Sunday, January 11, 2009
Liquid Silver Books regularly appears in the top five erotic romance epublishers in terms of sales, and I like to keep up with what they are up to as a 'major player'. So when they updated their submission guidelines I dropped by to look them over.
There are two things that struck me about the new guidelines. The first being this:
"Sex in the stories must be descriptive, titillating for the reader, further the plot ... The stories must hold on their own if the sex scenes are omitted .. Taboo subjects include pedophilia, rape or incest [etc] ... and our definition of pornography."
Is it just me that has a little difficulty, even as someone very familiar with erotic romance, with the idea of titillating non-pornography that advances the plot but could be omitted without undermining said plot? Justice Stewart famously said that hardcore pornography is hard to define but "I know it when I see it." But if there is an editorial definition of it at LSB it would be helpful, IMHO, to provide it to authors considering submission.And the requirement that the submitting writer provide their "thoughts on ePublishing" is also, IMHO, odd and rather non-specific. My thoughts on the subject lean cynical and I doubt that is what they are after.
I also note extensive specification of non-standard formatting. For example the use of Ariel (sp. Arial?) font and no page numbers. I know that many authors submit frankly inappropriate material in mangled formatting and without any proofreading, but for the most part I would expect presses to be open to the use of MS standard formatting rather than micro-managing (down the level of providing the author with a checklist) an idiosyncratic format and list of writers sins to avoid. It does bring to mind my disquiet when Chippewa specified submission in 16 point font and no use what-so-ever of contractions.
p.s. I see they also use the mid-word capitalising in ePublisher and eBook. I really don't understand how this usage has arisen. Epublisher or epublisher, sure--but why ePublisher, especially when it is a mid-sentence word use?
p.p.s. The LSB banner doesn't display nicely at 1280 wide.