Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blushing Books

So my current listing for Blushing Books, a spanking specialist, is:

"ABCD Webmasters [Not Recommended]
A publisher specializing in spanking stories.
[24 January 2007] Signs of trouble, negative listings :
[30 Aug, 07] reports of authors not being paid."

Things seem to have been going without a hitch over at Blushing Books, so it may be time to remove the "Not Recommended" tag.

If any authors have feedback about this, pro- or con-, please comment or me at email veinglory at gmail.com

Monday, April 29, 2013

About Setting Goals

Photo credit: Alan Wyatt / Foter.com / CC BY-SA
A lot of people set word count goals to get themselves to write more and to finish manuscripts.  I do not for a second question doing this.  It is one good way to get your lifestyle to match what you want to achieve. But I would raise one possibility to consider.  Sometimes we should observe our lifestyle to really consider what is import to us rather than assume we just know these things.

Some of you will enjoy writing like a machine and juggle it with work, family, me-time and everything else whilst not getting stressed out, and more power to you (seriously!).  But I recently thought this over and gave myself permission to write less.  I like my job, I like relaxing, I like reading, I like walking the dog, I like most of the things I do.  As much as I would like to be a high output writer, making the time for it is not going to make me happy and the affect on my income will not be terribly important any more either.

Photo credit: Kai Hendry / Foter.com / CC BY
Of course everyone is different.  Heck I used to be different from how I am now.  I wrote like a beast when I worked for a passive aggressive boss-weasel and needed that money for luxuries like... well, food. Bur my point is that the communication between our ambitious mind and our pragmatic day-to-day behavior needs to go in two directions. And sometimes it's okay to choose to put time and effort into something other than writing.

Stockholm Syndrome

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Where have I been?

So apparently the gender-swapped grope-from-behind cover is nowhere near as unusual as I thought. My image search for book covers posted in the last week offered these examples:

Darling, You manboob makes me so hot

Me too!

My favorite body part is further south.

Is this a new "thing" or have I just not been paying attention?

See also: Claimed

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I used to think I knew what New Adult meant.

I may be the grinch on the bandwagon but I wish self-publishers would pick a genre, any genre, but preferably one to which their book actually belongs.

More on Data Privacy

I just saw a TV advertisement where Microsoft (as part of the "Scroogled" attack campaign) is going after Google for not respecting data privacy.  So I guess, in Microsoft's opinion at least, I am not the only consumer out there that considers confidentiality of purchase information to be a hot button issue.

From the latest Scroogled campaign:

"When you buy an Android app from the Google app store, they give the app maker your full name, email address and the neighborhood where you live. This occurs without clear warning every single time you buy an app.

If you can't trust Google's app store, how can you trust them for anything?"

Friday, April 26, 2013

Dear Author, I'm Not That Into You

It seems like everywhere I got these days people are saying that ebook retailers (primarily Amazon) should give publishers and self-publishing authors more data on their sales.  I have heard specific mention of things like "ways to contact customers" and "email addresses". Having real time sales figures seems harmless enough.  That would be cool.  However even anonymized data can be an invasion of privacy if it breaks down sales by demographics categories to the point where some people could guess who the buyer was with some level of accuracy.

But beyond that I have serious issues with this whole whine-fest.  Because reviews are not the only things that belong to readers. Emails belong to readers.  Even the fact that I personally bought your book belongs to me as a reader unless I choose to disclose it.  And if I want to communicate with an author or find out more about her/him, I will do that on my own initiative. Otherwise, leave me the heck alone. 

Photo credit: moriza / Foter.com / CC BY
In many ways the digital world has a lot less privacy.  The internet, email, texts, shopping algorithms, aggressive cookie use and so forth are increasingly invasive and pervasive.  But there are forces that work in the other direction, forces that make even the most effortless kind of connection "opt in" rather than "opt out" or even "just shut up and take it". I do not want to be poked, stalked, subscribed, followed, profiled, targeted or even "engaged with" just because a pretty cover caught my eye one day on Amazon.

I wanted a book, not a relationship, thank you very much.

There is a difference between wanting to know more about your readers, and having the right to that knowledge. And if I want my use of literature to be in the form of a series of promiscuous and fleeting flings with anonymous books where I sneak out in the middle of the night and don't leave my number, that is just what I will do.  (Don't judge me).

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Highlander Cover

I have been on a bit of a cover art kick recently.  I just have to share this one.  It fascinates me.

Firstly, I like it a lot. I like it enough to overlook a hint of highlander mullet.

Secondly, this is an exact gender-reversal of a very common cover trope. She is groping him. He seems cooperative enough, unlike the common trope where the woman was often ambivalent or reluctant looking. But the general tone of exposing the boobage (male in this case) to full view seemed to be the same.

Even better, the heroine works for "Night Moon Publishers" and is dealing with a model who seems to be insane and consider he really is a 19th century highlander.  That's priceless.

Yes, I bought it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Roid Rake

I search the blurb for a reason for the HULK SMASH arm and hand, but I don't see one. It's set in 1889, BTW. A private Detective other than a Pinkerton... I am not sure that is realistic, but, well...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I think this title needs a comma.

But then again, maybe not. It's hard to tell these days.

From the blurb: "When Bree announces she's now engaged to a werewolf, Delia's first response was to dismiss it." 

 tr.v. wolfed, wolf·ing, wolfs To eat greedily or voraciously:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Seeking Guest Posts

I am always seeking guest posts, and I am currently particularly interested in 'social media for authors' topics.

I prefer posts that are:
  • Around 500 words long, or as appropriate for the topic.
  • Relate to erotica/romance fiction in some way.
  • Topical and reflect a strong point of view.
  • Accompanied by a 1-3 line bio and link to your website or blog
Any topic considered, but here are some suggestions:
  • Google + -- is it as dead as it looks?
  • Why bad covers happen to good books.
  • Facebook: profile or page?
  • 20 things to not tweet about.
Also, if you have a topic you would like to see covered on this blog, please suggest it in a comment to this blog.

Send guest blogs to veinglory at gmail.com, and if you want it posted on a certain date be sure to mention this. Reprints considered. There is no payment for guest posts.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Noble Publishing

Noble Publishing has been going down hill for some time, and this continues to be the case. CEO, Jean Marc Philippe Gombart, has a reputation with authors somewhat less favorable than mud.

In the last month:
  • Kari Gregg reports an ridiculously inept paperback release, at 11x9 inch size and basically not formatted at all. On top of that, their new release schedule has become very sparse.  There is also an interested email chain from which I pulled the quote shown below.
  • Brita Addams summarizes many issues including the publisher demanding that the author pay postage for their author copies. This kind of nickle-and-diming of authors suggests a publisher that is either completely broke or more than a little spiteful.
  • Margie Church is one of many who suspect royalties might be under-reported and so under-paid.  I almost always disregard this sort of claim, but in this case it seems plausible.  Books who were steady earners suddenly slowed to a trickle.  Books higher in vendor rankings than other titles by the same author (with a different publisher) are reported as having few sales.  It is suspicious.
Basically, the more you look, the worse it gets.  I am not sure what Gombart hopes to achieve by refusing to release authors. Because this tail spin ain't gonna be turned around. 

Photo credit: Mikko Luntiala / Foter.com / CC BY

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Golden Roses Awards

"For our 12th annual Golden Rose Award we will again be running a contest to find out who is the best of the best in writing. We will again this year have five categories with a maximum of 10 entries in each category.
~Contemporary Romance
~Paranormal/Sci Fi
~Romantic Suspense/Mystery" 

This contest now charges  $5 entry fee.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Shadowfall Publications

Normally I would say that it was time to draw a line under Shadowfall Publications (an e-publisher of various genres including paranormal romance). They opened in 2010 and went silent some time towards the end of last year. There have been no signs of life on their domain ever since and their Facebook account seems to be inactive.

However their books are still listed as for sale on Amazon. So does anyone know what is going on with these guys?

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Harlequin Class Action Suit Dismissed

As reported by Harlequin, in part:

" In July 2012, some authors who signed contracts with us between 1990 and 2004 sued Harlequin over the royalties paid on electronic versions of their books published pursuant to those contracts. On November 30, 2012, Harlequin asked the Court to dismiss the case.* Yesterday, the Court ruled in our favor and dismissed the case." 

*Barbara Keiler v. Harlequin Enterprises Limited, 12cv5558, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Night Shade books announcement to their authors....

...which has obviously leaked, is:

"As you probably know, Night Shade Books has had a difficult time after the demise of Borders. We have reached a point where our current liabilities exceed our assets, and it is clear that, with our current contracts, sales, and financial position, we cannot continue to operate as an independent publisher. If we filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, or liquidation, the rights to your books could be entangled in the courts for years as could past or current unpaid royalties or advances. However, we have found an alternative, which will result in authors getting paid everything they are due as well as finding a future home for their books, subject to the terms and conditions stated in this letter.
Provided that a sufficient number of Night Shade authors agree to certain changes to their contracts with Night Shade, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. and Start Publishing, LLC have agreed to acquire all Night Shade Books assets. To be clear, this is an acquisition of assets, not a purchase of the company as a whole. The revenue received from the sale would go towards paying off the debts of the company. If you sign below, and a sufficient number of other Night Shade authors and other creditors also agree to these terms, you will receive full payment to bring all royalties and overdue advances current."