This morning my Guest Star is Bestselling Print romance author Elaine Raco Chase.
Elaine has made the transition from print bestseller to ebook author/publisher. You may have noticed her Framed Cover designs on Amazon, Nook, and the other digital publishing retailers.
Each book cover looks like a framed picture as you can tell from her most recent release Dare The Devil which is shown here. Like so many authors, Elaine's thrilled to be labeled Indie Author.
In Her Own Words
First, I'd like to thank Joan for giving me the opportunity to be a blogger on her great site. I'm sure you all realize how generous Joan is in giving her time, information and for just being Joan. Joan was my neighbor when I first moved to Clear Lake, Texas, back in 1985, and we've been friends no matter where our moves – well, moved us!
So, what does it take to make a print bestseller into an ebook? Not much – but then a lot! But it's a lot of fun.
My first book Rules of the Game, a contemporary romance, was written in 1979 and published in 1980 as part of the Dell Candlelight Romance series. This book represented a lot of firsts. It was their first romantic comedy, the first with a man's point of view, the first with more dialogue than normal. That's because I came from writing for radio/TV.
I wrote that book on a typewriter, with carbon paper and onion skin for copies (no copy machines for personal use back then!)--and with a large bottle of White-Out by my side.
Actually all of my romances were written that way. I was very late into the computer world as many of my friends would call me to cry over missing text, power outages that made it all disappear, and their accumulation of 4-letter words when the blue-screen of death popped up instead of their latest WIP, that is, work in progress.
Now I'm retyping all of my novels so I'll have a Word file to use for ebook format, and I am also updating each book as I go. I tried scanning rather than retyping. Some manuscripts easily took to scanning into a Word file, but others, not so much. I'd rather retype and edit as I go.
So what am I updating? Certainly not the classic plot line of: boy meets girl, a few problems ensue, then happily ever after. That's been a standard happy ending plotline since the dawn of writing. But let's look at plot devices.
Technology: cellphones, computers, smartphones, iPads, tablets. It's mind-boggling. So adjustments have to be made for technology.
The other woman. She was a staple in early romance novels, oddly enough, and the other woman is still in the picture and in the headlines. Think sports stars, politicians, entertainment stars--yup, there she is. So this too is a viable plot device. You just have to make it mature and today.
Updating: Language & Love
As an experienced writer, and writing teacher, I recognize that romance readers' expectations are different now in what they expect from language and love scenes. Especially in the area of love scenes – yikes!
Explicit language was not allowed when my romance novels were published. Love scenes, while provocative then were actually quite tame. Yes, a lot of readers still love sweet romance, but I have a feeling my characters are just jumping at the chance to really consummate their relationships. After all, they've been waiting for a long time to get it on!
Damn, everything old is new again!
Updating: Book Covers
It's been fun creating my own covers, paying homage to the basic design element of a framed image used by the original Dell Ecstasy and Silhouette Desire covers, but ramping them up a bit as well. My cover designs are a lot hotter and sexier to represent the sexier, updated stories.
So far, I have ebooked seven of my titles, with Rules of the Game and Caught in a Trap coming in October and November. It's an adventure and quite thrilling to have new readers fall in love with my books.
Please take a look inside or sample my contemporary romances. Let me know what you think. I can be reached at elainerc at juno.com.
Savvy authors analyze their backlist in light of the expectations of today's readers and proceed accordingly.