Blog to Book and Book Expo America
By Liz Everly
I was thrilled to attend Kensington’s BEA party again this year. It was wonderful to see some of the people the behind the scenes who work so hard for the books I write. And you never know what other writer you’ll get a chance to met—and that always a good thing. This year, among others, I met the fabulous New York Times bestselling author, Rebecca Zanetti, author of the Dark Protector Series from Kensington, the Sin Brother Series from Grand Central, and The Maverick Montana Series from Entangled. (Yep, three series, with three different publishers. A-mazing.)
The next day, as I wandered around the Javitts Center where Book Expo was held, several booths stood out. Ellora’s Cave had a huge presence, with all of its cheesecake cavemen, who actually made me blush as Isabelle Drake (Ellora’s Cave author) and I were trying to have a conversation and they distracted me. Quite.
Harlequin had a huge booth, of course, and I stopped by and scooped up two signed books. I’ll check these books out and get back to you about them. Full confession: I’ve never read a Harlequin book. But I will read these: “A Not–So-Innocent Seduction” by Joyce Maynard and “My Secret Fantasies” by Joanne Rock. Both seem right up my alley. Grin.
I ran into bestselling mystery author Tonya Kappes and bestselling romance author Nancy Naigle, who had a fabulous booth full of colorful giveaways.
Tonya has just sold her self-published series to HarperCollins—we were pleased to realize that we will be stable mates, after years of knowing one another online. HarperCollins, of course, had a huge booth.
I talked a little with several of the authors there who were all interested in Lady Smut and the fact that we are publishing an anthology. They all wanted to know: How did that happen? Even though we are not the first blog to have an anthology published, it’s certainly not the norm for most group blogs.
Lady Smut is unique among blogs. I can say that here, can’t I? We are not a review blog, though we offer them from time to time. We are not all about promoting our work, either. I mean we do promote our work, but we are more than that. We truly try to stay on-message and deliver fun, incisive commentary. All of the LS bloggers bring to the table years of writing experience, blogging experience, and a variety of different publishing backgrounds. But more than that, we all love to write. It’s what brings us here. So it suits our blog and our brand to offer our writing in as many formats as we can, and more than that, the writing is why we are here.
So, one day, Madeline and I were talking about stories we wanted to write. I had this idea for a vampire story that kept gnawing at me. She had an idea for s sexsomniac story. I said to Madeline, “We should do an anthology” and she said “Great idea. How do we do that?”
We put it to the other bloggers. We came up with a paranormal theme, and asked who had the time and who was interested. All were interested, but some didn’t have the time. Four of us went forward with the idea. (Myself, Madeline, Elizabeth, and Margery). We are hoping that the others will join us as we move forward. Since I have tons of experience putting together book proposals, I was elected to pull it together; Madeline helped. And I was pleased that my agent, Sharon Bowers, decided to represent us.
Within a few months, several publishers expressed interest and two offers were made. We decided on Harper Impulse because they very actively engaged with readers and writers online, which we all feel is very important—more , now than ever before. We also love their covers, their website, their vibe—not the least of which we love being part of HarperCollins.
Speaking of Harper Impulse, you know by now that there will be an online romance festival this coming weekend. I’m looking forward to catching as much of it as I can. It’s going to be great. I LOVE the fact that I can stay home and be a part of it, don’t you? Hope to “see” you there.