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I see that some of the Literotica authors over at Phaze have decided to start up their own e-publishing company.

This is what it says on the badly designed Excessica website:

We publish the stuff other publishers won’t—not because these stories and books aren’t good enough, but because other publishers won’t take on certain fantasies they’re afraid might not “sell” in the mainstream.

We like to take things to excess, what can we say? Pushing erotic fiction to the edge, pressing the boundaries of propriety and political correctness, is something we relish. The good news is, this makes for very interesting stories—and hot, exciting reads for you!

Most mainstream e-publishers market their erotic offerings as “romance.” We don’t require that our authors write romance—and we don’t require a “happily ever after” either. Our erotica is always hot, fresh, and often forbidden.

Often forbidden eh? In another words, incest, D/D play, rape stories, and most of the other taboo plots that can be found at Literotica I guess. Nice.

Well, we know there’s a market for these things out there. *Shudder*

This is what it says on their submissions page:

Just because we like to push the boundaries doesn’t mean we don’t want an actual story with our erotica. Excessive sex is great (we like excess!) so sex in every chapter is fine—but sex without any semblance of a plot is not. We are looking for fully developed characters, plots and settings.

eXcessica is not a vanity publisher, so we will not charge you to publish with us. However, because we are a partnership rather than a standard publisher (who have editors and cover artists on staff) we require that you have your own manuscript edited and provide your own cover art. This means that manuscripts sent to us as submissions are expected to be free of all mechanical errors in punctuation, grammar and spelling.

With eXcessica there are no contracts, and we keep none of your royalties. All sales are yours. You will be asked to sign a general electronic release form that says the work is yours and you give the partnership the right to sell it—and that’s all. All rights are non-exclusive—the work is yours to do with as you wish, and you can pull it from our “shelves” at any time.

So, is this just another form of Literotica, except they actually sell the stories?

Thanks to you-know-who for the link.

Oooh I Like This…

Sunday, March 30, 2008
Posted in: Uncategorized

I got this from the C’um Hither Global blog. Feel free to use it. It’s almost pointless putting it on my blog because I never bought from them in the first place, but if it persuades a few people to stop buying their stuff, then I’m all for it.

Ellen sent me a link to a page at New Concepts Publishing, where they are selling the books that they originally took off the website just to spite her. They are now selling them less 20%.

What must be a little annoying for Ellen Ashe is that the books have no cover, and the author’s name is absent. So yeah, no attribution, until you click on the ‘Buy’ link. How it must have pained them to have to include her name at all.

Could Madris DePasture be any more petty and vindictive? What a nutter.

If the NCP ship sinks, she wont be able to blame anybody but herself, although I suspect, she’ll try very hard to blame everybody, but herself.

Hopefully nobody buys the books at NCP. Ellen has been trying to sell them herself, since NCP removed them from the website out of sheer bloody-mindedness. I would strongly recommend that anybody interested in Ellen’s books, buy them from her directly. I wouldn’t trust those crazies at NCP as far as I could throw them.

Hopefully authors who are coming to the end of their contracts will have enough brain cells to not renew, because I can only see this ending one way.

Doesn’t Gail Northman from the now defunct Triskelion seem pretty lucid these days in comparison to Madris DePasture? *Shudder*

Number one on the Billboard charts eh? I hear that’s harder to get into than a nun’s knickers.

I knew she’d make it worldwide, she’s got a great set of pipes, and she doesn’t look bad either.

Mind you, she got a spot on Oprah, that just about guaranteed her number one chart position.

Go on girl!!!

Anybody remember this cartoon? Well, I used to love it, when it used to air back in the eighties.

TTG bought the complete first series DVD box set last week, and we spent part of the Easter weekend watching it in bed. It was absolutely fantastic.

Anybody remember the words to the theme song?

One for all and all for one
Muskehounds are always ready.
One for all and all for one
Helping everybody
One for all and all for one
It’s a pretty story
Sharing everything with fun
That’s the way to be.

One for all and all for one
Muskehounds are always steady.
One for all and all for one
Helping everybody
One for all and all for one
Can sound pretty corny
If you got a problem chum
Think how it could be!

Ahh, memories, yes?

Who was your favourite Muskehound? Mine was Aramis. I was always quite partial to King Charles Spaniels, and he looked like one. *g*

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I know you guys are just about done in with all the NCP shenanigans, but never fear my loyal readers, I bring you a new example of fucknuttery within E-Publand.

I received this e-mail a few hours ago:

Mesage posted to Dark Eden Authors group by Debra Durham today. Ms. Durham had previously emailed “Patti” AP Miller and threatened her with a law suit in regards to remarks “Patti” AP Miller had made to others on the Extasy group and in private emails to certain authors that Debra Durham’s illness was not real. These emails found their way to Debra Durham. Cat fight ensues.

You guys remember Patti Rebmann, AKA AP Miller right? What do you mean no! She was one of the crazies who emerged at the height of the Mardi Gras Publishing fiasco. Yeah, the batshit crazy one.

Waddaya mean which one?

*Ahem*

Anyway, here’s what Debra posted on her loop: Erm, you guys remember Debra right?

Anyway, this is a long old e-mail, so grab yourself some tea and popcorn, because you’re definitely going to need some refreshments. It may be necesssary for me to interpret now and then because as we know from old, Patti Rebmann’s strength doesn’t lie in her communication skills. (more…)

Mrs Giggles Can Be Found…

Friday, March 28, 2008
Posted in: Mrs Giggles Is MIA

Here.

Bravenet suspended her account because her blog had ‘adult’ content.

Fucktards.

So I thought I’d post Madris DePasteur’s latest rambling post. Apparently she sent this to all the authors again.

“There are a lot of reasons we’ve abandoned the critiquing phase of editing and now generally accept books `as is’. Foremost among these reasons is a lack of cooperation from the authors whose books we’ve tried to improve who appear to have far more confidence in the pointers they get from friends and family members than people experienced in the business.

Since this actually is a matter of opinion, expert or not, and the authors seem determined to live with their decision, we let them. The only exception to this is when an author has a habit that is so distracting and/or annoying that we feel that it will be impossible for the reader to get any enjoyment out of the book.”

She can’t help herself can she? Although, admittedly, I had to read that paragraph about three times before I finally understood what she was saying.

“We consider if bad policy for any of our authors to annoy our distributor, who is not only very prompt and reliable in paying, but who also sells a high volume of books. If our distributor reports to us that one of our authors has been annoying them we will pull that author’s books from the list to ensure that our authors do not annoy our distributor, and that includes all of the online booksellers who get the books from the distributor, who report to the distributor, who reports to us.

Do not NAG the distributor or booksellers unless you’d just rather not have your work widely available, in which case, you should just tell us not to list your book with the distributor and STILL leave the distributor alone.

Professional to the end isn’t she? *g*

Thanks to you know who for the e-mail.

I had a conversation with Jane last week, where I said that I thought the problem with e-publishing, especially those who publish romance/erotic novels, is that it’s full of screeching women who don’t have the faintest idea about running a business.

She disagreed of course, as any sensible person would, but to be honest, I’m not so sure I’m wrong. Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m being somewhat sexist, but so what? I still think there’s a grain of truth in there.

I know that there are exceptions, but that’s just it, they seem to be exceptions, rather than the rule.

If Tina Engler was to start up in today’s current climate, would she be as successful? Maybe, but I’m not so sure.

In the beginning she too was writing most of the books herself. The editing was terrible, and nowhere near as polished as it is now (well, not counting those Carol Lynne books because they were shockingly bad). I hear that she struggled no end in the beginning, and that was with virtually no competition.

I think that Crissy Bashear, great timing, and no competition, were what helped EC make it big.

In today’s e-pub market, minus Crissy Bashear, I do think Engler would really struggle.

Of course men fail in business too, but seeing as so many of them run most of the world, you’re bound to get failures here and there.

No, I’m serious. I do think that if more romance e-pubs had men at the helm, more e-presses would survive (James Lightsey doesn’t count, I’m still not convinced he was a bloke), and I can’t help but think that you wouldn’t have the same level of shrill, hormonally challenged screaming dingbats, that plague the industry now.

How many times do you get the CEO of a print publisher having a total meltdown in public? Come to think of it, how many of those CEOs are women?

Anyway, agree, disagree? Couldn’t give a crap?

Castle of the Wolf, by Sandra Schwab

This new school gothic romance is set in Germany during the late 1820s. The novel begins, rather depressingly, with Celia’s father’s funeral, followed by the reading of his will. In short order, we learn the basic facts revealed by the book’s blurb:

Into the Darkness

Celia Fussell’s father was dead, and she was reduced to the status of a poor relation in the house of her brother—the new baron—and his shrewish wife. A life of misery loomed ahead.

But, no. There was hope. Deep in the Black Forest, in the Great Duchy of Baden, was Celia’s inheritance. Among fir trees so dark they almost looked black, the Castle of Wolfenbach rose, a skeletal ruin adorned by gargoyles where even locals feared to tread. It was a fortress of solitude, of secrets, of old wounds, and older mysteries. But it was hers. And only one thing stood in her way: its former master, the hermit, the enigma… the man she was obliged to marry.

(more…)

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Morning Glory, by LaVyrle Spencer

I am having a horrible time writing this review. There’s nothing I can criticize about this book. Not one single thing. How can you write a balanced review when there’s nothing weak or flawed there to balance all the good? So I’m giving up—this is not a balanced review, I’m going to gush and praise like the most rabid of fangirls.

The back cover blurb doesn’t even begin to convey the complexity of the story, nor the mastery of the writing:

Elly

In town, they called her “Crazy Widow Dinsmore.” But Elly was no stranger to their ridicule—she had been an outsider all her life, growing up in a boarded-up old house under the strict eye of her eccentric grandparents. Now she was all alone, with two little boys to raise, and a third child on the way.

Will

He drifted into Whitney, Georgia, one lazy afternoon in the summer of 1941, hoping to put his lonely past behind him. He yearned for the tenderness he had never known, the home he’d never had. All he needed was for someone to give him a chance.

Then he saw a classified ad: WANTED—A husband. When he stepped across Elly Dinsmore’s cluttered yard, Will Parker knew he had come home at last.

The book spans about two and a half years during WWII, and follows two of the most memorable characters I’ve ever met. He’s an ex con, an orphan, displaced and haunted by his past. She’s a pregnant widow with two young children, a reputation for madness, and a deep mistrust for the people who have made her an outsider all of her life. (more…)

Which POV Do You Prefer?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Posted in: Reader poll

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This is a brand new reader question over at Let’s Gab.

You can choose from:

 First person
 Third person
 Either/both

I definitely prefer third person, although I have read some amazing first person books. If I recall correctly, Katherine Allred’s The Sweet Gum Tree, was told in the first person, and I loved it loads.

If you haven’t already, go and vote, and don’t forget the other reader polls on the sidebar.

How Are They Doing Now?

Monday, March 24, 2008
Posted in: Lyrical Press

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Seeing Rene Rocco’s comment about the closure of DEP, over at Dear Author reminded me that I ought to go and check how Dragon Spell Publishing Lyrical Press are doing these days.

According to their website, they only have eleven authors on their books so far. They open in May.

I wonder if Rene’s worried at all, or perhaps she has lots more authors that aren’t listed on the website? Admittedly, some may think that eleven authors is sufficient.

For the length of time she’s had to recruit authors though, I’m not so sure eleven is enough.

And Another One Bites The Dust…

Monday, March 24, 2008
Posted in: Epublishers

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Dark Eden Press are closing.

The official statement from Debra, the owner of DEP, has been reposted here.

Apparently she has cancer.

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Generosity vs business sense (promotion).

During the discussion of this piece, the question of whether author contests/giveaways are done out of generosity, or as part of promotion efforts for the author’s book(s), was raised. Obviously, the only person who can answer it categorically in each instance is the author herself.

However, for the audience looking in, particularly for a new visitor to the site or blog, what matters is the professional side of the person behind the name. Regardless of whether an author’s motivation to hold contests/giveaways is friendliness, generosity, caring, or whatever else; she will likely be expected to behave professionally when interacting with readers or other authors under her professional name.*

That, in my opinion, includes adhering to deadlines set by the author herself; i.e., if you say you’ll post something on a specific date, not doing so could be considered unprofessional (particularly if no explanation or apology for the delay is given, and/or if such behaviour is habitual). I also think that it should definitely be the author’s choice whether to hold contests or giveaways or not, and under which specific conditions and circumstances—really, there’s no question there.

From what I gather, online readership is only a small percentage of the total readership for any author, in most if not all genres.** For that reason, it’s obvious that authors have to weigh just how cost effective it is to deal with the hassle (and the potential downside) of holding contests—just like they have to weigh time constraints for blogging, interviews, and all other forms of promotion, vs the potential benefits therein. It is common sense, really.

There are, I’m sure, plenty of readers who are demanding, ill-mannered, and all around uncomfortable to have around, and who give writers/bloggers/reviewers headaches. I do not doubt there are people whose only interest is in any freebies they can get—and that these people would not think twice about trying to rig a contest by posting under multiple handles, etc. But then, readers are people, and people come in all varieties. That is something else for authors to consider.

Also important to consider is that word of mouth is one of the most—if not the most—effective of marketing tools relative to its cost. Viral marketing is not really new; it’s only that much faster these days.

I think it behooves authors to consider that online readers interact constantly with people who may or may not have ever heard of this or that author, series, book. Readers who may not spend significant time online. Our mothers, neighbors, sisters-in-law, the person next to us at the grocery store or the bookstore, the list goes on. We readers love finding other readers and expanding their reading horizons. We are like pushers to other addicts—and we love it when they return the favor.

Do I like freebies if/when I get them? Yes, definitely, and I imagine very few people would answer that question (truthfully) in the negative.

However, as a reader, I don’t expect freebies from authors. I visit author’s websites to find out about backlist titles I may not have or know about; to check current and future releases; perhaps, if the author blogs, to interact with him or her and talk about the books. I visit readers/reviewers blogs to see what people whose tastes I trust (because they jive with mine, or because I have learned where they differ, etc.) are saying about books I haven’t read, and authors I know nothing about.

*See this wonderful piece by Jules Jones at erecsite.

**I’m falling for the stereotype that readers of science fiction would probably be up to the latest technological gadget, and therefore, plugged to the net most of the time.

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This is another question over at Let’s Gab.

The choice of answers are as follows:

Shape-shifters – If I had to choose, I would definitely say this one, if only because of Nalini Singh’s books.

Vampires – I hate vampire books with a passion now, and find nothing sexy about ingesting blood.

Demons – Urrgh, I don’t get demon books at all

Angels – Not my cuppa

Witches – Nope

Ghosts – Nope

Fae/Fairies – I always equate fairies with children and I’m not really comfortable with reading about them having sex.

Psychic elements – I quite like, as long as the books are contemps.

OK, your turn now. If you haven’t already, go and vote. Don’t forget the other reader questions on the sidebar.

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I just go this e-mail:

The rumor is Kensington sued NCP after NCP released “Intergalactic Bad Boys”. Apparently, even though titles can’t be copyrighted, Brava felt they owned all the “Bad Boys”. I don’t know how it turned out, or if it’s even resolved.

Interesting. Does anybody know whether it’s been resolved or not? Surely this would have been an expensive endeavour for NCP? I wouldn’t think they’d be in any position to launch a defamation suit.

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Ellen Ashe sent me this note that Madris DePasture, of New Concepts Publishing, sent to the NCP author loop:

‘I’m curious to know if any of our Canadian authors can recommend a good Canadian attorney to handle a defamation lawsuit for NCP? I’ve contacted Catherine, the lawyer at White & Case in NY who handled our lawsuit with Kensington, but I’m not sure this is their area of expertise and figure it would probably be to our advantage to hire a Canadian attorney anyway. If any of our Canadian authors do know of one and can furnish me with the contact information, I’d appreciate it if you’d do so.’

First of all, she sent that to the author loop? And secondly, what lawsuit with Kensington?

Incidentally, I think she’s looking for a Canadian lawyer so that she can sue Ellen Ashe. Or so she wants everybody else to believe anyway. What a grade A twat.

Dear Ruth, Pearl, and Anne

Why do you insist on using multiple e-mail addresses to enter the same competition? You do know that even though you also call yourself, Alissa, Ellie, and Sabrina, that people will still know it’s you because you’re posting from the same computers? AKA IP no’s 68.35.34.170, 69.254.133.65, and 69.254.131.91.

Are you so desperate to win free books that you don’t mind cheating in order to get them?

Well, Diane, Jenna, and Sharon, if you’re going to cheat, you should learn how to do it better, because… well… a few authors have started to notice the trend.

I have it on good authority that you have the following e-mail addresses:

rojosho@hotmail.com
sauble@tennis.com
saubleb@gmail.com
elliotbencan@hotmail.com
bencanada1@yahoo.com

I mean come on, who needs that many e-mail addresses? Seriously?

If you’re that desperate for books, here’s some free advice from me: Buy. Them. Yourself.

OK?

“Which Genre Do You Like Best?”

Sunday, March 23, 2008
Posted in: Reader poll

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OK, that’s another question from The Reader Poll over at Let’s Gab.

The choice of answers are:

Contemporary

Romantic Suspense

Historical

Paranormal

Sci-Fi

Urban Fantasy

Young Adult

Suspense/Mystery

I chose contemporary. This would have been followed closely by romantic suspense.

European Hystericals tend to bore me because more often than not, some of the authors who write the EH’s that I’ve read thus far, write with an American ‘voice’. Lisa Kleypas’ historicals are fab, but I think this is because she has such lovely heroes and her heroines aren’t quivering wrecks.

I love watching period pieces though, can’t get enough of them.

Incidentally I watched the latest version of Pride and Prejudice with my mother last night, and we both loved it. I was never that big a Colin Firth fan (I liked him just fine as Darcy, but I wasn’t overwhelmed), so it wasn’t a stretch for me to enjoy the new Darcy. Keira Knightley did a good job too, even though I generally try to avoid her films if I can. And no, I haven’t watched Pirates, and probably wont.

Anyway, I digress…

To this day, I still have no idea what urban fantasy means, so I avoid any books labelled as such like the plague.

I like watching sci-fi movies, but can’t bear to read them, and most paranormals with a few notable exceptions (Nalini Singh’s books), annoy the f*ck outta me. Especially when the world building is ridiculously complex.

Have I already mentioned how much I hate vampire romances? Urrrggghh.

Anyway, if you haven’t already, go and vote now, and don’t forget the other polls on the sidebar.