I’ve been around e-publishing for a few years now either learning the craft, soaking it all up like a sponge, writing or editing, and usually all three. I’ve seen authors come and go. Seen genres suddenly become bestsellers while others lose their appeal just to rise again. I’ve seen author meltdowns and publisher meltdowns alike. And I’ve been involved in publisher shutdowns.
In other words, I’m not green anymore. I lost my publishing cherry long ago. And I’ve decided to get a few things off my chest today.
When I first decided to write, I sat down at my computer and researched for a while before I jumped in. I discovered erotic romance and decided that was the best way for me to go. E-publishing was something I’d never heard of but it just felt right. I could see a future in publishing online. I was right. LOL
But it’s like my daddy was always fond of saying: “No matter where ya go, there’s always an asshole there to greet ya!” And Daddy was so damn right!
One of the first issues I encountered in Romancelandia was the incredible amount of prejudice against erotic romance authors. Just a few years ago it was rampant. It’s still there, but it’s one of those things that is less talked about now. Have you ever been chatting with an author on a group or forum, just having a conversation about romance writing in general, and then that author finds out you write erotic romance? Happened to me a few times. It was as if I no longer existed. Thanks to the antiquated ideas of RWA—yep, I blame RWA mostly—erotic romance authors were not REAL authors. Why RWA? Well, until erotic romance put e-publishing on the map and showed the publishing world a different way of doing things—a different way of making money—RWA was the DO ALL-KNOW ALL-END OF ALL where romance writing was concerned. You needed the RWA stamp of approval to be a REAL AUTHOR.
Some authors still want that. And that’s fine. Everyone must follow their own career path. But don’t…hear me…don’t look down on others who have chosen a different path. Just sayin’.
Another thing that I’ve run into along the way has been the idea that e-books aren’t real, and therefore the author isn’t a REAL AUTHOR. Can you hear me groaning? I just poured a shot of whiskey in my coffee. Yeah, I did. Hemmingway did it. So can I. Ooops! He was a REAL AUTHOR. Hmmm…well, maybe the whiskey will make me a REAL AUTHOR, too! LOL At least I’ll feel better—as long as I don’t do more than a couple of shots, that is. LOL Yeah, it’s morning, but it’s MONDAY morning. Besides I didn’t sleep well last night. And if it makes you feel any better, I just added a little whipped cream to the top. Now it’s a breakfast drink! Yeah, that’s it!
Anyway…back to my rant. So I’ve had two strikes against me since the beginning. I write sexy stuff and I’m e-published only. Now hear this: I am happy in e-publishing. I do not spend my time salivating over the BIG SIX nor do I spend my time querying agents. And btw, that whole agent thing is another issue. There are authors who believe you’ve got to have one or you’re not a REAL AUTHOR. And if you want to be pubbed with the BIG SIX, I guess you do need one because they won’t look at your manuscript unless you do. At least for now. I figure agents are going to have to go through a little reinvention in the not so distant future in order to hang on to their businesses. With no need for an agent in e-publishing and the way self-publishing seems to be taking off, authors aren’t quite as inclined to give someone fifteen percent to open the same doors they can open all on their own. However, I do think that if you’re with the BIG SIX or aiming for them and don’t have an agent that you need one to handle negotiations and contracts—and of course, to get you in the door. Never do anything you aren’t qualified to do.
So what’s next? Glad you asked. LOL If you don’t have books out in print, you’re not a REAL AUTHOR. Okkkkaaaaayyyyyy…now this is when I bring out the whips and chains. And I’m not bringing them out for pleasurable purposes either. What a crock of… Does anyone here really believe that an author’s words are less enjoyable because a reader is not holding the book in their hand? Sure I like print books. But I don’t think a print book is better in any way just because it’s something I can hold. And now that all of the big authors are out in e books and we have all of these amazing e readers…wtf? Yet I’ll still see an author somewhere posting about their book finally being in print as if they have suddenly been made a REAL AUTHOR. Pinocchio Syndrome. All Pinocchio ever needed to be real was love and all an author needs to be real is a love of writing. Get it???? So anyone out there who thinks less of their author abilities because you’re not in print—well, STOP IT! Don’t buy into that. It’s NOT true.
And here’s another one that really burns my butter. You’re not a REAL AUTHOR unless you write longer works. HUH? My hair is officially singed from that one. Regina touched on that last week in her post entitled Is a novella a REAL Book? You bet it is and you can find that post here: http://threewickedwriters.blogspot.com/2011/06/when-you-head-into-bookstore-or-online.html My friend Emmy Ellis, aka Natalie Dae and Sarah Masters, posted about this on Facebook a few days ago, too.
Novella writing isn’t for everyone. And I doubt most of us even give it a thought. But lots of authors talk about how writing shorter works just isn’t the same as writing a full-blown novel. Oh PUHLEEEZE! I write longer works AND shorter works. Writing short is a helluva lot harder than long. To write something short that is completely satisfying, an author has to pack a big punch with every word, sentence. The writing must be tight but at the same time leave NO stone unturned. I dare say that writing short takes a lot more skill than writing long. And I can say that because I do both. I read novellas, short stories, and novels. I’m afraid that a lot of novels are padded with unnecessary stuff. Yeah, they are. Have you ever found yourself reading a novel and skimming or paging ahead? I do that a lot. Another thing is that novellas and shorts are becoming increasingly popular. Busy lifestyles require a satisfying read that won’t steal an entire afternoon or evening. Novellas and short stories are here to stay. So for those of you who think you aren’t a REAL AUTHOR because you haven’t written an 80K novel yet???? STOP THAT!
Now for a little mood lightening. LOL Just got word last night that my contemporary novel, Strip Down, will release from Ellora’s Cave on July 8. Check out the coming soon page and read the blurb and excerpt. Trust me…this one is hot hot hot! http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9440-strip-down.aspx
Once again I have no author book trailer to showcase. No one is sending me any. Hmmm…free promo????? I don’t charge. LOL Would love to see a few come my way. Just send to firstname.lastname@example.org