Romance

The Secret of the Jane Austen Industry

28 March 2015

From The Wall Street Journal:

The poet W.H. Auden said of Sigmund Freud that he was no longer just a person but had become a climate of opinion. That is about as effusive a compliment as one can imagine, and there are very few thinkers or writers who merit it. But one who undoubtedly does isJane Austen. She is not only a climate of opinion, she is a movement, a mood, a lifestyle, an attitude and, perhaps most tellingly of all, a fridge magnet.

What explains the continued popularity of Jane Austen and the handful of novels she wrote? It is, after all, rather remarkable that a woman who spent her life in quiet provincial circumstances in early 19th-century England should become, posthumously, a literary celebrity outshining every author since then, bar none. Tolstoy, Dickens and Proust are all remembered, and still read, but they do not have countless fans throughout the world who reread their books each year, who eagerly await the latest television or movie adaptation, who attend conventions in period costume, and who no doubt dream about the heroes and heroines of their novels.

And it gets better. Although the literary sequel is an established genre, there are no other writers who have quite so many imitators. Each publishing year brings its crop of Austen novels, whether they are prequels, sequels or fresh treatments of a plot from a new perspective.

. . . .

The continued life of the Jane Austen industry must have a secret. At the heart of it is probably the simple, persistent appeal of romance. Austen is about women engaging with men in the eternal dance of attraction between the sexes. That, it would seem, is what people want to read about and to see portrayed one way or another on the screen. The woman identifies her man or he identifies her. They encounter obstacles, whether personal or social, but, if it is meant to be, they overcome them and are happily paired at the end. So resolution and happiness are thrown into the mix, and however jaded we are, it seems we can never get enough of those.

Yet there is far more to Austen than that. There are plenty of superficial romantic novels that are forgotten as soon as they are read. Austen is far from superficial. Although her books are set exclusively within the confines of a certain class, she provides a fascinating picture of the ways of that slice of society and the confines within which its members, particularly women, are obliged to live. She is also extremely funny, able to paint the foibles of characters with a dry wit that has dated very little. Her books are intimate and compelling. She has a voice that somehow seems to chime even with a modern sensibility. She is, in essence, timeless.

Lind to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire)

Conversations in Private Author Loops

27 March 2015

From author Courtney Milan via Smart Bitches, Trashy Books:

Courtney Milan says:

Look, there’s a reason I haven’t said much. I’m still untangling things. There are a lot of things that I need to untangle. I’m sorry that’s not convenient–I conveniently wish I could untangle this easily, too.

But here is one thread of about 45 tangled threads that I think I’m finally clear on: There is an intersection between Jane being on author loops and the lawsuit.

Everything that crosses Jane’s eye about Ellora’s Cave is discoverable by Tina Engler–someone who has allegedly inflated the 1099s of former editors who testified in the suit in retaliation for their testimony, an action that will cost them time and money to correct. A lot of authors–and I mean a LOT–are being very cautious about what they say because they don’t want to be retaliated against. I understand that worry and I’m not going to tell people to put their careers on the line when they’ve got a living to make.

Now we come to those private author loops. Because that’s where we do a lot of processing behind the scenes, including processing of the questions regarding the EC suit. On private author loops, authors have asked each other questions like this: Do I say something in public? Is it worth the risk? They still have six of my books, and they’re still paying me and I need that money to pay rent. Or, maybe the calculus goes, They haven’t paid me yet but I think they will and I can’t afford not to get it. I can’t speak up.

Ellora’s Cave is going to ask for discovery of any and all communications received by Jane in any form regarding Ellora’s Cave. If Jane was on any of those loops? That stuff is discoverable. Even if Jane as Jen didn’t respond or instigate the discussion. Even if she never used the information.

It is a huge risk to speak frankly in front of someone who may be compelled by court order to report your speech to the person you are talking about. There’s even the risk that, as a result of that speech, you may be compelled by subpoena to testify in court. These are risks that are vastly different in kind than the risks authors normally assume–and Jane spent six months on authors’ loops not disclosing that a court could compel her to put everything said in front of her about Ellora’s Cave in front of Tina Engler.

Link to the rest at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and thanks to Phoenix and several others for the tip.

Here’s a link to Courtney Milan’s books

​How Harlequin Became the Most Famous Name in Romance

20 March 2015

From Pictorial:

For the average person, romance novels bring to mind one word: Harlequin.

Of course, it’s not a very illustrious name. It’s treated as a punchline, a smutty innuendo. God forbid it pass your lips in literary circles. Despite the company’s frankly astounding financial history, generations of journalists have treated any related assignment as an excuse to do their best impression of its novels’ distinctive style. (Those impressions are generally abysmal.) People who haven’t cracked a book open in years feel fully qualified to sneer at Harlequins.

But very few people seem to have a good grasp on what, exactly, a Harlequin romance novel actually is. I’d go so far as to say that everything you think you know about the company is probably wrong. They’re not raunchy “bodice rippers,” a dismissive term that more properly refers to the historical romances of the 1970s, which were never Harlequin specialties, anyway. They’re not “pornography for women,” either—Harlequins were long quite prim, holding the line against premarital sex until the 1980s, and to this day, the company’s offerings are often mild in comparison to the gloriously filthy stuff that’s readily available on Amazon. To dismiss them as “trash” is lazy and intellectually incurious.

Harlequin’s bread and butter has always been a very specific type of book: the category romance, a distinctive corner of the publishing business. Typically less than 200 pages, their print editions are like magazines, with a limited shelf life (though particularly successful titles are repackaged and released). Harlequin sells many clearly branded “lines” of category romance, and editors of each have specific guidelines for aspiring writers. Each book must deliver on its promises about the level of sensuality, the preferred sort of settings, the overall emotional tenor, whether it’s angsty or lighthearted. They’re formulaic compared to single-title romances, but that doesn’t mean identical, and in fact they vary wildly—because when you’re so constrained by space, you’ve got to get creative if you want to stand out. Nora Roberts once compared writing categories to “Swan Lake in a phone booth.”

. . . .

 How did a humble Canadian publisher—which got its start reprinting other companys’ books—become the name most associated with romance? It’s a long story, involving a peripatetic former fur trader and his opinionated socialite wife, a Procter-and-Gamble-trained Harvard MBA, some jilted Americans and a whole crowd of damned scribbling women.

. . . .

Harlequin, born in Winnipeg, released its first title in 1949. Founder Richard Bonnycastle had spent several years criss-crossing the frozen Canadian backcountry as a fur-trading employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company. But it was a perilous life for a family man, so he eventually settled down managing a printing firm. Suddenly, he had access to a bunch of printing presses that were perfect if, say, you wanted to create a publishing house specializing in paperback reprints. And so Harlequin was born as a sideline, “a filler for a nice, steady business,” Bonnycastle’s right-hand woman Ruth Palmour told Paul Grescoe in an interview for his gleeful history of the company, The Merchants of Venus.

It’s Palmour and Bonnycastle’s wife Mary who deserve much of the credit for getting Harlequin off the ground. At first, the company published a mishmash of genres, with mixed success. Palmour, who ran much of the business day-to-day, noticed “nice little romances” were performing particularly well. Meanwhile, Mary, a socially polished stay-at-home mother, had agreed to read over the company’s titles for errors. She began establishing her preferences (she didn’t much hold with “sex books,” for instance), and soon emerged as de facto editor-in-chief.

Medical romances in particular did well for the company, and over the course of the early ’50s, both women noticed that a British firm, Mills & Boon, was churning out good work in the genre. In 1957, Palmour pitched a partnership, sending their reprint rates and suggesting Harlequin would be keen on “some of your doctor and nurse titles.”

When they received Ms. Palmour’s letter, Mills & Boon was 50 years old, with a tried-and-true recipe for light romantic fiction, the company specialty. In his history of the company, Passion’s Fortune: The Story of Mills & Boon, Joseph McAleer outlines two rules established by co-founder Charles Boon in the 1930s that reverberate even today: There was “Lubbock’s Law,” which said to write from the heroine’s perspective; and there was “the Alphaman,” which insisted heroes be strong top-of-the-heap types, paragons of stereotypical masculinity. The company also pioneered lasting sales tactics: uniform covers playing up the Mills & Boon name over the author’s, dedicating the back pages to promoting their other titles.

Link to the rest at Pictorial and thanks to Will for the tip.

A Dream Fulfilled: Deborah Bladon’s Indie Success

17 March 2015

From Publishers Weekly:

Deborah Bladon remembers sending a proposal for a romance novel to Harlequin Desire many years ago. She eventually received a polite rejection letter, and though she continued writing, she shelved her dream of becoming a professional romance writer—until New Year’s Eve 2013. That night, Bladon made a New Year’s resolution: to self-publish—something that hadn’t been an option previously. And, on February 21, 2014, her first title, Obsessed, went live on Amazon.

A year later, Bladon is a New York Times bestselling author with 21 self-published novellas across six series (Obsessed, Exposed, Pulse, Vain, Ruin, and Gone) with more planned for 2015. She’s made the New York Times e-book bestseller list 14 times and the USA Today list 21 times, as well as being a Kindle Top 100 author in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K. “I made a promise to myself that I’d put one novella up and it just snowballed from there,” she says.

In its first week of release, Obsessed—about a jewelry designer who falls for a powerful bad boy—sold 107 copies. “I knew that I didn’t know all the people who bought it, so I was ecstatic,” she says. The book soon reached the Top 100 chart on Amazon.ca in her native Canada. But the moment she knew “something really shifted” was when her readers started emailing her and posting on Facebook about when the next book in the series would be released. “The first time it happened I remember staring at the message on Facebook. I was in awe that anyone was invested enough in the Obsessed series to want to know what was happening next,” she says. “Then I released the Exposed series and sales soared.”

. . . .

While serialization is nothing new, self-publishing does lend itself to the format—indie authors have control over their publishing schedules and can release installments quickly to keep readers on the hook. For Bladon, once each series of three or four titles is complete, the next step is bundling the novellas and offering them as a single book in both e-book and print formats. Bladon uses Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace, while tapping Draft2Digital for distribution to iBooks, NOOK, and Kobo.

“I chose to self-publish because the opportunity was there,” says Bladon. “I saw it as the most convenient route for sharing my work with potential readers and it also allowed me to retain complete control over all the aspects that are important to me including my release schedule, covers, etc.”

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly

Here’s a link to Deborah Bladon’s books

Lord John’s Dilemma

5 March 2015

Lord John 6x9

Mrs. PG has just released another Regency romance titled Lord John’s Dilemma.

What’s it about?

Lord John doesn’t like Napoleon.

Lord John goes to Waterloo.

Waterloo doesn’t end well for Napoleon and Lord John.

Lord John thinks he should marry Miss Lindsay.

Miss Lindsay thinks that’s a good idea.

Being a man, Lord John starts eyeing Miss Lindsay’s governess, Miss Haverley.

PG doesn’t know whether the brunette on the cover is Miss Lindsay or Miss Haverly.

Lord John is the brunette on the cover who needs a shave.

He probably lost his razor at Waterloo.

Miss Haverly doesn’t seem like a typical governess.

Because she’s not.

Miss Haverly has a big secret.

Lord John wants to find out what the big secret is.

Miss Haverly thinks that would be a bad idea.

Eventually, Lord John finds out what Miss Haverly’s big secret is.

PG can’t say what Miss Haverly’s big secret is.

Finding out the secret is one reason to buy the book.

There are many others.

PG isn’t certain exactly what Lord John’s Dilemma is.

Maybe Lord John isn’t sure whether to buy a new razor or go back to Waterloo to look for his old one.

Lord John’s Dilemma is available on Amazon and Draft2Digital is diligently working to make Lord John available in a lot of other places.

 

 

Abandon your dignity and write a racy page-turner

5 March 2015

From The Independent:

Writers should “abandon literary dignity” and write page-turning versions of their thoughtful masterpieces for the e-book audience, the acclaimed author Fay Weldon has suggested.
The 83-year-old author, who has written more than 50 works including The Life and Loves of a She Devil, told an audience at The Independent Bath Literature Festival that a different type of reader needed a different type of writer.

Authors should write a literary version for publication in print form, and a racier “good-bad” version for those who use e-readers such as the Kindle. Weldon revealed she had considered expanding a recent e-book novella for print.

“Writers have to write now for a world where readers are busy, on the move and have little time for contemplation and reflection,” she said. “The writer has to focus on writing better, cutting to the chase and doing more of the readers’ contemplative work for them.”

Weldon expands on the theme on her blog, quoting a survey in The Bookseller last year which showed that 90 per cent of book buyers read e-books with genre and commercial fiction comprehensively outselling literary fiction. One e-reader company, Kobo, also revealed the most read books last year were romance, followed by crime and thriller novels and fantasy.

Link to the rest at The Independent and thanks to Sandra for the tip.

Author Solutions Partner Imprint Bites the Dust with the Closure of Harlequin’s DellArte Press

20 February 2015

From The Independent Publishing Magazine:

It was one of the early self-publishing service imprints to be launched by a major publisher in the USA. Back in November 2009, the launch of DellArte Press (Harlequin Horizons as it was then) — an imprint of romance publisher Harlequin — was operated under a partnership agreement with self-publishing service giant Author Solutions Inc. The launch of DellArte Press quickly followed a similar partnership Author Solutions had with Christian publisher Thomas Nelson. While self-publishing service imprints are now nothing new for the big five publishers, the reception to such imprints was very different in 2009. While Thomas Nelson escaped much of the backlash with its WestBow Press imprint, Harlequin drew considerable negative feedback from the traditionally published author community, particularly those published by Harlequin itself.

The imprint never quite took off at a time when other print-centric self-publishing services were booming in 2009. In its original incarnation as Harlequin Horizons, Harlequin came under considerable pressure from USA-based writers’ organisations and publishing watchdogs. Preditors & Editors changed its listing for Harlequin to that of Vanity Publisher. The Romance Writers of America (RWA) briefly revoked Harlequin’s rating and benefits which it generally extended to all traditional publishers. The Mystery Writers of America (MWA) also took up the gauntlet and Harlequin, after several weeks, announced a change of name and some contract terms. The direct association with the Harlequin logo was removed from the imprint’s website, and Harlequin Horizons quickly became DellArte Press.

Link to the rest at The Independent Publishing Magazine and thanks to Cora for the tip.

How Amazon and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Created a Golden Age for Self-Published Romance Authors — and Why It May Already Be Over

14 February 2015

From Flavorwire:

For Monica Murphy, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance writer living in the foothills of California’s Yosemite National Park, a typical day goes like this: she spends an hour online tending to her social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Then, when her three kids are off to school, she gets down to the serious business of writing sexy romance novels.

Murphy is a pen name — and as Murphy, Karen Erickson has been writing adult novels since 2013. She had been a working romance writer since 2006, publishing under her own name, but it took Murphy’s sexy new adult novels to bring Erickson the kind of “life-changing” success that meant that her family wasn’t living paycheck to paycheck. And as she told Flavorwire, “I’m able to work at home and if my kids need me, I’m there for them.” The work of both Erickson and Murphy — but especially Murphy — kept her family afloat when her husband lost his job.

At first glance, it would appear that the success of “Monica Murphy” has a lot to do with the aftermath of the biggest romance phenomenon in recent history, E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. For anyone who knows the contours of James’ story, Erickson appears to have followed a similar path, along with plenty of other self-published romance writers, who are creating a new class of working genre writers online.

. . . .

In a recent Vanity Fair article on the upcoming film adaptation, writer Vanessa Grigoriadis described what Fifty Shades mania meant for publishing: “Worldwide operating profits for Random House, Vintage’s parent company, jumped almost 76 percent for 2012, and every US employee got a $5,000 bonus, which was announced at the Christmas party.” According to The Guardian, James made $95 million in 2013.

Fifty Shades of Grey was one of those decade-defining books that made the genre of romance palatable to the masses. It also opened up the use of Kindles and e-readers to a new audience, and according to an Amazon source, the Kindle edition sold four times as many copies as the print version. The Fifty Shades phenomenon was like “a rising tide lifting boats,” according to Sarah MacLean, the author of nine historical romance novels, including Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake and Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover. She told Flavorwire, “Romance is too big of a ship for one book to disrupt it. [But] Fifty Shades blew the door open to a whole new group of readers. It was just early enough in the self-publishing story that there weren’t that many novels out there and it was one of the first that people could download quickly and put on their reader.”

. . . .

MacLean, who’s been publishing with HarperCollins since 2010, has observed the fervent reading habits of romance fans up close. “Romance readers are tremendously passionate about their books, and they read on average ten to 12 books a month, which is way more than most readers do,” she says. The appetite of romance readers has been a particular boon for self-published authors, with most cranking out their stories at a quicker clip than your typical traditionally published author. MacLean averages about two books a year, while Erickson, as Monica Murphy, completes a book roughly every two months.

What makes a romance novel successful? Books break out because they fulfill the very intense criteria of the best of the genre. Romance needs to hit beats that are driven by emotional investment in the story. The form, in some ways, is very prescribed, and what makes books interesting is what they do with that form. “It’s a very visceral experience for readers,” says MacLean, who also writes a romance review column for The Washington Post. “Many readers see themselves in the stories and are able to imagine their lives in different ways through romance, and those things are not to be discounted.” Romance readers want to feel everything, to care deeply about the relationship in the story, getting both turned on and thoroughly invested in whether or not the central relationship has a shot in a world that suffers cruel and delicious twists of fate, right up until the happy ending.

. . . .

In 2007, Amazon introduced Kindle Direct Publishing — a free way for authors to distribute their work — along with the instrument to read these e-books on. This made the entryway to publishing as easy as getting an email address, creating a rich opportunity for romance writers to find a broad audience of readers. It’s created its own six-figure-salary mid-list, whose rise was a result of talent, and crucially, timing. The romance authors that I talked to have certainly benefited from Amazon: as Erickson put it, “When Amazon launched Kindle, for a lot of us, we were making real money.”

. . . .

This economic state has led to the slow death of the mid-list author in traditional print publishing, where fewer and fewer writers survive in the middle of the sales pack. Their advances are falling and their sales are, too. A Publishers Weekly article from 2011 discussing the changing expectations of the “big six” (at the time — in 2015, it’s the “big five” with Penguin Random House) reveals that publishers aren’t signing up books that seem like they’ll sell 25,000 copies at most, and an agent is quoted as saying “5,000 is the new 50,000” regarding advances.

Yet romance has stayed steady in print, and it’s simply exploded in e-book sales: in 2010, it occupied 19 percent of the e-book market, and by 2014 it had grown to 24 percent, which means for every four e-books sold, one is a romance.

. . . .

Although Amazon is consistently opaque about the numbers its “best sellers” designation actually represent, a former Amazon employee told me that “from past experience, the #1 seller could mean it’s selling [anything between] hundreds of copies a day to thousands [a day].” For a romance writer working at great speed and efficiency, like Murphy or Grace, this can translate to a six-figure salary for what would be considered mid-list sales.

. . . .

The time may have passed when the average writer could upload their romantic story online and make an instant career out of it. It’s looking as if it’s harder to get to the level that both Erickson and McDonald have achieved in a few short years. As Weinman says, “Some [writers] have broken out. But fewer and fewer do. The ideal ecosystem is a hybrid one, where authors can move back and forth between publishing with mainstream houses or on their own, or do both at the same time.”

Link to the rest at Flavorwire and thanks to Dotti for the tip.

Amazon.com Releases the Top 20 Most Romantic U.S. Cities

5 February 2015

From The Amazon Media Room:

Love is in the air at Amazon.com as the company unveiled its annual list of the Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S.

The list is determined by a compilation of sales data from cities with more than 100,000 residents on a per capita basis and includes purchases of romance novels and relationship books (both Kindle and print); romantic comedy movies (DVDs and digital); a curated list of romantic music, including artists like Maxwell, Miguel, Barry White and Luther Vandross (CDs and MP3 format); as well as the sales of sexual wellness products.

The Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S. are:

1. Knoxville, Tenn.

11. Las Vegas, Nev.

2. Miami, Fla.

12. Pittsburgh, Pa.

3. Orlando, Fla.

13. Everett, Wash.

4. Alexandria, Va.

14. Broken Arrow, Okla.

5. Vancouver, Wash.

15. Springfield, Mo.

6. Cincinnati, Ohio

16. Salem, Ore.

7. Dayton, Ohio

17. Billings, Mont.

8. Columbia, S.C.

18. Wilmington, N.C.

9. Round Rock, Texas

19. Gainesville, Fla.

10. Murfreesboro, Tenn.

20. Erie, Pa.

Some of the interesting finding in Amazon’s romantic data revealed that:

  • Knoxville, Tenn., fell in love all over again, reclaiming its position as the most romantic city after a heartbreaking year away from the top spot.
  • Cupid fixed Broken Arrow, Okla., which debuted on the list for the first time this year.
  • Hearts are on fire in Florida, with three cities making the list this year: Miami, Orlando and Gainesville.
  • Round Rock, Texas, Erie, Pa., and 10 other cities can’t help fallin’ in love, appearing on the list for the third consecutive year.
  • Columbia, S.C., Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Pittsburgh, Pa., turned up the heat in 2015, ranking higher on the list compared to 2014.
  • Five cities lost that lovin’ feeling with San Antonio, Texas, Seattle, Wash., Spokane, Wash., San Jose, Calif., and Sioux City, Iowa, falling off the top 20 this year.

Link to the rest at Amazon Media Room

The Last Taboo: What One Writer Earns

20 January 2015

From author Cara McKenna via Wonk-o-Mance:

When I was a new writer, there was only one place I knew of that offered a sense of what money there was to be made in this gig, and that’s the famous Brenda Hiatt blog post, Show Me the Money! Even now, I don’t really know what my closest writer friends make—and we blab in excruciating detail about nearly everything when sequestered late at night in conference hotel rooms, with our Costco merlot swirling in plastic tumblers and our achy dance-floor feet dangling off the edges of our overpopulated beds.

. . . .

[T]oward the end of 2014, I met what I’d always imagined was a ridiculous, pie-in-the-sky professional goal—a dream more than a goal, really. I set this goal when I sold my first book, just over five years ago. I was infatuated with writing, and I told myself that I would feel satisfied and proud and legitimized forever if I could manage just this: to one day make as much money in one calendar year of writing as I’d made as my salary when I stopped being a full-time graphic designer. And this past year, I did it. With a couple thousand dollars to spare.

. . . .

Now, let’s get the figures out of the way, because in all honesty they’re probably not going to blow your mind and so I don’t want a big build-up. At the time my old office in Boston closed in 2009 and I lost my design job, my salary was $44,000 a year. I wasn’t raking it in by some standards, but hey, I went to a state art college. The kid done all right. And now my “Book Earnings 2014” spreadsheet tells me that, from January through December of last year, I earned from royalties and advances $46,517. And eighty-six cents.

. . . .

I’m comfortable writing about this because in all honesty, I don’t care what anyone thinks of what I make. Money to me is strictly about security and freedom, not prestige or worthiness or even success. I want enough money, but not much more than that. Having much more money doesn’t seem to bring people much more peace of mind. Some might think the amount I now make is great, while some others will probably try to draw me aside in the lobby at RT this spring and murmur conspiratorially, “You know, you could be making so much more by self-pubbing. Let me share with you my secrets.”

. . . .

“Woman Writes for Several Years, Eventually Makes a Living Wage” is not a headline that’s going to inspire thousands to quit their day jobs.

. . . .

I have been writing seriously for 6.5 years.

In that time, I have sold 39 original books and novellas to 5 publishers. (I’m not counting anthologies featuring previously released stories, foreign editions, or re-releases.) Of those 39, 6 titles are not yet released.

My first title was published just under 5 years ago, with Ellora’s Cave.

. . . .

My first royalty check was for $141.00. (Always one to keep my expectations low, I had been hoping for $40, enough to pay for some celebratory drinks, so I was stoked to surpass that by a hundred and one bucks. I’m pretty sure we got Indian food that night.)

In 2010, my first year of being published, I made $11,000 from my writing, with 7 titles released and 1 more contracted. (A large chunk of that came from my first advance, with Harlequin Blaze.) That’s a lot of titles in one year. I wrote short, and quickly. I was intoxicated by this new job that I ached so badly to keep. I was on unemployment, so money wasn’t too much of a stressor between me and my husband. I was very excited to have made five figures in my debut year, considering my initial hopes of getting $40 out of that first royalty period.

. . . .

The healthiest chunks of my income arrive as advance payment checks, not individual books’ royalties. I would not be surprised if my yearly income takes a dip in 2015, if only because I’m contracted and on deadline through the spring of 2016, and don’t imagine I’ll be seeing any juicy signing checks for selling new proposals this year.

Of my 8 books that came with advances and have been out for 12 months or more, only one has yet to earn out its advance—and even that straggler’s getting very close. Modest advances aren’t a bad thing, provided you don’t like a lot of pressure and you’re not too vain.

Link to the rest at Wonk-o-Mance and thanks to Mike for the tip.

Here’s a link to Cara McKenna’s books

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