Saturday, March 30, 2013

Into the Home Stretch on Hard As It Gets! #wip

Happy Easter to all who celebrate it!

I know things have been quiet around here guys, and for that I apologize! I've been on a writing marathon of epic proportions getting the first book in my Hard Ink series, called HARD AS IT GETS, done on deadline! I just realized that, by the time I'm done writing HARD AS IT GETS on Monday, when the book is due to my editor, I will have written about 155,000 words so far in 2013! *boggles* 

Here's what's keeping me so busy right now... Have you seen the cover and blurb for HARD AS IT GETS yet? 

Tall, dark, and lethal... 

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome-pure catnip to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too. 

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees. 

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge... 

Pre-Order!
Please consider adding to your Amazon wish list!
Add to Goodreads!

Thanks so much for reading!
Laura

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cover Reveal for Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink #1)! Woot!

I am beyond thrilled to share the first cover in my Hard Ink edgy contemporary romance series, coming out on November 26. Take a gander at this!

Here's the blurb:


Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome-pure catnip to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge...

Pre-Order!
Please consider adding to your Amazon wish list!

So, what d'ya think??? :bounce: :bounce: LOL!

Thanks for stopping by!
Laura

If you'd like to host the pre-order badge for HAIG, please feel free to grab it from here:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Welcome Guest Author Sara Brookes! #GeekKink #Erotic

Welcome Guest Author
Sara Brookes
to the blog for her Release Day!

To help Sara celebrate the release of her newest book, I'm turning my blog over to her for the day. Read on...

Yippee—it’s release time for Taking Over Me, the first book of my Geek Kink series! To help me celebrate, some fantastic friends of mine are gracious enough to give me a hand (A list of them can be found over on my site here...) So here’s the blurb and a little snippet (there are four different snippets around the blitz). Be sure to stick around, there’s a giveaway at the end.
He’s everything she didn’t know she needed…

 Allison would rather fix computers than worry about sex. That is, until the newest barista in town changes everything. All it takes is one hot stare with his sinful baby blues to remind her she’s not just one of the guys. She has lusty needs only he can fulfill.

 Patrick’s coffee shop is on the verge of an epic failure, until Allison takes charge of his computer system. He may not know anything about motherboards, but he does know how to take control—in and out of bed. Now Patrick is determined to get what he wants—Allison in his cuffs. His sensual mastery awakens an intense passion and under his command, he’ll unlock the geek girl’s darkest desires.


Warning: Collars. Cuffs. Clamps. Coffee.

You may never look at your local barista the same way again.
Excerpt:

Patrick watched, enthralled, as Allison set the bag down on a high table and slid a stack of thin glossy comic books out of the bag. Each issue was handled delicately, as if it was a precious object that needed to be held with care. He didn’t see anything in the hoard of books he recognized, but since he hadn’t seen or touched a comic book since childhood, he didn’t find that especially surprising.

He wanted to ask her about her attraction to each when his gaze fell on her face. The words caught in his throat as he became struck speechless by the sheer joy in her expression. Her chocolate-colored eyes were bright and a touch of pink darkened her cheeks.

She’d looked the very same way last night when he’d brought her screaming over the edge. He watched in fascination as she carefully scanned each book while she held it with her fingertips. This was so much more than a hobby for her. This was a very serious and unshakable passion.

Arousal pooled in his groin as he watched. When the sensation flourished without any encouragement, he realized he couldn’t wait until later. He had to have her now. Where they stood positioned them perfectly so they were hidden if someone glanced into the room. Coming fully into the room was a different matter, but that had never stopped Patrick before.

Sliding closer, he slipped his hand along her back. She squirmed, giggling softly when his fingers dipped below the hem of her skirt. In one quick motion, he lifted her skirt over her hips. Her gasp filled the small space, arrowing straight to his cock. She moved to stand, but he slid closer, dipping two fingers inside her pussy. Her elbow hit against the table, causing her to cry out in pain.

“Al? You okay?”

“I’m fine, Tony. Just being a klutz.” A moan rumbled in her throat as Patrick drove his fingers into her harder, leaning close.

“I’m going to have you.”

“Okay, let me check—”

“It wasn’t a request.” Patrick lowered his voice. “I’m going to fuck you. Right here. Right now.”

~*~

Sara Brookes is an award-winning author has always been fascinated by the strange, the unusual, the twisted and the lost (tortured heroes are her personal favorite). She is an action movie junkie, addicted to coffee and has been known to stay up until the wee hours of the morning playing RPG video games. Despite all this, she is a romantic at heart and is always a sucker for an excellent love story. Born and bred in Virginia, Sara still lives there with her husband and daughter. The entire family is owned by two cats, Galahad and Loki, who graciously allow the family to cater to their every desire.

Sara can be found on the web at:
Giveaway Details:


One winner will be chosen from the Rafflecopter entries for a special Swag Pack (with a limited-edition coffee mug for the coffee shop featured in Taking Over Me). Entries will be accepted from midnight 3/20 and run through midnight 3/27 (all times EST). If you’re unfamiliar with Rafflecopter, it’s an easy way to earn extra entries to the contest! But remember, it’s only mandatory to comment. 
Thanks for reading! Now leave Sara some release day comment love!

Laura

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Welcome Guest Author Kimberly Kincaid #FoodieRomance

Welcome Guest Author
Kimberly Kincaid
to the blog!
See below for her giveaway!
Welcome!  Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

I write contemporary foodie romance, both novella length and full single-title. I’m just me—it’s hard enough to keep up with one persona!

LOL! Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

My current release is a foodie novella titled Love on the Line. It takes a rough, gruff cop, adds a sexy, soulful chef, a dash of mystery, and a whole lot of heat in the kitchen. A companion novella (as yet untitled) will be out this summer to go with it.

Awesome! Which character is your favorite and why?

This is a tough call, because I am quite attached to both Violet and Noah (my heroine and hero). But to be honest, I have a soft spot for Violet’s brother, Jason. He’s got a great sense of humor, and those Caribbean-blue eyes don’t hurt him, either!

I’m sure they don’t! *g* As the author, what surprised you about this story?

That it even came to be! I was lucky enough to have time in between projects for Kensington (my publisher), and when my agent suggested I write a novella or two, I jumped on it. In terms of the story, I had planned to make Noah’s family more of a focal point. But the bond between Violet and Jason kind of surprised me with its strength every time they both hit the page, so I ended up highlighting that instead.

Will there be any sequels or other books in the same series?

Yes! Jason’s story will be out this summer.

What was the hardest thing for you about writing this story?

Coming up with the original idea. I had several stutter-starts, both of which looked nothing like Love On The Line. I had wanted to go lighter, but the cop/chef combination kept tumbling back into my head, begging to be written. In the end, I couldn’t say no!

What are you working on right now?

I’m writing Jason’s story, as well as a full-length manuscript that would continue my Pine Mountain series with Kensington. It’s got a fair amount of RS in it, like Love On The Line, and I am enjoying it a lot!

Good luck with them both! What happened to the first book you ever wrote?

It plays with the dust bunnies under my bed J The first three books I wrote are under there, although I’ve cannibalized parts of two of them to use in other stories. But that first one is a doozy. Let’s just say I’ve learned a lot in four years!

LOL Love it! What do you find easiest and hardest to write?

Easiest is a tie—characters and dialogue. I never have trouble coming up with my people, and putting words into their mouths is pretty easy for me. It’s conflict that’s a killer. I hate messing with them, even though I know they’ll be happy in the end. My critique partners are constantly asking me, “But how can you make it *worse* for them?”

Ooh, I identify with this a lot! Have you incorporated actual events or people from your own life into your books?

I am notorious for snagging things my friends and family say and twisting it to suit my purpose! For example, in Love On The Line, one of Noah’s funniest lines is something my husband says all the time. But as far as actual people, no. Everyone I write, and everything that happens to those characters is completely fictional. Otherwise people would avoid me!

Is there a theme or message that runs through your work?

Definitely food. And feisty heroines. And really, really hot heroes. Even though they differ greatly.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

I have a pretty bold personality, but I would never in a million years go skydiving (a bold maneuver) The plane would have to be going down in flames for me to even consider it. Truly.

*snarf* Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?

The Black Dagger Brotherhood, by JR Ward. Hands down. It doesn’t get any better than edgy, dark, sexy vampires and the heroines who steal their hearts.

I knew I liked you. Couldn’t agree more!

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

This is a hard one for me, but I think it’s the hero I’m writing in my full length manuscript right now. From the minute I wrote him into the first Pine Mountain book, I knew his story was going to be a whopper. And so far, it hasn’t disappointed!

Okay, now, just for fun:

Milk chocolate or dark chocolate? Depends, but usually dark

Salty or sweet? Definitely salty. Please pass the chips.

Bed or kitchen table? What happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen J

Beach or mountains? Mountains

Give or receive? I’m totally a giver!

Love On The Line Excerpt:

As soon as Noah got behind her, the smell of coconuts and warm sand filled his senses, delivering a crystal clear image to his brain. His heart slammed in his ribcage, and without thinking, he cupped Violet’s elbow and swung her around, so tight to his body that he felt her gasp as much as heard it.

“You were in my hospital room yesterday. Before I woke up.”

“I…I—”

But he barreled on, the memory as bright and vivid as if it had just happened a minute ago. “Your hair was braided, on your shoulders, and you were wearing a…a bracelet that sounded like wind chimes. You said the doctor was coming. It was you.”

The fan of her gold-tipped lashes fluttered wide, and the warm puff of her breath heated his cheek as she nodded. “I didn’t mean to intrude. I was looking for Jason, but I didn’t think you’d wake up.”

Noah shook his head to quell her apology. “It doesn’t matter,” he said, his resolve locking into place, and Violet went utterly still against him.

“It doesn’t?”

“No. You’re the first thing I’ve been able to remember since I got shot in the first place. In fact, you’re the only thing I can remember since I got shot.”
Where can we find you on the web?

Book blurbs, buy links, newsletter sign up, it’s all at www.kimberlykincaid.com
Giveaway!
One commenter who leaves their email address will win an ebook of Love On The Line! Open to international. Giveaway ends midnight EST 3/24. Good luck!
Thanks so much for reading, everyone! Leave Kimberly some new release comment love!

Laura

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Talk about an #Irish Kiss! #Vampires #SundaySnippet

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'm marking the occasion with an excerpt from my only title set in Ireland, In the Service of the King (Vampire Warrior Kings #1). The third book in this series, Taken by the Vampire King has just gone up for pre-order (Amazon | B&N) and releases on August 1, so now's a great time to catch up on the first two books if you haven't already. Now, without further ado, here's a sexy taste of Kael and Shayla from In the Service of the King

Kael fisted his hands in her hair but couldn't decide whether to pull her away or hold her there forever. Definitely forever. Now that he'd accepted the magic weaving around them, he felt it down deep. Being with Shayla this way was as right as breathing, as drinking blood. Her tongue curled around his right canine and he sucked in a breath and growled. His fangs were so fucking sensitive and her tongue was relentless.

He groaned, then grabbed her shoulders and forced her backward until her body met the tall column of the iron poster on the bed. It took a little effort and even more resolve to release her from the kiss, to give up her stroking of his fangs. But his patience had just run into the negative.

Shayla gasped as her back bumped into the cold metal, which he imagined got colder as he pushed the robe the rest of the way off her arms.

"Arms up and grasp onto the post."
Talk about an Irish kiss! LOL

I hope you all have a great Sunday, and happy celebrations to those with St. Patty's Days events to enjoy!

Thanks for reading!
Laura

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Marco & Alyssa go to #France! #HerForbiddenHero

Hey everyone! I'm so excited to share the cover for my first book ever translated into a foreign language! Back in August, both Her Forbidden Hero and One Night with a Hero sold to the French publisher Jai Lu, and now HFH is hitting the shelves! One Night with a Hero will follow in August. 

Her Forbidden Hero has had an interesting journey with covers. In May 2012, the book debuted in Entangled's Indulgence line, and then in October 2012, it was re-covered and shifted over to Entangled's sexier Brazen line to match the second book in the series, One Night. So the new French cover actually marks the third visual representation of Marco and Alyssa's story. And I'm just so tickled I had to share: 


Buy the English version on B&N | Amazon | Kobo
Buy the French version on Amazon France


Marco would just devour Alyssa if he saw her in that shirt. And the woman is such a good Alyssa. I just have to raise a glass to Jai Lu and say thank you for giving Her Forbidden Hero a great French release!

Which one's your favorite? :)

Thanks for reading! Come back later in the week for MORE cover goodness... Ahem!

Laura

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Celebrating the Release of #YA #Poison in Memory of Bridget Zinn

Two days ago, on March 12, author Bridget Zinn's debut young adult novel Poison released from Disney Hyperion. The sale and publication of your first novel is a HUGE deal, and Bridget started out right at the top. Which is just one reason her death from cancer on May 25, 2011, was such an amazing tragedy.

I didn't know Bridget. She was gone before my career really began. But I feel a kinship with her obvious love of books and words and characters and stories. A woman fighting for her life, her very last tweet on May 18 was "Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect." I think she and I could've been great friends.

So, today, I'm celebrating Bridget's incredible achievement by sharing a first from my career, pimping her book, and asking you to give it a look. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could get Poison to hit a list in her memory?

I remember the very first time I got THE CALL.

Now, by the time it had happened, I'd already sold three books to small e-publishers. And in all three cases, I can assure you that the emails that arrived with the good news they they actually wanted to publish my book were heralded and celebrated and squeed over. But there's nothing like an actual call from an actual editor with an actual offer.

On Wednesday morning, June 22, 2011, I was working at my desk when the phone rang. I ignored it at first. I almost always ignore the house phone when it rings during the day. But for some reason I looked up and saw it was a 212 area code. New York. Now, two weeks before, after nine months of waiting to hear, a Harlequin editor had sent me a note saying my story needed some tweaks but she was enjoying it. So I was primed to think a 212 number might be imporant. And, in fact, it was. The very calm, pleasant voice on the other end of the line was Tara Gavin, then Senior Executive Editor for Harlequin's Silhouette Nocturne line, calling with an offer to buy not just the one book I'd submitted, but one more just like it, both for their new Cravings line of paranormal novellas.

I stood up. I sat down. I stood up. I circled my office. I sat down again. I did an Elaine dance while struggling to keep my voice perfectly normal and rational. I was shaking and my heart was beating so hard I felt like I might pass out. And when we hung up, I screamed so loud I woke my dog up from a sound sleep and he barked. LOL

That first was one of many great moments I've had so far in my career. And I've never been more grateful for everyone one of them than I am today.

So, without further ado, here's Bridget Zinn's debut novel, Poison:
Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she's the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom's future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend. 

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses. 

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king's army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she's not alone. She's armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can't stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her? 

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she's certainly no damsel-in-distress—she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

Purchase your copy


About Bridget Zinn



Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell. They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the "summer of love" and the two celebrated with several more weddings. Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was "Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect."


Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers' copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.


With hugs and gratitude, thanks for reading,

Laura

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Heather Long is Celebrating Two New Releases! #Marines #Vampires

Welcome Heather Long
on Her Release Day!

Welcome, Heather!  Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

A multi-published author, Heather Long lives in Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel.

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

Combat Barbie is a high school reunion story about a beauty queen (literally) turned Marine and the one guy in high school who makes her feel nostalgic, the nerd turned millionaire, Kyle. Their reunion is made even sweeter by a mutual attraction they both feel comfortable about exploring.

Ooh, sounds fun! Which character is your favorite and why?

Hard to pick one over the other—particularly because Mary “Stormer” Phillips made her first appearance with Jazz and Roxy in No Regrets, No Surrender—I thoroughly enjoyed exploring her story at home. Kyle, on the other hand, was the geek made millionaire because he had the brains and the drive to make it happen. Nerd is definitely the new sexy.

I love that! *g* As the author, what surprised you about this story?

The organic connection these two experienced when they ran into each other, their conversations—they were fun and natural. From their coffee conversation to their texting to their dating—it just flowed beautifully.

Will there be any sequels or other books in the same series?

I have several more releases coming in the Always a Marine series. This was the first Woman in Uniform, but I plan to write several more.

Awesome! What are you working on right now?

I just turned in Always a Marine #13 – A Marine Affair. Next up Soulgirls #4, my paranormal Las Vegas romance—fun, flirty, and lots of passion.

Go you! What happened to the first book you ever wrote?

It’s still hidden in a drawer somewhere.

LOL! What do you find easiest and hardest to write?

Action scenes are my favorite and the easiest, even though the choreography is tricky. The hardest are the deeply emotional scenes because they can be brutal.

Have you incorporated actual events or people from your own life into your books?

Yes. Wink But not all of them know that.

Is there a theme or message that runs through your work?

Characters come first. In everything I write, it’s the story of people—the situation may change, the setting may change—but people fascinate me.

Love that! What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

I am a high school drop out. I left high school at 16, finished my GED at 18, then went to college. It took me 12 years on and off to finish my Associates Degree, but I have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s now. It was never about minding school or education, I love education—I think I could go to school for the rest of my life as long as I got to learn something new.

Which romance book or series (or other genre, if you don’t write romance) do you wish you had written?

The Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh or Mercedes Thompson by Patricia Briggs—those books are pure magic on a stick.

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

Um…let’s see if I can give you my favorites by series:

Kid is one of my favorites in the Fevered Hearts series – that poor boy has been through so much and he has so much more to go.

In my Marines, it’s a toss up between Logan Cavanaugh and Brody Essex. I love them all, I really do, but if pressed—yes they are two of my favs!

In my Fortunate Buddha series, Jared Parker has to be one of the absolute best heroes I ever had the opportunity to write. He appears in The Lady is a Thief

In Soulgirls—Minion always cracks me up. You can meet her in Into the Spotlight!

Love it! Okay, now, just for fun:

Milk chocolate or dark chocolate?   Dark

Salty or sweet?  Salty

Bed or kitchen table? Bed

Beach or mountains? Mountains

Give or receive? Give
The high school beauty queen… 

The face of baby food, the darling of surfing commercials, and the exotic stunner who walked away with the Miss California title at eighteen, Mary Phillips has heard “you’re so beautiful” from childhood on. Tired of being her mother’s personal Barbie, she traded in her tiara and a lucrative modeling contract for combat boots and life as a Marine. She’s lost good friends and seen more walking wounded than she cares to admit, but this Marine wouldn’t trade her assignment for all the Manolo Blahniks in the world.
 
What does it matter she has no one waiting at home?
 
The class nerd…Kyle Stewart heard every variation as he went through school: nerd, geek, four-eyes, weirdo—and he rolled with it. He could count on one hand the number of girls who ever deigned to talk to him about something other than tutoring. But as the only self-made millionaire from his graduating class, he has the last laugh.
 
A high school reunion…
 
Despite the invitation, Mary didn’t plan to attend the ten-year reunion. The last thing she wanted to hear was—”you could have been so much, what happened?” But running into Kyle at the local coffee shop reminds her that not everyone judges by appearance. Kyle once swore to rub his former tormentors noses in his success, but when the reunion rolls around, he’s reluctant to go. Seeing Mary again encourages him to confront his one lingering regret, and the millionaire dares to reach for happiness.
 
Can Combat Barbie and her nerd overcome the past to love another day?

Fifty years ago, Jeannie Williams made her way to Las Vegas seeking fame and fortune. Instead, she lost her soul and wound up performing nightly shows at the Arcana Royale. Every day, she straps on her feathers, her glitter, her stilettos, and she dances. Every day, it’s the same.
 
Until the day he walks in.

 For six centuries, Malcolm Reynolds has been the go-to guy for anything his family needs: warrior, diplomat, wrangler, researcher, and now an attorney. He enters the Arcana Royale Casino, intent on negotiating the release of his cousin’s bad debt, but one look at the golden-skinned showgirl ignites a fire of need that he’s never experienced. When the fantasy come true sits at his table, words he never expected to hear come out of her lush mouth: “I need your help.”

Now he’s in for the toughest battle of his life, because the Overseers own both his cousin’s debt and her soul. And he’s not planning on leaving the Royale without either one.

 Warning: Contains high-stakes games, sexy showgirls, and a powerful showdown between a vampire that can’t lose and the House that never does. Spells, slots, sirens and sex, oh my!

Where can we find you on the web?

Please leave Heather some new release love for Into the Spotlight! Marines or vampires?! How can you go wrong?

Thanks for reading!
Laura

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Royalty Rates Matter. Here's Why. #math #business

Writing is a business. Many of us hope to do it full-time or be able to significantly supplement our daytime job's income. And that means you need to understand how a writer makes money. (Warning: strap in! There will be math! LOL)
Writers get money from book sales in two ways: ADVANCES and ROYALTIES. Advances are up-front payments against royalties that a publisher pays an author upon a book's sale. Sometimes they are paid all in one lump payment upon signing a contract, and sometimes they are spread out over three or four installments, for example, at signing of contract, at delivery of manuscript, upon publication. With an advance, you don't begin making royalties until you've "earned out" the advance amount. Most e-publishers do not pay advances or pay only small advances. Most New York publishers pay advances, and those can range from $1,000 to 7 figures (the average is at the lower end - see Brenda Hiatt's uber useful survey of earnings by publisher). Royalties are monies earned from actual sales of books to consumers. These are paid by the publisher either quarterly (4x a year), biannually (2x a year), or monthly (12x a year). Because online book vendors don't pay publishers anywhere from 45-90 days after a month ends for that month's sales, your royalty statement will always reflect books sold 1-2 quarters ago (self-publishers can see their sales in real time). 

The amount of the royalty received per book depends on the royalty rate. Royalty rates vary widely, especially among e-publishers, but also between New York publishers, e-publishers, and self-publishers. Sometimes royalty rates are based on a percentage of the cover price, which is advantageous because it doesn't matter what the "discount rate" is (more on that in a moment) - no matter what, 40% of cover is 40% of cover is 40% of cover. More often, royalty rates are based off of the net proceeds received by a publisher from a vendor (Amazon, bn.com, etc.). "Net" proceeds are always lower than the cover price because they reflect the "discount rate" a publisher offers a distributor or vendor so that the distributor or vendor can make a profit when it turns around and sells a book. For example, if a book retails for $2.99, Amazon takes between 30% and 45% (the exact amount of the discount rate is determined by the publisher-vendor relationship) of that for its service in selling the book and gives the remaining 70% or 55% of each sale to the publisher - those are the percentages from which a net royalty is determined. So, under the 70% discount rate, a publisher would receive $2.09 per book; under the 55% discount rate, the publisher would receive $1.64 per book. Those are the amounts from which you'd figure your net royalties. So, if an author's royalty rate was 35% of net, here's what this big paragraph would mean in practical terms:

  • $2.99 book x 70% discount = $2.09 net proceeds x .35% of net royalty rate = 73 cents per book to the author
  • $2.99 book x 55% discount = $1.64 net proceeds x .35% of net royalty rate = 58 cents per book to the author

Making sense so far??? *g*

A common New York ebook royalty rate is 25% of net. A common e-publisher ebook royalty rate is 35% of net. Again, this can vary. Many e-publishers' rates are available online as part of their submissions information.

Self-publishers generally avoid the issue of "net" royalties because they don't have a publisher middle-man taking its cut for cover art, editing, marketing, distribution, etc. Self-publishers provide those services for themselves out of pocket. Self-publishers still have to deal with discount rates, however. And, with some exceptions, they operate like this:

  • Amazon: Offers 70% of cover for books priced $2.99 and above; 35% of cover for books priced below $2.99 (Thus, using the first bulleted point above, an author would pocket the entirety of the $2.09 net proceeds per book)
  • B&N: Offers 65% of cover for books priced $2.99 and above; 40% of cover for books priced below $2.99
  • Thanks to Killian McRae for letting me pick her brain on self-publishing royalty rates!

NOTE: In all of the cases described above, there are variations in the discount rate vendors charge for books on promotion, books sold through foreign outlets, etc. So what I've laid out so far is most accurate for regular priced book sales sold within the U.S.

Your royalty rates are therefore very important for determining how much money you, as the author, receive for every book you sell. Which means that the royalty rate a publisher offers you when it offers to buy your book needs to be considered and weighed carefully. You may be super eager to make that first sale, but if the royalty rate is really low, you'll need to decide if the advantages of that publisher, etc., outweigh the disadvantages of the low rate (a cost-benefit analysis). It may not seem like there's a huge difference between 30% or 35% of net, or between 20% of net and 20% of cover, but the numbers tell a different story--one you should know before you have to decide whether to accept a contract offer.

The below table lays out what an author would receive in sales income from a book priced at $2.99 with a 70% discount rate (i.e., where the publisher or self-publisher would receive $2.09 per book). As an FYI, this table is meant as an illustration and does not reflect any of my books specifically. Take a look at the difference by royalty rate:



Now, perhaps the difference between receiving 73 cents for a book (35% of net) and $1.20 for a book (40% of cover) doesn't seem that great to you. After all, how important is 47 cents these days? Based on just one book's sales, not much. BUT. Look what happens to the total income once you've sold 100, 1,000, 10,000, or 100,000 copies.
  • 100 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $47
  • 1,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $470
  • 10,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $4,700
  • 100,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $47,000
All of a sudden, that 47 cents makes a big difference. Huge.

What about the difference between a royalty rate that is 20% of net and 20% of cover on a $2.99 book? 
  • 100 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $18
  • 1,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $180
  • 10,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $1,800
  • 100,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $18,000
How about the difference between, say, 30% of net and 35% of net:
  • 100 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $4
  • 1,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $40
  • 10,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $400
  • 100,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $4,000
Over the life of a book, even a 5% difference in royalties can impact your bottom line by thousands of dollars.

Now, I haven't tried my hand at self-publishing yet, but if you can be successful at it, the numbers are compelling. Look at the difference between a high ebook royalty rate (40% of cover) and self-publishing through Amazon (70% of cover):
  • 100 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $89
  • 1,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $890
  • 10,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $8,900
  • 100,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $89,000

Or, alternately between a low ebook royalty rate (20% of net) and self-publishing through Amazon (70% of cover):
  • 100 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $167
  • 1,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $1,670
  • 10,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $16,700
  • 100,000 books sold at these two royalties = difference of $167,000

Uh huh. Just soak that in for a moment.

Now, of course, self-publishers bear a lot more of the risk. They have to lay out up-front, out-of-pocket money for a cover, editing, copyediting, formatting, marketing, etc. Not only do all these activities take time away from writing, but they can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $3,000 depending on how much you hire out to others to do. So a self-publisher may have to sell between 1,000 and 2,000 books before the money they receive covers their start-up costs and becomes profit. Everyone knows of the growing number of self-publishing success stories - just look at the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists, but it's worth saying that those huge success stories still remain a minority, at least for now.

It's also worth noting that New York's lower (often 25% of net) digital royalty rate is predicated upon the idea that their printing of paperback books, distribution of those paperbacks, and ability to get those print books shelved is a value add that gives authors sales and exposure that offset the lower digital royalty rate. Again, the results of each individual's cost-benefit analysis may vary.

The above chart also demonstrates the importance of having a backlist (multiple already published titles) to turning your writing into a reliable income generator. If you have four $2.99 books at 35% of net, let's say, each selling 1,000 copies per quarter, that means you can expect a combined royalty payment of $2,920 ($730 x 4) or $11,680 in a year. They say "backlist is king" because you've already done the work, yet those books keep bringing in money. And, generally, each new release not only creates a spike in all of your books' sales, but strengthens the selling power of your backlist in general because you're creating new ways for readers to find you with each book.

All of this is a very long way (I know, I know!) of saying that royalty rates matter. So do your homework, know your business, and may you have many, many sales!

Thanks so much for reading! Please feel free to share or link. I'll do my best to answer any questions. And, if I got something wrong here, don't hesitate to let me know!

Laura