Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Show me the Money

Brenda Hiatt's Show Me the Money has some updated data.


Sky Vine is the "Science fiction/Fantasy /Paranormal Romance imprint" of start-up Martin Sisters Publishing. I am guessing they are not an e-publisher but it is not entirely clear.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Borders has no shame:

Borders Seeks to Pay $8.3 Million in Bonuses: "For Borders' five highest-level executives, the bonuses would mean extra pay of between 90% and 150% of their base salaries, depending on how quickly the company exits bankruptcy or is sold as a going concern."

I know I shouldn't, but...

Jacqueline Howett is providing another example of how not to respond to a review. (Rule number one being: If in doubt, don't)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Number-crunching - sales figures - Jules

Number-crunching time, as US tax deadline approaches. I thought it might be useful to post sales figures for my books. The numbers here are the total sales from when the book first went on sale to the end of the calendar year cited. Which means you can get the per year figures for 2009 and 2010 with a bit of subtracting, if you're so inclined.

from 1st day on sale until end of200820092010
Black Leather Rose774922995
Buildup 1: Mindscan130414661554
Buildup 2: Pulling Strings711857918
Dolphin Dreams173921512352
Lord and Master151018392057
L&M 2: Taking Work Home64810201201
Promises To Keep100211191200
Spindrift 2: Ship to Shore419480510

Other items of interest -- sales direct from the publisher's website have dropped to a trickle, which is not surprising as all of these books have been out for at least two years - the last release I had was in August 2008, before The Day Job Ate My Brain. But over the last 18 months I keep seeing new sales coming in as they add titles to reseller's lists. The really interesting one is that Dolphin Dreams is doing well on Amazon, and having had three months' figures now (Jan-March), it has gone up each month. I'll be interested to see if that's a fluke, or if it reflects increasing Kindle ownership.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Copia

The Copia seems to be yet another social networking site for readers.  Anyway, they are looking for romance writers to interview.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It is an ex-publisher...

It seems that Snow Creek Romance has quietly ceased to be.


The on-going Dorchester saga has taken another downward turn in the ongoing spiral.  It seems that becoming an e-publisher did not solve all their problems.  [Gap left for exclamations of shock and surprise]. In fact Brian Keene reports that they are continuing with their fun and games including not paying authors what they are owed, and selling e-books the rights for which have explicitly reverted to the author. A boycott is quite reasonably being cause for, because it is long past time Dorchester tied up the loose ends (as best they can) and shut up shop.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Romance Novels live Again on Etsy

Etsy is a haven for rampant recycling of all sorts of materials--including romance novels. Rebekah Holguin recycled a romance novel (that died a natural death) into this floral brooch. She also has a range of other recycled jewelry.

Rebound designs, on the other hand , is the jewelry equivalent to skipping to the good bits. They provide brooches displaying racy excepts from romance novels,  begging the question what exactly is the right occasion for a pin that says "probing her damp cleft"?
Meagan (a.k.a. FussyGussy) makes pocket mirrors with retro cover backs, such as this one from "Echo In a Dark Wind" by Julia Withers.

And for the Nora Roberts ran (who can stand the thought of a hardback book being gutted, there is a purse made from a copy of Three Fates.

I haven't found anything yet for my birthday wish list, but I'm still looking....

Monday, March 21, 2011

MARKET MONDAY: Crimson Moth (closed to submissions)

Wings ePress has an erotic romance imprint, called Crimson Moth. It is stated to have opened in 2009 but the webste still says: "Guidelines are posted and CM acquisitions staff members are anxious to start reviewing manuscripts." They list only six books by two different authors, and are closed to submission.  So I am not sure if this is really a going concern.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Arkham Manx

Who's smiling now?

Quite a few magazines for fiction have spent the last few years staggering around on the brink of closing.  Recently a few ended up in the hands of epublishers, such as Damnation Press and Realms of Fantasy and the situation I am discussing now, which is Leucrota Press and Arkham Tales.

Well, it seems Arkham Tales is on "permanent hiatus", and the Leucrota Press website seems to be down. So I assume that means the drowning magazine was offered rescue by a drowning epublisher, with predictable resuts.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Manic Readers is going to be offering their 'Plus Members' ($2.99 a month) a new service...

"Royalty Tracker helps authors track their royalties across all books, publishers, and vendors."

Even with " Encrypted SSL security" I wonder how many authors will want to track this kind of information on a third party webservice?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Unofficial EPIC Winners List


Mainstream : This Train

Adventure Fiction : A Lever Long Enough

Anthology Non-Fiction/Fiction: Bad-Ass Faeries 3: In All Their Glory

Non Fiction : A Dog Named Slugger

Poetry Category: LK Ellwood for Nuclear Soul

Ariana Metaphysical : Beyond Summer

Historical Romance : Notorious Eliza

Historical Fiction: Sunset On Ramree by Robert Appleton

Historical Erotic Romance: The Haunting of Maggie Grey

Western Romance: Promise Me

Ariana (cover) Mainstream : Next Time I'm Gonna Dance

Spiritual and/or Metaphysical Romance : Cup of Joe

Spiritual and/or Metaphysical Fiction : The Comet's Return: Alma Chronicles

Young Adult Non Fiction/ Fiction : The Cinderella Swap

Ariana (cover art) YA : The Battle for Atlantis

Children's Non Fiction/ Fiction: Island Sting

Western Erotic Romance : Rocky Mountain Haven

Ariana -Western : Queen of Hearts

Contemporary Romance : Be My Baby

Ariana - Contemporary Romance : One More Soldier

Contemporary Erotic Romance : Safe Harbor

Ariana - Contemporary Erotic Romance: Latin Rhythm

Anthology - Romance : Directions of Love

Anthology - Erotica / Erotic Romance : Coming Together: Into the Light

Erotica : Second Chance

Ariana - Erotica : The Soldier's Mate

Mystery - Suspense Fiction : The Pot Thief Who Studied Ptolemy

Mystery, Suspense, and/or Adventure Romance : Breaking Daylight

Ariana - Mystery/Suspense : The Son Who Paid Attention

Friend of ePublishing : All Romance eBooks

Patricia Lucas White Award : Elizabeth Delisi

Science Fiction : Massively Multiplayer

Science Fiction Romance : Girl Gone Nova

Ariana - SciFi/Futuristic Fiction/Romance : End Game

SciFi Erotic Romance : Lord of Thunder

Ariana - SciFi/Futuristic Erotic Romance : A Touch of Lilly

Fantasy / Paranormal Fiction : Frost Moon

Ariana - Fantasy/Paranormal Fiction : Lady Warhawk

Fantasy Romance : The Prince of Val-Feyridge

Paranormal Romance : Da Vinci's Lost Years

Ariana -Fantasy/Paranormal Romance : Daughter of Ashes

Fantasy Erotic Romance : Mad, Bad, and Dangerous

Paranormal Erotic Romance : Desire to Die For

Ariana - Fantasy/Paranormal Erotic Romance: Five Rings

Horror Fiction: The Hollow Book 1 The Ticking

Horror Erotic Romance : The Blue Moon Cafe

Ariana - Horror: Beautiful People

Monday, March 14, 2011

MARKET MONDAY: Tantalizing Tales

Tantalizing Tales

"We publish super-erotic books, romantic erotica and what we call mainstream sexy. Our super-erotics contain lots of good, graphic love scenes and/or just-plain-sex scenes with the action described in detail—but without the use of common street vernacular..."

"We accept both fiction and nonfiction books that deal with gay and lesbian issues. Guidelines are the same as for our heterosexual books..."

"We do not offer an advance at this time. Authors will receive a royalty of at least 35% (thirty-five per cent) of the cover price of all e-books sold."

MARKET MONDAY: Gay Romance Press

Gay Romance Press

Not currently open to submissions.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Links: The Porn, Propriety and Privacy Edition

  • Porn Site May Get to Root Out Hackers, Judge Says: Hackers identified by IP address alone were identified by the court granting a motion requiring the owner of a gay erotica site to provide identifying information about its users.
  • Vagina picture book realeased by Vancouver's Show Off Books: "Show Off Books is releasing its first book, titled I'll Show You Mine, depicting images of 60 women and telling their personal stories on sexuality." Apparently this includes pictures of genitalia so more girls will know about the normal range of appearance down there, rather than depend on the aesthetics presented by explicit pornography.
  • Porn Industry Attempts Vivid Embrace of Sheen: Pornogrpahy studio Vivid invites Sheen to direct the porn parody "Two and a Half Women".
  • Burlesque dancers defeat real-estate developers: Montreal abandons expropriation: Developers and officials sometimes see anything adult as a blight they should be able to easily sweep aside for a shiny 'development initiative'.  Cafe Cleopatra decided not to cooperate.
Which is better? This:
...or this?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

To Have and to Holder

Alex Holder commissioned a series of photos of herself and her boyfriend recreating classic Mills and Boon covers. The pictures were part of an exhibition called the W Project, a Womens Day event.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Like bunnies, I tells ya

Some more all-genre epublishers:

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Avon Impulse

I seem to have misinterpreted Avon Impulse as an ebookstore when it is more like an epublishing imprint--now accepting submissions.

The marketing speak is so rich you can almost smell the manure: "Avon Impulse has grown organically from our existing publishing program. We're always looking for ways to grow our authors in a marketplace rife with new opportunity"

They are seeking "all genres of romance of all lengths, including (but not limited to): historical, paranormal, contemporary, and erotica"... including out friend Steampunk.  (I would be willing to bet not including GLBT?)

"If you do not receive a response after three months, that means your story is not right for us at that time."  (Classy. I hope they at least have an auto-responder so you know they actually received the submission.)

See also:
Avon Launches Avon Impulse Digital-First Imprint--reporting a pay rate of 25% of net.

Hybrid Epublishing

"The gap between traditional and indie publishing models" seems to be getting rather crowded.  Entangled Publishing is another romance epublisher that puts itself somewhere in the grey area between publishing and self-publishing.  Exactly where?  Well, that's not clear.

My advice to these new hybrid epublishers would be to dial down the rhetoric just a little and explain somewhere what you do and what the author does--and how this differs form the standard 'deliver a manuscript, get 40% of cover' epublishing model we all know and variously love, hate or can live with.

Monday, March 07, 2011

MARKET MONDAY: Republica Press

Republica Press

"We are looking for well-written, plot driven, erotic works between 20,000 and 100,000 words in all genres from romantic to raunchy."

"...we pay our authors a royalty of 65%."

"Royalties are paid quarterly."

"Aaron David, President ... Emma Holt, Editor-in-Chief"

MARKET MONDAY: Turquoise Morning Press

Turquoise Morning Press (submission guidelines) is a multi-genre epublisher that is "actively seeking erotic romance novellas." A page visitor counter suggests they have had just over 40,000 impressions to their website, presumably ever?

Hard Shell, Hard Times

There is no doubt that Hard Shell World Factory, founded in 1996, was one of the pioneers of epublishing.  It was acquired by Mundania in 2009.  Since that time there have been suggestions that payment are not being made, sometimes going as far back at the first quarter of 2010 for Hard Shell--and also delays with the erotic romance imprint Phaze.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Call Out to Samhain Authors

Some of the recent data that has come in from Samhain authors has done something interesting to the chart for sales of books that have been available for at least a year.  I would love to know if this is a good average or being affected by some extreme outliers.  So I would encourage any and all Samhain authors to send in their data so I have a good representative arithmetic mean.

Links: Ebook News

  • Scanning market for e-book opportunity--Cramped living conditions create room for start-ups to provide homemade content for electronic readers: "Japan's copyright laws permit users to digitise protected works for personal and family use..." []
  • 38 bookshops to close, 300 jobs to go: "REDGroup retail, the owner of Borders, Angus & Robertson and other bookshops, failed late last month with debts of $118 million" [Sydney Morning Herald]
  • Boom in Mills & Boon electronic book sales:  delayed British retread of the previous story that the main reason romance ebooks are selling well is reader shame at reading romance and erotica. It really seems like some journalists do nothing more than paraphrase the PR kits that arrive in their in-boxes? [Telegraph]

Saturday, March 05, 2011

What is a Western?

When I was growing up, the corner book exchange depending heavily on two genres: romance and westerns. I read a lot of both.  To be honest, I probably read at least two westerns for each romance. And it seems to me that the genres have a lot in common in providing emotionally satisfying, often escapist reading.

Over the years romance has gone from strength to strength.  Westerns, however, are nowhere near as mainstream as they used to be. So I was rather surprised to see the western shelves at my local Borders have expanded considerably.

But wait a minute, what is this?

I don't know a lot about guns but that doesn't look like a 'How the West was Won' sort of firearm. Indeed, this is a post-apocalyptic adventure series with lots of guns and big man heroes.  You know, boy-mance.  Rather than calling it all Western, maybe we need a proper name for this?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Red Rose Publishing Rumblings

Google attempted to complete my inquiry about Red Rose Publishing in the following ways:

Piers Anthony has updated his listing for Red Rose Press with: "March 2011 update: Five more reports from four authors, all negative ... Others report failure to pay money owed, intimidating tactics, failure to return rights, publishing books without contracts, bad editing, and failure to respond to inquiries. I understand that 42 authors have gotten together and are trying to warn others away from this publisher. The expectation is that Red Rose will crash this year."

Still not a lot from specific authors, possibly due to the contract including a non-disclosure clause.  However a February 2011 "Ripoff Report" stating in part: "So I weighed in and created the Yahoo group, Red Rose Implosion.  So far there are forty-two of us with more joining as the excuses roll out instead of 2010 fourth quarter statements and checks.  I don’t know whether any 1099s are late, since I supposedly only made $7.00 in sales in 2010—which I have not received despite the fact that I’m one of the two or three people who have received an e-mail release of rights."

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Walter Zacharius, R.I.P.

Walter Zacharius founded Kensington and supported imprints branching out into Spanish language, gay/lesbian and African American specialties. Zacharius turned down an aquisition offer from Harlequin, thus steering away from the development of a near monopoly on mass market romance. He never baulked from publishing erotic fiction including the "Man From O.R.G.Y" series. Walter Zacharius passed away yesterday at the age of 87.