Monday, November 26, 2007

More about Noble--veinglory


A quick look online brings up this to show who is behind Noble:

Hello everyone.

I just joined this list and wanted to pop in and introduce myself. Some of you may already know me by my pen name - Jill Noelle. I've had books published by Ellora's Cave, Loose Id and Highland Press. But I'm here in the capacity of publisher and Senior Editor of my new company, Noble Romance Publishing. You can learn more about us at
www.nobleromance.com/aboutus.ppx and
www.nobleromance.com/submissions.ppx.
Our Web site won't be live for another couple weeks, but those two links do work.
Meanwhile, I'm very pleased to be here.

Jill Noelle Noble


I was sceptical about how serious they were about asking writers to "push the limits, stretch the boundaries" -- while incest, bestiality et al were still banned. However over at Karen Scott's blog we get:

"I would consider a story about a couple who roleplay a Daddy/Daughter relationship. :-) I'll also look at forced seduction/rape, because it consistently comes up when women are polled on their sexual fantasies. There are a few other edgier topics I'd like to test..."

This leads to the usual insistence that nothing of this sort could ever be considered romance in any way (subtext: you freak). It seems to me that whenever a person is being told by self-appointed representative of the romance genre-slash-community that their stuff is too perverted to sell, they may be onto something (exhibit 1: erotic romance, exhibit 2: m/m, exhibit 3: BDSM, exhibit 4: menage -- need I go on?

Here is may own reply at Karen's:

"And I think the romance market is broader than many people realise or are willing to accept. A small publisher, to succeed, needs to have a niche. Not so long ago m/m was perverted, not romance and never going to sell to women. Now several successful publishers make most of their money from it. Then it was menage, BDSM, and now twincest that was not romance, perverted and not going to sell to women. Funny how those books are also selling well to those (largely silent) customers who want to read them.

There is a *big* difference between 'not for me' and 'not romance'. A love story with a happy ending is romance. The rest is a matter of taste and even if it disgusts one person it might delight many others."


As it happens I am very not interested in reading Daddy/Daughter play or rapefic, but I still think Noble might be onto something here. They seem to have a specific niche in mind and to be doing their research. I've had to put up with the controlling alpha-thug of mainstream romance too long to just turn around and define a new mainstream that excludes other peoples kinks and fantasies whether I happen to share them or not.

20 comments:

Jill Noelle Noble said...

Hi everyone. Just wanted to pop in and say I'd be happy to provide even more details on the "Who's behind this company?" question, via private email. I can give you a rundown on my experience in publishing, editing, writing, advertising and marketing, give you an overview of our business and marketing plan, and tell you what we expect will set us apart from the competition.

I'd rather do this privately, rather than monopolize someone's blog, because it's a lot of information and I'm sure not everyone would be interested. However, we don't have any secrets, and I'll be happy to provide share more. ;-) Feel free to contact me at jill@nobleromance.com with any questions.

Emily Veinglory said...

Monopolise away, if you are so inclined :)

Jill Noelle Noble said...

Emily, thank you for the opportunity to tell more about my company. I've received a lot of email from curious and concerned authors asking for more information. There's a lot of healthy sketicism and fear out there, and I can understand why. I received one very detailed list of questions which I answered in private email a couple days ago. Since my response to this particular author covered pretty much all the basis - and in the interest of saving time and my sanity - I'm going to copy and paste here from my email.

I started out in the "online publishing world" back in 2000, I believe. I was a staff writer for
Custom Erotica Source (www.customeroticasource.com). I published my first novel, The Dark Count, with Ellora's Cave in December of 2002. My second novel, MINE, was released by Loose Id during the first few months they were in business. I'm sorry, but I can't recall that exact date. I know it was prior to 2005, though. I've had 2 releases with Highland Press in the last year - anthology stories in their Blue Moon Enchantment and Recipe for Love anthologies. I have another anthology-length story due out with them soon, in a Christmas anthology they're doing. EC just released my 3rd full-length novel, Birthday Blessing, as part of their Torrid Tarot themed series. I held a Senior Editor position with Loose Id, LLC, for about a year in 2005. I've been in marketing and advertising for 21 years...most recently, I held the position of Marketing Copywriter at LendingTree, LLC (When Banks Compete, You Win ;-) I wrote marketing emails, a newsletter, and a ton of articles for their various sites (they own RealEstate.com, GetSmart.com and iNest.com, as well).

I have extensive experience in online advertising and customer retention. I've been involved in the epublishing world for 8 years, and I've made a lot of excellent contacts. I've paid very close attention to what the other publishers have done, noting their successes and failures, and learning a great deal from both.

Noble Romance Publishing is an LLC, registered in Georgia. Which brings me to my business partner. My brother has been in marketing since the early 80s. He is the financial backing for the business. He owns several successful businesses, and holds a position on the board of a local bank (he and 11 other investors created the bank). Without giving up too much personal information, suffice it to say, the finances for NRP are quite sound.

We do have a complete and extensive business and marketing plan, to include online and print advertising, marketing emails to both existing and potential customers (we plan to purchase lists and do targeted email advertising), conferences (possibly creating our own after our first year in business), and all the other "standard" online marketing (banners, chats, loops, contests, etc.) But one thing that's going to set NRP apart from all the other epublishers will be our Web site. Phase II of our site design (to begin immediately following our grand opening, with implementation after the first quarter, barring any technical glitches) will consist of a fully customizable customer area. Each customer can create an account, after which they can customize their content. Think "My Yahoo!," on a much more fun scale. They can add their favorite authors, links to those author's pages, book trailers, erotic artwork, horoscopes, etc. The authors, also, will have their own area within the site, where they can update readers on what is happening in their lives, add links to their sites and blogs, and even advertise any books they may have with other publishers. Basically, we intend to create a very fun publisher/author/reader community, all in one place. Why are we doing this? 2 reasons... The Internet is all about interacting/socializing. Especially when it comes to authors and their readers. People love personalizing their own areas online - choosing their own content. The second reason is simple...the more successful our authors are, the more successful we will be. If I help you, as an author, create a stronger online presence and increase your readership, I can only benefit from those results. To that end, we'll also be providing each of our new authors with a complete "How to Market Your Book Online" guide, which will include coupons for free (company-paid) advertising on various review and reader sites. Oh...and if things go as planned, we expect to purchase our own printing press after our first year in business.

I have attorneys, accountants, several "techies," and a personal assistant helping me with NRP. Basically anyone or anything I need is made available to me, via my brother. He has an extensive staff he has put at my disposal, and they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Within the next three months, we will be hiring additional editors, line editors and proofers. What we don't want to do is grow the business too fast; that can be deadly, as you probably know.

I'm not working outside the home. I left LendingTree in May of this year, and I devote all of my time to NRP. This is my "baby," my dream, and I'm completely dedicated to making it a huge success.

****And there you have it. Thanks again, Emily. I'll be happy to answer any other questions as they crop up. :-)

Jill Noelle Noble said...

LOL. And I *meant* "skepticism" and "bases." Sheesh...up since 3 and I'm tired. :-/ Sorry!

Amanda Young said...

Good luck, Jill. It sounds like an interesting venture.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck Jill. We need more publishers who will push, and go past, the boundaries.

Wishing you great success.

Debra
Dark Eden Press

Jennifer McKenzie said...

I'll be fascinated to see where this goes.
I, too, am not necessarily interested in incest but I think it's foolish to say that ALL writing of that topic would be totally awful. It is possible to do something of that nature well.
What interested me was Angela James commenting that Samhain didn't get very many f/f submissions. I'm curious to see what kind of submissions that Noble will get.

Emily Veinglory said...

The whole f/f thing is interesting. Somehow it just never took off so far.

Jules Jones said...

Twincest doesn't push my buttons, but I know from my fanfic past that there are an awful lot of people who'll go out of their way to find well-written twincest. Ditto BUARA -- a sub-genre so popular in my fandom that it has its own acronym. The first four letters stand for "Beat Up And Rape". And on and on through the list of kinks.

Even back in the days of dead tree zines, fanzine publishers could and did take risks with content that no commercial publisher would dream of. Now that it's mostly online, with no up-front costs if you use a free site to publish -- well, if you think that there's no market for a particular kink, you're probably wrong.

And even when there's free content out there on the web, people will pay to get fiction that has already been selected for quality, and properly edited. A publisher that can demonstrate value for money on that front can probably find a lot of niche markets worth catering to, including ones that might make the majority go "eeuw!"

Jules Jones said...

One further comment, on this item:

"we plan to purchase lists and do targeted email advertising"

That's called "spam", as you should know with your previous experience. My reaction to being spammed is not good, for values of "not good" including posting warnings on writer forums. I'm not the only one, because it's often a warning sign of a dodgy outfit.

It's also illegal in the European Union unless you can clearly demonstrate that the names on the list had explicitly consented to be sent unsolicited commercial emails -- and such consent is not given by failure to opt-out, as the people selling such lists frequently claim. The law is fairly toothless, (as is the British Advertising Standards Authority, which is where I normally report the rare UK-based companies who spam me), but there is the occasional bout of embarrassment for companies that have been named.

I strongly suggest you rethink this.

cheryl anne gardner said...

Good Luck to you in this. We need more publishers open to all kinds of sexuality and romance. My new one coming out in January has consentual rape, BDSM, and cutting and blood play ... and the darn thing is a romance as well.

What I am finding with reviewers and advance copy readers is, women love it. My male readers do as well, but they have also stated that it frightens them a little. I think I like that.

Our minds take liberties with all kinds of metaphors in our darkest fantasies, why can't we use them in our writing as well?

Jill Noelle Noble said...

Regarding SPAM:

I'm totally familiar with the canned SPAM laws, and would never, ever violate them. The lists we'll purchase will be from high-quality sources, and only contain names and email addresses of readers who have opted in to receive these kinds of messages. We'll also be cultivating our own list, and use a double opt-in method so we're sure those who sign up know what they'll be getting. I know all about what has to be included in these emails...the company's physical address, unsubscribe link, and legal disclosures. Believe me, I would *never* send out abuse email.
We'll also be using email for customer retention purposes, but it's the same deal. The laws are a bit different when they are already *your* customer, but we'll follow those laws to the letter, I promise you. :-)

Jill Noelle Noble said...

I just want to thank you all for being supportive and/or open-minded. Yes, we'll be pushing the limits a little -- maybe even causing a bit of a stir -- but I promise the stories will all be interesting, entertaining, well edited *and* romantic...even if some of them are kinky as h*ll. ;-)

Emily Veinglory said...

A bit of a stir, knowing the genre and a well-defined niche--sounds like good marketing to me ;)

fae said...

I'll definitely be keeping an eye on Noble in the coming months. I have a bit of a fascination with forced seduction stories and non-con, and would be very pleased to find out Noble does well and could possibly be a home for those stories.

I do wish you luck, it's a difficult market right now for brand new epubs, what with all the closings lately. Authors are spooked and, being one of them, I can't blame them. Hopefully Noble will prove us wrong and do well.

Pepper E said...

I wish you the absolute best of luck, Jill. Though I don't think you'll need luck--your business plan is impressively sound, and I'm excited that there's going to be a publisher out there willing to explore other avenues of kink and sexual relationships. It's an ongoing frustration to me that publishers are, by and large, still hesitant to push boundaries, even though pushing boundaries has a proven track-record. Epublishing is exactly for this sort of thing.

Teddy Pig said...

As I stated on her blog.

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=23756

In many far more knowledgeable people's opinion role playing at something sexually (EVEN RAPE) does not mean you actually want to do whatever it is you are playing at.

I extend the same argument to reading books with edgy sexual dynamics being used in the stories. I think a good writer can probably get me to read just about anything if the writer takes the time to work it right and makes it support the plot.

Some people like to play at being tied up and some people like myself have gone much much farther into learning and understanding BDSM roles as in a Master/slave or Top/bottom relationship and living in the scene as it is called.

I don't understand how Karen goes overboard about twincest or incest in Romance or Erotica but has V.C. Andrews in her stack of promoted books. I remember back then distinctly WHY every girl in my highschool was reading Flowers In The Attic and it was not for the Horror.

Despite the derogatory hand wringing by people like Karen readers will go on reading Joey W. Hill, V.C. Andrews and Anne Rice etc etc etc in their respective genres that have shocking edgy sex in them for the exact same reason apparently Karen continues to read those naughty naughty books. Because sex sells and good writing with sex sells even better.

azteclady said...

To be fair to Karen, I think she's protesting the labeling of such stories as romance--not the fact that they are written/sold.

Far as I'm concerned, content labels/warnings are enough heads up--genre labeling... not so much.

After all, inspies are not particularly romantic (and definitely not believable) for me, yet there're plenty of souls who lurve 'em, no? I vote to have the same respect for the other end of the genre.

Teddy Pig said...

Nah she said exactly and I quote...

Brothers fucking brothers/fathers shagging sons/daughters shagging brothers/ fathers shagging daughters/mothers fucking their sons, and other familial combinations is just plain wrong in my opinion. These storylines may be popular, but they aren't romance. They are fetish. Of the worst kind at that, as far as I'm concerned.

And another thing; a guy who has little girl fantasies doesn't belong on the pages of a romance book. He belongs in jail. Pure and simple. In real life, a guy who has such fantasies will inevitably find a child (or many children) to sexually abuse. I can't ever see beyond that fact, let alone view it as romantic.


That went way beyond talking about Romance.

Darragha! said...

Twincest...are these stories of ancient Egyptian or Hawaiian royals who inter-married to keep the blood line pure? Unless there's a historical aspect to the act, I'm not sure I'd consider it romance.

In HAWAII, the brother and sister truly loved each other--of course--their parents were brother and sister, too.

I've used forced seduction before--in my very first novel. I haven't used it since. I see "Luke and Laura" from General Hospital every time I close my eyes after thinking of the "romance novel concept" of "love after rape" or "forced seduction."

Rape isn't love. It isn't romantic. I had my heroine kill her would-be rapist.