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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Why Authors QUIT Writing

There is a very good blog post called Things Indie Writers Learned in 2014 on KrisWrites.com.

I think the part Kris wrote about why writers QUIT was especially important.
To quote:

Writers have disappeared from the dawn of publishing. I wrote an entire three-blog series about that in 2012, listing 12 reasons why writers stop writing.

Those twelve reasons are:
  1. Writers can’t get a new book contract under that name.
  2. They can’t get a new book contract because their genre has vanished.
  3. They became toxic—and that toxicity trickled through the entire industry.
  4. They achieved all their goals.
  5. They were no longer interested in writing.
  6. They moved to a different part of the industry.
  7. They got discouraged.
  8. They couldn’t handle the solitude.
  9. They couldn’t handle the financial problems inherent in a writing career.
  10. They had life or health issues that interfered with the writing
  11. They didn’t keep up with the changes in the industry.
  12. They sold or gave away too many rights to their books.
- See more at: http://kriswrites.com/2014/12/23/business-musings-things-indie-writers-learned-in-2014/
Okay, it's me, Shoshanna Evers again. I am lucky that the core group of authors I became friendly with when I first got published in 2010 are still around, still writing books. Maybe it's because I met those authors within traditional publishing, which probably meant those authors had already been writing for a while in order get a publishing contract to begin with, and so were less likely to disappear from the scene than someone who decides to write a short story and self-publish it on Amazon, and then decides nevermind about being an author....? (Obviously I'm not saying that is the case with all or even most self-publishers. But maybe it is for those who quit?)

In the past almost 5 years, I've seen lots of authors come onto the scene with a flash and then vanish after one or two books.

Writing book after book after book, year after year, in solitude, is not for everyone. I think some people try it once, decide the payout wasn't "worth it" or the time wasn't "worth it" and go back to their regular lives. You kinda have to just love it so much you can't imagine being happy doing anything else. Even when I hate it, I love it. :)

Sometimes I think about quitting all social media and promotion, and focus on just writing and sending out a newsletter when I have a new release. But then I'd miss out on actually connecting with the very people I'm writing for. I cherish the friendships I've made with readers. But if I felt burned-out, I would quit social media and promo before I quit writing.

I think if there is anything in the world that someone can do *other* than write, they should do that other thing. Because choosing to be a writer is a very hard path. It's not for the faint of heart.

This year, regarding changes, I chose to continue traditional publishing with NY in addition to indie-publishing, because having advance money upfront takes a lot of the fear-factor out of waiting to see if a book sells before you make any money. That said, I can't see myself giving up indie-publishing because I love the control so much, and the monthly income (NY pays twice a year... Hard to budget on that, plus royalties are lower per book than self-pub) even if the monthly self-pub income has lowered with the introduction of Kindle Unlimited. We'll just have to adapt and figure out ways around it so we can make enough money to keep on goin' on! :)

That's what keeps authors around, and what turns aspiring writers into published authors: We don't quit. We adapt to changes. We stay nimble and we KEEP WRITING!!!

All my best,
Shoshanna Evers

Sexily *Evers* After... ShoshannaEvers.com
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

I am Not Your Melody releases Jan 6th!

Sign up for my newsletter to hear about new releases first,
and read excerpts you won't find in the sample pages!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

How to Win #NaNoWriMo

Bustle.com has a great article up today about how to win #NaNoWriMo, and they actually mentioned me as a winner with a good tip to use! :)

(clicking image makes it bigger!)

Let me explain that tip in more depth, here, excerpted/updated from the original post Bustle linked to:

Rule number 1 for NaNoWriMo: Give yourself permission to suck! 

Leave the typos and plot holes in place, and just keep going. Don't go back and reread - like another commenter said, write a quick note to yourself at the end of the session so you know where to go, like (Hero and heroine have first kiss and she gets upset when villain interrupts.) I actually do that all the time, not just for Nano.

If you find yourself realizing you need to make a change (like you gave away too much info in first chapter) just keep writing as if you've already made the change, and when it's time to edit you can go back and make the change. You can even write a note to yourself like (pretend they never kissed) and keep going. 

Many writers can write 1000 words in an hour, so if you give yourself two hours a day you can meet your goal. During Nano I try to write 2K a day to account for days when something happens (like Thanksgiving). 

Side note: every day is NaNoWriMo for me; I write at least 2K words a day, every day, in order to keep up with contractual commitments and you know, write a lot of books :)

The Pulse, Book 1 in the Pulse Trilogy was written during NaNoWriMo (75k words);  Snowed in With the Tycoon (a book I self-published and which makes me some nice income every month), and The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby (which was published by Entangled Indulgence, and hit the B&N Nook Bestseller list) were also written in a Nano-esque month. So good books can come out of it, it's all about December and revisions :) 

Most importantly, have fun with it. When you don't know what to write next, add in a new secret, a new character, or a new obstacle. Instant plot twist! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

How to Write Realistic Domestic Settings in Fiction

TL;DR: Little details pulled from real-life homes, cities, and jobs that you already know well, can add that extra depth and realism to your fiction.

* * *

In short, visit as many different houses as you can, and take a tour. Maybe it's your friend's house or apartment. Look for open houses you'll never be able to afford, and at open houses in places your character might live. (Be honest and tell the Realtor you are just looking, and not planning on buying within the year, so they don't waste time on you). I worked as a maid for a short time in LA, long ago, and got to see the insides of some incredible homes.

For cities/towns: go to as many places as you can, different cities, or even look online at Google Maps, or watch movies set in cities you want to write about.

I mainly use my own experiences if I'm going to draw on realism for little bits here and there, rather than family history. However, my family history affects who I am, and what sort of experiences I've had.

My family is very New York, (Brooklyn on my dad's side, Manhattan on my mom's), and very Jewish. Having been raised in a Jewish home, it absolutely affects my writing, even if I don't mention religion at all (and even if I consider myself to be a Jewish Christian, now). Someone once pointed out that it's pretty hard to find someone eating pork in my books, lol! I have never in my life eaten a pork chop, or even know how to prepare one, so it wouldn't feel "real" to me to add a small detail like that.

I often use settings I know well, which is why you'll find a lot of stories set where I grew up, in the expensive suburb of NYC that is Westchester County, NY. (Think The Enslaved Trilogy, set in Westchester, NY and NYC, or The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby, also set in Westchester), and in cities I spent time living in, like NYC (The Pulse Trilogy) and Los Angeles (Hollywood Spank). I'm currently living in northern Idaho, and I'm writing a cowboy romance set in... north Idaho! :)

The careers my heroes and heroines have are almost always those that I've done myself (I've been an RN, EMT, housekeeper, telemarketer, actress, video store clerk, you name it!) -- or a career I know about from a friend, or one of my parents' friends, in addition to whatever research I add on top of it. My parents have some long-time family friends with incredible jobs in NY, and that's where I fashion the careers of most  of my Tycoons and Billionaires (sadly, I don't personally know any actual billionaires). There are more than a couple of nurses in my books, since I worked as an RN before leaving to write full time.

As I mentioned above, a long time before that, I worked as a housekeeper for rich folks in LA. I was very, very bad at this job, and didn't last long, lol. But I got an indepth look at amazing houses, at the nooks and crannies and closets and luxurious bathrooms, and I use those settings for my heroes' homes. However, long chunks of description are boring -- when I describe the layout of a house, it's usually only done as it relates to the character, such as "She peered over the open balcony looking down into the great room, watching him as he sat reading before the roaring fire."

I like to know what the interior house already looks like in my head, so I always use a real life point of reference, whether it's a tiny cabin in the woods, a suburban home, or a castle.

Many homes I write are dressed up versions of houses I know well, simply for the layout. I need to know in my head exactly where the kitchen is, where the heroine will head for the door and what room she'll end up in -- and it has to be the same, throughout the book. Some authors even draw a "blueprint" to stay on track!

If on page 1, your character can hear what's being said in the kitchen while she's in the living room, then she'll have to remember to whisper if she says something in the living room that she doesn't want people in the kitchen to know on page 96.

If on page 3, she stares out the window of the bedroom and sees the people walking by the front sidewalk, then she can't forget to close the blinds on page 82 when she undresses and needs privacy.

That's it! I'll repeat here what I put at the top, to close this up, because otherwise I'll just keep thinking of examples. Little details pulled from real-life homes, cities, and jobs that you already know well, can add that extra depth and realism to your fiction.

Happy Writing!
~Shoshanna Evers

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wicked Hot Reads Hits USA Today Bestseller List at #101!

I'm thrilled to announce that Wicked Hot Reads: Ten Paranormal Romances, a sexy box set book bundle featuring my Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining) hit the USA Today Bestseller list at #101!

Congrats to my fellow authors on the list, and THANK YOU to my readers! I love you guys! xoxo

  USA Today Bestseller Shoshanna Evers Wicked Hot Reads #101  

For those interested in how books get onto bestseller lists, this is from the USA Today site:
"USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list ranks the 150 top-selling titles each week based on an analysis of sales from U.S. booksellers. Contributors represent a variety of outlets: bookstore chains, independent bookstores, mass merchandisers and online retailers. Learn more about our list."

Wanna Get Wicked?

WICKED HOT READS: Ten Paranormal Romances

Wicked Hot Reads: Ten Paranormal Romances by Shoshanna Evers
Indulge in ten sexy paranormal romance novels, written by New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance authors. With shifters, vampires, demons, and otherworldly creatures all looking for their own forever-loves... This box set bundle will get you in the mood for a sensual Halloween! The books in Wicked Hot Reads: 10 Paranormal Romances would cost over $30 to buy individually. Save $29 by getting the bundle for just 99c for a limited time!

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY: Amazon, B&NGooglePlayKobo, iBooks 
WICKED HOT READS: Ten Paranormal Romances

Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining) by NYT & USA Today bestseller Shoshanna Evers: The Beast can’t let his little Beauty go free, not while there’s still hope that she might be the one to end his decade-long curse…

Knocking on Demon's Door by NYT & USA Today bestseller Cathryn Fox: When Michelle discovers what's really going on at the resort, will her trust in a demon turn her in to one of the missing, or will he save her from the real monsters?

The Wolf Who Played With Fire by NYT & USA Today bestseller Sarah Mäkelä: Mia’s mistakes have forever changed the lives of those close to her, but when her soldier boyfriend, Ethan, goes missing on duty, she harness every magic power she possesses to get him safely back…

Fallen Ever After by NYT & USA Today bestseller A.C. James: Arie wanted Holly from the very first moment he met her, but the long-standing feud between the faeries that run the Chicago Crew puts Holly and other fledgling vampires in danger. Can they stop a vampire-fae war that’s been brewing for nearly a century?

Bared to Him by NYT & USA Today bestseller Jan Springer: Human by day, and a tentacle shapeshifter by night, sexy Gray Wagner, is the last male that Miranda Bolton dreams of falling in love with, until she begins to fantasize about all the naughty things he can do to her…

A Mate's Bite by USA Today bestseller Milly Taiden: After an explosive night of passion, Karla is sure she’s a one-night stand for the man she’s wanted for years, but Nate has marked Karla. Only true love and a wolf's promise can hold together a relationship created with a bite and a hope for tomorrow.

Archangel Rafe by Lisa Hughey: Angelina’s only respite from her overwhelming life is in her dreams with a stunningly hot angel, but when an unexpected threat puts both the Angelic Realm and Earth in jeopardy, Angelina will need to accept her destiny before it’s too late...

Blaze of Secrets by Jessie Donovan: Rescued from a prison for magic users, Kiarra is now a wanted criminal and must rely on a mysterious Brit to help her evade capture. Before long, her handsome rescuer becomes much more than just her trainer…

Mark of the Serapath by Titania Ladley: After a catastrophe unleashes Josie’s Serapathian witch magic, she suspects her sexy, mysterious lover is a Kynthian vampire ordered to kill all Serapaths. Despite the risks, passion explodes between them, threatening the future of the entire world.

Dragon’s Honor by Mina Carter: Bodyguard duty. Undercover. As human. Simple. Until shadow-dragon Baron realizes the woman they’re protecting is his mate. Add in a crazy warlock…and Baron might have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her.

AVAILABLE NOW - get all of these books for just 99c! Amazon, B&NGooglePlayKobo, iBooks
For a limited time only!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Writing, Marketing, Publishing: Shoshanna on Youtube, new video!

I was interviewed for an hour by Tom Corson-Knowles about
writing, marketing, and publishing! 

It was streamed live on Jun 23, 2014 at ebookpublishingschool.com  

Certain tidbits you'll find include (time marks are approximate):

My best tips and practices for writing and publishing a quality book (throughout!) :) Plus...
  • The value of outlines for a pantser (10:55)
  • How I doubled my daily word count (11:55)
  • About Revising: Writing is Rewriting! (17:00)
  • How I Launch a New Release (30:30)
I hope you enjoy it! 

From Tom Corson-Knowles, on Youtube: "Shoshanna Evers is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. She's written several novels, novellas and short stories including The Man Who Holds the Whip.

he has written in contemporary romance, romance and erotica. In today's show, Shoshanna shares a glimpse into her creative process and some of her top tips for creativity, writing, rewriting and editing, and marketing."

Show Notes:
Learn more about me at ShoshannaEvers.com

The Man Who Holds the Whip (my contribution to MAKE ME): http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Holds-Whip-ebook/dp/B00ALOIYY4/?tag=shoshevers-20

Blog post about changing a book title for a self-pub book without losing your reviews: http://www.thewriterschallenge.com/2014/06/changing-book-title-for-self-published.html

The Pulse Trilogy from S&S Pocket: http://shoshannaevers.com/post-apocalyptic-dystopian/

The Enslaved Trilogy from S&S Pocket: http://shoshannaevers.com/the-enslaved-trilogy/

Sexily *Evers* After... ShoshannaEvers.com
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

Sign up for my newsletter to hear about new releases first, and read excerpts you won't find in the sample pages!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Self-Publish Your Book Cheap, not Cheaply

I've been seeing far too many new authors publish with vanity presses and spend huge amounts of money, when they could do it themselves for much less, and end up with a better book.

These "self-publishing houses" which promise to publish you for thousands of dollars are, IMHO (and I'm not alone in feeling this way) such a rip off! 

Don't Get SCAMMED by a Vanity Publisher

Why yes, I will name names. I have to, since this post is meant to keep you from getting ripped off. In particular, I'm talking about:
  • Author Solutions (and its imprints, many listed below)
  • Author House
  • iUniverse
  • Outskirts Press
  • Xlibris
  • Trafford Publishing 
  • PublishAmerica (now remamed AmericaStar Books) - they say they are "free" but charge money for editing and more, and take control of your books.
Edited to Add: I found another vanity press charging up to $2K and disguised as a "self-publishing service":
  • Fast Pencil (and its imprints:)
    ~ Premiere
    ~ WaveCrest.
If you want to add one in the comments, feel free. There are more than I listed here.

Here's a few articles about the real deal with them:

Let's compare what most of these guys are offering for $999 against what the real cost is when I self-publish. Sometimes these vanity presses offer "basic" packages for paperback and ebook for $699, or packages that essentially just format your ebook and put it up for you, for $499 (or this one that doesn't even offer everything on the list below). I've seen these books and IMO they almost always do a really bad job, and, there are tons of articles about how they don't pay the royalties they should, which you might want to Google around for. Just put the name of the vanity press + Scam into Google).

"All Diamond books include" (for $999):
  • standard interior black & white layout: real cost is $50 for ebooks at Ebook Formatting Fairies (I've used them before and love them)
  • an ISBN number: free at the retailers (Createspace and Smashwords (which distributes everywhere but Amazon), and Amazon, and B&N
  • a price-embedded barcode: free with free Createspace (I use them for all of my self-pub paperbacks.) 
  • and unlimited wholesale printing, fulfillment, and distribution via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ingram, Baker &Taylor, Bertram, and others: free with Createspace and Smashwords (to reach everyone on that list plus more, except Amazon), and Amazon, and B&N
  • Paperback formatting: real cost is $50 for print layout for Createspace at Ebook Formatting Fairies or use a company from Mark's List
  • Standard web page: free with Wordpress, or $50-$250 to have one made for you by Winterheart (I've worked with them before I started spending more money) $13 for custom domain name with GoDaddy. Get the domain for even cheaper with these promo codes.
  • Cover (they offer a basic style you add your name to): To do exactly what the vanity presses offer, you can use the Createspace cover creator here for free. You can also make an ebook cover for free (or $1 per image or specialized text) at Canva. For a professional premade cover, most covers start at $69 for a one-of-a-kind cover from SelfPubBookCovers.com (full disclosure: I own that company, but you can go anywhere, it's your choice), or even cheaper depending on who you go with. Here's a list which includes cover designers and formatters, too: http://www.smashwords.com/list. Be prepared that many custom-designed professional covers cost around $200 and up. You can spend a lot on covers or nothing, it's up to you.
  • Press release: they don't appear to even offer distribution! Writing a press release is easy, and that's all they're offering you. So that's free. And at PRWeb, it's $99 with distribution everywhere. http://service.prweb.com/pricing/
  • Audio excerpt: pointless unless you have an audiobook, which you can have made for free using a royalty share with the narrator at ACX.com
  • 10 author paperback copies: costs about $3 per book using author discount at Createspace, so $30. 
In conclusion, they are offering for $999 what would cost you $130 total for ebook formatting and some author copies - the rest of the "package" is just free stuff already available to you if you know where to look, which now you do!

You can get the same things, but WAY BETTER and more professional AND have pros do it all for you, for a grand total of less than $300 plus the cost of a cover (they aren't giving you a cover anyway, they're offering the same tool that you can get at Createspace cover creator here for free), but a pro cover adds anywhere from $50 to $250. So you'd spend a total of $300 - $550 (high end includes highest cost cover), and you'd have all the control, all the royalties sent directly to you, and have a better product.

Hopefully this post will help new writers who want to self-publish and don't know where to start, save over $500.

Hiring an editor is always a big add-on expense at these publishers, but you can hire your own developmental or line editor for much cheaper, and also get a better manuscript!

Even if you don't go with an editor, and instead use critique partners and beta readers, I highly recommend hiring a copyeditor to help you make the actual book error-free. That costs about 2 cents a word. Just google around, I found this one online with good testimonials, but you can find more copyeditors on your own: http://revisionfairy.com/small-business-writing-consultant/copy-editing-services-order/

I wish you all the best. My goal with this post is help other authors keep their costs down and avoid getting ripped off.

Shoshanna Evers

Monday, July 28, 2014

Release Day for The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby!

It's release day for The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby!

Even better, it's on sale for just 99c for only a few more days before it goes up to $3.99!

The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby by Shoshanna Evers

Release Day Romp The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby by Shoshanna Evers
Release Day Romp!

I'm giving away prizes to a bunch of winners - including a $25 Amazon or B&N Giftcard, signed paperbacks and ebooks of another sexy tycoon romance - Snowed in with the Tycoon.
Please show these awesome Book Bloggers support, check them out, and enter to win!

The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby by Shoshanna Evers Blog Tour and Giveaway
Blog Tour!
PLUS I'm doing *another* big giveaway for a $50 Amazon or B&N Giftcard during my blog tour, from July 28th - August 8th!
Get The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby while it's still only 99c:  
After her brother and his wife go missing and are presumed dead, Lauren Peters plans to raise their infant daughter. Her brother’s will, however, stipulates that baby Callie can only be raised by a married couple. Lauren’s as single as they come.

 Mack Hansen can’t stand idly by while his business partner’s baby is thrown into a foster home. As he sees it, there’s only one solution—he and Lauren will marry for the sake of the baby—and he’ll keep his attraction to her at bay.

 Lauren knows that Mack is all about business, including their marriage of convenience. But her unexpected feelings for him have her turned upside down. With passion sizzling between them, can Mack keep Lauren from stealing his heart…and becoming his wife for real?

Friday, July 11, 2014

New Excerpt from The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride… and Baby

Check out the excerpt Entangled posted from The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride… and Baby!

I'm so excited about this book! :) It releases July 28th and is available for preorder.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cover Reveal for The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby!

Coming July 28th, 2014 from Entangled Indulgence!

The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride… and Baby
a sexy contemporary romance by Shoshanna Evers

Thank you to all the book bloggers who participated in the Cover Reveal! You rock!
If you want to participate in the Release Day Romp that includes a tour-wide 6-prize giveaway. 
The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby by Shoshanna Evers 
Be notified when this book releases!

After her brother and his wife go missing and are presumed dead, Lauren Peters plans to raise their infant daughter. Her brother's will, however, stipulates that baby Callie can only be raised by a married couple. Lauren’s as single as they come.

Mack Hansen can’t stand idly by while his business partner’s baby is thrown into a foster home. As he sees it, there’s only one solution—he and Lauren will marry for the sake of the baby—and he’ll keep his attraction to her at bay.

 Lauren knows that Mack is all about business, including their marriage of convenience. But her unexpected feelings for him have her turned upside down. With passion sizzling between them, can Mack keep Lauren from stealing his heart…and becoming his wife for real?

Sign up for my New Releases Newsletter to be notified when The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride…and Baby releases!

Can’t wait? You might want to read Snowed in With the Tycoon, another sexy contemporary romance…which is out now!    

Monday, June 16, 2014

Changing a Book Title for a Self-Published Book

I used to think that you couldn't change the book title of an already-published book, because you'd lose all of your reviews and ranking, and have to start from scratch.

But, that only applies if you want to change the title of a book that was traditionally published, and then self-pub it with a different title (you will lose your reviews in that case). By keeping the same title as another edition, the reviews will transfer over.

You won't lose your reviews of a self-published book, however, even if you change its title!

You CAN give your title a makeover, by changing the book title (and cover) for a book that is already for sale. Here's how you do it:

  1. Go onto your self-publishing Dashboard (I'll use KDP as an example).
  2. EDIT the book details for the book whose title you want to change.
  3. Change the title (again, you're *not* uploading as a new book)
  4. Upload a new cover with the new title.
  5. Upload a new book-file that has the title page and copyright page updated.
  6. Change your blurb to include a notice to your readers, like this:

**Originally published in 2012 under the title Dominatrix Fantasy Trilogy Set: Spanked, Denied, and Collared

If the reader has already purchased the book, Amazon will stop them from re-purchasing it, and will send them the new updated covers, etc, to their Kindle. That way you don't confuse people, which would piss them off, if they bought the same book twice by mistake!

As you can guess, I gave the Dominatrix Fantasy series a makeover! As review after review came in, saying they were surprised to discover the books were romances, (not pure erotica as the titles and covers suggested), and as sales waned, I realized I needed to showcase what the books *really* are, by branding them properly.


AFTER the makeover:

Becoming Hers Trilogy Set by Shoshanna Evers

As you can see, both covers are professionally designed and look great, but the first cover and title screamed "FemDom P0RN" --not that there's anything wrong with that ;) 

The new title "Becoming Hers" and new cover says "erotic romance" - emphasis on romance!

These are the new individual novella covers and titles:

Over Her Knee by Shoshanna Evers

Denied by Her by Shoshanna Evers

In Her Care by Shoshanna Evers

For more information and for blurbs, excerpts, and buylinks, go to:
http://shoshannaevers.com/becoming-hers-series/ or click on the covers!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

When Do I Need an Editor?

I just got an email asking a great question about editors.
Here it is, in part (personal info redacted for privacy):

"I am writing a book, which I have never done before, we were discussing help with the writing/editing/formatting and [redacted] suggested reaching out to you.

I am wondering if you could provide me with some direction and if you might possibly know the estimated cost of hiring someone for some help. I appreciate any insight, advice, suggestions etc."

This is my response, and if you are an aspiring writer, you may find it helpful as well!

There are several things to do before you even think about getting a profession editor.

First, finish the book!

Then, set the book aside for two weeks and don't look at it.

Then pull it out and revise it on your own (having some space from the book will help you see the problems in it).

When you feel like it's perfect, find a critique partner to swap books with. You'll read hers and give detailed suggestions, and she'll read yours and do the same. I recommend using the Track Changes feature in MS Word to do this.

This is an example of one of my own books during the editing process, using Track Changes with my editor (click the pic to make it bigger!):

You can find a critique partner (CP) by joining a local writing group, or even joining one online. Here's a post about how to do that.

Then, after you've revised according to what your CP suggests, send the book to beta-readers. Those are regular readers (not your mom, and not your friends) who will read your book.

Ask beta-readers questions like:

  • "At what point did you get a little bored and put the book down?" (shows where pacing lags or where the book lacks conflict)
  • "What didn't you believe could really happen?" (shows where you need to build motivation)
  • "What did you like best about (specific character)? What did you like least?"
  • "Did the ending of the book satisfy you? If not, what sort of ending would you prefer?"
  • "Is there anything else about this book that you think I should fix or change?"

Send it to at least three beta-readers. Ask them to be "brutally honest."

If everyone says the same thing, you know you need to change it. If one reader says it but the others don't, you don't need to change it. If it's a tie, tie-breaker is the author (you).

Then, after all of that is done, that is when you could consider hiring a professional editor. It's expensive, so don't skip the steps above!

Developmental plus line edits are usually about 2cents a word (which equals $5 per double-spaced page when using Times New Roman 12 point font). That means for an 80K word (320 pages) book, you'd pay $1,600.

If you plan on submitting your book to literary agents, then you don't need to pay for a professional editor (or a formatter, which is a different thing - they format the book into files ready to upload to the retailers. Check out Smashword's Mark's List for some good formatters)

If you plan on self-publishing the book, then you do need an editor. If you want to self-publish, download a FREE pdf of my ebook Successful Self-Publishing: How We Do It (And How You Can Too) at SelfPubBookCovers.com (that's my book cover company). If you want it in print, here it is.

There are some great freelance editors out there. Look for ones who used to work for big publishers, like Mallory Braus, who used to edit for Harlequin/Carina Press, or Megan Records, who edited for Kensington.

There are plenty of others, of course, but remember that cheaper isn't always better when it comes to edits! Also remember that any fool can hang up a shingle and call themselves an editor. Look for editors with experience and references.

Good luck with your book! Don't put the cart before the horse. Finish the book first and go from there. 

Sadly, most people who start writing a book never actually finish. If you can write "The End" then you are way ahead of most aspiring writers!!

All my best,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How to Make Audiobooks on ACX

I'm really thrilled with the process of making audiobooks independently (ie without a publisher) on ACX.com.

If you are an author who has retained your audio rights, like I did with The Enslaved Trilogy, or self-published (like The Dominatrix Fantasy Series), then you can make audiobooks too!

If you don't have money to pay a narrator upfront (which can be thousands of dollars), you can do a royalty split, where the profits are shared 50-50 with the narrator. That's what I did, because I wanted to put a lot of books into audio as fast as possible. I'm working with three different narrators, and we've got a busy schedule!

The narrator produces the audiobook from the ebook you send them. They upload it, etc.

The process on ACX is very straightforward - they walk you through it. The most time-consuming task, for me, is listening to the final audio and requesting changes as needed.

I found that the best way to find narrators is to search them out on the site, listen to their portfolio, then contact them directly. Unless you get a stipend from ACX (where they give the narrator money upfront), it's hard to get auditions. I was able to get stipends for The Enslaved Trilogy, and I got tons of auditions for that!

Make sure you put in your emails to narrators how you will market the audiobooks. I put my Twitter followers, Facebook fans, mailing list, etc.

It's worth it, though - this month's royalty check from ACX is 1/3 of my Amazon.com royalties for self-published books! That means I increased my monthly income by 33%, without writing a new book. I can't wait until I have all of my books made into audiobooks!

Best of all, I'm connecting with new readers, readers who love listening to audiobooks!

Here's the info on my current audiobooks. I've got lots more in the works! :) You can listen to 5 minute long samples for free by clicking the button for your retailer of choice! :)

Thank you for making ENSLAVED, Book 1 in the Enslaved Trilogy, an Audible Erotica Bestseller!

enslaved audiobook Shoshanna Evers Christine Padovan

Buy at Amazon Buy at Amazon Buy at iTunes Buy at Audible

Now, ENAMORED, Book 2 in the Enslaved Trilogy is available in audiobook as well!

  Buy at Amazon Buy at AmazonUK Buy at iTunes Buy at Audible

  The Enslaved Trilogy is narrated by Best Audiobook of 2013 winner, Christine Padovan


The Dominatrix Fantasy Trilogy is now in audiobook as well! You can get each individual novella for just $6.95, or The Dominatrix Fantasy Trilogy Set for $14.95!
Buy at Amazon Buy at AmazonUK Buy at iTunes  Buy at Audible
The Dominatrix Fantasy Trilogy is narrated by the sexy Scarlett Day!
You can click on the links to hear free samples that will be sure to get your heart racing... ;)

 Buy at Amazon Buy at AmazonUK Buy at iTunes Buy at Audible

Buy at Amazon Buy at AmazonUK Buy at iTunes Buy at Audible

Buy at Amazon Buy at AmazonUK Buy at iTunes Buy at Audible

Saturday, March 29, 2014


I first started out in 2010 when Ellora's Cave published Punishing the Art Thief, followed by another bunch of books, including the self-published Overheated, and a Berkley Heat anthology.

I signed with an agent in 2011, and we had a successful run together, with 6 books sold to Simon & Schuster Pocket (The Enslaved Trilogy, and The Pulse Trilogy), and another book sold to Entangled Indulgence (The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby, coming soon).

Recently (March 2014) I decided to part ways with my agent amicably.

Moving forward from an agent when you have books together is a bit like getting separated when you have kids -- she will still be the agent for those books. We'll still be in contact because of them. And a book that she shopped on my behalf that I'm revising right now is hers if it sells, too.

And that's not a bad thing! My previous agent is a wonderful woman, someone I trust, and I hope we will enjoy continued success together with those 7 (maybe 8!) books we have together.

So, to be clear: I'm not against having an agent. Not at all!

In fact, I think, especially when you have as many irons in the fire as I do, that having an agent is pretty important (even if you continue to self-publish, as I'm doing).

I'm excited (also: nervous) about where my career is going, and I have faith that there is an agency out there that will be a good fit for me in this stage of my career... as I self-publish, as I continue building my traditional publishing career, and as I pursue audiobooks and film rights.

I also want to say thank you, thank you for all of the lovely emails, Tweets, and Facebook messages I got when MAKE ME: Twelve Tales of Dark Desire hit the New York Times and the USA Today Bestseller list! I am truly blessed to have such wonderful readers. 

All my best,
Sexily *Evers* After... ShoshannaEvers.com

Sunday, February 23, 2014

MAKE ME - a multi-author box set for one month only

MAKE ME: Twelve Tales of Dark Desire releases March 3rd, 2013! 
an Amazon Bestseller!
Make Me: 12 Tales of Dark Desire Shoshanna Evers

I'm thrilled to be a part of this limited-time box set! Preorder and first week pricing is just 99c, and then the price goes up. On March 31st, 2014... MAKE ME disappears from sale forever...

 Take a trip to the dark side with 12 books by some of the hottest names in edgy romance, including USA Today Bestselling authors CJ Roberts, Eliza Gayle, and Aleatha Romig!

Pam Godwin – Beneath the Burn
Skye Warren – Wanderlust
Claire Thompson – Enslaved
Cari Silverwood – Take Me Break Me
Annabel Joseph – Comfort Object
Aleatha Romig – Consequences
Shoshanna Evers – The Man Who Holds the Whip
Annika Martin – The Hostage Bargain
Jasmine Haynes – Take Your Pleasure
Eliza Gayle – Play With Me
Pepper Winters – Tears of Tess
CJ Roberts – Captive in the Dark

 These e-books would cost over $40 if purchased separately. This set will only be available for a limited time, so order your copy now!

Order now at Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble!

Make Me Boxed Set Shoshanna Evers

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Thank you, reviewers!

Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining) by Shoshanna EversI just want to take a moment to give a huge thank you to the awesome book bloggers and readers who have read and reviewed Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining). 

 I know it takes time and energy to write and post reviews, and I am so grateful that you've taken the time to do so! I'm grateful for all reviews, good and bad, because once the book is out of my hands it belongs to you, my readers. Your opinion matters.

  Here's what some reviewers are saying about Beauty and the Beast on Goodreads:

  5 stars! "Although I have read and seen many versions of Beauty and The Beast, there have been none quite like this. It's still a beautiful story about discovering a person's inner beauty and accepting them for who they are regardless of their appearance, but the love scenes are very arousing and sexy."
~ Lisa M. (see full review here)

  4.5 stars! "So...I will never be viewing Beauty and the Beast the same. Now all I'll think about is how the Beast ravished/spanked/whipped/etc a (willing) Beauty while a prisoner in his castle."
  ~ Brittney Marczak (see full review here)

  5 stars! "Shoshanna's reimagined tale is far more gratifying than its predecessors in that readers get permission to experience a sexual being, a sexual Beauty, with a sexy, kinky Beast."
~ Jade Onyx (see full review here)

  5 stars! "I found myself reading and watching everything unfold in my head. And only great books do that for me. ... It is one to keep with you, in your favorites pile."
~ Tara Vose (see full review here)

Get the this Amazon Fairytales Bestseller on AmazonB&NiBooksSmashwordsAmazon UK, and add it to your Goodreads shelves here!

Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining) by Shoshanna Evers

Here's the blurb for Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining):

 From bestselling erotica author Shoshanna Evers comes an erotic re-imagining of the classic fairytale, Beauty and the Beast.

 With her father’s freedom at stake, Belle agrees to be the fearsome Beast’s prisoner in his enchanted castle. Held as his willing captive, Belle must submit to the Beast’s most primal desires to survive.

 The Beast can’t let his little Beauty go free, not while there’s still hope that she might be the one to end his decade-long curse…and with true love’s kiss, return him to the Prince he once was.

 Their story is one that begins with imprisonment—he in his monstrous body, she in a dungeon—but without this predicament, Beauty would never have met the Beast. 

So we shall begin with what occurred on that fateful night when everything changed: when a lover was betrayed, a man deformed, and a castle shrouded in an enchantment…