Welcome to The Writer's Challenge

I'm updating weekly-ish and whenever something exciting happens, so please come back often, browse the archived information,
and use the search feature to find information!
Learn more about my books at ShoshannaEvers.com

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I'm Moving!

Hello Fellow Writers!

Well, to my great dismay, NaNoWriMo didn't exactly work out for me this month. That's because life happened - we put our house on the market, which turned my writing time into decluttering and packing time. And my husband got a job in Port St Lucie, Florida - which means we are moving out of New York!

I'm going to miss all of my friends, and my son's wonderful school, and my RWA chaptermates. I'm also going to miss being near my parents, but when we move to Port St Lucie we'll be near DH's parents and more family as well, so it evens out :)

The best part is, we'll be leaving this:

 For this!

Friday, November 25, 2011

BEDHEAD is here!!

Hello Fellow Writers!

My erotic romance BEDHEAD is available now from Ellora's Cave! If you follow me on Twitter, you know of Bedhead as my "bald virgin heroine book" :)

Here's the blurb:

A book in the Skin Deep series.

Michele Peterson is young, pretty, healthy…and bald. Being a woman with alopecia isn’t easy—not only do strangers treat her as if she’s a cancer patient, but hiding her bald head under a wig is hard on her sex life. Michele can’t shower with a lover or feel his hands tangled in her hair in the throes of passion. So at the age of twenty-six, she remains a virgin. Then a generous benefactor agrees to finance hair transplant surgery. Just in time too, because Michele thinks she’s met The One.

Andrew Calhoun doesn’t understand why the incredible woman he’s falling for is so distant—pulling away just as he thinks they’re making a connection. When he discovers her secret, he’ll have to make her realize that bald really is beautiful—before she goes through a potentially dangerous cosmetic surgery just for his sake. And the best way to make her feel desirable…is in bed.
***
The excerpt is a bit too adults-only for this blog, so I'll just link to it here.

Buy Bedhead in any ebook format at Ellora's Cave here. It will also be available wherever ebooks are sold soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello Fellow Writers!



I love NaNoWriMo. I've been known to go word count crazy and write over 80k in a month. But this month life happened and my word count took the hit. This doesn't upset me because I'm so super excited about what's going on (can't share yet, sorry! But it's not book related - it's life related, and no I'm not pregnant).

My new goal for NaNoWriMo is to write the second and third novellas (about 10-15k words each) in the Dominatrix Fantasy Series. If I can do that I'm a happy camper. If I can't, then I have a really really really good excuse ....which I can't tell you about at the moment.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and my bald virgin heroine book BEDHEAD releases on Black Friday from Ellora's Cave. (Oh, what's that you say? You want to read the excerpt? Okay. Click here.)

Here's what... or rather *who* I'm grateful for:
  • My readers. You are the reason I write. Without you, I am writing into the abyss.
  • My Darling Husband, my real life HEA.
  • My son. *smooches*
  • You. My friends and Tweeps and fellow writers, for totally understanding the urge to sit at a computer and spend countless hours working with no guarantee of financial reward or even of finding an audience. When you gotta write, you gotta write.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, guys. I love you all!

Yours Truly,
Shoshanna

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Bald Virgin Heroine book

I'm over at Flirty Author Bitches with an adults-only excerpt from my upcoming Ellora's Cave novella, BEDHEAD. Come say hi!

http://flirtyauthorbitches.com/2011/11/bedhead/

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tips for Writing Steampunk

Hello Fellow Writers!
Please welcome an incredible author, here to tell us about writing Steampunk, one of the hottest new genres right now. Heather knows what she's talking about - I've read her Steampunk, and damn it is *good*.

Tips for Writing Steampunk
By Heather Hiestand


Thanks for allowing me to visit today, Shoshanna, and discuss one of my favorite topics!

Steampunk is an exciting buzzword in the writing field right now, but what is it? From my point of view, it is a form of alternative history literature which involves gadgets, often based on Victorian steam technology. That’s the steam part. The other part, the “punk,” is some level of rebellious attitude. While my steampunk has been based in Victorian London, writers have taken it all over the universe and all through time. It’s the gadgets and attitude that really make steampunk.

Here are starting points that a writer needs to consider:

1. What time period are you going to choose? If it is historical, what caused your timeline to veer off established tracks? Some kind of invention, crisis, what? If your setting is completely imagined, what makes this a fruitful steampunk environment?

2. Gadgets! Common are airships, ray guns, computers and automatons (robots). Make up your own! In Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas, I have the three of the four listed above, as well as advanced spyglasses and metal-eating beetles.

3. Clothing! Character style is very important in most steampunk tales. Usually, historical Victorian clothing is the departure point, from whatever country you are focusing on. Corsets, frock coats, hats and boots. Body jewelry or upgrades? Don’t forget the goggles!

4. Social mores. Once again, the formality of Victorian times is usually the starting point. Are you going to concern yourself with the plight of the poor and social inequalities? Are your characters upper crust, villains or working class? Or any variation in between?

5. Paranormal elements? When steampunk first hit the genre fiction mainstream over the past couple years, vampires in particular had found a new home. I’ve also seen werewolves, wizards and Native American magic. Will you include elements of magic or is it all about the science for you?

6. Attitude? What are your characters struggling against? Are they outcasts from society norms?

7. Society? Open, regressive, dangerous?

Some authors I have enjoyed reading recently that might help you to obtain additional insight to my comments are Meljean Brook, Scott Westerfeld, Gail Carringer, Lindsay Buroker and Crista McHugh. Anthologies of steampunk tales are beginning to proliferate, such as Steampunk! Edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant.

Heather Hiestand’s latest release is steampunk romance novella Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas.

Blurb:
Housemaid Linet Fenna would rather be an air pirate than a servant. When she finds the ladder to an airship dangling outside her garret window on Christmas Eve, 1892, she ascends to the skies above London on her late father’s flagship dirigible, the Christmas. The new captain is someone she never expected to see again, a dangerous, sexy foe. Is the Fenna family nemesis offering Linet her heart’s desire or a dastardly trap?

Captain Andrew’s motivations are as foggy as the coal-soaked sky. Prime Minister Gladstone’s Blockaders, a horde of automen and a teenage girl named Hatchet want Linet to fail in her quest to discover what happened to her missing family, but she is determined to have a happy Christmas.

Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas is a 16,000-word steampunk romance novella.

Captain Andrew’s Flying Christmas links:

Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble


All Romance eBooks

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Win an copy of Snowed in With the Tycoon!

Hello Fellow Writers!

I'm over at the Goddess Fish Blog, where I'll be posting a few blog posts and excerpts throughout the day. One commenter will win a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card, and I'll be giving away an e-copy of Snowed in With the Tycoon, a sexy contemporary romance - so please head over and say hi!
http://goddessfishparty.blogspot.com/



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mentioned in USA Today!

Hello Fellow Writers!

What a thrill I had recently, when I saw my first non-fiction reference book, How to Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Romance Authors, had been mentioned in USA Today!

One of the contributors to the book (twelve authors, myself included, contributed essays, and I edited them), Desiree Holt, was interviewed in USA Today, and she was asked if erotica was just about sex.

She answered: "There's an anthology just out, How to Write Hot Sex, in which I join 11 other authors in discussing just this subject. Everyone must want to know, because it zoomed to No. 1 in Kindle/Authorship in the first 24 hours."

And the book remains on the Authorship Bestseller list, thanks to our amazing readers.

How to Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors is available now for only $4.99 from Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.com.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

How Important is the Beginning of Your Mss?

Hello Fellow Writers!
 
How important is the beginning of your manuscript? Pretty darn important. If the opening doesn't grab the editor or agent (or reader), then you can forget about them discovering the amazing ending of the book - because they'll just send you a form rejection. On the other hand, if the opening is fabulous, then you've got the reader hooked, and she'll keep reading!

If you keep getting form rejections on your manuscript, don't you want to know *why*? How would you like an unbiased critique from three writers (including *at least* one published author)? My local RWA chapter is holding a fabulous contest that's only $10 - totally worth it (especially since the top five are ranked by Harlequin Editor Brenda Chin!)
 
The 26th Annual Hudson Valley RWA Hook, Line & Sinker Contest is now accepting entries!


Deadline is November 1, 2011.

Enter the 1st 3 pages of your MS and see if you have what it takes to hook an editor or agent.

$10 for each entry.

Entries will be judged by published authors and experienced critiquers. Finalists will be judged by Harlequin Editor Brenda Chin.
For more information and entry form:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

RomantiCon 2011 was *Awesome*

Hello Fellow Writers!

Just got back from the Ellora's Cave romantic erotica convention RomantiCon, where I spent Thursday night though Monday morning connecting with my readers and fellow Ellora's Cave authors - as well as taking every opportunity possible to grab a photo with my favorite male cover model, Caveman Angelo ;)


The Book Fair was a lot of fun too - thank you to my readers for buying out my stack of books! If you didn't get a chance to buy my trade paperback Bound to Be Naughty, you can always buy it at Ellora's Cave here or Amazon, B&N, etc.

On Saturday night we had the Future party and I attempted a retro-futuristic costume, so if you're wondering why I look like a Jetson, that's why. I also dressed like a cavewoman for the Stone Age party. I haz school (publisher?) spirit! Woot! *shakes pom-poms*


At the Future party they handed out awards, and apparently I sat at a lucky table because even though they didn't give out a ton of awards, half of the people at my table, myself included, won "Superstar 2011" awards. My author friends write some damn hot books!  My award was for my erotic romance novella Ginger Snap.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Twitter 101 for Authors

Hello Fellow Writers!

Let's talk Twitter. I'm on Twitter (@ShoshannaEvers), and if you follow me I'll follow you back.

This is an excerpt about Twitter from my #1 Amazon Kindle Bestseller in Authorship book, How to Write Hot Sex: Tips From Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors. There are 12 essays from best-selling and multi-published authors in this book, and this excerpt comes from my essay "Getting Published".

***
Oh wait, you say you’ve never heard any of these terms bandied about because you’re not in any publishing circles? Let’s get you connected really quickly then. Join Twitter.

Don’t tell me you don’t “get” Twitter. Simply put, if you are an author or are aspiring to be one, you are shooting yourself in the foot by avoiding Twitter. You don’t need to have a fancy phone or be able to text (myths that kept me off Twitter for years).

Just go online to www.Twitter.com and use your pen name as your Twitter handle. That way you’re building name recognition every time you Tweet. I like to use TweetDeck, a free software that makes Twitter really easy to use.

You can set up searches for hashtags, which are topics. On TweetDeck, I create a separate column for each of my favorite hashtags: #amwriting #amediting #amreading #askeditor #askagent #writechat and #pubwrite.

Just like that, you’ve found other writers and authors and publishing peeps online to connect with.
One thing I’ve heard over and over again is “I tried Twitter, but I have nothing interesting to say.” No! You’ve got it all wrong. Twitter isn’t about shouting into the Universe, it’s about listening.

Follow anyone you like. Follow Publisher’s Weekly. Follow all the big literary agents. Follow your favorite authors—and tell them they’re your favorite! We love that. Really really truly.
***



Read the intro to How to Write Hot Sex here.

How to Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors is available now for only $4.99 from Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.com. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Series or Single-title?

Hello Fellow Writers!

Today we have contemporary romance author Heather Thurmeier (who just happens to be my real-life critique partner and BFF) guest-blogging. Her first book, Love and Lattes, is available now, with her second book, Love on Landing, coming soon!



Series books or single-title books? 
by Heather Thurmeier

I love a good series. In fact, if I were choosing between two books and one was the first of a series and the other wasn’t, I’d buy the one that was part of the series. It’s an easy choice for me.

So often when I read a book I totally fall in love with the characters, the world, the setting—all of it. And I want more of it as soon as I read the last page. That’s why I’ll always choose a series over a single-title. I love knowing that the option of reading more will be there if I want it.

When I contracted LOVE AND LATTES to Silver Publishing, I never dreamed it would be the start of a series. But it is. And I’m thrilled! I had so much fun writing and editing that novella and I totally fell in love with the characters living in the elite community of Meadow Ridge—a place that lives only in my head. Suddenly I realized this community could be the home for more that just Chase and Julia. Anyone I dreamed up could live there and because it’s a wealthy community, anything could happen.

So I immediately got to work on a sequel. Now that LOVE ON LANDING has been contracted, my brain is already potting who the next characters from Meadow Ridge will be for the next novella. I love it!

So do you like books that are part of a series? Are you more likely to buy a book if you know the characters or the world will carry over to another book or many books?

Happy Reading!

Heather Thurmeier
~Heart, humor and a happily ever after.


Blurb for LOVE AND LATTES by Heather Thurmeier

Chase Bloom wants the one thing his wealth can't buy--a woman who loves him for who he really is and not just his money. Not only is Julia Walker beautiful, funny, and so incredibly sexy, she's also the first girl who doesn't seem to know who Chase is. Finally, after two years of playing the field Chase gets a chance to date a girl who's interested in him, not his status. As Julia waits at the bar in one of the local clubs, she wonders how much more cleavage she'll have to show to be granted a drink by a bartender with blinders on. Just when she thinks she's bound to die of thirst, the man of her dreams steps up to the bar and into her heart with a frosty Cosmo. Their casual encounter at the bar quickly escalates into an intimate encounter in the bedroom.

When Julia runs into Chase on her first day of work she's excited to finally see him again—until she learns he's her new boss. Now Julia must stop fantasizing about him even though her mind is constantly remembering his hands on her body, his lips on her eager flesh. But her fantasies fizzle when both Julia's first customer and her new manager threaten her to stay away from the boss. Chase is a player and Julia is his new toy. Should Julia heed the threats about Chase or is a chance to fall in love worth the risk?

LOVE AND LATTES is available now!

http://heatherthurmeier.com
heatherthurmeier@gmail.com
Facebook: Heather Thurmeier, author
Twitter: @hthurmeier

Friday, September 16, 2011

How to Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors

Hello Fellow Writers!

I'm thrilled to announce my first ever  non-fiction writing reference book is available now on Amazon and Smashwords, and B&N. I put the book up last night, and this morning discovered that it's already a bestseller!! How to Write Hot Sex is #6 in the Amazon Authorship category!

This is the introduction to HOW TO WRITE HOT SEX!

How to Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors features everything you need to know about adding sizzling sexual tension, scorching sex scenes, and emotional impact to your romance writing in twelve info-packed essays from bestselling and multi-published authors so you can get published and get paid.

Whether you’re writing sensual, steamy, or full-on explicit sex scenes, writers can learn from the authors who write and sell sexy books for a living. Do you want to write erotica? Or an erotic romance? Perhaps you just want to add some hot sexual tension to your romance novel.

You’ve come to the right place.

Here you’ll find essays on the art of writing smokin’ hot vanilla sex, gay sex, BDSM, kink, and ménage, as well as information on how to find paying markets and publishers for your books and short stories.
How to Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors gives you all the information you need to write sex well and get published! The authors are published with New York publishers, small presses, and e-publishers, including Berkley, Kensington, Ellora’s Cave, Harlequin, Carina Press, Samhain, The Wild Rose Press, Loose Id, Running Press, Flying Pen Press, eXcessiva Publishing, Xcite Books, Circlet Press, loveyoudevine Alterotica, Amber Quill Press, Beyond the Page Publishing, Cleis Press, Resplendence Publishing, Total-E-Bound, as well as becoming Amazon Erotica Bestsellers with successfully self-published books.

So what are these gals gonna teach you? We’ll start this book off with erotica extraordinaire Cara McKenna, who also writes for Harlequin Blaze as Meg Maguire. Her essay Real Ugly will show you how to craft realistic, gritty sex scenes that will raise your prose above “steamy” to “unforgettable.” Then we’ve got the award-winning, prolific Desiree Holt. How prolific? Desiree recently released her one-hundredth book. Now that’s what I call multi-published! She shows you how to use all five senses to bring your romance novel to life in Five Sexy Senses to Rev Up Scenes.

By now you’ve probably heard of the huge market for male/male erotic romance. Interestingly, the readership for these stories is mainly straight women. Christine D’Abo teaches you how to cash in on a hot sub-genre with Boys Will Be Boys: Writing Male/Male Romance. Then L.K. Below dissects sexual tension in The Law of Attraction. With her advice, you’ll learn how to make your character’s attraction to each other come alive off the page as the sparks fly.

Bestselling Kensington author Kate Douglas (Wolf Tales) discusses Writing the Fine Line Between Erotica and Porn. By infusing your stories with emotional impact, you’ll always have a love story you can be proud of—no matter how explicit or graphic your sex scenes get. You’ll learn How to Write Convincing Fetish and Niche Market Sex from one of erotica’s bestselling LGBT authors, Giselle Renarde. Not sure what all those initials stand for? No worries—Giselle will walk you through the writing process she’s perfected over the years in the niche sex erotica market. You won’t believe some of the things that could get you on an editor or reader’s naughty list. At least you won’t be making those mistakes after reading her essay!

Then we get back to the basics with Amazon bestseller Charlotte Stein, who breaks down how to use varying sentence structure and wording to bring your Sexy Sentences from drab to fab. Even the hottest story idea won’t sell if it’s not written well, so heed Charlotte’s advice to take your writing to the next level—the level agents, editors, and readers need to see. You can also learn a lot about writing a good sex scene by studying the way fight scenes are written. That’s right, fight scenes, like sex scenes, can add levels of intensity and emotion to your stories. Award winning multi-published Isabo Kelly shows you how in her essay Fighting Sex.

BDSM erotica is hot—hot to read and hot to sell! Delphine Dryden asks So You Think You Can Kink? After reading her essay on Domination and submission in erotic romance, you’ll be answering hell yeah I can kink! Then we have New York Times bestselling author Jean Johnson, whose essay puts you directly in her classroom as she stands at the podium and plays sexy professor for us in Biology: The Good, The Bad, & the Sex Scene. Learning how our bodies physically and mentally become aroused will give you the tools you need to write hot sex with confidence.

But what if you’ve written a sex scene, and something’s just not right? Enter Fictionwise bestseller Cari Quinn and her Rx for a Sagging Sex Scene. You’ll be able to diagnose an ailing scene and make it exactly the way you need it to be after reading her essay. Lastly, I’ve contributed an essay on Getting Published. A year before this book you’re reading came out, Shoshanna Evers didn’t exist. In the space of one year I’ve had eleven books release with four different publishers (and my sixth Ellora’s Cave book is coming out soon) plus my own self-publishing. I became an Amazon Erotica Bestseller with my self-published work, in fact. In the span of one year I went from not existing to leaving my job as an RN to write full time. If it can happen to me, it can happen for you.

Many authors dream of signing with a literary agency but don’t know where to begin—so I decided to share the query letter that snagged my agent’s attention! Everything you need to know about the process of getting published is here. Whether you’re hoping to land an agent and multi-book contract with a big New York publisher, write for some of the fabulous electronic publishers, or self-publish and take control of your own publishing destiny, I’ll walk you through the steps.

Are you ready? Let’s learn How to Write Hot Sex! WOOT!

 Buy or sample the book now on Amazon, Smashwords and B&N.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Self-publishing sales vs Traditional sales

Today I'm on Flirty Author Bitches, blogging about self-publishing sales versus traditional pub sales. Why are my self-pub books outranking my other books? How did I become an Amazon bestseller with OVERHEATED, one of my self-pub books?

Stop by my post at FAB and find out!
http://flirtyauthorbitches.com/2011/09/15/self-pubbed-books-outranking-my-other-books-why/

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How Debra Holland sold 17K books in 4 months!

Hello Fellow Writers!

If you're even thinking about self-publishing, you need to read this. Amazon bestseller and self-published romance author Debra Holland sold 17,000 books in the past four months. Yes, 17K. I interviewed her to find out as much as I could about how exactly she did that!

Shoshanna: Thanks for being here! Can you walk us through how that happened?

Debra: I can give it a try. I have some ideas, but a lot of it seems like plain good luck. :)
Much of my books’ success stems from hitting two niche markets--sweet and Western. There are lots of readers out there looking for romances that are traditional. They either don’t want sexy books, or they like to read both sexy and sweet.

Western romance fans tend to pounce on a Western because they don’t get many of them. The historical Western market is particularly scarce.

Did it start slow and build or were you immediately selling well?

It started slow and built, sort of like a jagged slope. I’d be at a level, then start selling a little more, stay at about that level, then bump up a bit, level out for a week or so, then go higher.

What seemed to make a difference was 5 star reviews. For each one, my sales bumped up a bit. Although, once I got to ten 5 star reviews, it didn’t seem to make a difference any more.

The other thing that helped was making Amazon top 100 lists. That happened to Wild Montana Sky at about six weeks and Starry Montana Sky at about two months. The books have been climbing the lists ever since.

What sort of marketing did you do?

I’m doing very little. Mostly I’ve written some personal blogs--about eight, and some guest blogs--also about eight. Not too much for four months.

I’m trying to encourage other writers to consider self-publishing. Ever since I started having success, I’ve been beating the self-publishing drum. I love helping others succeed. For that reason, I’m blogging very honestly about what’s happening with my self-publishing career, including exact sales and money. Those blog links seemed to get passed along a lot. :)


My success isn’t the norm for everyone. Many self-published authors start out far slower. But remember, sales can build over years. Think long term.

I know I should do more. I’m not even on Goodreads yet. That on my to-do list. I need to submit the books to book reviewers. Also on my to-do list. But I’ve trying to use my spare time to write. I think putting out new books are the best ways to promote!

What price points are you selling your books at, and how did you decide to sell at that price point?

I’m selling Wild Montana Sky at .99 and Starry Montana Sky at 2.99. I chose .99 for the first book because I’m an unknown author, and I think readers are willing to risk trying me when the price is a bargain. I’ve done the same thing for the first book in my newly published Fantasy Romance series. Sower of Dreams is .99 and Reaper of Dreams is 2.99.

Your covers are beautiful. Who is your designer? 

My friend, Delle Jacobs did the Western covers. I chose a different designer, Lex Valentine, for my fantasy romances because I wanted a different look. I think all four covers are wonderful, and I’m very happy with them. Doing your own covers are definitely a benefit to self-publishing!

Do you have plans for future books?

I’m writing the third book in the Western series, Stormy Montana Sky, and I have two more books after that. I’m hoping to have Stormy out in November. I’m also working on the third book in the Fantasy Romance trilogy, Harvest the Dreams. If I can stay on track, I’m hoping to have it out in January.

Do you have any suggestions for writers looking to self-publish?

Learn the craft. Write a great book. Get it professionally edited. Study the market. Have FUN!


BLURB: WILD MONTANA SKY
With the tragic death of her fiancé, Elizabeth Hamilton believed she’d never love again. The comfortable life she’s settled into with her brother in Boston is upset when he abruptly marries. Displaced by her spiteful new sister-in-law, and hoping to find a home for herself, Elizabeth allows handsome cowboy Nick Sanders to escort her from Boston to her friend’s Montana ranch.

In Montana, Elizabeth meets attractive Caleb Livingston, a wealthy banker who strongly resembles her beloved fiancé, and believes she has a second chance at love. Yet, she has to fight a growing attraction to Nick. In braving the dangers and hardships of the West, Elizabeth discovers unexpected strengths within herself--strengths tested when an influenza epidemic ravages the town. As a child’s life hangs in the balance, Elizabeth must choose between the man who has everything, and the one with nothing but his heart to offer.

Buy Links:
Wild Montana Sky Amazon: http://amzn.com/B004YKZCD2
Starry Montana Sky Amazon: http://amzn.com/B004YL2RNO

Website:
http://drdebraholland.com


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Snowed In With The Tycoon available NOW!

Hello Fellow Writers!


Amazing how quickly a book can be published when we take things into our own hands! Following the success of my first self-publishing "experiment" Overheated - which ended up outselling all of my traditionally published books put together and even hitting the Amazon Bestseller list for Erotica - I've taken a full length erotic romance novel and self-published it on Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes and Noble.

And the best part? I set the price at only $2.99, which is less expensive than most of my other books that are less than half as long. SNOWED IN WITH THE TYCOON has graphic sex scenes, but it's definitely "the softer side of Shoshanna Evers" - an emotional love story with hot hot sex.

Here's the excerpt.

Buy Snowed In With The Tycoon on Amazon here.
on Barnes and Noble
Or on Smashwords (for all formats)


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm an Amazon Bestseller??!

Hello Fellow Writers!

Today I found out that Overheated, the short story I self-published on Kindle, is officially an Amazon bestseller. It was #61 in Erotica earlier today, now it's down to 75. The rank changes hourly and I should probably stop looking at it. But I can't help but be excited by my moment in the top 100 :)

I'm so thrilled. I keep grinning :)

(you can get Overheated for 99 cents here)

I have big plans - I'm going to self-publish another book, this time a full length romance novel called Snowed in With the Tycoon. I've gotten a lot of wonderful feedback on the book so I'm excited to put it out into the world. I was thinking I could even put the whole first chapter at the end of Overheated as a sneak peak for people.

I just got the cover art for Snowed in With The Tycoon, wanna see?



Thank you again to all of my readers. I love you all. You are the reason I'm able to write this exciting blog post!

Best,
Shoshanna


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Do You Need an Author Photo?

Hello Fellow Writers!

Today I decided it's time to bite the bullet and pay for a professional author photo. I've got a snapshot I've been using, and I realized recently that it's all over the web - and the pic isn't even that great. So I may as well have a photo out there that looks good. Right?

Fortunately my kid sister is an actress and knows some good headshot photographers, and I live near NYC, so I'll have no problem getting them done. Now I just have to find the time! And then... perhaps my author photo will go at the end of my books in the "about the author" section :) I'll also need it for my Facebook and Twitter avatar, etc.

I'll post it here when I get it done.

Do you have a professional author photo? Do you want one?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quitting the Day Job

I'm over at The Losing Gamer blog today, interviewed by Jennifer Mercurio about how I balance everything.

http://www.losinggamer.com/2011/08/welcome-guest-blogger-shoshanna-evers.html

After doing this interview, I realized I'm actually getting a bit overwhelmed by everything on my plate, and I decided to retire from nursing, at least for now, to focus on writing and my family.

YAY!!!!!!!!!!

I'll always be a nurse, but at least for now, I won't be working as one.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bedhead Cover Art!

Hello Fellow Writers!

I just got the cover art for my erotic romance novella Bedhead, coming soon from Ellora's Cave as part of the multi-author Skin Deep series. I love this cover. To me, it shows the emotion, passion, and *hair* that Bedhead is all about it. The heroine in Bedhead suffers from alopecia - baldness. She wears a wig, and the story delves into how that element plays into her sex life.

This cover is designed by Syneca, Ellora's Cave cover artist extraordinaire, and I am so happy with it!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Writing Through Emotion

Hello Fellow Writers!

Today we've got a guest post from brand new author Brien Michaels, and he'll be giving away a copy of his first book SPARKS FLY to one lucky commenter. Thanks for being here, Brien!



Writing Through Emotion
by Brien Michaels

We may be many many things in our lives, but there’s only one thing we are before we are writers. And that’s human. And as humans one thing gets in the way of our writing time after time. Emotions. And other writers can vouch for me with this. You can get everything together and be pumped and primed and ready to hammer out two thousand words or finish that WIP that’s been niggling at you for weeks now, or any number of things related to you getting words on that page.

And then something happens that just brings your entire emotional state crashing down around your ears and then you sit there, staring at that blank page getting more and more discouraged because the words won’t flow. But I think I’ve figured out a way around that…

I’m more of a pantser than a plotter so everything I write is influenced by my emotional state at any given time. So I find that when I get in one of those really funky moods, the best possible thing for me to do is write. It’s not even so much of writing the reason I’m upset, but having something else to channel all of that negative energy into is huge.

And once I’m done, I feel loads better. My characters might hate me, or some poor schmuck (on paper, of course) may be a bit dead, but at least that negativity isn’t still inside, eating away at me.

Emotion is one of the most powerful things we have as writers. We’re trying to make the reader laugh or cry or scream or all of the above, so why not do it ourselves? I actually started using my emotions to write a couple years back with this story that was (then, anyway) called Darkness Round The Sun. It was the story of two guys who fell in love with each other, even though one of them was from a family of total religious zealots.

I was totally broken, for some reason when I sat down to write the opening paragraph, and that brokenness translated onto the page and still to this day people tell me it’s the best opening I’ve ever written. I was in a really dark place when I wrote it and I think that’s one of the reasons the story is as dark as it is. But besides dark, it’s emotional. It’s thrilling and it’s heartbreaking and it may just be a tear-jerker, but it wouldn’t be any of those things without the emotion I had to work through and onto the page.

Even with SPARKS FLY, I had to work through this mass of irritation so it could be written because there was so much…crap surrounding its conception and writing. I won’t bore you with the details here, but just know that I almost gave up during the process of working on that one. The important thing, though, is that the reader is going to feel what you feel. One of my pals on Twitter told me a few weeks ago that if you get bored with your story, then the reader will get bored, ten-fold. So why not give yourself over to the emotions you want them to feel? I promise you, it’ll make the book better.

*Giveaway*

So even though the epic contest is over, I’m gonna do a giveaway here, just because Shoshanna is so awesome. One commenter is going to win a copy of Sparks Fly today. *****Just leave your email address and preferred format and I’ll choose the winner with the help of random.org at midnight.

Blurb for SPARKS FLY:

The world ended with the scream of a child...

When Eduardo Harvelle meets Lincoln James on board The Miracle, a cruise ship promising to take their all-male passengers to meet the last woman in existence, sparks fly. Literally. Sparks surround strange unexpected passenger deaths like an aura. When the corpses start turning up wherever Lincoln happens to be, all eyes turn to him. Could the only man Eduardo has ever allowed himself to have feelings for be a murderer? Or are there more sinister forces at work aboard the Miracle, and beyond...?


Sparks Fly is now available from Etopia Press as well as All Romance Ebooks, Amazon Kindle and on the Nook.

Thanks, again for having me, Sho!

You can find me online at:

Brienmichaels.com

Brienmichaels.blogspot.com

Twitter.com/brienmichaels


Goodreads.com/brienmichaels

Sunday, July 31, 2011

What is August 40K?

Hello Fellow Writers!

Ready to get some serious writing done? Is the writing challenge of 1K a day starting to seem too easy, LOL?

In the spirit of NaNoWriMo (but in no way affiliated with NaNoWriMo, natch), let's write 40,000 words in the month of August.

There are no rules. This is free and everyone is invited to join. Just write 40K words and comment each day on the blog I created just for August, with your word count progress. The blog is http://august40k.blogspot.com/

You can also use the Twitter hashtag #Aug40K when you Tweet your updates. It'll be just like May 50K, which was so much fun and really productive for so many of us. I've chosen 40K instead of 50k this month because I have some edits to do on other books at the same time.


So, come on over to the blog: http://august40k.blogspot.com/ 

YAY!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Info Dump - How NOT to do it

Hello Fellow Writers!

I'm so lucky that the very talented multi-published (and fellow Ellora's Cave author) Lily Harlem has offered to share her essay on the dangers of dumping loads of information smack in the middle of your novel. Beware - the Info Dump!


Rarely excusable or well-written, the info dump is often disguised as amusing dialogue. Seldom can info dumps be forgiven regardless of the cleverness or wit involved because they are intrinsically boring. They are often dull because they relate past events, generally to set up conflicts. Conflicts are good (no conflict, no story, right?) but if backstory is necessary, weave it in or write a prologue, with the information in an action scene. In other words: show, don't tell.

Info dumps receive frequent and disdainful comments from both readers and writers. Bad examples of the info dump abound, but are found most frequently and offensively in sequels. I shall not embarrass their authors by naming them here, except for one author who is beyond shame because he's dead. In the Foundation series, Isaac Asimov uses articles from the Encyclopaedia Galactica to provide readers with backstory and information he wanted the reader to know but couldn't easily or artfully weave into narrative, action, dialogue tag or dialogue.

Narratives, by the way, comprise the very dullest info dumps especially when disguised as introspection. If you write one at or near the beginning of a book chances are you won't sell it unless your track record justifies the sale.

The most annoying and insulting info dumps occur in romance series or miniseries and will often include a saccharine scene in which the heroines of the previous books get together for a lunch or a coffee. The girl chat will include showing off their adorable babies and recounting the plots of past series books. This recounting is the info dump, and it is insulting in the extreme due to its lack of disguise. "Remember when Trey fought the bear? Oh, I was so scared that I went straight into his arms! And that was the night that Adora, here, was conceived." Heroine bounces baby on her knee. Baby coos. Reader barfs. Book hits wall.

Not only are these passages icky but they're unnecessary. We don't need to know about Trey, the bear and Adora unless the bear appears as an antagonist in the current book. But let me point out examples of well-written info dumps. The entire first chapter of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is an info dump. Written from the point of view of the British prime minister, the chapter does an admirable job of providing the reader with the information s/he would need to understand and enjoy the sixth book of her seven book series. The writing is witty and the technique well-executed. Not to mention the author’s credentials and past sales will hit the spot in the ‘guaranteed good read’ department.

In Definitely Dead, Charlaine Harris gives us plenty of information to ground us in the world of Sookie Stackhouse, her companions and her loves. But Harris takes her time providing us with the information we need to understand Sookie and her life, using two chapters to weave in the data we need. There's plenty of dialogue and action to keep the reader interested in the sixth book in the series.

Cassandra Clare puts a massive info dump deep into City of Glass, Book Three of The Mortal Instruments trilogy. But, because we have become so immersed in her world and her characters, the info dump, disguised as a significant character's reminiscences, is not only welcome but riveting. The information is important to the reader, revealing numerous secrets we really want to know about characters we've come to love. Emotion infuses the memories, and in a great book, emotion is always key. Clare's info dump fascinates rather than repels because its revelations are provided after the reader has become deeply invested in the story and the characters.

In summary of this rule: When you provide backstory, weave it in with care. Write "snippets, not chunks."
Reportedly, there are entire books published that are nothing but info dumps. Series authors who use an entire book to set up future books in the series leaving vast numbers of threads hanging. There’s no real ending… books, even in a series, must have a satisfying conclusion of some sort.

Remember, info dumps are usually boring, and beside the point, at least in a romance. Romances are about two people falling in love. Stray from that notion and you're writing something else. You may turn out a wonderful book, but it won't be a romance. When writing romance, try to keep your lovers on every page as much as possible, interacting with each other, dealing with their conflicts and creating a lasting, loving relationship.
Lily Harlem is an award winning author of erotic romance and lives in the UK with a workaholic hunk and a crazy cat. She writes for Ellora’s Cave, Total-E-Bound and Xcite as well as featuring in numerous UK and US anthologies. Her stories are made up of colourful characters travelling on everyone’s favourite journey — falling in love.

Thanks Lily for sharing your thoughts with us! What do you guys think - have you had problems with either reading or writing info dumps before?

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm Interviewed on Lynne Robert's blog!

Hello Fellow Writers!

The lovely author Lynne Roberts has interviewed me on her blog, if you care to find out what I eat at three in the morning and what teenage dare I chickened out on, click here and say hi!

I've also got the blurb up for my recently released erotic romance novella from The Wild Rose Press, Taste of Candy ;) FYI, the heroine's name is Candy. Yup, it's that kind of book.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm Interviewed on Rachel Leigh's Blog!

Hello Fellow Writer!

Today I'm over at author Rachel Leigh's blog, where's she's asked me all sorts of writing-related questions, including what surprised me the most about becoming a published author, and what my typical day looks like (hint: it involves a lot of writing and promo, LOL).

Stop by, say hi!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I Used to Dream of Release Days

Hello Fellow Writers!
The day a new book comes out is always an exciting time for me. It gets me thinking back to a not-very-long-ago time when I dreamed and dreamed of having a published book come out. I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to write books and have people read them. Thank you to my readers, I love you all!

As many of you know, today is release day for Taste of Candy! Here's the post I put on my author site, www.ShoshannaEvers.com. I don't usually put excerpts on The Writer's Challenge since I like to think of this blog as PG-rated, but this excerpt (unlike the book) isn't too graphic. Still, please only read further if you are over eighteen. Thanks!

Taste of Candy Available Now!

My latest erotic romance novella, Taste of Candy, is now available from The Wild Rose Press.

Sizzling Hot Books reviewed it here, and Thomas said:
Taste of Candy is a great book. I loved the way that the author builds the relationship between the two characters. I would recommend Taste of Candy to all erotica readers.”

Here’s the blurb:
Candace “Candy” Bryce can’t believe her luck when she wins a dinner date with Dave Roads, the lead singer of a hot new band. Not only is he a drop dead gorgeous rock star, but after she lets it slip that she's never been able to reach orgasm with a man, he seems bent on giving Candy what she needs. Who knew all it would take is a little "tie me up," a few toys and Dave's merciless desire for a Taste of Candy?

And here’s an adult’s only excerpt:

Candy took another sip of the wine to buy time. Who wouldn’t want to hook up with a rock star? And he was so amazingly sexy…but he didn’t know what she was like in bed. According to all three of her ex-boyfriends, she was a prude. A cold, vanilla prude. But something about Dave made her feel sexy and exciting…
“I should tell you something,” she whispered.
Dave leaned in to hear her, a lock of his dark hair falling into his warm brown eyes.
“I’ve never been able to reach, um, that point with anyone.”
Dave frowned. “You’re a virgin?”
“No. I mean, I’ve never been able to have an orgasm with a man before.”
“How do you…relieve the tension?”
Candy lowered her voice even more, so that she could barely be heard above the quiet murmur of the other dining guests. “I’m fine if I’m by myself. Just um…not with anyone else.”
Dave broke out into a grin. “I’m taking that as a personal challenge. I’m going to make you come tonight.”
Was this really happening?
Their food came then, and Candy dove into her filet mignon with relish, enjoying how the meat practically melted in her mouth. “Delicious,” she murmured appreciatively.
“Not as delicious as you’re going to taste,” Dave said as he put down his steak knife.
“I really wouldn’t know.”
“Oh come on, are you telling me no guy has ever gone down on you before?”
“Well, I’ve never felt comfortable enough to do that, exactly. I get embarrassed.”
“I just need to get you to the point where you can’t think about anything except what I’m making you feel.”
Candy squirmed in her seat with barely contained excitement. “How?”
“I’d really like to tie you up so you can’t get away and then take my time bringing you to orgasm.”
Candy got wet at the thought of his mouth on her body, her hands tied above her head. She’d never done anything like that before. “I don’t know…”
“Why not? It’s just one night. One night to forget everything you thought you knew about yourself sexually and just let go.”

Here’s Taste of Candy on The Wild Rose Press site. If you buy it (only $2.50!) please email me and let me know what you think! I love to hear from readers and writers. My email is shoshanna.evers @ yahoo.com (no spaces).

Sexily *Evers* After… ShoshannaEvers.com   Twitter   Facebook   Blog   Titles at Ellora’s Cave

Monday, July 11, 2011

Squee! Good reviews!

Hello Fellow Writers!

I got some great reviews recently of my books, and I wanted to share :)

This one is for Chastity Belt from Ellora's Cave. (Read the whole review here) Thomas from Sizzling Hot Books said:
"Overall, Chastity Belt is a great read. I loved how the author built up the tension between the characters. I would recommend Chastity Belt to anyone that likes BDSM and surprises with the characters."

Yay!  The same reviewer reviewed my upcoming release Taste of Candy from The Wild Rose Press, and said:
"A Taste of Candy is a great book. I loved the way that the author builds the relationship between the two characters. I would recommend A Taste of Candy to all erotica readers."
(read the whole review here)

I've never gotten a pre-release review before :) Usually my reviews roll in several weeks after my books debut. I hope when Taste of Candy comes out on Friday that you guys like it as much as he did! *Fingers crossed*

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sitting in the Front of the Class

My husband jokes that when it comes to school, I'm like Hermoine from the Harry Potter books, always sitting in the front with my hand raised.

Guilty as charged. I even wrote a blog post about it over at Gee/k/ink. Stop by, say hi, and find out how that affects me as an author (and how it might affect you, too!)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sold! To Cleis Press - Best Bondage Erotica 2012

Hello Fellow Writers!

I'm thrilled that my short erotic story Melting Ice will be a part of the Cleis Press anthology Best Bondage Erotica 2012. It's already up on Amazon for pre-order.

Melting Ice is unusual in that this erotic story has no hero - it's just the heroine alone, working her way through her first self-bondage experience. Now picture a key encased in ice, slowly melting... and you get why the story is entitled Melting Ice ;)

Best Bondage Erotica 2012 will come out December 2011, right around the same time when the Berkley anthology Agony/Ecstasy will be available, with my story The Wooden Pony. Two books in one month! That'll make for an exciting holiday around the Evers household :)

Here is a link to the Best Bondage Erotica 2012 table of contents on editor Rachel Kramer Bussel's blog.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sold! To Ellora's Cave - Bedhead

Hello Fellow Writers,

I have exciting news - Ellora's Cave Publishing just contracted my fifth book with them, an erotic romance novella starring a heroine with alopecia - that is, she's bald.

The book is titled Bedhead and it will be a part of the multi-author upcoming plastic-surgery series Skin Deep.

SQUEE!

And just a reminder, Taste of Candy is coming out July 15th from The Wild Rose Press. :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Call for Submissions




Call for Submissions

Calling all multi-published erotic romance authors!

Shoshanna Evers will be independently publishing a non-fiction ebook on the craft of writing hot sex scenes. The essays should be between 2,000 and 4,000 words.

Authors may quote from their own books as examples throughout their essays (keeping in mind copyright fair use laws) and provide buy links to each book they quote. Each essay will conclude with the authors’ links for their websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, author pages on publisher’s websites, as well as Amazon author pages.

Approximately ten essays will be accepted for publication.

This call is for erotic romance authors (or romance authors who write steamy sex scenes) who have numerous romance books previously published, preferably by more than one publisher. If you’re unsure if you’re a candidate please feel free to query first at shoshanna.evers @ yahoo. com (no spaces).

Here’s the blurb for the upcoming book
“How to Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors”

This collection of essays by multi-published erotic romance authors details the art of writing sizzling hot sex scenes.
Whether you’re writing sensual, steamy, or full-on explicit sex scenes, writers can learn from the authors who write and sell sexy books for a living. Do you want to write erotica? Or an erotic romance? Perhaps you just want to add some hot sexual tension to your romance novel.
This is the book for you.
Here you’ll find essays on the art of writing smokin’ hot vanilla sex, gay sex, BDSM, kink, and ménage, as well as essays on how to find paying markets and publishers for your books and short stories.
“How to Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors” gives you all the information you need to write sex well and get published!


Deadline: August 8th 2011

Guidelines for Submissions

• Unpublished essays only
• Author must be a multi-published erotic (or steamy) romance author, e-published is fine
• Word count: 2000 to 4000 words
• Electronic submissions only to: shoshanna.evers@ yahoo. com (no spaces)
• e-mail subject line: Submission: AuthorName _TitleOfEssay
• .rtf, .doc, or .docx attachment (essay)
• e-mail body (and put on your cover page as well): essay title, author legal name, pseudonym if any (make clear which is which), address, phone, e-mail, word count, author bio and your links

Essay Format:

• Times New Roman; 12 pt; .rtf, .doc, or .docx
• double-spaced; number pages upper right; standard paragraphing; no HTML
• file name: AuthorName_TitleOfEssay

General Info:

• You will receive an email confirming submission receipt within 7 days
• Submission decisions will be provided by e-mail by October 2011
• Payment: $50 and copy of the ebook
• Please send questions to: shoshanna.evers@ yahoo. com (no spaces)

Contact Information:

For inquiries and submissions: shoshanna.evers@ yahoo. com (no spaces)



About Shoshanna Evers:

Shoshanna Evers is a multi-published erotic romance author. When she’s not writing hot sex, she’s a newspaper advice columnist, a registered nurse, and a stay-at-home mom. She is published with Ellora’s Cave, The Wild Rose Press and Berkley/Jove. Shoshanna is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

Email: shoshanna.evers@ yahoo. com (no spaces)
Website: www.ShoshannaEvers.com
Blog: www.TheWritersChallenge.com
follow Shoshanna Evers on Twitter
friend Shoshanna Evers on Facebook 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Q&A with the "So You Want to Write a Novel" Guy!

Hello Fellow Writers!
Today we have the creator of the hilarious "So You Want to Write a Novel" video answering questions for us. Here's the video, in case you've been living in a wi-fi-less cabin in the woods and haven't seen it:



Shoshanna: What made you create the viral Youtube video, So You Want to Write a Novel?

David Kazzie: About a year ago, I decided to take a break from writing fiction and I started writing a weekly humor blog. Because the world needed another writer's blog, right? I'd always wanted to do a humor piece about practicing law (my day job), but I couldn't come up with an angle that wasn't already tired and cliched -- making fun of lawyers is not, surprisingly, a unique subset of comedy.


Then I saw a hilarious video called iPhone 4 vs. HTC Evo, created with Xtranormal's super-easy-to-use animation website, and I thought the format would work well for a conversation between a jaded lawyer and idealistic law student. I wrote So You Want to Go to Law School one weekend and posted it to YouTube. Much to my amazement, it blew up within a few days, and it has since gotten about 1.4 million hits.


A bunch of other So You Want To... videos started popping up all over the place, but I realized around Thanksgiving that no one had done one about writing and publishing. I thought the Law School format would work well for a writing video too, so I sat down on the day before Thanksgiving, banged out the script for So You Want to Write a Novel, and sent it out on its merry way. I was really trying to roll every horror story, every misconception a new writer might have about the business into one clueless character. It caught fire over Thanksgiving weekend and started making the rounds with literary agents, editors and writers.

Shoshanna: How did you get your literary agent?

David Kazzie:  At its peak in early December, the Novel video was getting shared on Facebook several hundred times per hour. I stumbled across a bunch of literary agencies and authors that had posted the videos on their public Facebook pages, including the Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency. This thrilled me because Ann represents Dennis Lehane, one of my favorite writers. I left a comment thanking them for posting the video, and I didn't think much else of it at the time. A few days later Ann contacted me directly. We got to talking, and I explained who I was, what I had done, and where I planned to go with my career. We chatted off an on for the next month or so, she began reading my blog archives, and at the end of January, she offered to represent me and my career going forward. It was really unbelievable.

Shoshanna: You have an agent but you just self-published your debut book. Why? 

David Kazzie: I'd been monitoring the self-publishing revolution for a while, even before I wrote the videos and signed with Ann. I had a manuscript that I really believed in, even though I had reached the end of the line with querying it last year. As the months went by, the evidence that a sea change in publishing was underway was piling up, and I couldn't ignore it any longer. A couple months ago, I discussed it with Ann, and I decided that this was a perfect opportunity for me. My videos still get 1,500 to 2,000 hits per day, but I realize, the Internet being what it is, that might not last. So why not strike now, while the iron is hot with this new way of reaching readers? Starting in March, I spent every free moment I had getting The Jackpot ready. I probably worked as hard on getting it ready for publication as I did writing it in the first place


Shoshanna: Will you continue to self-publish books if you end up selling to New York?

David Kazzie: I don't know the answer to that yet. My new approach to my career is to look at everything as a business-related decision. I'm trying to build a small business here. My product is my writing, whether it's a Tweet, a blog post, an animated video, or a novel. I'll do whatever I think is best to build the business. Plus, I really trust Ann's judgment on these kinds of things, so I'm sure I'll be carefully considering the advice she gives me


Shoshanna:  How has your experience with self-publishing been so far? Sales good?

David Kazzie: Like I said earlier, it was a TON of work to get the book ready for publication. I hired an editor, a cover artist, and an e-book formatter. I read my novel about eight times in 6 weeks. It was very rewarding to see the finished product, but it was exhausting. As for sales, I've tried to find statistics for other self-pubbed authors' first month or two of sales, even the ones that went one to be huge successes, and I'm happy to say that my early numbers exceed many of those. But time will tell if I can match those authors' big explosions down the road. I hope so.

Shoshanna: Do you worry about the stigma self-publishing has had in the past, or do you think the stigma has disappeared now that many traditionally published authors are dipping their feet into the self-publishing waters?

David Kazzie: I thought I would worry about the stigma, but I really haven't. Like you said, so many traditionally published authors are giving it a shot. Plus, my goal is to become a full-time fiction writer, and if self-publishing opens that door for me, I for one welcome our new e-reader overlords. An author who flatly refuses to consider self-publishing as an option is really just hurting himself and ignoring the reality of what's happening in publishing.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/davidkazzie
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SoYouWantTo

Blog: http://wahoocorner.blogspot.com

Shoshanna: Where can we sample and buy your book?
Amazon: http://amzn.to/lE9pfQ
BN.com: http://bit.ly/jSutm9
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/k1jT2x

Blurb for The Jackpot

It hasn't been a very good day for attorney Samantha Khouri. She's been passed over for partner at her law firm, she's coming down with the flu, and she's discovered that her parents' business is teetering on the brink of failure, thanks to a brother widely known as the world's dumbest terrorist. But when she discovers her financially desperate boss is planning to steal their new client's gigantic winning lottery ticket, she realizes her day is just getting started.

After witnessing a violent confrontation that leaves the ticket in her hand, Samantha will risk everything to return the $415 million fortune to its rightful owner. But Samantha's nothing-to-lose boss isn't the only one hunting for the ticket. A homicidal mercenary has been hired to track it down at all costs, and he will stop at nothing to find it.

And as her pursuers close in, Samantha must resist the growing temptation to show up at SuperLotto headquarters, smile for the camera, and walk away with the biggest jackpot in American history.


Link to Chapter On of The Jackpot

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Signed with a Literary Agent!!

March 2014 UPDATE: 
This wonderful agent sold 7 books for me in our three years (including the one I queried her about, to Simon & Schuster Pocket). We have recently parted ways amicably.

Okay, now you can read the post, because it's still relevant if you're interested in how authors get agents ;)

November 2011:
Hello Fellow Writers,

Let me start by saying OMG. OMG.

Okay, so here's what happened.... last month I went to a NJ RWA meeting where they were having a panel of agents and editors talking. The whole thing was fascinating, and I ended up being late to the group buffet lunch that they had going on after.

What's that you say? Irrelevant? No. Here's why. By the time I got downstairs, every table was full, except for one seat next the lovely Courtney Miller-Callihan of Sanford J Greenburger Associates. That's the agency that represents Dan Brown of The Da Vinci Code fame. Ya know, no big deal.

So we spent lunch chatting about our toddlers etcetera, and at the end of the day I asked if I could query her. No pitch, just if she wouldn't mind if I emailed her a pitch.

The next day I think she requested the full and followed me on Twitter. (she's @millercallihan if you want to follow her too!)

A few weeks went by, and she @ replied me on Twitter saying she was loving my manuscript and would get back to me ASAP.

I called all my friends and asked what they thought ASAP meant in literary-agent speak. Ten seconds? Ten days? Ten weeks?

Shoshanna Evers and literary agent Courtney Miller-Callihan
of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.
A couple weeks later she emailed to set up a time to call, but there was no offer or anything, so I still wasn't sure what that meant. Did it mean she wanted to call and tell me she loved the manuscript but NY would never buy it because it was too gritty/weird, as so many other agents (four) had said?

I told her I'd be signing cover flats at the Ellora's Cave booth at the Book Expo the following day if she wanted to stop by and say hi. Sorry, this story is getting really long, but I'm always interested in how other people got their agent, so that's why I'm telling it like this.

She did, but neither of us had time to chat since she was busy being an agent and I was busy being an author. So when I was done signing, we went and got lunch and talked about the toddlers again and then SHE OFFERED TO REPRESENT MY BOOK!

And that's how it went. I'm thrilled, naturally. The book in question is a post-apocalyptic romance, sort of dystopia meets erotica, and I wrote it during NaNoWriMo.

Squee!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Writing in Different Genres: Erotica & Children's Books - Jennifer Probst

Hello Fellow Writers!
We have a guest blog today from Jennifer Probst, a multi-pubbed romance author and children's book author, who is both traditionally published and self-published, and is rocking both markets!

WRITING IN DIFFERENT GENRES: MAKE THEM WORK FOR YOU

By Jennifer Probst


I’m a romance writer. And damn proud of it. I’ve always known I’d write romance novels, and when ignorant people would question whether I would write a “real” book one day, I’d launch into my tirade armed with facts about the romance market. It took me years before I made my first sale to a print on demand publisher. It wasn’t my first choice, but my best choice at the time. Sales were dim, but I made a name for myself and learned a lot.

My second book was better suited to the erotic romance market. Red Sage was an up and coming publisher and I was thrilled when they bought my novella, “Masquerade” for Secrets Volume 11. Then life took hold and I got married, bought a house, had a baby, then had another one. My writing focus switched to papers for my master’s in English literature, and parenting stories regarding the journey in motherhood. When things settled, I got back to my first love of romance and sold another novella to Red Sage, “The Tantric Principle.”
But something else happened along the way.

My niece told me this wonderful story about a rabbit named Buffy who fell in love with a carrot. My boys begged to hear it over and over again, and something sparked within me. I felt the story could do well as a book. I believed in it, and wanted to encourage my niece to pursue her dreams and let nothing stop her. We sat together and I drafted the story, changing it for publication. Then we drafted ideas for the illustrations and recruited a family friend to do the pictures. We edited until it was perfect. Buffy and the Carrot was born.
Then I sent it out.

I knew the romance market well, but had never researched the children’s market. I found it a bit difficult without a prior track record or an agent. I made a detailed list and forwarded the story to numerous publishers. Then received multiple rejections.

But I believed in this story. Enough that I decided to take a chance on an alternate route. I wasn’t interested in publishing an e-book. But a company called Strategic Marketing peaked my interest so I sent them a query.
They offered a joint venture contract. This means, they split the cost of the book with me 50/50. That way, I also got 50% royalties. Their traditional publishing contract offers no payments up front, but only limited royalties on the book. If I sold 1000 copies, I’d automatically be placed in another tier and would never have to pay for them to publish my book again. In other words, I needed to prove myself by sales first.
I spoke with my brother and we decided to split the cost and give it a try.

Benefits? You don’t have to figure out how to do anything. You submit your edited text, your illustrations, and they take care of the rest. They get you a cover. They do the back cover. They do the setting and the printing. They give you your own author webpage for sales (see mine here)


They give you a specialized royalty site so you can track your book and get your royalty checks every quarter. They get you on Barnes and Noble.com and Amazon.com. They give you free marketing tips, and offer press releases. They have a huge marketing program you can take advantage of – but most of it costs extra. You can pick and choose what you’d like to participate in, including book expos in other countries. They give you the tools to succeed. They offer personalized marketing coaching if you have questions. Whenever I did have a question or problem, they immediately got back to me so I had no issues with customer service.

Drawbacks? Like self publishing, you’re on your own with the editing. I had a few people go through the manuscript, but I still missed one tiny thing that was too late to fix. You will not be in brick and mortar bookstores. You have to price your book pretty high – mine went for $11.50 – because if you sell through Amazon or discount sellers they take a high cut. The royalty on the Strategic site versus Amazon is pretty hefty, and most customers stick with Amazon. They have limited advertising – a facebook fan page and limited press release. Everything else is extra money.

With the advent of self publishing and indie books, there could have been a better alternative, but this was the right match for me. I wanted to see this book in print. I did not feel like spending days learning how to self publish or format a children’s book myself, especially with illustrations. The fee wasn’t hefty enough to be impossible – but it was enough to give me the incentive I need to go out and sell books to reap my money back. Then the rest is all gravy.

Marketing is key. With the amount of books available, we concentrated on the uniqueness of a young first time author taking the lead. We scheduled library book signings and interviews on various blogs. We sent books to review sites, used social networking tools, and read to pre-k classes. Because we both live in different cities, our fan base is spread out and more book sales can be completed. We placed an ad in the pennysaver and local papers for little cost.

For my niece, this experience has been priceless and well worth the effort. We have something we wrote together that can sell for many years down the line. The key is being smart with marketing – do a different event each month to keep your name out there. I always have giveaways ready for the kids, and birthdays and holidays I always suggest giving a book as a gift.
What I found most difficult on a personal level is the mingling of a children’s book with an erotic romance. They are on opposite sides of the camp, and I am using the same name. This presented a unique challenge but I felt strong about using my own name and building both platforms. I created a tagline A Little Bit Naughty…A Little Bit Nice…

I split my followers into mommy bloggers and romance writers/readers and made sure to comment and be a good friend to both camps. I belong to two separate groups in Linked In and Yahoo and built up my contacts. After all, romance authors have children. They buy children’s books. I believed it was possible to tap both markets.

I divided my marketing campaigns. I advertised and focused on my romance novels one month, and my children’s book the next. Cross sales will hopefully benefit my older titles, and my upcoming titles.
I am a firm believer in loving what you write. Some authors are born to be two different identities and write for different genres. I enjoy the challenge of building up my own name in all of my endeavors.

I currently have a short story regarding a dog I will be self-publishing in e-format soon, so that is another market I am venturing into.

Author Jennifer Probst
A writer must always grow, and feel challenged by the subject. The first motto an editor drilled into my brain was the following statement: “Write a great book.” The first motto an author drilled into my brain was the following statement: “Write the book of your heart.” By combining both of them with some savvy marketing techniques, I believe a writer can have it all.

Check out my website at: http://www.jenniferprobst.com
Check out my blog at: http://jenniferprobst.wordpress.com
Follow me on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jenniferprobst
Visit me on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Jennifer-Probst-Fan-Page/111073648957581
Visit my mommy blog at: http://4badmommies.com