Wednesday, June 30, 2010

EPIC Call For Judges

. Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two-time EPIC e-Book award winner, Brenna Lyons is sending out a call for judges:

EPIC's eBook Awards and the New Voices competition are gearing up for judging, and it's time to sign up, if you wish to judge.

Who is eligible to judge?
  • eBook Awards
  • Published Authors (at least contracted with their first book)
  • Editors
  • Publishers
  • Agents

New Voices will additionally take: 
  • Librarians 
  • Teachers 

No offense meant to readers and reviewers, but these are peer judged/professionally judged awards.

When is judging?
First round judging for eBooks would start by August 15th and end 5 or 6 weeks later. Final round judging (if you choose to do so) would start in the last two weeks of October and be done before the holidays.
New Voices judging occurs in November.

What would I be judging? 
eBook Awards gives you the chance to choose divisions (poetry, non-fiction, anthology, children's/YA, genre fiction, romance, erotic romance, and erotica) of judging but not individual categories. If you don't want to handle erotic content or GLBT, we will make every effort to avoid it for you. If you like romance but will be entering the contemp romance and historical romance categories, just note that, and we will provide a different type of romance for you to read. eBooks in the contest will be at least 10K in length. All entries are sent to judges as unsecured PDF.

New Voices covers only middle and high school entrants, and their word limit is very short. The longest entries in that contest will be no more than 2000 words long. New Voices only covers poetry, essay, and fiction stories for each age level division. Entries are typically sent to judges as DOC or RTF.
We do our absolute best to give you the divisions you ask for in both contests, but we may ask you to judge elsewhere, if necessary.

Are there limits on judging?
We prefer a minimum of 5 books/stories judged over the period for the eBook Awards and 3 poems pieces for the New Voices Award. Both contests are set to a maximum no more than 25 books/stories/poems per judge. (Believe it or not, we have people ask for more.) You choose the number you are willing to judge.

Will I own the books I judge?
Our agreement with the entrants is that judges will delete the eBook after judging, but you still get free reads and the chance to discover new-to-you authors.
How do I get in on this great opportunity?
Sign up to judge the contests at

Love, light, and laughter!
Jocelyn Modo

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cover Artists Open Call

. Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On Tuesday, July 13th Publishing Trove will be having their first ever Cover Artist Pitch Day!

All cover artists can come show off their work to authors and publishers.

They have set up a folder in the photo section for this event.

So all you amazing artists, pull your portfolios together and head over to pitch your work.

Love, light, and laughter!
Jocelyn Modo

Writing Passsionate Love Scenes

Author Terry Odell has summarized Linda Howard's presentation on portraying sex and sexual intimacy in novels. A very useful read. Howard, a fan of anthropologist Desmond Morris, discusses his theories on the development of sexual behavior in order to ensure the survival of the human species. No, this is does not me simply mating for procreation. Instead, she talks about choosing, bonding and creating a family with a mate. Howard's popular characters are created using this mold.

Check out her articles:

Survival: It's All About Sex

It's Still About the Sex:

For more information on these theries of human sexuality, check out Desmond Morris' work at

Love, light, and laughter!
Jocelyn Modo

How to get readers to discover your book

I found this book marketing article written by Cecilia Tan who is an author, editor, and publisher, titled “Discoverability, Still a Book's Biggest Problem.”

Definition of Discoverability: promoting your book so that readers can locate or discover your writing.

Truth is, your book will not sell unless your target audience knows about it. Due to the shift from print books to ebooks, the marketing strategy has not only changed but become even more important.

Celia Tan talks about three components of discoverability for books (print and digital):

1. The transition from physical to online marketplace

2. Piracy (and how to use it to your marketing advantage)

3. Social media and author involvement in promoting their books

While the aricle does not go into great detail on how to market your book, it does offer you the “why” in full detail. So if you’re just starting to research marketing your book, “Discoverability, Still a Book's Biggest Problem” is a great place to begin.

Love, light, and laughter!
Jocelyn Modo

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Inner Wolf

. Monday, June 28, 2010

Discovering Her Wolfen Heritage by Missy Martine has a great opening that feels like Little Red Riding Hood. Innocent, young Maddie meets big bad wolf, Remus, who is only big and bad to those who would hurt her.

This romance has a classic feel to it, but MM’s shifter wolves are new and unique. Remus is definitely all modern man despite his wolf instincts. He isn’t your typical dominant male character, dragging Maddie into his world whether she likes it or not. Remus forces himself to rise above his wolf’s need to dominate his mate, giving Maddie the respect she deserves and the right to call the shots in her own life.

You and I both know what a refreshing change that is from a lot of fantasy romance out there today where the author blames the male lead’s bad behavior on the fact that he’s not quite human and therefore should not be expected to rise above his animal characteristics. I’m so sick of that excuse and happy to see that there’s at least one author out there who makes her characters strong enough to conquer their baser instincts! Well done MM!

My only small grumble is that the dialogue can sound a little old fashioned from time to time, which really is nothing compared to the smoking-hot love scenes and the wonderful ending that make this book a must read.

I look forward to reading more about the other wolves introduced in this book. (I want to read Michael and Ariane’s story!)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Call for Submissions from Eternal Press

. Saturday, June 26, 2010

Call for Submissions from Eternal Press for Holiday stories

Deadline: August 31st, 2010

The Holidays are just around the corner! We are currently seeking submissions that pertain to the holidays. Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Samhain, New Years, Valentines, St. Patrick’s Day…any holiday at all! This call for submissions will be open until the end of don't delay…send in your sub now!

We are accepting:  Novellas, and full-length manuscripts from 20,000-140,000 words.
Genres:  Romance, Erotica, GBLT and BDSM, Paranormal, Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Suspense, Thriller, Historical, Young Adult.

We are particularly interested in:
  • Erotica
  • Paranormal (vampire/shapeshifter/witch)
  • GBLT
  • Romance
  • BDSM
  • Young Adult
  • Longer length novellas and novels 
We are currently NOT seeking:
  • Short Stories 
  • Short story collections or anthologies 
  • Poetry 
  • Non fiction
  • Religious genre fiction. Thematic elements of spiritual beliefs are welcome, but we are not currently publishing stories that fall into the religious category.
Eternal Press pays 40% royalties on net revenue to the Author for eBooks and 25% net on revenue for print. We hold all rights for five (5) years from date of publication.

Eternal Press submission guidelines at:

Love, light, and laughter!
Jocelyn Modo

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mythical Unicorn Found

. Friday, June 25, 2010

From Discovery News:  "Legend met reality recently as Italian researchers discovered a deer with a rare abnormality - a single antler growing from the middle of its head. Rossell Lorenzi tracks the find."

Check out this great MSN Video: Mythical Unicorn Found in Deer

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Plotting the Subplot

. Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Right, so subplot is the minor plot of a story, but it is no less significant than your main plot. Subplot provides you the opportunity to enhance your main plot, your characters, and your worldbuilding so that you can create a story full of details that draw your reader into your world and attach them to your characters. In short, subplot takes a story from two-dimensional to three-dimensional.

Subplot can also be used to tie a series together, foreshadowing your next novel or novels, hooking your readers so that they want to know what happens with your subplot and to your secondary characters.

Be sure that your subplot compliments / mirrors your main plot. The structure of your story should look something like this (in priority, time given in your story):

1. Characters (big)

2. Main Plot (medium)

3. World (medium)

4. Sub Plot (small)

Just one pitfall to avoid with subplots: make sure you correctly balance your plot and subplot. Too little subplot and you’re losing out on the all the aforementioned goodies. Too much subplot and you have two main plots, which takes your readers away from your main plot, characters, and world too often, distracting your readers and leaving them struggling to connect.

Peak your readers’ interest with subplot; don’t overwhelm and irritate them, focusing too much attention on other characters or storylines, while neglecting your main characters, disallowing the reader from fully experiencing the main characters’ journey (character arc).

I guess what I’m saying is don’t forget the “sub” in subplot. Use it as a tool to develop your story; don’t let it become your story. Your characters, your plot, your world, and your readers will thank you.

Ravenous Romance Call for Submissions

Call for Submissions: "Sugar and Spice"
Editor: Mira Paul
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Deadline: September 1, 2010
Payment: Short story advance of $10, a copy of the anthology, plus a pro rata share of any revenue / subsidiary rights.
Story Length: 2500 - 5000

Looking for lesbian kinky erotic romance submissions for a new Ravenous Romance anthology. Mistresses, Daddies, subs, slaves, girls and bois. They are particularly interested in stories illustrating loving Dominant and submissive relationships and/or butch/femme couples but am open to any SM-themed stories centered around established and committed relationships. All the stories must have believable, fleshed-out characters, some plot and steaming sex.

Submission Guidelines: Email submissions to mirapaul.editor at gmail dot com as a double-spaced Word or RTF attachment with “Sugar and Spice Submission” in the subject line. Please include your name (and pseudonym if applicable), bio, mailing address, email, title of the piece and word count as part of your document. The footer of each page should include your name and page number.

Compensation: Ravenous Romance short story advance of $10, a copy of the anthology, plus a pro rata share of any revenue/subsidiary rights.
As a side note: Suggest reading the guides carefully. Ravenous Romance's contract requires "World rights in all formats." Selling all rights is never a good idea, so be sure you understand what you're signing away before going to contract. Also, all contracts are negotiable, so think about negotiating for a more equitable deal.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Authors After Dark Con

. Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Join your hostest with the mostest, Jacquelyn Frank, and the Authors After Dark bloggers for a fun weekend of amazing books! Many authors are already signed on for the event, and there are more every day signing on! Some of the biggest and best up and coming authors in the romance genre today will be on hand to hangout and get to know you, their fans!

The Authors After Dark event has YOU, the reader in mind, from the authors right down to the price. In these hard economic times, you don’t have to break the bank to attend an amazing event!

A quick run down of pertinent facts can be found below:

Jacquelyn Frank Presents: Authors After Dark 2010: Romance Unlimited

Date: September 16-19 2010

Place: Harmon Meadow Holiday Inn, Secaucus NJ

Registration: $140 per attendee, includes 5 meals, 2 evening parties, panels and goodies, this price is good until August1, 2010 at which time we close registration.

Room rates: $109 a night double occupancy. Please make sure you mention “Authors After Dark” when making your reservation. The reservation period for this room block is only good through August 17, 2010.

To make a reservation for the hotel, please call: 201.348.2000 or 800.HOLIDAY"

Monday, June 21, 2010

Call for Submissions Myths & Magic: Legends of Love

. Monday, June 21, 2010

The following call is from Lynn West, Editor in Chief at Dreamspinner Press. Read the guides carefully, and keep in mind that Dreamspinner Press publishes M/M romance.

Love, light, and laughter.


Call for Submissions

Myths & Magic: Legends of Love
A Dreamspinner Press Anthology of M/M Fantasy Romance
Edited by Anne Regan
Submission Deadline: Aug. 6, 2010

Lose yourself in tales of yore, in myths, fairy tales, and legends shrouded in the mists of time. These are stories of beasts and men from ancient tomes, of gods, sorcerers, and ancient heroes, of fairies and elves, centaurs and satyrs, dragons and unicorns, almost anything you might dream. Let your imagination take the reins and experience the power of the timeless past as men in many different forms undertake the highest of quests: the search for a love of the ages.

Length: 3,500 - 12,000 words (manuscripts shorter or longer will be considered but will have to be extraordinary)

Short stories and novellas for anthologies are purchased for a flat amount based on the length of the work. Copyright remains with the author. Dreamspinner requires three years print, digital, and audiobook rights.

Follow the general submission guidelines for short stories at:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Call for Submissions: JMS Books LLC

. Sunday, June 20, 2010

I'm excited to announce the following call is from J.M. Snyder, a self-published, ebook writer cum gay/lesbian/transgender fiction fiction publisher via JMS Books LLC.

JMS Books is making its debut July 1st, with a consider number of titles already available on site, 95% by J.M. Snyder. As always with new ventures, be sure to include a reasonable release date in the contract so your work doesn't end up in limbo if the venture fails.

Guidelines on the MS Books LLC site says: "Our contracts are for exclusive electronic and print rights."

Call for Submissions


On July 1st JMS Books LLC opens as a new small press catering to fans of gay erotic romance as well as a variety of other genres.

Multi-published author J.M. Snyder has taken the exciting step of creating her own publishing house, JMS Books LLC. New titles will be released every Thursday in a variety of electronic formats, with print formats available every month.

JMS Books LLC currently publishes a select group of authors but will accept a small number of submissions, as well. Our royalty rates are very competitive (50% of net sales on both electronic and print books) and all stories over 30k will go into print. Authors also have the option to combine short stories into single-author print collections.

We are looking for fresh, new voices in gay/lesbian/transgender fiction (including erotica, romance, and young adult), as well as general fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. We accept a variety of genres but are not looking for bisexual or heterosexual erotica or romance at this time.
For a complete listing of our titles visit

Submission guidelines can be found at

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Character Creation

. Saturday, June 19, 2010

Your character is the most important element of your story. With character creation the old saying is true, you can’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been. Tragedy breeds drama but so too can plain old boredom.

The easy part of creating an engaging character is choosing:

1. Name
2. Physical traits
3. Personal habits / unique features
4. Family ties
5. Predominately good or evil

But these five just create your character’s skeletal system. Now we have to fill her in. And that is the hard part. To give your character personality you have to pack in all the spaces the above characteristics leave empty. The easiest way to do this is to answer Who, What, Where, When, and Why.

1. Name
    a. Who named her?
    b. What is the meaning of her name?
    c. Where does her name come from / where was her name signed on her birth certificate?
    d. When was the birth certificate issued?
    e. Why did her parents choose her name?

2. Physical traits
    a. Who does she resemble?
    b. What is her self-image?
    c. Where does she shop for clothes/what type of clothes?
    d. When did she hit puberty, have plastic surgery, get that scar?
    e. Why does she look, dress, carry herself in the manner that she does?

3. Personal habits / unique features
    a. Who did she inherit her habits from?
    b. What emotions are her habits associated with?
    c. Where do her habits manifest (home, with family, at work)?
    d. When did she develop her habits?
    e. Why did she develop her habits (past experiences)?

4. Family ties
    a. Who is her family (not just immediate)?
    b. What are they like, dominate characteristics (positive/negative, functional/dysfunctional)
    c. Where do they live now, where were they from?
    d. When did they become a family (trace them back a ways)?
    e. Why did they become a family (love, need, obligation, convenience)?

5. Predominately good or evil
    a. Who do they see themselves as (good / evil, are the self aware at all)?
    b. What are their good / evil personality traits?
    c. Where do their good / evil traits affect your character (situations)?
    d. When did the good / evil personality traits emerge (at birth, childhood, past or recent tragedy)?
    e. What the dominate circumstances that made them good / evil?

All of the answers to these questions make up who your character was, is, and will be at the end of your story. Your character needs a detailed and eventful past, a life that makes them who they are at the beginning of your story so that the reader sees how they change by the end.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Silver Publishing Halloween & Christmas Stories Open Submissions

. Friday, June 18, 2010

Heads up to all you writers out there!


Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, pagan rituals, things that go bump in the night. Halloween is coming. How do you celebrate? A forbidden tryst with a blood sucking vampire? A virgin sacrifice? A longing for a love that died?

Submit your story for consideration.

Call for Submissions: June 18, 2010
Submission Deadline: September 30, 2010
Publication Date: October 30, 2010

Halloween Guidelines:

1. The story must be set around a Halloween theme.
2. Various heat levels - from steamy to erotic.
3. All sub-genres and genre mixes.
4. Story lengths - 15,000 to 25,000 words ONLY.
5. Must follow regular submission guidelines.
6. Must have HEA
7. When submitting, clearly state HALLOWEEN SUBMISSION in the description.

Please submit entire manuscript at time of submission.


Falling snow, Christmas carols, mistletoe. Christmas is coming. How do you celebrate? A special gift for a loved one? Getting snowed in with a hot sexy guy/girl? A Christmas miracle? A new story to be released every day for the 25 Days of Christmas. Submit your story for consideration.

Call for Submissions: June 19th, 2010
Submission Deadline: November 1st, 2010
Publication Date: A new story to be released every day for the 25 Days of
Christmas starting December 1, 2010

Christmas Guidelines:

1. The story must be set around a Christmas Holiday theme.
2. Various heat levels - from steamy to erotic.
3. All sub-genres and genre mixes.
4. Story lengths - 15,000 to 25,000 words ONLY.
5. Must follow regular submission guidelines.
6. Must have HEA
7. When submitting, clearly state 25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS SUBMISSION in the subject heading. Please submit entire manuscript at time of submission.

Lodewyk Deysel
Telephone: +1 313-444-2091
Fax: +1 206-203-7610

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sookie Books

. Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is there anyone out there who hasn't heard of the Sookie Stackhouse Series? Seems like since they've become the True Blood series on HBO, everyone now knows about Sookie.

This is NOT just another vamp series. The world of Sookie Stackhouse is original, imaginative, and soooo much fun! And I do mean soooo much fun. My bff, who does not read – at all, ever – has become addicted to this series. (At long last I can talk books with her!)

Sookie is a fascinating character who lives in a fascinating world. The books read fast and have lots of plot twists.

If you have been sick to death of the vamp scene lately, give Sookie a shot at changing your mind. Charlaine Harris has done an awesome job of breathing new life into the world of the undead. LOVE LOVE LOVE

Monday, June 14, 2010

Readers by Referral: Word of Mouth Marketing

. Monday, June 14, 2010

If you've been published for more than a minute, you know the best way for any author to get readers is by referral. But starting and maintaining the buzz on your books can feel overwhelming if not impossible.

Yes, you can count on referrals from friends, acquaintances, and current readers, but, if you are a non-celebrity new author that’s a very limited number of people. So how can a new author step up their game to win more referrals?

First things first. In order to refer your books, readers not only need to like your writing, they need to like and trust you as an author. For this to happen, they need to know about you. As an author, you need to look at yourself as a small business owner. With this, the following strategy planning must be considered:

A clearly defined brand is essential. Figure out who you are as an author and how you want your audience to perceive you. This includes your color scheme, logo, banners, slogans, font.

• Ask yourself, what makes your writing unique? This includes genre, sub genre, as well as the similarities and differences between yourself and other authors in the same and different genres.

• Research:

   o Other authors whom you admire for their work and their success.

   o Large, successful publishing houses.

   o Celebrities who are household names.

   o Well-branded, well-known companies.

      - Look at their logos, ads, banners, websites, blogs.

      - Decide what you like/dislike about their brand to help you plan what yours will look like.

Once your brand is established, it’s essential that your readers’ experience reflects the values that your brand conveys. Look at it this way, your brand is a promise and your work is the fulfillment of that promise.

Now, imagine that you knew 100 compatible people who are willing to refer readers to you. Sounds great, right? Creating a circle like this is not only possible, it’s essential.

Identify 100 people who have the potential of becoming fantastic referral sources and start making friends. Within a few months, you can have a steady stream of new readers. Better yet, since all these potential readers are referrals, they have already been sold your book. All you have to do is deliver on the promise your referral partner and your brand has made.

Let’s get started. Create a most-wanted list of ten or more categories whose members are frequently in touch with the type of readers who will enjoy your writing. For example, I write fantasy romance so I look for:

1. reader blogs/sites of compatible genres (CG)

2. author blogs/sites of CG

3. writer groups of CG

4. reader groups of CG

5. artists (specifically cover artists, graphic designers) of CG

6. reviewers of CG

7. women’s small business groups

8. writer associations

9. networking sites/groups

10. reader/writer/editor/publisher podcasts of CG

Next, make nice with ten people in each area. Seek them out and familiarize them with your work. Find out more about their writing and the type of readers they have so you know if you will be comfortable sending readers to them as well.

When you connect with someone who is open to sending you readers, you have found a referral partner. Add their name to your list. Now, I’m not great with math, but I was able to figure out that 10 people x 10 categories = your circle of 100. How cool is that?

When you have a specific goal like this in mind, your word of mouth promotion is much more focused. As you meet new people, you can decide with very little digging whether you should follow up with them. Whenever you meet someone whose occupation matches one on your list, ask them, "I think we might be able to refer each other clients. Are you interested in becoming a referral partner?"

If you fail to make 100 connections through standard networking and your current friends/acquaintances, don't be afraid to do some cold searching. You can find people in any category listed on search engines (Bing, Google, Yahoo) and social sites (like LilnkIn and FaceBook). If you approach them as a colleague and express your desire for the two of you to help each other be more successful, you'll find many people willing to move forward and become your referral partner.

No matter how you make first contact, some people you approach will not be receptive to becoming your referral partner (or they say yes, but turn out to be user friendly, asking you to help them, then bail when you ask for the same). And, hey, their loss. Besides, you only need 10 names for each category, and there are plenty of others to choose from. Keep moving forward to the next opportunity.

Want to go a step further? Expand your circle from 100 to 1,000?

Ask your top 10 most-wanted for intros to people they know. For example, if pocasters are on your list, ask your 10 podcast referral partners who their favorite writers, artists, bloggers, publishers, editors, etc are.

Create your own marketing plan, using this free tool:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June Is Adopt A Shelter Cat Month!

. Thursday, June 10, 2010

Approximately 4 million cats end up in shelters every year, including thousands born every spring and summer during “kitten season.” To help promote adoptions of these fun, affectionate animals, American Humane celebrates Adopt-A-Cat Month each June.

Your local shelter is brimming with cats of every breed, age and personality just waiting for a loving home. Whether you prefer young and frisky or mature and mellow, you’re sure to find the perfect cat companion during Adopt-A-Cat Month!

Check out your local animal shelter:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Funny Girl of Romance

. Sunday, June 6, 2010

Katie MacAlister wins a spot on my favorite authors' list for not only her ability to write a great romance novel with lovable characters and twisty plots but also for being so damn funny. She has about a million books out there, but the best come from her Aisling Grey (witches, dragons, and demons. Oh, my!), Silver Dragons (dragons, obviously), and Dark Ones (vampires with a twist) Series. They’re unique. They’re sexy. And they’re fun, fun, fun!




Your Planet or Mine?

If you're looking for a great romantic science fiction read, you can't go wrong with anything that Susan Grant has written. And she's written quite a lot.

Interesting, relatable characters, well-built worlds, fun, fast plots, and a quirky sense of humor should put her books on your "to read" list. A great author to invest in.

My favorite books by Susan Grant:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rainbow Romance Writers

. Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Passing this along:

My name is Sara Bell, and I'm the vice president of Rainbow Romance Writers. We're the first and only GLBT branch of Romance Writers of America. Our goal is to give the thriving GLBT market a voice within mainstream romance. With that thought in mind, RRW is launching our first contest, The Rainbow Awards of Excellence (RAEs).

The object of the RAE's is to recognize outstanding GLBT romance writing regardless of the author's gender, sexual orientation, or RWA affiliation (or lack thereof). Any author who has had a GLBT romance published during 2009 with a valid ISBN is eligible. The entry fee is fifteen dollars per entry and authors need not be members of Romance Writers of America or Rainbow Romance Writers to enter. We'll be taking entries from June 1 through August 31. To cut down on postage costs for our entrants all entries will be in electronic format.

The RAEs will also be peer judged -- for authors by authors -- similar to the Grammys or the Oscars. Full details on the contest can be found here:

Our hope is to bring the full spectrum of authors and publishers of GLBT romance to the table on this one, so if you'd please pass word of the RAEs on to your authors it would be deeply appreciated. I'm also the contest coordinator, so if anyone has any questions I can be reached via Thank you for your time and we hope to see many of your talented authors enter The Rainbow Awards of Excellence.

Thank you,

Sara Bell

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