Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Monday Midday Links RoundUp: EC Rumors, HSN, and Branding

While not book related, it was an article that was too cool not to share.   A couple of MIT students assembled a camera equipped with GPS that was sent into space, to an altitude of about 18 miles, where the camera took photos of space and the curvature of the earth and the appearance of the atmosphere.   What makes this amazing? The students did it for $148 using common components found in most stores: cell phone, camera, weather balloons.   Via Slashdot.

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez bemoans the branding of an author. She’s unable to sell her Irish-American saxophone story because publishers believe the consuming public won’t believe she has an authentic voice.   We’ve explored the concept of the author’s biography as authenticity here.

The race to provide a low priced color ereader might be on our doorsteps by Christmas.   Interread, the manufacturers of the COOL-er Reader, have promised a low priced, color, touchscreen eReader. The COOL-er Reader has been given lackluster to bad reviews so hopefully they’ll improve the quality of their devices.

Shannon Stacey blogs that obsolescence is not the fear behind adopting digital reading but it’s chaos:

I don’t think the core issue is technological obsolescence. I don’t even think the issue is the price tag.

The problem, as I see it, is the chaos.

There is almost no way for a rookie consumer in the digital reader industry to make an informed decision.


Is it any wonder a person’s not willing to throw down a few Benjamins to ride the digital carousel from Hell? By the time you figure out which formats can be read by which devices, you’re exhausted. And then there’s the DRM horror show. And beyond the devices, people starting talking about Stanza and Calibre and-

It’s a lot easier to drop $6.99 at Walmart for a paperback. P

Ravenous Romance announced that it would be offering its books via the Home Shopping Network. This morning and again at 3 am. tomorrow morning, Holly Schmidt, one of the owners, will offer sets of six of its stories to the 90 million people who watch HSN.   The books have been sanitized with the sex scenes mostly removed. (No time traveling urinal stories for the HSN folks).   This is an innovative move, but will lack of success for Ravenous Romance turn the HSN off other romance book sales?   I read in one article that Paula Abdul moved 35,000 pieces of jewelry after a two day sell-a-thon so it’s unknown what figures Ravenous is hoping to pull in on this marketing ploy.

Jennifer Crusie wrote a long response to Robin’s thoughtful piece on the bad mother trope in genre romance.   Crusie argues first that the bad mother trope is due to its universal appeal: we all have mothers and we all have issues with our mothers.     Crusie argues that her mother who constantly picks on Min to eat less, weigh less, and be a better prop to the mother’s social climbing ambitions is not evil or bad but just imperfect. Her mothers are “pursuing their own ends, not sitting around bitching and moaning. They’re active.”

I think the question of Bad Mothers in romance tends to be a political question more than it is an art or craft question: is the rash of Bad Mothers bad feminism, does it make the genre look bad, does it send a dangerous message, whatever. I don’t care about that and I don’t think most readers care about it.   A Bad Mother badly written is going to be Bad, period, just as a Good Mother badly written is going to be awful. A Bad Mother well written in a good story is going to work because she’s necessary to the plot and character development, not because she’s a Bad Mother

To some degree, I think Crusie misses the point. It’s not that we readers don’t recognize that Bad Mothers are   plot devices or intentionally written to be bad but rather that the proliferation of Bad Mothers in romance may be unintentionally saying something.   Maybe it is just an easy plot device to create a Heroine with Baggage.

Mike Shatzkin’s ruminates on whether ebook and POD is a viable publishing strategy yet.   No press run publishing model depends highly on direct sales and that a burgeoning publishing community cannot withstand individual publisher sales sites.

The web constantly reminds us of the value of monopoly. Amazon has a huge advantage in being the best place to shop for books because they’re the biggest. The size of the purchasing community adds value: more reviews, more data to make better suggestions or respond better to search queries, and it gives them the scale to add unique content through Kindle and BookSurge. In the same way, we’re likely to see a dominant horizontal ebook retailer emerge.

Ellora’s Cave tried to capitalize on its own niche which it has dominated since its entrance back in the early 2000s but even EC is recognizing that not being part of the larger retail market such as Kindle, Sony, Fictionwise is dangerous. Rumor is that EC books will be for sale on other vendor sites.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Jennifer Leeland
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 11:46:08

    I’d like to see EC offer their books at the larger venues.
    And I’ve been waiting….and waiting….and waiting…for ereaders to be less expensive and settle on ONE thing.
    I think what frustrates me is there are too many formats. I had a friend who bought my ebook and said “I bought it. In html which shows you how much I love you.” In other words, the format she WANTED/NEEDED wasn’t available.
    *grinds teeth*
    And I’ve had the same thing. Bought Linnea Sinclair’s “Shades of Dark” and “Gabriel’s Ghost” in Microsoft Reader (since it wasn’t available in pdf, my preferred format) and THEN couldn’t buy “Hope’s Folly” except in Mobi or ereader. *rolls eyes*.
    It’s not a new issue.
    I wish the industry would come together and go with ONE format. Just one. Oh sorry, was I ranting?

  2. sandy l
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 12:07:30

    I have to disgree with Shannon. I think it is the cost of the e-readers that is prohibitive. Not only do they require several benjamins, but the actually cost of the book is no less than the deadwood version and in one instance, it was even more than the deadwood version. So until prices of the books and the readers are lowered, I will continue to buy the paper version. Not only is it less expensive, I can trade it at the USB, loan it to friends, and Amazon cannot take it away from me.

  3. Liz
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 12:15:56

    It's not that we readers don't recognize that Bad Mothers are plot devices or intentionally written to be bad but rather that the proliferation of Bad Mothers in romance may be unintentionally saying something. Maybe it is just an easy plot device to create a Heroine with Baggage.

    There will always be those who use these kinds of plot devices as an easy way to build prefab conflict, but I wouldn’t write them off completely. Because when they’re done well, they can work. I think Michael Westen from Burn Notice summed it up best:

    “People with happy families don’t become spies. A bad childhood is the perfect background for covert ops – you don’t trust anyone, you’re used to getting smacked around, and you never get homesick.”

    When done well, it isn’t the Bad Mother who gets the focus, but rather how a character’s childhood, be it good or bad, has shaped them into who they are as an adult. And that exploration into why they are the way they are is important to me, because I’m more inclined to buy into a character who’s overcome whatever obstacles she’s had thrown into her path, than I am to believe a character who is the way she is because that’s the way she is, has suddenly up and changed for the better.

    Is the Bad Mother overused and at times cliche? Absolutely. But so is the Cheating Ex, Abusive Father, or Career Cop Whose Daughter Joins the Force to Gain His Approval, to name just a few.

    I have to wonder, too, if the Bad Mother trope is really so ubiquitous, or if it just seems that way because of what’s in the media. I know I can’t be the only one who’s stumbled across one of the many news articles or reality shows about large or unconventional families, and thought to herself, “Man, that kid’s going to be really frakked up when he grows up.”

    As for ebooks . . . one of the things that keeps me from being a digital convert (aside from all that was mentioned–the touch, the smell, the realness of a paper book) is the question of quality. Just about anybody with half a brain can create an eBook and list it for sale, and I don’t have time to sift through the hundreds of self-published, unedited dog memoirs to find something worth reading. There’s still a chance I could stumble across said dog memoir at Barnes & Noble or Walmart, sure, but my chances there are much, much more slim.

  4. joanne
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 12:27:52

    I read in one article that Paula Abdul moved 35,000 pieces of jewelry after a two day sell-a-thon so it's unknown what figures Ravenous is hoping to pull in on this marketing ploy

    Jane, Ms Abdul wore her jewelry on AI for months, talked about it online and gave it away to fans and performers during shows. (and trust me, please, you could not miss the size or glitz of the bling she designs even from space with an MIT camera) She, like so many other celebrities, already had a customer waiting for her product on a shopping channel.

    RR? Dunno. Maybe there is a market waiting for their product which would prove the point that a large percentage of romance readers aren’t online. I’m sorry they’ll miss the traveling ‘neither regions’.

  5. Janine
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 12:29:41

    Re. Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez,

    However, she continued, as her public image in the book world has been calibrated by her publishers to be a literary spokeswoman for Latinas across America, Valdes-Rodriguez also finds herself painted into a literary corner.

    She’d written a novel about an Irish-American jazz saxophonist, for example, which she says was rejected by publishers because nobody would ever believe she could write about authentically, even though her mother was Irish-American and she studied saxophone at Berklee.

    If that is really the reason the novel was rejected, that’s a shame.

  6. Jane
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 12:30:36

    @joanne Yeah, I thought that given the lack of a celebrity hook, it would be hard for RR to pull in even close to Paula Abdul numbers but I thought it was an interesting number to base it on. I think I remember seeing one of her pieces on American Idol. Didn’t she give a ring to one of the contestants? Like an early one that was always crying?

  7. Jane
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 12:34:15

    @Liz It is kind of interesting to see what authors can come up with when they write about the children of an established couple ala Linda Howard and her McKenzie series. Granted Joe and Chance had fucked up childhoods but Zane did not.

  8. joanne
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 12:36:52

    Yes Jane, she gave away a ‘star’ ring. About the size of a real star. The contestant was a major fail but she got a piece of bling to last for … well, however long rhinestones last.

  9. Jinni
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 12:40:46

    re: alisa v-r – this is why many authors write their ‘other’ books under a pseudonym. Unfortunately, like Saturn in cars – she may need to build another brand for her non-Latina books.

  10. Emily
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 12:51:49

    This is an innovative move, but will lack of success for Ravenous Romance turn the HSN off other romance book sales?
    According to the HSN site, they’ve never sold print books before, so if the RR books don’t sell well, it shouldn’t hurt other publishers any. But if it works, then other romance houses could have a new sales channel. Who knows.

  11. rebyj
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 13:19:38

    Why isn’t there a “Book” shopping channel??
    24 hours a day, it’d be like crack. Authors and publishers plugging their books or series of books of all genres. Sigh.. Dreams

  12. Suze
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 13:54:24

    The books have been sanitized with the sex scenes mostly removed.

    The company which self-describes its books as porn? If you take out the sex scenes, what’s left? Who’d buy it? Do HSC shoppers want sexless porn? It’ll be interesting to see how this works out.

  13. GrowlyCub
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 14:03:19

    I’m really intrigued by the author response to Robin’s post re: Bad Mothers, because as far as I can see, they all are missing the boat completely in their replies. It’s like they cannot see the point Robin and many of the commenters have tried to make. Baffling and not a little disappointing.

    As for the HSN deal. Can somebody clue me in who the folks of RR *are* that they managed to get this opportunity when so many more worthy companies either didn’t think of it or weren’t offered this chance? How depressing!

  14. Jessica
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 14:07:53

    The books have been sanitized with the sex scenes mostly removed.

    Like Suze, I’m puzzled by this line. I’m picturing books with covers, nouns and verbs removed.

  15. SandyW
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 14:13:23

    Like Suze, I'm puzzled by this line. I'm picturing books with covers, nouns and verbs removed.

    That’s why it’s a package of six? One would be way too short with all the ‘feminist smut’ removed.

  16. Brandy
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 14:29:34

    I don’t own an ereader and I don’t buy ebooks mostly because of the prohibitive cost of the ereaders. I just can’t afford to spend that much money at one time right now. Not to mention I have a real problem with having to pay full price for an ebook, when I can pick up a paperback at the UBS, WW or the bookstore where I own a discount membership card. I am also a techno-goober and know I would have difficulties in downloading the ebooks in different formats. I, too, wish they were offered in ONE non-confusing format. Until the price drops on the ereaders and ebooks are available in a simple non-confusing format (to me *G*) I’ll stick with buying paperbacks.

  17. Christine M.
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 14:33:48

    @Jane: Now that you mention it, you’re right Paula gave her ring to Tatiana Something (aka The Hysterical One Who Would Not Shut Up)

  18. roslynholcomb
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 14:57:55

    On the ereaders, I think it’s a combination of price and chaos. When I hear about stripping DRM and all that mess I just shake my head and keep it moving. I try to keep the fucknuttery in my life to a minimum and the notion of going through all that just to read a book? No thank you. When they have an ebook reader that’s as simple to use as an ipod and priced accordingly then I’ll be interested. Until then, not so much.

  19. GrowlyCub
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 15:04:50

    Can I just say how incredibly annoyed I am about the email I just got from Fictionwise. The new Carlyle is available for 100% microrebate. So I click the link, I’m ready to buy and … only available as ereader or mobi file.

    Another lost sale! I knew nothing good would come of B&N buying FW. They are ruining it. %^$#&*^#

    Grumble, mumble, and then they wonder that people are tempted or do pirate stuff…

  20. Dear Author Hater
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 15:25:15

    Dear Author I believe you are NOTHING but a JEALOUS human being with a outrageous pleasure you get out of writing a blog that does NOTHING but slander hard working Authors and Publishers.

    Ravenous Romance has done so well for themselves and for them to get a spot on HSN (which has already sold over 2000 and still counting in one day) is one of the best things for any publishing company. Ravenous Romance is the FIRST publishing company to make it on HSN and I honestly believe you can’t handle that. I honestly believe this is what you live for. To bash Publishers, Authors, and they’re Companies with your stale, impolite and tasteless BLOG!

    Dear Author, as a reader I am disgusted with your slander that you have created against hard working authors and publishers like Ravenous Romance who do nothing but do what they do best. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Ravenous Romance CONGRATULATIONS on the great sucess that you’ve had on HSN so far and I know there will be many more!

    Have a good day!

  21. Melissa
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 15:37:46

    I think this HSN deal is a great thing. Gets the epub to print folks out of the naughty corner and into the mainstream. Regardless of feelings towards RR they’ve opened a door for everyone else.

    HSN shoppers are more typical of romance readers (i.e. those most likely to grab their romances from the grocery store, drug store, Walmart and otherwise too busy to spend too much time picking out a book) so this could open their eyes to online publishers and put a few e-book readers into Christmas stockings this year

    And you have to admit for being in business only a year, RR pulled one hell of a rabbit out of their hats.

  22. Daigon
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 16:09:00

    I think the HSN deal is a great opportunity. I also think there are some very sour grapes here regarding the deal (having perused other ravenous romance tags on this blog).

    The texts have not been expurgated, but have altered for a more general audience–there is nothing new, disingenuous, or misleading about this as it happens all the time.

    To those making nasty comments. Have you read all of the books that are being offered? Are you really that quick to get on the “let’s slam them” bandwagon? That just makes me sad.

    I at least make thoughtful comments by educating myself before making snarky commentary. While I understand a few books have been reviewed here, that does not mean that the product being offered is the same, or that all of the authors should be painted with same brush.


  23. Digital Publishing: Looking at the Business Model | Booksquare
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 16:17:02

    […] (Interesting: after I’d written the above, word came via Jane at Dear Author that Ellora’s Cave, a noted hold-out in the Kindle store, may be reconsidering this position.) […]

  24. dark
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 16:18:19

    Crikey. Someone has marshalled the troops.

  25. Julia Sullivan
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 16:23:10

    Oh, boo hoo, someone said something mean about Ravenous Romance.

    Folks, people say mean shit about Random House, Penguin, St. Martin’s, Hachette, and all the rest all the time. Said publishing houses do not marshal a horde of angry fan commenters–they just let their work speak for itself.

    The chorus of disappointed queeb sounds does not make Ravenous Romance look more professional.

  26. Julia Sullivan
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 16:26:12

    Also, RR fans? Guess how you “get a spot” on HSN, QVC, and the other home-shopping venues. It’s not by being awesome–it’s by offering them a piece of your action. I agree that it’s a very clever marketing strategy, and kudos to whoever at RR thought of it, but it’s not a referendum on how impressive RR is.

  27. Bethany Michaels
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 16:52:56

    I’m one of the authors whose book is part of the HSN thing and the sex scenes were not removed, merely scaled back a bit.

    I can’t say for certain how other authors re-edited their books, but when revising “Nashville Heat” I just took out any profanity (there wasn’t much to begin with) and altered the more graphic, hardcore “erotic” descriptions in the love scenes. The books in the collection are still sexy romances, but tailored for a more mainstream romance audience.

    I don’t know the specifics on how RR got the HSN deal, but whatever you may think of the company and its principals, they have many contacts in many different kinds of markets and are really, really good at leveraging them. I’m not saying RR is the only publisher who could pull it off. I hope this kind of national exposure opens a door for other romance publishers to find new outlets and new audiences, as well. I truly believe that what’s good for one romance publisher/writer is good for all of us :)


    Bethany Michaels

  28. Julia Sullivan
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 17:16:12

    I don't know the specifics on how RR got the HSN deal, but whatever you may think of the company and its principals, they have many contacts in many different kinds of markets and are really, really good at leveraging them.

    Absolutely agreed 100%. This is an excellent marketing move.

    I'm not saying RR is the only publisher who could pull it off.

    Books have been sold on HSN and QVC pretty much since their origination, so obviously not–both small publishers and the largest publishers have been doing this for the past 15+ years (not to mention self-publishers like the dreaded Kevin Trudeau!) I hope it works really well for RR authors and management and HSN and whoever else can profit from this particular bit of marketing, and that everyone who buys a book enjoys it like crazy.

    But it’s a little silly to interpret the move as some kind of validation of RR’s legitimacy; conversely, if it doesn’t work, it’s not an invalidation of RR’s legitimacy, it’s just a marketing move that didn’t work out.

  29. Liz
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 17:32:10

    @GrowlyCub: Just because a person disagrees with a particular opinion doesn’t mean they don’t get it.

  30. Jessica
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 17:36:12

    Daigon wrote,

    The texts have not been expurgated, but have altered for a more general audience-there is nothing new, disingenuous, or misleading about this as it happens all the time.

    To those making nasty comments. Have you read all of the books that are being offered? Are you really that quick to get on the “let's slam them” bandwagon? That just makes me sad.

    I did not mean to sadden anyone.

    I really thought RR publishes explicit adult erotic books. The one I read was very explicit. And the website does say, “All of our books feature explicit adult content and are for mature readers only.”

    The words “all”, and “feature” (as opposed to “some” and “contain”) strongly suggest this to me.

    So when Jane said they were “sanitized with the sex scenes mostly removed” I wondered how there would be any book left. I mean, it’s not like taking one swear word out of a rock song.

    I wasn’t trying to be nasty, and I would make the same point about any erotica publisher.

  31. Moriah Jovan
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 18:22:15

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that one of the RRs I picked up I liked a lot. It was sweet and self-deprecating (of the genre and itself) in an affectionate way that was charming. Oh, also, it was very tame by my standards, but that might not be saying much. LOL

    Ripping the Bodice by Inara Lavey

    Nobody’s sending me any money for that opinion, by the way, more’s the pity.

    On the other hand, the other two RRs I bought are unreadable. Otherwise, I have no opinion on RR in general or specific.

  32. anon...
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 18:22:41

    As a brand new RR author, I can only talk about my book. It was written especially for the HSN project months ago, and it was written with no explicit sex scenes. There’s some heavy breathing and some sexy scenes. But overall, it’s PG, there are no profanities whatsoever, and the big worry is that it might be too vanilla for what readers want. I did this on purpose, and was supported by the publisher, so that I could personally focus on the love and romance in the storyline instead of the sex.

    So my book was not one of the books that was tailored down and there were no explicit sex scenes removed, because there weren’t any in the first place.

    I can’t speak for any other books. Only the one I wrote. But I did want to clarify that my book was PG from the start and has not been edited at all.

  33. Emily
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 19:13:02

    Moriah Jovan, your experience is similar to mine. I read a couple of Ravenous Romance books. Some I liked; some I didn’t. I guess when I think about it, that’s similar to other publishers. I haven’t liked some RandomHouse books but that doesn’t keep me from buying them because online sites have a different sort of branding association than regular publishers.

  34. brooksse
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 19:32:23

    “only available as ereader or mobi file.”

    I don’t know how many secure Microsoft Reader ebooks Fictionwise sold before the sale to B&N compared to after the sale. But FW stopped selling new titles in secure Adobe format before B&N bought them. I noticed it while looking through different authors back lists, that older titles were available in secure Adobe but newer titles were not. Even though other retailers had the Adobe format. So I checked the link on FW’s home page to search for books by secure Adobe format, and then sorted the results by FW release date (newest first). The most recent title was from January 2008.

    That’s about the time FW bought eReader; a year before the B&N purchase. Since it coincided with FW buying eReader, I figured it might have something to do with FW wanting to promote the their own eReader format.

  35. Suze
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 20:16:37

    To those making nasty comments. Have you read all of the books that are being offered? Are you really that quick to get on the “let's slam them” bandwagon? That just makes me sad.

    My comment was not meant to be nasty, but puzzled. I haven’t, to my knowledge, read an RR book. I don’t pay that much attention to a publisher unless I really, really like or really, really dislike a book. Or they make asshat moves in public, like several people purporting to represent RR did.

    Ravenous Romance came out and called their product women’s porn and feminist smut, indicating that they don’t know what the Romance genre is. A great many supporters came out insisting that a sexy story didn’t have to have a central romantic relationship to be categorized as a romance.

    Yes, it does. A heroine boinking her way through half a dozen men doesn’t make a romance unless she develops lasting romantic relationships with those half-dozen men.

    So if RR has changed its philosophy and is publishing romances as well as porn, good on them. It’s news to me, is all.

  36. GrowlyCub
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 22:43:11

    @Liz: Entirely possible, naturally.

    Or it could be that the question was posed from the perspective of analytical literary criticism and that I and others with similar interests and backgrounds see an underlying pattern in the (over-)use of the device of the ‘bad mother’ which the authors I referred to were not able or willing to see. Possibly because as authors they are closer to the subject matter than those who analyze literature for underlying concepts and ideas.

    Frustrating for both sides, I’m sure.

  37. Robin
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 00:19:05

    There was a short discussion on Absolute Write about the “racy” v. “PG-13” editions of Ravenous Romance books for HSN.

    To some degree, I think Crusie misses the point. It's not that we readers don't recognize that Bad Mothers are plot devices or intentionally written to be bad but rather that the proliferation of Bad Mothers in romance may be unintentionally saying something. Maybe it is just an easy plot device to create a Heroine with Baggage.

    It’s just that often those easy plot devices are the most loaded with baggage themselves, lol. Which was my point.

    I was kind of puzzled by Crusie’s post, actually, because she’s written so much about the genre that depends on reading it through the “political as personal” lens, and on the inter-related nature of craft and politics. Seemed a strange time to try to separate them, because it strikes me that this issue lies at a definite intersection rather than a divergence.

    I don’t know; maybe it’s a generational thing, not just between mothers and daughters in the books, but also a generational thing among readers. Or maybe the mother thing is so loaded that it’s already so personal to women that it’s difficult to consider relative to the Romance genre outside some autobiographical context (I was also surprised at how much personal history seemed to drive Crusie’s piece).

    It’s a little reminiscent of the whole virgin widow debate where some authors were arguing that it’s just a device and no big deal, and some readers were absolutely incensed about it. It’s been a fascinating discussion, though, and interesting reading the different comments.

  38. Danielle
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 06:10:43

    I’m an avid watcher and buyer of both QVC and HSN. The show hosts know how to pitch an item….heck you wouldn’t believe the stuff I brought and didn’t need. The company that my husband works for was on QVC a few times — they sold in one airing what would have taken months in the store to sell. Kudos to RR for approaching HSN to present their product. It’s not easy getting a new product on the shopping channels.

    The other day I say Ramona Singer (The Real Housewives of New York) selling her jewelry on HSN and her jewelry was doing very well.

  39. Liz
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 06:53:05

    @GrowlyCub: I guess what I don’t understand is the frustration. I thought Robin communicated her thoughts well, and those who commented argued their points equally so. As fond as I am of critical analysis, it’s not always black and white, right and wrong, either you agree or you must not “get it.” One opinion does not a discussion make. And while I completely agree that the “Bad Mother” plot device is seen in droves not just in romance, but in all genres, I don’t see how anyone can postulate the overabundance of it as reason to dismiss it entirely. That, to me, is akin to forming an iron-clad opinion on the romance genre as a whole, based solely on a personal dislike of a handful of covers. It lacks objectivity, not to mention common sense.

  40. anon...
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 09:51:00

    So if RR has changed its philosophy and is publishing romances as well as porn, good on them. It's news to me, is all.

    I’m the anonymous new writer with RR who wrote about the PG romance above. I’m remaining anon because I think it’s cheesy to promote my book on a comment thread. I know writers do this. I don’t.

    I can’t speak for RR’s philosophy. All I can say is that my book is very tame. There’s no smut, no porn, no explicit sex. There’s no kink, no foul language, and no silly references to genitalia. It’s PG, it’s a romance that revolves around love, and the female protagonist is very strong and independent.

  41. AnnK
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 10:55:09

    It seems like the RR deal with HSN is a great boon to RR–and to those 13 (if I counted correctly) authors whose books are included in the bundles.

    I do wonder, however, if this will translate into sales for the many other RR authors, especially the authors who do prefer to write with more erotic content? Will RR change it’s focus to more “mainstream” romance, if the HSN deal takes off?

    Will the books garner a following for the *authors* or for the *company*? Or will the readers just read that set, and go back to their normal romance book buying habits. Will they foray into the other types of books RR sells?

    It will be interesting to watch.

  42. Suze
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 13:40:02


    Congratulations on getting published, and even more congrats on getting featured on HSN. That right there is some stupendous exposure!

  43. anon...
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 14:24:11



  44. Melissa
    Sep 15, 2009 @ 16:11:55

    @Suze: I’m one of those readers who calls my romances smut or girl porn and I always use the term as tongue-in-cheek (had an elderly relative who used to call HQN romances “smut” so this always gives me a giggle.) I was absolutely baffled by the backlash to Perkins’ article.

    I can honestly say that what I’ve read from Ravenous has not been smut (comparing it to most erotica I’ve read). The only exception to this would be Jamaica Layne’s Knight Moves which I gleefully equated on several occasions to the old-school erotica I’d read when I first became familiar with the genre way back when. I’ve mostly been devouring their anthologies in which there are hit and miss stories but this has been the case with virtually every anthology I’ve read (I’m never going to get over Amanda Ashley’s phanfic in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance) and overall they’re neither inferior nor superior to any of the other e-pubs. I’ve read some real trash from all of them at one time or another, no exceptions including my own publisher.

    I can’t speak to what they had been released when they first opened because they only hit my radar in the spring, but I’ve certainly read enough good stuff from this pub to keep me coming back.

  45. Barbara23
    Oct 22, 2009 @ 13:55:51

    Why is Al Jaffee still funnier than everyone else in the world, even in email form? ,

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