Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hmmm

Sssh.com seems to be very happy to be teaming up with Blushing Books: "This may be our first eBook publishing venture, but it will not be our last!" The thing is, as far as I can see, Blushing Books is part of ABCD Webmasters (a spanking oriented collection of websites and e-publishers) which is known for delayed payment and non-payment of authors--unless something has changed on that front?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Market: Inkspell

Standard disclaimers apply.  A new epublisher with a focus on romance and fantasy.

Not sure what to make of this nonsense: "We do not publish erotic romance but all heat levels are accepted if it is relevant to the story."

Some people think porn means nasty crap, and erotica means porn--
but assuming erotic romance=erotica=porn=nasty crap is a new.

Pretty covers, though.

Edited to add:
Entangled uses the sentence: "We are not an erotic romance publisher, however we consider all heat levels, so long as the erotic elements are secondary the story." -- which I think is somewhat less derissive as it at least implies what they mean by 'erotic romance' other than 'stuff we don't want'. (Not that I, personally, agree with that definition--but whatever, I may be in the minority there). 

Entangled are saying erotic romance is a romance where sex is part of the primary story, Inkspell by contrast is saying erotic romance is a romance where sex is gratuitously added that is irrelevant to the story.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pardon your what?

Via Olivia Waite:

Raised eyebrows here at a new release from 15 minute fantasies called Pardon my Frottage*. ("a non-consensual fetish where an individual would get sexual arousal and/or satisfaction by rubbing up against other people in public places")

Everyone is welcome to their fantasies, but how many people find strangers rubbing their privates on you while you try to use public transportation sexy? Oh well, to each their own I guess. My fantasy would end with said assailant's willy getting caught in the automatic doors and being left lying, severed, on the platform.

*Given that it is for sale at AllRomanceEbooks I assume there is an romance angle in there somewhere?

What not to do...

...in response to a one star review.

1) Reply on Amazon and call it an "act of sabotage".
2) Use your platform at HuffPo to post a rant
3) Go back to Amazon to continue the over-reaction. <--Now deleted by author

Edited to add:
4) Delete comments on HuffPo that disagree with you

Have you posted a comment that failed to appear after a considerable period of time?  Feel free to post it in a comment here see we can see whether it meets the only accepted deletion reason at HuffPo: "vicious and inflammatory comments."

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wolves on the Open Road

It looks like Harper Collins and Open Road Media are going to have that little argument that has been brewing about whether 'we own it all' contracts from gazonks ago cover ebooks right now. The lucky author that gets to be in the middle of this brouhaha is Jean Craighead George via her children’s book Julie of the Wolves. Open Road, digital liberator, or digital parasite? I guess the courts will decide.

Advance as a Contest Prize

I have already posted here a few times about my opinion that a contest where the only prize is publication, is not a contest.  Even if you "win" an advance on royalties, because that money is not a "prize"--you are going to earn it.  It is no more a prize that a cash advance loan on your salary is a prize.

In my opinion the problem with calling it a contest is that it can bypass the part of your brain that says "do I want to submit my manuscript here" or "is this the best place I could submit to?"  And if you do want to submit to this publisher, you are doing so in a way that maximizes competition and possibly associated delays.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Links

  • The Vatican tried to buy Vatican.xxx only to find it had already sold.  But their alarm was short-lived, it was reserved and removed from the list of sites before the xxx sites were ever put on the market. Catholicism: 1, Erotica: 0.
  • In other news, erotic art was found in a Vatican bathroom, presumably saved by the fame of the artist, Raphael.  Catholicism: 1, Erotica: 1.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Barely Legal?

I will confess, a view Goodreads in the same why I would view a MacDonalds full of a hundred preteens hopped up on soda and cake.  I don't have that much against it, but I sure as hell am not going in there.

But I did notice this post by Erastes, about her book being added to a list of "M/M Relationships Between Underage or Barely Legal and Adult Characters (defined as under 'a protagonist under the age of 20 and another over 20)"--because of a character who is 17 years old and legal (over 16).

So, legitimate interest--or ephebophile's wet dream?  It seems a pretty normal age for a first sexual relationship to me.

See also:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Market: Crooked Cat

Crooked Cat is a UK-based e-publisher of multiple genres including romance.

They seem a little too focused on authors (versus readers) IMHO--and act like providing editing, cover art and royalties is somehow an unusual level of performance.

Also the 'who we are' page doesn't say... well, who they are.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Facebook's Contest Rules

I am seeing a lot of contests from both individual authors and publishers that seem to break Facebook's contest rules.  I guess you will get away with it most of the time, but losing your Facebook page could be a major pain in the ass.  So be aware:

If you use Facebook to communicate about or administer a promotion such as a contest you must not:
  • Require "liking" of a facebook page as part of entry
  • Notify winners through Facebook

Realms of Fantasy Closing

Those who had little faith in Damnation Book's ability to successfully run Realms of Fantasy magazine only had to wait a year to be proved correct.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mantitty Deficit?

I know I can be a bit scathing about cover models with mantitty that verges on a C-cup. 

But I am not sure that a complete absence of titty (and tan, and an apostrophe) is any kind of improvement.

Parker Dawdles on Reversion

Marcia Colette is reporting that Parker Publishing hasn't managed to pull her out-of-print book from channels in a timely manner.  Naughty.

Zharmae

When it comes to "The Zharmae Publishing Press" (holy redundancy, Batman) I am going to steal a joke from Old Hack at the cooler: "...its chief editor has worked with signing chimpanzees which some might consider a good start" 

They list romance and erotica at the end of the list of genres they will consider, but I see no evidence--as yet--that they have experience publishing these genres. (You will need to highlight the submission guidelines to read them as they are posted in black text on a dark green background)

Watch that space, I guess.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Gay

As I head off to my work Xmas party I would just like to wish everyone here a happy whatever-you-may-or-may-not-be-celebrating season.

Somehow I doubt the party will be like the one on this book cover, but I live in hope.

While I am away you might like to swing by Laura B Writer who was kind enough to do a blog critique of this blog!

[Picture via Fringepop]

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Can you spot the deliberate mistake?

...I think ["]Soul Mate Publishing["] encompasses the type of books we’re trying to sell, romances where the hero and heroine belong together.

...We publish every genre of romance except YA.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Entangled Editors

So, Entangled has had a lot of good press. They have a new managing editor in "Former Harlequin Editor Alethea Spiridon-Hopson" and an editorial director formerly of Bloomsbury -- with much press release ado about both. But how are they selling?  There is a lot of glitter, but how much gold? Because if these people are all they are cracked up to be, they can't be cheap?

Eugene Gets in the Christmas Spirit

From my in-box:

Dear Pro-family American,
Yes?
The Radical Homosexuals infiltrating the United States Congress have a plan:
Great!
Indoctrinate an entire generation of American children with pro-homosexual propaganda and eliminate traditional values from American society.
Even better! The great American tradition of bigotry is in serious need of elimination.
Their ultimate dream is to create a new America based on sexual promiscuity in which the values you and I cherish are long forgotten.
Now I am confused.  I thought we were talking about homosexuality.  Not that I have anything against sexual promiscuity either, but one issue at a time, okay?
I hate to admit it, but if they pass the deceptively named "Student Non-Discrimination Act," (H.R. 998 & S. 555) that's exactly what they'll do.
So the deceptively named Student non-Discrimination Act will teach students to not discriminate against homosexuals?
Better named the "Homosexual Classrooms Act," its chief advocate in Congress is Rep. Jared Polis, himself an open homosexual and radical activist.
...Elected democratically by his electorate.
And it's dangerously close to becoming the law of the land.
H.R. 998 already has 150 co-sponsors in the House!
And S. 555 already has 34 co-sponsors in the Senate!
My heart just grew three sizes.
That's why I need you to act quickly -- right away -- to protect our nation's youth.
I have prepared the official "Protect Our Children's Innocence" Petition to Congress for you to sign.
So, that's not deceptively named at all....

[clipped for length and histrionics]

The Homosexual Lobby knows that if the public knew the truth about their radical agenda, they'll have no hope of success. 
I beg to differ.
And their dangerously close to ramming their perversity into law.
Said the hooker to the magistrate (*they're).

[clipped for repetition and more histrionics]

That's why I need your generous contribution. In addition to your signed "Protect Our Children's Innocence" Petition, will you contribute $250, $100, $50 or even just $35 right away.
Gee, how much does innocence cost (and where can I get some?)

[More clipping, because I am getting bored]

History classes will document the "civil rights" struggle against the "oppressive" pro-family establishment.
Wow.  I mean... wow.  I got nothing.  I don't even know what to say to this except they I am glad I am not in your "family".

[Clippy, clippy]

Traditional values will be squashed and demonized as old fashioned or out of date, or even as bigotry.
Yes, because why would opposition to "civil rights" (in scare quotes) be seen as bigotry?

[More repitition, more requests for money]

Thank you so much for all you have done.
You are so welcome.

Sincerely,

Eugene Delgaudio
President,
Public Advocate of the U.S.

[More requests for money]

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

M/M with pussy on the cover

I almost always adore Dreamspinner covers, but this one... not so much. Is it just that the M/M and LOLcat demographics are perfectly aligned and so it doesn't really matter if your cover has mantitty or fuzzy kitty?

A bra too far?

I am generally a fan of model Andrej Pejic, a male who often models fashion for women.  But I do think Queerty's "so what" response to the controversy around his push up bra ads is glossing over a few points.

A man can wear dress, earrings, panties and so forth and look damn good doing it.  But Andrej does not have any discernible breasts whatsoever for the bra to "push up" (it is meant to be a 'remodeling' bra, not a padded one).  So a little bemusement is understandable.

So he does seem an odd choice of model unless the main goal is simply to be controversial and get lots of viral coverage?  In which case I guess "so what" is the best response after all.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cheyenne Publishing

Not an e-publisher, but still interesting:

Website

"Cheyenne Publishing is an independent publisher of quality LGBT novels and anthologies, specializing in historical fiction. Our adult fiction is culled from the best writers in gay historical fiction today including Alex Beecroft, Erastes, and Lee Rowan."

All the better to see you with...

This post is going to be a largely a "hear, hear" to Remittance Girl on her post "Women are Visual".  Whether or not you agree with the post (I didn't agree with her characterization of women who like gay porn), I think it is certainly worth reading.

I did like the attention drawn to the point:"...if 80 percent of all buyers of erotic fiction are women, why is it that all the book covers feature sexy* naked women instead of sexy men" A trend that I think is less pronounced in epublishing?

*Skinny, white, boobtastic

Sunday, December 11, 2011

First Year

Updates have got as far as average sales in the first year:

Across all publishers--845 copies
Samhain--2320 copies
Ellora's Cave-1023 copies
Liquid Silver--801 copies
Loose Id--600 copies
Changeling--263 copies
Cobblestone--227 copies
Torquere--223 copies
Freya's Bower--56 copies

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Carina's New Contract

So it seems that Carina's contract going forward will be 40/50% of net receipts (distributed versus own site). This is presented as an increase and who knows, maybe it is. With net it is hard to tell. (That's kind of the problem).

Net is presented as excluding "trade discounts, commissions and any applicable taxes and duties."  So, presumably if they put your book on sale, royalties are cut. As to which exact commissions, taxes and duties etc this might apply to, I am not sure. (Actually, I have no idea at all). but I can see that it is a bit more complicated than excluding only the e-tailer's cut.

Net will apply to sales from the Carina/Harlequin  website because: "a third party assists with the operation of the web site, collecting its fee before remitting proceeds to Carina Press".  So, the author is picking up the tab for Carina's online store, at least to some extent?

I would be very interested to see what this means to the royalties for a book moving to the new net rate. Not just now, but in the future when they might decide to have a sale or contract with a more expensive web site operator. Or deduct sales tax, or whatever else the contract might allow.

The other change is that books will revert soon, with <250 units sold instead of <50. Which strikes me as a pretty good idea in a world where authors have other ways to exploit manuscripts when they have burned out in conventional channels.

Authors already under contract can decide whether to accept either or both changes to existing contracts. It will be boilerplate for future acquisitions.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Average First Month/Quarter Sales byPublisher

Updated to show years:
Updated again because I can't count.

Remosa, without Remorse

1) Reading fees suck.  They indicate a publisher trying to make money off authors, not by selling books to readers.
2) Disguising your reading fee as a contest entry fee doesn't make it suck any less.

("2. Remosa Publishing have first right of refusal for publication of any and all competition entries. Entries should not be submitted to other publishing companies until 60 days following the close of the competition.")

No Comment

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Bad Sex, Bad Sex Awards, and Bad Bad Sex Awards

The Bad Sex in Fiction Awards are meant to chastise "the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel".

The things is, I think they often seriously miss the point.  In the modern novel sex is often meant to be crude, perfunctory, pointless, awkward and even downright weird.  Not every book is clearly chaste or outright erotic.  There is a lot of territory in between--just like in life.

A gross/humorous modern retelling of Oedipus is obviously going to include sex, and also pretty obviously something other than sublime sex. It may not be a horrendously successful book, but that applies to the book as a whole, not just the sex parts.

So in terms of the awards goals to point out sex scenes that are "redundant" and "discourage" them:
  • 1) Removing the sex scenes would in no way improve the book, but in fact render it completely pointless as sex with one's mother is rather central to the plot of Oedipus Rex, and
  • 2) Guterson did not sound very discouraged when he responded to his win with the statement: "Oedipus practically invented bad sex, so I'm not in the least bit surprised."

The whole thing reminds me of that pointless award for books with silly titles which often ends up erroneously targeting books with completely accurate titles about topics that are really not as silly as they might seem.

Just because the judges don't know of (or care about) the immense scientific value of nude mice in the battle against cancer, or the fact that marmalade has an interesting history, does not make the titles of books on these subjects "odd".

See also:
When “bad” awards miss the point

Market: Good Mourning

One on hand, Megan Hansen's new (e?)publisher Good Mourning has one of the least professional websites I have seen in a long time. It opens with a pink and purple free blog and the top title "Good news fangirls, Spock was in gay porn!" 

On the other hand I like their 'damn the categories' approach to sexuality. I also think their planned anthology of love stories featuring characters in wheelchairs is the sort of thing larger epublishers should have been doing years ago.

But back on the first hand: it is a press run by one person who already has a job, a side career as an illustrator, and no apparent publishing experience.

Monday, December 05, 2011

More Cover Deja Vu...

Links

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

RIP: Midnight Magic Press

They seem to have vanished. As far as I am aware it opened, um, just last month?

I wonder if Midnight, Twilight etc are particularly unlucky names to give a press, as they seem to go "dark" quicker than most?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Press Release: Queerteen Press

JMS Books LLC is pleased to announce its GLBT Young Adult imprint, Queerteen Press.

Queerteen Press publishes YA titles appealing to queer teens as well as their parents, teachers, and librarians. Books are available in electronic and print formats. A handful of titles are already available through QT Press, with several more scheduled for release in the early part of 2012.

We accept short stories, collections, and novel-length books in all genres of queer, literary, and genre fiction suitable for a young adult audience. This means books whose main characters are between the ages of 12 and 21.

Submission Policy:
  • Electronic unsolicited submissions are accepted at any time.
  • We do not accept multiple or simultaneous submissions.
  • Submissions should include a QUERY LETTER, full SYNOPSIS, and 2,000 word EXCERPT in RTF format.
  • Submissions are acknowledged within 2 business days.
  • If we like your submission, we will request a copy of the full manuscript for review. Manuscripts must be in electronic format only. The review time is between 1-3 weeks.
Contract terms:
  • Authors earn 50% net royalties on all sales (e-book and paperback) from all distributors.
  • Contracts are for a period of 2 years and auto-renew annually.
  • We require exclusive electronic and print rights, but can negotiate if the story has been published in an anthology or collection.
Full submission guidelines are available on our website at http://www.queerteen-press.com/index.php?main_page=page_2
.

J.M. Snyder
Queerteen Press
YA Imprint of JMS Books LLC
http://queerteen-press.com

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Market: Nookie Notes

Nookie Notes (a project by Heather M Klaus) will be seeking M/F romantic erotica (genre erotic but in a strong romance context) first person short stories for a flat payment rate of $25.

It seems like they are going to be set up so members can customize the story to send to their lover. The current copy is heavily gendered in a way that strikes me as overly stereotyped. I am not sure I see a large market for this, but if payment is up front, the writer isn't really risking anything.

Maybe I am over-estimating the sophistication of the target audience"Soccer Mom" (her words, not mine).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Market: Bradley

Bradley Publishing is an all-genre epublisher including erotica and romance. Erotic seems nested under romance so I assume they want erotic romance only.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Can't even give it away....


I thought the cover on this book was bad, but it must be even worse than I thought. I put this on the trade/exchange table at work and after two weeks it is still there, breaking a record previously set by a Harlequin 'secret baby' book.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

No "Romance' in Ebooks?!

In the broader sense, what does the word "romance" mean? Dictionaries group meanings in the general categories of:
  1. Stories of the supernatural and adventure
  2. Something extravagant and fanciful
  3. An emotional attraction belonging to a heroic era, and
  4. A love affair.

So when a designer says only print books have "romance" my first thought is: "Kiss my shiny metal ereader." But more specifically:

  1.  Digital books travel at crazy speed, invisible through the air
  2. You can get ebooks about OMG-anything from Sherlock Holmes investigating a fandom spanker, to a love story between a Finnish photographer and a weird little troll.
  3. The age of the digital frontier is pretty damn cool, and
  4. erotica and romance ebooks are selling like crazy.
And that's romance, baby.  End of.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Captions...

Possible sign meanings:
  • Alpha men to the right, omegas to the left.
  • Threesomes have their ups and downs
  • MFM is now considered thinking inside the box
  • Or...?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I now love Barnes and Noble...

I no longer miss Borders. At all.  After five years and a great many attempts, I never quite convinced my local Borders to stock any of my books.

So after Borders closed I transferred my weekly trip to the nearest Barnes and Noble.  And what did I find...?

Not only one copy of my latest paperback release, Lover of Ghosts, but four copies.  Having sold all four to supportive members of my writing group I hope they will be restocking soon....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Now in Pope News

The Pope recently let us all know that: "It is time to make a vigorous effort to stem prostitution, as well as the widespread diffusion of material with erotic or pornographic content, also on the Internet"

I don't know about you lot, but I'll be getting right on that.

Also his argument that the "materialistic and hedonistic tendencies" of the Western world is what leads to sexual discrimination is like totally iron-clad.

I often bemoan not living in the kind of austere and puritanical climate that would allow me to blossom as a fully equal member of the human race.

Dude looks like a lady?

Is it just me or is the positioning of the text a little unfortunate? (Crossing the line between mantitty and just titty).


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Nora's New Ebook Covers

 The new Intermix covers aren't bad. 

(They aren't interesting enough to be bad.)

Links

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

QR Markham Plagiarism Recall

Publisher's Weekly is reporting that: "Little, Brown Withdraws 'Assassin of Secrets' from Booksellers Because of Lifted Passages"

It seems to be a proactive approach from the publishers, as of right now, no one online is reporting the source of the "lifted" material in this thriller/spy novel--although HuffPo is looking.

Update: "According to a Little, Brown spokeswoman, Nicole Dewey, "Assassin of Secrets" borrowed from Ian Fleming's James Bond novels and fiction by Robert Ludlum and Christopher McCrary."

Update: Edward Champion spells it all out.

Moongypsy Press closing

Or as they seem to have put it "suspending operations".

Monday, November 07, 2011

War, Damnation and Subaru

Have you seen the Subaru Hockey Mom ad with the Pogues song (If I Should Ever Fall from Grace with God)? IMHO the juxtaposition is very jarring. We could debate the exact meaning but despite the jaunty beat this song is about religion, damnation and fervent Irish nationalism... not cute kids and commuting. I guess in advertising, the words don't matter.

If I should fall from grace with god
Where no doctor can relieve me
If I'm buried 'neath the sod
But the angels won't receive me

Let me go, boys
Let me go, boys
Let me go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

This land was always ours
Was the proud land of our fathers
It belongs to us and them
Not to any of the others

Let them go, boys
Let them go, boys
Let them go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

Bury me at sea
Where no murdered ghost can haunt me
If I rock upon the waves
Then no corpse can lie upon me

It's coming up three, boys
Keeps coming up three, boys
Let them go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

If I should fall from grace with god
Where no doctor can relieve me
If I'm buried 'neath the sod
But the angels won't receive me

Let me go, boys
Let me go, boys
Let me go down in the mud
Where the rivers all run dry

Japorn...?

Cherchez la Tentacles?
Six Degree made an app for erotic manga.  The name of the imprint?

Japorn.

In the age of  'eet's erotica! Is not porn' that might be a little on the nose?

Kind of funny though....

Actually, looking at it, it seems that these people think only heterosexual men buy erotic manga.

And that's just dumb.

Links

Konrath thinks 17.5% royalties on ebooks is terrible, but agreeing to be gagged about the details of your deal with a Non-Disclosure Agreement is okey-dokey. Ain't Amazon Publishing great?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Umm, problems in 3... 2... 1...

I mentioned before that Writers Coffee House sells ebooks and also posts free fanfic.

Well, seems they sell fanfic too in a lightly filed version.  And rather than being under the radar one such book (Twilight fanfiction also out there as "Master of the Universe") is a 2011 Goodreads Choice Nominee.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Clowns, vitamins and religion?

I guess I never realized that Harlequin had a tag line.

entertain, enrich, inspire (TM)

A bit underwhelming, no?

Links

Wiley

Wiley is suing 27 “John Does” for seeding (sharing) ebooks from their "For Dummies" line via BitTorrent.  The defendants are identified by I.P. address. Their goal is to identify and settle for a small amount and a promise to never do it again.

Perhaps this "speeding ticket" approach will work better than the old "ton of bricks" strategy?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Romance is like sex....

...you don't win by getting there first.

I find it interesting that research showing that--on average--women are slower to decide they are in love, or to declare they are in love, than men.

Does this mean they are more practical and less "romantic"?

Or does it mean they wait until they are sure and they mean to be in it for the long run, not just between now and breakfast?

Or do we really have no idea what it means and just use any finding like this as something to hang our gender stereotypes on....

Monday, October 31, 2011

Links

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Facebook Purge?

Dan Skinner is tweeting that Facebook is "indiscriminately deleting all M/M authors, artists and photographers". I haven't found any other reports of this yet.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Media Echoes

How many times are the same basic ideas going to get reported by the media over and over again as if they are a) new and b) true?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

An iPad a Day...

Some of you may remember when Apple promoted very aggressively to schools, and most schools were full of Apple 2E's and the like.  Then gradually PC's chipped away at the market except in specialist ares like graphic design courses.

It seems a little like Apple is trying to use schools to recapture the hearts and minds of kids, via the iPad.  A parent of a child attending Orewa College in New Zealand reports her budget will be severely strained by the descision that the new intake must by an iPad as part of their equipment (prices starting at $799.00 NZD).

She also reports that a school meeting about the new policy was "Basically it was a sales pitch for Apple"

It seems to me that this kind of policy is great in principle, but in practice it will just widen the digital divide between those given immersive experience with new technology, and those limited to an hour or two a week on a geriatric computer at the public library.


See also:

Sacre Blur

Associate editor for Club lighthouse has been chatting on Facebook and making comments including: "So Kids from M/M ...F/F parents make better people? but do they grow up gay?" and "Old Queers have been converting or should I say "turning" young teenage boys since time immoroal [sic] ... In my days at school there was no gay boys!"

When called on it he responds: "I got a slapped wrist, for having a conflicting opinion...sensetive ...'Nowt as queer as folk"~ as my mother used to say...Is it okay to have a sense of humour?"

To which the answer is: no, not when you say shit like this. Not that I would have paid much attention if he hadn't drawn attention to his role at Club Lighthouse (an epublisher with an LGBT imprint) within the thread.

Kobo Come Lately

There is yet another development in this new trend of everyone getting in on everyone else's business.  Canadian ebook retailer Kobo is going to become a publisher. (Because apparently the best way to compete with US powerhouse Amazon is to do what they do, but later and not as well).

Monday, October 24, 2011

Links

  • Slap bracelets recalled--When taken upart, the metal tapes measures they had been made/recycled from had nude ladies on them. I kind of want one, wonder if any made it onto Ebay....
  • Aussie band defends 'gross' video--kissing an older woman is gross? It may not be your thing, and it is done a bit for comedy/effect, but why "gross"? [video here]
  • Kristine Kathryn Rusch--"In the past two days, two different editors have told me that I don’t know how publishing works. One deigned to explain to me how something in book production worked when I questioned a scheduling problem in the publishing house. The other told me I had no idea how to write a good book in my genre."

This metaphor is even worse than the "baby" one

"Fame may be waiting for a nudge from you
There is a story of a honest, honourable and devout ady who suffered from a nightmare of bad breaks in life. Her troubles made Job's problems seem like a dream life. Yet she never gave up her faith. At some point she felt that penury was her worst problem. She started praying to God everyday: "God, please make me win the lottery tomorrow." Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and her circumstance remained unchanged. After a spectacularly bad day instead of a prayer, what came out was: "God! What rubbish ? there is no God only the Devil who rewards evil!" Before her rant could go further, a gentle voice interrupted her: "My child, give me a chance -- buy a lottery ticket!"
Are your giving Fame a chance?
Publish your works on Independent Writers (http://inwriters.webs.com/). Give feedback to other writers. Get read. Get seen.
Join today."


If publishing is a lottery what does this mean?
1) The writers only goal is wealth/fame
2) The are almost certain not to get it
3) If they do get it, it is pure chance/divine intervention, not merit
4) Generally the only winner from gambling is the House

And if their dodgy metaphors don't convince you, there is always their forum spamming and poor proofreading to fall back on.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mutter, mutter....


I can't find my other post with covers featuring this guy, but I don't think this was one of them? And is that his real torso? It doesn't seem to quite match....

Crossing the Fanfic Line

Writer's Coffee Shop is ostensibly a publisher.  I say 'ostensibly' because no publisher in their right mnd would have a fan-fiction section including fiction based on contemporary series like Bones and Twilight.

There are a lot of fan-fiction sites out there by they wisely stay under the radar and generally non-commerical. They host user uploaded material bur if the heat comes on they can easily just take the site down and walk away.

One entity doing commercial publishing and amateur fan-fiction... well, it's a bad case of worlds colliding. And the fact that the fan-fiction is not being sold for cash money is not the protection than many seem to think it is.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lost books

I have a bit if an addiction to books being sold for a dollar or less.  It just makes me curious how they ended up so.... unwanted.

For Lost Girls and Love Hotels the answer is pretty obvious.  It is an literary-lite emo story of a Canadian girl with a difficult childhood who goes to Japan to be dissolute, work through some things, hide out and have a rather complicated love affair.

So: literary, emo, dark, edgy.  And this is the cover--->

Yeah... no  As one Amazon reviewer says: "It screamed Chick Lit, ... That screaming pinkness, the Japanimation cartoon, the semi-lurid font... Did I really want to subject myself to yet another neurotic-woman/child-takes-on-the-world-of-work account."

If you hate the cover you might love this book, it's that off message.

Sublime

BL in purple. Clever, I guess.
At Yaoi-con Viz has announced that they are starting a new shonen ai ("boys' love") manga line called Sublime. This will apparently include e-book versions.

I am guessing the reference is to something grand or beautiful, not something that turns to vapor when the heat is on.

Or, indeed, something that is less than 'lime' (amateur fan fiction equivalent of shonen ai)?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bringing Up Baby

On HuffPo Arielle Ford posts the bold title: Selecting a Self-Publisher Is Like Finding the Right Nanny. Because your manuscript is "your essence, your being, your barely born baby".

Except it isn't. And if it was, you would be a morally bankrupt baby machine selling your offspring to anyone who can afford it regardless of whether they will treasure the little brat for life, or use it as garden mulch.

No matter which publishing model you follow, at some point you have to sell the baby.  So, when you think about it, the whole baby metaphor is in rather bad taste.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Links

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blue Daisy

I have to give it to Blue Daisy Books, the tag line "great artists burn the rules and piss on the ashes" is bad ass like the honey badger.

No Porn Please, We're British

Prime Minister David Cameron seems to have got the UK's four biggest internet providers to agree to "porn" being an opt in option online.  That is, unless you specify that you want it when you sign up you won't have access to it via your browser.

In a wonderful demonstration of separation of church and state the plans will be unveiled at a meeting with the Christian charity the Mothers' Union--perhaps as part of a plan to woo female voters.

As it happens I understand wanting to make porn reasonably inaccessible to children. But in this context it feels like a 'think of the children' gambit, hiding a 'think of your eternal soul' motivation.  And government should not be part of that kind of nonsense.  The porn blackout is paired with a crack down on billboard advertising that often seems to conflate nudity with sex. It also gets tied to other knee-jerk issues like overly sexy kids clothing lines.

IMHO it would make far more sense to take an opt in approach like with the parental controls of a television.  And I shudder to think what websites will ultimately be considered porn.  (Although if the criteria Adsense uses are any guide, this blog will probably be one of them.) Meanwhile the muttering moral minority is having a field day, with a Telegraph columnist running with the title: "The world of internet porn is as damaging as it is unpleasant" and calling the blackout a "blow for freedom".

I wonder if  we will ultimately end up in a culture where it will be considered shocking to show a bare breast to a baby, or take a pre-teen to a beach where bikinis might be worn.  Because that kind of neo-puritanism strikes me as more dangerous than a city full of Victoria's Secret billboards. I think that "Net Nanny" services should of course be affordable, effective, standard features of the devices we bring into our homes. But ultimately, what displays on my computer screen should be the internet in its entirety, not a tamed down version under the control of a murky, undemocratic morality committee. (Likely to be about as transparent and even-handed as those progressive chaps at the British Board of Film Classification).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Links

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Creeping Margins of "Obscenity"

The laws in relation to depicting underage sex have been becoming increasingly restrictive, and beginning to encompass prose involving no actual people.  One recent case in Canada relates to a book called Lucky Lips by William Robin Williamson writing as Rob Elan and published by Acolyte Press.  Published in 1991 it is the basis for a prosecution for creating child pornography. One advocate sum it ups simply as: "You can't write about children under the age of 18 engaging in sexual activity."

Erotic Escapes

Erotic Escapes seems to be another erotic ebook etailer. As part of the ongoing feminization of te erotic genres they state: "Our goal at Erotic Escapes EBooks is to provide a place where you can go explore your every Erotic fantasy as well as education and helpful articles about Femininity."

The site need a little of proofing (e.g. "our sponsers"). They seem to be soliciting authors, but make sure to upload only books to which you hold publishing rights (seems obvious but there have been some issues with this).

They also offer a self-publishing service and web design service.  I say "they" but given that all this online infrastructure currently contains one book by one author.... I am thinking it might be essentially a one person operation at the moment.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fisking My Hate Spam

Dear [ ],

Thank you for your recently signed petition. I am excited to know you are an American who is willing to take a stand for pro-family values.


Actually I responded to the survey in a way that indicates that I fully support the insidious gay agenda in all its forms.

Here at Public Advocate, fighting for and defending the family values our nation was founded on is what we are all about.

Really? Because you seem to spend a lot of time promoting homophobia and spamming people.

If you are looking for a hard-hitting pro-family organization with a history of victories against the growing radical Homosexual Lobby, look no further than Public Advocate of the United States.

Founded in 1981, Public Advocate quickly took center stage as the nation’s leading family advocate with over 400,000 united pro-family activists.

I feel ill.

Time after time, Public Advocate has beaten back the attempts of the Homosexual Lobby to pass legislation aimed at making homosexuals a special class of citizens.

You means a class with human rights?

But, victories these days have been harder and harder to come by.

Finally, some good news.

Which is why I so excited to have your signed petition!

It was a survey, not a petition.  And I answered the opposite of what the slanted questions suggested.  So this was clearly a doubly-deceptive piece of nasty bigoted marketing tripe.

With it, I will prove to Congress that the American people still hold traditional family values dear.

Yes, like freedom or religion and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

And if you believe the threat of the Homosexual Lobby is being blown out of proportion, think again.

Well, if you keep blowing on it, it will tend to become... bigger.

At this very moment, individuals and organizations with hundreds of millions of dollars that comprise the Homosexual Lobby are working to pass their radical agenda.

Yay!

Here are just a few names and organizations you may recognize: Tim Gill, Barney Frank, Pat Stryker, Jared Polis, Cindy and Meghan McCain, The Advocate, GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign.

Apparently I have not been getting all the radical gay agenda newsletters, because I haven't heard of some of these.  But I will be sure to look them up now and buy their products and contribute to their causes.  Thanks for the heads up.

All of these people are working towards what they call “equal rights” for homosexuals, when in reality, the rights they are trying to acquire would be unique to homosexuals only.

Not really, if other people want to get married, not be discriminated against, and bonk the same gender--well, they are welcome to.

A Thought Control bill was just recently passed. This bill puts into law regulations that deem so-called “hate speech” as illegal.

This has me worried, and I hope you are too. Because who is to say what language will be considered hate speech?

I imagine it would be encouraging the audience to hurt or kill people based on demographic variables.

Don’t believe me? In Canada and Europe pastors have been thrown in jail for preaching Biblical teachings against homosexuality.

Citation or it didn't happen.

This very well may be the reality of Thought Control in the United States.


I hope you know how serious this issue really is.

Yes, I find you unsupported inflammatory bullshit very convincing. I mean, who wouldn't?

Which is why, as President of Public Advocate, I have devoted my life to protecting family values and defending our freedoms.

Me and my family encourage you to take a long holiday... or, better yet, retire.

I want to leave a legacy I am proud of, knowing the United States is still the nation I grew up in.

Instead of having retrospectively become Australia just to live down the shame?

But without your support, this year alone we could see Barney Frank’s so-called “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” put into law.

God forbid, it could have become illegal to fire someone for being gay.

We call this the “Gay Bill of Special Rights” because it doesn’t eliminate discrimination, it destroys workplace protection from radical homosexuals whose only mission is to spread their agenda.

The radical agenda of not being fired for being gay. That is about as alarming the the right to not be fired for being a woman, for getting married, for having a child, for being black, or Jewish....

If passed, the Gay Bill of Special Rights would require workplaces to meet a quota of homosexual employees, forcing employers to choose a radical homosexual over a potentially more qualified candidate.

Bollocks, pure and simple.  You really are just making this shit up.

And no workplace will be exempt. Churches, daycares, nursing homes, private schools, you name it, all will have to adhere to these regulations.

Actually churches generally are exempt, and the rest sure as hell shouldn't be. They are in danger of making the military industrial complex the most liberal employer in the country.

And Obama is even looking to push for the repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" this year, which would remove the protection our soldiers have from the Homosexual Lobby.

So this is totally not mass-mailed spam no one bothered to update....

And even the Healthcare bill is filled with numerous paybacks to homosexuals, giving lower healthcare premiums to “unmarried” homosexuals than married couples, all paid for at taxpayer expense.

[Blinks]  So it is okay to discriminate against some one for not being married... because you won't let them get married? So it is okay to make gay tax-payers subsidize heterosexual married couples, but unthinkable to do the reverse?

I hope you understand this threat is real. . . and imminent.

Don't get my hopes up,

And I also hope you will consider making a donation to Public Advocate to help protect our family values.


Public Advocate will never waver from the firm conviction that political decisions should begin and end with the best interests of American families and communities in mind, and that marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman.

Okay, so I guess you don't even think I have a family.  Thanks, dude.

Public Advocate has been 100% dependent on the financial support of contributors, we do not receive any government or taxpayer money, nor do we want it.

How noble.

I would appreciate it if you could help support Public Advocate by making a charitable contribution, please click here.

How did you get charitable status? I think of charity as more like feeding the poor, not oppressing the gays.....

No matter the amount, be it $5 or $50 or more, every dollar you give is greatly appreciated and will go a long way towards defending our pro-family values.


It is my hope to keep you up-to-date on the fight for pro-family values through email alerts.

It is my plan to send any such mailings to SpamCop.

There are some tough battles coming up very soon and I am going to need your help if we are to win.

I sure hope so, because in that case you are doomed. 

Thank you for your support.

Fuck you very much.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pimp Yo Book

"FlareFont Publishing exists to fill the gap between print publishing and self publishing. We will give your writing the love it deserves, assuring that it is the best it can be before putting it on the digital marketplace."

Translation: We will pretend to love your book, take your money, pimp it up and leave it standing on a street corner.

Sorry, that was snarky.  But there are now more people planting flags in this "gap" than there could possibly be room for.

Harry Potter Ebooks Delayed

The Harry Potter books were due to be released as official e-books this month.  But it seems this date is being pushed back into the unspecified future (somewhere in the first half of next year).

The delay is being attributed to the Pottermore website being too successful for its own good, and needing some propping up to deal with the traffic. This is despite the site still being in beta and not open to the general public.

So, keep on waiting for those legal e-books. (A Christmas gift to the pirates, I guess?)

Pramfest 2011 (a.k.a. Who's Ditching the Watchmen?)

It seems that Books-A-Million is joining Barnes and Noble in removing DC comics from their shelves in protest of DC's exclusive deal for digital versions of some comics with Amazon.

See also:
BAM Joins B&N, Removes DC Graphic Novels Over Kindle Fire Deal

I do not think that word means what you think it means

First we had the infamous PR guy now dubbed PantyJose who called a blogger "a fucking bitch" and then implied she was the one who needed to apologize.

Now there is PRProfile. Erastes tweeted to them:
it's a bit daft following people when your site is going to be down for 13 more days!

And they replied: 
Thanks for the mention. Post your free press release at
 
Which, of course, she can't--because their site is down. If this is good PR, Lord save us from bad PR.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Links

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

UK Fantasy Awards Under Cloud

Sam Stone reports that she will be returning her British Fantasy Award due to a desire to avoid unproductive controversy. The relatively small voting base for the awards (British Fantasy Society members and FantasyCon attendees) has caused mutterings before as it tends to favor the dark end of fantasy and horror over other subgenres.

This year the conspicuous success of books published by Telos drew attention to David Howe's role filling in as BFS Chair. (Mr. Howe is a director of Telos and domestic partner of Sam Stone). It seems that Stephen Jones wrote a particularly strong blog on the topic entitled "Putting The "Con" Into FantasyCon" but this is no longer available online.

It has the flavor of bad appearance rather than bad actions, but has put an unfortunate spin on what should be a happy event. However it must be admitted that the small voting base and close familiarity might have lead to biases in taste and voting that make themselves felt even when they are entirely unintentional.

The British Fantasy scene is a strong one, especially when it comes to small presses.  So hopefully this is just a small bump in the road for everyone involved.

See also:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Old News is Good News

Apparently the mainstream media are still discovering that romance readers like e-books.  This news presumably remains surprising to them because:
1) The journalists think romance readers are stupid trogs and are astounded they can find the 'on' button of a Kindle, or
2) The journalists like to talk about how ashamed romance readers are of reading romance, or
3) Someone Random House sent them a PR package about Rouge Romance and they decided to post it instead of actually researching and writing something original or insightful.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Precious Gems Publishing

My first instinct is that calling a press "Precious Gems" is a bit like calling it "Precious Darlings". There is all the usual rhetoric about nasty traditional publishers ripping off poor authors who are all, of course, genuises.  Much use of capitals and bold type.  But let's skip to the end shall we?

"$899.00"

That buys a lot of ego-fluffing, and an e-book with a lackluster cover and no distribution (as far as I can see).

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Drollerie Press

Drollerie is a small press that has put put some interesting books. But health issues have lead to a slow down and suggestions that the press is being sold or closed.  Nothing definitive as yet.

It's Promotion, But is it Smart?

Simple Progress is an online promotions company. Amongst its clients, some best-selling romance authors. And one of the owners of Simple Progress is Sarah Wendell. Presumably the Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books: "A website that reviews romance novels from a couple of smart bitches who will always give it to you straight."

Friday, October 07, 2011

Barnes and Noble Throws Comics Out of the Pram

Because DC made an exclusive e-book deal with Amazon (which is mildly irritating) B and N are pulling their print comics from stores (which is outright juvenile).

As long as retailers keep acting like kindergarten kids (if you are friends with her, you can't be friends with me), buying books is going to continue to be a pretty dismal experience.

What happened to people making stuff and shops selling stuff.  All the stuff.  In one place, FFS.

(If you still happen to have a comic book store struggling along in your neighborhood, I would suggest getting your graphic novels there....)

See also
Amazon's grip tightens on the entire book-publishing chain

Thursday, October 06, 2011

MARKET: Coffee and Cream Publishing

"Coffee and Cream Publishing is an eBook publisher of interracial and multicultural romantic fiction." They are seeking line editors and cover artists; pay rate not disclosed.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

TBA spam

If you use the book promotors TBALounge (thebestauthorslounge) you might like to know that the friend people on Facebook so the can spam them by PM. Which was a good reminder to me not to accept friend requests from people I don't know. But also, I think, a reminder to authors to check out promotion companies and not hire those who send unsolicited mailings to all in sundry.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Inspired, devil-worshippers need not apply

Shocking, I know. A new romance epublisher.

Inspired.

I have nothing at all against this new start up.  But how many different romance epublishers can the market really support?

Owned by Joan Alley this one leans 'Inspy'. But there are already a few even in that niche.

Besides being anti-erotic you are also not allowed to "promote atheism, witchcraft or devil-worship."

In my book, putting atheism next to devil worship is a lot like listing homosexuality next child abuse. It betrays something of a prejudice rather than simply a genre specialty. But what would I know, being a heathen and all.

I am going to go out on a limb here and guess they don't want gay romance either.

(Want to guess what other names their only author, Trinity Hart, might go by?)

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Opting out of the Borders Data Sale

If you want to stop Borders from sharing your customer data with Barnes and Noble, including transfer to their loyalty program, you need to visit: www.bn.com/borders, and enter the email address you used at Borders, before October 15th.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Boojum Fae

Either it is a website glitch, or the fantasy epublisher Fae Publishing (opened early this year), has  vanished.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Slippery When Wet

Malcolm J Breener has been getting a lot of press for a book about an ostensibly true romance. What makes "Wet Goddess" a little different is that his romantic partner (romantic from his point of view, at least) is a captive dolphin.

I suspect the Amazon reviews make better reading than the book.

Aspen Mountain Press: And so it Goes

September 15
  • Samantha Combs Writes!: A Short and Scary Story--"My first horror novel WAS going to be published on Oct 3, but is now being held hostage at the rapidly disintegrating publishing company Aspen Mountain Press."

September 24

September 25
  • Well Hello There: A Few Thoughts--"It's been a mess, really, and I feel for AMP authors who are still being held hostage over there."

September 26
  • Writer Beware Blogs!: Trouble at Aspen Mountain Press--"For a number of weeks now, I've been hearing from authors and staff about major troubles with AMP."

Friday, September 23, 2011

Another classy move from the Retailer Formerly Known as Borders

Despite having a policy to the contrary, Borders is selling their customers emails, addresses and purchasing history data to the highest bidder.  (Another good reason for my loyalty-program-free lifestyle and give companies only the data they really need to complete a purchase). I am not that thrilled with Barnes and Noble as the potential purchaser of the data either. They seem to be edging towards a quasi-monopoly position.

Edited to add: Apparently the judge takes the privacy issue seriously. Score one for the judge.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Five star sell-outs

Mrs G points out just how overt some people are about 'working' the review system at Amazon. There is a forum full of people just begging to shill for you at $5 a pop.

I particularly like this one.  The poster offers to whore out his 5-star praise and ends "no erotica please".  Because, y'know, he has standards.

On person offers to review as three different people. Another says, with no apparent irony: "Positive reviews will help your product credibility."   

I know how "credible" I would judge any book carrying reviews by these rent-a-fans.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

There are a lot of good names for a cowboy romance hero....

...but IMHO "Cougar" is not one of them. Because, I dunno, Cougar + Double D just doesn't sound all that macho to me....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Femdom

So I have a review copy of the femdom anthology "Please, Ma'am", which is fun (more about that later).  But all the stories are male point-of-view. Does anyone out there know of some female POV femdom, preferably romance?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

dotXXX

So the .xxx registry is open, an online  suffix specifically for adult entertainment. I do wonder if, somewhere down the line, there will be an effort to sweep everything erotic into the zone? Journalists seem to think of dotXXX purely in terms of "porn" as it is traditionally conceptualized (videos of pneumatic blondes etc). But these lines tend to get very rapidly blurred when black and white categories come into play. (Right now I bet the biggest money maker is from brands buying their domain to prevent someone else from using it.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is this a sign of the impending apocalypse?

Harper Collin's in their infinite wisdom, have decided that what the world needs right now is a "contemporary reworking" of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility to be written by Joanna Trollope.  This the the first of six novels based on Austen by big name authors that willl "reimagine the books in a contemporary setting".

Which sounds, to me, about as brilliant as Disney's idea to retell the stories of Agatha Christie's Mrs Marple in a modern American setting and cast 38-year-old Jennifer Garner as the lead. Yes, a young gorgeous American Mrs Marple (totally missing the entire fucking reason the originals are great, isn't it?).

Which is to say, it may make money, but also seems to slot somewhere between plague and pestilence when it comes to the well being of or literary heritage (or, indeed, fostering our contemporary talent--you know, the ones with their own damn stories to tell rather than just re-masticating the classics).

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ebook Eros

It looks like there is a new ebook store in town, specializing in erotic fiction.

Ebook Eros bills themselves as the "World's Largest Erotic Ebook Store"--whatever that means.

(How would you measure that?)

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Sigh

Borders continues to be a class act (not). The executives who drove it into the ground still want their bonuses.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Links

Hopefully not the heroes nickname