Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Harlequin Teen Panel

I certainly read romance as a teen. Not a great deal as it happens, but it was readily available. So it is strange that I baulked a little at the idea of Harlequin starting a line specifically for teens.

It seems that even in my own mind there are some tangled strands between the idea of reality versus fiction, love and sex, genre and moral virtue. Certainly reading is good, and romance is as appropriate as any other genre (if not more so).

I just hope they get a panel of kids that is more or less representative--to help move this venerable publishers into the current millennium (Not every damn thing for girls has to be pink, for a start).

A few years ago I might have had more trouble imagining a line of Harlequin books I could give to teen relatives for Xmas. But since their expansion into manga and non-fiction I suppose anything is possible. (But I do wonder why the manga line is not featured on the eHarlequin website?)


"Harlequin will be launching a new line of Teen fiction books in the future. These books will be different from the books that Harlequin publishes for women today.

In addition to our new line of books, Harlequin has also just launched a Teen Research Panel for young readers ages 13 to17 who are U.S residents."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mrs Giggles puts EREC on the Map--veinglory

See the original post here.

Just the right place in MHO as Kiwi :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bulletin: Cacoethes, smoke?

The Cacoethes Publishing guestbook makes for some interesting reading (newest posts are first, I suggest reading from the last page back to the first).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bulletin: NCP are "Trekking"--veinglory

The Pickled Cupid blog notes that New Concepts has an upcoming print release call Star Trekking. Perhaps not a great tactical choice if it might be seen as infringing on a zealously guarded brand?

Another True Story that Isn't (a.k.a. a worm in the apple) --veinglory

It seems that Oprah's penchant for heart wrenching true stories has left her, once again, endorsing a story that isn't is a novel dressed up as a memoir. Angel at the Fence: The True Story of a Love That Survived goes that extra insult by drawing on the tragedy of the Holocaust to add pathos to the tale.

It seems to me that if Oprah and publisher's like Penguin (and uindeed the agency of Andrea Hurst & Associates) want to benefit from the popularity of amazing true stories they could both afford to hire fact checkers and investigators before putting the word "true" right in the book's title. It seems the story falls at the first hurdle in that prisoners and locals could not meet at the fence of the camp where the future couple allegedly met. Oprah and Penguin have both made this same mitake repeatedly and surely should have learned from it by now?

I feel sad that on older person who no doubt had a true story worth telling let an embellished version escape the circle of his immediate family (where granddad came ebroider his tales to his heart's content). But as with Cassie Edward's plagiarism, deliberiberately false memoirs cannot be excused out of sympathy.

Friday, December 26, 2008

One more year and average ebook sales figures continue to gradually improve. Based on the current data set:

Average sales in the first month: 228 copies (up 53 copies from last year)

Average sales in the first year: 395 copies (up 79 copies from last year)

Average sales for all books out one year or more: 703 copies (up 182 copies from last year)

Remember to update your data! All data that has not be updated within the last year will be removed from the data set.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Erotic/Romance Clips and Links--veinglory

'App Store, Apple rejected the book [Knife Music] for containing "objectionable content," citing a clause in the iPhone SDK that states: "Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind ... In its rejection letter, Apple singled out the passage in question, which we actually can't print either. Let's just say it involves a teenage girl telling a detective that she overheard her friend asking a gentleman caller to "love me like you mean it," just with a slightly more emphatic verb.' [CNET] Apple App Store, not erotic romance friendly?

'Girls, I know you've searched long and hard to find a site with naked straight men, but you can relax. This site features free pics of naked men, all chosen because they're NOT GAY. You won't get any ****-**** shots here. Just 100% straight men, getting nude for your pleasure. REAL erotica for women!' [Naked Straight Men, Not Work Safe] Insert raised-eyebrow smiley here.

'Nicole FáLon Garrett's successes always seem to come with a small twist, as if fate just needed to tweak her plan. The 39-year-old author and UI graduate recently donated 10 copies of her début urban-romance novel, Double Dippin', to the UI Libraries, including a personally autographed copy for President Sally Mason.' [The Daily Iowan] Call me cynical, but by the end of this first paragraph I knew the book was self-published.

NEW MARKET: Absolute XPress

Absolute XPress: "a publisher dedicated to E-Books and Short Run Printing in the Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Romance and Mystery genre." An imprint of Hades Publications along with three other imprints. They seem to have a respectable record as a Canadian small press focusing on speculative fiction.

Absolute X-Press opened last August and seems to be an imprint for their POD/ebook releases, but also to have a much stronger erotic/romance focus. Not currently open to submissions, but reported to be planning to accept submissions from Jan 1, 2009. So, one for the PLIST, perhaps?

Friday, December 19, 2008

New Publisher: Trimaxx

Well, they seem to be at least a couple of years old. And although erotica, romance and ebooks are all part of the package I honestly don't know if they are an erotic romance epublisher per se. They aren't open to submissions anyway so it may be moot. But if you have a free moment please pop over and check out Trimaxx, and let me know if you think they should be on the PLIST.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mills and Boon--veinglory

It was recently announced that Mills and Boon is initiating a new campaign to lure younger readers. They have emplyed a company called St. Luke's for this purpose ("In short, no one understands community like us.")

Quite coincidentally at least one user appeared on several forums yesterday to share how much they love Mills and Boon, in a link-to-M&B-in-every-post, three-posts-per-forum, sort of way, (like here, here and here).

I hope they are paying St Luke's well for their stunning understanding of generation X and Y and how to woo them. (Disingenuous spam, everyone under 40 adores it, right?).

The countdown to the 'over-enthusiatic intern' excuse begins now.

Edited to Add: Another example, also from the same day and fitting the same pattern: 4

He Said, She Said...and You Said--veinglory

In the comments on this post TeddyPig said: "Hell, I would gladly publish these type of lists from each ePub and the covers and sales links to each book just to be able to show in as unbiased a way as possible how well the ePubs are doing and who the top sellers of the year were."

And Angela James replied: "Challenge accepted. At the end of the year, Samhain will release the top ten list of sellers at My Bookstore and More, and maybe a few other top ten lists if we can pull them together in the time list."

And no doubt realising that purchasing a book is only part of the story there will also be a listing of which Samhain books reader's most enjoyed. So if you have a Samhain book you particularly enjoyed this year please fill out the survey here. (You can also vote for cover art and share any other opinion you might have).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Can MM Fiction be Mainstreamed--veinglory

I seem to have some kind of glitch that stops me from commenting at Dear Author so I will post my answer here.

My answer to the lack of mainstream MM is: Marion Zimmer Bradley (Ballantine), Laura Argiri (Penguin), Ellen Kushner (Unwin), Elizabeth Knox (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Fiona Patton (Daw), Diane Duane (Corgi), Lynn Flewelling (Bantam), Stephanie Johnson (Random House), Tanya Huff (Daw), Mercedes Lackey (Roc), Elizabeth Lynn (Berkeley) etc etc etc

Romance is the exception in excluding this theme but even then it leads to reshelving rather than extinction. M/M is mainstream in literary, contemporary, fantasy, sci fi, horror and erotica and many of the books shelved in these areas (or under 'gay interest') are romances.

A publisher specialising in mainstream MM romance would be mildly interesting but not IMHO revolutionary. A` large publisher dabbling in it with a romance slant doesn't even strike me as novel....

I would also note that any Borders store I have been in has had at least a dozen lesbian romance novels available on shelf.

p.s. what ever happened to Romentics?

Bulletin: Red Rose andMore About Smoke--veinglory

Since placing Red Rose in the smoke category I have received several informative emails which have led me to remove this designation as of the website update later tonight.

I have also received one email suggesting malicious motives for the use of the smoke category. Please allow me to clarify. The smoke category is used based on 5 or more complaints of a non-specific nature and removed if these are not substantiated or there are 10 or more contrary reports.

If an unacceptable practice is confirmed then the 'fire' category is applied and the press becomes 'not recommended'. Thus 'smoke' is an alert, not a condemnation, although I appreciate that it is alarming for those associated with a press who know that it functions well and admirably and does not deserve to have a shadow cast over it.

I feel the smoke category is useful and worth retaining as an alert to help clarify a situation that is weaker than a 'not recommended' status but stronger than direct report of specific anecdotes. In all prior cases 'smoke' presses have either retained this status or progressed to 'fire' or 'dead market'--so it does act predominantly as an early warning system but cannot be always interpreted in this way.

I would like to thank the Red Rose staff and authors that chose to respond constructively and provide information to this site that allowed a correction to be made.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

GUEST POST: Taking Ourselves Seriously, or, I Got the EPPIE Blues--Mima

And now there is one more dichotomy of “love my epub world but am actually still trying to be part of the print world too.” Let’s talk about the EPPIES. I looked at the EPPIES last year. I heard from people the winning entries weren’t that great. I heard from various places the EPPIES weren’t that respected. And yet, this is our award. A commonly made analogy is that this is the Oscar of the epub world. This year I entered two books in the EPPIES. With one of those books, In Service, I finaled in the erotic scifi category.

Naturally, I feel my book is excellent and am proud it finaled. Curious to see if the dismissive opinions were warranted, I bought several of my fellow EPPIE finalists books and read them. Most were wonderful. A few were just ok. I am sorry to say this, but when I looked at the Quasar Cover Award nominees to place my vote as an EPIC member, I was ashamed. With a few exceptions, the covers I saw there in NO WAY represented the best of epub’s graphical world. In a few categories, I declined to vote.

Let’s imagine that in Hollywood, directors who thought they made a good movie could nominate their movie for an Oscar, for a fee. Then, when the final nominations were announced, no one cared, because they knew the choices weren’t from the pool of the best reviewed or most popular. And the producers and movie houses who funded them never even advertised them. Sound fun? Sound effective? Sound like an industry that has organization and pride?

But that is what the state of the epub awards is in right now. Self-selecting authors pay to enter their works. The finalists come out, and just one of my publishers bothered to make a congratulations statement (on their yahoo group, mind you, not their webpage). Yippee. Imagine if you will the money making machine that is the Oscars—the advertising, the re-releases, the featured lists, the specials. Imagine what it would mean to authors if they got the same treatment in the publishing world for finaling in the EPPIE. Kinda like what the RITA authors get from their houses when the finalists are announced. Only the epub world could do it better, faster, because we work with web presence, not posters and visual logos that have to be added to the author’s next book. In terms of business, buyers DO pay attention to awards they respect. Why aren’t epubs more interested in developing this sales tool?

What if the EPPIES were the BEST of ALL of the epublishers? I propose a call to action. In the spirit of the self-made e-author, the EPPIES can and should still be self-nominated. But what if each of the epublishers made a promise to enter their top 3/10/20 books. Both the ones who landed several perfect review ratings, and the ones who topped the sales charts for the year. Then, just imagine this, the publishers trumpeted their winning books AND their winning authors who might have won with a book from another house. They would do this on the webpage, with a featured sale slot, and through all their means of communications. The logo would be added to the ebook’s cover, and the author’s tag would forever read “an EPPIE winning/nominated author” just like the print world does.

Would e-authors still be bitching about the RITA’s byzantine rules? No. Because we wouldn’t care. Our epublishing world can go head to head with NY. We keep saying that. Maybe we should believe it. Then maybe we should prove it. All it would take is a little organization and teamwork. The framework is in place. I think we’re up for it.

Mima is an erotic romance author published at multiple houses. She lives in western NY and is a children's librarian by day. Visit her at

Responses to this post:
My Two Cents....--Linda Mooney
Of Cabbages and Kings--Sela Carson
Popularity vs Lifes Legacies--Pickled Cupied

Friday, December 12, 2008


Due to technical problems the PLIST page has fallen and it can't get up*. This will be corrected in about 7 hours when I get home from work and have access to ftp.

In other news, Rainbow Reviews is seeking reviewers.

* Bonus point for knowing the reference.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Focus on the Happy-ometer--veinglory

As a reminder, ERECsite collects not only sales figures but answers to the question: I am satisfied with the performance of my publisher [name of publisher] -- Y/N. The 'Happy-ometer' is the percentage of authors who reply with the "Y". (veinglory at

Happy-omoter figures so far:Amber Quill: 100%
Ellora's Cave: 87%
Liquid Silver Books: 100%
Loose Id: 91%
Samhain: 88%

Romance B(u)y the Book Winners--veinglory

[Full list here]

Erotic Romance Category winners:

"Chilli Heat," by Carrie Williams

"Seven Nights of Sin," by Lacey Alexander
"Flat Out Sexy," by Erin McCarthy

"Master," by Colette Gale

"Unleashing the Storm," by Sydney Croft

"Unlaced," Jaci Burton*, Jasmine Haynes, Joey Hill and Denise Rosetti

RBTB VANGUARD AWARD - This erotic romance presents with empathy and intelligence fluidity of sexuality and sensuality within the central love story
"Raine: The Lords of Satyr," by Elizabeth Amber

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bulletin: M/M Poll--veinglory

Uniquely Pleasureable is running a poll on M/M reading habits. I will be very interested to see what the results are.

I just can't help but comment....--veinglory

You know I defend the right of any writer to work for free or for any rate they deem sufficient. But the following ad still cracked me up, bold type added:

"I'm looking for writers who would like to write erotic stories and/or articles. All the writing has to be done with good taste, I'm not looking for 'cheap' porn. It has to be erotic and sensual!

Right now I'm looking for people who are not looking for a lot of money for their work. I am able to pay about $2 per 500-750 word story/article but I will take volume, like a 100 articles/stories. Please note that I would like to have the option to resell your work. If you do not agree with these terms, please do not respond."

Monday, December 08, 2008

Oh No, Promo! (in a good cause): Illuminations--veinglory

This may be rather off topic but the holiday season is here and if you are interested in a good gift book that fits the spirit of the season please consider Illuminations: Expressions of Personal Spiritual Experience (including a poem by yours truly). You can see a sample of this gorgeous book here. Illuminations is a not-for- profit project of Evolving Editions LLC - all net proceeds received from the sale of the book are put toward interfaith and peace building projects.



Iota Publishing, formerly here, is closed.

I had been using a blog preview widget from WidgetBox on ERECsite and my personal website--however the code was being hacked. It may not be immediately obvious on the page but if you are using the same widget check your source code for spam links and text. (Thanks to Dusk for the heads up)

There is also possible smoke signals from the direction of Forbidden Publications re: delayed payment. Confirmation or refutation appreciated: (veinglory [at]

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Link Love--veinglory

A list if sites for legal free ebooks. It seems to me that if people want free ebooks it is easier (i.e. less self-interested and so more convincing) to tell them how to access these without pirating than try and convert them into a paying customer.

It seems like the cycle of make and re-make is accelerating with Fox already considering a remake of Romancing the Stone, made waaaaay back in 1984. But then again, how many of you remember that the heroine, Joan Wilder, was a romance novelist?

Read this only if you want to be annoyed: Emotional pornography: Men and women affected by different stimuli.

An ethical question involving ebooks.

I appreciate the New York Times description of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts current special display of Renaissance art: "Profane love is acknowledged with a choice display of erotica. The commodification and adoration of women run on parallel tracks...." We get so concerned bout tawdry erotic portrayals that I think we sometimes forget it is, and always has been, only one side of the coin.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Bulletin: New(ish) Market--veinglory

Mythica, seems to be an epublisher for all genres, including romance. The website went live November 2008. Their web copy contains some phrasings and memes that do not suggest, to me, that the operators have extensive industry experience. The owner is Graeme S. Houston: an author previously published by e-micro-press StoneHenge Publishing and who previously operated the late Stargazer Publishing. The two current upcoming books are by Brian L. Porter, an associate of Mr. Houston and consultant (editor?) at Mythica.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Press Release: Linden Bay acquired by Samhain--veinglory


In a bold move, Samhain Publishing announced the purchase of Linden Bay Romance. In light of the downward spiral of the economy and the rapid consolidation of many of the larger publishers, Samhain Publishing has seized their chance to expand their market share by creating a new fiction line under the popular Samhain brand.

"From the beginning one of my goals was to create multiple lines within Samhain," says Christina Brashear, owner of Samhain Publishing. "With Linden Bay Romance's excellent reputation, I made the offer in the hopes the owners would see this sale as a mutual benefit to both houses."

"We hadn't considered selling Linden Bay and we were slowly making inroads with regards to increasing print distribution, but we've found, especially in light of the economy, neither sales teams nor buyers are very open to taking a chance on something new," says Lori James, part owner of Linden Bay Romance. "Samhain Publishing has the relationships in place that would take us years to develop." James continues, "The offer came at a time when we realized under the Samhain umbrella, Linden Bay Romance will be stronger and reach its full potential faster."

"For Samhain, it is a win-win situation," says Brashear. "We will expand our lines with an established name in the electronic book industry and we'll acquire an excellent stable of authors, editors and artists."

Samhain Publishing opened its doors on November 1, 2005 and already they've made a splash in the publishing world. From Publisher's Weekly features to dozens of fiction and cover art awards, this publisher is one to watch.

-----[end quote]-----

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Bulletin: Ellora's Cave Website--veinglory

What is with the simultaneous existence of this Ellora's cave website, and this one? I hope the later is just a glitch or test because it doesn't look like an improvement on the tried and true. It does roll all their imprints in together. Maybe some of them, like Lotus Circle, confused the customer base as much as they confused me?

(via Karen Scott)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Romance Stereotype Watch--veinglory

"It’s a common misconception nowadays that people don’t read. That’s not true. Middle-aged women read a boatload. They just seem to prefer mediocre fluff romance novels" []

"When she isn't reading trashy romance novels, Brit hits the gym and has slimmed down and toned up since the beginning of the year." [StarMagazine]