Monday, June 4, 2018

#CockyGate, #TiffanyGate - It's A Scummy Business. What You Need To Know Before You Dive Into The Romance Industry

In the last few weeks, we've had CockyGate, with Faleena Hopkins trying to trademark single, everyday words in order to ban her competitors from the market, and quietly harassing and bullying other authors as well.

Now we've added #TiffanyGate with Chance Carter manipulating the review system and simultaneously #Bookstuffing and running a click-to-the-end scheme in order to cheat the Kindle Unlimited programme.

If you haven't already, read the excellent When #Cockygate And #Tiffanygate Collide by David Gaughran  For live updates, click here to go to twitter #GetLoud

It's pretty damn sucky behaviour. However, if it's putting you off joining the industry, do please think again.

Romance writing is big business, with the US market alone being worth over US$1 billion.  As you might expect, this brings out the worst in some people. But the Faleenas and Chances are a minority.

I'm unknown but I've reached out to Cari Silverwood, Kitty Thomas, and Tymber Dalton in the past. They are best selling authors, big hitters in the romance industry, and they took the time to reply.

The romance author community is like that. At some level we compete, but actually, it's much more of a cooperative affair than you might think.

I have a small secret author group that I check in with several times a week. We have mutual moans and rah-rah sessions - that kind of support is totally necessary if you're a creative. We also share insider news of what's new, what's no longer working, and other industry information. 

My experience is perfectly normal; poke a romance author and after she giggles, she'll no doubt have her own stories of being helped and of helping others.

The message is: don't give up the dream!

It is daunting to write and it's hard to make a career out of it. If you're starting out, I strongly suggest you hook up with other romance authors and go for joint promotion projects.

The idea is this: as there are millions of excellent books out there, it's hard to be visible. Rather than work alone, you promote with a bunch of friends in order to get extra eyeballs.

This month I'm working with two groups, one with Love Kissed Promotions and one with Words Turn Me On.  With Love Kissed every member gets a media packet and posts on her own. With Words, there's group email and coordination.

They're both worth your time but let me tell you about the one below, because I think it's a typical good experience about the industry.

I've known Monica Smith who writes hot, sexy urban romance for two years or so. Because of the time difference, we hardly ever talk publicly on FB but we message each other on a regular basis. Monica is one of my author support friends. A few weeks ago, she shared some promo companies with me that she'd found useful. That saved me hours and hours of work, finding new leads!

Nanea Knott has been a pal since we did a cross promo on viking stories a couple of years ago. I can't for the life of me remember who organised that, but Nanea has been bouncing in and out of my FB timeline and my Messenger ever since. She's tonnes of fun, always cheery, and a prolific writer, which I find inspiring.

I met Bella Jeanisse a few weeks ago through Donna and Stephanie of Words Turn Me On. They were promoting her book, and I signed up to review. I enjoyed her writing and now we're in a couple of groups together. Also, as she's a dark erotica author, and I write dark-ish novels, my bet is that we'll be cross promoting over the next few years.

Samantha Jacobey was introduced to me by a reader who likes both our books. Yes, readers hook up their favourite authors together!  Isn't that cool? Samantha was running a giveway (come to think of it, I think I owe her something for that) and when I got into this, I found out that she too works with Donna and Stephanie. Small world, right?

As for Nicole Austin, L.A. Remenicky and Lindy Hudis, I don't know them yet, but I expect we'll see more of each other after this. It's a massive industry but the romance author community is surprisingly small.

Joint promotion is good for your sales and it will help you make friends. It's a double win.

So, if you're put off by the nasties you've been hearing about recently, do think again. All big business has its bullies and cheats, but if you want to get into romance, you're going to find most people are decent and helpful.


Check out this romance collection, and read them all FREE with KU!

Looking for a sweet read? His Laughing Girl
Yearning for hot and sexy? Sins of a Housewife 2
A touch of fairy dust? Sassy Faerie Princess
Dangerous Cartel hotties? The Bonus
BDSM love in the MC? Double Dominance
Brand new erotic romance? Quench
Brand new rocker romance? Guitar God
Paranormal suspense romance? Saving Cassie
MC and action? Captive

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