Contemporary Romance: It is a truth universally acknowledged that your lovely husband enables your reading obsession. Care to elaborate?
Lia Covington: Gladly! Larry Jerome Covington III is the most unbelievably stubborn man I have ever meet in my entire life. If he believes in you, he’ll do everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING in his power to make sure you reach the goals he believes you can achieve. He’s stubborn. He’s strong willed. He’s always so quiet, yet always observant! He’s also charming which makes winning any type of argument extremely hard, especially since the center of his eyes are hazel pooling into deep brown until lost within a ring of pure black, I know how common!When you have a man standing a foot taller than you, pouring all his focus, strength, and determination into you as he tells you that you’re going to grad school to fulfill your passion; that he’ll pay for any expense for the blog as long as it makes me happy; or that he’ll try to send me to any event I ask to attend if it means meeting an author would make me happy, it makes it very hard to argue back, let alone focus.
So if he says he’s happy to buy books, send me off to meet authors, fellow bloggers, and such, well how can you argue with such abundances of loving support! Thus making me spoiled.
CR: How can I put this delicately? You were once in a situation wherein you had to deal with a librarian who, unlike your dreamy husband, wasn’t tolerant of your reading choices and habits. What exactly happened and how did you deal with it?
LC: Simple. I wasn’t “allowed” to read books at the YA section of the library. I had a full range to read the romances novels that she approved of, or the historical fantasy novels that she approved of, but not the YA section. The excuse was the YA only has one copy per book and “if” a true teen wants to read it should be ready for them. Every time I tried to check out a book I wanted to read, that wasn’t on her approval list, I didn’t get it. I would check my bag and it would be a different book. The worst thing she did was deliberately take a v-e-r-y long time cleaning up her desk so a librarian-ade would have to help me but only AFTER finish their original task.
I wish I could say I handled it like a proper adult. Marching right up to the front desk, demanding to be checked out, with switched books either! Instead, I would leave the books on the table, then leave the library all together crying.
I would cry to my mom on the phone, or if my husband was home to see me walking in the house with wet cheeks, he would turn me right around to get back in the car. Sometimes he would march to the library, grab the book in question, then wait 15-30 minutes to be checked out. There were times when the library was closed, so he would drive us to the local bookstore, telling me to get as many books as I want. I would tell him that just being around books was enough.
Little did I know he was keeping a list of all the books I wasn’t “ allowed” to check out. So! Imagine my surprise a month after giving birth to our daughter, he turned one of the spare rooms of the house into my own personal library, filled with each and ever books I ever wanted to read, or a complete collection of books from an author I mentioned to him. How can anyone deal with such a GIFT!?! I’ll tell you how. I cried. I cried on the floor and I cried from the soul. I cried. Cried! Not that cute cry, I mean heart swelling with so much love type of cry, and he just held me until I either I had no more tears.
CR: Sorry, but I have to ask. What was it like being on the Smart Bitches podcast? How did you meet Sarah Wendell?
LC: Ohhhhh Sarah Wendell is amazing. I meet Sarah Wendell at the RT Book Bloggers Conferences at RT BookLovers Convention-Las Vegas this year. While stuffing my face with food, I managed to tell her between bites what brought me to RT, let alone how I managed to become a blogger. She couldn’t believe the story, especially about the librarian, double shocked when I told her my husband sent me, and possible, triple shock at the blog being a gift.
Larry, really truly believes that the blog could be something more than what it was then. He, being as stubborn as he is kind sent me packing! He bought the tickets, ALL THE TICKETS! Sending me from Minot AFB, North Dakota to Las Vegas, Nevada to meet authors, book boyfriends, booklovers and to learn how to book blog properly thus sending me to the book blogging conferences hosted by Sarah Wendell.
After she hearing my story she asked if I could be on her podcast. Honestly, I didn’t think my story would get much attention, plus I didn’t think anyone would believe me about the “librarian” in question. She told me that librarians listening to her podcast would freak out. So I said sure why not! Sarah seemed confident in herself and my sister bought me Amazon Prime, there was no way I was ever going back to that library so I did it, I did the podcast, and it was a MARVELOUS revenge!
CR: What? Reading isn’t enough for you? You have to write about what you read? Why is it important for you to share what you’ve read and communicate with other book lovers?
LC: When I first started the blog, I never thought anyone besides Larry would ever see it. It was just meant for us to stay connected through the long distances of his job. I would read such adventures, heartbreaking stories, and desperately needed someone to talk to. Unfortunately, his job took more time away from him than it gave, so he could never read as fast as I did. Thus the blog was made, it was a simple way for me to write about all the books I read, and for him to keep up with all my reading activities, even adding books to his TBR pile.
Now that the blog has grown, I feel that it’s even more important to share with the book community! It’s fun to see what other people are reading because readers are always interested in reading a book but never sure they want to take the chances to BUY a book if it might not be so GOOD. That’s why book reviews can save someone some cash or encourage them to spend it!
Book lovers will always support book lovers! I found this to be A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y TRUE when fellow blogger and friend Kat from Bookthingo.com.au meet my favorite contemporary author Rainbow Rowell, who I’ve desperately tried to meet n’ failed, meet her and made a little video of her saying hello to me. When I say I cried like a newborn baby, I mean I cried. To have someone that I meet at RT Las Vegas remember me to talk/ask an admired author to say hello on camera! O-M-G Booklovers 4lyfe! So it’s very important to me to spread the love!
CR: You know, you kind of make some of us look bad. You’re in graduate school, and you’ve got a young child to take care of. How do you find time to blog? (Maybe you’re a superhero?)
LC: Ha! Thank you, that’s very kind of you to say! But no I am no superhero, although if I were I would want to be Storm from Xmen. I would make a thunderstorm every time I wanted to stay inside to read. At first, I didn’t truly have time to blog, as a new mother I felt every time I took my eyes away from my spawn she was going to French kiss a light socket! In the beginning, Larry would take everyone out the house so I had time to create/ schedule blog post along with finish homework assignments. Now that our daughter is turning two next week I find that we are very much alike. She doesn’t like to be bothered in the morning during her PBS Kids shows, leaving me with 4 to 6 hours to read, do homework or blog. When she feels alone she just snuggling next to me in my papasan chair in the library with her own book or project close in hand. My family really supports me going to school as well as blogging, it’s incredible how much time they let me be to myself without worry.
CR: You’ve got some beautifully created graphics on your blog. Can you share some tips and tools for authors who might want to create graphics for their own websites?
LC: I’m happy you think so, I actually have no tips on website graphics because I actually don’t like my website design, I’m currently working with Anna Moore Design to help create a more unique design on my blog. If there were a tip I could give, it would be don’t be afraid to get professional help! Gawds know I’m thankful to Anna Moore for all her help thus far!
CR: Do you have any advice for readers who are interested in starting their own blogs?
LC: Yes! Make sure you are passionate! There are going to be times when you think the devil himself is hiding behind the 0’s and 1’s of your computer! Post goes missing! Things that were scheduled don’t post on time. But as long as you are passionate about your blog and treat it with kindness/determination others see it, feel it when they read your post, that’s what’s most important. If you’re only trying to start a blog to get free books then you have a better chances just going to the library. Blogging is hard work, and the best make it look easy. I found that out the hard way!
CR: In your opinion, what is the appeal of contemporary romance?
LC: Seeing yourself in the romance itself. When you read a historical fantasy romance novel, no matter how much you love or admire the characters the characters are always so far away. But when you read a contemporary romance novel it’s like watching tiny bits of yourself in the characters you see before your eyes. Sometimes you feel so excited when a character has made a choice that you yourself have made, or perhaps you yourself would have made if you were in that situation! Plus it’s fun to read contemporary romance novels because they really make you think about things like:
Why is the button on a man’s jean the hardest button to unbutton when you’re trying to be discreet!
Why is it when you’re not EXPECTING to have sex you’re now having to pretend you’re non-sexy undergarments are the sexiest pair you have!
Beyond that it’s also nice to see characters that are so close to my own life fall in love, it makes me feel like I’m living my own feelings of my own relationship which is always a nice way to start an evening ;-)
Thanks for stopping by, Lia!
Greetings! I’m Lia Covington from Lia’s Bookish Obsession. When I’m not chasing a naked baby, or a Siberian wolf pup, down the hall, you can always find me reading, writing, and studying in my gifted library my husband created for me. I love books, a lesson taught to me by my mother while living in the isolated island life of living in the Bahamas. Currently stationed in Minot, North Dakota with my family, with a love of books in my heart I see no stopping my love for blogging!
- Collaborating on a book with another author, or several others, who write in a similar genre
- Pooling your modest marketing budgets together into a sum significant enough for some serious advertising
- Entering into collaborative arrangements with people who can open new markets, for example, translators, illustrators and narrators. You might not be able to afford thousands of dollars for a translator. But some freelance translators are willing to work in partnership, translating your book for a split of the royalties. If you're an indie writer who'd like to take a gamble in, say, Germany's booming romance marketplace, this may be a path to consider. These kinds of arrangements also mean that your translator will have an incentive to market the book, too, and will probably have more contacts than you do in the foreign language market. The same goes for illustrators and even narrators of audio books.
- Setting the stage - Does the reader know where they are? When the story takes place? Who is there? What relevant props or environment cues are there to paint the picture?
- Letting the scene play out - Get the basics down. What happens? Then, layer in emotion and mood with dialogue, internal thoughts/feelings/visceral responses, heightened action, and interactions with setting.
- Hooking the reader - Leave them asking questions that make them turn the page.
- 89% of all romance sales are digital
- Of those, over half are self-published
- 67% of romance sales aren’t tracked by any traditional metric (like BookScan, which tracks print sales)
- 74% of paid ebook sales (all genres) happen on Amazon.com; next is iBooks at 11%
- Top 5 genres in romance on Amazon.com by total author earnings are (in order): Contemporary, Romantic Comedy, New Adult & College, Mystery & Suspense, Paranormal
- However, the top genre earnings per title and pen name are: New Adult & College, Contemporary, Sports, Romantic Comedy, Military (with Paranormal a very close 6th)