Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Call for Reviewers: Apex Reviews

Love to read great books? Love to share your reviews with the world? Check out Apex Reviews!

Due to the overwhelming support that we continue to receive from authors & publishers worldwide, we are seeking to expand our team of reviewers. Doing so will allow us to continue to provide the quality service you have come to expect from Apex Reviews, fostering our continued development and allowing us to add to our array of promotional services.

By joining our reviewer family, you will have the opportunity to read quality books by authors from all walks of life. Though the reviewer position is an unpaid one, your reviews will receive widespread exposure by being distributed throughout our growing network of print, online, and other media outlets.

If you are interested in joining the Apex Reviews family, please contact us at info@apexreviews.net for more info. To learn more about all that we do to help promote authors & publishers worldwide, please visit our website at www.apexreviews.net. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Call for Submissions: Eternal Press Holiday Submissions

Publisher: Eternal Press
Editor: Candace Clayton
Payment: 40% royalties
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 Year's, Valentine's, St. Patrick's Day any holiday at all! This call for submissions will be open until the end of August so don't delay, send in your sub now!

Submission details at
www.eternalpress.biz/announcements.php

Friday, June 25, 2010

Is Success in the Eye of the Beholder?

I've had several people ask (and a client gently nudge) me about successful query letters and/or submissions that led to successful sales so... here it is and I remind you, careful what you ask for! ;)

It starts with the query letter. I can't emphasize this enough. Your query letter needs to give me an idea of what it is you're trying to sell me. You're selling me on your idea and you're selling me on your talent. Know your audience. Do your homework.

Rebecca Leigh's query for her steampunk novella, OUTLAW was one of the best query letters I've received.

Dear Ms. Hernandez

I read on Lori Perkin’s blog that you have joined her agency and are representing exclusively ebooks. In your introduction, you indicated a preference for (among others) steampunk and male/male erotic romance. I am seeking representation for a story that has both. The Outlaw, set in the wild west where steam is still the primary power source, is a M/M complete at 11,200 words. The Outlaw would be suitable for epublishers that are willing to publish “longer” short stories.

Damian Junter is a Bringer, an employee of the eastern aristocracy who doles out justice against those that break the law. Kell Laughlin, an outlander, is the leader of the western resistance whose stronghold is Terra Noir in Death Valley, California. Damian travels to Terra Noir to kill Kell, but instead encounters a man who sparks a deep sexual desire in him. After learning of Kell’s innocence to the crime for which he is charged, Damian works with Kell to spark a revolution against the east. He also gives in to his desires and has hot, steamy sex with Kell. In the end, the two ride off together into the badlands of the west to evade capture, intent not only on surviving but continuing to sate their sexual needs.

My M/M short story Tight End was recently published by Ravenous Romance. My first full length novel will soon be published by Noble Romance. During the day, I am an appellate attorney and I have been published in several legal trade journals.

I look forward to hearing back from you. Thank you for your consideration.

She made sure to cover all of the bases: She not only addressed me by name, she made sure to let me know that she'd read about what I was "shopping for" and included it in her first paragraph! Beautiful!

She details her story succinctly and, while one can argue whether she should have capitalized the words East and West as Microsoft Word would suggest, this did not detract from the information presented. Had she misspelled sex or not caught a typo, it would have made me a little leery about continuing to read but I wanted to know more about her and her writing credits. She did not disappoint. In her next paragraph, she details her writing history relevant to the novella she's querying. She makes it look effortless, doesn't she?

However, it's not just about the query letter. I've read some fantastic query letters that had me excited about reading the manuscript and then felt completely let down when receiving a partial that's clearly not edited. How does this happen? Simple, the author took a little more time perfecting the query letter than they did in ensuring the manuscript was ready for submission. I can't sell a query letter. If your manuscript is going to require heavy edits, your fantastic query letter does nothing for either of us.

Sometimes, the manuscript sucks me in! So much so that I don't want to read anything else. I want to devour it and even as I'm reading, I'm thinking of particular editors I can't wait to pitch it to.

What does it look like, you ask?

From Prologue of Beyond Eden by Kele Moon sold to Ellora's Cave, pub date to be announced

"I'll write you every day."

"Good," Paul sighed, running his lips over the smooth, flat plane of his girlfriend's stomach as desire and heartache collided inside him. "I'll miss you so much."

His voice caught and he squeezed his eyes shut, willing away the tears that were threatening. He was the son of a Military Colonel who never tolerated signs of weakness. The ability to cry had been forced out of him at a very young age, but this was more than fists could destroy.

He lifted his eyes, staring at the girl who held his heart in her hands. He had loved Eve Everton for as long as he could remember, even when she was nothing but a runt of a girl with long, skinny legs, tangled red hair and bright green eyes that seemed too big for her face. The two of them had grown up together, had run barefoot through the marshes of Tampa side by side as they fished and played tag together through the whole of their childhood.

She wasn't a little girl anymore. She was eighteen, an adult who was ready to spread her wings and leave for New York, taking his heart and soul with her. He stared at her face hungrily, studying the freckles standing out on her nose that was peeling from too much Florida sun. Her red hair was braided into pigtails, making her appear both cute and incredibly sexy at the same time. Her green eyes were vibrant in the near darkness of her room, lit up only with the moonlight filtering in past the open window.

He cupped one of her bare breasts that were surprising full when she was still long legged and slim. He leaned down, sucking one sweet, pink nipple into his mouth. A shiver of pleasure rolled down his spine when Eve gasped and arched into him, her fingers tangling in his hair.

"Come with me to New York," she pleaded in a soft, husky voice as she tugged at his hair. "Please."

He sighed and crawled over her until his face was hovering above hers. "I can't," he choked, feeling the sting of tears once more. "My father--"

"Fuck your father," Eve said passionately, her green eyes flashing in fury. "He's an asshole and you're eighteen. You can do whatever you want now."

He winced, not knowing how to explain the conditioning of his childhood to her, one that brainwashed him into complete obedience of his father. "I got a football scholarship to USF. You don't want me to give that up, do you?"

"You're brilliant," she said with an adoring smile, making deep dimples appear in her cheeks. "You could get a scholarship anywhere. Play football in New York."

"Does the Academy of Art have a football program?"

"Well, no," she said, lowering her eyes, her full eyelashes falling like half moons over her cheeks. "But you're smart. You could probably get a scholarship without football."

"We've had this discussion a million times. Let's just enjoy each other tonight," he said softly as he brushed a few stray wisps of red hair off her forehead that had escaped her braids. Her forehead was also peeling; Paul smiled and tapped at her nose. "Sunscreen is your friend, freckles."

"Shut up," she gasped, covering her nose with her hands. "I know I'm hideous."

"You're beautiful," he said, laughing when Eve tried to roll away from him.

"No, look away, look away." Eve managed to turn over on her stomach beneath him. She kicked her feet, trying to squirm out from under him, but his heavy, muscular body made it impossible. "I'm a terrible beast."

"No, you're not," he sighed, leaning down to run his lips over her bare shoulder. "You're perfect."

Sometimes, it's not just about the first few pages. It's about the overall story. When I'm done reading it, am I excited about selling it? CAN I sell it?

From The Outlaw by Rebecca Leigh sold to Dreamspinner Press, pub date to be announced.

Damian strode confidently to the front door. Before he could knock, two men covered in steel suits grabbed him and hauled him inside.

"What's going on?" He yelled.

"No one enters the palace without Mr. Kell's invitation. Who the hell are you?" The guard pushed him face first against the wall.

"Name's Damian. I'm acquainted with Mr. Kell. I'm sure he won't mind that I've come." Images of the sexual frenzy at the arena flashed through Damian's head. The guard pressed his face harder but Damian didn't fight the additional abuse. The pain helped calm the erotic images.

The guard answered him by shoving his arm between Damian's legs. Damian went down on the ground with a grunt, holding his balls. The two guards laughed.

At the same time Damian recovered enough to pull himself up onto one knee, a door across the large foyer opened. Kell strode toward the three men with a smile.

"Damian? What a wonderful surprise!" Kell offered Damian his hand. Damian accepted and Kell helped him to his feet. "I see my guards have taken good care of you."

"Something like that," Damian pushed Kell's hand away and rubbed his cock.

"Don't mind my boys. They're just a little nervous. You know, with a Bringer in town and all." He winked at Damian. "Come, join me in my study. I believe we have some matters to discuss."

"Yeah," Damian followed.

I actually had several publishers in mind when I first read The Outlaw but in her original submission, Rebecca stated the manuscript was less than 15,000 words. In order to increase her chances for publication, she needed to bring the word count up. She returned to the manuscript and as she added words, she edited her manuscript as well. I can't stress the importance of editing. To me, it's the deciding factor on whether your manuscript will see the light of day or not.

It's important to remember that the publishing industry is subjective. What one publisher does not like, another may be salivating over. What may not fit within the niche of one publisher, could fit perfectly elsewhere. I will let you know if your manuscript is ready for submission and if I take the time to edit it, it's because I believe it has potential to sell. Several of my clients are currently editing their manuscripts, tightening their stories, improving plot and characterization and/or improving sentence structure to make the words "pop" for the reader. Each and every one of them has a manuscript I'm very excited about selling. Can't wait to share those successes with you very soon!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Breaking News: Outreach Initiative

I don't want it to appear like I'm favoring Silver Publishing with back-to-back posts talking about how awesome they are, but I just received this bulletin and it HAS to be shared right away!



In an effort to support the gay community, Silver Publishing will be working in conjunction with one of our distribution partners, Rainbow eBooks, to support various GLBT Outreach Programs on a monthly basis beginning on August 1.


Silver Publishing will donate 5% of SP royalties to a different program each month based on our portion of royalties, without affecting those distributed to our authors. We encourage GLBT authors to submit their manuscripts with us to be part of this Outreach Initiative. Authors, be part of this change. Let’s do this together!


During the month of August, Silver Publishing will be supporting PFLAG!
Come visit us as http://www.silverpublishing.info and help SP support the gay community while you also enjoy our list of growing releases.

Thank you for your support!
The Silver Publishing Team


I told you they were awesome!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Call for Submissions - Silver Publishing

I love working with Silver Publishing! They're a growing ePublisher and have a fantastic staff! The fact that they pay 60% royalties on all of their works is not a bad thing either! ;)

Check out their upcoming Special Submissions:

HALLOWEEN THEMED SUBMISSIONS

sexy racecar driver 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. Please submit your manuscript via the link at the bottom of the Submission Guidelines page.



25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS SUBMISSIONS

sexy christmas santa

To be included in this submission, please email submissions@silverpublishing.info to place your name on the calendar.

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 19, 2010

Submission Deadline: November 1, 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. Please submit your manuscript via the link at the bottom of the Submission Guidelines page.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Call for Submissions - Loose Id

The Demon's Covenant (The Demon's Lexicon Trilogy, #2) New Call for Submissions: Loose Id is hosting the BATTLE OF THE SEXES!

Is it a court fight? Trying to win a coveted academic scholarship or job? A strip poker match? Something a little more down and dirty?

We're looking for super hot stories that have a Battle of The Sexes involved (novella -- 20K --and up with a submission date of November 15.)

May the best gender win!

Well, since it's a romance...let both genders win.

E-mail me if you'd like more information: sh@lperkinsagency.com

Monday, June 7, 2010

Just a few tips if I may be so bold

Sifting through the query piles I come across all kinds of fodder for blog entries that I keep telling myself I'm going to write and then find little to no time to do so. Today, I've put aside a few things and dedicated some time to actually update my blog.

In talking with a few of my clients, friends and family about what I do and the projects that have come across my inbox, I've realized that much of what I do is so multi-faceted and completely away from the limelight that it is easily overlooked. The worse part of it is when I overlook it myself because of everything I have going on! Here's where you, potential and/or existing client, can help (in a very Jerry Maquire way of helping me help you)!

  1. Read, Review, Revise - But don't stop at the first revision. No. Find an editor who's not afraid to "tell you how it is" and LISTEN to this person (or group of people). Friends and family are great for our self-esteem and ego but they are not going to tell you that your story sucks. They don't want to hurt your feelings. A real editor is going to read your manuscript and point out the POV changes, the subject-verb disagreements and the times they were completely lost in your story and had to put it down because they couldn't keep reading it. As harsh as their criticism can sound, these are the people whose advice you should be seeking. Their input is what will improve your story and make you a better writer. Your bruised ego will be the last thing you think of when you see your published book. It's like labor, every pregnant woman will tell you we all remember labor... but the memory of the pain diminishes the minute we see our child in our arms.
  2. Don't Stop Writing - The minute your manuscript is in the submission phase with your agent, pick up your next project. Some authors start writing their next book the minute they finish their first book but I think they're more the anomaly than the norm! Yes, it's important to take a break from writing from time to time to recharge the batteries, get the muse going and give your carpal tunnel a break but if you're going to make this a profession then make sure it's a break, a holiday, a vacation... not a sabbatical.
  3. Network - Take some time to get your name known in the social networking sites. Your name, after all, is the most important thing to your growing business. Readers become fans and fans like to "know" their star. You may not like to spend time on Facebook or Twitter but that's where the readers are. Prime your readers for your next projects and when your books publish, you'll have instant sales!
  4. Submissions Take Time - Some submissions can be out to publishers for MONTHS. Why? Some publishers don't accept multiple submissions. If I send your manuscript to one of these publishers and they're backlogged at the time, it can take them several weeks to get to the manuscripts. After they read them, they may want to send the manuscript to another editor (or executive editor) for a second opinion. This could take another few weeks for a response. If they want the manuscript and send a contract it's still not a done deal. Contract negotiations can take a few days (to a few weeks). If it's NOT accepted, submitting to another publisher means starting the clock all over again. So what should you be doing during this wait period? Yep, see #2 above!
  5. Touch Base with Me - If you're my client and have not heard from me in a while, don't hesitate to "poke" me via e-mail, through a DM on Twitter, a text message to my cell phone, a ping on Yahoo Instant Messenger... I think I'm even available via smoke signal. I've heard it said that the agent/author relationship can sometimes feel like a marriage. In some instances, it's more like a parent/child one. Those of us with children understand the demands each child puts on our time and how important it is to spend one-on-one time with our children... how quickly we come to realize that it's just a pipe dream! Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day and inevitably I will miss out on catching up with one of my children and they feel neglected and hurt because of it. Unfortunately, it's not any different with my clients. Yes, your project is important to me. No, it's not the only one I'm devoted to at the moment. Yes, I plan to get back to you on it as soon as I can. No, it's likely not going to be anytime in the next week or two. No, that does not mean I hated it; just means I ran out of hours in the day. Yes, please keep writing.
  6. Know the Industry - There are so many great blogs and articles available that will help you stay "in the know" about the changes in the industry. I sometimes learn more from these articles and blog entries than I do from one-on-one time with others in the industry. One of my favorites is BookEnds. If you're not following this blog, be sure to start now. Great information and always chock full of wise advice that I need to remember to take more often. ;)

Don't let anything stand in the way of your success!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New Releases & Updates from Clients

Have been terribly negligent in my blog posts and I apologize but I've been rather busy and busy is always good! :) Have many great news in the horizon but here are a few that I can announce now. :)

KL INTRODUCING KELE LANE!

Many in Harry Potter fandom know as Redblaze will soon have her first publication out. We're still in contract phase but I'm so excited to see Kele Lane's work contracted that I've been having a hard time sitting still! LOL If you haven't "friended" her on Facebook, be sure to do so. She will be announcing her book deal and update on her upcoming works there.



Beautiful Forever Beautiful Forever by Diana Copland

Summary: Brady Duncan has been indulging the whims of best friend Tessa McNeil for years. When she announces in the middle of a vacation in New Orleans that she’s managed to obtain an invitation to a notorious local Vampyre Haven at the historic Maison Bertrand, Brady reluctantly agrees to accompany her. He’s never understood her fascination with “the lifestyle,” as Tessa calls it, but complete in Gothic makeup and black Victorian garb, he goes with her to the mansion in the bayou for what he believes amounts to an elaborate Halloween party.


He couldn’t be more wrong. Brady almost immediately realizes he’s in over his head: he’s not put off by the décor, or even the drugs, but when they stumble across rooms where blood play is on display, he decides it’s time to leave. But Tessa isn’t ready to go, the doorman Gerard keeps referring to him as “the offering,” and some of the more insistent guests have chosen him as a party favor when he is rescued by the enigmatic Lucien Bertrand. Or is he only getting into deeper trouble?

One of the things I love about Diana's work is that her voice, which you'll hear this term from editors and agents alike, is so hauntingly beautiful that it's almost lyrical in its timbre. You don't just fall in love with her characters, you fall in love with their courtship, their love affair, their entire relationship. I often tell her that her stories are like a fine symphony. Once you leave the performance, you still feel the music etched in your heart. Be sure to run to Dreamspinner Press and order Beautiful Forever. You will not be disappointed and look for more of her work to be published soon.



Have Stake Will Travel Have Stake Will Travel by Rebecca Leigh

Summary: Orion Masters is no ordinary slayer, she's a dhampir—half vampire—and she uses her superhuman abilities to her advantage.

After all, a girl's gotta make a living.

But her life takes a dramatic u-turn on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The balmy nights of paradise hold a forbidden temptation. Hot, steamy sex with Julian Hunter.

Like Orion, Julian is a slayer. Unlike Orion, Julian is a pure blood. Their paths cross on the hunt and Orion finds herself unable to control the allure of Julian's seductive powers. Yielding to her body's instinctive, passionate reaction to Julian, she discovers the erotic lure of heritage, shared blood, and destiny.

Rebecca's work is always fun to read! You fall into her worlds easily and her characters are always beautifully flawed, if that's the right word. I love when protagonists are made "real" by the author by not making them superbeings! I can relate to the character and care for the character because they ARE fallible.

Be sure to keep an eye out for more of Rebecca's works. She'll be announcing another book deal soon as well! :D


Edited to add: Lori Toland also had releases in early May.

Furry Matchmaker Furry Matchmaker by Lori Toland

Summary: Dave Wallace is on his way to work when the sight of a tiny kitten stranded on an interstate overpass nearly breaks his heart. After he stops to save her, he goes to the nearest vet and meets Dr. Christian Prince, a gorgeous man David assumes is straight and completely uninterested in him. When Dave leaves he knows he'll never see the vet again... until Christian calls him about the kitten, and maybe more.

And


Furry Matchmaker The Necking Anthology - Short Story by Lori Toland

Summary: Just close your eyes and feel: soft, warm lips skimming from your shoulder to your ear, your skin prickling and tickling. Then add another set, echoing the first, layer upon layer of sensation as two sets of hands join the game, stroking, sliding, ratcheting up the heat. And when your lips part and the tip of your tongue darts out, it's met by two more in a luscious, messy, three-way kiss. This is necking, pure and hot, sending shivers of arousal down your spine. In these stories, the men come in threes: triple the pleasure, triple the love.

Lori's boys are always fun to read because they're the Prince Charming at the end of the fairy tale. She has this amazing ability to make you fall for her characters in her short stories as quickly and deeply as you fall for her heroes in her longer pieces. She's truly a diverse author and if you haven't picked up these latest pieces, you really should. In Furry Matchmaker there's a hot vet tending to a kitty and in her Necking Anthology piece it's a hot threesome with light BDSM elements that leave you weak-kneed and begging for more.

Lori's currently working on several projects, including the follow-up to her debut success, The Replacement Guitarist. :)

BOOK REVIEW: The Demon's Covenant (The Demon's Lexicon Trilogy, #2)

The Demon's Covenant (The Demon's Lexicon Trilogy, #2) The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan


My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This may sound like an odd review comment but I know I love a series when I can imagine fanfic written for it and sarah rees brennan's trilogy has me hooked, line and sinker! I laughed, I cried... I cried some more... I yelled at characters for doing stupid things... I laughed again and just when I thought I couldn't cry any more... yep... Niagara falls Frankie Angel!

Summary: The Demon's Covenant is the sequel to The Demon's Lexicon. Mae was always in control, but suddenly everyone she trusted is lying--and in danger.

What I liked about this book: I love that in the second installment of this amazing trilogy, the author decides to change the POV. The first book was written from Nick's POV and I just loved it! Was actually concerned that having the POV change to Mae in this one would pull me out of the series (or at least keep me less interested) but I had nothing to worry about. Brennan came through again!

This series reads very much like an M. Night Shyamalan movie script but... ten times better! I don't want to give too much away with this review because you really need to read it! Really! Can't wait to read the final installment and I wonder who the protag will be. I'm hoping it's Alan, to be honest but I wouldn't mind if it were Jamie's POV either.

Did I mention that I totally fell in love with this series? Yeah... now to wait for the final installment to be released.

View all my reviews >>