Monday, January 31, 2011

Quick Question: Reflections Press

Reflections Press. Did it ever open?  If so, does it still exist?

Market: Pink Flamingo

Website, Author Guidelines
Genres: Bondage, spanking, erotica.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Show me even more money!

Brenda Hiatt's 'Show me the Money' reports generally show a trend of increased earnings over time. Between 2009 and 2011 The average earn out for Cobblestone has risen from $200 to $700. Loose Id from $1550 to $1950. Samhain shot up from $750 to $2750. Ellora's Cave when from $3050 to $3200. One exception to this positive trend is The Wild Rose Press, in 2009 Brenda Hiatt reported an average earn out of $135, now in 2011 it has sunk to $100.

Friday, January 28, 2011


  • Camel Press"We publish genre fiction: romance, mystery/suspense, science fiction, horror … or any combination thereof!"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Review: She's So Dead To Us

She's So Dead to UsI'll give Keiran Scott this, I found She's So Dead to Us an entertaining read from beginning to end despite the fact that absolutely nothing about the story or characters resonated with me. Based on the cover I was expecting some kind of high society story.* Instead this is an OC-style teen drama, and spoiler alert, no HEA.  Presumably to keep the the drama going for sequels in an on-going soap opera-like series.

Basically, Ally's Dad was managing the money of several other upper-crust suburban families and he lost it.  dad went AWOL and the family moved away for a while and came back in much reduced circumstances.  So Ally goes from being a sporty-princess insider of the rich kids at school, to a bit of an outsider.  I didn't like Ally, or her friends, of the love interest.  I didn't like how they were all gorgeous, talented and totally self-involved and if the story had ended with the bunch of them driving of a cliff I could have lived with that.  The only characters I kind of liked were the to not-so-wealthy kids who befriend Ally and whom she treats as essentially disposable.

So, why did I enjoy reading this book?  Because despite being *so* not the target demographic, this book is well-written.  The alternative first person between Ally and her love interest show them as have just enough insight into their screwed up personalities to be redeemable, and they just occasionally do the right thing.  the minutiae of high school drama provides a lot of believable twists, turns and reversals. Each chapter opens with an anonymous gossipy conversation that perfectly elicits that adolescent feeling that an invisible audience is always watching and judging what you do.

However by the end it is clear the characters aren't really going to grow, the couple won't discover some kind of true love, the number of plot points resolved with be outnumbered by the number of new plot points introduced, and the drama with just churn endlessly on.  So, interesting place to visit--but I doubt I'll be back soon.

Other reviews of this book:
This review is based on a publisher donated review copy.
* No character in this story would ever wear pearls.  Just saying.  The cover is way of base for a fashion-conscious, rather sports-focused, modern wealthy-teen drama.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Audiopublisher: Pure Obsessions=Crypto-Romance

Pure Obsessions is presented as an audiopublisher of romantic fiction. The greeting has a female voice that kind of suggests either F/F or male customers (?). This feeling is reinforced by the featured story sample which is in female-voiced first person, aimed at a male listener (sort of 'Penthouse confessions style): "I miss the way you are a few fantasies to keep you hard at night". 

There are twelve books in total and their target audience seems to be specifically male and heterosexual, their topic seems to be erotica with no real hint of genre romance (relationship, HEA). They have a gay male section but no books in it. Only one book seems to have a male narrator. Most seem to be by the same author. May best guess would be that this is crypto-romance (seeking the erotic romance customer-base but not really providing an erotic romance product).

Penicillin Might Help With That

Generally I think the 'headless woman in a nice dress' cover can be quite stylish.  Including the version of 'headless woman in a nice dress holding flowers.'

However the 'woman contorting her body to keep it off the cover' and the 'groin of roses' variation.... not so much.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Hot and Not

  • Octomom's Fetish Video.  Not because she is a lovely person or it is a good video--but a whole lot of people now have a wider understanding of the full range of erotic roleplay. For example, that fetish activities may often do not include actual intercourse.

  • People who stand and read erotica long enough that the books end up with cracked and scored spines. Just  buy the damn book already

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Talking Jinn

Auto-playing sound is generally considered a no-no for websites.  Is the auto-droid voice on ImaJinn Press's frontpage an acception?  At least it clears up how their name is meant to be pronounced.... (But why is the title of the page "Test"?)

Ravenous Romance sales Figures

I see Brenda Hiatt has got some figures for Ravenous.  However given the short time they have been open I am not sure what "earn out" means.  This term is only usually applies to titles that have gone out of print--so the total amount they earned with that press.

"Ravenous E-books......................................................................................................3

Average advance: $200 Median: $200
Standard royalty percentage: 38% elec.
Average earn-out: $530 Median: $500"

Bold Strokes Dominates the Lesbian Fiction Shelves

Over the last couple of days I was in a Barnes and Noble and also a Borders store.  I did may usual check of the romance, erotic and GLBT shelves.  When it comes to the latter there is one thing I have to say.  Well done Bold Strokes Books

In both cases there was significantly more lesbian than gay male fiction, and easily half of the books on the Lesbian Fiction shelves were by a single publisher, Bold Strokes.  The rest were from by Bella Books, Cleis and a range of smaller publishers with just a few titles from large presses.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


The domain is up for renewal.  My plan is to not renew this domain and move that material to "pages" on this blog.  This will make them easier to update.  This migration will occur over the next week or so.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Business of Taking Your Money

if you make income from your home (writing, websites etc) is can be a good idea to read magazines like Entrepreneur or Fortume to get ideas.  But there is one magazine you can easily afford to avoid.

I picked up a copy of "Home Business" magazine while making a quick trip to the supermarket.  Once I got it home I realised that I had paid  $4.99 for:
  • 25 pages of content that was generally vague and poorly written, so that it was often hard to work out what the point of the article was--very little coverage of specific strategies to make money.
  • 41 pages of advertising, often camouflaged as content--mainly devoted to rather dodgy looking products, franchises and quick money schemes.
I can see the value for the advertiser in targeting potentially gullible home-bound people seeking income streams. But I cannot see what value this publication has for the reader.

Tesco Gets Testy

Tesco wrote to Irish publisher stating that if any of them preferentially give any of their titles to mainstream bookstores rather than to Tesco : "...the offending publisher will have all their titles removed from sale and returned."

When challenged about the general tone of this letter they add: "It's not a veiled threat but we have to have good working relationships with publishers."

Which is probably true--to be a veiled threat there would have to be a veil, methinks. Also Tesco famously negotiated to be the sole retailer of works by Gordon Ramsay and Robbie Williams.


Barnes and Noble Lays Off Buyers

Dear Author reports that Barnes and Noble has laid off essentially their entire workforce of buyers.  These are the people that actually select books to stock over the entire chain. What was not reported is that these employees, many of the very long term employees, were fired without warning and with immediate effect.  It is getting harder and harder to buy the books I love without putting money in the pocket of a company I, at best, ambivalent about.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another Cover Camouflage

Don't you think this looks a little familiar?

Just a little?

See also: copycat covers

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Advance notice

The word is that Whiskey Creek Press is going to begin routinely offering advances.  No news as to the amount.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Data Begging

I am getting through some long overdue updates to the website.  I would like to point out that if I do not list an epublisher it means I have no data on them at all.  If I list then as "insufficient data" that means I have some figures but not enough to list an average for.  I need at least 5 books from three different authors to give an estimate for that publisher. For example:


Ellora's Cave--693 copies
Samhain--361 copies
Loose Id--206 copies
Liquid Silver--191 copies
Torquere--88 copies
Cobblestone--83 copies
Wild Rose--49 copies
Freya's Bower--9 copies
Amber Quill--[insufficient data]
Aspen Mountain--[insufficient data]
Carina--[insufficient data]
Carnal Passions--[insufficient data]
Dark Castle Lords--[insufficient data]
Dreamspinner--[insufficient data]
Excessia--[insufficient data]
Forbidden--[insufficient data]
Lyrical--[insufficient data]
Noble Romance--[insufficient data]
Phaze--[insufficient data]
Ravenous Romance--[insufficient data]
Red Rose--[insufficient data]
Siren--[insufficient data]
Total Ebound--[insufficient data]
Whiskey Creek--[insufficient data]

My attitude re: emails

I really love to get emails letting me know about things that are going on in the world or romance and erotica epublishing.  I sometimes take a little while to reply, and I apologise for that. But there have been a couple of emails recently that I did not reply to, in relation to this Decadent thing.  When it comes to ERECsite, data is absolutely and purely confidential--it goes in, I extract the data and anonymize it, and the email gets deleted. When it comes to just some insider information I love to hear it, I absolutely do, but unless there is a public sources for the information it does not go on the blog.  When it comes to complicated he said/she said, he's lying, she's a bitch strings of email--I don't share and I don't care. Just saying.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

King of the bad contest ideas

I am not a fan of using a faux contest to invite submission to a publisher at the best of times.  But First One Digital Publishing really takes the cake when it comes to taking more and giving less.  They have attracted a lot of well-deserved bad publicity for their contest:

1) Crazy entry fee: "There will be a $149.00 entrance fee for each submission."

2) Crazy rights grab: "By submitting an entry, all entrants grant Sponsor the absolute and unconditional right and authority to copy, edit, publish, promote, broadcast, or otherwise use, in whole or in part, their entries, in perpetuity, in any manner without further permission, notice or compensation. Entries that contain copyrighted material must include a release from the copyright holder."

So, essentially entrants are being screwed and being asked to pay for privilege.  Wow.

Yet another wunderkind is going to show the idiots how epublishing is really done.  Good luck with that.

I particularly liked:
"Originally Posted by FirstOnePublishing

There are many people in the marketplace ripping people off, which is why we decided to do the contest in the first place."
Presumably they didn't want to be left out.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Reviewer Ettiquette

One of the things I find interesting in the Decadent Debate is that idea that reviewers should not review books from presses they publish with. It is easily apparent that I don't follow this rule (Aspen Mountain Press, Cobblestone, Loose Id,  Phaze; although I do now avoid reviewing the works of friends and acquaintances).  So have I been behaving badly without even knowing it?  Is the implicit blessing (non-objection) of the authors and publishers what makes it okay? Is it okay; is it not?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nollybooks: South African Romance press

Nollybooks is a publisher of chic-lit romance fiction titles with South African storylines and characters.

“The reason we chose to launch with chick lit is because the romance genre is the bestselling genre in the world.”

Decadent Go Boom

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Problem of the Little Black eBook

Some people like to suggest that there is nothing intrinsically linking digital formats with ease of piracy.  After all you can copy a physical book too, right?  But the slipperiness of the electronic format is in the absolute ease of duplication and transmission.  This is demonstrated in a recent case where a judge ruled that a copy of a prostitution ring's client list should be shared with a defense lawyer--but only in a version that could not be copied, printed or shared. Ultimately it was determined that no electronic format could meet those requirements.  The lawyer was instead given access to print outs.


It seems that Decadent Publishing, or someone speaking for them, takes negative book reviews rather personally.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Vampire Defector

The Vampire Shrink was a prominent success for "not a small pressMedallion Press.  So I wonder if there is any significance to the move of this book and the rest in the series (two existing book and one planned) to Silver Oak/Sterling? Currently Hilburn's author page still appears at Medallion Press, but the books do not.

Monday, January 10, 2011

RIP Michigan Avenue Borders

On their website the Downtown Chicago Borders is still described as a "flagship store".  But yesterday the flagship sank below the surface, closing its doors for the last time. 

In the front section books sold for a penny each. Large sections of the four story retail area were roped off with yellow tape and warning signs.  Notices over most of the shelves proclaimed 40% was the lowest discount and unsold stock would be returned to publishers.

The piped music chosen by someone with a dark sense of humor segued from "it's the end of the world as we know it" to "...and now, the end is here And so I face the final curtain."

The staff did not bother to interrupt their conversation about upcoming super-hero movies as they took my dime and returned a nickel and a penny. As I walked out into the frigid street, I think I heard the whimper.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Spec Fic E-xplosion

It looks rather like the new growth area for epublishing is going to be speculative fiction, especially on the dark-fantasy-to-horror end of the spectrum.  Not only is there a cluster of new minnows like Cold Moon and Fae, but expect an announcement from one of the big fish soon.

I love you too, Bob

It appears that my post on epublisher Who Dares Wins from some time ago recently came to the attention of the owner Bob Mayer who comments:

"Well since the latest thing on the bio of the author who runs this site is 2008, I suggest she focus more on getting current with her own material than going around commenting on others. We started our company in 2010 and learned a lot on the way, including redoing our web site. Why a site that focuses on erotica lists us is beyond me, since we don't list that on our submissions page. Ye ole' not paying attention to detail, I suppose. All in fun, of course."

Details like the fact this blog is about erotica and romance, perhaps?

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Midnight Melange

It seems that Midnight Showcase has closed-slash-transmogrified into Melange Books.

"As of today, Dec 28, 2010, Midnight Showcase Fiction has closed its doors. Most of our authors have moved to Melange-Books, LLC at the above url."

The Merriam-Webster dictionary informs me that melange means "a mixture often of incongruous elements."

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Summerhouse Publishing

"Summerhouse Publishing’s intent is to assist authors who have determined that self-publishing is right for them get their romance and erotica books on the virtual shelves. We provide copy-editing, cover art, marketing and distribution for each and every work accepted. All at no cost to the author."

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Average Ebooks Sales

Average for sales for:
Titles out for one year or more: 893
First year: 659 copies
Titles out less than 1 year: 386
First month: 289 copies

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Review: Dakota Child by Linda Ford

Dakota Child
It would be something of an understatement to say that I am not a religious person. So I was rather surprised at how much I enjoyed DAKOTA CHILD, which is a Harlequin "Love Inspired (a.k.a. Inspy) Historical. The heroine, Vivian, is rather anachronistically referred to as a 'single mother' in the blurb. She is a 19-year-old who had a child with a man she believed to be her fiance.

On her way to find the father with expectations of marriage, she is sheltered from a storm by Billy Black.  Billy is a farmer who lives alone with his mother was traumatised after being abducted and held by 'Indians' for six years.  If there is anything that I am not fully comfortable with in this story it is the generic Indian bogeyman, but this is a relatively minor aspect of the plot.

Needless to say the child's father does not turn out to be prince charming and after over-coming some entirely plausible obstacles, Vivian and Bully end up together.  I would have to admit that I scanned over a few prayer/Bible pages like another reader might skip over a sex scene--but I only did this for two fairly short sections.

DAKOTA CHILD is a good story in which the protagonists happen to be Christian, not a sermon thinly disguised as a romance.  And the underlying themes of forgiveness, acceptance and courage add another dimension to this heart-warning love story. 


The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out of Debt Without Giving Up the Fabulous Life

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Borders, CTD

Borders started last year delaying payments to small publishers, and is starting this year delaying payments to large publishers.  They are hemorrhaging money at an increasing rate.  This does not look good. Expect store closures.