I’ve been a published author since October of 2010. Yep, I’m coming up on my five year anniversary as a “real” writer. If you’ll notice, I’m writing this post from the computer at my day job. I’d like to say that I was reciting it to my assistant while I sat by a pool in some tropical locale, but alas I’m still a peon. I have lots of irons in the fire and I’m still pretty excited about my career as a whole, but some days I just wonder why I bother. Case in point….
I spend an awful lot of time on social media. Most of us do, but to an author, social media becomes extremely important. You find yourself perusing Facebook because you HAVE to, not because you want to. I actually had to force myself on to Twitter the other morning. Social media is a great way to get your name out there as an author. Unfortunately it’s also a cesspool of depraved and broken idiots an awful lot of the time. It’s really easy to fall into a black hole of thinking that you’re alone in a room full of goldfish. People have fabricated intellect on nearly every topic. Their misguided and uneducated opinions that ten years ago they would have kept to themselves are now all out in the open for everyone to see. And everything feels justified because even if you say that putting babies on spikes is a great idea, there will be a thousand people to rush to your cause in the all-powerful “comment” space. There are days when I feel as if Facebook, Twitter, Google+, tumblr, etc. are the death knell of life and civilization as we know it. Days like today when I was perusing my feed and noticed that someone was in a group trying to sell me a book that had a cover with a picture of a woman with her nether regions almost completely exposed and a title that I won’t repeat but had the phrase “bitch ass” prominently featured. And if memory serves, a woman wrote this book. And was selling it as a romance. Another had a teaser with “enticing” lines from the book that were full of grammatical and spelling errors, degrading phrases and just terrible writing. And this was what the author wanted to FEATURE on her advertising. On days like today, I start to wonder why I’m even bothering. If my stuff is going to be drowned in a sea of crap, what is the point??!!
This conversation is not new. My sister, author Lucy Blue, and myself have had this discussion ad nauseum. In fact, our brother-in-law told us one day if we didn’t stop that we couldn’t sit at the table with him anymore. And I’ve also talked about this quite a bit on the blog (see archive). But today, I’m going to pick myself up by my bootstraps and tell you what Lucy and I have decided to do about this.
Now, I’m giving ALL the credit to Lucy here. This whole thing was her idea, I just jumped on her bandwagon. In case you didn’t know, Lucy’s been around for quite some time. Back in the mists of time she wrote a tie-in novel for Forever Knight, a series of medieval fantasy romances for Simon & Schuster, and another series of vampire romances for Pocket Books. In other words, she ain’t a newbie. But several years ago people in positions of power decided that romance was either pornography or nonexistent and she took her ball and went home only to re-emerge as an indie author two years ago. And what an eye-opener that was. Suddenly she was dealing with social media and a really strange market. A market where people weren’t buying good stuff. They were buying crap because it was either really cheap or so outrageous that it was funny. A market where people just aren’t willing to spend 8 bucks on a book anymore. So she did some research in that most unlikely of places: the beauty salon.
If you’ve never been to a beauty salon in the South, I highly recommend it. In the small town where we live, we don’t need a newspaper, we’ve got Cuttin’ Loose. Anyway, while sitting in the beauty salon she could hear some women talking about what kinds of things they were reading on the new Kindles they got for Christmas. The things that all of them kept saying they wanted: good stories, without “nasty” language, explicit but not “gross, romantic, things they could read fast, authors that produced a lot of material to feed their appetite, easily accessible, and cheap. And thus, Little Red Hen Romance was born.
The Coop opened it’s doors in May of this year and since then I’ve seen more success there than I have in the five years I’ve been writing professionally. So what’s the deal? What is it? Little Red Hen stories are short (except for some coming releases that I’ll tell you about later). They only take about an hour (the space of your lunch break) to read. They’re extremely romantic stories. Nobody will be degraded, “hit and quit,” spat on, cursed at, etc. in an LRH story. The hero and heroine may not be in love when the story begins, but they are by the end. The writing is strong. Really strong. NYT Bestseller strong. You don’t have to worry about plot abysses, unbelievable turns of events, bad vocabulary, poor word choice, horrendous dialogue. It doesn’t exist. We only accept the most talented writers we can find. Our stories are love stories that are funny, sexy, and have excellent dialogue. LRH releases 3-4 NEW stories each month, so your appetite is constantly fed. Even better than that– the first weekend they’re released they’re FREE. And if you’re a member of Amazon Prime, you can read on Kindle Unlimited for FREE anytime. And once they go off promotion, the shorts are never more than 99 cents. Never. In the coming months we’re looking to expand into novels and anthologies but those will still be sold at a rock bottom price. Most subgenres are represented, but historicals seem to be our bread and butter lately.
So give us a try. You can peruse our selection at the website by clicking on the picture above. I promise you won’t be disappointed. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We’re constantly having release parties, livetweets and just having a great time.
Just in case you still have any doubt… here’s a sample:
He winked and bid her to sit. “Please. Sit with me here.” She was very careful as she lowered herself on the end of the bench, arms crossed over her chest. He was close, making her anxious. As he sat she realized that she was actually leaning away from him. She didn’t want him to see how her hands trembled even weighed down by the magnificent ring of diamond and sapphire. “You can sit by me, Joanna. I don’t bite.”
“Of course,” she said, inching closer. “You’ll have to forgive my nature. I’m not used to much company.”
“Well, in a convent…”
“…not that they were a silent order.”
“…but what could nuns possibly have to talk about?”
“Our Lord Jesus, hellfire and the virgin Mary are pretty much their repertoire of conversation topics.”
Joanna giggled, covering her mouth with her hands. She’d been taught that a lady should never laugh out loud, but she was just so relieved to find that Will was not the wretched king from a child’s story. “You mustn’t be blasphemous.”
“Oh I should warn you now, then. I am the most wicked of blasphemers.” He placed his hand atop hers and squeezed affectionately. “But I hope you’ll forgive me, my queen.”
Joanna looked down at his hand, so large and calloused against her own small and delicate fingers. She laced hers between and admired the contrast. “Your Grace is always forgiven.” She moved closer to him, and he welcomed her into his side, sliding an arm around her shoulders.