View Full Version : re comparing erotic romance publishers

08-01-2006, 06:23 AM
I will back I tried to start a webpage to help people compare ER publishers.

It kinda stalled as I am already running two other sites and a forum and... stuff.

However there is a start here: http://www.veinglory.com/P4.html -- and I would like to add some anonymous polls and message boards etc.

Anyone else interested in helping out trying to get it going?

08-01-2006, 08:05 AM
I'm not sure what I might do to help, but I'd be happy to do it. I find raw HTML confusing (And this comes from someone who could program IBM mainframes in assembly language[at least the IBM 360, 370,4400 series)

I'd be happy to help assemble reports and stats and all that stuff.


Stacia Kane
08-01-2006, 01:40 PM
I'm not sure what I can do to help, either (I'm computer stupid), but at the very least I'm a member of Passionate Ink (the erotic romance chapter of RWA) and can plug the site and try to urge people to contribute--we have lots of epubbed members.

08-01-2006, 07:07 PM
You might want to link to Brenda Hiatt (Brendahiatt.com) and her "Show Me the Money" page. She's been collecting voluntary and anonymous (she gets the info with the author's name, obviously, but the name doesn't go into anything public, and she even erases it from her own records once she's added in the data) information on advances, royalties and payouts of romance publishers, including epubs.

She's the first to admit it's not scientific, and it depends largely on the author participation, and in cases where very few provide info, the figures are skewed in all sorts of directions, but she provides the number of responses it's based on for each publisher so you can adjust accordingly, and it's more information on realistic financial expectations than you'll find just about anywhere else.

She doesn't have info on Liquid Silver, but she's got two entries for Ellora's Cave, one for single-title books and one for anthologies, based on reasonable numbers of authors providing information. A few other epubs are listed, although the number of people reporting is so low as to make the figures statistically insignificant, but still interesting if you view it, not so much as an average or what you can expect, but what a few authors earned.

It might be interesting to create a similar sort of poll/database (unless, of course, it's been done already, and I haven't checked into it), perhaps at this proposed site comparing the epubs, with a very few basic questions like turn-around time, editing experience and cover quality, somehow limiting it to the authors pubbed with the particular epubs.


08-01-2006, 07:14 PM
One way to do it would be to start a blog and give everyone posting rights. then popular posts would go to the website? Please let me know if you would like to be involved. I would prefer to use blogger as I can host it under the main page.

I would be able to continue doing the coding if I could get some advice about appearance and structure.

I would love to find some volunteers to do things like this:

Send out the survey to publishers not yet included.

Come up with poll questions.

Find a poll host that will take votes unanonymously and make a real time graph.

Find out what sort of information people would want on a site like this and keep poking me to do updates and keep things moving along...

Collect useful links to a range of websites with breif notes about what the site provides....

Check the site periodically and give feedback and tell me about any typos or broken links...

In fact io am generally open to suggestions about how to make the site do what I want it to do. Which is help writers choose the best epublisher for them....


08-02-2006, 12:36 AM
I'm good at nagging people.

As to other stuff, let me think a bit about my schedule and get back to you.


08-02-2006, 05:17 AM
I'm not good w/ matters dealing with a) numbers or b) technical stuff.

With blogging and other random grunt work, I can help.

08-02-2006, 05:21 AM
I'm trying to sort out the blog now... then i can let any willing people loose on it (available for promo too).

08-02-2006, 08:25 AM
If you need any coding help, please let me know. I can do perl, php, html... whatever. Although it sounds like you have most of the back-end in place already. :)

So I'm not sure if this would be useful (ignore me if it isn't, I'm posting despite my usual "no posting on nyquil" rule), but have you heard of the Vanilla forum (http://getvanilla.com/)? It's an extremely 'light' version of a regular forum, with hefty search features, that would lend itself to an encyclopedia-type site very easily.

Assuming you don't have a more custom thing or a CMS already picked out, that is. Okay, gonna stop rambling now. :)

08-02-2006, 10:29 PM
I was brainstorming a bit on the general topic of how to choose an epub and how it's really different for each writer, depending on what he/she wants to get out of the experience.

Which led to me to wondering -- would it be useful to have a sample business plan for erotic romance writers with some of the issues highlighted, with some options in each section, that would correspond to the parameters in any comparison chart or poll of whatever of the epublishers? It might be a good organizational tool to tie the assorted issues together.

In other words, one part of a biz plan is to define one's niche, which correlates with the publisher's niche that one would target. In other words, if the writer knows she tends toward m/m stories for f readers, or bondage stories or whatever, that becomes her niche. Or it could be more general than that, but there's probably some common thread (and that's another related topic of discussion, figuring out that common thread, which would help determine which epub is best for a given author or a given story). And then, she'd want to look up other information on the site about which publishers are best at handling that type of story and cross-reference it with other goals she might have in her business plan.

So, the sample business plan could have a section that read something like:

I intend to write:
m/m stories
menage stories
paranormal stories
for an audience that consists of:
[I don't know, perhaps more along the lines of "women who read so-and-so's books" or "women who are more adventurous in their reading than average" or "women who are less adventurous in their reading" or some such thing. I haven't thought out all the options, obviously.]

Then, there's usually a section in a biz plan on one's goals (e.g., make a basic living, hit the NY Times list, attain name recognition on a small level to build upon later, get editorial and reader feedback, etc.) and another on how one is going to achieve one's goals, which could lead to a discussion of what the epub does for its authors (e.g., distribution, name recognition, feedback, reviews, etc.)

Does that make sense? Does anyone think it would be interesting or useful?

JD, whose legal training and contract-writing background is showing.

08-02-2006, 11:20 PM
New here.

I checked the site out and will say I really like the layout. Simple, easy to navigate, so that's a plus right up front. Pages are short so load time is also. Many forget that some people still use dial-up. I don't, but others do.

Preditors and Editors - i instead of a in Preditors. Used to say on the site that they did that on purpose, don't know if it still does or not.

Also, a link to anything and everything is always nice, even if it's there somewhere, each time you put the name of a site in the text area it should be linked. People are lazy, er, I am anyway :) and many don't have the time to keep looking around. Just my observation there.

As I said, I like the look you've got going. It was quite refreshing actually!

Melanie A.

08-03-2006, 12:15 AM
Melanie: welcome! Hope to see you around here more often. :)

Jan: that sounds interesting. I think it would be helpful to some newbies.

Personally I'm still looking for my niche. :)

08-03-2006, 12:37 AM
Thanks for everyone's input.

Soloset, I will PM you when I get the chance. My webhost actually allows for things like polls and forums but I am unable to understand the instructions. Maybe you could help with that.

JD, I think you nail down exectly the sort of thing that is needed. First knowing what sort of publisher you want, then finding it! Any chace you could start even an introductory statement along those lines for the main page?

Mel, I am very into clean simple design with a minimum of graphics, but currently the site seems to fail on two counts. One is not giving people what they need (how do I choose a publisher?). The other is in not being sticky -- keeping people. That is not enough info and not enough new stuff and interactivity.

This is all good. I will put aside time this weekend to try and make some changes.

How about the questions the publishers are asked. Is this the right sort of information?

Which important publishers are not on the list. I know many are missing but which are the ones you would add first?

08-03-2006, 01:02 AM
I'm semi-new to the epublishing world, so I'm not sure who would be an "important" publisher.

I have personal experience w/ Forbidden Publications and Freya's Bower.

Publishers not mentioned on your list:
Silk's Vault Publishing
New Concepts
Triskelion publishing

08-03-2006, 01:30 AM
Right. You need people to keep coming back.

::putting thinking cap on, battered and holey as it is::

First, here at the water cooler I did a Lot of copy/paste to find links to ER sites. Granted, there's probably somewhere they're linked, but this is a huge place and I haven't been able to see everything. So, having them all in one place and easy to find is a good thing.

There are members here that are published at some ER places, yes? Would they be willing to help by allowing their books to be put up and with a possible chapter, or partial chapter? It would be free advertisement for them. And, that's something that could be updated when they have something new, or a new author gets their foot in the door.

Would any of the ER editors be willing to be interviewed? Get what they want and are looking for straight from the horses mouth, so to speak. Maybe some do's and don't's from them in more detail than what they have listed.

I wouldn't mind seeing a page devoted to all the slang that is used. See, I'm new to this side of writing and believe me, it can get confusing. Everything seems to get shortened all the time. Yeah, showing my ignorance here.

See, you're going to get new writers coming in too, and they want to know what's what.

Something for others to link to. Nothing flashy, but pretty and nice looking they can put on their websites.

Interviews with authors around here could be added.

Interviews with struggling writers who are trying to break in.

Have both talk about their writing process. Trust me, others are interested in how others write. It can help boost confidence that others are not alone.

Know anyone who would be willing to write weekly or monthly columns about do's, don't's, why's and wherefore's of writing erotica romance? Some guidelines to help those struggling to get on the right track. Maybe even with some examples.

What's hot this month, what isn't.

Who got picked up by some big NY publishing house after writing for one of the electronic publishers? Didn't I just read something about that here, or somewhere?

Okay, can't think of anything else right now. And not sure if what I came up with is even what you were looking for.

08-03-2006, 02:30 AM
Well, this is great-- a bit disorganised but a start ;)

Okay, my EREC job for the day was to start the blog, ditch the google ad on the main page (and on the other pages as I get to them) and tidy up a little: http://www.veinglory.com/P4.html

New plan.

1) I need people to blog. You can post one promo article (e.g. your site, your latest release) for every non-promo post (information, discussion or a link of interested to erotic romance writers). I am looking for the blog to have a maximum of one new post per day. If you would like to do this please just let me know what your blogger username is (you may need to sign up from blogger if you haven't already).

My second goal is to have short articles about finding the right ER epublisher or about the scene in general. Anyone who writes an article will get added to the new links page which will index erotic romance writers. Regulars and early particpants will get cover and banner spots.

Does that sound reasonable?

I would *really* like articles on how to write in this sub-genre (what *is* ER), jargon and terms, the sub-sub-genres in general, pieces on mm, menage, bbw, bdsm and anything else in particular, book reviews of stand out examples of ER.... um... stuff like that which will go in the right column that current has only a couple of hopeful 'coming soon's.

Anyone who sends me something useful will get my best efforts to promote them as a writer and generally be helpful ;)

I like the idea about interviews but I will try and focus on updating the publisher info right now. If anyone wants to take on a subject area *please* let me know. Like, Mel, if you felt like doing some interviews I will make a section on the main page and a secondary page devoted to that and post up what you send. (Not shanghaing you here--just an example)

My job for tomoorw will be to make cover and banner spaces to put contributors adds, as well as a people page set up to profile sub-editors (people who take on any specific task) and blogger contributors.

Does that seem to make sense.

Job for the weekend will be to update the publishers I have and send the survey to some new ones.

08-03-2006, 02:36 AM
p.s. if anyone raised a point or made an offer that I didn't pick up just remind me. I am up for any suggestions and if anyone feels like getting more involved the door is open! Like if someone wants to look after the blog, or start a sub-section, or anything that you like. I think having some collaborators will help me kick some life into this thing. i really think there is a gap for a site like this if I can get it targetted right and active.

08-03-2006, 03:42 AM
...knowing what sort of publisher you want, then finding it! Any chance you could start even an introductory statement along those lines for the main page?

Sure. Just give me a few days. Until Monday, say. I've got a bunch of other things on my agenda that will take priority, but I should be able to get something together for you to look at.

How about setting a go-live date, when we can have it together and start telling people about it? (See, I told you I was good at nagging.) Something to work toward getting stuff together by? September 1 maybe? I've always felt September was a natural "new year," a good time for starting stuff. Or perhaps the Monday after Labor Day, b/c it's still peak vacation time and prepping for back-to-school until then.

I've already got a blogger account (should be "JanDarby" although I'm a novice at this blogging stuff), and can blog on the sort of business-decision issues I mentioned in my biz-plan post. I can't commit to daily blogs, not even sure about weekly, but I can certainly do once-monthly and perhaps every two weeks.

Haven't checked the site out yet, but will later this evening. Assuming the intermittent thunderstorms don't knock out the power.

Oh, and as an aside, are we limiting this to e-pubs or should we mention the traditional pubs of erotic romance? There were some free print copies of erotic romance (Virgin Books, Red Sage and Kensington's Aphrodisia) in the goodie bag at the RWA conference, and I've been looking them over, trying to get a handle on the differences among them.


08-03-2006, 03:43 AM
Very attractive! I love how sleek it is; very classy and elegant. And the color scheme is luscious.

I'm embarrassed to admit I couldn't figure out the publisher section at first, until I realized that there's different data for each publisher on each page.

Maybe name each section, like "Requirements", "Sales", "Contract Details" or something? Or put them all on one page... or I could just be very, very slow (a definite possibility) and nobody else has this problem.

I would also suggest a "home" link on the menu bar, and maybe off-setting the different categories (meta, publishers, big name publishers) in the menu bar or separating them with section titles.

Hmm. I think I'd also divide the reviews into 'summary' (basically the tables) and 'detailed' (write-up similar to the one for Ellora's Cave), with the detailed ones linked from the company name on the table page. With the goal of having a detailed write-up for each e-publisher but at minimum a table entry.

Man, can you tell I'm between projects at the moment? :)

08-03-2006, 04:01 AM
Jan, Great!! There is no hurry. I was thinking of moving to included the larger publishers but not until I have a handle on the E-pubs --

soloset, Sounds good on the restructuring. It started as just a few pages and so went 'home' to my site but I will change that.

So i will make a simpler front page link to the tables and to the list of full surveys so far.... (tomorrow's job)

Le Bec
08-03-2006, 07:49 AM
One way to do it would be to start a blog and give everyone posting rights. then popular posts would go to the website? Please let me know if you would like to be involved. I would prefer to use blogger as I can host it under the main page.

I said this on RD so it's really just a reiteration here. I think your best bet would be to use a CMS for your main said like WordPress. It will make keeping your site updated simple. WP is very easy to install and well worth it in my opinion, there are also some very nifty plugins that would make it look more like a website than a blog.

08-03-2006, 08:19 AM
Wordpress is pretty spiffy; if you do decide to go the CMS route, I'd suggest Drupal instead, though, since it's got more community oriented features.

I'm not big on CMS's, though. They're usually nicely put together, and great for organizing a big site, but tend to have a lot of 'feature bloat'. There *is* something to be said for picking a system early, though -- then you don't have to worry about migrating everything into a new system later when you outgrow your existing system.

But then, of course, a custom, tailored script will do exactly what you want from the gate, and CSV files are pretty portable.

08-04-2006, 02:10 AM
I mulled over CMSs -- looked a few over. I'm not sure they would save me time in the end... After all I have a forum in the area already so I may as well stick with that and use the website largely for fixed content....

I am still fiddling with it.

BTW--if anyone wants an item posted to the blog just put it in a reply here in plain text or html and I will add it for you. So don't miss the promo chance--post away.

James Buchanan
08-04-2006, 05:49 AM
Let me know what kind of article you need and I'll come up with something for you. I'm crappy at concepts but can usually crank out the execution.

08-04-2006, 06:34 AM
Here are some ideas--a selective outline of epubs that take m/m? Writing a query (synopsis) or formatting? Things I know now that I wish I knew then? Pros and cons of epublishing?

08-04-2006, 11:26 PM
Re the blog. Once you are on, post away--don't feel you need to wait for permission.

Jan, I can't seem to invite you except via an email address--could you PM it to me?

08-05-2006, 05:49 AM
I posted my first essay on the blog. I hope to see more bloggers joining the fun. :)

08-05-2006, 05:56 AM
Kis, I love it! Is it alright to move a copy over to the website later? (All links and byline intact, of course).

08-05-2006, 06:01 AM
Thanks, Veinglory. Glad you liked it.

Of course it's okay. :)

Stacia Kane
08-05-2006, 01:00 PM
I'd like to blog. I'm pretty much a blog whore, so anytime blogging is happening I am likely to stick my little nose in.

My blogger ID is DecemberQuinn. I'm Decemberquinn at gmail if that's easier.

What kind of language can we use of the blog? I'd love to do an article about "the c word" in erotic romance, but I'd like to actually use the word (for a few reasons).

08-05-2006, 07:35 PM
I have not problem with you using the word when it is called for. I love that idea as a topic. I could do a comapnion piece on words for the penis :)

I will send an invite.

If any of you do *not* want the blog essay archived to the main plage tell me--if you want a bio added to the bottom just email it to me.

Stacia Kane
08-05-2006, 07:51 PM
I have not problem with you using the word when it is called for. I love that idea as a topic. I could do a comapnion piece on words for the penis :)

Cool! When do you want it? Is there a particular scedule you're trying to keep to, like every other day or once a week or whatever?

08-05-2006, 08:02 PM
Whenever you like. I would like to give everyone at least a day on the top of the blog but if that doesn't happen I don't mind. I will also cycle articles through the front page of the fixed site to make sure everyone gets a good look at them--.

08-05-2006, 08:37 PM
I'd love to do an article about "the c word" in erotic romance, but I'd like to actually use the word (for a few reasons).

Which c-word? You mean, chicken? ;)

Just kidding, DQ. I look forward to reading your post.

08-06-2006, 03:31 AM
I am about to be moreorless offline for a couple of months, so it may be a while before I can contribute something, but I'd like posting access. (On the other hand, I'm going to be spending a lot of time in airports with nothing to do next week...)

Probably of peripheral interest, but would my "on writing reviews" rant be of any interest?

08-07-2006, 02:06 AM
I can use any articles!

It occurs to me that it would be easiest to leave articles on the blog and link to them from an orderly index on the main page. the blog is hosted on my server so the material is safe enough and it will save me some work?

We now have 72 votes fior best publisher --I think word is spreading. I am still palying around with the main page: http://veinglory.com/p4.html

Stacia Kane
08-07-2006, 02:22 PM
It's been posted on the Samhain authors' loop, and the Triskelion one.

08-07-2006, 08:33 PM
471 unique visitors yesterday! I guess the poll was a good publicity choice!

And a few publishers have been in touch which is a change from before when I would send out the survey and most didn't both to reply.

Now I just need to make sure they keep coming back. Hmmmm.

Stacia Kane
08-07-2006, 08:43 PM
I posted the link of Passionate Ink, too (the online erotic romance RWA chapter).

08-07-2006, 09:03 PM
471 unique visitors yesterday! I guess the poll was a good publicity choice!

Very cool. I received a group email about the poll, so word is spreading quickly. :)

08-08-2006, 12:58 AM
I'd love to see an article on publishers which handle adult comics/manga.

08-08-2006, 01:33 AM
sunandshadow, I don't have enough info for an article but you might want to check out Iris Print (http://www.boyslovebooks.com/index.php) and Yaoi Press (http://yaoipress.com/). Both specialize in "yaoi" (m/m romance). I don't know if that's your thing but just thought I'd mention them.

08-08-2006, 05:36 AM

I came to this thread because I couldn't get any other links to Ellen to work from the veinglory website

I'm a new Silk's Vault author so I visited veinglory.com for the first time today -- nice looking site, pub info needs updating (having read all these posts I guess you're aware of that!!)

the main reason I tracked down how to contact you was to put in my two cents on whether to run a poll on "worst" publishers -- I'd advise against it. With "best" at least you know people think it's a good place to either publish or buy (not clear which kind of person most often visits your site?)

with "worst" there's not any useful information about why and it sets itself up for people just to diss with no reason.

Adriana Kraft

Stacia Kane
08-18-2006, 12:57 AM
Okay, I put up my c-word post...(bites nails)...

08-18-2006, 02:59 AM
DQ - cool article! I learned a lot, esp. since I don't really watch Sex and the city. :)

08-18-2006, 08:10 PM
Hmm....I did two link database pages for my Bee Gees and Enterprise pages. Why not start with a list of publishing links? The blog could be the yay or nay on each one, and you can have a searchable list by catergory.

Sorry, I don't do much with blogs besides post on my own!


Stacia Kane
08-20-2006, 09:41 AM
The blog should really be claimed on technorati, too.

08-20-2006, 07:21 PM
Hey, DQ, your post on the c-word got some nice traffic to the blog. Good job!


Stacia Kane
08-21-2006, 06:25 PM
Thanks, Jan. I think a lot more people read it, too--there were discussions on my blog and on the Passionate Ink boards. Hopefully the people who read will keep going back to the site and blog!