Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I am not one of those 'the sky is falling' types when it comes to normal publishing and distribution models. they have lasted a few hundred years in more or less this form, I am thinking they will last a few hundred more with only minor tinkering.

But I do have to wonder if Borders is teetering a little. Many branches seem to have a lot of stock out back they aren't shelving, the overseas franchises were sold off, and there were some branches closed after Christmas. Now I see via Dear Author that they won't be stocking Bujold's new book, Sharing Knife #4: Horizon, in store at all. Not a single copy.

I am more of a Vorkosigan Saga fan than Bujold per se, but any book by this author would have a chance of getting bought if I saw it on the shelf--and I have seen the new series widely and favorably reviewed by grassroots readers. (And Paladin of Souls was pretty damn good.) I am having trouble seeing how this decision makes sense at all.

On related note I find it interesting that Ravenous Romance offers returns/refund on their ebooks if a customer is dissatisfied. I can't think of any other publisher that does this as open and routine policy. And yeah, I am officially lifting the self-ban in discussing Ravenous. I blog not to praise or bury them, they just keep doing interesting things I want to talk about.

Oh, and a minor case of WTF: Bujold's Sharing Knife #2: Legacy audio edition uses the same stock photo as my Samhain ebook Wolfkin.


  1. Psst! Emily! Your cover is the better one. :D

  2. Showing yet again Anne Cain does it better.

  3. Yours is the much better cover; the colors stand out and I like that wolf!

  4. Borders is on the verge of total collapse. They are $350 million in debt but have a total market value of only around $40 million, and that number is dropping every day. They have also stopped stocking almost all new releases except for the top-top bestsellers. (They won't stock my latest print release, either, and have stopped stocking some imprints altogether).

    Rumor has it that this is partially because they have lots of unpaid bills to distributors and the distributors are refusing to ship them anything that has the slightest chance of being returned.

    I give them a couple more months of survival, at best. And good riddance. They are horribly managed and have mean staff. I prefer B&N and Books A Million.

  5. Anonymous2:17 PM

    Borders will be gone very soon. (I've worked there...) Your cover is the better, and I love that you lifted the ban on RR, cause they are doing interesting things indeed.

  6. I have had refunds due to my misplacing orders before with Samhain and I think one with Amber Quill etc.

    I never return eBooks because of being dissatisfied though. I figure if I really hated it I can just keep it and review it and tell everybody why it sucked.

    Anyway, yawn on Ravenous Sound Bite. What have they really done to innovate anything?

    Hell, their sales on Amazon are not all that when you put them up against other ePubs.

  7. I have not feeling that they are innovating in terms of trial blazing genius, but they are doing things differently--and variation is grist for analysis even when it is arbitrary.

  8. Anonymous4:45 PM

    FYI Teddy Pig, Ravenous has only had the Kindle versions of its books up for about a week. And one of their authors (Ryan Field, who writes M/M romance) is already a top seller there.

  9. I know, I checked them against several other ePubs in an advanced search based on sales before I posted. They are the ones who set high expectations.

    For all their bluster and chest pounding about being better... just having one book pop up in sales is a yawn not "showing anyone" something new or different.

    M.L. Rhodes impresses me more with her consistent top selling books for Amber Quill.

  10. Anonymous7:07 PM

    yeah, but those books HAVE only been up on Amazon/Kindle for ONE week. . .why not give them a little more time to show what they can do?

  11. I don't really care what they "could possibly" do. Anybody "could" eventually sell as well as Samhain. Anybody "could" eventually have as nice cover art as Loose Id. Anybody "could" eventually be as responsive to customers as Liquid Silver Books.

    It's the whole new and different part of what RR was desperately promising anyone who asked that does not seem to be panning out.

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  13. Guh, who did Bujold's cover?? Anne Cain rocks it.

  14. Anonymous1:35 PM

    RR is reportedly selling very well in one market that none of the other epubs have even touched----Stanza, which is the ebook application for iPhones/3G devices.

  15. Anonymous1:45 PM

    I dunno.. . Anony 1:35; I just searched for them on Stanza and didn't find them. But stanza is powered by Fictionwise, and RR IS on fictionwise, so maybe there's just a lag time in getting on Stanza. I know they do plan to be on Stanza, but they aren't yet, apparently. . .

  16. I stumbled here because of the Ravenous reference. I'm one of the authors there, and I just wanted to say that I'm glad that you're open to the possibility that RR isn't a wretch of a publisher. I keep seeing so many posts about how horrid they are, but none of it's from authors or people involved with the group. Usually, it's the competition or authors writing for the competition. I personally can't imagine going around slamming the covers that publisher X has or the editing at publisher Y. Just seems to me that it's bad form. Anyway, interesting post, and I do like the top cover best, too.

  17. Anonymous8:39 AM

    Several of Ravenous' titles have become top sellers on AllRomanceEbooks (including PRETTY MAN, which spent about 3 weeks being the No. 1 overall bestseller on the site) and on Fictionwise. Their Kindle titles are selling like gangbusters, too, especially their M/M romance.

    I am a Ravenous author and several of my books have become Top 10 bestsellers on All Romance Ebooks within their respective categories, and have stayed at those positions for several weeks now. Doing well on Fictionwise as well, and selling tons of copies on their home website as well.

    For a publisher that's been in business for only about 2 months, that's pretty damn good as far as I'm concerned.