Monday, December 28, 2015

Book Recommendations from Sweet & Giselle

WE LOVE BOOKS


When it's gift-giving time, people love to give us books. Failing that, it's gift cards so we can buy our own!

So my girlfriend and I got together to create a list of book recommendations for the holidays. We're both voracious readers, but there's actually very little overlap in what we read. I think autobiographies is really the only category we both dive into. So you can expect plenty of variety.

I'll begin with Sweet's book recs, because... age before beauty. heh. Anyway, she's been telling me to get on J.D. Robb's In Death series for years, so that starts us off:

NOW DO ME!

So those were my girlfriend's top picks. I have read a grand total of zero of those books. But here are a few books I've enjoyed this year, and I hope you will too:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Thank You for Giving

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-don039tyousavagemeexplicitlesbianromancefeaturingaboriginalwomen-1555778-166.html
I thought I was referencing a movie title in my subject line. Turns out my memory is terrible and the movie I'm actually thinking of is called Please Give. Kind of at the opposite end of the scale, although maybe Please Give would be a better blog title. Or maybe Thank You for Giving and Please Give More would be appropriate.

Year-end means donation time for a lot of people, myself included.  I just finished my quarterly accounting for the charitable anthologies I've produced and set that money free. Fly, little monies! Fly away home!

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-lgbtlove10queertransbilesbianandgayromancestories-1894075-166.htmlBut, honestly, I couldn't do it without you. If I'd put out LGBT LOVE and nobody had purchased a copy, I wouldn't have been able donate 100% of my royalties to helplines that serve queer people, young and old. If nobody bought Don't You Savage Me, I wouldn't be able to donate 100% of those royalties to organizations that serve Indigenous women in Canada.

Without you, these would just be books. With you, they serve the populations they depict. I really can't thank you enough. I could thank you a thousand times and it wouldn't be enough.

And I thank you, also, for purchasing my Erotic Poetry Adult Colouring Book, which only came out last week but has sold surprisingly well.  This December, all the royalties I earn from the Erotic Poetry Colouring Book go to http://sketch.ca/

In fact, the Erotic Poetry Colouring Book has done so well that I've turned my flash fiction anthology Flash in the Pen into an adult colouring book, too. It's full of short erotica and barenaked ladies! I've decided to donate all my December royalties from the Flash in the Pen Adult Colouring Book to Sketch as well. Sketch provides street-involved youth and young people living on the margins space and programming to create stuff like music and art. That's awesome, and this new flash fiction colouring book is also awesome, so buy a copy!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/152280014X?tag=dondes-20

Here's that link again: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/152280014X?tag=dondes-20 It just came out today, so show it a little love!

If you can't buy a copy, how about using those social media buttons on the Amazon page to tweet about it, pin it on Pinterest, or share it on Facebook? That would be helpful and I'd appreciate it tremendously. Just like I appreciate YOU tremendously. Love, love, love! All you need is love and adult colouring books!

Hugs,
Giselle

Friday, December 11, 2015

Coffee Time Romance & More eBook Store Closing

In an email sent out Monday, Coffee Time Romance announced they will be closing the eBook store section of their site effective December 31, 2015. They cite Amazon's devaluation of the ebook as the central cause of this closure:

With their Kindle Unlimited Program which allows subscribers to borrow books in the program for only $9.99 a month, as well as, how they encourage self-published authors, and small e-publishers to give away their latest releases for free, readers now believe that even $.99 is too much for an e-book. The hard truth is, it is no longer cost effective to sell e-books in our store.

They go on to say readers who have purchased ebooks from their store in the past will not lose access to those books.

My heart goes out to the crew at CTR because I know how hard they tried to make it work. There's nothing more frustrating than working your ass off at something and being crushed by giants. In terms of sales suckage, I have an indie spot in their store (for the next couple weeks) and I haven't sold a book there since July.

If you've got a gift certificate for Coffee Time Romance, might I suggest you spend that money on my ebooks? (cheeky!): http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookStore/indie-authors-giselle-renarde-c-152_193

Love you,
Giselle

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Authors! The Premade Covers Are Up!

I'll make this quick because I just realized I have 3 baby gifts to knit by next week. (yikes!)

Yes, it's true: the FREE premade ebook covers have been posted and are available for request by authors and aspiring authors alike.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll direct you to this blog post I wrote the other day: http://donutsdesires.blogspot.ca/2015/12/authors-im-giving-away-premade-ebook.html

Basically, I've created a bunch of ebook covers that I'm giving away for FREE to authors and aspiring authors who are just a little skint right now, or don't have the funds to invest in graphic design.

After you've read the blog post I linked to above, you can check out this page to see the cover art and request one that suits your book: http://donutsdesires.blogspot.ca/p/authors-free-premade-covers-are-here.html

The absolute final day to request is December 18th, but it's first come, first served so DON'T DELAY or you might miss out!

If you're a reader and not a writer, I'll just take this opportunity to wave hi. *HI* Hope your December's going well.

Love you!
Giselle

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Here's a Thing I Did: The Erotic Poetry Adult Colouring Book

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1519624395?tag=dondes-20
If you like this idea, you can thank my sister because she's the one who encouraged me to make it. If you think this idea is terrible, you can blame my sister because she's the one who encouraged me to make it.

It=an adult colouring book. People like them, according to my sister.

A few month ago I found an old file from back in the days of Oysters and Chocolate and other sites that published erotic poetry. I kept thinking "I should put out a book of these poems" and then thinking, "No I shouldn't. Nobody would buy it."

But fill it with naked ladies...

Now we're talkin'!

I have no idea whether this idea is going to fly, but I've decided to donate any royalties I earn on my colouring book this December to an organization called Sketch. For months, I've been trying to figure out what kind of book I could create as a fundraiser. A colouring book sounds like perfection.

Sketch is an inclusive, anti-oppressive Toronto arts space open to street-involved youth where they can create, express themselves and learn skills. I met an artist this summer who'd been through their programming and she made quite an impression.

You can find out more about Sketch here: http://sketch.ca/

And you can buy my colouring book here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1519624395?tag=dondes-20

Love you!
Giselle

Monday, December 7, 2015

#Authors! I'm giving away premade ebook covers--yes, for FREE

Hi. So... you know me.  I've been here for a while.  Ten years, to be exact.  Well, almost.  I started writing professionally in 2006, which makes 2016 my 10-year anniversary as a writer. My tenniversary.

When I reflect upon the early days, what really stands out is how much other authors helped me. I had no fucking CLUE what I was doing and many more experienced authors took me under wing. I haven't forgotten their kindness. I haven't forgotten THEM, even though many have since disappeared from the internet.

Since I can't necessarily repay their kindness directly, I've decided to pay it forward.

That's why, throughout 2016, I will be giving stuff away to readers and writers alike. I'm starting early because I just can't wait.

Okay, so... if I'm a writer, why am I giving away premade ebook covers?

I know. It's kinda weird. But it's because when I started out, I was always working with small presses or other types of publishers. They provided cover art.  When I dipped my toes into self-publishing, the scariest part was having to secure cover art.  Sure cover art should be left to the professionals, but I couldn't afford to commission graphic designs. To be honest, I still can't afford that.  So I taught myself a design program and I've been learning its ins and outs over the past few years.

Here's the thing:

It's getting harder and harder to sell books, and I don't want any aspiring or even established authors to NOT publish their book because they can't afford cover art.  If you can afford it, yes, absolutely commission your art from a designer. Support other artists, like a friend of mine who runs http://www.coverimpact.com. Her work is incredibly incredible.

But if you're poor like me, or you just don't realistically feel your work will earn back what you might spend on graphic design, I don't want you to feel put off.

I want to help.

Yes, for free. Yes, out of the goodness of my heart. Because so many authors have helped me over the years.

How's it going to work?

As of now, I've made a total of 16 unique covers that could be used for books across various genres (Mystery, New Adult, YA, Erotica, LitFic, Self-Help). When I post them in the coming days, you'll be able to judge whether one of them suits a book you're hoping to publish.

I've decided to do this on a first come, first served basis, so sign up for my newsletter NOW to be the first to know when the covers are available to request: http://eepurl.com/R4b11

All you'll need to do is fill out the webform when I make it available and give me title and author information to plug into the cover you want.  I won't be making multiple copies of each cover because I want authors to end up with a unique image (well, unique as can be considering I'm using stock photos). Also, please, only one request per author. Book titles will be rejected if they contain language that's racist, transphobic, homophobic or otherwise oppressive or derogatory toward any race, religion, gender, ability, sexuality, you get the idea. Just don't.

If you've written a book and you're fretting about what to do for a cover, whether you're a new author or you've been doing it as long as I have (or longer), maybe you'll find a suitable one in this giveaway. I hope you do!

And, just to reiterate, there won't be any fee for this service, upfront or hidden. I'm not expecting anything in return. One thing I learned this year is that expectations of reciprocity often lead to sorrow.  The best part of doing something nice for someone else is the feeling you get when you're doing it.  I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true.

Anyway, if you're not on my mailing list, join NOW:  http://eepurl.com/R4b11 I'll send out a quickie mailing when the covers are available for request.

Are you excited? I'm excited!
Love you,
Giselle

Everybody Knows is a Rainbow Awards Finalist!

http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4722960.html
"Rainbow Pride Cheesecake" is the official pin-up boy of the Rainbow Awards especially created by Paul Richmond


I've already mentioned that my anthology Everybody Knows received an honourable mention in the 2015 Rainbow awards (more than one, actually). Now I find out it's a finalist!

Congratulations to ME! haha.

And also congratulations to all the other finalist and honourable mentions and nominees. And yay for the LGBT organizations that received donations because of the Rainbow Awards (the entry "fee" for each nomination consists of a charitable donation to one such org). And thanks to all the volunteer judges who did the hard work of reading a bunch of queer books!

Congrats again to Everybody Knows! http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/4722960.html

Friday, December 4, 2015

Tell Me What You Want (aka Giselle's Dreamy Christmas Book List)

When I was a kid, half the fun of Christmas was flipping through the Sears catalogue and making a list.  I have memories of going through an Eaton's catalogue too, but the internet says the final issue was sent out in 1976 (before I was born). I'm wondering if other Canadians can tell me if I'm misremembering my childhood or if there really was an Eaton's catalogue in the 80s.

Anyhoo, I didn't come here to talk about catalogues. Christmas lists.  Writing down everything you want. That was empowering. That was FUN. And I like making lists (even grocery lists and To Do lists), so I've decided to make a tiny list of books I'm looking forward to reading.

All (the books) I Want for Christmas:


Now it's your turn.

What books are on your wish list?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

#FREE #erotica! This December, Lexi's Giving It Away!

Remember Lexi Wood? She's the sock puppet who lives under my bed. Well, she's been a very busy creature in 2015. She's written an ton of taboo smut and she wants to give it to you. I keep telling her you're respectable people. You don't want to read about sexy stepdaddies fucking their equally sexy stepdaughters... but she's begging me to share this news, so here goes:

This December, you can pick up our little Lexi's Taboo Secrets for FREE at Smashwords. I didn't count exactly how many stories she's giving away, but it's got to be at least a dozen.

December's a stressful month. You're busy. You've got things to do. So maybe erotica isn't top of mind. But, on the other hand, maybe it is.

If you're so inclined, stock up on free smut. Here's a taste, but you'll find many more free Lexi books at Smashwords: