Saturday, March 31, 2007

Self-Published Romance and POD People

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you all to another of my online endeavours. Pod People is a blog and website I began to discuss and review self-published books. The bulk of the hard stuff was then taken over by the incomparable Dawno who accepts submissions and keeps track of the reviewers and reviews. Leaving me to update (or more commmonly, neglect) the website.

I mention this because POD people recently re-opened to submissions. We currently have only three romance reviews and none for erotica. However I know we have reviewers interested in romance and I am sure many would be interested in erotica if that was a genre we listed. So if you have self-published in these areas please consider submitting a book--we take only electronic copies (unless otherwise arranged). This is not because our reviewers have anything against paperbacks--but to save the authors the costs of the review copy and postage.

Now, I would admit to being somewhat bemused at the whole notion of self-publishing in these genres given the availability of many small and large presses open to romance and/or erotica submissions--but I am sure my attitude reflects my general ignorance of the issues and benefits of self-publishing. I began this site because some self-published books are excellent and deserve wider recognition. I am not involved in self-publishing and know very little about it. I am neither a cheerleader, nor nay-sayer, on this issue--just an interested by-stander with a love of books and a basic understanding of html.

So, what do you think the advantages of self-publishing romance or erotic are or might be? Or the pitfalls? Do you have a self-published book to recommend?

Friday, March 30, 2007

How to say 'No Thank you' to M/M and F/F (again)

Yes, some times I go on and on and on about the same thing,but here we go--again. When I saw a post about a new science fiction and fantasy romance publisher I was enthused. I have long thought that sf/fantasy romance was an under-served genre and there is a real gap in the market that the right small press could exploit.

My first observation of Crescent Press was that they seem a little unclear whether they want sci fi and fantasy romance (the blending of those genres, satisfying the needs of both) or pretty much more of the same ol' paranormal romance that everyone else is currently cranking out by the score. But, clearly, on the issue of genre they are pretty open-minded.

"Crescent Moon Press is all about the book. Our main goal, to present only the finest in paranormal literature driven by a strong romance, is first and foremost in choosing a manuscript for publication. We are an equal opportunity publisher, and will give stories of magick, science fiction and fantasy the same consideration as we do those of faries, werewolves and vampires.

Then I got to this: "We accept all levels of sensuality, but please, no erotica (including S.M., bondage, men on men, women on women, or multiple partners.) We want books with a happy ending. Books that make us smile. Books that fill our hearts with amazement, and a sense of goodness."

Once again, strong romance: check, equal opportunity publisher: check, all levels of sensuality: check. No ("please, no") erotica (confusion)... as sensual as you want but without any eroticism? So what makes something erotica, you might ask? Well, apparently it is being gay (amongst other things). A boy and a girl is sensual (except for S&M), any other combo is erotic. I get the message.

Which caused my "sense of goodness" to grimace, order a double martini and slope off to its happy place. For the record, publishers, if you don't want this type of material is is perfectly fine to say: "We will not be publishing M/M, F/F, multiple partners or BDSM at this time" -- and leave it at that.

Just my 2c.

Getting to Know You

Here are some questions for y'all. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to share their thoughts:

1) Do you read and/or write erotic romance? Are you e/published? Were you just googling for free sexy stories and were very disappointed to find yourself here?

2) How often do you visit the EREC site or this blog? What content do you like and what do you think could be added or improved? What would you like to see more of?

3) We have tried to survey all 44 e-publishers on out list but only 17 responded. Do you think that sending vampire plot bunnies to their homes would get their attention?

4) What is your star sign, Chinese year animal and favorite color? If we are compatible and you have lots of money, will you marry me?

5) What one thing, to do with erotic romance epublishing, did you wish you had known a whole lot earlier?

6) What is the last ebook (if any) that your read? What print book is physically closest to you right now and what does that say about you?

7) What would I have to do to get you to guest blog here next Friday. Bribes, pleading, vampire plot bunnies making menacing insinuations?

8) Am I asking too many questions?

9) Did you "get" the Tale of Two Kitties as referring to the relative sales figures of offset print run and e-published books? (i.e. 'the long tail' refers to ebooks remaining available for purchase indefinitely rather than going out of print).

10) Would you like a martini?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Tale of Two Kitties

Once upon a time there were two writers who lived next door to each other, and they each had a cat.

One cat, called Offset, was an enormous, long-haired magnificent beast. Old ladies would queue up down the street for the honor of petting him as he sat patiently on his owner’s front porch all day from sunrise to sunset--accepting the admiration that was his due.

The other, more of a kitten really, was called Epub. She was small, even for a kitten, and distinguished only by a freakishly long tail. When people saw her they peered curiously a while, wondering ‘is that a cat?’ and then moved quickly on.

One fine day Offset was sitting on the porch when Epub wandered over.

“Don’t sit next to me,” Offset huffed. “I only hang out with real cats.”

“I am too a cat,” Epub squeaked. “A very extraordinary cat. My owner loves me very much. And I have a tail so long that they still have a cage for it at the animal shelter even though I was adopted from there twenty years ago.”

“Writers don’t really care about tails,” Offset replied smugly. “They are only interested in what comes in advance. And they want to have something to sit in their lap. Something they can pet without squashing it. Something real.”

“No,” Epub insisted. “Writers really just want as much cat as they can get, they don’t care how it is distributed. My tail is so long that I am sure if you added it all up I would actually be at least as much cat as you.”

“So let me get this straight,” Offset said. “You are actually twenty years old and would still lose a sumo match with a cockroach? Because, ya know, if we were drawn to scale you would be 1% of my size, your tail would be no larger than a thread of cotton. I think I am still far more cat than you in quantity as well as quality.”

“…A thread of cotton that could be theoretically infinitely long.”

Offset was beginning to think that he wasn’t really get much out of this conversation, except that the little old ladies might think less of him for associating with such riff raff. “In theory,” he muttered, “theory and practice are the same thing. In practice, you will find, they are somewhat different.”

“…Besides,” Epub pressed. “I am growing. I am growing over ten percent a year!”

“Ten percent of nothing is still nothing.”

But Offset felt a slight annoying tickle in the back of his head, a very small but growing worry. For although nobody in the neighborhood had noticed yet, he knew that he had been losing weight. Only a few percent a year, but still. He desperately wanted to get up and walk away from the disquieting freakish kitten but he dared not. For then the old ladies might appreciate that, although otherwise regal and magnificent, Offset had no tail--no tail at all.

Pete Meme: Sydney

Cat: Ripley, Princess, Molly
Dogs: Scotty, Sydney
Other: 0<--I'm on the verge of cancelling this category unless someone enters!

Mom already knew I loved to watch TV, but I don't think she realized I'm an avid eBook reader too. (I also like print books. They're tasty.) That's why she'll be surprised to find out that I read her short story from The Wild Rose Press, Love In Shadow, which comes out March 23.

I have to say... it sucked. There were no Frisbees, no bacon, not even a good tennis ball chase. Fine, I guess if you like romantic stories and fairies without wings, and castles and horses, you might think it was pretty great. It did have all that stuff. And even I, Madame Silly Dog, got a little foggy-eyed at the end. But come on. No BACON? Mom, I love you, but stick with the belly rubs and treat-giving, ok?

Sydney, Sonja Foust's faithful (most of the time) friend

(From Emily: For more about Sydney see Sonja Foust's blog. p.s. Sorry I took almost a week longer to get this posted than I promised!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Little of What You Fancy... Sells Your Books

I often see writers asking whether doing [X] online helps sells books. Where [X] might be visiting forums, myspace, bookmarks, blogs, chats, yahoogroups, banner ads, getting reviews, youtube trailers etc etc. How do you get the readers out their hooked on your stuff?

The short answer is, heck if I know. So of course I won't be even attempting a long answer. But there is one thing I will say. If you happen to like doing any of these things, why not?

I like forums and I like Livejournal, I like blogs, I like websites and I like book reviews. I like other people's and I like doing my own. It seems to me that if you like doing it you will learn how to do it easily, have fun and--not matter who profficient you are--do it with some enthusiasm and sincerity. And because I was already hanging out in these places well before I had books to sell, I am not going to come off as a spam-and-runner (well, most of the time).

And if you don't like doing it--well, maybe not. Some authors love myspace and make it work really well for them. I never really got it. I don't like the interface much and I can't get most of the graphics-heavy pages to even load over my dial-up. Oh, and it gave me malware... twice. So I finally started my own page and it looks like I get a visit about once a week, and I figure that's me.

So, start with what you know and will have fun with... and it will probably work out for the best. Or at least I hope so. Of course if any of you have tricks and tips about how to reel in hundreds of strangers and make them buy your books, please do let me know!

p.s. the bribes and prizes. We now have the minimum three cat pet meme entries so looky: a prize. Stuff for a cat, and stuff for a person too. I'll ship it anywhere in the world :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Here's my card...

or not. Fellow erotica writers, do you carry a business card? If so, what do you call yourself? Do you promote yourself as an erotica writer?

Over the weekend, I chatted with a few aspiring musicians, and they talked about the pros and cons of using business cards. On one hand, it's easy to toss a card that's been handed to you. On the other hand, it's convenient to have something that at least has your website and/or email on it.

What say you? To card or not?

The Thing About Book Review Websites....

The thing about book review websites is that they may all look the same, but they are not.

Many book review sites are there largely to serve the industry, I tend to call these "fluff" review sites but I mean no particular insult by this. Fluff reviews have an important role; they tend to run: "there was a character, there was another character, stuff happened, the book was good". These reviews provide promotional quotes, and negative comments are largely forbidden (see my rant on the topic here). This is all well and good for marketing the book. Although it is reaching the point where a book has reviewers instead of customers--these sites are really proliferating. Given that readers hardly ever venture onto these sites there is no need, IMHO, to send your book to more than a handful of them. Your publisher probably has this covered.

There are, of course, other websites that are run (shock, horror) by readers. They buy the book and along with it they buy the right to say exactly what they think about it. Some of these places have a decent readership because readers trust what other readers say. If the reader likes your book, this can actually help sales. If they don't, well, you probably haven't lost anything and there may still be an up side so long as the criticism was specific and idiosyncratic. (I often run and out buy books based on reviews that say the equivalent of: "ew, there was terrible gayness all through, with the butt sex and everything. This writer is a prevert [sic]." Some publishers suggest not sending their books to these people (in which case you should not do it, naturally) and it can be a gamble. It pays to be familiar with the site and just where they rest on the scale of brutal honesty to malicious snark.

1) Fluff review are neutral to positive and are there to help you promote the book.
2) Reader reviews are customer word of mouth and if they hate the book you have to just suck it up.

It seems to me that trouble can occur when we blur the boundaries. For example, when a writer puts promo fluff in as an amazon review -- or some other place clearly intended for reader-to-reader communication. Also there can be trouble when a reader site accepts author-contributed books, which can lead an author who has not done their research to get a nasty surprise when the review comes out. Pretty soon I think book submissions by authors will start getting refused for the sake of clarity, because any author should understand that a customer buys the right to hate the book, and they are free to tell the world. This is, perhaps, a situation that gift horses should not become involved in?

What do y'all think?

p.s. So just how many of us here are New Zealanders? Can I have a show of hands? [raises hand]

Monday, March 26, 2007

Pet Meme: Molly

Hi, my name is Molly, and I own author L.E. Bryce. When she isn’t working, beading, or sleeping, she spends a lot of time in front of the computer either writing or drooling over pictures of other cats in the online kittypix community she belongs to. Honestly!

Last night, Mommy had her headphones on, which she usually does whenever she writes or wants to ignore Grandma, or both. All I know is, she wasn’t paying any attention to me when I told her I wanted another bottle cap. So being the enterprising shelter kitty that I am, I hopped up onto her chair to investigate what she was doing.

Fortunately, she wasn’t looking at kitty pictures. On the down side, there were all these black squiggly lines on the screen, but while trying to pry the cap off Mommy’s Aquafina bottle, I managed to figure out what was going on.

Mommy is very strange. She says the name of her book is My Sun and Stars, but since it was night, there wasn’t any sunlight for me to roll around and lounge in. It starts with some person named Adeja going to visit somebody Mommy refers to as the “cake-boy prince,” Sephil. She says her book is romance, but if she wants to write romance, why doesn’t Mommy give Cake-boy and A-déjà Vu proper names like Bobber, or Scratch, or something? I have a boyfriend called Scratch, just to let you know.

So halfway down the page, it says that Cake-boy Prince has some cats. Oh, this looks interesting, but stupid Mommy doesn’t write about them. She scritches my head and tells me there’s pussy later in the story, which makes me feel a little better, and I promptly inform Sarra the Brain-Dead Canine that Mommy is writing a story about me.

But then, Mommy scrolls down and shows me the pussy part, and it’s all yucky stuff, with A-déjà Vu and some skanky human female like the one who lives two doors down and never picks up after her yappy Chihuahua. Bleck! I have to get off the chair, slink over to the kibble, and start chewing through the bag just to get the taste out of my mouth.

Mommy complains that some people don’t like her writing because they don’t get it. Well, if Mommy wants to write good romance, she should write about my friends outside. Scratch and his brother Patch are very handsome boys, and smell VERY nice, even if they are fixed, and their brother Sniff is okay, too. A bit weird, though. He and his sister Baby Kat are always rubbing up against each other; Mommy says they’re trying to twist their family tree into a wreath.
See, kitties are interesting. If Mommy wants a best seller, she needs to write about some real pussies.

Speaking of Pets...

Blogs are a bit like cats. It seems like a cute idea to have one, and once you have one it isn't too much trouble to get another, and another--and the next thing you know they are running your life.

So, in order to reduce my blogging to manageable levels and hopefully avoid having to enter a 12-step program, I am looking to spread things out a little. If you are a blogger here, barge in, take over--I am sure people are sick of hearing from me!

For a start our glorious blog-master Amanda Young will be officially in charge of Mondays. If you see me here posting on a Monday, remind me that spring is springing, I do have a job to do, books to write and the dog probably needs walking (my dog is getting a little over weight, and he's a border collie cross--oh the shame!). So, I dub thee 'Mandi Monday'.

I would also like to open Friday up as a guest day. Anyone who wants to send us snippets, a piece of news (or better yet, gossip) or thinly disguised promo--just let us know. It would be appreciated if you book your Friday in advance and sign up so you can post without any extra input from us. But just emailing something in to ERECmail at is also fine :) -- reprints are totally okay so if you said something dead clever on your own blog, use this as a chance to say it again!

p.s. who ever keeps hitting us while googling for "rought sex erotica", drop the 't' on rough--it works better that way. And to the person who visited us after googling "wiggly graph", I hope you liked it ;).

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Pet Meme: Scotty a.k.a. Killer

Cat: Ripley, Princess, Molly
Dogs: Scotty
Other: 0

...and now our first dog-view :) p.s. The EREC Team will choose the final prize winners but if you have a favorite, do let us know. p.p.s. Still no entires in the 'other' category, where are all you rat, ferret or hermit crab types?

My name is Scotty aka Killer. I am a fox terrier-cross dog, and I live in New Zealand with Shelley Munro and her husband. Actually, I've spent quite some time training them. They're almost perfect now, providing food and walks whenever I need them. Because of me Shelley sold her first book, TALKING DOGS, ALIENS AND PURPLE PEOPLE EATERS to Ellora's Cave. It happened like this:

Shelley was sitting at the breakfast bar tapping away on her laptop and hunger pangs struck me. I needed food right then. Shelley thought she was smart--writing a story about aliens crash landing in New Zealand, and when I came along and barked for food, she wrote:

“Come on out with your fingers poked inside your ears,” Janaya ordered, aiming her neutralizing weapon at the dark green bushes that had moved.

“That would be, hands in the air,” her aunt said.

Janaya shrugged, not taking her eyes off the leafy plant. “Whatever. I have a weapon. Come out.”

The fern leaves shook, dried leaves crackled underfoot. Janaya's outstretched hand never wavered, the heavy weapon still pointing at the bushes.

“Don't shoot.” A black nose thrust past a lacy fern leaf.

Janaya's eyes widened.

A black face with black eyes poked into view. “Are ya gonna shoot?”

“Janaya put the weapon down. It's a dog. Nothing to get trigger-happy about.”

“Yeah,” the little dog said. It stepped into full view. The dog stood below knee height and had white fur peppered liberally with black spots. It trotted closer, tail wagging. “Do ya have any food?”

Shelley wanted to delete me from her story but Janaya and Hinekiri, the aliens took a liking to me and decided I should stay. They let me change my name to Killer. I became the talking dog and played an important part in the story. I even had the very last line in the book:

Killer was quiet for a moment then Janaya heard her say, “Do ya have any food?”

The book turned out pretty good, but it's not surprising with me as the star. I liked it so much I've hung around for a couple of sequels and I've modeled for the covers. You can find my Talking Dogs books at Ellora's Cave and my first two stories are out in a print anthology. Shelley called the print book ROMANCING THE ALIEN. I've even won some awards for Shelley (an eCataromance Reviewer's Choice Award, we finaled in the paranormal category of the EPPIES and scored a 4 ½ star review in RT Book Reviews) so I think the book about talking dogs, aliens and purple people eaters turned out okay. Five paws from me.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Dear Author is far from the only blog to pass comment on how the RWA gives out book awards based entirely on "peer"-judging rather than anything to do with readers, often leading to.... interesting choices. Some authors are also given to scolding readers who (not coincidentally) tend to not know about said award, or not give a toss about it. But apparently naming the award in a negative way and showing a picture of it can get one seriously told off (Bad Blogger, no cookie!). As you can now see in Dear Author's adjusted right column space where THE AWARD THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED is no no longer named. When it comes to the RWA, I'm still not feeling the love.

edited 24 March to add: DA tells more here.

[ARTICLE] The Erotica Writer’s Guide to Creating the Perfect Bio--Part 1 of 2 (by Roxanne Rhoads)

The concluding part of an article started here. Please let me know if the information in this article was helpful, and other topics you would like to see covered.

You can mention in your bio your location (don’t get too specific you don’t want any crazies tracking you down), family, pets, etc but as an erotica author you want to be really cautious in this area. You want to sound like a real person and connect with your readers but you also want to sound sexy and erotic, give them a reason to want to read sexy stories by you. Erotica is in the realms of fantasy and many readers want the writers to be just as fantastic as the worlds and characters they create. Readers may get turned off by knowing you are a stay at home mom of 4 or a bald middle aged man that hasn’t actually gotten laid in years. It may ruin the fantasy for them. That is what you don’t want to do. Your bio should draw them in and entice them to read your work and more importantly, to buy it and want more from you.

You can create a whole new persona or alter ego for your erotica author pen name or you can just stretch the truth in some areas and omit things in other areas. You might want to omit that you are married and have children or just omit that you have children. You may want to make your world sound a little more exciting or adventurous by listing exotic places you’ve traveled to. You can just make yourself sound sexy by saying you get in the mood to write by sipping red wine and draping yourself in decadent lingerie. No one has to know you really sit in front of the computer in sweats after the kids and husband have went to school or work, or in my case to bed because I am a night writer. The erotica author’s bio should be sexy, seductive and maybe even a little mysterious.

Save your bio and use it whenever and wherever possible. You can always modify it to fit your needs, make it shorter, revise it, add to it as you get more or better writing credits. If you have a website or blog make sure to include that in your bio so readers can always stay up to date on where to find your work. My bio is a masterpiece in progress. I’m always tweaking it, changing it and adding to it. It will never be a completed piece, at least not until I’m long gone from this world. That’s how the writer’s bio should be. Always be ready to change and modify, don’t ever get too attached to what’s there because it may change very quickly.

I hope this helps any of those out there who were before clueless on how to write the perfect bio.

Article provided by: Roxanne Rhoads, author of Renata the Vampire Hunter

Roxanne Rhoads is a writer and editor at, and a regular columnist at Her poetry has appeared on,,,,, and Her erotic fiction has appeared in Playgirl Magazine on and Her paranormal erotica story Eternal Passions is available through and Renata and the Vampire Hunter is available at

Roxanne is a bewitching chameleon and an eccentric sex goddess. Her creative energy is highest at night. You can usually find this night creature in her bedroom basked in the eerie glow...of her computer and some scented candles typing up more erotica for you to enjoy. An outwardly quiet person she best expresses herself with the written word. If she wants you to know or believe something about her it will appear in her writing. A lady must always have secrets and she guards hers closely. A voyeur at heart she lurks in the shadows learning the secrets of others while she remains a mystery.

Keep up to date on her activities at

Friday, March 23, 2007

M/M: Genre trumps Gender

I love Mrs Giggles blog because it gives me food for thought. Specifically her last two posts which could be summed up as:
* What do gay men think about romance M/M? -- and
* What does romance M/M written by men look like?

Gay Men and M/M
My experience is that gay men do read romance-M/M but the are a minority market. Romance, HEA and all, does appeal to some men both gay and straight. Maybe it would appeal to more if marketed to them more--but I don't think it will be a marketing breakthrough made in my lifetime. And as for some gay men objectioning to the stereotyping in M/M romance. Well, compared to the stereotyping of women they get off pretty lightly (and similar "authorial sins" are rampant in gay authored and marketed genres). I object to the stereotyping too, join the queue at the back. And I have already worked that whole "appropriation" argument over here (link goes to my article at and may contain some suggestive pictures of men).

Gender and How M/M is Written
So, moving on, why would you specifically want to read M/M written by men? Well, if you read the genre widely you probably already have, but given the frequency of ambiguous and cross-gendered names it can be hard to tell. And why are female writers using males names and acronyms? (I put aside here gender as a false dichtomy, which is it, and that many authors in this area have gender-fluid or non-traditional gender identities) ...Why did JK Rowling use her initials? Why do male writers of MF romance continue to use initial or female pen names? We don't want to be ruled out of the game at the starting block. If you read the M/M genre widely you probably also read gay literary romance, non-romance gay porn, yaois and many other genres with their own conventions loaded onto the homoeroticism--you have an appreciation of genre that springs from the canon--not the creator.

Romance-M/M (which is I think what is meant in this context by "M/M") is a genre, it is written largely the same by men and women--emotional, narrative and sexual traditions intact. If you stray too far, an erotic romance house is unlikely to publish you--(and if they do the work will probably be clearly branded into another category such as yaoi, mystery etc). Just as when women write gay porn, they write according to that genre. Genre trumps gender. This is not to say gender is unimportant, but it is--in this case--irrelevant. The most liberating thing about being an erotica writer is that you are judged on your work, not your genitals (although quite rightly the effect on the readers equipment, whatever it may be, certainly comes into, um, play).

Thursday, March 22, 2007


The top google item for: erotic+romance+blog is currently this:
This site has moved to[<--this is the content of the page][<--this is the address of the page]
- 2k - Cached - Similar pages

The top google-ranked page for these search terms is my redirect page from the obsolete url to this ERECsite url. And as the days pass the obsolete and almost empty page's google rank is getting better while this one languishes.

How does that make any sense?

Why won't google list the new blog? Why does it hate me?


[ARTICLE] The Erotica Writer’s Guide to Creating the Perfect Bio--Part 1 of 2 (by Roxanne Rhoads)

All of you out there, please bear in mind that EREC is always interested in receiving reprints on topics of interest to erotic romance writers. This is the first in a two part post on writing Bios, by Roxanne Rhoads. The article will be archived on our main site. If you have any advice to add, please comment :)

Every writer needs a biography. Yet many find writing a bio about themselves to be the hardest assignment they ever get handed. A bio is a little piece of writing that introduces you to the world. It gives a summary of you as a writer. Your bio can sometimes make or break you. When used properly, it is a tool you can use to sell yourself and your writing. You should make it stand out. It should make you sound interesting and credible to potential editors, publishers and readers. An erotica writer’s bio should be a little different than that of a regular writer. Not only do you want your biography to do all the normal work a bio must do, but you also want it to be a little sexy and sultry, just like your writing.

The basics for writing a great biography include: writing about yourself in third person, start out by listing your full name then only refer to yourself by first name or a pronoun, immediately state that you are a writer and mention your area specialty, your genre or your niche if you have one, brag about your accomplishments and awards. If you have a wide range of writing credits briefly sum them up such as she writes articles, essays, fiction and web content and briefly list some of the places your work has appeared. If you do not have a lot of writing credits or even if you do, you can list areas you specialize in or are an expert in; a degree in psychology or astrophysics, black belt in karate, 20 years experience as a scuba diver, etc. You can also mention your interests and hobbies like art, jewelry making, pottery, etc.

If you write under a pen name or several different names you do not want to confuse or overlap your credits from one name to another. Each name you write under should have its own unique biography. Say you’ve published books under name X but this bio is for name Y, you don’t want to mention those books or anything about name X. It defeats the purpose of writing under a pen name. I write everything from articles to web content, essays, fiction, and poetry. I write on topics from alternative medicine, children’s topics and issues to porn and other sexual related topics but I write under several different names and I keep everything separate, especially the sex stuff. All my sexual content whether fiction or non fiction is written under the name Roxanne Rhoads.

Those that write erotica often use a pen name for sometimes obvious or maybe not so obvious reasons. Some reasons may be you don’t want the other members of the PTA or your church group to know you write steamy sex stories or maybe your ex might try to use it against you when it comes to a custody battle. Just keep your names separate, this includes any clubs or organizations you belong to. Don’t list them unless you belong to them under the name or pen name you are using. Not only can that confuse things, if anyone does any checking up on you it can make you look like a liar. be continued on Saturday.

Article provided by: Roxanne Rhoads, author of Renata the Vampire Hunter

Roxanne Rhoads is a writer and editor at, and a regular columnist at Her poetry has appeared on,,,,, and Her erotic fiction has appeared in Playgirl Magazine on and Her paranormal erotica story Eternal Passions is available through and Renata and the Vampire Hunter is available at

Roxanne is a bewitching chameleon and an eccentric sex goddess. Her creative energy is highest at night. You can usually find this night creature in her bedroom basked in the eerie glow...of her computer and some scented candles typing up more erotica for you to enjoy. An outwardly quiet person she best expresses herself with the written word. If she wants you to know or believe something about her it will appear in her writing. A lady must always have secrets and she guards hers closely. A voyeur at heart she lurks in the shadows learning the secrets of others while she remains a mystery.

Keep up to date on her activities at

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

[NEWS] FROM THE RWA: Information regarding Publisher Recognition

FROM RWAalert. Permission to forward is granted.

RWA standards for publisher recognition determine which publishers will be allowed to attend RWA's annual conference and listed in RWA's Market Update to solicit works written by RWA members. Unfortunately, the standard has been construed as a "stamp of approval" by RWA. That was never the purpose in setting the standard.

A publisher's recognition by RWA is not a guarantee of an author's publishing success. RWA's standards merely indicate that the publisher pays royalties, is not a subsidy or vanity press, has been in business a minimum length of time (1 year) and has sold a minimum number of copies of one romance title (1500 hardcover or trade paperback or 5,000 in any other format). Each author must evaluate the company, carefully read the individual publisher's contract and decide if they are willing to accept the conditions put forth in the contract.* (Please read Trish Milburn's informative article which begins on page 30 in the February 2007 issue of the RWR.)

RWA standards are something the Board must review regularly because of the ever-changing industry. Over the years, RWA has received complaints about the inequities of current standards but also many complaints against the business practices of small presses. In order to learn more about current publishing practices, two Board Members, Diane Pershing and Nicole Burnham, and Executive Director Allison Kelley attended a conference sponsored by Book Industry Study Group in March 2006. (This was reported on page 37 in the July 2006 RWR.) In light of information gained from the BISG conference and input from RWA members, a task force was appointed at the July 2006 board meeting. The motion stated:

Motion regarding a Publisher Recognition Task Force:Kelly moved and Grant seconded that a task force be formed to analyze RWA's publisher recognition standards and procedures in light of current industry practices.

Rationale: Publisher recognition procedures need to be examined to see if they are: (a) aligned definitionally with industry standards**, and (b) procedurally efficient and enforceable.

The motion was unanimously adopted by general consent. The task force has received input from literary attorneys, other writers groups, the Small Press Center, PMA--The Independent Book Publishers Association, authors and owners of small presses. A report was delivered to the board at the March 2007 board meeting. The Board is still looking into the issue and will continue to discuss it at the July Board meeting so nothing has been decided yet.

The fact that RWA is reviewing the standards has been reported to members repeatedly in the RWR, Hot Sheets, and minutes which are posted on RWA's website. As always, members are welcome to come to Board meeting and listen to the Board's discussions. Board meeting will be held at the conference hotel July 8 and 9. Members who wish to contact a member of the Board can find contact info in every issue of the RWR.

The RWA Board

* italics added by me. On this point I am strongly in agreement with the RWA. Their recognition and its firm connection to sales figures for top sellers is a valuable service that they provide to all writers--members and non-members alike. But writers have to also do their own research. No short cuts, no excuses. But given this assertion why do they go on to mention the business practises of (specifically) small presses as a reason for re-evaluating recognition criteria?
** I give the RWA their due, but the fears of ebook authors that being "aligned definitionally" may be an experience akin to defenestration is not entirely irrational given RWA's history. This explanation is vague to the point of coyness about just what "industry standards" the current criterion might not be aligning with (and whose industry, exactly). Those who put 'rocking the boat' on the agenda shouldn't be surprised by the consternation of the passengers.

Pet Meme: Meow Bloggers...

Meow Bloggers.

My Humans address me with the inglorious name of Meowmies, on other days the slightly more regal Puss Puss Mao Mao… sometimes just plain old 'get out of my way you damn Cat'.

You, on the other hand, may call me Princess.

One of my humans has this little past time that equally amuses and frustrates her. I can't fathom it myself; I'd rather spend my time lazing in my box with my favourite blanket, or racing around the house chasing fairies, elves and other figments of my imagination while generally acting deranged, but I digress.

My human -- she goes by the name Anne Douglas some days -- has been busy tapping away at that plastic thing with all those buttons lately, and forgetting all about petting me and just shoving me out of the way of this box thing with the pretty lights. She says she's busy writing -- me, I just think she's a little insane. Not too much though, after all, a Princess as pretty as me can't be associating with those weird, schizophrenic types now can she?

I did notice though, that under this comfy pile of odd assorted paperwork there's a folder with lots of black squiggles and pencil marks - paw prints are much more aesthetically pleasing, by the way -- my human says this is her next book, Tea for Three. I've heard her talking about it, and some say cats are promiscuous - there's men and women and they're all doing some late night caterwauling, together, if you get my drift.

She seems to have a 'thing' for making up stories about guys who love guys who love girls that love guys who love girls and guys - I hope that made as much sense to you as it did to me.

I can't read to give you a blow by blow -- Puuleeease…I'm a cat, of course I can't read. (I've contracted my memoirs out to these lizards -- Loowis and Loosey -- I promised a ceasefire on their gecko cousins in the back yard in payment…again I'm digressing; my human has a habit of this too).

So…I can't read, but I do have ears and whooeee! I can tell you those aforesaid appendages get to burning when she starts muttering passages to herself. She just finished up this little story call Making Out - some Rites of Spring thing where these guys (and a girl, lucky her!) that were in her first book showed up again -- there was a truck, and some sex, and some cops…

I better not tell you too much though, Princess needs a new bowl of cat food so I better not let the dog off the leash and tell you how it ends, My human has to pay the bills somehow! Though I will say hot, hot, hot.

Did I mention Hot? And it's not just cause I wear real fur in Florida.

I must run, daaarlinks, I sense a new piece of furniture I must go scratch at.

This entry Courtesy of Anne Douglas: home, blog.

Pete Meme entries: cats (2), dogs (1), others (0). More entries please, there is a prize basket involved ;)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Google Analytics--Google Fu

Those of you who have websites may already know the dubious joys of sifting through visitor statistics. I used to be a big fan of Statcounter for this but now must admit to having become a good Google-borg and using Google Analytics. If anyone knows a good plain English guide to this heaping pile of data please let me know.

A lot of it is less than totally surprising. I mean people who come to this site via a search engine tend to be looking for 1) erotic/a 2) romance/romantic 3) stories and 4) e-books. (It must also be noted that there are people out there looking for some of you guys, especially--Anne Douglas and Amanda Young).

A lot of visitors stay less than ten seconds (this is not the blog you seek) but another big group are in the 3-6 minutes range and they tend to spend it reading the blog although the publisher list is also popular.

One thing that vexes me is that the obsolete blog has a great google rank on the top keywords despite now being nothing but a redirect page. Yet this blog (yes, this one here) is still listed somewhere on page eleventy-million--despite having the same content and more, and all the current activity. Does anyone with a greater mastery of Google Fu know why? No doubt (as the disembodied voice of my mother is saying) I just need to learn to be more patient.

Edited to add: Other stat gathering methods -- icerocket, sitemeter.

p.s. Pet Meme entries: cat (2), dog (1), other (0). I will be posting more of these soon but I am trying to avoid having the cats totally take over the blog :) (You know who you are)

Coming tomorrow: Pet Meme--"Meow Bloggers", by Anne Douglas.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pet Promo Meme (I)

Here is the first in out series of 'Pet Promo' posts contributed by Sapphire, I mean Ripley!

We are inviting writers to send in their reviews or promo posts, written from the point of view of your pet. You can either send it to me at ERECmail at, or blog it and send me a link. If you blog for EREC please post it here! Pictures of the pet reading the book are a appreciated :)

The best reviews (as chosen by the EREC-Team) in the categories of cat, dog and other animal will get a pet treat gift basket--winners will be chosen once I have at least three entries in each category. If you intend to send an entry let me know and I will be sure to wait until it is in.

Entries: cat (1), dog (0), other (0).

Merowwwwww. . . Good, the coast is clear. Hi, the name's Ripley. I snuck on the computer while Sapphire Phelan went somewhere with Bill. Sapphire Phelan belongs to me. Well, actually her husband, Bill, belongs to me. Sapphire just comes as part of the package. Decided I would read one of her erotic stuff. Wanted to see what humans enjoy. Us cats, we like our bowl full of food, a nice, comfy place in the sun, maybe a mouse (if they ever let me out of the house to go hunt one down) and for me most of all, allowing Bill to have me on his lap and let him pet me over and over, especially scratching my ears.

But you know, I checked out Sapphire's story, "Soul Seduction" in Forbidden Love: Bad Boys. Not bad, not bad at all. On a scale of one paw to ten it's a ten! Good as that kitty food they buy me. And definitely as good as Bill's scratching my ears is! Believe me, that takes a lot to consider anything as good as that. Wish that Branigan Darkman was a tomcat. Oh, that's right--they got me fixed years ago. Doesn't mean can't do it--just no plumbing. Heh heh.

The rest of the book has purrfectly super stories too. Each and every one, hot, hot, hot! Makes a cat just wanted to roll over on her back and lay in a bit of sun, pretending got some catnip and purr, purr, purr . . .

Rowwll!!! Anyway, gotta run. The humans are back.

Hope Sapphire doesn't find that hair ball I upchucked on her laptop.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Options Clause.

Hi all, please note this post is not by me but was written for us by HH over at the Erotic Romance Writers' Forum. There are a range of other contract issues that authors should know more about so if you want to convince HH to write us a full article please comment :) :

The Options Clause:

Publishers love 'em. Agents and authors hate 'em. It's a common sticking point in contracts.

An options clause is focussed not on the book under (putative) contract, but on your next book. It gives the publisher first crack at your next book. The publisher's argument is: We're investing money in you, and we want a promise that you're in it with us for the long term. The author's argument is: I'm investing my novel (and my sweat, blood, heart, ego, ten thousand hours hunched over a keyboard, etc) with you, and if you want me to come back to you with my next book you have to earn my loyalty by doing a good job with the first novel. They're both right, but they have to find a common ground they're both willing to live with.

Best case scenario: there is no options clause. Worst case scenario: The options clause includes everything you will ever write for the rest of your life under any pseudonym, including your memoirs when you're 103 years old and are finally willing to tell-all about that bordello you operated in Uzbekistan when you were just a young, naive baby dyke living with a drug dealer.

What the options clause generally says is: The author agrees to submit her next work* to the publisher. The publisher will then look at it and decide** whether to buy it*** or not****. The publisher tries to keep it as vague as possible. The author, or her agent, try to limit it as much as possible.

*Work: generically speaking, this could mean anything. Poems, textbooks, trilogies..... Is it singular or plural works? Is it limited to completed books, or partially completed books, or will they look at ideas scribbled on the back of a napkin*****? (New authors generally have to submit completed books or detailed proposals; Stephen King type authors literally can sell an idea scribbled on a napkin.) Do they want to see every book you write for the next thousand years? Get a number, get a definition, get a limit. Number of future works. Final ms length/word count. Genre. Pseudonym(s) used. Submission format and length. Circumstances under which the options clause expires. Limit it to a)what you're comfortable with, and b) what book types etc that you think they could successfully publish and market. Ideally, it should be limited to one book, in that genre/series, under that pseudonym. Most publishers are pretty cool with that: Tor might want your next fantasy novel, but they'd have no use for an angsty literary novel even if it as as moving as Brokeback Mountain. Harlequin might option your next two books, but they'll limit it to romances because they don't want to have to waste time rejecting your serial-killer murder mystery.

**Decide: How long can they take to decide? When do they have to get back to you with a decision?

***To buy it: if they want the next book, is it automatically under the same conditions as the original contract, or can you negotiate? How long can these negotiations go on? If you don't like their offer on the next book, can you just say no? If not, what conditions do you or they have to meet?

****Or not: If they decline to publish your next novel, can you submit it elsewhere without limitations? Are there limits on when, where, how you can publish books with other publishers? Does the options clause end if they decline your next novel, or does it extend to the one after that?

edited to add: *****napkin (Yank) =serviette (UK/Commonwealth)

Each author's needs will vary. Someone who writes one lesbian formula romance every four years isn't in the same boat as someone who belts out two lesbian mysteries, one bisexual erotica, one ChickLit, and two heterosexual bodice rippers each year. It's flattering that a publisher thinks they'd want to buy your next work, but always consider the worst case scenario and make your decisions with Murphy's law in mind. Lots of things can go wrong -- or right. Your book could tank. Your book could sell like wildfire, and Random House would be beating down your door. Your wife could run off with your editor. Hope for the best, but read contracts as if you're preparing for the worst.

and, as an addendum:

The latest contract weasel-clause, from the ever-helpful blog of brilliant agent Kristen Nelson:

Pretty much every publishing contract has the "Author swears they didn't plagiarise their novel or fake their nonfiction" clause, and that's perfectly reasonable. That clause looks something like:

“The Author warrants, represents and covenants: that the Author owns all rights and licenses herein conveyed and has the full and sole right and authority to convey all such rights and perform its obligations hereunder; that the work is original with the Author in all respects, except for any portion which has been previously published and is identified as such; that, with respect to works of nonfiction, all statements contained in the Work as published are true or based on reasonable research for accuracy: that the Work is not in the public domain and is or may be validly copyrighted or registered for copyright in the United States and…”

But now, she says, publishers are trying to sneak into that clause a sentence that says: "“that the Work will be the Author’s next book-length work (whether under the Author’s own name or otherwise)” -- and yanno what that means? You're promising that you won't publish any book with any publisher before this book you're currently contracting hits print.

Why, the sneaky little buggers! As Agent Kristen says: "That’s not a true warranty. That’s a no-compete clause." And, as she further warns: Authors who are going it alone, without an agent or lawyer, need to know to look for these weasel clauses, need to know how to spot them, and need to know enough to get rid of them.

So there you have it. Now you know.

If a publisher wants a no-compete clause, they should be up-front about it. And if they're not up-front about it, maybe you need to ask yourself, what else aren't they being honest with me about?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

All Romance eBooks

Authors these days tend to be very aware of the importance of distribution. All the promotion in the world does you no good if you can't get the actual book in front of readers. With paperbacks that means having a print run, deep discount and returns policy that allows your book to be stocked in chain stores. For ebooks it comes down to websites. Some epublishers have a large readership that hits their own website and webstore. Others depend more heavily on third party distribution.

Ever since Amazon shut out every format other than mobipocket (a move that created a noticeable lack of protest even from authors and publishers), the big dog in ebook distribution has been fictionwise. They have a good customer base (40,000 books sold every month) and can cause a significant spike in sales as well as exposure to readers who are not part of your specific publisher's readership. However, it must be said that the costs of converting to their formats are prohibitive for some small publishers and may well not be worth it even for the larger houses who will make a higher profit per book from selling the books directly. (Authors should be aware that a publisher not using a distributor is not necessarily making a mistake.)

There have always been other ebook distributors out there but they are generally minor players selling only a few copies per book. But I am very impressed by a relative new comer All Romance eBooks. They require no special formats and take 40% of cover price. I am told that a list of the participating e-publisher can be found on the site--but I could not locate it. I saw books from reputable presses listed, including: Samhain, Liquid Silver Books and Phaze.

When I hit their website the very first thing I noticed were these categories on the sidebar "Erotica, Gay/Lesbian, Multiple Partners, BDSM." Thank you, AReB! Let us please call a spade a spade and a gay a gay. Writers may be familar with how we throw around terms like m/m and the dreaded "alternative lifestyles" but in the real word these terms are meaningless or even have radically different meanings from those many publishers seem to give them. My guess is that All Romance eBooks will do very well.

I have a postcard that provides a code to register and get your choice of one of ten ebooks free. I have not used it and will pass it on to the first person to comment here and ask for it--please provide and email address :) (The options are Waxing by Megan Powell, Opposites Attract by Cat Johnson, One Foot Forward by Rose Middleton, One Handsome Devil by Rob Preece, 24/7 bu Susan DiPlacido, Killraven by Arline Chase, The Queen of Cherry Vale by Judith D. Glad, Forbidden by Samatha Sommersby, Once Burned by Jackie Griffey & Double Dare by Leigh Ellwood).

Friday, March 16, 2007

Please Remember to Update Your Sales Figures :)

The little wiggly graph lines tell me that the average sales figures for the erotic romance ebooks reported to me are 97 copies in the first month, 282 copies in the first year and 344 in total. If you want to be part of the estimate all you need to send me is this:

Publisher Name:
Copies Sold in the First Month:
Copies Sold in total to date:
---and if you have it----
Copies Sold in the First Year:
Copies Sold to the End of the Contract:

email veinglory at

If you have updates, please let me know. So far only a few figures are posted but in many cases I only need one more report to make up a publisher average (based on 5+ books from 3+ authors).

p.s. what screen width do you people use? I am unsure how large I can make the graph without making some of you scroll right. Anyone still at 600 pixels wide or are we all at 800 and above?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

[NEWS] Samhain RWA recognized

This just in, add Samhain to the ranks of RWA recognized romance epublishers. :)

[March 17] Apparently RWA are now going to "review" the conditions for recognition. Quell surprise.

Are Some E-Pubishers Author Mills? (or: Chicken Writer Strikes Again)

Okay guys, here is one of my rambling opinion pieces. I don't promise to be right--I may have a thought one week and completely change my mind the next. But the point of this organisation is to put out some information, thoughts and discussion topics from the point of view of a writer in this genre, particularly an e-published one. So here we go. If I have it all wrong, let me know:

"Author Mill" is a phrase attributed to Victoria Strauss from Writer Beware. And it has been a phrase much on my mind recently.

An author mill has three key qualities:

1) An author mill "...publishes a very large number of authors in the expectation of selling a hundred books or so from each (as opposed to publishing a limited number of authors in hopes of selling thousands of books from each, as commercial publishers do)."

Now, this is frequently the case with epublishers which may release as many as half a dozen books per week, and typical sales will be 300 copies or fewer.

However, 2) :...they do rely on their authors as their major source of income (through books purchased by the author for re-sale, or sold to "pocket" markets the author him/herself is responsible for identifying)"

This is clearly not typically the case with epublishers. Most ebook author receive ample free copies for promotional activities and it would be almost unheard of for them to sell their book directly.

Finally 3) "...mills tend to share a business model with vanity publishers: no editorial screening of submissions, no meaningful pre-publication editing, no meaningful post-publication marketing or distribution."

I would argue that this is variable. Certainly the better epublishers are highly selective, rigorous in their editing and have effective marketing and distribution strategies. Their limited market is more a factor of format and genre than quality.

So I must conclude that a epublishers are not literally authors mills, however some tremble on the brink of this status. I would still argue that many epublishers compensate for the lower sales per book by increasing output in ways that benefit the publisher disproportionately over the writer. The publisher benefits from every book released and the author only from their own, this many high output strategies can be detrimental to less prolific authors. Even in cases where points 2) and 3) clearly do not apply I would suggest that this practise might be seen as less than ideal and perhaps could be referred to as "author farming" when there is not also investment in individual authors and books.

Consider this analogy. When a farm keeps laying hens, if they put more hens in a cage, each hen has a poorer quality of life and produces fewer eggs--however the cage produces more eggs. Likewise of the hens are pressed to produce more eggs they become ill with broken bones and poor health--but the farmer finds it cheaper to push the hen and them buy another--hens are plentiful and cheap. Thus, crowding and high production benefits the farmer but not the hen. Eggs from happy hens taste better, but the cost more, and in the open market place the battery cage is still king.

Publishing is a business no matter how you cut it. And when an epublisher sells well, however they do it, the author benefits. But as authors we still need to think very carefully about where we built our nests--rather than assuming that publisher always knows best. There are always three levels of marketing, book, author and publisher--and if you produce .01% of the publishers annual output where do you think you should be placing most of your effort?

So what is my point? It is that authors should look for epublishers who invest in authors and specific books as well as at their level of their own brand and total output. Do not always assume that high output always equates to success as epublishers with fewer releases may be better equipped to target and market those books to increase their profitability for the author.

In short, with epublishers as with small presses it can actually be an excellent sign when epublishers such as Samhain and Mojocastle (see a relevant discussion here) close their submissions in order to focus on the authors and books they have already acquired. Epublishers such as Cobblestone who actually encourage their authors to mention 'out of house' new releases demonstrate an understanding that to thrive we need to invest in our author brand as well as supporting them as our publisher. Epublishers such as Loose Id provide me with an editor who gets in touch with me with suggestions and support--rather than just waiting for the next egg to roll into her inbox.

Perhaps it is inevitable that niche authors such as those who write ebooks will be "farmed"--but some farms are better than others. Let the layer beware.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pet Promo Meme

I have a challenge for all you pet owning writers. Write me a review or promo for one of your books, written from the point of view of your pet. You can either send it to me at ERECmail at, or blog it and send me a link. If you blog for EREC please post it here! Pictures of the pet reading the book are a appreciated :)

The best reviews (as chosen by the EREC-Team) in the categories of cat, dog and other animal will get a pet treat gift basket--winners will be chosen once I have at least three entries in each category. If you intend to send an entry let me know and I will be sure to wait until it is in.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Am I a Chicken Writer?

At EPICon, Sherrilon Kenyon gave a great keynote speech. I cannot recreate her perspective or tone but the gist of it is to strive and persist and not give up. There was mention of having over 150 rejection in one year, years between contracts and not enough money for a stamp. A repeated refrain was that we all need to believe: "I am the best writer in the world and I deserve my dream."

I do wonder though. When a professional author, an Olympic athlete or a rock star says that all you have to do it persist--does it occur to you that for every person who finally succeeds there must be a great many who never give up and are buried with three tonnes of rejection letters and no contract? Effort is a key part of success, but it I really think we must appreciate that the best-selling author knows what got success for them--and may be overgeneralising a little in suggesting a room full of 100 people should necessarily follow in their footsteps? Sometimes, dare I say it, often--there is a time to give up. There really is. I could train day and night but I will never win a marathon, become a supermodel or fly to the moon.

I admire writers who starve and slave for their art but I wonder at that being presented as the only path for an "real" author to take. If the day ever came when I could not even afford a stamp I would put the laptop aside and go to work--as, indeed, I do. Does this make me less of a writer? Well, compared to Sherrilon, certainly a "lesser" one. It makes me a part-time writer, a person with things in their life other than being a writer, a person who requires the comforts of food and shelter even if I pay for it in other ways. But isn't this one of the things epublishing is there to provide? Writing for epubs can provide a steady, if modest, income for many part time writers--a compliment to the stress and strains of the day job and an outlet for creativity--a modest alternative to the hobby-slash-lottery path of submitting to the big New York presses.

I am not sure I truly say that being on a best-seller list is even one of my dreams at this point. I write, I sell what I write and I will always be able to afford a square meal, a warm coat... and a book of stamps. I am not the greatest writer in the world, but the world is a large place and I really do not think I need to accept hardship and ridicule to find my place in it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

EPICon Epilogue: Favorite Promo Items :)

1) After hours on a plane and several nights in a hotel that took dehumidifying very seriously I was pleased to find that Jay Lygon had provided the one thing I really needed--and all I got her was this lousy link.

2) I love Loose Id's Loowis, and now I can have him on my fridge and my skin (as a temporary tattoo).

3) Resplendence is a new outfit and their promo bookmark is distinctly classy.

4) What better item for a Con at the beach than a cherry-red water bottle from Torquere Press.

and 5) my top favorite from Mojo Castle, a little idea in a box--a friendly muse for any author in need of one. Of course I must admit this is my second as I lost the first one before the end of the weekend :(

So, what did the rest of you hunter-gatherers who were there spot that I missed?

p.s. Here is some proof I was there, presenting the non-fic self-help Eppie :)

Sunday, March 11, 2007


As I type I am still at Virginia Beach one day after the Epicon (a meeting for writers of ebooks). I couldn't get a reasonably priced flight back until Monday so I stayed over for another day and spent it wandering the beach and having my picture taken in a cowgirl costume ;)

I have met so may people and discussed so many ideas that I will have to sit down and break them into separate topics to blog about. I would love to hear from some of you others who were there, to hear what you learned at this year's Con.

For me the single best thing was to simply put some faces to names. It is a perculiar feeling to meet for the first time people that, in a digital fashion, I already know so well. I was sometimes asked if people were like I expected--and I realized I didn't really have any expectations. Interacting with people online is great but it is only every one dimension of the whole person and you never get much of a handle on what they will be like face to face. However I must say that everyone I met was so friendly, interesting and... willing to buy me drinks. So, a good time was had by all.

So next week will be EPICon themed. I encourage others to blog on that subject and anyone with photos to share can send them to ERECmail at :)

[Market] Come-Hither Press

Come-Hither Press, LLC (a Michigan Limited Liability Company) is a digital publishing press committed to providing its readers with well written, titillating, romantic and erotic stories that strive to push the envelope in order to offer fulfilling adventures for our entire audience.

They are currently accepting submissions in the following areas: BDSM, Contemporary, Futuristic, Interracial, Statuesque, Time Travel, Above the Law, Alpha Women, Bloodlust, Chick Lit, Conquered, Enforcers, Fairy Tales/Mythology, Mystery/Suspense, Out of this World, Supernatural.

Categories, themes and detailed submission requirements at:

[Market] Haworth Press

Time Well Bent: Queer Alternate History
Editor: Sacchi Green
Publisher: Haworth Press, Positronic Division
Payment: $100 for each story
Deadline: June 30

Time Well Bent will be an anthology of speculative fiction in the sub-genre of alternate history, written from GLBTQ perspectives. Imagine some historical event, of great or slight significance, veering off from what is currently recorded, thereby changing history in large or small ways. The alternate sexuality of the protagonists must play an integral part in the course of events. Elements of time travel with the intention of altering history will be a hard sell, but might work. Fantasy could fit when the historical period or cultural setting is appropriate, such as in the Medieval or Renaissance eras, or, as a culture-based example, in a story of Roma (Gypsies) resisting Nazi oppression. This book is not intended to be primarily erotica. Plot, setting, and characterization are the essential elements. Explicit sex is fine, but only if it’s essential to the development of the story.

Story length should be between 3000 and 8000 words. Payment will be $100 for each story. Deadlines: Queries are advisable (to indicating the historical period and gender presentation you want to write about. Final manuscripts must be submitted by June 30. E-mail submissions are acceptable, preferably as RTF attachments. Please put "Time Well Bent" in the subject line.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Interview With Romance Author, Nancy Lindquist

Good morning, Nancy. Could you tell me a little bit about your current book, How To Conjure A Man?

Sure, it’s the story of Becky Blake. She’s unexpectedly inherited an all male strip club in Las Vegas. It’s doing well, but she’s been so busy working on her business, she’s not had time to find love. I think that’s a common problem for women today.

Becky’s best friend is an Occult Shop owner named, Vivian. Viv has the answer to Becky’s problem. A spell to conjure a man. Becky feels like a dork, but she’s got nothing to lose, so she heads into the desert and casts the spell.

Feeling stupid, and believing she’s wasted time and candles, she heads home and goes to sleep. Then, she dreams of a man, a hot one! When she wakes up, she laughs at herself and heads to work early to interview for the bartending position that just came available. It’s all a mess, till Rick Frazier shows up. Hot, smart and funny, he’s the ideal candidate for the job. Becky also realizes that he’s the guy she saw in her dream. Can Rick Frazier be the man she conjured in the desert ? Is their love real, or the result of a spell cast on a cold, dark night?

What inspired you to become a writer? What type of books do you prefer to read?

My story is pretty typical. I’ve always loved to write and always wanted to write a book, but thought it was something reserved for someone else. Someone with more, talent, smarts, degrees etc. Then, one day, I was lying in bed, reading a Harlequin, when it hit me. I can do this. So, I sat down and wrote my first book. It sucked. I mean it sucked so bad it made a Dyson vacuum cleaner look weak by comparison. I put it out on a critique site and someone did a marvelous critique. Not disparaging, but honest and helpful. I wrote another. This time I felt differently about it. I knew I had something. I cleaned it up, as best I could and submitted it. It got an initial rejection, but the editor invited me to make some changes and re-submit it. I did and it sold.

What do you read, when you're not working?

Everything, but mainly romance. I love series romance, as well as erotic romance. I also have a thing for a well written historical. If it’s romance, I’m there. I also read non fiction books, mostly travel related and classics.

What kind of research went in to the writing of this book?

So many trips to Vegas I lost count. Lots of conversations with a friend who worked in an all male strip club and of course the magickal bent. I didn’t want to write a book that was so involved in magic that the average reader could not get a grasp of it. It was a fine line, but I think I got it right. Becky Blake shows my readers that a little magic can be a beautiful thing.

If there was one message you would want readers to take from this story, what would it be?

That love is worth working for. Whether you cast a spell in a desert, or open your heart to the possibilities around you, love is special and worth fighting for. I think that most romance authors want to share a common belief in a fairytale ending. The world is not always as kind to romance readers, as I wish it would be, but I believe in the search to find someone to grow old with.

What do you feel are the essential elements of a great story?

Interesting characters. Strong women, who know that it’s okay for a man to hold the door for them. Men that know themselves and their limitations, but are willing to stretch them. A good story. I don’t care how hot the sex is, or interesting the scenery, if the plot is boring, I won’t read it. Mostly we want to identify with the characters. No, I don’t want to own a strip club, but I do want to believe that my destiny is in my hands. Like Becky learns in, “Conjure.”

Most of all, I want to be transported. I have four children, a husband, two dogs and two cats. I want a story that will take me away from all this for an hour or two and give me a mental vacation. I think that’s what a lot of people are looking for.

Which author(s) is your favorite? And who has most influenced you work?

That is a long list. I love Madeline L’Engle’s work. I’m also a fan of C. S. Lewis. I started with the, “Chronicles of Narnia” when I was small and now love, “The Screwtape Letters.” On the romance front, Beatrice Small, N.J. Walters, Annmarie Mckenna, AE Rought, Amanda Young, and many more. You’ll probably note that many of these are Samhain Publishing Authors and some of them are pretty new on the romance scene. I love their voices. Not a bit like my own, but they resonate with me.

Could you tell us about your current projects, what can readers expect to see in the coming months?

I have two upcoming Samhain releases. “Ladies! Meet Red Hot Alaskan Men” is going to be part of the Midsummer Night’s Steam series. Chastity Cuthbert is a woman who lives to set up sexy Alaskan single men with lower 48 ladies.

“Lady Lillian’s Guide to Amazing Sex” tells the story of Lisa Simpkins. She’s come home early to find her husband-to-be going at it with a prostitute in a red devil costume who has a very interesting pitchfork. Devastated, she decides what she needs in life is a man to sleep with and nothing more. Will she find it in her law firms youngest partner, Matt?
I’ve also got a few stories out to publishers at the moment and am just waiting to hear on them. As well as ten or so in the works. All my upcoming stories have hot sex and my crazy sense of humor stamped on them.

Thanks Nancy, for taking time out to talk to me. Where can readers find out what’s new and how can they contact you?

I can be reached at and I love e-mail from readers. I also have a website, I keep a blog there that notes the day to day stuff I get into. Thank you! I can’t tell you how much fun this was. I’m home with all the kids today, and I enjoyed the break. They’re happy to be without me. Can’t get into as much trouble when mom’s watching.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Ebook Readers

Anyone out there have one of these? With my e-book collection growing by leaps and bounds every Tuesday (and Wed & Thurs) I'm thinking about buying one. Any suggestions for which brand is best or easiest to use? At this point, I have no idea how they even work, so any suggestions would he helpful.

DRAFT [bluequotes] What Readers Want (III)

I want the heroine who truly averse to the idea of marriage, or indifferent or thinks it's not important or for the same reasons that our heroes avoid leg shackled like plague. -- Rasmey, RT Forum

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

[Review] Satosumi Takaguchi -- Shout Out Loud! Vol. 3

Shout out Loud!, Volume 3Third in a five part series about a long-separated father and son getting to know each other while trying to deal with new relationships.

Nakaya's got a bad crush on the ice hockey coach, and tries to do something about it. He ends up asking his father's advice on what happens if you find yourself attracted to another man -- but Shino's struggling with the same question himself. Shino's colleague Tenryu has made his own feelings clear, and Shino's found himself responding.

After finishing the first half of their current anime series the voice actors go for a weekend break at a spa resort, giving ample opportunity for squabbling and seduction attempts -- none of which go according to plan. By the end of the book Shino faces the fact that he might finally be falling in love again, for the first time since he lost Nakaya's mother.

As with the first two books in the series, it's more about the story than the sex -- this volume does ramp up the steaminess, but the men and the book don't go all the way. There's some nice foreplay and kissing, but the real joy is in the humour and the way the various relationships develop. It's gentle but it's not pure fluff -- for example, Tenyru's dealing with a nasty divorce and faces losing contact with his daughter -- which makes it all the better.

It's possible to follow the plot in this one with just a synopsis of the previous volumes, but I'd strongly recommend reading the first two volumes first -- you'll get a lot more out of it if you've already got to know the characters. (Volume 1 review and volume 2 review)

ISBN: 9781598163186
Shout Out Loud! Volume 3: (Yaoi) at Amazon US
Shout Out Loud! (Yaoi) at Amazon UK
Shout out Loud!, Volume 3 at Barnes & Noble
Shout Out Loud 3 at Powells

New Banner

I am in the final stages of packing up and getting ready to go to Epicon, and of course I can't find my evening dress (here in the backwaters of Indiana it doesn't get much use--and most people will probably mistake it for a costume for Phaze's 80's party). If you bribe me I may post a picture of the veinglorious one in her finery ;) Anyway, if you see me online for the next four days it is probably because I am stuck in an airport, or just don't know how to socialize properly in 'meatspace'.

But before I go I just have to show off our new banner made by the multi-talented Anne Douglas. It will be up on the main site in time for the March 15th launch.

[Market] Total-e-bound Publishing

Total-e-bound is a new ePublisher looking to actively promote and market authors' works in erotic romance genres.

It's our intention to provide top quality erotic romance eBooks. Our mission is to create an easy to navigate international platform for authors to publish and promote their work and for readers to have a plethora of excellent quality eBooks to choose from. We are a royalty paying, full-service ePublisher.

We accept manuscripts from 10,000 to 100,000+ words in the following genres: Action/Adventure, Bondage/BDSM, Comedy/Humour, Contemporary, Cowboy/Western, Fantasy/Fairytale, Futuristic/Sci-fi, Gay/Lesbian, Historical/Rubenesque, Ménage-à-trois, Paranormal/Timetravel, Thriller/Crime, Shapeshifters/Morphers, Vampire/Werewolf.

I appreciate that it is sometimes a difficult choice when searching for the right publisher to work with, and as we are new, we will have a lot to prove. But it's our intention to launch with at least 10 titles, and then release 4 titles per week thereafter, (so we have quite a strong growth plan in mind). We have a lot of excellent ideas for themes and anthologies, some of which are posted on our submissions page for the coming year.

Our contracts are flexible as we truly believe that it should be your choice to make in deciding what will work the best to develop your writing career. We will always try to be as supportive as possible in every situation, and keep your best interests at heart. We also intend to be very committed to creating a platform to actively promote and market your work, ensuring that we maximize your sales opportunity.
We want to build a team of authors and employees who all have the same interests and work together to support and help each other. It's also our intention to move fairly quickly into print publishing, although at the onset, we will solely be an ePublisher.

Claire Siemaszkiewicz Publisher

Monday, March 05, 2007

We Are Just *Too* Shocking

I thought I might try out the blogexplosion site to get some extra blog traffic (what they hey, it's fee). However, guess what?

Sorry your blog has been denied at BlogExplosion as we have deemed the content on your blog as content that is not appropriate for other members.

Site reviewed:
Erotic Romance

Which is funny because they have an "adult" category viewers can opt out of, and in looking at other member's blogs I found bare female breasts, thongs and sites devoted to suggestive pictures of women. They accept blogs on every topic so I cannot think of anything other than the dreaded eroticism as the basis for the rejection (they don't exactly make it clear).

What do you think was too nasty for them, the bare man chest? The corset? The chicken?

Blatant self promotion :)

Something More
By Amanda Young
Available March 6th at Loose ID

Paul knows his lover, Will, is in love with someone else. A woman named Emma, who Paul himself is inexplicably attracted to. When he formulates a plan to bring the three of them together, will they accept, or let doubts and insecurities keep them apart?

For years, Will O’Malley has harbored clandestine feelings for Emma Taylor, despite the abiding love he feels for Paul Argonaut, his lover for the past two years. Watching her from afar, but loath to approach her as anything more than a friend, tests Wills control on a daily basis until he finds he’s no longer able to deny the kaleidoscope of feelings she evokes within him.

Paul is aware of Will’s feelings for Emma and shares his affection for her. He comes to realize that unless he makes the first move, Will won’t ever let her know how he truly feels. If the three of them are to be brought together, it will be up to him to facilitate it.

Emma Taylor has been in love with Will for as long as she can remember. The problem: he’s her boss, and is obviously smitten with his lover, Paul. The last thing she expects, after walking in on Paul and Will making love, is to be invited into a ménage by Paul himself.

As they delve into their new relationship, misunderstandings and hurt feelings abound, resulting in a disastrous car accident that will test the fragile bonds the three lovers have only just begun to build.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Under Construction

Okay so the new EREC site is still under construction, I mean seriously--littered with spelling mistakes and broken links. The full, proofread site should be up within a week or so. However, before the official launch I would love some feedback about the general look and feel of the place. Also if you want to have your blog added to the list in the top right column just put this handy-dandy button...... on it with a link to and let me know.

[bluequotes] What Readers Want (II)

"Candy is desperate for Atheist Romance (her yen for it makes me crack up every time she emails me about it)." -- posted by SB Sarah at SMTB

"So, I dunno. I used to fantasize about rock stars, and the lack of rock-star romances pissed me off." -- Posted as a comment by Amy B at SMTB

"I'm going to be the odd person here but what I really want in a book is good editing. That seems to be really missing these days." -- Sandi at RT Forum

"I want more vikings, highlanders, knights, etc. I want more books set in the middle ages." -- sunflower at RT Forum

"I am starting to be quite well-versed in the Regency period of England, but American history ..... it's hard to find." -- Lynn at RT Forum