A New Era In Publishing & Lots Of Prizes, Too!

I have a fabulous author guest blogging with  me today.  She’s Joan Swan, and she writes romantic suspense for Kensington Brava.  Her debut book, Fever, has gotten great reviews and received tons of attention.  Trust me – if you like gritty romantic suspense, you will love this book.

But like many authors, Joan is also branching out into self-publishing or, as it’s often called, indie publishing.  In fact, she’ll be releasing her first indie book in May.  You can check out all the details on her website.

Joan and I have something in common.  We’re both members of Rock*It Reads, a collective of print authors who are also indie publishing.  I blogged about it a few weeks ago, and Joan is here to give you the latest update, which includes a very exciting announcement.

Over to you, my friend!

The publishing industry has turned the corner into a fast and furious new era.  The changes are undeniably exciting…and daunting.

For authors a whole new area of choices await—how your cover will look, which editor you’ll choose, what story you’ll write next and in what genre.  But there are also more worrisome concerns, like how you can make your work stand out in this overflowing market.

For readers, this new era gives you an amazing body of work to choose from that would not have been available even just a year ago.  Many talented authors, both previously unpublished and traditionally published, have a new outlet for their work—both new and backlist titles.  The low prices associated with most epublished books certainly helps out in tough economic times as well.  Add to that the portability and flexibility of ereaders and you’ve got a near-heavenly situation.

Why just near-heavenly?  Because you, the reader, have to wade through the millions of books available to narrow down your choices.  Might sound easy, but it only takes a few duds to the tune of $3-$5 to make those “off” choices add up pretty quick.  And I have to admit that’s one of my pet peeves – taking a chance on a book — spending the money, investing my time, my hope…and being let down.  For a romance reader, there is not much less disappointing than this.

This is a conundrum that the authors at Rock*It Reads also found troubling.  Rock*It Reads is a group of NY traditionally publishing authors who are also venturing out into indie epublishing.  The coop we’ve created supports a group of authors who get not only goes into a quality read—editing, design, proofreading, etc., but what it takes to stand out in an ocean of unknown titles.

So when you see the RIR, Rock*It Reads logo on a book cover, you’ll know each book has been professionally handled from cover to cover, by authors who have done this many time before in the professional realm of New York publishers.

As authors who appreciate amazing writing and long for an awesome story as much as the next reader,  we have partnered with Barnes and Noble to bring outstanding self published titles to readers’ attention through a brand new review column: Love Rocks.  At Love Rocks, Rock*It Reads authors will showcase a fabulous Indie read they’ve discovered and review the book.  We’ll be focusing on the lesser known authors and titles whose brilliance has yet to be recognized, which I personally find thrilling.  What reader doesn’t love to find a talented new author to read?

Our very first column launches today!  So, swing by Barnes and Noble Review.com, catch Love Rocks and stay to chat!  We look forward to seeing you there.

Come back here and leave a comment on your thoughts about the Love Rocks column and you could win one of the following fantastic prizes – donated by many of the RIR authors.

Love’s Portrait by Monica Burns

Skin Deep by Pamela Clare (Available May 2012)

Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare

Sweet Release by Pamela Clare

Undone by Lila DiPasqua (Available May 2012)

Hot Number by VK Sykes (aka Vanessa Kelly)

Fastball by VK Sykes (aka Vanessa Kelly)

Hardball by VK Sykes (aka Vanessa Kelly)

His Wicked Revenge by Vanessa Kelly

Claiming Her by Kris Kennedy (Available May 2012)

Stolen Fury by Elisabeth Naughton

Fever by Joan Swan (print copy)

Intimate Enemies by Joan Swan (Available May 2012)

Vanessa, here.  I have to tell you, I’m very excited about LOVE ROCKS.  So what do you think, readers?  Do you like this new world of indie publishing?  What do you think about this leap into the future?  Leave a comment for a chance to win one of these great books!


Launching Rock*It Reads!!

It’s here!  The launch day of Rock*It Reads, the exciting new project I’ve been working on with a group of fabulous writers whose names you will surely recognize.  Here’s the scoop:

Rock*It Reads is a group of New York-published authors who are also self-publishing romance.  We’re not a publisher—more like a coop or a brand, and we’ve made a commitment to put out only high-quality self-published works.  No second best at Rock*It Reads!  Our RIR logo, featured at the top of this post, will appear on the covers of all our self-published books.  It’s our ‘seal of quality’  and our commitment to readers that we care as much about writing great stories as you do about reading them.

My Rock*It Read partners are:  Pamela Clare, Cheryl Holt, Elisabeth Naughton, Monica Burns, Kris Kennedy, Margo Maguire, Lila DiPasqua, Sharon Page, Joan Swan, and Mia Marlowe.  What a lineup of talent, eh?  I’m thrilled and honored to be included in this group.

For all the details and a list of our books, please stop by our beautiful new Rock*It Reads website.  We’ve got gorgeous covers and some of the best-indie published romance on the market.  I know you won’t be disappointed with the fantastic selection of books we’ve already got listed.

In fact, I’ve got a new book up this week, all bright and shiny for the RIR launch.  It’s called Hot Number, and it’s another one of the sexy contemporary romances I write with my hubby under the pen name of VK Sykes.

In Hot Number, a geeky math professor determined to have a wild week in Las Vegas soon runs into trouble with a hard-nosed but very sexy casino security chief.  The ensuing mayhem leads to a whole lot of fun and romance.  I love this book, and my husband and I had a great time writing it.  For more details, check out my VK Sykes website.

But, wait!  There’s more news.  The Rock*It Reads gang will also be doing a twice-a-month column with Barnes & Noble, which will spotlight indie-published romance.  We’ll help you sort through the tidal wave of books to find the quality reads that really stand out.  The column is called Love Rocks and it launches April 23, 2012, at Barnes & Noble Review.com.

Now you know the scoop, so drop on by the Rock*It Reads website and let us fill up your Nook, Kindle, cellphone, or e-reader with all the best in indie romance.  I guarantee you won’t regret it!

And for my visitors to the blog today, I’ll be giving away three copies of Hot Number to celebrate its release.  Just tell me what books you’re looking forward to reading this month – three people who comment will win a copy of my new book!


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