Monday, January 26, 2015

Hey Authors! Want Reviews? JOIN our #NetGalley Cooperative!

There are opportunities on NetGalley for self-published and indie-published authors! And I'm excited about what this means -the doors it opens- for today's authors. While there are a few other options, the most affordable and independent option is to join a Cooperative.

What's a Cooperative (CoOp)? A group of authors who share access to twenty title slots for one year. Each individual author can swap out as many titles as they need during that year.

After finding other CoOps full in 2014, I formed a NEW Cooperative. We have a diverse group of authors with high quality books, from New Adult to Contemporary, Paranormal to Historical, GLBT to Sci-Fi. Our heat levels range from sweet to erotic. We offer books for all types of reviewers!

With another year beginning, we'll be welcoming back authors who've been a part of the co-op this past year and accepting new authors to join us. Indie authors interested in being a part of the ROMANCE BECKONS INDIE COOPERATIVE should contact me by email. Use "NetGalley CoOp" as your subject.
What Does NetGalley Do?
NetGalley provides a place where authors/publishers can upload their ebooks (ARCs or older titles) and reviewers can request a copy for review. If approved, NetGalley readers will read and review the titles.

NetGalley gives you fast and easy access to the 120,000 bloggers, journalists, librarians, booksellers, and media people who use NetGalley. And these reviewers are some high profile groups - movers and shakers in the book review realm.

LOOK AT THESE STATS from this past year...
On the first day of getting the Romance Beckons Cooperative started, we had 20 titles live in our online catalog, with 673 approved requests, of which 428 were downloaded immediately. By the end of that week, reviews began rolling in, and requests and approvals continued strong.

Throughout 2014, our cooperative listed 240 books which garnered over 7800 review requests. Of those requests, approximately 5950 were approved for review. Of those, approximately 4650 posted reviews. Three authors have been contacted by media professionals regarding tv/ screen options.

Become A Member.
Preferred Memberships are available for a full year at $325. Memberships are also available for six months at $165 and three months at $90. The selected months for these memberships are based on limited openings. Many authors have requested a single month listing. Though available for $35, a single month listing is not recommended as the success of listed books on NetGalley is greater when a book remains live for sixty days. The average listing time for books on NetGalley is three months. A single month can be purchased through authors who wish to sell an unused month during the year. If interested in a single month, your name and contact info will be provided on a list for authors to contact when looking to sell.

What Membership Gets You...
  • It includes a year's worth of NetGalley access for as many books as you want! NetGalley allows you to switch them out which means you could have a new book live each month. 
  • It saves you the time of querying reviewers/ bloggers directly. No more cold call emails! 
  • It exposes your book to the right reviewers. NetGalley allows the reviewer to request the books they believe matches their reading interest so your book lands in the right hands. 
  • It puts your book in front of a diverse audience. NetGalley reviewers include librarians and other media people, as well as book bloggers, general Goodreads reviewers and booksellers. 
  • It places the power in your hands. You personally complete the book information and approve the review requests. You have the ultimate authority in how your book is presented.
Want more details? 
The CoOp page on my blog includes FAQs. If you'd like more information, follow this link: NetGalley Cooperative.

We are accepting new memberships through the first week of February.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Coffee 'N Kink at the BLUE MOON HOUSE @AngelicaDawson on #RomanceBeckons

Angelica Dawson is brewing a full-bodied dark roast and sharing the first sip.

She has been writing for several years and having sex a lot longer than that. Angelica is a wife, mother and environmental consultant. Her love of plants and the outdoors is not diminished by the bloodsucking hoards – mosquitoes and black flies, not vampires.

She contributes flash fiction to several blogging collectives and excerpts from work in progress can also be found on her blog. She is active on Facebook and Twitter (@angelicadawson). Her stories don't scrape the surface of BDSM, but go deep.

Favourite Coffee: I love a cappuccino with whole milk which makes the most delicious foam.

Favourite Kink to Read: I'm really picky about my erotica. I want a story that is driven by characters and their relationship through the sex, not just including sex.

Favourite Kink to Write: Menage. I love the idea of someone getting extra special, double treatment, or even better, a full group going together to bring the best out of each other.

Check out Angelica Dawson's latest release in the Blue Moon House series, Gentleman.
Harrold lives an empty life. He has no joy in his marriage, no love of his work. His only reprieve is found at the hands of the whores, the ones he pays to beat and debase him. Upon being accepted into Blue Moon House, he learns the real cost for his desires, and what underlying need is really aching to be filled.

Delores knelt in front of him, putting her hand to his cheek. “No, Harrold. You fear women.”
He snapped up, away from her. “Afraid! I am a man. My wife is mine to do with as I please.”
She shook her head. “You fear letting them down, I think.” Delores' voice was lost as he stormed around the room.
“Keep your whores, woman. I shall have my wife.”
Veronica lay in bed reading when he blustered in. “Good. You're awake.”
“Yes, I've had some thoughts about—” She was cut off by his ferocious kiss.
“Remove that gown, wife. I have need of you.”
Her flinty eyes narrowed. “Have you been in the drink, Harrold?”
He tore back the covers and pushed her dressing gown up to her thighs. “God, I've forgotten how beautiful your legs are.” He fell on them, kissing first her knees then working his way up.
She began beating on his head with her book, the wooden cover making a thump. “Stop it, Harrold! Stop that this minute!”
He lifted his head and put his nose to hers. “I will have my wife tonight.”
Her eyes began to water. “Fine, barbarian. Brutalize me and have done with it. Wipe your ass with my hair. Tear my breasts, bite them, crush them, you brute.” She covered her face as though unable to watch what he did next.
Her tears unmanned him. He pulled down her skirt and returned the covers, moving to the wardrobe to change.
“Are you done?” she asked quietly. “Aren't you going to tear me open with that club of flesh you call a penis?”
Harrold sighed. “Veronica, as much as I appreciate your flattery, it is not as large as that. I was going to ask you to stroke it a while, but never mind.” He'd offered to do the same and more for her. He would gladly suckle her breasts or pussy to please her, if only for a moment. However, it never was enough. He bit, or his chin prickled, or any other of a multitude of reasons she had. Curling on his side, away from her, he waited for her to trim the lamp so he might sleep.
Thursday he would try again at Blue Moon House.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Author's Craft: Making It Feel Real... Avoid Cliches.

The art of making a romance story feel real is actually very simple. Avoid Cliches. Well,
simple to say but not so easily done. Way too often, love gets the cliched treatment in movies, songs, and books. It drives my editors crazy when I toss in cliches and during the revision process, I find and remove at least a few.

I've collected a few tips that have helped me avoid cliches as I write. Maybe they'll help you too...

Know a Cliche when you See a Cliche.
The first step in avoiding cliches is recognizing them, i.e love at first site, never getting over your first love, the perfect soul mate, love conquers all, etc.

It's not just the situation but also the language. Words surrounding romances can be cliche too. It's easy to conjure these up just by thinking about popular songs. There are certain sentiments that are repeated often, i.e. endless love, make my heart melt, swept off my feet, etc.

Notice how cliches don't really show anything true about the situation.

There is Much to be Said for Variety.
While steering away from using cliches, not every cliche has to be avoided. Some common troupes work well and borrowing from the classic love stories is a given. Giving overused cliches a facelift can make them usable again. Changing them up to create original ideas provides variety and will make a romance story feel more real.

Focus on Specifics.
Cliches are generalizations. One way to stay away from cliches is to focus on the specifics instead of generalities. Romance stories are generally character-driven. By creating realistic characters with idiosyncrasies, gestures and personalities uniquely their own, cliches are unnecessary. Specific behaviors and thoughts come out as characters react in an organic manner. The bonus here is that when your characters do this -when their actions appear almost inevitable- they will also become more real to your readers.

Cliches aren't necessary. They can often serve as a crutch and keep you from using your "writing muscles" to create the best romance story possible. Toss them out or give them a facelift, but don't rely on them for keeping it real. They just don't work.
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