Thursday, November 28, 2013

Free Read!

Right now, TRANCE is a free read at XOXO After Dark until December 16. It's the first book in my MetaWars series of original superheroes living in a post-almost-apocalypse world that fears anyone with powers.

So if you haven't jumped on board with MetaWars yet, now's a good time to try it out!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Announcement: New Series/Trilogy!!!!

Since the deal has been announced in Publisher's Marketplace and shown up on Romantic Times, I guess it's okay to make it all official-like and tell you the good news. Remember the Sekrit Project I've been tweeting about since last year?

It finally sold.

The PM blurb:

Kelly Meding writing as Kelly Meade's new paranormal romance series, CORNERSTONE RUN, beginning with BLACK ROOK, featuring a magus whose lackluster precognitive powers have made her an outcast among her people and three werewolf brothers fighting to keep their pack alive against attacks by supernatural hybrids, to Leis Pederson at Intermix, in a three-book deal, by Jonathan Lyons at Curtis Brown.

Cornerstone Run is a paranormal romance trilogy, set in a world of hidden loup garou, their mystical Magi enemies, and the occasional vampire. The small, reclusive town of Cornerstone, Pennsylvania, houses an almost entirely loup garou population—one of only thirteen towns around the country that serve as a sanctuary for their nonhuman inhabitants, where the loup garou are free to be themselves.  When a neighboring sanctuary town is attacked by a vicious, unknown enemy, the three sons of Cornerstone's Alpha must stand together to protect their people—and the women who steal their hearts.


You may have noticed the whole "Kelly Meade" thing and are scratching your head. I chose to publish under a pseudonym to distinguish this paranormal romance trilogy from my urban fantasy series work, but the name will remain linked in terms of my blog and website. The first book , BLACK ROOK, has a tentative release of Fall 2014.

For folks who aren't aware, Intermix is a digital-first imprint of Berkeley. Yep. Digital first again. But Intermix has produced some pretty awesome books since their formation, and I'm very excited to work with Leis on these novels.

To give you a better idea of what the first book is about, I've included the original query I worked up for submissions. I hope you're looking forward to the future shenanigans of three badass brothers named Bishop, Knight and Rook McQueen.


One mistake cost Brynn Atwood everything: her sense of worth, the respect of her Magus father, and her beloved job as a private tutor for the Congress of Magi, the most powerful organization of magic users in the world.  When Brynn has a vision of her father being murdered by a loup garou, she hopes to redeem herself in the eyes of her people by taking matters into her own hands.  She leaves the safety of her family home to confront her father's would-be killer and stop the vision from coming true.  Rook McQueen is the youngest of the local loup garou Alpha's three sons and, through a twist of fate, the first in line to inherit the position—if Rook can get his life together and act like Alpha material.  A failed musician and an acknowledged screw-up, Rook isn't sure he can ever live up to the expectations set by his father and two older brothers.

As if his life wasn't complicated enough, the last thing Rook expects is to be accused by a beautiful young Magus of the future murder of a man he's never met—on the same night another town of loup garou is slaughtered.  A new, lethal enemy is targeting loup garou and no one is quite sure what they are: loup, vampire, or something new altogether.  With his family in danger, Brynn not allowed to leave town, and hundreds of lives at stake, Rook can't afford to be the family screw-up anymore—or to allow the distraction of falling for the daughter of the Magus he's accused of killing.


So yeah.  YAY!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

MetaWars Bundle Update

So one or none of you may have noticed that the MetaWars bundle (a four-book collection of TRANCE, CHANGELING, TEMPEST and CHIMERA) is no longer for sale.

The bundle had to be pulled and renamed for reasons I can't talk about, but I'm assured once it's retitled I'll have a new release date for folks who were interested in purchasing all four books at one great price.

Thank you for your patience, and for your support with CHIMERA'S release yesterday.

Friday, November 08, 2013


The celebrate Monday's release, my publisher is giving away promo code for a copy META.WARS: THE COMPLETE SERIES, which bundles together TRANCE, CHANGELING, TEMPST, and CHIMERA!

Your first chance to win is at Yummy Men & KickAss Chicks.

Note: the promo code is not compatible with Kindle (sorry, this is a Simon & Schuster thing).

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

In Which I Get Brutally Honest and Try to Explain Formatting and Why It's Not Always Up to Me

This post was prompted by a reader email asking me when I was going to make all of my books available in paperback. I've been receiving variations of this question more and more frequently lately, so I thought I'd lay it all out there, and hopefully clear the air on what's available and how.

True Fact: Unless I self-publish something, the issue of format is not up to me

Format is the way in which the book is presented for sale. Format possibilities include: mass market paperback, trade paperback, hardcover, digital, and audio (plus a lot more that are way too expansive and make my eyes cross a little bit when looking at a contract).  But for the moment, these are the most popular formats.

For-sale format is, in the end, up to the publisher and what they contracted the book(s) for.  This means that Bantam picked the format for Dreg City, and Pocket Star picked the format for MetaWars.


The first four Dreg City books (Three Days to Dead, As Lie the Dead, Another Kind of Dead, Wrong Side of Dead) are all available in both digital and mass market format, through any major retailer. If you can't find the books on the shelves at your local bookstore, the bookstore can still order them.

It is no secret that book sales directly influence whether or not a publisher will contract an author for more books in a series (or if they will take a chance and buy a new series from the same author).  And while Three Days to Dead did and continues to sell well, interest in the rest of the series has....well, dwindled. A lot. Readers weren't finding books two, three, and four, for whatever reason, so Bantam chose to not issue a contract for more Dreg City books.

I chose to digitally self-publish the fifth book (Requiem for the Dead) so that the story could continue in some format. And yes, I am considering a paperback format through Createspace. Why haven't I done it yet? Because self-publishing costs money. I have invested not only my time, but also money into the cover, the ISBN, and formatting the book for various platforms (because Kindle does not take the same formatting as for Nook). File formatting is beyond my capabilities, so I had to pay someone else to do this for me, and it isn't cheap. I will have to pay someone to format for Createspace. And I honestly can't tell myself that the cost for creating a printable file will be recouped in sales.

I hate having to think like a publisher and worry about money, but when you self-publish that's what happens. I have to hope I sell enough copies to recoup my investment and maybe go have a steak dinner.


MetaWars is a little trickier.

Trance and Changeling were contracted together for mass market and digital release. But the sales were pretty terrible. I'm being honest here. Maybe superheroes simply don't translate to print as well as comics or movies. Maybe the books weren't marketed correctly and people wrote them off as more fluffy urban fantasy. I don't know. In terms of availability, I believe Trance is still available in both mass market and digital, but Changeling did not go back for a second printing, so those copies are dwindling.Changeling is available in trade format through a print-on-demand service, but once the mass market copies are sold out, that's done.

When it came time to submit a proposal for more books, Pocket chose to only offer to publish books three and four (Tempest, Chimera) in digital format. I accepted the offer because I love these characters, and I love their world, and I wasn't ready to say goodbye. Digital only is better than nothing at all. Did I know going into it that I would lose readers? Yes, and I'm sorry for that. But I was going to lose readers no matter what.

Again, it's all about sales. Publishing is a business, and despite good reviews across the board, my books aren't selling well. When that happens, publishers go to a simpler format, or they don't offer another contract. Sometimes with digital first imprints, a book may be offered in print at a later date if the digital sales are good. This type of contract is happening more and more frequently for mid-list authors, as evidenced by a recent Publisher's Weekly article. This is the type of contract offer I received for my most recent submission to New York publishers (which I will talk about more when I am able). It's an interesting shift that reflects our changing times, when ereaders and smartphones are taking over our lives and our society.

I often have folks tell me they don't own a Kindle, or another e-reading device. The good news is that even if you don't have an e-reader, there are lots of free apps that allow you to read digital books on a smart phone, tablet, and even on your personal computer. For a long time, I read digital-only books on my laptop, because being able to read those stories was more important to me than having a paper book in my hands (then I finally saved up and indulged in a very basic Nook).  There are ways to read digital books without buying an e-reader.

Digital is simply another format, much like hardcover or trade paperback. And digital is not going away. For some writers, it's becoming our lifeblood and our only source of income. Do I wish I could make all of my readers happy and give them the format they want? You bet your ass, I do. Can I? No. I don't wield that kind of power.

The only real power I have is to craft the most entertaining stories that I can possibly tell, and then do my best to get them into the marketplace.

After that, it's out of my hands.