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

Rocking Around the BlogWorld

Loose Id was featured in the Washington Post. Treva Harte, the owner of Loose Id, was recently able to quit her job as a trademark lawyer to write and run Loose Id full time.

Doreen DeSalvo, the company’s chief financial officer, said the enterprise, which charges $2 to $8 for its online books, grossed $1.3 million in 2008 and is on track to make slightly more this year

Karen brings up the issue of perception as it relates to ebook companies. Like Karen, I have this perception that Loose ID does more m/m or m/m/f fiction than anything else.

Now of course I know that they do publish heterosexual romances, but I happened to surf over there on Sunday, and every single release was an M/M book. Two words: Nail and coffin.

Katie interviews the publicist for Sourcebooks about the upcoming YA line and his day to day activities.

My day officially starts at 8:30, but I like to get in early to read Shelf Awareness, the School Library Journal blogs (Practically Paradise, Fuse #8 and Amy Bowllan’s blog are my favorites), Media Bistro, and other blog reviews so I can stay aware of what is going on industry. I also browse the news to see if there are any news angles I can use to pitch any of our authors. Google alerts are also a great way to see what is being said about my authors on the net.

Kristie J points us to a new reviewer in the romance blog community: Penelope.

Keishon talks about authors digitizing the backlist titles for books that have reverted back to the authors after being out of print for several years.

Shannon Stacey suggests that ebook evangelists refine their message so that we are less abrasive.

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. ReacherFan
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 12:02:04

    It seems to me that the m/m and m/m/f trend is ubiquitous in the erotic romance genre lately. Not really a fan and don’t buy the m/m books. Maybe it’s a craze of some kind, but the observation is correct – Loose-ID, who has some really good authors, including Anne Douglas, has released more m/m than anything else lately. It’s really cut back on my buying. Ellora’s Cave has also had a disproportionate number of m/m books. Even Siren seems to have increased the number of new releases that are m/m. Samhain is least affected, but even there I can see an increase.

  2. Lynne Connolly
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 13:49:58

    Now of course I know that they do publish heterosexual romances, but I happened to surf over there on Sunday, and every single release was an M/M book. Two words: Nail and coffin.

    You know, of course, that that statement is incorrect, and yes, that does seem to be a statement with my admittedly limited vocabulary.
    Loose-Id’s releases last week were two m/m’s, one m/f/m and one m/f. Karen seems to count the menage as an m/m, but to my mind, reading and writing, they are very different things, with different dynamics.
    In any case, I don’t see it as nails and coffins, I see it as Loose-Id being successful in a niche market, and if smaller companies don’t specialise, they can find themselves in real trouble. I think Torquere are the ultimate specialists, but I don’t write m/m, and I don’t read a lot of it, except from favorite authors like Joey W. Hill, so I’m not au fait with that market, really.
    I do menages and m/f romances for Loose-Id and I’ve never been less than delighted by the result. I do write m/f non-BDSM erotic romance, so there are some of us out there. I try to make my pieces intense and romantic, as well as hot and steamy, with a lot of character insight and a bit of kick-a action.
    Lovely that Treva is now running the company full time. Good luck to her.

    I love that Shannon said that. At first, the ebook industry had a lot to be defensive about, and it was hard going, but there isnt’ that need anymore. We don’t need to be defensive. It speaks for itself. And it’s reaching the UK, too, which is lovely. It would be nice to see more UK genre authors in e.

  3. Anon Y. Mouse
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 14:00:19

    Ellora's Cave has also had a disproportionate number of m/m books.

    Really? Because the last true M/M from EC (one without a female squished in the middle) was Shayla Kersten’s Fighting For Destiny a full month ago. That’s one book out of 32 in a month. That’s disproportionate? Before that was Cyr’s Revenge, nearly 3 weeks and 21 books earlier. One m/m book a month from EC, maybe two, is all you’ll find now.

  4. Angelia Sparrow
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 14:33:12

    And here I was feeling good about two het releases in the space of a year! (I tend to steer clear of writing women in sexual situations, whether with men or women. Too personal)

    I don’t know that m/m is “a craze.” I’ve been writing m/m for 11 years, professionally for 5. I think more of us are drifting out of fandom and into original work, maybe.

    Some people count m/m/f in with m/m. I am…picky about threesomes. I consider them their own thing. (I predict a LOT of them next year)

    It is a cycle. What you’re seeing last year’s and the year before last’s output. (my Feb release was written in 2006) Last year, all the pubs were saying “this stuff sells, send us more.” Now, that “more” is making it through the pipeline.

    Eventually, the m/m production will exceed demand, and the pubs will cut back on buying it. Stasis will be reached. It may mean more m/m than any one person would like to see or are comfortable seeing, but it may also mean less than another person wants.

  5. GrowlyCub
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 15:40:00

    I haven’t bought anything from LI in a while, but that’s mostly because my favorite authors haven’t released anything (Jules Jones) or written paranormal (Anne Douglas). I like m/m and I especially like m/f/m, but I haven’t found anything that really spoke to me. Maybe I have not been looking hard enough.

    Rather than m/m the focus seems to be on paranormal to me.

  6. kirsten saell
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 16:04:07

    I prefer f/f/m poly to any other relationship configuration, and I don’t really do contemp or paranormal. Try to find an f/f/m fantasy or historical, I dare you. You might find ten out there total–and two of them are mine, lol.

    I always always have trouble finding what I want. I might look at ten pubs’ sites in a month, and often don’t find one book I want to buy. So when I see readers complain that they’re looking for m/f contemp or paranormal and can’t find enough of it… well, I kind of envy them all the choices they do have…

  7. Dawn Jackson
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 18:12:11

    Thank goodness for Loose-id! Obviously, they’re providing an outlet for openminded readers who don’t care who the principal characters are…we’re just looking for a good love story.

    I myself LOVE to read multicultural m/f romances. As we all know NY thinks a hunky white male should only be with a 17 year old caucasian virgin and the other top two e-pubs are slim pickings as well. EC has a total of 16 listed under interracial (I ate through those in no time) and Samhain only 1.

    So if it wasn’t for Loose-Id thinking out of the box and providing an outlet for something a little out of the vanilla norm (they offer about 100+ titles), I would be stuck watching Something New and the King and I over and over and over again.

    P.S. I’m not really surprised by your broad summation without looking a little deeper. I saw your tweet about the Regency period and how you ragged on a entire genre (Regency) and how its legions of authors were too lazy to find a different time period that you think only lasted 9 years.

    Did you look on Wikipedia for that answer, instead of doing a little research to prevent you from unsubstantiated generalizations?

    Technically, yes the Regency period covers the period when George IV officially became prince Regent when his father the nutty George III became too mentally ill to rule. But his reign cannot possibly sum up an entire period in which people depended less on religion, the monarchy, and social norms to influence how they preceived the world. Ever heard of the Napoleanic Wars?

    In fact, the Regency period started in the late 1700s and lasted for more than 25 years thereafter. The fashion alone was influenced by Beau Brummel who met the prince around 1796. Mr. Brummel detested the late Baroque/Early Rococo style of dress and therefore introduced the backward Prince and in turn the entire country to a more simple and ultimately “romantic” approach to fashion.

  8. Jane
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 19:42:22

    @Dawn – god, no I’ve never ever heard of the Napoleanic Wars or of Beau Brummel or the backward prince. It’s all a mystery to me and I am so glad that you are around to educate me on my shallow knowledge of history. I blame romance novels, though, since mostly what I’ve read about the Regency period has come from romance novels. I know that Almack’s existed, the doors closed at a certain time and they served bad lemonade. That there were about a thousand dukes, most of whom worked for the War Office in some spy capabilities and that if they weren’t dukes, they were dukes in disguise. I learned that most of the women of the day hated shopping, parties, dressing up and would rather hunt with the boys, read books, and never barely had a kiss before their naked dukes came along. Huzzah for the creativity of Regency romance authors. They’ve really plumbed the depths of that period of time, haven’t they?

  9. GrowlyCub
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 20:10:38

    I just went and checked my calendar to see if it’s the full moon. And it’s not. So now I’m stumped.

    One of the lists I administer with 2500+ folks on it is like a boiling cauldron and everywhere in internetland fuses seem to be really short.

    Wonder what’s up?

  10. Dawn Jackson
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 21:21:04

    Well…since you love the Regency period and love exotic settings, I would suggest, if you haven’t read it already, Rosemary Roger’s “Wicked Loved Lies”.

    Here’s a blurb:

    Abandoning the safety of a Spanish convent, innocent, wealthy and privileged Marisa learns, she flees from a Spanish convent, right into the arms of roguish pirate Dominic Challenger. Together, Marisa and Dominic brave the perilous realm of intrigue and deception – from a sultan’s harem and the opulence of Napoleon’s court to the wilds of the Louisiana frontier . Nothing short of death can quench the all consuming flames of their insatiable desire.”

    Now I must go and take my tongue out of my cheek.

    Sleep tight….

  11. md
    Jul 02, 2009 @ 23:46:05

    @Jane – That was the funniest comeback I’ve read all day. Bravo.=)

  12. Lynne Connolly
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 03:20:50

    I sometimes think what Jane tweeted – nine years, are you kidding me? My reasons for abandoning the Regency for mid Georgian were at first superficial – the clothes, and men wore swords every day – but I was only nine years old, so maybe the fact that I’ve spent the rest of my life researching and loving the period helps ameliorate that.
    But I so get what Jane’s saying. I’m a reader as well as a writer – a voracious reader, and I fell on the books of Laura Kinsale, Mary Jo Putney and Jo Beverley with delight. Because if these ladies wrote about Regency spies, you can bet your bippy that they researched it, made sure it was possible and wrote a convincing story. Sometimes their most outlandish claims are based on factual accounts.
    Sigh. Then came the endless parade of ducal Regency spy books, and they became ever more divorced from the truth. Heroes with names like Case and Garrett populated the court of the Prince Regent, and I just gave up and stopped reading, to preserve my good blood pressure levels.
    Now to be honest, had they not been described as “historical romance” I might have enjoyed them. Historical fantasy would have been fun and I still don’t know why certain publishing companies don’t open a historical fantasy department.
    Like “The Tudors,” any relation to actual reality is nebulous and largely accidental.
    Although, having said that, I dipped my toe into the water recently by starting Elizabeth Hoyt’s “Beguiling the Beast” and so far I’m loving it.

  13. Edie
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 08:05:43

    Jane I think I love you.

  14. Stevie
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 09:30:05

    I have some sympathy for those irritated with sweeping generalisations; it would help if people proposing to opine on the publication record of a publisher took the trouble to research what that publication record actually is.

    Of course the Web has its fair share of people who wouldn’t recognise a sample frame if it bit them on the ankles, but the best way to ensure that Loose ID becomes a m/m publisher is to blog that it is a m/m publisher. It’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy…

  15. Treva Harte
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 12:27:50

    I don't want to repeat verbatim what I said at KKB so, to keep it shortРat Loose Id we are very proud of our m/m releases. In fact, we are very proud of all our books (which include paranormal, SF, contemporary, historical, mystery, romantic suspense, I/R and multicultural genres) whether they have m/m, m/f, m̩nage or other pairings. We want to offer the best books our authors can create and we want our readers to enjoy them. That's both the perception and the reality we're aiming for. We may not have reached it for some readers, but we'll keep working on it.

  16. Moriah Jovan
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 12:31:39

    I’ll admit I’m one who thinks of LID as primarily an m/m. You know, I think a simple solution would be to have a “het” option in the drop-down menu. Very simple, very easy. That’s what I was looking for the other night and would be sufficient for me. I can drill my tastes down from there.

  17. Treva Harte
    Jul 03, 2009 @ 13:05:15

    One other thing, not to jump on anyone at all but to hopefully clear up another misperception — it’s Loose Id (pronounced pretty much like lucid) not Loose ID.

    Hmm, label het like we do other things — well, I’ll chat about that with my partners.

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