Friday, June 28, 2013

No Boundaries Press is Closing

If you are an author with No Boundaries Press I would suggest reacting with alacrity to ensure you get a release that specifies your title and is address to you by (pen) name rather than some online "blanket release".

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pros and Cons of Net Galley by Lissa Trevor

One of the quickest ways to get word out about your book is through word of mouth.  But unless you have a street team or a line of fans who are dying to get their hands on your book, trying to get reviewers can seem daunting. offers a solution.  They have a database of book lovers who want Advance Reader Copies in order to blog about them.  By signing up with NetGalley, your book could get into the hands of a lot of reviewers.  But it is expensive.
The downside is unless your publisher already has a subscription to use the service, it’s almost out of the question for a single author to pay to be on NetGalley.

CON:  $399 listing fee unless you’re going through the Independent Book Publishers of America and then it is $350.

However, if you can get into a co-op with a few more authors, there is a subscription service.  It’s still the $399 set up fee, but there is a $150 a month charge.  Split between a large group of authors, it might work out to be more cost effective, depending on how many books are going up in that time frame.
The upside is NetGalley has a tremendous reach of potential reviewers. They also send out targeted newsletters throughout the year.

PRO: 80,000 professional readers. 1 million page views a month. Heavy social media traffic on Facebook and Twitter.

But not all those readers are going to be a good fit for your genre.  Anyone can request a review copy, but if my book is erotica and the reader has never read an erotic title, there’s quite a learning curve.  The best case scenario is they love it.  The worst case scenario is they leave a nasty review because it wasn’t what they expected or liked to read.

CON: Forest Gump approach to reviewing.  “Reviews are like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get”

However, there’s some evidence that even a negative review will build a readership and perhaps even get the book into Amazon’s algorithms. 

PRO: Sometimes there’s strength in numbers.

I think NetGalley is worth a try – if you have a publisher who can put your book up there.  At this time, I don’t think the high cost of the listing fee is worth it if you’re going alone.  But if it fits in your budget, there are worse ways to spend your marketing dollars.

Lissa Trevor has her stilettos firmly entrenched in the romance community.  Spank Me Mr. Darcy, an erotic mash-up of Pride & Prejudice is her debut novel from Riverdale Avenue Books.  She is a frequent reader at Manhattan's Between The Covers events, where her novellas Wild Oats and Timelash from Coliloquy’s Entwined volumes 1 & 2 have been very popular.  You can find her at

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rogue in the School Uniform

I am not sure if this cover is intentional humorous, unintentional humorous, or it is all just in my head and the cover is fine. Can I get a reality check please?

My immediate thoughts on see this were:
1) Why is his sword so tiny?
2) Why is he shaving his back with it?
And 3) why is his "kilt" not pleated but gathered in ruffles with a waistband, like a girl's school uniform skirt?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DCL Drama

Things have been kind of quiet in the Dark Castle lords front.  Until this week when their former cover model Billy Fred reported filing a restraining order on DCL owner Pam Seres.

[insert raised eyebrow here]

Sunday, June 16, 2013

....a blog post

I thought that the pretension of adding ":a novel" at the end of a title of what is quite obviously a novel was a fad that would pass.  But just this month we have a plethora of novels with this clarifying phrase in their titles, including books from Neil Gaiman, and Janet Evanovich. And this on books that would not easily be mistaken for textbooks or collections of poetry. So I guess my pet peeve with be peeving me for some time to come.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bring Me Back

Bring me Back (Turquoise Morning Press) is being explicitly marketed as Duran Duran erotic fan-fiction, specifically in relation to John Taylor.  Once upon a time the reader was left to slyly work out who the real person subject of this kind of story was.  Now apparently it's okay to just tell them.

I have to say that romance with a famous musician/athlete/etc is clearly a coherent trope when you follow the "also bought by" links on amazon.  It seems to link to "romance with a billionaire" on one side, and "romance with a dangerous biker" on the other.

So maybe the rockstar is the perfect combination: the billionaire biker?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Court orders Black Lace Book Returned to Prisoner

The Silver Crown by Mathilde Madden includes features that will be familiar to many readers of paranormal fiction.  Kick-ass heroines, werewolves and plenty of sex.

A California Prison deemed that there was too much violence and sex in it to allow prisoners to have access to it. The pointed out that the book is described as "erotic romance", as if this were proof enough in itself. They also claimed that it was obscene and incited violence (presumably against the resident population of werewolves). And so Andres Martinez had his copy confiscated as contraband.

However the court ruled that the violence depicted "is not shocking or gory" and the sex is "always consensual" and "between consenting adults". The ruling goes on to say that the relevant law does not ban "sexually explicit conduct" so long as it is not "obscene". To be obscene it needs to both appeal to prurient interest and lack literary value.

It took three denied cases and appeals for Mr. Marinez's protest to reach a court that could consider his First Amendment rights and not just the prison regulations.  Professor Peter Orner provided evidence that the Silver Crown had literary merit. The court agreed, making several points including that the inclusion of werewolves and/or sex and/or having escapist fantasy qualities does not prevent a book from having literary merit.

Based on this, the lack of obscene material, and the presence of comparable material in the library the court ruled that seizing the book was "arbitrary and capricious."

See the full ruling here.

MARKET: Renaissance Romance Publishing

Renaissance Romance Publishing seems to be looking for all kinds of romance.  I am curious as to what they mean by "alternative lifestyle".

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Rising Issues

Penumbra's rising talent feature seem like a great idea, until you realize they are training the rising talent to not expect to be paid. Meanwhile the AbsoluteWrite thread on the parent company is revealing some pretty underwhelming sales. It seems that the buzz is starting to turn against Musa.

See also

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Scarlett Sees Red

Actor Scarlett Johansson is suing a publisher because of a french-language novel where a character is mistaken for Scarlett Johansson but turns out to just be someone who looks a lot like her. I am not sure how you sue some one for a depiction that is explicitly not actually of you?

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Another "great" interview

I am a little surprised that Coffee Time Romance is giving Noble Romance's Gombart a soap box to stand on and characterized the "interview" as "great". His claim that the only trouble between the publisher and the authors is "sporadic communications miscues" is ridiculous.

Even based purely on what is available publicly online there are clearly issues including but not limited to producing a terrible product, and not paying authors promptly and in full. And if it is the case that "80% of our current authors are new" I suspect they are going to learn, pretty soon, that leopards don't tend to change their spots.

When Coffee Time accepted Gombart's answers without any editorial comment and closed by thanking him for his "insight", they lost me as reader. Because that is where they crossed from just providing a point of view to endorsing it.

Edited to Add: Coffee Time has withdrawn the interview.