I Feel Sparkly

The RT BookLovers convention is coming up next week in Los Angeles.

I know – already! April used to seem *really* far away. So, I’m getting my little act together. This year I’m signing at the Book Expo on Friday, from 4pm- 6pm. How does one sign an electronic book? An excellent question and one I worked on to answer.

The way the eBook Expo works – and yes, it’s still a separate event from the “real” book fair on Saturday. It will be interesting to see if they’re separate next year – is that the convention is using a third-party reseller to sell the ebooks. This is pretty much how it works at all book fairs and conventions. Usually a local bookseller is asked if they’d like to handle sales. The bookseller orders books for the authors, people go around and pick up books from the authors’ tables, chat, get a signature if they like, then queue up to pay. The money runs through the store’s accounts and they get a piece, the convention gets a piece, a charity might get a piece. And so forth.

For the RT Expo, they’re using All Romance eBooks as their reseller. Authors will have download codes that readers can pay for, then take online and download the version of their choice. Sounds like a great system, right? Well, not for me because my publisher, Loose Id, says they won’t work with a third-party reseller. Seems odd to me because Petals & Thorns is available from All Romance eBooks and they sell the hell out of it, actually. But Loose Id says they’ve had problems in the past with that set-up, so no download love for me. The very helpful RT folks said that authors in my position just burn their books to a CD and sell it that way.

I thought, who the hell uses CDs anymore? My new laptop doesn’t even have an optical drive (no drawer for CDs or DVDs).

So I bought jump drives! Pink ones.

I also have other responsibilities to distribute swag, as all the toys and sparklies handed away at conventions are fondly called. The Word Whores are giving away a basket. We also have a table on Promo Lane. Plus little gatherings. I needed things to give away.

So I hit Michael’s yesterday. I bought rose stickers to put on the jump drives, and little bouquets of silk roses to tie the jump drives to book marks I can sign. Extremely pleased with myself, I came up with a collapsible “basket” for our giveaway, so that the lucky winner can actually pack it and take it home. I’ll post a photo of the complete basket next week, once I have everyone’s swag for it. I also picked out table dressing for the signing and the Expo, and all sorts of Word-Whores and Petals & Thorns themed pretty things.

At the counter, the cashier asked me if it was all for my wedding.

I can just picture this wedding I would have, at this stage in my life, where I’d decorate with black tulle, red roses, sequins and magic wands.

Oh yeah – and you would wish you were invited, too.

At any rate: Behold my book!

Oh Frabjious Day!

Another view of yesterday’s sunrise. This morning’s was also lovely, but I was on a business call, alas, and could not immortalize it.

You’ll have to imagine it.

Today is also a banner day for Petals and Thorns. I received my monthly author statement of royalties earned from Loose Id. I’ve now made enough to qualify for their Published Author Network (PAN) status. Nice threshold to cross for me.

Earlier this month I posted my statistics for Petals & Thorns so far. So you might look at that first, since I’m just adding to the summary here. Let’s play Old Spice man – go look at that graph.

Now look at this one.

Now look at that one.

The source of the amazing jump in December? Fictionwise sales.

Right – who knew?

Fictionwise sales accounted for 86% of my December reported sales. Amazon showed up for the first time, too, with 10% of sales. Sony was another first-time show with 3% of sales. Loose Id only produced 2% of sales.

(Yeah, I know that’s 101% – I rounded, okay?)

Those of you keeping score at home will note that last month’s big seller, All-Romance ebooks, did not have any sales this month. I suspect that this has to do with when they report sales, rather than real-time sales statistics. I’m betting the big surge in Fictionwise represents sales over possibly the last six months.

It will be interesting to see.

I realized in writing yesterday’s post that I consider post-winter solstice to be the start of the new year. Probably my pagan ancestors whispering in my ear.

At any rate, this feels like a fine start to the new year.

World Domination: Phase II

So, I mentioned the other day that an epublisher offered to buy this erotic novella of mine.

You might have missed it, buried as it was amidst my other angst. I would not blame you if you were skimming at that point. At any rate, I’m signing the contract today and they’ll publish my naughty take on Beauty and the Beast in early summer. I’ll use the pen name Jennifer Paris, which is half of my pron name. And no, I didn’t misspell pron. You pretty much have to use the word that way to defeat the icky-bots that crawl the web looking for that kind of thing. As it is, people search for bizarre stuff on writer’s websites. Here’s an example from Meljean Brook. I just love how she offers the searcher alternate scenes.

I’m sure you know, but your pron name is the name of your first pet combined with the first street you lived on. Technically I’d be Stormy Paris, but that’s just a little too.

My friend Cynthia Eden gave me excellent advice on the pen name question. She said that if I want to differentiate my “Super-Sexy tales” from my other stuff, then go for the pen name, but own up to it, to take advantage of my networks, such as they are. Cynthia delights me that she refers to a BDSM story as a “Super-Sexy tale” – she’s this charming combination of polite Southern lady and frankly sensual writer. Cynthia put it well when she said that, after all, these are just gradations of what we’re writing. KAK also talked me out of my tree, to own this and be proud.

I’m thinking back to a time, must be over ten years ago, when I bought this ebook “Writing Pron for Fun and Profit.” I never got around to reading it. It was kind of dull and the first part didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know. But I’ve always had the idea that I should try this. For fun. Profit would be nice. Then Samhain put out a call for an anthology of Red-Hot Fairy Tales. I was between novels, so I wrote up Beauty and the Beast. I always wanted to know exactly what made him so Beastly.

Samhain turned me down on the anthology. Another friend, Dawn McClure, who writes for Samhain pointed me to Loose Id. (She also pointed me to one other high-profile epublisher who turned out to be uncommunicative and unprofessional – very odd.) So far, Loose Id has been wonderful to deal with. I think it’s a good fit.

And, what do you know? Their logo is a lizard, which has become the good luck emblem of our new Santa Fe lifestyle.

Must be meant to be.