Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Everyone is talking about Fifty Shades of Grey

This book has hit the NYT best seller list and has been talked about in the media.

I waited until the books were available in print, pre-ordered them, and when I got them sat down to read them wanting to figure out what the fascination about these books were.

If you're going to read the books, don't read past here.  I don't want to spoil the books for anyone.

First off, these books are not what I would classify as Erotic Romance.

And the reason I see why these books took off is: Christian is every woman's fantasy.  He's a man who wants to take care of his woman, give her anything and everything she wants, he wants to cater to her every wish.

Once you get past the, shall I say, bad writing style, the books actually aren't bad.  As a reader, I read them looking for what was making them a hit in the media and with other readers.  As a writer, I cringed at the repeated word usage, the writing style and the lack of editing.

Christian is one tortured hero, and most romance readers love hero's like that.  Ana is a heroine who will stand up to him and throws him for a loop because she does.  He's arrogant, domineering, and romantic.

He's the classic 1980's romance hero we use to read about before romance writing went politically correct. The hero's were arrogant, domineering and wanted nothing more than to take care of the heroine over her objections.  The books were written from the female point of view only, very little male point of view if any.

This is a total woman's fantasy, a man who wants nothing more than to take care of her.  And this is not a bad thing.  I'm not saying it is.  It's okay to want to have a man who will treat you as the center of the universe.

I can hear the chorus of "no we don't" echoing right now.  Notice I didn't say, a man to take care of you, but treat you as the center of the universe.

As women we're caretakers, we take care of everyone else, but ourselves.  Sometimes, and I do mean sometimes wouldn't you just like to give that responsibility over to someone else and have a day for yourself.  A day where you're the center of the universe, where your every whim is catered to.

I know I would.  But then again, that's why I write what I write.  I write alpha males, who are domineering at times, arrogant at times, but always looking after the woman in their life, no matter what.

It may not be politically correct, but my hero's want the heroine to understand that she is cherished and he will protect her until he dies.

The sex in Fifty Shades, get repetitive, is not a true representation of the BDSM world.  And I found the ending very disappointing.  The author treated the BDSM aspects of Christian's behavior as something that could be cured, BDSM is a lifestyle, not a disease.  While it is hinted there is still a hint of spanking in the books, the hero just suddenly gave it all up, deciding he didn't need it, all because of the love of the heroine. It just didn't ring true for me.

What I did like was at the end of the third book the author included some scenes from Christian's point of view, which would have been nice to have been incorporated into the books.  It showed his fascination with Ana and would have given the readers great insight to his personality.

All in all, the Fifty Shades books gets a C minus from this reader.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Publishing – Your Choice

Today I'm going to talk about publishing, be it Traditional, Small Press or Self-Publishing.  And I'm going to apologize ahead of time in case I start to rant.  This has been a hot button for me lately.

I'm going to state this up front, there is no right or wrong in publishing no matter which options you pursue. 

It is your choice.  I'm going to repeat that your choice.

Over the last few months I've seen more and more blog posts that if you go Traditional you don't know what you're doing, same for Self-Publishing, not very much about Small Press.

Everyone has their own reasons for doing what they're doing with their publishing careers, but no one is stupid, an idiot, doesn't know what they're doing, etc. because they've chosen one area of publishing over another.

Self-Publishing is up and coming, only because Amazon has made it so with their KDP program.  Some authors are making lots of money, getting recognition from Tradition publishers, even Amazon's own publishing arm.  And there are authors who are not. There are horror stories and outstanding success stories. And authors have to be prepared to front money up front for content editing, copy editing, cover art and even possibly having someone create all the files for all the e-readers out there.

Small Press not a lot is being said for these publishers, these are e-publishers who have established business.  Most of their authors put out e-books only with some POD (print on demand).  Again, there are authors making lots of money, getting recognition from publishers and authors who are not.  There are horror stories and outstanding success stories. The author usually does not pay the small press publisher a dime, the author makes their money on royalties, although some small presses do give an advance.

Traditional publishing, this is the tried and true method of publishing. Traditional publishing has the distribution that Self-Publishing and some of the Small Press do not.  In many cases, world-wide distribution. Again, some authors make lots of money, others do not.  There are horror stories and outstanding success stories. Here authors make their money on the advance, and once the advance is earned out then royalties.

I am currently with a Small Press publisher, and I'm still pursuing Traditional publishing.  I've had dozen of people tell me, "don't go Traditional, and give up your Small Press just do KDP." 

Sorry but that's not for me at this time.  There is nothing wrong with KDP, Amazon's business model works for them.  It doesn't work for me.  I have a pretty good idea of what I want out of my writing career, at this point in time, and Self-Publishing isn't it.

Self-Publishing maybe for other people, and that's fine.  But it is my choice on what I do.  I'm really tired of people saying, "Do this, do that, you're stupid if you don't, etc."

I am a small business, I've research Self-Publishing, Traditional and Small Press.  I know where my stories fit and who my audience is. I'm well aware of contract pitfalls, what to look out for and the knowledge of how the publishers pay. And I was always taught that money flows to the author not from the author, with Self-Publishing I would have to pay cost up front (content editing, copy editing, cover artists) before I even put my work out and them hope I can make back that money.

This is my responsibility as a small business, to keep my small business going, I have to weigh the pros and cons of the choices I make.  Again my choices.  I've seen so many people in the last few weeks not taking responsibility for their choices in publishing and bemoaning the facts when things don't go their way.

Who you publish with is your choice, no one else's.  What you decided to do is not wrong or right, it's your choice.

Publishing is fluid, it is changing daily.  I don't have problems with anyone's publishing choices, for they are your choice, just don't tell me I'm wrong because I've chosen to follow my own path.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A New Step in the Process

Well, I've found a new step in my writing process.

Retirement from the day job.

Yes, this last week, I was finally able to say goodbye to the day job outside the house.  This does mean a very big change in my life, which is both scary and exciting at the same time.

I am now a full-time writer.  I can write when I want and not have to worry about getting up for work the next day, or that my lunch hour is over or I have a conference call to attend.

Over the next few weeks, I have to figure out a schedule that will work for me and the family, because I still do have family obligations to take care of.

But this has been one of my dreams for years and it wasn't until this last week I realized how hard I worked in making this dream come true.

I'm also on KMN Books blogging today, feel free to stop by and leave a comment, if you want, by clicking here.

Have a great week.