Writing Contemporary Romance Novels:
3 Things I Learned Writing and Self-publishing My First One

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Iíve been a reader of contemporary romance novels since I was in my early teens. Iíve literally read hundreds of them. Even though Iíve been writing and selling ebooks online since 2002, it wasnít until this year (2013), that I attempted to write a romance novel. I was nervous, unsure of myself and had no idea how to go about it when I first started out. But, I did it. Following are three things I learned throughout the process.

1. Just Write: All of my ebooks to date, except two, have been in the ďnon-fiction, how-toĒ genre. So writing fiction Ė a contemporary romance novel no less Ė was a whole different ball of wax for me. And it scared me to death.

I was talking to a friend of mine one day who happens to be a fiction writer telling her about my fears and she gave me the best piece of advice ever. She said:

Just write. Trust the process. Youíll be amazed at what will happen once you start.

Well, she was so right. The characters took on a mind of their own and half the time I didnít even know what they were going to do. So if you have an idea for a contemporary romance novel, just start writing and see where the characters take you. You might be surprised! I know I was.

2. Take Action on Your Weak Spots: I realized early on in the process that plot development was a real weak point for me. As I know I want to create a whole line of contemporary romance novels, I did extensive research on plot development.

I found questionnaires and other exercises on this, which helped me to write my story. I plan to take a class also on how to write a romance novel.

You see, writing is a skill, and much like acting or dancing or any other creative endeavor, study and practice makes you better.

3. To Use a Pen Name, or Not: I decided to publish my African American contemporary romance novel under my own name. The main reason is, I already have a following online and although Iím known for my how-to, non-fiction ebooks (a different genre altogether), I still think this works in my favor.

When you publish under a pen name, itís like setting up a whole new online identity, eg, social media accounts, article marketing accounts, email accounts, etc. I just donít have time to manage a new persona online.

Writing Contemporary Romance Novels: 4 Reasons I Plan to Make a Career Out of It

Overall, I'm very pleased with my first romance ebook and plan to publish many more because:

(i) Iím a fan of the genre: I have been since I was in my early teens; hence, I can write what I like to read.

(ii) Romance sells. Proof?

Ebook sales increased by 45 percent in 2012 to make up 20 percent of the trade book market, according to a report released today by Bookstats, a co-production of the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group. Ö

Not surprisingly in the era of erotic mega-series like Fifty Shades [of Grey] and Crossfire, adult fiction, particularly romance novels, showed the strongest growth in ebook sales. [Source: Authors Guild article, Ebooks Sales Booming, New Report Says, May 2013]

(iii) I'm the target demographic: Many romance readers are women between the ages of 31 and 49; and finally

(iv) I think thereís a short of good black romance novels: Of course, I hope to improve this.

About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company. Sheís also the author of over 50 ebooks, which she wrote and self-published. They cover topics such as freelance writing, SEO writing, self-publishing and online / affiliate marketing. They can all be found on her freelance writing website, InkwellEditorial.com. Read the first two chapters of her first contemporary romance novel, 3 Weeks Ďtil Forever -- free.

Keywords relevant to this article: contemporary romance novels, black romance novels, african american romance novels, african american romance novels, black romance books, self-publishing

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