Update, a first chapter and a freebie

Well, it has been a slow and frustrating week while the mills of Smashwords grind slow and they grind exceeding small. I’m still waiting for Flirting With The Camera to be accepted into the Premium Catalogue. The other three books have all made it through and the new covers and editions are beginning to appear at Apple, B&N, Kobo and elsewhere.

The Tycoon’s Convenient Wife is now free! I think, though I have not completely decided, that it will be permanently free from now on. It’s already had a ton of downloads and it’s only been free for 24 hours or so. And now that there is better back matter with links to the other books and a sign up for news, and so on, I feel like that could be a really good way to boost sales across the board. Anyway, if you haven’t read it and would like to, now’s a good time.

I’ve entered So You Think You Can Write 2013. The competition is open to published writers this year, provided you haven’t been published with Harlequin/M&B. My manuscript is just over half done, and I need to have it finished by Nov 12th in case I get through to the next round. You can read my first chapter of Traitor in the Sheikh’s Bed here and comment, if you like, but there’s no voting at this stage. I can assure you that if I get through to a voting round, you’ll know about it!

This week’s news

I had an email from the proofreader this morning to say that she’s finished but she wants to leave it for a day and read through it again with fresh eyes before she sends it back to me. She also said that she enjoyed the book and was glad it had a happy ending! So I am still on course to get it on sale by the end of this month, or even a little bit sooner.

I have been toying with an idea for a book that I want to submit to Mills and Boon. I don’t think it would suit Entangled because it’s a ‘proper’ sheikh book – desert sand and men in robes and lots of unpronounceable names. It’s a bit darker and angstier than my Indulgences, too. Anyway, on Saturday I discovered that this year, published authors are eligible for the So You Think You Can Write competition. The first chapter has to be submitted by October 9th, but the whole manuscript has to be ready to go very soon after that if you get through to the second round. So I have been writing furiously – 7,000 words in 2 days. I think it’s worth it, though, because it can speed up the acquisition process a lot. All the first chapters get read in a month and 50 entrants are asked to submit their manuscript, with the winner chosen in December. Last year I think 7 or 8 manuscripts were bought through the competition. And you’re still able to submit through the normal channels afterwards, with a proper partial and synopsis, so you haven’t lost anything.

I love my heroine. Malaika is a geeky Arabic princess who bullied her father into letting her attend college and now she teaches at the local girls’ school. She is the perfect person for the role of traitorous spy that I have given her. And her hero? Well, Salim is the ultimate playboy sheikh, who has suddenly been thrust into the heart of his father’s complex political machinations and doesn’t really have a clue what he’s doing. Poor boy.