Congratulations to Mandi Tucker Slack who won the necklace and my novel Stealing Mercy in the October Blog Hop! Don’t forget, there’s still time to enter the kindle kontest. (See posting below.) And if you’re a writer and would like to advertise your book in the first ever Eclectic Books holiday catalog, we’re accepting entries until October 31. We’re super excited about Eclectic Books (where old world values meet modern age technology.) See the Holiday E-catalog blog post for information on how to place an ad or receive the catalog.
I had an uncomfortable experience a number of years ago when I attended a workshop where a writer brought in pages and pages of sex scenes to be critiqued. She read one steamy passage and then said, now, skip 70 pages and then she’d read another libido boosting scene. After the workshop, after I stopped blushing, I asked her why she’d saved and clustered her sex scenes just for us. Her answer, my agent said the reason my novels aren’t selling is because they need the sex scenes so I’m adding them. Since then, this writer is self-publishing her novels, sweet romances, sans sex scenes, and she’s sold thousands of her books. I think she’s financially doing much better than she would have had she published within the traditional romance industry AND she’s able to look her grandmother in the eye.
This reaffirms my belief that there’s a giant gaping hole in the publishing industry. I believe in the power of words. I believe in the power of stories and I also believe not every story has to be powerful. Entertainment is as valuable as enlightenment. Sometimes we just need to get away. Go somewhere else--take our mind off of the nitty-gritty of everyday. And even if we can’t afford an African safari or romp in the Amazon, those experiences are available to us, FOR FREE, at the public library. We can have romance, mystery and intrigue if we possess a library card.
I’ll admit I cried when the Border’s Bookstore closed. Whenever I felt sad I’d go to Borders and buy a book and a chocolate. It didn’t happen often, I’m usually upbeat, but when I’d feel trampled upon and world weary, I knew that I could be lifted up just by going to the closest bookstore. Chocolates and books were there, waiting. My son couldn’t understand my loss. You made your choice when you bought your I-pad, he said. I want libraries, bookstores AND books in the clouds, I replied.
I want books with romance, mystery and intrigue, but I don’t want books with titillation, excessive violence or gore. And that’s the genesis of Eclectic Books. Years ago, before the rise of self publishing, I had promised myself that if I ever had the finances I’d start my own publishing company, a company that published books for everyone—from grandmas to kiddos—entertaining books, books that provided an easy, enjoyable escape. Eclectic Books is a realization of that long ago dream. I don’t need a million dollars. I don’t need editors or even paper. I have everything I need—a talented group of like-minded authors and a tech-talented son.
Long live sweet romance. The books in the clouds have set us free. Good books are there—we just need to know how to find them. Eclectic books is my effort to gather (a few of) them together, out of the clouds and into the hands of readers.