Duel of the RomanceEbooks

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Back in February I wrote: "1RomanceEbooks seems like a great site but surely they could have chosen a name that doesn't seem such a blatant riff on AllRomanceEbooks?" Well, it seems that life imitates blog. A lawsuit filed on 14 July 2010 arguing, in essence, that 1RomanceEbooks is infringing on the trademark of AllRomanceEbooks. I can say nothing on the accuracy or legitimacy of the lawsuit, but it certainly makes for some interesting reading.

I do, however, wonder why authors are being embroiled in this dispute between AllRomanceEbooks and 1RomanceBooks. Specifically an authors who display the 1RomanceEbooks name or logo as part of their promotion (for example the 1RomanceEbooks blog tour). Legally if a person neglects to assert their right to a trademark, this can be used to defend an infringement suit. So I suppose AllRomanceEbooks feels it is necessary to do this?

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In Brief

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

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[Boutique] Ai Press

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Ai Press

"Whatever the genre of book available here, be it sci-fi, paranormal, contemporary, LGBT or traditional, the basic underlying theme is love."

This imprint is operated by author Sedonia Guillone

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Apple: From No-Nipple Apps to No-Nookie Books

I can't say this was unpredictable.  It looks like Apple's Itunes store may be pushing erotica to the back, removing erotic titles from the best-selling lists and apparently disabling the search function. And this is censorship at its least transparent as neither the authors nor the media have been given any explanation.  Based on Apple's track record I am certainly not the only one not giving any benefit of the doubt. [link fixed]

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New Epublisher: Etopia

Monday, July 26, 2010

Can I contain my exci--cycnism.  I shall try.

Etopia Press

What genres are they interested in?  Pretty much all of them.

"Etopia Press is the brainchild of Annie Melton and her silent partner, J.D."

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Oy.

If you think New Sensations has a patronising approach to promoting porn to women, you should see how this guy explains M/M to men.

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Arrow Publications

Sunday, July 25, 2010

It seems that Arrow Publications, a producer of romance comics, is striving to distribute through pretty much every digital vendor.  They are pushing the old 'comics for girls' angle that brought us such gems as Barbie Comics and Princess Amethyst (barf).  Has anyone out their read ther comics?  Any good?  My advice to them would be to consider a slightly less, um, 'masculine' logo.  (Is that an arrow in your pocket?)

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Will no one save us from these meddlesome agents?

Friday, July 23, 2010

"The literary agent Andrew Wylie said on Wednesday that he would begin his own publishing venture, called Odyssey Editions, which will produce e-book editions of titles by some of his clients..." [New York Times]

So we know have Ravenous Romance/Lori Perkins, Open Road Media/Jane Friedman and Diversion Books/Scott Waxman all ready to show us noobs how to epublish.  (A.k.a spin backlist and slush into supplementary income for their agencies?).

Conflict of interests?  Random House seems to think so--or at least they dispute that Wylie actually holds the digital rights he is exploiting.  .

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Who is your auto-read?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

As an author, I think I have become a somewhat jaded reader.  But when my delivery arrived today I experienced that familiar thrill.  A book had arrived that I had been looking forward to.  I am clearing my schedule for tonight and logging off.  Which begs the question, for you authors out there is there still an author whose work lets you read like you are kid again, keenly anticipated and fully engrossed?  And if so, who?

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An excerpt from my adventures in the Absolute Write forums

Originally Posted by Lillibridge Press
[excerpt] "I want to wish all the writers on here good luck in their writing endeavors, but here are some words to ponder... HOW you write about any publishing house be it Lillibridge Press or any other, isn't only read by those you’d expect. You never know when another publisher might read your harsh comment, too."

My response
To me this reads as a passive-aggressive threat that anyone who dares to question the virtues of Lillibridge will end up on some kind of publisher black list. I think this makes Lillibridge look both hostile and foolish.

[original post]

Elaboration:
Publishers naturally only want people to say nice things about them.  As a result some of them like to say or imply that anyone who dares to question any publisher for any reason gets on the bad side of all publishers.

Criticism is not in itself going to make you look bad so long as it is stated honestly and without malice--so long as it is stated as opinion, based on fact, and retracted when in error.

And any publisher who has a problem with that is not a publisher I would want to do business with.

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MARKET: JMS Books

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"JMS Books LLC is a new small press catering to fans of queer erotic romance as well as a variety of other genres. We publish in print and electronic formats, and our royalty rates are very competitive ~ among the best in e-publishing. Authors early 50% net royalties on all sales."

Website

"Our doors will officially open on July 1, 2010, but in the meantime feel free to look around!"

"Will"?

"Authors earn 50% of the net proceeds"

"Net"?

"JMS Books LLC accepts all genres of gay, lesbian, and transgender fiction. This includes erotica, romance, young adult, and stories without erotic or romantic content. We also accept general fiction (not GLBT), non-fiction, and poetry ... We prefer stories where erotica and romance are not the main focus of the plot."

 So like, they don't want genre romance, but do accept it.... Um.

"We also do not accept stories with "gay for you" plot lines, multiple-partner relationships, or which portray GLBT characters or their sexuality negatively ... We aren’t considering heterosexual or bisexual erotica or romance at this time."

"J.M. Snyder, Owner"

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Link Ado About Nuttin'

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

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Alien Love

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Is it just me or is some of this guy, um, missing?  Yes, I know, I know, it has something to do with foreshorting or perspective.  Or its a romance story involving an erotic alien leech with one arm and no legs.

Yeah, you're right, it's probably the foreshortening thing.






Just like this book is probably not about a hairless alien with an eye in his belly button. No, no. The brown eye in his umbilicus is just symbolic of... Ew, I so did not need my mind to go there.

What, that was just me? Sorry.

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Smoke at Dorchester

Saturday, July 17, 2010

It has been reported at various sites that Dorchester Publishing has had their appearances at RWA (July 28-31) cancelled. The reason, in plain language, being that some authors have not been paid what was contractually due to them. 

See also:
Publishers Weekly
Dear Author

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Dear LazyDay Publishing

Friday, July 16, 2010

It doesn't count if you take the "high road" in response to author questions on a forum, and then go neener neener on your blog (where you can delete any comments you don't like).

See also:
Dear Author

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The Literature Map

Thursday, July 15, 2010

With a little help I got myself added to the Literature Map, rather amusingly between Goethe and Tamora Pierce.  If I click around I see some other erotic romance ebook types including Anne Somerville and Josh Lanyon. I think we need to get a few more epublished authors on the map!

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mindfuck Fiction.

I'm running out of things to say.

Sorry.

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Close a Loophole, Open a Bag of Worms

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A modification to a Massachusetts law against disseminating obscene materials to minors is causing trouble. A change intended to close a gap (that meant digital material was not included considered "matter") has been interpreted by some* as banning from the internet absolutely anything that might be considered "harmful to minors". That would probably included adult fiction and associated promotional material.

So before obscene matter was: "...any handwritten or printed material, visual representation, live performance or sound recording including but not limited to, books, magazines, motion picture films, pamphlets, phonographic records, pictures, photographs, figures, statues, plays, dances." Presumably provided by an adult to a child.

Now it includes: "...electronic mail, instant messages, text messages, and any other communication created by means of use of the Internet or wireless network, whether by computer, telephone, or any other device or by any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo-electronic or photo-optical system." Which is being interpreted as material just available online, and not deliberately provided to a child.

The manager of the Harvard bookstore is specifically concerned that the law could be applied to materials such as book covers shown on a store website.

* Including the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the Association of American Publishers, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Harvard Bookstore, the Photographic Resource Center, Porter Square Books .

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Everything new is old again

Several recent advertisements are expressing the superior abilities of their cell phone services... by comparing them to print books.

LG Mobile Phones

Al Jawal phone services

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Hubpages and Homophobia

Hubpages is essentially a content site where you can put up content and split the adsense click 60/40.  Recently they have been cracking down on content that Google Adsense doesn't like, which is fair enough.  However it has led, predictably, to conent being taken down that the authors think is not objectionable.  Here sis one of the clarifying emails.

"In partnership with our advertising partners, we've identified below some areas that are not suitable for advertising but that, at our discretion, we may allow to remain published without ads:

Reproductive medical content (including vaginal and penile issues and sexually transmitted diseases)
Content about sexuality, including losing your virginity, fetish, or LGBT issues
Content about abortion, circumcision, rape, incest, pedophilia, and molestation
Content describing violent crimes or gruesome accidents
Lewd or profane humor, including provocative entendre
Restrained journalistic or fine art nudity
If the content of your hub falls into one of these areas, please set the Ad Level to 'None'. If you have specific questions, please contact us."

Okay, so lets look at this.  Any queer issue is automatically too obscene for advertising whether it relates to sex or not? Also anything to do with genitals and anything remotely to do with sex or sexual violence, or nudity.

Meanwhile Google adsense itself runs ads for hook-up sites.

Seriously, people, all this does is reinforce the idea that anything to do with queer identity, sexual health and nudity is depraved and obscene--and that is what is more digusting than anything on the Hub Pages "naughty" list.

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Your child....

Monday, July 12, 2010

Safety Web is clearly capitalising (literally) on parental fears about what their kids are doing online.  Out of curiosity I put my own email address into the form.  Most of what came up was not great surprise and just a direct report of some of my social media presences.  But there does some to be at least one parameter that is not just a direct report.  I've pointed it out for y'all.

Your child ... likes homosexuality. (Collective surprised gasp).  But seriously, I wonder why this factor is quite so prominent on the report?  And what exactly does it have to do with keeping a kid safe?  I would be curious what other comments come up when people enter their email addresses.  So please let me know....

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news

Sunday, July 11, 2010

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Spend some of my money on a good cause

Friday, July 09, 2010

If you comment on this post about The Plight of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani (one of several women at risk of execution in Iran for reasons such as adultury or "enmity with God") I will donate $1 to Amnesty International, up to a maximum of $50.  Note this post is on my other blog "the Cliterature blog" which is possibly not safe for work or impressionable minds (warning: contains pictures of boobies).

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Purple Sword Publications

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

No, really. Purple Sword Publications.

 
Have a look for yourselves.  I need to go lie down.

See also:

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Lazy Day

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Fair disclosure: I am feeling particularly snarky today.  You have been warned.



LazyDay Publishing is a new digital publisher that is focused on the future of storytelling.

"Lazy" is never really a quality I am looking for in a publisher, but let's assume that they are referring to a good day to read books. If they are focused on the future of story-telling I hope they are myopic.  As an author I hope for a publisher focused on the sales of my manuscript within the very foreseeable future.

All books will be on our site, but will also be available with all the leading third party distributors. Our books will be easily available in all leading formats. LazyDay Publishing will be a dominating presence in the future of the digital book.

Dominating, huh.  based on what? Because selling ebooks in multiple formats through the usual vendors is a basic requirement for a viable epublisher, not dominating.
LazyDay Publishing will be officially launching December 1, 2010! Please follow us during this exciting time by visiting our site as well as following us on Twitter.

Excitement is not the main goal I have as an author.  Unless you count the excitement of receiving a cheque in the mail.
Our initial web page is designed for the author...


This strikes me as a good way to scare off experienced authors.

...but will vastly change on December 1, 2010 to become a fully integrated online ebook store and digital publishing house that will be focused on the reader.

We are actively pursuing authors who want to be part of our team.

This sounds like the epublishing equivalent of 'forced seduction'.

Please see our submission guidelines on how to get published. http://www.lazydaypub.com

They seem to be accepting all genres including non-fiction and poetry. Good luck to them, I guess.

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Updates

  • More problems at NightShade Books: "Night Shade has stolen the ebook rights to The Mall of Cthulhu. They do not own them and are offering an electronic edition for sale through webscription.net, which is affiliated with Baen Books, a real publisher who should know better. Nine months ago, Night Shade made a verbal offer to pay me a small sum for the rights. I agreed. They've never paid me. They claimed their unauthorized edition was an oversight, and that was somewhat credible at the time. Nine months later, it's clear that this is not an oversight. It's a theft of my intellectual property."
  • Official response from Nightshade Books.
  • Someone employed by Solstice, which was once Hearts on Fire Books, has started the an epublisher of childrens' books called Fairy Tales and Dreams.

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Captiva Press

Monday, July 05, 2010

I am definitely beginning to suffer from epublisher fatigue, but I shall do my best.

Captiva Press is--it seems--an imprint of Placida Publishing that launched in November last year..

About Captiva Press - Placida Publishing, LLC: Captiva Press is an imprint of Placida Publishing, LLC. We are a royalty paying, non-subdsidy, non-vanity press based in Florida. We do not charge authors for any services. Our staff has over twenty years combined experience in editing, publishing, journalism, and related fields. Our goal is to first build a strong web presence in several niche genres, filling a need for quality fiction in those markets. We are interested in quality writing, fresh voices, and strong storytelling skills that will keep the reader wanting more.


Publisher: W. B. Richardson

Editor in Chief: Stephanie Q. McGrath

At this time, we are taking unsolicited general submissions for the following genres, in addition to the open lines listed below: erotica (regardless of sub-genre), romance (regardless of sub-genre), horror, mystery/thriller. General submissions can be mainstream or GLBT.

They have an open call for steampunk; I am beginning to think steampunk might be the new tarot.

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Epublishing "Advocate" Goes on to Better Things

Saturday, July 03, 2010

"Breaking News"


Great! I love breaking news!

"Ebooks give a second chance to unpublished authors who can't sign a book deal"
 
Um, come again?
 
"Ebooks give a second chance to unpublished authors who can't sign a book deal"
 
Yeah, I thought that's what you said. So what else does epublishing, um, "advocate" Boyd Morrison have to say?
 
"I had no real marketing plan. I just did it to kinda see what would happen ... and much to my shock, people saw them and started recommending them to each other on these discussion forums and they started climbing the bestsellers list." In three months, he sold 7,500 copies and, soon after, signed the book deal he longed for with Touchstone Books, a division of Simon & Schuster.
 
Okay then.  Well congrats on getting a book deal and all.
 
"While Morrison is happy to be a champion for unpublished writers and the future potential of ebooks, he said his goal was always to get a traditional book deal."
 
Yes, I can see what a champion he is for the "future" potential of ebooks.  With advocates like that....
 
"I was very clear I was doing this to gain a readership so I could eventually be published and I'm still glad I did that," he said."
 
We get it.  Epublishing is not really being published.  Please stop with the advocating and move on with your successfully published life.
 
From the Winnipeg Free Press, which is worth every penny.

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Erotic Market: Fanny Press

Fanny is a word with various meanings, but I guess any of them could work as the name of an erotica press. And Fanny Press has a pretty diverse line up including comics, themed anthologies, erotic romance and non-fiction--in print, large print and ebook formats. 

As they describe it: "We publish erotic romances about polyamory, bondage, and the supernatural. We publish erotic memoirs. We even publish adult comic books. Basically, we publish some of the coolest books you can buy."

However the webiste is very light on information about who is in charge and what kind of contract they offer.

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