Monday, December 30, 2013

A reminder to back up

Eastlaketimes / Foter.com / CC BY
Quite recently, multi-published author Molly Evans came home to find her laptop stolen, with a nearly complete manuscript on it.

So remember not only to back up, but to another site so you cannot lose the computer and the back up in one fell swoop!

I keep dithering about using an automated online service.  But for the books I am currently working on, gmail and dropbox offer a useful place to leave a duplicate.

Now is as good a time as any... make some back ups!

Frivilous off topic post

Do you think there is a reason "Seeds and Things" chose this pepper to showcase on Amazon?


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Janet Dailey: In Memorium

This holiday season saw the passing of Janet Dailey (69) on December 14th.

A lot of today's romance readers probably don't remember when romance fiction lent heavily on British tropes and damsels in distress destined to be the right man's other half. Dailey along with Nora Roberts were pioneers of romances with strong-willed heroines with careers in lovingly depicted American settings. 

Dailey's highly productive career started in 1974 with the publication of "No Quarter Asked" but took a detour in the late 1990s when some of her work was found to contain material plagiarized from Nora Roberts. Dailey managed to come back with a multi-book deal with Kensington, the creation of the successful Calder series, and Kensington's acquisition of her reprint rights.

Even with its periods of ignominy, Dailey's was a career of significance and she was a key part of the development of romance with an American sensibility.


See also:

Friday, December 27, 2013

New Market: Hekate Press

Hekate Press is planning to open on May 1st, 2014.   They accept all genres of romance and as well as speculative fiction. I didn't see any named owner or editors.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Whispers Publishing (2006-2013)

Whispers Publishing apparently closed on June 30, 2013.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Shadowfire

There is a little confusion about Shadowfire Press.  They are closed to submissions and have clearly they have said farewell to some authors such as Gwen Campbell.  On the other hand the owner says they are just on hiatus while the correct a shopping cart issue, but still selling only via All Romance Ebooks.  But at what point does a "hiatus" (with authors being dropped) become a (temporary?) closure.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Amazon Associates and Double Standards

Illinois residents recently became eligible to be Amazon Associates again.  So I signed up and added two sites, then a third.  This third site was Gay Sherlock Holmes, my blog about books and movies where Sherlock Holmes is depicted as being gay (I went for the "Captain Obvious" approach of choosing a blog name with that one).

At which point my account was rejected and clised as "your site may not present a mutually beneficial business opportunity."

Huh.

You see almost every book on this blog, and all of the more explicit ones, are for sale on Amazon.  But Amazon finds something objectionable about being associated with a site that names and reviews them.  Go figure.

I see it as just another example of Amazon being a mule between to piles of hay.  It wants all the money from explicit books, but it wants the regulatory convenience of being acceptable to the moral pundits.  This causes it to split the difference in unpredictable and irrational ways.

Like being okay with selling the books, but not wanting anyone to draw attention to that fact?

Amazon thinks "gay" is inappropriate language

I decided to add a signature to my Amazon reviewer profile.  Specifically: "Reviewer for 'POD People' and 'Gay Sherlock Holmes' .I thought this might help alert authors to the type of books I would be most likely to review for them on Amazon.

I was slightly surprised to get the signature rejected for "inappropriate language".  I bet you can guess which word is not permitted. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

About Libboo

Libboo is a website that allows users to trade posted about books on their social networks for rewards.  The basic idea is pretty sound, but the site does not seem to be taking off with users.  The number of publishers or authors posting tangible rewards like gift certificates has dropped to about nil.  The number offering essentially nothing (called "recognition") is growing. This trend is matched by a continuing decline in participating users.

This means that the most common reward now offered is a free digital copy of the book.  And there is something a bit upside down about having to praise a book, in order to actually be able to read it.  It starts to feel a tad dishonest.

Also, we are in an environment now where getting free copies of pretty good books is not very difficult.  In fact if you are a reviewer you get offered them on an almost daily basis. So I suppose that this embarrassment of free reading opportunities may have reduced the value to me of the reading copy, unless it is on a topic that I am super enthusiastic about--and so far Libboo seems to have a pretty predictable range of genres, self-help and poetry.

Are any of you trying Libboo as either promoter or promotee? 

Monday, December 09, 2013

Tentacles

There seems to have been an upswing of tentacle erotica recently. Not just the old style rapey kind but various kid of consensual and even romantic fantasy (both M and F). It seems like tentacles are the new zombies. And honestly, zombies was already beginning to push it for me.

Can some one help my understand the appeal?

Is it about the novelty of the physical sensation?  Is it the transgressive nature of a radically non-human lover? It is the queerness of getting away from sex being all about genitals and who has what?

For those of you who have already ventured into the world of cephalopod erotic romance, what book would you suggest to a tentacle virgin?

Friday, December 06, 2013

File Under...

Agree (I do)
"[Man of Steel's] Zack Snyder getting to be the one to introduce Wonder Woman on the big screen is a terrible idea" [io9]

Magnus [see: Rivendale books (imprint)]:
"I joined forces with her last fall as an imprint of Riverdale Avenue Books"--Don Weise [Huffington Post]

No Shit, Sherlock:
Navy Pier decides a 50Shades tree is not a good fit for their "Winter Wonderland" [Chicago-ist]

Point, the (the missing thereof):
"No great novelist should have to resort to explicit sex scenes" [Catholic Herald]
 
Stupid, the (it burns):
"That awkward moment when your author photo is exposed as stolen from a Revlon hair extensions ad"--EvilWylie [Business Insider]

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Erotic Romance: On the Shoulders of Giants

Flame and the Flower
Claire Siemaszkiewicz says Totally Bound is "here to pioneer erotic romance as a credible literary genre." And I am all for that, but I think newer publisher should show just a tiny bit of respect for the earlier pioneers of this genre.

For example, Tina Engler is due some credit for proving the viability of the erotic romance e/POD model back in 1997 when very few people thought it could work.

And of we are talking specifically about the UK, Black Lace put well-written erotica aimed at women (often romantic in theme) on the shelf for all to see starting in 1993.

But wait a minute, she is not specifying e-books, or in the UK. So actually what about Kathleen Woodiwiss whose 1972 novel The Flame and the Flower broke free of the category romance tradition of the times and was arguably the first modern erotic romance novel?

Totally Bound is doing some interesting things, but by saying you are (apparently single-handedly) pioneering erotic romance--you are suggesting that the efforts of those who began that journey decades ago are somehow too insignificant to even acknowledge or palpably lacked that much-vaunted literary credibility we are all supposed to strive for.