Beyond Romance Class

 Passion unleashed, fully fledged authors spread their wings and begin their journey beyond the romance class and into the unknown.

Erica Jong said, “ We all have talent, what is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads. “ 

The #romanceclass or Yes, I’m Writing a Contemporary Romance Novella group is having its first anniversary bash on February 8,2014 , coinciding with the launch of a group effort called Luna East Academy, an anthology of short stories for the younger set or what is called young adults . The party will be held at the Ayala Museum lobby.

What does it take to write a romance novel? If this is a question that lingers in your mind, there’s a word that can answer it. Passion. Not interest, not pastime, but something stronger to the point of obsession.

Writing is a very private endeavor. But if you are planning to publish, it’s best to find a group like #romanceclass for support and group effort on marketing strategy. Yes, marketing. Unlike traditional publishing where you just submit your manuscript to an editor of a traditional publishing company and then wait to be accepted (or rejected whatever the case). They market your book and print it and distribute it to bookstores. In indie publishing, you market your own work.

In indie or independent publishing, you write the book, create your cover, upload it on an online platform like Smashwords (who in turn distribute it to Kobo,Sony, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Amazon, etc.) where readers buy it and download it on their computers, tablets, cell phones and other devices. You can also opt to have it printed which is more expensive to do.

The #romanceclass mentored by bestselling romance novelist Mina V. Esguerra has accomplished a successful project which has spawned other projects, which as of this time are under wraps. But to be sure, they’re getting hotter by the minute. Knowingly or unknowingly, Ms. Esguerra not only set off an industry but a sisterhood of the literary kind.

 More than fifteen people were able to finish their novels, and ten have so far published online and in print.  The writers do the work themselves like finding editors, printers (if they want it in printed book form), and marketing it through social media, television and newspapers. The question remains, who decides who goes or stays? Not the traditional publishers anymore, but the readers themselves.

To quote Mark Coker, Ceo and Founder of Smashwords, the best books market themselves on the wing of word of mouth. Write a good book, give it great editing, great cover, and a fair price and then get to work on the next book.

This new breed of independent romance writers hugging the Philippine literary scene are here to stay. There is a void inside Filipino readers’ hearts and bookshelves. And I personally believe, like what Ms. Jong  said, where there is emptiness, there is fullness somewhere.

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