Friday, June 26, 2015

Bonnier buys Totally Entwined Group

It seems that the authors at Totally Bound and the other imprints learned about this at about the same time as the rest of us, albeit through the nicety of a direct email.

"Bonnier is acquiring the whole company and its imprints Totally Bound Publishing (romance), Pride Publishing (LGBTQI fiction), Finch Books (YA), Evidence Press (crime and thriller) and Celebritease (celebrity authors)."

So, from proliferating imprints like a crazed hydra, to being sold on lock-stock-and-barrel in a matter of months?  One wonders what that is all about. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Amazon right now

The publisher formerly known as...

In a strategy that makes little sense unless one is trying to out run and hide from.... something, Mystic Press / Phoenix Fire Publishing / Dark Storm Publications is now apparently Demons and Deities Publications.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Red Feather Romance

Freebooksy thinks they have an even better service for erotic romance readers than an email full of free books.  An email full or non-free erotic romance books that is "a discrete way to discover books that you'll love".

Ah, that classic combination of suggesting erotica is shameful and selecting the wrong homonym.  Unless the problem with other book promotion services was their hopelessly conjoined and non-detached nature.

Anyway, it's called Red Feather Romance.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Loose Id PR Misfire

cpence / Foter / CC BY-SA
At this stage in my life I am not writing a great deal, for the happy reason that my career is going rather well and taking up a lot of my time.  But I continue to write the occasional story (mostly for Loose Id, as it happens) and am active as a blogger, reviewer and general busybody.

As part of this I have dealt with the ongoing ambiguities and conflicts of interest that come from both creating fiction, and publicly critiquing it.  I won't pretend that is always straightforward, and I now operate a second pen name for some of my published reviews which is a questionable solution at best.

On the other hand, having on foot in each camp does mean I will probably not develop the kind of catastrophic tunnel vision that a staff member at Loose Id demonstrated in their correspondence with the reviewer Mistress M.

It is not only "entirely possible" that any given reviewer purchased their own copy of a book, it must be assumed at all times unless there is actual evidence to the contrary. On top of that, the publisher is simply not entitled to request changes to a review, even if that review consists entirely of incomprehensible gibberish and emoticons of bondage wombats.  The content of the review is utterly and completely out of their hands.  At the very most, direct technical corrections (such as about the length of the story and stated facts within the text) might be offered in the spirit of helpfulness.

And suggestions, no matter how coyly phrased, that one might have used a pirated copy, be bigoted towards the mentally ill, and be pursuing a personal vendetta against the author is indeed a goddam complaint, not matter how you disclaim it.

Choosing to fire such a missive of to Mistress M, who clearly has no fucks to give, was just the coup de grace on this massive miscalculation.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

You need to customise these things.

Lucia Whittaker / Foter / CC BY
In my inbox today I found a string of emails with the identical subject line.

"I Need Your Support. I Have Just Launched A New Book. Let me know whether you are interested in reviewing my book."

Whoever out there is teaching this book reviewer pick up line probably did not expect their students to be quite so literal.  It is like showing someone an example of how to fill out a form by writing "your name here" only to have them dutifully copy down those exact words. Not that I think this is a great subject line for a review solicitation in the first place, but after the fiftieth repetition is quickly became a basis for auto-rejection.

Inside the email each of them dutifully copies, sometimes with minor variations but often word-for-word, the rest of the text. "I hope you are doing great. I have got your email address from Amazon Reviewer Page..."  Later on there is a sentence: "The main theme of the book is..." which many leave with an open ellipsis, stumped by the heavy task of creating a whole original half sentence describing what their book is actually about.

Any author who would copy and use, verbatim and uncorrected, such nonsensical form letter is not someone I would trust to write a book worth reading.  I only hope they did not spend actual money to be taught how to alienate potential book reviewers in one easy step. It may be a pain to write your own solicitation, but if you a trying to sell someone on your talent as an author this is one chore you need to undertake yourself.