Thursday, July 31, 2008


It appears that the Erotic Romance Writers Forum along with many other forums has been hacked. Please do not visit the forum until this has been resolved as the url seems to lead to malware. --fixed.

Shadowfire Press's grand opening is tomorrow (the 1st of August):

Ezine HelixSF is apparently miffed with some authors for withdrawing their work. In response some of the authors started their own ezine.

"The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling, available for pre-order now. This book of fairy tales was written to supplement the Harry Potter series and will be published in two new editions on December 4, 2008 ... Amazon is also thrilled to offer a luxuriously packaged Collector's Edition". And for a mere $100. Can no author finish a best-selling series as planned and just walk away with their dignity more-or-less intact? Probably not, so long as the luxury edition is Amazon ranked at #7 before it even goes on sale. Oh, and Amazon is emailing every associate an affiliate link ensuring many positively-toned blog posts. (No, the link above is not an affiliate link).

Esquire magazine's e-ink cover shows the limitations of the format more than the advantages IMHO. It is, amongst other things, a huge and pointless waste of resources to produce a disposable e-ink magazine cover that can only display 2 images. Especially when its display qualities (contrast, brightness, durability) will compare unfavorably with glossy paper. What does it prove to use technology in a way that shows its inferiority for that purpose--it is just gee whiz innovation for its own sake, not the sake of improved functionality. [/rant]

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

...And Statistics--veinglory

A one page commentary in the Publishers Weekly, by Sara Nelson, begins by quoting:

"Global e-book sales at Amazon could reach $2.5 billion by the year 2012"

This is quoted as not being from Jeff Bezos (from Amazon) but an "independent analyst" with the implication, I assume, of impartiality.

So I find the original quote: "Pacific Crest analyst Steve Weinstein argues that global e-book sales at Amazon could reach $2.5 billion by the year 2012." [Washington Post]

But looking a little wider I find:

"The Amazon Kindle electronic book device ... 10-ounce device, which can hold up to 200 e-books, could hit $2.5 billion in sales by 2012, with 40,000 units moving so far this year" [Steve Weinstein, an analyst with Pacific Crest in Portland, Ore., told the San Francisco Chronicle Saturday.]

The second quote is both more specific and more believable, and completely different. 1) 2.5b sales of actual ebooks in 2012 versus 2) 2.5b sales of the rather more pricey-per-unit Kindle ebook reading devices by 2012. Did he make both predictions or only the latter and more believable one?

Apparently no one in the media is troubled by niggling questions of this type. Because rather than what Ms. Nelson calls "hyperbole" I would think the only hard data here (40,000 Kindles sold in 2008) is rather underwhelming. Bear in mind that Apple is selling at about 10,000 iPhones a day.

Monday, July 28, 2008

GUEST MONDAY: Serious Plotter--Barbra Novac

Are you a ‘plotter or a panster’?

I find that on the whole I’m a little from column A and a little from Column B.
However, in the high pressure world of full time work, and trying to fit in the demands of creative writing, I have found that sticking to the discipline of plotting can cut hours and hours off the construction of your first draft, as well as improve the quality of it.

It’s hard though. And I haven’t mastered it yet.

I find an ‘inner urge’ to resist this type of work, but that tells me that I need it more than ever. If I don’t want to do this deep, background stuff when I start, when am I going to want to do it? Probably never. So I try to hold myself to it and get the detail down.

I start with an idea, and then I move into construction of the:

1.Begining (how does the story open? How are we to feel about the protagonists at the start? What symbols do I want to use, and what physical objects can I use to ground that symbolism?)

2.Middle (What actions are the characters taking in the middle and what is happening? How can I ensure my story doesn’t sag in the middle?)

3.End (How does this story end? What twists can I apply to the dilemma for my characters so that they have to work hard right to the end to get themselves out of their mess? What symbols have lasted? How is the symbolism working into the climax?)

However, before I even write any detail about this, I do a bit of charting, so that the creative self doesn’t feel too taken over by the restrictions of ‘discipline.’ I have a large white board, and I draw a line to show the story journey. The line starts at the beginning, ends at the end and the middle is – you guessed it – in the middle. Then I add the climax moment. Then I add some of the detail that belongs to the scenes already established. Then I fill it in with some ideas and where they will fit on the stories journey.

Once I have a very full white board, I tend to write fast and furiously to bring it all together in a sort of synopsis. Write anything and everything that comes into your brain about the story.

When that’s done, read it, and then write it all out again. Do this over and over till you have a fairly coherent structure, and your getting into that deeper level of engaging with the plot.

This is just the start of this process. There is also character sketches and breaking the time line up into chapters.

But this is a pretty good start – isn’t it?

Barbra Novac lives in Australia, in a small town called Leura in the Blue Mountains about 2 horus drive out of Sydney. She writes from home in a small office, next to her partners office who also is a writer. They have two children together and spend as much time walking through the beautiful parklands of the mountains together as they can.

Barbra has just published her first novel with Loose Id and is hard at work on two more requests by the end of the year. She also has submissions sitting with an editor at one other publishing house.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Recommended Reading

Some hard truths about e-publishers -- Lynne Connolly
The sort of advice we all need to be aware of.

The "Affaire" of Unethical Conduct in our "Romantic Times" -- Lee Goldberg
It's easy to get used to how AdC and RT mag carry on, but that doesn't make it okay. I also found it instructive to see how AdC and dubious press Lightning Sword are connected.

Yahoogroup Boojum--veinglory

This is where there used to be a New Concepts Publishing yahoogroup for readers. This is where they used to link to it (see the bottom of the page). It seems a few authors, in the process of leaving either by choice or summary deletion, had a few things to say. I assume that the PTB at NCP found it easier to delete the group than address the problems (other than with the usual counter-accusations).

In the past I have noted how the ability of an e-publishers to sell books correlates closely with the number of members in their yahoogroup for readers. So the jettisoning of this yahoogroup combined with the noticeable reduction in book releases, distinct absence of releases by non-owners and appearance of short formats not previously allowed by their submission guidelines? I just wonder how long they can go on.

Edited to add: The owners seem to be keeping busy.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

NCP, still at it--veinglory

"Again, I first want to apologize for having to take a publisher grievance public. Unfortunately New Concepts Publishing isn't leaving me much of a choice. They have released another unfinished partial of mine, One Dark Knight, as part of a round robin anthology I did not authorize." [Sydney Somers, found via Karen Scott, with more info here]

Unsolicited advice: Number crunching -- Jules

I've just finished putting this month's royalty statement numbers into my spreadsheet. As predicted after last month's figures, another book has gone over 1500 copies sold. I've received almost exactly $4000 in royalties on that title since it was released in April last year. The bulk of the sales came from the publisher's own website, but the book was also released through Fictionwise and All Romance Ebooks some months after its initial release, and both sites have shifted some units.

This is why I have a day job.

On the other hand, that's rather more than the price of a round of beers. It's a lot less money than I'd get if I'd been steadily selling books to Tor over the last four years, but it's a lot more money than I'd get at some publishers. Even if you're writing in a genre that New York won't touch, do your homework before submitting to a publisher. Money isn't the only factor, of course, or I'd be putting more effort into writing something that I could sensibly submit to Tor (who I'm using as an example because I *would* like to submit something to them). But it's a really good idea to submit first to a publisher that has a sane contract and has a reasonable chance of both staying in business and making you more than beer money. There are no guarantees in this business, but there are elementary precautions you can take to reduce your risk of getting burned.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Iris has finally named the day: "July 31, 2008, when Iris Print closes its doors for good." Before deciding whether to take advantage of their liquidation sale, consider that their authors have not been paid for two quarters.

Sapphire Blue Publishing is actively soliciting multiple authors via email. Make of that what you will.

While the website looks 'business as usual' Blue Phi'er is in serious, drain circling, trouble.

Developments at Lulu are cause for serious concern for some self-publishers. "An ISBN differs from what we call "distribution". With Published By You, the author owns the ISBN as well as the intellectual property rights of the title and Lulu holds the exclusive rights to distribute the ISBN's bibliographic data ... Lulu recently established a direct relationship with that has resulted in an overlapping of bibliographic data if an author tries to submit their ISBN data to When this overlap occurs, Amazon contacts Lulu and sends an error message to the author." Allow me to translate: you can't use Lulu and Createspace for the same book.

Turning the other cheek--veinglory

I was thinking about this today, and I decided there is no one that I hate. I really mean that there is no person out there that I hate on a personal basis. There are political figures that do appalling things, but I don't know them in a way that allows what I feel towards them to be real hatred. Some people I do know bug me, but I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to them.

There are certainly some people whose written opinions either bemuse me, or I actively disagree with them--but this is a largely intellectual exercise and as people I neither know nor care about them. Equally, I rarely know and do not much are about people who disagree with what I write. I understand that many people think writing gay fiction or writing sex scenes is immoral, or wrong or just disgusting. More power to them, they can think what they like--they might somehow feel actual animosity towards me as the writer (although I really don't see how). I am not obliged to care--and I mean that literally.

As a great thinker (specifically Bernard Rollins) once said, if you cannot rephrase an objection to a certain practise in secular terms it isn't morally significant in our secular society. There is no basis for saying that erotic writing is inappropriate as a part of modern culture. Blanket objections to erotica are niche concerns, at most most edicts of a certain religion, at least a matter of personal taste.

But that is somewhat to the side of the point I am trying to make which is this. When I write a reaction to something I have read I am critiquing what I have read. I almost never know the person who wrote the work and I certainly feel no animosity towards them, not even the palest shade of dislike. And even if I did, it cannot matter a great deal. One random stranger on the internet not liking you is hardly a catastrophe. But if it helps: I don't.

When I write a researcher's conclusion that both men and women like romantic types of erotica best because of a "recent movement to romanticize highly explicit sexual material" rather than, for example a deeply ingrained congenital tendency for lust and attachment to go together. I am making that point and nothing more.

When I suggest that a writer is not in a position to say with authority that the romance genre is "has been losing readers... losing sales" due to the existence of highly erotic work on the shelves, again I mean only that. My basis for thinking the reverse it true is that romance sales are, empirically speaking, dropping no faster than sales in other genres--and erotic books outsell non-erotic books at publishers that offer both types.

And if what I say bemuses you, or you disagree with it--feel free to say so. I promise not to take it personally. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Opu Sex Po--veinglory

I have seen some bad e-publishing websites in my time but this really takes the cake. I summed up the red flags for someone over on the Absolute Wrote forums, and thought I might as well share them here also--even though this is an all genre e-publisher.

My concerns in rough order of importance:

The three named members of the board of directors lack publishing experience. E-book publishing is a highly competitive, crowded industry in which newcomers generally make out like dazed cod at an otter convention.

They say: "The average author royalty rates these days is 8% to 10%, we offer 25%." Industry standard e-book royalties are 35%-45%. If they genuinely don’t know this fundamental fact (and are not making a deliberately misleading comparison to paperback royalty rates) the amount of research they have done on e-publishing must be virtually nil.

They pay no royalties at all on the first 25 copies sold. I would predict most of their books will not sell over 25 copies in the first year.

Their website is ridiculous, extremely slow loading and based on pictures without true text and so inaccessible to the visually disabled—who are a key market for e-books due to the ability to change fonts and use ‘reader’ software to dictate the prose from a digital format. It looks like the president made the website; that does not fill me with confidence.

They charge an unspecified fee for cover art and apparently mandate the use of one provider. That is they “can arrange” for Falaj design to do the cover—the president of Opus Expo and the owner of Falaj are both called Aaron Shapland. What a coincidence.

They say you “retain the rights to your work”. Well a minimum one year e-book contract takes some “rights” by definition (copyright being only one type of right). This suggests they have a shaky hold on the whole business of publishing e-books.

They chose a domain with ‘sex’ in it, which seems questionable in this context.

Need I say more?

Ask Treva, part 2 of 2--veinglory

QUESTION: A lot of epubs ask for "out of the box" in their submissions guidelines, but I don't feel their books are so much "out of the box" as "in a slightly different box". The "give us something different" instruction feels more confusing than useful when it comes to submitting something to an erotic romance epub. I guess my question would just be to hear Treva's take on this.

Related, I read somewhere recently, a blogger commenting on how Loose Id's focus had changed. This had affected what the writer could submit to them. Could Treva maybe comment on how Loose Id has evolved in terms of what kind of stories they are publishing now vs. when they first got started?

TREVA: Publishers are so unreasonable, aren’t they? My general advice for authors who are new to us is to submit something that Loose Id readers would recognize – not necessarily a formulaic story, because we try to avoid them, but something with characters and a hook the readers would immediately understand and be tempted to buy. Then make that familiar theme better and bigger and bolder in your story. In particular, make all of it your own. That way our readers will look for more from you next time. Established authors might take a few more risks once readers know and trust them.

With that said, every once in awhile we come across something so unusual and yet so powerful, we’re willing to give it a try. I would emphasize the “every once in awhile” part of that last sentence. It’s also possible an author thinks that their idea is totally off the wall but it’s just what Loose Id is looking for. The worst that can happen if you send it to us is that we will give it thought and tell you why it would or wouldn’t work for us.

Loose Id’s focus hasn’t so much changed as sharpened. We wanted hot romance and well-written stories from the start. We still want and always will want well-written stories. We may push the edge more with m/m and ménage, but we continue to want stories focusing on believable characters and their relationships. I will say that m/f romances require more intensity before LI will accept them. Readers can buy m/f romances in many places. A Loose Id romance has to be special …but intense m/f erotic romance is a hit with our market.

QUESTION: I'm wondering what Treva is seeing coming across her desk. She sees what writers are writing, and she hears directly from readers. What really is selling well? Is paranormal romance giving way to romantic suspense, or is it stronger than ever? Are readers tired of vampires, or can they still not get enough? She has inside scoop we can't see well from out here.

TREVA: I know mainstream is pushing romantic suspense lately but so far that hasn’t done remarkably well for our readership unless it’s paired with something else the readers enjoy like I/R, m/m or BDSM – and, of course, includes hot sex. Romantic suspense with a plot that allows development of an explosively hot sexual relationship isn’t easy to come up with.

Vampires, unless they are unusual, don’t seem to do much for our readers. I think possibly contemporary is making some inroads on paranormal but what readers are mostly looking for right now are larger-than-life characters with larger-than-life erotic romance. Even if they are in the “ordinary” contemporary world, the characters aren’t ordinary, nor is the love and sex.

Treva Harte: Editor Bio
Treva Harte became co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Loose Id in 2004. She holds a English Literature from University of Arizona (high honors), a M.A. in English Literature from University of Virginia and a J.D. from University of Virginia. She is a member of the Virginia and D.C. bars. From 1988 until 2008 she specialized in intellectual property law as a Trademark Examining Attorney for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Treva is multi-published with several e-publishers in print and e-book format, a member of RWA and PAN, and winner of the CAPA 2003 award in the "Erotic Fantasy Romance" category.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ask Treva, Part 1 of 2--veinglory

This is a first of what I hope will be a recurring feature on the EREC blog. "Ask Treva" is your chance to direct questions about the epublishing industry to someone with a broader perspective as author, editor and epublisher owner. If you have any question please email them to me at veinglory at

QUESTION: I have a set of characters and storylines that I could either write as three shortish (maybe 20-30k) each stories, or as a single long story with three parts to the plot (occurring linearly in time, rather than being able to be interwoven). In your experience, which would be likely to be better received by both an acquiring editor and the e-book reading public?

TREVA: The correct answer is whatever works best for your story. If it’s meant to fit together closely, it should be a 60-90k story. But not being able to be interwoven sounds like an argument for a three shortish story arrangement. Here are the cons on that -- The hard part of writing three shorter novels is trusting your readers will stick with you if, for example, they don’t like something in Book 1 that will be explained in Book 3. In addition, if a book is too short to sufficiently develop the character and plot, readers can feel cheated. And, if they’re meant to be read together, you best have all three stories written quickly. There’s nothing worse than leaving a reader wondering “what next?” for a year or two. In fact, each story should be self-contained, not with a cliffhanger ending. Finally, if you’re a new author and a publisher doesn’t know if you’ll finish the series, the publisher will be wary about accepting the first story. It would be best if all three stories are done or close to done before you submit.

QUESTION: Is there a deal in the works to unite Loose-Id with a major print publisher like Samhain and Elloras Cave have already done? What percentage of sales is derived from sales outside of the U.S. as opposed to domestic sales? Are people in Europe and Asia purchasing from Loose-Id? What is in the future of Loose-Id, conventions, promotions, anthologies, deals with amazon and kindle etc? What is the most successful title or series that Loose-Id has ever published?

TREVA: At the present time, we see no advantages to farming our authors' intellectual capital out to another company. We're doing well with our own paper publishing program.

Loose Id doesn’t share competitive sales data with the general public as it would violate the confidentiality of our contract with the author. However, we many of our customers are from non-U.S. countries. You can also probably get some idea of our best sellers from reader buzz.

As for the future, we have exciting plans to continue our expansion into virtual reality worlds like Second Life, where we've maintained a virtual kiosk since 2006. In general, we solicit authors for selected anthologies that tie into specific promotions based on larger marketing efforts. We attend many conventions, primarily the national RWA conference, Romantic Times, EPICon, and smaller regional conferences.

Treva Harte: Editor Bio
Treva Harte became co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Loose Id in 2004. She holds a English Literature from University of Arizona (high honors), a M.A. in English Literature from University of Virginia and a J.D. from University of Virginia. She is a member of the Virginia and D.C. bars. From 1988 until 2008 she specialized in intellectual property law as a Trademark Examining Attorney for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Treva is multi-published with several e-publishers in print and e-book format, a member of RWA and PAN, and winner of the CAPA 2003 award in the "Erotic Fantasy Romance" category.

Monday, July 21, 2008

GUEST MONDAY: Romance with a Twist by Amelia June

Hi all, my name's Amelia June and I'm an erotica writer. I'm happy to be guest blogging at EREC today! I want to talk a little bit about romance with a twist.

Seems like everyone is looking for that new angle these days, the new way to write the same old love story. Not that there's anything wrong with the same old love story--love is a timeless thing, kind of like taxes and death. We can be sure to find it and lose it in our lifetime, one way or another.

When I set out to write a story, I don't intend to add the "twist" or the "new take," but sometimes such a thing appears. I don't plan it, the muse commands and I respond. This time around, it was in my newest release, A Pirate's Legacy.

Legacy is about two women, but not two women in love. They are connected, somehow, across time. One is a somewhat meek and shy archaeology professor, who likes men but hasn't really found one who likes her back. The other is a cutthroat pirate captain in disguise as a man--clearly, she has a hard time in the romance department. I mean, first you have to be able to trust a man won't kill you for your gender, right?

How do I go about writing a love story about these two women? I had to do it differently. Rebekah, the pirate, falls for her first mate. She's no wilting violet in the days of wilting violet heroines, she's a bad ass and she stands up for herself and unlike most men of the era, her first mate James finds her dead sexy for it. She's your classic woman-on-top, all business and all in charge, but this guy James loves her enough for her to take down her guard now and then. They're quite sweet, if non-traditional for the 1700s.

Sinclaire, my professor? She's got it bad for the sexy, smooth Cole. But right from the beginning he turns out to be more than he appears. Her man trouble is only compounded by Adrian, hot island guy who is weirdly rude to her. Up to her neck in men acting weird, not to mention dreams of a dangerous pirate, Sinclaire has to hold her own and decide what her path is regardless of the influences around her.

Traditional romance novels follow certain rules, and this one follows pretty much none of them. But somehow, my heroines find the right and fitting end to their tales. One of them even finds her HEA in the arms of just the right guy, but only on her own terms. I guess I'm just not meant to write the old-school love story, but I think this one ends with a satistfying "awww" just like a traditional tale should.

I've written stories where the hero died, and yet love still prevailed. I've written tales where my heroine found herself with two guys for the price of one--and multiple pains in the butt as well. When I read a love story, I want to feel the "awww" as much as the next person, but I think the time has come to open up to different ways of experiencing that same feeling. There are many ways to write a love story, and all stories are worth telling.

Tell me what your favorite non-traditional romance story is! I'd love to read anything off the beaten path.

You can get your own copy of A Pirate's Legacy at Visit my website for excerpts, links and more at

Thank you Emily and the EREC crew for this opportunity to go on and on with no real point! You guys rock!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Aunty has a "Bright" Idea--veinglory

Imagine if you needed a separate ISBN for every format your ebook was offered in. You may not need to imagine it for very long if the PA/BA Liaison Group get their way.

And who, you may ask, is the BA/PA Liaison Group. Well they: work to identify and initiate action on some of the challenges facing the book trade for the benefit of all in the industry.

They are specifically a group within the British Publishers Association whose membership is drawn from Random House, Penguin, Lttle Brown, Macmillan, Faber & Faber, HarperCollins and Scholastic.

PA proudly and repeatedly claim to "[r]epresent the large majority of UK publishing by turnover..." "By turnover" perhaps meaning, mostly the big boys who don't e-publish as their core business and so don't care much about the cost of a separate ISBN for different digital formats?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A sign that Borders doesn't really "get" online bookselling--veinglory

The got plastic transfers on their shop doors advertising their new, non-Amazon website at least 4 days before they emailed online members with the same information.


I think Meetup is a rather useful website. It is fee charging but it made it very easy for me to start up a writers group and get members straight away. So if you are starved for the company of other writers and there are no exiting writers groups nearby, you might like to give it a go.

But I was rather surprised to see a Meetup for writers, where the people who join are charged fees: "Session one: $25; Sessions 2 and 3: $35 For under $100 you will receive a concentrated dose inito the world of book writing." Oh and they have on of those contests where you win "free" publishing for your book--you know how much I like those.

So who is it run by? Ernie and Mary Carwile who, no matter how slickly, are published because they published themselves. I wonder if the membership will remain at 1, and if they get members will those people be happy with what they end up getting a concentrated dose of. (Update, last time I checked they have 4 members).

[Gleened from this thread at Absolute Write]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sinful Moments

It appears that the erotic romance imprint of Lachesis, Sinful Moments, is still a live idea. But I would suggest checking out this thread at Absolute Write for background on the parent company.

Monday, July 14, 2008


There have been on-again off-again rumors about drastic cut backs at Borders for some time now. The suggestions leak out, get "corrected", and reappear again. It isn't the only issue on which Borders prevaricates. I mean they refused to carry the issue of Free Inquiry that carried the Mohammad cartoons, but do carry an issue of Harpers with the same content. They announced over a year ago that they would be replacing their Amazon-powered website and starting their own--and then went very quiet on that issue and the site languished in beta version. Then recently the website popped out of beta with very little warning or ceremony.

Meanwhile rumors of large scale selling off of their brick and mortar stores are only becoming stronger and more credible. On the back of the ongoing selling off of international stories (franchised under the same brand but no longer part of the company), the rather unheralded, low key roll out of the website (with second hand books available through an Alibris-powered marketplace) does feel, to me at least, like a precursor to retrenchment of the US stores or at least a major re-shuffle. I suppose only time will tell.

My somewhat negative attitude to the chain may, of course, also related to my erotic romance being shelved in the psychology section and my high fantasy under gay fiction. To me love and/or dragons are the most salient features of the stories, not sex scenes and/or the hero being gay.

[Breaking news] Blackfooted ferrets in peril

Sunday, July 13, 2008

GUEST MONDAY: “The Brotherhood Secret” by Mima

The ah-ha moment for me came when I read an interview of Christine Feehan’s. She was asked why she felt her Carpathian series was so successful, and what she said has informed every book I’ve written to date. I consider it my secret ingredient to success, and in the spirit of Romance Divas, the forum of generous authors who have helped me enormously, I’m going to share it.

She said it wasn’t about the romance. It was about the community. (This is all me paraphrasing because I have no link or citation for this interview.) She said the books were popular because of the men as a group. It was the band of brothers, the subtext of ho-yay, the romance of wounded men who have nothing but each other. Queue Cheers theme song. Note how she has used the same technique in both of her newer series, the Drake Sisters and the Ghostwalkers. If I had to point to major ebook authors who have used this technique successfully I would list Lora Leigh, Shiloh Walker, and Sherri L. King.

In my first series, the Bonded fantasies, I specifically set out to use this technique. I used my knowledge of Norse history (I’m a lifelong student and practitioner of the runes) to create an honorable, isolated male community. I’ve had readers write me not to talk about the romance, but to tell me that they have fallen in love with the world of shape shifter Clans. If only, they say, the world still functioned on the importance of individual and collective honor. They want to live there. In my Singer stories, I created a trio of men, and their friendship is the core of their conflict and growth. In my Server series, the semi-parasitic alien warriors defending the universe work in four man teams. Even in my newest short story “Earning her Stripes,” the feline shifter contemporary has a closed secret community that is a major subplot.

At this point, I can’t imagine writing a one man-one woman romance. It isn’t about enriching the world building with realistic supporting characters, it’s about layering the romance of humanity at it’s best into the story. Who doesn’t wish they had a place where they belonged utterly, with people who knew them and accepted them? You wanna be where everybody knows your name, and where they’ve got your back.

Mima is a children’s librarian in western NY. First published last year at age 37, she crash landed with eight contracts at three publishers. She remains in a full body cast from the shock of it, which thankfully doesn’t affect her brain’s erotic musings. []

Larissa Ione article--veinglory

It is easy to forget that the general public didn't think that much about the erotic romance genre. When they do come across it the responses certainly fall out a lot of different ways. The journalist writing this story for a local paper clearly took a matter of fact approach.

"Inside Larissa Ione’s head lurk demons, werewolves and people with supernatural and unnatural powers. Also inside? Sex. Lots and lots of sex."

But here are some outakes from the comments:

My children will NEVER be allowed to read TDN again!

Are you going to let them leave the house, watch television or do you monitor them 24/7

I'm just wondering why this was the front page article.

A welcome break from the stories about panty thieves, Meth-heads, and parents who kill their children.

Oh My Gosh. This is disgusting. Have we no better news to put on the front page of the paper.

[full article here]

Saturday, July 12, 2008

EREC logo?--veinglory

I am about to commission an official logo for EREC and am a little fuzzy on what to ask for. Any suggestions out there for a good logo design that would suit the site, look nice on a T-shirt, and stand out from the usual array of lipstick lips and slinky silhouettes? Any ideas for a design brief appreciated!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Facebook does not allow profiles for pen names of promotion of books through profiles--although you can use Facebook pages for this purpose. Offending profiles are being deleted.

You can now file for a US copyright online for a reduced price of $35.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ask Treva....--veinglory

Do you have questions about e-publishing, questions that only an editor could answer? Do you have questions you might not want to ask an editor directly? Well then we have just the opportunity you have been looking for!

For our new feature 'Ask Treva' writer and editor Treva Harte has agreed to answer any burning questions you might have about the art, and business, of e-publishing--and she need never know it was you who asked them. Just send your questions to me at veinglory[at] and I will forward them on to our gracious guest columnist for her responses. This might become a regular feature if you guys have the questions and Treva is willing to keep supplying her responses.

Treva Harte: Editor Bio
Treva Harte became co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Loose Id in 2004. She holds a English Literature from University of Arizona (high honors), a M.A. in English Literature from University of Virginia and a J.D. from University of Virginia. She is a member of the Virginia and D.C. bars. From 1988 until 2008 she specialized in intellectual property law as a Trademark Examining Attorney for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Treva is multi-published with several e-publishers in print and e-book format, a member of RWA and PAN, and winner of the CAPA 2003 award in the "Erotic Fantasy Romance" category.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Guest Monday--veinglory [permission to forward]

Erotic Romance Epublisher Comparison Guest Blogging (Guest Mondays) is open to receiving guest blog posts on any topic of potential interest to our readership. ERECsite is focused on providing information to writers of erotic romance e-books--however any topics relating to erotica, romance, e-book, all books, reading and the publishing industry in general may be of interest. Here is what a guest blogger needs to do.

1) If you are not familiar with the ERECsite blog have a quick look around.
2) Write a post aimed at our readers.
3) Attach a one paragraph bio, links and picture (for example cover art).
4) Send the post, bio and picture to me at veinglory[at] in an email or attached plain text document.

Your post will be scheduled for the next available Monday, or an open Monday of your choice (see right column for open dates). Suggested post topics include but are not limited to: tips for writers, anecdotes about your writing life, editorial or commentary, any opinion pieces, industry news and trends. Posts should be topical but may be previously or simultaneous published. We do not ask for any rights other than to display the post on the ERECsite blog.

News Tips
I am always interested in hearing about news and developments relating to erotica, romance, epublishing and related topics. For example new presses, presses closing, publishers behaving badly, calls for submissions, charitable initiatives, awards won, significant changes at any listed publisher such as new imprints etc. Reports are assumed to be anonymous and confidential unless you provide a verbatim report and attach a byline for me to use in attributing the report.

What's In It For You?
ERECsite blog receives about 150-300 unique visitors per day--exactly how useful this is as promotion I really don't know. If you take part and record hits to your links please let me know how that goes. Regular contributors will also be given 125x125 advertising spots on the website.

MARKET: Thaneros

This seems to be an online magazine and also developing ebook novellas in the area of darker types of erotica. Payment is on the low side but the concept and presentation seem promising, although the publisher itself seems if rather limited in size/scope. Something to keep an eye on, anyway.

Monday, July 07, 2008

GUEST MONDAY: Dealing with Writer’s Block -- Nina Pierce

If you write more than one book … it’s inevitable. That feeling that the words have failed you and you can’t write another sentence worth printing. The cursor blinks tauntingly on the blank page, daring you to fill the emptiness. All your wonderful prose and pithy dialogue have gone out the proverbial window and now you’re a has-been before you’ve even had a chance to enjoy the success of your first sale.

Not to worry. You’re not alone.

Writer’s block happens to many writers. The first solid advice I can give you is not to panic. Though you may not believe it to be possible, it will pass. There are several tricks of the trade that may help you through this time.

If you are not under a deadline ...

~ Walk away. Do something relaxing. I have found often times when I am stuck it has to do with a problem I haven’t yet resolved in the plot. By giving myself permission to take a day off I take the stress and worry away. While I’m working on another activity I find relaxing like gardening or scrapbook-ing, my mind wonders and I stumble upon a solution to a problem I didn’t conscientiously know existed.

~ Work on something else. If you have other stories you have thought about starting or are currently working on, try picking up something new and working on that story.

~ Try some free writing. I often write short snippets of stories called “flashes”. These are 100 word stories of varying subjects. Creative writing inspired by a picture. Since they require no plot and are simply disjointed scenes it often is enough to release my creativity and I find I can go back to my book with a fresh eye.

~ Character sketches. If you haven’t done it already (some people do these before writing a story) sit down and do a detailed description of your character. Who they are, what they want, hurts in their lives that have brought them to this point. If you’ve already done character sketches try writing a diary entry. Sometimes thinking in the first person gives you enough insight to help you through this difficult piece of writing.

If you are writing with a deadline …

~ Skip a scene or two or simply go to the next chapter. Start at the next point in your story where you know what is happening. Often this will trigger the missing scene(s) and you can go back and fill in the blanks.

~ Write just the dialogue. What are your characters saying to each other? Write the dialogue and go back and fill in the actions and prose to make the scene complete.

~ Write the end of the book. Some writers write completely out of order. The first three chapters then the last three chapters, then a couple more at the beginning and a couple at the end. Writing out of order may help you through the difficulty of a complicated scene.

~ Switch point of view. Perhaps the character you want to experience the scene isn’t the one with the most at stake or the most information to share with the reader. Try writing from someone else’s perspective.

These are only a few of the tools I have found that work for me. I hope you never experience writer’s block, but if you do. Stay calm and know that soon those words will once again be flowing.


Nina Pierce began writing when her health forced her retirement from a twenty-year teaching career. As someone who always loved hot stories and happy endings, she sat down to write her first romance in 2005. Her part-time love of words blossomed into a full-time writing career, and she hasn't looked back. Now her characters wake her in the night, clamoring to have their stories told.

A native of Maine, Nina resides in what she affectionately calls “the great white North” with her true love of twenty-four years, their three grown children and a menagerie of pets.


Sunday, July 06, 2008

New Press: Wicked Women of Color--veinglory


"An invite-only publisher of Interracial and Multicultural Erotica and Romance."

"...from June 15th 2008 to August 15th 2008, we will be accepting queries from unsolicited authors."

Both of the owners are also the only authors published so far. It is not clear what the terms of publication would be. Appears to be ebook only. Sales are via

Friday, July 04, 2008

Writing Schedules--pepper

I know it's a holiday weekend for a lot of y'all (I myself have big plans of watching 1776 and playing Guitar Hero), and so I should probably wait if I want a response, but this is on my mind right now, so here we are.

Every once in awhile, a debate about quality vs quantity flares up on the blogs, with the implication being that people who are very prolific are not very good. This is both true and false, as is any generality you can ever apply to the human race (excepting this one. This generality is completely accurate). People who write too many books per year at the behest of a publisher, or because they're frightened of not making enough money (especially ebook writers) might see a decline in their quality. Alternately, people who write that much because they're inspired by ideas or because it's a comfortable pace might keep the same high quality from book to book. Or there could be about a dozen other possibilities. I don't know.

I do know that I am very prolific with my partner, Vivien, and less prolific on my own (though there are various reasons for that). I know how it might look to have several releases in a single month, let alone a single year. But then I got to thinking about something crucial that I don't see get mentioned often. Writers who want to write as career treat their writing as a career. Being professional doesn't just mean behaving on blogs, being classy at conventions, and not getting into big, public fights with your publishers. There are a hundred little things that go into the definition of professional.

For example, I believe that professionals should work full-time. That's 35-40 hours per week. While I was in grad school, I kept up that schedule, though it wasn't easy. Now that I'm out of school, it's much easier to write eight hours a day and not feel like it's taking up my whole life, and I do other jobs here and there to keep a steady paycheck. My point is though, if somebody works on their craft a minimum of 40 hours per week, should people expect an author to be prolific? Is it a sin or a crime to get a great deal of work done at your "day job"? I honestly don't believe people who warn against sacrificing quality for quantity take that opinion to their day job. Can you imagine conversations with their boss if that were the case? Yes, ma'am, I know this had a deadline, but I felt it was more important focus on quality instead of working hard and meeting your standards of high quality and timeliness.

Stephen King writes at least six hours a day, every day. Every day. He takes his birthday off, and as he said Writers write. That's all it is. It is as simple, and as complex, as that. I was reading a book about freelance writing, and the author indicated he wrote every day except he took one day off per quarter. Ray Bradbury said Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed. I've seen James D. MacDonald say on Absolute Write over and over as soon as you finish your novel, start writing a new, better novel.

Now I'm not saying one must be prolific to be a professional writer. I'm not saying one must write full time to be a professional writer. But I am saying it shouldn't come as a surprise when professional writers write and publish a lot of material from short stories to novels. Some are lucky enough (or stupid enough like me) to write (and do writing related duties) 160-200 hours every month. One way or another, that's going to have a profound effect on the amount of material and the quality of the material.

Wales Book of the Year Cock Up--veinglory

I cannot imagine how horrible it must have been for Tom Bullough to be announced as winner of Wales Book of the Year, only to be told it was a mistake and sent back to his seat. Not only is the honor snatched away but also the ten thousand dollar prize that means a lot to a hard working writer.

On his blog the author writes: "I should say, to win the Wales Book Of the Year prize for ‘The Claude Glass’ was my absolute dream. No other prize could possibly have meant so much. It is a book exploding with love for Wales, the only pure result of ten years living in damp, remote, amenity-free cottages on an annual income sometimes as little as £4000, and I was so honoured to be included on the shortlist I was pretty much in tears. So, after a build-up of an hour and the announcement of Gareth Miles as the winner in the Welsh language category, you can imagine what it was like to be announced the winner in the English language category. Hundreds of people applauded. TV cameras zoomed in. I hugged Charlie, got to my feet and went to the stage… Only for the announcer to announce that he had made a mistake and that Dannie Abse had won instead."

You can read more about Mr. Bullough's novel, The Claude Glass, here. Hopefully the interest raised by the media coverage of the humiliating cock-up might help sell a few more copies of the book, although I doubt it will be ten, thousand pounds worth....

First line finalist--veinglory

My first line came from a piece of erotica I wrote for Phaze, published under their Heat Sheet Snuggler line in 12/06. It's called "The Ice Butterfly" and more information can be found on my website (though I like the excerpt on Fictionwise better; I should probably get around to changing that, lol):

Contrary to what it says on the Phaze website, it's *not* romance. There's no HEA. It's a 10k mini-adventure with erotic interludes, so I always just think of it as erotica. As for the first line...I knew I was working with a shorter word count and I wanted to create a visceral response from the get go. The main character is Tomas Dalmau, a sentinel who polices the paranormal world, and his mood at the start of the story is very on edge. I wanted the reader on edge, too. That slight sense of annoyance and weariness that his circumstances would evoke. He also has a very definitive worldview, and I wanted to try and hint at that.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Found Words--veinglory

"Do any of you even understand a fraction of how this business works?" [Aquaria]
"I’ve got a pretty good handle on it, thanks." [Nora Roberts]

"Even if you're happy to be in it just for the dream — money is a way of keeping score." [Jules Jones]

"Lemme be frank, Tease is NOT an e publisher. They are a Small press pub with an e book option..." [Stella]

"...I, too, am a [person of color]--it's just that God chose to curse me with pastels." [Celina]

" sheets are conventions, not commandments. They do not so much define orthodoxy as defend against heresy." [Bruce O. Boston]

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

In brief...--veinglory

It looks like infamous "agent", Barbara Bauer, finally bit off more than she could sue.

see also:
Judge throws out literary agent's lawsuit against Wikimedia
When Agents Strike Back!
Dumb is Forever

And don't forget:
The Abacus Group Literary Agency
Allred and Allred Literary Agents
Barbara Bauer Literary Agency
Benedict & Associates
Sherwood Broome, Inc.
Capital Literary Agency
Desert Rose Literary Agency
Arthur Fleming Associates
Finesse Literary Agency
Brock Gannon Literary Agency
Harris Literary Agency
Martin-McLean Literary Associates
Mocknick Productions Literary Agency, Inc.
B.K. Nelson, Inc.
The Robins Agency
Michele Glance Rooney Literary Agency
Southeast Literary Agency
Mark Sullivan Associates
West Coast Literary Associates
Writers' Literary Agency & Marketing Company

Behind the First Line--veinglory

You may rememeber the winner of our first line contest: 1st Place: "Aneirin saved my life the day I met him, and saved it twice again before he finally killed me." [All that Glitters -- Aislinn Kerry]

From the author: My opening for All that Glitters actually came about because of another first line contest. Last **summer**, Samhain Publishing held a "Best First Line" contest, and a friend of mine was pressuring me to enter. I was standing in my kitchen one morning, contemplating the overwhelming dullness of all my opening lines (All that Glitters's was particularly terrible), and feeling slightly relieved that that fact excused me from going to the trouble of polishing something up and entering it into the contest. From out of nowhere, I heard Kynan's voice in the back of my head, giving me that sentence -- and sounding particularly smug about it, too. he had every right to be -- that first line played a huge role in getting All that Glitters accepted and published.

You can learn more about the book and read an excerpt at my site,

Meanwhile at NCP--veinglory

"Our office has sustained damage from a severe thunderstorm and our phone and email is temporarily out of service. All emails will be answered as soon as our service has been restored." [NCP]

It could easily be true; it is also a bingo square if you are playing along at home.