Monday, January 31, 2011
Reflections Press. Did it ever open? If so, does it still exist?
Reflections Press. Did it ever open? If so, does it still exist?
Brenda Hiatt's 'Show me the Money' reports generally show a trend of increased earnings over time. Between 2009 and 2011 The average earn out for Cobblestone has risen from $200 to $700. Loose Id from $1550 to $1950. Samhain shot up from $750 to $2750. Ellora's Cave when from $3050 to $3200. One exception to this positive trend is The Wild Rose Press, in 2009 Brenda Hiatt reported an average earn out of $135, now in 2011 it has sunk to $100.
See that new page for sales figures for other genres? Nothing to see there yet. Please consider reporting your sales figures for non-erotic romance books.
Pure Obsessions is presented as an audiopublisher of romantic fiction. The greeting has a female voice that kind of suggests either F/F or male customers (?). This feeling is reinforced by the featured story sample which is in female-voiced first person, aimed at a male listener (sort of 'Penthouse confessions style): "I miss the way you fuck...here are a few fantasies to keep you hard at night".
There are twelve books in total and their target audience seems to be specifically male and heterosexual, their topic seems to be erotica with no real hint of genre romance (relationship, HEA). They have a gay male section but no books in it. Only one book seems to have a male narrator. Most seem to be by the same author. May best guess would be that this is crypto-romance (seeking the erotic romance customer-base but not really providing an erotic romance product).
Auto-playing sound is generally considered a no-no for websites. Is the auto-droid voice on ImaJinn Press's frontpage an acception? At least it clears up how their name is meant to be pronounced.... (But why is the title of the page "Test"?)
I see Brenda Hiatt has got some figures for Ravenous. However given the short time they have been open I am not sure what "earn out" means. This term is only usually applies to titles that have gone out of print--so the total amount they earned with that press.
Average advance: $200 Median: $200
Standard royalty percentage: 38% elec.
Average earn-out: $530 Median: $500"
The ERECsite.com domain is up for renewal. My plan is to not renew this domain and move that material to "pages" on this blog. This will make them easier to update. This migration will occur over the next week or so.
if you make income from your home (writing, websites etc) is can be a good idea to read magazines like Entrepreneur or Fortume to get ideas. But there is one magazine you can easily afford to avoid.
I picked up a copy of "Home Business" magazine while making a quick trip to the supermarket. Once I got it home I realised that I had paid $4.99 for:
Tesco wrote to Irish publisher stating that if any of them preferentially give any of their titles to mainstream bookstores rather than to Tesco : "...the offending publisher will have all their titles removed from sale and returned."
When challenged about the general tone of this letter they add: "It's not a veiled threat but we have to have good working relationships with publishers."
Which is probably true--to be a veiled threat there would have to be a veil, methinks. Also Tesco famously negotiated to be the sole retailer of works by Gordon Ramsay and Robbie Williams.
Dear Author reports that Barnes and Noble has laid off essentially their entire workforce of buyers. These are the people that actually select books to stock over the entire chain. What was not reported is that these employees, many of the very long term employees, were fired without warning and with immediate effect. It is getting harder and harder to buy the books I love without putting money in the pocket of a company I, at best, ambivalent about.
Don't you think this looks a little familiar?
Do you have what it takes to be the next Mr. Romance? [Craigslist]
Gompertz to Leave Simon & Schuster [PW]
Never say no to the Panda [advertisement]
The word is that Whiskey Creek Press is going to begin routinely offering advances. No news as to the amount.
I am getting through some long overdue updates to the website. I would like to point out that if I do not list an epublisher it means I have no data on them at all. If I list then as "insufficient data" that means I have some figures but not enough to list an average for. I need at least 5 books from three different authors to give an estimate for that publisher. For example:
AVERAGE FIRST MONTH SALES
Ellora's Cave--693 copies
Loose Id--206 copies
Liquid Silver--191 copies
Wild Rose--49 copies
Freya's Bower--9 copies
Amber Quill--[insufficient data]
Aspen Mountain--[insufficient data]
Carnal Passions--[insufficient data]
Dark Castle Lords--[insufficient data]
Noble Romance--[insufficient data]
Ravenous Romance--[insufficient data]
Red Rose--[insufficient data]
Total Ebound--[insufficient data]
Whiskey Creek--[insufficient data]
I really love to get emails letting me know about things that are going on in the world or romance and erotica epublishing. I sometimes take a little while to reply, and I apologise for that. But there have been a couple of emails recently that I did not reply to, in relation to this Decadent thing. When it comes to ERECsite, data is absolutely and purely confidential--it goes in, I extract the data and anonymize it, and the email gets deleted. When it comes to just some insider information I love to hear it, I absolutely do, but unless there is a public sources for the information it does not go on the blog. When it comes to complicated he said/she said, he's lying, she's a bitch strings of email--I don't share and I don't care. Just saying.
I am not a fan of using a faux contest to invite submission to a publisher at the best of times. But First One Digital Publishing really takes the cake when it comes to taking more and giving less. They have attracted a lot of well-deserved bad publicity for their contest:
"Originally Posted by FirstOnePublishingPresumably they didn't want to be left out.
There are many people in the marketplace ripping people off, which is why we decided to do the contest in the first place."
One of the things I find interesting in the Decadent Debate is that idea that reviewers should not review books from presses they publish with. It is easily apparent that I don't follow this rule (Aspen Mountain Press, Cobblestone, Loose Id, Phaze; although I do now avoid reviewing the works of friends and acquaintances). So have I been behaving badly without even knowing it? Is the implicit blessing (non-objection) of the authors and publishers what makes it okay? Is it okay; is it not?
“The reason we chose to launch with chick lit is because the romance genre is the bestselling genre in the world.”
Some people like to suggest that there is nothing intrinsically linking digital formats with ease of piracy. After all you can copy a physical book too, right? But the slipperiness of the electronic format is in the absolute ease of duplication and transmission. This is demonstrated in a recent case where a judge ruled that a copy of a prostitution ring's client list should be shared with a defense lawyer--but only in a version that could not be copied, printed or shared. Ultimately it was determined that no electronic format could meet those requirements. The lawyer was instead given access to print outs.
It seems that Decadent Publishing, or someone speaking for them, takes negative book reviews rather personally.
The Vampire Shrink was a prominent success for "not a small press" Medallion Press. So I wonder if there is any significance to the move of this book and the rest in the series (two existing book and one planned) to Silver Oak/Sterling? Currently Hilburn's author page still appears at Medallion Press, but the books do not.
It looks rather like the new growth area for epublishing is going to be speculative fiction, especially on the dark-fantasy-to-horror end of the spectrum. Not only is there a cluster of new minnows like Cold Moon and Fae, but expect an announcement from one of the big fish soon.
It appears that my post on epublisher Who Dares Wins from some time ago recently came to the attention of the owner Bob Mayer who comments:
"Well since the latest thing on the bio of the author who runs this site is 2008, I suggest she focus more on getting current with her own material than going around commenting on others. We started our company in 2010 and learned a lot on the way, including redoing our web site. Why a site that focuses on erotica lists us is beyond me, since we don't list that on our submissions page. Ye ole' not paying attention to detail, I suppose. All in fun, of course."
Details like the fact this blog is about erotica and romance, perhaps?
It seems that Midnight Showcase has closed-slash-transmogrified into Melange Books.
"As of today, Dec 28, 2010, Midnight Showcase Fiction has closed its doors. Most of our authors have moved to Melange-Books, LLC at the above url."
The Merriam-Webster dictionary informs me that melange means "a mixture often of incongruous elements."
"Summerhouse Publishing’s intent is to assist authors who have determined that self-publishing is right for them get their romance and erotica books on the virtual shelves. We provide copy-editing, cover art, marketing and distribution for each and every work accepted. All at no cost to the author."
It would be something of an understatement to say that I am not a religious person. So I was rather surprised at how much I enjoyed DAKOTA CHILD, which is a Harlequin "Love Inspired (a.k.a. Inspy) Historical. The heroine, Vivian, is rather anachronistically referred to as a 'single mother' in the blurb. She is a 19-year-old who had a child with a man she believed to be her fiance.
On her way to find the father with expectations of marriage, she is sheltered from a storm by Billy Black. Billy is a farmer who lives alone with his mother was traumatised after being abducted and held by 'Indians' for six years. If there is anything that I am not fully comfortable with in this story it is the generic Indian bogeyman, but this is a relatively minor aspect of the plot.
Needless to say the child's father does not turn out to be prince charming and after over-coming some entirely plausible obstacles, Vivian and Bully end up together. I would have to admit that I scanned over a few prayer/Bible pages like another reader might skip over a sex scene--but I only did this for two fairly short sections.
DAKOTA CHILD is a good story in which the protagonists happen to be Christian, not a sermon thinly disguised as a romance. And the underlying themes of forgiveness, acceptance and courage add another dimension to this heart-warning love story.
Borders started last year delaying payments to small publishers, and is starting this year delaying payments to large publishers. They are hemorrhaging money at an increasing rate. This does not look good. Expect store closures.