Friday, November 30, 2007

A contest!--Pepper

Or Blatant Self Promotion.

When I first signed up to post weekly on this blog, Emily mentioned I could do some promo stuff occasionally. I've had a lot of books released since then and no driving need to post about it, but this is different. This is very different. All our previous books were with e-publishers, and so if they end up in print, it's trade paperback. Well, tomorrow, December 1, 2007 our first mass-market paperback, Chasing Silver will be in stores.

Chasing Silver is special to Vivien and me for a lot of reasons. For one thing, it is literally the first novel we ever wrote together. And we love this story so much. We love the characters. I don't know if any other book is so close to my heart.

Here is the blurb on the back of the book:

On the run in Washington, D.C. from a cop who cares more about inflicting pain than serving justice, Remy Capra grabs a handful of coins and jumps out a window. She lands seventy-five years back in time and across a continent in Los Angeles--at the feet of bounty hunter Nathan Pierce.

Remy isn't like any woman he's ever met. She's street-smart and sassy, but she needs help, and Nathan, against his own better judgment, offers it. Danger looms on all sides: Remy might be whisked back to her own time at any moment, a murderous gang lord is after them, and then there's the mystery of the Silver Maiden, a mystical coin with strange powers. Remy and Nathan may have a future--if she can evade her own past, and if they manage to keep alive in the ever-threatening present...

We want to celebrate. And we want everybody to celebrate with us. And in my entire life, I don't think I've ever experienced anything as exciting as knowing that my book is going to be in book stores across the country. I'd love to see some proof of it! So here's the deal: If you see a copy of our beautiful book and take a picture of it and mail me the link to jamiecraigbooks (at), I will send you a book from our Jamie Craig backlist. We'll be running this contest all month. Also, if you post this in your own blog, livejournal, etc, and post a link here you can win another book from our backlist.

To summarize:
1) Take a picture of Chasing Silver in a bookstore
2) Email the picture to me at jamiecraigbooks (at)
3) Win a copy of a book!

1) Cross-post this to your own blog/LJ/etc
2) Email me the link at jamiecraigbooks (at)
3) Win a copy of a book!

1) Do both
2) Win two books!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Promotional Bookmarks--veinglory

So, on the weekend I will post something about whether erotic romance and romance are separate genres (Thanks for the idea, Jill Noelle). But I haven't decided what I think about that yet, so today I am posting about promotional bookmarks.

Yesterday I opened a package full of books and out fell six bookmarks, a cover flat, a fridge magnet and a... thing. I looked at the bookmarks and my first thought was that whoever designed them, all of them, put a lot of energy into making flashy advertising but they didn't seem to be too terribly worried about making a nice bookmark.

Because that's what they are meant to be, right? But all I see is a half page of advertising squeezed into a sixth of a page worth of space. They are all covered in words in small print (8 point?), colored on the front, black and white on the back: bestselling (on almost all of them) ... new voice ... fascinating ... sexy ... riveting ... blah blah blah blah

You know what would be nice? A pretty picture and a little less bombast. These are all going in the bin. Sorry. Why would I use use something cluttered with an average of about 100 tiny, hysterical, spammy words as a book mark? A pretty picture, genre, name, and a url, maybe. Even if there was adverting on one side and a pretty picture on the other, that would be okay too.

But how could it work well as an ad with less words? Well, for a start I might actually read them and remember what I read--I have been looking at these bookmarks for about 5 minutes now and having look away to type this post I literally couldn't tell you a single author name or title from any of them. Less really is more, if only because you can use a font size that doesn't give me a headache.

And secondly the bookmark would be more likely to be used. Want to know what my current bookmark looks like? Four beads on a piece of string and no words at all. It was a promo piece from Respendence Publishing that I picked up in March and eight months later I still remember which publisher it is from. Why? Because it's a really nice little bookmark.

And just in passing, a cover flat is just a cover with no damn book in it--thank you for signing it Miss Whoeveryouwere. A fridge magnet that isn't strong enough to hold a piece of paper to the fridge (I tried) is just damned annoying. It says 'I want my advertising in your house but I am not going to do anything for you in return'. And the 'thing' is apparently meant to hang on a door knob but it doesn't fit over mine, and all that is on it is some more very small print advertising for a book. I am genuinely baffled. Why would I want to hang that on my doorknob? The background color of that one is black so I couldn't even write something on it myself.

Does anyone out there have a nice bookmark, I mean a really *nice* bookmark that advertises their wares without looking like part of a technicolor want ads page? Email me a picture. If I like it I will do you a deal: I'll buy a copy of your book if you'll send me a hardcopy of the bookmark. Show me you can make a nice bookmark, then maybe I'll trust you to have also written a nice book.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Allow me at this point to make vague hand waving in the direction of Karen Scott and Mrs Giggles blogs -- and in lieu of saying anything myself ask a few questions. Answer any that you want to :)

1) Are you sick of blog drama? Or do you just tune out when it gets either too melodramatic or too repetitive to be entertaining anymore? For example, I have given up commenting on the RWA because not only does everyone (who cares) know what I think, no one really does care because frankly it doesn't matter. If you have seen one anti-RWA hissy fit you have seen them all and it isn't going to bother the RWA behemoth one whit. If all the rest gets too much I just have a latte, visit DailyPuppy and go to my happy place. (You?)

2) Does romance becoming more things to more (kinky) people make it less of what it once was to most people? Can romance be all things to all people if some-slash-most (?) people have a basic moral objection to some of those things (and people)? And do you care? (Does caring only about niche readers mean one will only ever be a niche writer?)

3) Do you still think that putting romance and erotica together is the best thing since ... whatever you thought was the last great thing? (And what was that?)

4) Read any good books lately? (Written any good books lately?)

5) There is no five.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Is Porn Cheating?--veinglory

Some people see fiction as relating to real life relationships and some don't. Some women can't stand their husband reading an erotic book and others don't care--some don't mind if it is just a sexy book but would mind if it was violent or (from their point of view) unusual.

It depends whether imagining another relationship betrays the real relationship, or whether imagining a 'perverted' relationship betrays the real, normal one (or reveals an inner 'unwholesome' nature).

Strangely very few men mind their wives reading romances. But I don't really know what that means.

Do your significant others know what you read or write? What do they think about it?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Interesting snippets from the Interverse--veinglory

"Less than 1/3 of the (88,000 plus) “Kindle” books are fiction...Amazon’s books actually lag behind in the numbers" (DearAuthor on all that glitters)

"Do you know what annoys me? What really annoys me? Reading a book, and feeling that the author wrote it just to get paid. Sheesh." (Karen Scott on kink-sploitation)

"We have reason to suspect that someone (or a group of someones) might be mobilizing people to attack me through Amazon and Barnes and Noble, etc., to hurt my sales and reputation...." (Patricia Cornwell, starting to sound a little grandoise-slash-paranoid)

Why people think they buy books -- top reason: Previous familiarity with author's other work 99.1%, bottom reason -- Receiving toys or other promotional gimmicks from author 3.2% (Book Promotion 101)

Dymocks (an Australian bookstore chain) is looking at releasing an ereader device: "The one that we're in discussions with is not only a very good piece of hardware but also one that's capable of supporting the Adobe and Microsoft formats that we're selling on our website at the moment."

More about Noble--veinglory

A quick look online brings up this to show who is behind Noble:

Hello everyone.

I just joined this list and wanted to pop in and introduce myself. Some of you may already know me by my pen name - Jill Noelle. I've had books published by Ellora's Cave, Loose Id and Highland Press. But I'm here in the capacity of publisher and Senior Editor of my new company, Noble Romance Publishing. You can learn more about us at and
Our Web site won't be live for another couple weeks, but those two links do work.
Meanwhile, I'm very pleased to be here.

Jill Noelle Noble

I was sceptical about how serious they were about asking writers to "push the limits, stretch the boundaries" -- while incest, bestiality et al were still banned. However over at Karen Scott's blog we get:

"I would consider a story about a couple who roleplay a Daddy/Daughter relationship. :-) I'll also look at forced seduction/rape, because it consistently comes up when women are polled on their sexual fantasies. There are a few other edgier topics I'd like to test..."

This leads to the usual insistence that nothing of this sort could ever be considered romance in any way (subtext: you freak). It seems to me that whenever a person is being told by self-appointed representative of the romance genre-slash-community that their stuff is too perverted to sell, they may be onto something (exhibit 1: erotic romance, exhibit 2: m/m, exhibit 3: BDSM, exhibit 4: menage -- need I go on?

Here is may own reply at Karen's:

"And I think the romance market is broader than many people realise or are willing to accept. A small publisher, to succeed, needs to have a niche. Not so long ago m/m was perverted, not romance and never going to sell to women. Now several successful publishers make most of their money from it. Then it was menage, BDSM, and now twincest that was not romance, perverted and not going to sell to women. Funny how those books are also selling well to those (largely silent) customers who want to read them.

There is a *big* difference between 'not for me' and 'not romance'. A love story with a happy ending is romance. The rest is a matter of taste and even if it disgusts one person it might delight many others."

As it happens I am very not interested in reading Daddy/Daughter play or rapefic, but I still think Noble might be onto something here. They seem to have a specific niche in mind and to be doing their research. I've had to put up with the controlling alpha-thug of mainstream romance too long to just turn around and define a new mainstream that excludes other peoples kinks and fantasies whether I happen to share them or not.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

CALL: Menage

"Whispers Publishing is actively seeking spicy, menage love stories which leave a reader breathless. These stories should include intense plots, alpha males, strong heroines, and sizzling dialogue and should not be just a string of sex scenes. Strong conflict is necessary, but it should not detract from the passionate relationship. Sub-plots should be kept to a minimum as should secondary characters.

We are looking for stories in any genre from science fiction to historical. Just make it romantic and erotic. Word count should be no less than 5,000 words and no more than 75,000 words. We intend to publish a print anthology of menage stories as well.

For more information, please visit our website at"

ETA: ...although I think it is safe to say that most E R presses are looking for menage. It is interesting here because Whispers allow *no* m/m or f/f. So how exactly does that work?

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Noble Romance

"We're throwing down the gauntlet. We dare you to push the limits, stretch the boundaries, and send us your hottest, boldest stories.

A Noble erotic romance novel is...
A passionate, gripping love story set within any sub-genre. Feel free to mix them up. If it's a good story, we'll want it.
A graphic, honest portrayal of human sexuality.
Daring, risky, push-the-envelope hot. Our authors are free to explore any sexual fantasy, even those considered too risque for some of our competitors.
Noble authors are the creme de la creme. They write the hottest, most explicit sex scenes, while still maintaining the integrity of a thoroughly engrossing romantic plot."

Friday, November 23, 2007

Emily Angst--veinglory

Sorry that posting is a bit slow right now. I have some things I want to cover but I have some work built up, a non-fiction book in the works and am trying to push through some actual smut writing too. Since moving to my new job I have less time to write and my rate of releasing books has dropped. It doesn't help that I have moved to writing more novels rather than novellas.

Earnings are down and it was starting to depress me a bit. Like I spend more time blogging about erotic romance than writing it... but then I looked at my little graph and thought: last month 200 people paid their hard earned money for one of my books. That's still pretty cool. I think it's easy to forget how much we achieve when we write a book, when we sell a book, when even a single person buys and enjoys one of our books. Even if I never wrote another book I would have achieved something.

Not that that's ever going to happen.

What makes a good sequel?--Pepper

Vivien and I regularly create characters we can't stand to leave behind. In fact, we have eight full-length sequels (and one novella length prequel) to Master of Obsidian because we couldn't walk away from Jesse and Gideon. We have finally decided how to end the series after a total of ten books, and it pains me to know that it's coming to an end. I'm going to miss Gideon and Jesse and Emma and all our secondary characters terribly.

In a few weeks, I'll be flying to California so Vivien and I can work on the 2nd sequel to Chasing Silver. We're also currently discussing a sequel to our Samhain title Trinity Broken. We're currently finishing up a full-length gay historical called A Hidden Beauty and already brainstorming sequel possibilities. As we discussed the possibilities, we were led to one overwhelming question: Why does the romance have to be about getting together? Why can't it be about staying together?

I think we strive to make the conflict between our characters organic and inevitable given who they are. There's going to be problems when you're a human and you fall in love with a vampire--those problems will be amplified in a BDSM relationship. There are going to be issues in a menage relationship when 2 of the people are shapeshifters, and one is a "regular" human. There are going to be challenges when you fall in love with a woman is from 75 years in the future. Etc etc.

But it seems to me that most sequels do not feature the same characters from book to book, as though the "Happily Ever After" ending was 100% genuine, and two people will never have another conflict again. They tend to feature secondary characters that were introduced in a previous book, or simple rehearsals of the same scenario over and over. I can see the attraction of reading those, but generally I write sequels because I miss my characters.

Sometimes I wonder if we're potentially sabotaging ourselves. Perhaps writing sequels about established characters presupposes that the readers love them enough to visit them again (and again and again and again in some cases). Since we don't write with a plan in mind, we also run the risk of something horrible happening. Clearly, it won't do to write a book about people falling out of love!

What sort of sequel do you prefer reading? Writing? And further, why can't a romance be about staying in love?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Are You too Sexy for your Market?--veinglory

After reading Karen's blog about twincest I began to wonder. Where are our squicks? I came across twincest, wincest and all sorts of -cests as Con-txt. (But seriously is fandom disappearing up its own jargon?). It didn't shock me much partly because there are sibling romance and/or sexual in fantasy books, in history and in recent times right here in America (e.g. see the nonfiction book Farm Boys).

But we all have our squicks. Mine would be real rape and most types of unsafe sex in contemporaries. Others would probably draw the line in other places: smoking fetish, pregnancy fetish, bestiality, necrophilia? But I think the interesting thing is that almost any squick can be a good and necessary part of story if the story is written to require it. David Feintuch likes spanking, Diana Galaldon likes to work in some rape of a male... but they are good enough writers to take most mainstream readers along for the ride.

In erotic romance there seem to be two competing forces. One is the desire to read something a little salacious and daring, and the other is to not jump into the perv-pool with both feet. But now the genre has been around long enough that a book that is mainstream for some is pretty shocking for others. My question is, what taboo have you written about but left on the hard-drive--or thought about writing but not written because you think it might be a kink too far for the market? If there was too be an erotic romance anthology called 'Jumping into the Perv-Pool with Both Feet' what story would you submit?

Monday, November 19, 2007

NEW ARTICLE: 'Choosing the Publisher Who's Right for You' by Fran Walker

There’s no right answer to “Who is the best publisher?” Each author needs to ask, “Who is the best publisher for me?” Before you ever start submitting work for publication, have a heart-to-heart talk with yourself and clearly define your reasons and goals: What do you write? Why do you write? What do you want to get out of it? Why do you want to be published? What are your short term and long-term goals? What are you willing to do to accomplish them? The answers will help you identify what you need and want out of a publisher, and, therefore, what type of publisher will be right for you.

Read More

Saturday, November 17, 2007

All Your Ebooks Are Belong to Us--veinglory

This is a shout out to all you small e-publishers out there. You may be about to hear from a lawyer representing Digital Rights, LLC, who claim to have a patent (6,799,165) covering all of the ways to store, download, display, sell, etc any type of digital media. They may be outraged, outraged I say, that you are doing any of this aforesaid storing, downloading, displaying or selling of ebooks.

Of course all you have to do to assuage their wrath and litigiousness is respond within 60 days agreeing to pay them at least $500 per month and.5% of gross sales. And you had better respond quickly because after that the demand becomes $1500 per moth and 1.5% of gross sales.

To which my response could be summed up as:
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ...


...and, um, good luck with that.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I'm very close to my younger sister. It wasn't always this way. In June 2006, I realized that my bratty little sister had grown up and was actually an interesting human being (she's six years younger than me. That's why I was shocked). We have a lot in common these days, not the least of which is our capacity for obsession.

Our obsessions are nearly legendary in their scope. She lives with us now, so my husband can do nothing but grin and bear it once we really get rolling. And once I become infatuated with something, that's it. I am utterly consumed by that thing to the point of utter exhaustion. This can go on for years. My Beatles obsession lasted for about 3 years, and I suspect I'm about to have a revival because my sister is really getting into them again. My Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel obsessions lasted for approximately five years. And that obsessions is always in danger of starting again, because I still love Angel and Wesley like a fat kid loves cake. Recently, we've shared obsessions with Star Trek (Captain Kirk forever!), Hot Fuzz/Spaced/Shaun of the Dead (Simon Pegg forever!), and The X-Files (the truth is out there!).

I feel out of sorts and odd when I don't have something to fixate on. I think this is why I don't mind writing for eight or more hours a day. Because this tendency of mine to completely and utterly devote myself to one pursuit is really convenient when it comes to writing. I love my characters and I want to be with them all the time. I'm constantly thinking about what they're doing. Sometimes I'm planning what to write, other times, I'm just mulling them over, like they're old friends.

I think writers have to be a little bit obsessive. I am in no way implying to be successful, you should be as crazy as I am. My fixations are genuinely exhausting and long-term things, and they always have been. But I've been wondering if other authors are the same way to some extent? Do you fixate on one and only one thing, or can you compartmentalize? I cannot compartmentalize. When I'm obsessed with something, it's literally the only thing on my mind.

It's really a wonder my husband and my friends tolerate me.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It is rumored that Siren Publishing has won the bid for the Triskelion contracts as listed in the bankruptcy proceedings (this list was apparently not accurate or complete). And that all the contractual rights included in the bid will be returned to the authors.

ETA: confirmation here

This *is* the Real Me--veinglory

I was reading a paper today that referred to the use of a pen name as 'anonymity'. I have to say, I don't see it that way--more like alter-nymity.

Emily Veinglory isn't a mask, it is my name. Sure I have another name I use to do my taxes and list in the phone book. But is the me that does taxes more real than the me that writes books? Is the me that answers email less real than the me that goes to my mailbox?

I am Emily Veinglory. I chose Veinglory specifically to suit me with the allusion to blood, and the male member--and with the aside to my hubris in thinking other people might pay for my stories and my eternal joy and amazement that they do.

Emily Veinglory writes books, goes to conventions and is on the internet. She is the me that is not worried about what my family, my neighbors and my employers might think about what I do. Emily Veinglory is me, dancing as if no one is watching. Emily Veinglory is the me a reader gets a glimpse of in every book I write. A different, vivid aspect of me no less authentic than my other name and other activities.

Who is more real: the ego or the super ego, the reporter or Superman, the mind or the soul? As a writer I am totally nonymous. It is just a name of my own choosing.

This is me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

On the Demise of the Tardy Birds--Elizabeth Burton

In many, if not most, instances, ebook publishers are small operations where their continued existence depends on the (often unpaid) work of one or two people. These people provide crucial services that the company's profit margin may not be sufficient to allow them to pay someone to replace. At least, not and get the same level of productivity.

When those key people can no longer do their job--whether it be a health problem or family issues or if they simply no longer feel they want to be a part of the organization--the company may no longer be able to function.

In cases where the company owners just didn't have an adequate business plan and budget, getting advice from others might make the difference, but rarely if it's done when they're already in trouble. Usually, the only "cure" by that point is a large investment of money to pay off debt and provide operating revenues.

The biggest problem is that too many aspiring ebook publishers see the "exterior" of the business and think it's easy. They enter it without either the aforementioned business plan or budget, overestimate their potential revenue, make one or more bad decisions with regard to cashflow and the result is they run out of money and start paying Peter at Paul's expense.

I have no hard evidence to support it, so it's just my opinion, but it seems to me the popularity of erotica and erotic romance has exacerbated this, because it misleads people into believing they can be the next Ellora's Cave. They either don't know or forget that EC had that market essentially all to themselves for nearly five years, which gave them time to build a solid market of faithful customers. When there are, instead, twenty companies selling that genre, and their market is finite, the chance of any one of those twenty achieving the status of that one who had the market all to themselves is slim to none.

That doesn't mean their product isn't as good. It simply means they have more competition. Print book publishers have the same problem--with nearly 300,000 new books published in 2006, and another 2-3 million still in print, you'd have a better chance winning the Mega-Millions than making a huge amount of money as a publisher (or, sadly, an author).

In a sense, it's that old cliche about early birds and worms. Fortunately, many of those now entering the business ARE taking the time to BE a business before they open their doors, which should go a long way toward preventing disaster unless they overextend.

Elizabeth Burton is the executive editor for Zumaya Publications LLC, and has been part of the independent ebook publishing industry since '99.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I Sold a Book, Maybe--veinglory

A few days a ago I saw my book had reached an Amazon sales rank of 50,000. Somebody had once told me that presses consider respectable sales to begin at about this rank.

So, knowing that the real meaning of the rank is vague, I plotted out four of the more authoritative estimates of the relation between Amazon rank and book sales per week. The graph below shows these with rank on the x axis and sales per week on the y (note the scale is not linear). A rank of 50,000 is shown by the dotted line and the bottom value on the y-axis is one sale per week.

To cut a long story short, a sales rank of 50,000 suggests one may have sold a book that week.


Friday, November 09, 2007

Feed My Frankenstein--pepper

Any Alice Cooper fans in the house? :)

Well, it's been a busy week for me, as per usual. I had a paper due today, and a meeting, and my husband was laid off earlier this week, and a million other things. So that's why this blog is a bit late. I'm studying Frankenstein this week, and I've been mulling Karen Scott's question about whether an author ever truly owns her characters, and I have some thoughts on the issue.

The Romantic poets (the most famous of which are Blake Coleridge, Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley , and Keats) were deeply concerned about readership. They were also highly anxious about what happened to a poem after they published it. That anxiety is reflected in several different essays, poems, and most obviously, Frankenstein. After all, what's that novel about except the anxiety of creation?

Once you turn a piece of work loose in the world, that's it. It's gone. You can't take it back. You can't hide it. And you cannot control what it does. Like Frankenstein's Creature, it's beautiful, and it's hideous, and it's eloquent, and it's murderous, and ultimately, it's your alter-ego. People often describe the creative process as something akin to childbirth--everybody knows you shouldn't think of your books as "your babies" but most authors secretly do.

It's a bit frightening, if you think about it. Or very frightening, I suppose.
I don't really have opinion on if this is good or bad. I think it just is. And it raises many questions. How responsible are you for your work? For how people respond to your work?

Chippewa and Lady Aibell Closing

As of November 30th.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Dangers of Rantasy

There seem to be two types of writers: those who think it is great to do a chat or interview as if they are one of their characters, and those who think that is kind of creepy. I am in the second camp. It may have something to do with growing up in the eighties with hard-core RPGers. Because you knew, and I mean knew, that if you walked into a room where someone was dressed as their RPG-character the wisest thing to do was jump straight out the window and run like hell.

I like fantasy, I like reality too--but I am genuinely uncomfortable with some kind of in-between rantasy and from what I see, so are quite a few readers. Actually it should probably be feality because with hybrids the first part of the word is the father. And (if I may so sexist in my phrasing) for me taking on your character's persona is letting your fantasy fuck with your reality. Maybe rantasy is when some blogger tries to get all grinchy and fuck with some one's innocent, harmless game of make believe.

But, for my part, I already spend hours every week playing with my imaginary friends and writing down their little adventures--I've got to draw the line somewhere....

Free ebooks--veinglory

A lot of different sites are out there illegally selling or distributing ebooks. But it must also be remembered that many people offer genuinely free ebooks either to spread their message or promote their paperbacks or other titles. So next time you, or someone you know, wants to read for free send them somewhere like Get Free Ebooks for author-approved free reading material. You can also find quite a few free self-published ebooks at If you have other places that you go to for free fiction, please let us know. I can't speak for anyone else but I know that for at least two authors getting a book free lead to me paying for one of the other books later on.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I am not generally given to cover snark but I have to know. Am I the only one to read that title as 'Call of the Crumpet'? Does that have the same slang meaning in the US as it does back home?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Some thoughts about Affaire de Coeur magazine

Light Sword Publishing
* 3 pages of advertising
* 6.5 pages of content (3 being an article that is clearly self-promotional, aimed at authors not readers and available for free on their website)
* 1.5 pages of book review space

Medallion Press
* 2.5 pages of advertising
* 2.5 pages of book review space

* 0.25 pages of advertising
* 0.75 pages of book review space

* 0.25 pages of advertising
* 0.75 pages of book review space

Torquere Press
* 1 page of advertising.

Number of other small press's with books reviewed. 1: Obsidian Publishing, also 1 self-published book.

My point? I'm not sure. Perhaps that advertisers should buy ad space. Readers should 'buy' the other content by having it aimed squarely at their interests. 26 pages of large press book reviews, fine. 10 pages puffing the advertisers wares... not so fine. If you buy ads you can apparently also write the magazine's content and get your small press books reviewed. So if you want only large press book reviews at least half the magazine will be of interest to you. The rest seems to be almost entirely at the pleasure of the advertisers.

I know a few of you decided to give AdC a go recently. I don't see a resubscription in my future, do you?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A New Article by J M Snyder

We have a new article for ERECsite courtesy of J M Snyder. Please take a look and let us know about your own low cost promotional methods!

'Cheap and Easy Ways to Sell Yourself' by J.M. Snyder

"The first thing I would suggest—GET A WEBSITE! Even if it's a free site, made with a template, its imperative that you have a place to ‘hang your shingle,’ as it were, on the World Wide Web. If you don’t know squat about making websites, ask around. Many high school or college-aged kids can make a simple yet effective website for much less than you’d pay a professional.

In addition to a website to sell your work, or as part of such a site, I highly recommend creating a blog and updating it regularly. More on this later :)

That said, here are a few cheap and easy things you can do to help spread the word about your website and your writing:"

For the complete article vist

Twilight Fantasies RIP?--veinglory

And the award for closure with least fanfare goes to... Twilight Fantasies. Opened in May, 2007 -- last seen alive in August 2007, website now missing. This might look like a web problem if the blogger blog was not also been closed--but the Myspace still seems somewhat active with a happy thanksgiving graphic loaded. Hmmm.

Also, small press distributor BookWorld is closing.

ETA: Twilight Fantasies closure confirmed by authors Heather Holland, Cassidy McKay and Becca.
Closure also reported by Brenda Moore.

Here are some more thoughts about the closure of Twilight Fantasies. First, it seems like there had been a prior exodus of their authors. For example:

October 17th: Ava Rose Johnson
"I wanted to let any of you who are interested know that I am no longer affiliated with Twilight Fantasies. Midnight Melody is not available on their website anymore. I am looking forward to moving on from this..."
Undated: Pamela K Kinney
"Letting all know I asked for rights back to his Girl and The Curse from Twilight Fantasies. There are reasons, but that's between me and TFP."

If you see discreet announcements like this in the future I would really appreciate being sent a note about it. This seems to be one of the reliable indicators that a press is circling the drain.

My second observation is that some authors are mentioning that as this is the third or fourth of their publishers to fold, there is something increasingly wrong with epublishing. I would respectably suggest that losing one or two presses may surely be simple bad luck, a greater number may suggest that it is time to submit to more stable companies. For a start, try selecting presses that have been around for at least a year?

There is no need to place orphaned manuscripts rapidly with the first press that will take them, or indeed solicit them actively (watch out for ambulance chasers). The loss of a press might be a great chance to take stock, re-edit and aim a little higher?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Two Questions for You All

My first thinking on posting publisher's sales figures went like this: a little bit of accurate information can lead to highly inaccurate conclusions. It is easy to simply say that is the readers problem, but examples of good statistics going bad occur daily. On Friday there were two clear examples, Giuliani's misunderstanding of the survival stats for prostate cancer and general statistic confusion surrounding the current abortion debate in the UK including breast cancer and premature baby survival statistics. Fortunately our data is clearly no where near that important and my role extraordinarily minor in shaping anyone's opinion.

I also proved myself pretty good at jumping to conclusions last month when I was reading Affaire de Coeur magazine. The first article, am interview with Helen Rosberg, begins with the following disclaimer. "First AcC would like to apologize to you. When AdC last did an interview with you there was some confusion about it, and we would like to set the record straight. I hope it did not cause any problem for you."

To which my first reaction is: WTF, what did I miss? And my first leap of assumption is that somebody said some bad and somebody else either had a tantrum or sicced the lawyers on them. Of course I didn't, and don't have any basis for this--it is presented here just as an example of a little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing. And after hunting around a bit it seems that Rosberg in addition to publishing her own work has developed a pretty decent rep both as an author and a third party publisher that does rather better than a lot of small presses when it comes to getting mainstream sales, distribution and reviews.

All of which brings me, in a round-about way, to my question. Would any kind of context statement or disclaimer really help people understand the way a small, biased and non-random sample can lead to highly unrepresentative sales estimates? Would a statement of exactly how the data is collected and processed be sufficient? And on a related note: it has been raised that no matter how important sales are there are other issues. Perhaps I should give some time to them. If you consider the top twenty erotic romance epublishers, what factor other than sales do you think is most important in deciding which one to submit to?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Sequels, criticisms, and lawsuits--pepper

Another "Gone With the Wind" sequel to be released.

If there is any book that has shaped my reading career, it is Gone With the Wind. I read it first when I was in the third grade, because the city library's copy was so big and green and challenging. I knew I could do it. I wanted to prove my amazing reading ability to everybody. It took me all summer--it was a good summer for me. It was also the first summer I read Harlequin romance novels--I needed to take a break from GWtW once in awhile.

I've read the book seven times since then, and I'm scheduled to read it again this summer. Rhett and Scarlett are literally my favorite characters in the history of literature. If I could write two characters half as awesome as those two, I could die a happy author.

But, as I just explained to my sister, I'm excited and terrified. I want to revisit Rhett and Scarlett, but at the same time, I read Scarlett. It was awful. I read it like twelve years ago, and I still remember how awful it is. I know a second awful sequel is not going to take anything away from Gone With the Wind or my love for the same, but I'm still terrified.

Also in the news of publishing is Rowling's lawsuit to stop the publication of The Harry Potter Lexicon. There's been lots of commentary on this already, and I don't have a dog in this fight, having nothing to do with Harry Potter or HP fandom or HP scholarship. But as a student of literature, I gotta say, I think this lawsuit is very wrong-headed. If she and Warner Bros wins, I worry about the precedent it'll set.

These two stories are related to me. I think they both point to the very real need for not just readers, but critics and people who are willing to engage with texts beyond the simple action of buying/borrowing a book, reading it once, and setting it aside. It's a rare book indeed that can engage the public the way Gone With the Wind has over the past century, or Harry Potter has over the last decade. Alienating the very people who keep the texts alive (by writing crappy sequels or filing several lawsuits) will never be good things in the long run. I hope this new GWtW book is worthy of the original, and I hope Rowling stops trying to alienate the people who love her work.