Sunday, September 12, 2010
Ravenous Romance launched with the stated ambitions of being a game changing epublisher. Do you think this has really been born out? My best estimate suggests that sales for Ravenous books are roughly average for an erotic romance epublisher. Dalyn Miller predicted 'aggressive sales in the multiple thousands of copies per title' and the discussed time range was 'within two years'. Is this being born out for the statistically average RR single author novella+ title? Because the average figure across other typical publishers would be more like 800 copies in this time period.
Yes, we believe Ravenous Romance has been a game changer, but not in all of the ways we anticipated. One of the most exciting things we feel we’ve done is create alternative distribution methods for our books. We’re the only romance publisher (print included) to have ever been on Home Shopping Network, which in essence was an advertisement for the romance industry. And, yes, we sold thousands of copies of those books in minutes.
We are the only epublisher that I know of that has a monthly imprint with a print publisher. Red Wheel Weiser is publishing two Ravenous Romance trade paperback titles every month, which, of course, will be available in bookstores worldwide. One of those titles is an M/M erotic romance, so we’ve broken that barrier for the industry as well.
We’re also the only epublisher I know of that has launched 150 books as standalone iPhone apps.
As far as individual ebook title sales are concerned, our sales are on a par with other epublishers’, but are growing quickly. And like all publishers, we’ve had real clunkers that have sold fewer than 100 copies, and we’ve had some best-sellers that have sold between 3000 and 7000 copies.
I also believe we were one of the first epublishers to offer an advance for EVERY book we publish.
We are in this business for the long haul, and we are working very hard to build our authors’ careers in every way we can, including creating new ways to market and distribute their books.
What has happened to the book-a-day feature (and 'this week's books' section)? I assume this was initially intended to be a new book each day (and only books released in the last week)?
When we started the company, we thought we could do a new book a day, but we found that goal was a bit ambitious for a young company. At the present time, we are publishing approximately 10 new titles per month, but we expect to double that next year. Eventually, we will be publishing a new book every day. We highlight a book a day to drive backlist sales, and it works.
It seems there have been a lot of problems with the website and in some cases the email notices over recent months? What was the cause of this and has it be resolved now?
Our site was hacked, and it has been restored. We have put additional safeguards in place to prevent future outages, and hired a new web development team. You can expect some exciting new changes to the website in the coming months, but that’s all I can say for now.
Is it the case that the earnings from one book may be held until the advance on a previous book have earned out? What general range of advances are being paid--is is still generally one dollar per standard manuscript page?
Like all publishing contracts, including print, multiple book deals are basketed. Certainly, terms can be negotiated, which is why even epub authors should read their contracts carefully, and perhaps get agents. Our standard advances are $200 for a novel and $10 for a short story.
Have there been any delays in reporting or paying royalties to any authors? And if so what caused this to occur and has it now been resolved? Does this relate the responsibilities on the author and/or editors in relation to requesting and passing on information?
Some of the editors of anthologies took longer than they should have to send out royalty statements to the individual authors, but that has been straightened out. Payments have never been late. We have had a couple of authors who don’t understand their contracts who have complained, but their complaints are not legitimate.
Is any consideration being given to reducing te $100 payment threshold or using a different model to pay for lower earning work such as a short story in an anthology?
Print publishers all have a $50 or $100 minimum royalty payment requirement, we are no different. Once the anthology has earned out its advance, the ebook must then earn an excess of $100 to pay out royalties. This is clearly stated in our contract. We may consider changing this in the future, but for now it stands.
Could you please share some of your success stories in selling subsidiary rights? Roughly how may deals of this sort have been made?
I am so pleased with the sale to St. Martin’s Press of the zombie romance anthology, HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE. It will release in a few days, and there will be readings throughout the country. There’s a full-page ad in this month’s Marvel comics for the anthology.
We’ve also sold six reprints to Alyson publishing, the oldest gay print publisher in the country.
All this is in addition to the Home Shopping Network deal and the imprint at Red Wheel Weiser.
In 2008 I asked: 'Are agents other than Lori Perkin's submitting their client's work to Ravenous Romance?' Dalyn Miller answered this in the affirmative but without specifics. Would it be possible to know which agents have done this?
Our very first novel, EXPOSING NICOLE, was sold to us by the Harvey Klinger Agency. Other agents continue to send us their clients’ work.
As you know, I believe every writer should have an agent, especially as the epub industry evolves.
How would you respond to suggestions on other blogs that Ravenous Romance material that is labeled as "romance" may not meet the genre requirements, or the suggestions that some title may not be written to the highest standards?
All our books have a happy ending, or a happy-for-now ending, and the love story is at the center of each book. I think that qualifies as “romance,” doesn’t it?
As far as quality and standards go, some would say the fact that we were able to publish a protégée of John Updike (with a quote from him), speaks volumes about the quality of our writing. We have a number of NY Times best-selling and award-winning authors writing for us. Most of our books get 4 and 5 star reviews from the romance and erotic romance review sites, so obviously we’re doing something right. We were nominated for a LAMBDA and an RT Award in our first year of publishing. All our books also come with a money-back guarantee, so if someone doesn’t like it, they can get their money back. Taste is subjective. To each her own.
What you haven’t asked us is what IS working; so let me share that with you. Our readers LOVE M/M romance, followed by paranormal and kinky. So, here’s a call for M/M, paranormal kink. Get writing.
We also do at least 12 anthologies in-house a year—they’re a great place to break in. We’ve developed many of our novelists from their short stories. We list the call for stories on our blog, www.ravenousromance.blogspot.com.
We’ve also just paired up with www.eroticstoriesandtoys.com to do a breakthrough sex toys anthology where the authors will be paid in the sex toys they write about, and their stories will be featured in our ebook and on that website. We’re trying to give our authors creative and fun outlets for their talent.