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puzzled

Because if they really aren’t all about the M/Ms, then they sure could have fooled me.

I used to purchase books quite often from them, and I used to visit them at least once a week, but then I started noticing that they seemed to be publishing mostly male/male stuff. I am no lover of the penis to penis stuff. I don’t get the appeal as a woman. Two guys without the inclusion of at least one female is really not my thing, so I started visiting less. Nowadays, I surf by maybe once a month in the hopes that I wont see a pair of manly chests on the cover of every new release.

Jane made the same point on Twitter. She too considers them to be a mostly M/M epub, so doesn’t bother with them too much either.

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

I’m assuming that the M/M stuff sell better than the het stuff, which is why they seem to be over-egging the pudding over there, but it really does put me off visiting too often.

So, are Jane and I the only ones who consider Loose Id to be MMTastic?

133 Comments »


  • di
    July 1
    10:47 pm

    They are one of my go-to M/M publishers, but the M/M to M/F seems more balanced to me. There are weeks I buy nothing, because there’s no M/M. If you look at the last month, they had 9 M/M and 12 with F.

    http://www.loose-id.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=77

    Of course, I don’t count M/M/F as M/M….

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  • Cindy
    July 1
    11:03 pm

    I’m beginning to fear a wide spread trend to the M/M and it’s not my thing either. It’s severely limiting my E-book selections.

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  • Georgia Woods
    July 1
    11:06 pm

    Actually Loose Id rarely, if ever, releases more than two M/M stories out of the four releases per week. Sunday would have been last week’s releases, and there were two M/M stories, a M/f/M menage with no male interaction, and a historical M/f tale. The menage story actually had two male chests on the cover, along with a female one, so just because they have men’s chests on the cover doesn’t mean they are M/M stories. Just sayin’…

    Georgia

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  • I think Loose Id has built a reputation for m/m sales and might have a larger percentage of those titles than a random sampling of other publishers, but I still see quite a few non-m/m books from them. They’re still one of the small pubs I buy from.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 1
    11:34 pm

    Georgia, Loose Id probably publish their fair share of MFs, but my perception of them is that they seem to be mainly an MM epub. EC also publish MM, but they don’t have the same strong MM vibe that Loose ID do. Some would say that when there’s such a big concentration of MMF/MFM books along with the M/Ms, it’s almost as if the women are only there to entice the non MM readers. Token Vaginas if you like.

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  • This attitude totally bewilders me. I publish with LI, and I’ve never written an m/m romance. I write f/m or menages. My books sell well, and there’s always a woman on the cover. Checking the recent releases, there are never more than two m/m releases in each group of releases, and often less.
    Perhaps it’s because LI publish kickass m/m’s! But if they come to be seen as m/m only, that will damage my sales, as people won’t come for my non m/m books. It’s a misleading statement and one that doesn’t stand up to examination.

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

    Just went back and checked. Not true Actually last week’s releases, namely “Cage Match,” “Deadly Crimson,” “Hell Cop 2″ and “Lilac,” are two m/m’s and 2 m/f’s. One, the historical, has a woman in lilac dress front and centre.

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  • Whoops, it was two m/m’s (one an anthology), one m/f and a m/f/m menage. Sorry about that.

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  • Georgia Woods
    July 1
    11:48 pm

    Karen, I see what you are saying, I just don’t understand the perception, and the record proves it incorrect. They’ve never been focused on M/M stories, and actually focus more on edgy stories that straddle genres, for example a romantic suspense with paranormal overtones. Now do they publish M/M? Absolutely, and some of the best out there. But M/M stories are not even close to the majority of their books, and that’s why this perception is so bewildering.

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  • It’s a misleading statement and one that doesn’t stand up to examination.

    It’s not a statement, it’s a perception, and you can’t really argue with someone’s perception. You can provide statements otherwise, but it’s like trying to say Karen’s not allowed to draw her own conclusions from what she sees when she browses the website. Maybe you don’t like it, but you can’t tell her that her perception is wrong because it’s hers.

    I often hear from people that Samhain’s site makes them think we only publish erotic books, because of the covers. Of course we don’t publish only erotic books, and I can point them out, but I absolutely cannot tell them they’re wrong to perceive it that way, but recognize it’s something to either accept or change. We all assimilate information differently and if that information tells Karen something different than what you think it should, well, maybe instead it’s worth listening to instead of telling her she’s wrong?

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  • Emmy
    July 2
    12:13 am

    Some of us like m/m, and have been actively lobbying with the powers that be over at LI to get more of it, since they’ve got many authors over there who write m/m so well.

    Still, I’d guess that maybe 30% of what they publish is m/m. It just happened to be 50% of the new releases this week. And it’s not even the genre they sell the most of, as Treva has said more than twice. LI is one of my fave epubs to get my m/m romance from. I can understand why it’s not what you choose to read, because I have a similar reaction to het romance. I don’t read it and don’t understand what the appeal is.

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  • M
    July 2
    12:27 am

    I don’t care what people are saying (particularly Lynne Connolly, who doesn’t know her ass from a hole in the ground, and is a proven liar). LI is an m/m publisher. It’s why I won’t touch them.

    Any m/f is just filler.

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  • “We all assimilate information differently and if that information tells Karen something different than what you think it should, well, maybe instead it’s worth listening to instead of telling her she’s wrong?”

    We do, and I did listen, hard enough to go back and check the releases up to the beginning of the year. I can’t find a week with only m/m releases.

    Karen is, of course, entitled to her opinion, but so am I. Maybe an incorrect assumption? Or, as someone once said, “As we know, There are known knowns, there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, The ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

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  • Troll alert!

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  • Venessa G
    July 2
    12:32 am

    It’s not a statement, it’s a perception, and you can’t really argue with someone’s perception.

    Of course you can argue with perception, if it’s patently incorrect. If I walk into the produce section of my grocery store and there’s a pile of oranges, a pile of apples and a pile of strawberries, I can’t start talking about how all they sell is apples because I happened to see more red than orange. That’s exactly what’s happening here.

    Mis-perception happens, usually, because of a lack of attention to detail. If you see four book covers and three of them have two male chests prominently displayed, do you assume they’re all m/m? Someone might. If you look more closely and find that one has a woman in the background and then read the blurb and find it’s a m/m/f, then your perception should change accordingly. Since the readership is mostly women, I’d expect the hot, manly chests to be very prominent on the covers, even when the main character is a woman.

    I agree with many who posted here and disagree with the original posting. LI has a pretty good balance of gay and het romance. And in my experience, even many of the m/m/f stories don’t have much interaction between the men; they mostly are focused on the woman in the story. And I don’t think that makes her a token vagina.

    My .02,
    VG

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  • Jen
    July 2
    12:50 am

    Fair or not, that’s been my perception of LI too. For a long time, I had absolutely no interest in m/m and mentally, I’ve always lumped m/m/f books into the m/m category, even if there’s no sexual interaction between the two guys. So functionally, if I were to visit LI’s site on the week in question, I’d see three out of four books that feature two guys, not much reading variety for me.

    That said, the perception can also works in LI’s favor. When I decided recently to dip my toe into the m/m pool, LI was the first site I visited. Not that that’s any consolation for LI writers who do write m/f, since LI would not be my first stop for het romance.

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  • jmc
    July 2
    1:33 am

    My perception is that they publish more m/m than, say, Samhain, but that it is 50% or less of their output. I don’t think of them as more m/m than m/f or m/f/m.

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  • Kathryn Rogers
    July 2
    2:50 am

    LI releases for the past 10 weeks:

    25 m/f or menage books
    17 glbt books

    Vaginas are leading by 8,or 32%

    Now let’s see…where’s that hammer?

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  • Maggie
    July 2
    2:51 am

    Whatever is said of perception, the facts are different. I regularly shop for m/m and I appreciate that Loose Id provides a good amount of reading material there. But I would not call them an m/m publisher.

    LI is one of the publishers I check weekly, and they usually have an m/m release a week (sometimes two but never more). In fact, a few weeks I noticed that they only had m/f and m/f/m releases (though those weeks are really really rare). I’m not seeing where anyone else is getting the information that it’s otherwise. This week, they have 2 m/m releases, but their total m/m output does not even come close to approaching 50%.

    I hate menages (of any kind) with a passion, and I know several publishers that publish at least a couple a week, this includes Samhain. But I don’t go around making false blanket statements that those publishers are mainly m/f/m publishers, and if I did, I would want someone to correct me and say otherwise. I wouldn’t want people just standing by and thinking “Well, that’s her perception. Nothing I can do about it.”

    “if that information tells Karen something different than what you think it should, well, maybe instead it’s worth listening to instead of telling her she’s wrong?”

    I agree with Vanessa G that if the perception is incorrect, it makes sense that people can argue with it. I hope this incorrect assumption doesn’t cause them to lessen their m/m output.

    I’m sorry for using Samhain as an example earlier. I love them, trust me. They are quality publishers. But Angela popped in here, so…
    But I also love Loose Id, so I have to say something. I don’t want them to change because of what’s being posted today. There are only two regular publishers of m/m: Loose Id and Total-e-bound. They publish one a week, and I hope that never changes. (I’m not counting Torquere because they publish exclusively lgbt but the quality of their edits and covers don’t justify their prices).

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  • Mmmm. What’s interesting is that LI has been SUCCESSFUL in making you think of them for M/M romance. That’s quite a feat actually and more power to them.
    When I want BDSM dirty, dirty, dirty, I go to EC. When I want quality Sci Fi (usually erotic) I go to LSB. For Samhain? I love their fantasy, but Samhain is much more diverse IMHO. Usually, I can count on whatever I buy from Samhain to be what I term “class”.
    For sweet romance? I like Wild Rose Press. (Interestingly, since I’m an erotic author there).
    I think LI should be pretty stoked they’ve cornered a market that is a small niche.
    Now, that’s not to say they won’t lose other readers who “aren’t into that”.
    Publishers do get a reputation for certain genres. It just happens. The thing I would ask is if you’ve read a m/f book that was GOOD at Loose-id. If you have, why stop going by there?
    I don’t always find what I want at ANY of the publishers I’ll buy from. But when I want something, I want it. I’ll wait for it. I’ll haunt whoever has it.
    And lately, it pisses me off that some of the most interesting Sci Fi erotic I haven’t read yet is at NCP, a pub I won’t buy from.
    Did I wander?
    Sorry.

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  • I don’t always find what I want at ANY of the publishers I’ll buy from. But when I want something, I want it. I’ll wait for it. I’ll haunt whoever has it.

    When what you want, more than anything, is f/f/m, you end up waiting. A lot, lol. I’ll give LI cred for giving me a bit of what I want, which is more than many pubs do. And that’s not to say I only read f/f/m–if I did, I wouldn’t read much, let me tell you.

    But I do agree with Angela that perception is never really “wrong”. It’s perception, and it’s often colored by a lot of things that aren’t necessarily intrinsic to the thing being perceived. Someone looking for het contemp who goes to LI and finds offerings of m/m, m/m/f and het historicals is going to think “nothing for me there”, and the plethora of manly chests may lead them to assume m/m is pushing other subgenres out of the limelight.

    Add to that the fact that in the real world, m/m relationships are nowhere near 25-50% of the couples out there, and the perception might be that it’s overrepresented in the romance ebook market. A “What’s with all the gay dudes in here?” kind of thing.

    And two manly chests (with or without a woman in there somewhere), well, you do a manly chest count, and the overall perception is, well, men.

    Can’t really blame them for publishing what sells, though.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 2
    5:36 am

    Kathryn, how many of those 25 books were purely MF? Also, how do you work out that vaginas are leading by 8% when there are so many MFM/MMF books? One vagina between two penises, counts as a majority vagina influx these days do they? Who knew?

    What I can tell the rest of The Defense Team is that my perception of LI is that they are mainly an MM publisher. That might not be the reality, but it’s how I see them, and that’s not something I can be wrong about. It’s like telling somebody who feels victimised that they’re wrong to feel that way. You can call them paranoid, but their feelings aren’t wrong, you get that, right?

    Like I wrote earlier, the concentration of MM/MMF/MFM books leads me to believe that the vaginas are fairly token. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, unless of course you happen to be a het writer there, and fear that my post is going to kill your career.

    Yeah, repeat that out loud, because that fear is as ridiculous as it sounds.

    Also a while ago, I’m pretty sure there was a conversation about how well MM sells, and I seem to recall that the overall consensus from a few LI writers was that their MMs outsold their MFs by as much as 3-1. That’s obviously not going to be the same for het authors, but to me, those few statements came at a time when I’d been seeing an awful lot of manly chests on their covers.

    Talking about manly chests on covers, if you have an MFM book, and you have to pay extra attention to see the woman on the cover, I don’t see how that’s not adding to the illusion/perception/myth, call it what you will, that LI are mainly an MM publisher.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 2
    5:46 am

    What Kirsten said, by the way.

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  • Karen Scott
    July 2
    5:50 am

    What Kirsten said, by the way. Two MMs, one MFM, and one MF equals two vaginas, and 7 penises. And that’s in just one week’s worth of releases.

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  • That people are coming forward and saying they think this seems like an important thing to note. If when you break down the stats, the numbers say something else, that’s a separate topic.

    LI can do with that info what they like. All sorts of choices. Embrace the perception? Work to get out the message they do other stuff?

    What Karen’s saying, what others are saying, gives LI knowledge of what potential customers are thinking. How’s that bad?

    Also, I like M/M, so it reminds me to give them a visit. :)

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  • Kathryn Rogers
    July 2
    7:57 am

    Kathryn, how many of those 25 books were purely MF?

    20 m/f
    5 menage
    17 m/m

    Now I’m not going to go back and count genitalia or sexual orientation. I’ll leave that to you. :)

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  • Edie
    July 2
    8:29 am

    I am definitely with Karen, that the fact that there are two to three MMs a week is creating a perception that LI is focused more on MM than anything else.
    Though I could just be cranky cos I am not finding as many books to my taste there these days and am buying much less..

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  • I would, of course, love to know why readers perceive LI to be either m/m, m/f, or menage-oriented or what you would prefer to see instead. Sometimes our weekly schedule, for various reasons, slants a bit more to one rather than the others but not our overall release schedule. I’d be happy to hear from you privately or here, but some things I would want to know in return wouldn’t ask you to do fun things like count genitals. In fact, it would bore most blog readers to tears. I doubt Karen wants to know how many readers check the books directly on site, how many use our Idbits Announcements to see what is available, or if they use other methods. Do you look at our content warnings, blurbs, covers, etc. to decide? Do they check review sites? If so, which ones? etc.

    So, please don’t let me interrupt anything else you want to do with this topic, Karen, but if readers are willing and interested in me asking them other information, I’d be happy to hear more. LI always wants to make its readers happier.

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  • Mari Janssen
    July 2
    10:41 am

    I can’t stand this change over to M/M. I find it troubling that authors whose works I’ve read in the past feel the need to jump on that particular bandwagon to make a buck. Romance to me is one woman-one man but I’m old fashioned that way. You can enjoy your GLBT and M/M but don’t flood the market with it at the expense of a good old M/F romance.

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  • Mari Janssen
    July 2
    10:43 am

    BTB, Karen. Did you know the Iowa State Fair is making a butter sculpture of Michael Jackson to honor the King of Pop? I once drove over to Des Moines to take a look at the famous Butter Cow they have each year along with a celebrity. The year I went it was Garth Brooks.

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  • Edie
    July 2
    11:07 am

    It is not necessarily wanting traditional m/f romances in my case (when, oh when are we going to get some decent affordable ff romance ebooks anywhere? lol)it is just that on LI, from the point of view of a reader who used to check the site each release day, MM has been dominating the releases there for roughly the last year. (the last six months at least)
    To me as a reader completely not interested in MM, it seems like there is not much there for me at the moment.
    I hope that makes some sense.

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  • Can’t really comment on this alleged trend, as I’ve mostly been writing of late. I haven’t written or read any M/M, but I’ve bought a lot of LI books. So maybe I just missed it.
    Anyway, I can promise that my next Loose-Id release, Pussycat Death Squad, has 1 penis/1 vagina. Hey, it even has pussy in the title. What more can you ask for?

    This is my second release with them, and the other one was 1 penis/1 vagina as well. Maybe I’m bucking the trend.

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  • Jane
    July 2
    2:07 pm

    Facts aside, my perception is that Loose Id publishes a greater majority of m/m works than anything else. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that its best known authors are m/m authors or that it appears that the two man titty covers seem to predominate the lists and releases (I also think Loose Id is a very difficult site to navigate).

    It actually doesn’t matter what the reality is because for readers perception is their reality.

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  • So, please don’t let me interrupt anything else you want to do with this topic, Karen, but if readers are willing and interested in me asking them other information, I’d be happy to hear more. LI always wants to make its readers happier.

    As someone who enjoys m/m/f, but likes f/f/m more, I’d like to see some differentiation (both on publisher sites and in reader discussions) between the types of menage and glbt out there (because the term “menage” does NOT only mean two guys and a woman, and glbt does not mean m/m). I mean, if we want to get technical–and if we wanted to count genitals, heh–a list heavy on “menage” and “glbt” could just as easily up the vagina:penis ratio, lol.

    LI releases for the past 10 weeks:

    25 m/f or menage books
    17 glbt books

    Vaginas are leading by 8,or 32%

    The perception in that one comment is clearly that glbt=m/m and menage=two or more men. But 25 m/f or “menage” books and 17 “glbt” books could have the vaginas at a solid 100% representation.

    I will admit, LI is getting better at this. I’ve seen books in the past I’d be interested in, with two male and two female characters, where the product description gives an ambiguous “contains homoerotic sexual content and menage a trois”. I’m jaded enough to not buy a book that could easily be all about the two guys and one woman getting all the action and the second woman being a spunky sidekick or the unwanted point in a love triangle (love square?).

    Oh, and more f/f/m would make this reader happy, Treva. Preferably fantasy or historical. :)

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  • Jen
    July 2
    2:42 pm

    @Treva I rarely look closely at covers. On the front page, I check out the new books by running my mouse over the cover to see the genre pop-up (I love that feature of the website, btw). If the pop-up says LGBT or Menage/poly, I’ll almost always pass. I’ll only read the blurb if I’m interested in the genre.

    What are Idbits Annoucements? A mailing list? I’d be interested in signing up, but I don’t see a link to it on the website.

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  • If the pop-up says LGBT or Menage/poly, I’ll almost always pass.

    See, again, this illustrates my point. The sad thing is, that like everyone else, I’d assume that LGBT or menage/poly is pretty much always going to be two men. Be nice if the pop-up said “m/m” or “m/m/f menage” or (dare I dream?) “f/f/m poly”. I mean, inclusive terms are nice in the theoretical sense, but when one permutation included in the terminology amounts to less than 10% of the available material, it can get very frustrating finding what you want…

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



  • Gail
    July 2
    2:58 pm

    Interesting topic. I’ve never counted penis or vaginas for that matter I read what interests me – not the sexual orientation. I go for the plot regardless. But most publishers go with what sells and in my opinion readers create trends not publishers. They start with a mixed bag and go from there, so if a particular genre or books with several penises, vaginas, a selection of dildos, vibrators and cock rings sells more.Why would they not go with that if they get the submissions. There are so many publishers to choose from. I would like to see something for everyone out there. Be a boring world if we all liked the same thing.

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  • OK, with the proviso that I’m not the tech, marketing, blurb, or customer satisfaction person at LI (what do I do with myself all day?) I will take these notes on back to those that are and see what can be done with them.

    –Explain more about what constitutes the ménage or polyamory label
    (Kirsten, if you want to know about a specific title of one you are interested in, I can let you know if it’s something you might be interested in.)

    –Too many man titty covers, too many well known m/m authors (I’m not sure I want to do anything about well known authors –perhaps it’s just the m/m community is very good about getting the word out on ms. and I can only applaud that)

    –I thought we had the place to join Idbits Announcements on our Loose Id homepage but maybe not.

    Here is the link:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Idbits/

    And so no one actually looks at LI excerpts and blurbs before they make a decision? Just wondering.

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  • Be nice if the pop-up said “m/m” or “m/m/f menage”

    That’s a good idea Kirsten. I remember when I used to read over at Literotica it used to drive me nuts that they had such broad categories. I prefer to read Interracials with black women, and of course, most of them don’t feature black women. It would’ve been so cool to have a break-out of what exactly the combos were. Don’t one of the epubs (Phaze?) have clever little symbols that indicates whats-what?

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  • Also, I like M/M, so it reminds me to give them a visit.

    Good! I’m a very happy camper that Karen chose to start this discussion this week because my book CAGE MATCH is a new release at LI. More traffic. Me happy.

    I find it troubling that authors whose works I’ve read in the past feel the need to jump on that particular bandwagon to make a buck.

    I won’t deny it. Yes, I started writing m/m because I could see the market trend was slanting that way, and sure enough, for me so far they outsell my het novels. But I still write plenty of m/f love stories in all genres so I wouldn’t say my m/m writing has taken me away from that. I have some very sweet tales coming out at Liquid Silver in their new Sterling line–a line intended for more buildup before the sex scenes. I also have more erotic het romances coming out at both Samhain and Liquid Silver. There’s room for a little bit of everything in the romance world, and it keeps me entertained to switch gears and experiment with different things.

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  • Jen
    July 2
    4:28 pm

    “And so no one actually looks at LI excerpts and blurbs before they make a decision? Just wondering.”

    I do look at the blurbs and excerpts, but only if I’m already interested in the genre. The same holds true when I’m browsing in Barnes & Noble, though. I’m not a huge fan of chick lit, for example, so if the cover of a book communicates chick lit, I won’t bother to pick it up and read the back blurb. I do like historicals, so if the cover commuicates historical, I’ll pick it up and give the back blurb a chance.

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  • Cait
    July 2
    5:54 pm

    I can’t stand this change over to M/M. Romance to me is one woman-one man but I’m old fashioned that way. You can enjoy your GLBT and M/M but don’t flood the market with it at the expense of a good old M/F romance.

    The great thing about epublishing is that it’s great for niche marketing. Romance the way you and a lot of people, I suspect, defines it (as one man one woman) is prevalent everywhere else, including in the epublishing world.

    Major print publishers won’t touch M/M or menage. If people don’t enjoy M/M and menage, why not just ignore those books? Epublishers are the only place to look for them and even then, only a handful of the epubs release m/m and menage with any sort of regularity, so why begrudge that?

    There are TONS of print pubs and epubs, including the Loose Id you mention, that publish the m/f you are looking for. I can’t understand why anyone would want to whine about the fact that a genre that is already a small niche is “flooding the market.” If you don’t like it that one of the best epubs out there happens to want to expand its repertoire to include other genres beyond m/f, who do you expect to take up those genres? Because print pubs aren’t doing it.

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  • MT
    July 2
    6:00 pm

    It would’ve been so cool to have a break-out of what exactly the combos were.

    Loose Id’s publisher note on the long blurb page does break out the combos, and includes any same-sex interaction. But you have to get past the cover and short blurb to see it. :) We don’t warn for every swat or scarf used in playful sex, but we DO try to warn for “potentionally objectionable” content that is intregal to the story.

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  • If grossing $1.3 million in 2008 is seen as a “Nail in the Coffin” I would like for someone to please pound these babies in as I hold the lid shut.

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  • Dawn
    July 2
    6:19 pm

    Upon reading the initial blog entry, my perception is that it was written by someone who is prejudiced against homosexual relationships. To quote you, “I am no lover of the penis to penis stuff.”

    Karen, why bother to hide your dislike of m/m relationships by burying it under the guise of critisizing a publisher for daring to publish m/m erotic romance? Why not just state your real agenda which is to air your grievances against those who don’t follow your narrow minded view of the world which is that romantic/sexual relationships should consist of nothing more than one man and one woman.

    Are you taking lessons from the former Miss California?

    Yes, you are entitled to your opinion. Fortunately, we are also entitled to disregard it.

    I can only applaud those who stood up to point out the inconsistencies of your statements and can only hope that anyone reading your blog will take the initiative to check the facts for themselves as regards Loose-Id or any other publisher mentioned.

    In future I believe you would do well to think before you speak. Like the woman who walks out of a public bathroom with her skirt tucked into her panties, you’ve exposed yourself. Your bigotry is showing.

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  • Loose Id offers a good balance of stories that are reflective of what erotic-romance readers currently seem to want. I don’t think LI’s releases are, proportionally by theme, any different from what other e-pubs are putting out.

    Check out the number of pure m/f, non-menage erotic romances among the top-tier e-pubs. Go ahead; do it. Bet you won’t find too many!

    (And ditto what Teddypig said.)

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  • Jane
    July 2
    6:34 pm

    I don’t think that by preferring to read HET romances makes one homophobic nor do I think that Karen was saying that Loose Id’s focus on m/m books is not financially wise.

    I do think we are simply saying that the perception we’ve developed as readers (and it’s hard to pinpoint the reason) is that Loose ID is a place to go for good m/m and thus if you don’t read a lot of m/m, you don’t often visit the site or look at its books.

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  • Oh, and more to the point — much more to the point — any publisher’s greatest accomplishment is to offer good stories well told. Categorization be damned.

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  • Maggie
    July 2
    6:46 pm

    I wouldn’t say Karen is homophobic, but I would also not agree with Jane and say “[Karen and Jane are] simply saying that the perception [they’ve] developed as readers (and it’s hard to pinpoint the reason) is that Loose ID is a place to go for good m/m and thus if you don’t read a lot of m/m, you don’t often visit the site or look at its books.” That has a positive ring to it.

    But this post has a negative feel.

    “Because if they really aren’t all about the M/Ms, then they sure could have fooled me.”

    “I am no lover of the penis to penis stuff.”

    “Nail and coffin.”

    “they seem to be over-egging the pudding”

    And then, “So, are Jane and I the only ones who consider Loose Id to be MMTastic?” as if this is the “right” perception and is no one else seeing this?

    It doesn’t help that she’s trivializing it by doing a penis and vagina count in the comments.

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  • Maili
    July 2
    6:49 pm

    @Dawn

    I watched this thread with interest while hoping someone wouldn’t bring up the bigotry card.

    It seems to me that Karen makes it clear that she bought books from Loose Id, which makes her a customer, but because Loose Id seems to offer nothing but m/m books, Loose Id loses her as a customer.

    M/m romance is a sub-genre that obviously doesn’t interest her and why not? Her comment isn’t that different from those by readers who associate Avon (publisher) with Regency-era historical romances, therefore they avoid books published by Avon.

    That’s how I see it, anyway.

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  • Jane
    July 2
    6:53 pm

    Trivializing what exactly? She’s talking about the books themselves and not the sex act or individuals sexual choices.

    I get that she’s asking how many others have the perception that Loose ID publishes primarily MM romances because that is the discussion we had on Twitter.

    Someone asked me about the Loose ID feature on WashingtonPost (a very positive feature as Teddy Pig references) and why I didn’t mention Loose ID very much.

    I explained that I viewed Loose ID as primarily an m/m publisher and that because of the non HET focus, I didn’t read very many Loose ID books. Others like Anne Douglas and Lynne Connolly pointed out that there were several HET books published by Loose ID.

    Karen commented that she, too, had the same perception. I guess I saw her post to ask her reading community whether they had the same perception. There’s nothing sinister in this post or Karen’s intentions.

    I am a big supporter of the idea of the ebooks can deliver content and genre that is not found in the mainstream. Yet, perceptions influence reader behavior. For example, while I *know* that Cerridwen Press has sweet romances, I don’t really go there to find good “sweet” books. It’s just not my perception. CP and EC are all entangled in my mind.

    I view epublishers as largely erotic romance pubs which is another “misconception” but a perception that I have nonetheless and a motivator of my own purchasing, browsing, reading behavior.

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  • If grossing $1.3 million in 2008 is seen as a “Nail in the Coffin” I would like for someone to please pound these babies in as I hold the lid shut.

    Hmmm, the difference between American speak and Brit speak. You assumed I meant that the nail in the coffin was for Loose Id huh? instead of correcting your assumption, I’m going to just ask you to re-read the paragraph in question, and figure it out for youreself.

    Now as for you Dawn…

    Karen, why bother to hide your dislike of m/m relationships by burying it under the guise of critisizing a publisher for daring to publish m/m erotic romance? Why not just state your real agenda which is to air your grievances against those who don’t follow your narrow minded view of the world which is that romantic/sexual relationships should consist of nothing more than one man and one woman.

    Are you taking lessons from the former Miss California?

    Yes, you are entitled to your opinion. Fortunately, we are also entitled to disregard it.

    You know what I thought when I read your post Dawn? I thought, this bitch hates black people, the racist so-and-so.

    Why bother trying to hide your dislike of people who are a different colour to yourself, by burying it under the guise of calling them homophobic? Why not just state your real agenda, which is to follow your narrow minded view of the world, which is to air your grievances against those who aren’t the same colour as you?

    Are you taking lessons from Rush Limbaugh or the Ku Klux Klan?

    Yes, you are entitled to your opinion. Fortunately, we are also entitled to disregard it.

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  • Maggie
    July 2
    7:19 pm

    This thread is turning into a time-suck for me…

    @Jane:

    I’m not saying Karen has sinister intentions. I’m just making out that the post overall has a negative tone, like there’s something wrong with choosing to publish m/m. Not only that, she’s providing false stats (“I happened to surf over there on Sunday, and every single release was an M/M book”).

    I know you won’t read books by male authors, so just as an example, would you make a post on DA about your impressions of publisher X and how they used to have books by female authors but now they only seem to have books by male authors? Would you make such a post if that were not true and a quick check reveals that male authors make up less than half the publisher’s backlist? It’s not the best example, but I’m scratching my head to come up with a better one.

    My point is, this post does not help Loose Id at all. The readers of Karen’s blog are mostly readers of het romance because that’s all she (and Azteclady) reviews. She’s not helping out Loose Id by saying LI is an M/M publisher to a reader base that reads het. She has de-listed Loose Id from her readers’ minds (as a publisher that doesn’t publish what they like), EVEN THOUGH Loose Id does publish m/f and a majority of their backlist and new releases ARE m/f.

    So I still say this post is largely negative.

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  • In future I believe you would do well to think before you speak. Like the woman who walks out of a public bathroom with her skirt tucked into her panties, you’ve exposed yourself. Your bigotry is showing.

    I don’t know how many people I’ve come across who’ve told me (often in a less than pleasant way), that f/f interactions just do not “do it” for them. I hesitate to call them all bigots because of that.

    As for over-egging the pudding–the mechanics of human reproduction being what they are, she probably should have said “under-egging”. ;)

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  • That’s a new twist. Instead of making groundless assumptions about a person’s character based on what they read, make groundless assumptions based on what they DON’T read.

    Considering the vast majority of the population admits they don’t read at all, it’s a wonder society can continue to function under the burden of the worldwide all-encompassing hatefulness of everything.

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  • It doesn’t help that she’s trivializing it by doing a penis and vagina count in the comments.

    Hmmm, you’re new to the blog aren’t you? I can always tell the ones who have surfed in from somewhere else, because they’re usually the ones waving the banners and getting all het up. Pun intended.

    Oh, and more to the point — much more to the point — any publisher’s greatest accomplishment is to offer good stories well told. Categorization be damned.

    K.Z, there are some books that I will not buy, no matter how good the actual story is. Like heavy BDSM for instance. I think it’s ok to not like certain genres for whatever reason. I’m pretty sure I did a similar post about EC and the number of BDSM books that they were churning out a few years ago. That shit is not to my personal taste, and I think it’s ok to say so, don’t you? Same goes for MM.

    I’m just making out that the post overall has a negative tone, like there’s something wrong with choosing to publish m/m.

    Yep, definitely new.

    My point is, this post does not help Loose Id at all.

    Yes, because my mission in life is to help Loose ID. I think Treva Harte is pretty terrific, but my purpose in life is really not about trying to help them. Seriously.

    The readers of Karen’s blog are mostly readers of het romance because that’s all she (and Azteclady) reviews.

    You say this like it’s a bad thing sweetling?

    She has de-listed Loose Id from her readers’ minds (as a publisher that doesn’t publish what they like), EVEN THOUGH Loose Id does publish m/f and a majority of their backlist and new releases ARE m/f.

    Yes, because apparently, readers of this blog are totally lacking in the adequate amount of brain matter required to form thoughts of their own.

    So I still say this post is largely negative.

    Wow, you are so green and cute. I love it! You must come again so that you can see what a real negative post on KKB looks like. *Smooches*

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  • I also don’t understand why it’s Karen’s responsibility to “help” Loose Id. By all accounts, they’re doing quite well for themselves, and unless she’s being paid for promotional services, why should she “help” them by adopting a more positive tone?

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  • FD
    July 2
    7:45 pm

    I’ll put my hand up and say that I too had the vague impression that Loose ID specialised in m/m and thinking about it, I’m really not quite sure why.

    I have a friend who is heavily into m/m and she’s recommended me several books from LI which is a possible cause. I will say that despite having enjoyed books from this publisher, it isn’t on my go to list if I’m casually browsing, and possibly that impression is why.

    When deciding whether to buy a menage title I do consider it to be immensely helpful to know whether the m/m/f is m+m+f or m+m&f or m+f&m, and the same goes for f/f/m, although I see those only rarely. I almost never see anything that’s truly poly either which is a shame – the ‘four or more’ books I’ve come across mostly have been reversed harem fantasies.

    @Treva Harte – thanks for accepting suggestions gracefully and kudos for being able to interpret the column in the spirit that it was meant. It’s nice to see publishers behaving well!

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  • I also don’t understand why it’s Karen’s responsibility to “help” Loose Id. By all accounts, they’re doing quite well for themselves, and unless she’s being paid for promotional services, why should she “help” them by adopting a more positive tone?

    Ahhh, somebody who understands me at last. It’s so hard being me, Kerry, you can have a real *smooches* and a (((hugs))) from me for that.

    By the way, for my fellow pitchfork carriers, let me draw your attention to Maili and Jane’s comments. They summed my post up quite nicely methinks.

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  • Bree
    July 2
    7:53 pm

    I don’t know how many people I’ve come across who’ve told me (often in a less than pleasant way), that f/f interactions just do not “do it” for them. I hesitate to call them all bigots because of that.

    Yeah, can we back that truck up or something? I don’t read m/m either, but I love your f/f/m books, Kirsten. And I have seen people who use the word “bigot” for those who don’t read m/m turn around the next day and sneer at f/f stories. That makes me far more angry than people who just admit up front that they don’t like the dueling penis stories.

    I may not like inaccurate perceptions, but I think authors have to deal with them, and preferably deal with them gracefully. Am I thrilled that my 85k paranormal romance with one rather tame sex scene to its name is constantly referred to as porn because it was epublished? Not especially. I’m probably not going to help my case by calling anyone with that perception a prude though.

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  • When deciding whether to buy a menage title I do consider it to be immensely helpful to know whether the m/m/f is m+m+f or m+m&f or m+f&m, and the same goes for f/f/m, although I see those only rarely. I almost never see anything that’s truly poly either which is a shame

    I’m a huge fan of poly, too, and it often kind of saddens me when one of the menage goes off into the sunset to leave the m/f (or otherwise) couple to themselves. I’ve written m/f, m/f+f, and two polys, an f/f/m and an m/m/f, and the latter two were definitely the most fun and fulfilling to write.

    I agree, the four+ books do tend to be a kind of a reverse polygamy trope, which I don’t think I’d enjoy (although in the hands of a good author, perhaps I could). I’ve heard them called “feminist revenge”, which always kind of makes me go “whaaaaa?” I mean, call it personal bias, but the idea of satisfying several randy men every night (complete with regular DP, oy, I’m crossing my legs just thinking of it), well, those guys had better spend their days keeping my house immaculate, cooking gourmet dinners and hand-feeding me berries with cream while pulling fat paychecks that make me never have to work another day in my life. Just sayin’.

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  • AnneD
    July 2
    8:08 pm

    Nothing much to say here (well, that’s a lie, I have much to say, but nobody is willing to listen, so I’m staying right out of it) I just wanted to see if this gravatar thingy I set up today will work :)

    EDIT: YAY It does!

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  • Yeah, can we back that truck up or something? I don’t read m/m either, but I love your f/f/m books, Kirsten. And I have seen people who use the word “bigot” for those who don’t read m/m turn around the next day and sneer at f/f stories.

    Aww, thanks Bree! I think, perhaps, women readers get away with that kind of double standard–“you’re a bigot if you won’t read m/m, but OMG f/f is just ick”–because they’re, well, women. It’s like Catholics being allowed to tell horrible Pope jokes–only not. I tend to just ignore them now.

    I write what I want to write, and I’ve just started an f/f/m specifically aimed at EC. I mean, if they’re willing to look at the girl-on-girl now, maybe there is a hope we’ll be able to get all these wonky attitudes turned around a bit. (The attitudes being that people shouldn’t be allowed to like what they like for reasons other than rampant bigotry and homophobia…)

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  • JenB
    July 2
    8:38 pm

    See, again, this illustrates my point. The sad thing is, that like everyone else, I’d assume that LGBT or menage/poly is pretty much always going to be two men. Be nice if the pop-up said “m/m” or “m/m/f menage” or (dare I dream?) “f/f/m poly”. I mean, inclusive terms are nice in the theoretical sense, but when one permutation included in the terminology amounts to less than 10% of the available material, it can get very frustrating finding what you want…

    I’m with Kirsten on this. The broad GLBT (LGBT??) label is confusing, especially since in most cases there’s no L, B, or T involved. Mostly G, which pretty much only includes gay men, and maybe a little bit of B in some of the menage stories. For menage, I think “Heterosexual Menage” or even “Traditional Menage” (LOL!) would be good labels for M/F/M, and “Bisexual Menage” for M/M/F and F/F/M.

    Is it Liquid Silver that goes even further and says Bisexual Male Menage and Bisexual Female Menage or something like that?

    Clear and specific labeling would benefit all the publishers and their readers and would make it easier to avoid clouded perception.

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  • It’s really interesting to me to read people’s perceptions because, like the sexual relationships in day-to-day life, they vary significantly.

    When I chose Loose Id to submit my work to I did so because, for me, they were a marvelous representation of a publisher and a group of authors pushing against perceived sexual barriers in every conceivable way. And, quite frankly, I wanted to be part of that push–even though I primarily write het romances.

    That’s not to say that the other publishers, some of which I am also happily published with, do not do so as well. For me personally; however, the mixture at Loose Id is consistently more diverse. But again, like everyone has said, that is merely my own personal perception–which is what this discussion is about.

    I suppose that’s a summation of what Loose Id is to me. As an author I know as long as I write a great, compelling story there will always be an audience there willing to embrace the story–regardless of what underlying sexual relationship exists between the characters. That knowledge provides me with the luxury of doing what we all as authors want to do–write the story we want to write for the enjoyment of our readers.

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  • I write GLBT (yes, all 4, B&T are NOT decorative). I don’t write as much L as I’d like and Naomi and I had to tell an editor that a book fell into the B of their GLBT description.

    Mari’s nasty little crack about romance can only be between a man and a woman makes me want to stop writing het entirely. Love is love, romance is romance and the contents of the trousers does not negate the roses and champagne and close dancing to a sappy song.

    Loose ID came off as a mixed publisher, like Phaze and Samhain. EC is more heavily het, although most of the covers feature objectified males.

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  • Not much to add, except to say that I, too, had the same perception that LI mostly offers m/m or some version of a menage for sale–neither of which I’m a huge fan of. Though I will read them on occasion *based on the plot* synopsis and not how “hawt” it is or how much back-door action there is.

    Perception is what it is, right or wrong. And here you have several readers saying they share the same perception. There must be a reason for that.

    On a totally different tanget, not only do I not go by LI as much because of this m/m & m/m/f perception, but the white type of black background is killer on the eyes and ensures that I only bother to check out the excerpts/extended synopsis of those books I’m 99% sure I want to buy/read. There goes the potential for sales gained from further browsing.

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  • Mari Janssen
    July 2
    9:26 pm

    I didn’t say romance could only be between a man and woman. I said that’s what romance means to me. I stated I am old-fashioned. I have nothing against GLBT or M/M. I just don’t wish to read about it. That’s my prerogative as a reader. You must be true to whatever you believe and if that’s what pleases you, fine. I just wish authors who once wrote HET and are now attempting to write GLBT or M/M for the money would wise up. That’s not being true to what you believe but worshiping the almighty buck. As a lesbian co-worker remarked, “It shows that she doesn’t know WTF she’s writing about. She’s in it for the money.”

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  • Hmmm, the difference between American speak and Brit speak. You assumed I meant that the nail in the coffin was for Loose Id huh? instead of correcting your assumption, I’m going to just ask you to re-read the paragraph in question, and figure it out for youreself.

    I was not trying to be mean Karen honest. I was just making the typical smart ass comment pointing out whatever they are doing is obviously not hurting sales.

    I hit Loose Id and Samhain every Tuesday. I’ll even admit I look forward to it.

    I don’t mind the constant Gay Romance selection of at least one choice a week at Loose Id because I read M/M but I also know there are weeks that I go there and find NOTHING to buy (M/M, M/F, or otherwise) but I don’t blame that on a lack of variety though. In my opinion Loose Id is very ambitious in providing a wide range of choices.

    I can also see how people might perceive them as having a strong M/M following for publishing authors like J.L. Langley or Josh Lanyon or Ally Blue or Amber Green um I could go on. That would get you noticed because those authors get talked about. I know because I talk about them.

    I would still find it hard to put them in the same group as say a Torquere Press or Dreamspinner Press that only publish Gay Romance.

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  • Maggie
    July 2
    9:53 pm

    I’m not saying anyone has an obligation to “help” LI. What I meant by “it doesn’t help Loose Id” was it harms Loose Id (to whatever degree, I don’t know). Lynne Connolly mentioned earlier in the thread that this perception of Loose Id as solely an M/M publisher would harm her (and other authors who publish het stories with LI), but everyone mostly just talked over her. And like I also said in my first comment, I read pretty much read everything except menage, and that includes a fair amount of m/m. I don’t want Loose Id to change their model and publish less of it, since it isn’t even the majority to begin with.

    To me, it just seems common sense to fight misconceptions. Just recently, an RWA head basically lumped all epubs under author-mills because she’d seen an epub that was exactly that. But it doesn’t all epubs author-mills. And plenty of people think epubs only put out erotica and that’s not true. And while saying epubs only put out erotica or Loose Id mostly publishes M/M isn’t as bad as saying all epubs are author-mills, they’re still bad generalizations. There’s nothing wrong with erotica, but someone who writes SF or fantasy for epublishers won’t find much of a readership if no one’s there to inform the public that epublishing is not all about erotica and yes, you can find good SF and fantasy on the net. And Loose Id can lose readership if the misconception that they mostly offer m/m isn’t overturned. Erotica as a genre doesn’t define epublishers and m/m doesn’t define Loose Id.

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  • Well, you can’t accuse me of being new here, Karen, and I also thought the posting was very negative with the implication that LI is doing something wrong. While it’s written in your usual style, the phrasing seems rather more dismissive than on other issues you have felt strongly about.

    I don’t share your perception of LI as a predominantly m/m publisher. My perception is that they have gone from general variety of subgenres of all sexual orientations to predominantly paranormal in all sexual orientations. Since I don’t read paranormal I haven’t bought there in quite a while.

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  • MB (Leah)
    July 2
    10:18 pm

    First, I don’t think it’s bigoted to not prefer to read a certain genre just because of the sexual context. Sexual preferences are very personal and it’s OK to have specific preferences and not be bigoted. That’s a ridiculous statement.

    From how I took Karen’s post, she has a certain perception about Loose-ID. That’s neither wrong or right, it’s her real perception.

    Next, she posited a question to her blog readers about their perception of Loose-ID. No judgment in that, just a question.

    I didn’t pick up that she was trying to hurt or help Loose-ID, but to express her personal feelings.

    To answer her question, I don’t have any perception about LID other than I don’t particularly like their website set-up and that their prices are a bit higher than other epubs so I only go there for a specific book and not general perusing.

    As far as sexual content of those books go, mostly what I buy from them are books of m/m authors whom I really like. But that’s more about me liking specific authors and LID just happens to be their epub. If they were with another epub I’d go there. Same would go for a favorite author of m/f or f/f.

    I buy from almost all the epubs and I don’t feel that one favors m/m over another except for Aspen Mountain Press, based on my own perception.

    I have lots of other types of perceptions about certain epubs, but that’s not what Karen asked.

    Perception is important though, whether or not that perception is based on actual fact or not isn’t the point. I would think that rather than hurting LID in positing her question, Karen was actually indirectly helping them by giving them an idea what people think of them.

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  • Mari, if you don’t want to get jumped on, you shouldn’t use loaded political terms.

    “One man, one woman” terminology is being used to destroy families, vote away civil rights and generally harm the GLBT community. And pulling the lesbian co-worker card does not get you a pass on using hateful language.

    The better phrasing would be “My preference in romance runs strictly monogamous and het. Yours may vary.”

    If the writers only doing it for a buck and not doing their homework, I totally agree that they should get out of it. But if a writer feels a story, any story, they should write it regardless of the gender.

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  • I’m not going to contribute to the perceptions/statistics argument, because that’s a marketing issue. All I can address is my experience with LI as an author.

    When I began researching target publishers, LI was number one on my list. I am never disappointed in an LI read, and the variety available on the website is just fantastic. Aside from that, in talking with literally dozens of other authors, its one of the only publishers that I’ve found that has almost universal author satisfaction.

    I write cross-genre, m/f, poly, (both bi and het) m/m, and f/f. Mostly I write in fantasy/futuristic or sci fi settings. My first release at LI is a m/f space opera, Belle Starr. (beware, there is a threesome with male content) Do I fell like filler? Heck no! I’m literally honored to be with this publisher and group of authors. Token? Second Class? Anxious? Well, to paraphrase Liberace, “I’m crying all the way to the bank.” In other words, no. There is an excellent variety of het by top notch authors, and those books sell really well.

    I find it troubling that authors whose works I’ve read in the past feel the need to jump on that particular bandwagon to make a buck.

    I know some try that, but most authors I know expand to other genres in order to expand and grow and just try something new. Life without challenge is sort of boring.

    My current project is m/m. No, I’m not trying to cash in on a trend, its what the story demanded. I usually try to balance practicality with inspiration, and LI is a venue that allows me to favor the muse. That is incredibly liberating.

    If we seem to have a strong reaction, its because we are proud of our publisher,our peers, and our books.

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  • I’ve noticed this problem at a lot of ePublishers. Using Loose Id as an example, if it’s true they publish more than m/m it may simply be a matter of a badly organized website.

    Or not. It could be they mean to do one thing, but in effect do something else simply because it’s selling better and they need the money. Understandable, but short-sighted in my opinion, because pretty soon you only have a segment of your potential readership shopping. The others go away to find what they’re looking for and it’s very hard to draw them back.

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  • was not trying to be mean Karen honest. I was just making the typical smart ass comment pointing out whatever they are doing is obviously not hurting sales.

    In that case all is forgiven. The coffin and nail comment was in respect of me giving up on LI for good, after what I thought to be four MM releases in one week.

    I also thought the posting was very negative with the implication that LI is doing something wrong.

    Well I think that’s fair comment, but the “they’re doing something wrong” wasn’t generic. I’d say it had more of a ‘They’re doing something wrong for me’ slant.

    the phrasing seems rather more dismissive than on other issues you have felt strongly about.

    That could be because this isn’t something I feel that strongly about, funnily enough. It was more of an observation based on my Twitter conversation with Jane from DA. I found it interesting that she felt the same way as I did re the perception that LI seemed to be mostly publishing MM these days.

    My perception wont change unless I begin to see books that I’m interested in reading, no matter what the actual stats are.

    Ditto on the comments re the website by the way, the dark colours hurt my eyes too much on Sunday to stay and browse for any length of time. This cannot be a good thing for a publisher.

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  • Yeah, I’m not sure who told their designer that black with green and orange is attractive… and there are some coding issues with the cart/account where you have to click more than you should to get to where you want to go.

    But then Samhain has that dark black/brown with red scheme that is hard on the eyes and what I found most annoying is that if you put an author name in the general ‘search’ box on the front page, you get no results, even if you know the author publishes with them.

    Guess nobody is perfect! But it would be nice if they were a tad more user friendly, after all they are trying to sell us stuff! :)

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  • Mari Janssen
    July 3
    12:18 am

    Don’t think to put words in my mouth or paraphrase what I said to make it fit your viewpoint. You say what you wish to and I’ll continue to say what I wish to say. It wasn’t a hateful remark nor meant to insult but obviously you took it that way. You seem to be looking for something to find fault with and in your mind you’ve found it. You can insult me all you like, my dear. My skin is a helluva lot tougher than yours it seems.

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  • Myra Willingham
    July 3
    12:24 am

    I didn’t find Mari’s remarks offensive. I don’t believe any insult was intended. I don’t know the lady but she is just as entitled to her opinions as you are, Angelia. You say she’s hurting the gay rights agenda but I don’t see how that’s even pertinent to the Loose ID situation. Simply because a person adheres to as Mari put it old-fashioned ways doesn’t make her your enemy nor do I see where she’s causing the gay community any grief for not wanting to read the type of stuff you write. I don’t read it either and ask not to be assigned that genre when editing. It is simply personal taste. You can’t force someone to accept what they intrinsically find unsettling.

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  • Fae
    July 3
    12:39 am

    There’s a difference between old-fashioned and just plain intolerance. Saying “I don’t like reading M/M and wish there weren’t so much” is old-fashioned and a personal preference. No one would have issue with that, I don’t think.

    But to say that romance = one man/one woman (so by default saying any other pairing does not count as romance) is intolerance. It’s one thing to have a preference for what you read, it’s another to flat out say it’s not romance at all. Gay people do fall in love, they do have romantic feelings, they do share romantic moments. How is their love not romance?

    I don’t mind if people don’t like what I write, which is M/M btw. I don’t mind if they wish there wasn’t so much of it in the market. I don’t mind if they choose to avoid it altogether in their little pocket of the world. I do kind of mind when I see people claiming it doesn’t count as romance just because both main characters happen to have dicks.

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  • Trace
    July 3
    1:02 am

    Mari I totally understand what you are trying to say.
    I don’t like m/m or m/m/f or m/f/m either.
    It doesn’t mean I am going to orchestrate a book burning.
    It doesn’t mean I am going to incite a torch weilding mob on a witch hunt for the authors who write the books or the fans who read them.
    All it means is that I am not going to buy them. That’s it.
    Nobody is going to force me to buy books I don’t like to prove that I am “openminded”.
    Everyone is entitled to their preferences.
    Just because I like to read Kimani romances and my white friend doesn’t, is she a racist?
    If I don’t like reading about Greek or Italian tycoons with secret babies does that mean that I hate children and Mediterranean people?
    No, it just means there are things I like to read about in books,and other things I don’t.

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  • Cindy
    July 3
    1:02 am

    I have no problem with the variety in genres. But I know if I see a cover with two men on the cover,more than likely I won’t check it out, even if it’s a menage with no contact between the men. M/m isn’t my thing but I have no problem with it being offered.

    @Treva one of the problems I’ve had with the LI site (and I have the same trouble with the new EC site) is so slow to load or freezes my browser. I have no idea what causes it.

    My other perception on LI is being so many novellas/short stories. They simply aren’t my cup of tea. I like longer stories with more character development and plot so if I see small word count or novella, I simply pass on the book. Granted, LI’s short stories are longer than some of the publisher’s out there.

    If the cover grabs me, I will read the blurbs and the genre notations (unless the site quits on me, again). If I have to wait too long for the page to load, I kind of wander away…and that’s my attention problem surfacing I’m sure.

    As for genres I want to see more of, BDSM (sorry, Karen), Medieval/Scottish/Viking/Renaissance historicals and romantic suspense. I’m easing my way into vampires and have done werewolves. I just feel like every story I run in to is a paranormal of some sort. I miss my Knights.

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  • Mari Janssen
    July 3
    1:28 am

    It seems those who write GLBT and M/M are determined to twist what I said. If it makes them feel better to state I said there was no romance other than between a man and woman, that’s fine. I didn’t but that’s okay, too. They are just a wee bit too quick to look for anything that smacks of offense to their way of thinking. Makes me believe they might be a tad sensitive about how they make their living.

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  • Maili
    July 3
    1:35 am

    @Fae

    But to say that romance = one man/one woman (so by default saying any other pairing does not count as romance) is intolerance. It’s one thing to have a preference for what you read, it’s another to flat out say it’s not romance at all. Gay people do fall in love, they do have romantic feelings, they do share romantic moments. How is their love not romance?

    Let’s review Mari’s original comment that sparked a couple of reactions:

    Romance to me is one woman-one man but I’m old fashioned that way.

    Note the “to me”.

    If she had said, “Romance should be one woman-one man, and m/m romance shouldn’t be part of the romance genre”, then your and others’ concerns may be justified, but she didn’t say it.

    When I read her original comment, I perceived it as “m/m romance isn’t romantic to me“. Similar to how some may find BSDM, UF, threesomes, forced seducation, Asian heroes, cowboys, blondes or blah blah not romantic nor sexy to them.

    I feel what some are disputing with Mari about is her use of the word, ‘romance’. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s her definition of the Romance genre for all readers.

    In her world, m/m romances aren’t romantic, which isn’t her idea of Romance. It’s still about her preferences, which I believe you’ve acknowledged and accepted.

    I think every romance reader has their own idea what defines Romance, which they don’t – I’m assuming – don’t expect the others to adopt since they already have their own definitions.

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  • kaigou
    July 3
    2:00 am

    Following Dear Author’s link, and the conversation is fascinating — so points for starting a thread that does get people talking. Thing is, the complaint strikes true for me — not as a perception of ‘what kinds of books are sold’ (in terms of drawing a conclusion) so much as ‘wow, all the covers start to look an awful lot alike…’

    That is, I’ll read just about anything in certain genres, regardless of genitals, because my genre-loves just don’t seem to be that common. But man, the covers: you get Headless!Guy on cover, front-and-center, and then shadowy or partial person in background. I can’t always tell the gender of background!person, so it’s not until I read the blurb that I realize Mr. Background is actually Ms. Background. (Let’s not even go into the blurbs where one or both characters have made-up or gender-neutral names.)

    If I just look at the covers, alone, then it’s really hard to draw any conclusion except “wow, guys are always the focus” — no matter who their sex partner is. Which, okay, I guess if you’re selling to women, you want the guys to be the main attraction. But it does get confusing.

    That said, I check LooseID nearly weekly, when their new releases come out, and it is usually 50/50 m-m and m-f, sometimes with the odd m-m-f thrown in. But the covers aren’t always so clear on that. I can’t remember which publisher does it, but I know I’ve come across at least one that designates (with symbols, I think) the pairings in a story: m/m, f/f, m/f, and even draws a line between m/f/m and f/m/f, and beyond that into m/f/m where there’s no m/m interaction and those menage stories that are truly three-way. Which is a bit obsessive, but compared to publishers who don’t note it at all, I’ll take the obsessive over guesswork-based-on-small-cover-image.

    Which might, at least, help to undo the impression that Headless!Guy is always the indicator of a m/m romance — because it’s a style nearly all the (romance) epubs use, yet it’s used across the board regardless of actual content. Hell, for that matter, I’m all for putting some clothes back on the guys. At least then I could tell them apart a little better.

    Right now perusing ebooks is like a bad 70’s dating game setup: pick which Headless!Torso is YOUR mister right! …insert annoying computer-generated midi tune here.

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  • Pearl Crosby
    July 3
    2:32 am

    Wow! Seems like someone has become too Wikipediadized. Instead of venturing inside and seeing what a publisher has to offer you would rather pigeohole them.

    Considering you’re a woman of color, you should be lauding them for their expansive portrayl of multicultural heroines. Loose-Id carries more than 100+ multicultural romance titles while EC has no more than a dozen and Samhain maybe one and that’s so old you might as well say zero.

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  • Pearl Crosby
    July 3
    2:56 am

    Upon reading the books you’ve reviewed I can only say:

    Nail and coffin.

    You wouldn’t know to laud Loose-Id for its stance on multicultural heroines because you’ve never reviewed any books that feature them. Shame. You’re really missing a whole genre of really colorful characters.

    What gives?

    Maybe I should recommend you some of my favorites from Loose-Id’s stable.

    I think you should try among others:
    Camile Anthony
    Koko Brown
    Stephanie Burke
    Nia Foxx
    Treva Harte
    Bridget Midway
    Tuesday Morrigan
    Jet Mykles (The Fox and the Dragon…Red haired alien, bad ass older female captain…STEAMY sex)
    Eve Vaughn
    Lena Matthews

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  • Jen
    July 3
    3:34 am

    I’m not saying anyone has an obligation to “help” LI. What I meant by “it doesn’t help Loose Id” was it harms Loose Id (to whatever degree, I don’t know). Lynne Connolly mentioned earlier in the thread that this perception of Loose Id as solely an M/M publisher would harm her (and other authors who publish het stories with LI), but everyone mostly just talked over her.

    The thing is, I don’t think this thread does harm LI, and instead, should actually be very helpful if people don’t get overly defensive. Basically, a sizable group of people, myself included, are saying that they’ve perceived LI primarily as a publisher of m/m and menage books. I quite honestly thought that LI was marketing itself in that direction deliberately and was surprised by the outcry in response to Karen’s post. Now that the LI staff and authors are aware of the (mis)perception (and I second FD’s comments about Treva’s graceful handling of the feedback), they can perhaps reconsider their marketing strategy and spread the word that LI does publish more diverse offerings than some of us realize. I’ve enjoyed most of the LI books I’ve bought- I’ll be very happy to check them out more often if I think they’ll have other books I might enjoy.

    And of course, this thread has been pretty good advertising for LI’s m/m authors I think. I just purchased Bonnie Dee’s Cage Match after seeing it mentioned in this thread, and look forward to reading it tonight.

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  • Jen
    July 3
    3:51 am

    As for genres I want to see more of, BDSM (sorry, Karen), Medieval/Scottish/Viking/Renaissance historicals and romantic suspense. I’m easing my way into vampires and have done werewolves. I just feel like every story I run in to is a paranormal of some sort. I miss my Knights.

    I agree with this, minus the BDSM. I’d also vote for more fantasy historicals. Doreen Desalvo’s Bedding the Beast and Lyra Marlowe’s Thirteen Silver Moons are two of the best books I’ve read in a while. I imagine, though, that for every one person demanding more historicals and fewer paranormals, you have another demanding the exact opposite.

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  • Samhain maybe one and that’s so old you might as well say zero.

    Samhain doesn’t always put novels in the interracials category just because they have non-white characters. I had one interracial release in March, have another in September. Mine are labeled Red Hots. Personally, I’m okay with that.

    As to the topic of this post, I don’t automatically equate LI with MM. However, I do think of them as more of a “pushing the boundaries” kind of publisher. I don’t know why I have that impression, except that the first titles I read from them were on the more risque side, even for erotica.

    Unfortunately, I tend to not surf them that often unless I’m hunting backlist. As others have mentioned, the design makes it extremely difficult to browse.

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  • Myra Willingham
    July 3
    4:06 am

    ***I feel what some are disputing with Mari about is her use of the word, ‘romance’. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s her definition of the Romance genre for all readers.***

    That’s precisely how I see it, too, Maili. That’s like some readers who adamantly refuse to label any book a romance if it doesn’t have the requisite HEA. They get all bug-eyed about it. What is romance to one person may not be romance to another. Just as the times they are a’changin’ with regards to gay romance novels, the change in the definition of what is a romance novel is changin’, too! If Mari doesn’t want to read GLBT, BDSM or M/M that is her right under the law. Insulting her for her taste in reading material, putting words into her mouth that she didn’t say, maligning her because what she’s saying doesn’t conform with your particular views is the true intolerance here.

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  • Well, this bug-eyed reader will not consider anything a romance that doesn’t have a commitment of the main characters at the end (two or three). That doesn’t mean marriage or kids, but if there’s no resolution to the romantic story line, I don’t want to read it and I will most certainly complain if this story was sold and marketed as a ‘romance’.

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  • Just my two cents worth, I am not a reader of M/M and sometimes wish LI would put a few more of the M/F BDSM romances and M/F Thrillers up on their front page. However I have an easy time browsing for what I like there and so have no strong complaints with LI.

    As far as I’m concerned, Romance is about love, whether the love falls in line with my personal ideal of a relationship or not. Getting my proverbial panties in a roar over something that doesn’t conform with my personal preferences in fiction is a waste of moments that could be spent kissing a loved one’s ear. Which reminds me..gotta go!

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  • Instead of venturing inside and seeing what a publisher has to offer you would rather pigeohole them.

    How ironic that you should tell me off for making assumptions about an e-pub’s offerings when you just made some baseless assumptions of your own.

    Considering you’re a woman of color, you should be lauding them for their expansive portrayl of multicultural heroines.

    I think you’ve mistaken this blog for a Benetton promotional tool. I very rarely laud anything that I deem unworthy. Just because a book has black characters in it doesn’t mean it’s any good.

    You wouldn’t know to laud Loose-Id for its stance on multicultural heroines because you’ve never reviewed any books that feature them. Shame.

    You assume because I’ve never reviewed a Loose Id multicultural book, I’ve never read them?

    Shame. You’re really missing a whole genre of really colorful characters.

    No, I’m really not.

    Maybe I should recommend you some of my favorites from Loose-Id’s stable.

    Now this is interesting.

    Camille Anthony – I like Camille, but in my opinion, her characterisations are caricature-like, and her leads usually make me want to grind my teeth. I’ve hated every one of her wolfie books.

    Koko Brown – Dull, dull, dull. I wanted to like the stuff of hers that I read, but they were mindnumbing.

    Stephanie Burke – I like Stephanie, but her books are usually riddled with typos that make my eyes hurt. At least the ones at EC were. Plus her heroines make me want to eat my own face.

    Nia Foxx – Are you kidding me?

    Treva Harte – I’ve maybe read just one of hers, and I don’t remember it.

    Bridget Midway – Best author so far, but she tends to veer into that whole BDSM shady area, so I tend to avoid these days. Also she wrote quite a few books for Venus Press, and as I told her at the time, no way, no how, I’m buying a book of yours from that publisher.

    Tuesday Morrigan – Hit and miss, more hit than miss.

    Jet Mykles (The Fox and the Dragon…Red haired alien, bad ass older female captain…STEAMY sex) – Just. Not. My. Thing.

    Eve Vaughn – The best of the bunch, and I read her regularly, as long as she’s not writing about vampires.

    Lena Matthews – Hit and miss. Like her, but there are lots of her books that were well written, but I found them to be duller than dishwater.

    So Pearl, it seems that you and I are on a totally different page when it comes to what makes for good writing.

    Having black characters in a book is not a guarantee that the book will be good, and I’d appreciate it, if you didn’t use that ‘all blacks should unite tone’. It’s patronising and unneccessary.

    Sigh, I bet these authors would have preferred for me to keep on not reviewing their books.

    By the way Pear, how long have you been a Loose-ID customer?

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  • Dawn
    July 3
    10:27 am

    For the record the Dawn that commented above isn’t me – the usual Dawn – if that makes sense.

    I get the weekly LI alerts about new releases and although I do enjoy reading MM, I have thought recently that LI has been releasing far more MMs in whatever combination, than they had previously. So I did wonder if they were changing tack somewhat. I’m pleased to hear that they aren’t.

    I’ve cut right back on book buying recently, so the excerpt has really got to grab me to make me spend my money. I keep looking at the blurbs and reading the excerpts and if I find something that REALLY interests me, I’ll buy it.

    The real Dawn.

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  • Nonny
    July 3
    11:08 am

    I’ve read the comments here and I don’t get how anyone is being bigoted. While I have a huge issue with someone saying “GBLT romance isn’t romance” as I have heard people say before elsewhere, if someone’s personal definition is that romance equals m/f… okay, whatever. I don’t think anyone was trying to say their way is the only way, just state their reading preferences.

    I don’t read military romances because the usual attitude depicted skeeves the hell out of me. Does that mean I’m unpatriotic and discriminatory? :P

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  • Karen Scott
    July 3
    11:30 am

    Dawn, I knew that that other Dawn wasn’t you. Although looking at her IP address, she’s familiar to the blog.

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  • Katharina
    July 3
    4:02 pm

    Popping in very late I would like to add my two cents. I have been reading from Loose Id from the beginning and reviewed quite a number of their books. During the last year and a half I read less and less of their books because while I do like the occasional m/m or BDSM romance, I prefer plain old m/f erotic romances without menages, whips, swapping, suspense and additional dildos. I mostly read straight contemporaries and historicals, sci/fi isn’t really my cup of tea and an overdose of erotic romance made me very choosy.

    What I miss from Loose Id are plain m/f stories. Nowadays I associate this publisher mainly with m/m, m/f/m and BDSM romances. I used to check its site every tuesday, but for a long time now I haven’t returned there, especially since the re-design of their homepage, but that’s a different story. Fact is, I totally forgot about their new releases for over four months before I remembered to check them out again.

    Samhain, on the other hand, has a good mixture, IMO. Not that I liked all the stories I’ve read from them, but from my personal point of view, they have quite a balanced release schedule. At least I find tons of straight m/f romances there without any menages, suspense or whips thrown in.

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  • Just to let you know, I am still keeping track of the things you are posting that we could possibly do something about. And, of course, to remind folks – perceptions aside – that Loose Id is proud of all our books, which include m/m (obviously), paranormal, SF, BDSM, I/R and multiracial and others. We’re eagerly looking forward to doing more contemporary and historical since we recently opened our submissions to those. We want to release the best books authors have to give, be it m/f, m/m, ménage and whatever other pairings you can come up with. That sounds like a shameless plug, which is kind of is, but is also the truth.

    Carry on, folks. Don’t mind me.

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  • This kind of misperception has happened before in other places. When RRW launched its website, they did an interview where the president claimed one of the biggest misperceptions of their chapter was that it was just for m/m authors. Looking at their website, it was fairly easy to see why. The graphics and promo on the website itself were very m/m focussed, and there was no information posted on what subgenres their members wrote.

    I got a lot of flack when I suggested ways they could nip the misperception in the bud. Many took it as criticism of RRW, or criticism of m/m. It wasn’t at all. The misperception existed for many reasons–most of which had little to do with RRW and plenty to do with the online romance community’s enthusiastic embracing of m/m coupled with a general assumption that when people talk about LGBT online, they’re talking about m/m.

    But whether the misperception means people will say “Yay! A place just for m/m!” or “Oh, crap, looks like it’s only for m/m,” the results are eventually going to be the same. More m/m authors join, and authors of other subgenres of LGBT might not be bothered because they wouldn’t know if their needs would be served. RRW could easily have evolved into a m/m organization. That’s fine if it was what they wanted to do. But if it wasn’t, they needed to be aware of the misperception, the reasons it existed, and how to change it. They did a fine job of changing their website to reflect the actual inclusiveness of their mandate, and I don’t think anyone visiting there now would think they’re m/m focussed.

    If there’s a misperception about LI–whether that misperception makes people say “Cool, LI is my go-to pub for m/m,” or “Dang, they’re so m/m focussed I don’t even bother going there anymore,” the results will eventually be the same. The m/m they sell will enjoy greater success, the m/f (and f/f and f/f/m, which they do publish, yay!) will suffer, and they may end up being a m/m-focussed pub just because that’s the only thing that’s moving there. That’s fine if it’s what LI wants. But if it isn’t, they need to look at ways to dispel the misperception–and they can’t do that unless they know the misperception exists, and why.

    Which is probably why Treva didn’t come in here with her back up, to upbraid Karen and others who have shared their perceptions that LI is becoming more m/m-focussed. She’s a businesswoman, and she’d rather understand why the misperception exists and find ways to dispel it than simply tell people to “do their own research”. The whole point of selling a product means doing everything possible to put that product in front of the right eyes and making it easy for people to find what they want. It’s easier to tell people they’re wrong–especially when they are–but it doesn’t necessarily solve anything.

    :)

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  • Anon76
    July 3
    5:46 pm

    I’m going to give kudos to Treva Harte for her posts here. She did not come in here with guns-a-blazing, but rather with an obvious interest in any misconceptions that have arisen about her company. And also to ask, in a very gracious manner, about anything else that might strike a nerve with readers, be it the site or whatever.

    I don’t know her, but again, huge kudos on that.

    That being said, I’m with Karen on the perception thing. After reading promos of the upcoming books for months and months on end now, I feel the same way. And if that is not the purpose of the company, then it in no way damages them to have this discussion. Nor does it damage them if it IS the direction they are heading.

    Obviously mainly M/M is not the tack they are taking, as Treva has pointed out, and I’m sure the info being gleaned here is invaluable to the company.

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  • Pearl Crosby
    July 3
    6:30 pm

    Karen, Karen, Karen…I would never, ever mistake this blog for a Benneton promotional ad. You give yourself too much credit love. Like your calling yourself a legitimate reviewer.

    By the way, you are a class act for cutting down the authors I recommended. Did you think I was one of them?

    I wish I were because I would tell you that despite your attempt to trash my work, I will sleep well tonight. You know why? Any review good or bad helps to sell the product…ask the producers of Transformer’s II:)

    But I’m sure they will not see your comments because I’m sure 97% of them never heard of you. I didn’t until 10 hours ago. Go ahead and check my ISP address, you won’t find it in your SEO before yesterday and just between us, you won’t find it again after today either. I find a greater DIVERSITY of reviews, not meant to just solicit headlines and hits, on Romance Junkies, Mrs. Giggles, and Just Erotic Reviews.

    Since you were curious, I purchased my first Loose-Id book the summer of 2005….I would tell you the book, but I fear you would rag on the author thinking I was them.

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  • Like your calling yourself a legitimate reviewer.

    Funny, I don’t see where I’ve labelled myself “a legitimate reviewer” anywhere on this blog. I’ll tell you what, you find where it says such a thing, and I’ll take back every bad thing I’m going to say to you.

    By the way, you are a class act for cutting down the authors I recommended. Did you think I was one of them?

    Erm, no I really didn’t think you were one of those authors. I didn’t assume you were an author at all in fact. As for cutting down the authors, I’m pretty sure I didn’t do that. But you seem to be mentally challenged so I’ll excuse you for your inability to compute what you read.

    You know why? Any review good or bad helps to sell the product…ask the producers of Transformer’s II:)

    That’s not exactly true sweetie. Some reviews help sell a product, some don’t. It all depends on the review, and on the venue. You’ve been around since 2005, and you don’t seem to know a whole lot. The argument that you’re currently making is as old as the hills round here. Keep pretending you have a clue about what you’re talking about though, I find it amusing.

    But I’m sure they will not see your comments because I’m sure 97% of them never heard of you.

    Hmmm… yeah… You are precious Pearl.

    Go ahead and check my ISP address, you won’t find it in your SEO before yesterday

    Pearl, I can tell you’re new to the blog. Trust me.

    and just between us, you won’t find it again after today either.

    Who are you trying to kid? You’ll be back if only to see if I responded to you. I bet it’ll just kill you to pretend that you haven’t read this.

    I find a greater DIVERSITY of reviews, not meant to just solicit headlines and hits, on Romance Junkies, Mrs. Giggles, and Just Erotic Reviews

    .

    Trot on then love, what are you still doing here?

    Since you were curious, I purchased my first Loose-Id book the summer of 2005….I would tell you the book, but I fear you would rag on the author thinking I was them.

    Trust me Pearl, I really didn’t think you were an author. You can bet on that. I was asking for a different reason, and I found your answer to be quite satisfactory. Thanks.

    OK, seeing as you wont be reading this, I can really go to town can’t I?

    Pearl, you are a fucking twat, who seemingly can’t tell her arse from her elbow. Go forth and fuck yourself rigid, you arsehole, and whilst you’re at it, remove your head from your anus, and go and buy yourself a fucking clue.

    OK, all better now.

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  • Anon76
    July 3
    8:05 pm

    Fudge……just snorted a tasty alcohol drink all over my keyboard. (And yes, it’s 4PM on a holiday weekend, so sue me for having a libation!)

    Priceless, Karen, priceless.

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  • Anon76
    July 3
    8:22 pm

    Okay, keyboard is all cleaned and the laughter has subsided.

    Pearl, seriously, Karen only tried to show you that she has read the authors you put out and give an opinion on their books she has read. You called her out, and she answered with her perception of those authors based on her sampling of their books. Why does that piss you off?

    It wasn’t a personal thing against the authors, just on the books she’s sampled.

    And I gotta tell you, if you think Karen just jumps on a bandwagon because it’s an author of color, then you soooooooo don’t get her site at all.

    And you also don’t get that there are many more topics other than just books.

    And why the hell am I defending her when she does just fine herself…Dunno. LOL

    Love her or hate her, it is what it is.

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  • Trista
    July 3
    11:27 pm

    I saw a link to this in my email and have been following it. It’s like a train wreck. You just can’t stop looking.

    First of all, I would like to say thank you, since my book, Deadly Crimson, was one of the books you lumped into the whole m/m debate. Let me make perfectly clear, it’s not m/m, but m/f/m with no m/m interaction but this debate and interest, at least I’m hoping anyway, will increase sales and traffic and turn an already 5 figure monthly royalties into an even bigger check. So kuddos to Karen for that one.

    As to her responses, though. They’re not funny or entertaining. They’re rude, classless and unbelievably white trash. Alot of people read this blog, even me on occassion. Is that really the image you want? I read that and I can clearly see in my mind some drunk out of her mind bimbo shouting trash in some backwoods bar because some other bimbo touched her man. Imagine what some professional editor might think?

    It’s a shame that apparently a lack of a resonable rebuttle escaped you and you had to resort to four letter words and name calling. My two cents on the subject. Now I suppose I’ll go back into lurkdum and wait patiently for the white trash beatdown that is sure to come.

    Knock yourself out.

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  • Trista
    July 3
    11:34 pm

    Sorry, that should read 4 figures, not 5. Got just alittle over excited…:)

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  • Barbara B.
    July 3
    11:36 pm

    “As to her responses, though. They’re not funny or entertaining. They’re rude, classless and unbelievably white trash.”

    White trash? Somehow I just KNOW Karen’s never been called white trash before!

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  • Trista
    July 3
    11:45 pm

    White trash is just a term we use, not a referrence to her color.

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  • Cindy
    July 4
    12:02 am

    I’ve been thinking on this further and what I’m feeling is that there is the seeming overbalance, as well, because so many authors are going M/m and menage. Thus that’s the majority of manuscripts that are crossing most of the e-pub’s desks so yes, that’s what we’re going to see more of. I remember a few months ago hitting a variety of sites when I had spare money and wanted to hit some e-books. My first thought was, “Ugh. There’ nothing m/f, non-paranormal, non-vampire, etc. Nothing that I like.” I have noticed even out a bit lately as well, but I have the added problem of not liking short stories as well. And some, from the blurbs I’ve read, have no real plot…they’re just so much silliness. Which is okay once in a while…I do like that from time to time.

    Additional thoughts, not necessarily pertaining to LI but e-publishing in general. Better editing is needed. Stories with more oomph to them…that I can really get into. With short stories, I feel like I’m just getting to know the characters and they’re over. Easier sites to navigate..and faster loading sites as well. More selection in manuscripts (more in the author’s hands than the e-pubs, I know. They can’t publish what isn’t submitted.

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  • First of all, I would like to say thank you, since my book, Deadly Crimson, was one of the books you lumped into the whole m/m debate.

    Way to go re finding a way to plug your book Trista. That’s wily of you. Honestly though, what are you talking about?

    I’m hoping anyway, will increase sales and traffic and turn an already 5 figure monthly royalties into an even bigger check.

    Oh I get your point, you’re trying to tell me that your books sell extremely well. Good for you, but I’m not sure how that relates to the discussion, seeing as this debate isn’t really about how much your books have earned.

    As to her responses, though. They’re not funny or entertaining. They’re rude, classless and unbelievably white trash.

    You make that sound like a bad thing Trista?

    Alot of people read this blog, even me on occassion. Is that really the image you want?

    Erm, sorry I have to laugh. Have you come on to my blog, to berate me about the image I’m portraying? Seriously Trista?

    I read that and I can clearly see in my mind some drunk out of her mind bimbo shouting trash in some backwoods bar because some other bimbo touched her man.

    You’ve obviously seen me on some of my nights out with the girls then Trista. They sure can get wild.

    Although, I must object to one thing, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a backwoods bar. I am strictly a cosmo bar type girl. More Liverpool Street, than Welshpool, if you know what I mean. And I suspect you don’t.

    Imagine what some professional editor might think?

    And I should care what a professional editor might think because…?

    It’s a shame that apparently a lack of a resonable rebuttle escaped you and you had to resort to four letter words and name calling.

    Are you accusing me of swearing Trista? Moi?

    Well how very dare you besmirch my good name. Why I have a mind to slap you across the visage with my mixed fibres lily-white glove, encrusted with faux jewels on the cuffs, for calling my impeccable manners into question. I’ve never been so insulted in my life.

    Truly.

    Now I suppose I’ll go back into lurkdum and wait patiently for the white trash beatdown that is sure to come.

    White trash beatdown?? White trash beatdown? What kind of language is this?

    White trash? Somehow I just KNOW Karen’s never been called white trash before!

    You are so right Barbara, I’ve been called many things, and I mean many things, but white trash is new to me. I should get that put on a badge I think.

    Sorry, that 5 figures should be four. Got a little over excited

    Actually, I suspect you remembered that your publisher, Treva, was keeping up with this thread, and you didn’t want to be caught in a lie.

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  • Trista
    July 4
    12:52 am

    Well, at least you read my correction before responding just like i knew you would. I wasn’t lying, I hit the wrong key, let’s make sure we get that point straight.

    Also, I wasn’t plugging my book. I was correcting an incorrect assumption. My book isn’t m/m and I don’t want people thinking it is.

    <>

    I can assure you, I know just as much about cosmo bars as I do backwoods bars. Where ever I am, I know how to act like a lady. Location doesn’t make you, your attitude and behavior does. What does your attitude and behavior say about you?

    I’m sure you’re proud of you behavior. I’m sure you’re patting yourself on the back and you’ll respond, why yes I am. Good for you.

    Just remember, what goes around comes around. I posted to correct a wrong and caution you on your behavior and responses because I see what people are posting about you.

    It’s just a shame your nose is too high in the air for you to see it. Watch out for that rain.

    ReplyReply



  • Trista
    July 4
    12:53 am

    Well, at least you read my correction before responding just like i knew you would. I wasn’t lying, I hit the wrong key, let’s make sure we get that point straight.

    Also, I wasn’t plugging my book. I was correcting an incorrect assumption. My book isn’t m/m and I don’t want people thinking it is.

    <>

    I can assure you, I know just as much about cosmo bars as I do backwoods bars. Where ever I am, I know how to act like a lady. Location doesn’t make you, your attitude and behavior does. What does your attitude and behavior say about you?

    I’m sure you’re proud of you behavior. I’m sure you’re patting yourself on the back and you’ll respond, why yes I am. Good for you.

    Just remember, what goes around comes around. I posted to correct a wrong and caution you on your behavior and responses because I see what people are posting about you.

    It’s just a shame your nose is too high in the air for you to see it. Watch out for that rain.

    ReplyReply



  • Emmy
    July 4
    1:16 am

    I..uh…white trash? *is keeled ded* dunno if I’d be more offended at being called ‘white’ or ‘trash’

    and is it too late to point out that it’s invariably difficult to complain about classless and trashy posts/responses whilst slinging mud yourself? tres declasse

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  • Karen Scott
    July 4
    2:12 am

    You’ve come here crying foul under false pretences Trista.

    I’m pretty sure, nobody here even mentioned your book by name until you decided to wade into the discussion, wagging your fingers, pretending to be a lady, whilst bandying about slurs like ‘white trash’ and ‘drunken bimbo’.

    I think Treva Harte is a terrific publisher, who so far has dealt with all of this with great aplomb. Fortunately for her, she can see the wood for the trees, and knows KKB well enough to know that the original post wasn’t an effort to try to tarnish Loose Id.

    Then you come along, and attempt to undo all the good she’s done.

    Let’s try this potential blog post title out for size, shall we?

    Loose Id Writer, Trista Ann Michaels Calls Reader White Trash.

    That sounds like a really good blog post, don’t you think? And just think of all the books that such a post would help you sell. I bet you just can’t wait.

    ReplyReply


  • Donna
    July 4
    4:05 am

    Let me make perfectly clear, it’s not m/m, but m/f/m with no m/m interaction

    This always makes me a little sad when I see it, because I don’t understand. I get having two straight guys hook up with some chick for a night or a fling, but for the supposed HEA required for romance? I don’t get it. I want everyone in a relationship to love everyone else. That’s the only way I can see that HEA working out.

    And yet it seems to be de rigeur with m/f/m to insist, “Oh, but there’s none of that gay shit going on. Not in here, no way.” Why? In my perception, if you’re in bed with someone and there’s fucking going on, you’re sexually involved with that person. Having a chick between your dicks doesn’t negate that.

    Anyway, my point is that some people–myself included–are not going to default to seeing m/f/m menage as het. To some people, it inherently includes m/m content, even if there’s no touchies.

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  • Mireya
    July 4
    1:35 pm

    Can someone please get rid of the spammer… yech… and yes, THAT last comment before mine is spam. (Feel free to delete mine as well, if you decide to clean that out)

    Sorry, I am very peevish about spam.

    ReplyReply


  • Lori
    July 4
    2:56 pm

    I thought on July 4th all the fireworks would be in the sky and then I came here!!

    I have laughed my ass off this morning. Karen being called white trash had to be the most sublime moment ever. I still have tears in my eyes from laughing.

    ReplyReply


  • md
    July 4
    4:54 pm

    Trista, maybe you’re winning a reader or two this way, but you’re losing as many. I don’t buy books from writers who come across as overbearing, arrogant, and unduly vicious. And spelling that’s bad even for a blog post doesn’t help your cause.

    And unless your m/f/m is just simply a traditional triangle that ends with m/f HEA, at the very least the homoerotic undertones will be there–and hey, I think that’s a plus, anyway. If you’re truly writing threesomes, you shouldn’t be afraid to explore any feelings that may arise between the men, whether they carry it through or not. Your story won’t be believable, otherwise (at least to me).

    But seriously–do think twice before posting any more ugly tirades or the whole nail-coffin thing could be applied to you as well.

    ReplyReply

  • I don’t care for M/M but I like Loose-Id. For me, people can read whatever they want and call it Romance however and whenever they feel the word fits. This world is big enough for different tastes.

    Hey, Treva, my wife and I love the BDSM!

    BTW, Trista -a very interesting description of Karen there. Thanks to it, from here on I’ll be thinking of you every time I hear the term white trash.

    ReplyReply


  • Anon76
    July 4
    5:54 pm

    White trash? Wowsa. Karen, you def need a button bearing that.

    I suppose, Trista, that you didn’t want to step over some line by calling Karen “ghetto”. Snicker. That little ploy was not lost on me.

    As I’m not feeling real generous in nature now, I’m going to be blunt and ask, Trista, that you use the word you want to use and get it over with.

    ReplyReply

  • Oh, puh-leeze

    Karen, why bother to hide your dislike of m/m relationships by burying it under the guise of critisizing a publisher for daring to publish m/m erotic romance? Why not just state your real agenda which is to air your grievances against those who don’t follow your narrow minded view of the world which is that romantic/sexual relationships should consist of nothing more than one man and one woman.

    That’s one of the most trite arguments, period.

    I don’t read M/M. I also don’t read westerns.

    They don’t appeal to me. If not liking M/M makes one a homophobe, does it follow that not liking westerns means I hate cows and horses and cowboys?

    No. It just means they don’t appeal to me.

    I do prefer heterosexual romance, because I want the male and female interaction.

    Not liking M/M doesn’t make one a homophobe. Preaching hate, advocating violence, that is the sort of thing that makes one a homophobe.

    Man, the drama online anymore.

    ReplyReply

  • What I support politically, societally, etc. is not necessarily what gives me the tinglies. As it happens, I support LGBT and like MM and FF, but not liking them **as configurations in romance or erotica** would not make me a ‘phobe. I’m also a staunch Democrat, but rarely does Ted Kennedy show up in my fantasy life. :)

    Wouldn’t the better thing be to ask someone where they stand rather than to attribute prejudice or a sinister motive?

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  • Has
    July 4
    10:11 pm

    WOW – I agree with Karen and the others said about preferences- although I have enjoyed the odd m/m book. I usually prefer menage stories, but I am mainly an Het focused reader. Does this mean I am homophobic too?

    Trista’s attack on Karen is beyond tasteless, and to me as a reader I won’t pick up a her book of hers as I think this was a cheap dig to plug her book. If she thinks she can sell lots of copies of her books, then good luck. But to attack a reader for stating the perceptions of publishers is just stupid, and inane.

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  • I thought I might add to the conversation because I write for Samhain Publishing and Loose Id.

    As someone said, Loose Id seems to “push the envelope”. Since I also write for category, it was very freeing for me to really let my hair down with my Loose Id book. When I explored their site prior to submitting, I was thrilled at the variety I found.

    *But that also applies to Samhain Publishing.*

    The most wonderful thing about dipping your toes into the pool of e-publishing is the out-of-the-box opportunities. That translates m/m to some. M/m/f to others. M/f/m or BDSM to someone else.

    For me, at Samhain, it translated into finding a home for a vampire romance where the heroine had the fangs and lusted after her wicked Maker who was not her meant-to-be. For me, at Loose Id, it translated into finding a home for a non-traditional werewolf romance that was more American Werewolf in London than Dances with Wolves. It wasn’t about the pairings. It was about the story. At both publishers.

    As Angela pointed out, you can’t argue with someone’s perceptions. As Treva pointed out, listening to what others perceive is good business practise.

    I have to admit as a working writer trying to make a living I’ve noticed how well m/m’s seem to be selling…everywhere!

    Thanks for the discussion, Karen.

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  • LOL @ Karen! No likey my vampires huh? And to think I was going to name my next vampire heroine Karen. :-)~

    I’m a fan of m/m and know I can usually find a good m/m story at Loose id because it does seem like they release a lot of them. That’s not really a bad thing for me though. :-D

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  • Trace
    July 5
    2:21 pm

    Thank you for having this discussion, Karen. Can you please list the names of the authors here who have insulted and/or called readers homophobic, perhaps in a separate post?
    They will be removed from my list and I will never buy from them, even if they publish books that might interest me.

    ReplyReply


  • Melissa Conatser
    July 6
    4:48 am

    Wow! I just stumbled upon this blog while looking at someone else’s that had this blog in their blog roll. I am amazed at all the nastiness that has come from one post. Anyway, Karen, I think that we are all entitled to our opinions and perceptions. I am going to start checking your blog regularly!

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  • vein
    July 6
    5:51 pm

    Selective misquote ;) : “Treva, my wife and I love the BDSM”

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  • sallahdog
    July 7
    1:45 pm

    You give yourself too much credit love. Like your calling yourself a legitimate reviewer…

    Many loved the white trash comment, but this was my personal favorite… Karen can call herself a lot of things, but she has never called herself a reviewer, legitimate or not… Lazy reviewer? yeah… I think she would cop to that…

    btw folks, just because someones taste in books doesn’t match up with yours, doesn’t make them wrong… I think the only author both Karen and I agree on Dorothy Koomson (we both think she is terrific)…(oh, and we also agreed on an old Linda Howard assholic hero should have had painful things done to him)… Other than that, her tastes and mine don’t match up much… which is ok… I never read this blog for its rich intellectual discourse over books…

    I admit it… I come for the twat speak… and arses.. I love it when Karen has arse talk…

    ReplyReply

  • You know, I was a little taken aback by all the negativity in response to this post. Why I was surprised, I don’t know. Because it’s all too easy to misread intentions in the written word, where tone is often absent. For my part, I was curious as to why a lot of people think Loose Id is primarily a m/m publisher. I write for them as well, mostly m/f or menage with m/m elements. Unlike Karen, I find m/m romances enjoyable. To me, as long as the romance is the central point to the story and there’s a happy ending, I don’t much care who the main characters are. But hey, to each her own. I will say that when I think of Loose Id, I think of well-written erotic romances that push sexual boundaries. My raciest stuff is there, and I love the fact that I’m encouraged to write a great romance about any/all type of characters, regardless of gender, race, species (long as they’re humanoid). *grin*
    Thanks for the great topic. Really interesting viewpoints, Karen. And the percentages of vagina to penis in several posts had me laughing out loud.

    Marie :)

    ReplyReply

  • […] when Karen posted on her blog about Loose Id and M/M and perceptions my immediate thought was “Man, I have lots of eBooks in the Teddypig eBook […]


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