indie publishing

What Happened To Ryan Field Ravenous Romance Books In 2016?

What Happened To Ryan Field Ravenous Romance Books In 2016? 

Although I never really counted them officially, I think I had about 45 books pubbed with e-book publisher, Ravenous Romance. I get a little confused sometimes, but I do have all this written down in files. Plus, over the last two years I’ve asked Ravenous if I could have the rights of certain books reverted so I could indie publish them myself. And the publishers at Ravenous were always more than happy to honor my requests.

In case you’re wondering why a lot of my Ravenous Romance titles have disappeared, I thought I would post something short about it here in the blog. Within the next month or so, they’re all going to disappear. And that’s because Ravenous has been good about the reversion of rights. I recently had all the rights from all Ravenous books reverted and I’ll be re-publishing them in 2017 with my own imprint. Some might be sold to another e-publisher, but as of this moment most will be re-published with Ryan Field Press.

If you recall several of my previous posts about indie publishing that date back to 2012, this is one of the reasons why I started Ryan Field Press as a very humble venture. It’s still a very humble Venture.

As an author I’m also a business person. And my latest little venture is going to be publishing a full length, 60,000 word novel, on Amazon. The title is “Chase of a Lifetime,” and it’s m/m erotic romance. It’s also a very humble venture. I’m not expecting to be the next Joe Konrath and I’m not expecting to blow anyone out of the water, so to speak. I’ll be thankful for however many copies of this book I sell and I’ll be here to answer any questions readers have.

Indie publishing has given me a chance to publish an anthology like The Women Who Love To Love Gay Romance, and it’s given my books with e-publishers who have gone out of business a permanent home. When the e-book boom ended, and e-book sales leveled out, many of the start ups in e-publishing went out of business. It’s still happening, and it’s happening with some of the biggest e-publishers of the 2000s.

I’m not getting into the reasons why so many e-publishers are shuttering. I’m only talking about the books I’ve had published with e-publishers over the last fifteen years. I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with excellent e-publishers who have always paid me on time, kept me working, and given back the rights to everything when it was time. I have no complaints with any of them. My experiences working with all e-publishers, including Ravenous Romance, have been nothing but positive. In fact, I miss working with them all.

This isn’t an official announcement about Ravenous Romance. I want to make that clear, because I’m not qualified to do that. This is ONLY about me, and it’s about my own books. The absolute truth is that I have no idea what’s happening with Ravenous or what they plan to do. Although the Ravenous web site seems to be down, I only know what’s happening with my books. I’ve always had positive experiences working with Ravenous, but now it’s time to move forward. I’ll keep posting updates about each one of my Ravenous Romance books that is re-published in the next year, and some of these books might be sold to other publishers. If anyone has any questions you can e-mail me at the address on my sidebar.

Valley of the Dudes


Lorraine Devon Wilke Tells Us How Much To Publish; Global Gay Rights; Kim Davis Back At Work; Tom Hardy Aggressively Dodges Sexuality Question

Lorraine Devon Wilke Tells Us How Much To Publish

I normally don’t go near things like this, however, because so many newer writers get so much bad advice I wanted to post something short. And readers are a part of this, too, and they usually don’t get all the information they should have.

A writer I don’t know, Lorraine Devon Wilke, wrote a piece for Huff Po telling authors….actually, self-pubbed authors…they shouldn’t publish more than four books a year. The first red flag for me is that she most likely wrote this post for Huff Po, for free, without any compensation…no money, not even twenty five bucks and a pat on the back. I don’t know that for certain. Maybe she’s on staff and they did pay her. However, my bet is she wrote it for free in an attempt to get publicity. And I have posted several times about how I feel about writing for big publications like Huff Po and not getting compensated. It’s just shabby of Huff Po, or any *huge* publication, to treat writers this way, and I feel sorry for any writers who fall for this gimmick.

With that said, I think that if Ms. Wilke had written this piece with regard to her writing and how many books she feels comfortable publishing each year, I would not find a single issue. And that’s because I’ve been in publishing for over twenty years, both trad pubbed and indie pubbed, and I’ve worked for and written for more magazines than I remember. I have never once seen a writer who falls into a set mold. In other words, all writers work differently and at different paces. And there’s absolutely nothing that’s ever going to change about that. No one can pigeonhole the creative process.

Unless they’re four gorgeously written, painstakingly molded, amazingly rendered and undeniably memorable books. If you can pull off four of those a year, more power to you. But most can’t. I’d go so far as to say no one can, the qualifier being good books.

After reading that, my first thought was should we tell her? Last I heard it’s not really possible to distinguish good books or good writing because that’s so subjective. That’s why books like “The Help” are rejected numerous times before they get picked up. Subjective. You can spot bad writing at a glance, however, good writing is a completely different issue.

Then, after she refers to some indie writers hacks, she talks more about “good” books, as if she’s become the expert of all books ever written that are “good.”

As you move down, Ms. Wilke gives out more advice about how terrible it is to write  and publish too many books a year. I’ll admit that there’s a great deal of exaggeration in the example she gives about publishing in volume, however, it’s not totally false either. The plain fact is that unless you’re in the ranks of Jonathan Franzen, volume does, indeed, make a big difference, especially with search engines. The more books you are able to publish each year the better your chances are. It’s called competition. In fact, publishing is changing so much, and so fast, there’s an author who actually publishes his first drafts, unedited, and his readers LOVE him. They can’t get enough of him. I wouldn’t do that, but I’m not going to judge him or his readers.

In between all this advice from Ms. Wilke, there’s a lot of nonsense about “fine-tuning one’s craft,” and her book being a “work of art.” In other words, water is wet and fire his hot. 

I could continue, with examples, but I don’t want to waste your time. My main point in linking to this post is that she’s not totally wrong and she plays it safe for the most part, but it’s not the kind of advice I would give to new authors, trad pubbed or indie pubbed. You can’t tell a writer how to write. It won’t end well. So once again, take this advice and all future advice like this with that proverbial grain of salt. Actually, don’t even take my advice. What works for me might not work for you.

Oh, and one more thing no one ever mentions. Not to sound like Donald Trump calling bullshit on other politicians, but Ms. Wilke did do something very clever and seductive with this post. What did she do? She got attention and free publicity, which isn’t easy to get. I’m posting about her right now and I don’t even like Huff Po’s content in general and I rarely ever link to it. So in a way I’m helping endorse her book. But I know I’m doing that. And it might be a “good” book for all I know.

You can read it all in full here. The comments are amusing.  

Global Gay Rights

I know a lot of these things don’t have anything to do with a lot of people who read this blog, but I do have a lot of LGBT social media readers who message me from time to time about books, gay rights, and other things directly related to the LGBT community, on a global scale. I send them arcs when they can’t buy my books, and I listen. I think it’s important to address these issues globally as well as nationally.

Here’s an article about where gay rights are internationally.

We have a US president who supports gay marriage, and now a pope who, if not exactly signing up to equality for all, is at least starting to talk in language less inflammatory than his predecessor. “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?” he told an assembled group of journalists on the papal plane back from his tour of Brazil. Then he went on to criticise the gay “lobby” and said he wasn’t going to break with the catechism that said “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”. Still, for a brief moment it looked like a minor breakthrough.

You can read more here. Of course they fail to mention that it wasn’t until recently we had a US President who supports gay marriage. I often fail to see how they forget these things so quickly. Up until very recently our President was on record stating it’s up to the states to make their own decisions, which was the same stand both Clintons took. But I think that just proves how hard we’ve had it, and how much harder gays in other countries still have it.

Kim Davis Back At Work

I’m going to try to sum this up fast.

Kim Davis went back to work today.

She claims that she has an impossible choice…following her conscience in her quest to discriminate against same sex marriage, or not.

She agreed to this “emergency stopgap.” Her clerk issued marriage licenses to gays without her name or endorsement.

She hid in her office while they worked all this out and Deputy Clerk, Brian Mason, worked on giving a marriage license to the one gay couple who showed up.

When he finally finished the license, he handed it to the couple and shook their hands. The document, a template issued by the state and filled out by each clerk, had been altered. Where the name of the clerk and the county is typically entered, it said instead “pursuant to federal court order.”

You can read the rest here. 

Unfortunately, we still don’t know if the licenses are valid without Davis’ consent. I’ve read varying opinions on this and I’m going by what I just read in that article.

Tom Hardy Dodges Sexuality Question

I’m not always sure where I stand on this topic. I’ve mentioned up front that Tony, my husband, worked in corporate America for a long time and no one ever knew he was gay. He couldn’t take that risk. And each time someone made reference to his sexuality he responded much the same way Tom Hardy just responded to a reporter who tried to bait him. It’s an offensive, not defensive, approach, calculated and planned, to intimidate the person questioning.

It’s a difficult issue because it involves someone’s livelihood and how they make their living. Tony was worried he’d lose his job if they found out he was gay. He had a great job; we have a mortgage. In Tony’s case he eventually came out and stopped caring when he wound up dealing with life threatening pneumonia in 2007. When you’re that close to death, being authentic counts more than ever. If he’s had any regrets about coming out to work or to his family he’s never mentioned them to me. And, while he was in the closet with work and family I never put any demands on him. I knew he had to be ready to come out, on his own terms. It wasn’t up to me, not even his partner. We didn’t discuss it and I never held it against him.

So in many ways, even though I respect everyone’s right to privacy, they way Tom Hardy answered this reporter may have been clever, and he may have come off looking like a cool dude, but he’s also supporting the age old passive aggressive shame that has always come along with being openly gay…or admitting, in public, to being openly LGBT. The shame is still there. Why else would he get that angry about the question? He just didn’t want to be questioned about it. And in Hardy’s defense, if my own husband still felt the need to keep his sexuality a secret in his professional life I would probably still support him. I wouldn’t like it, but I’d understand it.

When the reporter started asking questions about Hardy’s sexuality, this is how he replied:

“I don’t find it difficult for celebrities to talk about their sexuality,” Hardy answers Coleman before asking, “Um, are you asking me about my sexuality?”

“Um…sure,” says Coleman.

Hardy responds, “Why?” to which Coleman comes back with an inspiring “Um.”

“Thank you,” Hardy says, moving on to the next question.

I think the reporter was being kind and I would have done the same thing if I’d been in his place. He must have realized he wasn’t going to get anywhere and Hardy would continue to aggressively shoot him down.

You can see the video here, and read more. 

And Hardy comes off as the hero…and no one even questions it, not even the gay people who left comments. It’s just a good thing that people like Tom Hardy don’t really make that much of a difference in the world or the LGBT community with regard to equality and discrimination. If they did, we’d all be in a shitload of trouble.

New Release

 

Censorship in India and Smashwords; Philly News Anchor Slammed for Tweet

Censorship in India and Smashwords

Woody Allen is now refusing to release his latest film in India because censors want him to allow an anti-smoking text to run across the screen about the dangers of smoking during a scene in the film where characters are smoking.

Allen, who has “creative control” over the film’s distribution in India, wasn’t comfortable with modifying the film. The film’s India distributor, PVR Pictures, noted that, “He feels like when the scroll comes, attention goes to it rather than the scene.” This is probably true — why would you watch a quiet scene of two people talking when you can read giant block letters about the dangers of smoking?

This form of censorship has happened before in India with other film makers. You can read more here.

We get it, censors. Smoking is bad for you. Let us watch the movie in peace.

As for Smashwords, we’ve been releasing back listed books of mine there all month and it’s always an absolute nightmare. First, Smashwords is the most difficult place for indie authors to deal with on any level. Second, now I’m getting e-mail notifications from Smashwords about putting up adults only disclaimers on certain books (there’s no rhythm or reason as to why it’s only certain books), stating that all characters are over eighteen. I have more books on Smashwords than I can count with publishers and this has never happened before. I have never written a book with a character that is under the age of eighteen years old, and I’ve even gone through this hot mess of hell a few years ago with a book that was once published with Loveyoudivine.com. From that post.

But, I assure you, there are no underage characters in this short book. I don’t judge those authors who decide to do things like this, but I’ve never done it and never will do it. In fact, the main character, Jared, the guy referred to as a the Skater Boy, is only a quasi skater boy. He’s in his twenties and is clearly a consenting adult. This is one of the tamer stories I’ve written.

As a matter of fact, I even discussed an incident with one of my contributing authors in The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance on social media because one of her characters was under the age of eighteen and I didn’t feel comfortable with that. And in her story the character in question didn’t even have any sex scenes. I admittedly and reluctantly censored her to avoid future issues with the book from places like Smashwords or Allromanceebooks.com. The author was nice enough to change the character’s age from seventeen to eighteen, even though I’m sure she didn’t want to do it. If she had refused I’m not sure what I would have done. I’d like to think I would have published the story anyway, because there was no reason why it couldn’t have been published in the first place.

In any event, censorship is alive and well in the world, and I have a feeling it’s only going to get worse. Authors who write erotic romance should seriously be considering selling their indie books on their own web sites in the future to avoid this.

Philly News Anchor Slammed for Tweet

This falls under the category of watch everything you say or do on social media these days. Even if you have the best of intentions, it can get twisted, as Joyce Evans recently learned.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/1af41Ut ) reports WTXF-TV news anchor Joyce Evans tweeted “Thought ‘Breaking Bad’ was hot last Sunday? See who’s breaking bad in SW Phllly, leavin’ 6 people SHOT — Tonite at Ten!”

Viewers immediately criticized Evans, with one person writing it sounded “like it was written by a sociopath.”

You can read more here.

What the rest of the article fails to mention is the serious crime problem within the city of Philadelphia. I watch Philadelphia local news and I witness the reporting first hand. I often wonder how the news anchors can continue to report this heart-breaking news on a daily basis. The actual real life events in Philadelphia, and the daily crimes that include anything from beating senior citizens for money to innocent people getting shot in their bedrooms by drive-by shootings makes Breaking Bad actually look tame in comparison. And yet those issues go unaddressed and they only continue to escalate.

Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance; Indie Publishing

Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance; Indie Publishing

Instead of adding a link to the other post about the release of this book, I wanted to mention something for those who think indie publishing is simple in a separate post. This book was uploaded to Amazon around six o’clock this morning and I just received an e-mail verification that it went live a few minutes ago. Thankfully, Smashwords and allromanceebooks.com were faster to deal with. This is also why it’s so hard to pinpoint an actual release time unless you have a web site of your own and sell the books from there.

In any event, this is the Amazon link.

Last of Back Listed Books on Amazon; Noble Romance Closing Down

Last of Back Listed Books on Amazon; Noble Romance Closing Down

I just received e-mails about this last group of back listed books on Amazon. It’s taken all summer, since loveyoudivine.com closed up in June, to get them all re-released as .99 e-books. There were various issues in re-releasing books, as opposed to releasing originals, as an indie publisher. Verification had to be provided multiple times to prove I hold the rights because the books had already been listed for sale by the publisher. Covers had to be stripped of logos so there were no traces of the publisher. And even though the books were already edited and copy edited by a publisher, in some cases I had to go back and triple check everything just in case there were formatting issues.

I also wanted to change the covers of all the books completely, but decided against that because I didn’t want to confuse anyone who might have already read the books. People remember covers. It happened to me with a Fannie Flagg book once. I bought one of her novels without realizing that it was the same book but with an updated cover. No one mentioned that in the book description. But it’s Fannie Flagg, I love her work, and I kept the book anyway on my digital shelf.

Here is the last list, I think/hope, for now.

Doughy Joey Link

You Missed a Spot Big Guy Link

Whatever, Dude Link

Pumpkin Ravioli Boy Link

I also have in-depth descriptions and posts for all of these books, and more, here on the blog. So if you want to do a search, scroll to the top left corner and type in the title of the book. I try to tag well so I don’t get confused when I want to go back and link to something I’ve written.

As a side note, for authors who have ever wondered about what might happen if their small publisher shutters and closes, this is it. I could have shopped all these books to other publishers, but other publishers typically prefer original works. I honestly wouldn’t completely trust a publisher who was too eager to get too many back listed books. They would seem too desperate to me…unless those back listed books were from the likes of Stephen King. And, I also didn’t want to get stuck in the same situation in case other publishers closed up. So I decided to release the books on my own, where I know they will remain as long as I’m around. For those who think self-publishing is beneath them, you might want to reconsider next time you see a small e-publisher going out of business. It’s not something I ever thought would happen to me, at least not right now. But I think we’ll continue to see this happening now that more authors are self-pubbing and pricing lower, and also because there’s so much more competition. Business is business.

I’ve been told that Noble Romance is going out of business, recently. I have no connection to them, but I’ve been reading about them for a while and I wish their authors well and I hope they all find new homes for their books. If you check out this link you can read more about it. If you check out this link you can see that Noble Romance hasn’t even posted a closing notice on their web site, and the submission page is still up there for new authors who know nothing about them closing.

As a businessperson all my life, I think that’s very telling of how they ran their business. Loveyoudivine.com at least put up this notice as soon as possible so readers and authors knew what was happening. LYD put up with a lot of snark over the years from various reviewers who thought they were superior, however, LYD was run by good, decent businesspeople from the beginning and I have not one complaint to share about them. They also paid me monthly, always on time, and I’ll miss that monthly check in the mail.

But what is really scary to me is that everything I’ve read about Noble Romance says they are not going out of business because of lack of funds. They claim they are going out of business because they just want to get out of the publishing business. Really? Well, isn’t that nice for readers and authors. You get bored and close up shop. As a businessperson I also know that any profitable business can be sold, even e-presses. I’ve done it before with my own businesses. Instead of going out of business, I gave someone else the opportunity to buy and run my business so customers and employees didn’t have to suffer. I wanted to get out of the businesses (tanning salons), I didn’t have a lack of funds, but I also didn’t think it was fair to just shut my doors and walk away. But then I also had records from the day Tony and I started the business that it wasn’t a losing battle. We had profits that we could prove in writing, through credit card transactions and tax records. It took almost two years to find the right buyer. I cared about my business and my customers.

Once again, I wish all the Noble authors well in searching for new homes for their books. It’s not something I thought I would ever be doing, but I can’t say that it was completely negative either. Now my readers can buy these same books for .99 as opposed to the 2.99 – 4.99 the publisher was asking. And when it turns out good for the reader, that’s important.

"Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street" and One Benefit With Indie Publishing

I wanted to do one more post about “Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street” being offered for free on Amazon just in case someone misses it. And I wanted to combine that post with something that had to do with indie/self-publishing, too. I haven’t posted much about indie publishing for a while and that’s only because I’ve been so busy with contracted books. But I haven’t backed away from indie publishing, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it once since I began doing it about a year ago.

Offering JSoDS was one of the things I had on my New Year’s resolution list and I didn’t want to let it go too long. At the time I released this book I’d just taken on a few new projects with publishers that I hadn’t expected, so I didn’t have the time to really write much about JSoDS or talk about it. And I’m really bad in the sense that when I release a book and I let it go I tend to block it out for a while. That’s partly because it’s hard to let go and partly because I’m usually moving on to the next project and there’s not much time to think or talk about it. It’s not always the best way to work, but at least I know it’s a flaw.

Most of all, I did want to do this free e-book for readers. As a reader I know how much I appreciate getting free e-books (thank you Jeremy C. Shipp) in promotions that are offered by publishers, authors, or retail web sites where e-books are sold. (ARe is great when it comes to these promos.) As an author, especially with my indie books like JSoDS, I also take into consideration that with e-books we can’t really share like we used to share print books. For example, I’m still reading Casual Vacancy by Rowling and I would love to have been able to share this with a few friends. I’ve always done that with friends. My print copy of “Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” went around Bucks County, PA for a year before it finally got back to me. But with e-books and DRM it’s not possible anymore. I know you can share e-readers, but I don’t, not even with Tony. So I figure that if authors and publishers want to balance this out they can offer free promotions every now and then to give readers a break.

With my books pubbed with publishers I don’t have any control or say in how promotions work, or when they do them. And I don’t get into that with my publishers. I let them take care of the business end of publishing and all I do is write the books and sign the contracts. I’m easy to work with in that regard. But with my indie books I have to look at things differently, and I’m not that easy to work with. I have to make all those business calls, not publishers, and I like perfection. And it’s not a bad thing. It’s one benefit with indie publishing I’ve come to embrace. If I want to offer a free promotion, it’s nice to know that I can do it. And it’s not something I ever take for granted. For those who are thinking about indie publishing, it’s something you’ll embrace as well.

In any event, you can download the free copy of “Jonah Sweet of Delancey Street,” here, on Amazon. And in case you don’t know anything about this book, here’s the blurb below. One interesting story with this book is that I’ve always had two covers for it. One that I paid to have designed by Dawne Dominique and another that I designed myself. I honestly couldn’t figure out which one to use for a long time. But I ultimately decided on the cover Dawne designed because I thought it worked best with the storyline of the book. There is a child in a wheel chair, and he changes the main characters lives. This book is more of a romantic tear jerker than others I’ve written. And I hope it shows character growth in ways that aren’t expected while reading the book. It was probably one of the most difficult I’ve written because I had to draw from research and personal experience this time.

In this 60,000 word full length novel, Jonah Sweet has a secret need to be dominated and punished, with whips and chains and leather cuffs. He also has a degree in puppetry from a good university, but can’t find a job and is still with his mom and dad in Queens. So he signs up for cooking school, hoping to learn a trade. But it’s nothing like he thought it would be and he winds up flunking everything from cutlery to hard-boiled eggs. The only other skill Jonah has is the ability to read other people’s thoughts, which he knows isn’t going to get him very far.

On the day of an important cooking exam, Jonah meets David Abernathy, the owner of the cooking school and a billionaire who owns restaurant chains, casinos, and real estate. The harder Jonah tries to impress David the worse it gets. But handsome David Abernathy sees something in Jonah. With no explanation at all, David sets Jonah up in an office, buys him a brand new wardrobe, and brings him into his unusual home on Delancey Street.

Though Jonah is stunned by all this, he’s even more stunned by the fact that he can’t read David Abernathy’s thoughts. But Jonah is in no position to turn any offers down. He takes the job in spite of David’s rude, nasty disposition and his erratic rants. From there they enter into an unusual relationship filled with light bondage and discipline and more love than either one of them could ever have imagined.

When David introduces Jonah to a little boy in a wheel chair and explains his past, Jonah only falls deeper in love with David. He discovers a gentle side of David no one knows about. But will intense love and exotic sex be enough to compensate for David’s complicated personality and his vicious need to control everything? And will Jonah be able to put up with David’s public outbursts and his violent moods?

New Indie Book: Sequel to Chase of a Lifetime…Chase of a Dream


I’m going to be posting about this new release a few times in the coming week because I did something very different with this book that I’ve never done before. I’m not ready to talk about it today, but I will definitely post about what I did in detail on Monday or Tuesday.

Like I said, it’s different. And I’ve never done it before. I’m not sure I’ll ever do it again either. I just contracted to write ten books for Ravenous Romance over the next year and what little time I have for self-publishing will have to be with smaller projects. Besides, I’m not exactly sure if anyone has ever done this before with an erotic romance. But I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough.

The partial image above is the first rough copy of the top third of the cover. I’m still waiting for the final copy of the cover, which is markedly different from this one. I just wanted to show the various stages I went through with this photo. The reason it’s taking so long to get the cover right has a lot to do with the unusual nature of this book. In other words, if the cover isn’t just right, and all the information isn’t in place, it might get extremely confusing. I had to do the same thing with the book description I’m putting on Amazon.

Much more about this on Monday or Tuesday.