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Messages - Evelyn Alexie

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For Romance, you can submit to publishers such as Harlequin or Avon without an agent.
Granted, you're not going to get huge advances, but it is possible to use that money to launch a self-published book. This is what I am doing.

If you were trying to get the attention of an agent or editor in the Romance field, try RWA contests. Many agents/editors judge them. The local RWA chapters use these contests to fund their activities, but numbers are down since so many people who used to enter are now publishing on their own. It's easier to get noticed by a traditional Romance publisher that way. While it's not a huge amount of money, it can help seed your self publishing career.

I always thought the record for longest wait was held by Andrea Host. After waiting ten years, she asked the publisher to withdraw her MS from consideration.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Can I take a moment to do a happy dance?
« on: Yesterday at 10:38:11 PM »
Wouldn't dream of trying to bring you back to earth. Enjoy the moment!
BTW, nice dance moves  ;)

Just like others here have said, no one knows anything.

Excellent! I've found a place where I can fit in.

I'm more nervous about the book I'm publishing myself than the one that's being traditionally published. Even after getting feedback from a beta reader, it's still my name on the cover and I'm the one who has to push that Publish button. If people hate it, well, I'll try to figure out what went wrong and fix it. The next one will be better.

Writers' Cafe / Re: SOmeone's using my (pen) name?
« on: October 10, 2017, 01:10:59 PM »
When I picked my pen name, I checked that no one was writing Romance on Amazon under that name, let alone Western Romance.
But my first book is being published by a traditional publisher. In the interim between selling my book and seeing it available for pre-order on Amazon, someone snuck in and published a Western Romance under the pen name.  :o
Worse, her hero had the same first name as my hero and her second love interest man had the same first name as one of my secondary characters. :o >:( ???

All I could do was add a middle initial to the name and make sure the author page listed my books not hers.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Confidence
« on: October 08, 2017, 05:02:27 PM »
I've been wrestling with feeling of inadequacy ever since I got my last manuscript back from the beta reader. I'm choosing to think of it as part of the process.

At some point you will have to let your book baby go into the world to sink or swim. You've done all you can to make it the best you can. Let it go. The next one will be better.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is This Title Too Long and Too Clever?
« on: October 07, 2017, 06:39:36 PM »
My favorite will always be Edmund Crispin's: We Know You're Busy Writing But We Thought You Wouldn't Mind If We Just Dropped In For A Minute, After All It's Only Us.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Do you prefer long or short chapters?
« on: October 05, 2017, 02:28:04 PM »
For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Dang it. Six words. :(

Oh wait!

Chip, I'm pregnant.

That works :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Do you prefer long or short chapters?
« on: October 05, 2017, 02:19:07 PM »
I'm not sure how relevant this anecdote is, since this board isn't really concerned with traditional publishing, but I do know of one editor who rejected an MS (partial submission) because the chapters were too short. (IIRC, she said they were about 1200 words.) Her feeling was that the characters weren't being given enough room to show the emotional development.

This was for Romance. FWIW, ICYC, YMMV, etc.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Any Christian fiction writers here?
« on: October 05, 2017, 08:17:15 AM »
If you have a story where the main characters swear (even once) and take their clothes off (even Because Reasons) then I really do suggest you not market it as 'clean and wholesome' or 'sweet' romance or 'Christian Fiction.' Once the readers stop clutching their pearls, as you phrase it, they're going to click one-star and give it a bad review.

If I order a pizza and ask for ham-and-pineapple but you deliver a pizza with anchovies and jalapeños instead, I'm not getting what I paid for. Even if you have strong feelings against pineapple on pizza (many people do) it's still what I'd put down my money to get.

There's a woman on another thread who got a bad review because her mystery had a romance subplot where the heroine ended up with another woman. This was not made clear in the blurb and the reader felt angry as a result. People have strong feelings about sex. And swearing. And pineapples.

I'm not saying don't write the story the way you think it should be told. I'm just suggesting that you be careful how you market it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Plotting as you go
« on: October 03, 2017, 10:45:09 AM »
Thanks. There are a few famous writers that work this way. Diana Gabaldon is the one I've heard talk the most about it. According to Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan wrote a lot like this. There are are few others but I can't seem to bring them to mind at the moment.

And a few not-yet-famous writers too :)

I refer to it as quilting rather than pantsing. I write all the scenes that I can see, move them around until I see a pattern, and then stitch them together.

It does leave a lot of clutter that I have to throw out, but the end result is much better than when I tried to force myself to write linear and use an outline.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Any Christian fiction writers here?
« on: October 03, 2017, 10:02:50 AM »
If you're marketing the book as Christian Fiction, there will be an expectation that it follows the CBA conventions. For the main characters, no smoking, no drinking, no swearing, no gambling, and when it comes to sex scenes, forget it.

If you're writing a story that includes these elements, be aware that there might be a disconnect between what you're writing and what the reader is expecting. It's like writing a Romance that doesn't have a happy ending.

If you're aiming to submit your story to one of the traditional Christian Romance publishers, don't include specific denominations. Write it to the lowest common denomination, as it were. Don't mention Methodists or Baptists or whatever. (Amish is the sole exception.) Historical accuracy is not a priority in this regard. I've heard of publishers and agents who rejected stories because some of the characters were Catholic, despite the fact that it's pretty hard to set a story in medieval Europe without them.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Any Christian fiction writers here?
« on: October 02, 2017, 06:29:15 PM »
I googled Inspirational Romance Reviews to find bloggers who might want to review my story.

Absolute Write has a forum dedicated to Christian writers. Or there's ACFW. They might be able to point you toward Christian-specific reviewers.

OK, so now that I've one-clicked those am I greedy if I say I want the others that aren't kindlelized as of yet?!?

Haven't clicked 'buy' so fast in a long time. I suspect we are not the only ones. Hopefully, the Publishers That Be will notice the huge spike and feel that it's safe to put more of her books out in Kindle form. And Audible.

I've read all of about two posts from you and I think I have a crush on you already.

So logical. Mmmmmm ...

What excellent taste you have!  ;)

I've personally had nothing but bad experiences with critique groups over the years. I do, however, believe there is a difference between beta readers who aren't authors and ones who are. I've given crit partners/beta readers chances over and over again (finding them that is and keeping them) but always come out annoyed. But the thing is, it's not that I'm not open to criticism because I am, it's just that I don't respect people's opinions if they aren't walking the walk so to speak. The crit groups or betas I've had who were authors rip work to shreds but then they spend years upon years rewriting and rewriting and working on the same book.

I think we're talking about different things. At least, to some people beta readers and critique groups are synonymous.
My personal definition (FWIW, YMMV, etc)
Critique group: People you send a story to while you're writing it and who send back feedback as the story progresses.
Beta readers: People I send a story to after it's done, before it goes to an editor, to make sure it makes sense to someone else.

I ask Beta readers one question: where (if anywhere) do you feel the story loses energy?

I pay a copyeditor to double-check my commas and whatnot. I would not expect her to say "this passage bores the bejabbers out of me." That's not within her pay scale. If every beta reader says they hate the story, but I adore it, I might send it to a developmental editor for some heavy editing, but I wouldn't ask my copyeditor to do that job for copyedit rates.

And I have no patience with people who just treat writing as a hobby. If that makes them happy to be in a group and shred writing on an endless lather/rinse/repeat cycle but never publish, that's great for them. But I want to explore the world of writing, and they're indoors on a treadmill going nowhere.

Okay, I'm getting harsh. Time to stop.

Most of the software companies I've worked for employed people to do beta testing before the product was released.
The idea was not to redesign the product, just to catch any major errors.
I regard beta readers the same way. It's not writing by committee, at least not the way I treat it. If there's a major problem, I want to hear about it from a beta reader rather than a paying customer.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How to Be Hooky
« on: September 28, 2017, 10:51:08 AM »
I want nothing to be in a story unless it is directly relevant to the plot. My stories are often too short because I'm so concerned with not included fluff. I don't want to write it; I don't want to read it.

But I can be persuaded to break that rule if the author a)makes extraneous content funny and b)keeps it short.

The classic example that I can think of is from the TV show, Babylon 5. In the middle of an episode where everyone is trying to save the universe (again), two characters get into a discussion of how they put their trousers on in the morning:

Have to give a thumbs up to Haunted Unicorn for a fabulous beta read!
She has a knack for pinpointing the weakness of a scene without making the author feel foolish.
Prompt, professional, and very easy to work with.


That was a fun article. I love how timeless Austen is. Thanks for sharing it!


I'm afraid I have to agree-- the cover doesn't appeal to me.
I didn't realize it was a romance fantasy story until I looked at the categories. I thought it was horror.

The blurb didn't grab my attention.

I did like the opening line. I liked it a lot. But as I kept reading, I had trouble picturing the world around the main character.

Confession: I am probably not your ideal reader. I read romance and I read fantasy, but I rarely read epic fantasy because I often have trouble getting into the world quickly and I lack the patience to ferret out details.


I truly do not want to de-rail the discussion from the OP's original ask. Yes, the first blurb is the most compelling in my opinion. And yes, as others have said, the cover shows a character who seems older than the character described in the opening pages. That is a disconnect.

And yes, the OP might want to consider running the story past an editor.

Okay, a minor de-rail. I hate not being able to agree with someone who's been around in the business for longer than I have, but the sentences I quoted are grammatically incorrect. You can use a comma and "and" (or some other conjunction) if you are using them to separate two independent clauses.

So, here are two independent clauses as separate sentences:
Patty knows more than I do about what makes a good cover.
She could hardly know less.

If I want to join them together into one sentence, I would use a comma and a conjunction:
Patty knows more than I do about what makes a good cover, but she could hardly know less.

If you have two clauses and one of them is not an independent clause, you do not use a conjunction and a comma to separate them:

He sped through a narrow side street and up a flight of stairs.

In this example, "up a flight of stairs" is not an independent clause. You would never write it as a separate sentence.

Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

I agree that many readers would not object to additional commas. For what it's worth, here are a couple sentences that I saw that have incorrect comma usage:

Kirin spun on his heels, and dove back down the stairs toward the alley, breaking into a run.
He sped through a narrow side street, and up a flight of stairs.

I didn't read past the first page, but both of those examples show an incorrect usage of commas. Again, I do not believe all readers care about such things. But those who don't care probably won't mind if your sentences are grammatically correct, so it doesn't hurt to have a copyeditor do a quick pass through the manuscript.


Introductions & Welcomes / Re: Another newbie comes out of lurkerville
« on: September 20, 2017, 05:05:08 PM »
Thank you both!


Writers' Cafe / Re: Rights managed cover art - has anyone tried it?
« on: September 12, 2017, 01:01:36 PM »
Thank you both!

I can only imagine that they deliberately set the terms with the expectation that I would counteroffer.

Writers' Cafe / Rights managed cover art - has anyone tried it?
« on: September 12, 2017, 12:39:18 PM »
I saw an old thread from JRTomlin about this, but when I started to reply I got an intimidating warning about how old the thread was.

So I'll start over.

Hello. This is my second post. Total newbie who fears that she’s wandered into a minefield.

The goal: independently publish my second book.
My first book is being traditionally published in January, so I'm hoping to put this out in February and ride on its coattails, so to speak.  After years of searching (well, all right, a few weeks of searching, but it FELT like years) I found the perfect image for the cover.
Nothing else comes close.
The problem? The quote for its use seems on the high side: 2 years non-exclusive use for eBook only is several hundred dollars.  :o
The man did mention that they might be willing to negotiate.
He wasn’t sure what to quote me for the print version. I was going to use CreateSpace for print on demand, and he asked if I could estimate the number of copies.


1-Have you tried negotiating the fee for rights managed art?
2-If so, how did you handle estimating number of books for the print license?
2a-Was the ebook license for a limited number of years?
3-Did they quote you an inflated price with the expectation of negotiating down?
4-How much do you usually pay for images? (Assuming you do pay for images. Using free pictures is a different topic altogether. Really. Please don't open that discussion here.)

I really do want to use this image, but I'm not sure what would be a reasonable counteroffer.


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