It’s Here! And it Needs to be Promoted…

I thought I would check in with y’all since I am so overloaded currently, that even pretending to write about my far-distant freak show past would be a useless exercise, so instead, I shall bring everyone up to date.

My alter-ego’s first book was released yesterday! Yee-ha! I have been a very well-behaved modern author, and have been booking and following through on a virtual blog tour promo schedule. There are giveaways, excerpts, thought-provoking (one can only hope) posts, interviews and such to deal with on a daily basis over the next few weeks. Once that concludes, than the stand alone comes out a little earlier than I originally thought: June 11th. This means another round of promo events. Then in August, the print version of the anthology comes out – more promos. September? Why that’s when the second book comes out. Hopefully, as suggested recently by the publisher, I will have turned in the first of my three-book series, so that an excerpt can be included in the back. Hmmmm…I sense a pattern here.

Many writers have lamented the fact that they have to be their own marketing gurus. It’s not that you don’t get support from your publisher, but that support can vary massively, depending on the publisher’s muscle. Translated: cash flow. I feel very fortunate with my marketing person and the publisher.  They take their business very seriously, and have been successful at it, when many others in the relatively new erotica genre have failed. My direct contact is communicative, creative and very involved. They have offered me multiple opportunities to get my name out there: writing articles, peer reviews, chat groups and so on. They’ve provided me with free review copies, in addition to the lists they already send out to. But they also have anywhere from 4 -8 new releases EVERY week, some are anthologies, so to think they are spending all of their energy on one book from an untried author is – as my boss at work would say – crack-smoking madness.

It’s here, and it needs to be promoted. It’s also my baby, my responsibility. Which means that every day I’m not taking advantage of the opportunity presented to me currently, is another day I’m slapping another writer trying to get their work out there in the face. In the interest of not slapping any of my wonderful writer compatriots in the face, I want to assure you that I have been staying on top of it. Of course, that means other things suffer. Like my writing.

The time and energy to keep up with writing my memoir pieces at this blog – which are for my soul, no less – has been greatly compromised. So has the writing time I need to put in to the first book in the series my new editor said she was very interested in, and would recommend to the publisher. That cannot be neglected. So now, even at this small level, all of this gives me a glimpse into a full-time writer’s future. It’s not unexpected. I figured it would be like this. Figuring and living are two very different things though.

Other little realizations: I still want to do this. I’m absolutely okay with climbing on to the writer hamster wheel. Also – writing guest blog posts and answering interview questions is helping me to think on my feet more. Writing under pressure and deadline is helping me to keep the writing flowing better. I am becoming –  I feel anyway – a well-oiled machine. Is this good? I think so. It beats sitting around wondering what to write about, and maybe getting a page or two down, or a couple random ideas, and then deciding I hate it later on. The other day I scheduled seven hours of writing on the new book, and gave myself a 5,000 word goal. I felt I was over-reaching a little, but I am feeling the pressure to get these guys out there – they are all going to be between 30-40,000 words each – so I need to quit screwing around. Once I set my mind to it – I hit 5,200 words in the allotted time. I even liked most of the words afterwards.

Speaking of which, I have another 5,000 word goal today. And of course, another promo blog post to do for the new baby…

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Publication: The Never-Ending Rollercoaster Ride

So many things keep jumping up and chomping my behind, that then keep me from adhering to any type of decent schedule at this blog. Oh wait a minute – not my behind – my pseudonymous self who is leading a much more thrilling and adventurous life than I am.

So, here is where things stand: when last we met, I had just gotten the final edits turned in for my first release coming out May 7th. Yay! I had a wonderful experience with my editor, she had glowing things to say about me – I was feeling pretty damn-spankin’ good about life in publication land. I began to feel the mounting pressure of scheduling guest blog spots, arranging giveaways, lamenting that I’m too poor to attend the Romance Times convention in Chicago (where my publisher and fellow smut peddlers will be) and twittering like a raging maniac.

Then I opened my alter-ego’s email that contained a message from the art department. The subject line claimed it was the cover art for my book. Odd. I already received the cover art for the anthology my story will appear in about a month ago. I opened it up and actually cried. This wasn’t a “the world is crashing about my ears” crying. This was “OMFG – I can’t believe how GORGEOUS this is!” You see – this was the cover art for my story alone, that will be released as a stand-alone 90 days after the anthology comes out. I just stared at it and was wept. It was not only incredible artwork, but it epitomized the look and feel of my story. If the artist wasn’t in England, I would have run over and hugged her.

It’s really happening. It’s real. Somehow the anthology cover – while exciting to see my girl’s name on there – wasn’t the same as seeing my own title in all its glory. Okay, I realize we’re not talking the next Hemingway here, but seriously, for as long as I’ve waited to get frickin’ published – it was epic. Then came the really fun part, The Booty Box. Yes folks – the Booty Box. They have a merchandise page at the publisher website that includes things like thong underwear, tote bags, mugs and iPad cases with my book cover on it! There was also a T-shirt that said “Such & such publisher author (my name) ROCKS!”

Too funny. But very cool.

But wait, you ask. How is that like a rollercoaster? These all seem like “ups”. Yup. But then there was the email that arrived – I swear less than 10 minutes later. You know how on some emails you can see the first few words of the actual message? So, I see one from the actual publisher who has only contacted me one time to welcome me to the fold. Surely she must be writing to tell me how massively awesome I am, right? Yeah, right. The first few words in this case were “I’m sorry to inform you…”

Gasp. Choke. That seemed like a rather precipitous beginning. I’ve never really experienced a positive outcome from anything that began with those words.

I literally froze. Did I really want to descend from my heights of self-imagined grandeur and crash, burning in flames, to the dirt of this earth? Not especially. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. So I decided to live on the edge and open the email. Turns out my editor – who must be even more awesome than I originally realized – just received a full scholarship to get her Master’s in English at Oxford. She’s writing her thesis on Mid-Renaissance poetry. Damn. I guess that was a pretty good reason for her to put in her notice.

Sigh. So how self-involved could I be about this? I couldn’t help it. Pretty self-involved. She was the first one that said “I would like to publish your book”, and then sent me a contract. She’s not only the first professional editor I ever worked with, but it was a great experience. She’s also the one that I just submitted a new story to not a week earlier. The one who said she would like to see a synopsis on my 3 book series.

The publisher was very gracious, and let me know that I had been assigned a new editor who would contact me shortly. This new editor might not like my “voice” or story ideas. She may have other writers she’s more interested in working with – where’s the antacid! Also – those vague time references always make me nutty – I am waaaay too impatient. So I was going to have to wait. I thanked the publisher for taking the time to tell me personally what was going on, and that I would look forward to hearing from the new editor. Since the publisher also left it open at the end of her message to be sure and let her know if I had any questions or concerns – I tread lightly into that territory. I decided to save the series question for the new editor, but I did politely inquire about the submission I had just sent in for a Halloween anthology.

Five days went by with no communication. So now I was sweating bullets. Stomach twisting – all the angsty cliches you can possibly think of – I was living them.

The publisher answered me on the 5th day and apologized for not getting back to me sooner, but said that she had forwarded my submission to my new editor who would look it over the next day; but could I please send her the synopsis as well? That would be fine I thought – if I had her email! Since there was a time element involved, and I knew the publisher was busy, I contacted my current editor who is there until the end of the month. I was able to congratulate her and thank her for the experience of working with her, and then ask for the new editor’s email.

She got back to me right away, and I sent off the synopsis. Phew! Then I figured I had done all that I could, and probably wouldn’t hear anything for at least a few weeks. Apparently the rollercoaster had another plan in mind. Five minutes later, my new editor replied with a “speak of the devil”, saying she was just about to email me. Apparently, the anthology was already filled, but she loved my story ( she said something really glowing about it that I’m too embarrassed to put here – but I think I am going to make a poster out of it and hang it above my computer for the next time I get discouraged) and wondered if I would mind if they published it as a stand alone book. Mind? MIND?!?!?!?! Holy 2nd contract Batman – no I don’t mind!

There you have it. And I get that this is how it is. Been there done that in music. But in some ways, I feel that I have more to lose now with the writing. I think it has to do with the resilience we have when we’re young. When we think there’s forever and maybe even an extra day to achieve what we desire. When I got the “I’m sorry to inform you…” email, it felt like a cruel trick the universe was playing on me right after the heady feeling from my cover art on men’s boxer shorts.

Which reminds me, I wonder how much 11 GPB is in US dollars?

I Have Not Been Abducted By Aliens

At least not recently. No folks, I’ve been diligently living my alter-ego’s life, and am happy to report that the book has gone into final line edits, and in the middle of that, my editor requested a full manuscript based on one of the synopses I sent her. Problem: it’s due this week. So I have literally taken every available second to work on that. This all coincided with a big event at work this past week, so I actually was wrapped up in that at the same time.

But alas! After I turn my manuscript in Thursday night (so that it hits desks by Friday morning in London), I will almost be at my four-day fake vacation. It’s a fake one because I’m not going anywhere, and my new manager kindly worked it out so that I’m scheduled my two days off at the end of one week, and the beginning of another. Hence, I don’t have to use up my newly paltry vacation hours. At that time, I will do a double post – or extra post – so that you can find out what weird entity came after me and Billie, not to mention their weird little cousins that made appearances from that point on as well.

Final random unrelated comment: I saw the Hunger Games,(had to make time for that!) and yes, I am an avid fan of the books. It was a good, solid film. However, there were too many deviations – particularly in developing the relationship between Katniss and Peeta – for me to give it a “WOW”. I’ll see the sequel (hopefully, character development will be more forefront), get the DVD (maybe they will have the deleted character scenes), and give it a “B” rating. I feel my point about the characters is valid, because the hubby, not a reader, was confused as to why the characters behaved the way they did. It’s called not enough character development! Also – there were no cool creepy faces on the dogs.

Okay – I shall go ahead and head off to work, and then get back to the manuscript after that. See y’all next week!

 

The Dog Ate My Homework

*See below

Okay, I don’t really have a dog. But I did get a book contract offer last week, does that count? In other words – I am not finishing NaNoWriMo with 50,000 + words. However, part of the reason I couldn’t put in the extra word time is that my alter-ego who writes all of the naughty stuff received a surprising email before Thanksgiving. It came from one of the larger romance/erotica publishers and was inquiring if she would be interested in getting one of her stories published in an anthology. Uh…yeah.

After the smelling salts were employed, I had a lot of book and author information forms to fill out, and now the contracts (contracts? CONTRACTS!) are being sent out, at which time I will be a part of their author group and assigned to my editor. Holy publishing dreams Batman! So, I had to make a determination that involved keeping my job during the busiest time of the year, and not being a flake within the first twenty-four hours of getting a publishing deal, something I have literally been wanting for actual decades.

The decision became that NaNoWriMo had to be put aside for this year. Now, that doesn’t mean that those 26,000 + words were wasted, and I say this to anyone out there who signed up and wrote 2, 10, 30 or even 75,000 words. They all count and they all matter. On the extreme plus side, I now have 26,000 more words to a full novel than I did on November 1st. I can continue to work on it, revise and get it ready, and then hopefully I will have a full book to present to my new publisher (tee-hee, makes me giddy!) after the anthology comes out in May.

It’s been an interesting ride this whole NaNo thing. It was quite excruciating for me at times to squeeeeeeze those words out when it felt so artificial and pointless. I know everyone works different, so I won’t even pretend to try and analyze why this was so difficult for me. I suspect it had to do with the length of what I was attempting to write. That is a subject that’s been brought up more than once or twice by other fellow writers – the daunting nature of hurling up an entire novel. But I think that was Chris Baty’s point, to get as much on paper as possible, shoot for 50 K, and prove to yourself a novel is not out of reach for you as a writer.

My 26,000 words put a novel squarely in my sights; I can actually envision an entire book now. I will have to go back and trim some nauseatingly pathetic sections, but overall, I can see it. It’s real to me. And fortunately, I allowed my alter-ego to steal my NaNo spot, so I’m working on something that I could take to my new publisher. Wow, that statement will never get old.

* Borrowed dog Zilla from friend. If I had homework – she would most definitely eat it. Right after she smothered me in dog kisses.

 

Startling Frank Confessions Pt. 2: Or How I Hope to Someday Make a Living as a Writer

I think that title was long enough – I’m done writing for now. Ha!

The purpose of this post is to answer a few questions that have been posed to me regarding pen names, writing erotica, and the big question all writers ask themselves: will I ever be able to make my living as a writer? Really? Especially if what we’re talking about is creative, or artistic writing.  This is opposed to writing ad copy, articles, press releases, technical writing and all other legitimate forms of non-creative writing. It’s not that people ( and I have been one of those people) writing ad copy or articles are not creative writers, but that they are generating written copy based on the needs of the venue; i.e. magazine, client, newspaper, website, etc. It’s not the same.

When you write a short story, novel, poem – you are creating something that did not exist before you as the artist made it come alive. When I quit public relations and writing for newspapers, it was because I wanted to focus my writing energies on creating as a writer. Carol Deminski (http://cdeminski.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/time-to-write-a-rant/) is a blogger/writer I follow, and the questions she posed to me in the comment section of my last blog, and the questions I have had from friends and writers, have inspired me to give you a brief history of my writing  journey up to this point.

After I began writing creatively again – which was post music business, post P.R. and post ghost writing someone else’s memoir – my writing was sporadic and shaky, at best. I fumbled around with the beginnings of some novels, and then put them aside. I began to focus on short stories, my own possible memoirs about the music business, and the occasional poem. There were snippets in there of light and possibility. There were also large chunks of garbage and drivel. I could probably do another entire post – or book – about the whys and wherefores, but the reality was that I was practicing. I was learning. I took some classes, went back to college for a bit, started a writing group; I was finding my voice as a writer.

In the middle of finding that voice, I discovered I was just as eclectic (or schizophrenic, take your choice) as a writer, as I was when I was in music. I love a lot of different genres, both as a reader and a writer. But because the realities of marketing yourself as a writer, and whatever book you are promoting, precludes mash-ups of genres, it’s better to be identified as a writer (at least the name you’ve attached to it) with a particular genre. So even though I read – and write – literary, memoir, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, romance, paranormal romance and erotica – my one name can’t be all things to all people. Seriously – the Pulitzer people are not going to be awarding prizes to a writer that is known for kinky vampire romance sagas. At least maybe not this year.

Which brings me to the next point: can creative writers make a living anymore if they’re not with the Big Six, or one of the top chosen few that are bestsellers with film options and all of that? Carol commented that short story writers have a particularly difficult time, and she gave an example of someone who did win the Pulitzer, wondering if they were able to survive financially. I suppose we could get into another discussion regarding the differences between literary and commercial fiction – but I don’t want to get anymore off-kilter in this post than I already have. My opinion is that you are creatively writing in either mode, but the difference lies in the writing style and voice. Hence, why Wren Andre as kinky vamp writer and Wren Andre as literary short story writer might twist people’s brains too much.

But I believe we can make a living. I spoke briefly in my last post about how I was using a pen name to write erotica, and had made a few bucks by selling them on Amazon through Kindle self-publishing. The technical aspects of it alone were very uncreative and very non-writerly, almost putting the kibosh on the whole enterprise. But I persevered, and have had some startling (in my opinion) results.

The idea was that I would invent a persona for this type of writing, and she would have her own blog and twitter account. However, she has really no platform at all, and no one has ever heard of her, hence me not holding out hope for much more than that Starbuck’s latte in reward for my efforts. The first title went up the end of August, and I sold 9 copies in about 10 days. I think 2 of those were me and my hubby, and 1 was a friend I had confessed to. So 6 copies purchased by complete strangers from an unknown author. Most of those are being sold at a 70% royalty rate, and at $2.99 a copy, I end up with a clean $2.04 per copy. In 35% royalty territories (Kindle explains the breakdown), I get about a buck.

September saw me add another title, and my sales were a little over a copy a day. At least 75% are at the 70% royalty rate. I added 2  more titles in October, one as an experiment – a shorter story for only .99 cents – and I broke over a 100 copies total a few days ago. With the 4 titles, my sales are now averaging 3 to 4 a day. Not bad for someone who has never existed before August of this year. I am giving these stats not to brag, but to shout out to all my fellow authors out there – ANYONE can do this. Be warned though: sex sells, so other self-pubbed efforts will likely not take off as well initially. Like all the gurus say, you still have to market yourself and do all the work – including making sure there are proper edits, appealing cover, blablabla.

But it is possible with the right effort. Staying on course in all that you do will definitely pay off in the long run. I saw a graph recently from Amazon that showed the striking rise of e-book sales in just the last 3 years – it was astonishing. There is no longer any doubt that e-publishing is a viable and exciting new way for authors to be seen. Check out this link from one of my favorite romance blogs: Smart Bitches, Trashy Books:http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/comments/what-ever-happened-to-shanna-swendson/#com It revolves around what ever happened to a romance author whose final book in her series was turned down by the publisher. Yet, she had plenty of readers and fans who were dying to read it. So why not self-publish? Read the comments section – of particular interest are the responses from the author herself and other  traditionally published authors, particularly P.N. Elrod. What an eye-opener. I am more excited than ever to take my writing destiny in my own hands, and while I will still send out stuff to traditional sources, I no longer feel held prisoner by them.

As a final comment on the erotica, I was first introduced to the concept of a “real” writer seriously handling that genre through Anne Rice’s Erotic Adventures of Sleeping Beauty, which she wrote under the pen name of A.N. Roquelaure. That lead to my discovery of Anais Nin and other women writers who had written quality erotica that some considered literary. So, even though I may be a smut peddler, I am taking it seriously to the extent that I care about the quality of the writing. Special side benefit:I am getting an amazing amount of writing done, and it is helping my craft! Yay! Since I am taking it seriously as a story writer ( not just throwing in gratuitous sex scenes) I am giving myself continuous exercises in character development, story arc, plot points and creativity.

Keep on keeping on to all the writers out there – we are no longer just limited to waiting for that stamp of approval from the Big Six, or a handful of literary presses and boutique presses. Let your readers decide.

 

Startling Frank Confessions

19 days until NaNoWriMo, and I have swerved drastically off course. Oh – I’ll be writing, no problems there. It’s just that I’ve completely altered my plan of action. Ever see that movie “The Three Faces of Eve”? Or “Sybil”? Well…I have an alter-ego. Every writer out there is familiar with that special phrase. Many of us like to use pen names. Sometimes we use pen personas, which is really what I’m talking about here.

Wren Andre is the me that runs around all day, doin’ my thang, holding a respectable job, hangin’ with the family, playing Rock Band and video pinball, and delving into the deep, philosophical ideas that shape our very existence. That persona was all set to write “The Wilds People”, a dystopian novel of grit and determination. I have a decent outline. Two main characters, and a couple of ancillary characters I was going to work on further before the November 1st start date. I also drafted a shocking conclusion already. I even have a week of vacation left so that I can dedicate that first week to pounding out as much of that 50,000 word goal as possible before Black Friday – the retail holy grail – takes over.

But in the hushed nighttime hours, I also have another writer persona (who shall remain unnamed) that writes erotic short stories and makes a few bucks off of them on Amazon. That persona has a bitchen’  idea for a full-length paranormal erotica novel, and really isn’t ready to toss it aside while Wren Andre works on something deep and meaningful. Hmmmm. So, here’s the deal. I shall report periodically on that other writer’s NaNoWriMo progress, while Wren Andre continues to blog and gather stuff there and here to be deep and meaningful at some point in the future. After November.

How about all of you writers out there? Any startling frank confessions of your own 😉

(P.S. – I believe I lifted the above graphic from author Dani Harper…maybe?)

Rewrite, Then Rewrite Again

This is a subject I would adore some commentary on from fellow writers. Anyone who has been writing for the eyes of others for more than five minutes has come across oodles of advice regarding multiple drafts, rewrites, and so on. Whether you’ve taken a creative writing course, bought instructional writing books, subscribe to a writer’s magazine, attend conferences – or all of the above – you are constantly admonished to polish, perfect and pamper until each word sparkles.

I’m not talking about hitting the spell check function and then calling it a day here people; I’m talking hard-core, rip it to shreds, delete entire paragraphs, eliminate pivotal characters, change names,  add new background, and then some. Then it becomes rewriting it again from this new perspective. Then another rewrite, but this time trimming the adverbs and pronouns to a manageable level. (Seriously, I counted “her” 8 times in two paragraphs in the opening of something I wrote recently, and had to suppress the urge to barf. How I did not notice that through four rewrites is just too upsetting to even contemplate.) 

There are then anywhere from 2 – 5 more minor rewrites that eliminate a couple of words, add a few more, find yet another grammatical error, insert and then delete the same comma 14 times, and well, I could go on until you wonder what sorts of medications I ought to  be taking.  Did I mention the whole part about walking away from it for a while, sometimes for months, to get a fresh perspective and see it through new eyes?

Sadly, in terms of time and the urge to finish something and get it out there, that’s the real butt-kicker. My writing ALWAYS blatantly exposes its own flaws when I haven’t looked at it recently. The whole idea of blogging terrified me (Ok – still kinda does) because there aren’t any realistic options to constantly rewrite blog posts. That would be a OCD meltdown in the making. For the purpose of blogging, I need to be able to produce content that doesn’t benefit from many months/years of scrupulous attention to Every. Little. Detail.

The writing that I plan to pass off into the infinite however, does need to meet that criteria of perfection. Oh I know, it won’t ever be perfect. There will be plenty of subjective opinions about it, I will always see where I could’ve changed just one, or two, or fifty little things. But whatever I send out to a reputable source with the intent of having  published, I need to know I have done the best that I personally am capable of; that I didn’t just go, “Whatever, that’s good enough.” I need to know that I did the right thing by that piece of writing, and didn’t cut corners in any way.

As writers, do you have a set pattern for your rewrites? What do you think makes sense – or do you wing it and let the story lead you? And yes, as I write this, I have already gone back and changed several sentences.

Writing Ain’t Easy (I Said Wryly)

If that title doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will. At this stage of the game, I cringe at the idea of blogging about anything too authoritatively in the way of writing criticism – especially as it deals with successful authors – but heck, I’m also an avid reader. I even occasionally paid attention in my English and writing classes. So when I run across a best-selling author with tons of books out and an avid following, writing in a genre I’m interested in, I wanna give it a try.

Obviously, not every best-selling author is a brilliant writer, especially when we’re talking about commercial fiction. And writers, like the rest of humanity, are individuals with their own style – or voice – and that is what makes them so addictive when we find what we can jive with.  It is also what makes them so loathsome when we find one whose “voice” makes you want to skin live puppies. (No puppies were harmed in the creation of this blog).

One of the biggest things that will send me into fits  is when authors use an excessive amount of adverbs, sometimes referred to as “wrylies”. For example:  “Bite me,” he said meanly. Or: “I’m a terrible writer,” she said sadly. This falls under writer 101 of things not to do. Even at my unbest-selling status as a writer, I’ve known that forever. So how do  major writers publishing books out of major publishing houses end up with book after book on the shelves filled with this type of lazy writing? Did the editors ever even read the thing?

Recently, I was reading one such book, and was immediately infuriated by it. The fact that the story was lame and went nowhere didn’t help it either. I kept reading, because this author had such a great reputation in this particular genre, and I was stunned; there must be something I was missing. Pretty soon, I was considering inventing a drinking game to how many times she used “he said/she said dryly”. Ironic that it rhymes with wryly. In one short chapter I counted dryly eight times. It was at the point where it was beginning to make me thirsty.

I mentioned this to some co-workers who are avid readers themselves, and both also happen to dabble in writing. After much laughter at the idiocy of this author, one of them later that day spotted the offending book on my desk. Her immediate reaction to seeing it was, “Oh my gosh! I love that book series, I’ve read the whole thing. If you want to borrow the rest, let me know, I’ve bought them in print AND downloaded them on my kindle!”

My reaction to this vacillated between extreme rage and crushing depression. Although I didn’t share that information with her, as I plan on still remaining employed. I did share it with my other co-worker though, and he said what I needed to hear:  “Then go do it better.” Exactly. 

I can whine and complain all I want about what other people are doing, and blablabla, but that’s not relevant. All that matters is that I do what I need to do. If I don’t like what people are writing in a particular genre, than I can just go do it myself, or I can shut up about it. Of course, me shutting up is unlikely to ever happen, but we all have our dreams.

In the meantime, if you would like details on my wryly drinking game tournament, please contact me. I said smugly.

Facebook Ebook Publishing???

Really? I suppose it’s possible. I mean, before myspace became the uncoolest thing on the planet, it went a long way in promoting indie bands and solo artists. That was the one reason that I always preferred myspace over facebook  – I could groove to tunes and find obscure new music.

So I suppose it isn’t that big of a stretch to see facebook take on the ebook craze challenge. According to an article in Publisher’s Weekly, http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/content-and-e-books/article/48213-facebook-acquires-digital-book-publisher-push-pop-press.html , facebook just purchased Push Pop Press, a digital publisher I have actually never heard of before. When you read the article however, it seems that facebook may be more interested in the gaming possibilities, since facebook has so many wildly popular gaming apps as it is. That seems like a more natural progression.

In the ebook world, there are so many epublishers popping up. Many are genre specific, such as sci-fi, romance, horror, etc. For instance, the long-standing Avon publishing is just now getting into the ebook mode with Avon Impulse, a separate entity from their firmly established traditional press.

I’m not going to list off a ton of ebook publishers – for there are a ton, and more being born every day like rabbits in heat – but the phenomena reminds me of when everybody and their half-dead grandmother was opening a video store in the eighties. You could do no wrong. Video stores were the wave of the future – everyone could make tons of money from it, and it would last forever! Ooops.

So far – when you consider things from a self-publishing angle – Kindle publishing, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble seem to be the main contenders. But then there are all of the half-dead grandmother ebook presses you can submit to as a beginning author, who may or may not help your career. You need to look at them the same way you would have looked at a boutique or small press ten years ago. There will be those that are incredibly well-managed or connected and will proliferate among the giants, and there will be about ten times more that will fail miserably and drag your poor sad manuscript down with them.

In other words kiddies: the more things change, the more they remain the same. God I wish I’d said that. But I wrote it for a reason. There is no magic potion! Make intelligent and informed decisions when you decide where you want your writing to land, and how you want it to be handled.

We’ll see what happens to our buddies at facebook. In the meantime, when I’m not researching new ebook publishers – I might go check on how things are doing in Cityville.