Saturday, May 31, 2008

First line contest winners--veinglory

1st Place: "Aneirin saved my life the day I met him, and saved it twice again before he finally killed me."

Winner of a $20 gift certificate to any online bookstore.

There was a tie for 2nd Place between:

"Anyone who ever thought snow was soft and silent had never trudged through the bowels of Northern Canada in the middle of the night in mid-December with a thirty-pound pack strapped to his back and a hundred-pound thief complaining at his side."


"Gerry composed Latin jazz tunes in his head every time he and Javier made love."

Who will receive $10 each. Due to the small amount this can be taken as a gift certificate or direct paypal payment.

I would encourage all of the winners to send me an email to say which store they want the gift certificate for, and which email to send it to. I would also appreciate a brief paragraph about how you arrived at that first line, and if the work is published please send a cover art and link to go with it.

Friday, May 30, 2008

E-Publishing News and Views--veinglory

"Penguin has reported that e-book sales from the first four months of 2008 have surpassed the house's total e-book sales for all of last year. According to the publisher, the spike is "more than five times the overall growth in sales, year-on-year, through April 2008." Penguin Group CEO David Shanks said he attributed the jump, in large part, to the growing popularity of e-book readers." [read more at Publisher's Weekly]

"Simon & Schuster is the first big US publisher to publicly state its commitment to's Kindle e-book device. The publisher has used the exposure provided by Book Expo America to announce that it is to make 5,000 additional titles available through Amazon, more than doubling the number of its books available on the e-reader." [read more at]

"The following items are lifesavers in ANY business, but in the romance book industry, being savvy about how you run your ePublishing business brings you respect. And let's face it, ePublishing, particularly in the romance genre, is still struggling for respect. So here's advice from someone trained in Public Relations."
[read more at Monica Burns]

"Separately, Thomas at Truth Is Still Truth describes the top 11 features he wants to see in a Bible. Quality construction, sewn bindings, three ribbons, wide margins—you name it, he mentions it. He also talks about a five-column parallel Bible, with a column for notes, two for the original languages, one for English, and one for cross-references. Thomas rightly notes that such Bible would be a “behemoth.” But a future Amazon Kindle or similar device could conceivably give you all those features without the physical heft."
[read more at Blible blog]

"Another sign of the success of e-books, though, is not such a happy one: the huge glut of poorly written, scammy, second- and third-rate e-books that has suddenly started flooding the market. As with music and video, the Internet has made publishing and distributing books easy and next to free, and it can be hard to find anything worth reading." [read more at Lifehack]

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I've said it before and I'll say it again--veinglory

I know I sound glib sometimes, when it comes to new small presses. And some of you guys are a bit harsher than me! But it comes down to this. A start up epublisher is a small business. And an author is being asked to invest in this small business. We are not asked to invest money, but hundreds or thousands of hours spent writing a manuscript. A manuscript that could become a book... that could earn money.

Being skeptical is not about being a bitch, a know-it-all or being paranoid. It is not about thinking the owners are scam artists, or even incompetent (although that is a possibility). It is about having someone walk onto the digital podium and ask for an serious investment. It is about sitting back, folding your arms, and thinking 'why would I give my book to you'? At least that is the issue from the writer's point of view and this blog is written from a writer's point of view.

So when I make one of my glib comments about a start-up this is not because I am an expert. I am, statistically speaking, a very average sort of ebook writer. I counsel caution because when it comes to investing in a small business everyone counsels caution. And I put it glibly because I'm a bit of a smart-ass. It's congenital, you know. Here are a few quotes about what the investor needs to consider. For the full article see: A Consumer's Guide to Small Business Investments.

1) How long has the company been in business?
2) Consider whether management is dealing unfairly with investors.
3) How much experience does management have?
4) Do you know enough about the industry to be able to evaluate the company?
5) Does the company have a realistic marketing plan and ... resources to market the product?

Monday, May 26, 2008

As there seems to be a new press opening every week it must be getting hard for people to come up with names. I probably haven't inputted enough different words to cover every letter of the alphabet, feel free to suggest more. Oh and tell me if any of the names don't come out right... :) I tried to avoid having any actual, existing press names come out, but that was surprising difficult.

My Romance Press Name is Silky Desire.
Take Romance Epublisher Name Generator today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

Hearts on Fire Press

Another new one. Hearts on Fire. Opened... about now. Owner: Melissa Miller, cover artist: Nina Brar. Both named staff are also authors of books for sale on from this press.

Seeking: "We are currently accepting submissions in these genres. Romance (all genres) -- Erotica -- Paranormal-witchcraft/vampires/werewolves/fantasy -- Mystery/ action/ suspense"

Terms: "The contract will be for Electronic rights only and we pay 40% of all sales monthly. Sales will be from the first of the month to the last day of the month. Payments will be made within one week of the months ending. There will be no charges of any kind to the author. Hearts on Fire Press will pay all expenses for publishing, editing, and cover art. The contract will be for one year only. After one year the manuscript will be deleted from our files. If you would like to resubmitt it for republishing that is up to you. We will advertise on classified ads, myspace, our website, blogs, forums, anywhere else we see fit. You the author should self promate your book as well. The more advertising there is the better it is for you. This is a two way street. The more you help the better your sales will be."

I don't feel the need to say more.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Shadowfire Press

Shadowfire Press, owned by Michael Barnette, opens August first. Contracting work by query or "contest" (no prize other than acceptance). Royalties are on net. Seeking paranormal BDSM.

See also:
Another New E-pub

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Affaire de Coeur Magazine, Hmmm--veinglory

Edited to add: does anyone know what happened to the romance industry satire blog Cum Hither, formerly here?

The May/June issue of Affaire de Coeur has its usual share of bad type-setting (words covered by pictures, articles that start on page 44 and finish on 43) and the requisite family snapshot for a cover. This issue is also relatively light on advertising, and on content, perhaps because in most issues the content is written by the advertisers. Of the ten pages of non-review material in this issue two are taken up by an article written by one Pamela Ackerson.

In this article we are told: "..the [romance] industry has been losing readers... [who have] blinded themselves as to why they are losing sales." So what is it that is killing romance, which we are told is "synonymous with being courted, or being wooed."?

Well, apparently the problem with modern romance (a.k.a. "garbage", "uneducated trash" etc) is a new version of the horsemen of the apocalypse: 1) head-hopping 2) an insufficiency of castles, earthquakes, royalty, witch-hunts and "Native American lifestyle" stories, 3) slang and colloquial language in narration or dialogue and 4) referring to male or female anatomy using any noun beginning with the letter 'C'.

Now I am not fond of head-hopping and would happily have a little witch-hunt on that subject. But other readers weaned on the 80's hopper-ama romance writing style are less perturbed by this vice, and so I say live and let live. Also, I see this from an excerpt of Ackerson's book: Home of the Braves.

"One minute she was reeling in the luxury of the soft bed and the next, she was staring at an extremely handsome and virile looking Indian. As she watched his face, she could see a look of complete astonishment that had quickly turned to anger.

Standing Deer was quite perturbed. He was just getting ready to eat his morning meal when out of the blue heavens this white woman appeared. All of a sudden, there she was. This white woman had long wavy hair with curls cascading down from her shoulders to her waist, like a waterfall. The sun made it sparkle like the rays of sunshine through the clouds and sky. There were so many streaks of colors in it that he wasn't sure what color to call it. It appeared to have all the colors of autumn leaves one saw in the mountains just before the winter snows."

Maybe this term 'head-hopping' doesn't mean what I thought. Oh well. I have also never had a problem with romance set in a modern castle-free environment with people whose hair is less than kaleidoscopic. If a character, or even a narrator, has a colloquial voice then that is cool with me too. And, yes, I am fond of 'cock'. You heard it here first. Finally although some women like to limit their role to being a woo-ee, I do not think the options of any and all persons in a romance is are limited to such a passive role.

Then I came across this little gem: "Steamy romance should be sizzling, cannot wait for the better half to come home and enjoy each other."

[Insert delay while I struggle to parse that sentence] [Meaning and implications sink in] Waiting for the better half to come home, huh. Is that barefoot, or are slippers allowed? No, never mind. I get the point. Some romance writers are pure as the driven Native American lust and have "a multitude of vocabulary", others use "trashy language" and describe "tasteless sex" using the "base, tasteless words mentioned above describing a sexual scene" which "should not be categorised as romance" etc, etc, etc.

Who, you might ask is this authoritative industry expert imparting this advice? She is a multi-published author, no less. Well, she had two romance novels "published" by 1st World Library (Standard Publishing Package $1899) both with Amazon sales ranks over 3,000,000.

This article is just one author's opinion. I get that. And this blog post is just mine--which I am not obliging anyone to pay money to enjoy. Frankly, I'm going to keep reading and writing writing romance books that include the word "cock", thank you. Not to mention romances with sex in hallways, women who woo men and other such garbage. Oh, and I am going to stop subscribing to Affaire de Coeur.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Gay Marriage Legal in California...--Pepper

As I'm sure you've read or heard by now, California Supreme Court Finds Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional. I'm very pleased this went all the way to the CA Supreme Court, and I'm very, very pleased that the courts protected rights against certain anti-gay and religious groups. But what I'm wondering is--will this have any sort of effect on the sort of gay and lesbian books published? In about six months, will here be a trend towards wacky wedding adventures? Or maybe a take on Father of the Bride? Will romance books deal with divorce/dissolution?

Or maybe it won't change things at all, though I kind of think it should. I wonder if eventually all GLBT romances will end with a marriage like the straight ones tend to.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Smoke: Renaissance E-books--veinglory

Via Absolute Write, two author complaints about Renaissance E-books. I would add that I have read one of their books, and it was not well edited.

Using Statistics to See in the Dark--veinglory

The best way to predict how your ebook will sell with an epublisher is to know how their other ebooks have sold. But there are plenty of perfectly good epublishers where that data is not available. However you can still have a go at predicting what their sales might be like.

The best approach is to try and find a piece of publicly available information that might correlate with sales. I decided to try the size of the publisher's yahoogroup. If they had more than one I chose the one aimed at readers and focused on erotic romance. I then looked at the correlation number of members and average first month sales.

So for the epublishers we do have sales data for there is a close relation between these two variables. In fact, the fitted line predicts a sales figure that is 98% accurate compared with the actual sales figure data. Now how well this relation will describe new data really cannot be predicted, as there will be many factors that influence whether/how a yahoogroup is used and how well it is run by a publisher and we are starting with just 8 data points.

But we will see how well this predictor works once I get data for new presses. If you want to make a prediction of your own, you need to find the epublishers yahoogroup membership number, multiply it by 00.16 and then add 28.73. As the data set expands this might nor prove the best predictor, some other variable of combination of variable might work better. But it's a start.

If you have some variable other than yahoogroup size you would like to look at, but you are not sure how to make this calculation, I can send an MS-excel sheet set up to run the regression for you.

You Are Here--veinglory

I haven't really leaped into the whole race and romance thing that is going around the blogs. But for the record, I am totally in the market for more diversity and more authenticity in romance. It is hard to find a real range of romance stories even if you are (and I am) looking for them. I am pleased that M/M is making in roads but conflicted that it looks more like sub-genres move inside the fence, and not so much like the area within the 'pale' is expanding. Moving, yes. Expanding? I don't know. We are gaining erotic romance, but are we losing those detailed inches-thick historicals that used to be common? Are are gaining M/M but losing medical and regency romance? Gaining paranormal but losing gothic? I know romance changes, but does it actually grow?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

XO Laptop/Reader--veinglory

Even as an ebook-reader sceptic I am encouraged in by the willingness of different agencies with different goals to try and make a more functional device. A great example is the new low cost XO laptop intended for children from developing nations. This its double screen design and touch-screen keyboard option this thing really does begin to look like a book--whilst also functioning as a laptop--and costing about $75. I wonder how a first world adult could get hold of one of these?

OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte is quoted as saying: "Over the last couple of years we've learned the book experience is key."

[I'll post a picture when Blogger stops being so bloody useless]

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Bad--veinglory

So, way back on January 16th that I was notified that Lachesis Publishing would be opening an erotic romance imprint Sinful Moments this September, and I was considerately provided with exact wording to use in updating the PLIST on this matter. The email ended: "The Sinful Moments Press website will be operational within the next 48 hours." Due to one thing or another I didn't go to visit the site until now. To begin with there was a problem because the link was bad. But I gather the site is meant to be here? An actual site (with content) is nowhere to be found, not even in the cache or via the Wayback Machine. All online announcements seem to date back to January, or be claims of editorial or ownership status of this nascent press. Technorati yields no author squeeage (squees of acceptance, that is). I am left wondering whether they thought better of it? Or is the delay in creating the website just to ensure there actually is a cart, before they commence with any further whipping of the horses?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Vanilla Heart Publishing... smoke?--veinglory

Right now Vanilla Heart's website is down. Meanwhile a Bewares thread at Absolute Write is accumulating red flags.

Edited to add: they moved to this url, no redirect from the old site.

Mariahs and Pariahs: the tangled web of epublishing--veinglory

People have different roles and they are linked together by friendships and by money. In business there links can create, or cause the appearance, or conflicts. For example, the new 'Director of Facilities Management' ($127,000 per year) here in Chicago is the brother of a state Rep. He also also has 24 years of public service and served in the deputy position before his promotion. Did he get the job on merit or connections? It depends on your level of cynicism, which when it comes to Chicago county politics can run pretty high.

Even in a setting where I would tend to give benefit of the doubt, mixing roles can cause suspicion. When I was flipping through Time magazine's 100 most important people issue, a whole page on Mariah Carey did surprise me [see online here]. I have nothing against her but, top 100? And later in the same magazine there is a full page advertisement for her next album. Do I think the list is rigged, probably not. Do I believe the listing and ad are entirely a coincidence? Hell, no. I finally stopped getting my digital photography magazine when it became apparent they would never criticise any camera for fear of losing that company's advertising dollars. I would hate to see Time in the same boat.

And what does is matter? Well. A highly paid bureaucrat should, no--must, have received their job purely based on ability. A listing in a magazine must be based on whether or not that person is really worth knowing more about--and be given column space proportional to that interest. Advertising should be sold based on who is buying the magazine not to those who appear within it. Content should be content. Advertising advertising. Just as authors should be authors, publisher publishers, artists artists--or at least you should know what hat a person has on and which others are in her closet.

There is something to be said for being as clear cut as possible on any issue. When a movie says 'no animals were harmed' the group that enforces that endorsement includes everything down to even an insect. They prefer to be clear and even the swatting of flies must be simulated and a fly that dies of natural causes used for the close up. Is that silly? Yes and no. It means that they will not be cause in a conflict of interests or in hypocrisy. Their label means what it says.

It's a balancing act that also goes on online. Is a forum, list or organisation for authors? Only for authors? Primarily for authors? What does 'for' mean? To be supportive or accept nothing less than blowing sunshine at each other. Are you allowed to be foul-mouthed about one group (say... bloggers) but not at all negative about another (say... certain publishers). Are there secret connections behind the scenes that lie in wait for the unwary, uninformed poster?

In the world of epublishing this sort of thing does seem to happen. You email an author to ask what they think of a press, only to find they own it under another name. You post something nasty about a blogger only to have one of your sister-authors 'tell on you' to her. Connections stretch across this industry and no one could possibly keep track of them all. So, then, what is a girl to do? The best I can come up with is this:

1) Be as transparent as possible at all times and if a conflict arises make a calm, informative statement in the same forum where the problem arose. Where multiple names are used, or a conflict arises where you like or do business with one party, make sure everyone involved is aware of this.
2) Try, try, try not to get emotional when some poor unsuspecting person has a negative opinion about your friend or business partner. If you immediately say what your connection to the disliked party is, and genuinely ask what their poor opinion is based on, you can probably turn this around or at least dial down the emotion.
3) In any online forum you have to own what you say. This means that when it gets back to the entity/person you are talking about, as it inevitably will, you don't give a damn because you are just as ready to say it to their face. This also means that if someone shows you had it wrong, you retract and are happy to do so.

Which is not to say I always get It right or find it easy. I didn't warn readers of the blog about Chippewa Press until a few weeks before they closed--despite the fact that I knew some authors had been left unpaid for almost a year. I found it hard to criticise a press I was writing for. I straddle a line on Torquere where a lot of little things they do bug me, but I have to stand up and say they always paid me on time and so far I have found them responsive to emails. I simply have trouble treating them as just another publisher here at EREC because to me they are (for better and worse) one of my publishers and that is a connection with implications. Oh, and I am still prone to ranting about the RWA and assuming the worst about them when it really isn't justified. Our connections, relationships and emotions inevitably get involved. We just have to try and unpick the tangles as we go.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Serve Cold--veinglory

The first few blog posts I come across today are: 1) Dear Author is looking at how Theo Black is dissing authors who are ex-clients of his web design business, and 2) Karen Scott is highlighting an author making the always-a-mistake threat of legal action over online commentary.

The take home message really is: rant online if you want to (I know I do) but do it after you cool down a little and with an eye to the effect it might have on your credibility and bottom line. And if you really, really must have some revenge my advice is to wait, and be ready to wait a good long time. If karma is on your side, fate will delivery them into your hands one day. (i.e. if I am out to get you, you so will not see it coming).

Um. Not that I am.

Out to get anyone

that is.

[innocent expression]

Friday, May 16, 2008

YouTube Strikes Again--veinglory

Not being an American I have no way why to judge how this might be widely perceived over here. The whole idea of the God Bless America tribute or whatever-it-was from the Romantic Times con falls into my 'does not compute' area. But I will admit it was less raunchy (and less, um, anything) then I might have imagined. Anyway, the recording isn't wonderful, but here it is. I think? Is this the 9/11 tribute whatsit everyone has been talking about?

Here is another version courtesy of Mrs G

p.s. Mrs Giggles blogging about Anne Somerville talking about reviewing Torquere books, with some guest snark from Josh Lanyon.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A more than usually pointless post--veinglory

I am having one of those days where I seem to be pissing everyone off, without meaning to. Also my dog chewed a hole in the wall. An actual hole in the dry wall big enough to pass a basketball through. Oh, and I offered to pay all my royalties to my next book to a charity and asked if I could just say so on the sales page in simple small type. Not use them in promo material or anything. Just put "all author royalties from this book will be donated to [charity name]" under the synopsis somewhere. Just that. No reply. So they're busy you say. Well it's been a month. I emailed three times (two different addresses) and called three times (actually made this request to three different people). No response. At all. Who thought giving money away would be so damned difficult? I guess I'll just have to do it incognito.

Thankfully I have coffee and a story about an amorous were-rat to write. that should cheer me up. Also I got a PM from a writer yesterday saying they found Liquid Silver Books through ERECsite and now have had their manuscript accepted. So it's not all bad. Apologies for the whiny self-indulgent post. I'll be back on the trail of publishers behaving badly and sales figures tomorrow. I am also unofficially scheduled to give a short talk at Authorfest 2008 (June 14th, Schaumburg IL) on "e-publishing romance: the reputation and sales volumes of small publishers." Anyone else planning on being there? Feel free to let me know what you think that talk should cover (given just half an hour part of which is presumably for discussion). Oh and as the month is starting to look depressingly fully booked I could use some guest bloggers. Anyone out there got something to say to us all. Now is the time!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Free online promo, either it sucks or I suck at it--veinglory

I am half way through May. First here is what I have done. Suggestions for more things to try very welcome. In fact desperately needed.

Now some people may Google the book. But whenever I could give a link it was to my blog, which was up 'til now pretty inactive with less than ten hits a day. This is what I have done so far:

Feature on my blog, Spottt ad, cover swap with Shelley Munro, joined entrecard, joined AuthorsDen, updated DeviantArt page, joined Red Room, promoted at the AbsoluteWrite forum in various ways, put a coverspot on the main EREC website, featured the book on my own website index page, listed at bloggitizer and, changed avatar and sig line at romance divas, posted to the homopromo yahoogroup, featured the book on my librarything page.

Here are the unique visitors to my blog in May:

1) 253, 183--This ad system is based partially on traffic exchange. So this looks good but I don't know.
2) 62
3) 33
4) (direct) 26
5) 10
6) 9
7) 7--weird, I haven't visited this site in months
9) google 11
10) 5
11) 5 (via entrecard)
12) 4 (found via entrecard)
13) 4
14) 4 (cover exchange)
15) 3 (probably my new sig line)
16) 3
17) 2
18) 2
19) 2
20) 2

...then a bunch that gave 1 click, mainly blogs I found via entrecard and some old blog directories I joined ages ago.

My conclusion so far is as that I haven't achieved much. If you reckon maybe one sale for every hundred clicks that would mean maybe 6 sales. But traffic exchange clicks generally have to be discounted so that would suggest maybe 3. We'll see at the end of the month. The goal for it to be worthwhile is 20. So I need a few good ideas here!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Still time for more votes on the first line contest! Remember the top two will win a prize.

Also, take note of the response from Siren to the post about Ocean's Mist and Essence/Naomi issue. Apparently they are way ahead of us (or at least two months ahead on this issue having found out in March that "Essence" used a fake name on her contract with them).

Monday, May 12, 2008

Diabolic, avoid--veinglory

Diabolic Publishing, seems to be owned by Ginger Norton a.k.a. Scarlet Norton an agent at Sedgeband Literary Associates a monthly fee-charging and not-terribly successful literary agency. Information courtesy of Victoria Strauss by way of the Absolute Write forums. They are not EREC listed as they seek erotica but not romance. This is posted as a general FYI.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

You never know when Poser will strike--veinglory

Charles Stross wrote 'Saturn's Children', a widely acclaimed sci fi story of an adventurous femmebot. Here is the UK cover:

An American edition is coming this July. It will look like this:

Is this a case of 'no sex please, we're British'? Or just dumbing down on the assumption that, never mind the plot, cleavage sells?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

About Advertising--veinglory

You might notice the occasional advertisement on the EREC blog and website. I would clarify that as a matter of policy EREC never earns any kind of money. Most advertisements are placed as a token compensation for people who do something to help the site. The ad spot on the blog marked by and 'E' is from an advertisement exchange service called Entrecard. I select the blogs that can advertise there but do not necessarily endorse them. I try and pick blogs that would be appropriate and if you see something that shouldn't be there (for example a scam or objectionable material) please let me know and I will cancel it. The ads that show for EREC are the ones shown, made for us by Jordan Castillo Price. Thank you, Jordan!

Friday, May 09, 2008

First Line Contest--veinglory

Hello all! So the question is, which one of these first lines would most make you want to keep reading. Please note, some of the first lines have adult/erotic content. You may vote for only one entry and the top two entries will win a $20 book voucher for an online bookstore. You may vote by comment here or by email to ERECmail at Please vote for your favorite by its number. :) I think I got all the entries but if I missed any just let me know and I will add them to the next contest.

  1. "How y'all bitches doing tonight?"
  2. Aneirin saved my life the day I met him, and saved it twice again before he finally killed me.
  3. C'mon, babe, please.
  4. “Miss Darling, at what point in our tenuous relationship did I grant you permission to call me anything but Edmund?”
  5. Mid-afternoon is usually quiet at a big cat refuge, but the lion’s roar drowned out Captain Russo’s voice on my cellphone.
  6. The apartment served not only as a trysting place, but a place of comfort and refuge."
  7. They met in a meat locker.
  8. Forever in a newborn stage, enveloped in darkness, and cushioned by a firm mattress, I dreamed of fireflies, at least my mind’s remembrance of them.
  9. The beginning of the end for Quentin-Andrew (or so it seemed at the time) came in the moment that he stepped into the shadow of Capital Mountain and was assaulted by a stranger.
  10. The day Mallory Lucius died they said the devil himself drove the carriage that took him to hell.
  11. Anyone who ever thought snow was soft and silent had never trudged through the bowels of Northern Canada in the middle of the night in mid-December with a thirty-pound pack strapped to his back and a hundred-pound thief complaining at his side.
  12. I'm upside-down and being stared at.
  13. The first time David Green saw Ariel, she was pinned against the lockers on the third floor, just outside the chemistry lab, being finger-fucked by a football player.
  14. The more you want something, the slower it is in arriving. I suppose this includes Italian trains.
  15. “What the hell are you doing?” Layna asked herself aloud and for the third time, she placed the telephone handset back in its base without pushing a single number.
  16. Steven walked slowly along the edge of the sidewalk, staring down at the occasional tufts of grass defiantly thrusting up through the dirt-filled cracks.
  17. Jared Byrne scowled at his hand-held crystal as he shifted on the flying carpet, trying to get comfortable on his way home from the University.
  18. Gerry composed Latin jazz tunes in his head every time he and Javier made love.
  19. Sunlight dapples the old temple walls, the ruins of a lost time.
  20. Christian Ryder sat in the dark, slowly stroking his fist up and down the length of his swollen cock.
  21. Holy Crap, he’s hot; the geek next door was seriously built.
  22. Craig grabbed hold of the hard cock waving in front of his face and fell back onto the sheet-covered king-sized bed, pulling Jack down on top of him.
  23. Tyris thought he would vomit.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

First line, last chance--veinglory

I have the 20 entries I was looking for, for the first line contest. As many submissions were not 100% clear on whether they were published or unpublished I will combine the two categories and award an overall winner and runner-up, both receiving a $20 book token. You can choose which online bookstore but please do me a favor and pick someone other than Amazon :). I will leave the contest open just one more day, 24 hours starting now, for those last minute entries. Send your first line, novel name and pen name to ERECmail at The first lines will be open to voting soon!

Guest blog from Jade James

When Emily Veinglory asked that I be guest on her blog, I frankly jumped at the chance. You see, I’ve been where the Ocean’s Mist Press authors are at now.

Let me begin by saying, I was approached by Noemi to write a story for her new company. I was a new author, still learning the ropes and truthfully I jumped at the chance to showcase my writings. What a horrible mistake I made. At the time of OMP’s shadiness, my husband was out of work. So every dollar, I could get from writing would be used to pay bills. It all began with Noemi making up her own ISBN numbers and listing them on her OMP website. She claimed she was cheated by the company she bought the ISBN numbers. I emailed that company directly, and they said it was impossible. (I also have that email to prove it.) In the year, I was published with OMP, I saw two payments. Then payments stopped. Unfortunately, at that time I wasn’t the only author not being paid. I have emails from authors stating this, but none of them would go public. But that wasn’t going to stop me.

I emailed Noemi numerous times, and some of my emails would go ignored. And when she felt she had time to answer them, she would email rants, change the contract payment terms on her own without notifying OMP authors.

To read more on it, visit my blog archives at

Public Communication, Based On Evidence
As I wrote on another blog, I took my fight public, because I couldn’t afford a lawyer. But one of the reasons why I chose this route, is because I already had numerous amounts of written evidence from Noemi that payment was going to be made. It never arrived. So I made it a point to visit yahoo groups/discussions/blogs and let everyone know about Noemi’s lying, cheating ways. I would post updates on my blog and even on the author group. I remember one author (who shall remained unnamed) told me that this shouldn’t be posted on the author group. I didn’t care. I didn’t give up until Noemi was forced to listen to me. (FYI: that same author emailed me asking for advice on how to handle OMP, and pulled her books a couple of months later for nonpayment).

Around June of 2006, I was mailed a money order, with no return address. Brilliant Noemi had even chosen not to fill it out. My books were taken down from her website two days later.

There were rumors also flowing abut with Silk’s Vault. But at least with Silk’s Vault Publishing, the same week I requested my books to be taken down and payment, the owner (Sarah) obliged immediately. I know other authors weren’t so lucky.

If a publisher is trying to shaft you, don’t keep it quiet! If you have the evidence, show it to the world. I did. No one can call you a liar, if the written proof is in their faces. My advice to authors who choose the public route, make sure you keep all emails and communication between publisher and yourself. And if you do choose this way, know that you would be helping a writer choose an honest company for themselves.

What has OMP taught me about choosing publishers? It is my number one rule to not submit to newbie companies. Yes, newbie companies will say that’s unfair. Well, they haven’t been in my shoes.

I now choose companies that have been in the public eye for a while, and that have proven that they are well established author friendly epublishers.

Ask the publisher questions. You have the right. Sit down and think of everything you want to ask them and submit those to them, to see what answers they come up with. It’s also important to talk to other authors within publisher’s company and see if there happy with how the publisher is treating them. View their marketing plan, google their name. Do what you can to find out anything you need to know, to make you a satisfied publisher.

And I’ll end it here. Thanks to Emily for posting this.

Jade James

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fact, Fiction and Propaganda--veinglory

I will warn you, the page I am linking to today has a little nudity and a lot of racist, anti-Semitic, violent and other objectionable content. This page shows real propaganda leaflets used during various wars. I think they also show that sex and love are naturally intertwined even here. A perspective being lost once again as the blogverse cycles around to deciding the real problem with the RT cons was (you guessed it) the evils of erotic romance destroying the genre.

The propaganda says not only 'you want sex, stop fighting and go home' (erotic) but also 'what if your romantic relationship is being destroyed by loneliness and the seduction of less virtuous men' (romance). Sex and love go together in real life, the go together in writing of all kinds. And ultimately this kind of propaganda proved ineffective because even in these extremities people know the difference between fiction and real life.

Sex and Psychological Operations by Herbert A. Friedman is well worth a look. Excerpt of one pamphlet below:

"She dreams of last night. In her thoughts she is enjoying the wonderful hours again which she has just spent with her new friend. Don't grudge her these nights. She is young and beautiful. The human body and its desires are powerful. At first she tried very hard to remain faithful but she lost this battle against herself as thousands of wives and girls back home did before her. It all started with an evening out, with going to the movies and to some bar, but soon it became real love. Only by the picture at her side she is occasionally reminded of her husband who is - for months now - somewhere in Western Europe, fighting a stubborn enemy, freezing and suffering in a muddy foxhole. But as time passes she thinks of him more and more seldom. Now she does not even turn his picture to the wall when another man is staying with her and holding her in her arms."

Monday, May 05, 2008

[click to enlarge]

Ocean's Mist Press: very alarming--veinglory

I had assumed Ocean's Mist was down for the count and the return of their website was some kind of error as the content such as 'news' announcements dated, for the most part, from 2006. However it has been brought to my attention that not only is the site still up they are listing a new, May 2008, release. The coming soon page has material with this same author "Essence" mixed with authors (some of whom probably should not be there at all).

In case it needs restating: avoid them, do not buy from them, warn others.

Edited to add:

Karen draws my attention to Author Crusader who says the new author 'Essence' is Noemi, the owner of OMP who sold books but didn't pay authors--she continues, apparently, to write for Loose Id and Siren. She adds: "Why would you know that this person has deceived people, stolen from people and have her around?" Is there an obligation to avoid publishing a writer who has been less than honest in her publishing endeavours? I genuinely don't know. I think publishing her maybe isn't a good look fir them whether it is technically okay or not, but they know the name being signed to their contract so I guess it's their call.

Edited again to add this response from Siren (see comment below)

"Hello, We want to set the record straight with regards to Essence. Essence does not write for Siren Publishing. We dropped her on March 25th once we discovered her legal name in her signed contracts is fake. Unfortunately, we do not keep track of who is who and do not always know who is hiding behind false information, but in this case we considered the contracts invalid as soon as we found out. Rest assured, we do not support misconduct in this industry where we value our authors and our readers. Sincerely, Diana DeBalko (aka Amanda Hilton), Publisher, Siren-BookStrand, Inc., "

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The real ebook money is in sci fi, um, okay--veinglory

David Rothman at teleread posts a blog entry entitled: Love tech? Enjoy SF? Hate romances? Then you’re part of a pattern—and e-publishers should pay attention. "...tellingly, in our recent TeleRead blog survey, 76 percent of the participants listed “sci fi/speculative fiction” among the genres they’d browse in a bookstore if they had an hour to kill. Thirty-three percent went for “classics/public domain.” Just 11 percent mentioned romance/erotic—the very favorites of Jane’s DearAuthor audience."

I honestly am not quite sure of the point being made. Telereaders say they like sci fi and say they buy ebooks. I can only assume they are a relatively small and unrepresentative sample of the total ebook buying market. Because there are authors out there supplying sci fi to fantasy/sci fi epublishers. Despite what the readers of this survey report I am told their sales figures make the relatively modest erotic romance sales-per-title figures look positively lavish by comparison. I wonder if I should start accepting selected data on other genres as a basis for comparison?

Romance epublishers (or at least the top 20-30 of them) are doing well focusing on that genre. And the sales figures seem to encourage them to gravitate to romance, and to more erotic types of romance. These publishers, being in this business for money, have gravitated to romance and erotic romance for a reason (as witness Samhain becoming a romance press and New Concepts going from disdaining erotic romance to pushing it quite strongly). The pattern in this case is, in my opinion, in Telereads sample not the sales figures that keep most authors fed and most publishers viable. But I would be happy to take sales figures from authors with non-romance sci fi books at presses such as Double Dragon to test this proposition.

As for the real ebook money... per title it's probably in non-fiction: self-help, money management etc. But that's another story.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Sexy Resin--veinglory

Pin up style erotica is often a wonderful example of how something can be sexy without being tawdry. Model examples include resin statues that are bought in kits just like a model plane or car, and assembled and painted by the buyer. Azimuth provides a range of very muscular girls in various poses including the bride pictured.

There are also jointed resin dolls and the question of how sexy is too sexy is found even here. Resin figures of all styles can be found from stormtroopers in bikinis, and ultra curvy gals to elfin pretty boys.

It says a lot about the mixed nature of statuary that sexy manacled fairy and a virgin mary can appear on the same page. Of course in the past erotic statues were made of porcelain, stone and precious metals and there are also modern examples including Andy Rae's intimate bronzes [adult link].

The only statuary I have is a tiny rather primitively cast bronze Pan. I like some of the yaoi style dolls and would be happy to have them by not when they cost more than an iPhone.


Amazon has a huge spot in the middle of their main page about how they are unable to keep their Kindle device in stock. They have however refused to state how many they ever had in stock, or even a ballpark figure of how many they have sold. There is a link to a 5 page letter about humans 'coevolving' with their tools. Call me cynical but this looks, to me, more like desperation than success.

Other recent Amazon talk:
Dear Author--Publishers Get Wise, Undercut Amazon prices
Technology Owl--Amazon Sues New York Over Net Sales Tax
James Chamberlin--...a letter from Jeff Bezos blathering on about their electronic book reader...

Friday, May 02, 2008

It's starting to look a lot like smoke....--veinglory

So, recently I said the way Ellora's Cave and Samhain are conducting their disputes in private and without public rancor showed their class. Ellora's Cave is starting to spread the dispute to their email list, where it inevitably escapes to the public domain. Meanwhile there are reports of the online store not functioning properly. There is, if not smoke, certainly some friction.

See also C'um Hither, more Ann Jacobs,

Thursday, May 01, 2008


I have updated the new SALES page. I have received a few questions about the Wiggly Graph. The basic idea is that I am tracking the average sales across time. The line for a press starts when I have data for at least 5 books by at least 3 different authors. It continues based on all of the data I have for books currently available for sale and reported on within the last 365 days (a 365-day running average). The reason I am doing this is to track whether sales in general and for specific presses are increasing or decreasing over time. I hope that isn't too confusing. So far other than a gradual tendency for overall sales to drift upwards I am not picking up much. But my resolution is pretty low for most presses (send lawyers, guns and data). I have incomplete data sets for Aspen Mountain, Dark Castle Lords, New Concepts and Whiskey Creek. For any others not on the graph I have no data at all. (venglory at

Cover Snark Xtreme--veinglory

In this new world of Poser zombies and stock photo model clones cover snark can get a little too easy to be considered sporting. So I would like to suggest a new category of Cover Snark Xtreme (cue the theme music). In CSX snark must be based on the potential for the cover art to contravene the new British extreme pornography law. That is:

An “extreme image” is an image of any of the following—
(a) an act which threatens or appears to threaten a person’s life,
(b) an act which results in or appears to result (or be likely to result) in
serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals,
(c) an act which involves or appears to involve sexual interference with a human corpse,
(d) a person performing or appearing to perform an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal, where (in each case) any such act, person or animal depicted in the image is or
appears to be real.

For example. One Foot in the Grave has a nice cover. But once I got past it having the same title as a BBC comedy about post-retirement ennui and frustration, the ex-biker babe in me comes out. One can be a biker and dress like a babe sequentially, but doing so simultaneously is seriously ill-advised. Combine legs clad only in stockings with stiletto heels and a large motorcycle and this lady is engaging in an act that is likely to result in her ass and associated orifices making like mozzarella with the asphalt.

Is her defense that she is just sitting on the bike (ergo the risky act is not actually happening in this picture), unlike Peter Driben's vintage pin up gravel-rash-waiting-to-happen? But I am sure some of you out there can come up with more extreme cover examples, please let me see them!

Edited to add: How about this from Mrs G. Implied (d)?