GUEST BLOG: VONNA HARPER

Kindle, Kindle, Kindle. Wherever I turned in the online world I inhabit, information about Apple’s ebook enterprise kept cropping up.

Instead of concentrating on my Kensington deadlines as I should, I entertained myself with Internet research about the brave new world of writer/publisher Kindle and other epublishing ventures is making possible.

Julie Ortolon’s advice at Julie’s Journal Online
provided a lot of the details while A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing lit the emotional fire.

I’ve been in the writing business many years and have seen and weathered countless changes. For the majority of that time, standard operating procedure meant writers had to contract with publishers. We provided the content. The publishers turned those typed and later word-processed pages into books that were deposited in the country’s many, many bookstores. A writer’s involvement in promotion was limited, individual, and unpredictable.

But as they say, the times are a-changing. I credit Ellora’s Cave with being a core part of publishing’s early venture into the virtual world. I was fortunate to come onboard with EC early and watch their evolution, expansion, and stunning success. I’ve also written for Samhain and Loose-Id. A lot.

One thing about having been part of the erotica bandwagon for years is I have a number of older stories with expired contracts. Hmm. What to do? Agree to extend those contracts even though those stories are buried deep in publishers’ catalogues or try to run with them myself. Become my own publisher.

What’s that? Jump flat footed without a life preserver into the world of virtual publishing? Scary. Exciting. Filled with missteps such as using the same title for two different stories and having to grovel to the woman who created one of those covers. I started with Smashwords because they make conversion from print to virtual pig simple and I need simple.

What about Kindle, I kept asking myself. Don’t forget their new and improved and financially intriguing royalty rates. So I did it. A little over a week ago (don’t ask about why things stalled for a couple of weeks) Wilderness Night appeared. Hot damn. This is MY baby! A novella priced at an appealing $2.99. A hunky torso on the maybe too dark cover. Excitement. Doubts.

Okay, so my mother doesn’t have a clue what I’m talking about. My sister recently bought a Kindle and she does. Besides, we protect Mother from the racy stuff her eldest daughter now writes.

Sorry, Mother, you aren’t going to be allowed to read Wilderness Night about a stressed business woman, a professional football player who has just been traded to a new team, and a hot, hot Florida night. I want your almost 92 year old heart to continue to beat.

As for those of you reading this, I’d love it if you’d check your blood pressure and then give Wilderness Night a chance. And please let me know
what you think. Don’t have a Kindle? No problem. You can download the reading device for free onto your hard drive. I know ’cause I did.

Vonna
Vonna Harper

Under her “real” name, Vonna Harper has published more fiction than she can keep track of . These include category romances as well as the ‘juicy’ stuff. She also penned a series of well-received Native American historicals. One earned her finalist status in both the Women Writing the West Willa award and Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Before tackling book length, Vonna ‘confessed’ all kinds of nonsense for the confession magazines.

When asked about erotica research, she insists, “Of course I’ve time-traveled to the ancient Everglades, infiltrated bondage strongholds, done wilderness search and rescue, and spent a night trapped in a workout gym with Mr. Universe. How can I possibly write about something I haven’t experienced?”

As for day jobs, “I’ve been a commercial pilot, brain surgeon, worked as a white-water river guide, bee keeper, snake charmer, and garbage collector.”

And if you buy all that, she’d like you to check out the bridge she has listed on eBay.

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