Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Queer Ink (India)

A new online store has opened to sell queer fiction in India.  Queer Ink (or "Qi") uses what has become rather tired language of identity and community, but in this case I kind of believe it.  Best of luck to them.  Hopefully ebooks are on the "to do" list.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Amazon Glitch

If you are noticing problems with your listings, and books being listed as "Currently unavailable", it is not just you.  Amazon has gone very squirrelly over the last hour.  No news yet as to why.  holtaway suggests it might have something to do with the launch of the Android app. [via twitter] Out Of Order [Barron's] Crash Drives Publishing World Batty [Galleycat]
Everything Now seems to be back to normal, still no word on what went wrong. experiences hours-long outage [CNET]

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Ebil that is Pr0nogrpahy

What to do about pornography?  A Catholic psychotherapist has the  answers.

"When a man looks at a pornographic image, there is a chemical reaction going on in the brain. Dopamine is released, there is euphoria, and, when combined with sexual arousal and orgasm, it becomes what I call the "perfect recipe" for an addiction. Thus they're going to be more attracted to the pictures and videos."

Men look at nookie, and do naughty things, and like it.  Check.

"Women, on the other hand, are more relationally oriented, so they're looking into the chat rooms where they can develop a false persona. Here they can be anyone they want to be, look anyway they want to look, and engage in these erotic relationships with men on the Internet, all through words. It is like they're working with this man and writing their own romance novel together -- and that is what they get addicted to."

Women like to lie, pretend they are prettier than they are, and read romance novels.  Wow, and they say men don't understand us.

"The initial response in a wife to identifying pornography use in her husband is as devastating as discovering an affair. She responds strongly from her sensitive heart and powerful emotional life, and experiences feelings of betrayal, pain, sadness, strong anger, mistrust and a loss of her sense of goodness and beauty."

Right on.  I once caught my boyfriend looking at tentacle porn and I immediately felt evil and ugly.  Which was fortunate really because it made me a lot more like a tentacled monster so my boyfriend was thrilled.  Silly me, I though he was watching it for the bimbos.

"And of course, what does pornography do? It also promotes contraception, because it makes sex nothing more than a recreational activity. It takes away the relational and procreative aspects of it, so nothing good can come out of it."

Oh no! I never realised what a slippery slope it was.  First pornography, next... condoms!

Bathroom Reading

Apparently it is Bathroom Reading Month. As in reading books while on the loo, not catching up on the graffiti in public restrooms. I have to say, I don't get it. Who spends long enough on the toilet to get any reading done? Even if you do who wants to have a book in one hand and toilet paper in the other. Ew.

See also:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

OT Miley

The recent Much Music Video Awards make it clear what Miley Cyrus's image handlers think of all the controversy about her scanty clothes and sexy dance moves.

Which is to say, they clearly don't give a damn. Personally I think I might agree with them. There is a difference between clothing and morality, between dancing and sex.

But I may be in a minority there.

See also:
Miley Cyrus Dresses In About Two Millimetres Of Spandex
Does Miley Cyrus need to wear more clothes?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Romance Novel Video Games

My main question about the notion of romance novel video games is, what would the game be?  But looking at this I have one other question.

Passionfruit Games: "I recently helped found a company named PassionFruit Games, whose mission is to do something that was virtually unheard of in the US until recently: convert romance novels into video games!"

My question: "Why is this guys head so freaking big?" Sorry, but I am seriously distracted by the love interest with elephantiasis of the noggin.

And don't even get me started on this.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Everything's bigger in Texas, including the idiots

The Republican Party Platform.

"We urge the Legislature to rescind no fault divorces."

"Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) -- We oppose this act"

"We support legislation that would make it a felony to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple"

"Homosexual behavior is contrary to fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God"

"refuse to recognise ... custody of children by homosexuals"

"We oppose legalisation of sodomy"

"We urge more stringent legislation to prohibit all pornography"

"The Minimum Wage Law should be repealed"

And finally: "We deplore all discrimination."

Some Links

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Epublisher: Open Road Integrated Media

Can some one here speak digi-jargon?  Translation please?

"Open Road Integrated Media is a digital content company that publishes and markets ebooks by creating connections between authors and their audiences across multiple platforms...The company's e-books offer a 360-degree world of existing and originally produced premium content that is marketed through a new online proprietary platform."
Not a romance publisher as far as I can tell, but very smoothly presented and apparently well-funded.  Is this the new face of yupp-e-publishing?  Kensington seems to be all over this, but the books are not in their traditional romance/GLBT/AA areas--in fact they look very, very  WASP.
So non-romance publisher are starting romance epublishers, romance publishers are starting non-romance epublishers, and the Sci Fi channel shows wrestling most of the time.
I am so confused.

See also:
* Open Road Integrated Media  website
* OpenRoad Integrated Media, Led by Jane Friedman and Jeffrey Sharp, Backed by Kohlberg, Raises $4M
* New E-Book Company to Focus on Older Titles

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ebook catalogue--Ebookism

Ebookism is the idea of DMinoz--it is meant to be a kind of online catalogue.  I find the idea a bit confusing.  Why would you need a catalogue for a digital product?  I went to look at Ebookism on the site of the only other current participant, Dashing Books.  Ebooks of all genres in an arbitrary order?  Hmmm.  It may seem like a way to cross promote, but it sure doesn't look like a way to sell books.  But perhaps writers and readers of romance are spoiled for choice already when it comes to promotional opportunities and online vendors who not only display, but sell and distribute ebooks.  However Ebookism is a step up from the usual sort of display site and might be useful for under-exposed micropresses and self-publishers.  You can submit books via a simple online form.  But keep in mind that you have to post your own Ebookism page and send them your visitors, not just get visitors from them.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Why do marketers still think women are prudes? [New Sensations]

New Sensations seems to be trying to market romance-porn DVDs to women.  That seems like a reasonable idea.  But do they have to be so damned patronising about it?  In their press release the President (Scott Taylor) says:

"The Romance Series focuses on the love story above the sex story, and for that reason, it caters to a substantial niche we felt was untapped. Research helped us understand the emotional connection to the characters in an adult movie many women require in order to fully enjoy the sex. Of course, we also developed a distinctive style of choreographing and filming for a female audience as well. The consumer response we’ve received from our first titles in the series is extraordinary. Men are equally turned on, especially as they witness the arousal in their partner.”

The assumptions I see here are
1) Women are only interested in love with sex secondary.  They are not interested in sex per se.
2) Men understand what women want through science.  How else would porn for women get made?
3) Women who like romantic porn are heterosexuals in relationships.  They watch porn with men, no decent woman would watch dirty movies on her own or while single.

After watching the promo for awakening to love my feeling was, where the hell is the sex?  And, they expect me to believe a female coma patient would be sharing a hospital room with an unrelated conscious male patient with a relatively minor leg injury? Hello lawsuit? Oh and in case you thought I was reading to much into it, from their FAQ page (bold added, capitals from the original):
"...ideal for a couples oriented product"

"These are LOVE stories. The central theme in each of the Romance Series products is LOVE."

"Sex scenes are cut down to 15 min per scene as they are intended to enhance the story rather than be the focus of the product. The series strives to inspire the mood and let the couples watching take it further."

"A product that she can feel is acceptable and not "dirty". A product that a couple can watch together on a special night alone."

"These are not porn performances that may otherwise threaten a woman or to make her feel inadequate because "she's not like that"."

Oh, and you gotta love: "The production value is second to non." (The copy editing, not so much)

Dear New Sensations, do you know what quite a lot of women like?  Marketing material that does not make a single women with a healthy interest in porn feel like she is being characterised as a dirty slut.  Thank you.  Because implying at every step that women should not be interested in sex outside of air-brushed romance and monogamous heterosexuality is not a 'new sensation' at all.

Don't get me wrong, I think there is a place in the market for erotic movies based more on romance novels than stroke magazines.  But this kind of patronising marketing stops me from even considering adding these movies to my shelf of dirty sex porn featuring pretty women I should feel threatened by.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

[MARKET] Decadent Publishing

Decadent Publishing

"Decadent Publishing is now open to general submissions of all genres of romance and erotica, as well as urban fantasy, science fiction and fantasy with strong romantic elements."

Planned opening: August 1st

Monday, June 07, 2010

Carina Press

Carina Press, the ebook imprint of Harlequin has gone live.  The covers look nice, a few features like book length details still need to be added. After the conflicting reports on this issue it does look very romance focussed across all of the genres listed.  The site is Harlequin identified (if not overtly branded) and nthe launch has a strong presence at the Harlequin blog and forums.

See also:
Carina Press Launch [PW]
June and July Launch Titles for Carina Press [DA]

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Sales in the First Year: update

Thanks to everyone who has sent in their data so far this year.  Here is an update on average copies sold in the first year, as a function of publisher.  I have recently been able to add Liquid Silver Books to this graph.  The gray line represents the average across all books in the data set.

The Freedom to Not...

It seems to me that we are gradually losing the freedom to "not".  Not what?  Not just about anything.  Not doing something, all other things being equal, should not require justification.  Look at some of the following.

Facebook considers they are allowed to share your information unless you jump through complicated hoops to change this default permission.  Google want to claim every book they can find unless the author tracks them down and tells them not to.  Legislation has been repeatedly introduced to deem pictures "orphaned" and free for use unless the creator is registered or really easy to find at the drop of a hat.  Piracy is rampant and enforcement of copyright haphazard and dependent on the copyright holder being willing to drag a case to court (when that is even possible).

Also consider a recent ruling that if you are in a situation where police have no right to question you, they are allowed to keep questioning you until you specifically tell them that you don't want to answer any questions.  That's right, just not answering the questions is not considered enough of a clue that you don't want to answer questions.  You have to speak up to claim the right to remain silent.

Supreme court nominee Elana Kagan is grilled.  No boyfriend or husband?  Are you a lesbian?  Why are you ashamed of being a lesbian?  Are you homophobic?  If you are not a lesbian why don't you have a spouse of lover? 

Well, you know what?  Sex is not compulsory.  The only kind of sex that is not acceptable in the public sphere, is none at all (with not wanting to talk about it running a close second).  If she wants the nomination that one thing she does not want to admit to is not having sex and--shock, horror--perhaps not wanting to.

It may seem an odd point to make on an erotic romance blog but every person, any person, has the right to "not".  To not speak, to not be stolen from, to not have sex, and to not talk about whatever sex they may or may not be having.  The rights to not belong to the pirate, the internet giant, the media, the police, the social networking site, or the public.  Rights belong to the individual--inalienable rights over their information, their creations, their intimate activities so that it is their choice what they share and with whom.

People can want to know, can ask to know, anything that might satisfy their prurient interest.  But--as ever--a woman (or a man) has the right to say no, or to say nothing.  And to not have that refusal or that silence used against them.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Ravenous Romance: not quite every day?

Ravenous Romance publicised themselves as releasing "a-book-a-day" (TM). 

Seriously, TM--but anyway....

From what I can see, however there have been a lot of days without books?  Like from 5/25 to 6/01?  Or am I missing something? I don't see books from these dates on their site or twitter.