Thursday, June 30, 2011


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dear Amazon: Am I to expect a check for negative $5.46?

 "Dear Former Amazon Associate,

We have just sent you a payment for the amount of USD 9.54 for the remaining advertising fees less adjustments and fees on your recently closed account. This payment also includes any credit balance carried forward from previous payment periods.

If your billing address is in the U.S. and you selected payment by check, we will deduct a $15 processing fee from the check we send. (This charge does not apply to Associates with non-U.S. billing addresses, as direct deposit is not available to them.) There is no processing fee for payment by direct deposit or Amazon gift card."

(It is particularly helpful that they are informing me of better options only now, when it is too late to use them.) 

Monday, June 27, 2011

I love me a painted cover

I mean look at this.

Doesn't it remind you of the great fully painted covers that used to be on so many books before stock photography conquered the world?

This is a cover that it looks like some kind of painter might have actually painted, like... with paint? Okay, maybe with digital paint, but that's cool too. (Sort of).

I think Dreamspinner should make their catalog searchable by cover artist, or at least make it work as a keyword.

This one is by Paul Richmond.

This seems to be his website.  It's terrible.  No, I mean flash-intro-microscopic-font-can't-link-to-internal-pages-with-frames terrible. Do you hear that sound, Paul.  It's Web 2.0 and its calling you.  Answer the call, Paul.

This cover art is by... um, it doesn't say.

Come on!

Don't you know some of us will be a book for the cover art alone!  This one is giving me 70s fantasy art flashbacks, in a good way, and with extra gay.

This is wonderful who did this? Anne Cain, is that you?

This is not, but it's the odd one out.  Most of their covers are very good, some are gorgeous.

It's kind of nice to know I can still be shocked

Quixotic Night Press seems to require at least 2,500 pre-orders before they will epublish your book. To get a lower cover price of $2.99 you need 100,000 Pre-Orders.

"In order to officially go to print, a book needs to receive 2500 pre-orders. If the book does not receive 2500 pre-orders, the book will not go to (electronic) print, all pre-orders taken to that point are cancelled and all rights revert to the author."

What the big hairy fuck?!  If you can't get thousands of people to pre-order the book they would rather throw it in the bin? Backdoor vanity publishing?

Sunday, June 26, 2011


insert. obvious. pun.

The "I Want to be an Author" contest is extra classy.

  1. $50-100 author fee
  2. Targets children
  3. The only prize is publication by "TC Publishing" which is valued at $15,000 as if getting published is something you usually pay for. (Also, TC Publishing barely seems to exist.)

With a little difficulty I found that this publisher has released only books by its owner, Tonetta Chester (shown right). The first of these book actually being produced by the self-publishing outfit Wheatmark.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Wherein I Point And Laugh

Justin Samuels is suing two talent agencies for rejecting his work on the assumption that this is because he is a non-white.

Says Samuels: "I minored in English and writing classes.  I’ve done screenwriting workshops on the side.  ...  Yes, I assume I’d succeed in screenwriting if not for the alleged discrimination."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


"Carina Press is also pioneering a different business model from most major publishers and from the rest of Harlequin. It offers authors a higher royalty payment (30% of the cover price of direct sales, 15% from third parties) in exchange for forgoing advances and has both a faster speed to market and a heavier publishing schedule than print ... Independent publishers such as Ellora's Cave and Samhain have made this their day-to-day business for years ... It's not surprising that Harlequin would get there [to digital publishing] first."

So, first of the really really big publishers to do what hundreds of others are already doing, but a decade later and not some of the good stuff (like monthly royalty reports) and only if you don't count non-romance publishers. And not reporting any imprint-specific sales figures. Yeah, okay. Shut me up by sending in your great Carina sales figures. Nothing impresses me like sales figures.

Edited to add: When is 30% not 30%? Is the royalty rate for direct sales actually 25%?

See also:

Random House Brings Back Loveswept as an Epublisher

Some of you may have fond memories of Loveswept romance novels from the 80s. The imprint petered out, after over 900 category romance releases, in early 1999. 

Come August it will rise from the ashes as a digital imprint. The new Loveswept will release both new titles and classic reprints.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fire: PD Publishing

I am going straight from smoke to fire for PD publishing on the basis of non-payment of royalties and request for a completely disproportionate $10,000 termination (later marked down to a mere $1938) from author Anne Brooke, when she requested to part ways with this press.  Normally I would be a little more skeptical of a story from a single author but Anne Brooke's information is specific and cogent and I find it very convincing.

See also
Aleksandr Voinov: Writer beware PD Publishing [June 19]
Anne Brookes: More excitement from PD Publishing [June 19]
Anne Brookes: A very expensive lesson [June 16]
Preditors and Editors listing

Speaking of F/F

Madame Vastra and Jenny... if we cannot have a spin off series, how about a novelization?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Romance Just Can't Get Any Respect....

"[T]he imprint has been crafted as something of a reaction against the popularity of commercial works like street lit and romance fiction, Temple said. "They all feel the publishing industry has turned its back on quality black literature...".

[Akashic Books announces a new imprint, a co-venture with (amongst others)
literary agents Marie Brown and Regina Brooks]

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Market: Night Heron

Night Heron Press is a new ebook publisher that will open to submissions on June 15th, um, that's today--right? 

They don't specify an genre interests or restrictions however the 'books' section is divided into four sections, the first being "romance/erotica" (further evidence of the smooshification of those particular genres.

They have a submission call for an anthology of a "GLBT romance/erotica with a dark edge."

I am possibly an idiot?

Entangled's new website is very pretty, but how do you buy the books? I go to the page of a specific book and don't see a buy button or link to an etailer?

Edited to add: So... okay I get it.  They are all pre-release right now. So yes, I am an idiot.  I am too used to epublishers rushing titles out the door.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

No Mantitty please, We're idiots

Recently a magazine was asked to provide opaque wrapping for a cover showing a topless male model.

The requested was apparently made by  Barnes and Noble--in case customers mistook the model for a flat-chested woman. 


Monday, June 13, 2011

Ragged Logic

Ah, yes.  A cover that just screams
'Hollywood bombshell"
If Catherine Zeta Jones is going to star in a movie based on a romance novel you can be sure of one thing, it ain't a romance novel written by a woman.

No, it is a romance novel written by a man with muted but palpable literary pretensions.  Like Nicholas Sparks but cheaper.  A lot cheaper.

Oh come on, not even Zeta-Jones is going to go that cheap. I mean there are reviews saying things like"I checked to see if I had an uncorrected proof – as that was the feel – but apparently not." 

I mean, seriously, WTF?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wax Off

Do you think Magnum
shaved his privates?

Salon maven Tracy Clark-Flory suggests that Wienergate may have had an unexpected side-effect: a resurgence of the appreciation of hairy men.

"...given the extreme visibility of denuded beefcakes -- everywhere from underwear ads to pornography -- it's easily forgotten that there are also women with a special appreciation for hirsute hotness."

So, weiners are out (so to speak), but hair is in.

Romance at Random

The next romance genre, social networking, give-us-awl-your-money website is apparently going to be "Romance at Random"--from, you guessed it, Random House. Currently the site is not up (@, although they do have a Facebook page.

I am already underwhelmed.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Shocked, I Tell You

So, do you come here often?
Last year there was a lot of outrage that the Miss World photos were too erotic.  The Las Vegas Sun thinks they still are.  Presumably because there is some cleavage and some pouting.

Because, you know, what has a contest to judge the beauty of unmarried women of childbearing age got to do with looking sexually desirable...?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Let Them Read Cake

“We’re looking for the highest quality stories, wherever they may come from,” say Amazon Publishing VP Jeff Belle.

Meaning, in this case, Montlake will accept submissions sent in by agents.

The more things change....

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Are 'Breeds' Clones?

I know stock photos get re-used, but can someone explain to me why one photo is being reused for the same author's books about different protagonists?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The books are *in your hands*....

Moliere famously said (or wrote, I forget which): "Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money."

This was in the back of my mind when I went to visit the new site Unbound ("the books are in your hands").  This site essentially allows readers to directly fund books by relatively prominent, previously published British authors.

Somehow the whole thing seems unseemly in a very unBritish way.  The price card ranges from a tenner for an ebook copy and your name in a list at the back of the book, to 250 quid for lunch with the author and an invite to the launch party.

I almost expected to see a special thousand pound package where you get a private reading of the book and a lap dance from the author. 

Dibs on Gavin Pretor-Pinney. (Hyphens are so sexy).

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

What astounds me most about Blue Ink Review/s (they spell it both ways).... not that they charge $395 to $515.90 for a fairly perfunctory review on a PR0 blog... is that apparently a hell of a lot of self-published authors seem to have leaped at the 'opportunity'.

But wait, there's more.  You can by the same review through Xlibris for $1,199.  (Further proof that the reviewers' ethics are so immaculate that money cannot besmirch them.)