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

Tuesday News: Retail in the online marketplace, Omnific + Gallery Books...

Gap’s former social chief: Retail has shiny-new-object syndrome – An interesting little Q&A with Rachel Tipograph, who used to be the Gap’s digital and social media director, on how retailers are managing the online marketplace. While the focus here is on retail, there are some implications for authors, too, especially in regard to the way content is used to sell products (and books are a natural for that), and the persistent power of email marketing:

Are you seeing, generally, retailers missing out on opportunities — whether through social or other digital tools like content?

First, it’s the ‘non-shiny object’ list that retailers miss out on. Email is still the holy grail of e-commerce, so many retailers miss basic email segmentation and investing in great content and design for their emails as this is the No.1 place people are experiencing your brand. For example, check out the startup Custora. They also miss out on the unsexy cart abandonment, millions of dollars are left on the table for not imposing simple solutions like Bounce Exchange; companies doing it well are Canvas Pop and Agoda.

On the slightly-more-shiny-object list, integrating user-generated product content into your e-commerce site is proven to drive higher sales lifts. There are easy solutions from Curalate or Second Funnel to do this. –Digiday

Gallery Books in Deal with Omnific – Gallery Books, imprint of Simon and Schuster, is “co-publishing” (with Simon and Schuster serving as distributor) a number of title. Omnific describes itself as an independent publisher of “Romance . . . without rules,” whatever that means. I have no idea what to expect from this partnership nor any idea of how/why it has been formed.

Founded in 2009 in Los Angeles, Omnific is a romance publisher whose titles are aimed at the “modern sensibilities of today’s readers.” Areas it publishes in include contemporary, historical, paranormal, suspense, and erotic romance, –Publishers Weekly

THEORETICAL AUTHOR-PUBLISHER COALITION RESPONSE TO AMAZON PROTEST – I’m all about buttering some popcorn, cracking open a nice bottle of Chianti, and enjoying the show. Feel free to discuss the issues, however — whatever they may be.

Of course, if you’re really truly confident that self-publishing is the way forward, then I don’t know why you’d need to write this response letter at all. You’d just drive by on your blinged-out jet-skis, throwing up devil-horns and spraying the stodgy old trad-pubbers in their dinghy with a mist of Cristal. Somewhere, the news would report on graffiti seen all over the world:




*jet-ski vroom* –Terrible Minds

10 Things You Don’t Know About Penises – We talk a lot about how unrealistically the female body is often portrayed in Romance, so in recognition of gender equality, here’s a somewhat useful list of demystifying facts about the penis, including an interesting comparison to the boomerang I don’t remember seeing in any Romance novel sex scene. No NSFW pictures, but the post itself is pretty explicit.

The penis isn’t exactly a mysterious organ. Most of it’s right out there in the open, and most guys are far from ashamed to bring it out should the right occasion arise. But macho grandstanding and fallacy (or should we say “phallusy”?) aside, there are plenty of things you probably don’t know about this important piece of the male reproductive system. Check out these interesting factoids about man’s best friend. (If you haven’t already, be sure to read 10 Things You Don’t Know About Vaginas too!) –Kinkly

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. Isobel Carr
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 09:00:31

    I assume “without rules” means “we’ll publish fan fiction with no shame”.

  2. Darlynne
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 09:53:11

    I am better educated about penises now, thanks to DA and But “factoid”? So many people keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means: an invented fact believed to be true because it appears in print. “Factoid” has become its own factoid.

  3. Darlynne
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 09:56:30

    I am better educated about peni$e$ (take that, filter) now, thanks to DA and But “factoid”? So many people keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means: an invented fact believed to be true because it appears in print. “Factoid” has become its own factoid.

  4. Mzcue
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 10:44:58

    @Darlynne: But “factoid” lends such a nice feel of “truthiness” to things.

  5. LeeF
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 12:31:49

    Alrighty then- on a day when I REALLY needed a laugh, the penis article did the trick….erm, filled the bill? I chuckled. Nuff said.

  6. Lindsay
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 14:37:58

    It’s not necessarily specific to authors, but oof I do wish companies would get their acts together regarding email, cart abandonment, etc! There is a site I browse weekly (because I get their sale emails! Which I signed up for! And they’re good and relevant and not spammy!) and I will toss a few things in the cart, get distracted or close the browser window, and the next time I open that site the cart is empty. Even worse is that when you log in (because you made an account! Because you like to shop there! So you’re a return customer!) YOUR CART IS EMPTIED. Augh. Either cookie me to keep me signed in, or for gosh sakes invest in a cart abandonment system that reminds me “Hey you left some reeeeally awesome stuff in your cart…” or something because I don’t want to think about how much I would have spent there if I didn’t get distracted and lose the stuff in my cart, then toss my hands up and decide it’s not worth browsing through again to get them back.

    I’m a terrible internet shopper. I’m also not unusual! Other sites remember stuff in my cart and I eventually go back and buy that stuff.

    Anyhow, for authors, I subscribe to a few newsletters, but my favourites are the short and sweet “Hey there’s a new book by me out, you can find it at XYZ” because then I go and buy it! Super easy! And otherwise I might have forgotten, or it might be buried on my Amazon wishlist somewhere, or hadn’t thought to look up that author in a while because they do a book a year…

  7. Greg Strandberg
    Jul 08, 2014 @ 18:02:39

    I thought we’d get a rise out of that penises article. Oh well, I found it stimulating.

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