The Covenant is complete! Book 3 in A Covenant of Thorns, ROGUE’S PARADISE, is now out in the wild, walking its wild ways. Thanks to all for supporting this re-release of my very first dark fantasy romance trilogy. It’s beyond wonderful to see these books finding a new audience after all these years.
This week at the SFF Seven, we’re talking about copyeditors and the arguments we have with them. We all have grammatical hills we’ll die on – wisely or not – and we want to know what yours is! On what point will you refuse to give way, regardless of how the copyeditor might argue?
(I feel I should note at this point that the author/editor/copyeditor relationship is a symbiotic one. Even in traditional publishing – all rumor to the contrary of authors being “forced” to do x, y, z – seldom will anyone INSIST on a change. Almost always the author has final say, because it is their book, and they also bear final responsibility. It’s in the contract. If an author commits slander or other blunders, the ultimate responsibility – financial, legal, and moral – rests with them.)
I, like most authors, have a love/hate relationship with copyeditors. On the one hand, they catch potentially horrifying errors. In fact, in the book above, the copyeditor corrected a character “peeing at her face” to “peering at her face” – something my editor and I had both missed and were hysterically relieved to have fixed.
We love them. We need them. As with all love/hate relationships, copyeditors drive us crazy.
I won’t fight about commas, as a rule. I really even don’t care about the Oxford comma. I know people like to make jokes showing how important that Oxford comma is, but in most cases the context makes it clear. I don’t get why copyeditors hate m-dashes so much, but I’ll concede in many cases. I personally find semi-colons archaic and not all that useful, but whatever.
You know what gets me, what I’ll really fight for?
That’s what kills me (yes, LITERALLY KILLS ME) about many copyeditors is that they can be so freaking literal. Some examples.
“His eyes can’t really crawl over her. Imagine eyeballs rolling over her. Gross.”
“Can a cloud really look sad?”
“I don’t think this is a word.”
I could go on. The thing is, as writers, we’re often expanding the use of language. Dictionary definitions often include citations of first usage of a “new” word or expression. That’s because language is our medium and we are the ones shaping it. Copyeditors are on the side of enforcing the status quo. So a writer ends up walking the line between bending to the regulatory insistence of correctness as the rules currently stand and being the iconoclast who breaks those rules to open up new worlds.
Guess which side I’m on?
Yeah, copyeditors hate me right back.
But, I believe this push-pull is a part of our jobs, on both sides. We all want to produce the best book possible. We all love language and what it can do. I will say, however, to all the writers out there: believe in yourself and defend your words, because you are the fount of change.
ROGUE’S PARADISE, Book 3 in the Covenant of Thorns re-release, is out today! Also, ORIA’S GAMBIT, book 2 in the Sorcerous Moons series is out on Scribd audio! Plus insights on managing To-Do lists and my Vegas vacay.
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee home. Delicious today is tuesday. August Sixteenth why am I having trouble focusing on that. Yes August Sixteen ha and I’m back went to Las Vegas for the weekend tra la tra lay as one does it was super fun. We went on Saturday morning picked up my friend Megan our friend Megan and went to drove down to Albuquerque there was a little bit of concern with whether or not our flight would go. We actually did a backup flight just in case. But then we made it. Got to Las Vegas um I think I’d mentioned on the planning that we’ve gotten free rooms at the venetian from David’s gambling last spring his. Ah. Big party so they gave us two free nights and we got these extremely cheap tickets on spirit airlines which I’d never flown before and the airplane turned out not to be made of balsa wood um I would fly spirit again I was um. Actually considering how much and I feel bad I have tremendous loyalty for southwest airlines I’ve flown them forever. Ah, but both southwest and american have gotten kind of shoddy and the spirit jets were very new. Very nice. Yes, you have to pay for every little thing they really tried to nickel and dime you. But if you don’t go in for that. It’s um, you know it’s really quite inexpensive. They charge for food and drink on the airplane. But. You know it’s it’s not that different. You know? Ah, ah, if you want wine or anything alcoholic. You have to pay for it on any airline and you know for your free seltzer coke or really bad coffee I had the worst coffee. Coming back on Delta and I really like delta otherwise so I didn’t complain about this but something had gone wrong. It was like brown water. There was like no coffee in the coffee and I didn’t complain but it was like seriously.
So yes I would have had to pay $4 on spirit for coffee which I did not do because I thought I don’t want to pay $4 for crappy coffee and you have to pay to check your bags which you have to do on everybody but southwest um, the huge difference is is you have to pay that carry on a bag. You can have a personal item which is like a small item that what did they say 18 by 14 by 8 which they were not enforcing at least on the way from Albuquerque to Las Vegas there were kids with. Great big backpacks as their personal items that clearly didn’t count unless I’d paid to check to carry them on so people get mad that they have to pay pay to carry on a bag but I’ll tell you what the boarding and de cleaning was so much faster because of it and. There was a time when I was a real road warrior and traveled so much for the day job that I had said that if I were ever in charge of the world that people would not be allowed to carry on luggage because people spend so much time fucking around with that carry on luggage trying to get a fit and they overhead been. And worried about there. They’re going to have space for it. Is it wheels in or wheels out and ah ah and then trying to get it down again. You know and the people who aren’t strong enough to lift it down which you know I I understand but why do you have to fucking carry on your bags. Just check them. So making people to pay to carry on their bags turns out to be a pretty great incentive. It’s like well if you have to pay anyway, you might as well check it. Their whole model is based on saving gas so they check baggage. Um, excuse me checked baggage weight is um, max weight is £40 not £50 so it was pretty funny in Las Vegas coming home. There were people did a fairly sophisticated system. Not so much in Albuquerque not sophisticated system in Albuquerque that’s all right. Ah, but in Las Vegas where which might be their mothership. They had these um where you did the bag drop they had these horizontal scales so you did the kiosk so print your tag put it on there. Do the bag drop. Put your suitcase on this um scale that is also a conveyor belt and it scooted it back and forth and then it read the id and confirmed the id electronically which was kind of cool and also did the weight and.
As we were watching as we’re waiting for our turn. There were many people there um like taking things out of their bags and some of them looking very sad and we laughed because on the way there from Albuquerque. Ah, we saw a pair of ripped up jeans in the garbage can like right next to they just had the regular scales right next to the ticket counter and I was like yeah somebody decided they didn’t care enough about these jeans to to keep them was kind of funny. They should put like a. Ah, used clothing bin there. so so yeah it was funny to watch the people having fits trying to take stuff out of their their bags I don’t maybe funny is wrong I didn’t mean to laugh at their misery but it was it was very very clear. You know that your bag couldn’t be over 40 pounds and I had been. Exceptionally and careful to you know, make sure that we didn’t exceed that and we were fine and even though I couldn’t weigh on the way back. So I was slightly nervous on the way there we were like 39.4 pounds and David said well we you know don’t have anything more going back than we did going there maybe less. We should be fine and I was like yes, but you got that t-shirt and my dress had gotten wet at water ads weight I was like we don’t have much margin but I took a couple things that put them in my. Personal item and we were fine. So so it takes more jiggering. Ah, they really do annoy you to death to upgrade seats. They want you to pay for like the big seat in the front. Um and they keep sending you like text some email saying. Better, get your seat. We can’t guarantee. You’ll sit together and David and I were assigned seats together I just went with the phrase I’m I’m like if we can’t sit together for an hour-long flight. We’ll probably live um and it worked out just great. Um, would totally totally fly spirit again. It worked out. Well so um, so yeah, we got there. Um Charlie met us at the airport he was flying in from work Charlie and Megan went to a different hotel. They did not have a great experience. Um, they picked out this hotel I think because. American Express had recommended it and american express ended up making it making it up to them. They stayed because they said their room was fabulous, but the rest of the hotel sucked. So they’re like we’ll just like hold our nose and walk through the hotel on our way.
But the Venetian was amazing. Oh yes, and as I said we’ve got the free rooms and I did get reeled in when we checked in they said well if you want to upgrade and they had sent me an emails. You know one did I want to upgrade to a view room for like. $56 a night I’m like now I don’t care about a few enough. Well when we checked in the gal was like well we could she said there are no rooms available which I don’t know if it’s a trick or not probably wasn’t because we were there a little early. Um. And we could have had them hold our bags but she said but we do have rooms available if you want to upgrade and I was like ah and she said well let me show you and she she was very good I mean I almost did it partly because she was so good. She had her tablet and she said for a hundred and twenty dollars a night you could upgrade to this. She did not say it this way but fucking amazing sweet. You guys you all? Um, it’s a view of the pool and the strip and it had a living area and the. Bedroom was off to the side and it had a walk-in closet and an amazing bathroom with a sunken bathtub and so we just like you know $120 a night. How often do we get a chance to stay in a really nice suite like that so we did it and it was it was lovely. We really enjoyed that and as David said we have paid $120 a night to stay in some really shitty places so it was um, it was well worth it. We went down to the pool that afternoon um had a snack and a froze that was excellent. And we um and that I hung out by the pool for a while then we met Charlie and Megan for dinner at bouchon at the venetian which was a french bistro that I had wanted to go when we were there before and we could get in partly because of pandemic hours. Everything was so much more open now. Everything felt like it was totally back. It was interesting, almost nobody wearing masks. Um, so we had wonderful dinner at Bouchon which Charlie picked up the tab. He has just the I I tried to stop it and he was like no no because it was. It. It was my almost birthday so it was um because my birthday is well a week from yesterday. So next monday and I had put it down as a birthday at Bouchon just because it would be fun and they brought us free desserts. We had a creme brulee and lemon tart and.
Charlie Bought us two bottles of rose because the first thing we did when we sat down they handed us like the you know the wine list and then the special that was summer of Rose which gets me and Megan where we live and so we ended up having 2 bottles of rose which reader we did not need that second bottle. And then we went to see Celeste barber um who I’m you know, just loved from Instagram australian comedian she put on a very tight show. We laughed all the way through it. It was great. um it was um yeah it was absolutely wonderful. So we all felt a little rough the next morning except for Davis who doesn’t treatak anymore because of the parkinson’s he is like I can’t decide if I’m sad that I can’t drink anymore i’m really glad that I’m not not as rough as you all are it’s like yeah um, so. but but I rallied and Megan rallied and she had gone ahead and gotten a kabana with the american express we’re sorry money at virgin hotel she did research on the different pools so I met her over there and we had ah a wonderful day of just. Hanging out at the pool in the cabana having drinks and it was um, it was delightful and then that evening yesterday evening. No Sunday evening I was gonna say go to be that right? No Sunday evening. It was um. They decided they were not Charlie actually never made it out of the hotel room Sunday he was going to meet us over at the pool and made several efforts and just couldn’t do it. He was definitely overserved I think they had also pregamed before they met us. They’d had several cocktails. So it was great party and Megan and I said as we were hanging out by the cabana that we wouldn’t change the thing because it was just one of those really fabulous evenings. There are times when you regret we didn’t need the second bottle of wine and yet it was so fun. So wonderful. Amazing food. Ah so with oysters on half show. They were so wonderful that they’re like Charlie’s favorite thing. He always orders them. So um. Yeah, they did not make it to dinner Sunday night Megan Texted and said yeah, we’re not leaving this hotel room tonight I said no problem because it’s not like we don’t see them here and so David and I went down and went to ah Matteos at the venetian this italian restaurant and.
Ah, we had the but probably the best pasta we’ve ever had in our whole lives. It was incredible. Pasta um, you know the the handmade fresh pasta and perfectly balanced sauces and we had a. Chocolate souffle for dessert where we had to wait for it. But then it came out warm with the creme Anglais and a pistachio gelato and yeah, it was delightful. So it was kind of like um, kind of a birthday celebration have a birthday weekend and good partying. Whirlwind. We got it very early Monday morning and flew home we were back home by um, eleven thirty in the morning. So and I got some words yesterday I did not get my full two k but I got some words done and um. Yeah, it was good. So now I need to buckle down and get more work done this week ah exciting news which I should have let off with but then I forgot ah is that rogues paradise. Is out today. So that completes the release the rerelease of the trilogy. Ah I’m really happy in that I had for rogue’s pawn um a certain number of preorders that was. Quite low but I didn’t expect it to be high. Um, you know I thought well it’s going to be just a few right and I had this exact same number of preorders on book 2 on rogue’s possession which I actually think is good because that means an equivalent number of readers. Ah, if not the exact same readers committed to those first two books ah and for book 3 for rogues paradise I have doubled those pre-orders. It’s still not a phenomenal number. But what do you expect for a re-release right? so. So at least that’s what it was as of yesterday evening when I shut down so very excited for rogues paradise to release today. The trilogy is now all out there wide and so forth also in a coincidence. Ah. Book 2 of sorcerous moons on audio at scribd release today. So Oria’s gambit is out today on scribd I think they’re staggering those releases like every two weeks or so so I’ll link to both of those things.
If you have been listening to sorcerous moons though you can continue on with book 2 and I’m I’m still working on getting those books out wide but I will get them out wide. Ah. So so those are the big things. Um, it’s it’s interesting because ah, Megan and I had a great conversation on the ride down Albuquerque airport on Saturday David volunteered to get in the back. So he could doze he knew he was going to be pretty sleepy and so Megan and I could talk which we did nonstop the whole way and that was great but she was talking about I can’t remember who she said she was listening to I should ask her so I can um, link to it but we were talking about. To do list. She was saying that she had taken Instagram off of her phone that was kind of how it got started ah making choices for happiness which you all know if you’re a longtime listener I talk about a great deal on here so I was immediately interested and she was talking about the things that slide down your to do list and how. You move them from your to do list from one day to the next which I was like oh my god ah I really hate that I do that and I was telling her that in a recent SFWA meeting somebody had said that they had read possibly in the same place who knows. That you’re not supposed to re-jigger your to-do list that you’re not supposed to rearrange it during the day from today today and we all kind of groaned because we all do that? Um, so 1 thing that Megan said that this person suggested. Is that you can have your ongoing list of things that need to get done but you move them off of the dates you move them like onto another list entirely that you then reference and only put on each day. What you absolutely. Plan and need to get done and and my big problem is is that I would put this whole raft of things on there of like in case I get to it in case I have time which never happened then I should know better because I’m a big believer in the oh if I happen to find time. I’ll do this thing that that never happens especially with writing right? You know I never find time to write. No, you have to make time to write you have to make time to get things done on your to do list. So one thing I did when I got home. Ah, which was possibly a bit of.
Writing procrastination but I was also excited about this idea was I rejiggered my to do list for hopefully the final time and I took all of these things that are like pending projects and moved them to another list entirely and put only on that day. What I needed to get done that day and. Reader I got everything done yesterday that I had on that list and it was it was like oh angel singing the sun broke through the clouds here. We go the sun if you’re on video ah some broke through the grape leaves. Um, it was an immense relief. So I’m very excited about this if you’re on video. You’ll also see it’s a little bit of a breezy working here a little cool and breezy. Um, but not much rain yet. They Las Vegas people said that it had been the ah coolest August. That they remembered several people said that um so monsoons in the southwest. It’s been a thing there I scooted out of the sun briefly just to say goodbye. Ah, because the the sun ah did indeed break through the clouds. I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday and I will talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.
Some real numbers comparing the same book and series self-published vs. traditionally published – Spoiler: first month revenue is already 10% of 10 years of trad – & other thoughts on trad vs. indie.
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Delicious.
Ah, so good. How are you all today is Monday August date 16 22 I don’t know why it seems like there’s so many good dates lately. Bumping the table here. So um, we are New Week New week hopefully a productive week I need a productive week. Um I’m still on track with shadow wizard I’m losing a little bit of my buffer. I did not have um, a rocking writing day on Friday for no good reason I am happy to report that. However I am caught up on royalty crunching who I’ve caught up two months ‘ worth. Always interesting. Um, just to have a break from the royalties and come back and sort of see what the sales are like and one thing that’s very interesting. Sorry if I’m using that word way too many times. Um, you can’t adjust hold on a moment. My chair is could be apart. Ah, you know it’s like one of those selfassemble patio chair things and so it has the. It’s probably gonna be too hard to explain but you know like the caps that you screw on to the ends that hold it in place and one of the caps came off and I had it sitting here on the table but very lazily had not put it back on ah because it was one of those you know like two step projects where it required me to go inside the house. To get a screwdriver to come back out and screw it on and somehow I just never would not take that freaking long but somehow I never made that complete circuit and no I’m not sure where the piece has gone hopefully some. Critter didn’t carry it off but now it’s um, bending enough that it’s like pulling entirely out of the socket without the cap thingy to hold it on so the ah problem’s becoming more pointed but. We already spent way too much podcast time on that. Ah, ah so interesting. So interesting fascinating I think that’s why they came up with fascinating for Spock because interesting just got too boring. Um.
On my covenant of thorns books this is a great example of traditional publishing versus self-publishing. You know what? and I’m even Goingnna oh I’m not going bring up the exact numbers. But. So I started releasing rereleasing Covenant of Thorn’s series Rogue’s Pawn being book one in July and then Rogue’s Possession came out later july and then third book Rogue’s Paradise is coming out in August and. For all three books considering this is a series that’s 10 years old fabulous covers beautiful covers um but old books I shared a um review on the podcast on friday. Was a very interesting review I shared it with Grace and she’s like wow that’s a great review and I was like well it’s sort of ah a mixed review but I would much rather have a review that notices. Um and notes how I’ve grown as a writer and for me going back and reading those first books. Is a little bit cringy. It’s a good reminder for me. Um, when I read new authors first books that I should probably like read one of their later books too because um, ah I mean thank goodness I’ve gotten so much better. But wow you know and people told me then that it was overwritten and I didn’t think it was ah but ah the hubris of youth and newbiness right? Ah yeah, ah. In one contest. Someone told me that it was um, overwritten like Anne Rice is overwritten and I took that as a compliment. Um I think I’m way worse than Anne Rice ah but um anyway these books are being well received but they’re not burning up the charts I mean they’re not like hugely high rankings I’ve got more preorders for book 3 than I have for books 1 or 2 I like twice as many which is really nice. So that means that the people that are reading it and loving it. Are wanting to read that third book. That’s awesome. Um, but you know it’s like it’s still double digits I mean I don’t even have preorders in the triple digits which is fine. You know it’s like that’s kind of what I expect for rereleasing an old series like this right? so.
Even with fairly low but climbing preorder numbers I’m trying to walk the line here I I don’t want you to Um, oh what am I trying to say I’m trying to set the correct expectation here because I figured. If I was lucky if things went well that I could recoup my investment in putting a new cover and reformatting the book putting it up for sale. Ah in the first month and I’m going to do that easily more. For the first two books and with pre-orders alone for the third book each of those books has already I mean you’ll just like in numbers I don’t have the money yet, but they’ve already earned 10 to 12% of the lifetime sales. Of the books that did that they earned through Carina press. Okay, so let me rephrase that just in case I put that in a confusing way because I track all the sales of all my books. So in all the time 10 years that those books were with Carina Press and Carina paid me quarterly royalties on those books. So I know how much each book has earned over its lifetime via Carina in the time that I have had these up self-published a month for the first book. A month the two days they’ve already earned 10 to 12% of those lifetime sales one month versus ten years right? So when we talk about self- publishishing. And the money that you can earn in self-p publishing. There is a concrete example now why didn’t these books earn more money through Carina press. There’s a couple of factors and if you all already self publish or if you are um, you know, follow. Self-pubbers then you know this information but I’m going to share it here anyway because it does bear repeating part of it is the percentage. Um from Carina press even though they gave me a very generous I think 45% something like that of the. Net so that means of the money that they get after the wholesale price and all of that they gave me 45% of that price. So and actually.
Okay, so I went ahead and opened the spreadsheet just so I could give you some actual numbers because I calculate approximately how much I earn per book. Um, well this is going to be a little bit deceptive. However, okay, well let me give you the the numbers. From through Carina Press which is harlequin which is under harper collins. We’re looking at big consolidation of presses. So it’s worth it looking at that tiering. Ah penguin already emerged with random house. Now Simon Shuster is looking to acquire penguin random house. So anyway before and you know under them. My books were earning I would get ¢71 to a dollar for per per book. Now I have to do some quick baths self publishing I’m getting $3 per book. Um, so easily 3 times I’m making per book so that adds up fast. The other piece of it is. Marketing. Um, and we were having this conversation over the weekend. Ah Minerva Spencer and Katie Lane are their writing names came to brunch at my house on Saturday and we. Set out in the grape arbor and talked business. It was lovely and the demystifying thing is is because we have all published traditionally and self published. And it can just be mystifying what the traditional publishers are doing I do pretty basic marketing on that Covenant of Thorns series and it’s like a 1,000 times more than Carina press did on them especially 10 years later um we were gossiping about one friend of ours who’s who had a bestselling book Usa today but still bestselling book did enormously well but it came out a long time ago now. Um, somebody was saying 3 years but I think it’s longer than 3 years because 3 years was beginning of pandemic that amazing. Um, well it was like leading up into ah it’s on my mind because like Minerva Spencer I had not seen her since September of 2019 so it was nearly three years since I had last seen her in the flesh.
And it’s funny to think that um you know three years ago August of 2019 I was at world con in Dublin and we traveled around Ireland just seems ages ago. So um, anyway I think this this gal’s book came out. Probably five or six years ago yeah could be even six or 7 definitely pre 2017 so that gives us a ah range anyway. But she gets very upset that her traditional publisher is not. Pouring more publicity that they’re publicizing other books newer books and not hers which ah you know sometimes that happens that way. Oh. Mosquito so it’s this is what traditional and publishers do. They’re always about the new shiny. They don’t care about the older books. Um.
And and it’s to the detriment of the author because I mean you know like this girl’s perfectly right to be upset that they’re not publicizing this book. Especially I mean everybody could be making money on this but they just don’t they also. Just don’t seem to know how to position books which is bizarre and they fully believe that they do know I mean they’re just certain that they are in the right? So it’s this very interesting thing. Um that there are what, one of the gals I don’t remember who they might have both said it is like well why are people still going with traditional publishers and I still think there are good reasons to publish traditionally. But as far as making a living and getting your books out there. Ah. And makes all the difference and and what’s funny is that the traditional publishers and we all know this because we have editors and agents saying this to us as they’ll say well you know you just can’t make real money self-p publishishing and they always want to go back to the Statistic. You know that most self-p publishers. Only ever sell a hundred copies a year and and it’s like yeah, but then you have to look at the the other end of the spectrum that you know you’re not looking at the person who decide to you know, write their memoir and. Printed it out for their kids and grandkids. Um, besides which we don’t have to sell as many copies to make really good money as evidenced by this statistic I’m just fascinated by that it has made this big of a difference because I thought well. You know should I even republish. These am my sinking good money into this for no reason it’s going to be great. It’s going to be awesome. I was also counting up like how many books I sold at Apollycon because in the world of the convention. You know, ah it was just like sale sale sale I sold a lot of copies of Rogues Pawn I didn’t realize how many but that was the right crowd for that book I did not sell as many copies of dark wizard as I thought I would I do have a mosquito candle out here now to fend off the mosquitoes. Ah, see if that works I’d scooted it closer because there’s a couple of mosquitoes hovering hovering hungrily. So um.
You know it’s just really interesting what you sell in different venues and I think this is one of the things that self-publishers are able to do is that I can go and I can see which of my books sell on site and what I can say to readers that elicits their attention. I think it’s really super cool that I sold so many copies of the print version of rogue spawn um, for $10 right? Ah, but they love that it was a face story. So um. My point and I do have one. You know that there are people in traditional publishing who make a huge amount of money but there are lots who don’t and even the ones who are making a decent living the dreaded midlist right? which has become kind of a curse. But. There was a statistic that came out the other day that said that um I don’t know if they put a percentage on it but it was most and and I believe that it is most traditionally published authors are making $25000 a year or less which is. Below poverty level in the us and I I don’t know if that’s before or after taxes. But it’s still It’s not much money. Actually I think it was $20000 a year because the person who retweeted it into my timeline said that they were. Doing relatively well compared to many of their compatriots and they’re making $25000 a year. Um, which is still not enough to live on and traditional publishing persists in this idea that um. You know that we should be grateful for the money we are making I think ah one of my friends has been kind of struggling because ah, her traditional sales have fallen off. Um, we think we know why I think I know why actually I gave her. Um. A really good insight and I’ve seen this happen to a number of my friends that’s bragging isn’t it I thought it was great insight. She agreed. Okay, so in in two cases I’m thinking of specifically and I could probably think of a lot more There was an author who was selling incredibly well in a particular thing and their publisher changed the branding of it in 1 case, an author was told no no, we don’t want more of these of this subgenre. We want you to write this other subgenre.
And the books just didn’t do as well and the publisher is like huh I wonder what happened? Well you went off of the main readership and this other friend of mine who has done fabulously well in. Traditional publishing to the point where she didn’t really want to self-p publishlish because she’s like I’m making better money and trap and it’s like well wherever you’re making better money and go for it but now ah her most recent series. The sales are really tanked and I realized how they changed from her main branding that these books don’t. Look or feel or have the same wording as the ones where her main platform is and and it’s a departure and and once I pointed this out to her. She’s like you know what? I’m going to put these words in my next title and I’m going to see what’s what happens and it’s like great. We can do this as self publishers meanwhile in traditional publishing land. Her editor actually said to her that it’s because she’s self-publishing that she’s diluting her sales and that’s and it’s her fault and this is what they do in traditional publishing is they tell the author that it’s their fault and because it can’t possibly be theirs. And it’s nonsense. It’s I I was telling this story to Minerva and Katie this weekend and both of them immediately said that’s bullshit because we all know that readers read much faster than we can write and they they want more books. They don’t. Get tight. They don’t say oh ho ha another j– oops sorry another Jeffe Kennedy ah slight slip there wonder if I could fudge it out I bet I didn’t say as much as I thought I did we’ll see. Ah, but yeah, another Jeffe Kennedy Blah you know it’s maybe there are some who say that but the passionate readers they want more and this idea that um, which tread really holds onto that you know that they feel that it should be 1 book a year and I even had that. Um, on my last traditional publishing excursion. You know when we were talking about the frequency of the books and they said well our market research shows that the books do best if we release some nine months apart I kind of wanted to say well, what market research is that. Because it’s sure not how it looks from our perspective. The other interesting thing about self-publishing and this is a conversation that Minerva Katie and I were having was how we know what it takes to make a good cover. We know exactly how expensive a cover is.
We know about layers and putting them together. You have to learn I mean it’s just like at first you don’t know and you gradually learn so when a traditional publisher comes to us and this has happened to all of us. And says look at this beautiful expensive cover and we’re like that’s clip art and this part doesn’t look right? Can you fix this and they’re like oh no, it would take so much to fix that we’re like no, no, no, all you do is go in and tweak that layer. Um and they still want to act like we don’t know this that they can still blow sunshine. Ah. So this has turned somewhat into an indictment of tread which I don’t mean it to be because um I there are a lot of things I love about traditional publishing. Um and I will still try to publish traditionally but there. I feel like we’ve been saying for more than a decade now that traditional publishing is going to have to change what they’re doing and they are somehow mysteriously still not doing it. Um, but yeah, just being able to. To make a living as a writer. There are not many people who can do that without also self- publishing or without having a sidegig. So um I do think and we were all agreeing is in our conversation Saturday that. It was huge for all 3 of us that we had already traditionally published and had that readership they’re they’re good at establishing that readership and so it made self publishing much easier. It’s it’s harder when you’re coming right out of the gate as a self-p publisher. Unfortunately, that’s just how it is. So on that note I’ve chattered on long I hope you all have a wonderful Monday and a wonderful week and I will talk to you all tomorrow you all take care bye bye.
A great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY goes out to my delightful friend and brilliant critique partner, Anne Calhoun!
Yes, she was born on September 11, which is a date shaded with bad feels now. In fact, 9/11/01 was a milestone birthday for her – and she was in Manhattan.
I think we can make THIS birthday a titch more fun!!
In one of those serendipitous co-occurrences of fortune, Anne and I have almost overlapping release dates this week, too. Rogue’s Paradise, book 3 in my Covenant of Thorns trilogy, came out on Monday, and Anne’s fabulously sexy Afternoon Delight, first in her new IRRESISTIBLE series (who can resist that??) comes out next Tuesday.
So many things worth celebrating at once that I just can’t even!
Therefore, I propose a game. For the next 24 hours, from midnight Central US time on September 11 up until the hands of the clock switch over to September 12, I want you to give Anne gifts.
Oh, yeah – we’ll be giving away books! I’ll be giving away two digital copies of Anne’s Afternoon Delight and Anne will give likewise two of my Rogue’s Paradise. International is okay, since these are digital!
We’ll also be giving away each other’s backlists. Watch our Facebook and Twitter feeds – especially that #annebday hashtag – for flash giveaways from us and our partygirl friends!
Can’t wait for this party to get started!
~runs off to chill champagne and heat up dancing boys~