With our new column Adventures in Self-Publishing, we bring you at look at this ever-expanding market: going in-depth to see what types of titles readers can find, sharing special extended reviews and getting the how-to of self-publishing, straight from authors who are doing it on their own.
Today, Marsha Canham tells us how she and five other fan-favorite authors who have traditionally been print published, decided to release their own e-anthology, Masters of Seduction. Learn how this group of writers came together for the project, why they believe it makes e-book history and how you can get your hands on this new anthology!
Masters of Seduction includes six original short stories by Virginia Henley, Jacquie D'Alessandro, Jill Gregory, Sherri Browning Erwin, Julie Ortolon, and myself. The six of us, along with Connie Brockway and Julia London, have been on a private email loop for over 12 years. Kathleen Givens, who we lost far too soon on New Years Day 2010, made up the ninth member of a pithy, witty group of women who met while we were all writing for Dell. When Random House merged with Bantam and Dell, there was a bit of a bloodletting and most of us were cut free and had to find other publishers. The nine of us stuck together via daily emails and through the years we have celebrated making the New York Times lists, the USA Today lists; we've shared our victories, commiserated with defeats, watched each other's children and grandchildren grow, and wept together over tragedies and heartbreaks that have affected our lives.
About a year ago the eight of us were discussing this brave new world of e-book self-publishing. Julie Ortolon was the first one to climb on board the wave and she dragged me—hesitantly at first—along with her. Each of us had backlist books that had been languishing in obscurity for as much as 20 years in my case, so it was with a new sense of adventure that we set about publishing them ourselves through Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Sony, Apple...etc.
Years ago, we had toyed with the idea of publishing an anthology together. Back then, we quickly realized the great idea could become a nightmare if we had to coordinate agents and publishers, decide who would sell it, who would represent it. It was just too complicated, so the idea faded away.
It surfaced again when Julie and I rode the wave into self-publishing. Eight stories could easily be combined in one e-book involving no one but the authors themselves. We had eight very distinctive styles ranging from swashbuckling adventure through big lusty historicals to steampunk vampires through the Wild West to present day Texas, but did that diversity stop us? No, we just got a little more creative. We came up with the idea of having something travel through the centuries, in this case a mirrored pendant. The pendant is featured prominently in each romantic short story, beginning with its creation in the jeweler's hands in Medieval England, to being on display in a museum in present day Texas. Two of the Loopies unfortunately had to drop out of the project due to deadlines and commitments elsewhere, but the six of us kept the secret well under wraps, waiting for the final launch date of December 1. As an added bonus, we have the first (that we know of) step back cover for an e-book, two striking images for our aptly titled, Masters of Seduction.
And yes, we're already talking about a second book, Masters of Temptation!
- Marsha Canham
You can check out the *Web Exclusive Review* of this anthology and pick up your own copy of Masters of Seduction online today. And for more digital book coverage be sure to check out our Everything E-Book Page!