Monday, January 19, 2009

General Updates--veinglory

A new lesbian press is opening soon: Box Lunch Books. (E-, print? I don't know.)

I have now seen several reports that authors advertising in a newsletter put out by Jewel Stone have not received the ad or a refund.

Also, the cat of curiousity-ness would like to see any and all sales figures for Ravenous Romance (as promised stike that, no figures available yet) and The Wild Rose Press (as widely promoted, but before lapsing from the data set they seemed rather underwhelming, sales-wise).

Any feedback on the new looks so far? Any feedback, requests? Font size beig enough? Banner too big?

Re: my off topic Blue Star events scam story. Emails to Marriott and Blue Star went unanswered. The email to the Better Business Bureau got the routine response and is working through the system to be the first official black mark on Blue Star's record. Why, I wonder, has no one else complained? Edited to add: victory, I have a promise of a refund from Marriott

Edited to add: Re: the Emergency Liquidation Sale this weekend (Jan 30-Feb 1) at the Donald Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, IL. This is run by Aroma Senses LLC which has a Better Business Bureau rating of F--the lowest rating. Avoid.


  1. Nice and clean template

  2. The blog looks great. Banner could be a little smaller.

  3. I love the new look. I think the banner photo is quite clever. : )

  4. "Box Lunch Books"? Aw man, the nicely dirty images that conjures.

  5. PS Emily, love the new blog look, too!

  6. Anonymous5:52 PM

    Yes, I would LOVE to know if Ravenous Romance has indeed gotten their 1,000+ sales PER BOOK as they predicted/bragged they would! Somehow I seriously doubt it.

    BTW, the new blog layout looks great. I like the columns on both the right and the left.

  7. The blog's new look is crisp and clean, and the page is well organized. Nice job! I wouldn't mind a slightly larger font, but the existing one is perfectly readable. (Some of us just have weak peepers!)

  8. I will look at taking the banner down a shade and the font up. That was kind if what I was thinking re: fine-tuning.

    If anyone out there has mad banner skills...?

  9. Anonymous11:26 PM

    As a writer contemplating to sub to Ravenous Romance, I'd looove to get an idea how well they sell, both novels and shorts.
    I know, I ask for a lot...

  10. Anonymous6:35 AM

    The banner size is fine for me, but why is it left-aligned instead of centered like the rest of the blog? It really messes up the clean, neat look of the template. :(

    And, like others, I'm very curious to see what kind of numbers Ravenous reports. Though to be honest, if they come in claiming those 1k first month sales for every book like they promised, I'll probably think they're lying. *shrug* Catch 22 for them, really, either they admit they didn't sell nearly that much or they look like liars padding their numbers to not look like braggart fools. I wouldn't blame them if they didn't submit sale numbers just based on that.

  11. Anonymous9:17 AM

    As for The Wild Rose Press....I think there numbers are probably all over the place. Why? Because they take ALL kinds of romance. I have a feeling the erotic stuff sells much better than the other to compare them to other only-erotic or mostly-erotic is a little unfair in some ways.

    I will say this, I have a book with them. It's sold just about as well as other books I have with other publishers. I'm relatively new on the scene.

    The bad thing is their sales page on their own website. Extremely messy. Most of my sales come from Fictionwise, which seriously limits the money you can make.

  12. Anonymous9:18 AM

    Ugh! I mean 'their numbers' not 'there numbers.' Sorry!

  13. Anonymous4:19 PM

    Ravenous Romance authors get their first royalty statements/sales numbers in March. Though those statements will include direct sales numbers from Ravenous' site only, not from all the secondary markets it also uses (i.e., Fictionwise, iTunes- for its audiobooks, All Romance ebooks, Stanza, Amazon Kindle, et cetera), because the numbers from secondary markets do take several months to receive.

    My understanding is their numbers are quite robust, especially from the secondary markets. The international press attention they;ve gotten as a result of the John Updike endorsement is nothing to sneeze at, either.

  14. Ah, quarterly payments--I see. I had assumed monthly.

    I have learned to put no weight on qualitative statements of sales with superlatives being connected, in some cases, to number under 20.

    My reading of the press was that Updike said nothing at all about RR, only about his protege's work in general. In fact I could not verify the statement post-dated the founding of RR.

  15. The only presses that pay monthly are ones that don't use secondary markets (i.e., like Ellora's Cave). Something I've never understood, since the bulk of ebook sales still come from places like Fictionwise, which only releases its numbers quarterly. EC authors are missing out on a lot of potential sales that way.

    That's still better than most print publishers, which often only give their authors royalty statements once or twice a year, and also hold reserves for returns for even longer than than that.

  16. There is no particulary advantage of either schedule, but I know for a certainty that most epublishers in this genre, including those using secondary markets, are currently paying monthly. Some do not pay secondary market income monthly and some do (by various means). e.g. Loose Id, Samhain, Cobblestone, Aspen Mountain etc.

  17. Anonymous4:53 PM

    there's no way to pay the secondary market income until the publisher actually receives the numbers from those markets though, and there is usually a 3-6 month lag time to getting the numbers from those markets.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Anonymous5:27 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  20. Comment deleted for use of personal insult.

    Some presses can and do pay secondary market royalties in the month the sale is recorded, whenever that may be. Others pay it in the month the distributor pays, whenever that may be. It not not immediate payment as with in house sales--but still according to a monthly schedule.

    Similarly, print is paid by different presses in different ways depending on whether they "front" the money between recorded sale and settling of accounts, and how they allow for returns.

    Otherwise authors would basically wait forever....

    Of course for the stability for the company paying too mucn too soon can be perilous.

  21. Oftentimes the secondary markets don't even provide sales numbers ahead of releasing payment (as I know is Fictionwise's practice, and Fictionwise is by far the largest secondary market), so I frankly don't see how pubs can pay out secondary market royalties _ahead_ of receiving this info. What are they doing, making a _guess_ of what those sales are and offering payment against the guess? Seems like a potentially perilous thing to do financially if so.

  22. Also of note, most decent print presses do pay advances against future sales, which partially makes up for the very slow payout of royalties (assuming a book earns out its advance). Ravenous only pays royalties quarterly, but unlike the other epubs it does pay an immediate advance upon contract signing.

  23. Anonymous7:24 PM

    The RR website is gorgeous and I bet didn't come cheap, and that in itself sets them apart from many other epubs. (EC's website makes my eyes bleed)

    I got a free gift cert from them, and the two shorts I read were nicely done, to say the least.

    I wish them every success, because as a writer I want more great paying markets.

  24. Emily, how about a sans serif font? Pretty please? It would be so much easier to read.

  25. Epubs that pay monthly are only paying *their* sales on a monthly basis. The FW and other secondary sites are paid quarterly. For some epubs they put it all the same statement - March, June, September, December. Others will send you two separate statements...their sales on one, secondary sales on another.

    Quarterly just sucks. Especially if you are just starting out. Once you get a few titles on Fictionwise it's a little bit better. But to have to wait as long as 4 or 5 months to find out your sales and receive royalties is annoying, especially if your publisher pays monthly. You get spoiled!

  26. Anonymous8:19 AM

    I got a free gift cert from them, and the two shorts I read were nicely done, to say the least.

    Really? Because I couldn't even make it through the excerpts, they were so poorly written.

    I do agree the website is gorgeous.

  27. Anonymous8:27 AM

    What exactly do you mean by "poorly written?"

    I've read several of RR's books and think they're among the best stuff out there. They also have very good customer support.

    Frankly, I think all the people who keep dissing them are writers who are either jealous or afraid of the new competition. They've got by far the best-looking website out there, several top authors from the print realm (Rachel Framer Bussel, Cecilia Tan, a couple NYT bestselling authors writing under pen names), and they're run by people from traditional publishing. What more do you want?

  28. Anonymous8:28 AM

    oops, I meant "Rachel Kramer Bussel"

  29. "jealous" is brushing up against the persopnal insult issue for moderation and is certainly an ad hominem.

    The reaction from myself and many others (many of them not authors at all)) has nothing to do with the tired old 'jealous/threatened' trope. Many authors do better than me with many presses--and I am happy for them. This is a watchdog group for presses with dubiouis conduct.

    In this case there were two red flags, an owner acted as an agent to recommend the press to authors, and promising of very high sales in a start up. Those flags remain in play although now it is technically others in the agency doing the referring.

  30. Anonymous10:40 AM

    What do I mean by poorly written, Anon @ 8:27?

    But his dream was a long way down the road, and for the time being, he had to
    depend on his handsome face, his pretty round ass, and his thick, floppy penis to keep his
    place in the kitchen.

    Floppy penises (penii?). Sexy. :/ Nice abuse of commas there, too.

    Or how about this one:

    Wherein the entire prologue is a dull, boring history lesson I'd be willing to bet is copy and pasted with some minor rewording ala the Ferret author debacle last year.

    I have yet to read an except that was interesting, engaging or that draws me in. It's all a lot of mediocre at best, bad at worst fiction that is neither romantic nor erotic.

    Ravenous knows as much about erotic romance as I do about rocket science.

  31. Guys, I like to keep this on an evidentiary basis. RR has made certain marketign and business decisions. They have their reasons. While I question those decisions I really do not denigrate them. They are judgement calls and time may yet demonstrate that they know more about the business than the rest of us put together.

    I think one can be skeptical without being hostile. Indeed, we should all hope they are onto a new winning formula.

  32. Anonymous11:41 AM

    To Anon @10:40 AM

    FYI, no commas were abused. It's grammatically correct to put commas between items in a list.

    Taken from a grammar site: "When giving a short and simple list of things in a sentence, the last comma (right before the conjunction–usually and or or) is optional, but it is never wrong.

    As for the excerpts not being sexy or engaging, I bet this impression will differ from reader to reader.

    And, after all, in a few months time we'll all be the wiser just how well RR will deliver.

    Another Anon. (Really, too many anons here...)

  33. Anonymous10:40 AM

    Well their site traffic is very high, but as we all know, traffic does not equal sales.

  34. Anonymous1:04 PM

    FWIW, I emailed RR for one of those $5 gift certs on the day the offer came out, and never received a response from them.

    Since I was also unable to download the "free story" they had out before they opened, that pretty much kills any interest I have in RR.


  35. I got my gift certificate from RR. It just took a couple of days. I figured when they offered up five bucks for free, they probably got a wave of response, and I was cool with it. I haven't had time to use it yet, though, so I'm glad I came over for my regular Veinglory check and was reminded.

    As to the secondary site thing, I know from personal experience that my publisher can see actual monthly sales from all Romance e-books - though aRe pays out quarterly. So, IF my publisher wanted to, they could send out aRE royalties on a monthly basis since they can see the actual numbers. They choose not to, which I'm fine with, I was simply pointing out that not all secondary sites work like Fictionwise.