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Spring's Delight
by Kathleen Ball

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The last thing cowboy Colt O'Malley needs is another busybody intent on curing him of his grief. Deeply bitter, Colt finds it almost impossible honoring his brother's last act of kindness.



Spring Reed grew up in the foster care system and when she finally ages out, she relies on her protector and friend, Billy Jack to help them make a life together. To her horror, Billy becomes an abusive bully. Her rescuer arrives in the form of a coffee drinking, hard studying, college student, Caleb O'Malley. With a promise of a new job, he buys her a bus ticket from Texas to his family ranch in Montana with the plan to meet her there in a week. Unfortunately, no one met her.



When Old Ed tries to drop Spring off at the O'Malley ranch, Colt tells him to take her back. One glance at the pain in her eyes and he couldn't send her away. She reminds him of the abused horses he rescues.

Can two pe...

Author Topic: The Grass is Greener Over Here  (Read 9020 times)

Offline Shane Murray

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #75 on: July 02, 2013, 04:30:18 PM »

Offline H.M. Ward

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #76 on: July 02, 2013, 05:49:27 PM »
SHUT UP! How the hell did you do that? I feel like I'm asking my agent to find outlandish things. The other day I was wondering why foreign sales has limited usage rights and wondered why it wasn't like that for US sales. When I ask these things, they say I'm a crazy person. I need to tell ppl that pigs are flying b/c of authors like you, and maybe Im not that nuts. ;)


Haha - I'm going to beat Hugh on this one - my print-only deal is for 4 years then revert - SCORE!  

H.M. You are definitely not nuts - the Life of copyright terms and low thresholds of sales for reversions have GOT TO GO! Keep insisting and we'll get there.

4?!?!?! My offers were for lifetime rights on EVERYTHING. When they found out that I already produced the audiobook, they didn't want to give up the rights to it--and this was after telling me that audio wasn't worth anything. Of course ebooks aren't worth anything either... ;)

4!

I'm totally going to start asking for some crazy ass stuff and see what happens. :) 1 BAJILLION DOLLARS!

Offline Anne Frasier/Theresa Weir

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #77 on: July 02, 2013, 06:02:52 PM »
love it!!!!!
   

Offline Linda Castillo

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #78 on: July 02, 2013, 06:03:47 PM »
4?!?!?! My offers were for lifetime rights on EVERYTHING. When they found out that I already produced the audiobook, they didn't want to give up the rights to it--and this was after telling me that audio wasn't worth anything. Of course ebooks aren't worth anything either... ;)

4!

I'm totally going to start asking for some crazy *ss stuff and see what happens. :) 1 BAJILLION DOLLARS!


Offline Diane Patterson

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #79 on: July 02, 2013, 08:27:31 PM »
4?!?!?! My offers were for lifetime rights on EVERYTHING. When they found out that I already produced the audiobook, they didn't want to give up the rights to it--and this was after telling me that audio wasn't worth anything. Of course ebooks aren't worth anything either... ;)

4!

I'm totally going to start asking for some crazy *ss stuff and see what happens. :) 1 BAJILLION DOLLARS!

And just think, before forums like KB, authors had no way of sharing what publishers were doing, except in the bars at conferences (that you had to be able to afford the time and money to get to...).

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Offline Victorine

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #80 on: July 02, 2013, 08:44:20 PM »
And just think, before forums like KB, authors had no way of sharing what publishers were doing, except in the bars at conferences (that you had to be able to afford the time and money to get to...).

^This. And also the fact that authors were afraid to speak out against publishers because there was no other choice. If you were seen as a trouble maker, you were out. That was it. No more book deals and you were sunk.

Now writers can share without worry of being blacklisted.
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Offline CB Edwards

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #81 on: July 02, 2013, 09:07:30 PM »
And just think, before forums like KB, authors had no way of sharing what publishers were doing, except in the bars at conferences (that you had to be able to afford the time and money to get to...).

That's what agents are supposed to do - to define the marketplace for their clients.

Edit: Congrats on your decision, HM.

Offline emilycantore

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #82 on: July 02, 2013, 09:45:04 PM »
Oh boy, can you imagine the conversations in that publishing house now?

I can just see some editor who had their head on straight saying "No, we need to offer a bigger chunk of money and it's just for print rights and it's just for seven years and nothing else!"
Trad pub boss: "Oh no we don't do that. We take all rights and we offer half of what you said"
"So you want to take puppet show rights too? Even though we've never put on a puppet show or sold the rights to a puppet show ever?"
"We might one day. I WANT ALL THE RIGHTS!"

... and then kapow. Holly kicking ass and they're grinding their (formerly) gold-plated teeth.

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Offline H.M. Ward

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #83 on: July 02, 2013, 09:59:42 PM »
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 10:01:41 PM by h.m. ward »

Offline Vera Nazarian

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #84 on: July 02, 2013, 10:01:18 PM »
Holly, you are an absolute inspiration! :)

Thank you for sharing this, and I am so glad you had the wisdom and the guts to stand your ground!

Offline AmsterdamAssassin

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #85 on: July 03, 2013, 12:52:59 AM »
Congrats, Holly. Excellent judgment there.

Pretty weird, but when I posted about writing the third KillFile, with the third Novel on schedule for the Holiday Season, I was approached by a small press, but I didn't want to sign away all my rights. I think that print-only is the best way to go for many KBers.



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Offline Michael_J_Sullivan

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #86 on: July 03, 2013, 12:57:57 AM »
4?!?!?! My offers were for lifetime rights on EVERYTHING. When they found out that I already produced the audiobook, they didn't want to give up the rights to it--and this was after telling me that audio wasn't worth anything. Of course ebooks aren't worth anything either... ;)

4!

I'm totally going to start asking for some crazy *ss stuff and see what happens. :) 1 BAJILLION DOLLARS!

Yeah the "life of copyright" drives me insane!!  Seriously??? You want to own my rights until I die + 70 years?  How many contracts do you know that have such a term? The big six has to completely change their attitude.  And yeah the audio rights stuff is another thing that gets my blood boiling.  I sold 11,000 audio books in 6 months (across 3 books) and my traditional publisher gets 50% of that revenue for doing what exactly?  Absolutely nothing - all they did was sign a contract and for that they get half?  I tried to get audio divorced from the contract for my second series with the big-five and couldn't. To make sure it's not an issue for my third series I did sell those rights now (even though I'm still writing it) so it was "off the table"
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Offline Michael_J_Sullivan

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #87 on: July 03, 2013, 01:15:59 AM »
And just think, before forums like KB, authors had no way of sharing what publishers were doing, except in the bars at conferences (that you had to be able to afford the time and money to get to...).

So very true...it is important for us to know that non-conventional deals are being made - and then use those deals to put the fire to the publisher's feet.  Having options is what it's all about.  I've said it before, my two traditional deals were good for me - and my publisher (while they toe the line like all of the big-five) are actually better than most. But I've used Kickstarter to provide income for editing/cover design/and a good advance. I've sold audio rights for works I've not written and it's all done, and now a print-only deal. All this gives me leverage for the next series' books. How will I publish them?  I have no idea...like H.M. I'm going to analyze the numbers and decide from there.

And also the fact that authors were afraid to speak out against publishers because there was no other choice. If you were seen as a trouble maker, you were out. That was it. No more book deals and you were sunk. Now writers can share without worry of being blacklisted.

My agent was told by my publisher that they weren't happy with some of the things I say about traditional publishing.  She was asked to tell me to "quit it."  My response...if you are embarrassed by the people exposing the practices you're doing...maybe you should stop doing them. 
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 01:19:53 AM by Michael_J_Sullivan »
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Offline DRMarvello

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #88 on: July 03, 2013, 05:31:43 AM »
My agent was told by my publisher that they weren't happy with some of the things I say about traditional publishing.  She was asked to tell me to "quit it."  My response...if you are embarrassed by the people exposing the practices you're doing...maybe you should stop doing them. 

That was a bad idea on their part for many reasons, not the least of which is that you might tell others they tried to shut you up. Like you just did. That sure doesn't make them look good.

They should applaud the reasoned approach you take when discussing the industry. You are not a trad-basher by a long shot. You are one of the successful hybrid authors who helps show all of us how trade publishing can still fit in our plans going forward. If anything, I would say you are PRO trade, when it is the right decision for the individual author's circumstances. You, Holly, Hugh, and others have shown the rest of us to run the numbers, resist the emotional influences, and do the thing that makes the most sense for our individual business goals.

I salute you all, while I wiggle my toes in the green grass.

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #89 on: July 03, 2013, 06:07:07 AM »
I really need to get a clue. I've had three offers and turned them down.
Two were for NO ADVANCE and the other was roughly a month's wages in my most recent day job.
I still walked away doubting whether I had made the right decision.
Duh.
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Offline RM Prioleau

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #90 on: July 03, 2013, 06:21:32 AM »
Here's my POD book on Barnes & Noble's website: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-duchess-war-courtney-milan/1113915769?ean=9781481207478&itm=1&usri=the+duchess+war Here it is on indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781481207478

I have people special order my POD books all the time. Use LSI or Amazon's extended distribution.

By contrast, my first traditionally published book on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/proof-by-seduction-courtney-milan/1100346793?ean=9781460302804

Notice that you can't buy a new copy. That's because it's out of print, and new print editions of that book have been unavailable since mid 2011. At this point, my first two traditionally published books (out in 2010) are both unavailable as new print editions. You have to buy them used. My second two traditionally published books (out in 2011) are still available, but give it another year and you won't be able to find them in print.

So my self-published POD books are more available than my traditionally published books.

I'm not sure what you mean by "their books are still widely distributed" if they're not in physical bookstores. How is it distribution if it isn't distributed?

Wow, this is an eye-opener for me. I didn't know the inner workings of how a trad. publisher distributes vs. an indie publisher. So are you saying that all a trad. publisher does to distribute books widely is just use LSI or Expanded Distribution? The very same thing that an indie can use, also? If so, then this sort of defeats the purpose of me wanting to get a hybrid deal.

So why do so many people want to get trad. paperback deals and/or hybrid deals if they can do it all themselves and still get the same exposure? Or is it because they DON'T WANT to do all this themselves and would rather someone else do it?

So confused right now, but I hope I can try and understand all this correctly...

Offline Michael_J_Sullivan

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #91 on: July 03, 2013, 06:28:48 AM »
That was a bad idea on their part for many reasons, not the least of which is that you might tell others they tried to shut you up. Like you just did. That sure doesn't make them look good.

They should applaud the reasoned approach you take when discussing the industry. You are not a trad-basher by a long shot. You are one of the successful hybrid authors who helps show all of us how trade publishing can still fit in our plans going forward. If anything, I would say you are PRO trade, when it is the right decision for the individual author's circumstances. You, Holly, Hugh, and others have shown the rest of us to run the numbers, resist the emotional influences, and do the thing that makes the most sense for our individual business goals.

I salute you all, while I wiggle my toes in the green grass.

I totally understand why thy would say such a thing. You have to keep in mind that they come from a industry where there has traditionally been an incredible imbalance in power. For years it was "my way or the highway" and there really was no other choice so of course the practices favored them...why wouldn't it. The thing that publishers need to realize is that the times have changed. I often find myself thinking of the movie Gandhi where he says, "They [the British government] are not in control. We are." A ballsy statement from a man with no official title who had given up western ways to live a simple life of homespun cloth.  

On any given day my posts will show "pro-trad" or "pro-self" because they really do BOTH offer valid choices worth considering.  A few posts back David said he would never sell his ebook rights.  I know why he would think that way, but I also now the advantages that the hybrid approach brings.  But the publishers who were dealing with H.M. were operating in the "old school way."  They wanted "all the rights forever." When the landscape was such that authors had no way to monetize rights if they kept them, this wasn't such a strange thing - after all if they weren't with the publisher they weren't working at all.  But times have changed and they are just as valuable to a smart and savvy self-published author as they are to a traditional one and they have to realize that their competition isn't S&S verses Penguin but also traditional verses self-published.

Their "all or nothing" mentality got them exactly what they deserved....nothing.  And H.M. making this public, so that other authors realize the possibilities arms us all with information and it is information and the leverage of power that will change things.

Bella started it with her first print-only deal.  A day I truly never thought I would see.  Then Hugh took that a step further and made the big-five see the light or miss the bus completely.  Of course the problem is most of us don't have the sales that Bella, Colleen, and Hugh have so we have no leverage.  But we have to keep chipping away.  I see my print-only deal as another chink in that armor.  It won't be a big-five six or seven figure deal like Hugh's but in some ways I think it will be even more important as it will show that a good solid "midlister" can find that happy medium of using traditional what they do best (sell print books) and still make a good income by keeping ebook rights.  You can bet I'm going to do everything in my power to ensure that my print-only publisher has AMAZING sales.  I want to prove to them, and the industry that they need to do more of this...be willing to take a piece of the pie and let us all have share.  

I truly hope that H.M's publishers reconsider.  They need to make her a fixed-term print-only deal that gives her complete freedom to continue to earn on her ebook but still make a good profit and expand her readership base - which benefits both her and them.  At least this is how I see it.
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Offline Michael_J_Sullivan

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #92 on: July 03, 2013, 06:40:08 AM »
So are you saying that all a trad. publisher does to distribute books widely is just use LSI or Expanded Distribution? The very same thing that an indie can use, also? If so, then this sort of defeats the purpose of me wanting to get a hybrid deal.

Yes and no.  A very small press is going to use POD just like a self-publisher would, so in this case they aren't bringing anything to the table that you can't get on your own.  In both cases the books will be "for sale forever" and will generally be bought online through Amazon & B&N where most of the print books are sold anyway.

But a larger publisher...like I'm with or Courtney was when traditionally published.  Have a different distribution system.  They do a print run.  Let's say 5,000 books for the sake of argument.  Those go into a warehouse and the bookstores buy from the distributors (so they have just a few vendors instead of many vendors to deal with).  The distributor or the publisher (or both) have entire sales teams that provide corporate buyers with their catalogs and convince them to put their books on the shelves. Getting them on shelves gives you more exposure, and more exposure can lead to more sales. As those books start selling one of three things are going to happen.  

(a) they sell really well and fly out of the warehouse, in which case the publisher will do another printing, and another, and another as long as the books are selling well

(b) they will sell "okay" in which they will keep them in the warehouse until they run out and once that happens there are no more - this is the case she alluded to above where her earlier books have no new copies.

(c) they will sell terribly and the cost being incurred by the publisher in returns and warehousing outweigh the income they are getting. In which case they will force the book out of print.  Essentially they will take it off the market and either pulp (shred) the books or they might selll them as remainders where some seller buys books by the pound and they are sold at used bookstores for a $1 or $2 a book.

So why do so many people want to get trad. paperback deals and/or hybrid deals if they can do it all themselves and still get the same exposure? Or is it because they DON'T WANT to do all this themselves and would rather someone else do it?

Because you don't get the same exposure.  I've sold 192,000 (across 3 titles) books through traditional.  80,500 of those have been print books through the extensive distribution system of my big-five publisher.  When I was self-published I sold A LOT of ebooks (not as much as H.M. but I had several months where I sold 10,000 - 12,000 books a month).  But my print sales were REALLY small - only a few hundred each month, because mine were POD and only bought online.

In many ways, you don't NEED print in that you can make a really good income with just ebooks.  My traditional publishing move more books for me then when I was self-published, so I have more readers (my primary concern at this point) and it provides ENOUGH income so that I don't have to work a day job. But I sell better than many traditionally published authors.  I know others that have sold just 5,000 over the whole time their books were in print and in that case THESE people would have been much better off by self-publishing.

There are many many factors to consider, and no easy answer.  H.M. is right you have to do analyze what you think you'll realistically do in both scenarios then chose your path. For me, personally, I calculated that I would lose $200,000 by going traditional but I was willing to do so in order to get greater exposure. Now that turned out NOT to be the case, and as it turns out I ended up making more that I would have if I stayed self (or at least I think that is the case based on my revised calculations and actual sales).  But it could have just as easily gone the other way

I hope that helps to explain things.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 06:51:54 AM by Michael_J_Sullivan »
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Offline RM Prioleau

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #93 on: July 03, 2013, 07:01:21 AM »
Yes and no.  A very small press is going to use POD just like a self-publisher would, so in this case they aren't bringing anything to the table that you can't get on your own.  In both cases the books will be "for sale forever" and will generally be bought online through Amazon & B&N where most of the print books are sold anyway.

But a larger publisher...like I'm with or Courtney was when traditionally published.  Have a different distribution system.  They do a print run.  Let's say 5,000 books for the sake of argument.  Those go into a warehouse and the bookstores buy from the distributors (so they have just a few vendors instead of many vendors to deal with).  The distributor or the publisher (or both) have entire sales teams that provide corporate buyers with their catalogs and convince them to put their books on the shelves. Getting them on shelves gives you more exposure, and more exposure can lead to more sales. As those books start selling one of three things are going to happen.  

(a) they sell really well and fly out of the warehouse, in which case the publisher will do another printing, and another, and another as long as the books are selling well

(b) they will sell "okay" in which they will keep them in the warehouse until they run out and once that happens there are no more - this is the case she alluded to above where her earlier books have no new copies.

(c) they will sell terribly and the cost being incurred by the publisher in returns and warehousing outweigh the income they are getting. In which case they will force the book out of print.  Essentially they will take it off the market and either pulp (shred) the books or they might selll them as remainders where some seller buys books by the pound and they are sold at used bookstores for a $1 or $2 a book.

Because you don't get the same exposure.  I've sold 192,000 (across 3 titles) books through traditional.  80,500 of those have been print books through the extensive distribution system of my big-five publisher.  When I was self-published I sold A LOT of ebooks (not as much as H.M. but I had several months where I sold 10,000 - 12,000 books a month).  But my print sales were REALLY small - only a few hundred each month, because mine were POD and only bought online.

In many ways, you don't NEED print in that you can make a really good income with just ebooks.  My traditional publishing move more books for me then when I was self-published, so I have more readers (my primary concern at this point) and it provides ENOUGH income so that I don't have to work a day job. But I sell better than many traditionally published authors.  I know others that have sold just 5,000 over the whole time their books were in print and in that case THESE people would have been much better off by self-publishing.

There are many many factors to consider, and no easy answer.  H.M. is right you have to do analyze what you think you'll realistically do in both scenarios then chose your path. For me, personally, I calculated that I would lose $200,000 by going traditional but I was willing to do so in order to get greater exposure. Now that turned out NOT to be the case, and as it turns out I ended up making more that I would have if I stayed self (or at least I think that is the case based on my revised calculations and actual sales).  But it could have just as easily gone the other way

I hope that helps to explain things.

That really does help! Thank you! :)

Offline elalond

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #94 on: July 04, 2013, 01:55:25 AM »
My 2nd book in my series came out last week. In ONE week that title outsold the highest offer for the entire series. It was really hard to say no over and over again. There was a lot of pressure on me to just take the deal. I'm not gonna lie and say I was laughing about it, because it really freaked me out. I walked away from a huge pile of cash, it was painstakingly difficult, and it paid off. There's much more to consider than just the one bird in the bush. That's a very narrow way to view sales potential. I mean, there's a whole fricken forest around the bush. We need to see the big picture.

That's great. I'm glad you didn't yield to temptation. :) Yey for you. And thank you for sharing your experience.

4?!?!?! My offers were for lifetime rights on EVERYTHING. When they found out that I already produced the audiobook, they didn't want to give up the rights to it--and this was after telling me that audio wasn't worth anything. Of course ebooks aren't worth anything either... ;)
4!
I'm totally going to start asking for some crazy *ss stuff and see what happens. :) 1 BAJILLION DOLLARS!

I'm right now reading The Business Rusch: Selling Books Elsewhere on foreign deals, and I think that the paragraphs below are especially interesting:

Quote
I get better terms for my books--including a limitation on the contract. Agents hate contract term limits, because the contract keeps the agent on board as well as the publisher. Most agent-negotiated foreign contracts that I've signed look suspiciously like American contracts, with the nasty icky rights clauses and the impossible reversions.

The foreign contracts I've negotiated myself don't have the icky rights clauses, and they have a time limit. The rights licensed in the contract will return to me after a certain number of years, and if the book is still selling well, then the publisher and I have the right to renew the contract on equal or better terms.

I don't have that clause in any of my agent-negotiated foreign contracts, yet it exists in all of the contracts I've negotiated myself.
- See more at: http://kriswrites.com/2013/07/03/the-business-rusch-selling-books-elsewhere/#sthash.S8kriR5K.dpuf
which, I believe, is the reason why majority of publishing contract include "life of copyright" in it. And that the "Agents hate contract term limits, because the contract keeps the agent on board as well as the publisher. " is something that writers should keep in mind when dealing with agents and publishers. (When signing a contract, do it because it's it foremost benefits you, not your agent or publisher.)

My agent was told by my publisher that they weren't happy with some of the things I say about traditional publishing.  She was asked to tell me to "quit it."  My response...if you are embarrassed by the people exposing the practices you're doing...maybe you should stop doing them. 
I love this.  ;D
 
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Offline KevinH

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Re: The Grass is Greener Over Here
« Reply #95 on: July 04, 2013, 03:23:35 AM »
This is an absolutely fantastic thread because it lets all of us know how the realm of what's possible has expanded.  Congrats, Ms. Ward!