Category: books

Texas Ban Unconstitutional; Heidi Cullinan on Promotion/Marketing

Texas Ban Unconstitutional

In Texas a federal judge ruled the ban against same sex marriage unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia based his decision on “Supreme Court precedent.”

“Today’s court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent,” Garcia wrote in the order. “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S. Constitution.”

You can read more here.

It’s definitely a milestone, but also it still feels like the tiniest baby steps.

Heidi Cullinan on Promotion/Marketing

I found a short, interesting blog post the other day by m/m author, Heidi Cullinan that I think affects all authors in all genres nowadays. And indirectly, publishers and readers. Cullinan discusses the way authors have to market and promote these days, and also the frustrations that often go along with it. It’s actually a shared post from another blog, which is stated up front.

I strive to lift awareness of not just my work but works like mine, the whole LGBT romance pool, but even that is not the main purpose of why I’m here. I like to thank bloggers with ad purchases and guest posts and ARCs. I’ve made a forum for fans to chat, and if you link/@ reply me on social media and I’m able to see it, I’ll do my best to reply or at least like your post. I don’t buy reviews. I don’t ask people to buy books on a certain day at a certain hour at a certain place to game the system. I don’t send mass invites to “events” on Goodreads or Facebook.

I think what she’s saying is what many of us try to do. She also mentions the pressure all authors are feeling now to market and promote even harder…if that’s possible to do. (Where do you cross the line?)

In any event, the post touches on a lot of feelings we all have. You can check it out here. I often find myself shunning more aggressive approaches to marketing on a daily basis.

Side note: The post is on a review web site I didn’t know was around until recently, Live Your Life, Buy the Book. From what I can see, it’s fast, it’s detailed, and simple to navigate. And I don’t think they’ve ever actually reviewed me so no hidden agenda on this end. My biggest fail is in submitting books to reviewers. I just feel awkward doing it.

Lazy Beagle Entertainment for Readers and Books

Lazy Beagle Entertainment for Readers and Books

When I first heard about Lazy Beagle Entertainment for Readers and Books, I was more than pleasantly surprised. This weekend the owners of the site sent out e-mails asking for feedback and this is what I wrote.

For a long time I’ve been wishing someone would put together an online community where books, readers, publishers, and authors can come together. And when I first learned about Lazy Beagle Entertainment and saw what they were doing I was more than thrilled. One of the biggest things for me is that it’s easy to navigate and everything is up front and clear. When you do a search (and I tried several times) what you’re looking for comes up without any issues. And the information that is there is far more detailed than anything on goodreads or Amazon. One of the issues I find with most web sites nowadays is that there isn’t enough information, and I think readers are vetting books and authors now more than ever before. But the creators of Lazy Beagle seem to be working very hard to make this one of the fastest growing web sites online to date for books and readers. And the main focus is about books and authors in all genres, not just one. It really is a web site bringing all authors and readers together in a positive way.
You can get to Lazy Beagle by clicking this link. As I said in the feedback, it is open to ALL genres, not just one.
This is from the “About” page:
 Welcome to Lazy Beagle Entertainment founded by author Patrick Wendling-Markwell and husband, and sometimes co-author, Rondal D. Markwell. Ever find it hard to find self-published books and other books not promoted with a million dollar advertising budget. Looking for that hidden gem? Well here at LBE we will link you with your favorite published and self-published authors, and give authors a prominent place to link their work and promote themselves, so they are no longer hidden gems but displayed diamonds! We will provide links to all locations the book is available for purchase, and all available sites where you can follow the author. This page was started originally to be for self-published authors, but we have opened it up to any and all authors, self-published or not.
I didn’t want to get into a long explanation in the feedback, but one reason why I’ve been wishing someone would put together a web site like lazybeagle is because a lot of authors don’t get a fair chance these days. What I mean by that is there are a lot of great books that are up against a lot of competition and it’s hard for new authors to get recognition in a fair sense. Nowhere is this more evident than in the romance genre. One m/m author recently posted about how she’s never been rejected and she’s always been welcomed with open arms by all romance review sites…even though she writes m/m romance. Well, I can’t speak for her, but I know about one hundred more who write just as well as she does who are not welcomed with open arms, nor are they even acknowledged. So I think web sites like Lazy Beagle, and anything else that follows, where new authors can get a chance to showcase their books is about the nicest thing I’ve seen all year.

Publishers, Editing E-books, and Those Annoying Little Mistakes that Happen

I’ve seen a lot of blog posts around lately with complaints about mistakes in e-books…all e-books. Of course most of these mistakes are small and they don’t change the content within the book. I’m reading a bio about Julia Child right now that was pubbed a while ago and I’ve counted at least five errors…very little errors that don’t bother me in the least. I read two novels before this book that were published by well known authors about ten years ago. These novels have recently been made into digital books and I’ve found small errors in them, too.

I’ve had errors in my own books. One in particular was in AMERICAN STAR, where a name is spelled differently in parts of the book. (I still get flop sweat over this one.) When this book was submitted, the name was correctly spelled as, “Terrence,” and I quadruple checked to make sure it was correct before I submitted. What happened between the time the manuscript was submitted and the time it went into digital format is beyond me. But I was told it was a problem with conversion. And I’ve heard other authors say the same thing has happened to them.

Before I submit a manuscript to any publisher, I do at least four rounds of edits. And then the manuscript goes to another editor, and then on to a copy editor. After that, I usually go back and forth with the copy editor for at least a week working out different sections of the book. And, I rarely ever argue with the copy editor about any suggestions or changes because I’ve learned that the collaboration always makes a better book in the end. With my love you divine short story e-books, I have two editors, one is a managing editor and the other a copy editor. Believe it or not, it takes sometimes over a month to get the edits right just for a short story.

The point of this post is that little mistakes happen. Like I said, I’ve seen them with older books and newer books, in print and digital. And publishers do edit. And edit, and edit, and edit…e-publishers and print publishers. It’s not something they take lightly. Has the increased need to produce books faster created more little mistakes in books? I don’t know the answer to that. I’m never in a rush to get anything out, and neither are any of my publishers. I write fast; I edit slowly. Right now I’m working on a new book in the Virgin Billionaire series and I have two ravenous romance books with the publisher, going through strenuous rounds of edits.

Publishers and authors try hard to get it right. But once in a while something slips by.