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!"