Starbooks Press

You Can Never Predict Anything in Publishing

If it sounds like I’m blowing my own horn in this post, I’m not. I’m seriously surprised and I’m writing this post to let other authors know that even though you think you can predict what will happen to your book, you can never really be sure.

A REGULAR BUD was originally a short story published in a small anthology by STARbooks Press. This was a nice little anthology, but I made very little money and the story received limited exposure. And I was fine with this. As a writer, I thought I knew the drill. I’d have my short story published in an anthology, I’d enjoy the fact that someone wanted to publish it in the first place, and then I’d move on to the next project.

So when I decided to re-write A REGULAR BUD and have it published by loveyoudivine.com as a stand alone e-book, I didn’t expect the book to do much. When I submitted it, I told myself I’d be happy if it sold a few copies and paid for its costs with the publisher (I tend to take this aspect of publishing seriously: I like to know the publisher didn’t waste their time with me and with a book that didn’t sell anything.)

And to my ultimate shock, A REGULAR BUD has been on the fictionwise.com bestseller list as either number one, two , or three, in the fetish/erotica category since it’s publication as a stand alone e-book with loveyoudivine.com. I didn’t even consider the book a fetish story. Though there is a small fetish in the book, it wasn’t the way I’ve been promoting it. To me, this was a nice little romance between a guy in his thirties and a guy in his early twenties who happened to run into each other at a very awkward time. And the fact that it even sold copies, forget about being on a bestseller list, has blown me away. I will say that I loved the new cover for the loveyoudivine.com stand alone version and I was hoping A REGULAR BUD would at the very least be received well enough to get a couple of nice reviews. But I never thought it would be on any bestseller lists.

So if any other authors are reading this, you just can’t predict where a book is going to go and how readers are going to receive it. You might think you know what you’re doing, but there are always surprises out there and you just can’t imagine the outcome.

This is a Fun Book: UNMASKED II Pubbed by STARbooks Press

Sometimes I forget to mention a book I’m in, like UNMASKED II. It’s the second anthology in a series about gay superheros, and I have a short story in this one titled, “Captain Velvet Down Under.” You can buy it in print on amazon, or here…or you can read it in digital format here.

I started reading it this weekend, and can’t wait to finish. I’m hoping the editor decides to enter this one in The Rainbow Awards this year. The book was entered in The Lambda Awards and I just saw it didn’t become a finalist. I was hoping it would, but sometimes this is just the way it works. This isn’t the first time I’ve been a little surprised at the Lambda finalists, and I’m sure it’s not going to be the last time (wide grin).

But I do think this book, UNMASKED II, could be a big contender in the Rainbow Awards. I might even ask if I can enter it myself, as a contributor. I’m not sure how that works, but I will if I can.

LYD Stand Alone

Today is the release day for my new stand alone, A REGULAR BUD. This was originally a short story published in a nice little anthology by Starbooks Press. But this stand alone is not an exact replica of the short story. When I submitted it to http://www.loveyoudivine.com/, I revised and tweaked. It’s longer, it’s more romantic, and I explained that both characters were having safe sex in more detail. And though this one is a bit steamier than some of my other books, the ending is very happy and there’s a strong promise of the two main characters having a long term relationship.
Though handsome, athletic Noah thinks he’s home alone and free to enjoy his private fetish for wearing high heels, his straight roommate’s dominant younger brother walks in unexpectedly and catches him in the act.
Noah is a young corporate professional who shares his large, old home with his straight best friend from college, Preston. And though Noah is openly gay, no one knows that Noah has a kinky little gender-bending fetish for wearing high heels.
But when his roommate’s sexy, rugged little brother from Montana shows up one morning, while Noah thinks he has the house all to himself, Noah is caught in the act…naked with his back against the sofa and his white stilettos dangling in the air.
Instead of running back out the door in shock, the little brother from Montana doesn’t even blink. He drops his duffel bag on the floor and smiles. Then he drops his car keys on the counter and introduces himself to Noah. And when he licks his lips, compliments Noah on his well-defined body and crosses the room to shake Noah’s hand, it’s Noah who is ready to run out the door in shock.

The Pumpkin Ravioli Boy, From Starbooks Press to Loveyoudivine Stand Alone

THE PUMPKIN RAVIOLI BOY hasn’t been released yet, but I liked the cover so much I wanted to do a pre-release post and give some background information about it.

A different version of this story was originally released by Starbooks Press in an anthology. I love Starbooks Press, and the book was a nice little collection of short stories.

And now it’s being released, through loveyoudivine.com, as a stand alone e-book. Only this time I’ve revised it to be more romantic, with a happier ending, and I added safer sex scenes that I think are more relevant to the character arcs.

I’ll post more about it when it’s released. But I wanted to share the cover right now. It was created by Dawne Dominique, whom I think is one of the best cover artists in the business. I’ve written about her before and you can find her name and links if you search this blog.

STARbooks Press…

Even though STARbooks Press is one of the oldest LGBT publishers out there, I’m always amazed that so many people in the LGBT Community don’t know them. Their books have always maintained a high standard of quality, they know what the community wants to read, and they publish an assortment of titles each year.

I’m partial because I’ve been in many of their books. I’m not going to list all the books I’ve been in, but this fall I’ll be in two more of their anthologies, and one is a Christmas book.

So if you’ve never heard of them, but my post has piqued your curiosity, check out their web site and their list of books. And if you’re on facebook, go over to their fan page and join up here. I think it’s high time we started to appreciate the few gay publishers we have if we want to see them stick around.

And if you’re a writer, they are always posting a submission call for one thing or another on their web site.

Promoting Great Gay Writers this week…

In keeping with promoting other things this week. I’m posting about a great new book out right now that’s with STARbooks Press. It’s titled, MICHAEL’S SECRETS, and it’s by Milton Stern. (He’s the author of the short story “Kosher Man,” from the book “Unmasked: Erotic Tales of Gay Superheros.”) I’m in a few anthologies that have been published by STARbooks Press, and I’ve always been happy with the quality and integrity of their work.

I’ve also had post-it notes written to order this book myself for two weeks now, and tonight I’m going to sit down, take ten minutes, and buy it. I don’t have time these days to read much for personal pleasure, but I know I’m not going to be disappointed with MICHAEL’S SECRETS. I’ve read Milton Stern before, and I’ve never been let down.
And, another book I’d like to mention is called WONDERLAND, by Adam Carpenter, published by ravenousromance. I’ve read this one, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a gay version of Desperate Housewives, and it’s currently in the top ten best sellers at ravenousromance.com.

Excited and Thrilled…

I just found out I’m in the second book in this series. It’s been such a busy year with all the novels I’ve written for ravenous romance, I wasn’t sure I’d have time to submit anything. But I managed to do it, and I can’t wait to see the book published. I like working with the people at STARbooks Press. The senior editor, Eric Summers, is tough. But I’ve always learned a lot from his suggestions and his organizational skills. He has a standard format for submitting work. I like it so much I’ve used the same format for anthologies I’ve edited myself.