Laura Navarre guest blogs on E-Publishing

Welcome again Laura Navarre, who blogged on these site when she wrote about why she loves to read – and write – Dark Heroes. That blog was about her first novel,  THE DEVIL’S MISTRESS, a dark Tudor romance about a lady assassin who’s blackmailed to poison Anne Boleyn, which Navarre sold to Samhain Publishing.

Now she’s back with THE DEVIL'S TEMPTRESS,  (Dorchester) a dark Crusader romance about a disgraced Muslim knight and the ardent Christian woman who loves him at Eleanor of Aquitaine’s court.  TEMPTRESS was a 2009 Golden Heart finalist (submitted as The Devil’s Virtue) and has won numerous contests including the West Houston Romance Writers Emily Award for Excellence, the First Coast Romance Writers Beacon contest, the Golden Pen, the Music City Romance Writers Melody of Love, etc.  Bestselling Tudor author Robin Maxwell (The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn) blurbed the book as “exciting and passionate.”

You can read more about all of Navarre’s books here.
Navarre’s first e-release, THE DEVIL'S MISTRESS, appears  in trade paperback this month. Now that she has experience in both print and e-publishing, I asked her to talk to us about the e-publishing experience.

Here’s Laura:

Laura NavarreLaura Navarre

When Alison and I decided I would blog about e-publishing for my sophomore venture on her excellent website, I did so with some trepidation.  As a historical romance author pubbed in both e-format and print, I certainly felt qualified to discuss the subject, although I felt less certain I would have anything new to say.  Surely, I thought, this is old hat for readers by now.  Then The New York Times obligingly revamped its legendary bestsellers list to include e-books.  And opening the door to e-pubbed fiction means that even small press authors now have a chance to make the vaunted list.  As of this writing, small press Samhain author Maya Banks (Colters’ Daughter) is rubbing elbows with the likes of Stieg Larsson, John Grisham, and Dean Koontz on “The List”.

It’s certainly true that e-pubbed authors don’t get the bookstore visibility of a shop window displays at Barnes & Noble.  We don’t have the visceral satisfaction of holding a physical print book we can proudly show off to our family, neighbors, colleagues, our doctor, plumber, barista…you get the picture.  We’ve had to turn our writers’ creativity to finding new ways to promote our electronic magnum opi.  But, in the digital age, it hasn’t been all that difficult.  A staggering wealth of opportunities for online promo is available through website features, guest-blogs, excerpts, podcasts, contests, and other venues.  In fact, promoting my e-books has been far less expensive than promoting my work in print. 

I also have the opportunity to be more interactive with my readers.  For example, I can use this very blog to show you the actor who inspired me to write my hero, the disgraced Muslim knight known at Eleanor of Aquitaine’s court as the Devil of Damascus, in my dark Crusader romance The Devil’s Temptress, a Golden Heart finalist pubbed by Dorchester.  You can click here for a peek at actor Michael Wincott.  His Spanish villain Moxica in the movie 1492: Conquest of Paradise is my hero the Raven, right down to that shiversome gravelly voice!  And I can also show you the inspiration for my heroine, Lady Alienore of Lyonstone, who masquerades as a knight on the tourney field, defending shamed damsels no proper knight will champion.  Recognize her?    

Even book fairs are finding new ways to embrace the e-format.  For example, last year at the Emerald City Writers Conference in Seattle, e-pubbed authors were invited to set up their displays next to the big name print writers.  Visitors were encouraged to participate in a “scavenger hunt,” where they collected signatures from the e-pubbed authors and thus became eligible to win a Kindle, front-loaded with the e-authors’ latest work.  This year, I’m participating in organizing a writer’s conference for the first time, and we’re exploring ideas that may allow book fair visitors to buy e-books at the fair, then go home to download. 

Even that big kahuna of romance conferences, the Romantic Times convention in San Francisco is featuring digital publishing and a reader-author meet-up for digital authors.  Among other goings-on, the gorgeous model Shane Rice who portrays my hero Sir Joscelin Boleyn on the cover of Devil’s Mistress will be there signing autographs, and I’m pretty excited about that!  (Here he is, if you want a peek.)

Overall, I’ve had more fun promoting my e-books than I ever imagined.  Of course, I was still beyond thrilled with my first print release.  But I think it’s pretty cool that I’m now able to offer books to my readers in both formats. 
Happy reading!