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I’ve been AWOL from this blog for way too long. I don’t have an excuse really, unless you count breaking my foot two days after my birthday, working pretty steadily on editing Whistling Woman, setting up the blog for same, trying to contribute to the two other blogs I’m a member of, and okay, I’ll be honest, quite a healthy dose of laziness.

The thing is, everything else has fallen by the wayside and that includes writing. I know, I know, broken foot and weeks of not being able to move around without crutches should equal at least one book, right? Not for me. I have been trying but I just couldn’t seem to get into anything. I have 30,000 words written on Sun Shadows and I’ve hit the mid-book slump that I always seem to hit. But that doesn’t worry me, it will work itself out in time as it usually does–fingers crossed–but I haven’t been able to get into anything else.

Until today, I’ve been doing a little research on cutting, vampires, specifically Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows, and this morning I actually got about 2500 words written on the next book in my Apprentice Angel series. What did it? What finally broke the block? Composing an email to one of my publishers asking them to please heed the certified letters I sent them last September telling them I did not want to renew the contract on the first book, Unwilling Angel. The contract expired in November of last year and after sending the certified letters, I sort of forgot about it and assumed the book would be taken down when the contract expired. Oh sure, I knew it might take them some time to get it down but we’re nearing a year later and it’s still up there so…I’m writing an email and hoping the publisher will respond.

While I waited, I read through the second book in the series, Unruly Angel, which I finished last year and it sparked an interest in the third book, tentatively titled Unworldly Angel. I’ve known for quite a while what that one’s going to be about so I got off my lazy duff and finally started researching. Reading through all the info I could find about Dark Shadows got me interested in writing again.

Whew! Thanks Barnabas, you’re still the only vampire I ever loved!

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For any authors out there who dropped their RWA membership this year–that would be me–and need a little confirmation you made the right choice, Emily Veinglory has a great post up today over on the EREC blog.  Be sure to click through to part one, which includes links to other authors’ take on the current situation between RWA and e-pubbed authors.  While you’re there, take the survey too because it gives you a chance to speak your mind about how you feel about all of this.  It’s also an interesting read for any aspiring romance author who might be thinking about joining RWA.

There’s also an informative post by Alice Anderson, creator of the CataNetwork, on her blog dealing with the same topic.

I won’t restate everything these two authors have said–they’ve done an outstanding job already–but I will say that RWA wasn’t for me.  I knew it before I joined and went ahead and wasted my money anyway–don’t ask me why, I’m still trying to figure that out myself! 

I’m fully aware there are authors who might find RWA to be the perfect place for them and if you’re one of them, by all means, sign up and send them a check…BUT if you’re trying to make up your mind, do a little research first.  These two blog posts are a good place to start.

I’ll leave you with a few words of wisdom from Ms. Anderson:

“You are not alone in the world, dear writer. The internet has brought us together. You have options. Start exploring them.”

Haven’t posted in the last two weeks because…well, don’t really have an excuse beyond baseball and the postseason, so let me start out by congratulating the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Red Sox put up a good fight but in the end, the Rays came out on top.  Kudos to them and here’s hoping they go on to win the series!

Now that baseball season is more or less over, at least in my world, I can get back to my regularly scheduled life.  I need to finish revising Storm Shadows, work on the next book in that series, and move forward with my WIP based on the Cherokee legend of the enchanted lake.  With Christmas coming and the December release of my next book, Unwilling Angel, which like the one already out, Snow Shadows, takes place at Christmas, I also need to make up my mind about promotions–what to do, what not to do, what works, what’s a waste of time, etc.  Yikes!  Can we say angst and procrastination?  Yeah well, maybe not you, but I sure can.  

Then yesterday, as if reading my mind, Jane at Dear Author put up a post; What Works for Online Advertising for Books.  Very interesting and informative and if you take the time to read the comments, extremely helpful for an angst-ridden, procrastinating writer like me.  Several authors and at least one publisher chime in and offer up their thoughts on what works and what’s a waste of time and/or money when it comes to promoting your book.  Pay particular attention to comment #23 by Jill Noelle Noble of Noble Romance Publishing.  She has some pretty good suggestions.

A little aside here, I don’t know anything about this publisher but I have to say I love the look of their website; sharp, clean, uncluttered with clear submission guidelines, and hey, check it out, like L&L Dreamspell, they pay advances.  Also like LLD, the money from the advances won’t make you rich, but it’s something you don’t often see in world of epublishing and I have to say, I hope it’s a sign of things to come.  Wish I wrote what they’re looking for, but if you do write erotic romance, you might want to check them out.

Anyway, back to the post at DA, several people mention the importance of having a website (check), and a blog (check), and maintaining them both (um, not so good at that part, but I’m trying).  And though it isn’t mentioned in the comments–unless I missed it, which is entirely possible since I was reading during last night’s game–I know a lot of authors who laud the importance of branding your name.  The first step to doing that, it seems to me, is to create a tagline (check), use it on your website and any other online site you have (partial check) and include it as a signature in all your emails and any posts you make on the groups you belong to (again, not so much).  In short, get your name out there with a recognizable tagline, one that readers will equate with you and your books.

So, I have a tagline, Romancing the Legends, but the only place I really use it is on my website because there’s this one teensy little problem with it; while all my books are romances, not all of them are based on legends.  For example, the one coming out in December doesn’t have anything to do with legends…unless you consider having an Elvis sighting of your favorite author several months after he died a legend!  Still, the majority of what I write now has at least one Cherokee legend interwoven in the story so I’m thinking I should use the tagline more.

Like, for instance, on my blog.  Which means I’d have to change the header and possibly the theme–not so hard to do on WordPress, but a thing of nightmares for a technically challenged gal like me!  Still, I’ll do it because I’ve been playing around with this idea for a while now, and I had just about made up my mind to change this blog to “Cait’s Tales” with a picture of cattails against a golden sky as my header.  But now I’m thinking it would be better to go with my tagline to tie it all together in a nice, neat bow.  But, if I go with Cait’s Tales, that would encompass all my work and could be used even with my YA and children’s books–if I ever get up the nerve to submit one of them to a publisher!  But, Cait’s Tales isn’t really a tagline…is it? 

Sheesh!  More angst!  And all this has the theme song from that old TV series, Branded, circling through my mind:

**Branded!
Playing the writer’s game.
How can you make sure you’re branded,
And stake your claim to fame?

**Couldn’t find who wrote this, but my apologies to whoever it was for changing the lyrics!

I’m having one of those MS days when my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders, so I apologize in advance if this entry doesn’t make any sense at all or if I go off on a totally non-related tangent or for any misspelled words, grammar errors, or typos.  Haven’t had one of these in a while, but they happen and I have to deal with it and by reading this, well, you get to deal with it too!  Aren’t you the lucky one?

Okay, let’s start with the public apology issued on Monday by Roger Clemens.  Really, Roger, you call that an apology?  Sorry, but I don’t.  In Roger’s egotistical mind, I suppose he thinks saying he’s made mistakes is an appropriate apology to his fans.  And he tells us he’s apologized to his family, but I have to wonder, did he own up to exactly what he did wrong when he apologized to them, or like the statement he issued to the press, did he avoid mentioning just what it was he was apologizing for?  Does that make sense?  Probably not–blame it on the MS–but I know he never specifically stated what mistakes he’d made and I have to say, if I were Debbie Clemens, I’d want it all out there on the table.  Come on, Roger, man up!  We all know you made mistakes.  And really, who hasn’t?  But you need to say what it is you’re aplogizing for, not just offer some generic apology for making mistakes.  I mean, who’s to say you’re not apologizing for cutting off that little old lady in traffic one August afternoon or losing your temper with a sales clerk who didn’t recognize you and refused to take your check without proper ID, or hell, I don’t know, yelling at Debbie for burning your dinner or your kids for leaving their roller skates toys on the stairs.  Own up to what you did and then, maybe I’ll listen.

Next, the Ocean’s–and no, that’s not a typo, I’m speaking of Ocean’s Mist, the e-publisher who has the amazing talent of becoming invisible when it comes to addressing problems and/or paying their authors.  It seems their site is back up after weeks of…here today, gone tomorrow.  They’re up now and they’re releasing a new book by Essence, who is rumored to be none other than their owner, Noemi, the person who stiffed her authors on their royalties.  It’s also being reported by the EREC blog and Karen Know’s Best, that Loose Id and Siren have signed this woman and are releasing books by her too.  I have to say, I’ve never heard of Siren, but Loose Id has a pretty good reputation as an e-publisher.  At least, they do right now, but I just don’t know what sort of impact this is going to have on that reputation.  Me, I find it despicable that a publisher would sign a contract with someone who failed so miserably in running her own business and went into hiding when the chips were down, refusing to address her problems and pay her authors.  That’s a cheat in my book you know how I feel about cheats.  Here’s hoping readers will show their dissapproval by not buying any books by Essence, writers will avoid Ocean’s Mist like the deadliest of plagues, and authors at Loose Id and Siren will protest loudly about having a cheat on their team.  

Okay, on to Amazon.  They’ve reinstated the discount on my sister’s book, but the discount isn’t as good as it was before and they, in true “Playground Bully” fashion, didn’t deign to tell her why they chose to reinstate it or why they lowered it in the first place.  Still, I guess you could say it’s a step in the right direction for Amazon, but…but!  They’ve also banned another reviewer from their site who, in their words, was “hectoring, harassing, abusive, and spiteful.”

And there you have my WTF? award for the week.  I’ve been following that thread on Amazon for over a while now and Steven Hedge, the banned reviewer–yes, that Steven Hedge, the one who graciously righted his mistake of using my pseudonym’s (misspelled!) name in one of his posts and apologized to me on several different fronts, thereby ensuring no one mistook me for the unscrupulous author he was referring to–never came anywhere close to being any of those things Amazon is accusing him of being.  I know from my experience with him and from reading his other posts on this thread, he is one of the nicest, most courteous and articulate people I’ve ever come across in cyber-space.  Amazon needs to quit relying on their automatons to address this whole DAM (DeborahAnne MacGillivray) mess and actually take the time to read what their customers are saying.  I have a feeling if they ever do, they’re going to be wiping the egg off their face for a long time to come! 

So, we have Clemens issuing meaningless apologies and Ocean’s Mist slinking out of hiding to dupe more readers, Siren and Loose Id publishing an author who’s proven she cares nothing for other authors, and Amazon, well, taking one step forward, only to take two back.

All behaving badly and all deserving big fat OH NOES!   

   
 

Got a few emails this past week about a new e-publisher, Shadowfire Press, opening its doors on August 1, 2008.  Don’t know anything about it, except to say that judging from what I’ve heard and three “personal squicks” I got from looking at their site, I’ll be staying away from this one until and unless they can prove they know what they’re doing–which shouldn’t be hard for me because I don’t write the kind of books they’re interested in publishing.

What are the “personal squicks”, you ask?  Well, let’s start with the fact that the owners are both authors and as we’ve seen in the past with author-owned e-publishers, they aren’t the best bet for a new writer–or an established one, for that matter.  They seem to have a tendency to neglect the books by authors who are just “plain authors”, while concentrating on promoting the books of the author/owners.  Not saying Shadowfire will be the same way, but I’ve been down that road with one publisher already and I’m not looking to go that way again.

Second squick, their covers.  Now this probably is just me, and I’m not an art critic by any stretch of the imagination, but I wasn’t impressed with their covers.  Too…I don’t know, amateurish. I guess.  The same goes for the masthead on their web site, which they seem to be really proud of in their introductory letter, saying it’s a “done deal.”  Umm…you might want to re-think that one, but like I said, that’s just my opinion.

Third, this little snippet on their contest page:

The only way to become a Shadowfire Press author is to win a publishing contract through one of our contests. Please do not send any stories that do not fit our current contest guidelines as we will not be accepting anything that is not suited for the contest.

The thing is…I’ve noticed quite a few e-publishers engaging in this “enter our contest and win a publishing contract” crap.  I say crap, because if they’re holding a contest, there should be the possibility of winning…something.  Else, why call it a contest?  Granted, this e-publisher isn’t open to submissions and that may up the ante a bit, but for me it wouldn’t be enough.  Why would I want to write for someone who has, IMO, such an elitist attitude?  I mean, come on, you’re a new business, an open call for submissions would only benefit you.  There are untold numbers of authors out there who would probably love to submit something to you–but they have to enter a contest to do it?  And if they do enter the contest, they get nothing for winning besides what they would get from submitting to any other publisher?

Makes me think of dangling a carrot in front of a mule.  Hey mule author, look at this, here’s a bright orange carrot contract!  Looks yummy, huh?  Come on, you want it.  You know you want it.  All you have to do to get it is work your butt off writing a book for us and be sure to follow all our rules and guidelines while you’re at it.  If you do that, we might, just might let you have the carrot contract!  Then again, we might not, but well, you gotta try, don’t you?  Sure you do!

It should come with a warning label attached, doubly so when it comes from an author-owned publisher and even more so when it’s one that’s just starting out:

Author beware, winning the contest isn’t enough.  Sure, it’ll get you a contract–which you could get elsewhere, but now you get to put all your blood, sweat and tears into promoting your work.  And please, don’t expect us to help, because hey, we don’t do that for anybody but ourselves.  So…enter at your own risk!

Sad to say, I used to be okay with this kind of thing, even defended the idea of publishers running a contest with the prize of a publishing contract, because if you win, it’s a publishing credit, something you can include in your query letters to other publishers.  But I’ve seen way too many new authors get burned this way.  Sure, they got a contract, but more often than not, that’s about all they got.  So, if you have a book you want to see published, my advice is don’t sell yourself short, do your research and try for one of the established e-houses.  Then, once Shadowfire gets up and going, you can take a look at them again.

I realize this may not be fair to Shadowfire and I’m not saying they’re doomed to go down before they even start, or that they won’t actively promote their authors who are not also owners.  What I am saying is I see a few red flags flying already.  If Shadowfire does become one of the top-selling e-pubs at some point in time, I’ll be more than happy to offer my apologies and eat my words with a smile on my face.  I wish them all the best and believe me, I’d love to see them prove me wrong!  After the horrible year e-publishers and their authors have had, it sure would be nice to have a reason to celebrate e-books again.

 

I’m still catching up on all the things that happened while I was away on vacation and today I ran across a post on Dear Author about **yet another e-publisher, Highland Press.  Seems there are red flags flying everywhere about this publisher, but the thing that really caught my attention was the part about author Deborah Anne MacGillivray, who is with HP–and Kensington and Dorchester, also.  I’d heard some shady rumblings about this author’s cagy dealings regarding reviews on Amazon over the last couple of weeks…and wondered how much of it was true.

Apparently, every bit of it.  And if the rumors about HP aren’t enough to warn authors away, I hope Ms. MacGillivray’s behavior will send aspiring authors–and readers–screaming for the hills.

It’s too long to go into here, but it’s very interesting reading.  If you have a couple of hours–seriously, there’s over 300 comments to this post–and want to see a real case of an “Author Behaving Badly”, it can be found on Dear Author.

My favorite comment came from someone named B in response to a letter by Ms. MacGillivray which was posted in another comment (the part in italics is from a letter Ms. MacGillivray wrote to a reader):

Holy poor English, Batman!!!

I am think you skimmed the book, sitting in an auto place, worry about big bad men sniggering, and didn’t bother to see why the characters did things, just took surface reactions.

That’s a writer!? A published writer!?!?! WTF???

I’m not sure what boggles my mind more…what she’s saying or the fact that she can’t write in English to save her life. Why, why, WHY do these people get published? Why???

Thanks, B, the Batman line gave me a good laugh and I’ve often wondered the same thing about why and how some author gets published, especially after reading some of the cooments they make on the various blogs in Romanceland…but that’s another story!

Also on Karen Scott’s blog, there’s news that Kristi Studts, the owner of the infamous Triskelion Publishing is out and about and posing as a cover artist for another e-publisher, Mystic Moon Press, under the name of Magickal Media.  This is the woman who cheated numerous authors out of their royalties and finally ended up filing bankruptcy, tying the rights to their works up for a long, long time.  Although there’s nothing being reported about MMP, I have to say, the presence of Ms. Studts is enough to make me keep my distance from them–don’t want to take a chance that she’s in deeper than we know.  Still, this is something that each individual author has to judge for her/himself.  I just hope any aspiring authors out there are reading these blogs and paying attention.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read about it; Karen Knows Best.

At present, I don’t have any plans to submit anything to an e-publisher and after reading all the shit that’s been going on the past couple of weeks, I don’t think I ever will again.  I have at least five completed manuscripts and beyond the one I submitted earlier this year to an e-publisher, I think I’ll just hold on to them for a while–or submit them to L&L Dreamspell, the small press I’m with now, or maybe another small press after I do some very thorough research. 

The thing is…between the many e-pubs that have gone down and the many who have been reported lately as “iffy at best”, it’s all just too scary for me.

And that sucks big time.  When I first got up the courage to submit one of my books to a publisher, I decided e-publishing was for me.  I really liked the idea of being able to promote and sell my books from the comfort of my home.  No face-to-face meetings, no book signings, no actual interaction with real, live, breathing people–it seemed perfect for me because, well, I’m a loner at heart and don’t like people very much.  I just wanted to write my stories and sell them without all that public crap.  I enjoyed meeting people in cyber-space and promoting my work on the Internet, but I’m literally terrified at the thought of what’s going to happen when my first print book comes out later this year. 

Hmm…wonder if I could hire some outgoing person to pose as me and go out and promote my book?

Or would that be too much like what Kristi Studts is doing?  

**Emily Veinglory kindly pointed out on her EREC blog that Highland Press is not just an e-publisher, in fact less than half their books are e-books.  Sorry, my mistake!  No excuse except stupidity and laziness–I should have checked out Highland Press before I posted this! 

Big news this morning about Christine Brashear, who is currently with Samhain Publishing and was previously a part of Ellora’s Cave.  Ms. Brashear is filing suit against EC and its shareholders.  Not being of a legal mindset, I don’t understand it enough to comment on it but you can read about the whole thing at Smart Bitches and Dear Author.

Both sites explain it much better than I could, and I have to admit, I payed more attention to the comments than I did to the actual blog posts.  There are comments from readers, from authors, and some from people who understand far better than I what’s going on, but the thing that stood out for me is the way some of these commenters behave–trashing SB or DA for blogging about this, saying a lawsuit is private and shouldn’t be brought to the public’s attention, etc.  Same old, same old, was my first take…until I took a minute to think about it.

This kind of behavior holds true for almost all the news stories that these blogs report on, whether it be about the Cassie Edwards thing, or New Concepts treating their authors badly, or an author acting like an idiot.  There’s always someone who pops up and disses the site for the post and in most cases, the disser(s) turn downright mean–even if they didn’t start out that way.

The thing is…I’ve heard some derogatory comments that the reason all this trouble crops up with e-publishers is because the majority of e-publishing companies are owned by women and everybody knows women are driven by their hearts rather than their minds.  They’re too emotional and don’t have the balls to make it in the business world.  <eye roll>

I take exception to that because I know when Twilight Fantasies went down, it was the male half of the partnership  who gave me the most trouble.  His name calling, finger pointing, and all-around childish behavior, were the epitome of unprofessional behavior.  In the end, it was the woman who stood up and addressed the problems, sending professional rights reversion letters to the authors.  And when she did, the man, well, he faded away as if he’d never been there at all.

After all that, I’ve decided that I’d much rather deal with a female in a situation like this.  And while the overwhelming femaleness of e-publishing may not be a good thing at times, I think it’s definitely going to be a plus in the long run.  Women are still in the infant stage when it comes to being business owners and they have a double challenge when it come to e-publishing because it too is still a baby.  But nurturing is one of the things we’re really good at.  We’re not afraid to clean up a mess or tackle a seemingly hopeless cause or to dole out the proper discipline when it’s needed. 

And I think that’s exactly what sites like SB, DA, Karen Knows Best, EREC, and yes, I’ll throw Piers Anthony in there too–even though he is a <gasp> man–are doing, they’re policing the e-publishing industry with a loving heart and a gentle, guiding hand backed up with a sharp slap to the butt when it’s needed.

I hope every author out there who writes for an e-publisher remembers to thank them for it one day. 

Wow, a lot of things happened while I was away on vacation!  I’ll try to keep this short, but fair warning, it may run a tad long.  Hmm, maybe I should break it down in categories…

First up, baseball.  Not feeling too happy with my boys right now, but hey, we’re only six games into the season and they have plenty of time to pull out of this hole they’ve dug themselves into–last place in the AL East.  Ugh, I hate saying that, but those are the facts and everybody knows Boston has one of the toughest schedules in the majors during April, so I’m not angsting over it–too much!  I am glad they made it back from Japan safely and truthfully, I didn’t expect them to do well following that long trip.

I’m taking comfort in the thought that after 18 days, four cities, and three countries, they had to be exhausted and the losses in the past week probably have them feeling as frustrated as the fans.  Tomorrow is opening day at Fenway and after today’s off day, I’m hoping they’ll be rested enough that they’ll be able to pull off a win against the Tigers.  Playing at home is always better and as Scarlet O’Hara said, tomorrow’s another day.  Let’s hope so!

Second, Amazon.  Grrr!  They’re flexing their considerable muscle and trying to force publishers to switch to their POD company, BookSurge, a move that has the potential to seriously hurt small press publishers and their authors.  I’m a newbie at this whole print thing–my first print book won’t be out until August–and don’t really understand all of it, but from what I’ve read the whole thing sucks.  I know my publisher is working to alleviate any worry for its authors and coming up with appropriate plans to keep our books out there, but I really don’t like Amazon right now.  Suffice it to say, they’ll get no more of my business until they stop acting like the playground bully and stop employing these kinds of scare tactics. 

And speaking of my publisher, they just sent through the link to a humorous assessment by Jock Stewart on his Morning Satirical News blog about what’s been going on with Amazon:  Nile Books Tells Publishers ‘We’re the Only Game in Town.’  Take a few minutes to read it, you’ll appreciate the humor, even if you’re not an author with a book to sell on Amazon.

They–L&L Dreamspell–also just sent their authors some good news about Barnes and Noble where our books are concerned.  It’s too complicated to go into here–and yeah, being a newbie, I don’t understand it all–so I’ll just say it’s further proof that this publisher really knows how to take care of their authors!  Thanks L&L!

Third, the world of e-publishing.  I understand the owner of New Concepts is still sending out bitchy emails about what’s going on with them.  I’m not saying they’re going down, but if I were one of their authors, I’d be busy circling the wagons against attacks from this woman and her shady unprofessional business dealings.  And please, please, if you’re an aspiring author, listen to everything that’s being said and avoid this publisher at all costs.

Dark Eden Press is now officially closed and I’ve heard the authors all received their rights back from the owner.  I’ve also heard some rumblings which lead me to believe this closing wasn’t really a matter of personal illness and that the owner has done a few things which give some people the impression that she’s not handling the closing as professionally as she’d like everyone to believe.  Don’t know what the truth is here and I’m reluctant to bring this up, but it has me wondering–especially after seeing a copy of an email to her authors from one of the owner’s pals (?) that said they had so many submissions to one of their lines that they decided to “give” them to another e-publisher.  WTF?  Can they do that?  And if they can, did they bother to check with the authors of those submissions first?  Because I’ve heard some rumblings about the publisher they chose to “give” them to and I don’t think if I was one of those authors, I’d be very happy about this.  Sure, it’s a chance to be published, but given the word I’ve heard on this particular publisher, I think I’d run as fast as I could in the other direction before signing with them–and I have to wonder how many new authors will know to check them out thoroughly before they sign?

Okay, that’s enough for now.  This thing is way too long so I’ll have to save the news about my vacation for a different post.  See ya’ later! 

News yesterday of two more e-publishers who won’t be with us for much longer.  I know, I know, we’ve heard it all before and without a doubt, we’ll hear it again.  Having been with two e-publishers who went down; StarDust Press who handled the whole thing professionally, and Twilight Fantasies Publications, who…didn’t, I sympathize with the authors of both companies.  As for the owners well…you be the judge.

Shadowrose Publishing is now listed on the EREC blog (Emily Veinglory’s site) with a cloud of smoke, meaning there have been “some reports of trouble.”  Preditors & Editors says their link is “broken.”  No word from Piers Anthony yet, but then Mr. Anthony’s page isn’t scheduled for an update until next month, and I imagine he’ll have something to say when he does update.  Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books, Dear Author, and Karen Knows Best have all reported on this as have, I imagine, many other blogs out there in cyber-space.

Shadowrose is a perfect example of taking the low road and I have nothing but loathing for them.

The second, Dark Eden Press, is a relatively new e-publisher.  Most of what I heard about them during their short time in business, was positive.  There were a few rumbles, but since they’re closing, the negatives are not really relevant here.  What is relevant is the way the owner, Debra Durham, has chosen to handle the closing of her business.  Instead of slinking away and hiding, Ms. Durham has taken the high road, releasing a letter to her authors telling them what she plans to do.

Her letter can be found here.  I dare every person with even the vaguest notion of starting an e-press now or at some future time, as well as every e-publisher in business today, to read it and learn!

The thing is…all this has me wondering what the hell is the matter with people these days?  And like I’ve said in the past about the owners of Twilight Fantasies who chose to take the low road when they closed, how the hell do they look at themselves in the mirror every morning, knowing what they did to their authors?

What happened to doing the right thing, admitting you failed, and taking responsibility for your actions?

<sigh>  I guess it’s pretty naive and foolish of me to believe that the golden rule I learned as a child–treat others as you would like to be treated–still stands.  It doesn’t, at least not in e-publishing.  The golden rule for e-publishers these days seems to be sign as many authors as you can, grab the money and run, and oh yes, we mustn’t forget the most important part, fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.

I really hope St. Peter’s taking names, and plans on kicking some ass when the time comes.     

Lots of things going on in my world the last few days and I don’t have a clue where to start talking, er, writing about it.  I guess I should just close my eyes, hold my nose and jump right in.

First–and most exciting!–I have a release date on my book.  August 16th!  Woo-hoo!  Adding to the thrill of that is the fact that the 16th is one week to the day after my niece’s wedding.  Ooooh, August is going to be so hot!  Well, okay, August is always hot in the southeast, but this year there’s going to be a lot of Snoopy dances going on and that’s likely to ratchet up the heat a couple of notches, at least in my world!

Second, there’s news of another e-publisher who seems to be showing signs of going down.  Not saying it’s so, but from all I’ve read over the last couple of days, New Concepts Publishing is acting a lot like Twilight Fantasies acted right before they closed up shop and slinked away into the night.  According to several of their authors, they’re not answering emails, not addressing problems raised by the authors on the authors’ loop, giving preferential treatment to the books written by the owners of the company, not sending books out for reviews, not promoting, etc., etc., etc.  I feel sorry for their authors, because I know how it feels to be treated like that and I’m hoping for the best, but you know me, expecting the worst.  I hope, whatever happens, they at least have the decency to stand up and take responsibility for their actions and not just close up shop, leaving their authors hanging like Twilight did.  

Third, Josh Beckett is injured–oh noes!–and probably won’t make the flight to Japan for the games the Red Sox are scheduled to play there next week.  First Schilling, then Beckett.  This is so not good, but I’m trying to look at it as a blessing in disguise.  I wasn’t too thrilled about the team flying all that way just to play a couple of games then turning around and flying all that way back again just days before the season starts.  And maybe, if this back injury keeps Beckett from making that long flight, he’ll be ready for the season opener here at home–at least I hope so!

Fourth, I’ve been working on updating my website now that I have a release date and I have to tell you, that’s a lot of work!  I’ve got four books releasing this year and I’m trying to get all the info on them straightened out and posted.  Arrgh!  Looks like I need to morph back into a teacher and make detailed plans for every minute of every hour of every day.  I hate that!  But my website looks really good, even if I do say so myself!

Fifth, I caught a post on AOL MLB Fanhouse the other day about Roger Clemens that sent me off into gales of laughter.  It seems the Huntsville Stars, a minor league team in Alabama, have come up with a new logo for their team which includes a rocket.  So, what did they do?  Yep, they offered “Rocket” Clemens a job as their back-up mascot.  He won’t make the millions of dollars he’s used to and thinks he’s worth, but it’s not a bad salary–$25 a game.  IMO, more than he’s worth.  Especially since he’ll only have to work on the days their primary mascot, Homer the Polecat, can’t work.  Here’s the link if you want to read the post.  Warning: if you have a drink in your hands, put it down and swallow whatever’s in your mouth before you read!

http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2008/03/06/roger-clemens-gets-a-job-offer/

Ya’ think he’ll take it?  Doubtful, given his arrogance.  Maybe they should offer him the position of Homer the Polecat–much more fitting, to my way of thinking.  He wouldn’t even have to wear a costume, just a sweatshirt with the name Homer on it.  I think most of the fans, being from the south, will get it.

Sixth, I spent all day Saturday, working on the dedication and acknowledgements page for my book.  The dedication was easy since it’s been in my heart for a long time now, but the acknowledgement page–ack!  Hard!  Well, maybe not hard, but definitely boring.  To avoid even the merest whiff of the “Cassie Edwards thing”, I cited the books and Internet pages I used for my research.  I also added a special thank you to the Lone Wolf site because, hey, they taught me the most important thing of all…

I’m a Twinkie!*  That still makes me smile! 

* https://caitlynhunter.wordpress.com/2007/10/28/im-a-twinkie/

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams

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