Hi Passionate Inkers,
I hope you had a lovely summer! With the fall and the cooler air (for some of us anyway) comes gearing up for lots of writing and for Nanowrimo in November. This is a big newsletter with lots of good info and I wish you all a productive autumn!
In This Issue:
- PIWAR Board Elections coming soon — We need your enthusiasm!
- Sexy Scribbles 2020 Contest
- November Online Mini-Conference & Pitch Fest FREE for PIWAR members
- New Membership Fee FREE until January 2020
- Member New Releases
- Tales From the Road — new segment
- Member Resources
Have you been looking for a way to get more involved in Passionate Ink? The 2020 Passionate Ink Board of Directors NEEDS VOLUNTEERS.
Volunteer or nominate yourself for the following open positions:
- Vice President
- Vice President, Marketing and Communications
- Workshop Director
- Special Events Director
If you'd like to learn more about running for a Passionate Ink board position, email Amy Alessio at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 1.
Give us their first meeting, their first kiss, or even their first time! The Sexy Scribbles contest evaluates how well authors develop sexual tension in scenes of 1500-2000 words or less. Scenes may or not include sexual acts; judging will evaluate the quality of the writing, craft and portrayal of longing or emotion between characters. This contest is open to all authors, published or unpublished, of erotic or sexy/steamy romance.
Sign up to be a judge!
- Contest Opens: December 1, 2019
- Entry Deadline: December 31, 2019
- Category Finalists announced: January 30,2020
- Winners announced: February 14, 2020
Contemporary - Historical - Speculative - Paranormal - BDSM
Sexy Scribbles https://passionateink.org/sexy-scribbles-contest-details/
November Online Conference & Pitch Fest
FREE to PIWAR Members
November 12 - 15
Pitch Entries due 11/5 (Details TBA)
After the success of our summer mini online con, we are lining up another terrific selection of speakers, workshops and games for our November event. You'll be able to participate on our FB Convention page as it happens, or view events and videos at your leisure. The conference is open to all Passionate Ink members.
Join us for this exciting event!
Have a friend who you think would love joining our chapter? Passionate Ink is waiving membership fees for new sign-ups from now until December 31st! Tell your writer friends it’s a great time to join—they will have full access to the online conference hosted in November absolutely FREE!
Passionate Ink is always looking for new members. At $35/year, it’s a great way to meet new people and get writing support from our Private Facebook group. Beginning January 1, 2020, all memberships will be due at the standard rate of $35/year.
Want to see your new release here? Send your title, release date, cover image (300 x 450 pixels, .JPG), a description of up to 100 words, and your author website URL to email@example.com.
Congratulations to the following Passionate Ink authors on their new releases!
By Trinity Blacio
Release Date: August 11, 2019
The universe out there is much bigger than anyone knows. To control this, a great and powerful people long ago created what humans call the Grim Reapers. But to us and others, we are known as New Life Givers, sending others to their new destinies. No one knows who will be chosen to hold one of these honored jobs. This person won’t know until they reach the destined age to reveal what and who they are, getting a crash course on the job and their own species.
Twelve brothers, the Grim Reapers, but to them, they were the ones that took them from their old lives to start a new life, journey. Harry Turns was one such man, but little did he know his chosen one was the one and same girl he had wanted in high school, so long ago.
One glance at her twenty-some years later and Harry knew she was his. Would she allow his claim? To show her what it was truly to love someone, who would give their life for her? Would Tiara Franken choose to start over with a life totally different from what she knew, for eternity?
The Hearts Lost Souls: Part One
By Trinity Blacio
Release Date: September 15, 2019
In the third installment of the Fantasy is Alive series by best-selling erotic romance author Trinity Blacio, Shannon Kreep must face her own death and rebirth as well being mated to seven alien alphas. She is the key that will hold many worlds together.
Death was supposed to be freeing, but not to Shannon. It was painful, and only brought the creatures in her dreams into her reality.
Her world was now made up of what normal people would call monsters, but Shannon wasn’t normal. The world around her was changing. Witches, warlocks, gods, alien kings and queens from other planets and galaxies were now part of her life. Many factions wanted her truly dead. On top of that, the strangest and scariest thing was that seven men claimed to be her mate—seven alien men.
Oh, but wait, now she was supposedly some kind of queen too.
By Jordyn Kross
Release Date: August 17, 2019
A practically-virginal law school graduate.
Two emotionally-frozen men.
One erotic bucket list.
When Melissa Winter is dumped by her boyfriend the night before their month-long trip to the islands, she gathers her strength and boards the plane—alone. But when she finds herself without a place to stay, she must rely on the two sexy strangers she met on the flight.
Edward Strauss and Jack Jackson have been dancing around their attraction for years. But when the three of them come together, kindness leads to lust. Lust leads to love.
A forbidden love that could cost Missy her entire future.
By Eve Lyn
Release Date: July 22, 2019
Rock Star Steve Mitchem has it all. Fans adore him, and he beds any woman he wants. But he's never forgotten the small-town girl he left behind in Oklahoma. He can't believe his luck when he spots her one night in the front row of his concert. He takes her to his house in Malibu where things heat up quicker than his hot tub.
Julie Ray moved to Los Angeles to become a model. Her good looks landed her a few jobs, but she's spent more time working as a waitress just to pay the bills. When she attends a concert to see her old friend perform, she is surprised when he recognizes her. She'd do anything to bed her old flame, even if it means leaving her heart behind.
We're starting a new monthly column to bring you information about various RWA chapters and reader cons across the country (and around the world). Since we're an online chapter, we thought you mind find it helpful to hear about what's happening out there. And, we want to invite all our members to report about useful events they've attended. Between us all…we're a virtual fountain of knowledge and let's share it!
Perfecting the Podcast: Empowering Authors to Explore a New Medium
LARA, the Los Angeles RWA chapter
August 18, 2019
Guest Speaker: Jenny Nordbak
Jenny is a nonfiction and romance author and the co-founder of the nationally recognized Wicked Wallflowers Club podcast (https://wickedwallflowersclub.com).
First, podcasts are a “show” — they’re entertainment. Specifically:
Workshop Blurb: Hundreds of millions of Americans listen to podcasts, and that figure grows dramatically every year. There are numerous dynamic ways that authors can be utilizing podcasts to find and connect with readers in a medium that is far more engaging than traditional newsletters or social media, but it can seem daunting to experiment with something that may be unfamiliar.
My takeaways from the workshop:
Podcast topic ideas:
- Only audible, no picture.
- Most are free—subscribing doesn’t usually cost money.
- Subscribers receive it by email periodically.
- They can be on any topic. ANYTHING! Nonfiction, serial stories, romance, crafting.
- Podcasts are a growing medium. As radio declines, people can choose to listen to topics of particular interest to them.
Things to Consider—How long will it be? How often?
- Story Podcast—reading original short content or serial novels
- friends breaking down romance novels
- something as simple as friends talking about any subject they love
- Niche–find your own that is at least tangentially related to what you write.
Podcast Format—How fancy?
- Weekly is A LOT!
- Once a month, once a quarter, but try to set a general length because followers get used to that
- 1 hour is a standard length, but can be as short as 2 minutes
- 15 minutes is a good length to start
- Pick a length that is sustainable.
What is the focus of your podcast?
- Many people start out with big plans, modelling after NPR’s version, complete with music and extras, but NPR has a staff of 15
- Start small because regular release of episodes (whether weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly) is more important than fancy extras
- Also, keep quality the same because listeners will expect that
- Try to cut down on extraneous noise
- Editing–basic editing can be done for free. (Jenny doesn’t bother editing out every “ah” and “um”. It’s a conversation.)
- Create an Introduction–like your answering machine message—that starts every podcast
- Add a specific Episode Introduction–super brief about what will be discussed
- Will you have guests? Having guests will ensure you reach a bigger audience, but it is a lot more work. You can set a format that includes guests only some times. Interviews can be done remotely but that is more work
- Will you have a co-host?
- Don’t worry about sharing profits; the likelihood of making money is next to none
- Having a co-host will give you a confidence boost–being with a friend interested in what you’re talking about increases your comfort level
Producing the Podcast
- Pick something you want talk about, but something that people will be interested in, so they’ll listen to your old podcasts—they are new to them
- Don’t make every episode timely, so they don’t become dated
- The more niche, specific, the same focus every month, the more people will follow you
- Can be educational AND fun
- Remember “Call to Action” at the end of your podcast
- Expect 1 hour to record plus 2 hours to edit (when you first start it will take more like 4 hours)
- Add time to promoting and market it
- 1 click Downloading to hosting company (Jenny uses SimpleCast or Google “podcast hosting” and there are many free at the basic level)
- Initial setup will takes some time
- Jenny uses CAST; another is ZenCaster
- Transcripts—it’s very time consuming or expensive ($150 an hour for a transcriber) or try using software but look at cost/benefit of that. (Jenny doesn’t do it regularly because the cost wouldn’t return benefits to make it worth it)
- Millions commute to work
- Podcast enthusiasts are voracious listeners.
How Can Podcast Help You, the Author
- Microphone ($50-60)
- Hosting Services (about $20 a month or can do for free but more work)
- Asks guest speakers to wear headphones and make sure they are in a quiet location
- Initially, don’t spend money on advertising
- It takes Jenny about 12 hours for each episode.
How to Participate in Podcast Benefits without starting your own
- Social Media–today there are so many authors drinking from the same hose; Podcasts are newer and you can find a niche that will build your audience
- Smaller targeted podcasts get dedicated audiences for your books—the power of micro-influencers. (That’s where Jenny found increased sales for her nonfiction book. Appearing on national TV didn’t bring her any sales, but with small podcasts to the right target, she saw a jump in her sales.)
Success looks like:
- Get guest spots on other people’s podcasts
- pitch to other people’s to podcast
- listen to the show first and interact first; become a person to the host
- Try doing a Newsletter Podcast where you send it out to your list as a special extra.
Ways to monetize Podcasts?
- If you have a 1,000 downloads in a week – you’re in the top 10%
- Even if you get only 10 downloads but they do it every week, they’re your “true” fans (or super fans, as Jenny calls them) and they’re valuable to you.
- Patreon—many podcasts are run through that
- Or podcasts can release extra content for a charge
- Sponsorship (Jenny uses some but wants to keep it directly related to her market. 100% cross over.)
- Micro-influencers can get more Sponsorship money per download because of the connection they have their followers.
Miscellaneous Details: Your first LARA visit is free to guests, then $10. The group was very welcoming. Also, they alternate months with either a Published Author Chat or Pre-Meeting Write-In in the hour prior to the 10am start, and often go out to lunch afterwards.
Signing off from the road,
~ Kate Allure
Would you like to submit a recap of a great workshop or useful reader con? Contact our V.P. of Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org. And we'd love photos too!
PI is only as strong as its members, so please make the most of your Chapter. Here are a few ways to get involved.
Network with published authors in your genre
Take advantage of a special PI, members-only benefit and join us on the Passionate Ink Forum. Share your news, meet with the movers and shakers of the genre, pitch your work directly to editors and agents, view special chats with experts in the field, and help us keep our community vibrant.
Join our Facebook group
Join PI's members-only Facebook group, Passionate Inkers. Hang out and chat with us, share your successes, frustrations, tips, and tricks, and get to know your chapter!
Volunteer for our chapter!
There are several ways to volunteer, whether assisting with the Passionate Plume contest or helping us out at the PI Party at RWA’s annual conference. Please email email@example.com to learn how you can help.