Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Chick Lit

I am not a huge fan of chick lit, although I have certainly read a few. Like most people who read romance I also read other women's fiction and indeed mystery, non-fiction, manga, westerns and all sorts of other stuff.

I do get tired of people taking pot shots at chick lit.  For example a recent Huffington Post article that said "We're not deriding the chick-lit genre" but then went on to say that what women should really be reading is books that are about "fearless female protagonists realising their dreams in the face of adversity" and "witty social commentaries on the female condition".

Newsflash dipshit, that is pretty much a definition of chick lit.  It has a lighter end which is embedded on conventional western aspirations, but those are the aspirations of many of the people that read them.

So I think that certainly counts, unless wanting love, professional success and family harmony is to be deemed somehow improper for proper post-feminist womanhood (the rules of which make Jane Austin social mores seems simple)

And there is also chick lit that tackles what the intelligensia might recognize as serious issues worthy of their respect like Fat Chance (body image), Little Coffee Shop in Kabul (acceptance of Muslim culture), Courting Samira (the immigrant experience), and Rachel's Holiday (drug abuse).

So, yes HuffPo, you are deriding chick lit -- the fact you felt the need to disclaim it was your first clue.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Negative Review News

She hates your book more because she expected to like it -- neil conway / Foter / CC BY
ABC News reports that a new study of negative review on websites like Amazon has uncovered an interesting finding. While crazy and fraudulent reviews do occur, the typical negative reviewer is in fact one of the products best customers (defined as the most loyal csutomers who spend the most money on the product). And their study specifically included analysis of Amazon book reviews.

So what does this mean--well, first off don't rush to assume your worst critics are competitors, ignoramuses or the habitually grumpy.  Surprisingly (to me anyway) most reviews were found to actually be feedback from legitimate customers. About 95% had bought the product through the site and some of the rest may have bought it elsewhere and gone to the site to review it.

But also don't think this means everything in the reviews is gold, because the bad reviews are generally from customers who don't like change, and it is inevitable that a writer will create different kinds of books during their career.  So they are a small number of people with a specific perspective, but to the extent you care about their point of view at all, you have to try and work out where they fit in with your other, less vocal, readers.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

MARKET: The Little French

Okay, I am not encouraged by the tag line of the oddly named e-publisher The Little French.  It is:
"a shelter for new authors". Hopefully the have goals that relate to readers as well.

The Little French is seeking romance and mystery. They publish in multiple languages, but based on their blurbs I would recommend that the take on an editor who is fully fluent in English. The Amazon "look Inside" feature suggests that their books have some formatting deficiencies also.

Monday, July 15, 2013


One Michael J Wagner wrote an abuse survival book called Shane (June 24, 2013). As the many reviews suggest, this book is a complete rip of JP Barnaby's book called Aaron (October 8, 2012).

But wait, there is a whole new level of scumminess at work here.  The plagiarizing "author" also started a crowd souring plea for $15,000 to go to trade shows and book fairs.


Update #1:

I ran a check on Wagners other book "Jilted" and it matches Dream of Me by Fern Michaels.

Others have already identified the "The Telling" as a book by the very same title by Eden Winters.

I found a match between "Steel Oil" and  "The Texas! Trilogy" by Sandra Brown.

I wonder why plagiarists activate the Amazon "Look Inside" feature.  It makes this very easy to unravel.

Please note there is a different Michael J Wagner who writes non-fiction.  He is not involved in this.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Etopia Press Smoke

There are some indications that all may bot be well at Etopia Press. Piers Anthony gives this press a mixed report, and Preditors and Editors has just down-graded them to 'strongly not recommended'.

See also:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Siren versus Secret Cravings: Round One.

A lot of writers and an author yahoogroup recently received an unusual message including a chain of emails between Beth Walker of Secret Cravings Publishing and an un-named representative of Siren Bookstrand.

The gist of it seems to be that Secret Cravings used a cover request form that was, let's say, "modeled on" the cover request form used by Siren Publishing. Including leaving in the original embedded email address which lead several forms intended for Secret Craving to allegedly end up with Siren.

It seems Secret Cravings was asked to stop using the form, and it seems they haven't done this.  As a result Siren is "considering" dropping all Secret Cravings titles from their Bookstrand e-tailing site.  And now said "considerations" and the entire preceding email chain, are broadcast to a bunch of authors, some of whom would rather be left out of it.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Accent Amour

British press Accent Books (founded 2003) is starting a contemporary romance imprint Accent Amour. The covers look a little like Mills and Boons of 20 years ago. I guess the slightly twee pink wholesomeness is intended as a contrast with Accent's Xcite Books imprint (founded 2007)

See also:

Monday, July 01, 2013

MARKET: Untold Press

Not currently open to submission.  Untold Press publishes Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci Fi, Steampunk, Horror and Romance but not Erotic Romance.