Love, romance, and e-Books…what a combination. It’s also a hot topic for romance writers and readers everywhere.
Last week, I had the privilege of joining my critique partner, Chicki Brown, and GRW author, Delaney Diamond, as they hosted a meeting at the Fulton County Library to address the topic. Both authors have first-hand knowledge of the subject.
E-Book or tree-book; that is the question. I’d never heard of traditional books being called tree-books, but it does make sense after all. With the popularity of Kindle, Nook, and a myriad of other e-readers, book lovers have a wide variety of choices as to how they want to read. Some people consider the book-sized electronic readers a blessing, because they can carry every book they own in their purse or pockets. Others prefer the weight, texture and feel of traditional books in the palm of their hands. Whichever format you prefer, e-Books are here to stay!
Another highlight to the evening was information shared on the history of the romance genre. First of all, it is one of the most popular genres available. Moreover, unlike other genres, Romance has a plethora of sub-genres, such as romantic suspense, romantic comedies, chick-lit, interracial/multicultural romance, women’s fiction, erotic romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, science fiction romance, military romance…and the list keeps growing! No matter what you prefer, it’s out there. Long gone are the traditional ‘bodice rippers’ your grandmother used to read. Today’s heroines are not damsels in distress waiting for the strapping hunk of a man to come along and rescue them. Today’s woman is strong, goes for what she wants, is not afraid to be alone and still be content. She’s a woman that is capable rescuing her man if he needs it. They hold jobs, take care of house, kids, and continue to be the ultimate lovers. These novels are not just written for women. Men are reading them as well.
Let’s face it people, at the end of the day (or night) who doesn’t want a little bit of romance in their lives? It’s human nature!
Another fact about the genre, one I was not aware of, was shared by Delaney Diamond, something she picked up from author Maya Rodale. As most readers know, romance novels have long held a stigma causing lovers of the genre to ‘hide’ their books for fear of what may be thought of them. Authors, as well, have endured ridicule for writing what some consider ‘book porn’.
Where did this come from? Are all romance novels overtly steamy? Are the stories about nothing but sex? What about relationships? Life outside of the bedroom?
Author Chicki Brown, who is also one of my critique partners, published her first book, Have You Seen Here?
in 2010. Her journey to publishing started long before then…back in 2001. What began as a hobby turned into a dream in 2002 when she was laid off her job.
For seven years she queried and dealt with those dreaded rejection letters. Several years – and two agents later – she decided to take a stab at self-publishing. Have You Seen Here? was published through Amazon and various other e-Book formats and has seen much success. In 2011, SORMAG (Shades of Romance Magazine) voted her Author of the Year. The magazine also awarded Have You Seen Here? as the Fiction Book of the Year.
Since the publication of her first book, Chicki has published four more novels and been a part of an anthology, The WG2E All-For-Indies Anthologies: Viva La Valentine Edition.
Next up was Author, Delaney Diamond. Delaney has a different story. Not only has she been published by a publishing house, she’s also self-published some of her books. Let me explain.
Writing had not always been her goal. She won several short story competitions while in high school, but her career focused on other pursuits. Years later, after taking a trip with some friends, she decided to write. Those first works have not been published. As with most writers, our first works are practice for perfecting our craft and may never see the light of day. In 2009, Delaney visited the Decatur Book Festival. After visiting the Georgia Romance Writers booth, she decided to join and give writing another try. After joining GRW in January 2010, her first book, The Arrangement – the lead book in her Hot Latin Men Series – was published in November 2010. The books have been nominated for Best Series in the 2011 Swirl Awards.
Three books later, Delaney created The Hawthorne Family Series
, which surprisingly was not picked up by her publisher. Undeterred by the rejection, she decided to self-publish. As a result, it has seen much success, proving readers are the ones who determine what they want to read, not the publishers. Book two, A Hard Man to Love
, hit #1 on the Amazon Multicultural Romance Bestseller’s List and was one of the top 20 on the Contemporary Romance Bestseller’s List.
Don’t have access to a Kindle or Nook? Don’t worry, you can still purchase an e-book! Sites like Amazon offer free downloadable applications
for your blackberry, ipad, androids, pc, and mac. If your nervous about purchasing an e-book without testing the features of the application, do a quick search for free books
and grab a few. Don’t be surprised if you see one of your favorite authors offering their book for free for a limited time. You’ll be glad you did!
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