Friday, July 7, 2017

I'm off on my second writing holiday and my yearly writing plan update

Because we are the first week of July, that means that five full months of blog posts have gone by, and since I first told you all my writing plan for 2017. You can read the full post here

Since it is now school holidays and I'm off to hopefully get some more porn star books written and delve into a whole bunch of exciting stuff I have planned but will not tell you about until later in the year, I will update you on how my writing plan is going.

I'm using the stoplight colour system below, green is for 'done', orange for 'in the process of being done', and red for 'not done yet'.

My writing plan for 2017 so far...

(1) Under Tiara King the two series I had planned to write have STILL been waylaid for another year or two but…

- 1 - I will be releasing a six book series plus omnibus edition from March 1st in pre-release across e-book (titled Poems Of A Musical Flavour, Volume 5 is out now in pre-sale and paperbacks are coming later in the year). It’s a look into another side of me and I typed everything up in the September school holidays of 2016 and the paperbacks are currently being proofed.

- 2 - I will be releasing two books in paperback, How To Be A Jewel Diva and Closet Confidential which have been finalised for release sometime in the next month or so. (released back in May)

- 3 - I want to get #teenblogger to Ellen DeGeneres so need to craft a letter to her. If anyone can help me out with an address of where to send presents and stuff to her that will actually get to her, much appreciated. (I've written up a basic letter but because of that exciting thing I mentioned above, it's currently on hold until later in the year)

- 4 - I wanted to get my jewellery back into its own website last year but a whole bunch of other stuff came up instead, so it’s on the plan, but we’ll see. So once again selling will be on hold during the year as I cannot deal with all of it. I'm currently looking for templates that would suit the type of website look I want. (still searching for the perfect template)

(2) Under T.K. Wrathbone

 - 1 - I’m releasing a paperback in March called Two Bone Anthology 2 which is last year’s stories in paperback.

- 2 - I will get three stories written, typed up, edited, assessed and out along with an anthology. Thank God I have already done the e-covers. (#1 is out now in pre-release and called The Howler)

- 3 - Get the paperback version of them done. (planned for October for design and later for release)

(3) Under L.J. Diva

- 1 - I want to get the first four Porn Stars books done in paperback plus an omnibus edition of all four and release them in September. (due to financial difficulties, my other books will be refurbished and porn stars will make it later in the year or early next year.)

- 2 - type up book #2 and have it edited, assessed, a cover done, the interior done and release it in September. (my editing is in process and the cover is done)

- 3 - get books #3, #4, #5, #6 typed up along with any short stories if I have time. (so far, only #3 is typed up and in need of editing before it's date with my editor in November)

- 4 - consider a website for the book series, plus an author one purely for books so I'm currently looking for templates that are awesome for books and authors that provide a decent layout and author plug-ins. (web domains and templates bought and will be done before Sep)

- 5 - get family and business trees for the book series made up. The Stephanopoulos family tree is huge and keeps growing with every book, along with the business tree so I’ll need a lot of space to fit everyone in. I also have character lists and a family/book timeline typed up. And I’m not even done with it yet.

So far, that is where I'm at. As mentioned above, something exciting is underway and that's put me back slightly, by about two/three months, but come September when I announce it, all of my books will be updated and re-released in eb and pb and then porn stars will be done in paperback format, along with other paperbacks.

Otherwise, I'm off for a two week writing holiday...see you in three weeks...

Friday, June 30, 2017

When you come up with a really good idea, don't tell anyone until you've done it!

Because at the end of the day they’ll just steal it!

I recently listened to a podcast by Valerie Khoo and Alison Tait and they read out a listener’s letter that was about just this.

The woman had showed several people her book and later at a venue where she was giving a talk she was told by a woman the idea she’d had for her book. The listener said it was the exact idea she’d had and later found out the woman who had spoken to her was good friends with one of the people she’d told about her book. She said she felt like her idea had been stolen but she didn’t say or do anything about it.

You can read the full text here or listen to the podcast

Personally, I would have told the woman that it sounded like my idea and asked her if she knew the people I’d told. I would have had it out with both of them and unfriended them. How dare the so-called friend pass on her idea to someone else to write. That’s just bullshit.

It also reminds me of Justin Herald, the guy who started the Attitude clothing brand

I read one of his books, and since he was doing seminars and helping people out, he was at a dinner party one night with friends, and this couple couldn’t help themselves. They blurted out their idea for something they had come up with, it was in the making process, they had everything set up but were baulking on finalising it all. Someone else at that dinner party worked for a company and told them. The company had a cheap version made in China and released it while the couple was still waiting for something to come through. They missed out on the opportunity and lost a lot of money. Justin’s advice, DO NOT TELL PEOPLE YOUR IDEAS UNTIL THEY ARE COMPLETE AND OUT IN PUBLIC.

Because people will steal your ideas!

That’s why I NEVER tell people my titles or ideas until they are ready for release or I’m finalising covers. A few years back I did ask everyone what they thought of the original idea for Her Secret Island. It ended up quite different from what I started with so it has no significance to the overall idea. The same for Dream It, Write It, Publish It! Turned out completely different to what I had blogged about.

Personally, with the fact my family can’t help themselves from copying me, I really just want to keep my ideas to myself until they are up for pre-sale. That way, NO ONE can steal my ideas. Until they’re out of course…

Friday, June 23, 2017

I'm so glad I didn't sign away my book rights to the one publishing house who actually wanted it. Because I would have lost everything!

Back in the day, November 2010 to be correct, after I had been sending my books off to several publishers for several years, How I Won Lotto, Moved To L.A. & Married A Really Huge T.V. Star! captured the attention of one publishing house here in Australia called JoJo Publishing. I had sent them the full manuscript as directed on their website, full of typos I’m sure since I have found some since, and they rang me. Yes, they rang me. That’s how come I have the honour of saying I got the call.

Because I did.

They wanted my book, called me several times in November/December, sent me paperwork to think about and sign after I asked them to send it, and told me it would take two years to get it up and running. I had already been online since 2009 and had a platform and didn’t want to wait another two years. I know pub houses can take anywhere from 6 - 24 months to get a book out so it wasn’t unusual.

But I didn’t want to wait that long.

I didn’t know about self-publishing, and desperately wanted my books to be out there. So the only other alternative was to pay them $12,000, half of the $24,000 publishing fee, and then I would get 50% of the royalties. 

I remember crying for weeks. I so desperately wanted to be published like so many other authors and have my books in stores like so many new authors, and I emailed back and forth with one of my followers, Cyn. I even asked for advice from the yahoo group that I belonged to, Romance Writers of Australia.

But when push came to shove, I didn’t want to wait two years, didn’t have $12,000, and didn’t want to give up my rights to my book.

In March 2011, and I really thank God now, I discovered self-publishing because and haven’t looked back. In fact, I’m looking into something exciting where my books are concerned. More on that later in the year.

Since thanking JoJo for their offer and rejecting it in December (I received a call early 2011 because he hadn’t received my tear filled email) I went into 2011 with a heavy heart, even though I somehow knew that something was coming. I discovered Amanda Hocking and Joe Konrath and not only found out about, but moved into self-publishing. I haven’t bothered with publishing houses since. Except to read about the Big 5’s shenanigans where Amazon is concerned. Because that’s my business now. Writing books, releasing them, and learning my craft by reading stories about publishers and their feud with Amazon, and reading what other authors are doing to move ahead and make sales.

So, while searching for something on google last week, I decided to look up JoJo for a book cover I vaguely remembered and discovered something almost hilarious. Hilariously ironic. Or is that ironically hilarious?

JoJo Publishing had been accused of duping its authors and was placed in voluntary liquidation in 2015. It had published books by more than 250 authors since it was founded in 2002.

According to a Smart Company article - The business charges some authors a fee to publish their books, which is a different model to traditional book publishing and sometimes referred to as “vanity” publishing. However, the liquidators of the business estimate more than 50 authors may now be owed money. In September, an investigation by the ABC Radio National program Background Briefing aired allegations from more than 30 authors who said they were deceived after having invested between $9000 and $35,000 of their own money to having books published. The group of authors is reportedly considering legal action against JoJo Publishing.

Responding to the claims made in an ABC report, “Due to risk factors, not all authors can fit into the model of receiving an advance and royalties – although many have this arrangement with us. These authors, who would not find publishers elsewhere, may enter into a business arrangement where they make a capital investment and share in the profits. Our publishing venture has provided authors with the opportunity to have their books published, distributed and marketed in ways they would not have otherwise had. If they have a business arrangement with us and make a loss, then we make a loss too.”

The rest can be read here at Smart Company.

The news also made the Absolute Write forums.

And scored an ABC network programPart of their story was talking to one of the JoJo authors and it’s similar to what they did to me - First-time author Margaret Spivey sent the manuscript to about 50 publishers but only one agreed to publish: Jojo Publishing, who told her it was a work of genius. But there was a catch. She was asked to invest $12,000, and in return she'd get 50 per cent of the profits.

'There was urgency in this voice that wasn't there previously,' Spivey says. 'And along with that urgency was, "Well, we can't really afford to pay for that at the moment. If we publish it now we can't afford it. But if you're prepared to contribute half the cost, which was $12,000, then we could go ahead and get it published now and get it out in the marketplace, and by contributing half the costs, then of course you get equal share in all the profits and all the earnings from the sales of the book."' Margaret Spivey was nervous, but she took a punt and went with it.

And because they wined her and dined her, which is normal for big wig publishers to do to new authors and something I didn’t get because I turned them down, there was more…She ended up paying for that meal two years later.

Discovering that she had paid to be wined and dined by Jojo Publishing was just the beginning of Margaret Spivey's ordeal. Since having her book published five years ago, she's received absolutely nothing in royalties, and no information at all about the sales of her book.  'I haven't received 1 cent,' she says. 'I don't know anything. I don't know how many copies of the book were sold ... I don't know anything. And I couldn't get any info.'

Besides the fact that a rough 95% of authors don’t earn out royalties, that’s nothing new. But it means she probably didn’t make back any of the money she’d spent.

I am so glad I didn’t go with this company. I would have lost all rights to my book, been unable to publish it anywhere else, or do what I’m about to do in the next few months. But here we are 2017 and I’m just reading, by fluke, about this company.

So glad I kept my rights, and my head, and that my muse guided me away from them.




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