Monday, November 30, 2009
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:
TOBY MARTIN: SCHOOL SLEUTH by Barbara Grengs
FIGHTING FOR A DREAM by Tonya Ramagos
Saturday, November 28, 2009
"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
Meanwhile I'll pass along some news about trends from one of our distributors, www.allromancebooks.com / www.omnilit.com
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.
PRESS RELEASE FROM ARe/Omnilit
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, OhioBuyer 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
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
Final galleys are under way for:
TOBY MARTIN: SCHOOL SLEUTH, by Barbara Grengs
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
"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
"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
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 www.fictionwise.com choosing "brows by" on the lower left, publishers, and then ebooksonthe.net 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 www.fictionwise.com
1. MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES by Agatha Christie
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
6. YET THE RIVER FLOWS ON by Jack Lyle
7. DEATH SHALL HAVE NO DOMINION, by Pinkie Paranya
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
2. MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES, by Agatha Christie
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
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
Barbara Greng's TOBY MARTIN: SCHOOL SLEUTH, and
Hank LeGrand III's RAMPAGE.
The following print books went to press this week:
MAIDEN RUN, by Joan L. Cannon
JASON'S TANGLED WEB, by Lewis Moll
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
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
Details are available at the EPIC web site:
Those with questions and suggestions should contact me.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
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
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
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, 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
The following submissions went out to the Book Selection Committee this week:
ROSE AND THE RING
A DOOR OPENS
THIEF OF HOPE
DOING DEAD MAN'S TIME
A GRANDFATHER'S GIFT
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
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
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
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
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!
Monday, November 2, 2009
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!"