The How and Why of Book Playlists


Isolated open book
Isolated open book

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to my favorite authors and the stories they have written, I am up for anything that tells me more about who the characters and stories are to the writer.

As a fan, I want to know more than what is written between the pages of the book.

One of the best ways to do this is by sharing the playlist of songs you used to inspire your writing.

Playlists for  books are not something new.

We as writers have been using this method for many years to help us write.

We as fans have been using this method to save songs that remind us of our favorite books and characters. That way we can immerse ourselves into the book even farther.

 

How does one even go about making a book playlist?

If you’re new to this form of inspiration you need to:

  1. Take time to decide if lyrical music or instrumental music is what inspires you. Maybe it will be a mixture of both. The best way to find out is by listening to both types while brainstorming for your book.
    • Start by checking out your own person music library.
    • If you cant find anything in your personal collection, turn to sites like iHeartRadio or Pandora and look for a station that plays more of what you are looking for with:
      • Certain Artists
      • Certain Tracks
      • Certain Genres
    • If you don’t have a specific type of artist or song in mind but are looking for ones that speak to a certain mood try YouTube. Type in a phrase that depicts what you are looking for and browse the different playlists various youtubers have created. You can try phrases like:
  2. Once you’ve decided what kind of music inspires you, write down, save, or by the songs that speak specifically to certain characters, settings, or scenes you are writing about and listen to them while you brainstorm and write.

How does one make a playlist worthy enough to share with fans?

Some authors just share a list of the specific songs they listened to while writing. If this is the method you choose to go with then all you have to do is list the songs that inspired you during the writing process on either your website, blog, or social media.

Other authors like to be more in depth by making a playlist of songs that speaks about the characters, the settings and the scenes in the book. Almost like a film score/soundtrack.

I can tell you from a fan’s standpoint, the more in depth the playlist the more the fan will enjoy it.

How does one make an in-depth book playlist?

Step 1: Make a list of all the important characters in the book and find a song that represents each one.

  • Example: The Heroine, The Hero,  The Antagonist, The Sidekick, etc…

Step 2: Make a list of all the places, settings and events in the book and find a song that represents each one.

  • Example: A song that represents the state the book takes place in, or the feeling of the book, or a specific event like a festival, etc…

Step 3: Make a list of all the important scenes in the book and find songs that speak to the feeling of each.

  • Example: Find a song that speaks to the End of the Beginning Scene, The Re-commitment Scene, the Crisis scene, the Climax scene and the Resolution scene.

Step 4: Find songs that match the vibe of all your other scenes.

  • Example: Sweet songs for sweet scenes, Scary songs for suspensful scenes, Sexy songs for sex scenes.

Step 5: If there are any songs mentioned in the book, write them down, make a note of what chapter they were mentioned in and find the song to add to the playlist.

Step 6: Add the songs on a musical sharing site like the ones listed below and then share it. Some musical sharing sites/apps are:

Ok. You can stop here and put all these songs haphazardly on a list and show it to your fans. They will love it.

OR

You can go a step further and put them in an order where its like you are going through a musical journey of the actual book. Where the fans could listen to it while reading the book or they can listen to it alone and experience the book all over again.

How can you accomplish this?

You can easily make a “soundtrack” of your book by:

  • Listing all the chapters of the books.
  • Taking the information you used to make a detailed playlist and insert the songs into the chapters they happen in.
  • Then listing the songs in the same order the chapters appear in your book.

Example of a Romance Book List:

♥ The 1st song on the list could be a song that speaks to the general feel of the book or demonstrate the feeling of the opening scene

♥The 2nd song could musically describe the main character (usually the heroine).

♥The 3rd song could represent the place where the story takes place.

♥The 4th song could represent the cute meet.

♥The 5th song could represent the hero.

and so on and so forth…

If book playlists are an entirely new concept to you, take the time to check out what other authors and fans have created to get a general idea.

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Books Playlists

List of Book Playlists on 8Tracks

#Book Playlist on Tumblr

“Book Playlist” or The Playlist Book Tag on YouTube

Stay Tuned

Wednesday @ 9am “What is BookTrack?”

Friday @ 9am “Depression and What It’s Like For Those Who Love You”

 

  • Do you use music to help you write? If so what kind?
  • Do you have a playlist ready to share with your fans?
  • Have you, as a fan, ever listened to a playlist an author has shared?
    Let's Chat Graphic

Join The Club: Facebook Groups for Plus Size & Body Confidence


41 Facebook Groups for Plus Size & Body Confidence

Deciding to no longer hate your body, to lift your self confidence and appreciate who and what you look like now is the best decision you could ever make.

However, making that decision and actually following through is one of the hardest things you will ever do.

It’s incredibly difficult to change the way you think about yourself and how other peoples perception of you affects your emotional state.

There will be days where it’s easy and you feel on top of the world.

There will be days where every other thought is something negative.

  • I hate myself
  • I look horrible. How can anyone be attracted to me.
  • I’m worthless
  • I’ll never accomplish anything in life

You get the picture.

It’s on days like these where a support system, no matter the size, is invaluable.

There are many places you can go to find support:

  • Your friends or family
  • Local support groups in your community
  • Internet community/forum groups.

You can also find support groups on social media.

For instance, there are a ton on Facebook. Listed below are 41 groups that I have found where you can go to safely talk about what being plus size means to you, your good and bad experiences, to hear the experience of others, to discuss topics related to your size, to learn about business that cater specifically to plus size people, etc…

Take your time checking out the groups listed to see if there is one just right for you. If you don’t find one, don’t give up. There is one out there for you.

  1. #PlusSizeScope with 238 members
  2. 30+, Fat & Fabulous with 221 members
  3. Anything + with 953 members
  4. Baddest Curvy Natives with 348 members
  5. Body Positive with 741 members
  6. Body Positive Athletes with 644 members
  7. Confessions of a Curvy Girl with 3,155 members
  8. Curvy Figures with 6,360 members
  9. Curvy Girl Guide: Curvy Girl The Community with 5,003 members
  10. Curvy Girls Social Fun and Chat with 762 members
  11. Fat & Weight Science with 281 members
  12. Fat Acceptance Cloud with 414 members
  13. Fat Babes Gettin It! with 73 members
  14. Fat Forward with 417 members
  15. Fat Lib with 368 members
  16. Fat-Positive Fitness & Wellness with 467 members
  17. Fat Studies with 1,504 members
  18. Fatlandia with 871 members
  19. FatSew with 315 members
  20. Flying While Fat with 2,303 members
  21. For Fats Sake with 5,562 members
  22. For the Love of Self, Joy and Success with 3,107 members
  23. Hello, Beautiful with 5,243 members
  24. Inked and Curvy Girls with 1,665 members
  25. Journey to Self Love Challenge with 11,039 members
  26. Learn to Love Yourself with 1,071 members
  27. Living Life Plus Size with 3,959 members
  28. My Self Image: a social experiment with 840 members
  29. Plus Confidence in You Group with 1,155 members
  30. Plus Size Acting Network with 225 members
  31. Plus Size and Proud with 19,101 members
  32. Plus Size- Bloggers and Youtubers with 101 members
  33. Plus Size Business to Business Network with 875 members
  34. Plus Size Net-Workers with 465 members
  35. Plus Size Pregnant Moms & After with 1,394 members
  36. Promoting Body Confidence for Women with 329 members
  37. Rad Fatties with 887 members
  38. Self Love Tribe with 202 members
  39. The Curvy Revolution with 12,609 members
  40. TooFat Uncensored with 308 members
  41. Women’s Self Love Project with 726 members

*The member counts are subject to change at any time due to new members arriving and old ones leaving.

Stay Tuned

Monday @9am “The How and Why of Book Playlists”

Wednesday @ 9am “What is Booktrack?”

  • Have you made the decision to love who you are today? How has it been going for you?
  • Do you belong to a Facebook Group or any other type of support group for this?
  • What has been your most positive or negative experience with Body Confidence, Body Positivity and/or Self Love?
    Let's Chat Graphic

Join The Club: Facebook Groups for Romance Readers


53 Facebook Groups for Romance Readers

Have you ever wished you could find a group of people who loved the kind of romance books you do? Someone to talk with and share your favorite romance reads or learn about new ones?

For some, there are book clubs where you are obligated to read a specific book each month, sit in a room together and listen to people discuss what they got from said book.  But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t enjoy required reading or socializing in public then this is not an option for you.

Fear not, there is an alternative; Facebook Groups.

If you are on Facebook, finding a romance community that fits your reading tastes is as easy as using the search feature and clicking “join” on the group page. The hard part is knowing how to word your search so that Facebook brings up relevant group pages.

Guess what, I’ve done the work for you. (You’re Welcome)

Below are 53 Facebook Groups that are dedicated to Romance readers.

I tried to find a group for as many romance genres as possible. Still, this is not all of the romance groups on Facebook. Browse through the list to see if there is one just right for you and then take some time to do a search on your own to see if there are more that tickle your fancy.

For my romance writer’s out there Facebook groups can be an invaluable tool. NOT to showcase or promote your book but to get in touch with your reader base. To really listen and learn what they want out of a romance book. The groups are also a great place to ask readers questions like I did in “What Do Romance Readers Really Want? “.

Now, without further ado, here are just a few Romance Reader Facebook Groups offered on Facebook.

  1. Adult/Erotic Fiction Publicity and Book Club with 8,266 members
  2. African American Romance Book Club with 466 members
  3. All That Romance with 2,127 members
  4. Audio Books – Erotic & Romance with 941 members
  5. BBW Love: Big, Beautiful and Proud Romance with 128 members
  6. BBW Sweet Romance with 1,717 members
  7. BDSM and Romance Books with 2,282 members
  8. Book Bench for Romance Lovers with 1,961 members
  9. Christian Romance with 57 members
  10. Coastal Romance with 484 members
  11. Curvy Girl Romance with 5,338 members
  12. Dark Erotica/Romance Discussion with 697 members
  13. Erotic-Romance Book Group with 2,769 members
  14. Erotic Readers and Authors with 8,315 members
  15. Fans of All Male Romance Books with 4,355 members
  16. Fans of F/F Romance with 293 members
  17. Gay Romance Literature Lovers with 1,056 members
  18. Historical Romance Addicts with 3,006 members
  19. Horror and Gothic Romance Literature with 112 members
  20. Interracial Multicultural Romance Fanclub with 922 members
  21. Interracial Romance Readers with 1,700 members
  22. M/M Romance with 8,630 members
  23. Medieval Romance Novels with 442 members
  24. MilBrat Romance with 278 members
  25. Military and Suspense Romance Reads with 512 members
  26. New Adult Romance Books with 1,830 members
  27. Old School Romance Book Club with 3,205 members
  28. Outrageous Heroes of Romance with 468 members
  29. Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy Fanclub with 3,948 members
  30. Paranormal Romance Lovers with 832 members
  31. Pen and Kink with 4,546 members
  32. Pure Sexual Romance with 3,160 members
  33. Romance Novel Junkies with 11,470 members
  34. Romance Novels & Romantic Fiction Readers and Writers with 3,244 members
  35. Romance Novels Fan Club with 1,520 members
  36. Romance Novels ROCK with 4,357 members
  37. Romance Readers with 13,094 members
  38. Romance Readers and Writers with 1,227 members
  39. Romance Readers Retreat with 963 members
  40. Romance & Suspense with 111 members
  41. Romance & Thrillers Group with 13,239 members
  42. RomCon Contemporary Romance with 290 members
  43. Scottish Historical Romance with 1,628 members
  44. Sports Romance Readers with 24 members
  45. Sweet/Clean Romance Group with 330 members
  46. Sweet Hot Curves: For Romance Readers with 316 members
  47. The Kinkery Book Club with 1,600 members
  48. The SciFi Romance Group with 575 members
  49.  The Smut BookClub with 376 members
  50. Time Travel Romance and Fiction with 789 members
  51. Western Romance Cafe` with 1,266 members
  52. Women Who Love Romance Novels with 5,106 members
  53. Zombie Romance with 208 members

*The member counts are subject to change at any time due to new members arriving and old ones leaving.

Stay Tuned

Friday 9amJoin The Club: Facebook Groups for Plus Size & Body Confidence

Monday9am “The How and Why of Book Playlists”

 

Let's Chat Graphic

  • What do you think of Facebook Reader Groups?
  • Do you belong to any? If so was it mentioned on this list?
  • What kind of Facebook Reader Group would you like to see?

44 Publishers Seeking Romance


44 Publishers Seeking Romance

** For an updated list check out 54 Publishers Accepting Romance and Erotica Submissions**

Breaking out into the romance writing scene can be intimidating to say the least.

You don’t just write a great love story, you also need to:

  • Decide whether you are going to self publish or try the traditional route.
  • If you choose the traditional route you need to figure out if you are going to get a literary agent to represent you.
  • If you choose to forgo the literary agent and look for publishers on your own then you find yourself scouring the internet for any decent publisher who accepts unsolicited and unagented work. That’s like looking for a needle in a gigantic haystack. 

Listed below are 44 publishers currently seeking/accepting unsolicited and unagented romance novels, short stories, novellas and anthologies.

Before submitting your manuscript, take the time to do the following:

∗ Click on each Publisher to be sent to their submissions and guidelines page. 

  1. Ankara Press 
    • Genre/Sub-genre: Non-traditional romances set in urban environments in African cities.
    • Word Count: 35,000-45,000
  2. Avon Romance – Avon Impulse 
    • Genre/Sub-genre: Romantic Suspense, Super sexy contemporaries, trilogies and beyond and historical romances with a hook.
    • Word Count: Not Specified
  3. Black Lyon Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-genre: Romantic Adventure, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance and Inspirational Romance
    • Word Count: Novels: 45,000-90,000 Novellas 20,000-40,000
  4. Black Opal Books
    • Genre/Sub-genre: All romance sub-genres along with YA, Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Historicals, Mysteries & Thrillers.
    • Word Count: Novel 45,000 & up Novellas 15,000-45,000
  5. Blushing Books Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All the sub-genres of Historical, Contemporary, Fantasy/Sci-Fi & Erotic
    • Word Count: Novels 25,000 & up Novellas 16,000 & up
  6. Bold Strokes Books
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: LGBT fiction geared toward Romance and YA
    • Word Count: Not Specified
  7. Books To Go Now
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All romance sub-genres along with Mystery/Suspense, New Adult and Anthologies
    • Word Count: Not Specified
  8. Carina Press
    • Genre/Sub-Genre:
    • Word Count:
  9. Changeling Press
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All romance sub-genres (except Inspirational romance)
    • Word Count: 35,000 & up
  10. Crimson Romance
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense, Paranormal, Historical, “Spicy” Romance and LGBT
    • Word Count: Novels 55,000-90,000 Novellas 2,000-50,000
  11. Diversion Books
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Romance (contemporary and historical), New Adult, Thrillers, Mysteries, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction & YA
    • Word Count: Not Specified
  12. DreamSpinner Press
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Gay Male Romances in all sub-genres.
    • Word Count: Novels 60,000 & up Novellas 15,000-59,999
  13. Elloras Cave
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Adult Romance, Erotica, Erotica for Men, Erotica for Women, Traditional Romance, Non Fiction. Comedy, Thriller/Horror, New Adult & Sci-Fi/Alternate Reality
    • Word Count: Novels 30,000- and up Novellas 12,000-30,000
  14. Entangled In Romance
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All romance sub-genres including YA
    • Word Count: Novels 20,000-120,000
  15. Evernight Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All sub-genres of romance and Anthologies
    • Word Count: 5,000 – 100,000
  16. Extasybooks
    • Genre/Sub-Genre:  romance, sensual romance, YA, BDSM, GLBT, interracial, African/American, Science Fiction, Gay, Lesbian, and any and all combinations thereof.
    • Word Count: Novels 50,000 & up Novellas 20,000 & up
  17. Fiery Seas Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Romance – Contemporary, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Paranormal, YA, Western, Mystery/Suspense, Historical
    • Word Count: Novels 60,000 & up Novellas 35,000-60,000
  18. Harlequin
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All sub-genres of romance.
    • Word Count: 50,000 – 100,000
  19. House of Erotica
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All sub-genres of Erotica
    • Word Count: Over 10,000 & up
  20. ImaJinn Books
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All sub-genres of romance.
    • Word Count: 50,000 – 90,000
  21. InkSpell
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance in magic, paranormal, sci-fi, Teen and YA
    • Word Count: Not Specified
  22. Kensington Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: traditional cozy mysteries, thrillers, romantic suspense, historical romance, contemporary romance, women’s contemporary fiction, Amish romances and inspirational romances, historical fiction, paranormal romance, gay fiction, cozy and historical mysteries, dark suspense, as well as short contemporaries with Alpha heroes
    • Word Count: 75,000-100,000
  23. Less Than Three Press
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex, and asexual) romance stories in any genre.
    • Word Count: 10,000-60,000
  24. Liquid Silver Books
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All sub-genres of romance.
    • Word Count: Not Specified
  25. Loose-ID
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All sub-genres of romance
    • Word Count: 20,000-120,000
  26. Melange Satin Romance
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Sweet Romance, Sensual Romance and Erotic
    • Word Count: 20,000-85,000
  27. MLR Press
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Gay Fiction and Erotic Romance
    • Word Count: 10,000-40,000
  28. Muse It Up Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Romance and all of it’s sub-genres, Paranormal/Fantasy, Myster/Suspense/Thriller, YA, Horror & Dark Fiction, Sci-Fi
    • Word Count: Novels Not Specified Novellas 15,000-25,000
  29. Ravenous Romance 
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Erotic Romance
    • Word Count: Novels 50,000-60,000 Short Stories 1,500-5,000
  30. Red Sage Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All sub-genres of romance and erotica
    • Word Count: 25,000-100,000
  31. Regal Crest
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Lesbian and Gay works of Fiction and Non Fiction
    • Word Count: Novels 60,000-120,000 Novellas 15,000-59,999
  32. Resplendence Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Historical, Paranormal, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance.
    • Word Count: Novels 61,000-90,000 Novellas 19,000-30,000
  33. Riptide Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: LGBTQ Romance
    • Word Count: 15,000-115,000
  34. Siren Book Strand
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All sub-genres of romcance
    • Word Count: 20,000 and up
  35. SoulMate Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Romance -Action/Adventure, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Historical, Inspirational, New Adult, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Futuristic, Suspense/Thriller, Time Travel, Urban Fantasy, Women’s Fiction, Young adult.
    • Word Count: 50,000-90,000
  36. Sourcebooks
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All sub-genres of romance
    • Word Count: 90,000-120,000
  37. Steam Romance
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All sub-genres in romance
    • Word Count: Novels 50,000-100,000 Short Stories 15,000-40,000
  38. SYTYCW So You Think You Can Write
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Special Calls for submission. Check current contest for required genre
    • Word Count: Special Calls for submission. Check current contest for required genre
  39. The Wild Rose Press
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Romantic Contemporary Western, Sweet Romance, Dark Paranormal Romance, Fantasy Romance, Erotic Romance, Erotica, Historical Romance, Women’s Fiction, Mystery/Thriller.
    • Word Count: 7,500-100,000
  40. Tirgearr Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Commerical adult genre fiction- Thriller, Romance, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Fantasy, etc
    • Word Count: Novels 50,000-95,000 Novellas 20,000-50,000
  41. Torquere Press
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: All LGBT romance sub-genres
    • Word Count: Novels 45,000 & up Novellas 20,000-45,000
  42. Totally Entwined
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Erotic Romance – Action/Adventure, Angels and Demons, Bondage/BDSM, Crime/Mystery, Comedy/Humour, Contemporary, Cowboy/Western, Fantasy/Fairytales, Futuristic/Sci-fi, Gods/Goddesses, Historical, Horror, Men in Uniform, Rubenesque, Ménage-à-trois, Multicultural, Older Woman/Younger Man, Paranormal, Timetravel, Thriller, Suspense, Shapeshifters, Morphers, Vampires, Werewolves.
    • Word Count: 10,000-100,000+
  43. Tule Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance and all of its sub genres including Historical romance, paranormal romance, erotica/erotic romance, clean sweet romances and light inspirational romances.
    • Word Count: Novels 45,000-90,000 Novellas 30,000-40,000
  44. Wayward Ink Publishing
    • Genre/Sub-Genre: LGBT Romances
    • Word Count: Novels 60,000 & up Novellas 15,000-29,999

Stay Tuned

Wednesday @ 9am “Join The Club: Facebook Groups and Internet Communities for Romance Readers”

Friday @ 9am “Join The Clube: Facebook Groups and Internet Communities for Plus Size and Body Confidence”

Let's Chat Graphic

  • What are your plans for your finished manuscript? Will you go the Indie or Traditional route?
  • Have you had any experience with any of the publishers listed above?
  • Do you know of any publishers looking for Romance that are not listed in this article?

10 Body Positive Audio Books to Drown Out Your Inner Critic


Listed below are 10 plus size, body confidence, and self compasion audio books that I currently have on my to-be-read list.

If you’d like a little help in learning to love yourself check them out with me.

If you’ve already had the pleasure of reading/listening to these let me know what you thought of it.

Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living 

by Jes Baker

Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life 

by Kelsey Miller

 

Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love and Being Comfortable in Your Skin… Every Inch of It

By Brittany Gibbons and Narrated by Lauren Fortgang

Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion

By Virgie Tovar and  Narrated by Joy Nash

Two Whole Cakes: How to Stop Dieting and Learn to Love Your Body

by Lesley Kinzel and narrated by Heather Henderson

Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works

by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch

and Narrated by Pam Ward

Love Your Body: The Imperfect Girl’s Guide to Positive Body Image

By Elizabeth Walling and Narrated by Erin Fossa

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

By Brene Brown and Narrated by Lauren Fortgang

Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

By Kristin Neff and Narrated by Xe Sands

Body of Truth: How Science, History and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight and What We Can Do About It

by Harriet Brown and Narrated by Karen Saltus

Stay Tuned

Monday @ 9am “Creating Playlists For Your Novels”

Wednesday @ 9am “Playlists Created by Famous Authors”

Let's Chat Graphic

  • Have you read or listened to any of the audio books listed above?
  • Do you have any suggestions of audio books on the same topic?
  • If you listen to audio books do you normally listen to fiction, non fiction, self help…?

The Best Romance Audio Books


The Best Romance Audio Books

The best audiobook I ever listened to happened to be my first and only (to date) romance audiobook.

Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning

(Book #4 in the Fever Series)

Narrated by Natalie Ross and Phil Gigante

I had just finished reading Faefever and was dying to know what happened next. Luckily, I was new to the series and the next book was already out.

Unluckily, I was snowed in and couldn’t get access to a bookstore or library (this was before I had a Kindle).

So, in a panic, I searched the iTunes store to see if I could get the audio version. Low and behold it was there waiting for me as long as I was willing to shell out over $20.00!

That’s almost the same price as a brand new hardcover! I’m not even a big fan of audiobooks but I’m even less of a fan of paying for something “virtual” when I can have the real thing for the same price.

I stared at my computer trying to talk myself out of purchasing it but in the end my need to know what happened next won out. And I’m glad it did.

I purchased the audiobook with my eyes closed…literally. I felt so bad shelling out all that money for it that I couldn’t watch as I clicked buy. I had no idea what I was getting, just that it was the next book in this new series I was madly in love with.

The audiobook starts and the lady narrating it was good. She had a nice southern accent and a nice Irish accent which kept the book from being monotonous or hoky. Until now, my experience with audiobooks has been that one narrator speaks through the entire story. Sometimes using different accents and pitches to mimic the different characters and sometimes not. This wasn’t the case with Dreamfever.

I was just getting used to hearing the characters I’ve been reading about for 3 books being vocalized when all of a sudden a low timbered male voice glides through my headphones, into my ears, traveling down my spine leaving shivers in it’s wake.

Ok, that might be a tad over dramatic but my eyes did bug out and I did snatch the headphones off my ears for a brief second.

I couldn’t believe it. I was expecting to hear the same lady narrate every character in the story. I had no idea there were even audiobooks that had more then one narrator. It was amazing the difference it made for me. I was glued to my iPod. I giggled every time a male character popped onto the scene. It was the best audiobook experience I ever had!

Now, you’re probably thinking that after that wonderful experience I must have finished the rest of the series by way of audiobooks. I did not. I still prefer to hold the book in my hand and read the words sprawled on the pages before me. Besides, at that time my kids were little and having headphones over my ears just wasn’t practical.

Fast forward how ever many years, my kids are older and less prone to bodily harm when I’m not in ear shot and I’m ready to dive into the world of romance audiobooks again. However, I don’t want just some simple audiobook with one narrator for all the characters. Dreamfever spoiled me. I want multiple narrators and sounds effects and musical scores!

Basically, I want the movie without the bad casting. I know, I know, wishful thinking…

So, I start browsing the romance audiobook section in Audible and I realize something…. I still don’t want to pay those high prices! But if I was going to spend that kind of money  i wanted to make sure the audiobook was worth it. But how would I know what audiobooks were worth the price?

Research! I searched through the vast array of websites, forums and reviews to find the romance audiobooks everyone was gushing over. Want to know what I found??

A confusing mess!

Apparently, I struck gold when I stumbled upon DreamFever in audio form. The way Natalie Ross and Phil Gigante narrated the story was not typical at the time.

From what I gather, romance audio books have only recently started having dual narrators. However, those dual narrators aren’t always a man and a woman and even when it is (and this is the really confusing part) there are times when they voice the same characters! So you can have one character being voiced in two different ways by two different narrators in the same audiobook. WHAT?! How does that make sense??

There is no way my brain will allow me to listen to a character being voiced differently in the same audiobook. I already have a hard enough time listening to a well loved character being voiced in a way that doesn’t sound like the voice I imagined in my head.

Then there is the debate on whether you prefer a female narrator or a male one. Honestly, I’ve never had an audiobook where the only narrator was male. DreamFever was the first time I had ever heard a male narrator at all. I honestly can’t imagine hearing a man voice a female character and not want to laugh. For some reason, the sound of a female pretending to have a male voice is easier for me to hear.

Behold, this is what I found:

AudioGals-Guide-to-Romance-Audio-The-Classics

This one graphic mentioned the majority of the romance audiobooks i found being recommended on numerous websites, forums and reviews. I figured I could list all the titles mentioned individually or I could just share this pretty graphic with links to this great website where more are listed and talked about in great detail.

Check out AudioGals.Net for a whole website of reviews and lists regarding romance audiobooks.

For detailed lists with links to the audiobooks check out:

AudioGals The Classics

  • Contemporary
  • Historical
  • Paranormal
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Fantasy

AudioGals Paranormal Romance

  • Romance Driven
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Light/Humorous
  • Paranormal Elements
  • Stand Alone

AudioGals Historical

  • Hall of Fame
  • Not Your Usual Romance
  • American
  • European
  • The Other Categories

 

PS – It’s my Birthday today! (February 17th) Stop by and show me some love!

 

Stay Tuned

Friday 9am “The Best Body Positive Audio Books to Drown Out Your Inner Critic”

Monday @ 9am “Creating Playlists for your novels”Let's Chat Graphic

 

  • Did your favorite romance audiobook make AudioGirls list? 
  • Have you experience an audiobook with multiple narrators? What is your opinion of them?
  • What type of audiobook do you prefer? One narrator vs multiple? Being read to vs listening to a performance?

 

Audio Books: Are They Worth The Fuss?


Audio Books Are They Worth The Fuss

I’m not a big audio book reader and by that I mean I have only bought one audio book and rented three others from the library in the course of my life.

I don’t find listening to a story as entertaining as reading one.

Even though audio books are not my preferred format I acknowledge that it is for other people. For some it’s the only way they can read due to lack of sight , certain disabilities or lack of free time.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about who I would want to narrate Destiny Be Damned. Yes, I’m well aware I am getting ahead of myself in the writing/publishing process. A writer is allowed to daydream!

In the process of that daydream I wondered how a book gets turned into an audio book.

Once I climbed down that rabbit hole I was surprised to find out that not all books/authors get that privilege!

Maybe I’m just too sheltered in my writing cave but it never occurred to me that publishers wouldn’t want all their books available in every format possible.

As usual, in the end, it all comes down to profit.

For traditionally published authors it all depends on:

  • what their contracts state
  • whether the publishing house they went through is capable of publishing audio books
  • whether or not their publishing company feels they will make enough profit off of it.

Read, “How much an Author Makes Off Their Books” by Brian McClellan to get an idea of what a traditionally published author makes on audio books.

If you own the audio rights to your work or are a self-published author then it all boils down to:

  • whether you have the know-how
  • whether you know where to look for help
  • whether you have the time or desire to create, publish and market it on top of what you are already doing for your book.
  • whether you can even afford it.

Read, “Audio Books for Idiots Part 1: What You Should Know About ACX” by Jessi Gage to get an idea of what an indie author’s experience has been.

I started to wonder: Are audio books even worth the fuss?

This is what I’ve learned so far while researching this topic:

Yes & No.

 Literature audio books have been around since the 1950’s. I kid you not! But their increase in popularity didn’t start till the 90’s and even then it was slow growing until the 2000’s. Now with the invention of iPods, tablets, smartphones and eReaders their use has skyrocketed.

Bare with me as I throw some stats your way.

The APA (Audio Publishers Association) estimates that:

  • audio book sales in 2014 totaled more then $1.47 billion even though only 25,787 titles were published that year.
  • unit sales were nearly 5 times more than the overall book trade industry.
  • adult fiction represents the vast majority of audio books sold (77.4% fiction audio vs 22.6% non-fiction) with romance taking 25% of the pie.
  • 49% of audio book readers fall between the ages of 18-34

Audio book recordings are generally listened to while driving/commuting, traveling, running errands, working out, doing housework, or just relaxing.

In terms of just driving, around 100 million Americans drive to work each day with an average commute of 50 minutes. If audio books are read at the rate of 10,000 words per hour a reader can finish around one book per week just while driving in the car. Can you  imagine how many new books and authors an audio reader would discover in the course of one year?!

So YES, having an audio format option for your romance/fiction book is worth the fuss because:

  1. Not everyone likes to read. Some prefer to listen versus read, while other’s only have that option due to health and circumstances. Therefore you reach a wider audience by offering your book in as many formats as possible. 
  2. The sale potential is there. The recorded audio book sales for 2014 show that people are ready and willing to pay to be able to listen to a story while multi-tasking. Why wouldn’t you to take a piece of that pie?
  3. Romance readers want audio books too. The type of literature you write (fiction) and the genre you write in (romance) along with the age of your target audience (18-34) makes up a large chunk of audio book listeners. You WILL find readers there that you wouldn’t have found in print or ebook format alone.

BUT and This is a BIG But….

While the sky is the limit for how many sales you could potentially make in the audio book market the current profit situation is like a pair of concrete boots keeping you shackled to the ground.

Let’s say, for the sake of this argument, that you are a self-published author who owns your own rights to your book and therefore you are free to make an audio book how you see fit.

First, you will need to decide if you are capable of being the narrator and producer of your own audio book.

  • Unless you are already a voice actor, have your own high quality sound gear/studio and know how to produce an audio book, you are not capable of doing this all on your own.
    • Even if that’s the case and yet you still think you can handle this in order to save a few bucks please keep in mind that you’ll have to know how to handle the following:
      • consistencies in audio levels, tones, noise level, spacing and pronunciation in order to give readers a great audio experience
      • how big each upload file is allowed to be
      • what the right peak values, noise floor and room tones are
      • how to get rid of unwanted ambient sounds and outtakes
    • Not to mention the shear amount of time it takes to record a book on audio. Time that you wont be using to publish or market what you already have out there or write new material.
  • Sure, you could still do it all on your own and produce a passable audio book but will it be enjoyable for the listeners? Will it be something you can be proud of?
  • Narrating a book is long, hard work. In my opinion, as a consumer, I’d rather spend 5 hours listening to a book where the author spent money to hire professionals versus one where the author just tried to save a buck. It’s like reading an ebook where the author decided they didn’t need to the services of a proof reader or editor.

Second, when you finally admit you’ll need help accomplishing this then the daunting task of who to go with begins. There are a few options:

Third, it is not cheap to produce an audio book. Whether or not you do it yourself or go with a company that helps you there is a lot of money involved whether in money upfront or in the costs of royalties later on.

  • The Screen Actors Guild states that the fee for each finished hour for union members should be around $225 (but there are narrators that charge much more). A 90,000 word book (350pgs) will consist of about 10 finished audio hours. Once the recording is complete, production costs run about $75hr. A 10hr audio book could take about 60hrs or more to produce meaning you could expect to pay a minimum of $3,000 – $4,000 for the complete product. (This information was found on “How To Self-Publish an Audiobook on PublishersWeekly.com)

It is possible to create an audio book for much less but that’s when you dip into sharing royalties and such.

This is where the concrete boots come in. There is a lot of untapped potential in the audio book market but unfortunately that also means there is not a lot of options on where to sell it and get the most traffic.

From what I’ve gathered so far, you either sacrifice a lot of profit in order to be attached to websites that get a lot of audio book buying traffic like Audible.com or you keep more profits for yourself but run the risk of no one even knowing your audio book exists.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of whether audio books are worth it in long run in terms of profits vs expenses/time but I do know that if I am able to, I will have my book in audio format because

Why would I not want to utilize that market?

Stay Tuned

Wednesday @9am “Romance Audio Books and Where To Find Them”

Friday @9am “The Best Body Positive Audio Books to Drown Out Your Inner Critic”

Let's Chat Graphic

 

  • What is your opinion on this matter? Are audio books worth the fuss for authors?
  • Do you have first hand experience with producing audio books?
  • Would you try to produce an audio book on your own or shell out money for a professional?

 

Top 10 Blog Posts About Writing, Reading and Body Confidence


Top 10 Blog Posts About Reading Writing and Body Confidence

“Hello…it’s me…”

Nah, lol I wont go there.

Is it just me or is everyone else having a heard time not singing that line when someone says “Hello”. I love Adele but I’m ready for radio stations to give that song a rest.

There are so many newcomers here at Musings from a Curvy Romance Writer!

Welcome!

I hope you are finding my website useful, informative and entertaining. If not, don’t tell me, I like to live in blissful ignorance.

If you’ve just joined us after reading an awesome article of mine and were wondering what other awesome articles I have written, well wonder no more! Today is your lucky day. Below I’ve listed my top 10 most popular blog posts for writing, reading and curvy living. Enjoy!

My Top 10 Blog Posts About Writing (#curvywriter)

  1. 35 Random Idea Generators for Writing a Romance Novel
  2. Did You Know You Can Print on Index Cards???
  3. How To Write a Villain that Readers Will Love to Hate
  4. 365 Blog Post Ideas for Authors and Writers
  5. What are the most popular sub genres in romance & how do they compare?
  6. A Writers Notebook
  7. How to Outline Your Novel with a Bulletin Board
  8. Part 2: How to Outline Your Novel with a bulletin board
  9. 5 Easy steps to creating a social media posting schedule for writers
  10. How to treat your writing like a business

Future writing blog posts can be found every Monday at 9am

My Top 10 Blog Posts About Reading (#curvyreader)

  1. A list of Plus sized heroines and the heroes that love them
  2. What do romance readers really want
  3. African American Romance Reads of the Curvy Persuasion
  4. 20 of the Most swoon worthy heroes in romance
  5. Does Reading a book exercise your mind?
  6. The Ultimate list of wordpress romance book review blogs
  7. Diversity in Romance, Does that exist?
  8. There’s An App For That…
  9. Reading Challenges & One library app to rule them all
  10. Curvy Heroines and the women who read them

Future reading blog posts can be found every Wednesday at 9am.

My Top 10 Blog Posts About Curvy Living/Body Confidence (#curvyliving)

  1. 30 Curvy Body Acceptance Websites that will help build confidence
  2. Do Men who prefer plus size women actually exist?
  3. Plus size women in art
  4. On being plus size in the workplace
  5. Does your appearance really make a difference?
  6. Body Love Mantra’s, personal goals and self help books
  7. Exercising for Health vs Exercising to be skinny
  8. Embracing Body Positivity in 2015
  9. What is body confidence
  10. How race and ethnic heritage influence body acceptance

Future curving living/body confidence blog posts can be found every Friday at 9am.

These are just a few of the articles I’ve written for this website since 2013. To view the articles in their entirety you can do 1 of 3 things

  1. You can search through my archives using the search bar located on the top right by typing keywords like:
    1. Writing or #curvywriter
    2. Reading or #curvyreader
    3. Body Confidence or #curvyliving
  2. You can go to the archives section located on the right and click on a certain month to view all the articles that were published during that time.
  3. Just below the archive section on the right is a section called “Categories”. There, you can click on subjects that I’ve tagged over the years.

Sarcasm and witty banter aside, I am happy to see all those who are new and old reading, enjoying and using the information I have shared. I mean, let’s be honest, I’m not writing these articles for myself. It’s nice to see other people enjoy them.

Hey did you know that I can also be found wasting time on various social media platforms?

Don’t be a stranger. I don’t bite… hard 😉 .

About Me Collage

Stay Tuned

Monday 9am “Audio Books: Are They Worth The Fuss?”

Wednesday 9am “Romance Audio Books and Where To Find Them”

Let's Chat Graphic

 

  • Leave me a comment and let me know how you found me and why you chose to stick around. 
  • Did your favorite article make the list? If not let me know what it was. 
  • What would you like me to write about next? 

Plus Size Women in Art


Plus Size Women in Art

The plus size female body is a hot topic lately.

There is a heated debate on whether it’s something to be accepted, shunned, or even revered.

There is also discussions on whether you can be fat and healthy, fat and successful or dare I say it, fat and happy.

Though the level of discussion on the topic is new, the discussion itself is not.

Since the human race has started creating art out of what they see there has been talk about the ideal size and shape of our bodies and what those shapes say about our health, happiness and our status in society

Of course, that way of thinking went rampant when print and video media became mainstream and the opinion of a few key sources became fact in the minds of the masses.

However, that’s not what this article is about.

Today I want to focus on the female body as art. Specifically, the plus size female body.

Art is subjective.

What one person considers art another person might consider trash.

The purpose of art is to evoke a response from the viewers, any response.

The artist sets out creating his or her collection in hopes that you will see what they see, that you will understand the message they are trying to convey.

It doesn’t always work that way but not matter what, you will always walk away with an opinion of it.

I’ve searched the internet to find current artful images of the plus size female form and I feel I’ve gathered some really great examples.

As you look over these art pieces I would like to ask one thing of you:

Try not to look at the pieces and fixate on the flaws that you see, or whether or not this person is healthy, or whether or not you are sexually attracted to this image or how or why someone else might be.

Just look at the images below and think about the subject in the photo as an actual person.

  • Why did she pose for this artist?
  • How does she feel about her body?
  • How do you think others treat her because of the size and shape of her body?
  • What do you think she gained from taking part in this?

Now, turn those thoughts back onto yourself.

  • If you saw a naked picture of yourself would you focus on the flaws that you see or would you take the time to really look at your body?
  • Would you even be comfortable posing nude for a photographer, sculptor or painter? Why or why not?
  • When you look at a plus size body do you only think negative thoughts? If so why?
  • If you had the courage to pose nude for an artist what do you think you would gain from the experience?

If you feel yourself leaning towards negative thoughts about the images below, ask yourself the following:

  • What is it exactly about this image that brings up negative thoughts in your mind?
  • What are those negative thoughts specifically?
  • Do you look at the images below and think “They cant be healthy or comfortable in their body. Therefore they can’t be happy. Therefore this body is negative.”? Why do you assume that?
  • Do you fixate on the nakedness and think fetish or pornography? Why?
  • Can you see a plus size body as just a body and not dwell on negative things you’ve been taught about it?

Let’s take this a step further and ask ourselves:

Are we responding the way we are from personal experience or from what we’ve learned through social media?

Warning: The following photos, videos and sculptures will contain various forms of nudity.

Adipositivity Project by Substantia Jones

“Chubby Women” by Xu Hong Fei 

Curves a photography book by Victoria Janashvili

Full Beauty Project by Yossi Loloi

Nothing To Loose by Force Majeure with artistic director Kate Champion

The Expose Project by Liora K

 “At the end of the day though, what I really wanted the women to get out of our time (how ever brief) together was that they were IMPORTANT.  That their bodies deserved to be seen, that what they perceive as faults are simply THEM, and are neither right nor wrong.  That showing their bodies won’t innately cause them harm.  That their breasts won’t cause damage to those around them, or their bellies or thighs either.  That their nudity, while making them vulnerable, does not make them at fault.  And that lastly, their bodies are their vehicles through life, and to treat them with kindness.  I hope that came across.” Taken from Liora K’s Blog 

The Full Body Project by Leonard Nimoy

The Point Isn't To Find Fault in Imperfection but to find the beauty within it

 

  • How did the images in this article make you feel?Let's Chat Graphic
  • How did the questions in this article make you feel?
  • Do you consider the naked body, no matter the size, a form of art?

What Should You Read Next? How About The RITA Finalists of 2015


What Should I Read Next

It’s about that time of year again.

The weather is getting warmer, the trees are getting greener and people are starting to plan their little vacation getaways.

What’s a vacation without a few good books to read?

A boring one in my mind!

So, if you are like me and are looking for something new to read on your trip or just looking for something to read at home might I suggest you browse through this list of RITA finalists?

What’s a RITA finalist?

I’m glad you asked!

A RITA finalist is an author who’s book has been selected to move onto the final phase of the RITA competition.

What is the RITA competition?

The RITA is an award given by the Romance Writers of American (RWA) to RWA members who enter into the RITA competition. It’s a yearly competition where up to 2,000 romance novels are entered covering a wide variety of sub genres in romance. For books to qualify for the RITA award they must have already been published. There are two rounds in the competition with the winners announced during the annual RWA convention. This isn’t just some simple no fuss award ceremony. It’s like the Oscars for romance writers. I hope to one day be sitting in that audience decked out in a fancy dress waiting breathlessly for my name to be called!

Best First Book

Contemporary Romance: Long

Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length

Contemporary Romance: Short

Erotic Romance

Historical Romance: Long

Historical Romance: Short

Inspirational Romance

Paranormal Romance

Romance Novella 

Romantic Suspense

Young Adult Romance 

If you didn’t see anything to tickled your book bone check out the following posts where list other great romance books:

Stay Tuned

  • Have you read any of the books listed above?Let's Chat Graphic
  • If so which was your favorite and why?
  • Do you know of an RWA Author that you feel should have been on the RITA 2015 finalist list? If so who?
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