Sunday, April 29, 2012

Author Monday: Delle Jacobs

Today we welcome best-selling author Delle Jacobs to Author Monday. Delle is a fellow 2003 Golden Heart finalist, but that's just one of her many finals and wins. She's also the one who finally convinced me Indie publishing was the way I should go, and I will forever be grateful.

FAERIE~Coming from Montlake Romances September 2012
Not your ordinary Faerie Tale


I have just spent the last three hours painstakingly writing out my story in publishing, with the thought in my head, "This is boring. It's just like every other e-published author's story. " 
And it was (with the exception that I finalled seven times in the Golden Heart and won three times). That is, of course, why computers have delete keys. And why you're not going to be reading it.

So let's just say the first eight years of my "seriously writing" career were pretty much the same as every other frustrated author. Not much success. Just enough to keep me from giving up my addiction. But unlike most, thanks to Laurie Alice Eakes, I gave in to the strange allure of e-publishing. If you know anything about the first ten years of e-publishing, you know at times it was hellatious. Even best friends felt privileged to impart to me the folly of my ways. And they were being kind, compared to what a lot of other people said. Well, you know all that. You know it's been a struggle. I did have some very successful (for ebooks) books. I even finally made the Published Authors Network (PAN) with a sale to Samhain. Exactly one month later, RWA changed the rules, though. 

But eventually I reclaimed the rights to my five original ebooks, but didn't know what to do with them. One editor told me she'd buy one of them if I'd completely re-write with lots more sex scenes. I thought about it. Didn't do it. By this time, the one thing I did know was that going with a traditional publisher was not the right thing for me.

The rest is Alexis Harrington's fault. In 2010, she persuaded me to re-work my books and put them on Kindle. The first month, with two books up, I sold 57, and I was ecstatic. I put up two more, then discovered Smashwords. Smashwords then acquired contracts with other retailers. And then, my BIG BREAK.

There I was, October 1, 2010, at the Emerald City Writers Conference, and turning in a little early. I checked my Kindle stats before crashing, expecting the usual 3-6 sales per book for the day. Something was wrong with the numbers. In order: 1847, 15, 17, 1932. Well, that was impossible. Went back and looked again, and the two high numbers had shot up another 30 or so. They were rising at 200-300 an hour! When I looked, KINDLE WAS GIVING MY BOOKS AWAY! Panic! 

I didn't know then, but soon learned, Kindle had a temporary program that gave away books of certain authors they thought were promising, but were paying the authors as if the books had sold. In those five days, FIRE DANCE and THE MUDLARK downloaded nearly 20,000 books. FIRE DANCE hit the top of the Romances list and onto the Top 100, barely topping THE MUDLARK. The rest of the month and year, sales stayed high. 
Seeing how ebook sales were advancing rapidly, and expecting the new Kindles to be a hot Christmas item, I decided my goal was to have at least one book on the Romance Best Seller list on Christmas Day. I re-priced all my books at 99 cents, and made my goal with three of my books.  Three days after Christmas, HIS MAJESTY, THE PRINCE OF TOADS started climbing the charts and remained a best seller for 4 ½ months, in the meantime pulling up the other books too. I'd forgotten what paying real income tax was like, but I sure learned that fast!

But it seems Amazon is always up to something. I thought so way back in October 2010. In the fall of 2011, an Amazon Montlake editor called me and persuaded me to submit a book that was not even finished. But what I'd seen and heard about Montlake was already impressing me. They do things very differently. So... it took a few months longer, but in February I signed a contract for three books. Two of them are FIRE DANCE and LOKI'S DAUGHTERS, which have had somewhere over 120,000 downloads each. The third is FAERIE, that first draft.  All three books will come out in September. And that's scary! And in the meantime, they're just fine with my self-publishing. 
I'm hoping to release three more books on my own, which I'm releasing in the next two months: THE PERFECT HEROINE, a Regency Historical Romance, BELOVED STRANGER, a Regency Romance novella set in the Peninsular War, and the most difficult, a new version of one of my best selling books, THE MUDLARK, ILLUSTRATED, with about 20-30 illustrations I've made using old engravings with modern photography. 

So am I telling you anyone can make a living (or a killing) by self-publishing? No. Not everyone should even try, and trying is no guarantee either. But here are some things you should consider- no, do- if you want to self-publish.

1. HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF AND YOUR BOOKS. If you know they're good, and ready to be published, believe in them, and in you. 
2. HAVE PATIENCE. It's too easy to give up. For most authors, it takes awhile. And things cycle, just like in traditional publishing. Maybe a lot faster.
3. HAVE THE BEST BOOK POSSIBLE. Don't submit any book that is just "good enough", because it isn't. You're in a huge competition, and readers will happily drop you and go to an author they feel they can trust more.
Make sure it's very well edited
Perfectly formatted
Has the very best cover you can afford. Your cover is the first page of your book. If readers aren't intrigued enough to look, they aren't going to ever get to the blurb, much less the story. 
5. PUT lots of time into promotion. Online is most effective. But while you're at it, 
6. DON'T SPAM YOUR FRIENDS. DON'T SPAM ANYONE! They will not buy your book, or any future book if you do. Learn what works. Be courteous. Share equally on social media. Give as well as you get.
7. WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG, SUCK IT UP AND FIX IT. It's ultimately your responsibility if the formatting on your book gets messed up after you uploaded a perfect copy.  Check for it. Encourage your readers to report any errors or problems to you.
8. DON'T BE AFRAID to try something different. The internet and ebooks readers have been uncommonly kind to authors who have given them something unique to read.
9. HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF. Oh, I said that? Well, not often enough. Let me say it again. And again...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Silver Linings

For this Author Monday we welcome Priscilla Kissinger, three time Golden Heart finalist and an author to watch. Welcome Priscilla!

Many many moons ago I finaled for the first time in the RWA Golden Heart® contest and was blessed to become part of a fabulous group of ladies known as the Wet Noodle Posse. I was much younger, much wetter behind the ears and not sure of how to make the most of my flash of success in the writing industry.

Several years later I finaled again, and became a member of the Pixies, another supportive group of ladies. But life had other priorities for me, and writing was once again set aside for other obligations.

Flash forward to 2012…my life is again in transition, but for the past 2 years I’ve been able to focus more on my writing. Make it more of a priority. And truth be told, my writing, my writing friends, my newfound commitment to my craft….well, they’ve all helped to keep me focused on the positives life can offer rather than the negative aspects I’m wading through.

So when the call came from RWA board member and fellow Wet Noodle Posse member Terry McLaughlin ( letting me know my latest manuscript was a 2012 Golden Heart ® finalist (, I heard the gates of heaven clang open and a choir of angels began to sing “Hallelujah!”

Okay, not really. I was substitute teaching at a local junior high so it was actually the lunch bell ringing and a pack of adolescents jabbering away in the hall. But in my imagination, it was all heaven and angels. :)

So while I struggled to contain my giddiness, inside the butterflies zoomed in my chest, my heart sped up its pace, and my body literally shivered with excitement.

Many of us toil for years and years with little validation for our efforts. Writing is a solitary endeavor. Well, it can be unless you take the time to make connections with fellow authors. So you join groups like RWA, attend your local chapter meetings, travel to conferences… all so you can meet other people like you—those who speak to invisible characters like they’re real, create their own imaginary worlds, and speak the same romance lingo consisting of terms like GMC, point of view, and Big Black Moments.

Being a Golden Heart ® finalist for the third time is a blessing. And for me, it couldn’t have come at a better moment. A time when I needed to hear that my efforts haven’t been in vain. That if I keep on plugging away, my day in the sun will come.

Maybe I’m slogging through a difficult time right now in some areas, but there’s a silver lining around my world if I look close enough and pay attention, and that’s all I’ve got to focus on.

How about you? Any silver linings you care to share? Any light at the end of the tunnel moments that have pulled you through trying times?

The world of romance writing is all about happily ever afters. And some times, it’s all about the happily for right nows.

That’s what we have to celebrate. Well, that’s what I’m celebrating anyway. Care to join me?

Thanks for sharing your story, Priscilla. I admire your determination and wish you the best of luck in the final round!


Friday, April 20, 2012

My Self-Publishing Story is Part of a New Book

I just got my pre-release copy of New Paradigm Ahead: Success at Any Age by Norm Bour. My story is on pages 81-85. Much more exposure than I expected. He not only took the interview and made it into a story, he did research on RWA and the romance industry and gives numbers in a very positive light. I’m excited to be a part of this project.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Superstition is RT Magazine Top Pick!

Got exciting news today. Superstition got a Top Pick from Romantic Times magazine for June, and 4 1/2 stars. Woo-Hoo!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blame it on Texas Sequel

Finally hit the halfway mark on the sequel to Blame it on Texas. The rest should go a bit faster now that the plot is rolling, Carol and Jake have gotten over dancing around each other, and the bad guy in the story is ramping up his troublemaking. Look for it in May. I'm going with Once in a Blue Moon for the title. And though the story isn't finished yet, the awesome Ade Ratna has finished the cover.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good News!

Beginning next week, I’ll have some very special authors visiting the blog to talk about their Golden Heart final, their publishing journeys, the RT convention, and anything else they think is important at the time. Stay tuned. Should be interesting and fun. And you never know, there might even be prizes.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Tori Scott on the Web

Here's where you can find me this week on the web:

Tory Johnson's Spark and Hustle:

Have you seen Tory on Good Morning America? If you're not familiar with Spark and Hustle and you're a woman who owns or wants to own your own business, you should check out and subscribe to her newsletter.

Joyln Palliata's blog:

I'm visiting Jolyn's blog to talk about writer insecurities. Think authors must be brimming with supreme confidence? Think again. Even big name authors are afraid each book will be their last, that this one will bomb and they'll be publicly humiliated. Comment for a chance to win a copy of Blame it on Texas.

Easter Sunday I'll be blogging at When I set up the blog post, I didn't realize it was the Easter Sunday edition, so I'll probably be all alone over there unless you want to come visit.

Next week I'll be the featured author at Stop by on April 11th and say hi.

And also on April 11, I'll be on the brand new Authors of Main Street blog. I'll be a regular on the second Wednesday of every month. You should stop by and comment every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, because we'll be giving away some awesome prizes.

You can find my Amazon author page at, with links to each of my books and a bio. Or you can connect with me on Twitter @ToriScott or on Facebook at You can email me at

I look forward to getting to know all of you a bit better.

I hope everyone has a great holiday with friends and family.