Indie Authors Post Open Letter to Microsoft about Barnes and Noble

I wasn’t the only indie author to welcome the recent news that Microsoft had come to Barnes and Noble’s rescue. If you missed the news, see the Wall Street Journal article Microsoft Hooks Onto Nook: Software Maker’s $300 Million Deal Gives It a 17.6% Stake in Barnes & Noble Subsidiary

I started rereleasing my previously published books some years ago, when I applied to my print publisher for reversion of rights of some of my print-published titles. Back then I believed eBook adoption would be swift and enthusiastic, but it was actually over ten years before eReaders became a common sight.

The last few years have been filled with big changes in publishing, and where authors who chose to publish their own works were once looked down upon, so many big authors have joined the crowd of “indies” (independently published authors using the readily available vehicles for publishing their own eBooks and POD – AKA Print on Demand – books) that most traditionally published authors are at least considering applying for reversion of rights and independently ePublishing their backlist. It’s hard to argue that “real authors don’t self-publish” when J. K. Rowling is going the indie route for eBook releases of Harry Potter.

Amazon has taken the lead in making it easy and inexpensive for authors to publish independently with Kindle Digital Publishing and CreateSpace Print on Demand services, and supporting services and forums for indie authors. Authors wanting to make their books available on the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Kobo, and Apple devices can go direct to the online vendors like Barnes & Noble and Apple, or they can go through Smashwords.com which offers eBook publishing and sales, and  distribution services to other retail channels like Apple, Kobobooks, Sony, and Barnes and Noble.

When I learned that Microsoft was investing $300 million in Barnes and Noble’s digital book business, like many others, I hoped that this would give new life to Barnes and Noble’s digital book presence, and allow B&N to offer both authors and readers better service. Frankly, Barnes and Noble’s performance in this area has been disappointing.

Competition gives both readers and authors more choices, and creates a healthier industry.

Author Libby Fischer Hellman, publicist Rebecca Crowley, NYT bestselling author Ruth Harris, and thriller author CJ West have done more than wish good things for Microsoft’s investment in Barnes and Noble. They’ve taken the time to analyze their experience of digital publishing through Barnes and Noble and Amazon, and write an open letter to Microsoft sharing their view of how Microsoft can help make Barnes and Noble’s digital book presence better for readers, authors, and the publishing industry.

If you want to see healthy competition in the eBook world, pop over to Libby’s blog and read the Open Letter to Microsoft written by these four authors. While you’re there, take the time to use the share buttons at the top of the blog to spread the word, and make a comment yourself.

And have a good day!

Vanessa

Free book – March 3 and 4. “If You Loved Me”

As a gift to my readers, I’m setting the Kindle eBook version of my romance novel “If You Loved Me” free for two days – March 2 and 3rd. Have a free read on me!

This edition includes a free preview of The Colors of Love.

In my September 23, 2011 blog Yippee! … If You Loved Me  I shared some amusing moments during this novel’s original journey to publication has some amusing moments, and talked about my excitement about this new edition of this romantic novel.

The majority of If You Loved Me is set in a beautiful – and remote – area of the Pacific Northwest coastline that was my home for many years.

She needed his help to find her son – no matter what the cost!Surgeon Emma Garrett had made sacrifices to follow her dream of becoming a doctor – and yet none was as painful as turning down Gray McKenzie. But not even the threat of losing her greatest love could stop Emma from fulfilling her dream of repairing the bodies of damaged children.Now widowed with a thriving Seattle practice and an eighteen-year-old son, Emma is suddenly plunged into the wilderness when her son and his friend disappear on a kayaking trip. She desperately needs the help of an expert who knows the territory – and nobody knows the Pacific Ocean’s north coast wilderness like Gray McKenzie.But when Emma arrives on Gray’s remote doorstep unannounced and determined that Gray will rescue her son, she soon realizes that reawakening her past may cost far more than she’d imagined.

Available from Amazon USA and Amazon UK (also Amazon DE, IT, FR, and ES)

Enjoy!

Vanessa

The Colors of Love

I’m very pleased to be releasing this new version of The Colors of Love, a romance novel I originally wrote for Kensington books a few years ago. I had a lot of fun writing this novel, and editing the novel in preparation for this new release brought me some joyous memories of my uncle, the artist John Keast, who passed away recently. John had a passionate interest in life, people, and art. My journey back through the love story of my fictitious artist heroine, Jamie Ferguson, brought some wonderful memories back for me.

The Colors of Love – now available!!

“Ms. Grant creates a masterpiece … romance at its best.” Rendezvous.

Dr. Alexander Kent feels disturbing surges of both irritation and desire every time he encounters Seattle artist Jamie Ferguson. Alex likes order, efficiency, and women who are as sensible and reliable as he is. With her riot of red curls and flashing emerald eyes, Jamie is the very picture of a restless spirit – the kind of woman he knows all too well: here today and gone tomorrow.

Jamie finds Alex domineering and strangely gruff. But when she begins painting his portrait in gold and rose hues, she discovers that his scowl hides a well of tenderness. It’s up to her to show him that the growing love they share is not only red-hot, but also enduring, timeless, and simply meant to be.

Now available from Amazon USA and Amazon UK

STORM – set on Haida Gwaii – free on Amazon stores Jan 30 and 31!

As a special thank you to my readers, I’m giving the Kindle edition of STORM away free today and tomorrow! Also included with this edition, a free excerpt of If You Loved Me.

Storm is my second novel, the story of Luke and Laurie falling in love on the magical islands of Haida Gwaii in British Columbia. Luke and Laurie have always had a special place in my heart, and the storm that drew them together symbolized many coastal adventures I’ve shared with my husband.

When I wrote Storm, I set the story on the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia, islands originally named after the wife of the British King George III without regard to the fact that the indigenous First Nations had already named their islands. In 2009 the British Columbia signed a historic reconciliation agreement with the Haida Nation, and the islands were renamed Haida Gwaii. Because the romance in Storm is so much a part of the heritage of Haida Gwaii, for this new edition I wanted to bring the story forward into the 21st Century.

In bringing the islands forward to the present day, I’ve taken artistic license with regard to logging on Lyell Island. A few years after the book was originally published, a national park was established and the Gwaii Trust was given the task of managing the forests. Because logging itself is not central to the story, I’ve taken the artistic license of leaving the logging camp on Lyell Island.

Print and Kindle editions are available. Also available for borrowing on the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library 

STORM is available at these Amazon online stores:

 

If You Loved Me

She needed his help to find her son – no matter what the cost!

Surgeon Emma Garrett had made sacrifices to follow her dream of becoming a doctor – and yet none was as painful as turning down Gray McKenzie. But not even the threat of losing her greatest love could stop Emma from fulfilling her dream of repairing the bodies of damaged children.

Now widowed with a thriving Seattle practice and an eighteen-year-old son, Emma is suddenly plunged into the wilderness when her son and his friend disappear on a kayaking trip. She desperately needs the help of an expert who knows the territory – and nobody knows the Pacific Ocean’s north coast wilderness like Gray McKenzie.

But when Emma arrives on Gray’s remote doorstep unannounced and determined that Gray will rescue her son, she soon realizes that reawakening her past may cost far more than she’d imagined.

Available from Amazon USA and Amazon UK

I’m thrilled to be able to announce that If You Loved Me is now available. The story of children’s surgeon Emma  and wilderness photographer Gray McKenzie is one of my favourite, and the first of four books I wrote for Kensington Books a few years ago.

 If You Loved Me is now available in Kindle edition. A sample chapter is also available at  Amazon USA and Amazon UK
The new print edition will be out in February.
Have a great day!
Vanessa

A special thank you gift for my readers … STORM is free Dec 30 & 31

Click the picture for your free copy of STORM!

As a special year-end thank you to my readers, on December 30 and 31st, I’ll be giving away one of my favourite novels, my recently released novel STORM.

Storm is the first of three novels I wrote which were set on the Pacific Northwest islands of Haida Gwaii and it’s always been one of my personal favourites. Earlier this year, I decided to release STORM, but in the editing process, I realized that to give the full flavour of the Haida Gwaii islands where the story is set, I needed to bring the story forward into the present (See my December 26th blog, where I talk about my decision to prepare this “Author’s Cut” of Storm.

When I first wrote Storm, I was very new to the business of publishing, and unprepared to learn that my title, “Storm Warning,” had been used by someone else. The idea for the book had grown out of my personal life experiences on the remote north coast of British Columbia. While living on an isolated British Columbia lighthouse, I’d followed a number of life-and-death searches for vessels in trouble, and one lengthy search for a downed Coast Guard helicopter. Many of these emergencies were triggered by the stormy weather, and my search memories are punctuated with marine Storm Warnings issued by Prince Rupert Marine-Air Radio, as it was then called. Later, I sailed the islands of Haida Gwaii with my family, and visited Hot Spring Island (Gandla’kin) one wonderful summer. This island, now part of Gwaii Haanas National Park, has to be the most romantic, isolated coastal treasure I’ve ever visited. Sitting in that hot spring at the top of the world, looking out over the islands of South Moresby – I won’t describe it here, because I’ve already done that in the book 🙂

Check out Hot Spring Island – the setting for a one of STORM’s pivotal, romantic scenes. Just collecting these 2 links to the Islands makes me yearn to return to that magical place.

But back to titles. After I’d floundered for a while, coming up with half-baked titles, my editor suggested that we simply call the book STORM.

Perfect! And thank you, Elizabeth, for seeing the obvious and perfect title, when I couldn’t 🙂

I was pleased that the book’s original cover evoked the stormy night I’d envisioned, but a few months ago when I engaged Angie of AngieOCreations to do the cover for this Author’s Cut of the story, I realized I’d stepped into author paradise. After years wishing I had a voice on covers, I was overjoyed to work with an artist eager to share my vision of the book. Yes, this is exactly what I wanted! Thank you, Angie!  You’re a joy to work with.

Enough rambling about the author. Click on  Storm – the Author’s Cut – Free for 2 days: Dec 30 and 31 and get your free copy, compliments of the author.

Other Vanessa Grant books set on the magic islands of Haida Gwaii

  • Jenny’s Turn (Stray Lady, the sequel to Jenny’s Turn, is set partially on remote Green Island Lighthouse, where I once lived)
  • Stranded Heart (set in various Haida Gwaii locations, including Queen Charlotte City – which has approximately 948 residents! The heroine of Stranded Heart is a pilot flying for QC Air, the fictitious charter company owned by the hero of Storm)

I hope you enjoy the Islands, and have a wonderful year in 2012!

Vanessa Grant

“Storm – the Author’s Cut” is now available

I expected to have this new edition of one of my favourite romances up back in September, but when I started editing the manuscript in preparation for the new release, I couldn’t resist making a few small changes – then one thing led to another, and here it is, almost the end of December.

Storm is my second novel, the story of Luke and Laurie falling in love on the magical islands of Haida Gwaii in British Columbia. Luke and Laurie have always had a special place in my heart, and the storm that drew them together symbolized many coastal adventures I’ve shared with my husband.

When I wrote Storm, I set the story on the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia, islands originally named after the wife of the British King George III without regard to the fact that the indigenous First Nations had already named their islands. In 2009 the province of British Columbia signed a historic reconciliation agreement with the Haida Nation, and the islands were renamed Haida Gwaii. Because the romance in Storm is so much a part of the heritage of Haida Gwaii, I wanted to bring the story forward into the 21st Century.

In bringing the islands forward to the present day, I’ve taken artistic license with regard to logging on Lyell Island. A few years after the book was originally published, a national park was established and the Gwaii Trust was given the task of managing the forests. Because logging itself is not central to the story, I’ve taken the artistic license of leaving the logging camp on Lyell Island.

Check out Storm – the Author’s Cut at the Amazon Kindle Store – a free sample is available. I’ve decided to enrol this book in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library as well, so members can borrow the book.

… and coming soon – a new print edition of Storm – The Author’s Cut

Enjoy, and to everyone, have a wonderful, fulfilling year in 2012!

Vanessa
 Storm – the Author’s Cut

If You Loved Me

Coming soon as an Indie publication.

Recently I received the almost-ready-to-publish-as-an-ebook file of If You Loved Me, a novel of mine originally published by Zebra Bouquet (Kensington Books).  I love this story and I’m so pumped to know it will soon be available once again!

Originally I wrote it for Mills and Boon Harlequin, but my editor there wanted me to

  1. make the heroine younger (she was in her late thirties), and
  2. change the father of her son to someone else

The whole story was based on the premise that Emma’s son had gone kayaking in the wilderness with a friend, and was now missing. Changing Emma’s age would have made her either a child-mother, or a negligent one for letting her pre-adolescent son head into the wilderness without an adult. In addition, it was unlikely she would have achieved prominence as an orthopaedic surgeon at the ripe old age of twenty-something.

My editor was reasonable about Emma’s age because of the negligent mother issue, but wouldn’t budge on the identity of her son’s father. I decided not to change the identity of the father of Emma’s son, because that would change a crucial decision Emma had made in the past – and my plot would make no sense at all. So I withdrew the novel and went on to write several other books for Harlequin.

A few years later I learned that one of the Kensington editors was looking for 70,000 word stories for their new Bouquet imprint. I decided to submit  If You Loved Me. I would need to add an extra 10-15,000 words, but that would be a pleasure as I’d been challenged to fit it into M&B’s 55-60,000 word limit when I first wrote the novel. I sent off an email query and received a phone call from Kensington within a few days.  If You Loved Me became the first of four novels I wrote for Kensington, and I enjoyed the scope the extra length gave me.

I laughed when my new Kensington editor told me that one of the things she loved about the book was the boy’s parentage – the exact thing that had caused me to withdraw the book from M&B. Go figure!

Last year I applied to get the rights back to my four Kensington novels, and when I received the reversion documents I was thrilled because I could have all four novels available as eBooks for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks in the next few months.

So here I am with the “e” equivalent of galleys, ready to start the final edit. Unlike the world of print books, I have the opportunity to make any changes I like before the book goes out to the world – and I get to work with my own cover artist on a design! Kensington does great cover art and I liked the covers of my four Bouquets, but being in on the creation with a cover designer like Angela is a real joy. (October 4, 2011 – Just got the new cover art from AngieOCreations.com and updated this page! I love this cover)

So while my husband and I continue east on our road trip across the North American continent, I’ll be enjoying a final read through If You Loved Me before it goes to e-press on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks!

Originally published by Kensington Zebra.

Coming soon as an eBook through Amazon Kindle and Smashwords:

Upcoming titles soon to be re-released.

  • The Colors of Love
  • Seeing Stars
  • Think About Love

Stray Lady

One minute George was sailing single-handed down Canada’s west coast, willing the salt breezes to show her how to go on living without her husband. The next she was being pulled from the waves by lighthouse keeper Lyle Stevens and drawn into a magic existence with him and his daughter. Lyle offered George love and the home she’d never known – but did she have the courage to gamble on love again?

Book 2 of the Jenny and Georgina series

… about writing Stray Lady

“I got the idea for Stray Lady while I was writing my fifth romance novel,  Jenny’s Turn. Jenny was miserable in love with a hero who never seemed to notice her, and I needed someone to shake Jenny out of her hopeless love and get her far enough away for the hero to realize how much she meant to him. I reached for inspiration and Jenny’s phone rang. When she picked it up, there was her cousin George. Like the hero of Jenny’s Turn, I didn’t realize at first that George was a woman. As a matter of fact, George and her guitar caused me quite a bit of trouble while I was writing Stray Lady. Here’s a woman sailing around the world and afraid to stop because she’s running from her grief. George’s story unfolded for me as I wrote Jenny’s Turn and I had to take a firm hand with this restless woman to stop her from taking over her cousin’s romance. “Just step back,” I told her firmly. “This is Jenny’s story, not yours. I’ll do you next, I promise.” Once Jenny’s Turn had been shipped off to my publisher, I was finally free to let George loose and as soon as I put her on the page of her own book she started causing trouble for me again. How on earth could I get her to stay in one place long enough to fall in love? I hope you enjoy reading Stray Lady as much as I enjoyed writing it.” Vanessa Grant

Originally published in hardcover by Mills and Boon Limited.

Now available as an eBook through the following retailers:

Kindle eBook – Stray Lady (Jenny and Georgina) from Amazon
Apple’s iBookstore (type the author or title name in the search box)
Smashwords (Multi Formats including Kindle, Sony, ePub, PDF, Palm PDB)

Yippee! … If You Loved Me

Yesterday I received the almost-ready-to-publish-as-an-ebook file of If You Loved Me, a novel of mine originally published by Zebra Bouquet (Kensington Books).  I love this story and I’m so pumped to know it will soon be available once again!

Originally I wrote it for Mills and Boon Harlequin, but my editor there wanted me to

  1. make the heroine younger (she was in her late thirties), and
  2. change the father of her son to someone else
The whole story was based on the premise that Emma’s son had gone kayaking in the wilderness with a friend, and was now missing. Changing Emma’s age would have made her either a child-mother, or a negligent one for letting her pre-adolescent son head into the wilderness without an adult. In addition, it was unlikely she would have achieved prominence as an orthopaedic surgeon at the ripe old age of twenty-something.
My editor was reasonable about Emma’s age because of the negligent mother issue, but wouldn’t budge on the identity of her son’s father. I decided not to change the identity of the father of Emma’s son, because that would change a crucial decision Emma had made in the past – and my plot would make no sense at all. So I withdrew the novel and went on to write several other books for Harlequin.
A few years later I learned that one of the Kensington editors was looking for 70,000 word stories for their new Bouquet imprint. I decided to submit  If You Loved Me. I would need to add an extra 10-15,000 words, but that would be a pleasure as I’d been challenged to fit it into M&B’s 55-60,000 word limit when I first wrote the novel. I sent off an email query and received a phone call from Kensington within a few days.  If You Loved Me became the first of four novels I wrote for Kensington, and I enjoyed the scope the extra length gave me.
I laughed when my new Kensington editor told me that one of the things she loved about the book was the boy’s parentage – the exact thing that had caused me to withdraw the book from M&B. Go figure!
Last year I applied to get the rights back to my four Kensington novels, and when I received the reversion documents I was thrilled because I could have all four novels available as eBooks for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks before the end of 2011.
So here I am with the “e” equivalent of galleys, ready to start the final edit. Unlike the world of print books, I have the opportunity to make any changes I like before the book goes out to the world – and I get to work with my own cover artist on a design! Kensington does great cover art and I liked the covers of my four Bouquets, but being in on the creation with a cover designer like Angela is a real joy.
So while my husband and I continue east on our road trip across the North American continent, I’ll be enjoying a final read through If You Loved Me before it goes to e-press on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks!