Self-Publishing 1, Traditional Publishing 5883289538

What in the world could I be talking about? I can see the wheels spinning in your head.

Well let’s give some background. Anyone who knows anything about publishing knows that self-publishing has a certain amount of stigma attached to it. There aren’t riots in the streets and no one is calling for the heads of the CEOs of the Big 5 publishers, but there’s still a stigma.

But a little tiny sliver of hope has appeared on the horizon. The Washington Post featured a self-published romance novel as one of it’s “Best Romance Books of 2015”.

Alisha Rai’s Serving Pleasure made the cut. And it’s thought to perhaps be the first such book to make one of these best of the year lists.

So now maybe Alisha Rai will be mentioned in the same breath as Hugh Howey, E.L. James, and Andy Weir? Or not, but it’s still nice to see.

What do you think of a self-published book being named one of the best romance books of 2015? I have nothing negative to say about it.

Scribd’s Traditional Royalty System Proves Costly

Last week I wrote about how Amazon has changed the way royalties are paid out to authors when their books are borrowed from Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. They went from paying out a royalty when a reader read 10 percent of a particular book to paying out a royalty per page. I applauded the system because it’s more fair than the previous one. Now we’re given a prime example of what happens when you use a traditional royalty payment system for borrowed books.

Scribd does. They pay out a royalty for every book borrowed, regardless of how many pages are read. And it’s coming back to bite them in the you know what. They announced last week that they will be removing many romance and erotic titles basically because they can’t afford to keep paying the royalties. People are reading them too much and the $8.99 a month subscribers pay just isn’t going to cut it. So, titles are being removed from their catalog.

Now think about this. What if you subscribed to one of these services (Kindle Unlimited & Oyster being the other two) and your genre of preference is romance. And you’re reading along every month enjoying all these romance novels. And then the service decides to remove thousands of books that all happen to be in your favorite genre. Wouldn’t that be a little irritating? I think so. And it just goes to show that a traditional royalty system is not the answer to subscription based book services.

What do you think about Scribd having to remove romance titles because people are reading them too much?

What Makes a Summer Beach Read?

All over the internet you’ll find lists of summer beach reads. I have not read a single one of these lists. Except one. It was probably a month ago now that a blogger I follow wrote about beach reads. And I don’t remember the post or what she said, but she defined beach reads (in part) as books that take place on the beach. I don’t know about you, but I’m unaware of the beach genre. I’ve never read a book that takes place on the beach. And I think it’d be beyond ridiculous for someone to seek out such a book.

I mean, an entire book can’t even take place on a beach. So that doesn’t even make sense. I remember liking her complete definition, but I have no idea what else it entailed. So now I’m just wondering to myself (and to y’all) about what makes a book a beach read. Is it a summer romance? Is it YA? Is it anything written by Nicholas Sparks? I have no idea. But I do know that it can’t simply be books set on the beach. At least I hope that’s not what all those lists are listing.

So what makes a book a summer beach read?

And I’m writing this as a separate post from my post on Summer Reading Lists because I see articles about books that “should be on your summer reading list” and I see articles about “summer beach reads”. So I’m assuming there’s some difference here.

On this day in 2014 I published Language in Your Writing.

Officially Entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest

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I knew quite some time ago that I wanted to enter my book, Divided Within, into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. As I’ve stated in at least one previous post, this is easily the most lucrative writing contest there is. And a great opportunity for new writers. Most of the other major writing contests strictly prohibit previously self published books, but this one has no such limitation. Now, a little about the contest.

The Contest

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is a free to enter annual writing contest that allows for unpublished and self published entries. Entries must fall within one of the five genre categories which are: General Fiction, Mystery/ Thriller, Science Fiction/ Fantasy/ Horror, Romance, and Young Adult. Entries must also fall within the word count limits of 50,000-125,000. And the contest is judged from now until the winners are announced in July. The contest is limited to 10,000 entries, which no other contest would even come close to reaching. For instance, I’ve been told by an author who won the Best Private Eye Novel competition that is sponsored by Minotaur Books and Private Eye Writers of America several years ago that in a recent contest there were only a couple hundred entries. And this contest regularly goes years without awarding a winner.


In anticipation of submitting my entry I read my book all the way through for a fourth time. I had many things I went back in and corrected. There were no major rewrites or chapters eliminated but there were plenty of individual words changed or taken out, and some small details altered as a result of what I’ve been told by some of my readers. With that being said, I don’t think I’m actually going to beat out 9,999 other writers to win the top prize, or even to be crowned the winner of my category. I’ve said over and over how much I love my book and the characters I created, but 9,999 other writers is a lot. I’d be happy making it to the second round of judging, in which the excerpts of 2,000 entries will be evaluated. Then it’s down to 500. Then it’s down to just 25. Then it’s down to the top five, who will all receive a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing, one of which will be awarded the $50,000 grand prize.

In about two weeks the top 400 from each category will be announced.

If you’d like to wish me luck, then feel free. If not, that’s okay too.