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

Start Up EPress Sending Lots of Unsolicited Emails to Authors and...

EDITED TO ADD: Other RR threads here.

I received a number of complaints about start up epress Ravenous Romance harvesting email addresses from the web (if you leave an email to comment, we only use it for contests and don’t give that information out to anyone else) and then spamming people (particularly authors) with news about its activities and requests for submissions.

You’ll remember that Ravenous Romance promises to blow other epresses out of the water. You might also remember one of its biggest cheerleaders is Jill Elaine Hughes or Jamaica Layne who, among other things, is now editing at least an anthology for Ravenous Romance. At first, the word was that RR was only accepting agented submissions. Now, RR seems hard up for content as it is soliciting writers on the NaNoWriMo boards and mass emailing on erotic romance mailing lists.

Maybe it’s part of their awesome PR campaign to raise awareness of the product. I don’t know, though, that is the best way to go about gaining new business (or new authors).

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She 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

290 Comments

  1. Nonny
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 21:45:37

    Wow. That would annoy the hell out of me. If they have to go to such lengths to promote their business, that doesn’t say much good about them.

  2. Ann Somerville
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 21:51:46

    Hey, if John Scalzi’s got any of his Schadenfreude Pie left after the election results, do you think he’d send a piece to Ms Hughes?

    No, maybe not. She seems to be operating on a sugar rush most of the time she’s posted, so more sweet stuff probably isn’t a good idea.

  3. Shannon Stacey
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 21:59:40

    Their homepage lists a “TwittErotica” contest. Your best erotica in 140 characters or less.

    I shudder to imagine.

  4. Kasey Mackenzie
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 22:52:19

    I–wow. Words just fail me.

    I sincerely hope I do not wind up on the spam list.

  5. B
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 23:02:29

    Wonder if they’ve begun spamming at Literotica yet…

  6. Val Kovalin
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 23:35:14

    Thanks for the warning!

  7. Robin
    Nov 06, 2008 @ 23:39:39

    How widespread is the belief that writers and editors are interchangeable in terms of their skill sets?

  8. Anion
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 04:02:56

    How widespread is the belief that writers and editors are interchangeable in terms of their skill sets?

    Yes, I wondered about this as well.

    Funnily enough, I haven’t been spammed. I suspect it’s because I haven’t kept my feelings about startup epresses silent. But I know a few people who are getting new spam emails every day. They are not pleased.

    Class all the way, huh?

  9. Erastes
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 05:01:17

    I’m being spammed and yes,all that does is make me not promote them.

  10. vanessa jaye
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 07:29:34

    I received two unsolicited messages from them. Both from Dalyn A Miller. One had to do with the Twitterotica contest Shannon mentioned (either for me to enter, mention it to my friends who Twitter, or post the contest info (included in the email) on my blog. Looks like I deleted that one, but the other email (which I found auto-dumped in my junk file) announced their ‘high-quality’ audio books. Here’s the email in it’s entirety:

    RAVENOUS ROMANCEâ„¢
    TO PRODUCE DAILY AUDIOBOOKS

    Erotic romance publisher to provide once-a-day high-quality audiobooks at competitive prices

    [Boston, MA, November 6, 2008] -Ravenous Romanceâ„¢, an online publishing company launching December 1, will offer daily, full-length audiobooks as a part of their suite of downloadable products. While many traditional publishing houses have successfully produced audiobooks for years, Ravenous Romanceâ„¢ is the first e-publisher to offer content in this format. The company will publish daily novel-length erotic romance books which they will sell in both eBook and MP3 format. The audiobooks will be available to consumers for $12.99 directly through the company's web portal http://www.RavenousRomance.com and for $16.99 through Audible.com and iTunes.

    “We believe that digital publishing is the new mass market,” says Editorial and Subsidiary Rights Director Lori Perkins. “With the advent of the iPod and other MP3 players, the audiobook market has the ability to reach more customers than ever before. We're proud to be the first e-publisher to offer content in this format, and are confident that consumers will appreciate the excellent quality of both our content and recordings.”

    Ravenous Romanceâ„¢, an imprint of Literary Partners Group, Inc., will offer erotic romance – stories with strong plots and character development, but with steamy sex scenes and explicit descriptions of sexual encounters. The stories will feature strong, passionate characters and plots that express a broad range of fantasies in the following categories:

    * Modern Loveâ„¢ (contemporary)
    * Fantasticaâ„¢ (paranormal)
    * Red Carpet Romanceâ„¢ (glamorous, celebrity-oriented)
    * Breathlessâ„¢ (romantic suspense)
    * Forever Againâ„¢ (second-chance-at-love)
    * The Lust Chroniclesâ„¢ (erotic memoir)
    * Wicked Pleasuresâ„¢ (kinky/edgy)
    * Once Upon a Timeâ„¢ (erotic historical)
    * Real Man Romanceâ„¢
    * Panamourâ„¢ (gay, lesbian, bisexual)
    * Lovestrologyâ„¢ (New Age)
    * Green Loveâ„¢ (environmentally-themed)

    Ravenous Romanceâ„¢ will be a destination site for women with strong Web 2.0 community-building features.

    Romance is the most popular genre in modern literature, generating $1.37 billion in net sales annually and accounting for 26.4% of all books sold. Demographically, 56% of romance consumers are under age 44, and 74% have college degrees.

    Visit Ravenous Romanceâ„¢ online at http://www.RavenousRomance.com , where you can download a free Ravenous Rendezvousâ„¢ and register to win an iPod Touch.

    For more information please contact Dalyn A. Miller at 617-504-6869 or via email at [email protected].

    About Literary Partners Group, Inc.

    Literary Partners Group, Inc. is a partnership among three creative industry executives. Holly Schmidt is a publishing executive with 15 years of experience in editorial, marketing, and sales. She joined forces with award-winning photographer Allan Penn to launch book packager Hollan Publishing, Inc. in 2006. Lori Perkins is a New York City literary agent with over 20 years of experience and an impressive stable of authors.

  11. Shannon Stacey
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 07:46:11

    Ravenous Romanceâ„¢ will be a destination site for women with strong Web 2.0 community-building features.

    I don’t have strong Web 2.0 community-building features. Not their kind of woman, I guess.

    But anyway, they also seem to be doing what EC’s new structure is doing—making it damn near impossible to find a book you’re looking for. I don’t want to figure out which fancy name might correspond with which subgenre. I want to click on “contemporary” or “paranormal”.

    And who’s doing the audio recording? $12.99? Dayum. And erotic romance is very, very difficult to read aloud without sounding ridiculous.

  12. Gennita Low
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 08:04:02

    I’m curious about Real Man Romance as opposed to Fake Man Romance. ;-P

  13. Fae Sutherland
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 08:22:33

    I got spammed by an intern of theirs (same person who posted that advert on the NaNo boards). It was basically that post except they added a mention of Ellora’s Cave. Same email was sent to at least two other EC authors on the NaNo boards that I know of.

    It’s frankly bizarre and unprofessional. I’m sorry, but I do not respond to people named Brattyhack on message boards who want me to submit to their start-up, never been tested epublisher. Especially when the contact is completely unsolicited. Perhaps some of the more desperate Wrimos might be drawn in by the spamming, but thank you very much I’m perfectly content with the publishers I have.

  14. JulieLeto
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 08:33:48

    How widespread is the belief that writers and editors are interchangeable in terms of their skill sets?

    Depends on which world of publishing you’re asking. It seems quite prevalent in the epubbed world, but not so much in the print world. Yes, a few editors write, but few authors edit professionally. I mean, we edit ourselves, of course, but that doesn’t mean we can eschew the line editor, the copy editor and the proofreader. If that were the case, no books would have typos.

  15. theo
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 09:53:21

    Fantastica? Lovestrology? Um…no, thanks. I don’t want to have to wade through several bizarre sub-genres to get to what I want to read either.

    I did read through that post on NaNo. Why would I want to follow up on any post written by someone who chooses a user name like BrattyHack? Sounds like a teen-aged computer hacker to me!

    So far, I’ve not gotten anything. Then again, if they’re culling email addys from Nano, I’m so far in revisions, I haven’t had time to Nano yet. I’ll be doing the “gee, I have two weeks left, maybe I should start now” push around the fifteenth… *sigh* At least it’s kept me under their radar!

  16. Julia Sullivan
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 10:19:24

    Dalyn Miller has an astonishing gift for PR.

    Every press release makes the client look worse and worse.

    Also, the Series Titles TM are hilarious.

    I predict complete implosion of Ravenous Romance within a year.

  17. Anion
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 11:26:30

    Oh, I don’t think they’ll implode, as such. The actual owners of the company do have professional experience. But to quietly shut down…yeah, I can see that one happening.

    I hope it doesn’t–I genuinely wish them success, and try not to let my personal feelings for certain people make me wish ill on an entire business, most of whom have behaved professionally. As I’ve said numerous times, I think it would be great to have another strong ebook market.

    So I hope it doesn’t, but there’s a darned good chance it will, yes.

  18. Anion
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 11:34:05

    But anyway, they also seem to be doing what EC's new structure is doing-‘making it damn near impossible to find a book you're looking for. I don't want to figure out which fancy name might correspond with which subgenre. I want to click on “contemporary” or “paranormal”.

    I know, right?

    Hey, though, just a suggestion. If you move your little arrow thingy (the cursor?) over the symbols lower left, it gives you actual categories. I know it’s a pain and I HATE that they’ve given the categories stupid cutesy names, I really do. It’s pointless and makes things harder and I’m really, really upset about it.

    But just a tip. It does make it easier. There’s also a new Search function.

  19. Jamaica Layne
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 16:08:58

    In regards to authors being qualified to edit, please note that I worked professionally as an editor for several years before becoming a novelist. And also please note that it is very common for noted authors in certain genres to edit short story collections (ever heard of something called “Best American Short Stories”, which comes out every year and is always edited by a different noted short story author?) Having authors of a certain genre be hired to edit anthologies in their genre is not considered an unusual thing in the industry whatsoever.

  20. Dalyn A. Miller
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 16:48:28

    In late August I extended an invitation to the members of this board, as well as several others, for you to reach out to me with questions about Ravenous Romance and our marketing and PR strategies. As I read through this discussion string, I feel compelled to issue a similar invitation. I will respond to every email I receive and will answer all questions about Ravenous Romance or my agency to the best of my ability. My email address again is [email protected], my phone number is 617-504-6869, my office is in Boston and I'm happy to meet you for coffee or lunch if you prefer to meet in person.

    The announcements and releases we sent were sent to those we consider “media”. Therefore, if you received an email in the past week directly from me you are either a member of a more traditional outlet such as a newspaper (USA Today, NY Times, etc.) or a blogger – which we consider “media” as you maintain and post content to a public forum. We do not send emails of members to list groups or “steal” names from the internet. We are diligent about disseminating information to those who maintain forums which serve our community and even more diligent about removing the names of those who request we do so. If you do not maintain a blog or do not write for a traditional news medium, but received a press release or contest announcement from me, then please let me know, we will compare it to lists and figure out where the mistake was made. We are not spammers, we will never spam any of you.

    Finally, we are not nameless, faceless corporate bigwigs at Ravenous Romance, we hard working women and men who put in long hours and are passionate about the work we do and the communities we serve. We are passionate about quality fiction, we are passionate about writers, we are passionate about being a part of the erotic romance community. We launch on December 1 and look forward to your feedback then.

    Dalyn A. Miller
    617-504-6869
    [email protected]

  21. Julia Sullivan
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 16:54:00

    Dalyn, how are you not getting that people who post on NaNoWriMo boards are not doing so as members of the media, and thus not appropriate targets for press releases?

  22. Fae Sutherland
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 17:13:48

    Dalyn, I’m afraid you’re incorrect. Your intern is indeed spamming authors. Not press releases, not promo, but asking people to submit to RR. I don’t know anything about the press releases, I haven’t gotten one of those.

    The spam I received came through the NaNoWriMo message boards:

    “Hi gang,

    I don’t know what Ellora’s Cave pays for novels or short stories, but there is a new erotic ebook publisher that goes live on Dec. 1 – just after WriMo! Here’s their info:

    Ravenous Romance, a new online ebook and audiobook publisher of erotic romance, is acquiring 365 novels and 365 short stories per year, in all categories. We are looking for great writing and compelling stories from both previously-published and new writers. We've signed novels from many award-winning writers and their protegees, and have aggressive plans to market their work online as well as sell print and translation rights. Our novels are 50,000-60,000 words, and our short stories are 1,500-5,000 words. Visit http://www.ravenousromance.com to download our submission guidelines.

    So…check it out and let me know if you think you may submit to them. They are buying stories and novels now!

    Thanks,

    Brattyhack”

    The same person identified themselves elsewhere as an intern with RR. When I emailed them back asking why they would send me a solicitation to submit when I’d never spoken to them before and was perfectly content with the publishers I’m with, I got no response back. Drive-by spamming, by definition. I know of now numerous other authors who have received that same spam mass email from RR’s intern.

    I’m just saying, you shouldn’t claim RR isn’t spamming when indeed they/you are. Because that’d be me you’re calling a liar, and I don’t appreciate it.

    Okay, done now. Back to work on my NaNo, which will *not* be being submitted to RR, by the way. :)

  23. Alisha Rai
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 18:09:06

    Kay, I got most of the play on words in trademark names (though “green love”, really? How many of those could there be unless people start getting creative? Solar powered vibrators? Hey, no one steal that. My next romance will feature a solar powered vibrator and a ball gag made of post consumer recycled fibers. And a vegan.)

    But what does this mean:

    * Panamourâ„¢ (gay, lesbian, bisexual)

    Panamour? I feel like I am out of the loop. Why do I not know what that means???

    By the by, also recieved the nano spam. I winced at the “I don’t know what Ellora’s Cave pays…” Well, you should. Royalties are fairly standard across most e-pubs.

    Ms. Miller, I don’t doubt that you’re real. But since you are the PR person for this company, and you claim to have no knowledge of the above spam, perhaps tell RR to leave the PR, well, to you.

  24. Elf
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 18:28:57

    Alisha Rai:
    Re: Panamour (TM) – I saw that too. After a moment’s reflection, I assumed it came from “pansexual.” Which is kind of.. hm. But that’s my guess and I’m sticking to it!
    (Caveat: I’m not affiliated with RR, so this is not an official explanation.)

  25. Robin
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 18:54:06

    And also please note that it is very common for noted authors in certain genres to edit short story collections (ever heard of something called “Best American Short Stories”, which comes out every year and is always edited by a different noted short story author?)

    But those “Best American (whatever)” anthologies always have a “series editor” from the publisher who works with whatever author-editor is invited to guest edit for each year’s anthology. So the volume is always edited in the more traditional publisher-based way, even as a guest author (who is, as you point out, already a noted figure) puts his/her stamp on the volume by, say, choosing among stories the series editor has selected, contacting authors h/she knows and inviting them to submit, writing the introduction, etc.

  26. Jamaica Layne
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 19:02:02

    contacting authors h/she knows and inviting them to submit, writing the introduction, etc.

    —which is exactly what I am doing.

  27. Ann Bruce
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 19:13:38

    But anyway, they also seem to be doing what EC's new structure is doing-‘making it damn near impossible to find a book you're looking for.

    *sigh* I had trouble tracking down my own books. I’m GUESSING that EC is mimicking Harlequin (Blaze, Presents, Desire, Nocturne, etc.).

  28. Ann Bruce
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 19:20:06

    I don't know what Ellora's Cave pays for novels or short stories

    Brattyhack doesn’t appear too bright as EC publishes their book prices and royalty rate on their web site.

  29. Ann Somerville
    Nov 07, 2008 @ 22:50:32

    it is very common for noted authors in certain genres

    So why are you editing it again?

  30. aed
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 01:14:44

    It seems to me this should be very simple:

    If you’re apprehensive about a start-up, hold back until the numbers come in and you have more information. If you really don’t like an author, don’t buy her book. If you don’t like a publisher or an agent, don’t submit to them. If you’re uncertain about things like royalties and advances and rights, ask for clarification, or have a literary attorney look over the contract before you sign it. If someone sends you an unsolicited email that annoys you, delete it, or respond back with “thanks, but no thanks, and I’d prefer it if you took me off your contact list”. No insults or mud-slinging necessary. But we’ve all got hobbies, I guess, and with so many publishers going belly up, it really won’t matter if we throw one more onto the pile.

    As for environmental erotica, I haven’t seen this yet, but I’m open to the idea. Carl Hiaasen has done a fine job with the concept in mystery, and some of my favorite movies (Chain Reaction, The Day After Tomorrow, Erin Brokovich) have a strong environmental angle, as well. It doesn’t seem so far-fetched to me that someone could, I dunno, save a ferret and fall in love at the same time…

  31. Ann Somerville
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 01:30:16

    No insults or mud-slinging necessary.

    Actually, aed, the only person who’s slung mud consistently is Ms Hughes/Layne, who was vehement in decrying other presses in her attempts to demonstrate why RR is so special and superior. Forgive people for being just a little irritated or ironically amused when this ‘special’ press has to hawk for authors, spams authors and lists, and has the hide to deny it’s going on. Reputable, successful businesses don’t spam. They don’t need to. So what’s RR’s excuse?

    You seem to imply that any criticism of this press might cause it to fail. Not much of an enterprise, is it, if that’s the case.

  32. Jamaica Layne
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 09:45:35

    I honestly don’t see how pointing out the TRUE fact that pretty much all other epresses in this genre were started by people with no prior publishing experience is “mudslinging”. That’s all I said. Granted a couple of those epresses are successful, but most failed due to the lack of publishing knowledge of the founders.

    If you have a personal vendetta against me or RR, then don’t read my books or don’t buy books from the publisher. But continuing to turn this board into your own personal version of Lord of the Flies does nothing for the flamers’ reputations. I have received many supportive emails from very, very reputable authors and editors asking me “what the deal” is with some of you people on here, and all I can do is throw up my hands and say “I have no idea.”

    Online behavior can and does come back to bite people in the career.

  33. Jamaica Layne
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 09:47:42

    it is very common for noted authors in certain genres

    So why are you editing it again?

    Ann, you are certainly welcome to contact RR’s editor-in-chief and ask her this question yourself. She’s the one who hired me.

  34. Anon Y. Mouse
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 10:03:44

    Online behavior can and does come back to bite people in the career

    Ah, nothing like the smell of a desperate threat of blacklisting in the morning. Classy, very very classy. Who’s impressed? Anyone?

  35. Jane
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 10:04:49

    @Jamaica Layne – There is no vendetta here and I am glad that you have your supporters. But this isn’t a blog devoted to the elevation of new epresses. We’ve seen too many authors and readers burned by epresses and have, I think, earned the right to be skeptical.

  36. Jamaica Layne
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 10:23:39

    In regards to my supposed “blacklisting” comment, there is no such thing as a publishing “blacklist.”

    There IS such a thing as certain editors and agents choosing of their own accord not to work with certain authors based on flame wars in public forums.

    Always something to keep in mind.

  37. Emmy
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 10:35:05

    someone could, I dunno, save a ferret and fall in love at the same time

    please note: no actual ferrets were harmed or molested in any of the stories- with the noted exception of black footed ferrets, who are suffering PTSD after being plagiarized into a savage bodice ripper.

  38. Sybil
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 12:16:04

    If I understand correctly, post here, RR will never ever work with you, which would mean they stop spamming you… Cuz spam is oh so professional yes?

    I think

    maybe

    All I can do is throw my hands up and say ‘I don’t know why people act like asshats’. I have never heard of RR or Jamaica Layne but do amuse easy. Are there bets already going for how long they will last? Anyone read a book from them yet?

  39. BevQB
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 12:30:04

    * Modern Loveâ„¢ (contemporary)
    * Fantasticaâ„¢ (paranormal)
    * Red Carpet Romanceâ„¢ (glamorous, celebrity-oriented)
    * Breathlessâ„¢ (romantic suspense)
    * Forever Againâ„¢ (second-chance-at-love)
    * The Lust Chroniclesâ„¢ (erotic memoir)
    * Wicked Pleasuresâ„¢ (kinky/edgy)
    * Once Upon a Timeâ„¢ (erotic historical)
    * Real Man Romanceâ„¢
    * Panamourâ„¢ (gay, lesbian, bisexual)
    * Lovestrologyâ„¢ (New Age)
    * Green Loveâ„¢ (environmentally-themed)

    I’m confused (not an unusual state). Did we not recently have a rather lengthy and heated discussion about whether someone could claim ownership of common phrases? (see the Desert Isle/Island Keeper discussion)

    So my question is, how can phrases like Once Upon a Time, Wicked Pleasures, etc. be trademarked? Jane, can you ‘splain it to me?

    Also, I’d like to add that, as a big fan of audio books, I might have tried one from this publisher. But the impression I’ve received of this business, particularly the solicitations on NaNoWriMo message boards, leads me to believe that I will probably not be happy with the quality.

  40. Sybil
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 12:35:00

    What BevQB said… I meant to ask that cuz really Shannon Stacey should be pissed cuz don’t you have a book called Forever Again? Will they have to recall them all now and reprint since RR has TM’ed the phrase :)

    I don’t think I could ever even read something called ‘green love’.

  41. Lori
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 13:08:23

    You could mix Green Love with Red Carpet and do a story about sexxing Shrek…

  42. Shannon Stacey
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 13:08:34

    HEY!

    Yes, my second-chance-at-love story was titled FOREVER AGAIN, dammit. (How sad that I can’t remember the release date off the top of my head, but it was a launch title for Samhain, so it’s been a couple of years.) Now I’m annoyed and will be freshly annoyed every time I see their name.

    On a more possibly relevant to other people note, the TMing thing—would this fall under the same legal workings as Kensington and NCP battling over NCP’s use of “Bad Boys” in a title? Like Modern Love—well, Mills and Boon Modern kinda did that. I’ve never heard if there was a decision in the K vs NCP thing.

  43. RfP
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 14:06:18

    Shannon Stacey should be pissed cuz don't you have a book called Forever Again?

    So does Maureen Child.

    There’s a NY Times column (and a book) called “Modern Love”. And a David Bowie song. And….

  44. Shannon Stacey
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 14:15:35

    Oh my goodness. Forever…Again, SSE April 2004. I don’t know how I missed that. I usually run titles through Amazon before submitting. (Although this one was changed in a hurry because it was subbed as The Second Time Around, but Katherine Allred released Second Time Around with Cerridwen while I was in edits.)

    I guess Ms. Child can be annoyed with me while I’m annoyed with them. :(

  45. aed
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 15:02:10

    This endeavor could succeed and it could fail. Since I don’t have a personal interest in it, it doesn’t really matter to me all that much.

    But what I do have a personal interest in is the romance community as a whole, and I’ve been uncomfortable and disappointed with the back-and-forth on both sides. Doesn’t really matter who started it.

    No one here or anywhere else needs my forgiveness for being irritated or annoyed by these goings on. But as someone who loves to read, I find it very disheartening that so many would be gung-ho to see a publisher fail because one of its authors or interns may have acted foolishly or without forethought. Stick in the mud that I am, I don’t see anything amusing about mocking something just because you want to and can get away with it.

    This whole thing has devolved to the point where few people are actually interested in addressing legitimate concerns of a start-up whose future is uncertain, and instead are lashing out based on the fact that they don’t like an author, a business practice, or, aw hell, a title or a name or the fact that the offending thing even exists. In my opinion, that’s akin to not liking a person because she has stupid hair or breathes oxygen. It’s unhealthy, not on a personal level, but for the romance community as a whole.

    Again, this isn’t directed at those opposed to this new venture, but is a blanket statement across the board. I think it’s great that so many involved in Ravenous Romance are passionate about it, but there are ways to express that passion, excitement, and loyalty without tearing down established authors and publishers in the process. I also think it’s great that so many industry professionals care enough about writers and the genre as a whole that they go out of their way to caution against businesses they feel may burn readers and authors alike, but again, there are ways to express those concerns without the conversation deteriorating into an 8th grade catfight of “You’re stupid” / “No, YOU’RE stupid” / “No, YOU’RE stupid” or “She started it”.

    My main concern isn’t that the naysayers will destroy a startup. I don’t think any of that matters. But the attitudes? They can do a lot of damage. When I look at this thread, I see romance readers/writers having a big ol’ hate on romance. I see a community that was once welcoming and open to new ideas now eating itself because many find it amusing to do so. I imagine anyone coming into this thread would walk away with the idea that even those who love the romance genre think it’s a big joke. And in my opinion, the romance community is better than this.

  46. Ann Somerville
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 16:10:04

    When I look at this thread, I see romance readers/writers having a big ol' hate on romance.

    Rubbish. What you’re seeing is “a big ol' hate” for dodgy business practices, dishonest and patronising spokespersons who like to threaten blacklists and reputations when they’re criticised, and for a press who from its very beginning, pushed itself as superior and different and was therefore going to grind its competitors into the dust, despite being woefully ignorant of the business and its customer base. None of that is anything to do with the genre, and what you are saying at length is nothing more than the same old ‘mean girl’ rant that comes out every time things get blunt or heated.

    I’m sorry, but I simply don’t respect your opinion, because it’s based on the same bashing as you claim to be upset about.

    Actually, no, I’m not sorry. I’m irritated beyond measure. This kind of response to any kind of debate within the romance community does far more harm than what you claim as negativity. A healthy genre and business can discuss and debate and criticise without people throwing their hands up in the air and claimed ‘we’ll all be rooned!’.

  47. Ann Somerville
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 16:17:31

    If you have a personal vendetta against me or RR, then don't read my books or don't buy books from the publisher.

    Tick. No vendetta, Ms Layne, but you are the no.1 reason I wouldn’t even visit RR’s website to check out the books. If you’re their chief spokesperson, and supposedly the best editor they can come up with, then that means there will be a fundamental mismatch between what I find appealing, and anything they offer.

    As for the not too subtle threat of not being edited by you or anyone else at RR…. I’m sobbing into my Weetabix as I type. Truly. I’m planning a triple dose of Effexor just to help me through the day. I really don’t know how I’ll struggle on. I…well, I can’t continue. I’m just too heartbroken and dismayed to keep writing this. Later, if I find the strength, I’ll take down my website, cancel my contracts with my publishers, and destroy my hard disks, out of the pure agony of disappointment.

    Or…

    Maybe I’ll have a cup of tea and plot world domination.

    How will this drama end? YOU be the judge!

  48. Alisha Rai
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 17:02:31

    “When I look at this thread, I see romance readers/writers having a big ol' hate on romance. I see a community that was once welcoming and open to new ideas now eating itself because many find it amusing to do so.”

    Aed, I kind of see where you’re coming from, but I really can’t agree with your statement. It’s just too close to the, why can’t we all just get along??? argument. Should we not discuss industry news? Many of us here are authors who have a vested interest in the image of the houses we could potentially sub to.

    I don’t think we’re eating ourselves (ew.). This was an e-press who essentially had their spokespeople toot that they were, in effect, the best, the coolest, the most experienced e-pub in the whole world of e-publishing since no other company had their level of expertise. Though the attitude was snotty, I was willing to reserve judgement.

    However, when said experienced e-pub startup sends out frankly unprofessional spam, as an author, I would be pissed if people shut up about it and just sent them a little polite note to take them off their spam list, which you advise. The community of authors and readers deserves to know about this contradictory behavior.

    If the PR company for RR is not aware of this horrible PR they are getting, as someone who used to be in marketing, I can tell you, if they’re smart cookies, they want to know about it, so they can take steps to right their image. If we all just shushed up about everything, how could they possibly know what their market is thinking about their product?

  49. RfP
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 18:36:19

    Oh my goodness. Forever…Again, SSE April 2004. I don't know how I missed that. I usually run titles through Amazon before submitting. (Although this one was changed in a hurry because it was subbed as The Second Time Around, but Katherine Allred released Second Time Around with Cerridwen while I was in edits.)

    I guess Ms. Child can be annoyed with me while I'm annoyed with them. :(

    I wouldn’t worry. Most people realize that

    Romance, mystery and other genre books are particularly likely to have recycled titles, because of the vast numbers that are published and their brief lives in the public’s memory -‘ meaning a name can be brought back within a few years.

  50. Shannon Stacey
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 19:01:54

    Yeah, I wasn’t totally serious about her being very annoyed with me. A little while back a Harlequin Intrigue was released with the same title as one of my books and it didn’t bother me beyond a “well, that kinda sucks” moment. Titles can’t be copyrighted, and I think if they couldn’t be recycled we’d have to start numbering them. :)

    I think it’s RR’s use of the “TM” with Forever Again representing second chance at love romances that irks me a little. That “this is MINE and nobody else can use it” thing. Sorry. Already did. :)

  51. Dalyn A. Miller
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 19:07:06

    There are clearly several misconceptions and issues which need to addressed, as this has spiraled out of control:

    The first and most important is this: I am the only official spokesperson for Ravenous Romance, with the exception of its three founders. We were not aware that “Brattyhack” was soliciting materials for us in what we agree was an inappropriate fashion. We are working with an enthusiastic, but slightly overzealous, editorial associate who is helping us identify both established and new writers who might want to submit to our publishing program. She was well-intentioned, but took it a bit too far. We take full responsibility for this turn of events, and we regret any inconvenience it caused you. You will no longer receive email from anybody who does not identify themselves by name, nor will you receive a communication that has not been approved by Ravenous Romance. Finally, we will always respond to your emails. This is our commitment to this community.

    For press releases and promotions: We did not, and will not, harvest names of responders from list serves and discussion boards. We will continue to send announcements to the press, which includes blog moderators – unless we are specifically asked by that blog moderator to remove his/her name from the list. Every single person who received one of the two emails sent directly from me last week can be cross-referenced to a specific blog/website which that person moderates. If there was a mistake, please send me an email and I'll fix the list.

    Call for Entries: Although I disagree with “Brattyhack's” misguided approach, I don't define the offering to a self-described writer an opportunity to submit work to a publishing company “drive-by spamming”, and you'd be pretty hard-pressed to convince me that it is. I've worked in publishing for a long time, and had my own fiction and non-fiction published for even longer. My experience continues to be that authors in every category welcome new opportunities – from novices to best-selling authors alike (and we're publishing both at Ravenous Romance). It is our business to identify and promote quality fiction, and we will continue to seek out those authors who may fit into our publishing program. If you prefer not to be contacted by us again, tell us.

    We've had tremendous success attracting and signing extraordinary authors to our program. Our objective is to bring the highest quality content to our readers, and we are impressed with the talent and creativity of our authors. We read every submission, and usually respond within two weeks. When we launch, you all (along with the rest of the publishing community) can decide whether or not we have sound editorial judgment. As for the audiobooks, they are being produced by the leading audiobook production company, the one the large NY houses and Audible.com use, with top narrators/actors, and I promise you will not be disappointed by their quality. If you are, tell us. The reason we're doing audiobooks is so we and our authors can make more money; the audio market is ten times the size of the ebook market (near $1 billion, last time I checked), and is only getting bigger.

    “Blowing the Competition Out of the Water”: We at Ravenous Romance have never asserted anything of the sort. In fact, we have nothing but admiration and respect for our online competitors, who proved there is a vibrant market for ebooks back when they were in infancy. We believe that there is enough room in this market for everybody. The romance category makes up 26% of the revenue generated annually in the publishing industry, and erotic romance is a large, growing sub-category. Simply look at the number of traditional print publishers operating side-by-side in the marketplace. We all want to increase the profile and credibility of digital publishing, and we will need to work together toward that end, not tear each other down. Publishing has long been considered a collegial industry, and frankly, we are disappointed by the vitriol we have witnessed on this site and others in the epublishing world.
    We would love to work side-by-side with our competitors to grow the visibility and size of this industry-‘a rising tide lifts all boats. This is why industry organizations like the AAP and the IDPF exist.

    “Blacklisting”: We do not discriminate based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation-‘or whether you've flamed us in this blog thread :) We have open submissions; we accept non-agented and agented submissions. We've bought both. Everybody is welcome to submit, and we judge material solely on quality.

    Our Categories: You don't like the names, let us know. We don't promise to change them, but we welcome all community feedback. And your suggestions, if you have a great idea.

    Finally, once again, call me or email me with any questions or concerns. I am real (and I'm also a man, by the way-‘you can visit my website at http://www.dalynmillerpr.com), and Ravenous Romance has not only retained my services to manage PR, but I also strongly believe in this company and its mission. My phone number: 617-504-6869, my email: [email protected]. I will be in Chicago from Nov 12-18 in case anybody wants to have a cup of coffee and talk about the business of promoting erotic romance. Or catch me in Boston…or New York…or anywhere! I get around a lot. Online, I plan to be a frequent contributor to this discussion board and others. See you here.

    We value your input, and we hope we can create a constructive discourse with you. There's no need for speculation-‘just ask.

    Dalyn A. Miller
    617-504-6869
    [email protected]

  52. CJ
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 19:46:18

    Just a note on the trademarking thing. The phrase or phrases in and of themeselves are not trademarked. The name of the imprint is trademarked. Meaning, anyone can still title a book “Forever Again” but no other publisher can start an imprint entitled “Forever Again.”

    And in my opinion… the mass spammings? Tacky.

  53. Simple Anonymous
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 20:12:54

    Um…Ms. Miller, you really need to ask Ms. Layne to stop speaking for you. I do not think I have ever seen a comment of hers anywhere online that was not totally unprofessional, including this one where she tells a public message board that her agent–one of Ravenous’s owners, may I remind you–thinks RWA members are bitches:

    “My literary agent has also commented how bitchy so much of the membership is when she has attended RWA conferences, so I know it’s not just me.”

    http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2677241&postcount=44

    The woman cannot open her mouth without shoving an ego-shaped shoe into it. She is rude and condescending. She does not make Ravenous look good; frankly, I know quite a few people, including myself, who might have given Ravenous a try if not for the fervent desire to not be associated in any way with her.

    I sincerely wish Ravenous luck. As I’ve said before–Ms. Layne seems incapable of understanding the written word, but I have said it despite her insistence that we’re all jelus haterz–I think it would be great to have another strong ebook market.

    But Perkins’s involvement is disturbing. It is a conflict of interest, despite the minor shuftying of her clients.

    I do not want to get involved with a company who thinks so highly of itself it feels comfortable letting its authors speak to others in such a way.

  54. Ann Somerville
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 20:14:15

    I don't define the offering to a self-described writer an opportunity to submit work to a publishing company “drive-by spamming”, and you'd be pretty hard-pressed to convince me that it is.

    An unsolicited approach from a complete stranger via email is spam, sorry. But more than that, it stinks of desperation. I don’t know any other start up press who’s had to trawl for authors, and I’d like to know why you do. That’s a serious question, by the way. The only times I’ve received such a solicitation were from the now defunct and much derided Fanlib.com, and from Kira Takenouchi. Not such great antecedents. All other presses, large or small, rely on less intrusive advertising, and word of mouth from customers and authors. There are a lot of unpublished authors around, and too few slots for them. There should be no need to send emails directly to writers. And you say you respect your competitors, but, Ms Miller, you allowed Jill Elaine Hughes’ derogatory remarks about them to stand unchallenged and uncorrected for a very long time. You might be fitting her for concrete overshoes now, but it’s really rather late for you to attempt damage control.

    We've had tremendous success attracting and signing extraordinary authors to our program.

    Apart from the self-labelled ‘noted author’, Jamaica Layne, would you like to name some? Finally, your adoption of the term ‘flame’ to describe criticism, doesn’t impress me with your clearheadedness. One cannot ‘flame’ a company. If you don’t like people questioning your business methods, then you frankly shouldn’t be in a business where trust in your methods is so core to your success. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if RR is a huge success. But I will be surprised. I’m afraid you only have yourself, your staff, and those speaking for you, to blame for that.

  55. Robin
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 20:20:08

    Mr. Miller:

    I cannot speak for anyone else, but I can tell you that I am skeptical of any new publishing enterprise, and with Ravenous Romance, my initial introduction to the publisher was a statement by one of your authors that you were “selling porn” and that you intended to “blow the competition right out of the water from very early on.” That combination — porn for profit — really rubbed me the wrong way, and I say that as someone who has no objection to either.

    Now I realize that authors are independent contractors, and it actually makes me happy to know that publishers are not stifling the public speech of authors (something I really disdain, frankly). But because my initial introduction to RR has been of a house peddling porn as Romance in order to take us readers for all we’re worth (yes, I’m embellishing and hyperbolizing here), I’m skeptical and wary. I’ve tried not to comment too much, because I don’t yet have access to your publishing offerings, and cannot yet make my own determination of the quality there. But in terms of straight public presence, I’ve felt a bit alienated as a reader who has absolutely no problem with explicitly sexual books or successful publishing enterprises.

    You may or may not be aware of the fact that the porn = Romance equivalency has been a sort spot for Romance readers, because some folks do not have the interest or the information to discern the structural, generic differences. That those of us who read Romance may argue over certain texts in terms of where to classify them does not, IMO, translate into permission to insist that we’re all reading porn and we should just get over ourselves (more embellishment, but that’s basically what I felt we were being told).

    As someone trained extensively in literary forms, I am extremely conscientious about preserving generic distinctions, not only for the sake of readers, but authors, too (not to mention students, scholars, and historians 50 years from now). And as a Romance reader, I am sensitive to people using the Romance label to sell books that aren’t really Romance, precisely because the profit margin and market share is so large. And believe me, Romance readers are extremely loyal to the genre, which is why, ironically, you see so much vehemence in these threads. We do not want to feel taken advantage of in any way, because we already feel exploited enough by a general cultural mindset that we’re reading trash and by a marketing machine that assists in that persistent prejudice.

    By and large, we abide by the premise that if we are treated with respect, we will act respectfully. There is, I believe, a bit of smarting from what some have interpreted as a lack of respect towards us as readers and authors of Romance.

    I agree with you, however, that we will have ample time to determine for ourselves whether the books of Ravenous Romance will speak to us in a way that resonates with our wallets. I hope that the offerings of RR will show respect for the Romance reading population, as we are a dynamic, intelligent, well-read, and often demanding bunch. And there is nothing we relish more than books that make us proud to love the genre and singularly happy as readers.

  56. Meljean
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 20:21:01

    Ah, well — that explains it. If you have a blog, you are putting yourself out there to receive press releases, even though you haven’t signed up for them or any sort of newsletter and are not in the business of promoting new publishers. But you blog, so you’re fair game to be added to a list.

    And it’s your responsibility to take yourself off someone’s list once that someone has sent you an unsolicited e-mail.

    Awesome! Now I know that the next time I promote a book, I can e-mail every blog owner and ask them to enter my contests/feature my book, even if I’ve never had contact with them. And I’ll say, all you have to do is contact me and tell me to stop spamming you sending you unsolicited e-mails!

    I’ll be the most lurved, most popular author EVAH! I bet Nora will wish she had thought of this when I’m #1.

  57. Anion
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 20:30:21

    Oh,and by the way:

    “Blacklisting”: We do not discriminate based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation-‘or whether you've flamed us in this blog thread.:)

    While I appreciate your open-mindedness, it is not “flaming” to ask legitimate questions and express doubt that a startup epublisher will sell thousands of copies right out of the gate. You are a publisher who wants submissions; you have to expect that authors are going to have questions. It’s not “flaming” to ask how you expect to sell those millions of copies, or to make other writers aware of the fact that in the existing market this has not yet happened, nor does it seem likely to. I would expect professional publishers to be aware of the difference.

    Speaking of questions, I have one. Ms. Layne has mentioned several times that some Ravenous titles have already had print rights sold to NY houses; can you please give us the authors, titles, and which house(s)? If you are going to claim deals with major houses as a selling point, you should be willing to back that up.

  58. Shannon Stacey
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 20:36:56

    Just a note on the trademarking thing. The phrase or phrases in and of themeselves are not trademarked. The name of the imprint is trademarked. Meaning, anyone can still title a book “Forever Again” but no other publisher can start an imprint entitled “Forever Again.”

    Yes, I know this, which is why my reaction was not to threaten to sic my lawyers on them, but rather to be mildly annoyed. :)

  59. Ann Somerville
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 21:10:31

    Meljean, don’t forget when you’re the greatest author EVAH to remind everyone that those who don’t like your books are just jelush haters. That’s essential to being truly loved.

    (And I owe Mr Miller an apology for changing his sex. Romance is such a female dominated industry, my eyes just skipped over the declaration of masculinity as an unfortunate typo.)

  60. Observer
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 22:15:07

    Some people just have WAAAYYYYY too much time on their hands.

  61. Observer
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 22:24:05

    but I simply don't respect your opinion

    I think it’s pretty clear that Ms. Somerville doesn’t respect anyone’s opinions but her own.

    Please, Ms. Somerville, do the rest of the world a favor and get a life. Seriously. Surely you have something better to do with your time than spin venom on a board for your own entertainment.

    I second aed’s comments—this has just gotten to the point of being childish and inane.

    That is all.

  62. B
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 23:02:45

    I second aed's comments-‘this has just gotten to the point of being childish and inane.

    No, calling someone a “ninny ninny dumb dumb poopy-head” is childish and inane. Whether you do it with those exact words or not.

    I won’t make any claims to agree with 100% of what’s been said but I’d hardly call this discussion childish and inane. What’s that phrase again? “Methinks the lady doth protest too much”…

  63. Ann Somerville
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 00:28:30

    Someone needs to remind Mr Miller that it’s not enough to muzzle the pitbulls. You need to tape down their hands too, in case they find their way inside some nice cosy woollen socks.

  64. CJ
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 01:02:22

    Ms. Stacey,

    I’d just like to clarify, my comment wasn’t aimed at you. It was just meant to be an explanation for those who were confused.

  65. Ann Somerville’s Journal » Blog Archive » Promotion - yer doin’ wrong
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 08:46:16

    […] could be referring, of course, to the new epress Ravenous Romance and its repeated attempts to shoot itself in the foot. Nothing like your most vocal proponent telling potential customers and authors how much they all […]

  66. Jules Jones
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 13:38:20

    Mr Miller, you may be the only official spokesperson for Ravenous Romance, but one of your authors has been speaking for you, and she has most certainly said that they will blow the competition right out of the water, and that only agented submissions will be accepted. I’d suggest you read that entire thread, if you want to know where some of the “misconceptions” have originated. That author has also made disparaging remarks in several venues about existing epublishers and the authors writing for them, and strongly implied that those of us who write for epublishers such as Ellora’s Cave, Samhain and Loose Id need not submit to Ravenous, since if we have to resort to being published by those houses our work is clearly not of sufficiently high quality to be worth considering.

    If this were just an author, it would come under the heading of “don’t hold the publisher responsible for the idiocies of their authors”. But that author is *also* soliciting submissions for anthologies in her capacity as an editor, and that does make it rather harder to see a clear distinction between her and Ravenous Romance.

  67. Anon Y. Mouse
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 13:57:00

    From the thread Jules just posted, Ms. Hughes/Layne/whatever said:

    Also, I misspoke regarding the RT conventoin in October. I meant to say that in addition to a huge marketing push in the RT's October issue, there will be a huge media/convention push for Ravenous in October, which will include author/publisher appearances in some major venues. I don't have a lot of into on that right now since I'm not slated to be one of the authors making public appearances (as I'll be out of the country for most of October) but if you watch Lori Perkins' blog as well as the Ravenous site, I'm sure the details will be posted there soon.

    Well, October’s come and gone and I don’t believe any of that has come to pass. I had the October RT issue (my book was in it, actually) and didn’t see any ‘huge marketing push’ in the magazine. Surely I wouldn’t have missed it if it was HUGE as Ms. Layne said it would be. Checking Lori Perkins blog and I’m not seeing anything about some big Ravenous marketing/convention blitz either, barring one mention of a new agent with her company going to the NJRW con. Hmmm. Where’s all this huge explosion of RR on the scene? For a pub opening in less than a month, claiming they’ll sell thousands of copies of every title, it sure doesn’t seem they’re doing anything to let people know they’re there.

    Well, other than spamming, that is, apparently.

    Marketing Blitzes – UR Doin It Rong

  68. azteclady
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 14:30:47

    Reading Jules Jones comment (66) I wonder… will I be crucified if I point out that this is the sort of behaviour I was thinking of when I wrote this at Karen’s? Or would I be, once again, an uppity reader trying to dictate to authors?

  69. Shannon Stacey
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 14:59:41

    Just a note on the trademarking thing. The phrase or phrases in and of themeselves are not trademarked. The name of the imprint is trademarked. Meaning, anyone can still title a book “Forever Again” but no other publisher can start an imprint entitled “Forever Again.”

    But there’s now been some precedence for legal action against a title with the Kensington versus NCP thing. ‘Bad Boys’ isn’t the imprint, Brava is. That’s more of a theme in the titles. Titles can’t be copyrighted. I’m not sure how it turned out (other than Intergalactic Bad Boys still being for sale). If they made a case for Bad Boys being a second-level imprint within Brava, then you have an imprint vs title situation.

    Again, I have no idea how it turned out or even if it’s ongoing, but if Kensington was able to stop NCP from using ‘bad boys’ in the title, then you have a case of a ‘stock’ romance phrase being trademarked and belonging to one publisher. It could be a slippery slope and all that jazz.

    (I’m not arguing your point, CJ. I only quoted your comment because it was the springboard for my musing on the subject.)

  70. Karen Scott
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 15:01:22

    I have received many supportive emails from very, very reputable authors and editors asking me “what the deal” is with some of you people on here,

    That old chestnut.

    Online behavior can and does come back to bite people in the career.

    Doctor, heal thy self.

  71. Fiona Glass
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 16:02:30

    I’ve also been getting the spam, and wrote to ask them to take me off their mailing list. No acknowledgement, no response. I’m not holding my breath…

    I was a little concerned to note that the ‘prize’ for the marvellously-named Twitterotica contest was a whole heap of books… from a publisher that hasn’t even been launched yet…

  72. Nonny
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 16:13:35

    Mr. Miller:

    While you and your executive associates may be the only “official” spokespeople for Ravenous Romance, it’s important to keep in mind that your authors and editors still do represent your company to the public. Whether or not it’s official, their behavior can and will still color the public view of your company; even more so with editors, who are your direct employees.

    Others in this thread have quoted particular incidents. If you haven’t already, I’d highly suggest looking into them. I don’t envy you this PR nightmare.

  73. Ann Somerville
    Nov 09, 2008 @ 16:20:04

    We value your input, and we hope we can create a constructive discourse with you. There's no need for speculation-‘just ask.

    We can ask but we don’t get answers? Mr Miller, the checklist you’re using to manage this whole thing? If you borrowed it from Yaoi House, I think you ought to realise that those tactics didn’t work out too well for them.

    I’m disappointed but not really surprised not to see any response from you to our valid questions. Amazing how often someone from a publisher comes over here insisting that they will clear things up and then we’ll see the company for the wonderful entity it is, only to disappear like morning mist when people take them up on the offer.

  74. Flick
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 11:38:37

    Well I didn’t know anything about this discussion until RR wrote to tell me. I’ve read all the entries and some points seem fair, others blatantly unfair. BUT in all this somehow there has been a point that’s been overlooked. RR is offering chances for writers to be published. NEW writers. I’m already published with EC and LI but I have a friend who’s had her first acceptance from RR. She was thrilled to bits. THRILLED. Her story is great and RR is giving her a chance. What’s the problem with that? The company will rise or fall on its merits. Don’t be so quick to judge.

  75. Sephera Giron
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 11:50:05

    I’m the author of 12 published books with several companies. I’m excited to be working with Ravenous Romance and am looking forward to the launch.

    I often get “spam” from all sorts of editors and publishers soliciting work for anthologies, blurbs, books, etc. I like being made aware of new opportunities in publishing.

    I can only speak of what I personally know about and that is, I’m writing for the Lovestrology line. My books are SEXSTROLOGY and I edited the SEXSTROLOGY ANTHOLOGY. My bread and butter jobs when I’m not being a full time author are freelance editor as well a professional tarot reader/astrologist.

    The SEXSTROLOGY books take place in the fictional town of Hermana in New England and each book is based on astrology and other occult ideas. Each month features a different love story in the town. For instance, the Sagittarius book is called OPEN HEART, OPEN MIND and is about a tarot reader who is looking for love.

    I’m very happy that I’m able to combine my many hats into a book series: my love of writing erotica, my knowledge of metaphysical activities, and my love of horror, which I touch upon in some of the books.

    I am also the one writing the daily horoscopes that will be appearing on the site starting on December 1. I wrote the horoscopes for Adult Friendfinder/friendfinder/alt.com and outpersonals.com for a couple of years. I’ve written online horoscopes for other sites as well.

    I have friends in many houses in many genres. I’m the Canadian Chapter Head for the Horror Writers Association. I truly believe there is room for everyone in publishing. It saddens me to see how hostile some of the people are on here, especially after watching a glorious election victory in your country where Americans were embracing each other and shouting, “Yes I CAN!”

  76. Anon Y. Mouse
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 11:54:28

    Okie dokie, RR =/= Obama. Go ahead and be thrilled, be happy, cheer amongst yourselves. But don’t expect the rest of the world to join in the cheering when all we’ve seen is a company that hasn’t the faintest how epublishing works nor the audience they’re targeting.

    WTF does our election of a brilliant man to highest office have to do with an epublisher we’re skeptical about? Your logic, it fails.

  77. azteclady
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 12:02:48

    A new publisher is contracting work from new writers who are thrilled (and, I assume, grateful?) for this great opportunity… perhaps to the point of overlooking some important points of doing business?

    Isn’t it the responsible thing as a community to educated the newcomers about the potential pitfalls in their path? And if those potential pitfalls involve concerns about the viability of the business which just tied up the rights to their work, shouldn’t some noise be made about that?

    Because the company may rise or fall on its merits, but if it falls? It takes the rights of its authors with it.

  78. Jane
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 12:03:31

    @Anon Y. Mouse: Word, Anon Y Mouse. Frankly the thing that bothers me the most about RR (aside from the fail attempts at PR by Jill Elaine Hughes/Jamaica Layne) is the fact that it is branding itself at “romance” but everything from the descriptions in the press release, to the sample offering which I read, to the summaries of the work to be released sounds much more like erotica (or in JEH’s case, she calls it porn) than romance.

    It also sounds like the creators have a heavy dose of porn in their background from the publications and authors represented but very little romance. There is a difference but I don’t see RR evidencing any understanding of that. The sample novella that can be downloaded is a cross between Jackie Collins and Literotica. It does not speak romance to me in any way.

    I’m tired of publishers trying to cash in on the romance crowd without trying to deliver the goods. Romance readers aren’t reading erotic romance for the one handed experience. That’s easily obtainable throughout the internet (including the “alt” sites) for free. Romance readers are looking for emotional connections through character and plot.

    I am skeptical that RR is delivering romance rather than straight erotica or straight up porn and that is my biggest problem.

  79. Anon Y. Mouse
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 12:17:05

    I agree, Jane, I haven’t seen any evidence they’re differentiating between romance and erotica. Hell, I still haven’t gotten their supposed free stories to download properly. I did see an excerpt of one elsewhere and the sex scene went like this “Bob (not the actual name but I forget it) fucked her in a variety of positions for several hours.”

    I dunno, that’s not exactly quality erotica, romance or anything of the sort. I’m probably going to end up nabbing a book of theirs somewhere just to see wtf they’re actually peddling. Doesn’t seem to me like even *they* know the answer to that.

  80. theo
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 12:22:31

    @Jane, Thank you!

    I read erotica on occasion, but I have no preconceptions about finding the next great love story. I read it for the sex and don’t bother to delude myself that it’s really anything more than that. When I order from EC, it’s with a specific idea in mind of what I’m looking for. And they usually deliver. I’m not saying erotica can’t make a good story, but romance, it’s not.

    But to try and convince me I’m reading romance when what I’m really reading is a few pages of information designed to get me from one sex scene to the next is an insult to me and any other reader who might have purchased the book based on a romance classification. Call it what it is. Which is what any epublisher should do.

    That’s why that publisher shouldn’t be surprised when they tout one thing under the guise of another and then don’t survive past a few years at most. And so far, the defense I’ve seen of RR and it’s authors/editors has come from primarily erotica writers. Based on that, what other conclusion can I draw but that erotica is their primary line? Even their line titles promote it. And I too have a problem with that.

  81. Mrs Giggles
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 12:28:41

    An erotica line being pushed towards romance readers in the guise of “erotic romance” isn’t anything new. Black Lace has been doing it for a while now. Those that I’ve read always have this tag “An erotic romance” prominently placed at the lower end of the front cover, even if the content is very recognizable erotica with little to no romance. I don’t read books by this publisher looking specifically for romance, so I have no expectations of getting a romance, but I suspect some unsuspecting readers may disagree with me on that one!

  82. Sephera Giron
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 12:30:17

    I’m not a new writer.

    No one knows what RR will do or how they will fare until they are launched.

    My point about Obama is that there is hope for a world to band together after 8 years of the Bush nightmare, but if readers and/or writers can’t even get along, what hope is there for anyone else? Are you not fans of “love?” So why all the bashing?

    I see these arguments all the time on the horror message boards. People slamming new publishers before they even are out of the gate. Speculation about failure or they aren’t following line a to b to c so therefore they must not be any good.

    I’m very surprised to see it here, in the romance world.

    Writers write. Some write well, some don’t. Some will write stories you enjoy, some won’t.

    You will notice that I post with my REAL name, not some obscure handle. I’m not afraid to show my face or my opinions.

    There is room for everyone in this world for all ideas and opinions.

    “Warning” people about new ventures is fruitless. There is nothing to “warn” about. Adults can make their own decisions when they read their contracts. They will sign them or not.

  83. theo
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 12:41:46

    @Sephera

    Putting political feelings aside since I totally disagree with your ‘hope’, and the comparison has little if anything to do with this discussion in general, the problem I see with RR is simply this:

    I don’t care if one publishes books written only about Purple People Eaters. But don’t market them as anything other than what they are and everyone might just get along fine.

  84. Dana
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:05:48

    Hi, all,

    I’m one of the authors writing for Ravenous Romance and have found my experience with them very professional and pleasant. My background is mysteries, short stories (mostly horror genre) and screenplays (horror and sci-fi), definitely not porn or even erotica. What I’m writing for Ravenous would definitely fall under erotic romance. There is sex, there is romance, there is a definite story and character arcs. There’s about much sex as you’d find in the Dark Hunter series or some of the spicier bodice rippers, but not nearly as much as in, say, one of the recent ANita Blake Vampire Hunter series. I haven’t had any other experience, good or bad, with other epublishers so I have nothing to judge by other than my current experience. So far so good. Hopefully this will end up being a positive experience for all involved.

  85. Seressia
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:08:21

    Okay, if you’re calling them bodice rippers… I can’t even finish.

  86. Sephera Giron
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:12:19

    Well, I only know what my own books and the anthology are about. I’ve not read anyone else’s books, nor do I suspect anyone else has, since they aren’t out yet.

    People getting along is always relevant whether it’s politics or message boards.

    My books are about looking for love, and sure, some books are racier then others even within my own series.

    I just know that for me, personally, my goal in writing has always been to “entertain” and I hope in the end, that’s what I do for my readers.

    My second husband, that I just married in May, came to me for a tarot reading with a bunch of friends. That’s how we met. And that is the basis for the first book in my series though it isn’t “us” since my characters are a Sag and a Virgo and in real life, I’m Aquarius and my husband is Pisces. But people find our meeting “romantic” and that is where I’m coming from in my own work. My Sag has a lot of sexual adventures.

    To me, sex and love are very connected and I like writing about both. Even in my horror books, I’ve had a lot of sex scenes. That’s just how I write.

    I’m sorry people feel so hostile these days. I’m also sorry if authors writing in cross genres upsets people too.

  87. Jane
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:17:46

    @Sephera Giron: SG – congrats on your marriage and romance but from what I see from your comments, you are writing about “sex scenes” and “sexual adventures”. I don’t equate that with romance. No one is upset about authors writing in cross genres. What I wrote only a few comments before yours was that I am not interested in a new publisher advertising themselves as a romance publisher but really selling books about “sexual adventures.”

    @Dana – I don’t know of any romance reader that thinks the Anita Blake books are romance. Dark Hunter, yes, Anita Blake, no. And any author that calls romances “bodice rippers” is not likely to find a very friendly crowd here. We kind of view that term as insulting to the genre.

    What is interesting is that most of the RR authors that are posting are cementing my belief that the RR imprint is about selling sex and not romance.

  88. Sephera Giron
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:25:21

    Okay, at the risk of being screamed at, I’m going to ask, because I really truly don’t know.

    What is wrong with the term Bodice Ripper?

  89. Anon Y. Mouse
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:31:11

    Okay, at the risk of being screamed at, I'm going to ask, because I really truly don't know.

    What is wrong with the term Bodice Ripper?

    I’ll let someone else explain, I believe Jane’s given an eloquent explanation before. I’ll just say this…a romance author would know the answer to that question. Hence confirming my belief that Ravenous is not hiring romance authors to work for them or write for them.

    So why are they calling themselves romance?

  90. Jane
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:34:29

    I hope more RR authors come and tell us what they are writing.

  91. Seressia
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:39:51

    First the term is so 1980. The genre and stories have evolved since then as 98% of romance fans know.

    You might want to take a peek at the wikipedia entry on romance novels to see what one actually is, but I think Nora Roberts summed it up best:

    “The books are about the celebration of falling in love and emotion and commitment, and all of those things we really want.”

    You can put all the sex and horror you want in the story, but if the emotional journey isn’t there, it ain’t a romance.

  92. Sephera Giron
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:40:26

    Yes, of course a romance author would know the answer to that question because I didn’t just write three romance books, four if you include Hungarian Rhapsody which came out from Orion Books last year. Sorry I didn’t get the required implant…..Thank you for your smarmy comment, Anon Y Mouse.

    I’m just an ignorant writer of many genres. Silly me to ask a question and try to educate myself. I guess asking questions isn’t allowed on this board.

  93. azteclady
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:40:49

    It’s not so much “a romance author would know the answer to that question” for me as, most people who read romance with any regularity would know it.

    And someone who hasn’t read enough romance to understand the implications of using that phrase? Well, I’m not sure how much romance there can be in that author’s work.

    Plus, nitpicking ahead: this here is a blog, not a message board. Being questioned is not the same as being yelled at. Disagreement does not imply either dislike nor shunning.

  94. Sephera Giron
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:44:47

    Thank you, Seressia for your answer.

    Well, I think that arguing about books that no one has read is pretty fruitless.

    And I’ve had people call my horror novels romance because I do indeed, have the “emotional journey” Seressia describes.

  95. ilona andrews
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:56:31

    I often get “spam” from all sorts of editors and publishers soliciting work for anthologies, blurbs, books, etc.

    Have you tried seeking representation? Agents are very good at blocking this sort of nonsense.

  96. MCHalliday
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:58:22

    It is my impression RR representatives and authors are confused; I am certainly.

    Yesterday, I wrote an email to Mr. Miller about my concerns and received a reply this morning. I was not at all pleased with the reply and let him know, but in view of the posts here from contracted authors again today, it seems either Mr. Miller is not informed of RR policy or the authors are not. This is an excerpt from his email:

    “Your point is valid, as are the views of many who's feathers have been ruffled by Jamaica/Jill Elaine. We stand by our authors' talents and what we believe they bring to the table. We have, however, requested that she and others leave the speaking to us as we are in a delicate pre-launch phase and we are not blind to the negative effects public discussions such as these could potentially have on our business now and in the future.”

    RR author, Sephera wrote, “I post with my REAL name, not some obscure handle. I'm not afraid to show my face or my opinions.” I wonder if now she should be afraid of voicing opinions in violation of the (possible) RR request to stop posting? I'd be very afraid after her post, “Sorry I didn't get the required implant…..Thank you for your smarmy comment, Anon Y Mouse.”

    It is no wonder RR has decided on containment.

  97. Anne Douglas
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:59:39

    And someone who hasn't read enough romance to understand the implications of using that phrase? Well, I'm not sure how much romance there can be in that author's work.

    I think I’d have to disagree with you on that one Azteclady. There are many, many books the world over that are not classed as genre specific romance, but that are very romantic indeed.

    One thing I think we need to remember is that there are many readers of romance who are not intimately connected with the genre, into blogs, slavish haunting the internet looking for their next fix. Just because someone, author or reader doesn’t know a certain term doesn’t negate the fact they are indeed a romance author/reader.

    I’ve been a romance reader since I was barely in my teens, but I had much to learn twenty odd years later when I took the leap from plain reader to writer. What I didn’t know about romance 3 or so years ago was quite substantial.

  98. Randi
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:01:55

    Sephera: Ask yourself these questions: When someone says, or you use the term, “bodice-ripper”, what comes to mind? Be really really honest with yourself. Now, when someone says, or you use the term, “love story”, what comes to mind? Now, compare your notes.

  99. Sephera Giron
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:03:38

    I write for many publishers (Leisure, Orion, Quiver, Conari) and I don’t speak for anyone but me.

    I can only say “HUH?” to MCHalliday because I don’t understand the comment.

  100. Dana
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:04:58

    Sorry, gang. I used to read the books that were termed ‘bodice rippers’ and didn’t realize it was an insult. I read a lot of romance in the ’80s when I was a teenager, that’s what they were called and old habits and all that… I’ve also read a lot of Harlequin, contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and I guess what would be called chick-lit. Re: the Anita Blake reference – I don’t consider those romances either, but was using it as an example for the amount of sex in the books. My mystery has a strong romantic subplot and hopefully what I’m writing for Ravenous will be find an audience. It’s been fun to write and I hope it will be fun to read.

  101. Randi
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:10:16

    Dana: chick lit also has it’s own problems, as a term, within the female reading/writing group. I would probably research that term, as well. ;)

  102. Dana
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:13:29

    Thanks for the heads up, Randi. I think a dictionary of politically correct terms would be extremely helpful about now! Back in the old days when I walked to school in the snow, we didn’t have these new-fangled terms, y’know… :-)

  103. RfP
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:21:34

    I think a dictionary of politically correct terms would be extremely helpful about now! Back in the old days when I walked to school in the snow, we didn't have these new-fangled terms, y'know… :-)

    A dictionary isn’t going to solve the problem. You need to get current on the *genre*, not just the terminology. E.g. back in the old days, rape was common in romance. Did you know that’s no longer the case? If not, you may be in for a rude awakening upon publication.

    From the RomanceWiki:

    If there is a perjorative term in romance fiction, “bodice ripper” is it. The term, officially, refers to a specific era in romance fiction where the hero forcibly “takes” the heroine, or rips her bodice in prelude to raping her. It is not clear why this particular scenario gained popularity, but today’s romance authors and readers view the term “bodice ripper” with disgust due to the violent implications of the phrase.

  104. Anion
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:23:11

    Oh, geez.

    BUT in all this somehow there has been a point that's been overlooked. RR is offering chances for writers to be published. NEW writers. I'm already published with EC and LI but I have a friend who's had her first acceptance from RR. She was thrilled to bits. THRILLED. Her story is great and RR is giving her a chance. What's the problem with that? The company will rise or fall on its merits. Don't be so quick to judge.

    “Being published” means nothing if the publisher cannot sell books. NOTHING.

    It is not the job of a publisher to fulfill dreams or provide opportunities for writers. It is the job of publishers to sell books. Period.

    Yes, the company will rise or fall on its own merits. That is WHY so many of us recommend writers not submit books to start-up publishers. Particularly not start-up epublishers who appear to have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of the epublishing industry or the romance industry, even. There is no proof this company will attract readers. There is no proof they will sell books. Promotion for epubs is different from print; it requires a different strategy altogether. So far? Not at all impressed.

    Either way, the fact that the company will rise or fall on its own merits–that it does not have a history, has not published a single book or paid a single author–is reason enough to steer clear of them.

    I’m glad your friend is so thrilled to have sold her story, and I’m glad you’re so happy for her. But I am incredibly saddened that you don’t seem to understand what a risk she’s taking, and that if this company fails, your friend’s work fails with it. First rights are gone; the chances of her reselling that story are slim to none. You’re published with EC, and so I assume make decent royalties. Does it thrill you that your friend can possibly look forward to royalties in the single digits? Will she still feel so good about herself when no one reads her book?

    Jeez, you’re supposed to be her friend. Why didn’t you give her a referral to one of your editors, so she could sell to a house with a readership and track record? How can you be epublished with two of the biggest ehouses and still think it’s great that your friend is taking a gamble like this, how can you still think publishers exist to “give new writers a chance”? That’s Scam language, right there, by the way.

    Real publishers sell books, not dream fulfillment for new writers.

  105. Robin
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:23:55

    Many people who do not read genre Romance confuse books that they believe to be “romantic” with the formalistic requirements of genre “Romance.” Like Jane, I find the persistent attempts to market books that aren’t genre Romance to Romance readers AS Romance both disingenuous and disrespectful. And I say this as someone who loves cross-genre writing and who reads many different genres with great enthusiasm. But a base-level respect for generic structures is important, IMO, in trying to pitch books to a certain genre readership as genre.

    In terms of the phrase “bodice ripper,” just take a look at the words — are the implications not pretty obvious right there on the surface? Thinking about those words relative to a genre that is focused on the development of a love relationship suggests a certain cognitive dissonance, doesn’t it? Even when I was not a Romance reader, I never believed the term “bodice ripper” to be *complimentary* as applied to the genre.

    I’m pretty sure that had the initial overtures regarding RR not been to announce its offerings as “porn” and on cleaning up financially, anticipatory feelings would have been much different. Romance readers typically look forward to new publication venues in the hope that they will offer more choice and diversity in the genre. Confidence should never be a bad thing. But what we don’t relish is serving as marks for those who don’t care to understand us but want to make a ton of money off of us. That concern, articulated numerous times throughout this thread and others, has yet to be addressed, IMO. I’m particularly disappointed that Dylan Miller has not responded to the posts directed to him by name. And am I misunderstanding something in this:

    Well I didn't know anything about this discussion until RR wrote to tell me.

    Or is it the case that someone representing RR in an official capacity is directing its authors to this thread? Because that’s the kind of thing we’ve seen among some of the less professional enterprises. I already had some bad feelings when the spamming was blamed on an intern (“the intern did it!”), and I suspect that a number of the authors writing for RR have no clue how we’ve been pitched via at least one author/editor, which is not particularly fair, either to us or to the authors who are entering the discussion at this point, rather than early on when some of these issues first arose (and were not adequately responded to then).

  106. Anion
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:26:54

    Oh, and I find the implication that if you’re questioning a new publisher in any way, that means you’re anti-hope and probably hate America, to be disgusting.

  107. Sephera Giron
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:34:39

    Well, this author has indeed cashed her advance check from RR. They do indeed pay.

  108. Dana
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:34:53

    >>A dictionary isn't going to solve the problem. You need to get current on the *genre*, not just the terminology. E.g. back in the old days, rape was common in romance. Did you know that's no longer the case? If not, you may be in for a rude awakening upon publication.<<

    That was meant to be facetious, sorry. The bit about the dictionary. Making a joke there. Yes, I do realize rape is not welcome in romance nor should it be. My use of the term ‘bodice ripper’ doesn’t reflect anything other than old habits and the fact I do have some research to do.

    Again, I do read a lot of the various genre romances even though it’s obvious I’m not up to date on the terminology. Anne Douglas actually said it very well in her comment:

    There are many, many books the world over that are not classed as genre specific romance, but that are very romantic indeed.

    One thing I think we need to remember is that there are many readers of romance who are not intimately connected with the genre, into blogs, slavish haunting the internet looking for their next fix. Just because someone, author or reader doesn't know a certain term doesn't negate the fact they are indeed a romance author/reader.

    I've been a romance reader since I was barely in my teens, but I had much to learn twenty odd years later when I took the leap from plain reader to writer. What I didn't know about romance 3 or so years ago was quite substantial.”

    At any rate, best of luck to everyone here in future endeavors.

  109. Dalyn A. Miller
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:39:26

    I’m glad to see there is so much interest in Ravenous Romance. When we launch, your questions about our content and marketing will be answered. I told you I would reply to every email sent to me directly, so I welcome you all to direct your questions to me at [email protected]. Thank you.

  110. RfP
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:43:59

    That was meant to be facetious, sorry. The bit about the dictionary. Making a joke there. Yes, I do realize rape is not welcome in romance nor should it be. My use of the term ‘bodice ripper' doesn't reflect anything other than old habits and the fact I do have some research to do.

    I realized you were being facetious, but it wasn’t clear to me whether you’d heard the underlying point about the texts themselves changing. Glad we seem to be on the same page.

    I agree with Anne Douglas that being unfamiliar with current terminology doesn’t make one a non-romance writer or reader. It’s more a reflection of not being *online* in the genre romance readers’ community. That’s perfectly normal, as the majority of readers aren’t involved in online romance communities–but for an *e-book* publisher, getting up to speed on these online communities would be a Good Idea.

  111. Shannon Stacey
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:49:34

    …slavish haunting the internet looking for their next fix.

    Oh, that’s nice.

    Comparing romance readers to crack junkies while getting out from under calling romances bodice rippers—perfect PR.

  112. RfP
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:53:50

    haunting the internet looking for their next fix

    1. That was Anne Douglas’ phrase, not Dana’s.
    2. I for one am not disputing its truth. Crack junkies unite.

  113. Shannon Stacey
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 14:56:50

    Oops. My bad. There were enough comments in between I lost track.

  114. Ann Somerville
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 15:25:15

    Mr Miller, if you engage in a public discussion – and so do your authors – it’s very rude of you to attempt to to confine responses to email. Frankly, I would be most unhappy engaging in private conversation with a company whose employees are showing so little respect for their fellows, or for the genre – and who mock the concept of online privacy.

    Other companies – respectable companies, that is – are happy to respond to online questions, especially when you’ve already turned up and invited us to ask them. What’s your problem?

    I can tell you one – you have some really obnoxious authors speaking for you. Might want to get onto that one, if your December launch isn’t going to fizzle. Sephera Geron, Jamaica Layne – where *are* you finding these people?

  115. Dana
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 15:29:26

    RfP, thanks for clarifying re: comments. And I absolutely agree research is necessary for those of us (me!) new to the world of e-publishing. I’ve spent a lot more time on mystery sites and online communities than anything else. I appreciate your constructive feedback!

  116. Karen Scott
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 15:42:27

    The company will rise or fall on its merits. Don’t be so quick to judge.

    No fear there. From what I’ve seen there have been quite a few e-pubbed authors who stuck their heads in the sand whilst their e-publishers screwed them from behind.

    My point about Obama is that there is hope for a world to band together after 8 years of the Bush nightmare, but if readers and/or writers can’t even get along, what hope is there for anyone else? Are you not fans of “love?” So why all the bashing?

    I suddenly feel the need to sing ‘Koom-bah-ya’, accompanied by a lone banjo.

    Warning” people about new ventures is fruitless. There is nothing to “warn” about.

    What an unbelievably stupid remark.

    I’m one of the authors writing for Ravenous Romance and have found my experience with them very professional and pleasant.

    Really???

    There’s about much sex as you’d find in the Dark Hunter series or some of the spicier bodice rippers,

    Did she just call romance books ‘bodice rippers’?

    My second husband, that I just married in May, came to me for a tarot reading with a bunch of friends. That’s how we met

    Dude, too much information.

    I’m sorry people feel so hostile these days. I’m also sorry if authors writing in cross genres upsets people too.

    I’m pretty sure that’s not what’s upsetting people.

    What is wrong with the term Bodice Ripper?

    If you’ve gotta ask, then you really don’t know the genre. I hear that the Google search functions are pretty useful.

    I write for many publishers (Leisure, Orion, Quiver, Conari)

    Oh yeah…them… I know those publishers so well…

    E.g. back in the old days, rape was common in romance. Did you know that’s no longer the case? If not, you may be in for a rude awakening upon publication.

    RFP, that made me laugh out loud.

    Well, this author has indeed cashed her advance check from RR. They do indeed pay.

    Enjoy it while it lasts.

  117. Anion
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 15:56:58

    Well, this author has indeed cashed her advance check from RR. They do indeed pay.

    So what?

    Yeah, wow. That whole dollar a page. You do realize that the fact that they coughed up twenty or thirty bucks now is no indication you’ll ever see a penny beyond that, right? That when we talk about being paid we’re talking about royalties, and royalties beyond the first month or two? That just because they shelled out a few bucks now doesn’t mean they’ll continue to do so–and not because they’re scammers, but because they’re not selling books?

    Warning writers away from submitting to start-up houses does not equal calling those start-ups scammers. Nobody here is claiming RR is trying to scam writers. We’re just saying new presses are not a good risk, especially new presses who seem to have nothing but contempt for the market into which they’re attempting to break.

    And yes, Mr. Miller, you indicated you’d answer questions here, in this thread. I asked one. Why are you ignoring it, exactly?

  118. Jules Jones
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 16:10:54

    Some further comments:

    I know cross-genre is very welcome in the romance genre, because that’s mostly what I write. I’m essentially a speculative fiction writer who likes writing erotic romance plots. There are plenty more like me.

    I have no problem at all with erotica as a genre. My long work is erotic romance, and published by Loose Id, but my short work includes both erotic romance and erotica, and I’ve been published in Ultimate Gay Erotica, Clean Sheets, the Mammoth Book of Lesbian Erotica and Suspect Thoughts, to give you an idea of the range I write over. Again, there are plenty more authors like me.

    But one thing I don’t do is try to sell erotica to my readers as erotic romance. Not even my romantic erotica. Genre romance has its own genre expectations, and just as a mystery reader is likely to get annoyed if they’re sold something as a mystery that doesn’t actually tell the reader whodunnit by the end, romance readers are likely to get annoyed if they’re sold something under the romance name and it doesn’t meet the basic parameters of the genre.

    This is a romance readers’ blog, and thus one of the things the bloggers and their readers are concerned about is being sold something under false pretences. Many of them very happily read erotica, but if they buy something labelled a romance they expect to get a romance. “Erotic romance” and “erotica” overlap but are *not* identical. The posts in this thread by the Ravenous Romance authors are giving the impression that the house and its readers don’t realise that there’s a distinction — or do realise, but are cynical enough to think they’ll make a pile of money out of romance readers anyway.

    The other thing that’s going on is that we’ve seen plenty of epublishers start up with great enthusiasm, and then disappear — or worse, *not* disappear but behave abominably to their writers and even their customers. So when a new publisher comes along, it gets scrutinised. Asking sensible questions about “do these people have the necessary experience to have a decent chance of making it work” is not bashing — and insisting that it’s wrong to ask such questions is a serious danger signal that no, they don’t have the necessary experience.

    Now, in this case there are some good signs. But experience in print publishing does not automatically translate into knowing what the pitfalls are in ebook publishing. And experience in publishing erotica, particularly when the experience has a heavy slant to non-fiction erotica, does not automatically translate into understanding the erotic romance market.

    Personally — I considered submitting a story to a prospective anthology at Ravenous Romance. I didn’t have anything suitable in hand, so I considered writing one specifically for the anthology (although didn’t do so in the end as I was too busy with the day job). But that’s because I got a “submissions wanted” mailshot from an editor I’ve worked with before and have a good deal of respect for. Her, I’m happy to write for on spec, even at a start-up publisher.

    But attacking people for asking questions is not a good sign. Nor is a spokesman who invites people to send questions by private email, but fails to answer questions asked in public. That makes me wonder whether even sending a story from stock is a good idea. A publisher does not have to be a scammer to be a market an author should think twice about submitting to.

  119. Sephera Giron
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 16:11:02

    I’m not a dude, thank you. Sorry if my name is confusing. I’m a middle aged woman.

    Thank you to everyone for this enlightening discussion. I’ve learned alot here today. One can never learn too much in this confusing world of ours.

    Blessed Be.

  120. kate r
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 16:20:39

    Total-E-Bound started up this way–soliciting writers online–and they seem to be chugging along nicely. I agree that wariness about new business (god, yes, especially an epublisher) is absolutely the way to go. But I think the model of who can approach whom and how is changing all the time and getting offended doesn’t make always sense to those of us out here in the ether.

    Here’s an example of what I mean: I read an agent’s blog about how she is deeply offended when people approach her about business on her e-spaces (Like blogs and twitter) but she seemed to think this point should be totally clear to her readers–which makes no sense because she is someone who identifies herself as an agent in those public places. SO how is anyone supposed to intuit that she isn’t going to respond well to anyone soliciting her?

    What I mean is the rules are fuzzy and when you say you’re in a particular profession, people are going to respond to it. Face to face at a party that has nothing to do with publishing—-sure, I can see how it would be a pain in the ass. Kind of like being a doctor and having someone ask you to look at their aching knee. But on the interwebs, the moment you ID yourself as in a particular profession, you should expect people to respond to you in that profession. (Just like when authors behave like asshats about any topic out here in web-land, they should expect to lose readers.)

    Anyway. Back to the unsolicited letters from RR. If you’re a writer with a public profile, you expect to get letters from readers responding to your work. Why is it so offensive to get letters from people who want to publish it?

    I’m not saying we should all go right ahead and put our faith in an untested business, but I don’t get why all the outrage at that sort of solicitation. It’s business operating in a new way. Whether or not it or the business works, that’s another story.

    Yes, I got the emails from RR and I chose not to publish the news in my blogs or to go with them with my work, but my response isn’t omiGOD how DARE they. I thought it was an interesting approach and, in fact, the letters they sent were okay. Certainly not the horribly fun stuff Mrs Giggles posted for her pseudo ebookbusiness. (damn, that was funny)

    And HEY, RR’s audio smut is intriguing. I can’t imagine listening to it, heck, I can’t read my own stuff aloud, but I bet a lot of visually disabled readers will be grateful.

  121. Dana
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 16:29:47

    Jules, thank you, your post was very informative and your point about genre readers expectations well made.

    What would Sherrilyn Kenyon’s book be classified under, btw? I’m assuming erotic romance, but would welcome other opinions.

  122. MCHalliday
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 16:55:53

    I told you I would reply to every email sent to me directly, so I welcome you all to direct your questions to me…

    I have had quite the experience of contacting Mr. Miller privately and I do not recommend it. He responds with a snobby nose and lack of decorum.

    I can supply full evidence to support this but prefer not to…may I just say, when I wrote to him:, “The majority of the romance community are highly intelligent, educated women…”

    His reply was, “…you should all understand that this small segment of the community is not our only market…”.

    *sputtering in, ab not fab, astonishment*

  123. Anon Y. Mouse
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 17:00:54

    I can supply full evidence to support this but prefer not to…may I just say, when I wrote to him:, “The majority of the romance community are highly intelligent, educated women…”

    His reply was, “…you should all understand that this small segment of the community is not our only market…”.

    So they’re marketing to the segment of the romance community that isn’t smart and educated? And apparently the stupid, uneducated segment is the majority? The contempt they are showing, repeatedly, for their purported “market” is stunning.

  124. Ann Somerville
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 17:08:16

    they're marketing to the segment of the romance community that isn't smart and educated?

    Yep. The segment of the romance market who believe in tarot readings and astrology, think romance is porn, and who don’t know that when some people say ‘Blessed be’, they mean ‘fuck you’.

    Also (please note my Sarah Palin imitation!), the segment of the market who don’t know when they’re being insulted, condescended to, and treated like ninnies.

    Mr Miller, Ms Payne, Ms Giron, I’m going to pray for you all.

    Unfortunately for you, I’m a Satanist :)

    [ps to Ms Giron – ‘a lot’, not ‘alot’. It’s one of them whatchamacallits – a writer thingy.]

  125. Sephera Giron
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 17:15:10

    Wow, Ann, you are quite an amazing woman with many interesting opinions.

    I really meant “Blessed Be” to be “Blessed Be,” not “fuck you,” by the way, if anyone cares.

  126. Alisha Rai
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 17:26:21

    “RR is offering chances for writers to be published. NEW writers.”

    Um, EC, LI and the like do publish new authors. I know, I’m new. It’s harder, since more people submit to the established places, but it’s not impossible for the budding author. In fact, I think it was even on Angela James’ blog that she was actively looking for fresh submissions from new authors, that she loves to work with them. Since RR wants to publish those 365 novels straight off the bat, it may be easier to get accepted there, but that’s not an excuse to give them a free pass through healthy skepticism town.

    Does anyone know who the reputable and award-winning and big name authors are who have signed with RR? I mean that with no snarkiness intended. We keep hearing about all the bigwigs they’ve signed, but I haven’t seen hide nor hair of anyone recognizable (no offense to the authors who have posted here). If it turns out that JEH is their brightest bulb, well then…they need to stop yammering about their roster as a huge selling point. I’m expecting at least one recognizable ROMANCE (not a playwright, not horror, not astrology, ROMANCE) author, RR.

  127. Anon Y. Mouse
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 17:29:09

    They just keep saying all our questions will be answered when they launch. Funny, JEH said our questions about their supposed HUGE marketing push would be answered in October when it happened. But if it happened, how did we all manage to miss it?

  128. Alisha Rai
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 17:31:15

    “So they're marketing to the segment of the romance community that isn't smart and educated? And apparently the stupid, uneducated segment is the majority? The contempt they are showing, repeatedly, for their purported “market” is stunning.”

    I think I actually take that to mean that maybe romance readers are not their whole market? In which case, their market will not be mostly female…

    Psst. Change your name. Not too late.

  129. Jia
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 17:49:14

    What would Sherrilyn Kenyon's book be classified under, btw? I'm assuming erotic romance, but would welcome other opinions.

    Hardly. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters series is paranormal romance, through and through. Not erotic romance at all.

  130. Dana
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 17:56:47

    Jia, thanks for your response.

  131. Anion
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 18:28:19

    Total-E-Bound started up this way-soliciting writers online-and they seem to be chugging along nicely. I agree that wariness about new business (god, yes, especially an epublisher) is absolutely the way to go. But I think the model of who can approach whom and how is changing all the time and getting offended doesn't make always sense to those of us out here in the ether.

    Total E-Bound did not spam. Total E-Bound sent out one email. Total E-Bound also had not had several of its writers out there in the blog community behaving like vicious, pretentious twats, telling everyone how much better they were than anyone else, claiming erotic romance was porn, and that we’d all be sorry when we ate Total E-Bound’s dust.

    Not to mention, quite a few eyebrows were raised when Total E-Bound sent out their solicition. Also not to mention, T E-B is a UK company, the first I’m aware of; there was a market niche to be filled in their case, as there are/were quite a few UK readers who prefer to pay in pounds. And also not to mention, I’m not aware of what their sales are, but as far as I know they’re not beating EC the way Ravenous has claimed it will right out of the box. And they never said they would, and that’s fine.

    Here's an example of what I mean: I read an agent's blog about how she is deeply offended when people approach her about business on her e-spaces (Like blogs and twitter) but she seemed to think this point should be totally clear to her readers-which makes no sense because she is someone who identifies herself as an agent in those public places. SO how is anyone supposed to intuit that she isn't going to respond well to anyone soliciting her?

    Um, because posting your query in comments on an agent’s blog or Twitter is akin to accosting them in the bathroom at a convention? Because they have clearly posted submission guidelines they expect you to follow? There’s nothing intuitive about it; they say “If you want to submit to me, here’s how to do it.” From that we can easily infer that posting a query–or, as is usually the case, a comment that says something like “I wrote a book about snails and I need someone to believe in me!” is not appropriate. Would you go on the blog of a CEO and post in comments that you want a job? No, because you know the way to get a job is to apply for it.

    The way to get an agent is to query one. They’ll tell you how. This is basic knowledge.

    What I mean is the rules are fuzzy and when you say you're in a particular profession, people are going to respond to it. Face to face at a party that has nothing to do with publishing-‘-sure, I can see how it would be a pain in the ass. Kind of like being a doctor and having someone ask you to look at their aching knee. But on the interwebs, the moment you ID yourself as in a particular profession, you should expect people to respond to you in that profession. (Just like when authors behave like asshats about any topic out here in web-land, they should expect to lose readers.)

    Yes, but again, there’s a difference between asking questions about the business on Twitter or a comments thread, and posting a query or attempting to get the agent to read excerpts on your blog. That’s not appropriate. There is a system in place for submissions and writers are expected to abide by that system.

    Anyway. Back to the unsolicited letters from RR. If you're a writer with a public profile, you expect to get letters from readers responding to your work. Why is it so offensive to get letters from people who want to publish it?

    A single solicitation is not offensive in and of itself–at least, not when the sender gives you some indication they’re aware of you who you. Spam is offensive, plain and simple. It’s not personal. It’s not about you. It is nothing at all like getting email from a reader. And getting more than one generic solicitation, that’s been posted on message boards all over the internet, is tacky.

    I'm not saying we should all go right ahead and put our faith in an untested business, but I don't get why all the outrage at that sort of solicitation. It's business operating in a new way. Whether or not it or the business works, that's another story.

    I don’t think the spam is such an outrage in and of itself in this case, so much as the spam on top of everything else; the rudeness, the insults, the condescension, the bragging, the ignorance, and the publisher and its authors’s reaction to simple, basic questions.

    Yes, I got the emails from RR and I chose not to publish the news in my blogs or to go with them with my work, but my response isn't omiGOD how DARE they. I thought it was an interesting approach and, in fact, the letters they sent were okay. Certainly not the horribly fun stuff Mrs Giggles posted for her pseudo ebookbusiness. (damn, that was funny)

    And that’s fine. I know a lot of other people who just found them annoying. Like I said, it’s not the spam so much as everything that came before and after it. The idea of a publisher who first informed us they were “only taking submissions from select agents”, and is now spamming writers and writers’s forums, is a bit much.

    And HEY, RR's audio smut is intriguing. I can't imagine listening to it, heck, I can't read my own stuff aloud, but I bet a lot of visually disabled readers will be grateful.

    I find it intriguing as well. Personally I don’t think I’d care to listen to it; it would weird me out. But more power to them. No one here wants Ravenous to fail; we just want some answers, and we don’t think they’re some sort of miracle. (At least, we didn’t want them to fail until they started being such assholes to us all. Even now I don’t want them to fail. I just wish they would behave like professionals.)

  132. Ann Bruce
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 18:37:47

    I don't think the spam is such an outrage in and of itself in this case, so much as the spam on top of everything else; the rudeness, the insults, the condescension, the bragging, the ignorance, and the publisher and its authors's reaction to simple, basic questions.

    Ditto. Except I replied to Mr. Miller’s solicitation and grouped all that under “unprofessional conduct” by RR’s representatives, unofficial and otherwise.

  133. kate r
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 21:19:41

    Hey, Anion, you’re right on all points.

  134. Cerebral Writer
    Nov 11, 2008 @ 19:31:56

    I cannot speak for Ravenous Romance, but I can speak for myself, as one of their writers: I can’t believe how nasty some of the comments have been, here, especially after Mr. Miller made it very clear that the offending parties were not authorized to do what they did. I get the impression that some of you simply want to see RR fail, and that is disheartening.

    I have numerous novels and short stories slated for publication through Ravenous Romance, I’m excited about the launch. I submitted my work because I’m an avid reader of Lori Perkins’ blog, and although my true passions are literature, science fiction and screenwriting, I do also have some erotic romance that falls into the mixed genre category. Ravenous Romance seemed to fit the bill. Ms. Perkins and Holly Schmidt both have fantastic reputations, and I doubt either would be willing to compromise said reputations on a scam or fly-by-night company. I have been met with the utmost of professional courtesy, and I hope to be able to continue doing business with them in the future.

    Please give Ravenous Romance a try, before knocking down the company; you might be pleasantly surprised.

    My first novel, The Darkness and the Night: Blood and Coffee, will be available on December 21. It’s part one of a trilogy, the second two books slated for publication in early 2009. I’m quite confident that you’ll agree it’s unlike any other vampire story you’ve read, but I invite your feedback, both good and bad.

    I hope all of the groups can learn to get along. There truly is enough room for all of us, and I believe there is great talent across the board.

  135. Ann Somerville
    Nov 11, 2008 @ 20:27:36

    some of you simply want to see RR fail

    Supporting quotes, if you please?

    I don’t want it to fail. I don’t know anyone who does. I’d like to drop a couple of their authors off a cliff, metaphorically, and their PR man is an ass, but hey, the only way is up from here, right?

    All I want is for them to show, not tell. Start demonstrating some of that awesomeness and unique approach, and not merely tell us how awesome and unique they are. Because, seriously, so far, nothing has been awesome or unique, unless you count the fact no one’s seen a new press screw up the PR this badly before launch.

    Mr. Miller made it very clear that the offending parties were not authorized to do what they did

    Yeah, and right after he said that, we got another author shooting her mouth off. He also said he’d answer any of our questions.

    ::crickets chirping::

    Mr Miller isn’t doing much in the way of positive impressions so far. Maybe Lori Perkins might want to look into that.

    Oh, but wait. We’re not the target demographic. So you’re wasting your time even talking to us, aren’t you.

  136. theo
    Nov 11, 2008 @ 20:42:08

    Observation? I find it interesting that all those claiming to be authors for RR explain what they write and almost to a one, the word erotic is in their description. Erotic paranormal, romance with erotic elements and a variety of other odd descriptions. I’m also seeing posts by authors who claim they’ve already written several stories for RR. Is it just me who doesn’t recognize these names? And wonders what the quality of writing is when one is pushing ‘several’ stories out like an assembly line?

    Mind! There are a few writers who can do it, and do it well, really well, but true talent like that is few and far between and although I encourage new authors to submit (hey! I’m a ‘new’ author too) between the descriptions of the stories so far and the amount of stories these untested authors are putting out, I just wonder what’s really going on.

    And since we haven’t really had any questions answered here…

    Well, never mind, I guess. I think I answered mine…

  137. Shiloh Walker
    Nov 11, 2008 @ 22:06:39

    My two cents on this is that RR is coming into this industry facing some readers and writers who’ve already been burned so to speak by any number of epubs. Some have gone down in blazing flames and there are authors who are still dealing with legality issues, payment issues, etc. Readers who spent money on poorly edited, inferior books and received little in the way of customer service or reader satisfaction.

    So RR is basically just going to have to prove themselves. Sadly, that isn’t going to happen by a bunch of their authors coming in here and waving their banners. It’s going to happen by opening a professionally run site, delivering great stories and great customer service.

    But when more RR authors come rushing in to defend, it’s making the hill RR has to climb even harder, because they are digging themselves into a hole with quite a few of the readers of this blog-and this blog is one of the bigger ones when it comes to romance, and one of the biggest advocates of ebooks.

    Don’t take this wrong way, but chances are RR’s best bet at this point would be to shut up, and then put up. Maintain a quiet dignity and then when the publisher opens, maintain a professional attitude. That’s what is going to impress people. Not the banners waving and authors charging in.

  138. veinglory
    Nov 11, 2008 @ 22:27:58

    Another old chestnut is that a new epublisher is offering something rare in offering to publish a work. There are approximately 100 romance epublishers, I can list 60 by name (or just give you the link to my website where they are listed). The opportunity to be epublished per se is about as rare as the opportunity to go bowling. It takes a little effort but most people could do it. Getting epublished is easy, making three figures and higher per book is hard.

  139. ladyslipper
    Nov 12, 2008 @ 23:56:26

    I am absolutely astonished at the venomous tone of Theo, AnonYMouse and AnnSommerville in these posts. Are you writers? If so, don’t you have better things to do than sit around for hours and pen scurilous noted about a topic you KNOW nothing about? Your comments are speculative and hateful, and stem from three things, ignorance, jealousy and anger. Not necessarily in that order. If you don’t like what you hear or read about RR, don’t submit, but why launch a vendetta against them or any publishing company without knowing all the facts? Could it be because you don’t want to know the facts and even if you did, you’d still launch your attacks? These comments make you look extremely immature, idiotic and just plain lacking even a smidgeon of neutrality or judgment. Whomever moderates or owns this blog — you should be banned to allow such hate. Shame on all of you. And no, I am not an owner, and editor or any other part of the RR staff team. Although, from what I’ve heard, you’ll label me as such. I’m a writer, and I am ashamed to be associated with people like this in the profession.

    Publishers names have been bandied about, EC, Samhain, Loose ID and apparently all the big shots. Every one of those publisher started out at the BOTTOM with a handful of books. Thank God you weren’t around to disparage them when they started up.

    Grow up and get a life. A real life.

  140. azteclady
    Nov 12, 2008 @ 23:59:38

    Oh yay, drama!

    *getting popcorn*

    (Yeah, no life here either, obviously)

  141. Sybil
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 00:12:13

    What kind of popcorn? I can haz kettle korn?

    We can sit back and ponder: Who will win? Who will be banned? Will Jane bring down epublishing as we know it?

    Tune in tomorrow…

    (Dude I never claimed to have a life)

  142. Dana
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 00:28:19

    So…at the next RWA conference, is there gonna be, like, an OK Corral type stand off between RR authors and other ePub authors? :-) Bring the kettle korn…

  143. Ann Somerville
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 00:28:35

    Grow up and get a life. A real life.

    Ooh, you mean one where I’m happily married, have a job, publishing contracts, and outside interests and talents?

    You mean that kind of life? Already have one of them, dear.

    Jealous? Of *what*? Of Jill Elaine ‘Ticklin’ ma tonsils with ma toecap’ Hughes? Or Sephera ‘I’m a psychic so why didn’t I see this crap coming’ Giron? Don’t think so.

    don't you have better things to do than sit around for hours and pen scurilous noted about a topic you KNOW nothing about?

    Yup. Was busy doing that when your bile-bomb dropped into Google Reader. How about you?

    I am not an owner, and editor or any other part of the RR staff team.

    Lori Perkins must be thankful that something about this start up is going right, then.

    Whomever moderates or owns this blog -‘ you should be banned to allow such hate.

    Wow, this is following the Kira Takenouchi song sheet to the last note, ain’t it?

    I'm a writer, and I am ashamed to be associated with people like this in the profession.

    Well, I’m a writer too and frankly, my dear, you’re going to have to get used to bad company, just like we do. Mwah, Mwah, Smoochies!

  144. ladyslipper
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 00:42:07

    Oh, oh, you did it again — showcased your jealousy and ignorance. Tsk-tsk. Must be a daily habit. Do you find it absolutely necessary to shoot back with AK-1’s all the time. What’s wrong with pea shooters when trying to get your point across? Oh yeah, that’s right, you don’t have a legitimate point, just a BIG MOUTH! People who truly HAVE a life, don’t find it necessary to list it in order. Let’s see, you’re happily married (highly doubtful he/she, your other half is), you have a REAL job (let’s all clap at the same time) and you have contracts, not just contracts, but “published contracts”. See above, almost ANYONE can get published contracts according to other Mensa people who post on here. Did I forget anything? Oh, yeah, talents and outside interests. Like hanging around a blog for days and jumping on other people’s posts????? That’s really an outside interest.

    You know what — you’re an idiot, plain and simple. A bigoted, stupid, backwoods idiot in triple who DOES NOT HAVE A LIFE, no matter how long of a list she posts.

    I’ll say it again and then no matter what you shoot back with your high=powered rifle, I’m not going to lower myself to respond. Read my lips: GET A LIFE. A REAL LIFE and then join those other idiots for some popcorn.

  145. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 00:45:40

    oh wow, so quickly I’m diagnosed, identified and labeled. One measly comment it’s all it took!

    (does this person know how the comment subscription thingie works?)

  146. Dana
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 00:45:40

    Since I’m an RR author, may I still have kettle korn?

  147. Dana
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 00:48:35

    Or rather…’even though’ I’m an RR author. Not ‘since.’ It’s late…

  148. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 00:49:26

    Can’t tell you–I’m just an idiot.

    (insomnia = bitch)

  149. Dana
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 00:54:36

    Having had it myself, I’ve no doubt chronic insomnia is responsible for a great many murders.

  150. Ann Somerville
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 00:56:44

    What's wrong with pea shooters when trying to get your point across?

    Can I help it if the good Lord blessed me with WMD grade insult capability?

    Publish*ing* contracts, dear. Dunno about ‘real’ job, that’s your interpretation. And unfortunately, my husband is real and hogs the blankets. I’d swap him for a fake one but the resale value on his carcass is less than the cost of advertising.

    Like hanging around a blog for days and jumping on other people's posts?????

    Enough irony to supply the Chinese steel industry for a year.

    I'll say it again and then no matter what you shoot back with your high=powered rifle, I'm not going to lower myself to respond.

    Promise?

  151. ladyslipper
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 00:58:24

    Promise. Goodnight.

  152. Sybil
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 00:59:07

    an idiot in excellent company, if I do say so myself

  153. Sybil
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 01:01:40

    so does this mean ladyslipper is now lower than ann… and just how low was ann to begin with I haven’t kept score

  154. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 01:05:46

    Heh, thank you, Sybil — and I was wondering myself… didn’t she just respond? *scratching head*

  155. Ann Somerville
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 01:06:37

    how low was ann to begin with

    I’d have to stand on a stepladder to tickle a snake’s underbelly.

    I’m so low, ants tower over me.

    I’m so low, I couldn’t even write for RR :)

  156. Sybil
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 01:15:50

    I am thinking ann is really trying to have a flame war with herself

    admit it ann, YOU are ladyslipper

    quick someone do a MI face rip thing, BTW I iz out of popcorn

    (sorry jane it is azteclady & ann’s fault)

  157. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 01:17:38

    You know, all I was doing was having a bit of insomnia and checking my email *pout* I always get blamed!

  158. Nonny
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 01:21:17

    Kettle corn for everyone! *passes around and munches*

  159. Ann Somerville
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 01:22:13

    admit it ann, YOU are ladyslipper

    I am also Barack Obama, and Barack Obama’s new dog.

  160. MD
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 01:37:41

    Or Sephera ‘I'm a psychic so why didn't I see this crap coming' Giron?

    Now that was funny. You deserve a big plate of chocolate chip cookies for that one.

  161. Anion
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 02:35:22

    *facepalm*

    Yes, I know the one thing that always shames me is the other writers trying to advise new writers to avoid startup publishers. Why, I hang my head in shame whenever I see any writer trying to save others from losing their rights and being cheated and treated badly. Shame on them! Don’t we realize it’s our duty to cheer no matter how shady a publisher’s behavior is, or how big a conflict of interest it is, or how many warning tingles it sends up our spine? We should never, ever attempt to lend the benefit of our experience to others; let them make their own damn mistakes, and we’ll laugh when they’re left with nothing.

    Oh, and by the way dear, I do qualify for Mensa.

  162. Emmy
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 02:47:53

    No, no..don’t stop now..I’m not done laughing yet. And I didn’t get any kettle corn.

    Only online….

  163. MaryK
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 03:03:22

    I am absolutely astonished at the venomous tone of Theo, AnonYMouse and AnnSommerville in these posts. Are you writers?

    I’m not – I’m just a li’l ole reader. And let me just say there’s not much that’ll piss off us li’l ole Romance readers more than mislabeling, i.e. baiting and switching. When we pick up a Romance, Ravenous or otherwise, we expect specific things, i.e. “the celebration of falling in love,” “emotion,” and “commitment.” And that commitment thing? We’re really big on it. Really Big. As in no commitment = no Romance.

    FYI and all that.

  164. Karen Scott
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 05:05:03

    Your comments are speculative and hateful, and stem from three things, ignorance, jealousy and anger.

    Hey, we got at least one obligatory ‘E-pubbed Authors Behaving Like Fuckatards’ line. Yay for that! Yes indeedy, Mrs Slipper, everybody here is jealous of those authors at RR who will no doubt be making hundreds of dollars a year for the next ten years. Yep, totally green with envy here.

    I'll say it again and then no matter what you shoot back with your high=powered rifle, I'm not going to lower myself to respond.

    Hey Slippery, you kinda already did.

    People who truly HAVE a life, don't find it necessary to list it in order.

    Really??? Have you got scientific proof of that?

    Jane, you checked her IP address yet? I bet she’s one of those earlier RR commenters who got bitch-slapped by Mr Miller, for making RR look bad. *g*

    When will these people learn?

  165. theo
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 07:00:56

    Um…wow *blinks* I make the mistake of going off to bed in the hopes that for a change, I’ll get more than two hours sleep and come back to someone telling me I have no life?

    Okaaaaay…

    Speculative comments on my part? Can’t speak for anyone else but I agree mine are speculative. Can’t expect any more than that when questions have been asked over and over and those at RR who claimed we could ask anything and then suddenly go incognito, stay that way.

    Ignorance, jealousy and anger…let’s see, since you made a Mensa comment, I could mail you a photocopy of my old membership card. Would you like that?

    There’s nothing to be jealous about. Anyone can find some eBook “publisher” to have a book pubbed. Or better yet, go to AuthorHouse and pay thousands to do it in *gasp* paperback or hardcover!

    And angry? Oh, noes! Angry? Not unless someone doesn’t pass me the kettle korn!! :)

  166. ladyslipper
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 07:35:14

    Good morning my little narrow-mnided, tunnel-vision friends! Yep, it’s me again, Mrs. Slippery. So clever! And Jane, don’t forget to bring the thumbscrews after you look up that ISP number. Someone get me a chair, my legas are quaking! I’m soooooooooooooooo scared! I believe giving out someone’s IP address would be an illegal breach of Internet law, but I’ll have to check with the lawyer for my newspaper. In any event, no need to look it up, unlike most of you, I’m happy to announce my name, Jay B. Berg, Journalist, Brainerd, MN, and looking up an IP address would do you no good as there are four residents here, two computers, one laptop, three authors and one fair-minded journalist, ME! Oh, and my e-mail address, [email protected]. Drop me a line if you have something relevant and sane to say. I won’t hold my breath for the e-mail.

    Now, why did I read all the posts? One of the authors told me to take a look and said I wouldn’t believe the visciousness. She was right. Why did I respond? Because when you read such stupid, unfounded opinions such as these journalists must. Sort of reminds me of the Salem witch trials or better yet a lynch mob, drooling blood.

    Now for the little ole reader who rendered her REALLY SMART opinion about commitment and buying books — one can only assume that in order to make such an unfounded statement, she has read some of the books from this publishing company you are all up in arms about. Because if she hasn’t — what’s the point? How does she know they don’t offer committment or don’t fulfill their promises? See what I mean about stupid?

    As for the comment from anther dork who said, “Duh, do you have any scientific proof of that?” Let me get you some more of Bill O’Reilly’s koolaid to go with your popcorn. You must be about out. That was really a smart, clever thing to say. We aren’t trying to emulate Mrs. Giggles are we? Because if we are — we are falling way, way short.

    In essence, you have all spent hours speculating, offering opinions (unfounded) and woefully biased about a company you know nothing about apparently. Which proves that none of you have anything else in your life substantial to occupy it.

    This publishing company or any other has nothing to prove to you before they open. And their authors, if there are authors posting here, have every right to do without being lynched, stifled, battered and called names. It’s not funny. It’s degrading and I stand by my original statement, you are acting stupid and idiotic to behave in such a manner.

    Last time I looked we live in a country where freedom of speech is cultivated and cherished and only when an angry mob like you try to harass people, embarass them and riducle them to put shame to not only our freedom of speech but the principles of our country. This is why I say you are backwoods, bigoted and stupid.

    Why are you so afraid of this company? It just makes no sense. And why must you so childlishy put down anyone who disagrees with you and try to make smart remarks and one up the remark before you. If you only knew how stupid you look to the casual reader. Really, you are to be pitied.

    Mrs. Slipper, Ladyslipper or whatever other dumb name you tried to cleverly convey.

  167. Shiloh Walker
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 07:51:37

    I'm a writer, and I am ashamed to be associated with people like this in the profession.

    Although I don’t really have a pony in this race, I’d like to point out that the actions of other writers doesn’t ever cause me shame.

    I mean, people all over the world act like asses on a regular basis. But that doesn’t make me ashamed to be a person.

    People own their own actions. It has no reflection upon another unless they allow it.

  168. Ann Somerville
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 07:54:34

    Ms Berg, did they teach spelling at your journalism school or did you get your qualifications out of a cornflake packet?

    Google insists you don’t exist. Perhaps it’s you who should get a life, or at least one that makes an impact on the internet.

    I believe giving out someone's IP address would be an illegal breach of Internet law

    As opposed to a legal breach of Internet Law (whatever the hell that is)?

    Why are you so afraid of this company?

    Why are you so crazy?

    If you only knew how stupid you look to the casual reader.

    Definitely a cornflake packet.

    Last time I looked we live in a country where freedom of speech is cultivated and cherished and only when an angry mob like you try to harass people, embarass them and riducle them to put shame to not only our freedom of speech but the principles of our country. This is why I say you are backwoods, bigoted and stupid.

    Sarah Palin, is that you?

  169. Anon Y. Mouse
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 08:03:03

    Well, Jay Berg, you sure do provide the lulz, don’t you? What fun to wake up to an inbox full of popcorn munchers (gimme some!) and one quasi-journalist ranting like a crazy person. You just made my day a lot brighter, sunshine.

    I believe giving out someone's IP address would be an illegal breach of Internet law, but I'll have to check with the lawyer for my newspaper. In any event, no need to look it up, unlike most of you, I'm happy to announce my name, Jay B. Berg, Journalist, Brainerd, MN, and looking up an IP address would do you no good as there are four residents here, two computers, one laptop, three authors and one fair-minded journalist, ME!

    They don’t believe in by-lines at your ‘newspaper’ Jay? Because I’m on page 6 of a Google search for your name and the only remotely journalistic Jay Berg found was a movie review posted on a poorly designed website. I’m in awe of your journalistic prowess, really.

    In essence, you have all spent hours speculating, offering opinions (unfounded) and woefully biased about a company you know nothing about apparently. Which proves that none of you have anything else in your life substantial to occupy it.

    You do realize chiding us for not having a life because we’re posting to Dear Author is funny because YOU are also posting here so, um…you have no life either by your standards. It’s sad that I just had to spell that out so clearly and still fear the irony and hypocrisy will fly right over Jay’s head.

    Why are you so afraid of this company? It just makes no sense. And why must you so childlishy put down anyone who disagrees with you and try to make smart remarks and one up the remark before you.

    *phone ringing* Oh, hey Pot? Hi, this is Kettle, just letting you know…You’re black. Later!

    Seriously…look at the sentence ending the paragraph above that one, Jay, and revel in the taste of your own foot. Little hot sauce with that, darlin’?

    No one, at least not *this* one, is afraid of RR. I’m, frankly, more fucking annoyed than anything. But then, who likes a braggart? Especially braggarts who are so mind-numbingly clueless that it’s clear to anyone they haven’t the faintest idea what they’re talking about or doing. They come onto the scene bandying about terms like porn and erotica and yet they’re calling themselves a romance publisher. If those free shorts are examples of the kind of work they’re contracting, they’re NOT a romance publisher. And the idea that they’re going to sell thousands of copies of every book is ridiculous. It won’t happen. I don’t have to be psychic like their author up above to predict that. It’s not a prediction, it’s fact. They will not sell thousands of copies of every ebook they publish. Period.

    Now…who wants to share that kettle korn? It better be the good homemade kind they sell at the pumpkin patch, dammit!

  170. Anon Y. Mouse
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 08:04:57

    Sarah Palin, is that you?

    *snorfles* Have my internet babies, plz.

  171. Emmy
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 08:37:29

    just letting you know…You're black

    Hey! What’s wrong with being black? Why’d you have to go and get racist with black people and hot sauce?

    *goes back to munching kettle corn with a little arare mixed in* nom nom nom. Man, the funny shite I get to read for free. Some places charge for this level of entertainment. Thanks for keeping my co-workers and me entertained through a long shift.

  172. Karen Scott
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 08:49:55

    Good morning my little narrow-mnided, tunnel-vision friends! Yep, it’s me again, Mrs. Slippery.

    Hey, look at that, you’re back. Anybody would think that you had nothing better to do with your life. Next thing you know, you’ll be making lists on why your life is so great.

    Sort of reminds me of the Salem witch trials or better yet a lynch mob, drooling blood.

    A tad dramatic, methinks.

    In essence, you have all spent hours speculating, offering opinions (unfounded) and woefully biased about a company you know nothing about apparently. Which proves that none of you have anything else in your life substantial to occupy it.

    Is it a figment of my imagination, or did you just write a 581-word essay on here? I’m pretty sure that would have taken some time. Time that could have been better spent living your life to its fullest, instead of rolling around in the mud with the likes of us, perhaps?

    Last time I looked we live in a country where freedom of speech is cultivated and cherished and only when an angry mob like you try to harass people, embarass them and riducle them to put shame to not only our freedom of speech but the principles of our country. This is why I say you are backwoods, bigoted and stupid.

    You sure are angry aren’t you Mrs Slipper?

    Dude, who’s restricting your freedom of speech? You just called a whole bunch of people bigoted and stupid, because they questioned the validity a new e-publisher, in a year when e-presses have spectacularly bombed, taking more than a few casualties with them.

    RR do need to prove themselves. They need to prove that they aren’t more of the same. They need to prove that they aren’t as unprofessional as some of their authors have made them look. They need to prove that they are more than a collection of fog-horns, touting their own brilliance. They need to prove that they are more than the sum total of the writers who have represented them thus far.

    The E-publishing business has had a hard couple of years, and caution is really the only way to go for some of us readers, and some of those authors who experienced first hand, what it meant to be truly shafted.

    And why must you so childlishy put down anyone who disagrees with you and try to make smart remarks and one up the remark before you. If you only knew how stupid you look to the casual reader. Really, you are to be pitied.

    How do you not see how hypocritical the above comment is?

    Unfortunately for Ravenous Romance, their PR strategy needs a lot of work. And quite frankly, you have done nothing to help their cause.

    First impressions count you see, and anytime I, and possibly many others, come across RR in the future, we’ll remember this thread, and dismiss them as a bunch of unprofessional crazy people, who had an opportunity to put their best foot forward, but instead, ended up inserting said foot into their mouths, whilst attempting to bite the hands of some of the people who could have potentially fed them.

  173. Alisha Rai
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 11:01:55

    “four residents here, two computers, one laptop, three authors and one fair-minded journalist, ME!”

    And…which one of those three roomies writes for RR? Jeez. You aren’t helping, dude.

    “Why did I respond? Because when you read such stupid, unfounded opinions such as these journalists must.”

    What school of journalism is that again? Never mind, you’ll just make it up.

    This is so bizarre, it’s funny. Jane prolly won’t care about your IP, but RR is no doubt dying to track you down and fit you with a muzzle. Poor RR. They should have included a mandatory gag with the contracts they offered.

    Sarah Palin. Snort.

  174. BevQB
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 11:10:55

    First impressions count you see, and anytime I, and possibly many others, come across RR in the future, we’ll remember this thread, and dismiss them as a bunch of unprofessional crazy people, who had an opportunity to put their best foot forward, but instead, ended up inserting said foot into their mouths, whilst attempting to bite the hands of some of the people who could have potentially fed them.

    Well, shit, Karen. Did ya have to go and spoil all the fun by being all reasonable and cutting through all the bullshit to get to what is ultimately the message we’ll all walk away with?

    Damn, girlfriend, and I was all set to swing my mighty Mom hips to clear the way to the kettle korn!

  175. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 11:18:02

    Worry not, BevQB, there’s still a crowd around it *munch*

  176. ladyslipper
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 11:36:50

    Wow! Now we got some people riled! Woo-Hoo! Does that mean you don’t like it when people call you on fabrications, speculation and just plain old fasion bullshit? You know what you can do with your google search for Jay Berg — it should go somewhere the sun don’t shine. For you guy’s, that should be a common home.

    “Is it a figment of my imagination, or did you just write a 581-word essay on here?” Come on, don’t tell me you had time to count the words? Talk about a life . . . .

    “Dude, who's restricting your freedom of speech? You just called a whole bunch of people bigoted and stupid, because they questioned the validity a new e-publisher” Is this the same moron who counted the words? And what’s with the Dude thing? Did you used to be a cowgirl/boy in another life or are you a frustrated African American? I haven’t heard the word “Dude” since the 6th grade. Where do you live, Bumfuck, Wyoming? No, I called you bigoted because you PERSONALLY slammed people of ethnic origin for daring to voice their opinion on this pathetic forum. Perhaps you missed that, but such a smart guy like you shouldn’t — should you? I don’t know, maybe I missed something.

    “RR do need to prove themselves. They need to prove that they aren't more of the same. They need to prove that they aren't as unprofessional as some of their authors have made them look.” Oh-oh, Miss Retro-I-haven’t-got-a-life is back! NO, THEY DON’T HAVE TO PROVE ANYTHING TO YOU OR ANYONE ON THIS FORUM. And just because you say they do, doesn’t make it so. Who are you, Ms. F***ing Truman Capote?

    “I, and possibly many others, come across RR in the future, we'll remember this thread, and dismiss them as a bunch of unprofessional crazy people, who had an opportunity to put their best foot forward, but instead, ended up inserting said foot into their mouths, whilst attempting to bite the hands of some of the people who could have potentially fed them.” Another crazy — GEEZ! Are you serious???? Do you actually think these people at this publishing company give a shit what you and these other morons think? Bite the hands that feeds them? HOW? Because they aren’t going to be the beneficiaries of your wonderful writing? Or because you aren’t going to purcahse their books? SPARE ME! Truthfully, somehow I don’t think they give a shit.

    “Google insists you don't exist. Perhaps it's you who should get a life, or at least one that makes an impact on the internet.” And here is that fruitcake Ann again, once more rattling on like a person with dementia about existence according to the end-all-be-all of the Internet (GOOGLE!) Way to go Ann — you’re really on top of things! As if YOU make an impact on the Internet with your witty, oh so witty commentary! I might have to write your stuff down and see if I can’t sell it (or give it away) to one of stand-up comedian friends. Such talent here on Dear Author!

    Hey, I got an idea. Maybe I could do a human interest story on all these comments and get one of the National magazines to publish it for the whole world to see. We could highlight the fine literary commentary by, let’s see, there’s Ann, and Karen Scott and oh yeah, that wily, slick-tongued azteclady. Then everyone would know just how smart, kind and open-minded everyone is here. Whatdayathink? Wouldn’t that drive a lot of people to Dear Author and let everyone know what wonderful people hang out here? Now . . . who wants to go first??????? Ann? Karen???? Step right up. Show them that you’ve got what it takes to smear and slam a company you know nothing, absolutely nothing about.

    And finally, one more thing. I forget who the insightful person was who posted something about keeping her mouth shut when she feels its her duty to pass on her expertise to “newbies”. Because I’m sure she writes for NY and is a besteselling author. RIGHT? I must have missed that too because I don’t see in one SINGLE post where anyone asked you for advice.

    Now, who was it that counted my words. Karen? The one who really has a life? When you count the words in this post, don’t forget to deduct the copy and paste quotes. Okay?

    Let me know if you want to do that human interest story. I can hardly wait!

    To my little special friend with a wink — “Later, DUDE, Best Jay

  177. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 11:44:41

    *snickering*

    For you guy's, that should be a common home

    *snickering some more*

  178. Mrs Giggles
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 11:52:32

    Jay, do you have a publishing contract with Ravenous Romance?

  179. Anon Y. Mouse
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 11:53:14

    So, just to be clear, is there anybody here who actually believes that Jay Slipper Whatever their name is actually *isn’t* either a principle in RR or an author for them? Anyone? Cause I dunno, Slipper, for someone yammering on about not having a life, if you go around the internet throwing poorly-spelled and incoherant word bombs at people in defense of companies you have no part of just for fun…I already made the pot/kettle reference but it still fits.

    So yeah, you’re not fooling anyone. And you’re proving to every single person who visits this blog (which is a large number by the way, of both readers who might have purchased books and writers who might have submitted books) that Ravenous is batshit before they even get out of the gate. So thanks, we do enjoy it when people confirm our suspicions for us.

    And if they don’t care? They should. Who are they selling themselves to, if not the romance community? If they’re a romance publisher as their name proclaims, we are their target audience and their target author pool. And if they’re not a romance publisher, then they need to quit using our genre as a thinly-veiled guise for their self-professed porn and erotica.

    But no one knows, do they? Because the only people speaking are their authors who have shown a distinct cluelessness about what is and is not romance. Their PR guy apparently only thinks PR thru individual email correspondence is his job description. He must have missed the whole PUBLIC part of his title.

  180. Karen Scott
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 11:58:32

    Hey Slippery, you did better that time, 771 words, mind you, I did include the quotes too.

    May I suggest that now would be a good time to take your medication? You seem so angry, in a ‘I-wasn’t-Breast-fed-Enough-When-I-Was-A Child’ way.

    And what's with the Dude thing? Did you used to be a cowgirl/boy in another life or are you a frustrated African American?

    Oh, is ‘dude’ a word that’s only used by cowboys and black Americans? Who knew?

    No, I called you bigoted because you PERSONALLY slammed people of ethnic origin for daring to voice their opinion on this pathetic forum.

    I’ve always thought black people are assholes who deserve to be shot, dontcha think?

  181. ladyslipper
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 11:58:56

    My dear Mrs. Giggles,

    Do you know what an inspiration you are to these sad wannabees on Dear Author?

    With my hand on the Bible, I swear I do not write for this publishing company RR you keep slamming. After all this, everyone has missed the point. I am not speaking for them, am not associated with them. I stated the truth in my second post. I read these slurs because an author friend pointed them out. They are all over the Internet. I read them out of curioisty and could not believe the moronic tone and bigoted comments. Everyone keeps saying my posts are a bad reflection on them.

    Please do not blame them. I don’t know them. Had never heard of them until I read Dear Author. They will not be “bitch-slapping” me or hunting me down because they don’t know me. What not one of wants to recognize is your unspeakable behavior of what you are doing or attempting to do to this company. WHY? For what? It is beyond belief.

    I have no personal interest in them. I am a freelance journalist by the name of Jay Berg, regardless of what Ann’s Google search says. What can I do to prove it to you? Do NOT take further issue with the publishing company “RR” whatever it stands for because I dared to speak up to something I feel is morally and ethically wrong.

    Believe what you will, but that is the God’s truth.

  182. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:04:03

    *sputter*

    I've always thought black people are assholes who deserve to be shot, dontcha think?

    Karen, you bitch, you OWE me a new keyboard!!!!

  183. Karen Scott
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:04:43

    Now . . . who wants to go first??????? Ann? Karen????

    Pick me, pick me!!!!

  184. ladyslipper
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:09:14

    AnonMuse,

    What a silly call name! What does it mean? A non Writer???? Do you have a real name or do you hide behind it?

    And no, I am not angry, just blown away by the hatefulness.

    Will you stop lecturing me about this publishing company and telling ME how much business they are going to lose becuase of this! Is there some reason I should care about that?

    I have nothing to do with them. Do you really think if I did I would want them to be upset about all these postings, mine included if I was affiliated with them? DUH! Come one, use your head.

    Is it so hard for you to believe that people visiting this forum would take issue with the way you’ve treated people? Wow! I guess I do live in a fantasy world.

  185. SandyW
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:11:16

    I like kettle corn, truly I do. But we are missing a golden opportunity here. Someone needs to work out an E-Book Publisher Implosion Drinking Game. I mean, look at this. We've already got: grandiose announcements, swarming packs of supporters, official representatives, sock puppets, and ad hominem ranting.

    There is a certain rhythm to these things, isn't there?

    Edited to add: And the whole ‘Mean Girl' thing. See, we really need to work out the pattern.

  186. Kerry Allen
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:13:48

    Ladyslipper is really Angela James, attempting to damage the reputation of the competition.

  187. Gennita Low
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:14:32

    Karen Scott:

    I've always thought black people are assholes who deserve to be shot, dontcha think?

    Karen, keyboard, monitor…all coffee-fied. Dude. That was worth waiting all night and all morning for.

  188. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:17:42

    SandyW, you forgot the epic flounce with the immediate return…

    Since I don’t drink, I’ll just watch you guys get drunk in a hurry :grin:

  189. Anion
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:33:02

    Oh, sheesh. That’s some keen journalistic eye you’ve got there, whoever-you-are. You didn’t, by any chance, see John Edwards a few months ago with a lady not his wife, and believe him when he told you she was his dogsitter, did you? Because I have never in my life met a real journalist who takes everything at face value and wonders why authors should speculate on whether or not it’s a safe bet to submit to any particular publishing house.

    Seriously. Journalism? Wow. I bet the politicians you cover LOVE you.

    This is ridiculous. We’re having an actual discussion here. If you can’t contribute anything (which would mean actually knowing anything at all about epublishing and genre romance/erotic romance, which you obviously do not) or behave like an adult, why don’t you go away until you can.

    You’re only making RR look worse, you know, whether you’re involved with them or not.

  190. MD
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:37:57

    If you only knew how stupid you look to the casual reader.

    Aww, honey. I’m a casual reader and, trust me, you’re coming off much worse with all the ugly words and name-calling.
    RR did make a bad first impression, before anyone else here said anything to them or about them. They need to stop, take a deep breath, re-order their priorities, and try to start fresh, on a customer-is-right note. At the moment, you and RR are just digging yourselves a deeper hole.

    And…kettle corn? I don’t know how you guys can eat that stuff. It is way too sweet. Yuck.

  191. ladyslipper
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:45:06

    Anion

    Yes, ma’am, I’m on my way now. I don’t cover politicians though, I cover literary events. Like blogs and author sites and book signings and author interviews. You get the picture. Makes sense I would have three author roommates huh? You mean I have to know something about writing, i.e. epublising, erotic romance to post here? Gotcha! Like you do, right?

    You aren’t just speculating about whether authors should submit to any particular publishing house. You’re on a personal slash vendetta about one publisher in particular and no one has answered why????????

    People act like this for one of two reasons — fear and fear. Those aren’t my words, but some famous person’s. Since Ann is so good on Google, have her go look it up.

    No, I’m not making RR look worse. You and all your whack-jeaded sidkicks are the only ones who look WORSE! Worse than anyone could ever possibly look.

    Have a great day.

  192. MCHalliday
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:46:35

    Is it so hard for you to believe that people visiting this forum would take issue with the way you've treated people?

    Actually, I take issue with the manner in which you have treated others on this blog, ladyslipper. Some of your more base comments include:

    You know what you can do with your google search for Jay Berg -‘ it should go somewhere the sun don't shine. For you guy's, that should be a common home.

    Did you used to be a cowgirl/boy in another life or are you a frustrated African American? I haven't heard the word “Dude” since the 6th grade. Where do you live, Bumfuck, Wyoming? No, I called you bigoted because you PERSONALLY slammed people of ethnic origin for daring to voice their opinion on this pathetic forum.

    Who are you, Ms. F***ing Truman Capote?

    Do you actually think these people at this publishing company give a shit what you and these other morons think?

    And here is that fruitcake Ann again, once more rattling on like a person with dementia…

    Do you know what an inspiration you are to these sad wannabees on Dear Author?

    Wow! I guess I do live in a fantasy world.

    Perhaps, as it does seem you are oblivious to your own insults and slurs, and possess an astonishing pretense of admirable principles:

    Do NOT take further issue with the publishing company “RR” whatever it stands for because I dared to speak up to something I feel is morally and ethically wrong.

  193. Jane
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 12:49:50

    So I go to sleep last night thinking this thread was dead and I wake up to find this! Jay, your backpeddling? Not working. RR is going to be linked to you and partly because your statements closely mirror those of the official PR person who has told others that this blog represents only a tiny segment of the RR market. That is likely to be true. I can’t imagine a ton of readers to DA deluging RR with orders.

    Fundamentally, I think RR’s problem is that they do not understand epublishing. I.e., it seems that they want to grow the existing ebook reading market beyond where it is. Sadly I don’t think any publisher is going to do that. It’s going to be a hardware manufacturer + bookstore similar to what Amazon + Kindle (which is patterned off of iTunes + Ipod/phone/touch/nano).

    There is definitely room for growth of ebook market but one publisher offering essentially the same thing that can be found from 60 other epublishers on the market isn’t going to expand the subset of readers that buy ebooks.

    Questioning RR isn’t meanspirited or hateful. It’s smart of readers, prospective authors, and established authors. Pointing out tactics that are undesirable like spamming for submissions or assuming anyone who has a blog wants to get press releases is also no meanspirited or hateful.

    This blog exists to serve readers, primarily. It definitely does not exist to be a cheerleader of untried epublishers who declare themselves to be the best ever particularly when part of the publishing arm operated under a somewhat mirky ethical situation.

    Your cheerleading of RR in an offensive manner is only going to make ebook readers less interested in RR, not more interested. Particularly when it seems clear that there are few authors or representatives from RR that know the difference between porn and erotica and erotic romance. A few sex scenes and naked chests do not a romance make.

  194. MD
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:01:48

    Come on, don't tell me you had time to count the words? Talk about a life . . . .

    How can you be a journalist and not know how to get a word count on your computer other than by counting every word?

    Do you actually think these people at this publishing company give a shit what you and these other morons think?

    It does come across like you’re at least attempting to speak for this publishing company. At any rate, you’re not really helping them.

  195. SandyW
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:04:36

    SandyW, you forgot the epic flounce with the immediate return…

    azteclady, you are so correct. I'm currently waiting for the chronic illness/mental condition excuse (one of my personal favorites). That should be worth a double shot, at least.

  196. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:07:16

    Oooooohhhhhh!!! I just got a flash from the conspiracy theory corner of my twisted, idiotic mind!

    What if this person’s comments are in fact designed to make RR look bad???????

    What? it’s possible, people!

    :wink:

  197. kate r
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:12:18

    Sandy W Yes. First thing, we must establish the ebook godwin equivalent. Once a publisher is compared to [some heinous criminal publisher/editor/agent] we drink a whole glass. And down goes a full glass any time a reader is called ignorant for expressing distaste for a particular genre that publisher specializes in…..no, no never mind. We want the bottle to last an entire thread.

  198. theo
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:16:37

    Bottle? I think we need a full cask…of course, after this comment;

    Will you stop lecturing me about this publishing company and telling ME how much business they are going to lose becuase of this! Is there some reason I should care about that?

    maybe I don’t need any. That one made my brain spin more than any alcoholic beverage ever could.

  199. theo
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:18:54

    Sorry, I have no clue how to edit my post, but I meant to add:

    If we’re supposed to believe he/she/it doesn’t care, why do they keep posting here?

  200. kate r
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:21:38

    I don’t know, Theo, but that argument might not work–I don’t particularly care and I keep posting.

    [now I’m stopping]

  201. Ann Bruce
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:23:40

    What if this person's comments are in fact designed to make RR look bad???????

    Okay, I admit it. It’s me. As a writer for that publisher started by an “unpublished housewife” and is “flying by the seat of their pants”, I felt RR is a threat to my fledgling career. And I felt snubbed since I’m not good enough to submit to them because I’m unagented. *sniff*

    *snort*

    No kettle korn for me, please. Anyone haz kettle chips?

    *cough* I qualify for Mensa, too. *cough*

    I've always thought black people are assholes who deserve to be shot, dontcha think?

    Karen owes me a new keyboard.

  202. ladyslipper
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:24:14

    Much as I’d love to continue this discussion, it is fruitless. Jane, I am not backpeddling, whatever that insinuates. And you just launched into a lengthy speil about RR again. Are you people really that dense? You keep trying to link me to them because that is the only argument you have to destroy them. My posts are not for any reason in personal defense of them, but I guess I can say it twenty more times and there are so many more of you to answer with the same old b.s. I reiterate, questioning them is NOT what you did. Slam, demoralize, condescend, judge and a thousand other adjectives would better describe what you did. But it’s obvious you’re not going to admit it or recognize. I know . . . it takes a really big person/people to say “I/We were wrong.” And obviously, the people on this forum are not BIG.

    You say there are few RR authors who know the difference between porn and erotica. I didn’t see all the posts then, because I thought there were only a few who attempted to speak up and got blasted into the millenium by your kind readers/authors and ducked out with their faith in humanity lost. I understand why. What your readers/authors did was hateful, uncalled for an mostly untrue. Just like your statement, “Most of their authors don’t know the difference between porn and erotica.” How many have you asked? Be truthful (once). How many authors does this publishing company have? How many of you have read any of their books? Apparently someone has because she slammed them about their committment and told them they better deliver or — OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!

    Now someone is on my ass about swearing. Did that judgmental person read the previous posts from your readers that including swearing and the “f” word? Double standard????

    If this is your blog, I’m afraid it has brought you a whole lot more bad publicity now than this publishing company you are determined to destroy.

    And for the tenth or is it the 20th time — WHY? Because they spammed some authors? God, I agree, “get a rope, let’s hang em.”

    I won’t be visiting Dear Author again. I know, breathe a sigh of relief. I’ve wasted my time trying to deal with moronic cold-hearted, judgmental people who got their marbles off by destroying humans and companies who don’t hold the same opinions that they do.

    How do you people sleep at night?

    Jay

  203. B
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:28:07

    read them out of curioisty and could not believe the moronic tone and bigoted comments. Everyone keeps saying my posts are a bad reflection on them.

    Please do not blame them. I don't know them. Had never heard of them until I read Dear Author. They will not be “bitch-slapping” me or hunting me down because they don't know me. What not one of wants to recognize is your unspeakable behavior of what you are doing or attempting to do to this company. WHY? For what? It is beyond belief.

    Do NOT take further issue with the publishing company “RR” whatever it stands for because I dared to speak up to something I feel is morally and ethically wrong.

    The hypocrisy makes my head throb. The way you’ve spoken in every single post has been absolutely appalling. You rage against the people here for “bashing” a company they know nothing of, yet you don’t hesitate to throw around insults about people you know nothing of. You talk of unspeakable behavior when your own is that of a spoiled five-year-old throwing a tantrum. You come down on others for insulting ethnic groups after making nasty comments about cowboys and African Americans.

    And to top it all off, you claim to be speaking up against something you find “morally and ethically wrong”. Yet the people here at DA feel that RR’s behavior towards romance readers, writers, and publishers has been, shall we say, unprofessional, and it is not okay for them to speak out against it?

    It never fails to amaze me. Every time I think I’m socially inept, I actually start interacting with people. Then I stop feeling so bad.

    (Is it just me or does our buddy Jay sound kind of like Chancery Stone?)

  204. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:31:43

    Too much popcorn… anyone wants a bagel?

    Oh man, B, that’s who this reminds me off! All the caps, the bad spelling, the idiocy… Yup, looks like it. Could it be?????

    The suspense!!!

    heh.

  205. Karen Scott
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:37:11

    Hey you’re slacking Slippery Jay, just a measly 418 words that time.

    it takes a really big person/people to say “I/We were wrong.” And obviously, the people on this forum are not BIG.

    Don’t be silly sweetie, we’re just a bunch of readers from Bumfuck Wyoming, which is why we’re waiting for you to lead by example. Go on, you be the ‘BIG’ man/woman.

    *Crickets chirping*

    If this is your blog, I'm afraid it has brought you a whole lot more bad publicity now than this publishing company you are determined to destroy.

    Oh honey, you’re so adorable, I could eat you right up. You are truly the gift that just keeps giving, and for that I thank you.

  206. Jane
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:39:00

    It is indeed my blog and we welcome bad publicity!

  207. kate r
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:39:18

    sorry, azteclady, Kerry Allen stole your conspiracy theory before you had a chance to express it.

  208. Ann Bruce
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:41:31

    Slam, demoralize, condescend, judge and a thousand other adjectives would better describe what you did

    Are you sure you’re not talking about Jill Elaine Hughes/Jamaica Layne?

    And obviously, the people on this forum are not BIG.

    Actually, I’m not. I’m only five-nothing.

    And for the tenth or is it the 20th time -‘ WHY? Because they spammed some authors? God, I agree, “get a rope, let's hang em.”

    Um, did you not read the first 80 or so comments in this thread? How about this one?

    Are you sure you’re a journalist? Your research skills seem to be as lacking as Brattyhack’s.

  209. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:42:01

    Really?

    *scrolling up*

    Shit, kate r, you are right!

    *kicking rock and muttering expletives*

    See, not only am I a “slick” idiot, I lack originality as well.

    *sigh*

    By the way, anyone check how many keyboards Karen killed today?

  210. Karen Scott
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:42:50

    I won't be visiting Dear Author again.

    Anybody taking bets on this?

  211. Kerry Allen
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:47:31

    azteclady, im in ur intartubes, stealin ur conspiracies.

  212. SandyW
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:52:29

    I was wondering just what the E-Book Publisher Implosion version of Godwin's was when B said:

    (Is it just me or does our buddy Jay sound kind of like Chancery Stone?)

    We have a winner. At the point the discussion becomes suitable for Fandom Wank, rational discourse has ended. Of course, the ranting usually stops being rational early on and continues way past the Fandom Wank point. But it works for me.

  213. Jill Myles
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 13:59:37

    Duuude. This thread! Just…dude. Cannot. Look. Away.

    And FWIW, I’m shocked that ‘Dude’ is an outdated word. Because, dude! I use it all the time. And I’m not even from the valley.

    I guess this means I am not a serious writer now.

  214. MaryK
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 14:02:22

    Dude!!
    O.O

  215. Nonny
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 14:06:41

    Speaking as a reader here, the attitude of RR’s authors and their compatriots here has severely put me off the company. Sorry, but I’ve better things to do with my money than support people who sound like they are in serious need of medication.

    Dana, I should add that I exclude you from this list. Outside of your misunderstanding about the term “bodice ripper,” you’ve been nothing but friendly and calm through this whole discussion. Given the atmosphere of this conversation from your fellow authors, this impresses me, and I wish you well with the company. :)

  216. lapland
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 14:23:02

    Wow.

    An author friend pointed me to this thread. I’m a writer myself, as of yet unpublished, with a lovely agent at a major agency (if that gives me any additional credibility. Probably not).

    I don’t write romance, but I know a number of people who do, and at a very high level of craft and dedication.

    I’ve found that in general, writers are a supportive bunch. Organizations like Sisters in Crime and the RWA, online discussion and critique groups – my experiences have been way more positive than not. Most of the writers I know enjoying helping other writers.

    This is one of the saddest displays of behavior I’ve ever seen from a group of “writers.”

    Reading this thread, my early reaction was that this company, Ravenous Romance, screwed up and deserved to be taken to task. Reading further, I saw a representative of said company respond in straight-forward way and apologize for the screw-up. I must have missed a boatload of nuance along the way to account for the continued venom and “Mean Girl” pack behavior by this site’s author and fan-club.

    No one cares if you’re in MENSA. It doesn’t make you smart, and it doesn’t make you talented.

  217. Seressia
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 14:27:57

    Hey Dude–er, I mean Jane–

    How about a link at the top of this post for the new people who don’t know (what the hell they’re talking about) that this isn’t the first discussion about RR?

  218. Shiloh Walker
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 14:29:24

    Ladyslipper/Jay.

    Dear God, please don’t take this wrong, but you’re seriously hurting RR.

    There are more readers here than authors, and many of them love ebooks. But when this new press opens, a lot the readers here are going to think back on this debacle and just decide not to mess with it. That’s going to hurt a new epress, because one of the biggest sales tool is simply word of mouth.

    You’re hurting their image before they’ve even opened their doors and that, well, it kinda sucks for them. And no, I’m not saying this out of fear. Trust me. I’ve been on the epub block long enough that a new place opening up doesn’t have me shaking in my sneakers.

    I’m saying this because at this point, I really feel sorry for RR, and for you. You’ve given a whole bunch of people a great deal of entertainment, and it’s at your expense and indirectly, at RR’s expense. People are going to connect RR to you, and from where I’m sitting, that’s not a good connection to make.

    You need to just let this go, because people are just going to continue having fun at your expense.

  219. theo
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 14:35:40

    You know what, lapland? You’re absolutely right. It doesn’t “make me” a talented writer (though I’m sorry, I’ll disagree wholeheartedly on the ‘smart’ part) but to have someone come in and throw this kind of s*** at the people posting here, which includes authors, reviewers, readers of all genres:

    See above, almost ANYONE can get published contracts according to other Mensa people who post on here. Did I forget anything? Oh, yeah, talents and outside interests. Like hanging around a blog for days and jumping on other people's posts????? That's really an outside interest.

    You know what -‘ you're an idiot, plain and simple. A bigoted, stupid, backwoods idiot in triple who DOES NOT HAVE A LIFE, no matter how long of a list she posts.

    I'll say it again and then no matter what you shoot back with your high=powered rifle, I'm not going to lower myself to respond. Read my lips: GET A LIFE. A REAL LIFE and then join those other idiots for some popcorn.

    along with her racial and ethnic slurs, then the discussion turns from simple discourse to watching the person who posted that comment crash and burn.

    It’s not the ‘boatload of nuance’ you missed along the way, but the idiocy of the above quoted poster who is doing nothing for RR except to drive them further into the ground because as someone else pointed out, they will now forever be associated with her diatribe.

  220. Susanna
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 14:36:06

    lapland –

    Regarding your MENSA comment. Had you actually *read* this thread, you would know WHY a few posters commented with their eligibility for MENSA.

    (hint: Scroll up to #144)

  221. Dana
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 14:38:04

    Nonny, thank you for your acknowledgement. I appreciated several of the comments received as they constructively and kindly pointed out the gap between traditional publishers and epublishers and the expectations of the readers. As mentioned before, my experience with RR has so far been nothing but positive and I hope it continues to be so. Thanks for your good wishes.

  222. Ann Bruce
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 14:40:00

    Most of the writers I know enjoying helping other writers.

    So, warning fellow writers to be wary of start-ups and encouraging them to ask questions and not just blindly go rah-rah-rah is a bad thing?

    I don't write romance, but I know a number of people who do, and at a very high level of craft and dedication.

    What does that tidbit have to do with the discussion?

    I'm a writer myself, as of yet unpublished, with a lovely agent at a major agency (if that gives me any additional credibility. Probably not).

    Not if you’re going by “lapland.”

  223. Anon Y. Mouse
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 14:40:48

    What’s funny is Slippery claims to not care that their craziness is hurting RR, but yet they came here to denounce us for supposedly doing the same.

    If you don’t care that *you’re* damaging RR, Slipper, why do you care if *we* do?

  224. Jane
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 14:52:03

    @Seressia: Well, I added a link but I’m thinking that people aren’t likely to read much of anything at this point, particularly if they are directed here from somewhere else. I mean, what would be the point of reading the thread, right?

  225. Ann Somerville
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 14:57:26

    I think, with all the trolling and hysteria, and sheer batshittery, an important question is being overlooked:

    What is kettle korn? I’ve never heard of it. [/australian]

  226. Robin
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 15:05:29

    Kettle Corn is a treat you can get at US fairs and farmer’s markets. It’s basically popcorn that is made with oil, salt, and sugar, creating a crispy, salty-sweet crust on the popcorn. It’s often made in specially-created vats, and it’s best when just made. But for addicts like myself, several companies are packaging Kettle Corn (you can buy it now at Trader Joe’s), and at least one company makes it in microwave popcorn. And you can make it at home, too. Oh, and some movie theaters serve it now, as well.

  227. theo
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 15:08:10

  228. Gennita Low
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 15:11:35

    I think it’s a Wyoming mispelling, Ann. (/Malaysian)

  229. Ann Somerville
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 15:15:18

    It's basically popcorn that is made with oil, salt, and sugar, creating a crispy, salty-sweet crust on the popcorn.

    Ah, a dieter’s best friend :) Thanks.

    Gennita, don’t they turn the ‘R’s around in Wyoming? [/didn’t know you were Malaysian :) ]

  230. Jordana
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 15:37:34

    Ok, I am no author but I am a reader. I enjoy a few of you authors here, but my question to all of you author’s. Don’t you authors have anything BETTER to do then just to sit your on your computer and BITCH ABOUT ONE FREAKIN’ PUBLISHING COMPANY?!?! Many more out there DO the EXACT same thing. Some of them screw you around horribly. All authors who has left a bad comment are acting like little FOUR-YEAR OLDS!!! Kindergarten children do not even act like this. You are only giving YOURSELF a bad REP for bitching about ONE publishing company. It is NOT WORTH YOUR TIME!!! Please authors, just go back to your writing and your life, and stop running your mouth like little babies about one publishing company! Just let it go.

  231. Laura
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 15:55:44

    Jay B. Berg, Journalist, Brainerd, MN, (…) there are four residents here, two computers, one laptop, three authors and one fair-minded journalist, ME!

    Four writers crammed into a single house in Brainerd, Minnesota? Sounds like “A Prairie Home Companion” monologue material to me.

  232. MD
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 16:16:34

    Ann said, re: kettle corn –

    Ah, a dieter's best friend :) Thanks.

    You aren’t missing anything. It’s nasty stuff. Popcorn was not meant to be sweet.

    And from “Jordana” –

    Ok, I am no author but I am a reader. I enjoy a few of you authors here, but my question to all of you author's. Don't you authors have anything BETTER to do then just to sit your on your computer and BITCH ABOUT ONE FREAKIN' PUBLISHING COMPANY?!?! Many more out there DO the EXACT same thing. Some of them screw you around horribly. All authors who has left a bad comment are acting like little FOUR-YEAR OLDS!!! Kindergarten children do not even act like this. You are only giving YOURSELF a bad REP for bitching about ONE publishing company. It is NOT WORTH YOUR TIME!!! Please authors, just go back to your writing and your life, and stop running your mouth like little babies about one publishing company! Just let it go.

    Ravenous Romance certainly has an impressive number of supporters who are willing to go into near-hysterics on their behalf. I’ve never seen a group of people get this shrill over having their business policies looked into and questioned. The thing is, if it were my business being scrutinized, I would want to defend it calmly and intelligently and in a way that will reassure potential writers and readers.

    You’d think common sense would tell the owners of Ravenous Romance that such a violent reaction to criticism and doubt is not in their best interest. But maybe it doesn’t really matter, when you’re planning to produce fiction with just your most basic, prurient appeal?

    If I’m mistaken, I would love to be corrected and, please, by someone without a passionate adherence to the CAPS LOCK key. Hello, Mr. Miller or Ms. Perkins, here is your opportunity to present a saner, more lucid and united front for RR. I think you should take it.

  233. Ann Bruce
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 16:35:12

    Jordana, were you stomping your foot like my toddler-aged cousins as you typed your diatribe?

    (Sorry, folks. I couldn’t resist. With the economy in the dumps, this is cheap entertainment.)

    If I were Dalyn Miller, I would thank RR’s very vocal fans for their support, but would ask them to refrain from speaking for RR in future and let him handle PR.

  234. Anion
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 16:39:06

    Is my comment lost in the spam filter? Or was it too long?

  235. Anion
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 16:41:09

    *Throws hands in air*

    Apparently, it’s a mean, unprofessional, and terrible thing to do, to point out that new epresses are not always a good bet for authors because of how high the chances are that they will A) Not sell more than a half-dozen or so copies of their books, if they’re lucky; B) Not make any money from their work (the main result of poor sales); C) Very possibly/probably end up with nothing to show for the experience but a handful of manuscripts which are essentially unsellable due to having been published before, and the sensation of having wasted one’s time.

    Yes. Vicious, petty, cruel me. I should be ashamed of myself for saying the above, and for calmly defending myself when Jill Elaine Hughes/Jamaica Layne et al respond by calling me names, telling me I’m jealous and bitter and whatever, or ignorant, or stupid, or out for some sort of revenge, or are making this a personal argument, or am bad for not giving them a chance, or whatever freaking insert0insult0here they want to come up with.

    Jordana, don’t tell me what’s worth my time. HELPING OTHER WRITERS NOT GET SCREWED OR END UP WITH NOTHING BUT BROKEN DREAMS IS VERY, VERY WORTH MY FUCKING TIME.

    As you said yourself:

    Many more out there DO the EXACT same thing. Some of them screw you around horribly.

    YES. That is it EXACTLY. THAT IS WHY WE ARE HERE. To try and stop them. To try and help writers make informed, sensible choices about their careers. To encourage them to think of publishing as a business, not a fucking game or some sort of Hey-gang-let’s-put-on-a-show. It is a business. It’s not personal, it’s business. It’s not personal, it’s business!!

    Let me ask you something, and you tell me what you think. Say you work in the matchmaking industry (just for fun, I grabbed something.) You’re good at your work. You’ve reached some level of success (and btw, Lapland, I too have an agent at a major agency, and several books with NY houses). Maybe you’re not a millionaire, but you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished and feel strongly about your business and keeping the matchmaking industry’s reputation good.

    For example, say in the last couple of years you’ve seen several matchmaking agencies have major scandals and issues because they haven’t done proper background checks on their clients. There have been date rapes. There have been other attacks. Things have been stolen. Now, your agency hasn’t had these problems, because you have been careful to always treat it like a business. You don’t fall for a charming smile and a good line; you make sure all the paperwork and everything is in order before you send clients out on dates.

    So it would bother you, would it not, to see these other agencies treating its own clients so badly? Even worse, when reports of these incidents start hitting the news, and instead of hearing “Oh, that must be exciting” you hear “Oh, man, aren’t those the places that make girls pay to be attacked or stolen from?”

    And worst of ALL, is seeing the clients of those other, irresponsible agencies, after they had their fateful dates. Seeing their hearts broken, their money stolen. Seeing how they feel betrayed and cheated. Some of them might give up dating altogether, even though you know they’re such wonderful people there has to be a perfect person out there for them. But they made a mistake, and went with the irresponsible startup agency, because they didn’t know what to look for.

    So you start telling them. “Make sure background checks are done.” “Make sure they have you sign this particular form.” “Make sure they have this insurance policy.” “Check references.” Whatever it is. You don’t want to see more people get hurt.

    Continued…

  236. kate r
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 16:41:21

    Jordana, I have one word for you: procrastination. And those of us who are doing NaNoWriMo are even more desperate than usual to waste time and energy on the computer. More words than ever to avoid.

  237. Anion
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 16:45:19

    (Continued from above…)

    Now say you see a new agency opening up. This agency claims they’re going to blow all the other agencies out of the water. They claim they’re going to do such an amazing job that they’ll have two weddings a month right out of the gate. Immediate love. They know what they’re doing, they insist, far better than the likes of you, and to this end they’re going to do…well, a lot of tings you’ve tried, and a lot of other agencies have tried, that didn’t work. And you know it’s pretty much impossible to have two weddings right out of the gate, and you know that, because you’ve been in this industry a long time and seen a lot of new agencies come and go, and you know how long it takes to build the business up.

    Even worse, you discover that some of the things you consider very important–experience, say, or a knowledge of what singles are really looking for–seems to be missing from this agency’s plan.

    You start to wonder. If they’re so wrong about some things, isn’t it possible they’re not right about others?

    So, on a forum or in a meeting or whatever, you simply point out that it’s always a good idea for a client to go with the agency that has a solid track record, and to remember that lost of other agencies have opened up with the insistence they were going to become millionaires within a year, and have failed, and people have been really hurt.

    You expect the matter to end there, but suddenly people–who claim they are acting on behalf of the new agency–start calling you names. They start implying you don’t know what you’re talking about. That you’re jealous and being a jerk.

    This doesn’t sit well with you, of course. You’re not here to help other agencies prosper, you’re here to make sure innocent people don’t get hurt. You attempt to explain this, and the fact that the new agency is not making a favorable impression by attacking you.

    They respond by attacking further. You start getting anonymous phone calls. You start noticing people following you around. And every time this agency’s name comes up, and you try to say something reasoned and calm, more and more people show up to insult and berate you.

    So. What sort of impression does that give you? Do you start thinking, “Well, gee, they’re such a bunch of rude jerks, they MUST know what they’re doing in this industry?”

    Or do you start thinking, “Every time I look for a responsible, professional response from you people, you scream at me. Every time I try to explain to you that I’m just thinking of the clients, you scream at me. I’m starting to wonder how you treat your clients, if you treat other people in the industry this way. I’m starting to wonder if the shocking level of unprofessionalism we’re seeing–unprofessionalism they started and keep propogating–isn’t an indication of how unprofessionally they handle their business. Already they’ve made promises that have not been kept (huge media blitz in October, anyone?) I’m starting to really WORRY about their clients, and wonder what other corners they’re cutting.”

    So. This is the situation most of us here find ourselves in. We’ve seen this trainwreck before many times. (Try gogling Triskelion Publishing, Mardi Gras Publishing, Silk’s Vault Publishing…just for starters.) In the beginning we simply pointed out that startups are not usually a good bet. A professional publisher would have given us the reasons why they’re different, not screeched and yowled and insulted. They started digging a ditch, and kept digging it.

    If you were in our shoes, what would you do? HOnestly. When you honestly felt people could get hurt if you didn’t say something. When you honestly thought you would get a professional response and got screaming and insults instead–would that leave you with a better or worse impression of the company in question?

    And what would you think was your responsibility to do in that case?

  238. Anion
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 16:50:34

    Oops, sorry everyone. My comment wasn’t coming through so I broke it up and apparently it repeated. I apologize for the confusion.

  239. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 16:51:39

    Anion, I thought your ‘puter was hiccuping :grin:

  240. Anon Y. Mouse
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 16:51:48

    I’m gonna have to cheat on Ann Somerville and instead ask Anion to bear my internet babies.

    Here, Anion, have an intrawebz.

  241. Jane
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 16:52:23

    @Anion: Sorry for our aggressive spam filter.

  242. Bev Stephans
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 17:07:51

    RE: Ladyslipper/Jay Berg’s #191 comment: What is a ‘whack-jeaded sidkick?

    Does that come with or without the kettle corn?

  243. Shiloh Walker
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 17:20:46

    This is the situation most of us here find ourselves in. We've seen this trainwreck before many times.

    I’m going to side with Anion here. And damn it, Anion, I really want to know who you are. I swear, I keep secrets really well. :)

    Anyway, some of the epub authors who’ve been around for a while, me included, know that just because some place comes along claiming to be the best thing since sliced bread, that doesn’t mean it’s true.

    If there isn’t professionalism, there’s no chance of success.

    If there isn’t some kind of business plan, there’s no chance of success.

    Authors have every right to want to know info about a publisher they might want to do business with, and readers have every right to know what kind of business they may be turning their CC info over to.

    A professionally run publisher would expect these things.

    I cannot fault Dalyn Miller’s responses way … way… way up yonder, and in all honesty, this thread could have long since died-Miller’s response was professional enough, IMO. However, any damage control Miller accomplished was quickly undone after more people showed up to call everybody here mean girls, jealous, scared, fill in the blank.

    That’s not going to win any readers. A lot of bloggers are getting tired of being told that unless they write flowery, pretty, kind posts, that means they are mean. I’m personally getting very tired of that song and dance, even though…sob, I haven’t been called a mean girl, at least not in recent memory.

    It’s not mean to express an honest opinion and it’s not vindictive to question a new business. I’d question any new publisher I did business dealings with and I pity the naive writers who don’t think to do the same.

    Yes, there has definitely been some obnoxious behavior on both sides, but that’s going to happen. How RR, both writers and editors, respond is what is going to determine their level of professionalism. Too many of the supporters of RR aren’t really coming off as supporters with in-depth knowledge, but more like cheerleaders who are citing some cheer they’ve repeated until each of them know it by heart.

    I’m sorry, but those who are coming to show ‘support’ are just making the divide even bigger, because they come off as insulting. Yes, RR’s been insulted by some. But if they’d rise above it, behave professionally, that would do them a lot more good in the long run than all the cheerleader and rah-rah talk could ever do.

    And again, I am not saying this to be mean or out of some deep-seated fear and jealousy. I’m too lazy for either. I’m saying this because it’s almost kind of painful to see how many people have come out to try and support RR but instead end up shooting RR in the foot.

  244. B
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 17:32:21

    Ok, I am no author but I am a reader. I enjoy a few of you authors here, but my question to all of you author's. Don't you authors have anything BETTER to do then just to sit your on your computer and BITCH ABOUT ONE FREAKIN' PUBLISHING COMPANY?!?! Many more out there DO the EXACT same thing. Some of them screw you around horribly. All authors who has left a bad comment are acting like little FOUR-YEAR OLDS!!! Kindergarten children do not even act like this. You are only giving YOURSELF a bad REP for bitching about ONE publishing company. It is NOT WORTH YOUR TIME!!! Please authors, just go back to your writing and your life, and stop running your mouth like little babies about one publishing company! Just let it go.

    I <3 the irony.

    You know that publishing companies that screw over writers are likely to screw over readers, don’t you? Readers like, oh say, yourself. Consider the way people involved with RR have been acting. With the exception of Dana, I’ve been pretty unimpressed with the responses from RR authors. Therefore I wouldn’t feel confidence in them as a writer or a reader. And perhaps neither should you. Do you want to be screwed over? No, I didn’t think so.

    So if we here question RR’s business practices, and the way they’ve behaved in response to those questions, it is for the sake of writers and of readers like you.

    No one wants a new press to fail. But neither do any of us want to see a new press do harm. And in fact if less new presses had done harm in the past, the reaction to this one would possibly be less skeptical. So I really don’t see how not talking about it is going to help the matter any. Problem is, no one here has been allowed to discuss it without a bunch of anonymous folks coming in and ranting at them in childish displays much like your own.

    But I don’t know why I’m saying all this. I’d have more luck talking to a bag of kettle corn.

  245. Ann Somerville
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 18:08:46

    I'm gonna have to cheat on Ann Somerville and instead ask Anion to bear my internet babies.

    No problems, I’d cheat on me with Anion any day. Well said, ma’am.

    Can I just say I would be utterly mortified if any of my readers or friends behaved like ‘Jordana’ or ‘Ladyslipper’ in support of me? I know we’ve seen ever really big name authors content to watch their ‘knights in shining armour’ (I used this phrase even though ‘f**ing m****y’ is a lot more appropriate here) come over and scream and fling turds in their names, but I truly don’t understand how it doesn’t make them cringe. How could any company, author or PR person think this could ever make them look good?

    More to the point, are the latest trollettes actually convinced they can change hearts and minds by screeching abuse at us? Dana won more friends with a few polite and humble comments than the combined weight of Jill Elaine Hughes, Sephira Giron, Dalyn Miller, and the tribe of poo flingers put together.

    I don’t think they believe it will work. I think this is about sucking up to an as yet unnamed individual, and proving their loyalty, just as it was in a recent case with a certain Big Name Author. In which case, ‘ladies’, you’ve done your bit. Run home to your mistress, lick her shoes and get a pat. You’ve pissed on the lampposts, and made your existence known. The firehose of history will soon erase the smell.

  246. Dana
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 19:07:46

    If anyone has any other sites they’d recommend for those of us interested in researching the various erotica/romance genres and demarcations between them, I’d very much appreciate the recommendations. I did think Sherrilyn Kenyon’s stuff was erotic romance (romance with lots of fairly explicit sex), so…much to learn.

    Just tell me I haven’t been wrong about ROMANCING THE STONE being the quintessential romantic movie all these years…cause we loves it, we does, my precioussss.. :-)

    Waving a little white flag and still waiting for some damn kettle corn.

  247. Shiloh Walker
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 19:18:47

    Dana, your best bet to really get the differences between romance and erotic romance would be to pick up a couple of erotic romances. Erotic romance tends to use a lot more blunt language and a good erotic romance should have a heightened sense of sexual tension and more sex than the typical romance, however, it is a romance, not just sex scenes strung together.

  248. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 19:32:09

    Dana, I would probably check out the established epubs–Samhain, Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id, to name just the top three. Check their rating system, buy a few of their titles, you’ll get the gist in no time I’m sure.

  249. Jill Myles
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 19:45:18

    Dana! Here’s my sliding scale of sexiness for some big name print authors:

    Most Erotic
    Emma Holly
    Lora Leigh
    Angela Knight
    Nalini Singh
    Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Lisa Kleypas
    Julie Garwood
    LaVyrle Spencer
    Least Erotic

    Another thing to remember about romance now is that mildly sensual stuff (Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux, etc) was the norm a while back, but when the vampire romances and erotica started hitting the market, the ‘average’ romance got a lot steamier.

    Nowdays your ‘average’ romance is going to be much, much hotter. Hence why everyone is all “NO! Sherrilyn Kenyon is just regular romance, not erotic!” Ten-plus years ago, she would have made everyone blush. Now? Everyone’s all “Yeah, well you should read the latest Sarah McCarty!”

    BTW – I think you have a great attitude and I admire that!

  250. Robin
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 20:57:11

    The Romance Wiki is also a wonderful resource for those who want to know more about the different subgenres of Romance. On the subgenre page, they even cover both erotic Romance and erotica.

  251. Dana
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 22:07:06

    Thanks, all! A great starting point. Jill, your list is great – I was relieved to see Sherrilyn on it, but your point re: how the sex bar has been raised makes sense. I’ve bought hard copies of a lot of stuff (I’m a self-confessed paranormal romance/thriller junkie – LOVE Kelli Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series) because I just plain love books, so I need to hie myself hence and support the market I’m entering by buying some eBooks. I’ve heard good things about Ellora’s Cave (from Holly at RR, actually) so will start there. And I just like the name Samhain, so I’ll pop over there too. :-)

    Robin, the Romance Wiki was a great suggestion, thank you!

  252. Dana
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 22:33:02

    Okay, after reading up at Romance Wiki and Ellora’s Cave, I’m satisfied I’m writing things that fall both in the erotic romance category as defined by both sites and also something that falls more into something along the lines of EC’s Exotica line. I am loving the Romance Wiki pages.

    So now can I ask for a couple of favorite e-author suggestions? I saw Shiloh at EC, so Shiloh, what would your favorite of your own works be?

  253. Shiloh Walker
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 22:38:16

    Uh…I’m a terrible person to ask. I think everything I write sucks. Hmmmm….not exactly the most inspiring answer, I guess.

    Seems most people either enjoy Her Best Friend’s Lover or the first Hunter book the most, Hunters: Declan & Tori. Or if you like really odd, maybe Vicious Vixen over at Samhain Publishing.

  254. azteclady
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 22:40:57

    I can recommend both Vicious Vixen and Guilty Needs, from Shiloh. And Vanessa Jaye’s Felicity Stripped. And Bonnie Dee’s The Countess Takes a Lover.

    And I’m gonna shut up now :grin:

  255. Robin
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 22:46:53

    Dana, one of my favorite Samhain series is the Shelly Laurenston’s Pack Challenge series. Here’s my review of the third book, which treats the whole series to some extent. Also Jane and Jayne have reviewed lots of ebooks here on DA. Just click on the “ebooks” tag at the top of the home page.

  256. Dana
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 22:47:02

    Sweet! I was also intrigued by the Dragon’s Warrior..of course, it’s available in print. Which sort of negates the point of me buying eBooks… Oh, sweet, sweet printed temptation…

    OKay. Gonna start with Vicious Vixen, The Hunters book, and Felicity Stripped. I’m getting two ePublishers that way. Then, next budget round, the Bonnie Dee and the Dragon’s Warrior and GUilty Needs. I might have to get Dragon’s Warrior in print. I love to read when I’m walking and am not sure how feasible that is with a Kindle. Which I need to get too. Sadly I remember when I SWORE I’d never give up my IBM Selectric…

  257. Dana
    Nov 13, 2008 @ 22:51:46

    Thanks, Robin, just saw your recommendations. Thanks for the link to the review and the tip on the reviews here. I confess I have only read a couple of the threads. :-)

    Good night, all!

  258. Ann Bruce
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 00:54:45

    @Dana – The EC Exotica line is actually straight erotica, not erotic romance, so I wouldn’t use titles in that line as a guide.

    As for Emma Holly, I consider her contemporaries to be more romantic erotica, not erotic romance. They are essentially erotica with some romantic elements, just like the Black Lace books. (BTW, don’t be fooled by the “Erotic Romance” on the BL books. They’re misleading.) Personally, when I read her contemporaries with the expectation of them being erotic romances, I was sorely disappointed because there seemed very little emotional payoff. However, once I stopped reading the labels on her books, I enjoyed them as erotica. (Am I confusing you?)

    Holly’s historicals, however, I do consider to be erotic romances. I suggest reading the Midnight trilogy.

  259. Alisha Rai
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 02:32:42

    @Anion: If you tell me who you are, I will go out and buy your backlist in triplicate, bring you a mochacinno, and maybe even knit you a sweater. Plus, you’ll be on my holiday card list. Just think about it. Take your time.

    @Dana: Emma Holly isn’t really erotic romance, but since I am rather confused as to RR’s definition of romance, it may very well be what you are looking for. EC and Samhain are excellent places to start. Just start downloading.

    Sigh, this is what happens when I “get a life” and don’t read a thread all day. I miss all the fun! Forget this life nonsense.

  260. Anion
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 05:06:33

    Wow, Alisha, I’m really, really touched and flattered, and pleased–more than you can imagine–that you enjoy my comments, and I would be honored to get holiday cards (and what I’m sure would be a beautiful sweater) from you. :-) But one of the reasons I keep the pseudonym is so I can’t be accused of saying the things I say here just to “suck up to readers/bloggers/get them to buy [my] books.”

    Whatever other accusations may be leveled against me (as is often said about others who comment here), that one at least is one I can defend against. :-)

    But really, thank you.

  261. Gin
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 07:32:25

    Ok, since I last read this thread 24 hours ago it went batshit crazy and has now gone very reasonable and informative about erotic romance, excellent.

    I would however still like to add a couple of things the drinking game.

    ANYONE POSTING FOUR CONSECUTIVE WORDS WITH CAPS LOCK (I'll exempt Anion as she's been attacked more than most and remained calm and reasonable under extreme pressure)

    My all time favourite

    “How do you people sleep at night?!”

    Well as a regular reader of Dear Author I sleep just fine, often falling asleep counting dead puppies, because obviously, being grateful for a site that warns readers and authors about unethical or potentially unsound business practices means I am an evil and perverse individual.

    PS. Shiloh, you're mean

  262. Shiloh Walker
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 08:23:59

    PS. Shiloh, you're mean

    Oh, hey! Cool, now I feel like I can get admission into the secret club of mean girl bloggers. Uh… there is a secret club, right?

    :)

  263. Nora Roberts
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 08:25:55

    Wow.

    Am I too late for popcorn?

  264. Emmy
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 09:14:26

    Shiloh is Very Mean. She Teases and Taunts and Gives Hints, but rarely Shares *pout*

    “How do you people sleep at night?!”

    I don’t sleep at night. I work, and it’s usually quite boring from…oh, maybe midnight til 4am, and I has nothing better to do than waste corporate cash by galivanting online. I know, I know…the things I get paid to do. Sucks, I tell ya.

    I do, however, sleep during the day just fine.

  265. Jane
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 09:40:32

    Just as an aside, I don’t know that Felicity Stripped Bare or Bonnie Dee’s books are really erotic romance but more erotica. My understanding of the Samhain categories are that “Red Hots” are erotic romance.

    There is problem with reading just erotic romance (or what is labeled as such) to ascertain what it is because I feel like bad plotting/failure to build characterization can make erotica read like porn or erotic romance read like porn.

    There has been an uncomfortable blending of erotica and porn with romance that dilutes the romance brand and subjects romance readers to further scorn and dismissal. It’s why I am irked that a publisher who promotes themselves in their name as selling romance doesn’t seem to know the first thing or care about the genre itself.

    Writing genre fiction necessarily requires an understanding of the genre.

  266. Shiloh Walker
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 09:43:05

    I read Felicity Stripped Bare, Jane. IMO, I’d say it’s erotic romance.

  267. Angela James
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 09:49:45

    Okay, I have to jump in here. Neither Felicity Stripped Bare or most of Bonnie Dee’s work are erotic romance. Felicity Stripped Bare is a contemporary romance, and while it’s sexy, it’s not erotic romance. I’m sorry, it’s just not or I would certainly have sold it as such in a hot minute, because, the sad truth is people look at those categories first and buy there to start, so yeah, I’d have loved it to be in erotic romance. But so not :P Bonnie Dee’s work varies, but hers is usually also just sexy in whichever genre she’s writing in.

    However, don’t let that stop you from buying them, both authors have great talent and are fabulous reads!

  268. Jane
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 09:51:40

    @Angela James:

    Sorry for my mischaracterization of Felicity Stripped Bare.

  269. Angela James
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 09:54:44

    @Jane. Clearly you’re evil and must be destroyed.

  270. Jane
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 09:56:57

    @Angela James: Get to it then.

  271. Alisha Rai
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 10:21:55

    @anion “(and what I'm sure would be a beautiful sweater)” from you. :-)

    Eh, don’t be too sure. The holiday cards though. They are awesome.

    “But one of the reasons I keep the pseudonym is so I can't be accused of saying the things I say here just to “suck up to readers/bloggers/get them to buy [my] books.”

    Damn principles. Excuse me while I expire of curiousity :).

  272. kerry
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 10:22:15

    Reading this thread is way better than working on a rainy Friday. Thank you all for the entertainment!

    Wow.

    Am I too late for popcorn?

    Ha! Funniest post here.

  273. Dana
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 12:24:00

    I am keeping a list of all these recommendations and will be working my way through it. My understanding of erotic romance is it has to have that emotional payoff and the sex has to move the story along rather than just be there for the sake of sex scenes. My favorite quote in this thread was something along the lines of ‘it takes more than a few sex scenes and bare chests to make a romance.’ I heartily agree.

    Ellora’s Cave seems to have the Romantica with the emotional pay-offs and the Exotica, which is more erotic than romance, so the readers have the option of both. Am I intepreting this correctly?

    It also seems one woman’s erotic romance is another woman’s sexy romance, so I guess some of it depends on the reader and what they’re looking for. I am very much appreciating all of your opinions on this and am looking forward to reading Felicity Stripped Bare.

    And yes, much downloading is occuring this weekend. I really think I’m gonna need to suck it up and get a Kindle. I wonder if I can walk and read a Kindle at the same time…

    Shiloh, I read the excert from Dragon’s Warrior – loved it! I can’t wait to read the whole book. Dark and sexy!

  274. Robin
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 12:28:55

    There is problem with reading just erotic romance (or what is labeled as such) to ascertain what it is because I feel like bad plotting/failure to build characterization can make erotica read like porn or erotic romance read like porn.

    I agree, which is why I referred Dana to the Romance Wiki to start. But still, once you start reading, unless you know the generic distinctions, it can be difficult to discern what is what when things get erotic, because a book intended to be ER may come off as E or P (or vice versa).

    Structurally speaking, I’d offer the basic definition of Romance: that it focuses on the emotional journey of a love relationship that ends happily for the couple. Then I’d add that in ER, this emotional relationship is often communicated primarily through the sexuality and sexual relationship of the protags. The farther away from the emotional development of the characters and the relationship a story goes, the farther away from Romance, erotic or otherwise, it veers.

  275. Dana
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 12:34:17

    “Structurally speaking, I'd offer the basic definition of Romance: that it focuses on the emotional journey of a love relationship that ends happily for the couple. Then I'd add that in ER, this emotional relationship is often communicated primarily through the sexuality and sexual relationship of the protags. The farther away from the emotional development of the characters and the relationship a story goes, the farther away from Romance, erotic or otherwise, it veers.”

    Robin, thank you – that’s extremely helpful. Now how the heck do you pull quotes from these comments without cutting and pasting? :-)

  276. Robin
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 12:39:22

    Dana, I always just cut and paste and then use the blockquote tab above this box. If there’s another way, I’m too slow to figure it out, lol.

  277. Dana
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 12:45:32

    Testing… So I just cut and pasted what you said above and hit blockquote. Let’s see if it works!

    Dana, I always just cut and paste and then use the blockquote tab above this box. If there's another way, I'm too slow to figure it out, lol.

  278. Lori
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 13:58:30

    Something I don’t understand… why is RR signing up untested writers for multi-book deals? I’m just starting and trying to get my foot in an e-publishing door and nobody I’ve submitted to is interested in anything speculative. Why would they make such an interesting and seemingly nonsensicle choice?

  279. Dana
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 16:08:58

    Hi, Lori,

    I’ve been published in other writing fields/genres, but I got my deal with RR via submitting a short story, which they liked and wanted expanded into a novel. I signed a contract for that, then sent some outlines/proposals for other ideas I had. I had also sent them my mystery novel, which has a romantic subplot in it, as another sample of my writing. I’m not sure this answers your question adequately, but hope it helps at least a bit.

  280. Jackie Barbosa
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 16:21:06

    Something I don't understand… why is RR signing up untested writers for multi-book deals? I'm just starting and trying to get my foot in an e-publishing door and nobody I've submitted to is interested in anything speculative. Why would they make such an interesting and seemingly nonsensicle choice?

    I don’t know if it’s nonsensical to sign untested writers to multi-book deals–print publications do multiple book deals with debut authors fairly regularly, although they usually have at least one completed manuscript in hand at the time the offer is made. (My own first contract with Kensington was only for a single book in large part because it was a novella anthology, and only one of the three novellas was completed at the time they made their offer.) But my impression is that most print publishers do either two or three-book deals with debut authors.

    So that, in and of itself, doesn’t bother me.

    What I do find interesting (and potentially worrisome) about RR’s business model is that they seem to think they can put out one book a day, 365 days a year right out of the gate, and sustain sales on those releases sufficiently to allow them to continue contracting new material at the advance rate of $1 per page. Logic tells me that’s a very (and possibly overly) ambitious goal. Most epublishers start small, releasing a couple of books a week, building sales and readership, and then gradually adding more releases. I’m not sure how many releases per week the larger epubs like Samhain and Ellora’s Cave are doing now, but even if it works out to 365 per year (or more), they certainly didn’t start releasing that many on day one.

    I’ll also say that I suspect this plan (365 releases per year) accounts for the perhaps somewhat overzealous campaign for submissions. If you’re going to release one book per day from your first day in business, you’re going to need a lot of books “in the hopper” well before day one. That means you need quite a number of books contracted, edited, and cover arted (yeah, I just made that up) well before you open your doors, and many more waiting in the wings.

    I won’t say it can’t work. It might. But it seems dubious at best to believe that an epublisher can tap into a new market for readers of erotica/erotica romance (which seems to be their stated plan, and judging by some of the genre-boundary crossing on display from their authors, they may genuinely have reason to believe they’ve got a formula for doing that) when the economy is this precarious. It’s not that I think books can’t or won’t sell in a recession–they can and do because they’re relatively cheap entertainment–but people will probably be more likely to stick to the tried and true, meaning publishers and authors they’re already familiar with, rather than dropping their money on an unknown.

    I wish RR well, I really do, although I have to admit, their “line” names alone along with some of the book titles I’ve seen/heard (Sexstrology? Really?)have pretty much already turned me off. But then, I’m not the market they’re looking to tap (existing readers of the romance genre). So maybe that’s a good sign for them ;).

  281. Should be writing
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 22:02:45

    I have a question for Dana and the other authors who have gone with RR given the firestorm that’s surrounding them. What drew you to submit to RR? And why did you go with them instead of the many other electronic publishers?

    Why do I ask? Because there are many (60+ I believe was the given number) publishers who publish romance and erotic romance, and I can guarantee you that most of them (unless they’re closed to subs) are looking for new voices and new authors.

    Their answers may actually add a bit to the conversation. Sadly, at this point, the lack of answers offered by the PR person to questions posted in a public forum and the overwhelming volume of the shrill voices trying to “defend” this publisher have told me it’s not somewhere I want to be.

    For the sake of the new authors, I hope they do well. Because it’s hell when a publisher implodes and takes your books with it. That’s not something I’d wish on any author. No matter how shrill or ultra-vocal.

  282. Dana
    Nov 15, 2008 @ 13:24:23

    Hi, Should Be Writing (and so should I – that cracked me up, btw!).

    I can’t speak for any of the other authors, but I can tell you why I went with Ravenous. I’d written a short story that a friend of mine, also a writer, read. She’s worked with Holly before and thought I should submit it to Ravenous. I did, got a positive response, and then had the opportunity to meet Holly and Lori when they were at RWA in San Francisco. I really liked them on both a personal and professional level.

    I was fine with contract; I have no expectations in terms of what I may or may not make in the long run. Having been published by a small press for my mystery novel, I have very realistic and low expectations. :-) But, as with the small press, I’ve received quick feedback when I’ve asked for it and been treated in a courteous, professional and friendly manner.

    I’ve never worked with an ePublisher before because of my formerly snotty ‘books must be hard copy!’ attitude. I don’t have any basis for comparison, but so far I’ve gotten no reason to regret working with RR. On a strictly creative note, it’s been great. Heck, no time for writer’s block!

    I am really excited at discovering this whole ePublishing world and the other presses out there – I love to read as much, if not more, than I love to write, and there’s just a whole new world of authors out there, starting with the ones recommended by some of the people here. I did discover my work computer server doesn’t think I should go on Ellora’s Cave. I’m waiting to see if I get called on the carpet for inappropriate use of computer during work hours. :-)

  283. Just Because It’s Got the Name, Doesn’t Mean It’s the Same | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    Nov 16, 2008 @ 12:05:33

    […] to answer the question before it’s asked, yes, this post is partially a response to the ongoing Ravenous Romance discussion.  And no, I don’t know for sure that the books they end up publishing are going to be […]

  284. Sybil
    Nov 17, 2008 @ 15:53:03

    I miss all the fun. ::pout::

  285. Another Author
    Nov 19, 2008 @ 13:40:08

    I'm keeping my name private here because as someone else pointed out, it's just a smart idea considering the atmosphere. And I know some of you who have responded personally, which makes this all the more shocking to me. I'd like to preface this by saying that I am an author writing erotic romance and erotica under a pen name. I also have publications under my real name in horror. I signed on with RR to write a series.

    Someone asked a very valid question:

    What drew you to submit to RR? And why did you go with them instead of the many other electronic publishers?”

    I went with RR after my agent pointed it out for a story I wrote. The reasons are many, but they revolved around their business practices and model. I am a business woman first, author second. My craft is my product. Knowing what they have in the works and what they've invested in launching this publisher, combined with their collective expertise and contacts makes it a promising endeavor. These are NOT novices starting a new epub, as some here seem to think. Real research makes that clear to anyone who cares to do the work.
    Why did I choose them over others? I've worked with other epubs and have found them lacking in various respects. No one publisher is perfect. Some have undesirable covers, others have poor author support, and still others have shoddy editing. The research that I did on RR made me think that they're a smart gamble. Yes, I've had to deal with the failings of other publishers, which makes me even more adamant about knowing all that I can before trying something new.

    Furthermore, my experience with them so far has been wonderful. They're professional, courteous, and helpful. I honestly do expect to see them succeed. Of course, there are always unforeseen disasters. But trying to beat down the company name before it gets started and without an educated opinion only serves to make this section of the industry look like a group of amateurs.
    I'm surprised how many people on here take what one of the authors says and runs with it, posting that the author is the spokesperson for the publisher. Do you all consider yourselves official spokespeople for the publishers you're published with? I don't. I know that my behavior reflects on them, but if I say that I think X publisher is the greatest ever, that doesn't mean that the publisher is claiming to be the greatest ever. That may not have been what was intended by the comments, but that's how it comes across when you read it from the outsider's perspective.

    I'm further surprised at the immature behavior here on both sides. Attacks and Defenses. Is this really how everyone wants to be seen by readers? The number of people who read but don't post to this thread is probably very high. I'm sure that there are names on here being jotted on personal “do not read” lists of readers, editors, agents, etc. Like it or not, this type of thing does influence others. Some of the comments and name-calling here really should be in private emails. The amount of pure hatred spewed on this thread is astounding and seemingly unfounded. It looks to me, as someone who doesn't know EVERYONE on here that some of the comments are posted by people who either have a stake in the competition or a personal problem with the commenters they've slammed.

    Here’s to hoping that everyone enjoys eating their popcorn and watching RR’s progress. Maybe we can all come back in a year and compare notes and earnings. (Don’t crucify me yet. It was a joke!)

  286. Fae
    Nov 20, 2008 @ 17:14:35

    Hmm. I thought Mr. Miller insisted that Brattyhack posted and spammed the NaNo boards and NaNo authors without RR’s approval or knowledge. But Lori Perkins is saying it was her idea…

    http://ravenousromance.blogspot.com/2008/11/national-novel-writing-month-nanowrimo.html

    Huh. The December opening is looking more and more interesting every day. Any kettle korn left, you guys?

  287. Ann Bruce
    Nov 20, 2008 @ 18:56:13

    Do you all consider yourselves official spokespeople for the publishers you're published with?

    Most of us make it clear we don’t speak for the presses that contract us because they have official PR departments and reps. And, more importantly, most of us don’t go around making claims and comments like the ones made by Jill Elaine Hughes/Jamaica Layne.

    I'm sure that there are names on here being jotted on personal “do not read” lists of readers, editors, agents, etc.

    Another Anonymous RR Author obviously didn’t bother to read the comments made by the PR rep hired by RR to do damage control.

    At this point, I’m feeling a little sorry for Dalyn Miller because his job keeps getting harder and harder.

  288. Ann Somerville
    Nov 20, 2008 @ 19:16:00

    I'm sure that there are names on here being jotted on personal “do not read” lists of readers, editors, agents, etc.

    Oh goody.

    Nothing like a publisher’s authors threatening blacklists all over the place, to make the publisher look like the place to be.

    Of course making threats anonymously is so very classy, don’t you think?

  289. Dana
    Nov 20, 2008 @ 21:59:42

    Mine is the first short story up December 1st. If anyone here DOES end up reading it, I would love your feedback, particularly regarding what genre you’d consider it best labeled. If you’d rather not read it, understood.

    Once again, thanks to all who’ve been so forthcoming with recommendations, advice and constructive critique.

    Must stop, have a cat sitting on my arms… :-)

  290. The Not-so-deep Thoughts » TT #35: WTF 2008
    Dec 17, 2008 @ 08:12:32

    […] 13 Ravenous Romance courtesy of Jill Elaine Hughes/Jamaica Layne. Some writers need to learn marketing departments […]

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