Lilian Darcy on love, publishing and new options for writers

For many readers of this blog, and romance generally, Lilian Darcy needs no introduction.  A Waldenbooks bestseller, five-time Rita finalist and long-standing member of RWA, she has been delighting readers of Harlequin Mills and Boon books for many years.  But recently, like many authors, she has also been exploring other publishing opportunities.  We asked her to tell us a bit about that.  Here’s what she said…

Lillian DarcyI love Valentine’s Day.

And I love my birthday.

And what do you know, both events occur on the exact same date, so, you know…

Go me! Valentine baby! Romance writer! Yay! Wowza! Appropriate coincidence or what????

Right, having got that out of my system I’d now like to have a serious discussion about one option for authors trying to navigate their way through the choppy seas of modern publishing.

If I really stretch, I can almost make this tie in thematically with Valentine’s Day…

Because just as the right two people are greater as a couple than the sum of their single selves, the right group of authors coming together to form, effectively, their own publishing company can be greater than the sum of their individual careers.

This is way too serious and complex a topic for one short blog, but if you’re looking to the future and wondering what your options are, today could be a kind of first-day-of-the-rest-of-your-life episode, when it comes to thinking along those lines.

Authors can now band together without traditional publisher involvement in any number of ways, ranging from a loose group that acts as beta readers or copy editors for each other, to writing an ongoing indie-published series together and chipping in for a group website to promote it, to creating a full-on author-founded and author-friendly legally incorporated publishing company. This last option is what I’ve been doing for the past year, while also continuing to write for Harlequin Special Edition, but it was the fabulous Jane Porter’s idea so I can’t take any credit for it.

Before the Tule Publishing Group came into being, I was enjoying my category romance career and I’d published one of my backlist novels and two new ones on my own, but even with supportive author loops, etc, the latter can be an awfully lonely way of doing things, I found.

The control is fabulous. The weight of work, especially if you’re a bit of a clunky dork (what, me?) when it comes to promotion, not so much.

Combining with other authors and going into the whole Let’s Be Our Own Publisher thing in a big way is working much better for me, although again I’d strongly caution that it’s still not easy. Nothing about a writing career is easy, no matter what route you choose. To create your own publishing company, you need money and/or massive time to invest up front with no guarantee of a return, you need trust and communication and reliability, you need business savvy and nimble responses to the market. Most of all you need the right authors. It’s not something to jump into lightly, on a whim.

Still, in the case of The Tule Group and Montana Born Books I think the results are starting to speak for themselves.

If you’ve been thinking of something like this for your own career, I strongly suggest you take a look.

Lilian’s latest release from Montana Born Books is The Sweetest Thing.

TheSweetestThing_LilianDarcy_smallTully Morgan hasn’t been back to Marietta for more than a few brief visits since the night of the 1996 senior prom eighteen years ago, when the chance exposure of a long-held family secret sent her running to her uncle in California in shock. She stood up her date Ren Fletcher that night, and she hasn’t seen him since.

Now she’s here for an extended stay, to help take care of her seriously ill mother. It’s an edgy reconciliation, the first time that Tully, Patty and Sugar Morgan have been together since that long ago prom night. Tully has had so much anger toward Sugar… can she ever forgive her?

And Sugar still has one more secret that needs to be dealt with, one that needs Ren Fletcher’s help. Has he forgiven Tully for leaving him in the lurch on prom night? And is there any chance that he and Tully can rekindle what they might once have had, when he’s still tied to someone else?

Out soon in print, too!  For a link to the ebook on Amazon, clink on the cover.  For updates on this and other books, go to www.montanabornbooks.com or Like us on Facebook

You can find Lilian and her books at 

www.liliandarcy.com

www.liliandarcy.com/blog

https://www.facebook.com/LilianDarcy

https://twitter.com/liliandarcy

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11 Comments

  1. Feeling frustrated, because there’s a special deal on The Sweetest Thing at the moment, but it’s not available to Australian readers. Wish I had the power to change this, but alas it is all in the hands of Amazon.

    Reply
  2. Your new ventures sound very exciting, Lilian. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  3. You’re welcome, Barb. It was an overambitious topic for a blog, so I’m a little embarrassed about the sketchy treatment. Probably should have just stuck to talking chocolate.

    Reply
  4. I’m sure there’s a lot more to be said, Lilian, but it’s all part of the conversation. There is so much out there that is so vehemently one way or the other, just the fact of someone steering a course between the extremes is interesting.

    Reply
    • The thing is, Imelda, as I’m sure you’d agree, there’s no “One Size Fits All” in the writing and publishing universe, and there never has been. As writers, we have to make our own choices, not just follow the herd. Boutique publishing is working for me, right now, and I want to urge all writers to do a lot of deep thinking about what might work for them.

      Reply
  5. Ginger Robertson

     /  February 13, 2014

    Hi Lilian
    I read your excerpt for The Sweetest Thing after finishing Steal Me Cowboy by Kim Boykin last night. I definitely plan to pick up The Sweetest Thing.
    Thank you
    Ginger

    Reply
    • Thanks, Ginger. I think it’s very healthy that not all readers want to be writers! Sounds as if you’re in the US, so if you do grab The Sweetest Thing, get it today while the price is low, because it’s going back up very soon.

      Reply
  6. Ginger Robertson

     /  February 13, 2014

    Lilian
    Ps, I’m not a writer nor do I wish to be. I love reading romances. I’ve been lucky to meet Beth when she came home to Alabama.
    I would think that authors would have more opportunities and options to publish their works. But then again I’m just a reader.

    Reply
    • Ginger, you do know that, as far as writers are concerned, there is no such thing as ‘just a reader’? You are are favourite people! 🙂 Thanks for being a supporter of romance!

      Reply
  7. Happy Valentine’s Day, Lilian & your new cover is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your latest venture which is fantastic how it opens up more opps for writers. A

    Reply
    • Thanks, I’m so glad you like the cover.

      And Imelda, echoing what you said about there being no such thing as “just a reader.” Writers love readers. What’s more, writers ARE readers, because that’s where we all started – with our love of reading.

      Reply

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