Sunday, August 12, 2018

It's an ill wind . . .

Some years ago . .  .eek! It was back in 2004  - so that means those 'some years' were in fact    fourteen years ago . . .

Anyway,  fourteen years ago I wrote a  How To Write Romance  Guide  called  Kate Walker’s 12 Point Guide to Writing Romance. It started out as a  small,  self-produced pamphlet of just 24 pages  - that I had printed myself and took to the courses I ran so that  students could take it home with them when we had finished.

The original 12 Point Guide  was first published in 2004 and  it seemed that everyone had been waiting for it – and they found it so helpful. In that first year it won  2 awards from the Cataromance   site  - - the Reviewers’ Choice Award and the award for the most helpful book for writers.  I was thrilled when several newly published writers  - India Grey – Natalie Rivers – Natasha Oakley – Michelle Styles – all told me  that they felt  the 12 Point Guide had helped them on their way to publication. Since then there have  been almost 20 more. 

When the book went into its second edition  I  wanted to add a special section with advice from other authors – after all, my way isn’t the only way to do things!  So I asked around amongst friends who were fellow writers and I was so thrilled to find how many of them responded. As a result of their generosity in  sharing their experiences,  the From The Authors’ Desks section was  created and added a LOT to the original Guide.

But  there were problems with the distribution of the book.  Writers in America, Australia etc were having difficulties getting their hands on copies,  and when they did the books were very expensive. It was when the publisher was reluctant to produce ebook versions  that I decided to take things into my own hands. For a while I self-published the book, but still distribution internationally was a  problem.

But one thing that did come out of that was the fabulous new cover that the wonderful  Lee Hyat (the lovely lady who runs this blog  and Author Sound Relations  and who helped me set up  the new edition, the kindle edition – and most of all designed that amazing cover – thank you Lee!

That was when my husband started working with Emerald Guides (he wrote a Crime Writers’ Handbook  for them with a friend who was a detective in the London Met) – and the publisher asked it he could take over the 12 Point Guide – and all the distribution.  I was delighted to have that responsibility taken out of my hands -  but I realised that before they could publish the book it really needed to be revised and brought up to date.

   There were a lot of romance lines that were no longer published,  lines where the names had been changed . . .

So I revised the whole thing, added more details about how to submit by email,  tried to include all the new names for the lines-  but those can change so fast that I’m not holding my breath everything will stay bang up to date for ever!

The brand new, revised, updated edition is out now  and on sale  in both paperback and ebook form. It   still has that fabulous cover (again -  thank you   Lee!)  and  I took delivery of my author copies just before the RNA Conference last month.

But . .  . and here’s where the ill wind  bit comes in.  You probably can’t see but when I received my first delivery, I looked at the cover  where there is a fantastic quote from the great Michelle Reid . . .
“ A must-have for any aspiring romantic fiction writer. Brilliant. . . A page-turner all on its own.”  She said .

  Except that on that first delivery  there was a misprint and what it actually says is:
“ A must-have for any inspiring romantic fiction writer. Brilliant. . . A page-turner all 
on its own.”
Err. . .  No!   So the new printing had to be started again.

But it left me with some not-quite-perfect copies to  find a good home for.

Would you like one/ I have  a copy to give away today. If you don’t mind that small mix up on the front cover -  everything else is just perfect inside –  honest!

 So if  you’d like to tell me what you’re writing and why  you  think the 12 Point Guide can help you with your journey to publication . . .then leave a message in the Comments section below and I’ll get Charlie the Maine Coon cat to pick a winner on Monday morning.

You can read more about me and my books on my web site and my blog -  and catch up with me too on my Facebook page


dstoutholcomb said...


I would love to have a copy if chosen--thank you!

I am published in short story, but I haven't been published in two years. I'm 37k words into my first full-length romance book, and I'm trudging along. I could use the advice and help from the book.


Kate Walker said...

Well, that was easy, Denise! It seems you're the winner today. Congratulations!
Can you send your postal address to me - either via Messenger or katewalker AT and I hope the 12 Point Guide will help you stop trudging and start sprinting!

dstoutholcomb said...

Thank you!