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It's really exciting to have MJD here today after trying to hook up for almost a year! And even more fun to crow that MJD's "Doing it Right" is the inaugural Feature at the new RomanceBuyTheBook.com . She doesn't need much introduction, just know she set the publishing world agog when she created a vampiress who was both "Undead and Unwed," and readers have been on a thrill ride with MJD ever since. Please, a warm Bella buongiorno...
Romance isn't necessarily romance.
No, really! For instance, I write the Undead and Unwed series, about a former secretary-turned-vampire, and my many male readers are mega-irked that they have to shop for those books in the romance section. And the men aren’t the only ones. I’ve gotten more e-mails than I can count which begin, “I don’t read romance novels, but…” Or, “I was on the way to the toilet when I saw your book on the counter and, having no choice, read it and actually liked it.” Like it’s shameful. A shameful multi-billion dollar business. People don’t apologize for loving fashion, which is also one of the largest billion-dollar industries on the planet. But there’s something about romance…
Nope, nothing is as it seems. My husband and I wrote a young adult novel, JENNIFER SCALES AND THE ANCIENT FURNACE (out now), which did so well, and received so many fan mails from folks of all ages, that our publisher decided to re-release it (and the sequel) as Fantasy books. No longer stranded by Harry Potter, now Jennifer is in the Fantasy section where anybody can find her (like the poor were-dragon/soccer star doesn’t have enough problems). So not only isn’t romance necessarily romance, your audience will decide if your book is a young adult, or not. Ours told us ‘no way, idiots’. And we agreed.
I have a solo project, DOING IT RIGHT (out now). This was a book I didn’t think much of when I wrote it five years ago as an e-book. To my amazement, every person who has read it just RAVES about it. To say I was shocked would be putting it mildly. So our final lesson? Mediocre isn’t necessarily mediocre. Your readers will tell you. If you’re smart, you’ll listen.
Questions, questions? Here’s one for you guys: when you’re browsing in a book store, what do you look for? What grabs your attention? The cover? The back flap copy? The author’s name? A friend’s recommendation?
Encore! Look for MJD's guest blog, coming soon with our good friends at RidingWithTheTopDown.com !