Our Brave New Digital World

My good pal and historical romance author Kris Kennedy is in the house today.  She’s here to give us a preview of an exciting new digital project, and also talk about her upcoming indie published novella.

Take it away, Kris!

It’s a brave new world in there. In your ereader, I mean.

Over the past few years, the reading/writing/publishing world has gone through seismic shifts. So many e-reading devices, so many e-published stories. It’s a readers’ cornucopia, and it is seriously overflowing.

If there’s a downside to all this plenty, it’s figuring out a way to navigate this new world. A map, a compass, some way to find quality. Something like...Rock*It Reads.

Rock*It Reads is a group of stellar New York published authors who are also self-publishing romances. We’ve each made a commitment to put out only high-quality self-published works, and the logo is intended to communicate that. When readers buy a Rock*It Reads-logoed book, they can know they’re getting a story that has been tended with the same level of attention and professionalism as we give our New York works. The logo is meant to be a sort-of ‘seal of quality,’ because we care as much about writing great stories as you do about reading them!

Who are Rock*It Reads authors?
Vanessa Kelly (Our fabulous hostess)
Me, Kris Kennedy
Pamela Clare
Cheryl Holt
Elisabeth Naughton
Monica Burns
Mia Marlowe
Margo Maguire
Lila DiPasqua
Sharon Page
Joan Swan

Now, Rock*It Reads is not a publisher. Not in any way. These are 100% self-published works, done by each author, on her own dime, on her own time.

We’ve simply banded together to form Rock*It Reads to help our readers find other high-quality self-published works. We’re hoping that the logo will be a like a little beacon or guide though the vast world of self-published romances.

For me, I have 3 1/2 books out from wonderful New York publishing houses (the fourth, DECEPTION, with Pocket Books, is on its way in late July!) and I hope to have lots more.

And . . . I’m self-publishing my first romance novella, CLAIMING HER. It’s shorter than my single title stories, hotter, and set in Elizabethan Ireland. All those things set it off the beaten track in enough ways that it’s hard to imagine how it could ever reach a bookstore in the traditional route. But by self-publishing, I get to write a story that’s been wanting to be written, and readers get to read a story they might never be able to the traditional way. Win-win!

It’ll be out late spring/early summer, and it’ll be proudly bearing the Rock*It Reads logo. Because I want to help readers to find other great stories they might love just as much.

So, come by and check us out, and find a romance to rock your world!


Guest Author: Mia Marlowe & Giveaway!

I’m so pleased to have my pal and super-talented author Mia Marlowe visiting with us on the blog today.  Mia writes passionate and wonderfully evocative historical romance.  In fact, Publishers Weekly recently named her latest book, Touch Of A Rogue, as one of the Top Ten Romances for Spring 2012.  Congratulations, lady!

Like many authors these days (including moi), Mia has branched out into indie publishing.  Let’s find out all about that, shall we?

Mia, you have a very successful career in traditional print publishing, yet you’ve recently branched out into indie publishing. Why did you go this route? 

It all started in 2010 when I began to write a serialized novella on my website called A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS. Each month I added another chapter and invited readers to send in suggestions for which way the story should turn. About 6 months in, I found myself under contract to deliver 6 novels to 2 different publishing houses (Kensington and Sourcebooks) in a 15 month period. All extraneous writing had to go by the wayside.

But I always felt guilty about not finishing A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS. I felt I owed it to my readers to let them know what happened to Sebastian and Arabella. So when I was able, I wrote the rest of the story and offered it as an eNovella last fall. No one was more surprised than I when it hit the Top 10 in historical romance on Amazon and stayed there for weeks.

Then when my agent negotiated the reversion of rights to several of my books from Dorchester, it seemed only natural to epublish those stories as well. I love writing for my NY editors at Kensington and Sourcebooks and am very happy to have one foot in tradition publishing and another in the brave new world of indie.

Two of your books, Erinsong and MaidenSong take place during the Viking period, but your other historicals are set during the 19th Century. Why such a spread?

I’ve always had a passion for history that isn’t limited to Regency England. I wanted to write some dramatic, epic stories of seduction, betrayal and redemption. The world of the vikings is just the kind of broad canvas I wanted for a backdrop. Readers who enjoy my Dark Ages romances will be pleased to hear that a third “song” book is coming this fall—DRAGONSONG, my never-before-published finale to the viking series.

I’ve also written stories set in 16th century Scotland (SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER, Sourcebooks, Jan. 2012 with New York Times bestseller  Connie Mason) and Victorian era London-Paris-Hanover (TOUCH OF A THIEF, Kensington, May 2011). I love the historical research that goes into my books, but it’s the story that’s most important to me. That’s why I’m not married to one particular setting.

What can you tell us about your upcoming book, How To Distract A Duchess?

In HOW TO DISTRACT THE DUCHESS, an artistic widowed duchess mistakes Her Majesty’s covert agent for her next nude model. Since my Victorian ‘James Bond’ needs the information he believes the duchess possesses, what else can he do? He blithely strips down, whistling ‘Rule Britannia’ through his teeth.

It’s funny, sexy and was a delight to write.

This story was first published in 2009 as Distracting the Duchess, but has been vigorously revised since then.  I hope to have HOW TO DISTRACT A DUCHESS ready for your ereader in a few weeks.  😉

What’s this fab new indie publishing venture you’re involved in?

I’m so excited about this and it’s been so hard to keep mum about it, but now the cat is about to scratch its way out of the bag. I’ve been lucky enough to be included in a very talented group of NY published authors (included the fabulous Miss Vanessa Kelly!) who are also branching out into indie publishing. The list of authors reads like a “Who’s Who” of romance—bestsellers, award winners, and exceptional storytellers all! Ok, I’ll give. Here they all are: Monica Burns, Pamela Clare, Lila DiPasqua, Cheryl Holt, Vanessa Kelly, Kris Kennedy, Margo Maguire, Elisabeth Naughton, Sharon Page, Joan Swan and little ol’ me.

We’ve banded together to form Rock*It Reads, an eBook brand that offers readers a sort of “Good Reading Seal of Approval.” We’re committed to bringing the same high standards of writing, editing, and cover art to our indie works that we provide for our NY publishers. Check out what we offer at our website.

But that’s not all. There has been an explosion of self-pubbed works into the marketplace. We’re going to help you navigate the minefield of indie romances and find some real gems in our bi-monthly column for B&N.com. The kick off article is April 23rd! Hope to see you there.

Thanks for having me here today, Vanessa. I’d like to offer a random commenter their choice from among my Rock*It Reads eBooks.  Just answer the following question to be entered in the drawing.  Is there a time period/setting that would cause you to absolutely refuse to read a story that lives there? What unique venue do you wish an author would choose?

Find Mia online at http://www.miamarlowe.com , at Facebook http://facebook.com/MiaMarloweFanPage and Twitter http://twitter.com/Mia_Marlowe.

Great interview, Mia!  Thank you so much.  And I can’t tell you how happy I am to be included with so many talented writers in Rock*It Reads!


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