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View Full Version : Decisions, decisions



thewritemuse
03-10-2005, 08:27 PM
Hello, everyone!

I couldn't decide whether my post belonged in Erotica or Romance, but since the latest rejection for my novel praised my "strong writing" and "interesting story" only to pass due to "too explicit sex", the Erotica drawer it is. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif

Anyhoo...let me introduce myself--as well as warn you that I have a tendency to let my fingers blather. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon6.gif

I'm Deb and I write about sex, intimacy, and the difference between the two. I've been shopping my first novel to publishers for about a year, scribbling away at another while I do, and somewhere finding the time to whip up shorter pieces when the muse feels friskier than usual.

I'm a posting board wienie. Way back in the dark ages of the internet (circa 1995) I learned to lurk long and regularly before you post, and unfortunately that habit has backfired. I registered here once upon a time, but after a hard drive melt down a few months past, darned if I can find the password, or even figure out what email addy I subbed with!

So, now here I am, finally posting under a new, though not necessarily improved, handle. And I've taken the plunge because I noticed a handful of posts relating to Aphrodite Unlaced, the epublisher who recently acquired two of my works. I thought what the heck, maybe others can gain insight from my experience.

And that experience has been sterling. Their contract is standard and clear, with no ambiguities. They supplied excellent editorial input, a friendly cover artist, were prompt and courteous in their communications and now, after their first two months of operation, I'm happy to note that my sales numbers have been satisfactory--in fact, when comparing notes with an established erotica author, I was doubly pleased to find my numbers coincided with her (eventually quite successful) experience in joining an epub house on the ground floor. Other than that, if anyone has a question I haven't covered, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer it. (And for the record, I have no direct interest in AU beyond being an author who submitted for consideration and was contracted.)

Meanwhile, I have a question or two related to websites that perhaps someone will be kind enough to weigh in on. I'm toying with the idea of putting either the first two or several random chapters of my completed novel on my site (www.DeborahBoyer.com (http://www.deborahboyer.com/), where you can, if you like, judge my talent--or lack thereof, since I well know it's entirely subjective :scared: ).

Currently, I do have a free short story there, but it's several years old and as a result, I feel it doesn't adequately reflect my skill level any more. (Each and every work *should* teach us something new, right?) What do you think, or what have you learned, are some of the pros and cons of doing this? All input and/or opinions will be gratefully considered.

Okay, time to get back to the ol' WIP...my hero's brewing up a threesome and my heroine is vacillating between curiosity, excitement and trepidation...terrible, terrible me, leaving the poor woman in such a hellish limbo... :whip:

veinglory
03-10-2005, 09:17 PM
I think a lot of us are somewhere in the overlap between romance and erotica, not two areas easiky separated after all!

Nice web-pagw but it could use some streamlining for dial-up, I found it slow to load. I tend to either link to the publisher's excerpt or post that same excerpt. I think this is a best way to give readers a 'taste'.

I am curious to hear about your sales. I have found Loose Id to be quite good and would love to compare notes!

Kate StAmour
03-11-2005, 07:22 AM
Hmm. I'm a bit website- picky. The layout is clean, but what makes it special? Give yourself some time and then add some pizzaz. Maybe a flash homepage? A sassy, sexy, sultry, layout, to reflect what you do?
Your latest cover looks fantastic, btw!! Nice.
Thank you for your feedback on AU, I was just rejected by them and it was the nicest rejection letter, ever. It actually makes me want to write more for them.
Congrats, btw on the sales. Judging from your samples, you deserve it.

Welcome to de-lurk mode!!

Kate

S.Anders
03-11-2005, 08:52 AM
I think it is a good selling point to have an excerpt of your published works. Maybe not a chapter but an enticing page or two. I know when I am looking to buy and read an ebook, I look hard for excerpts to read. I generally will not buy one unless I can find an excerpt.

S.Anders

And congrads on your new ebooks!

thewritemuse
03-11-2005, 06:51 PM
Yes, veinglory, that's so true. The lines that once separated romance from erotica become more blurred every day, and I thank the powers for that! Not only have I tried (and dismally failed) to write romance *without* sex, I can't seem to keep explicit encounters out of my mainstream stuff either—and yes, ma'am, I indeed know that makes my women's fiction a *very* hard sell.

Kate, you're quite welcome about the AU info. And thanks in return for the website comments. ITA it needs pizzazz—it's been up about three months or so, and now that I'm getting a firm handle on this html stuff, I really have to brainstorm some fun, perhaps interactive, additions. The biggest lesson I've learned so far is that web designers surely deserve their large wages, and that I will never be a danger to their jobs, 'cause I'd much rather scribble any day!

S.Anders, me too. If I can't read a bit of an ebook (much like I do in brick & mortars), I'm reluctant to buy.

And unfortunately, I'm afraid I wasn't clear about what I asked (cringing at my lack—if I'm a writer, I should communicate succinctly, right? :)). The sample chapters or excerpts I'm toying with adding would be from the novel I'm shopping—it doesn't have a publisher, so I can't point readers to a sample anywhere else.

I've done a little research, and find that opinion is split down the middle: some say it's a waste of time/space, in that you're giving away free what you may eventually want to sell (although, since the first several chapters are regularly included in queries, I'm not sure I understand that argument, and space I have plenty of).

The other side seems to say: do it, it can't hurt and, you never know, it might actually help. And having read about Diana Gabaldon's experience with Dragonflies in Amber at her site (she notes this is the most accurate interview (http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~gatti/gabaldon/interviews/publishersweekly.html)she has read) it certainly made me go 'hmmmmm'. Not that I count myself in Ms. Gabaldon's esteemed league, only that the method certainly didn't hurt her career and she had a genre-straddling book, too.

Ah well. It's going to be one of those days where I wonder what the h*ll I think I'm doing. Do you ever get days where you wish you were still blissfully writing without a care, ignorant of the realities of the publishing world?

Kate StAmour
03-11-2005, 07:48 PM
Oy! I hand- coded for years and would spend days to hours perfecting a site. Eventually, I bought Dreamwaver which rules, but it is still time consuming. Ultimately, I decided that I would much rather be writing. I strongly recommend a mambo skin, or php nuke. The backends are all point and click and it will make your job soooo much easier.

Kate

thewritemuse
03-12-2005, 05:37 PM
Point and click is *definitely* the way to go. Part of my initial frustrations were because l couldn't find a way for my brain to translate code as a 'picture' to my mind's eye--and since I'm visually motivated, it was near impossible to get anything done flipping back and forth. I tried several programs and eventually settled on V-Com's Web Easy Professional -- although it's a WYSIWYG, adding or revising other/additional code is easily accomplished.

My nephew is a web designer. He tried, the poor boy, to come up with some layouts I might like. Problem is, his clients are bands--and mostly heavy metal ones. To say our ideas didn't jive is a wild understatement. Thankfully, he's a good kid and took my 'apologies, but no thanks' in stride. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon7.gif