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Aint that the truth?

Dear Ravenous Romance Peeps

Sometimes, it’s best to let the work do the talking. Know what I mean?

Getting into fisticuffs with your potential customers isn’t the greatest PR move methinks.

Letting some of your authors, Keta Diablo, Jamaica Layne run their mouths off on romance blogs is just not a smart move. Freedom of speech is all well and good, but surely you know that good PR is everything when starting a new business? You gotta be smarter than you’ve shown to be in the last few months. Seriously.

I’m just a reader, who along with a few others may have given you guys a chance in the beginning, had you taken the charm offensive route from the beginning. Unfortunately though, Ravenous Romance has now become synonymous with ‘Those Effing Crazies’. Unfair I know. Life’s a bitch that way.

One of your more vocal representatives once claimed that Ravenous Romance would “blow the competition out of the water” Do you think you’ve managed to do that?


You definitely made a splash, I’ll grant you that, but I’m not sure that all the negative attention you’ve garnered was part of your overall PR plan for Ravenous Romance, was it??? Also, I have to say, since becoming familiar with RR, the higher-ups at Elloras Cave seem positively normal to me now, which is quite scary. Believe me.

Anyway, I thought I’d offer up some advice, take it or leave it, but at least consider what type of image you wish to promote to your potential readers. The world outside Romanceland is massive, but online, it’s a very small world indeed.

Also, you may just want to label your books correctly. Readers get really mad when they get something different to what it says on the tin.

Just saying.


  • Honestly I am astounded at the truly dumb ass moves some of these epublishers/authors are capable of. I can understand defending something you believe in, but that’s not what some of these authors are doing. After reading some of their posts where they accuse others of hate trains – snort. Try holding up that mirror once in a while. The damage they are doing to themselves is mind boggling!


  • Personally, I feel kinda sorry for some of the authors. Some of them were trying to be professional and polite-Inara comes to mind, don’t know if that’s her sig line or author name. But she handled herself well, and if I was at all inclined to give my money to RR, I would have checked her stuff out.

    But…well, I’m just not inclined.

    The thread would have died Sunday if a few select authors from RR hadn’t been convinced that there is some ulterior motive for some readers and writers not liking the general vibe of the blog post itself. Either we’re jealous, we’re hateful, we’re afraid of the competition, or the other lame excuses.

    I’m not jealous of RR or the authors.

    I’m not worried about competition. There are plenty of readers in the world. There’s room for plenty of authors.

    And while I can be hateful, that wasn’t my reason for posting. I’m actually trying to control my hateful tendencies, I do recognize them, and trust me-that wasn’t me being hateful. I could make some real haters look like saints if I really wanted to be hateful.

    My general feelings were just that I don’t care to have romance called ‘smut’. Plain and simple.

    And when I pointed out that a lot of readers and writers get up in arms over that term, I was expected to dredge up data. I guess people aren’t allowed to make comments like that based on their observations-we must poll.

    Anyway, it was entertaining.

    And I loved Miz Nora’s comment.



  • I think your advice is sound there, Karen.

    The ongoing feud between RR and certain must-have-the-last-word bloggers is certainly fascinating. Disgusting in some aspects -like watching a colloseum battle pitched between a wounded bear and a rabid tiger- but fascinating nevertheless.


  • What is making me scratch my head is where the authors have been for the past couple of decades, that they haven’t seen trainwrecks like this before.

    Seriously, RR authors, the whole “publisher representative posts something outrageous, gets called on it, the troops (authors) are called to rally in defense of the poor maligned pub, then make cake of themselves in their zeal to prove their loyalty to said pub” that got going in that thread?

    It’s not only not a new thing, it’s one of those huge, flashing red flags that indicate to observers that publisher implosion is a matter of time–a when, not an if.


  • It’s safe to say that we’ve all made an ass out of ourselves online at some point. Usually we learn from it and not do it again…but RR and a few of their authors are a gift that just keeps giving aren’t they?

    Those who know better, do better. Those who don’t should be considered entertainment.


  • SarahT
    May 6
    10:06 pm

    I guess the Ravenous Romance people are taking ‘All Publicity Is Good Publicity’ to heart! What morons.


  • SarahT
    May 6
    10:15 pm

    Did anyone else see Mrs Giggles’ blog on this topic? http://kg184613.bravejournal.com/

    Her take is pretty much the opposite of Karen’s.

    I actually felt a bit sorry for the Ravenous Romance people when they were being mocked by Jane on Twitter. Having read their responses on Dear Author, that sympathy is gone.


  • Can I say that I see where Mrs. Giggles is coming from in this case? You can smack me for it.

    I don’t see writers being abused or paying event attendees being fucked with in this case. Those things I have fully supported the writers and participants providing the proverbial Internet beat down in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

    I mean, are those same RR folks still gonna go do and say the same tacky tasteless things in public anyway? Come on even Ellora’s Cave still pulls tacky tasteless crap out of their ass and for the most part unless it hurts the writers we just roll our eyes and repeat not this shit again.

    Were the all writers who showed up there really deserving of the pile on? I don’t know I’m not so sure and that bothers me. I think I just will continue to ignore RR and their antics. I think doing otherwise probably plays into what they want as a company which is the attention good or bad.


  • I suddenly feel like Eeyore. Has anyone found my tail?


  • I watched the trainwreck, mostly thinking “Ah, a man showing up and telling women they are wrong about everything they say and probably stupid. This is some new definition of feminist of which I was unaware.”

    “Don’t like? Don’t read.” He orders us.
    Fine. I don’t like what I’m seeing. You can cross off potential submissions, which I’m sure makes all of the editors give disappointed queebs, and all purchases.

    And yes, when Jaid Black’s “Prove it, prove it, sue me and prove it” dance looks sane…


  • Teddy, it’s funny, but despite the number of responses, I didn’t see the pile on. I mean, if you count the number of people posting, it was a rather… cozy chat, wouldn’t you say? Very limited number of contributors, actually.

    The crazy, though, it overflowed.


  • Which cozy chat? I followed the links from over at DA.

    I am not defending the crazy.

    But don’t you agree with what Mrs. Giggles was saying that all the RR writers don’t deserve to be painted with the same brush?

    I don’t blame the writers and I still support them even when Ellora’s Cave or Jaid acts the fool.


  • Azteclady, I didn’t see a pile on either. I saw a few very adult discussions on the topic of the post, which I can’t help but feel was written to invite rampant contraversy, and then, yes, the crazy spewed by like, three people who decided to come out swinging for their babies.

    Like I noted, I rarely comment on this sort of thing since it happens SO OFTEN and there is no reasoning with loons, but my bullshit button got pressed a couple times too often in one sitting by one particular indiviual. Man, that chick is one crazy mofo. She brought my Hulk out.


  • Teddy, I need a sarcasm font.

    I used the term “cozy chat” because in reality there were less than what? ten people? for the whatever many comments, and from where I sit, a pile on involves dozens of different people dumping on a couple or even one. Hence, I didn’t see a pile on.

    As far as “all RR writers” being painted one way or another, I only recall one person making that claim. Most of the other commenters were more interested in the claims made by RR’s higher ups about what they publish.

    YMMV, of course.

    And yeah, Alisha, the crazy was amazing–in a “bring that jacket” way.


  • karen Scott
    May 7
    6:19 am

    Mrs G’s entitled to her opinion re RR, but I disagree with her. The problem with making the kind of claims that RR made when they burst on the scene is that it leaves you open to all kinds of harsh criticisms when you’re deemed to have massively under-performed. It’s like a boxer who comes out swaggering and boasting that they’re going to knock out their opponent in two rounds, then find themselves lying on the floor after the first round. The media tend to have a field day when a huge ego falls on his sword, Romanceland is no different.

    As for the so-called pile-on, I think that if you examine the comments closely, you’ll find that the only people frothing at the mouth were some of the RR peeps. It was a mostly thoughtful discussion, points were made, and made well. Also, there were very few actual commenters, but people tend to automatically equate lots of comments to a flame-fest or a pile-on, totally disregarding how many people are actually involved in the discussion.

    I don’t feel sorry for the RR writers at all, and I don’t have a problem tarring them as a whole with the same brush, because for me, the higher-ups should be more PR savvy than they have been. Romanceland can be a bit like the Wild West, but it takes very little to get people on side, and it starts with not alienating your potential customers.

    This isn’t rocket science.


  • As I said, I find Mrs. Giggles take much more in line with my impressions because I came from the DA post which I saw and read first then going over to the RTB lovefest.

    I don’t feel sorry for the RR writers at all, and I don’t have a problem tarring them as a whole with the same brush, because for me, the higher-ups should be more PR savvy than they have been.

    That surprises me Karen. With NCP and the problems with Ellora’s Cave etc etc you have always seemed to have made a distinction between the publishers and the writers.


  • karen Scott
    May 7
    2:21 pm

    The problem is though TP that a lot of the RR reps have been the authors. Lori Perkins’ column over at RTB didn’t annoy me anywhere nearly as much as Jamaica Layne’s antics. Also, there’s nothing that annoys me more than blind faith, and some of the authors stepping up to defend RR seem to have a touch of the Gail Northmans about them.

    Also, the one major difference between them and NCP is that it literally has been the authors at RR who have painted the company in such a negative light. It could be argued that the authors at NCP were more or less victims of Madris DePasteur’s craziness, same with EC.

    Also Mrs G compared this episode to the Cassie Edwards stuff, which I think totally undermines her argument.


  • Anne
    May 7
    2:42 pm

    Classic case of HUA (head-up-ass) syndrome. *rolls eyes, shakes head and moves on*


  • Classic case of HUA (head-up-ass) syndrome.

    Ya know, I think that should be valid medical diagnosis.

    I don’t feel sorry for the RR writers at all

    Like I said, I do. But part of my reasoning is that a lot of the writers who are with them are probably new, or probably signed back when RR started accepting submissions.

    At that time, could the authors have guessed that a few select authors would suffer from Anne’s HUA syndrome in a major way? Or that one of the companies spokespersons would equate ROMANCE with SMUT? Or, assuming it was tongue in cheek, they’d lack the foresight to realize just how easily that topic could been taken in a negative way?

    Likely not. All writers were new at one point and when a new writer starts off with a new publisher, it really can go either way.

    Not to mention that even if you’re with an established publisher, you could get in individuals who have HUA syndrome.

    There are a number of people that I’ve become ‘acquainted’ with since I got published, authors, some editors, other industry ‘pros’ (and i use that word lightly) that I personally wouldn’t want to spend five seconds with in RL.

    Some of them act like asses either online or in person and I’m in the same industry as they are, but that doesn’t mean I’m just the same.

    There are probably a number of RR authors who are shaking their heads and wondering what in the hell they got in to. A number who probably kept quiet as they saw the explosion. And in all honesty, I don’t blame them. Because if they spoke up, then they risk the backlash of fellow RR authors giving them grief, or even the guilt-by-association mess.

    If it had been me writing for them, after that ridiculous post on RTB and certain comments by one or two select authors, I’d be very much questioning whether or not I’d want to do anything with them further.

    Because of that, I won’t write all RR authors off. Admittedly, I won’t be spending my money at RR-I don’t write smut, I don’t read smut, so I’ve no desire to buy books from someplace where at least one editor sees romance/erotic romance as ‘feminist smut’.

    But that doesn’t mean that I’d never look at the work of an author who worked at RR. If I see a book by Inara from another publisher, I’d be more than happy to look at it, and if it appeals, I’d buy.

    In all honesty, there are definitely a few select RR authors that I wouldn’t buy a book from if you paid me.

    I don’t wish any of them ill, but I’m not inclined to spend my money on a book I wouldn’t be able to get into-and it doesn’t matter if it’s the written equivalent of manna from heaven-every time I tried to get into story, my mind would flash back to ‘hate’ train commentary or implications that authors outside of RR don’t approve because we fear the competition, or we’re jealous, or whatever….frankly, that idea is so beyond laughable, it’s almost sad.


  • Louise van Hine
    May 7
    6:59 pm

    I’m with you here, Shiloh. Disclaimer first – I don’t write for not have any relationship to RR, nor do I intend to after reading that meltdown on RTB. But I do write erotic stories that have a romantic element in them, and would never, ever want an editor or publisher of my work to describe it as either porn or smut, because that is to my mind (and I gather in the minds of most romance readers) derogatory. And my sympathy is with the authors who, when they signed on and published their books with RR, were unaware that one of their editors was going to publish an incendiary blog post announcing that they are now working for a publisher of “Feminist Smut”. Maybe Lori thought she was doing a puff PR piece to lure hot-blooded romance readers looking for more explicit work, but there are ways to do that without irritating all of those romance readers, writers, and their own stable by painting them all with what is essentially a derogatory label. I think it’s about as ham-handed as a new publisher of African-American themes announcing that it’s “Stories about n*ggers.” Yeah – good luck with that. And that Thomas dude, who I assume is part of the management of RR, wasn’t helping a bit by bickering with everyone about the definition of romance. That was entirely beside the point.


  • Fae
    May 7
    9:26 pm


    Nah, Thomas was somebody’s hubby I think they cleared up. I love my partner but if she ever did something like that, barging in and flailing like a flamingo on ritalin, I’d be so pissed I could spit. NOT supportive, just incendiary.


  • Louise van Hine
    May 7
    9:36 pm


    ow. Worse!


  • areader
    May 7
    11:50 pm

    There’s an interesting comment from one of RR’s authors over on the Dear Author Thread. Post #79


  • A writer
    May 9
    12:44 pm

    I’d like to thank Shiloh for trying to separate the issue of RR and editing from the writers, who really do just want to entertain readers.

    There are probably a number of RR authors who are shaking their heads and wondering what in the hell they got in to. A number who probably kept quiet as they saw the explosion. And in all honesty, I don’t blame them. Because if they spoke up, then they risk the backlash of fellow RR authors giving them grief, or even the guilt-by-association mess.

    I’m so sad that a few people have caused problems for so many others. I know I’ll get some flack here, but I am a Ravenous author. I can say that as a group, we don’t feel that either Jamaica or Keta are our representatives or hold views that we all agree with. I’m personally appalled at what they’ve said and I wouldn’t choose to be associated with them. There is no excuse for insulting anyone online–readers or others in e-publishing. Unfortunately, I have no control over what they say, nor do the rest of the authors who have refrained from inflamatory or outright derogatory comments. I’m not pleased to have anyone call my work “smut,” especially the publisher herself.

    We do not want to alienate readers! We want to give them the chance to judge us by our books and not by something stupid someone else has said online. Read some reviews. Several RR books have gotten good reviews, but certainly not all. That’s the same for any publisher; quality and reader tastes vary.

    It’s probably too late, but please consider attacking only the books, rather than all the other authors. I cannot deny that much of what has been said about editing problems is true and I do know they have changed the process.

    I suspect the quality of books has improved, given the fact that in the past month only half a dozen new titles have been published, two of which were novels and the rest anthologies. They have slowed down their pace and given more attention to each one. It may take time but I think that the overall quality will improve. This benefits both readers and authors.

    There probably should be a better way to distinguish which books are erotica and which are erotic romance, so that readers get just what they want and expect.


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