D. F. Krieger

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Writer Wednesday: What Happens to Your Baby

What happens to your baby, also know as "Why the hell is it taking so long for my book to get published now that it's accepted?!"

I've been hearing this a lot lately, from both the editor and author side. I think it's high time for a medium to step forward and explain the situation. Editors, don't look so smug, I've got a few pieces of my mind to give you guys as well.

Now, let's assume you've already wrote your book, edited it, had a critique partner edit it (you do have someone else look over your work, right?) and you subbed it. You got that awesome e-mail that said, "We'd love to publish your book." Two months later, you still aren't on the e-shelves of the world.

WTF, right? Wrong. The fuck is thus:

First of all, get it out of your head that you are the only book your editor is working on. Want an example? I currently have 12 manuscripts in my queue. 12! And that's not counting the submission I received this week that I still have to read. I do a rotation of edits, I'll admit, but I still do them by deadline. So if I have three manuscripts that are suppose to release a couple of months before yours, I'm not going to jump on yours the second I receive it. It's not fair to my other authors who have been waiting just as long. Now granted, if my workload is smaller, I'll jump on it faster, but no matter how quick we get edits done, one thing still rules them all...

Release date! That's right. I'm not sure how other pubs work, but the one I edit for, we assign release dates the minute the contract is signed. It doesn't matter how quickly we get your edits done, that book's merry derriere is going to sit in the waiting room until its number is called. Unless by some grace of higher powers another book goes awry and the publisher speaks to us in a god-like tone and says "Who has a book that can fill this release slot?" But dear author, those times are few and far between.

Now, you may be asking, "Why do release dates even take this bloody long?!" Several factors; half of them behind the scenes, the other half you just don't think about.

Your book goes through several rounds of edits with your editor. We polish that puppy until it hurts our eyes to look at it. Say it takes you two weeks to return each round of edit. Where I work, we are obligated to perform at least three rounds of edits. So 2 weeks times 3 rounds equals 6 weeks. That's a month and a half. Okay? Now, add the previous statement that it may take a couple of weeks for me to get to you. That's two months. Oh, there's also the line editor who needs anywhere from 2-4 weeks to go over your book, comma by space by word. So now we're at 3 months of edits. Starting to make sense now?

But...did you take into account how soon the next release date was available when you signed your contract? See, we're halfway through the year. Many pubs are booked up well into 2013 now. So despite the fact edits take three months, more or less, you may not even be releasing until six months from contract signing.

Have some bloody patience! You think the authors ahead of you didn't have to wait too? You know what you do? You write. You shush, you wait, and you write some more. Or, see this as an opportunity to spend some time doing a hobby or spending time with your family. Either way, don't e-mail your editor bitching, "Edits are done, when am I going on the shelves?"

Now, editors, here is where I get to you. Once edits are done, for the love of all, please inform your author of their projected release date. Do not leave them hanging. That's cruel and unfair punishment...unless they were a pain in the ass during the entire process. I condone such mental abuse then.

Also, if it's going to take you awhile to reach their edits, please at least e-mail the author and say, "Hey, I'm your editor for Manuscript of Doom and I'm hoping to get edits to you during the month of Noremember." You'd be surprised how much it does to soothe an author, especially new ones. They are dodgy little things and quick to freak out.

Oh, and authors, please remember projected release date does not mean it's set in stone. So never ever hinge your life on a release date. Okay? Okay. ~ D. F. Krieger

Monday, June 25, 2012

Must Read Monday: Aphrodite Calling

This book introduced me to new things and pushed some of my boundaries. This book was a whole new world for me to edit. I mean, how many people can say they've read a transgendered book before, much less edited one? When the author came to me, asking me if I'd edit it, I read the blurb and just couldn't resist. Not only is Jennifer a great writer, but she does a fantastic job of pulling us into the emotional turmoil that is in these characters. This was another one of those books that I had to just read it a couple of times before I tried to edit it just so I wouldn't get lost in it while I was editing it. I also love the concept of what she calls "Erotes." This was an intiguing idea to me, and makes me want to read the previous book and the rest in the series. If you caught me that hard in a book, then you certainly qualify for a Must Read Monday! ~ D. F. Krieger

Only 2.99! Check out one of the links below to buy!
Sometimes it takes the power of the gods to reveal the woman within...

A modern-day transsexual woman and an ancient god of desire is an unusual pairing, but the power of Aphrodite works in the most mysterious ways.

Gina Deveraux is forced to confront her painful past when she attends a high school reunion. Born with male genitalia, she spent her childhood and teen years living as a boy, and has only now returned in an effort to put the past behind her, so she can begin to live her life without the continuing fear of loneliness and rejection.

Himeros is one of the erotes, an aspect of Eros, and as such it is his duty to answer the call of sexual desire whenever a human needs him. But he has been living among mortals too long and his interest has waned. When he decides to accept one last call he finds a woman who is unique. A woman who encapsulates the whole human experience in her body, and her soul.

Has he finally found the one with whom even a god of desire could find fulfilment? Forever, after all, is such a long time to be alone.male genitalia, she spent her childhood and teen years living as a boy, and has only now returned in an effort to put the past behind her so she can begin to live life without the continuing fear of loneliness and rejection.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Sign My E-Book!

It has come to my attention that I have many, many e-books on my Kindle...and very few of them are signed. This makes me a sad reading fanatic. Wait a minute, you didn't know you could sign an e-book? Oh, let me dish some options out to you!

Kindlegraph: An awesome invention that requires only a twitter account and allows authors to sign your copy of their work.

Okay, I have to say it again; Kindlegraph is made of awesome! See how it is in color? Yeah? That means it is linked to the website, so...CLICK IT! Oh, wait! Before you do, let me explain it to you.

What Authors Do: You make an account by using your Twitter account (oh, look, I linked that too. Aren't I helpful?!) Then you add a book, but you'll need your Amazon ASIN. To add a book, there will be a link at the bottom of the page that says "Authors, sign up here!" Even if you are already an established author with Kindlegraph, you'll still need to click that so it can take you to the option to add a book. Following with me so far? Good. Now all you do is wait... Or advertise. Advertising your book is available for signing via Kindlegraph is always cool too.

What Readers Do: You get the fun and easy job. All you have to do is go to the Kindlegraph website, log in with your Twitter account, then search for the author or book you want signed. You can even send the author a message along with your request (Note: This is a perfect opportunity to go all fan-girl and gush about your favorite part of the story.) Then you wait.

What Happens: The author will receive an e-mail notifying them that they have a Kindlegraph waiting. When they log in, they can go to their pending requests. Click, sign, input personal message, send. Yay!

Signing: This isn't as scary or as intimidating as some may think. You can use a Bamboo tablet to make a personal signature, but not all of us are going to purchase something like that. There are a couple of font options if you so desire to just type your signature in, so it's not too high-tech.

Cover Cards: A very innovative way to sign for a fan using your own handwriting. Less cost effective, but far more personal.

 Before I discovered Kindlegraph, I actually issued a few of these. I sometimes keep a couple in my wallet as they make a great, random gift to be remembered by.

What Authors Do: Print some wallet-sized copies of your cover art. At Wal-Mart (and probably any other crafy, officey supply place) you can get a type of self-laminating pouch that seals. It doesn't cost very much. Sign the backs of your cover art, cut them out, and place one inside each laminated pouch. You know have a Cover Card, with your very own inked signature. If you are more tech savvy then me, you can probably figure out a way to print it on business cards, with your website and such on the back of the card, along with your signature. I've also heard you can get something like this through places like Vista Print.

What Readers Do: Enter contests, be nice to authors, become a collection fanatic. The options are endless. :)

I think I've bored you all enough with my lessons for today. Oh, and, all of my available releases are on Kindlegraph...Just sayin' ~ D. F. Krieger

Monday, June 18, 2012

Must Read Monday: For Love of Evil

This isn't a book I edited. I figured for once I'd post a book I've adored for a long time. Maybe it will inspire you to pick up some books from your past?

Click to Buy!

The Man Who Would Be Satan
Parry was a gifted musician and an apprentice in the arts of White Magic. But his life of sweet promise went disastrously awry following the sudden, violent death of his beloved Jolie. Led down the twisted path of wickedness and depravity by Lilah the harlot demoness, Parry thrived -- first as a sorceror, then as a monk, and finally as a feared inquisitor. But it wasn't until his mortal flame was extinguished that Parry found his true calling -- as the Incarnation of Evil. And, at the gates of Hell, he prepared to wage war on the master himself -- Lucifer, the dark lord -- with dominion over the infernal realms the ultimate prize!

I've always been a huge fan of Piers Anthony. His writing has been, to me, both a teacher and a source of pleasure. I'd be lying if I didn't admit to having quite a few of his books on my book shelf. Yes, real, physical copies that I guard like a dragon with treasure. The very first book I picked up when I graduated from the children's section of the library was a Piers Anthony, dusty and on a stack of books at the house of one of my mother's friends.

Piers Anthony writes high fantasy, and often with a sense of extreme humor that usually borders on sarcasm. His wit is matched only by his ability to imagine new things. In this book series, he writes about each of the forces that rules our very existence: Time, Mother Nature, War, Fate, Evil...

Out of all the books I've read of this series, For Love of Evil has always been my favorite. The questions he poses as Satan, and the way he runs things, really follows after my own heart on how things should be done. The punishment should fit the crime and those dirtied by sins not of their own doing shouldn't be punished to begin with. The rules of what makes someone good enough to go to 'heaven' are warped and really should be thought about. We won't even get into the emotional struggle that Parry himself goes through in losing his wife, fighting temptation from the greatest temptress of all, then taking over the spot of the greatest bad guy in the realm of man...when he's not bad at all. This many levels of  philosophical ideals coupled with great writing has always, and will always make this book a Must Read Monday for me. ~ D. F. Krieger

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Great Expectations, FAILED

First of all, before I even get started on this post, I need to make a statement to a very special group of people. Dear Authors, this is in no way directed at any of you. These WW posts are a generalized statement/opinion because of trends I see in the publishing world. Please do not take these posts as a blast at you guys. Thanks, Her Editing Evilness.

Okay, now we can get back to our regularly scheduled Writer Wednesday.

I've noticed that authors are doing a lot of griping lately and I'm getting tired of it. Now, remember, some of you know me as an author, but I'm an editor too. It gives me the ability to see things from both sides of the fence. I would say it gives me a deeper understanding, but it also gives me a greater burden. Because, without looking like the bad guy, how do I explain things to make it all run smoother? The best I have is my WW posts. I'd like to go over some points, and I'm going to say it now, if you can't handle sarcasm, D. F. style, then don't read any further. Otherwise I'll just sound mean because you can't take a joke.

1) Submissions: I don't know where authors got it in their head that a submission should be responded to within a matter of days to a week regardless of guidelines saying they will take "x" amount of time. When I have 8 different manuscripts in various stages of editing, and I'm the only acquisition editor for one line, plus the managing editor for three others, I can't just drop everything and read your baby the second it comes through the door. I'd imagine other editors are just as busy, if not more so.

Do NOT send me an e-mail a week after you've submitted saying you've got another offer elsewhere. Give me some damn time to read your book. If it's an 60k manuscript, I can't read it in one sitting. Much as I'd love to with some of my subs, I simply can't. There have been times I've even let my husband drive (god help us all) so I could read a new submission. If you've gotten another offer, then pull the manuscript or wait for the time our guidelines state. When you e-mail like that, it makes me angry because I feel like you are trying to back me into a corner. "Accept me now or I'm leaving."

 On a side note: One of the author groups I belong to does not allow authors to post when they've subbed something. At first I wrinkled my nose and just kinda went "huh..." Now I see the wisdom of their ban. It puts undo pressure on the acquisition staff to accept your work, and accept it in a hurry. Don't we look like the bad guys when you are bouncing around like a school girl going "I sent in my stuffies!" only for us to go, "Your stuffies don't work for us!"

2) Sales: I've had it up to here *points at eyeballs* with hearing authors whine about their sales. It's going on everywhere and I'm about to start punting people with a golf club (hey, I'm 75% Scottish, it's my weapon of choice! LOL.) I'd like to make a few points, if I may.

Luck: Sales are based on luck. Are you lucky enough to have 500 friends and family who support you avidly? Bully for you. I come from a town of 4k people, most of whom don't even know my name because I was a loner growing up. The rest...don't have e-readers. They couldn't buy my book even if they wanted to. It's a risk I took going into e-publishing versus print. Besides...I'm kinda glad my Daddy can't buy a copy of any of my books.

Trends: The best way to make sales is to study what's hot and selling like crazy. For now it seems to be anything vampire and werewolf related. That's great and all, but that's not generally what I write. So when I'm over here writing about Kelpies (20 points if you know what one is without having to Google that shit!) then I can't expect my sales to be off the chart.

Advertisement: Okay, just stop for a moment. Go to your Facebook or Twitter or Twit-Face (whatever you use) and scroll. How many groups do you belong to that are all authors screaming at you to buy their book? How many friends do you have that are authors posting links to their books in their feed? Yeah, sorry baby, but you ain't special. You've got to do something to really garner attention if you want to get some sales. Otherwise you are just peeing into an oncoming wind.

Advertisement Part 2: So, your book released six months ago, and you're crying because you aren't getting sales? Hey, guess what, no one remembers your release. Unless you are still finding ways to advertise your book right now, you aren't going to get much interest. Not without the LUCK of people stumbling onto your book.

Buy Links: The publisher I work for posted some very interesting math equations the other day that made me sit back and go, "Huh." I mean, I suck at math, but this made sense. Let me show you what he said.
Some interesting facts: 1 sale on Amazon for a 2.99 book - Author earns 0.84 per copy; 1 sale on the BP site for a 2.99 book - Author earns 1.20... 1 sale on Amazon for a 1.99 book - Author earns 0.28; 1 sale on the BP site for a 1.99 book - Author earns 0.77. 1 Sale on Amazon for a 0.99 book - Author earns 0.14; 1 sale on the BP site for a 0.99 book - Author earns 0.40.

Compare To:

1 sale on ARe for a 2.99 book - Author earns 0.72. 1 sale on ARe for a 1.99 book - Author earns 0.48. 1 sale on ARe for a 0.99 book - Author earns 0.24.

Did you know... Amazon takes 30% for books priced 2.99 or higher and takes 65% for books under 2.99?

Did you know... ARe takes 40% across the board? (Which is standard for most eBook stores)
So in essence, before you post that buy link on your website or social media feed, think about where you are linking to. Amazon is great and convenient, but if you are griping about sales, maybe you should be posting to your publisher? Just a thought.
3) Best Seller: Look, we all have that Best Seller dream. It's a pivotal star that we find ourselves ever reaching for. Hell, I'd love to just make it into print for once. Let's face it, it's going to take time and effort to make that happen. Very few authors accomplished that with just one release. You are going to have to put quality books out at a fast pace. It's been proved that the quicker you accomplish releases close together, the more your overall sales will rise. So yeah, if you've only written one book, don't be griping that you aren't getting that Best Seller status. No one even knows who you are. Especially with how easy it is to get published in today's society. There are millions of other authors to contend with. You've got to discover how to single yourself out and make yourself stand out above the rest.
4) Interaction: You ever have that one person on your social media that always toots their own horn, but they never have anything to say to you. They will post thing after thing about themselves, but don't even deign to reply if you comment on their status or feed? Don't be that guy. Again, sorry baby, but you ain't special. You want people to buy your stuff, then you need to make them like you. No one is going to buy from someone who goes on and on about themselves. OR, there is the person who constantly bitches...about everything. There is always something wrong, and it's always someone else's fault. It's one thing to say, "Whew, I'm having a rough day. This or that happened and it totally threw off my groove." It's another to be like, "I'm sick and tired of these people doing this and I'm about to blow my top"...all the time.
Want to really piss people off and drive them away? Talk about politics, religion, or how much you hate your publisher. Yep, I guarantee you will offend someone if you constantly gripe or post opinions on those things. Some discussions are better off being left for close friends or family...in privacy.
 I guess the overall theme here is, if you aren't happy with some aspect of your publishing experience or sales, do something about it. Don't sit there and whine, don't blame your publisher. Oh, and try not to give in to the "Grass is Green" syndrome. Demanding your rights back for your book because you think it will do better at another publisher is not always your best option. Try actually implementing some steps from above. And before you point a finger at my sales, and ask me what right I have to give some advice, let me give you a little of my own.
 No, I don't have the greatest sales in the world, but you know what? I write things that aren't trendy and my sales don't really bother me that much. I write to write, to get the stories out there. I'm not in it for the money, or for that best seller star (those would be nice, don't get me wrong.) I'm in it because it's always worth it when I get that one review or comment where someone says, "I enjoyed your book." So take that and stick it in your hat! *Commence highly mature antics of sticking tongue out* ~ D. F. Krieger

Monday, June 11, 2012

Must Read Monday: Futures Gone Past

At the moment, I don't have any books I've edited up for a MRM. Another thing I'll hang my head in shame about is that, aside from editing, I don't really get time to read books. If I'm not editing, or writing my own works, then I'm reading submissions. So reading for pleasure, though I'd love to do it, is out.

To make up for the fact I have no book to present to you, I will present a poem instead. It's one I wrote about a year ago. I also found a pretty picture to go along with it. I hope you will enjoy and forgive my lack of a proper MRM post.

Echoes of shadows flit before the eyes,
taunting with glimpses of a culture lost long ago and
a tribute to those yet to be born.

A memorial to a world that fades like a tide.
What secrets do they hold in cold-kissed stones that
 have seen the dawn of time?

In and out the reality twists and turns,
 where industry and nature crash,
clutching at each other in a primal dance of domination.

A fantasy that dances in the mists,
waiting to be built once more,
by those whose future shall become our past.

As the world changes and the tides fade,
ever shall one be a memory
 and the other a haunting dream. ~  
Futures Gone Past by Deadra Krieger

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Writer Wednesday: Series-ly!

Should you? Could you? Will you? How? What am I talking about? Writing a series. Seriously, keep up!

I have seen several instances where an author has submitted a book and, upon reading it, I've sent an acceptance letter asking if it will be the start of a series. Many authors have responded with surprise and jubilation. It seems that most authors don't write a book with the thought of starting a series. This, in turn, surprises me.

Of course, I'm one to talk. When I wrote Sail My Oceans I had no intention on there being any further books. It didn't occur to me that people would actually want more of Lucy Verr and the sexy double-trouble team of Devon and Julius. I will forever be grateful to my editor for suggesting that I change the ending of the original manuscript so that a future book would be possible. Thanks to that, Anchor My Stars is now in the works.

But should you write a series? How many books is too much? There seems to be an issue where writers get caught up in how well their books sell, so they keep writing more and more of that series. They write until there is no plot left. They write until the series is so miserable of a read, it's akin to scraping nails on chalkboard.

I have no idea what other people believe, or what the right answer is, but here's my theory. For any series I do, I intend to never write more than ten books total of that series. Yep, ten books. That's it. Anymore than that just feels like I'm writing for the sake of sales, and not for the sake of writing the story. Oh, I might write the occasional spin-off here and there (I do foresee writing the origin of how the dragons and humans came to be at war in the first place in a series I'm writing called Dragons and Damsels.) I'm uncertain how far the Emerald Solis books will go considering I will be writing about several people on several planets, so I don't consider that so much a series. But when it comes to an actual series, I'm capping it at ten. If I don't, I do beg that someone dig this post up and rub my nose in it while thumping my hindquarters with a firm hand and berating  me.

Now, how do you propose a series to a publisher? That's quite the question and I think it truly depends on the publisher. For me, I sent in the first book for my R&R series titled To Honor with a statement in my query letter explaining that if the publisher liked the idea, I would be happy to write an entire series of like-themed books. The publisher approved, and now I have a series to write. Sail My Oceans obviously wasn't subbed as a series, so when I send the next book in, I'll have to simply mention it is the sequel and ask the cover artist to place something indicated it is an Emerald Solis book on the cover.

The best thing to do is research the publisher, ask an author. Heck, if you've read books from a certain author who does a series with a publisher you like, send them an e-mail praising their work and asking their advice. We authors, we have big egos that constantly need feeding. It'll get you far.

Regardless what approach you take, sit back and look at your books. Ask yourself some questions. Is my book a good basis for a series? Am I just writing about sex, or am I writing about people? Is there an ongoing conflict or theme that allow my books to connect as a series should? Where do I see the conflict or theme ending at and how many books will it take?

Another idea is to map out your series. I have ten novels for the Dragons and Damsels series just waiting to be written. The character names, the main conflict, and where it takes place is already all written down and waiting to just be filled out until it blooms into a novel. But then again, I had to find an excuse to use one of my many journals before my husband became suspicious of my collection being just for show. ~ D. F. Krieger

Monday, June 4, 2012

Must Read Monday: Ride A Cock Horse

Only $3.49. Click to buy!
Musician Hunter Blake returns to Banbury Cross to win back his true love, Kate. Will they find a way to make beautiful music again?

Not even a cock horse could bring musician Hunter Blake back to Banbury Cross, yet here he stood, ten years after leaving, to make amends for his past behavior and win back his true love, Katherine Banbury. Their relationship was in perfect harmony until Hunter's excessive drinking tore them apart. Now sober, he's focused on doing whatever it takes to prove he's worthy of her love.

Kate spent the last ten years determined to forget Hunter. With a developer intent on turning her ancestral home into tract housing, Kate had her hands full. When Hunter returns, vivid memories of their passionate history stoke the flames of desire between them. Will Kate fight the attraction or will she open her heart to love once more?

There is one very important thing I have to say about this story...I love the title. I love, love, love how dirty minded people are when this is actually the name of a children's rhyme. Don't believe me, look it up! When the author contacted me asking if I'd be interested in this story, all I could say was, "Yes!" I mean, c'mon, I know what it's based on and I still giggle like a teenage girl.

That aside, I loved the realism here. The man did some pretty bad stuff, and the heroine didn't flop into his arms the minute she saw him while begging, "Say you'll stay forever!" Heck, I totally identified with her when she jumped to conclusions. To the people out there who do bad things, you can't just disappear and expect your loved ones to wait around for you. To the people who've been hurt, this book shows us that expecting people to never, ever change can sometimes bite us in the butt. It was a very enjoyable read, from the title to the last word, and that makes it a Must Read Monday! ~ D. F. Krieger