|Special Guest Cindy Procter-King|
Today, we are delighted to have Cindy Procter-King visiting with us. She has some amazing, exciting news. Read on!!
I’m celebrating the audio book release of my romantic comedy, HEAD OVER HEELS, which came out on Valentine’s Day from Audiolark and is available all week at a New Release Special price that is 2/3rds lower than the retail price! (Translation, surf on over and grab your copy now—well, after you finish reading my post). I admit I haven’t listened to many audio books in the past. Everyone has their reading preferences, and I prefer to read lying down, which lends to using my eyes, not my ears. If I’m listening to something, I can’t lie down. I need to jump up and move, be on the go somehow. However, back in the days of cassette audio books, my husband would buy them for his truck stereo and we’d listen to them while on long road trips with the kids.
|Head Over Heels now available as an audiobook!|
Today, audio books are often published as digital files, and such is the case with Audiolark. The books are DRM-free and can be listened to on any device that plays MP3s. I think there was a short time in the industry when audio books were available on CDs. Technology changes very quickly, and as writers we must adapt. In these days of tinier and tinier MP3 players (instead of huge “portable” stereos, or can you imagine carrying a Hi-Fi around on your shoulder?) (if you don’t know what a Hi-Fi is, yes, it’s confirmed, I’m much older than you are), I can easily imagine readers listening to audio books on MP3s while driving to work, cleaning the house, or exercising. Rather than listening to music on your player, select an audio book. Just be wary of those love scenes if you’re listening to a romance. You don’t want to run into traffic when your heart rate escalates!
I was able to sell HEAD OVER HEELS to Audiolark because my ebook and trade paperback publisher, Amber Quill Press, only contracted the subsidiary rights they intended to pursue. I consider this a plus, even though it’s difficult to sell subsidiary rights on your own, especially if you don’t have an agent. I managed to sell the Manga rights to HEAD OVER HEELS to a Japanese publisher that has published anime comic book editions of hundreds of Harlequin and Silhouette romances. The translation is complete and illustrations are now in process. The publisher also purchased Japanese cell phone rights. Imagine, a romance novel serialized on cell phones! What has the world come to? However, in the case of my Manga sale, the publisher came looking for me (via the NYC scouting arm of a Japanese literary agency). The opportunity pretty much dropped in my lap, for which I’m grateful.
As an author published (so far, anyway) under two different names with small presses and non-NYC publishers, I’m very particular about the rights I sign away. My decisions always come down to a particular publisher’s distribution, reputation, and whether they offer an advance. I have turned down an e-publishing contract because the publisher in question wanted to retain rights they didn’t intend to pursue. However, they didn’t offer an advance. That made no sense to me. If a publisher is large, or earns decent money for its authors within a relatively short time frame (I need to keep my family in macaroni and microwave popcorn, you know!), or offers a decent advance, then it’s a different ball of wax. I’m more likely to sign away subsidiary rights. Because pursuing those rights on your own is time-consuming, and I prefer to write more books. Both as Cindy Procter-King and as my super-secret erotic romance author persona (hint, checking the Site Info link on my Cindy website pretty much gives away my alter ego’s identity) (viewing the RWA Conferences slide show on my Photos page does, too) (I’m nothing if not proud) (but what’s the use of having a secret identity if you don’t attempt to keep it secret?) (Yes, I’m addicted to parentheses) (but only in blog posts, not my novels).
The upshot is that in these days of “indie” or self-publishing via Kindle, authors are realizing that we have more control over our stories and our characters than we did a few short years ago. Gone are the days when a successful, RITA-nominated romance author discovers she can no longer sell a book in the traditional sense because of an editor change at her publisher that stalls her career in its tracks (I have seen this happen to several writer friends. She’s writing the same stories, the books already in the pipe are getting nominated for the same prestigious awards, but the new editor doesn’t connect with her writing or the publishing house is dropping the line of books for which she writes). Today, that same author, who might have felt at the mercy of her publishing house or an editor’s subjective taste, can take her skills and years of pleasing her fans in new directions.
What do you think of the new opportunities available for writers? “Self-published” was once a red flag. If a book was self-published, it was usually considered crap. Granted, hundreds, if not thousands, of self-published books could still fall into the “crap” category. It’s not always the greatest idea to self-publish the first book you write. Most professional writers hone their craft over years and years and years of writing and submitting, enduring critiques, getting down and dirty with revisions, and doing comprehensive editing. They send out their work, bear the beast of rejection that is bound to occur, then dig in and make their work better (or more marketable) and send it out again. But then there are the “orphaned” authors who have survived rigorous learning curves and now find themselves without an editor or book line. Or the talented unpublished writer who has come close to selling to a major house over a dozen times, but writes too out-of-the-box to ultimately satisfy New York. For those authors, the current publishing opportunities must feel like a creative field day.
Do you buy ebooks or audio books? Are you more willing to try new authors in these venues or do you stick to your tried-and-true traditionally published paperback writers? If a writer finds herself abandoned by her publishing house, would you follow her into audio book or ebook territory? Would you support her self-publishing efforts? How have the changes in publishing changed YOUR reading (or listening!) experience?
Cindy Procter-King writes quirky romantic comedies and emotional contemporary romances set in
British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Cindy lives in with her husband, their two sons, a cat obsessed with dripping tap water, and Allie McBeagle. Learn more about Cindy and her books at www.cindyprocter-king.com or visit her blog at www.museinterrupted.com. Canada