And since there isn't a writing mistake I haven't made myself, I've learned a lot the hard way, too.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Print Books gone to press & other updates

Two new titles have gone to press:

JENNY'S LEGACY, by Cassandra Barnes
FIGHTING FOR A DREAM, by Tonya Ramagos

Gallies received back from the following:

TIME-RIFT, by Elena Dorothy Bowman

Second Print Gallies sent on:

MAGGIE'S MIRAGE, by Jeanine Malarsky

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dialect Anyone - Writing tip

With dialect, less is more, for sure.

We are a nation of poor readers. The average for the general public is 5th grade level.

I grew up reading Frances Hodgeson Burnett’s thick dialect in THE SECRET GARDEN, but most readers today don’t have patience to decode all those missing letters and apostrophes in strange places. They go rent the movie, which also has very little dialect.

I’ve met people from Northumberland. I wasn’t sure they were speaking English.

Dialect can be very difficult to write well. This is a lesson I learned, reluctantly I’ll admit, in a workshop with Diana Gabaldon. She wrote a book about a group of 17th century Scots, and English OUTLANDER. No dialect is a thick as that of Scotland. Diana said she listened to old Scots ballads sung in English and in Gaelic to absorb the rhythm of the speech. There’s a great deal of difference between the speech of the Scots and the Englishwoman, and among the Scots, depending upon their station in life and educational level. But nobody said, “Hoot mon!” She changed didn’t to didna, and wouldn’t to wouldna, and added some dated terms like “foxed” for drunk. But most of it was in the rhythm of the language.

Because of the sentence construction, English just plain sounded different when the Scots spoke, but their meaning was never obscured by a lot of fancy punctuation.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Is writing an Art or a Craft? Writing tip.

I do believe that writing is an art. But it’s also a craft.

No one can write your stories but you. No one can create exactly as you can.

No one else on earth has your “voice.” But there are tips and little techniques that you can learn to make the work easier for you. Just as an artist learns to mix colors, what glaze or wash will enhance a color, or make water look "wet" so will a writer learn how to get across to the reader the story that goes on in his or her head.

Getting the "story in your head" onto the page is the hardest work in the world.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Books up for December

Our new titles are up on the front page at the Web Site for December 2009. All new titles are on discount for the coming month and all Holiday titles are also marked $1 off list price as part of our "Get in the Spirit--find time to read a Holiday Book" sale.

New e-book titles are:

A GHOST MEETS AN ANGEL: Shannon Delaney Series, Vol. 3, by Elizabeth Egan-C0x

A MATTER OF FAITH: Harmony Village Series, Vol. 2, by Anna Dynowski

MURDEROUS ROOTS, by Virginia Winters

LIFE AS A VIP: (Visually Impaired Person), by Sondra S. Williams

New Paper books this month:

GENESIS: Sarah's Landing Series, Vol. IV, by Elena Dorothy Bowman

RAMPAGE, by Hank LeGrand III

MAIDEN RUN, by Joan L. Cannon

Books that went to press this week:


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Backstory vs. Plot - Writing Tip

Be careful not to confuse “back story” (information needed to explain the characters personality and problems to the readers), with current plot action. Whatever has happened before the real action begins is “back story.” Be careful not to confuse explanatory action, with a plot turning point. A plot turning point is always when something CHANGES. Backstory has always been there and does not change.

Backstory is where "Telling" becomes a GOOD thing. You don't have to SHOW every little thing. Put the backstory in narrative and get on with the action.

To use a classic example, in the story Cinderella her mother’s death and her father’s remarriage are all “back story.” The mean way the rest of the family treats Cindy is explanatory action used to set up the objective. Because the Objective for Cinderella, is that she wants to go to the ball. Until Cinderella decides she wants to go to the ball nothing has really happened in the present, everything is going on as usual.

Remember, plot always happens when something changes. When the character knows what he or she wants, that is the objective and the knowing the objective is always the beginning of the story, the beginning of the plot. Now the character has a problem to solve – how to get what s/he wants. Once there is a problem statement, it’s time to get on with the story.

If there is no problem, nothing is happening, and there is no story --only backstory. Stories are about overcoming something, usually the difficulties set up in the backstory. If there is no “overcoming” then there is no satisfaction to the reader at the end.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hoping to get some new books printed before Christmas

Proofs are back for Elena Bowman's GENESIS and the cover quality is not what we find acceptable. That's the bad news. The good news is that WE Will send it back to print TODAY and hope it will be back up and ready before Christmas.

We also received the proof for Anna Dynowski's FULL HOUSE, and the proof for Joan L. Cannon's MAIDEN RUN is on order. Again, we are hoping for delivery of author's copies for those two titles before Christmas.

Corrections are on tap for the following books and the corrected files are or soon will be up at www.filesanywhere:


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Avoid Adverbs - Writing Tip

Most of you are too young to remember Tom Swift, but he is the reason for all that advice about avoiding adverbs, and especially avoiding a "said" followed by an adverb. Here's an example from TOM SWIFT AND HIS ELECTRIC RADIO

"That's the spark!" Tom said, electrically.

This form was greatly in fashion in the 40's and 50's, but for today’s film and TV educated audiences, it leaves much to be desired in terms of an image and we all know images are good writing. Many editors consider this “lazy writing” and refer to such combinations as “Swifties” an allusion to the old Tom Swift novels which were very popular in the long ago. Editors have a full range of “Swiftie” jokes, i.e. “I'm too tired tonight, dear," Tom said, limply.

Yes, back in the when, the best writers of the day used them. Swifties abound in Agatha Christie, and other best-selling writers who started in the WWII era. But editors who are buying today will not respond well to them. Now I grew up on Tom Swift, Brenda Starr, and Nancy Drew and have read any number of Swifties in my time. Used to write a lot of them too, until I heard some editors telling jokes at a conference.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Shopping everyone!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It's black Friday, but I will not be shoping. Instead I will be catching up on books scheduled for September/October this year.

Meanwhile I'll pass along some news about trends from one of our distributors, /

Write Words, Inc. was one of the first e-book publishers to sign up with ARe back in 2006 and we have been steadily adding our titles in other genres since the inception of their Omnilit (all genres) web site.

Of all our many distributors it's true that ARe pays the highest percentage in royalties. For authors, that means that we both make more money when customers buy from ARe.


Some general highlights

# Romance publishers 2006 = 18

# Romance publishers 2009 = over 13000

# Total publishers in 2009 (AR & OmniLit Combined) = over 3000

# Romance titles in inventory 2006 = close to 2000

# Romance titles in inventory 2009 = over 30,000

# Total titles in inventory 2009 (AR & OmniLit Combined) = over 250,000

Growth in customer base 200 8 to 2009 = 250%

Some buyer highlights

We're continuing to experience triple digit growth in the U.S. and the bulk of our sales are to U.S. customers. We are currently selling in 210 countries.

Top ten markets: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Italy.

Top ten U.S. markets: California, New York, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio

Buyer demographics!

Female = 90%

Male = 10%

Age = We're seeing growth in the over 60 demographic. Our biggest demographic is the 18-29 age group (40%).

Marital Status = Divorced 6%, Single 51%, in a relationship 43%

Some bookish highli ghts

Book length = the bulk of sales are on books between 30,000-69,999 words (39%)

Heat Rating = 97% of sales are on books rated 3 or higher

DRM v Non DRM = 97% of sales are on Non DRM titles

File formats = PDF is the best-selling format by far. Second place is a 3-way tie between LIT, PRC, and ePub. LIT and PRC have both lost market share in the past year. HTML is in 5th position. We've just added the eReader format.

Significant sub-genre trends we're seeing = The overall market share for straight contemporary is down quite a bit from 2008, 22%. Although still a popular genre, the overall market share for multiple partners is also down from 2008. Rubenesque, although a small piece of the pie, is showing promise for growth. Other significant growth markets, listed in order, include Paranormal, Vampire/Werewolves, Gay Fiction, and Erotica.

In terms of which sub-genres owned the biggest piece of the pie in 2009, the top 10 are = Gay Fiction, Erotica, Contemporary, Multiple Partners, BDSM, Interracial, Vampires/ Werewolves, Shape-shifter, Sci-fi/Fantasy, Paranormal/Horror.

NOTE: We realize that many books cross multiple sub-genres. What we based the above statistics on is the category the reader selected prior to the purchase point. If it's a M/M, Contemporary, Paranormal and they clicked on Contemporary prior to the purchase, then the sale goes to Contemporary.

An antidotal report to check out: We have heard from some publishers and authors that because of differences between our pricing practices and that of our competitors AND because of the differences between our commission/fee structure, a book sold on the All Romance site is netting them more—in some cases significantly more per sale.

If this is true for you and/or your authors, we encourage you to point it out to them. We know customers have many choices and many factors to consider when deciding where to shop for your books. We, or course, want them to choose to shop at ARe!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Final files are up for 3 books

Preliminary files are up for the following:

TIME RIFT, by Dorothy Elena Bowman

And typesetting work has begun for the following:

NO BONES FOR THE DRAGON, by Marjorie Doughty

OZARK WOMAN by Terry Piper

Had a busy day, yesterday, but it was sure a change to have things going well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Paperbacks Begun

This week we ordered Anna Dynowski's FULL HOUSE and will be sending the proof to her as soon as we get it.

Final galleys are under way for:


RAMPAGE, by Hank LeGrand III

We also began typesetting work on the paper editions of the following titles:

TIME-RIFT, by Elena Bowman

OZARK WOMAN, by Terry Piper

BONES OF THE DRAGON, by Marjorie Doughty

THE THROW-AWAYS, by Jeanne Greiser

Many thanks to my partner, Sandy List, for the bar codes she finished on all of the above.


Monday, November 23, 2009

On gratitude

Buddha said:

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful."

This year in particular, I am grateful for all of you who have touched my life and who will continue to touch it. I got sick, but I didn't die. If I am no longer able to work as long or as efficiently as I once did, I am grateful for what I can do now, for each little bit that gets done and that each day brings a bit of improvement.

arline, who still has much to learn and who is still doing so.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

As Sachel Paige said -- Writing Tip

Sachel Paige, a famous pitcher from the time when Baseball was segregated, reportedly pitched well into his 60s. His advice to young ball players was, "Keep moving, something might be gaining on you."

"Keep moving" is good advice for writers, too. Make sure something is happening all the time and that it hasn't happened before and won't happen again. This is especially true of dialogue, where it's tempting to write like people really talk.

In dialogue if someone says, "Where did you get that hat?"

The other character replies, "Macy's."

In real life, if someone says, "Where did you get that hat?"

The other person says, "Why, what's wrong with it?" But you can see that kind of reply would not move the scene forward.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Proofs Back and Best Sellers at Fictionwise

Proofs are back and on their way to the authors for the following paper books:

BATTLE OF WILLS, by Bliss Addison
WHITE GOLD, by Spencer Dane

ODYSSEY, by Elena Bowman is on order.

Both the ones we have seen have excellent covers and look good to us.

In the newsletter we used to post the best sellers at Fictionwise every week. Since this blog is for news-sharing we thought we'd do that here from time to time. These are based on the number of searches and are only for our own small company. Anyone can check their book by going to choosing "brows by" on the lower left, publishers, and then to get the list of books available from us in order. Reader reactions can be seen by clicking on any title there.

MOST SEARCHED Titles this week at

2. CAPTAIN BLOOD, by Raphael Sabatini
3. A CHRISTMAS CAROL, by Charles Dickens
4. GHOST OF A CHANCE by Elizabeth Eagan-Cox
5. DEMON CHASER, by David Berardelli
8. BLEEDING HEARTS by Josh Aterovis
9. REAP THE WHIRLWIND by Josh Aterovis
10. REGS by Nina Osier

HIGHEST READER RATED AT FICTIONWISE Based on reader responses at the site.

1. GHOST DANCER by Arline Chase
3. SHAPE OF FEAR, by Matthew L. Schoonover
4. BODILY HARM, by Arlene Stadd
5. LADY LIGHTKEEPER, by Nikki Leigh
6. DARK ELF, by Ray Morand
7. TORTURED SOULS, by Matthew L. Schoonover
8. SLOW DANCING, by Helen Chappell
9. HOLIDAY HORROR, by Marie Prato
10. BLEEDING HEARTS, by Josh Aterovis

All our e-books are distributed through Fictionwise and if you hear back from customers who bought there, it's okay to remind them they may go back and rate your book.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One Woman's Writing Philosophy - writing tip

Each of us has different reasons for why we do it. Write, that is. It is, after all, hard work, and often for little reward.

When it goes right, nothing can give you greater pleasure. I have come to feel about my stories (especially since I started doing longer works) that the true satisfaction is in the work itself. At first, I wanted to sell, sell, sell, and I did publish a lot when I concentrated on short things. Now, I'm more in tune to making the writing as good as I can. The work is my reward, because I enjoy every minute, even the ones when I'm struggling hard. Then if it gets accepted -- great! If it doesn't, I've had my fun. My friend, mystery writer Helen Chappell, says I should be shot for even thinking such a thing and "nobody but a fool every wrote, except for money." But I can't help how I feel.

Yes, writing is hard. Some days you feel as if you're wrestling a bear. But, oh the sense of accomplishment when you make that bear dance!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Some go to press and First Print Galleys are up

First print galleys are up for:
Hank LeGrand III's RAMPAGE.

The following print books went to press this week:

MAIDEN RUN, by Joan L. Cannon

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Free author's page at

All our books and ebooks are listed at either in paper or for the e-books for the Kindle edition. In return, Amazon gives all authors a free author's web page that can be updated to list all your books and their details. This is free, unless you opt to purchase some upgraded features.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Make sure your copy is Ready to Print -- Writing tip

Good clean copy is your first step toward getting your manuscript accepted.

Like most publishers today, we use the electronic file the author sends us to set the type. Whether you send a CD to a mass market publisher in New York, or e-mail a small publisher a copy as an e-mail attachment, your publisher will use your own data file to set up your book. That is why it is super important for authors to turn in error-free copy and to follow submission guidelines, or, failing that, at least to be consistent in how they prepare the manuscript.

Don't "type" your copy as if the computer were a typewriter, putting a return at the end of every line. Yes, some people still do that, but it leaves a lot of unneeded returns in the file and if they're there, your publisher will have to go in and take them all out by hand.

If you live outside the USA and are applying to a US publisher, it's simple courtesy to set your spell check to US English for that final check.

The biggest favor you can do yourself, or your potential publisher, is to be consistent when you type the manuscript. If you use the tab for paragraph indents, use it all the time. Don't tab half and use the space bar for the other half. That way if the typesetting program inserts it's own indents and the tabs become double indents, we can search for the tabs and replace them with nothing and automatically remove the problem.

There was a time when editors read and made notes on your copy, when typesetters took that copy and typed it in, when proof readers read for errors and copy editors checked grammar and facts, but today -- even in the big houses -- less and less of that is going on. More and more publishers depend on you, the writer, to send in copy that is ready to print.

Friday, November 13, 2009

EPIC Cover Awards - Deadline Extended

For those of you who designed your own covers, or who'd just like some extra publicity for your books, the deadline on the Ariana Awards for Covers at EPIC has been extended to November 30.

Details are available at the EPIC web site:

Those with questions and suggestions should contact me.

arline chase

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How did it get to be Thursday?

It was Monday, I swear, and I blinked twice and here we are!

Thanks to Tonya Ramagos, FIGHTING FOR A DREAM, and Joan L. Cannon, MAIDEN RUN, who send corrections in that time. I will get right on them.

Thanks, too, to those who sent in contracts this week. I will have them in the mail to you by tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Question about sales figures and search statistics

When new books come out, or if an author hasn't heard from us in awhile, it's not unusual for us to get questions from authors about how their title is doing. The truth is we have no way to know for sure.

If we are not too busy, we will go to one or two affiliates and check the "best selling" ratings on the site to see where the title is listed and report based on that information, something any visitor to the site can do.

We do not get hard sales figures from several affiliates until up to 6 months after sales when we are paid. That's why we try to include date of sale in our reports. When we look at the various distribution sites for feedback, we can only tell which books have been searched, not whether customers actually bought them or not. We know, of course, if copies sell through Write Words Inc.'s web site, but we sell far more books through affiliates that we sell directly, because most customers go to the big sites.

Now don't get us wrong. It's a GOOD thing to e-mail your friends when a new book comes out, to send out press releases and talk about your title on newsgroups and lists where you may be a member, to do radio interviews and blog tours and in general beat the drums. It's helpful too, to provide a link from your website to direct sales to the Write Words site, as you make more money on e-books if they sell there.

If you e-mail a friend that your book is out and that friend looks up your book at Amazon, say, then the search engine there records the information whether they buy it or not. If you look it up yourself, that, too, is recorded. But the fact that the title was searched is all that is recorded. Best-seller lists from Amazon and other distributors are based on the number of searches, not the number of sales.

Actual sales figures only become available later, when the the distributor sites send spreadsheets and payment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Author Terry L. White to hold Reading / Signing

Author Terry L. White will host a reading / book signing featuring her popular Chesapeake Series, at the regionally oriented BAY COUNTRY SHOP on US 50 in Cambridge, MD on Saturday, Nov. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Everyone is invited.

A writer of popular women's fiction, paranormal, historical and contemporary, Terry has a large following, both locally and on the 'Net. She will be happy to sign any of her books, but will be reading from her series, CHESAPEAKE HARVEST, CHESAPEAKE LEGACY, and CHESAPEAKE DESTINY. The fourth book in her popular series will be released in 2010.

Other popular works by Ms. White include the Bride of the Condor Series, LAST PRIESTESS, NAZCA STAR, and BRIDE OF THE CONDOR, ANCIENT MEMORIES, MYSTICK MOON, IMAGINE, and the popular country-music novel THE PICKER.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Author Carolyn LeComte to hold interview

Author's activities are always welcome additions to note in our blog.

Author Carolyn LeComte, DARK PARADISE, will be on an all-day chat in the Yahoo group Long and Short Reviews starting 9:00 a.m. on Wed., Nov. 11. People should join the group at least the day before, and indicate they want email notifications of the discussions, as the chat will be done through emails. (They can change this preference later if they'd like.)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Print Galleys are up, one more time

Print Galleys are back up for Joan L. Cannon's MAIDEN RUN, Jeanine Malarsky's MAGGIE'S MIRAGE, and Elena Bowman your latest corrections for GENESIS should be back up by the end of today.

The following submissions went out to the Book Selection Committee this week:

That means we should have answers on those within a couple of weeks. If you are the author of a title on that list, keep an eye on your e-mail.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Plurals and Possessives-Writing Tip

Like most professional publishers in the US we use the CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE. Sometimes it's hard for me, after years as a reporter on a daily newspaper using AP/UPI, to remember that Nouns ending in s, still get an apostrophe S to show possession. In the newspapers and in most English 101 classes that we all took in school, they just get an S and an apostrophe. But according to CHICAGO Only PLURAL possessives get the noun and apostrophe without the ending S. When they are plural, but not possesive, nouns ending in S get an added -es on the end.

Therefore the following sentence is correct, however inconsistent it may look.

The Graveses came to dinner at Thomas's parents' house.

Almost every publisher has its own list of exceptions to the CHICAGO rules, and if those guidelines are available on line, it's helpful for you to look at them and make sure your manuscript complies with their guidelines, before submitting it for publication, because even though editors and publishers realize that rulebooks differ, they also know that if they see "Graves' came to dinner at Thomas' parents house" in your manuscript they will have to go in and fix three mistakes.

And how do I know this? Because I've made every writing mistake there is to make at least once.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Am still playing catch up on Summer titles

Beaucoup apologies for all the delays. For those of you still waiting-- Jeanine Malarsky, Tonya Ramagos, and Joan L. Cannon -- you should be hearing from me soon. The new pain meds leave me either asleep or "addled." But I try to work a little every day and hope to get caught back up soon.

Everyone in the medical establishment assures me this situation is "temporary" and I will get "adjusted" to the new meds soon. I sure hope so.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Zero is nothing--A numbers Rule writing tip

Long lines of zeros are confusing to the eye. Stylebooks vary on usage of numbers. Strunk & White says "Spell numbers out to 99," but AP/UPI NEWS style says "Spell numbers out to nine." We follow the CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE, with a few changes to accommodate some of the computer programs among our distributors.

CHICAGO says to spell out numbers to 99 and use the numerical thereafter. Measurements should always be given as numericals, especially measurements of time, distance, and money. And long lines of zeros should be avoided to escape that Eye confusion mentioned above.

Therefore it shouldn't be $5,000,000.00 But $5 million dollars--and yes the "dollars" is usually included just for clarity's sake.

It should be five o'clock in the afternoon, unless a digital clock is used, and then it's 5 p.m. not 5:00 PM. Zeros again.

CHICAGO does say to use caps for the AM and PM abbreviations, but caps have a way of disappearing from text for at least one of our distributors, so we go with AP News style there and use a.m. and p.m.

Well, back to work for me on Elena Bowman's GENESIS. Thanks again, Elena, for having sharp eyes!

Hope y'all have a good day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November New books are up

At last! Sorry it took me so long to get them posted. I have been a little under the weather again, but am back to normal now.

Congratulations to new ebook authors Jack Adler BITTER SHIELDS , Charles Wilson THE REMORA, David Yates TRAVELER, and Sondra Wilson LIFE AS A VIP (VISUALLY IMPAIRED PERSON), whose e-books went on sale November 1, and to Bliss Addison BATTLE OF WILLS, Anna Dynowski FULL HOUSE, and Elena Dorothy Bowman GENESIS: SARAH'S LANDING IV, whose print books went press this month!

Y'all are great!

arline chase

Monday, November 2, 2009

Common Writing Mistakes

We all have little things that trip us up, even when we usually know better if we stop to think about it. With me, it's "its and it's". Here are a few of the most common mistakes we see:

1. It’s vs. Its

This is a common mistake. It’s also easily avoided by thinking through what you’re trying to say.

“It’s” is a contraction of “it is” or “it has.” “Its” is a possessive pronoun, (easy to mistake, as most possessives DO get apostrophes -- just not this one. Here’s an easy rule of thumb—repeat your sentence out loud saying “it is” instead. If that sounds goofy, “its” is likely the correct choice.

2. Your vs. You’re

This one drives me nuts, and it’s become extremely common, even among writers with good skills othewise.

“Your” is a possessive pronoun, as in “your car," "your computer” or “your book.” “You’re” is a contraction for “you are,” as in “you’re screwing up your writing by using your when you really mean you are.”

3. There vs. Their

This one seems to trip up everyone occasionally, often as a pure typo. Make sure to watch for it when you proofread.

“There” is used many ways, including as a reference to a place (“let’s go there”) or as a pronoun (“there is no hope”). “Their” is a plural possessive pronoun used when something belongs to more than one someon, as in “their bags” or “their opinions.” Always do the “that’s ours!” test—are you talking about more than one person and something that they possess? If so, “their” will get you there.

4. Affect vs. Effect

To this day I have to pause and mentally sort this one out in order to get it right. As with any of the other common mistakes people make when writing, it’s taking that moment to get it right that makes the difference.

“Affect” is a verb, as in “Your ability to communicate clearly will affect your income immensely.” “Effect” is a noun, as in “The effect of a parent’s low income on a child’s future is well documented.” By thinking in terms of “the cause producing the effect,” you can usually sort out which is which, because you can’t stick a “the” in front of a verb. While some people do use “effect” as a verb (“a strategy to effect a settlement”), they are usually lawyers, and you should therefore ignore them if you want to write like a human.

5. The Dangling Participle

Now I can dangle a participle with the best of them and once had a woman lying in a barn with a broken hip. My dear hubby (who was proofing for me) saw that, laughed and said, "Must've been the roof!"

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Enjoy that extra hour's sleep tonight.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Get in the Spirit!" Holiday Book Sale

In order to help readers "get in the spirit" we plan to mark all holiday books down $1 each from now until January of 2010. We have already discounted prices on them. If your book has a holiday theme, and we somehow missed including it in the discounts, please let us know.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Galley update and the Schooner Roundup

Galleys are back up for Elena Bowman and Spencer Dane. Sorry for the delay, Elena.

The SCHOONER ROUNDUP, sponsored by the James B. Richarson Maritime Museum was in Cambridge last weekend with about 20 sailing craft docked at Long Wharf and around the creek. Ships from the eastern seaboard included the MYSTIC WHALER, MARYLAND LADY, and the barkentine PRIDE OF BALTIMORE.

Several of our local authors were on hand to sell books at the event and word has it sales were fairly brisk to those who flocked down to admire the ships. Andy Nunez was on hand with his TREASURE OF THE EASTERN SHORE, MYSTERIES OF THE EASTERN SHORE, and GHOSTS OF THE EASTERN SHORE along with some copies of his vampire novel CRIMSON NEED, and Beverly Lynch was there with WET AND HUNGRY, the story of a mid-Atlantic fisherman's adventures. Ann Foley, and other members of The Writers' Bloc were also there.

Local events and shows like this one can be a great venue for local authors to set up a book signing, especially if the books' subject matter will appeal to the audience as did the authors' works mentioned above. Check for what's available in your area.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Roberta DeCaprio on the Radio!

FAMILY SECRETS author, Roberta DeCaprio appeared on a radio show on Monday. If you missed it, Just log on to: and at the left click on Podcast Archives of Shows. Then scroll down to Roberta's Show, (October 26, 2009) and click on that show's broadcast. You can hear the entire show on your computer.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Why don't we have a national book distributor?

I received an interesting question from one of you this week -- not a new question, but one I still get asked often, so thought I'd go on the record and answer it here:

Why don't we try to get in with a National Distributor, like Ingram or Baker & Taylor?

Because bookstores buy on credit and later "return" unsold books for a full refund, the system used by Ingram is impossible for most POD publishers. Mass market guys can do it. Small publishers can't. For Us to get "IN" with Ingram and Baker & Taylor (Same company owns both by the way) we would have to "accept returns" and give them a company credit card number. They could then order as many copies as they like from our printer (Stores can order as many copies as they want and never have to pay for them if they don't sell. while the whole concept of POD is that the book is not printed until after it is sold). With the present return system, large numbers of books could be ordered and printed on speculation of sale and charged to our company credit card at $5 or so a copy.

Later, IF any stores do order and don't sell, they rip the cover off the books and return just the covers for credit. The books, for which we had paid about $5 each BEFORE they were printed and sent to the store, are then sent to a landfill and we get nothing. This is why a great many POD publishers are no longer in business.

We have been in business 10 years. We would like to be in business 10 years from now. As much as we'd like to find a national distributor to take our books and send them to bookstores we can't do it with the present return system.

We offer the books to libraries and bookstores if ordered direct from us at 40% off list price. We accept returns IF the WHOLE books are returned to us in condition for resale. Responsible bookstore owners would order five copies and then when they get down to one or two maybe order five more.

But they are used to big deal incentives from big publishers. "Order 50 copies and you get an extra 5% off list." The store can later "return" the covers of the 45 unsold copies for full credit before time for inventory (to avoid the exorbitantly high inventory taxes), the distributor will remind them when the deadline for returns is coming up, and they don't even have to pay freight to "return" them, just mail in a batch of covers and throw the books away. Stores are used to this system and like it as it favors them greatly.

Some chain bookstores have a firm policy against POD published books others are more accepting. Independent stores are often more willing to buy direct a few copies at a time.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

E-books for our troops

As most of you know, we distribute to ARE/Omnilit. They are asking for authors to donate copies of their books to our troops serving in the Middle East. We have no objection if any of you want to participate in the process outlined in their press release below. We, too, support and appreciate our troops and the sacrifices they make to keep us all safe.


What is it?

It was originally conceived when an author on the Kindleboards saw a message from a deployed troop member saying that Amazon's Whispernet for Kindle doesn't work overseas. The author sent the troop his book for free by email and the idea was born, and grew. He now collects names of deployed troops who would like to receive eBooks and he has shared his list with us to forward to any ARe author who would like to donate eBooks.

What can you do?

eBooks from ARe can be downloaded by anyone! with an internet connection. If you would like to donate eBooks to a troop member, either your personal eBooks or a gift certificate for the book of their choice, we have set up an easy system that will help you. Here are the 2 ways you can give to the troops.

1- ARe authors can now purchase codes for their eBooks and send those codes to military personnel who can then download the prepaid eBooks.

To get the codes, authors need to go to the Publisher/Author page on the All Romance eBooks site. Those already registered with an Author Login can sign in to "manage booksigning events". Those who need to register for an Author Login can do so there. (A customer account is different from an author account.) Once signed in, select "Booksigning Events", then "Operation eBook Drop" where your eBook codes can be ordered and paid for to be dist! ributed by you to the military. Once you have your codes, contact for the troop email list. Then select a member off the list and send the download code to your book to them directly.

2- Purchase eBook Bucks and ARe will send them to the recipient of your choice.

Do you want to give back to the troops but prefer if they choose the eBooks they will receive themselves? Go to and purchase eBooks Bucks. Contact for the troop email list, enter the email address of the member you'd like to send the eBook Bucks too and they'll receive an email from us with instructions on how to download their eBooks.


I strongly recommend making email contact with the troop member prior to mailing the download code for your book for two reasons. First you want to confirm the email address is correct. Second and more important, you will want to confirm they are interested in receiving the particular book genre you are sending. The program is not only for romance readers and they may only be interested in mainstream novels. We also want to confirm that if your book contains adult situations it is going to a member who welcomes that content.

Questions? Email

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Barnes & Noble question

Someone wrote yesterday to ask me if I'd heard about the new Barnes & Noble e-book store and suggested I get in touch with them because they might be willing to carry our e-books....

For ONCE I was ahead of the game. :D

B&N contacted us in June, 2009 because we distribute to Fictionwise (which they purchased last spring) and we immediately signed their contract to distribute all our ebooks in their store as well. That was all we had to do, because their computer could pick up the books and prices from FW.

The new B&N ebook store opened July 19th, though it was scheduled for a "fall opening" -- I suspect because all the other publishers were as prompt to sign the contract as we were. You will be receiving payment 3 to 6 months after the sale (just the same as Fictionwise) so some of you will be seeing B&N in the "Venue" column on your next statements due in January, 2010.

:D Yep, I'm having trouble wiping the grin from my chin. The more stores we can get your books listed in, the more chance they have to sell.

Now for the bad news :{ Sorry, folks, but this does NOT mean they will be carrying our print books in the B&N stores. Maybe SOMEday, but not yet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Epic Judging almost done

Only two days left to turn in my scores, but I have only one more book to read of the five finalists. It's kind of nice to see what other publishers have out there. Makes me prouder than ever of our books and authors.

My neighbor at Little Angels brought us some crabs, so I'll be picking them out to make cream of crab soup for supper tonight. Sure hope I remember how.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Congratulations to Barbara Grengs

Oct. 20, 2009

Congrats to Barbara Grengs who had more than 100 people show for her Barnes & Noble book signing of TOBY MARTIN PET DETECTIVE. Barbara has more signings coming up, as well. Way to go!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Congratulations to Nikki Leigh

Oct. 19, 2009

Book Promo 201: Harness the Power of the Internet with Web 2.0 and Social Media Marketing by Nikki Leigh


Business: Writing/Publishing

A complete list of winners and finalists in each category can be found at:

We at Write Words are all very poud of Nikki!

Also Anna Dynowsky's FULL CIRCLE has gone to press.

As for me, I rested yesterday--cooked roast chicken and apple pie for Shelley, Dave, Sid, and the rest of the family, then went with my Dear Hubby to Cousin Harvey's Barn to hear bluegrass music. It was great, but I'm raring to get back to books today.

Am working, too, on the finalists for the EPIC judging round. One fun thing after another.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mark Twain's Rules of Good Writing

Mark Twain's Rules of Writing

1. A tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere.

2. The episodes of a tale shall be necessary parts of the tale, and shall help develop it.

3. The personages in a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others.

4. The personages in a tale, both dead and alive, shall exhibit a sufficient excuse for being there.

5. When the personages of a tale deal in conversation, the talk shall sound like human talk, and be talk such as human beings would be likely to talk in the given circumstances, and have a discoverable meaning, also a discoverable purpose, and a show of relevancy, and remain in the neighborhood of the subject in hand, and be interesting to the reader, and help out the tale, and stop when the people cannot think of anything more to say.

6. When the author describes the character of a personage in his tale, the conduct and conversation of that personage shall justify said description.

7. When a personage talks like an illustrated, gilt-edged, tree-calf, hand-tooled, seven-dollar Friendship's Offering in the beginning of a paragraph, he shall not talk like a Negro minstrel at the end of it.

8. Crass stupidities shall not be played upon the reader by either the author or the people in the tale.

9. The personages of a tale shall confine themselves to possibilities and let miracles alone; or, if they venture a miracle, the author must so plausably set it forth as to make it look possible and reasonable.

10. The author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones.

11. The characters in tale be so clearly defined that the reader can tell beforehand what each will do in a given emergency.

An author should

12. SAY what he is proposing to say, not merely come near it.
13. Use the right word, not its second cousin.
14. Eschew surplusage.
15. Not omit necessary details.
16. Avoid slovenliness of form.
17. Use good grammar.
18. Employ a simple, straightforward style.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Print Galleys are up for Some of Everybody

October 16,

New final galleys are up for Anna Dynowski for FULL HOUSE, for Spencer Dane on WHITE GOLD, and Bliss Addison's BATTLE OF WILLS has gone to press. Yippee!

Meanwhile the Book Selection Committee has approved the following titles for ebook publication:
AN EXTRA PAIR OF EYES, by Carlene Dater
POSSE, by Hugh Carter Vinson

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Of Bookstore Cats and other things.

Oct. 15, 2009

Every bookstore should have a cat and at Write Words, Inc.we have three.

Honeybear, 17, tabby in color, a lap-cat by profession, and a Bear by nature will do the claw thing unannounced.

Jack Dempsey, 4, (named for a boxer you young folks won't recall) is blue-gray and has six toes on his front feet--the extra one forms a thumb, so they look like big boxing gloves.

Spunky, 2, is a white kitty with large gray-tabby spots, a star-shaped smudge on her nose, and a ringed tail. It was she who attacked the Dear Hubby's Lazy-boy this morning, sailing up on the top, then hanging off the back by her front feet, before leaving it for dead it its laid-back position.

Am still working on the galleys, but the cats are making more progress toward their aims than I, this morning.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Call for Short Stories

All Romance eBooks is thrilled to announce that their 28 Days of Heart Campaign has received the support of Charlaine Harris. The famed, best-selling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series upon which HBO's new smash hit "True Blood" is based will be writing the foreword for the charity anthologies releasing exclusively from ARe in ! > February 2010. All proceeds from the 28 individual sto! ries and the 4 anthology eBook compilations will benefit the American Heart Association. Submissions are open until October 31, 2009. Details can be found at

Open Submissions Call!

All Romance™ Needs You for the 28 Days of Heart Campaign to Benefit the American Heart Association

During the month of love, when everyone's attention is focused on matters of the heart, we at All Romance ( want to help fight the number one killer of women, heart disease, and we need your help and your submissions.

Beginning February 1, 2010, we will release one new short story per day for the entire month. All proceeds from the sale of these shorts, which will be offered exclusively on as individual eBooks and also bundled into 4 eBook anthologies, will be donated to the American Heart Association (

The 28 stories will be chosen from submissions received between July 1 and October 31, 2009. Any author who has an eBook available on ARe, or whose publisher lists eBooks with us, is eligible to submit. Submissions must be 10,000 to 20,000 words. The preferred heat rating is 4 or 5 flames, though stories rated a hard 3 flames will also be considered. An explanation of the flame rating system can be found on our site. We are looking for a wide! variety of themes and sub-genres, as long as the story is a romance.< /p>

The stories selected will be reviewed by an editor and provided with cover art, but please make sure submissions are as polished as you can make them before submitting. Previously published stories will be considered only if all rights have reverted back to the author and the story is no longer available for download elsewhere.

Backlist and contact info for the authors whose work is chosen will be listed in the back of their story.

Submission details can be found here:

Questions should be emailed to Final selection of participants will be made and announced in November 2009.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Working on More Galleys

Continued work on Joan L. Cannon's MAIDEN RUN, and began on Jeanine Malarsky's MAGGIE'S MIRAGE. Fans of women's fiction have a lot of new ones to look forward to.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A New Market for us through ALLROMANCEBOOKS.COM

Oct. 12, 2009

Download and Read Thousands of All Romance eBooks Right on Your Android Smartphone with the Aldiko Application

All Romance eBooks (ARe) has partnered with Aldiko to make their eBook catalog available to Google's Android-powered mobile phones.

Palm Harbor, FL (PRWEB) Octobe r 8, 2009 – Readers will now be able to browse, search and seamlessly download more than 10,000 [eBooks], including free reads, to their Android phones directly from ARe without a computer, cable or subscription using the Aldiko application.

With the Aldiko app readers can easily browse ARe's extensive online book catalog, read detailed descriptions and book reviews, and quickly find the books they are looking for using a powerful search tool right on their Smartphone. They can organize their purchases by criteria such as title, author, or subject, edit detail information, tag, bookmark and search—all on a fully customizable display. New features include a full text search that allows readers to find words g! lobally within the book, and a look up feature, which lets users search for a word in the dictionary, Wikipedia, or on Google.

"Readers love the convenience of being able to download ARe's eBooks anytime, anywhere," said Julie Cummings, ARe's manager of Publicity and Marketing. "Earlier this year we launched an iPhone compatible catalog and it's been hugely popular with our consumers who use ATT. We're really excited to now bring that same service to customers who use other cellular carriers," Cummings added.

"Our mission at Aldiko is to provide an open platfo! rm where users can discover, access, read and manage a wide variety of digital publications instantly and seamlessly" said Tiffany Wong, co-founder of Aldiko. "The partnership with ARe will help us offer the best and broadest selection of titles to our users."

Aldiko is available worldwide and is free on the Android Market as well as available as a paid premium app for Android open platform phones. To learn more visit Aldiko at and Android at

All Romance eBooks, LLC was founded in 2006, is privately held in partne! rship, and headquartered in Palm Harbor, Florida. The company owns All Romance, which specializes in the sale of romance eBooks and OmniLit, which sells both fiction and non-fiction eBooks.

Aldiko Limited was founded in 2009. The company has developed an ebook reader application, "Aldiko Book Reader" for use on Android-powered devices. . With Aldiko, users can build and organize their digital library, read on the go and wirelessly browse and download from a broad range of digital publications right on their Android-powered devices.

So if you see Aldiko when you Google your name, you know it's just the gals at ARE working hard for us.

Oh, and the cherry pie must have been good, because it's all gone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday, sweet Sunday, with nothing to do...

October 11, 2009

The family is coming for dinner today. I made a cherry pie. Hope it's good.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

More final galleys up

Oct. 10,

Final galleys are back up for Bliss Addison's BATTLE OF WILLS, so she can double check them before we go to press. And first finals are up for Joan L. Cannon's MAIDEN RUN so we'll be looking forward to getting those back soon.

As most of you know, series books do not have to pass the committee after the first. We are pleased to learn from Elizabeth Eagan-Cox that Vol. 3 of her GHOST series is ready and she will be sending it to Shelley this week.

Meanwhile, it's the weekend. Time to send all those partials to the BOOK SELECTION COMMITTEE to see what they say. So I'm off to do that now.


Friday, October 9, 2009

New galleys up!

Oct. 10, 2009

Final galleys are up in our space at Files Anywhere for Anna Dynowski's FULL CIRCLE, and Spencer Dane's WHITE GOLD. Once they are corrected for the final time, they will be going to press, some time this month.

I'm truly sorry folks for the delay in getting these completed, but with a fatal crash in July, a new computer (we all know what a mixed blessing that can be) and my illness in August, I am far, far behind.

Today I will begin work on the second in Tonya Ramagos's Stockland Fire Department series, FIGHTING FOR A DREAM, and on Joan L. Cannon's MAIDEN RUN. Both these books were begun prior to my hospital stay (I'm fine now by the way, except for my perpetual arthritis).

Yes, it's true, I do work on more than one book at a time, it fills the gaps while I'm waiting for galley returns.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rules of Good Writing, according to Elmore Leonard

Thursday Oct. 8,

Everyone from Mark Twain on has a list of rules of good writing. I had one myself when I was teaching for Writer's Digest School.

Now that I'm a publisher, there are only two rules:

1. Never confuse your reader.

2. Never make work for your editor.

But it's interesting to see what certain writers think is important enough to make a rule about.

Below are Elmore Leonard's rules. How many do you agree with?

1. Never open a book with weather.

If it's only to create atmosphere, and not a character's reaction to the weather, you don't want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways to describe ice and snow than an Eskimo, you can do all the weather reporting you want.

2. Avoid prologues.

They can be annoying, especially a prologue following an introduction that comes after a foreword. But these are ordinarily found in nonfiction. A prologue in a novel is backstory, and you can drop it in anywhere you want.

There is a prologue in John Steinbeck's ''Sweet Thursday,'' but it's O.K. because a character in the book makes the point of what my rules are all about. He says: ''I like a lot of talk in a book and I don't like to have nobody tell me what the guy that's talking looks like. I want to figure out what he looks like from the way he talks. . . . figure out what the guy's thinking from what he says. I like some description but not too much of that. . . . Sometimes I want a book to break loose with a bunch of hooptedoodle. . . . Spin up some pretty words maybe or sing a little song with language. That's nice. But I wish it was set aside so I don't have to read it. I don't want hooptedoodle to get mixed up with the story.''

3. Never use a verb other than ''said'' to carry dialogue.

The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But said is far less intrusive than grumbled, gasped, cautioned, lied. I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with ''she asseverated,'' and had to stop reading to get the dictionary.

4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb ''said'' . . .

. . . he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances ''full of rape and adverbs.''

5. Keep your exclamation points under control.

You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.

6. Never use the words ''suddenly'' or ''all hell broke loose.''

This rule doesn't require an explanation. I have noticed that writers who use ''suddenly'' tend to exercise less control in the application of exclamation points.

7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.

Once you start spelling words in dialogue phonetically and loading the page with apostrophes, you won't be able to stop. Notice the way Annie Proulx captures the flavor of Wyoming voices in her book of short stories ''Close Range.''

8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.

Which Steinbeck covered. In Ernest Hemingway's ''Hills Like White Elephants'' what do the ''American and the girl with him'' look like? ''She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.'' That's the only reference to a physical description in the story, and yet we see the couple and know them by their tones of voice, with not one adverb in sight.

9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things.

Unless you're Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language or write landscapes in the style of Jim Harrison. But even if you're good at it, you don't want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.

And finally:

10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

A rule that came to mind in 1983. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them. What the writer is doing, he's writing, perpetrating hooptedoodle, perhaps taking another shot at the weather, or has gone into the character's head, and the reader either knows what the guy's thinking or doesn't care. I'll bet you don't skip dialogue.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The checks are in the mail!

Wednesday, Oct 7

Yippee. I always feel better when the payroll is done. I love to pay authors, because when you make money, we make money.

A question came up earlier this week about how to tell which sites are "legitimate" places where we make your books available and how the distributor site system works. Thanks to Elena Bowman for the question. While I sent her an answer, I wanted to put that information here, where everyone can read it.

For sales through distributors, I concentrate on getting our books on sites that have affiliates. That means they sell the books not just from their own site, but from sites that link to them as affiliates. It's called networking sites and the computers all talk to one another.

Here's how it works. I list your book with Mobipocket. Mobi lists it with amazon for Kindle. Both Mobi and amazon have affiliate sites, so you may find your book on amazon, on some English language site in Germany, via Mobipocket, and on, because Target is an affiliate of amazon. If someone buys your book from, the money gets collected by amazon's computer and they pay us for a "kindle" sale. I list your book on Fictionwise. Barnes & Noble is an affiliate of Fictionwise, so they pick up the book from FW and also list it with their affiliates as well and if someone buys from an affiliate the money goes back to B&N or FW and they pay US.

I list your book at and is an affiliate of allromanceebooks and we get paid whichever site the customer buys from. This is why lots of new sites pop up when you Google your name. It's easy to tell the ligitimate ones as they will have the logo of the sponsor distribution site, FW, Amazon, Mobi, Barnes & Noble, Coffeetime, or ARE. That's why the venue column is important on the sales reports--it lets you know where the book sold from.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday and still writing checks

Either I'm a slow writer or there are a lot of you out there.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday was lovely

Hi everyone,

I am still busy writing checks, but I took yesterday off to cook dinner for my family--yes, the sons and daughter-in-law (Shelley) come to dinner on Sunday. We had Maryland Fried Chicken, yum.

Later in the afternoon, we went to see cousin Dot who is visiting her brother Harvey from Grants Pass, Or. The Dear Hubby and his cousin and friends played some great bluegrass music all evening.

But today it's back to work on the payment structure and then back to print books. Jeanine and Tonya, yours are in the works, too.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hi Everyone,

Hi Everyone,

I figured out how to post! Now I'm busy writing the royalty checks for October 2009.

As soon as that is done, I will go back to getting print books in line for publication. Just now I'm working on Spencer Dane's WHITE GOLD and Anna Dynowski's FULL HOUSE. Anna, I'm sorry this wasn't finished earlier for you.