My sister brought me a present yesterday – a package of FRUIT STRIPE gum. As I unwrapped it, the fruity smells assailed my nostrils and brought back memories of hot summer days in Levittown.
The flavor doesn’t last long on FRUIT STRIPE gum, but somehow that never made a difference back then. Sitting on the grass in front of someone’s house or along the curb in between rounds of stick ball, we would unwrap the gum, smile at its fanciful stripes and then enjoy that blast of fruity flavor.
And we didn’t toss the gum wrapper or use it to discard the now flavorless gum. Hell no, those gaily striped gum wrappers were bounty to be added to our ever-growing gum wrapper chains. Maybe that’s one of the reasons we prized the gum so much – those colorful wrappers sure made a statement on our gum wrapper chains! Wrigley’s gum also made great additions, especially the Juicy Fruit version.
I remember my chain was several feet long before I finally stopped adding to it. Some people never stop adding. Check out Gary Duschl, the current record holder and his chain. You can visit Gary at www.gumwrapper.com and even send him some gum wrappers so you can be part of his chain as well.
Hope you enjoyed this fruit-flavored blast to the past and that it brought back pleasant memories of your own summer days.
This Fun Friday I have a very sneaky cat for you! It’s amazing how determined she is and how careful as she approaches her objective. It makes for a good chuckle. Also remember you have until midnight EST TONIGHT to leave a message on the Nancy Thayer blog to possibly win a SINS OF THE FLESH t-shirt.
What a crazy day! Met with with my writing buddies, Kimberly Kaye Terry and Susan Krinard for breakfast and then with my Dangerous Woman buddies for coffee. Here’s Kimberly and Susan with me.
We were lucky to have Candance Poarch and Shirley Hailstock sitting beside us and took a moment to say HI and snap a photo!
Then it was more meetings with editors and publicists and a moment to take a breather. The RITAs were spectacular with lots of women in gorgeous sexy dresses, but the reception afterwards was crazy. Had planned to meet up with my friend Cathy Maxwell, but couldn’t find her so I headed back to a small gathering we were having with some Liberty buddies and other friends. We had a great time sitting around talking shop and also, all about the weird kinds of research we have to do to write a book!
Sunday morning, one last breakfast with friends before we started our road trip home. The plan had been that we would have less to take home than we brought to RWA. LOL! That was the plan anyway. Somehow we ended up with even more! Here’s shots of the back of the car and of my friend and fellow writer Lois Winston who shared the backseat with me.
So how as it overall? Awesome. Got lots of business done and have good things happening. A possible sale and some new opportunities that are falling into place. Excitement as I saw my book at the Grand Central Spotlight. Joy at seeing long distance friends and sadness at saying goodbye for the moment.
Tiredness. I’ve been running on very few hours of sleep and am hoarse from all the talking and the singing along at the Harlequin party.
Happy and looking forward to next year in Tennessee. We’re already talking about the road trip down. Convinced my daughter she had to come with me again. The last time she did was at least 6 years ago and I think she would have a blast!
Anyway, trying for an early night and some rest since it’s back to work tomorrow. Thank you all for dropping by this week and all your comments. Really appreciated hearing from all of you.
Starting to feel a little pooped with all the running around!
Breakfast with friends and the goody room. Ran into tons of people in the halls and chatted with them about all kinds of writing things and how they were doing. Hit the Harlequin book signing to get some books for research and my buddies at work.
Lunch was wonderful! My buddy Eloisa James did a marvelous talk at the luncheon. Go Eloisa!
Then after the signing, I started to prep for my first ever Grand Central Publishing signing. It was so exciting to get there and see the galleys of SINS OF THE FLESH (Nov 2009)!! Here’s a photo of me at the signing.
After the excitement of the signing, I dropped some excerpts off at the Goody room and went back to my room where I did some plotting with my friend and fellow author Rayna Vause.
Helped her with a story idea and she helped me refine the concepts for books 3 and 4 in the SINS series! Really excited about writing a proposal for them (once I finish book 2 in the series!)
Then it was time to relax. Had a great dinner with some friends before headed off to the Harlequin party. Harlequin really does it up! Great DJ (the same one as last year) and everyone had a blast. Started up the fun with an intro and then everyone hit the dance floor for “We are Family” and it really is. All those women and the Harlequin people really make you feel like a part of a huge sisterhood at these parties.
Here’s some shots from the party. Harlequin did a fun thing with covers from the past and also, drinks and food that were for particular decades so I thought I’d give you a retro look to match that theme.
Well, rebel that I am, I was off at the digital publishing rogue workshop being held at National rather than the opening breakfast. Totally bummed to miss hearing Janet Evanovich, but with digital publishing being such a hot topic, I wanted to hear what people had to say. So, here’s a little run down. Any and all errors are mine and sorry for abbreviating it to bits.
Cassia Krozier from Booksquare missed and Quartet Press: Spoke about Contract rights:
Make sure to know where you’ve granted digital rights.
Some publishers going to royalty based on Net of what they receive.
Amazon 9.99 is really making an impact of what publishers are able to get for e-book
Discussion going on as to whether to release e-book at the same time as print book.
Jane Little from Dear Author: Google book settlement – in a word – lots to consider and many many issues that authors need to consider. More on this later, but recommendation is to please speak with your agent to see how it affects you.
Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches: Self-publishing – An e-book by an author. Hundreds of hours to lay it out. Having multiple formats for digital. Editing costs and photoshop costs plus getting books published in print. 100 books – 5500 roughly. Then cost of getting the digital version ready – about $3000. No cost per book because it will depend on how many books are sold. In print, roughly 27 for the print book. Digital version was 437% less. But why do it yourself since digital publishers already have this in place.
Angela James from Samhain Publishing: Digital business model has been the source of controversy, but the main difference is that there’s no advance. In last 5 years, there’s been an explosion of digital publishers. Digital publishers don’t offer an advance because at the start, there weren’t a lot of people reading digital content. So there was a limited audience. Also, as more people started reading, some of the digital publishing was for more out-of-the-box content – the niche markets – an offering a place to publish. To do this, they knew not every book could sell and there is a cost to publishing. By not having an advance, it allowed for different genres, etc. to be published. In lieu of an advance, you got a large royalty rate from 35-45% of the cover price. Most people made from 1 to a little over 3 for a book, so 100 books might get you is $360. More than through printed books.
From the publishing end, publisher pays $35 to the author. Then there are payments to people who are selling your book – distribution rights. Each of these charges a fee to distribute. Costs can be anywhere from 40 to 75% of the cover price, usually 40%. Now there are payments to editors, cover art, website fees, copyeditor fees, marketing, promotion, travel expenses, etc. With total overhead, it ends up that the probably about 5% goes back to the publisher. Not all publishers are like this, but this is just an example of costs for digital publishers.
Why not offer advances? Because not all authors will make the $1000 advance but some make in the six figures, so it varies enough that it’s not possible to pay it to all authors. So why do digital publishers do this? Because they think there are books which deserve to be published. One example is BUTTERFLY TATTOO by Deirdre Knight which involves a story line where the hero had once been in a male-male relationship and now is in a heterosexual relationship.
How does a digital publisher know when to not release more books and cannibalize their releases? They watch what they are doing and balancing how many books to not eat into their own sales. Samhain does 5 books a week. What they look for is sales on break out authors and how their sales are doing and they look at a lot of things to not become an author mill.
It was a great workshop and I learned a lot about what’s happening.
After that, off to the Goody Room to drop off promo items for FURY CALLS and SINS OF THE FLESH.
Next was a lunch meeting with my Harlequin editor and agent. We had a lovely discussion over lunch about digital publishing, my books and all kinds of fun things. We went to a Middle Easter restaurant close to the hotel, but it was 90 degrees 90% humidity in Washington!
Back to the hotel and another meeting with my other editor and her team which also went really well. Then some running around and meeting friends and new people before going to a wonderful meet and greet with my agent and her clients and a wonderful dinner with Grand Central Publishing.
Here’s some more highlights from the day:
Lillian Fogg meeting Janet Evanovich after the opening breakfast:
Rayna Vause, Wendy La Capra, Caridad and Sue McGee: