It’s time to pull on my Big Writer Panties
Degree of Resistance has now been out for a shade over a week, and the bulk of my wonderful ARC readers have left reviews (thank you all, *mwah*). I have requests out to a slew of reviewers, advertising going on at various locations, and I’m in the process of getting my media pack out to various bloggers who are kind enough to host my stuff.
And so far … yeah, the sales are perhaps a touch disappointing. The folks who have read the book so far say it’s hella good (and these people have no reason to blow smoke up my ass. If I’d produced something crappy, they would’ve told me). So what that confirms is that my marketing plan is not optimal and I have to come up with a better method of getting Evie and Ben’s story out in front of readers who love smokin’ cyborg romance.
To that end, the lovely and talented Cecilia Tan (my first editor and now my cherished colleague) was kind enough to spend an hour on Skype with me on Thursday going over various battle plans and ways to promote DoR. Some of them, I must admit, had simply never occurred to me but seem obvious in retrospect (e.g. find ways to write blogs posts that will appeal to girl geek-slanted publications such as The Daily Dot and io9, since a significant proportion of my SFR-loving readers will be found there). Others will require careful use of SEO terms to boost exposure, creative use of graphics, or just plain throwing money at the problem. As I am a poor but honest writer who is still paying off the costs of Wild Wicked Weekend (Tl;dr I had a frigging ball and sold more books than last year) I’m hoping to keep this last method down to a minimum, at least until the end of the month. I still want to try submitting Empress of Storms to BookBub, but I need to save up for that as well, plus I have to wait until I’m past the 90 day limit on sales prices (since it was on sale along with Palace of Scoundrels in December, that should take effect later this month).
So goes the life of a modern hybrid author. Still the best job I’ve ever had, though.
Lord, it’s Sunday night already
I honestly don’t know where this weekend went to. Well, no, I do — it went into sending out copies of Degree of Resistance to my beta readers, finalizing the cover for DoR, setting up pre-sales at Amazon (available here if you’re of a mind to pick it up for 99¢ before it goes up to $3.99 on release day), cleaning my utter sty of an office (whereupon I discovered that one of my furry darlings peed in my office closet, which required me to move everything off the floor so that I could attend the stain with the portable rug cleaner and some Nature’s Miracle, whee…), doing laundry, attending a meeting at the local Democrats office, having coffee with one of my beta readers who reassured me that she was enjoying the story so far (and she will tell me if I’m screwing up), adding DoR here to the Bookshelf, creating ads and doing promo on social media, and formatting the DoR ebook. I’m going to hold off on doing the print version until I have all of the other edits done, but in the meantime I can get the print version of Palace of Scoundrels finally done and published, which would be nice seeing as it was released in, oh, late October.
Yeah, well, we were kind of busy around that time.
Anyhoo, yeah, the weekend kinda got away from me and I still need to put all the laundry away, pay bills, and finish cleaning the office (aren’t you envious of my glamorous life?). But by God I’m going to hit the ground running tomorrow, especially since I don’t have to start Round Three of edits on DoR until Wednesday (I swear to God I actually have a schedule this time), and that means I can continue to edit the alternate history mystery starring Edgar Allan Poe and Lewis Carroll that’s been languishing on my hard drive for the last three years and get it ready for release on 2/28.
Two books released in one month. Yeah, I like the sound of that.
A Christmas Sale!
Which has much less Darren McGavin than A Christmas Story, but bear with me. In the spirit of the year (and because all of us need a bit of a lift right now) I’m putting both Two Thrones books on sale for 99¢ until New Year’s Eve. So if you’re new to the joint kingdoms of Hellas and Ypres, this is the perfect chance to check them out.
A Comprehensive Update, Voting, and Goodreads
So, where have I been for the last ten days or so, you may be asking. The answer is simple — I was on the Atlantic coast of Florida doing research for the Olympic Cove series, which turned out to be incredibly useful and will inform the three remaining books in the series. After that, I took my sister on a 3-day Disney cruise to see how well she could handle it, as she has a tendency to get terribly motion-sick. Turns out she handed it just fine (“It felt like the ship was rocking me to sleep at night. Now I understand why cradles are made the way they are,” she marveled), loved having a room with a verandah where we could sit, drink Mexican beer, and watch the water go by, and generally adored everything about sailing with the Mouse. She is now musing about the possibility of a cruise next year, so I must start saving my shekels now.
After the cruise I returned home and succumbed for a few days to a rather nasty chest cold which is finally resolving itself although I still sound a bit like a wheezy comedy concertina when I breathe. I did arise from my sickbed long enough to go vote on Thursday for Hillary (why, yes, I live in the clavicle of Texas and am a Democrat. I am nothing if not a delightful bundle of contradictions), and today I’m working on Intersection (Pacifica Rising Book 1, aka the SF erotic romance series) for NaNoWriMo while Ramón is off gaming with his D&D group. Because NaNoWriMo does not wait for chest colds.
Oh, speaking of voting, I have two requests for you. One, go vote in our upcoming national election. If you can still do early voting, do it — it really saves time and stress on Tuesday, and you can spend the evening sipping the refreshing adult beverage of your choice instead of staring at a line of humanity in front of you and wondering if it’s ever going to move. If early voting has ended and you weren’t able to take advantage of it, do go and vote on Tuesday. Your vote counts, even if you’re the only member of your party in your entire town. Do it anyway. And no, I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, although I will indulge in a private hope that you’re voting for Hillary as well.
Two, the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 are now open, and you can nominate your favorite book of 2016 (such as, say, Palace of Scoundrels) in a wide variety of genres (including Romance). So go vote and make an author very, very happy!
“Rapacious. I like the sound of that.” #SexySnippets from Palace of Scoundrels #FantasyRomance
Hey folks! I’m doing my first Sexy Snippets post, so please enjoy!
“You’re rapacious enough as it is.”
She turned so that she could nuzzle under his ear, licking the salty skin there. “I never heard you complain before.”
“I’m not complaining now, little bird, merely observing.”
She hummed, catching his earlobe between her teeth and nibbling on it. “Rapacious,” she whispered after she let it go. “I like the sound of that.”
Spring has sprung in the island kingdom of Hellas, and with it come thoughts of young love and fruitful fields. But with no signs of an occupant for the royal nursery, Queen Danaë is starting to worry about her own fertility. Her concerns aren’t helped by the arrival of the legendarily conniving Dowager Queen Atilia of Illium–or the woman’s handsome grandson Prince Marcus, on the run after being accused of poisoning his older brother.
In the neighboring kingdom of Ypres, Danaë’s royal husband Matthias is dealing with dangerous family politics and a wolfish duke who has kidnapped a young noblewoman for immoral purposes. Or has he? Can Matthias ward off the threat of civil war, outwit his relatives, and deal with a charming rival in his wife’s own palace?
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | All Romance eBooks | Smashwords
Do check out the other Authors participating today, and why not join us next week? Sexy Snippets are seven sexy sentences taken from a work in progress or published work.
You can find us on our blog http://thenuthousescribblers.blogspot.co.uk/p/sexy-snippets.html?
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Palace of Scoundrels is live!
After a brief hiccup in regard to SEO terms (you try to input a book cleanly while playing with a rod and reel toy to entertain a loud orange cat, I dare you), the Big River finally came through as of this afternoon, which means the deliciously sexy sequel to Empress of Storms and book #2 in my Two Thrones series is now available from Amazon, All Romance eBooks, and Smashwords. I’ll be loading the print version to CreateSpace this weekend, but in the meantime I’m making promo images and indulging myself in a Dragonslayer, the awesome drink I had at Medieval Times. My version is made from half a cup of Talenti mango sorbet, chilled water (you can use soda water if you like), and a shot of Malibu rum. SO damn good.
Anything else? Okay. I’m gonna go sleep now. Yay!
Houston, we have liftoff!
I pulled the trigger and the Palace of Scoundrels file and cover are now at Amazon awaiting approval. I’ll post links here as soon as I get them. I’m currently setting up the Smashwords and ARe files, and again, links when they’re live. For those of you who prefer to hold a book in your hands, the print version will be up at CreateSpace by this weekend.
In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak of the cover. Enjoy!
It’s GOOD to have writer friends
So I’m working on Palace of Scoundrels (Two Thrones #2) and Matthias is not having a good time. His ally Tomas Villiers, Duke of Kelles and fearsome guardian of the Ypresian North Border, has fallen in love with and kindasorta kidnapped Lady Sibeal LeClerq, daughter of Henrietta LeClerq, Countess of Lierde (also a powerful Terra magistra and owner of the most fertile farmlands in Ypres).
Un petit problem — Sibeal has already been betrothed to Lord Clement Reynard, heir of the Earl of Leuwen (a rather recently ennobled family, and filthy rich). Clement was originally betrothed to Sibeal’s older sister Amelie, but they had a dreadful argument and Amelie broke the betrothal and refuses to take him back. The countess offered the Reynards Sibeal instead, and she was accepted. But Sibeal is in love with Villiers and doesn’t want to marry Reynard. Unfortunately, her mother laid a sterility spell on her and refuses to lift it unless Sibeal marries Reynard, and both Villiers and Sibeal really want children.
So they toss this in Matthias’s lap to sort out, which gives both him and me a headache (there’s a reason why I don’t usually write political intrigue). I was complaining to the brilliant and talented Michelle Muenzler that I had no idea why the Countess was so all-fired to marry one of her daughters off to the Reynards but it had to be important. Glorious woman that she is, she promptly said, “It’s not her pushing this. The Earl has something on the Countess, something major that could ruin her reputation and endanger her lands, and he wants to marry his son into her (major noble) family or he spills the beans.”
Et voila, the clouds parted, the sun shone, and I knew the Earl of Leuwen’s motivation and how this whole mess got started. More importantly, I think I know how to resolve it entertainingly. Now I just have to add a touch more flesh to the problem in Hellas (there’s a reason why I’m calling this Palace of Scoundrels, you know), and I have a complete book. Whee!
Oh, while I’m on the topic of political intrigue and thrones, something has recently come to my attention and I need to swear on the head of Barbara Cartland that I had never seen NOR read Game of Thrones until this July. I’m saying this now because I’m currently on book three and thinking, “Fuck, they have a young queen called Dany and I have a young queen called Danaë. And the Hound calls Sansa “little bird.” And there’s a divine entity called Lys — FUCK. They’re going to think I’m ripping off GoT.” All I can say in my defense is that European history, language, and terminology are being called upon lavishly by both myself and George R.R. Martin, and sometimes there’s going to be overlap. But from this point onward I will do my utmost to stay as far away from the terms of Westeros as possible.
Nicola’s Progress Reports
Since I was poked by my buddy Peter on this:
Palace of Scoundrels (Empress sequel) – 1,645 words since I spent a fair amount of time outlining the thing. Nonetheless I’m hoping to have this done by RT — I would like to have it out and available, but that may not be possible. We’ll see.
Behind the Iron Cross – 76,039 words and I’m storming into Act Three as we speak. This one is gonna take mega editing, though.
Cross Current (Olympic Cove #4) – 3,538 words, and I came up with a refinement for my main character that is extremely organic and effective AND makes the story more diverse.
“Do No Harm” (Dark Captive antho entry for Evernight) – 1,520 words. This is the one I really have to focus on since the deadline is March 15th. It’s also the most difficult of the bunch because, well, here’s the antho description:
Dark Captive will be a collection of dark erotic romance stories featuring alpha men with fierce sexual appetites. They’ll stop at nothing to get what they want. And they have their sights on one man. Possessive and bold, these heroes give their conquests exactly what they crave—to be taken … to be owned. Any resistance offered will be tested, but in the end love rules.
So, dubcon with a romance and HEA/HFN. Kinda hard to do that effectively in less than 25K words, but I think I found a way to make it work.
I’m also trying to catch up on some desperately needed housework in my spare time, but I think I’m breaking down and paying for a professional spring cleaning of the place after I get back from RT. My blue collar South Side soul is screaming blue murder at this, but my professional writer brain is saying, “You can spend time cleaning or you can spend time writing. Which is more productive and satisfying to you? Plus if you hire a service you’re pumping money into the economy, and you can give them mega tips to shut up that screeching soul of yours.” Works for me.
Happy anniversary to me!
Facebook’s Memories function has just been kind enough to remind me that three years ago today I got my acceptance from Evernight on Storm Season. My exact post on the topic was:
So, yeah, uh, I just sold my first standalone novel, Storm Season, to Evernight Publishing. Um…I’m a novelist. So what do I do now?
The answer is, write another novel, of course. Which I did, and I thank each and every one of you out there who has been buying them and chivvying me to write more. Y’all rock.
Speaking of books, writing continues apace in the Cameron manse. I’ve started on Palace of Scoundrels (the Empress sequel) and I’m flipping back and forth between that, Iron Cross, and Cross Current depending on my mood. Hey, it works for a lot of bestselling authors so why not me? But three books (plus a short story, plus another project that I’ll announce here in due time) apparently isn’t enough for my sozzled slavedriver of a muse, since she’s been prodding me to write a MF contemporary standalone like you would not believe. Thing is, it has some really deep, relevant hooks for me so I think it’s got to go on the To Be Written list (which is now stretching to 2020 and beyond).
At least it means you have lots of reading material to look forward to, right? That’s what I keep telling myself.
In other news, I’ll be at Wild Wicked Weekend this weekend in San Antonio and I’ll have print copies of Storm Season, HIS: Manlove Edition, and Empress of Storms with me, so if you’re coming and want a copy please hunt me down. This is my first romance convention where I’m a signing author, so I’m both excited and a little nervous. I’m putting together a gift basket and bringing swag, but I still have to learn the lay of the land and what’s expected from an author at such events (e.g. this ISN’T a science fiction convention so the graphic t-shirts will probably be left at home).
And yes, there will be pictures. And I’ll give you a full report on our outing to the Lair (San Antonio’s premier BDSM club). Pity I can’t wear what I wore to the Rubber Ball in London, muwahahahahaha…