Rock*It Reads is a new concept that’s getting a lot of buzz – even USA Today is talking about it. Today’s Visiting Professor, author Monica Burns, is here to tell us all about Rock*It Reads and the authors who conceived of it.
I’d like to thank Romance University and Becke Davis for inviting me to blog today. What author doesn’t love getting a chance to chat with readers!
For those who don’t know me, I’ve been published for going on eight years now. I started out in ePublishing then progressed to traditional New York publishing. I still have my feet in those two venues, but I’ve just recently started releasing my old eBooks via the self-publishing route.
Self-publishing. It’s changing the entire publishing landscape. Authors have more freedom and readers have more choices. However, a quality read is one thing every reader wants in a book. Quality means different things to different people, but one thing’s certain, a competently formatted and edited story makes for a better book. It’s a criterion the reading community reiterates on a consistent basis.
When a reader buys a book, they want to be entertained. When they’re deep into the story, readers get really irritated when they’re continuously stumbling over typos, misused words, or other issues that an eye for detail would have caught. In other words, readers want to enjoy a great story uninterrupted, but finding a good read is like mining for gold. Word-of-mouth continues to be a primary source of readers finding a great story, but another way is an author brand.
One such author brand is Rock*It Reads whose members include Monica Burns, Pamela Clare, Lila DiPasqua, Cheryl Holt, Vanessa Kelly, Kris Kennedy, Margo Maguire, Mia Marlowe, Elisabeth Naughton, Sharon Page and Joan Swan. We are traditionally published authors committed to producing the best quality self-published reads possible. We do that by ensuring our self-published books receive a strong editorial review, go through a solid copyediting process, and are properly formatted for a multitude of popular eReaders.
Branding isn’t a new concept in marketing. It’s about creating a recognizable product. For instance, Ellora’s Cave is known for eErotic romance. Harlequin is another brand readers recognize. When you pick up a HQ Intrigue, Presents, SuperRomance, etc. you know the exact type of read you’re buying. It might be written by an author you don’t know, but as a consumer, you’re thinking, hey I enjoyed the last Intrigue I read, let me try this new one.
While branding isn’t a new idea, an author brand is groundbreaking in the self-publishing industry. Rock*It Reads is the first group of its kind to develop a specific logo for our self-published books. We each publish our individual works, contract with cover artists; copyeditors, content editors and formatters; and we set our own prices. But once we’re ready to release our self-published works, we add the Rock*It Reads logo to the cover and put it up on our website. We are not a publisher. We’re just creating a recognizable brand readers can trust when it comes to a quality read.
The Rock*It Reads logo is a visual representation of quality. It says the Rock*It Reads authors care deeply about giving readers the best possible reading experience by taking into account the little things that drive readers crazy. While you might not like the story, you’re getting a read that is strong on the basics of self-publishing. These are reads that can go toe to toe with any book a traditional publisher puts out.
One of the really positive outcomes the Rock*It Reads group has seen in its growth is our partnership with Barnes and Noble. We approached Barnes and Noble about the possibility of doing a column promoting the gems of self-publishing romances that might appeal to readers. Barnes and Noble were enthusiastic about our proposal, and as a result the Love Rocks column at BNReview.com was born.
We’re not a review column, and we don’t want to be. We’re not about analyzing books. We’re just a group of readers, who happen to be authors, chatting about self-published romances we’ve found and fell in love with. We want to build a community where we chat with readers about the self-published romances they’ve enjoyed reading. And like those readers, we’ll talk about books we’ve pulled out of cyberspace and fell in love with.
There were a great many puzzle pieces to work through before Rock*It Reads became what readers see now. It took a lot of hard work, but we believe it’s worth it. We also fully expect other groups to form and develop their own brands. We see that as a good thing for readers. Readers’ expectations for a quality read is what drove us to start Rock*It Reads.
As other groups catch onto the idea of author brands, readers can expect to find even more self-published gems they might not have found otherwise. Author brands that are committed to quality make it easier for readers to find books they’ll enjoy without the major pitfalls of books that don’t have a recognizable seal of quality. So check us out at RockItReads.com, I think we have a few of those gems you’ve been looking for in self-published romance.
How many of you read e-books? Have you wished for higher quality standards in self-published books?
On Wednesday, weapons expert and literary consultant Adam Firestone answers questions about choreographing direct action scenes.
An award-winning author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today.
From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.
Monica is a survivor, and it’s a topic she has become well versed in. A survivor of date rape at the age of 19, writing erotic romance has aided her in the life-long process of healing. Her writing has helped her reclaim some of her self-worth, and you can read her story here.
- Weekly Lecture Schedule for April 30-May 4, 2012 – Monica Burns, Adam Firestone & Amy Atwell
- How to publish your book through PubIt!—and market it, too!
- Author Monica Burns: The Greater the Risk — The Greater the Profit
- Weekly Lecture Schedule for December 5 – 9, 2011
- 3-Part Mini-Series: The Other Side of the Bookshelf