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

Romantic Times Update: Still Waiting

This morning, Sybil Cook, blogger from The Good, The Bad, The Unread, spoke with Carol Stacy, Publisher and Internet Director of Romantic Times to ascertain the authenticity of the digital signature of Kathryn Falk. Carol Stacy replied “I see nothing wrong with the post.” The point is Ms. Stacy? “Point that blogs can be mean and nasty.”

A message has been passed onto Ms. Falk for verification but at this time, Romantic Times cannot confirm nor deny the identity of the blog commenter. Other than to say that Ms. Stacy, a senior representative of RT, sees nothing wrong with a post accusing bloggers of being “ridiculous–?, “viputerative–?, “heartless–?, “genuinely perverse–? and “sick in the head.–?

Falk says that we should all support women run businesses regardless of quality of content. How does that jive with their lack of support for the female run publishing house that is devoted to gay romance? The Gay Romance promotional display at the hotel was removed for being “too risque” while Ellora’s Caves covers with naked threesomes are widely available. RT did nothing to support this author. On the bright side, some authors took the content to their author tables: Angela Knight and Mary Janice Davidson to name a few.

There is a great debate going around the literature blogging internet about the value of blogger reviews. The value of the blogs is this: we provide our honest opinions that is not influenced by any publisher, author or advertiser. The greatest benefit we receive is free books and if that is lost because we give a negative review, so be it.

More updates to follow.

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


  1. Teddy Pig
    May 02, 2007 @ 10:32:02

    I just read Laura Baumbach’s personal account on this event.

    Susan Murphy, RT staff
    “said it was thought that it *The promo material taken down* was more risque that anyone else's.”

    Seems RT does NOT support ALL women writers or women publishers.

    At least not the ones doing Gay Romance.

  2. Wendy
    May 02, 2007 @ 10:33:21

    The fallout from this is going to be interesting. I’m waiting for the RT fangirls to show up. I know they’re out there – they’re just a little late to the party it seems.

  3. Elizabeth
    May 02, 2007 @ 10:33:58

    This is truly amazing. Keep us updated!

  4. Nora Roberts
    May 02, 2007 @ 10:38:58

    I’m not surprised by the response from RT.

    Been there–under different circumstances–heard that.

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  7. LesleyW
    May 02, 2007 @ 12:00:06

    I think as far as reviews are concerned blog/Amazon/whatever, you need to find a reviewer whose opinion matches what you like to read.

    I actually put far more faith in blogged reviews than I probably do any others – ones I follow are Dear Author, Smart Bitches / Bam’s. Because I trust that if there are problems with the book that they are going to tell me about them. Any reviewer who consistently gives books 5 stars I don’t trust because I believe most books have some faults in them – even if it’s only a matter of personal preference.

    As someone who is trying to write herself, boy do I appreciate how tough it is. But I want people to enjoy what I write, not to feel cheated that they’ve spent their hard earned money on a story a ten year old could have written.

    Readers are not here to support new writers (personally I believe that’s a luxury that has to be earned, there are writers I will travel long distances to see and who I’m prepared to buy multiple copies of, but I can count those authors on the fingers of one hand). Bottom line we’re here to be entertained. That’s the contract we enter into when we pass our money over at the cash register – take me somewhere new, teach me something, scare me, make me laugh, make me cry, make me think. Just don’t waste my time.

  8. December Quinn
    May 02, 2007 @ 12:57:52

  9. December Quinn
    May 02, 2007 @ 12:59:55

    Oops, sorry!

    I agree with Lesley.

  10. LesleyW
    May 02, 2007 @ 13:11:28

    Thanks December, :)

    Re-reading my post, I just wanted to clarify that by support I meant financially – which seems to be what is being implied. I am only too happy to sing the praises of any author that I love all over the internet, whether they’re a newbie or a fan favourite.

    As for the attitude to gay romance, I’ve also read Laura Baumbach’s post and if I were anything to do with the convention I’d be deeply ashamed. There really does seem to be a double standard here.

  11. Holly
    May 02, 2007 @ 14:45:20

    Good Lord, if it isn’t one thing it’s another.

    The thing is, regardless of RT’s opinion of bloggers, we’re here to stay. Perhaps tomorrow my blog will be gone, but another will just pop up to replace it. At least twice a week I stumble on a new romance related blog. Authors, publishers, editors, etc just need to accept it and move on.

  12. Will Belegon
    May 02, 2007 @ 18:23:00

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Laura’s promo items were pulled entirely because of the M/M factor. Especially the mini-CD’s that had “ManLoveRomance” printed across them.

    No one else’s promo items were touched. Laura was targeted. I also don’t believe the Hotel was being “used”. What intelligent business would wade into that no-win trap if they were being asked to serve as a decoy? No, the Hyatt made the first fuss and then RT made the crucial error of not standing up for Laura; not standing there and saying, “Excuse me, but aren’t WE paying YOU here?”

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