Monday, October 31, 2011


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Facebook Purge?

Dan Skinner is tweeting that Facebook is "indiscriminately deleting all M/M authors, artists and photographers". I haven't found any other reports of this yet.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Media Echoes

How many times are the same basic ideas going to get reported by the media over and over again as if they are a) new and b) true?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

An iPad a Day...

Some of you may remember when Apple promoted very aggressively to schools, and most schools were full of Apple 2E's and the like.  Then gradually PC's chipped away at the market except in specialist ares like graphic design courses.

It seems a little like Apple is trying to use schools to recapture the hearts and minds of kids, via the iPad.  A parent of a child attending Orewa College in New Zealand reports her budget will be severely strained by the descision that the new intake must by an iPad as part of their equipment (prices starting at $799.00 NZD).

She also reports that a school meeting about the new policy was "Basically it was a sales pitch for Apple"

It seems to me that this kind of policy is great in principle, but in practice it will just widen the digital divide between those given immersive experience with new technology, and those limited to an hour or two a week on a geriatric computer at the public library.

See also:

Sacre Blur

Associate editor for Club lighthouse has been chatting on Facebook and making comments including: "So Kids from M/M ...F/F parents make better people? but do they grow up gay?" and "Old Queers have been converting or should I say "turning" young teenage boys since time immoroal [sic] ... In my days at school there was no gay boys!"

When called on it he responds: "I got a slapped wrist, for having a conflicting opinion...sensetive ...'Nowt as queer as folk"~ as my mother used to say...Is it okay to have a sense of humour?"

To which the answer is: no, not when you say shit like this. Not that I would have paid much attention if he hadn't drawn attention to his role at Club Lighthouse (an epublisher with an LGBT imprint) within the thread.

Kobo Come Lately

There is yet another development in this new trend of everyone getting in on everyone else's business.  Canadian ebook retailer Kobo is going to become a publisher. (Because apparently the best way to compete with US powerhouse Amazon is to do what they do, but later and not as well).

Monday, October 24, 2011


  • Slap bracelets recalled--When taken upart, the metal tapes measures they had been made/recycled from had nude ladies on them. I kind of want one, wonder if any made it onto Ebay....
  • Aussie band defends 'gross' video--kissing an older woman is gross? It may not be your thing, and it is done a bit for comedy/effect, but why "gross"? [video here]
  • Kristine Kathryn Rusch--"In the past two days, two different editors have told me that I don’t know how publishing works. One deigned to explain to me how something in book production worked when I questioned a scheduling problem in the publishing house. The other told me I had no idea how to write a good book in my genre."

This metaphor is even worse than the "baby" one

"Fame may be waiting for a nudge from you
There is a story of a honest, honourable and devout ady who suffered from a nightmare of bad breaks in life. Her troubles made Job's problems seem like a dream life. Yet she never gave up her faith. At some point she felt that penury was her worst problem. She started praying to God everyday: "God, please make me win the lottery tomorrow." Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and her circumstance remained unchanged. After a spectacularly bad day instead of a prayer, what came out was: "God! What rubbish ? there is no God only the Devil who rewards evil!" Before her rant could go further, a gentle voice interrupted her: "My child, give me a chance -- buy a lottery ticket!"
Are your giving Fame a chance?
Publish your works on Independent Writers ( Give feedback to other writers. Get read. Get seen.
Join today."

If publishing is a lottery what does this mean?
1) The writers only goal is wealth/fame
2) The are almost certain not to get it
3) If they do get it, it is pure chance/divine intervention, not merit
4) Generally the only winner from gambling is the House

And if their dodgy metaphors don't convince you, there is always their forum spamming and poor proofreading to fall back on.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mutter, mutter....

I can't find my other post with covers featuring this guy, but I don't think this was one of them? And is that his real torso? It doesn't seem to quite match....

Crossing the Fanfic Line

Writer's Coffee Shop is ostensibly a publisher.  I say 'ostensibly' because no publisher in their right mnd would have a fan-fiction section including fiction based on contemporary series like Bones and Twilight.

There are a lot of fan-fiction sites out there by they wisely stay under the radar and generally non-commerical. They host user uploaded material bur if the heat comes on they can easily just take the site down and walk away.

One entity doing commercial publishing and amateur fan-fiction... well, it's a bad case of worlds colliding. And the fact that the fan-fiction is not being sold for cash money is not the protection than many seem to think it is.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lost books

I have a bit if an addiction to books being sold for a dollar or less.  It just makes me curious how they ended up so.... unwanted.

For Lost Girls and Love Hotels the answer is pretty obvious.  It is an literary-lite emo story of a Canadian girl with a difficult childhood who goes to Japan to be dissolute, work through some things, hide out and have a rather complicated love affair.

So: literary, emo, dark, edgy.  And this is the cover--->

Yeah... no  As one Amazon reviewer says: "It screamed Chick Lit, ... That screaming pinkness, the Japanimation cartoon, the semi-lurid font... Did I really want to subject myself to yet another neurotic-woman/child-takes-on-the-world-of-work account."

If you hate the cover you might love this book, it's that off message.


BL in purple. Clever, I guess.
At Yaoi-con Viz has announced that they are starting a new shonen ai ("boys' love") manga line called Sublime. This will apparently include e-book versions.

I am guessing the reference is to something grand or beautiful, not something that turns to vapor when the heat is on.

Or, indeed, something that is less than 'lime' (amateur fan fiction equivalent of shonen ai)?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bringing Up Baby

On HuffPo Arielle Ford posts the bold title: Selecting a Self-Publisher Is Like Finding the Right Nanny. Because your manuscript is "your essence, your being, your barely born baby".

Except it isn't. And if it was, you would be a morally bankrupt baby machine selling your offspring to anyone who can afford it regardless of whether they will treasure the little brat for life, or use it as garden mulch.

No matter which publishing model you follow, at some point you have to sell the baby.  So, when you think about it, the whole baby metaphor is in rather bad taste.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blue Daisy

I have to give it to Blue Daisy Books, the tag line "great artists burn the rules and piss on the ashes" is bad ass like the honey badger.

No Porn Please, We're British

Prime Minister David Cameron seems to have got the UK's four biggest internet providers to agree to "porn" being an opt in option online.  That is, unless you specify that you want it when you sign up you won't have access to it via your browser.

In a wonderful demonstration of separation of church and state the plans will be unveiled at a meeting with the Christian charity the Mothers' Union--perhaps as part of a plan to woo female voters.

As it happens I understand wanting to make porn reasonably inaccessible to children. But in this context it feels like a 'think of the children' gambit, hiding a 'think of your eternal soul' motivation.  And government should not be part of that kind of nonsense.  The porn blackout is paired with a crack down on billboard advertising that often seems to conflate nudity with sex. It also gets tied to other knee-jerk issues like overly sexy kids clothing lines.

IMHO it would make far more sense to take an opt in approach like with the parental controls of a television.  And I shudder to think what websites will ultimately be considered porn.  (Although if the criteria Adsense uses are any guide, this blog will probably be one of them.) Meanwhile the muttering moral minority is having a field day, with a Telegraph columnist running with the title: "The world of internet porn is as damaging as it is unpleasant" and calling the blackout a "blow for freedom".

I wonder if  we will ultimately end up in a culture where it will be considered shocking to show a bare breast to a baby, or take a pre-teen to a beach where bikinis might be worn.  Because that kind of neo-puritanism strikes me as more dangerous than a city full of Victoria's Secret billboards. I think that "Net Nanny" services should of course be affordable, effective, standard features of the devices we bring into our homes. But ultimately, what displays on my computer screen should be the internet in its entirety, not a tamed down version under the control of a murky, undemocratic morality committee. (Likely to be about as transparent and even-handed as those progressive chaps at the British Board of Film Classification).

Monday, October 17, 2011


Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Creeping Margins of "Obscenity"

The laws in relation to depicting underage sex have been becoming increasingly restrictive, and beginning to encompass prose involving no actual people.  One recent case in Canada relates to a book called Lucky Lips by William Robin Williamson writing as Rob Elan and published by Acolyte Press.  Published in 1991 it is the basis for a prosecution for creating child pornography. One advocate sum it ups simply as: "You can't write about children under the age of 18 engaging in sexual activity."

Erotic Escapes

Erotic Escapes seems to be another erotic ebook etailer. As part of the ongoing feminization of te erotic genres they state: "Our goal at Erotic Escapes EBooks is to provide a place where you can go explore your every Erotic fantasy as well as education and helpful articles about Femininity."

The site need a little of proofing (e.g. "our sponsers"). They seem to be soliciting authors, but make sure to upload only books to which you hold publishing rights (seems obvious but there have been some issues with this).

They also offer a self-publishing service and web design service.  I say "they" but given that all this online infrastructure currently contains one book by one author.... I am thinking it might be essentially a one person operation at the moment.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fisking My Hate Spam

Dear [ ],

Thank you for your recently signed petition. I am excited to know you are an American who is willing to take a stand for pro-family values.

Actually I responded to the survey in a way that indicates that I fully support the insidious gay agenda in all its forms.

Here at Public Advocate, fighting for and defending the family values our nation was founded on is what we are all about.

Really? Because you seem to spend a lot of time promoting homophobia and spamming people.

If you are looking for a hard-hitting pro-family organization with a history of victories against the growing radical Homosexual Lobby, look no further than Public Advocate of the United States.

Founded in 1981, Public Advocate quickly took center stage as the nation’s leading family advocate with over 400,000 united pro-family activists.

I feel ill.

Time after time, Public Advocate has beaten back the attempts of the Homosexual Lobby to pass legislation aimed at making homosexuals a special class of citizens.

You means a class with human rights?

But, victories these days have been harder and harder to come by.

Finally, some good news.

Which is why I so excited to have your signed petition!

It was a survey, not a petition.  And I answered the opposite of what the slanted questions suggested.  So this was clearly a doubly-deceptive piece of nasty bigoted marketing tripe.

With it, I will prove to Congress that the American people still hold traditional family values dear.

Yes, like freedom or religion and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

And if you believe the threat of the Homosexual Lobby is being blown out of proportion, think again.

Well, if you keep blowing on it, it will tend to become... bigger.

At this very moment, individuals and organizations with hundreds of millions of dollars that comprise the Homosexual Lobby are working to pass their radical agenda.


Here are just a few names and organizations you may recognize: Tim Gill, Barney Frank, Pat Stryker, Jared Polis, Cindy and Meghan McCain, The Advocate, GLAAD, and the Human Rights Campaign.

Apparently I have not been getting all the radical gay agenda newsletters, because I haven't heard of some of these.  But I will be sure to look them up now and buy their products and contribute to their causes.  Thanks for the heads up.

All of these people are working towards what they call “equal rights” for homosexuals, when in reality, the rights they are trying to acquire would be unique to homosexuals only.

Not really, if other people want to get married, not be discriminated against, and bonk the same gender--well, they are welcome to.

A Thought Control bill was just recently passed. This bill puts into law regulations that deem so-called “hate speech” as illegal.

This has me worried, and I hope you are too. Because who is to say what language will be considered hate speech?

I imagine it would be encouraging the audience to hurt or kill people based on demographic variables.

Don’t believe me? In Canada and Europe pastors have been thrown in jail for preaching Biblical teachings against homosexuality.

Citation or it didn't happen.

This very well may be the reality of Thought Control in the United States.

I hope you know how serious this issue really is.

Yes, I find you unsupported inflammatory bullshit very convincing. I mean, who wouldn't?

Which is why, as President of Public Advocate, I have devoted my life to protecting family values and defending our freedoms.

Me and my family encourage you to take a long holiday... or, better yet, retire.

I want to leave a legacy I am proud of, knowing the United States is still the nation I grew up in.

Instead of having retrospectively become Australia just to live down the shame?

But without your support, this year alone we could see Barney Frank’s so-called “Employment Non-Discrimination Act” put into law.

God forbid, it could have become illegal to fire someone for being gay.

We call this the “Gay Bill of Special Rights” because it doesn’t eliminate discrimination, it destroys workplace protection from radical homosexuals whose only mission is to spread their agenda.

The radical agenda of not being fired for being gay. That is about as alarming the the right to not be fired for being a woman, for getting married, for having a child, for being black, or Jewish....

If passed, the Gay Bill of Special Rights would require workplaces to meet a quota of homosexual employees, forcing employers to choose a radical homosexual over a potentially more qualified candidate.

Bollocks, pure and simple.  You really are just making this shit up.

And no workplace will be exempt. Churches, daycares, nursing homes, private schools, you name it, all will have to adhere to these regulations.

Actually churches generally are exempt, and the rest sure as hell shouldn't be. They are in danger of making the military industrial complex the most liberal employer in the country.

And Obama is even looking to push for the repeal of "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" this year, which would remove the protection our soldiers have from the Homosexual Lobby.

So this is totally not mass-mailed spam no one bothered to update....

And even the Healthcare bill is filled with numerous paybacks to homosexuals, giving lower healthcare premiums to “unmarried” homosexuals than married couples, all paid for at taxpayer expense.

[Blinks]  So it is okay to discriminate against some one for not being married... because you won't let them get married? So it is okay to make gay tax-payers subsidize heterosexual married couples, but unthinkable to do the reverse?

I hope you understand this threat is real. . . and imminent.

Don't get my hopes up,

And I also hope you will consider making a donation to Public Advocate to help protect our family values.

Public Advocate will never waver from the firm conviction that political decisions should begin and end with the best interests of American families and communities in mind, and that marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman.

Okay, so I guess you don't even think I have a family.  Thanks, dude.

Public Advocate has been 100% dependent on the financial support of contributors, we do not receive any government or taxpayer money, nor do we want it.

How noble.

I would appreciate it if you could help support Public Advocate by making a charitable contribution, please click here.

How did you get charitable status? I think of charity as more like feeding the poor, not oppressing the gays.....

No matter the amount, be it $5 or $50 or more, every dollar you give is greatly appreciated and will go a long way towards defending our pro-family values.

It is my hope to keep you up-to-date on the fight for pro-family values through email alerts.

It is my plan to send any such mailings to SpamCop.

There are some tough battles coming up very soon and I am going to need your help if we are to win.

I sure hope so, because in that case you are doomed. 

Thank you for your support.

Fuck you very much.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pimp Yo Book

"FlareFont Publishing exists to fill the gap between print publishing and self publishing. We will give your writing the love it deserves, assuring that it is the best it can be before putting it on the digital marketplace."

Translation: We will pretend to love your book, take your money, pimp it up and leave it standing on a street corner.

Sorry, that was snarky.  But there are now more people planting flags in this "gap" than there could possibly be room for.

Harry Potter Ebooks Delayed

The Harry Potter books were due to be released as official e-books this month.  But it seems this date is being pushed back into the unspecified future (somewhere in the first half of next year).

The delay is being attributed to the Pottermore website being too successful for its own good, and needing some propping up to deal with the traffic. This is despite the site still being in beta and not open to the general public.

So, keep on waiting for those legal e-books. (A Christmas gift to the pirates, I guess?)

Pramfest 2011 (a.k.a. Who's Ditching the Watchmen?)

It seems that Books-A-Million is joining Barnes and Noble in removing DC comics from their shelves in protest of DC's exclusive deal for digital versions of some comics with Amazon.

See also:
BAM Joins B&N, Removes DC Graphic Novels Over Kindle Fire Deal

I do not think that word means what you think it means

First we had the infamous PR guy now dubbed PantyJose who called a blogger "a fucking bitch" and then implied she was the one who needed to apologize.

Now there is PRProfile. Erastes tweeted to them:
it's a bit daft following people when your site is going to be down for 13 more days!

And they replied: 
Thanks for the mention. Post your free press release at
Which, of course, she can't--because their site is down. If this is good PR, Lord save us from bad PR.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

UK Fantasy Awards Under Cloud

Sam Stone reports that she will be returning her British Fantasy Award due to a desire to avoid unproductive controversy. The relatively small voting base for the awards (British Fantasy Society members and FantasyCon attendees) has caused mutterings before as it tends to favor the dark end of fantasy and horror over other subgenres.

This year the conspicuous success of books published by Telos drew attention to David Howe's role filling in as BFS Chair. (Mr. Howe is a director of Telos and domestic partner of Sam Stone). It seems that Stephen Jones wrote a particularly strong blog on the topic entitled "Putting The "Con" Into FantasyCon" but this is no longer available online.

It has the flavor of bad appearance rather than bad actions, but has put an unfortunate spin on what should be a happy event. However it must be admitted that the small voting base and close familiarity might have lead to biases in taste and voting that make themselves felt even when they are entirely unintentional.

The British Fantasy scene is a strong one, especially when it comes to small presses.  So hopefully this is just a small bump in the road for everyone involved.

See also:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Old News is Good News

Apparently the mainstream media are still discovering that romance readers like e-books.  This news presumably remains surprising to them because:
1) The journalists think romance readers are stupid trogs and are astounded they can find the 'on' button of a Kindle, or
2) The journalists like to talk about how ashamed romance readers are of reading romance, or
3) Someone Random House sent them a PR package about Rouge Romance and they decided to post it instead of actually researching and writing something original or insightful.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Precious Gems Publishing

My first instinct is that calling a press "Precious Gems" is a bit like calling it "Precious Darlings". There is all the usual rhetoric about nasty traditional publishers ripping off poor authors who are all, of course, genuises.  Much use of capitals and bold type.  But let's skip to the end shall we?


That buys a lot of ego-fluffing, and an e-book with a lackluster cover and no distribution (as far as I can see).

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Drollerie Press

Drollerie is a small press that has put put some interesting books. But health issues have lead to a slow down and suggestions that the press is being sold or closed.  Nothing definitive as yet.

It's Promotion, But is it Smart?

Simple Progress is an online promotions company. Amongst its clients, some best-selling romance authors. And one of the owners of Simple Progress is Sarah Wendell. Presumably the Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books: "A website that reviews romance novels from a couple of smart bitches who will always give it to you straight."

Friday, October 07, 2011

Barnes and Noble Throws Comics Out of the Pram

Because DC made an exclusive e-book deal with Amazon (which is mildly irritating) B and N are pulling their print comics from stores (which is outright juvenile).

As long as retailers keep acting like kindergarten kids (if you are friends with her, you can't be friends with me), buying books is going to continue to be a pretty dismal experience.

What happened to people making stuff and shops selling stuff.  All the stuff.  In one place, FFS.

(If you still happen to have a comic book store struggling along in your neighborhood, I would suggest getting your graphic novels there....)

See also
Amazon's grip tightens on the entire book-publishing chain

Thursday, October 06, 2011

MARKET: Coffee and Cream Publishing

"Coffee and Cream Publishing is an eBook publisher of interracial and multicultural romantic fiction." They are seeking line editors and cover artists; pay rate not disclosed.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

TBA spam

If you use the book promotors TBALounge (thebestauthorslounge) you might like to know that the friend people on Facebook so the can spam them by PM. Which was a good reminder to me not to accept friend requests from people I don't know. But also, I think, a reminder to authors to check out promotion companies and not hire those who send unsolicited mailings to all in sundry.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Inspired, devil-worshippers need not apply

Shocking, I know. A new romance epublisher.


I have nothing at all against this new start up.  But how many different romance epublishers can the market really support?

Owned by Joan Alley this one leans 'Inspy'. But there are already a few even in that niche.

Besides being anti-erotic you are also not allowed to "promote atheism, witchcraft or devil-worship."

In my book, putting atheism next to devil worship is a lot like listing homosexuality next child abuse. It betrays something of a prejudice rather than simply a genre specialty. But what would I know, being a heathen and all.

I am going to go out on a limb here and guess they don't want gay romance either.

(Want to guess what other names their only author, Trinity Hart, might go by?)

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Opting out of the Borders Data Sale

If you want to stop Borders from sharing your customer data with Barnes and Noble, including transfer to their loyalty program, you need to visit:, and enter the email address you used at Borders, before October 15th.