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Readers and authors beware – this could happen to you!

Readers and authors beware – this could happen to you!

Readers – what if you saw a new release from an erotic romance author you like and purchased it, only to discover that author didn’t write it, and that what you bought was, in fact, erotica or even porn?

Authors – what if another person suddenly started publishing erotica under the same name as you, and mysteriously, their books kept being attached to your Goodreads author profile? What if a search of your name on book retailer sites started showing your books intermingled with the other author’s books, in a way that looked as if you had written them all?

I’m not quite sure where to start with what’s happened this week, so I’ll just plow right in. On Monday night I went to my Goodreads author profile to check one of my book links for an upcoming blog post, and I discovered that, since Aug 29 2016 (just over a week ago), there is a writer out there publishing erotica with the name Jennifer Lynne. That’s NOT me, and those are NOT books I want associated with my name or brand.

With the help of a Goodreads librarian I had the book removed from my author profile. Two days later another one was attached to my profile. I had it removed. Again.

On checking the various retailer sites, I discovered that a search for my books often brings up both of our books, intermingled. If I click one of her books, my books show as “other books by this author”, and vice versa. Not okay. I contacted both Amazon KDP and Smashwords as I was concerned that BOTH of our readerships would be confused about whose book they were actually buying at any given time. I wanted our two profiles untangled, so to speak, for everyone’s benefit. Smashwords offered to write to one of the retailers on my behalf and alert them to the issue (though they indicated this would be unlikely to effect change as the other party had not published through them). KDP’s response was to suggest I change my name.

What? After seven years as a published author, why should I have to change my name? Even if I do, what is to stop this happening again, with the new name? Does it mean there is literally no protection for an author who spends years building up a strong “brand” in a particular genre – in my case sexy and erotic romance? I’ve worked incredibly hard trying to demonstrate the difference between erotic romance and erotica or porn, and yes… there is a difference!

Bestselling author Sylvia Day explains it perfectly in this blog post. It’s an old post, but the definitions in my view are still relevant and clearly delineated.

Is it legal to use the same author name as someone else? I believe so. Is it legal to publish erotica? I believe so. Is it legal to publish porn? I have no idea, but even if it is, it isn’t okay when a newly published author’s books somehow start to appear on an already established author’s various profiles out there on the “net”. It isn’t okay when that newly published author’s books start to blur the established author’s “brand”.

Speaking in a more general sense and not specifically to my situation, does this mean anyone can come in and start “piggybacking” off someone else’s author brand by setting themselves up with the same name? If so, is there any protection for an author if that happens, bar the expensive route of first trademarking the name, and then taking the offender to court? The duo writing as Alexa Riley did that, and won. Here’s their post, and a copy of the court ruling, if you’re interested.

But… if you can’t afford to take that route, what do you do?

I’m devastated by what has happened. My first erotic romance title was published with Red Sage back in December 2009. Since then, I’ve had fifteen titles published (a mix of traditional and indie), and I like to believe I’ve started to establish myself as a romance author first and foremost – yes, I write super-hot, sometimes kinky sex – but all of my stories are either sexy romance or erotic romance (not erotica). All feature a romantic relationship and happy-ever-after or potential-for-happy-ever-after endings. I don’t want to be associated with book titles that are not mine, and that don’t reflect my brand of sexy/erotic romance.

To that end, I’ve included a complete list of my book titles on my website home page, and I also include the same list here: Jennifer Lynne Romance Books (PDF, 578 KB). I will update this list on my home page whenever I have a new book title – and of course all of my books are featured on my website, so if you’re ever unsure, please check there.

I encourage all of my readers to be aware that this situation can, and does, happen.

Equally, I encourage all writers to be aware and vigilant – our author names are our brand and our reputation.

Photo credit: © Vadimgozhda | Dreamstime.com – Young Woman Photo

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Ain’t Love Grand #RWAus16 Writers Conference – a newbie’s overview

Ain’t Love Grand #RWAus16 Writers Conference – a newbie’s overview

These past few days I’ve been away attending my first ever writer’s conference, Ain’t Love Grand, the Romance Writers of Australia 2016 conference at Glenelg Beach in Adelaide. I have to say, I’m still on a high from an intense and amazing experience. The trip included lots of eating, drinking, dancing, making merry, learning, creating, writing, networking, meeting wonderful people in person that I’ve only ever known online…more learning, more writing, more networking… in short, it was wonderful!

Particular highlights for me included:

  • the all day workshop with Michael Hauge, master story teller and consultant to Hollywood stars. Definitely a few “light-bulb” moments for me during that session.
  • dancing with friends at the after party following the Gala Dinner.
  • the success of fellow Melbourne Romance Writers Guild (MRWG) members Michelle Somers (won the RuBY award for long romance – Romantic Book of the Year); Chris Weston (won the Valerie Parv award including a year’s mentorship with the great lady herself); Samara Parish & Jess Devine (both of whom received Honorable Mentions in the Valerie Parv award), and Cassandra O’Leary who received her First Sale ribbon at the cocktail party – congratulations to all!
  • hearing New York agent Sarah E. Younger discuss the author/agent relationship.
  • a closing speech by Fiona McIntosh that made me in turn roar with laughter, get hot under the collar, and ultimately get inspired to do more – so much more – with my writing. What a wonderful speech.
  • staying on an extra couple of days – peaceful time in a delightful location to reflect and start applying some of those light-bulb moments to my writing.

Why the heck I waited until the RWAus 25th anniversary to attend for the first time is beyond me. I can’t wait for 2017!

Ready for the Cabaret Party.
At the workshop by Michael Hauge, master storyteller.
Somebody special to greet us at the airport.
Conference nails!
View from my hotel room.
Yep!
Fellow MRWG member, Michelle Somers, receiving her Gala Night award for the RuBY (Romantic Book of the Year) for Lethal in Love. Fabulous news and well done to her!
Breakfast on the beach the morning after Conference. So peaceful and sunny – the perfect time to reflect on three full days of learning.

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Want to keep up with the latest writing news, and get a glimpse into the writer’s life with Jennifer Lynne? Sign up for her newsletter here.

The roller-coaster of life

The roller-coaster of life

What a roller-coaster couple of weeks. First I was in a minor car accident (the other driver drifted over the median strip onto the wrong side of the road) so I am currently without my trusty car while it is in for repairs. A few hours after that I was on a plane to New Zealand with my youngest daughter, where we spent five days on a whirlwind mini-break.

On our return I was devastated to realize that it was finally time to say goodbye to one of our fur babies, who was losing her hard-fought battle with cancer.

I feel a little shell-shocked, to tell the truth. As you can imagine, not much writing has been done (well, none actually) and for now, I’m just trying to take some time out to process everything before stepping back in to the always frenetic pace of “ordinary life”.

I thought I’d share a few pics of our New Zealand trip – taken on a tour of the West Coast near Auckland – because this really was a peaceful, haunting and utterly beautiful location.

The waterfall at KareKare and the beach at Piha might be recognizable to some from the movie, The Piano, or the TV series Xena: Warrior Princess (am I showing my age?), or perhaps the more recent Taylor Swift clip for Out of the Woods.

New Zealand certainly provided a wonderful mini-break and gave us some much-needed “time out”.

Miss Cleo in the sunI finish today’s post with a photo of Cleo, our ginger cat who fought so hard right up to the end. We love you, Miss Cleo. Rest in peace, gorgeous girl.

Taking time out to heal

Taking time out to heal

Kitten coming out of boxI’ve been hibernating. Hiding away in my little box, so to speak. The accident last year that seriously damaged my arm & hand, coupled with pending house renovations, two surgeries and recovery for one of my daughters, plus on top of that a skin cancer diagnosis (the same type Hugh Jackman has been treated for – not the most serious kind, thank goodness!), has really knocked me around. Not just physically, but emotionally, too.

I kept wanting to write but when I sat down with my trusty laptop, nothing happened. I felt my anxiety levels rising and panic threatening at the edges of my mind. I tried dictation software to assist with my injured hand, and even a plain old pen and writing pad in an attempt to get back to basics.

Nothing.

So… just before Christmas, I decided to give myself time off everything bar the essentials (i.e. family/kid duties & day job), and just… take time out to heal.

The interesting thing about it is that as soon as I gave myself permission not to write, I immediately felt the elusive pull of it once again. The characters started making themselves known in my head (not the crazy voices, just my story characters, I promise!). And now, I think I might be ready to climb back out of the box and start to tease out some of those stories.

Anticipation – something I haven’t felt in ages – is there every time I think about getting back to writing.

I’m trying not to make any writing-related promises or commitments this year, beyond one. I will write when I want to write. Hopefully that freedom from inner pressure will ultimately result in more words on the page, not less. But if not, so be it!

I wish each of you this year the freedom to make healthy choices; to give yourself permission to do what feels right, not what you think you should or shouldn’t do at any given moment.

Photo credit: © Azaliya | Dreamstime.com

 

A brief writing hiatus

A brief writing hiatus

Hi folks, I just wanted to stop by the blog and let you know I’m taking a brief hiatus from writing after an accident last week. I tripped over while doing the weekly grocery shopping and fractured my arm, among some other not-so-awesome injuries.

I should be back on board in a few weeks, but for now, the Oct 15th planned “re-release” of Educating Ethan is on hold until later in the year.

Typing with one hand is definitely doable, but rather painstaking, I have to admit!

Here’s a little snippet from Educating Ethan to whet your appetite in the meantime (and no, this one isn’t erotic, just sexy!):

Educating Ethan Cover - Jennifer LynneShe gestured Ethan into the room and offered the tray of rolls, then poured lemonade into two frosted glasses and added a sprig of mint from her stash of fresh herbs on the windowsill. So what if her hands weren’t one hundred percent steady? He’d never notice. His eyes were clearly on the food. “I do a lot of my food preparation here, experimenting with new recipes, that sort of thing, so I need a big work area. This was originally two rooms, which I had knocked through into one. It’s the heart of my business, and I guess my home as well.”

It was hard to maintain eye contact as she spoke, with his magnificent chest bare to the world, the pinkish brown nipples puckered slightly in the air-conditioned room, and the faint sprinkling of dark hair that led downwards in an enticing line like a persistent arrow directing her wayward gaze. And her wayward gaze complied, whether she wanted it to or not, noting the curve of those thighs and the implicit strength in the coiled muscles as he moved forward to reach for another roll. She glanced only briefly this time but still he knew. She could tell in the amused curl of his lips as they lifted and the knowing way he slanted his eyes at her. So much for using food and drink to distract his attention.

He’s too young, she reminded herself. And he sure as hell won’t be thinking of me that way. He probably misses his mother’s cooking.

She took a deep, steadying breath. “Careful, Ethan. They’re really hot.”

There. A mother would say something like that. Wouldn’t she?

“But delicious.” His eyes crinkled at the corners as he chewed and swallowed. He looked adorably young. She moved around to the other side of the island and gripped its edges. Now she couldn’t see anything below his hips. Much safer.

“What’s it called?” He spoke around the food, and for a moment, she wasn’t quite sure to what he was referring.

It’s called lust. Or maybe cradle snatching? “Umm…”

“Your catering company. What’s it called?”

“Oh!” Tension released from her shoulders as they ventured into a familiar topic of conversation. Work she could deal with. “Simply Delicious.”

“How very…appropriate.”

 

The A to Z of #Erotic Author Research #AmWriting

The A to Z of #Erotic Author Research #AmWriting

a.k.a. My really weird internet browser history

Ever wondered what sort of things an erotic author might research? My Google browser history is rather eclectic, to say the least. As an author I look up whatever comes into my head during the development and writing of a story, and as a consequence, some of my searches can be rather random!

Of course, as an erotic author, much of my research is sex-based – especially for some of the less “vanilla” erotic romance books such as Sex Club Secrets, Not Vanilla (Spanking) or Not Vanilla (Bondage). My first point of call when I’m not sure is usually my internet browser.

What color is an “intense green eye”? Where do all those extra arms and legs go in a foursome sex scene? When was the first sex toy invented…and what the heck was it? If my hero is a Sagittarius, what star sign is his perfect match? What type of rope is best for a beginner in a shibari rope bondage session? You name it, I’ve probably searched it!

Here’s an A to Z sample of some of the things I’ve looked up over the past few months – all in the name of research, I promise you! Well, except for the Jon Snow thing. And the Thomas Cromwell thing. And yeah, maybe the vontouring – I was just plain curious about that one!

Not Vanilla Spanking coverA – Arse or ass – which is correct?

B – Butt naked or buck naked?

C – Cock Ring – what does it feel like for the guy?

D – Dominant and submissive relationships

E – Erotic spanking

F – Foursome sex variables

G – Greek gods and sexuality

H – Hand or paddle for spanking?

I – Intense green eyes

J – Jon Snow – PLEASE DON’T click the spoiler unless you’re up to date with GoT!

spoiler

K – Kinbaku or shibari – what is the difference?

L – Lesbian sex

M – Merlin and Myrnin (this one thanks to Rachel Caine’s Morganville vampire series)

Not Vanilla (Bondage)N – Nipple clamps – best type for beginners

O – Olisbos

P – Pleasure and pain in sex

Q – Quotes about romance and passion

R – Rope bondage – types of rope

S – Sex club virtual tours

T – Thomas Cromwell (yes, I was watching Wolf Hall)

U – Urban dictionary

V – Vontouring (My question after looking this up… why?!)

W – What if two Doms fall in love?

X – X-rated alcohol recipes

Y – Yoga and sexuality techniques

Z – Zodiac signs and romance

So, there you have it, some of my recent book research questions. Please leave a comment – I’d love to hear about some of your more unusual, strange or funny internet searches!

Photo credit: © Kiosea39 | Dreamstime.com
Curious about a romance author’s #cats …um, I mean desk? @JenniLynnAuthor

Curious about a romance author’s #cats …um, I mean desk? @JenniLynnAuthor

Hi folks. I haven’t been here at the blog for a bit because that pesky thing called “real life” (a.k.a. doing more hours in the day job) got in the way. But I did manage to show off my writing space recently over at AusRomToday. If you’d like to see where I pen much of my work – including my erotic romance series, Gods of Love – please head on over to have a look at the photos of my desk.

If you’d rather just stay here, I’m sharing some cat pics today. These are our three fur babies – they keep me company when the muse strikes – and only occasionally get in the way of the keyboard!

Bobby - he eats paper. In fact, he eats everything! Cheeky but so friendly.
Bobby – he eats paper. In fact, he eats everything! Cheeky, crazy, but so friendly, with the loudest purr I’ve ever heard.
Meika - timid and sweet. Hides from everyone bar the family.
Meika – timid and sweet. Hides from everyone, then appears out of nowhere. We’re thinking teleporting ability?

 

Cleo - the elderly matriarch. Our old ginger girl.
Cleo – the elderly matriarch. Our old ginger girl. She has a nice soft bed but prefers our scratchy wood basket.

 

Want to help spread the word about #Erotic #Romance?

Want to help spread the word about #Erotic #Romance?

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-sharing-secrets-image23691454If you’re connected with me on Facebook you may have seen that I’m in the process of setting up a Street Team. In the past week I’ve had a number of private queries asking just what it is, and what being part of one involves, before people decide to join.

A Street Team is essentially a group of fans who come together (in my case within a Facebook group) to help an author or artist spread the word about his or her work. They “hit the streets” on behalf of the author to share book news with their friends and social media networks through word-of-mouth and by completing weekly or monthly tasks set by the team coordinator.

In return, team members receive swag and giveaway prizes in recognition of loyal support.

Of course, being an erotic romance author with a sometimes wicked mind, I’ve had a great deal of fun shopping around for giveaways for my lovely team 😉

Would you like to join our small but friendly group? If so, check us out here on Facebook, and click the “Join Group” button. It is that easy, and we’d love to see you there!