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Thread: [Publisher] Ravenous Romance

  1. #226
    Up all night to get Loki Jersey Chick's Avatar
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    I got a case of the giggles over the "manly-man heroes" category. There's nothing wrong with it, but for some reason I thought it funny.
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  2. #227
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakamonda View Post
    Point taken. But there are also several people on this thread who clearly have a big axe to grind against Ravenous no matter how successful and professional it is, and have painted very large targets on the backs of those of us who are working with them. Almost everything I have posted here in response to questions and/or inaccurate rumors has been unfairly twisted and misrepresented by these axe-grinders.
    I don't see anyone with any axes to grind. I certainly don't have an axe to grind--how could I? I've never had any dealings at all with any of the people involved, and have said over and over again that I wish Ravenous well, that I hope they will be successful, that I don't consider them a scam--that, in fact, the idea of them being a scam never even occurred to me. This is true, despite your inability to see my comments--or anyyone else's--for what they are, and your taking any shred of doubt posted here or elsewhere about Ravenous' ability to sell millions of copies right off the bat as a personal attack on you.

    This is business. It is a business discussion. Just because people don't agree with you doesn't mean they have axes to grind. This is not personal.

    I haven't seen any inaccurate rumors posted here, either--save the ones you posted, regarding how your agent would be paid.


    ETA:

    I was going to come back and edit this further. Why bother with yet another explanation that I have no axe to grind, that I'm not being nasty or mean, that this is simply the same sort of discussion that arises with any new publisher? You're obviously not listening, Jill, and insist on believing this is all personal.

    But then I realized, there's a deeper meaning here, and that is why I cannot let comments about "axe-grinders" go.

    When you imply that anyone expressing--in this thread and others--thoughts which are not 100% positive regarding this publisher "ha[s] an axe to grind", what you are actually implying is that I am incapable of forming an objective opinion. You are implying that I am incapable of seeing anything, or having any thoughts, save through the lens of my negative--jealous, perhaps?--feelings. You are implying that this is personal for me, that I simply dislike the principals of RR and so are out to "get" them. Or maybe it's that, since I have published work with Ellora's Cave, I want to run Ravenous down to boost up my own publisher; the underlying motive there is monetary gain or ego-tripping ("MY publisher is the BEST").

    In short, by coloring those of us here who disagree with you with the "axe-grinders" label, you are essentially declaring, to a very large crowd of readers, that myself, Queen of Swords, Fae, Jersey Chick, Ice Cream Empress, Victoria, Veinglory, all of us, are people WITHOUT HONOR.

    You imply that we hold the opinions we hold, and express them here, out of spite. Jealousy. Meanness. Anger. "Because we were rejected". Whatever nasty little label you want to put on it.

    You have denigrated us. You have told anyone reading this thread that we are not to be believed. You have besmirched MY good name and the reputation I have worked very hard, and given countless hours of my time, in order to build. You have done the same with everyone else here--good, honest people, all of them, who have done nothing but express an opinion, based on years of experience and work in the publishing and epublishing industry.

    You are declaring us people not to be trusted. You are declaring us LIARS. You are declaring us people incapable of making decisions or holding opinions without first seeing how we can personally gain from it, or of being people whose sole motivation is selfishness.

    Personally? I could give less of a shit how Ravenous does. It doesn't matter one bit to me--I haven't written any erotic romance in over a year and have no plans to return to the genre at this time. But it does matter to a lot of other people, people whose trust I have earned over the years--whose trust I have worked HARD to earn over the years. People who ask me for help and advice because they trust me, because I have worked hard over the years to be trustworthy, and have prided myself on being so because being a person of good character is IMPORTANT TO ME. Me, personally. I like to be able to look myself in the eye in the mirror in the morning.

    How DARE you speak of me that way, and of everyone else here. None of us have done a single thing to make anyone think we're the kind of people you claim we are--none of us has done anything to YOU to make you think that, save disagree with you; none of us deserve to be libelled or to have our reputations stained in that vicious, unsubstantiated fashion.

    Just because you don't agree with us and don't like what we have to say does NOT give you the right to tell lies about us and tarnish our names. It does not give you the right to cast aspersions on our motives and on our persons.

    You want to disagree, fine. You disagree. You want to tell me I'm wrong, or answer my questions with nasty little comments? Fine, you go right ahead. If that's what you need to do to feel good about yourself, fine. I can take it. You think I care if you think I'm stupid, or if you privately think I'm somehow jealous of your publisher or your career? You think whatever you want to think--PRIVATELY.

    But do not EVER imply again here that I am a liar with an axe to grind, and that I would throw away what's taken me years to build because I'm a petty, low kind of person.

    And I would have taken that to PM, but after you publicly smeared me and all the others, I thought my rebuttal should be public. Because I deserve a chance to stand up for myself, in the face of your filthy, sneaky insinuations.






    ...unlike the brand new Ellora's Cave site which I HATE!!! Nothing was wrong with the old site, why did they change? Gah)
    Ugh, lol, I couldn't agree more. The new site has some cool features; the Search feature is nice, and it's nice for those of us who have releases with Cerridwen as well to have all of our books together. But in general, I really wish they hadn't changed.
    Last edited by Stacia Kane; 12-07-2008 at 01:46 AM. Reason: Grrr.
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  3. #228
    practical experience, FTW
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    December, my dear, here have an internets. *bows*

  4. #229
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  5. #230
    ideas are floating where they will Stlight's Avatar
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    As one of the first to get the coveted actually "it's blaringly obvious what the descriptions of each line are" - What ICE and December said!

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    Last edited by Stlight; 12-07-2008 at 03:34 PM.
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  6. #231
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    OK, I think the point has been made--let's get back to discussion of Ravenous. Thanks.

    - Victoria

  7. #232
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    Okay, so I'm curious where all the "They're going strong out of the gate" is coming from? Are there numbers somewhere that I've missed or is this based on a statement from RR that I've also missed? I've looked but haven't seen any information on sales numbers, so I think it's a bit premature to say they're doing well or not well.

    I'll certainly be watching EREC to see if RR numbers show up there. I wish them well, honestly, but I don't think anyone can say how sales are when they've only been open a week.

  8. #233
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    So far, the only thing I've seen indicating any sales was the Galleycat link Sakamonda posted back on page 9. RR was pleased to announce they'd sold "a couple hundred" on their first day.
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  9. #234
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
    So far, the only thing I've seen indicating any sales was the Galleycat link Sakamonda posted back on page 9. RR was pleased to announce they'd sold "a couple hundred" on their first day.
    Hmm. And they had 14 books on sale their first day, right? Or am I remembering the numbers wrong? *goes to look*

    ETA: Found it. 14 books and a dozen short stories on sale at their launch.
    Last edited by Fae Sutherland; 12-08-2008 at 12:56 AM.

  10. #235
    practical experience, FTW JanDarby's Avatar
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    Lori Perkins had a long post about same on her Ravenous Romance blogspot blog but it has since been removed, though it still shows up in a Google search:
    I've noticed that this agent occasionally cuts and pastes an entire article into her blog (with attribution, but the ENTIRE article, not merely a relevant paragraph for discussion). The removed blog entry was the entire London Times article.

    It bothers me that an agent (and also a publisher now) would have such disregard for copyright.

    JD

  11. #236
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Writing on Walls View Post

    And what, exactly, is the difference between soft pornography and the "erotica" that she is selling over the web for 99 cents (66p) a day? "A better vocabulary."]
    This seems to be their "thing": "literary erotica". Hey, if that's the market they want to aim for/the selling point they want to use, more power to them. It's their choice.


    (I still question the wisdom, though, of connecting themselves so closely with Updike. I don't think I'd want a four-time "Bad Sex Award" winner to be plugging my erotica. But that's just me.)

    But again, this seems to be the market they're aiming for, so... We'll just have to see how it plays out.
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  12. #237
    practical experience, FTW lkp's Avatar
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    Jan, I agree, and I've noticed it before. It is a violation of copyright to copy an entire article on your own blog whether you attribute it or not. I wonder if that is why it was removed. Seems silly --- it is so easy just to quote a paragraph and provide a link to the original.

  13. #238
    literati
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    "Is sending erotic email to a cellphone really this much of a big deal?"

    It is if somebody like John Updike endorses it, which it appears he has. The Sunday Times, the New Yorker, et cetera would never have done the articles on Ravenous if John Updike weren't involved. That's what's newsworthy. He's arguably the most important living writer in the English language (since Vonnegut's death, at least). Say what you will about this publisher's choice to associate themselves with him, but seems to me it's marketing genius on their part.

  14. #239
    literati
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    Well, thanks to the major publicity it's generated them worldwide, this Ravenous outfit is tapping into markets that probably would otherwise have never heard of them. And they have John Updike to thank for it. That's the kind of reach that none of the other epubs have right now. Nobody can touch that, as far as I'm concerned. Not that I read erotica (I don't), but I do read John Updike, and seeing his endorsement certainly made me curious about something I otherwise would have just ignored.

  15. #240
    literati
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    it's quite common for international papers to pick up stories that are first released by big papers like the London Times, New York Times, or via wire services like the Associated Press. That's what seems to have happened here, again because of the Updike connection.

    The fact that this small startup epub managed to get a story like that printed about them in a big paper like the London Times and then have it distributed worldwide via wire means one of two things. Either they are extraordinarily lucky, or have some very savvy PR people working for them.

    In any case, it's very interesting.

  16. #241
    Girl Detective Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Writing on Walls View Post
    I


    December, to me, that wasn't the issue. Their market is clear. The last two paragraphs read, in my opinion, like the publisher wants to distance herself from her "tawdry" product (this came on the heel of her mentioning that stories by "up to 150 authors" were being sent out by the end of the year). In other words, and again, this is how I read it: her heart isn't really in it, the work is not her thing, but she's keen on chasing the likes of John Updike and Stephen King to contribute.

    This is just my interpretation, mind you, but it read as very insulting to the writers already on board and a flagrant put-down and dismissal of their work. After so many "I love our authors" Twitter posts it felt a bit sad and insincere. Or maybe the Twitter posts were from the heart and this recent news is one big inaccuracy?

    Oh, I wasn't disagreeing, not at all. But then I've seen quite a few Twitters from them and others involved with them along the lines of "I can't believe how terrible most of the subs we get are", so it doesn't surprise me.


    Quote Originally Posted by literati

    Say what you will about this publisher's choice to associate themselves with him, but seems to me it's marketing genius on their part.
    It would be marketing genius if your average erotic romance ebook reader gave a damn about John Updike. I'm not so sure that's the case.

    Again, we'll just have to see.
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  17. #242
    ... Sakamonda's Avatar
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    I wasn't going to post here any more after the way the thread started to turn the other week, but I'll pipe in.

    I know that the Ravenous folks are somewhat displeased by what they're calling "inaccuracies" in the article, but they are pleased by how much worldwide attention it's getting. I'm not sure what they consider the inaccuracies to be, but I frankly don't find anything that Holly Schmidt is quoted in the article as saying (assuming she's being quoted accurately) in any way disturbing. And I'm a Ravenous author.

    I can also say that I wouldn't dream of doing half the sex acts I write about in my erotica myself----it's a kind of fantasy literature, after all. I think that's all Ms. Schmidt meant by her remark.

    And also, I'm not at all surprised that Ravenous is getting this kind of publicity. I know the folks there to be highly professional, smart, savvy, and very well-connected in publishing/literary circles. This development is just further evidence of that.
    www.jamaicalayne.com, http://jamaicalayne.blogspot.com
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  18. #243
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin emlynley's Avatar
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    The one thing in that article that stands out to me as inaccurate is that Ravenous is sending 500-word "slices of erotica" to women's cell phones. There is a story published each day--by different authors--which can be purchased and downloaded. They aren't emailed and they are all significantly longer than 500 words based on the submission guidelines I've seen (1500-5000 words, I believe).

    The idea of sending porn to someone's cell phone and calling it an "email sex service" certainly doesn't sound very good. Ravenous Romance is just one of many publishers that allow you to download erotica books or stories, but these "news" articles make it sound like it ought to be illegal!

    However, if it gets a lot of people to check out the website and buy a story or two, then I'm all for it! Too bad my novel's not coming out until next month...
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  19. #244
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin emlynley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Writing on Walls View Post
    Right, the article presents only a part of what they offer
    They don't send stories to cell phones or emails, so it's not a part of what they offer. That's my main point. You can download a novel/story or an audio book. There is NO cellphone service available at all. I suppose this much interest in one might mean they start one up though.

    They did have a contest for people to write an erotic twitter, but as far as I can see they aren't actually sending them to anyone. If they are, they haven't mentioned it on the website yet.
    Last edited by emlynley; 12-17-2008 at 08:01 AM. Reason: clarification
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  20. #245
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    It seems pretty clear that Updike's comments were offered about Hiller's story, not its mode of delivery (or the publisher, for that matter).

    And it is odd that "good, brave, and joyful" is a blurb from Updike ascribed to a different work by Hiller as well as to this story.

    But good for the Ravenous Romance PR folks to get that much traction out of this.

  21. #246
    ... Sakamonda's Avatar
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    The cellphone concept is apparently a not-yet-launched plan,
    It's not a "plan". All of Ravenous' ebooks are available NOW in cell-phone-compatible formats. They can be downloaded to most 3G phones (iPhones, etc) in those formats. Other handheld devices too, like Palms. It may be the 500-word slices bit that are inaccurate in the article, but I don't think anything else is. You'd have to ask Holly Schmidt to know what the inaccuracies are for sure.

    And forgive me for saying so, but Writing On Walls, you seem very intent upon somehow attacking Ravenous for being able to get this level of publicity, as if they don't deserve it or something. Why? Are you mad that they're getting international press attention? Just curious as to what your reasons are for splitting the split ends of split hairs on this.
    Last edited by Sakamonda; 12-18-2008 at 05:10 AM.
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  22. #247
    ... Sakamonda's Avatar
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    Well, as far as the supposed inaccuracies are concerned, it's Ms. Schmidt and her company's prerogative to seek corrections for them, not yours. You really seem to be beating a dead horse here.

    And maybe the folks at Ravenous are more than happy enough with all the publicity not to get too worked up about a minor inaccuracy in an article. Anyone who's been interviewed by the press more than once understands that sometimes there are misunderstandings/misquotes in interviews. That doesn't mean everybody goes around demanding full retractions of everything all the time. Retractions are usually reserved for really egregious factual errors or libelous statements. Splitting hairs on the difference
    between "downloading" and "emailing" books to a cell phone hardly merits printed retractions.

    And BTW, Ravenous does use Facebook to send out brief, 500-word alerts to subscribers whenever a new book comes out. And those alerts are emailable/receivable direct to 3G cell phones. They aren't excerpts from the stories themselves, but they aren't downloads, either.
    Last edited by Sakamonda; 12-18-2008 at 06:32 AM.
    www.jamaicalayne.com, http://jamaicalayne.blogspot.com
    www.ravenousromance.com

    MARKET FOR LOVE now available; Buy it here.

    [Jamaica Layne] has built a multifaceted writing career, in genres ranging from theater to erotic fiction"---Chicago Tribune

    "Layne sucks you in and doesn't let go until the last page."--Love Romance Passion.com

    "Once you read Jamaica Layne, she will be on your auto-buy list."----Dirty Girl Reviews, on MARKET FOR LOVE

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  23. #248
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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  24. #249
    ... Sakamonda's Avatar
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    Good Lord. We're not just splitting hairs here, we're dancing on pinheads.
    Thank you, Victoria, for being the voice of reason here.

    This is supposed to be the Beware & Background Check thread. For anyone who wants to get a background on Ravenous, here's what we know:

    FACT: Ravenous is run by a group of very seasoned, knowledgable, and reputable publishing executives with experience in traditional print trade publishing.
    FACT: Ravenous and/or one of its authors have receive accolades from none other than John Updike.
    FACT: Ravenous' boilerplate contract is, by most standards, fair.
    FACT: Ravenous has recently received significant press attention from the London Times, the London Guardian, the New Yorker, and newspapers in Australia, India, and Thailand.
    FACT: Ravenous publishes ebooks and electronic audiobooks in multiple formats, and also has the necessary contacts to resell print rights to mainstream print houses.

    At this point, the only thing that seems to be in question about Ravenous regarding its legitimacy and/or ability to stay in business is how many books it can reasonably be expected to sell for its authors, since those numbers by and large aren't in yet. I frankly think that any other points of discussion should be moved to another thread, as they just don't pertain to this one. Victoria, do you agree?
    Last edited by Sakamonda; 12-18-2008 at 07:29 AM. Reason: typo
    www.jamaicalayne.com, http://jamaicalayne.blogspot.com
    www.ravenousromance.com

    MARKET FOR LOVE now available; Buy it here.

    [Jamaica Layne] has built a multifaceted writing career, in genres ranging from theater to erotic fiction"---Chicago Tribune

    "Layne sucks you in and doesn't let go until the last page."--Love Romance Passion.com

    "Once you read Jamaica Layne, she will be on your auto-buy list."----Dirty Girl Reviews, on MARKET FOR LOVE

    4 Stars!----Romantic Times Magazine

  25. #250
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    No, Saka, I don't agree.

    We've gone somewhat off topic in this thread from time to time (not so very unusual round here), and I agree that WOW does seem oddly fixated on RR (I'm also remembering the several posts a few pages back that he/she deleted when people became curious as to where his/her information was coming from). However, some of the questions raised at the start of this thread--especially those about conflicts of interest--are still open, IMO, and thus continue to be germane.

    For the moment, I'm leaving the thread intact.

    - Victoria

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