Tag Archive | me cinderella

I Just Turned Down a Publishing Deal with Amazon

Holy butts, Batman! One of Montlake’s editors (the Amazon romance imprint) emailed me last week:

I wanted to reach out to you because I read Me, Cinderella? and thought it was fantastic. Do you have a few minutes this week to chat on the phone? I’d love to know more about the rights to your wonderful novel and tell you about our imprint.

Naturally, I was thrilled. A real publisher wanted my work! I chatted with her briefly on the phone and asked her a ton of questions: What kind of cover would they create for me? What promotions would they do? What control would I have over everything? Although I was excited to work with Amazon, I wanted to know that they would treat my book right. She told me my novel was a great read and very clean writing, and that she would love to “partner” with me in relaunching my book through Amazon’s imprint.

However, she couldn’t guarantee anything – from cover image to pricing to marketing. The advance they offered was less than I had made in my first month of sales. As I looked through the Montlake catalogue, I saw a mix of breakout hits and complete flops, with some recent books that just had the worst covers imaginable for romance. And I would have to pull my book from every publisher except Amazon.

It was hard for me to say no. Ever since I was a little girl I’d dreamed about being a ‘published author‘.  However, I needed to make the best decision for my book and for my fans. I realized that although the praise from the editor boosted my ego, the praise that really matters comes from my readers. They are the ones who’ll make or break my books, and I want to make sure that I’m always doing the right thing by them.  If I mess up, I want it to be something I can fix. I’m a control freak like that.

So sorry, Amazon. It’s not you, it’s me.




Me, Cinderella? is out now on Amazon / Barnes and Noble


edit: I wanted to reply to this comment, since I realized that the cover links might be misinterpreted.

“However, I think your blog does give one fairy serious piece of misinformation.

None of those covers you link to are Montlake covers. All of the covers linked to are former Avalon books which Montlake bought the rights to. No, they didn’t put the money into re-doing the covers. Should they have? Perhaps or maybe the readers of the old Avalon books would look for the old covers. I really don’t know.”

I did realize that those were all books from the same old publisher, though I wasn’t sure Amazon hadn’t already redone all of the covers with a new (crappy) designer. However, when I raised that concern with the editor (and specifically about the books from Avalon), she said she wasn’t able to guarantee anything about the covers. That gave me great pause, although I realize now the covers were from older editions.

My bust, Montlake. But hey, you’re publishing books with crappy covers under your imprint, whether or not you plan to redo them later. Maybe don’t publish something until it’s ready to be published… that’s the first thing they teach you in self-publishing school 😉

Of course, I linked the worst offenders in my post – many of Montlake’s covers look just fine. However, I combed through a lot of the Montlake books, and while there were a lot of good traditional romance covers, there were very few “New Adult” – style looking covers. And my main character Brynn is a curvy girl – and most of the Montlake covers have very thin women on them. As a writer of BBW romance, I’m acutely aware of the limited amount of cover material available to us and I DO NOT want a thin girl on my cover.

There were so many factors going into this decision that I didn’t mention in my original post, and perhaps I would be remiss in not adding them. Pricing was a major major issue – I couldn’t do a ton of promotional stuff I had planned if I couldn’t control pricing, and Amazon gives no say in how they price their work. This deal was Kindle-only, so I wouldn’t be getting the benefits of paperback publishing, which to me is one of the greater advantages of a traditional publishing deal.

I contacted quite a few Montlake authors to ask about their experiences. Many of them said they had a good experience but would not be publishing again with Montlake, and I talked as well to authors who had turned down Montlake deals for similar reasons. I also discussed the offer with a literary agent from a major agency who helped guide me through my decision, and while she would have profited from me making the deal with Montlake, her advice guided me towards a clear “no”.

This was not an easy decision by far, and while it may come back to bite me in the butt, I would rather take the chance on letting my fans promote me instead of Amazon. I think in the long run that’s the right decision for me.


New Release! New Adult Romance Novel “Me, Cinderella?” Out Now!!!

Guys… oh my god, you guys… it’s out!

I have been working on this for quite a while now…


and I’ve gotten a lot of help – thank you so much to my beta readers and my editors, without whom I would be lost in this muck of a manuscript…


But I’ve hit the publish button and it’s on sale (for only 99 cents! woohoo!)… and there’s only one thing I can say while celebrating the finish to my first new adult romance novel:


p.s. buy it now 😉

It’s Almost Here… (Sneak Preview)

My new novel Me, Cinderella? is on its way…


Sneak peek into the first chapter…

I bent down to pick up the nickels and got my first lucky break of the night. Right next to my shoe was a five dollar bill, just sitting on the floor! I picked it up reverently and looked around to see if there was anybody who might have dropped it, but the café was empty apart from me and the barista. She coughed and shifted her weight onto her back foot, evidently irritated at waiting for me to get my act together.

Five dollars! Five whole dollars! This was a windfall I couldn’t squander. I looked up at the café menu, my mouth watering at the possibilities. I had gotten into the habit of skipping dinner, but maybe today I could splurge and get a bagel. My stomach growled at the possibility. But no, I should wait and buy bagels at the store. Everything was overpriced here except the coffee.

I scanned the menu again and resigned myself to just the caffeine injection. It was enough to know that I could buy something if I wanted to. My eye wandered to the café window. The man was still sitting on the bench, as still as a statue. I could see his breath coming out in small white puffs, and for some reason my heart wrenched in my chest.

“Two coffees,” I said impulsively, handing the five dollar bill over to the barista. My hands trembled slightly as I picked up the cups. What was I doing?

I pushed open the door with my shoulder bravely and exited the warm cafe, one coffee in each hand. For an instant I wavered. What if he didn’t want it? What if he thought I was a weirdo? I set my shoulders and walked over to him. He must be freezing, sitting out in the cold.

“Here,” I said, offering him the steaming cup and putting on my most well-meaning smile. He looked up at me and my breath caught in my throat.

A scar ran down the right side of his cheek, the white seam visible all the way from his hairline to his chin. That wasn’t what made me gasp, though. Dark frowning eyebrows framed his piercing blue eyes and a shock of almost-black hair threatened to escape from under his wool cap. He was younger than I thought when I walked past him, probably less than ten years older than me. And handsome. I gulped.

He must have thought my reaction was to his scar, for he immediately angled his face away from mine, the white seam disappearing from my view. A defensive expression rose up on his face, and he looked at me suspiciously, one brow slanted up.

“Um, I thought you might want something to drink…” My words trailed off lamely as I held out the coffee to him. I never could talk around handsome men. His expression softened and he reached out to take the proffered cup.

“Thank you,” he said. The slightly accented words came out low, growling even, and as he took the cup, his long fingers brushed against mine. Again my heart jumped in my chest and I pushed down the strange feeling that was twisting up inside of my body. You don’t know who this man is, Brynn. He could be a serial killer, for all you know.

“You’re welcome,” I said, quickly pulling my hand back and wrapping it around my own coffee. The warmth spread through my fingers, but it was nothing compared to the electric heat that I had felt touching his hand. After a moment he tilted his head up toward me, and I realized I had been standing there in silence, just watching him.

“Is there something I can do for you?” he said.


Check back in soon for links to buy Me, Cinderella? at a discounted price, or sign up for my mailing list to be notified whenever a new book of mine is released!


Me, Cinderella?

For all of you wanting new stories, I’ve been hard at work on a novel that I’m releasing before July as part of the Insatiable Reads Book Tour. It’s called Me, Cinderella? and I’m very, VERY excited about it. For those of you who have read any of my Big Girl books, the story follows Shannon’s roommate Brynn all the way to Budapest. It’s almost done and I’m going to spend the next month editing like crazy. Eeek! Can you tell I’m excited? 😉



One kind deed can change your life forever…

Brynn Tomlin could never afford to follow her heart. But when she sees a stranger shivering in the snow outside of the college library, an inexplicable urge leads her to buy him a hot cup of coffee. It’s just a small act of kindness, a few words of conversation. Brynn should be focusing on her finals, after all, not on the man who looked up at her gratefully with piercing blue eyes.

He could have been anyone – a janitor on break, a graduate student, a bum. But the man standing outside in the cold turns out to be Dr. Eliot Herceg, one of the most brilliant minds in mathematics and heir to a fortune. After years of reclusive isolation, he now finds his heart awakening to the kind girl whose name he does not know.

Brynn has spent her life trying to forget her desires, and Eliot’s deep wounds have taken nearly a decade to heal. After so much hurt, will either of them be able to open their hearts again?