Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday Words: Closing the Deal

Hmm... Trying to decide what to share this week. How about a snippet from Closing the Deal, a contemporary m/f romance? Enjoy!

“Whoa. What’s that look?” Dylan stared at him in fascination.

“What look?”

“That. That sappy, I like her like her look.”

Like her like her? What the hell does that mean?”

Dylan didn’t have to say anything. The hell of it was, Derrick knew damn well what Dylan meant. Just as Dylan knew what he felt.

“You have it bad, brother.” Dylan shook his head. “I should have seen it coming when you kept pestering the kid for her number.” The kid meaning Gage. “I think it’s time I talked to her.”

“No.” Derrick didn’t want her scared off by Dylan and his shrinkiness. Or worse, that she might become infatuated with the wrong Warren twin. They’d had their share of partners over the years who had switched preferences during the course of a relationship. But none of those had mattered. Sydney mattered.

“Tell me, Derrick. What exactly did you guys talk about? Gage? Mom? Me?”

Derrick huffed. “The world does not revolve around you, Dr. Dork.”

“Immature, but then, I’d expect that of you. I am older.”

“By two minutes.” He frowned. He hated being reminded that Dylan outranked him, that he even cared and that Dylan knew it.

His brother smirked. “So what’s the big deal if I take Sydney out to dinner? I like her style. Hailey’s told me all about her. And the way she reacted to you shows her to be a smart woman. You afraid she might prefer me over you?”

Yes. “Hell no.”

“Afraid I might have her out of those panties before we get to dessert?”

“I swear to God, Dylan,” Barbara said from behind him. “You and I really need to have a talk.”

Dylan froze and crossed his eyes. Then he slumped and banged his forehead on the countertop while Gage and Derrick howled with laughter.

“I swear. It’s like she’s psychic,” Dylan muttered. “You never hear my sage points, Mom. Only when I get crass, and I only do it so Derrick and your baby-maker can understand me.”

Gage frowned. “Quit calling me that.”

“Yes, Dylan. Stop baiting Gage.” Barbara sighed. “Why don’t you find a nice girl or boy to bring home and I’ll pay you the attention you feel you need.”

“Mom,” Dylan protested, but she cut him off.

“Otherwise you wouldn’t be calling your brother names. It’s jealousy, plain and simple.”

While Dylan argued with her about his true feelings, Derrick nudged Gage aside and helped him put a few groceries away. “So where’s Hailey?”

“Where do you think?” Gage said in a low voice. “Getting the lowdown from you-know-who.”

“Thanks, man. I owe you.”

“Yeah, you do.” Gage grinned. “And for all those comments, making fun of me with Hailey? Remember? How lame I was to be falling for that chick with the great rack?”

Derrick groaned at the reminder.

“Well, take a look in the mirror, dude. You’re about ten times worse than I was. At least Hailey was talking to me.”

“Sydney’s talking to me too. And I’m not falling for her. Sure, she’s smart and funny. Nice, sexy. So what?”

He realized the room had fallen silent.

“Smart and sexy? Interesting combination, Derrick.” His mother started the eggs and watched him with that clinical expression he hated. “So unlike your usual type.”

He scoffed, wishing the floor would open up and swallow him. “I don’t have a type.”

“Yeah, you do.” Dylan ticked off his fingers. “Dim, long legs, wealthy, hot, large breasts. Sorry, Mom, but blame yourself for breastfeeding us.”

“Christ, Dylan.” Derrick ran a hand over his face, thoroughly disgusted.

Even Gage looked green. “Really, Dylan.”

Their mother laughed. “We won’t go into that. Derrick, we all know you choose women you know you aren’t compatible with in an effort to avoid commitment. Sydney seems different. Nice different.”

“I’ve dated smart women before.”

“Yeah, and they were obnoxious.” Dylan shook his head. “Kathy Myers? Gina Stern?”

“Don’t forget the March twins,” Gage offered. “Dim as a busted bulb, but built like, ah, very pretty.” He shot their mother a covert glance.

“The point, Derrick,” she continued, “is that you’ve expressed more interest in Sydney than you have a lot of other women.”

“It’s probably just sexual frustration, Mom.” There. Let her chew on that. His brothers looked horrified he’d said it.

Barbara pushed a few plates of eggs at them. “That could be. Or it could be something more. When you engage in the physical aspect of the relationship with Sydney, you’ll see what happens.”

Barbara Warren.” Gage’s eyes were as round as quarters. “You did not just encourage your son to have sex after one date.”

She flushed but continued to make her point. “No, I did not. I merely suggested that when he does, he’ll see more clearly. He needs proof she’s different. If he thinks he’s stuck on her because of a physical attraction, he should rule it out, but only when they’re both ready. A relationship built solely on sex never lasts.

“I’ve seen the way women look at my sons. You’re all attractive men. Charming when you put your minds to it.” She gave Derrick a pointed stare. “So charm her and see.”

“I could have been with her last night. But I didn’t.”

Dumb, dumb, dumb to admit that.

Her eyes narrowed. “I see.”

“Oh hell. I like her. Is that so bad?” So why did his palms sweat just thinking about her? Why did he worry that she didn’t like him? He was Derrick Warren, a catch by any standard. Right? “I was respecting her boundaries. She already thought I was an ass. I just didn’t want to add to it.”

“Nice.” Dylan nodded. “That was the plan. I didn’t think you’d stick to it. Now she’s off-balance. Now you make your move.”

Their mother disagreed. “The only reason I’d even suggest you engage in sexual relations—at a point when you both consider your relationship has matured enough to make that next step—is because it will increase the intimacy. Because that’s what any meaningful partnership is all about. Feelings and emotions. Sex can complicate things, though, so you need to both be ready for it.”

Gage stared, his mouth open. “Why the hell didn’t I get this advice with Hailey? It was all about talking to her and not groping her.”

“That’s what I’m telling your brother to do, to talk to her first. To get to know her and build a relationship built on mutual understanding and respect.”

“Not what I heard,” Gage muttered.

Derrick grinned. “Different strokes for different folks, little brother.” Glad that he no longer felt in the hot seat, he turned everyone’s attention to Dylan. “But there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask. Why am I the only one under the microscope? What about Dylan? Last I heard, he broke up with his boy-toy. Not the other way around, like he told us. Why’s that?”

Everyone homed in on his brother and Derrick leaned back with a contented sigh. He couldn’t believe he was contemplating following his mother’s advice, but for once the woman had suggested something that made sense. His insane attraction to the redhead was a distraction. It might be nice to date a woman without the physical stuff in the way. 

They could be friendly before being friendly. Though everything in him shut down at the thought of his mother in conjunction with s-e-x, he reminded himself she offered therapeutic advice and nothing more.

Think of me as someone who’s here to listen, she’d said. Well, he was listening. He’d try to get closer to Sydney, to get to know the woman behind that killer bod before taking that next big naked-bodies step.

Two hours later, he stood in front of Sydney’s door and knocked.

A few moments passed. She opened the door wearing a pair of clingy jeans and a soft pink blouse. The color shouldn’t have looked right with her red hair, but for some reason it did. She appeared ultra-feminine, soft, touchable.

Fuckable. Shit. He tried to focus on his family’s advice.


“Can I come in? Or is this a bad time?”

She stared at him in shock. “I, uh, yeah, sure. Come on in. I was just doing my weekly cleaning.” She stepped back and allowed him to enter. After closing the door behind her, she turned around—right into his arms.

Finally. He backed her against the door and leaned down to face her, nose to nose.


The whisper of her breath against his lips aroused him to no end. He’d been hard the entire journey to her house, trying to ignore his instincts. Now he had her in his arms, could feel her curves against his body. His resolve to take things slow and simple went out the window. Christ, he wasn’t going to last.

“You left last night before dessert.”

She swallowed. “D-dessert?”

Her full lips parted. Her blue eyes were so dark they looked black. The fiery redhead who’d met him taunt for taunt and laugh for laugh the past three months stared at him with desire in her eyes.

He kissed her before she could protest, and like he’d imagined, she tasted sweet. He tilted the angle of his head to get better depth and plundered her mouth. Her tongue entwined with his, and he groaned into her mouth, caught by the fiery woman he’d wanted for too long.
by Marie Harte

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blackthorne's Light: New and Improved

The best thing about a virtual book shelf is the ability to clean out the clutter with ease. Blackthorne's Light is now better than ever. No more typos, a new cover, and still just .99. Now if only Amazon would update to show on the site what the book really looks like...

When Dara Ellis sets out to do research for a new article, she gets much more than she bargained for.  Vampland is a hedonist's playground. It's the hottest new dance club in town and her inspiration for showing women how to embrace the bad girl within. But it's the club's owner who really gets her pulse racing, first in lust and then in fear when she learns who--and what--he really is. Trey is far more than a creature of the night. He's a flesh and blood man with gifts given from a higher power. Only the love of the right woman can save his soul from the darkness growing closer. But will Dara take a chance on a creature as much myth as man? Or will fear deny the love burning brightly between them?

Purchase from:  AmazonB&N - ARe

Monday, January 28, 2013

A New Book

It's another Monday. Imagine that. 
Today I start a new book. It's always an exciting endeavor. The characters and ideas are fresh. And starting a new book at the beginning of a new work week fits. 

Over the weekend, a few new things came to me as well.
I started Marie's Minions, a Facebook group that functions as my street team--a team to spread the news of my books. If you'd like to join, let me know! ( It's fun, easy, and a great place to make new friends.

I also read a few interesting posts I thought I'd comment on.
  • Writing for money isn't the sole reason one should write, I don't think. Yet wanting to make a living at doing what you love is a worthwhile goal. So I won't apologize for needing a source of income to live or for combining my love for the written word with my desire to be self-employed.
  • Edits are so very, very necessary to good books. I have a habit of wanting to publish my work too soon. A keen reader pointed out errors in one of my stories which are embarrassing, to say the least. And this is a book which had been previously published by an epublisher years ago. Yikes!
  • I saw Hansel and Gretel this past weekend--Friday actually. I highly recommend seeing it on DVD. Sorry Jeremy Renner. Much as I like your film work, what were you thinking when you agreed to do this film? I somewhat enjoyed it, but wow, not a film I'd pay more than matinee fee to see.
  • I'm on the cusp of cementing the decision to attend the RT conference in Kansas City this year. I'm 99% there, I just need to finalize plans.  
And that's all I've got on this fine Monday morning. Now, time for coffee.

Blackthorne's Light - All Romance Ebooks

Blackthorne's Light - All Romance Ebooks

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Words: Talson's Wait

Almost forgot! It's Wednesday, so here's an excerpt from Talson's Wait. A fun futuristic romance. Enjoy!

Talson has Jamie Kendrik in his office for a morning meeting that doesn't go as he planned. At all.

“Kendrik, how long have you worked for me?” He took a sip and sighed. “Can’t start the morning without this. Try the fruit after you take a sip. Gives it a punch.”

She eyed the berries with enthusiasm. She’d heard stories about their addicting flavor, but she’d never eaten one before. Talson popped one into his mouth and looked orgasmic.

Realizing she hadn’t answered his question, she took a quick sip of her coffee and said, “A little more than a year now.”

“And in all that time, have I ever violated our agreement?”

She wondered where he was going with this. “No.”

“Ever tried to hurt you or cheat you out of your due?”

“No sir.” He might be an asshole, but he was an honest asshole. One that carried you home and put you to bed. One you want to wrap your body around and kiss until you can’t breathe.

He nudged her plate closer to her. “Try the berries.”

She took another swallow of coffee then ate a berry. The explosion of delight on her tongue shocked and thrilled her. “Oh my God.” Heat spread throughout her body and centered in the tips of her breasts and her clit. The throbbing sensation stunned her.

“Good, hmm? I love these things.” He ate a few more. “Have another.”

She didn’t think she should. The urge to leap over the desk and kiss her way down Talson’s body grew by the second. “I don’t know…”

“Go on. This is a special treat, a reward for doing such a good job for me. Besides, the fruit actually builds immunity and restores energy. You’ve been working too hard. And after the other day, I worry about you.”

She took another berry and let the juice fill her mouth before she swallowed it down. Jesus, it feels like heaven. She blinked and the cup of coffee met her lips. Talson had rounded his desk and held the cup to her mouth. When had he moved?

“You okay?” He seemed concerned. “Weird. The fruit’s supposed to boost your energy, not suck the life out of you. That’s it. Drink some more. Maybe the caffeine will help.” He sat on the desk in front of her, his groin at eye level.

Bad, bad place for him to sit right now.
Her hands shook with the need to peel his jeans down and take that cock between her lips.

“…think you need to slow down a little. You’re doing a fine job. Best office manager I’ve ever had and you run the schedule as well as our foreman, but don’t tell Bud that.”

What was he saying?

He held the cup to her mouth and she drank it down, thirsty for something else.

“Jamie?” He frowned and neared her, staring into her pupils. “Oh hell. What are you feeling, honey?”

“Honey?” She grinned. “Why, Mr. Talson, how nice. For a major pain in the ass, you’re awfully cute.”

He stared at her. “What?”

“Man, you have no idea what I want to do to you right now.”

“Shit.” He sounded strangled and quickly leaned back. “I thought the fruit would help. I mean, it makes me feel better. But Romy did tell me—Kendrik.”

She stood between his legs and propped her hands on his thighs for balance. She inhaled, and the scent of sweet, sexual need hit her hard. A glance at his crotch showed his arousal.

“Why, Mr. Talson, are you happy to see me?”

“You have no idea,” he muttered. When her hands drifted up his thighs, he gripped her wrists to stop her. “Now, Jamie. Stop this. It’s got to be an effect of the fruit and the caffeine. It’s never hit me hard at all, but maybe you… I’m an idiot.”

“No, you’re a sexy dictator who needs to get laid. Everyone talks about you.” She nuzzled his cheek, taken with the smooth, masculine feel of him. “How you could have any woman you wanted, but you’ve only been seen with one or two in all the time I’ve been here. Why is that?”

Jamie nipped his earlobe, and to her delight, the big man shuddered.

“K-Kendrik. Step back. I take full responsibility for this. I won’t negate the contract.”

“Which part? The section that talks about taking care of your employees? But you are. You saved me from Darren. You gave me a decent place to live.” She wiggled her wrists and he loosened his grip. She took advantage and scooted her hands up his rock-hard thighs again. “You fed me a delicious breakfast.”

He groaned. His breathing grew shallower, and she leaned back to see his expression. To her astonishment, his dark brown eyes looked black, and she swore she could see bands of silver pulsing in the pupils. Otra eyes. Yet Talson had never claimed to be anything but human, his relation to the alien Talsons one of an unfortunate courtship between his human mother and an alien stepfather.

She kissed his chin. “So pretty. Just like in my dreams.”

“Your dreams?” Had his voice always been that low?

Remembering just this morning, she told him about it. “I was in my shower, and you were there. Touching me, stroking me. You kissed me all over.”

He looked as if he wanted to devour her, but he held back. “Fuck. Kendrik—Jamie—please. Just go sit over there on the couch. I’ll get you some water and let this wear off. I’m not going to fuck you.”

She wasn’t sure, but it sounded as though he added not yet under his breath.

“Don’t want to void my contract, hmm?” Per the legal terms of their agreement, if he violated the terms and had sex with her, she’d be free and her debt would be paid. She’d thought about trying to seduce him, but Talson was like a rock, unshakeable in doing the right thing. Even now, the poor guy looked as if he’d explode if she so much as whispered over his lips, but he refused to violate his agreement.

She had to respect that.

“You need it bad, don’t you, sexy?”

“Jamie, let me go and move to the couch.”

“You can’t initiate contact, but I can.”

His entire body locked up tighter than a drum.

She unsnapped his jeans and unzipped him.

“Shit. Jamie, honey, you don’t know what you’re doing. You should—”

His cock sprang free, the huge, hot length of him bound by nothing. His balls were still gripped by the denim of his pants, but the rest of him was there for her pleasure.

She ran a finger over him, sliding over the moist tip of his cock. “You’re a big boy, aren’t you? Just like you were when I dreamed about you last night. When I fantasized this morning and made myself come.”

His gaze shot to hers, and he stared into her eyes with such need and hunger that she couldn’t resist.

Jamie bent over and took his thick cock between her lips. She licked the salty essence of him, and combined with the berries, he tasted sweeter than cream.

“Oh, yes. Oh fuck.

She sucked and felt his hand in her hair. Not holding her down, not pressuring her, but petting her.

She wanted his cum, wanted him to give her something of himself. She controlled this, and she wanted him unglued. Jamie licked and nibbled, more than pleased when he jumped under her tongue and bunched his hands in her hair.

He felt as if he grew in her mouth, and she still hadn’t gone down on all of him. Roarke Talson was a big man.

“Jamie, oh shit. Wait a minute,” he rasped as she rubbed her tongue up, down and under his cockhead. “I’m close, honey. You need to stop. Now, before I—” He moaned the rest as she sucked him hard.

Warm cum spilled into her mouth, the sweetness filling her entire body with throbbing pleasure. Oddly enough, as he came, so did she. A feeling of masculine contentment drifted through her, and she wondered if the berries she’d eaten could produce this kind of hallucination.

Because damned if she didn’t feel his orgasm spurring hers.

“Yes, oh yeah.” Talson ran his fingers over her cheeks and down her hair. He throbbed, his size not diminished at all in her mouth. She sucked harder, wanting all of him, and earned another burst of seed with his moan. His surrender.

More than pleased at the outcome, she finally pulled away and straightened. The sleepy satisfaction on his face overjoyed her, because she’d put it there. Feeling much more clearheaded and full of energy, she stepped back, gave him a jaunty wave, and started for the door.

Over her shoulder, she added, “Thanks for the breakfast, sir. I’ll get started on the manifests going out today.” She took the electronic clipboard hanging beside the door. “Time to get to work.”

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Because It's Pretty

You'll see this again as we get closer to March. A promotional tease for Raising the Bar...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Monday News and Martin Luther King Jr

No matter how hard I try, I never can seem to get to bed before 1 AM. Sigh. While my children attend a basketball camp this morning, I'll be editing a friend's work. At least it's someone else's edits for a change. I thought I was going to shoot myself yesterday after going through line edits for an upcoming story. And what truly scares me--I know more are coming. *groan*

Monday News:
  1. I recently heard word that my next Cougar Falls story starring Miles--an arrogant panther--as well as Making the Grade, a contemporary novella related to Enjoying the Show, has gotten the green light.
  2. After my friend's edits, I'm starting Miles's story. Hurray!
  3. My street team, Marie's Minions, is in full swing. If you want to be a part, please email me at The more the merrier!
  4. I sent out my January newsletter, and it's still January! I'm on a streak in 2013. Awesome.
  5. After today, I get my normal routine back as my kids go back to school.
  6. And lastly, and by no means least, remember Martin Luther King Jr. and all he did and sacrificed for our nation. For the love of mankind.
"I have decided to stick to love...Hate is too great a burden to bear."
  Martin Luther King Jr.,
A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Money Post--A Just How Much Money Can You Make Writing Ebooks Follow-Up

Money is such a funny thing. Everyone wants to know how much everyone else is making, yet no one wants so share answers. And when it comes to the mysterious, secretive world of publishing, people are even worse. If they don't make X amount, does that mean they aren't real writers? Or if Ms. A only make X and Ms. B make much more Y, does that make Ms. B better? (Um, no, it doesn't.)

Man, my head about explodes when dealing with these issues. But you know what? I too was guilty of money anxiety for several years when I started writing. First I had to justify to family that my writing was not a hobby--thus I had to make money at doing what I love. And that's hard to do when you're brand spankin' new. Then too, I wanted to write for a living. No more evil day job. I wanted to plant my butt in front of a computer and earn my share of the family's income from words strung together to make a story. No more sixty-hour work weeks managing  truck drivers, hazardous loads, and tank washes. (Oh boy, do I have stories to tell...)

So fast forward several years. Seven, to be exact. Each year that I've been writing, my income has increased, much to my delighted surprise. I can never tell which books will hit and which will miss. What the readers like is still pretty much a mystery to me, unfortunately. So I write the best book I can, a book I like, and cross my fingers hoping for the best.

And now to the meat of today's post...How Much Can You Make Writing Ebooks in this new 2013 book market? A few years ago, I posted information because I wanted to share what I knew with those asking me questions. When I started writing nearly ten years ago, no one talked about income. Only one friendly author who was writing series for Harlequin took the time and trouble to share some disturbing facts. In 2004, writing was hard, didn't  pay nearly enough, and was almost impossible to make a living doing. And yeah, it's still that way. For a recap, here are those posts I wrote in 2010 and 2011.

The information in this post comes to you from a full-time romance writer. I write erotic romance in several genres, and I write every day, or at least 5 days a week, though usually more. About 5,000 words a day is what I generate, though I've gone as high as 20,000 on an amazing day and 2 on a crappy day. I write on average 9-12 books a year. Some are novellas, some mid-novels, and every now and then I break out into a 90K word story. (I try to do one big project a year). All of my work started out electronic, though more than 20 of my books have gone to print. I make between 35-40% on royalties from my small press publishers, of which Samhain, Loose Id, Ellora's Cave, and Total E-Bound make up the bulk of my income. 

For the second year in a row, I have made six figures writing steamy romances. I write about straight, gay, and bisexual characters. Some are human, some are not. But all of my romances guarantee a happily ever after (HEA). And you know, I write primarily for me. So if I can't get an HEA, what the hell's the point in writing? 

The first few years I started writing, ebooks were a new phenomena.There weren't many publishers, the Kindle and Nook didn't exist,and the market wasn't flooded. I earned $1900 in 2005, $3200 in 2006, and $11,000 in 2007. Back then I was part-time, taking care of my kids full-time while writing when I managed to fit it in. In 2008 I grossed $21,000 and in 2009, $38,000.  And all the while, I wrote and wrote. I did my own taxes using Turbo Tax and ended up being VERY frugal with my income, living off my ex's, too concerned about owing on taxes.

TAXES: Someone asked how much I put aside for taxes each month. Well, it depends on my monthly income. I am not a tax person and don't know much about accounting, so please do not use my guidance as solid advice. However, when I started out, I read a terrific post by John Scalzi (who at that time had made $100K, writing, for ten years--so I took his advice to heart) about writing and the business side of things. It's still pertinent today. To that end, when I received my first royalty check, I put aside half of everything I earned. I didn't pay my taxes until the end of the year up and through 2008, owing a ton of money in April 2009. So after I took that hit, through TurboTax, I paid quarterly estimates. I still owed a lot of money the next year, but not as much, and I had a good idea of what I'd end up owing.

Writers don't normally have much in the way of write-offs. At least, I don't. I have a computer. A home office. Postage and book fees (because I have to read what's current to know what's marketable.) And the occasional conference to include travel and meal fees. That's it. 

As I made more money each year, I realized paying quarterly estimates and Turbo Tax weren't cutting it. In 2010 I earned $64,000 and got hit hard by Uncle Sam. I also learned that I was getting crushed by not having incorporated, since my Schedule C was having me pay at an astronomically large tax rate. (Note, at this time I was also married and filing jointly with two incomes.)

I learned my lesson and hired an accountant. (I somehow remember someone saying that once you hit that $50-60K mark, it's time to incorporate. But DON'T do this without talking to a qualified expert.) I am now incorporated and it's giving me huge advantages in tax savings. I use Quick Books. I pay myself a monthly salary, in addition to withholdings and unemployment to state and federal every month, and am finally comfortable that at tax time I am not going to have to bend over and take a reaming.

Two years, 6 figures in earnings. How? Why? Most people don't know my name. Megan Hart? Treva Harte? No. Marie Harte. But I have books that have done me proud and allowed me to work from home, writing all day long. Best. Job. Ever. In my opinion, there are a few keys to making it in this business on your own. Again, I'm not an expert, but I listen, I read the loops, and I watch and continue to learn.
1. Write what you love. If you don't like it, readers will sense it. Those idiots who decide to write erotica just because it sells and it's "easy" (don't get me started) aren't living on easy street and sipping margaritas in between books. Trust me.
2. You need backlist. If you're new, backlist takes time. But it's rare to find a brand new author making millions from just one book. Even Amanda Hocking put her time in, marketed the hell out of her books, and continued to write.
3.  If you go with a small publisher, find one with a decent track record, or at least an audience. It's easy nowadays to find small electronic publishers all over the place. But if you're getting paid monthly or quarterly, and their bestseller earns $20 in three months, you aren't going to see a huge income. Yes, third party distributors like Amazon and Kobo are great, but if your publisher is small and has no audience, I'm also betting edits are crappy and the cover art is shoddy. (For example--in it's first month with Ellora's Cave, Namesake earned me $3,435. This was a nice shock, and it hasn't happened since with my other books there, but it's possible.)
4.  Covers sell books. Period. Sad to say, but a crappy cover does you no favors. With the amount of books out there now, you have to stand out. And not in a bad way.
5.  Edits are a must. If you can't spell or use commas and are self-publishing, hire someone who knows grammar. And if you're with a traditional print or e-publisher and their edits suck, time to bail.
6.  Build your audience. That means promotion. Even the Big 6--or what's left of them--have most of their authors doing all their own promotion. It's the way of the world nowadays. Facebook, Twitter, a website, newsletters. You have to get out there. Not to the extent that your writing suffers, however.
7. Write. This goes without saying, but you can't write one book, spend a year promoting, it, and sit back and expect to hit billions. Not writing ebooks. Again, backlist is the magic word.
8. Luck. Hate to say it, but I still don't know why Enjoying the Show (ETS)has sold more than any of my other books. I love it, don't get me wrong. It's a light male/female romance. No one's hanging from chandeliers. It's enjoyable and the Warren brothers are a trip, but I've written better books since then. Yet ETS has sold over 48,000 copies since it's publication in Dec 2007. (Note: The book went on sale at Amazon in 2011, I believe. I wonder how well ETS would have done if it had been in a print without that electronic shelf life?) 

I have a life outside of writing, one that involves kids that eat like there's no tomorrow, writer friends, the PTA (don't laugh), a hard road of exercise as I struggle back to fitness, and a lazy disposition I constantly struggle to overcome with discipline. It is now Saturday. I have seen my 4th grader's first basketball game, and I'm typing up this blog post. I've been working hard on a new Facebook street team to help promote my work, and as soon as I publish this post, I will work on a project I meant to have finished yesterday. On Monday, I start a new novella I'm hoping to have done in two weeks, three max. 

Writing for a living is possible, but it won't happen if you don't work for it. Not lecturing, just stating fact. Oh,and have a large pot of coffee on hand before you type that first word. I forgot to mention that. 

If you have questions, let me know. I'm also happy to talk about anything else, to include my experiences with various publishing houses, offline.

Marie Harte
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