Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Do Third Party Sellers Deliberately Create Duplicate Listings on Amazon?

I keep noticing duplicate listings for my books on Amazon.  Only the paperback format, and marked "This item is only available from third-party sellers."  And listed by a single third party seller at an inflated price.

It is no mystery how the duplicate listing is created.  Even a small difference in just the title of the data entered will create a separate listing, not connected to the real listing where customers can by the book new and at list price. In these cases the new listing is generally created by putting brackets around the title. 

This as now happened often enough that I think it is a deliberate tactic by these sellers to avoid having to compete directly with the properly priced books.  Even if their listing gets much less traffic it has some chance of winning them the sale.

I keep reporting these listings, some of which now incorrectly say my titles are out of print.  But it seems to take careful explanations to several tiers of customer service every single time.  Amazon is quick to crack down on a lot of things, currently deleting reviews on the east suspicion of impropriety, but how long will it take them to catch on to this little scheme?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Erotic Poetry Open Calls (2015)

October 1st: Coming Together: In Verse is a collection of erotic poetry and risqué verse edited by Ashley R Lister. Sales proceeds benefit Hope for Paws.

September 15th: Bare Back Magazine is planning its first anthology in celebration of its 10th anniversary of publishing erotic stories, poetry, reviews, art and news online.

Open: Clean Sheets (unpaid) Poems on a broad range of erotic themes. We are interested in provocative poems about all types of lifestyles and cultural perspectives, all forms of sexual play, and insights on the nature of eroticism.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Pony Play Goes Mainstream (?)

As self-publishing and e-publishing become more accessible, a number of niche markets are becoming more visible online.  One of them being pony play, an equine role-play fetish that the informed eye sees glimpses of in sundry places like Madonna concerts and couture fashion shoes.  But the literary aspect of pony play has recently begun moving from underground to overt.

Works could be found where people literal turned horses fell in love in that form (Wind in Cairo, 1989).  And even collections like  Donna Barr's "Transformations" (Lulu, 2006) which focus on becoming a horse (or horse-like) as a distinct fetish interest.

However it is only more recently that works like the Victorian-era Copper Horse series by Miss Merikan have appeared on Amazon (See more examples here). If earlier prose works of equine roleplay exist, they must be from the ephemeral world of direct order erotica, and no obvious record remains.

Many mainstream works of pony play display intricate work building to make the fetish elements of being a human pony a natural part of the social order, often by using a historical setting where considerable imbalances of powers existed between people based on race or class. A rather perilous path that these earlier authors have negotiated skillfully (but less nuanced works are likely to follow).

A kink that was fading into obscurity is finding a new and more diverse audience through writing that blends the fetish core of the pony play concept with worlds where the more ridiculous aspects of its "reality" are buffed beautifully away.

Eventually we will probably see the mainstream media suddenly "discover" this modern trend that has it roots firmly planted in 100 years of kinky history.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Nine Star Press / Valentines Open Call

Nine Star Press is launching in November of this year (2015). They are seeking "LGBTQA romance fiction, literary novels, and erotica shorts."  They have a special call for Valentine’s Day 2016 stories.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Bizarro Kindlerotica

I think there is now official a growing literary love child between erotica and bizarro fiction.  Bizarro fiction has often included erotic elements but in  fairly haphazard way. 

Now it seem that as erotica grew beyond the tamer paranormal options and tentacles into Bigfoot, Dinosaurs and other monsters some writers have embraced the goal of brining erotica the most unlikely figures you could imagine.

Clippy the Microsoft Office animated assistance, the late President Lincoln, the MacDonald's Hamburglar... they all star in erotic ebooks available on Amazon. And Leonard Delaney is the crown Prince of Bizarro Kindlerotica land.

Bizarro Kindlerotica finally reach a place even I find rather dubious (aesthetical and legally) with author Lilith St. Augustine and the story Kim Goes To Jail: An Erotic Story--a transparent reference to county clerk Kim Davis.  (With a blurb clearly trying to shelter under the category of satire.)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Harlequin Wine

As Jezebel reports, Harlequin is bringing out wine under labels based on their earliest pre-category covers. No doubt a way to monetize and reinforce some romance genre clichés, without having to worry about paying a dime to the authors or illustrators from the original book.

And as for the advertising slogans.  Um, yeah.  That's not actually very romantic at all IMHO.  More sort of literally objectifying and all three advertisements clearly position the consumer as male. 

Of course if someone wanted to send me some Vintages by Harlequin I would not be above trying them out.  But when it comes to parting with my own money, I will wait and see what the Amazon reviews say first... and they would have to be pretty damn good to get part an advertising campaign that also seems strikingly "vintage", and not in a good way.

See also:

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Secret Cravings Publishing closed

Secret Cravings Publishing, closed 8/31, reportedly due to bankruptcy. Which is pretty much the worst kind of bad news for authors as it ties up their books for a long time and puts them right at the end of the queue as creditors.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Will there ever be a single 'go to' Romance Community? (And which ones do you use?)

Today Diversion Publishing launched a new online romance community.  What the press release lacks is a link to said community, it can be found here. It is meant to be "publisher neutral" and this is reasonably plausible in that Diversion's Ever After Division was been an e-bookstore and services provider, but never home to their own romance titles.

To my eyes the new community website looks deressingly pink, girly, sweaty-torso-ed and... well like a blog.Because,,.  It's a blog. Right? Damn it, I have fallen for another Press Release Puff Job.

Which is a pity because I do think there is a bit of a hole in Romanceandia where a real pan-romance site with forums, wikis, resources etc could fit in.  One is mainstream and business-like, and that swerves around the kitschy low tech populism of the Romantic Times forum, the cloying insularity of Romance Diva's, the dated fading charm of All About Romance....

Or a I being too harsh?  Which romance community sites do you use?  Which would you recommend?