First of all, thank you so much for inviting me to visit your blog.
I live in the Midwest in a rural area that isn’t too far from a big city. Recently, I moved to a new town home, and while I wasn’t fond of the moving part, I love the new locale. There’s a lovely pond in my back yard that’s home to a variety of wild life. And the new town home is spacious (lots of room for my office and loads of books).
When I’m not writing or gardening, I love spending time outdoors, particularly with my family. I’m a multi-published author in erotic romance and gay fiction. I’ve published in several venues, including traditional and Indie. Where The Rain Is Made, my paranormal shifter novel that released in 2010, has been nominated for a Bookie Award by Authors After Dark in the Best e-novel category. Stay tuned for the announcement of winners in all categories at their August convention.
My books have received numerous Top Pick, Book of the Month, and Recommended Read awards from top professional review sites. You can find out more about Where The Rain Is Made here: (don’t forget to read the 20 five-star reviews) http://amzn.to/ev0I3Y
What made you decide to go the epublishing route?
I also have books in print, i.e., Land of Falling Stars, Decadent Deceptions, Crossroads series (gay fiction), but I’m now a converted ebook gal. I knew several years ago ebooks would one day go viral. With the hunger for technology and lack of leisure time in our busy world, digital technology was bound to take over. This year, ebook sales increased 300 percent while paperback/print books spiraled downward. I don’t see that changing in the future. Occasionally, I love to hold a book in my hands and read, but I’ve really come to adore the price, convenience and lack of storage required for ebooks.
There are many positive things about epublishing besides those listed above. The turn-around time is much faster. Who doesn’t love getting your books in the hands of readers in a timely fashion? There are no shipping and handling costs and most important, I love the creative freedom epublishing embraces.
The publishing arena has been controlled by an elite group of publishers, agents and editors for decades. Which in turn meant our fiction and non-fiction reading material has also been controlled by similar entities. Readers didn’t have much to choose from in any genre. They had to select from what was offered. There is a wide variety of novels in all genres now.
Romance writers were required to write according to a formula: Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl have a major disagreement, boy and girl must climb mountains, swim oceans and walk through hell before they achieved their happily-ever-after. When epublishing finally got its legs, writers were encouraged to write outside the box, urged to allow their creative juices to carry them away. I embrace that freedom and certainly don’t want to write formulaic romance. I think readers have also opened their arms and their eyes to these quirky stories without predictable endings. I follow the reviews on Goodreads religiously. All indications are readers/reviewers are not as star-struck by big names as they once were. Now they’ve seen and read other material and are also embracing unusual plots and unknown authors.
How do you market yourself? Can you give specific examples?
I spend a great deal of time every day on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/KetaDiablo.Author and on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ketadiablo. I blog regularly on my romance blog, http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com, and belong to several social marketing sites such as Library Thing, Goodreads, Shelfari and probably too many to mention. Of course, the problem with spending too much time on these sites will result in less time spent writing that next book. There has to be a balance, and self-employed writers must be disciplined. There’s only one way to get that next book out and it’s called, “Put your butt in the chair and write.”
For which presses do you write?
Right now, I publish mostly through Books We Love Spice. The company is owned by authors who have been in the business for a long time and is therefore, very pro-author oriented. In the past, I’ve written for The Wild Rose Press, New Concepts Publishing, Noble Romance, Decadent Publishing, Ravenous Romance, Phaze/Mundania Press, Amber Quill Press and several others. I like all the publishers mentioned, but publishing houses need to get with the times and pay the person who wrote the book the lion’s share of royalties. It’s not necessarily about the money as much as it is validating the months of blood, sweat and tears the author put into the novel. Authors should be compensated and recognized for that. Can you tell I’m also very pro-author?
There’s room for everyone in this business, agents, publishing houses, writers, and editors, but the scales have been tipped in the past. The same people have stated over and again that money is supposed to flow toward the writer. I’d like to see them set an example and stand behind those words. I read a wonderful blog post today by an author who has been traditionally published for years and has now come out of the “Indie” closet. I encourage everyone weighing their options to read the article here: http://lilianahart.blogspot.com/
How do you feel about having an agent represent you?
Ambiguous. LOL. I have never sought representation by an agent. I do follow some of their blogs and read the controversy and comments. I think agents are struggling now too, trying to find their niche in an ever-changing publishing world. I don’t think agents should jump into opening their own publishing houses. I see that as a conflict of interest. And I’m still trying to figure out exactly what agents can do for authors in the world of epublishing? Don’t get me wrong, I think there are some fantastic authors writing for the big six publishing houses, and there are authors who should never have been published in that arena to begin with. It baffles me. I’ve read some great Indie books and again, there are those that need a rigorous edit and would probably not be accepted by traditional publishing. I guess it cuts both ways.
Writers should be learning and getting better with every book they write. That’s all we can do, write the best book possible and hope readers like it. Not everyone will like our writing or our style. It’s just the way it is. No one wants to write a bad book, but it happens to everyone. The books I stress over are generally the ones readers like. The ones I feel confident about at times struggle in the market. After a time, you have to live by the above – write the best book you can and whatever happens, happens.
If you find yourself in the position of Amanda Hocking and you’re offered a book deal from a traditional publisher, would you sign a contract or pass?
I love the Amanda Hocking story. She wrote a book, or a series of books that appealed to the masses – at the right time. All the stars aligned for Ms. Hocking and good for her! Isn’t it inspiring to watch a writer come out of nowhere and make millions? You go, girl!
I have no idea what I would do if I was in Hocking’s place as far as signing a contract with a traditional publisher. I imagine it would hinge on the terms, the creativity freedom and some other things that are important to me. I’m not a Diva by any means, and I most certainly have not made millions, but I have to stick by an internal code that keeps me on the straight and narrow. I’ve read and seen some pretty nasty commentary and blog posts come out of the “big” publishing arena. I think one has to consider whether or not they want to be a part of that or sacrifice their beliefs for financial gain. The money for me is secondary. Even if I never sold one book, I would still write. I enjoy it too much to ever give it up.
Do have any last minute advice for new or established writers?
If you’re determined to be published one day, read everything in that genre you can get your hands on. Dissect the stories you love – take note of what works and why it works. Pay attention to the trends in the market and believe in yourself and your writing. If you don’t, you can’t expect others to.
Happy reading and writing, Keta
A decadent-looking savage has captured Francesca DuVall and her brother Marsh. Now she spends every waking moment planning an escape. She didn’t count on the powerful draw of desire interfering with her scheme while in the clutches of the brutal Cheyenne Dog Soldiers.
Ethan Gray is a curator at a national museum . . . most of the time. When he travels through time to help his beloved People he’s Meko, leader of the most revered and feared tribe of the plains. Their worlds are decades apart and yet Meko can’t resist the dark beauty he kidnapped during a raid. Violent battles loom on the horizon, but there’s only one he must win at all costs – the capture of Cesca’s heart forever.
From the windswept plains of Colorado and the harsh life of a Dog Soldier to the placid life of a curator, their love was fueled by passion and kindled by destiny.