Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Equal Rights Blog Hop Prizes; Queer Town Abbey; Word Count in M/M Books

Equal Rights Blog Hop Prize



For those who don't know, there's a blog hop for equal rights beginning tomorrow, the Fourth of July, and along with posts written by bloggers about what it means to them to be part of the LGBT community, there will also be a few prizes given away. At first I didn't think I'd have time, but then I reconsidered and I thought it was important enough to make the time. So I'm doing the hop, too. There's a link to my blog at the link I provided above.

I'll be posting my essay very late tonight on what it means to me to be part of the LGBT community, and I wanted to announce the prize today because my post is probably going to be long. I thought about giving away one of my books again, but this time, because of the nature of the blog hop, I wanted to do something a little different. So I'll be giving away two prizes for this event. And unlike the give-aways they have on Goodreads.com, I am NOT limiting this to the US. Anyone anywhere in world is eligible to win.

The first prize will be a collection of books in a five volume series about Tom of Finland (photo above). It's from my own extensive personal collection of gay culture and gay print books...and this will be a print collection that I will mail to your home...even if you live in the UK or Italy. The second prize will be a complimentary copy of my new upcoming anthology, The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance, which will be an e-book. I'm thinking of releasing a print version of this book, too. I'm still on the fence about that because I think most of my readers will read the e-book. But this book is also something I would like to enter in next year's Lambda awards and they only take print books.

In any event, all you have to do to win one of the prizes is post a comment on the post I'm going to put up on the Fourth of July, tomorrow, about the blog hop. I'll make that clear again tomorrow with my post, with a link to this post. At the end of the blog hop, which is July 7th, I will draw two names at random from the comment thread of the Fourth of July post like I did with the last blog hop. The first name I pick will receive the Tom of Finland print collection and the second name will receive the digital version of The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance. And The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance hasn't even been published yet. The release date is set for August first. But the winner will be one of the first people to get the book pre-release date later this month.

If anyone has a question, e-mail me here rfieldj@aol.com

For those who would like to know more about Tom of Finland, you can read more here. It's a very important part of gay culture...and some would even say pop culture in general.

Word Count In M/M Books 

I'm going to post more about this topic in the future, but I wanted to mention it now because this was one of my New Year's Resolutions for 2013, and I'm actually going to make it happen.

For the past five years or so, it seems that the standard word count in any given M/M romance book has been around 50,000 words. That's not a number set in stone by any means. I've written longer books, and I don't think I've ever submitted a novel that was less than 52,000 words. In fact, I usually average around 60,000 words. I know other writers have also written longer books. But most seem to run around 50,000 words or less, as if there's some kind of unspoken rule in digital publishing.

With some books 50,000 words is perfect. I'm not trying to put any word count limit on myself or anyone else. I even think 40,000 is right for some books. However, there have been times when I've written books that I wanted to be longer and I didn't do it for several reasons. One, I wasn't sure readers would want a longer book. Another reason is that e-publishers tend to contract books for 50,000 words. And yet another reason is there is a certain amount of challenge associated with writing a novel that only has 50,000 words. Although many would think it's easier to write less words, that's not always the case. I would go so far as to say it's almost an art form in word economy...less is more.

But that's not always how it works out. Sometimes a book should be longer and I've decided to make that decision with my books. And I'm going to be doing that with the final book in the Bad Boy Billionaire series with Ravenous Romance (they don't know this yet :). The tentative title of the book is The Small Town Romance Writer, but that's not set in stone either. I'm about forty thousand words into the book right now, and I honestly don't see how I can stop at fifty or sixty thousand words this time. Not with the story or the characters. So this book will probably be around 100,000 words. I think my publisher might want to kill me. But it's also the last book in the series, and I think readers will appreciate this when they read the book...they'll see how I needed to do it this time.

And while I don't think there should ever be a word count limit to any book because each book is different in that respect, and each book requires a different approach in that respect, I don't think I'm going to be adhering the to industry standard anymore with word count. In other words, my books will most likely be a lot longer and run closer to 80,000 words than 50,000 in the future. As I said, this all depends on the book. But I do think readers are going to like this change, too.

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