Thursday, May 31, 2012

Revouhaha: the Selection

A recap of the whole thing is at The Midnight Garden, saving me the trouble.

Market: Red Queen Press

Red Queen Press is seeking romance and erotica, amongst other genres.

"The four principals have decades of experience with editing and art design"--seems a tad vague to me.

They are new (launching this July), so the usual caveats and cautions apply.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Medallion Publishing has always been a little quirky. A their new ebook format TREEbook is a bit of a case in point. The press release says:

" TREEbook is an innovative new e-book format that features an underlying time-triggered reading experience that allows the book to generate multiple story-lines based on individual reading pace and other embedded triggers."

An ebook where the plot changes because I went to get a cup of coffee?  Um, yeah.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Angry Spammer

One "Miriam Silverstein" sent me an email:

"Why Victoria Strauss Should be Disqualified from the First Annual Independent Blogger Awards: Questions of Eligibility Remain Regarding the Meaning of “Independent”
This electronic mail transmission and any attachments are confidential and may be privileged. They should be read or retained only by the intended recipient. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete the transmission from your system.

I was a bit confused by all this and tweeted about it, causing Jules Jones to explain the whole ongoing feud-type thing behind this blog. Strauss asked to see the email, so I forwarded it to her. It is after all about her, the email is essentially devoid of content other than the link, and it was spam (an unsolicited mass mailing). So I don't see any implied confidentially whatsoever.

Miriam Facebooked me:

"What part of : This electronic mail transmission and any attachments are confidential and may be privileged. They should be read or retained only by the intended recipient. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete the transmission from your system . . . don't you get? You got screwed by VS and you're still kissing her ass."

The funny thing is, until Miriam emailed me I could not have picked Strauss out of a line up and did not have her email address. Having now looked into the whole thing I have indeed lined up to kiss her ass or some metaphorical equivalent thereof (i.e. 'friended' her on Facebook).

 If you are an author discussing a publisher, confidentially is implied, immediate and absolute. If you are bringing me some other kind of drama-llama hissy fit, do not expect me to fall in line with your agenda.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Historical Novel Society Contest = Whole New Level of WTF

On one level the Historical Novel Society competition looks pretty good.  You submit the first 5000 words of an unpublished historical novel manuscript, and you might win 5000 pounds.

On another level the winner must agree to be epublished by the Historical Novel Society, who presumably have not previously been in the epublishing business (and Lord knows how they will do at it).

Back on the first hand the 5000 pounds is not an advance and the author does earn royalties (50% net).


Do you miss the good ol' days when agents were agents, publishers were publishers, and societies were societies?  Because it looks like they are gone, gone, gone.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Yes, I Do Have Somethingto Say

I am willing to debate whether being published is a prize.  But saying so is at worst providing manuscript submission by a another name.But do you know what really crosses a line? Charging an entry fee for it like I Have Something to Say Press is.

Because if you look through all the fluff and assigning cash value to phone calls with people with no obvious publishing credentials and other such nonsense, that is what is happening here. And asking that your submission include three written testimonials by people who have read the book is bizarre. 

Bottom line, would you want to be published by IHSTS Press at all, let alone pay for it? It looks to me like someone has found a way to make money out of a becoming a 'publisher' without releasing a single book. (because they don't make their money from readers).

There is only one book even mentioned as in production, and it is written by the managing editor/self-published author/professional publishing consultant/contest provider: Susan Violante.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Undead Behaving Badly

One author is reporting issues with Undead Press anthologies edited by  Anthony Giangregorio, including extensive editing of story without author involvement or notification. This included changing major character traits, inserting content, and adding technical errors not present in the submitted manuscript.

Another author has a similar tale. Their story had large sections removed, the title changed and characters altered. Something the author discovered only upon receiving a copy of the anthology.

Kristina R Mosely reports having picked up the danger signals and turned down an offer from Giangregori.Tim Lieder also suggests that Giangregori might have something lose in the screw department. And if that is not enough, Giangregori has previously commercially published unauthorised fan fiction.

It seems that Undead Press/Anthony Giangregorio would be one to avoid, also operating as Living Dead Press and Open Casket Press).

Although to be honest I think the zero monetary compensation was the first clue (these do not seem to be zero profit or charitable publications).  And I wonder how much both authors were encouraged to order copies of the book (as they both seem to have done).

Edited to Add: In fact there really does seem to be a pattern of seeking out novice writers and treating them in a first patronizing and then actively bullying/hostile manner.

For the record, here is a list of authors reporting problems (hardly an isolated incident):
  • Christopher Dwyer & Richard Thomas [eds] -- Anthology: Eternal Night [link]
  • Mandy Degeit --Anthology: Cavalcade of Terror [link]
  • Alyn Day -- Anthology: Women of the Living Dead [link]
  • Darren WJ Mills -- Novel: The Unnatural Dead [link]
  • Mark C Sioneaux -- Anthology: Book of the Dead 3 / Novel: Hollowpoint / [ed] Anthology: Bigfoot Tales [link]
  • Jonathon Mayberry -- pulled out of anthology [link]

Monday, May 14, 2012

Too Many Adeles?

It is a little hard to believe that Adele Dubois is being challenged over having the same actual first name as Adele the singer.  But I doubt the blog for the Washington Post is punking us with this story. All that remains to be seen is whether the person sending the DMCA was actually representing Adele.  And whether they will be contacting the other 37,952 Adele's in the United States and god-knows-how-many around the world.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Monday, May 07, 2012

Groupon's Inane Defintion of Romance

I guess I am mean to think this is funny [link]:


BroadLit, huh? [squinty expression].  I can see how Broadthink got to the idea of calling their romance imprint BroadLit, but the slang meaning of Broad, to describe women, is not particularly complimentary.

"BROAD: 2. Often Offensive Slang A woman or girl."

This is the company that bought the Trues, without apparently worrying too much about some of their writers having gone unpaid. Apparently they will be exploi... displaying that material here.

Is this Sensa-ble?

Quite apart from the fact that they use quack science and have taken part in no third party studies--I would never buy a diet aid from a company that runs an ad like this:

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Are Dishonest Ebook Returns Increasing?

I have no problem whatsever with a customer returnign an ebook if it was bought in error, is defective in formatting, or is very different from how it was represented at the point of sale (e.g. described as a novel but actually a short story). These return reasons apply equally to paperback and ebook formats.

But some authors are reporting increases in ebook returns and have formed the impression that the books are being read and then returned.  Basically, piracy via return.And in some cases the explanation seems to be that they just didn't like the book, not that it was objectively defective.

Are many authors seeing this effect, or is it just much ado about nothing or just a misinterpretation of 'bought in error' returns? At this point I am not sure.  I would hate to think that a new kind of piracy is going mainstream but I don't want to make premature accusations when 'one click' purchasing mistakes might be the real culprit.

But if not, one does have to ask: is Amazon's seven-day no-questions return policy too lax?

See also
LL Publications [Feb 24, 20120]
Sam Cheever [May 4, 2012]

Open Letter to Best Western

I tried to send this directly to Best Western but could not find an email address, only forms that would not permit an attachment.  So I will post it here instead:

Dear Best Western
I was interested to see this notice from Best Western posted on my apartment building's locked notice board (attached). I can understand that the manager of this hotel might be frustrated at people who are not hotel guests using the hotel parking lot, and how considerate of him or her to notify these freeloaders that they are now in danger of being towed.  But this does leave me with one question:

Did this manager have a particular reason to believe myself and/or my neighbors are parking in the Best Western hotel lot and then walking or otherwise commuting the fourteen miles from that location to our residences? Or did he or she send this notice to every apartment building within (at least) fourteen miles?

Because, frankly, both options seem to stretch the limits of plausibility.



Friday, May 04, 2012

The Bestiality Ban

A British gallery was asked to take down a picture on that classic theme of Leda and the Swan on the basis that it "condoned bestiality".  (It also presumably condones disguising your self as a swan for nefarious purposes and delivering infants in the form of an egg.)

In a month of display apparently the only person to complain was the police officer who go it removed. You can see the picture, which is admitted a little more literal than most here (NSFW).

p.s. Zeus didn't choose the swan at random, it is one very few birds that is actually packing something in the penis department.

Market: Midnight Hour Publishing

Midnight Hour Publishing

They seem to be new? Right now I can't even get their website to work.  Is that just me?


Okay, I can get to their blog, from which I infer they are a horror epublisher.

Someone really needs to try a bit harder with that website....

Thursday, May 03, 2012

SearchforPublishers (.com)

For a novice author, Search for Publishers might seem like a really useful website.

It might not strike them as odd that the site asks you irrelevant questions like whether you have been published before, your day job and your budget (startiing at $200 and going over $2500). Oh, and also your age, address, email address, home and evening phone number. 

But if I had taken their advice back when I finished my first manuscript I would be the proud owner of a book "published" by Xlibris (and a lot of spam), not Torquere and the wending path that leads me (for better or worse) to where I am today.

I wonder how big the kickback is, that is paying for all their Adsense ads? And  I hope, perhaps in vain, that not too many of the people out there quite literally 'searching for publishers' are falling for this line of tripe.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


Amazon continues to profile our mothers.... jewellery, cooking, sewing, yoga, reading purely to escape (naturally), um, well, possibly a job maybe?

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

I know I say this a lot, but...

Dear Entranced Publishing,

It is my firm opinion that 1) getting published is not a prize and 2) getting an advance on royalties is not a prize. As such a "submissions contest" is a contradiction in terms.  It is either submissions, or it is a contest--and if it is a contest it should have a prize. And the prize should, as per dictionary, be something extra awarded at the prize-givers discretion.

Getting published is a result of your book being good enough and the right type for that publisher.And the advance is payment of royalties which, by definition, the author is going to earn (unless one assumes that Entranced is not going to sell enough copies to yield $200 in royalties). Whether getting that money in advance constitutes a 'prize' is open to interpretation, but I would suggest it is not.

Regardless, the first question any author should ask themselves before entering such a contest would be: is this my first and best choice of publisher for this manuscript. If it is somehow important to you to be paid a modest advance, it might be wise to submit to publishers that offer an advance as a matter of course? This would, at least, not suggest that being pay money due to you per contract is some kind of beneficent prize.

As previously discussed: 
Advance as a Contest Prize (2011)

Publisher's Contests, an Opinion (2007)

Market: Hot Ink Books

Hot Ink Books

"An Imprint of CH and BB"

Whatever that is.