June 15, 2013 | Blogging
Jo’s blog has moved to http://joleigh.com/blog
Jo’s blog has moved to http://joleigh.com/blog
With a new book and an old book and a 10th Anniversary Celebration.
HOTSHOT is part of the Uniformly Hot series, and it’s a reunion love story that was one of the most intense and fabulous writing experiences of my life.
It was originally called BIG DAMN HERO, and while I like the title HOTSHOT, it will always be BDH in my head, because that’s who Luke is. He first became a hero in war, and then became a hero in life, when he grew up, took responsibility for his actions and moved heaven and earth to make things right.
Come back soon, as I’ll be announcing special give-aways, and Blaze 10th Anniversary celebrations all over the net!
The website person kind of left without notice, but I’m hoping things will get back on track soon. Sorry about the loooooong wait.
Unpacking boxes in the new house. But soon, I will be updating this web site (well, not me personally because I have no idea how to do things on the intertubes, but anyway) and then I’ll start blogging again! I’ve decided to do a twice weekly post. How’s that sound? And yes, there’s an actual book by me coming out later this month. It’s called Sexy Ms. Takes and it’s a 3-in-one Encounters. First book since Oct. 08. That’s a very long time.
* Special bonus quiz: Soon…I promise is a line from what Stephen Sondheim musical?
First correct answer wins a copy of SEXY MS. TAKES!
I doubt anyone’s even out there any more because I’ve been such a horrid blogger, but I thought I’d give this a try. I’m in computer hell. It’s all about my wireless internet connection, and how crap it is, and how ignorant I am – I don’t even know the names of things to try and look up fixes. Totally intermittent signals. I have to unplug my router and replug it in several times a day to have any luck at all with actually getting to a site after I click on it. Time outs are a constant.
The worst is that I have this tiny little house, one router that supposed to let me connect with my laptop and desktop. Now it’s not letting me connect to anything. It just laughs and mocks me when I try to go online in the other room. Problem is, I look up stuff as I work, and I’m deep, deep into this book, but sitting at the desktop all day is killing my back. I want to do half my pages and desktop, then half on laptop, but because my laptop connection sucks so hard all other suckage is embarrassed, I can’t. I also can’t afford to have someone who actually knows about this stuff look at said stuff until after the book is accepted.
Whine, whine, whine. Totally first world problems and I should be ashamed of myself for talking about it. But I am a spoiled child and I am an internet addict.
Hope everyone’s doing really well. And I mean that!
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I’ve been learning about connectivity, social media and the mathematics behind it all in my own limited way, but some things that are true about the rules of connectivity and in particular internet social media is that information flows through hubs.
The easiest example of a meg-hub on the internet is Google. Google is where everyone goes to find anything. It’s so ubiquitous that it’s become a part of the international lexicon. Whether you’re looking for a picture, a movie, an obscure text, a knitting pattern, a scientific study, a way to make dangerous things or wonderful things, you tend to start with Google. Microsoft used to be a major hub, and it still is, but it’s not the king hub any longer, and that’s why they’re bringing out Bing. Because being the biggest hub is powerful, and the information streams both ways.
The thing about Google is that it’s inclusive. It doesn’t care what the topic is, just that you come to your information via Google.
It occurred to me that if an organization or individual wanted to be at the forefront of the digital age, then hub technology is the way to go. Become a hub, the biggest possible hub you can be, and no matter what you’re selling or who you’re trying to influence, you will reach the maximum number of eyes. Build it right and they will come. Look at Amazon. It’s not just a bookstore anymore, is it? Yet books are still at the center of their business plan.
In my limited knowledge of the romance internet, there are several smallish hubs. Some blogs (Smart Bitches, Dear Author, AAR to name a few) and one publisher (Harlequin) with Tor stepping up to the plate in a very smart way. It’s a damn shame that RWA isn’t even on the radar. It’s tiny, not inclusive and in focusing so hard on it’s old paradigm, in my opinion, they’re missing the opportunity of a generation. Alas I think RWA is not of a mindset to rethink their position on the internet. I sometimes get the feeling that they rather wish all this electronic business would simply go away. Not that they don’t do terrific things – I just don’t believe the new technologies are a primary area of perceived opportunity for the organization.
Harlequin, on the other hand, is doing so many, many things right. They’re stepping forward and looking at ways to exploit the available media. And they’re doing some things not so well. Their website, for example, is clumsy and difficult and not intuitive.
But what if Harlequin decided that instead of just wanting to sell books they also wanted to become The Romance Industry Hub? It would be a radical process, but the only way to become a hub is to be inclusive (see Tor for examples). To become a king hub in the area of romance novels, you would have to be one click away from everything to do with romance novels. Even if someone is looking for other books from other publishers, the goal is to have them come to you to look for it. Before typing in the other publisher’s name on Google.
And, I say this easily, but have no delusions that it would be easy, any hub paradigm would have to include pirating. Not endorse it, but include it as a fact. It’s there. DRM is not making it go away. What, then would a new concept of selling ebooks look like if a publisher wanted to sell as many books as possible knowing pirates are going to have their way?
Social media is so new, so exciting, so volatile that it’s a crap shoot for all the players. It’ll be fun to watch the information flow and change as it happens. Twitter it is today, what will it be tomorrow? Personally, what I’m trying to figure out is how to use hub tech to increase my online presence with an eye on a re-launch of my website in Nov. in time for my next Blaze.
I think I’m finally getting a handle on what turns me on about a story. Especially one I’m going to write. I’m bedazzled by the idea of a simple premise with surprising layers. Nothing pleases me more when reading than being blown away by the complexity of a character I’d assumed was one-dimensional. Unexpected depths. Which lends itself to giving those characters ethical, moral and self-identification decisions to make. Starting from, ‘Whoa, he’s hot and we’re here so why not?’ and ending up with the most profound experience of two lives. In around 250 pages.
This is such a cool job.