Posted in News and Appearances

#Bookland Adventures

So much is going on in #Bookworld at the moment.  Let’s do a quick recap of what’s happening out there. I’m not an expert and these opinions below are what I’ve gleaned from the posts knocking about on the web. It’s a bit of a long post but then, there’s a lot to talk about.

Sales Rankings

Amazon is stripping erotica authors of their rankings and making their books hard to find. Who knows why, it’s thought the latest SESTA/FOSTA act recently passed in US Congress. It’s a laudable aim and needs to be done. However, thought needed to be given to how this might affect online communities and social networks. I don’t know enough about this to comment so all I can do is draw it to your attention and let you make your own assumptions. There’s a good post here which gives another side of the conversation. https://stopsesta.org/ and https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/02/fosta-would-be-disaster-online-communities

It might still have to be signed by 45 but we all know the orange dirt bag idiot will do it. I may be wrong, but I doubt this US law affects other countries, just enforces censorship on the internet for US based companies and their affiliates as well as for any websites externally that sell into the US. So it impacts a huge chunk of the market ;( https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02/28/sesta_passes_house/ 

Authors are understandably confused about how this will ultimately impact the whole publishing market.

Reddit have tailored back on their offerings, as has Craigslist. It’s only going to get worse as other companies fall in line with the legislation for fear of being held responsible for the actions of their users.

Someone on Kindleboards described it as a ‘purge’. Tymber Dalton wrote an informative piece about this down at tymberdalton.com. And in my opinion, she’s right, mostly. I disagree on one aspect. More about that later.

Facebook will be clamping down on the same thing, because where Amazon goes, I’ve found Facebook follows. (I personally think Bezos and Zuckerberg have a red hotline telephone where they discuss with eager glee how to fuck with authors and the publishing world.) It’s an old problem with Facebook, photos are being reported ad nauseum – innocent, bare chested men, book covers, innocuous pictures of men together –  and no one know what the hell Facebook sees that we don’t. More about that later as well.

We’ve had catfishing rearing its ugly head again. I’m not even going to go there because so much has said, I can’t add anything.

Publishers are closing down, some dealing with the meltdown professionally, others preferring to sink their heads into the red South African sand.

There’s probably much more going on, but this is enough for me to contend with now. My brain is close to exploding as it is.  So- what do we do about it? Well, I’m not sure what can be done about number 1 and 2. I guess everyone will have to see how it plays out and whether Amazon create a new category or platform for those affected authors to market their books. After all, that’s what Amazon does, right? Sells books we write so it can make a profit, more than we do in most cases. They are the megalith, the giant and we believe we need their platform to sell our books. This is true, but I still believe, even though they are a business and need to do what’s best for them, that a little communication and consultation would go a long way to becoming more professional about the decisions they make.

How do we get over this? There are ways. Tymber mentions one in her blog entry.

A.  Sell via your own website and bring that little bit of control into your own hands. You can do what the hell you like, post what you want, and readers should be encouraged to join us as we try and build our brand without external influences that are so fickle and dictatorial. Use this platform as your voice. Of course, at this point I have no clue whether selling , say, your erotica titles, into the US for your readers based there, is also impacted by this legislation.

B.  There are other sites like AllAuthor, Books+Bites and Queer Romance Ink. They work on our behalf, and while they may cost a bit of money, it’s worth it. We sell a product; we need to expect there’s a marketing cost for that, like any other company trying to get its product into the hands of would be buyers. No guarantees, simply a budget you wave goodbye to and hope like hell it gets your name out there. These links are all down on my website if you’re interested.

Facebook is a platform where one day we’ll lose all our mojo and when it goes, you need a back up plan. It’s time to start developing this now via your own website and finding other channels to get involved in.

What am I personally doing to try and help?

I’ve been promised a meeting with Facebook in London’s Head of Policy and PR. I know someone who knows him (two someones in fact) and have a great relationship with him. I want to present my petition to them, let them know our grievances and see if anything can be done.

https://www.change.org/p/susan-mac-nicol-equal-facebook-standards-applied-to-lgbtqi-community

I’ve instituted what I call a ‘class action’ (disclaimer- not a real one) against CoolDudes Publishing who’ve gone silent at all the concern regarding their authors and the books they hold. Being Me has a charity anthology published with them. I’ve written to the South African police, on behalf of all the authors and the complaint has been escalated to the National Consumer organisation in SA to handle. I’ve also told everyone down at Absolute Water Cooler not to have anything to do with them. Oh and I emailed Jeff Bezos directly (who came back to me -not him but he passed on my email to one of his senior operatives at Author Central) and he’s kindly given me next steps to have the book removed from Amazon.

For anyone, especially budding authors, who need help with social media trends, getting to grip with ways they can enhance their profiles etc, I already off coaching and Skype sessions to try and give advice. You can check it out on my website. I don’t say I have all the answers, but I’m pleased to announce I’ve helped my fair few find their feet.

https://www.authorsusanmacnicol.com/author-services/

I’ll try and regular updates as I get more details so make sure you follow/subscribe to my blog to get them.

Promotional Opportunities

As Editor in Chief at Divine Magazine, I’m offering any author who needs some exposure a free spotlight post if they wish. They can also upload their books to the site,  create their own author page, request a review and join the online community which is far less restrictive than other social networks at the moment.

Create Author Page

Join the Community

Upload Book to Site

Request a Review

Request an Author Spotlight – email us at editorial@divinemagazine.biz and we’ll get the material off to you letting you know what we need.

I don’t know what impact all this will have but I know one thing – you’ve nothing to lose by doing it and everything to gain.

 

Posted in News and Appearances

Bob Dylan had it right when he said the times they are a changin…

Batten down the hatches. I’m going in.  I’ve been giving a lot of thought recently to the way we as authors promote. You might have noticed all the posts on my Facebook profile.

http://www.authormedia.com/why-traditionally-published-authors-should-not-pay-for-marketing/

I get this. I truly do. And there’s a huge element of truth in Reason #1 which has always been a huge bug bear for me. I need to know what’s working and what’s not when it’s happening, not when I get my quarterly statements. Publishers in general could do a lot to endear author confidence by having an online platform where authors can have up to date information on their sales, even if it’s not true ‘real time’. We’d at least have something. That’s why I like the idea of self-publishing. Indie authors do have better options, but they also must fork out the cash up front. It’s a decision one must make and in this climate of falling sales, readers being spoilt for choice, and the influx of new authors to the market every hour, I’m happy to let my publisher bear those costs.

I don’t agree that authors shouldn’t market themselves. We have a responsibility to build our own brand as much as the publisher does. Gone are the days where authors sit around imbibing cocktails and telling people smugly, ‘I wrote a book, you know,’ and watching their publisher do all the hard work. Authors are their own business. You might have a promotions company to manage most of your publicity and do the big stuff, but as a business, you personally must network, and build that brand. You’re not excluded from that, and to think you should be is naïve, no matter how much we’d simply like to drink cocktails and reap in those royalties.

I published this on my Facebook page recently and it garnered a lot of response. As it should. As authors we must move with the times and the vagaries of the market and have as many baskets as possible into which to place our marketing strategy. And yes, there may be cost involved with that.

http://www.authormedia.com/facebooks-2018-change-means-authors/

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here.

Facebook is only one of the outlets we use and it’s a biggie. It’s getting tougher by the minute to use it as a promoting tool.  Whether we like it or not, Facebook is a business when it comes to pages. If we want to promote and advertise, we need to pay for it, the same as we would elsewhere.  Facebook’s challenge is making it as easy and as cost beneficial as it can for its patrons. It’s about being able to read the results of a boosted post or campaign, have the information at our fingertips and see where we should be better spending our money. It’s about giving us the qualified information to make a choice. That’s what Facebook owes us. If they DON’T do this, then we have the right to complain.

While I hate to think they will one day monetise groups, depending on what the group was formed for, if it’s for promotion, pimping and author advertising to a selected target market- isn’t that the cost of doing business and shouldn’t we be paying for it? It might suck, but is it truly wrong?

It’s only a matter of time before other social networks decide to do the same.

If authors don’t want to pay for Facebook ads, boosted posts etc, then we need to look at where we can focus on moving our promotional efforts to places better suited. The areas we can control are our websites, our newsletters, our social networks to the point of building and maintaining a social relationship with readers, not a promotional one. Readers get to know us personally, they’ll remember us more when we tell them about something new coming out in conversation. Another area we have control over are author conferences, signing events and days out with readers to catch up.  Some of them are costly, yes, but we don’t baulk at paying for these like we do Facebook ads. Why? Because we can see the results face to face. We can see how many books we’ve sold, how many new fans we’ve made and how many we’ve happened to retain just by a hallo and a cup of coffee.

While I’m not an advocate for Patreon, or other arrangements like this (I’m not judging, it’s just not for me), I do know authors are using this to deliver bespoke material to select readers and eke an existence out of it. I have no idea how this brings new readers to an author’s book as it’s something I haven’t investigated. It works for some though and nowadays, anything we can do to encourage sales is relevant. It’s what works for you as an author that’s important.

The other way we can encourage book sales (although it can’t be measured) is with sites like

Queer Romance Ink

AllAuthor

Book + Main

Paranormal Romance Guild

The Romance Reviews

I belong to all of them, and while I can’t measure my success, I have access to time saving applications, preferential reviews, ease of social media use and a lot more. That’s valuable to me in terms of time and money. It gets my reach further out, via their web sites, and attracts people who might read my stories.

The trick here is to check the quality of what’s on offer and who is behind it. There are a lot of similar sites out there who promise a lot and deliver less. These ones I have a relationship with and I trust them.

On my website I have my own Bookateria which links directly to my publisher’s site to purchase, because I earn more royalties that way. I’m looking at creating a merchandise range this year as well. Who wouldn’t want Leslie’s sexy legs on high heels on a tee-shirt?  In short, I’m taking a long, hard look at everything I do to make sure it’s beneficial for me, and my readers.

Because times are changing and if we don’t move with it to become the creators of our own success, rather than rely on third parties like Facebook to do it for us, when that alarm bell rings for the final time, it’ll be too late. And as an industry, together, we can perhaps create a stronger genre where everyone benefits.

 

Posted in News and Appearances

2018- My Year Ahead

2017 was an amazing year in some respects, and awful in others, both from a personal standpoint and a world view. I’m not one to dwell on what’s been before, because I believe it’s self-defeating. Instead, I focus on the future and live day to day, because, honestly, that’s all any of us can do.

To my amazing publisher, Boroughs, the readers of my books, the bloggers that helped me throughout the year, the organisers of the events I attended, my fellow authors who consoled and supported me, my family who kept me sane, and everyone in my life who touched it, however briefly – thank you. I treasure each and every one of you and I hope your 2018 is as good as mine is going to be. If I can do anything to help in that regard, all you must do is ask and I’ll be there.

#Project1 and some news

Living on Air release. I anticipate this being out late February, but I’ll confirm dates when I can. Chris Talbot, how’s that cover shot doing? ♥ Cary and Rhys are waiting….

I’m hoping to produce seven new books in the next eighteen months. I have contracts for them all already, so I guess I’d better keep moving and get those fingers tapping on a keyboard.

There could be some good news too about other things in the works, but I’ve been asked by my publisher to keep mum on it until something pans out. Sorry to be so sketchy but I’d hate to say too much. It involves book fairs…

I’m planning a visit to the Facebook office in London to present the LGBTQ petition once I’ve finalised everything and anyone that wants to come with me is more than welcome. We can make a day out of it, ending with coffee, drinks and talk about books and life in general.  https://www.change.org/p/susan-mac-nicol-equal-facebook-standards-applied-to-lgbtqi-community/

 

#Project2

I’m co-writing with Author M Tasia from Boroughs Group Publishing. She’s the author of the wonderful Boys of Brighton series.  Our story is set in Toronto, Canada and promises intrigue, shmexy times, humour and a constant war of words between two very head strong and stubborn men. I’m not sure yet when the planned release date for this will be. Head over to her page, give it a like and you’ll have double the chance of spotting the updates ?

https://www.facebook.com/mtasiabooks/

#Project3

Nicholas and I will have concluded the ‘final- final’ edits (lol, we all know this old story, there’s always bloody edits to be done) to the screenplay for Sight Unseen and we’ll start looking for competitions and festivals to submit it to. We’re hoping this will be in February 2018 too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Project4-7

This is the big one. This will be the spin off series from Feat of Clay, book 4 in the Men of London series featuring Clay Mortimer, former SAS soldier, and Tate Williams, ex drug squad policeman. These four books in the new series will focus on something rather different from what I’ve written before (I’m not spilling the beans yet) and will focus on the investigative agency they both work in. You can expect murder, mayhem, blackmail, and some rather disturbing characters…not to mention some eye widening situations and unusual plot lines. This series will be a whole lot of fun and both men are about to be catapulted into a world they knew existed, but didn’t expect to meet so up close and personal.

 

#Project8

I’m planning on bringing Louis’s story to life at the end of 2018, in a Christmas seasonal special which will make a tenth (a shorter novella) Men of London book. You may remember Louis from Survival Game- the gambler who lost it all and managed to bring himself up from the gutter. We’ll learn more about him and his new love interest – no less than rock star Callum Webster whom we met in Hard Climate, Ryan’s man crush. There will have been some time elapsing between the books to allow Callum a little time to mature but I’m hoping it will work out between them.

All in all, it’s going to be a very busy time and I hope you journey with me, and enjoy the time we have together. All the best for the year ahead. The times, they are a-changing……

 

Posted in News and Appearances

Fighting Back – A Civilised Revolution

I think we can agree that we in the LGBTQ writer community are sick and tired of Facebook and its crazy algorithms that APPEAR, mind I say APPEAR, to be to the detriment of the genre with some leaning towards the dreaded h***phobia word.

It’s time to fight back. We don’t know whether it will do anything; we don’t know whether we’ll be outlawed and ostracised from Facebook. I, for one, have the cojones to say I don’t care. If Facebook doesn’t let me do my thing, I’ll find some other way. Perhaps the way authors and pimpers share and get the word out about their books could do with a shake-up. Maybe we’ll realise another way to do this or find another place to do it. We can all migrate there like little creative starlings in flight and put down roots…

What we can’t do is continue to be banned for daring to show a naked man’s torso, a slight bit of groin without the dangly (or upright bits) and certainly not two guys kissing or manhandling each other with their clothes on. Or GASP!!! A man with a morning boner.

Yes, I know Facebook’s rules. Yes, I understand their community standards. But until they apply equally to everyone on Facebook without them picking on the likes of us, I say they are skewed and until the same rules apply to all, I for one cannot take them seriously. Even our own Author Pages are not sacrosanct, the one place where we are supposed to be able to ply our trade in peace and profitability. And secret and private groups? Pah. Don’t make me laugh. They are no more sacred than anywhere else.

I’ve seen dead babies, animals horrifically injured, naked women’s t*ts, people posting photos of their dead husband, children who have been abused, shocking images of torture and war, twerking asses of said naked woman with only a thong, mostly naked females showing all sorts of nasty lower extremis bits…and nothing happens. I posted one such video recently from their gif section -and so far, no one from Facebook has said anything. Their bots haven’t picked it up because obviously, it’s acceptable.

I have a strategy and as I don’t want anyone else to have to take any heat for this, I’m going to tell you about it here via my website and find a safe place to collate the data I need to present to Facebook as a clear case of discrimination. Unfortunately, even secret, ‘I’d have to kill you if you told anyone about it,’ groups aren’t safe anymore. Facebook has invaded them and nothing is sacred.

There is no safe space.

We’ve all talked about it, bemoaned it, grumbled to each other about it – and now I want us to DO something about it. Because talk is cheap and action at least means we have made our voice heard, expressed our opinion, even if it gets nowhere, or gets me permanently kicked off FB.

This is a civilised revolution. And I need your help.

If you have a picture that was banned, please email it to me at shanetemplar7@gmail.com. I want to keep this stuff separate so good old sexy Shane is going to be the fall guy.

I also want pictures you’ve seen that YOU think violate the Facebook rules – anything YOU find sexually or morally offensive or unsuitable. Give me some details about the picture if you have it.

I’ll gather these together, write some sort of protest, maybe even start a petition. I’ll also be getting in touch with some of the LGBT organisations and seeing if they have any muscle to support it. Anyone who wants to come on the mission with me is welcome. It might get lonely in Facebook jail ?

Of course, if no one sends me any pictures, I’ll assume that everything in fact is not as bad as I think it is and I’ll forge ahead on my lonesome. Apathy is sometimes the easiest way to let the bullies win. I truly don’t judge anyone for the decision they make, but personally? I need to feel better about it within myself.

Oh and if you don’t hear from me again – you know where I’ll be. Send cake, coffee and chocolate, and my Kindle and I’ll be just fine. Oh and my laptop. May as well get some writing done while I’m incarcerated.

 

Posted in News and Appearances

Promo – Eight Second Cowboy by Piper Kay

As always, it’s a pleasure to welcome Piper to my website and I’m excited about the release of her latest book, Eight Second Cowboy’. I’ve known Piper for some time now and she never fails to please.

Read along, join the tour and participate in the giveaway. You might be pleasantly surprised if you’re a winner…

Rumors are going to fly

Title: Eight Second Cowboy

Series: Eight Second Cowboy #1

Release Date: November 3rd, 2013

Publisher: Encompass Ink

Genres: M/M Romance, Westerns, Contemporary

Pages: 105

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18731770-eight-second-cowboy

 

It’s Rodeo Roundup time in Houston. Undefeated bull riding champion, Matt Stevens, runs into longtime nemesis, Lance Loskey. Matt is intense, his focus and drive sustain him, but seeing Lance with his carefree attitude rages a plethora of feelings to the surface. This mellow cowboy is in position for more than just the championship after a freak accident paves Lance’s way. This is an opportunity for bull riding opponents to embrace their destiny. Will they succumb to fate, or will stubborn pride end the 8 second ride in tragedy?

http://getbook.at/EightSecondCowboy

Still sopping wet, I step out of the tub and our eyes meet. He doesn’t back up, he continues standing close to me. I don’t know what comes over me, but it’s like I’m possessed. I reach out and touch his waist, he grabs me and pulls my naked body towards him. What am I doing? He immediately wraps his arms around my waist and tightens his grip.

I slip my hand up under his long blonde hair as he draws me to him. Hungrily, our mouths widen and he plunges his tongue deep inside of me. The intensity behind our lips meeting causes our bodies to smash against one another. He’s warm and soft, the taste of honey from the whiskey lingering on his tongue is sweet with a slight hint of caramel. I don’t want to stop kissing him. I might not have ever done this before, but I can’t stop myself either. Our tongues slowly circle one another’s, then thrash in foreplay, as our heads twist and turn from side to side. I’m kissing him back just as much as he’s kissing me. He tugs on my bottom lip and sucks me into his mouth. He moans into my mouth, my cock continues to swell in anticipation. The sensual, yet hungry, noises he’s makes is getting me horny and I love the way it makes me feel. I want a release so damn bad, I need it.

Our kisses intensify and we both silently beg for satisfaction. I want him like I’ve never wanted anyone before. I greedily grab his hand and lead him to my aching muscle. He gives a little grin, our mouths never leaving each other, as he takes me in his palm, wrapping around me. He grips my cock, tight and firm. “Oh god!” I gasp. He begins stroking back and forth. His tongue delves into my mouth, swirling around mine and he sucks the tip into his pucker. “Mmm…” he growls.

Lance snatches my hand, guiding me to the button on his jeans. With one hand, I reach down between his legs and glide my open palm up the inside of his thigh, pressing hard and massaging, then I stroke over his dick. I stroke against his bulge, he’s blistering hard. With the other hand, I fumble and unfastened his button then lower his zipper. I pull apart the two sections of his jeans, releasing him. He reaches up, stripping his t-shirt over his head, and tossing it to the carpet. Our hands thirstily grope and rub against one another. I swirl my tongue in circles around his and lap at his lips. The slurping noises are driving me crazy.

Things are moving so fast, as he slides his jeans down a little, he winds my hand around his dick. I stroke up and down the length of his rod. He tightens his grip and starts jerking me faster. God he feels good, fuck it’s hot and I love how horny he’s making me.

$5 Amazon Gift Card

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6d41b92d134/?

Piper Kay is your average cup of tea with a splash of southern sass. She was born & raised in Houston, Texas-USA and her skills include pitching a fit and throwing a hissy. She also happens to be an author….with a bi-polar muse…who may or may not have sarcastic tendencies….and/or a potty mouth. Together, they share head space w/the men living in there… her boys with baditude. Piper is an Amazon #1 International Best Selling author of LGBT Erotica, and an Amazon International Bestselling author of LGBT Erotica romance, specifically in the M/M Erotica genre, and LGBT drama. She has been known to genre hop a time or two into YA/NA stories, also M/M. Piper brings her passion of storytelling straight to the pages, most times served with a super-sized sprinkle of sexy, a slice of sarcasm and a carafe of crazy.

http://www.piperkayauthor.com

Piper can be reached at

Amazon author page: http://amazon.com/author/piperkay

FB: https://www.facebook.com/piper.kay.1

About me: http://about.me/piper.kay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PiperKayAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6613775.Piper_Kay

Authograph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/PiperKayAuthor

Google: https://google.com/+PiperKay

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChQcM-y0AvDtn6YO9PY7lxg

Instagram: http://instagram.com/piperkay.author

Hosted by Divine Promotions

https://divinepromotions.blog

Posted in News and Appearances

The Hard Climate Blitz Day is here!!

Hi, and welcome to the Hard Climate Blitz tour and Giveaway.  This book is the eighth one in my Men of London series. I think there’ll be another one. In fact, I’m pretty sure there will be. It will be a while coming though as I have other commitments first. So in the meantime if you haven’t read this series, why not give it a go. And please drop me a line and let me know how you liked it.

 

 

Title: Hard Climate
Series: Men of London #8
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Genre: M/M New Adult Contemporary

Release
Date: July 28, 2016

 

Blurb

Eco-warrior Mango Manning must shake the demons of his past to win back London nightclub owner Ryan Bishop, who is suddenly facing issues of his own.

WITH BOTH HANDS


Brawny, beautiful, complicated and sexy as hell, eco-warrior Mango Manning is everything performer and London nightclub owner Ryan Bishop wants in a life-partner. But Mango has been loving and leaving Ryan for the past two years, and Ryan’s had enough. That’s why he’s moving on. Ryan’s the monogamous type—which means now he’ll be alone at the worst possible time.

Mango Manning knows he’s screwed up and has commitment issues. That’s why he’s been so on-and-off with Ryan these past two years. He’d thought he found a safe haven, a place to hide from the losses of his past, but there are other demons you just can’t escape. Like Ryan’s health. If Mango is to put things right, he must man up and discover a way back into Club Delish and the heart of its owner. Only then can they look to the future together, come what may. True happiness will slip through their fingers…unless they both grab on and hold tight.

 

 

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK

 

Also Available
AMAZON US / UK
AMAZON US / UK
AMAZON US / UK
AMAZON US / UK
AMAZON US / UK
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS 
AMAZON US / UK
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS 
AMAZON US / UK
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS 
Excerpt

 

“You have got to be fucking kidding me.”

Ryan gulped down the remains of his Heavenly Hawaiian Kona Coffee and stormed over to his front door. He was as pissed off that he’d wasted a mouthful of expensive and exclusive coffee as he was with Mango, who stood at the entrance to his building being an insistent pest.

After the first buzz of the doorbell, Ryan had checked the security camera to determine who his visitor was. When he’d seen it was Mango, he’d ignored the bastard. Mango obviously didn’t have the keys he’d been given for Ryan’s flat and Club Delish in case of emergencies.

The buzzer had gone again. And again. Each time Mango lay on the bell longer than before. The fourth time it sounded, Ryan was ready to commit murder. The overwhelming desire to punch Mango’s lights out was, however, accompanied with an instant body tingle at the sight of his lover. Ryan knew this moment had been coming but he still wasn’t prepared for what he needed to do.

He flung the door open and put his hands on his hips. “You’ve got a fucking nerve,” he growled as Mango smiled hesitantly at him.

“Sorry for the buzzing and knocking.” Mango waved a tanned hand. “I didn’t have my keys with me.”

Ryan’s temper got the better of him. “It’s been six fucking weeks. Haven’t you got a whale to save or a bat to protect? Maybe visiting a whole rain forest of pygmy dwarves and their habitat? I know I have nothing here that might pique your eco-warrior interest so you may as well piss off.” Part of Ryan hoped Mango might do as he was told and postpone the pain for another day.

“Hello to you too, babe.” Mango raised one eyebrow. Ryan had to admit each time he did that it was as sexy as hell. And Mango knew it. “Pygmy dwarves?” Mango drawled, with amusement. “I had that particular excursion a few months ago, remember?”

“Don’t call me babe.” Mango’s smile faltered as Ryan took the comment and ran with it. “And I remember the whole pygmy dwarves scenario very well. It was the night you left me at dinner sitting alone like some pathetic man waiting for his date because you had an urgent plane to catch.”

Mango looked a little abashed but Ryan hadn’t finished. He waggled his index finger in Mango’s face. “Oh, wait, I remember now, the pathetic man waiting for a date was me. Because his date-to-be decided he had more important places to go.” Ryan took a deep breath, willing his ever-fiery drama queen to stay on the down-low. The throb in his temples signalled a low-grade headache coming on.

Mango held out a hand in a ‘whoa, stop’ gesture. “Ryan, I explained about that. The only plane out to the North Congo was the one I had to catch. They’d grounded a whole load because of some rainstorm coming in. It was the only way to get in and out of the conservation area.” He grinned faintly. “And for the record, you call them pygmies, not pygmy dwarves.”

Carefully constructed break-up plan forgotten, Ryan’s temper combusted at Mango’s teasing. “What-the-fuck-ever,” he exploded and slammed the door right in Mango’s face. He only wished Mango’s nose had been closer so he could have had the pleasure of hearing it break.

Author Bio

Susan Mac Nicol is a self-confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek, nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…

She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.

Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and a member of their Rainbow Writers Chapter. She’s also a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK.

Author Links
Posted in News and Appearances

Tea – and ginger biscuits

I need to write this. I’ve seen a few posts lately about authors getting despondent, wondering why they keep going. (I guess they’ve just had a royalty statement. My latest one from one of my publishers was crap, but I can at least buy a few cups of coffee and perhaps a bun with it. Maybe even buy a few Kindle books to support those despondent authors.) I hope this post cheers these authors up and makes them feel a little better about the work they do. Because it’s an amazing thing to do, writing and publishing a book. Never forget that.

I feel the same way some of the time. Writing is an insecure business. We authors wonder why we keep publishing books, why we put up with the vagaries of readership, fans, popularity. We sometimes wonder why, when others are rising to the top like cream with thousands of book sales, that while we seem to do okay, most times we’re that soggy ginger biscuit that suddenly fell into our tea, languishing at the bottom of the cup. *Cue pitiful sobbing* We’ve all been there, no doubt. I know I have. I’m a qualified ginger biscuit. That said, I’m thankful for every one of my sales and my readers. The readers make it all worthwhile and I treasure them.

THEY are why we keep doing it. It’s a simple basic truth, nothing profound about it. We do it because we love writing. We do it because creating worlds and characters where we can control them, make sure they get what they deserve, and make the world a better place through reading, is our mission. We do it because for every ONE single sale you make out there, someone is reading the story you wrote. Any sale is a good sale and those loyal readers who support us, wait for our next offering, cajole us, push us, inspire us, berate us, tell us how much they enjoyed our book- they are the reason we do what we do.

I understand for those authors who are fortunate (or unfortunate enough perhaps given the gist of this post) enough to make writing a full time job it’s a scary place. And my heart goes out to them when they fall short of what they expected or things get tough. Believe me, I’ve been there. I tried to be a full time writer for ten months when I lost my job, my house, my self-respect because I struggled to find someone to employ me. And trust me, I struggled. I had to get back into full time work and I was lucky enough someone took me on. So I know what it’s like to try make a living off writing alone.

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My hat goes off to anyone doing this and who keeps fighting. You guys are my heroes. I hope to be a hero too some day.

So remember – keep going please, because I’m one of those readers who love your stories. Who joins you on the journey you create for us to enjoy and escape into. And if you decided not to do it anymore, you’d be sorely missed.

 

 

Posted in News and Appearances

Freaking Piracy gets me hot under the collar

 

clobbering

 

 

 

I’m about to rant a bit so forgive me. Something came to light recently which made my temper flare and it takes a lot to do that. However, I will note something that is quite true:

 

Capricorn

What, you may ask, has caused mild mannered me to erupt like the Fountain of Doom and throw swearwords and profanities about like confetti? Pirates, that’s what. Not the ‘Arghh, me ‘earties’ kind, ‘cos I rather like them, but rather the low life, back stabbing, waste of a human skin, cowardly, pathetic  individuals who think they have a right to take an author’s blood, sweat and tears and give it away for free.

Recently Ena Burnette posted something on her Facebook page about a blogger, entrusted with the pre-sales copies of various authors books, who then proceeded to load them on his/her site and give them away as free downloads. This is the gist of that conversation.

 

Ena

It took a while but finally the blogger became known to some, me included. I’m looking into things before naming and shaming anyone as I think it’s important to have all the facts first. Once I find out 100% I’ll have no compunction doing just that- telling everyone about this person.

Now this sort of thing has all sorts of ramifications for bloggers, readers, publishers and authors alike. None of them are very positive.

The facts

Authors rely on beta readers, pre-release readers and bloggers and reviewers to spread the word for their work, sometimes pre-release. They do this by generously providing free copies of their books in the formats needed, with the provision that they are kept under wraps and not offered out for sale or download anywhere other than where the author and publisher chooses to put them. There is no contract drawn up. There is no legal binding agreement. It’s done on trust and to build the relationships between all the parties.

Authors spend months and years creating a work that while we hope it delights and enthuses our fans, we also hope to earn money out of. I have a full time day job I need to keep because my book sales don’t make enough for me to give up work and become a full time writer. I’m one of thousands in this boat. So for me, taking my work and offering it for free when it isn’t even yours to give away, is a great sin. It’s a cardinal sin and one that I cannot condone.

What being a dishonest reader/blogger/reviewer means to the genre and the industry (my WCS- Worst Case Scenario)

  • Remember the Circle Of Trust from the film with Robert de Niro and Ben Stiller – Meet The Fockers? Meet the f**kers who break it.
  • Breaking that trust could mean this:
    • Authors may be loath to give away copies of their books to anyone who hasn’t signed in blood and given them their first born to hold as ransom.
    • Publishers may be loath to allow authors to release titles in free books because they lose too much control. Piracy is growing and becoming a universal truth. If someone can get something for free, they will. A lot of my time is spent tracking down piracy sites and getting Cease and Desist orders for them
    • Those bona fide trusted readers who perform the invaluable service of reading and reviewing, ready for launch date- they will lose out because of this.
    • The bona fide bloggers and review sites who rely on authors to give them free books to maintain the content on their site –as we all know Content is King– will suffer. They might have to enter into legal agreements just to read a book. Something that should be a pleasure has turned into pain.
    • Suspicion will reign supreme and it could become a witch hunt, like we all know these things can become. We’ve seen enough of it lately.
    • Innocent people’s reputations may suffer as they become inadvertently tarnished.
    • Authors lose money !! Fact. We may love what we do and it might be a passion but it’s nice to be able to make a living out of it so we can write more books for you to enjoy.
    • Publishers lose money. And they can only allow it to continue for so long, especially if it is a small press business.
    • Bottom line – all the damn fun is sucked out of the pleasure writers have writing and bloggers have blogging and readers have reading.

I am therefore sending this dishonest blogger this virtual curse, in the hope it reaches them in some way, shape or form. Warning- DON’T mess with the wrong people. I’m not too worried about the Power of Three on this one. I’ll take it if it comes back and hits me in the backside. It will be worth it.

 Maroul paseter, maroul presa, maroul futura, Vi porynya, catoute ley corupsa, Ven thomi, mil zaira dur morde, Ai Kaquima d’Roiz.”

May their car break down, their face erupt in warts and boils, may they lose their job, have seven years of bad luck and get haemorrhoids. Huge ones. And look like this…

 

face

 

And here endeth the rant.  Publishers and authors really need a better way of dealing with piracy and dishonest people like this. Something more robust needs to happen to protect our intellectual property ; somewhere where we can share and be kept informed of incidents like this, as a writing community. I don’t believe enough is being done and if it is, then we don’t seem to know about it.

This is a great paragraph by an author called Melissa E. Petreshock whose book, Fire of Stars and Dragons was downloaded illegally over 25000 times. Yep. 25k. Imagine what you could have done with that money had you received it.

Know your limits. US Copyright laws, cease and desist letters, careful monitoring, and all the actions you take can only get you so far. *big fat sad face*Not all sites make it easy or even possible for the average author (or publisher) to find their source or any means to email a letter demanding they stop providing these illegal copies of your books. (Read that as “STEALING FROM YOU.”)You can (and should) tweet and Facebook, blog and Tumblr, and any other means of shouting from the internet rooftops, (I highly encourage this behavior.) letting readers know that the illegal downloading of eBooks is wrong. It hurts authors. It hurts publishers. It hurts the industry.

WE NEED TO MAKE MORE NOISE AND BE HEARD!!

This group is one I belong to and which you can join to leave links and details of the pirates.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/AuthorsAgainstE-BookTheft/info

Here are some recent article links on the subject.

http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/ebook-piracy-becomes-a-top-concern

https://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/advice-and-support/fraud-and-economic-crime/pipcu/Pages/How-PIPCU-operates.aspx

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/63357-the-piracy-problem.html

http://badredheadmedia.com/2014/07/09/5-tips-handling-dreaded-ebook-pirates-guest-macpetreshock/

http://gregbarron.com/resources/ebook-piracy-a-writers-perspective/