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[Publisher] Ravenous Romance

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veinglory

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I started to look into the erotic romance epubkisher Ravenous Romance, scheduled to open this December. This has drawn in many issues I am not very familiar with such as agenting and book packaging. So I would appreciate hearing the opinions of some of the far more expert authors and publishing professionals on this forum.

I apologise for providing a link but these issues are raised in the comments section of my blog so it would might not be appropriate for me to copy them here.

http://www.erecsite.com/2008/08/ravenous-romance-reduxchronology.html

http://ravenousromance.com/
 

James D. Macdonald

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Hold off on any new publisher for a year, to see if they're still in business, and if so what kind of business they're running.

Aren't there already plenty of erotic/romantic e-publishers with long-established reputations to submit to first?
 

veinglory

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That is indeed my opinion. But as it is being disparaged on the basis of ignorance, I am genuinely ready and willing to be corrected. I mean if an agent is signing 5 book deals to them she must have a reason. Epublishers typically do not attract that kind of treatment.
 
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IceCreamEmpress

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Jenna wrote a very good article about book packagers that was in Writer's Digest quite a while back; she might be a good resource to bounce questions off when it comes to that aspect of Hollan's work.

I thought some of the anonymous commenters on your blog were unnecessarily rude and dismissive: this is one of the most poorly understood aspects of publishing, and very few writers know much about it.
 

Stacia Kane

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Hold off on any new publisher for a year, to see if they're still in business, and if so what kind of business they're running.

Aren't there already plenty of erotic/romantic e-publishers with long-established reputations to submit to first?

That was my opinion as well. But Emily, myself, and several others have, as Emily said, been lambasted and called "ignorant" for expressing it.

I think erotic romance publishing in general is a glutted market, personally. Certainly the big NY houses are slowing down on their erotic lines because sales are dropping (they're certainly not looking for erotic the way they were a year or two ago); I don't think it will ever go away but the boom, when everything with "erotic" written on it would sell (to readers, I mean) seems to have passed.

But again, what do I know, right? :)


And I'm really curious about the packaging aspects as well and would love more info.
 
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Sakamonda

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I think publishers seem to be acquiring less erotica than before because they now have established authors in the genre signed with them that they are going to first for books. It's just harder for new erotica authors to break in because they are now competing with established ones. Whereas a couple years ago, there were almost no erotica authors in print with major houses at all.

My current and former agent have both indicated that there remains a very, very strong interest in acquiring erotica and expanding erotica lines among all the major houses, but they are being more selective about what they will take on. The standards for quality have been raised quite a bit over a couple years ago, where almost anything that contained sex could get signed. And the print sales continue to grow, but authors that already have published books and have built audiences are getting the deals over newbies. But talented newbies can indeed still break in.

The difference between Ravenous and some of the other e-pubs out there is 1) there are several top editors from the NYC print industry behind it and 2) top agents are selling to it. There are definite economic reasons for the latter.
 

victoriastrauss

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I am not as concerned about the newness of the Ravenous Romance imprint, given the experience of the people at Hollan (though the skepticism expressed by many of the commenters on the Dear Author blog does seem well-founded) or by the packaging angle (it seems quite possible to me that a packager might decide to do its own publishing).

For me, a bigger concern is the connections between Lori Perkins and Ravenous. From Ms. Perkins' blog on August 10:

"I have never had such an intense summer, but that may be because two of my clients are starting an epublishing venture and they are buying so much of my clients' work. It's an erotic romance ebook publisher that's buying short stories and novels, but the novels have to be 50,000 words (that's 200 pages), so I'm editing back a ton of these titles to fit."

So she is placing "a ton" of clients' books with a brand-new publisher owned by her clients, something that requires major changes to those books. To me, it just seems too entangled for comfort.

I wonder if Ravenous pays advances.

I did some Web searching, but haven't been able to find any reports of other agents placing clients with Ravenous.

- Victoria
 

Sakamonda

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Ravenous does pay advances, Victoria.

FWIW, I'm Lori Perkins' client and she fully disclosed her business relationship with the publisher to me, and left it up to me whether or not I wanted any of my work submitted there. And all the work that has been submitted is of a type that would not fit within current print houses' guidelines (mostly due to their shorter lengths). Ms. Perkins is also submitting multiple other works of mine (including erotica) to print houses.

Given the reputations of the editorial folks at Ravenous as well as Ms. Perkins' longstanding and impeccable reputation as a top literary agent, I was comfortable with having my work submitted to Ravenous and with the deals I got.

Victoria, I'm sure if you contact Ms. Perkins directly she'd be happy to answer any questions you might have. I believe there will also be a press release from Ravenous very shortly which will answer a lot more questions as well.
 

Peachnuts

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Ok so I clicked on the link and found the male in the photo really really .... ick!
I like sexy, but...
anyway, I'm interested to hear more about this publisher, just thought I post my first impression.
 

Sakamonda

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I thought the man on Ravenous' page was pretty hot, myself. If I weren't married and completely past my prime, I'd do him in a New York minute.

But I suppose tastes vary in that department.

:)
 

dalynmiller

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My agency represents Ravenous Romance™ for public relations and communications. Based on this thread and others, I felt it was important to clear up some of the confusion here, and I have compiled the following:

10 Facts About Ravenous Romance™

1. Hollan Publishing and Ravenous Romance™ are two different companies majority-owned by the same people.
2. Hollan’s non-fiction print packaging business and Ravenous Romance™ are run as two completely separate businesses.
3. Lori Perkins is a paid editor and minor shareholder in Ravenous Romance™. She does not take a commission on any book sold to Ravenous Romance™.
4. Ravenous Romance™ pays an advance on all books contracted and their royalty rates are competitive.
5. Ravenous Romance™ does accept non-agented submissions. You can email us at [email protected] for submission guidelines.
6. E-books and downloadable audiobooks are tremendous growth areas in publishing, while the bricks-and-mortar print industry is shrinking. This is why the founders of Ravenous Romance™ have launched this business.
7. You do not need to buy an e-reader to read Ravenous Romance’s™ books – if you’re reading this, you already own the technology to read these books. They can also be downloaded to your iPod Touch, iPhone, or smartphone (Blackberry, Treo, etc.).
8. To illustrate the strength of the market: FictionWise.com, the largest online retailer of e-books of all genres, reports that 51% of their sales are erotica or romance titles.
9. Ravenous Romance™ is committed to connecting exceptional writers with passionate readers.
10. Ravenous Romance™ has been developed by seasoned professionals who are sensitive to the issues faced by their readers and writers. A sophisticated website and comprehensive marketing plan will be revealed in the coming months.

Thank you for your interest in Ravenous Romance™. Your feedback is very valuable to me and my clients at Ravenous Romance™. Lori Perkins has conducted her business over the past 20 years with the highest level of integrity, and will continue to do so. She is dedicated to and passionate about the erotica and romance genre, and is held in the highest regard within the publishing community.

Ravenous Romance™ will be beta testing in November, and we’d like to invite dedicated readers to help us test. Please email us at [email protected] to sign up.

For more information or with specific questions, please email me at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you. Thank you.

Dalyn A. Miller
Dalyn Miller Public Relations
www.dalynmillerpr.com
 

victoriastrauss

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3. Lori Perkins is a paid editor and minor shareholder in Ravenous Romance™. She does not take a commission on any book sold to Ravenous Romance™.

If indeed this is so, I have to say that it makes me even more uncomfortable. Even if Ms. Perkins doesn't take a commission on books she places with Ravenous, she stands to benefit financially both from her work for the company and from the company's success. This poses, in my opinion, at least a potential conflict of interest as far as her clients are concerned, as it may provide an incentive to place their books with Ravenous rather than with another publisher.

I've heard that Ravenous's advances are $1 per page, which certainly wouldn't seem sufficient to attract agented submissions.

- Victoria
 

Stacia Kane

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Ravenous does pay advances, Victoria.

FWIW, I'm Lori Perkins' client and she fully disclosed her business relationship with the publisher to me, and left it up to me whether or not I wanted any of my work submitted there.
.


Well, Jill, given that elsewhere you've claimed several times that Lori takes her 15% just like any other sale, and haven't mentioned that Lori is part owner, are you sure she fully disclosed that business relationship? Because you seem very unclear on what it actually is and how she's being paid for those Ravenous submissions.

2) top agents are selling to it. There are definite economic reasons for the latter.

Yes, but the only top agent we know of is Lori (who is undoubtedly a very good agent; I want to make it clear that I am aware of her reputation and am not calling her a scammer or anything), and while there is a definite economic reason for her to draw submissions into her own company, I'm not sure if it's the type of reason that inspires confidence, personally.


If you're happy, Jill, that's fine, and I sure wish you all the best of luck. I think it would be great to have another big successful ehouse to submit to, and to bring more people to ebooks--I mean, the more people who try out ebooks the more all of us who have published ebooks benefit! So I think all of us are there with you on hoping Ravenous is a huge success, honestly and truly.

I just try to exercise caution.
 
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Sakamonda

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Please note that I was mistaken re: the 15% commission on Ravenous titles. Lori & co. have been kind enough to clear that up w/ me. Which is better for me, since it's more money in my pocket on those books. She does take 15% on the titles she sells to other houses, of course.

As you'll see on her blog and in her books about agenting, Lori doesn't use an agenting contract with her clients, rather does business on a handshake. That's where the misunderstanding occurred since I just assumed she was taking her 15% on everything she sold for me, per our verbal agreement.

This is my last public post on the matter due to some harrassment I and the publisher have been receiving online.
 

Stacia Kane

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Please note that I was mistaken re: the 15% commission on Ravenous titles. Lori & co. have been kind enough to clear that up w/ me. Which is better for me, since it's more money in my pocket on those books. She does take 15% on the titles she sells to other houses, of course.

As you'll see on her blog and in her books about agenting, Lori doesn't use an agenting contract with her clients, rather does business on a handshake. That's where the misunderstanding occurred since I just assumed she was taking her 15% on everything she sold for me, per our verbal agreement.

This is my last public post on the matter due to some harrassment I and the publisher have been receiving online.


Well, thanks very much for clearing that up; much appreciated.

And I'm sorry you guys are being harrassed. I haven't seen any harrassment; obviously there's been discussion at EREC, which is, as I said, the same sort of discussion had about any new epublisher and hardly qualifies as harrassment. If people are crossing that line that's a shame, but you shouldn't let it stop you from participating in any of the discussions I know of, which I think have been very interesting and educational, and certainly reasonable and adult, save a few anonymous commenters. You know that sort of behavior wouldn't pass unremarked here.
 

veinglory

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I remain interested in the matter and have directed my enquiries to Dalyn Miller as requested.
 

JanDarby

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They've got an ad on Craig's List, seeking "interns to read and evaluate erotic romance novel and short story submissions and copyedit manuscripts. Must have some copyediting training and/or experience, an affinity for erotica or romance books, and great communication skills."

Note that it also states: "Compensation: no pay"


Link:
http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/wrg/815468153.html

ETA: They've also got an ad for "freelance copyeditors" (doesn't indicate pay scale) here:
http://www.online-writing-jobs.com/jobbank/detail/link-40098.html
 
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I used to work as an editor for a London book packager, and am somewhat confused by the various misconceptions I've read regarding book packaging, mostly in the comments in the EREC blog. Emily, if you'd like to PM me any questions regarding packaging I'll do my best to answer them, so long as you remember that it's been a while since I Packaged (meanwhile you might want to check out my blog, where I have posted a tiny snippet of information about packaging).

My main concern here is not to do with how packaging works, however, but in what seems to me to be a clear conflict of interests for Ms Perkins. If she's a shareholder in Ravenous, and she edits for them, then it seems to me that no matter how small her shareholding is she shouldn't be sending her agency's clients towards publication with them. Even if she's not taking any commission for such sales. She's in a priviledged position, which it seems to me she's abusing.

I could be wrong, in which case I apologise profusely. I don't want to damage her reputation here, or sling mud: it Just Seems Wrong to me. I'd appreciate some clarification, from her or anyone else, about why this is OK because right now, I just can't see it.
 

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Give up your copyrights forever

Hold off on any new publisher for a year, to see if they're still in business, and if so what kind of business they're running.

Aren't there already plenty of erotic/romantic e-publishers with long-established reputations to submit to first?

I read some ebook sites want you to give up your copyrights to them forever. If you never sell anything there, or too few, you can never go anywhere else. I'd like to hear someone else's thought on this.
 

veinglory

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Most epublishers have a contract of 1-7 years. I only know of one that is life of copyright.
 

Deccydiva

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I thought the man on Ravenous' page was pretty hot, myself. If I weren't married and completely past my prime, I'd do him in a New York minute.

But I suppose tastes vary in that department.

:)

Hm. Not my type at all. :e2paperba
The website doesn't appear to be "open for business" until December, or have I hit the wrong link?
 

shameless

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I read some ebook sites want you to give up your copyrights to them forever. If you never sell anything there, or too few, you can never go anywhere else. I'd like to hear someone else's thought on this.

Kate-- Not always true. I'm soon to be published at BookStrand. My contract gives them rights for five years. After that, they can be renewed on a month-to-month basis. I have several friends who have been epubbed, and none of them signed contracts with unlimited rights.

And, if I'm not mistaken, the copyright always belongs to the author. You seem to be referring to publishing rights.
 

Stacia Kane

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I read some ebook sites want you to give up your copyrights to them forever. If you never sell anything there, or too few, you can never go anywhere else. I'd like to hear someone else's thought on this.

Emily's right. I only know of one house that asks for life of copyright, and that is negotiable.

And, just as an aside, if the book isn't selling any copies at all (not at all likely at that particular house), chances are they'll let you out of your contract anyway if you ask them to. Even the length-of-copyright contract has a reversion clause.
 

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