Friday, February 29, 2008

Re-Virginization? It wasn't that fun the first time around--pepper

I saw the article about "born again virgins" over at Dear Author, and I'm not surprised by it. Appalled and horrified, but not surprised. Given the course work and the books I'm reading this semester, I have a lot of thoughts about women and culture and the importance of chastity. More specifically, chastity as a commodity. And I think it's pretty obvious that chastity is a commodity, as it's referred to the "priceless gift of virginity."

Woman as commodity, objectified and silent, is common in literature. It's even common in Romanceland. Or it was, though I think there are certain tropes that have not been laid to rest yet. Think about how many romance heroines are virgins, or treasure their virginity, as though it actually means something. I'm talking about the notion of virginity as a priceless gift. Virginity's only value is that it is something that can be taken. And once it is taken, it is lost forever, regardless of whether the hymen is "repaired." Virginity is, ultimately, the mark of ownership, prized because once it is lost, the woman's place is secured, one way or the other.

And the implications of virginity as a "priceless gift" being restored because the hymen is "repaired" is beyond horrific to me. It's like repairing a broken vase or a lamp. A vase is no good if it can't hold water. A lamp is no good if it can't light a room. So a woman is no good unless that thin piece of skin is somehow in place? This is reflected in her rhetoric. "My future husband deserves a whole person."

There is something seriously wrong there. Like, the woman might need some therapy, not plastic surgery. A woman's value is not in what she can give to a man--or what a man can take from her.

Now, I'll step down from my soapbox and return to Dracula and think about the anxiety surrounding foreigners penetrating England and penetrating good, English girls.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Help Defend P&E--veinglory

The author warning site Preditors and Editors is being sued. [edited].

From their site: "Help Defend P&E: Unfortunately, there are those who do not like P&E or its editor because we give out information that they would prefer remain hidden from writers. Usually, they slink away, but not this time. P&E is being sued and we are asking for donations to mount a legal defense in court. Please click on the link below and give if you can to help protect P&E so it can continue to defend writers as it has for the past eleven years."

Paypal donation button here.

Edited to add: Okay, so maybe there is more to this than I am aware of? Any info?

Edited again to add:
It seems like this suit has a personal (?) element. So I will leave you to make your own judgment.

The Shelfari Army--veinglory

If people want to join Shelfari, that's fine. Apparently a new wave of people are currently discovering this Amazon-listed book based networking site.


Do not press the invite button and spam everyione you ever gmailed. Twice. (They send two emails for each member, they don't bother to track whether than person has already been emailed the same spam eleventy-million times.)

Now it was a minot concession that they finally made a fairly-hard-to-find opt out form.


It's stopped working for me and I am getting the emails. Again.

Seriously do they not understand how irritating it is to get this flood of email when Shelfari themselves don't have any easily found customer support or complaints email address (anyone know of one?). As a small press author I already favor other services not locked into Amazon (e.g. Librarything) but from now on I think I will take any chance offered to suggest people not use Shelfari. I just need a cute slogan/logo to sum up why they suck. Any suggestions?

(I guess some of you probably like them, feel free to tell me about that too).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Branding 3--veinglory

So, here are the responses I received in randomised order. :) The sample is a little small to provide a lot of information but I hope this is still of interest....
Is anyone out there currently deciding on their pen name? Feel free to send me your options or a descrition of your genre and branding goals. Then I can post it for suggestions. :)

Angelia Sparrow
Recognition: 60%
Readership: 25%
* Bird like. Probably writes romances
* I’d never be able to spell the first name correctly. “Sparrow” sounds made up.
Makes me think of Jack Sparrow. I have seen the name but though it was 'Angela' until now.
* Obviously I am thinking of a sparrow. IMO the surname is rather ridiculous. I also keep reading Angelina instead of Angelia. I've seen her name on EC's website. I am not overly interested in what EC publishes nowadays, but frankly, the name alone is off-putting, but I am kind of touchy where, errrm, exotic pen names are concerned.
* I think to a bird. But I also know that Angelia is the real name of this author, not a pen name
* Inspirational romance author from Scotland/Ireland - the "sparrow" does that to me.

Diana Castilleja
Recognition: 50%
Readership: 0%
* Hard to spell the last name
* Spanish sounding name. Strong. Bold.
* Her name does ring a bell, but I couldn't say what kind of fiction she writes. Erotic romance or not? Absolutely no idea. The surname sounds Spanish, and makes me think of the Spanish region Castile. As I have never been to Spain and otherwise have no connection with this country I feel rather indifferent to this name.
* I think at History. Castilleja makes me think to Royal Spain.
Nothing in particular.
* She's a real stinker. Have to keep your cookies close when she's in the room. LOL
* Has an exotic, mythological ring

Anne Douglas
Recognition: 60%
Readership: 35%
* I remember, I read the very first book AD brought out with Loose-Id. I tried to research her online and found tons of information about KIRK DOUGLAS's wife. I gave up after ten minutes (back then she did have a blog, I think, but it better guarded, apparently, than Fort Knox. I haven't read anything besides the first book as the one story I did read was rather lacking in depth, IMO.
* Easy and believable. It sticks with me.
* Scottish. Sweeping romances. Epic.
* Nothing special, maybe to Scotland.
* There is a very active erotic author called Anne Douglas back in those days who wrote outright erotica/smut for ASSTR and other online smutty lists. I thought this is the same Anne Douglas until she corrected me, lol.

SB Ashton
Recognition: 0%
Readership: 0%
* Never heard of but I know of an Ashton Lane with lovely pubs *g*.
* Sci-fi. Snarky (Only because I've read a couple worst. cover. ever. posts).
*Nothing special.
* Mystery/thriller author. These authors used to have their initials on their covers, no?

Katherine Kingston
Recognition: 25%
Readership: 10%
* I hope her middle name doesn’t start with a ‘K.’ Sounds fake, but I’m willing to play along.
* She's an EC author IIRC, but I've never read her. As far as her pen name goes I have relatively few connotations. Sure, I might think of a king, but not much else.
* Yay for alliteration!
* It seems an old English name.
* Inspirational romance author. There is something about "Kingston" that has me thinking of Biblical things.

Amanda Young
Recognition: 60%
Readership: 60%
* She publishes with Loose-Id, at least the one and only book I read by her came from this pub. The book was ok, quite entertaining nothing outstanding so I didn't search for more of her pieces. As far as pen names go, this one is definitely on the positive side. It has a nice round sound to it and good fluency.
* Love her sex scenes, they seem very masculine
* Ordinary. Feels like her real name.
* It's a good name, sounds simple.
* Nothing in particular. Quite an ordinary name.

L.E. Bryce
Recognition: 50%
Readership: 50%
*Duhh. Absolutely nothing comes to my mind. Never heard of him/her/it, and no associations.
* Nothing special.
* Mystery/thriller. See: SB Ashton.

Maura Anderson
Recognition: 25%
Readership: 0%
* My first connotation is that she must write categories. Maura sounds kind of old-fashioned. I picture a grey haired lady with glasses, vividly typing away on an old typewriter. But actually I have no idea what she really does write *g*.
* Irish sounding. Makes me think of mysteries
* Maura is the name of a friend of mine, so I think to her...
* Nothing in particular. Ordinary name, bordering almost on forgettable.

J.M. Snyder
Recognition: 60%
Readership: 25%
* She writes gay fiction and romance. I wanted to try her out but somehow not one of the plots I researched from her books appealed. Her website could need some work. The pen name is ok, though nothing that really stays in mind.
* To a snake... for the sound of the surname, snake... snyder...
* Pseudonym for gay smut author. Did I win a prize?
* This is an author I'm with on Bookwormbags, but haven't a clue what they write. How sad is that? And I'm not going to cheat and look at the bookmarks she just emailed to me either.

Jill Noelle
Recognition: 25%
Readership: 0%
* I like the ring of this author's name, and I don't even mind that le Noël (French for Christmas) comes to my mind. However, Jill Noelle wrote a book which was, roughly five years ago, my first erotic historical and I have to say that I've never come upon such a unsympathetic and betimes even vicious hero. I have been reading erotic romances for quite a long time, maybe that's the reason why I have become so picky. Whereas in the early days nearly every erotic romance was to my taste, nowadays it's exactly the other way around. I also think of Noelle's upcoming publishing venture when I hear of her. I know there has to be a market for everything, however I personally belonged to those who felt grossed out and repulsed by her "boundary pushing" request for stories.
* Poetry or straight sex author
* Hard to spell. If she simplified it, I’d think it was great: memorable, yet simple
* To Christmas, jingle bells... jill, noelle... noel
* Inspirational/Harlequin Presents author. "Noelle" does that to me.
* This is really the only name I recognize, and I'm almost positive she's an erotic author, but I could be wrong.

Name calling rule--veinglory

I generally let comments go but I think it it time to institute some limits for the sake of keeping conversations useful and focussed on matters of evidence and logic. So I will be removing any and all comments that direct personal insults to anyone. A personal insult being a crude name, attributing malicious motives or denigrating a persons basic intelligence, morals or other personal qualities.

Now if you want to say what a press or person is *doing* is unskilled, bizarre or just a very bad idea because of [insert reason here] that is fine. I just don't want to descend into mean girl accusations, name calling and snark of people not products and services. Snark of products and services, just to be clear, is fine and dandy.

I hope that makes sense and is okay with y'all.

Edited to Add to clarify, in case this should be needed, examples of what name calling is: "...everyone being so nasty...a small, jealous mind...go away and get a life"

Edited to Add: I am told that people believe I have been deleting comments in support of DCL. This is not true. I have deleted one post a few minutes ago in accordance with my new stated policy. If anyone thinks their post has been deleted or can see the alleged 'seven deleted comments' (a screen shot of this for example) please tell me. Because it ain't me doing it. I see 41 comments on the DCL post, 1 deleted.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Artistic Vision? What?--Pepper

I cannot wait until the end of April. I've been maintaining radio silence for the past few weeks because I am overwhelmed with work, and when I'm not working, I'm overwhelmed with being overwhelmed. The thought of collecting some thoughts and actually blogging is enough to make me cry with frustration, so I spent two weeks trying to avoid blogs altogether (though Vivien won't let me completely ignore our blog).

But an issue presented itself today, and I have thoughts. Vivien recently sold a novella to Big Time Publisher. This is her first sale there, and I don't have anything with this publisher. She received her edits today, and now I'm wondering if I even want to submit to Big Time Publisher. I think one of their requests was unreasonable to the point of being insane.

I hate this issue. I don't want to be one of those people who take offense to editors because they're destroying my vision. Mostly my vision consists of hot sex, I won't deny it. But I try to keep my hot sex within certain boundaries of stories and style, and most importantly, I want it to make sense. Sometimes that means my characters won't have sex for a long time, until the time is right. All I ask from an Editor is to respect that. I want my characters to behave consistently within their world and within their relationship--context matters.

But the request Vivien received disregards characterization, it disregards context, it disregards the logic of the universe. And that really makes me uncomfortable. It makes me wonder if it's just a minor compromise and if we want the sales/recognition, we bite the bullet and deal with it. Or is this something that's worth standing my ground on, and dealing with the consequences--which are, at this point, simply never having any sort of publishing relationship with this particular publisher.

Anybody ever face a similar dilemma? Any thoughts?

From Dark Castle Lords--veinglory


Here is an email from the folks at DCL. Issues raised (in bold) are mine. It seemed simpler to just post the replied verbatim with Stuart's permission. As of now I am leaving DCL in 'smoke' status.

Hi Emily,

Thank you for your email and a chance to reply to your questions below and will try to answer each point in turn.

1) Sales are often very low

We as a business have only been in operation for just on 18 months. We started out with approximately 4 eBooks and about the same number of authors and yes I will admit that sales where slow and not on a regular basis.

Since then and with several website redesigns, we have attracted over 15 new authors and our sales are up 400%. At the request of several of our authors, we approached Fictionwise and ARe as other outlets to sell the authors books.

As with all new business, it does take time to become established and for the search engines to pick up your website and rank it well enough that you are on the first page of their search results for a particular keyword/s. So yes, at the beginning our sales where low but that was expected and as I have mentioned above we have now seen a increase in sales from our website of 400% and this does not include sales a Fictionwise and ARe. I am continually striving to improve the look of our site with the view of making it more inviting and user friendly.

2) Sales figures are not being provided promptly.

With sales figures generated from the website, I send out quarterly emails to all our authors advising of the number of books sold via the site as well as royalties earnt. As you may or may not be aware, Fictionwise do not provide their sales figures until 6 weeks after the quarter has ended so there is approximately a two month delay on that side of things. They also advise not to use their weekly updates.

Due to the long and winded process of forming an LLC, we where not able to open a bank account as we did not have our Tax ID which would not be given until we had received our papers back. With that in mind, my business partner and I thought it might be better to hold of on releasing sales figures from Fictionwise until the bank account was open. Once opened we where then looking at releasing figures and making payments at the same time. As with all plans they do not always go accord to what we hoped.

This issue has now been resolved and all sales figures along with royalties’ earnt are currently being passed to each author concerned. I guess hindsight is a great so long as you can learn from it.

3) Covers with human figures must be paid for by the author

This was an idea/suggestion brought about by our models and is currently under review with input being sort from both authors and models

4) DCL and romance models may not be entirely separate businesses

I can say that they are separate in their own rights. Our Romance Models site was started up at the suggestion of one of models, Bill Freda who thought it was a good idea to have an outlet for our models to display their work. We have several models that are just starting out and we hope this will give them a platform from which they can launch their careers. All our models have input on the design of the site as well as which photos they sell and the price they wish to charge for them. Yes! We hope that some of our authors will purchase photos from them in view of using them to create their book cover.

In closing I would just like to reiterate that I am always in constant contact via emails with all our authors advising them on updates and possible policy changes. Right from the start I have always sort their advice and input in to how to operate and run this business. In hindsight, our earlier policies may have not been the best and these have now been addressed.

DCL is constantly changing and with the help of our authors and models and we are all looking forward to the next 12 months in which we will no doubt have more ups and downs. Such is the life of a constantly evolving business.

I would like to thank you for this opportunity to answer your queries.


Stuart Bazga
DCL Publications

Silks Vault closed?--veinglory

Karen Scott drew my attention to the vanishing of Silks Vault's websites. Have they closed? Given their history of non-payment I doubt their passing would be widely mourned.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

NEW PRESS: Alinar--veinglory

Alinar Publishing

"So, who is Alinar Publishing and what do you do?
Alinar Publishing is a group of independent authors who have got together to sell their work on the internet and aims to provide a place where visitors can find great reads. Alinar Publishing LLP is a non profit-making publishing co-operative and services to our authors are free."

By invation only with the author covering some costs of production and distribution. Authors include: Eve Asbury, Gayle Eden, Angelique Emerson, Lily Graison, Felicity Heaton, F E Heaton, Jane Hill, Jude Johnson, Kallysten, Nia Little, Alexandra Marell and Candy Nicks

Smoke at DCL--veinglory

I am leaving the branding question (two posts ago) open until Saturday and hope to hear from more of you. If you submitted pen name please let me know what you think of the others on the list ;) This question is open not only to what you think of the pen name but their general 'branding' and works. I have 5-6 replies but would like at least 10 to provice a reasonable sampling of opinions.

I am moving Dark Castle Lords to the 'smoke' category of epublishers where there are signs of trouble. I have emailed them directly for comment on complaints that they are tardy in reporting and payments, and charge fees for cover art showing a human figure. In the absence of a convincing reply and/or flood of supportive comments from their authors I will eventually move them to 'not recommended' status.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Requesting author input--veinglory

I am requesting information regarding Dark Castle Lords: charging of any fees, promptness of payment or any other positive or negative experiences. Also remember the happy-ometer. Just let me know are you basically satisfied or basically disatisfied with this puhblisher as an author or other paid service provider (editor, artist) for this press. All information treated confidentially as a basis of giving general feedback to other authors.

Branding 2--veinglory

So here is the game. Please look at each of the pen names and answer the following questions. Please answer with absolute honesty and send the answer to me by email at veinglory at I am asking for this to be via email so you can say exactly what you think. I will post a summary of all responses received by this time tomorrow (5pm US CST).

I hope someone else will pick this up as a blog meme as I would like to play as an author.

The questions are:
1) When you read this pen name what is the first thing you think?
2) Have you heard of this author?
3) Have you read any of their work?
You can add any other comments you wish. If you got nothing just say 'pass'.

The pen names are:
Angelia Sparrow
Diana Castilleja
Anne Douglas
SB Ashton
Katherine Kingston
Amanda Young
L.E. Bryce
Maura Anderson
J.M. Snyder
Jill Noelle

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to do this. If it's popular we can do it again (in a different time zone). Pepper, maybe Friday?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Brand me, baby--veinglory

I have a game for all you authors out there wondering about your 'branding'. To me branding is something that involves two horses, a rope and a campfire. But we are told that authors should have a "brand". So how do you know if you have one?

I am looking for 10 author volunteers to write their pen names in a reply to this post. Tomorrow I will post the first ten who reply with a request for all readers to respond to each pen name saying.

1) When you read this pen name what is the first thing you think?
2) Have you heard of this author?
3) Have you read any of their work?

Then send these replies to me at veinglory at and I will share them anonymously with everyone (so you can be utterly frank without those embarrassing repurcussions).

Who wants to play?

Monday, February 18, 2008


So, critics seem to largely agree that the movie 'The Other Boleyn Girl' was pretty dull. How a movie about two sisters who were basically sold into sexual slavery to a murderous king could be dull I don't know, but there you are. And apparently Natalie Portman feels her whole public image may be equally, well, boring.

So what are two midlist actresses to do? Apparently fly to Germany and have a 'lesbian kiss' on the red carpet. My response is.


On the up side a lesbian kiss is widely considered titilating and not sinful. On the down side a lesbian kiss is considered shocking enough to get world-wide coverage and on the whole I think the main problem with this publicity stunt was summed up on morning television wherein the highly coiffed anchor woman turned to her sharply besuited male co-anchor and opined, "That kiss wasn't really very hot, was it?"

Thank you.

If you are going to do gaysploitation and make out like a bi-curious exhibitionist, and you are actually any kind of skilled actress, please don't insult our fetishes by giggling and breaking off before the paps can even get a decent shot. Well, other than of the paps, but they were on display a good deal longer.

Gaysploitation that isn't actually hot is just ... boring.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Honorable mention from the Society for the Protection of Chest Hair in Cover Art (Chairperson Emily Veinglory presiding) goes to:

TeddyPig's blog banner
Accidentally Were--Anne Douglas
My Fair Captain--J L Langley

...any other nominations?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More About Money--veinglory

What a writer makes is one of those 'how long is a piece of strong' questions. John Scalzi made $164,000, Jim C Hines made $16,000 and I made... $5000. I was feeling a little underwhelmed by my year-end profit until I read that the median advance for mainstream novels is currently running at, you guessed it, $5000 to $6000 on average. Sure, some make a hell of a lot more but, um, I guess I did okay? I got paid about the same as for a mainstream first novel without getting involved with NY agents, contract lawyers or complicated accounting that pays out just a few times a year? I still think mainstream publishing is a great goal for those seeking it and a great acheivement for those that manage it--but based on the current figures... epublishing isn't looking too bad either.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

It has been reported at Romance Divas that Aphrodite's Apples has closed?

Edited to add:

Press Release: Aphrodite's Apples closes

Aphrodite's Apples is closing, effective February 13, 2008. It was a difficult decision to make on our part, but we feel it will be best for all parties involved. We are not having financial issues, and final royalties shall be calculated and paid out in a timely fashion. We appreciate all the time you've spent on this company, and consider it a privilege to have worked with our authors and readers.
Thank you,

--Aphrodite's Apples Press

Tax time in Americaland--veinglory

I will freely admit that in this post I speak from ignorance. What I know about tax could be written in the back of a stamp--so I would be interested in your thoughts.

First, there are several ways to declare royalties. In the US I think there are two main options: self-employed income or royalties. I am curious which method most people use and why. I declare royalties because I simply don't have the kind of expenses to write off to make self-employment a better deal--also I just can't be bothered with the paperwork.

Secondly, most small businesses offer an option of withholding some portion of income and paying it straight to the tax man, to avoid the worker owing tax in one lump sum. Does anyone know why most epublishers not only do not, but will not do this? Is it just because it would be a logistical nightmare or something to do with publishing as a business?

On the up side, despite writing nothing in the last six month and very little over the last year I still managed to clear just over $5000 in taxable royalties. Not too bad I guess, given that it is largely off backlist. But I really need to get off my butt and write more.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Nothing New Under the Sun--veinglory

I was looking through the older books on my to-be-read pile and the main message seems to be, there really is nothing new. I read a lot online that seems to assume that the availability of some new book format is responsible for the actual content of what we read, specifically the sexual content... specifically the nasty-naughty-we-don't-likes-it sexual content.

But scanning the shelf I see furry domesticated tailed women used for sex (The Lani People by JF Bone, 1962), saliacious gay 'adult' fiction by women (The Flaming Heart by Deborah Deutsch, 1958) and menage (The Sign of Eros by Paul Bodin, 1953). I am sure that if I was really looking for it I could find twincest and every other kind of content from every decade. I mean people don't really change, do they? Just their avenues for expression, distribution and consumption.

I bet much of what is now said about the internet in general, and the sexual side of epublishing in particular, was once said about these cheap mass market 'sleaze' paperbacks. And I bet it was said about the first printing press too.

Scalzi's financial advice for writers -- Jules

Scalzi offers Unasked-For Advice to New Writers About Money. It may be entertainingly worded, but it's truth. Read and assimilate.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bursting the Balloon--veinglory

It often doesn't take much to put a new customer off ebooks. The first few purchases are crucial for forming their impressions of the format, the product and the publisher. I pay close attention to what readers are saying online about early ebook buying experiences. Whether they could get the book, if they couldn't get the book whether they could contact customer support.

And when they got the book whether it met their expectations.

One recent comment I read, which seemed more than fair was this--readers tend to assume a work is a novel. If it turns out to be a short story they can be a little dissappointed. It seems to me that at some epublishers the length labelling could be a little clearer to avoid this kind of unpleasant surprise. Word count, page count, and if some in house terms are use they should be a clickable link to defintions and misleading. Novel should mean novel? Something that if bound in print would be book length?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Nocturne ebooks--veinglory

FORWARDED CONTENT: I haven't checked out the main site for all the details

Nocturne Bites

Silhouette Nocturne is looking to acquire paranormal editorial with strong sexual, fantasy and danger elements for its new eBook program, Nocturne Bites.

We’re looking for fast-paced novellas that hook the reader early by establishing a paranormal world and its conflicts. We are looking for stories of vampires, shape-shifters, werewolves, psychic powers, etc. set in contemporary times.

Many of the elements that make a successful Silhouette Nocturne remain true for Nocturne Bites. Stories should deliver a dark, highly sensual read that will entertain readers and take them from everyday life to an atmospheric, complex world filled with characters struggling with life and death issues. A strong alpha hero is of the utmost importance–he should be powerful, mysterious and totally attractive to the heroine.

While action-packed and mission-oriented, the scope of these stories should be more contained, with more focus turned to character development. All stories should be capable of standing alone; all loose ends need to be tied up, and the relationship between hero and heroine should resolve itself in a satisfying manner.

For published authors, this line is a great way to build their miniseries at Harlequin and Silhouette. Unpublished authors are welcome as well.

Only complete manuscripts submitted electronically will be considered from unpublished authors; no partials or queries, please. Submissions should be sent as a Word-compatible attachment. Submissions should also follow standard formatting guidelines–double-spaced and written in a clear, legible font on numbered pages. Author name and title should appear as a header or footer on each page.

E-mail address: nocturnebites at

Length: 10,000 - 15,000 words
Editorial Director: Tara Gavin
Associate Senior Editor: Ann Leslie Tuttle
Assistant Editor: Sean Mackiewicz

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Publishers say the funniest things--veinglory

Espiren"1. Does Enspiren Pay Advances? Enspiren is not in a position to advance loans against royalties to authors. However, this frees the author from any legal obligation to repay the loan."

Dog Ear Press
"Wordclay is a secondary competitor to Lulu. Both Wordclay and other 'online printer companies' provide just about the exact same services at the same price. Wordclay is primarily a book printer - to take advantage of the value WordClay offers, you'll need to have performed ALL teh tasks needed to produce a real book."

p.s. Samhain has reopened to general submission.

As I am in a hotel post-free-wine-work-mixer function I probably should risk saying any more right now as the appropriateness filters are even lower than usual when soaked in Merlot....

Samhain re-opens to submissions -- Jules

Samhain has re-opened the slushpile. Note new guidelines. More info at Angela's blog:

Monday, February 04, 2008

So how is the Pack?--veinglory

We had some goals for January. Please report?

My goal were, um, trashed. (Oops).

Some writers refer to having a Clark Kent job. I don't. I have a career (sort of... well, I'm trying). So there is Wonder-Emily (work, for money), and there is Super-Emily (erotica, semi-pro). But currently they are both having their arses kicked by the evil Doctor Emily, who does the serious non-fiction writing thing after hours. Due to some massive bolloxing of the deadlines I am juggling two books and an article and utterly out of time for writing smut. Maybe next month.

So I am going to hold off on goal setting for February, until things settle down. But I encourage you to report on your goals and set some more. I like to know someone is out there writing sexy romance for the good citizens of the great cyber-city of Smutham.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Updates at Piers Anthony--veinglory

New info posted in red font. EREC is now listed under 'Services'.

"EREC site - The proprietor is compiling and listing sales figures for erotic romance publishers, as well as warnings about publishers behaving badly."

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Missed Ocean's Press?--veinglory

As of right now Ocean's Mist Press seems to be back online. Some authors are reportedly not impressed. More information as it comes to hand.

From other blogs: Author Crusader.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Affaire de Christmas--veinglory

Okay, so it would be fair to say that I didn't love my first issue of Affaire de Coeur magazine which I received on November 4th. But I was more than willing to push that aside and give the second issue on my subscription a fresh chance.

My second issue, mainly taken up by three Christmas-themed stories, arrived today. That's right, a Christmas-themed edition on February the first. I know it's bad luck to leave decorations up after 'twelth night' (January 6th). Do you think that applies to magazines?

But seriously, I know they won't hit Xmas on the day, but themed material makes far more sense if it arrives early, not over a month late.

The real bane of e-publishing: blurbs--pepper

Two posts today! For the price of one!

Dear E-Publishers,

Hire some blurb writers, please! Now, when I first started with e-publishers in 2005, I was intimidated by writing my own blurb, but I dealt with it. I figured that adding another person to the staff would be too cost-prohibitive, and too much work to have somebody already on staff do it. But you know what? It's been three years. Surely, business is going well enough you can hire somebody to write some blurbs?

Here's the deal. It's not because I'm lazy. I don't mind writing blurbs too much. There are certainly worse tasks in the world. No, I don't suggest this out of laziness. But I do suggest this out of self-interest. You see, a well-written, provocative, grammatically correct blurb is professional. I want people to take my publishers and my fellow authors seriously. The blurbs I've seen at just about every publisher (except Samhain. Could it be because they have a blurb writer?) range from acceptable to downright laughable (I'm not going to provide examples. I'm sure everybody here can think of at least one awful one. Probably one of mine, even).

There's been an increase in the quality of covers recently. Can we take it the next step? Please? For the sake of everybody's dignity?


Yay! It's the Super Bowl!--Pepper

I am such an unabashed football fan. Every August I begin watching the pre-season and paying attention to the analysts and preparing for my Fantasy Football draft. I sign up for 2-3 Pick 'Em Leagues. I monitor the players for the Broncos, noting who is coming and going and what the team is doing in general. I practice talking trash. I made my predictions. If I can, I order NFL Sunday Ticket so I don't have to miss a minute of any game all day.

The one thing I'm not thrilled about is the narrative the Media always forces onto the season. Brett Favre is trying for one more Championship before he retires. Peyton Manning wants to capture the magic again. Tom Brady is the NFL Golden Boy. The Giants always get a lot of attention because they're a New York team, and the Cowboys get attention because they're "America's Team" (blech), and there's always a handful of teams that are almost the elite, but manage to fail pretty much every year. Then of course, there's my Broncos. If I wrote about the pain they've caused me over the past two seasons, this blog would be very long, indeed. But, suffice it to say, I'm never going to forgive them for firing Jake "The Snake" Plummer.

I think it's practically a given that the Patriots are going to win on Sunday. I think either way it's going to be a historical game. Either the Patriots will be crowned one of the best teams in NFL history (if the the best), or the Giants will be the biggest spoiler in NFL history.

Either way, I can't wait for next August. My Broncos sucked this season, but there's always next year, right? That's the best part of being a football fan. That eternal hope that even an insane head coach can't quite beat out of you.