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[Publisher] Ravenous Romance

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emlynley

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365 novels a year is ambitious, but I can't see them all getting much marketing effort. How can you feature any one title when you have 7 coming out each week? I'd be worried about getting lost in the whirlwind of that much activity. Any thoughts on that issue?
 

jennontheisland

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365 novels and 365 stories a year???? No offense to anyone who has been contracted by Ravenous, but with a need to acquire that volume of material, it does make me wonder how high they can afford to set the quality bar.

- Victoria
I think that bar and the spam solicitations have a direct correlation.

They're obviously not getting anywhere near the number of submssions they need.
 

JanDarby

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There's a twitter address, if you google the publisher, and as recently as a few days ago, they were still seeking December stories. Which is, what, three weeks away? Seven, if you're talking about the end of December, although I believe there's been some research that suggests Christmas stories need to come out closer to Thanksgiving to have strong sales.

I'm also not seeing a truly "romance" angle for the company, so its name seems a misnomer, which could annoy the readers who are expecting romance and, at the same time, confuse and drive away anyone who's looking for a non-romance story. The acquisitions they've mentioned seem to be more in the lit-fic arena or erotica (as opposed to erotic romance).

The twitter comments have included statements that make me wonder if they have any awareness of the existing romance market at all, e.g., suggesting that because they're receiving manuscripts for contemporary stories, there's no weakness in the ultimate market for contemporary stories (as if their acquisition of the stories has predictive value for the reading public's purchase of them), and not knowing that Regency-set historicals with lots of sex has been one area of the historical market that remained strong over the past few years.

RT has run a couple pieces on the company, one in the October issue and one in November (or the issues I received in October and November, but may have been dated for the respectively next month; not sure which), but they were essentially press releases, not feature articles or advertising.

Sorry, but this publisher is just pushing a lot of my hot buttons. I would like to be proven wrong, to see a publisher who does understand the e-market and can get the word out to new readers, to expand the existing market by understanding both the existing readership and the potential readership that is escaping the current attempts to bring them into the fold.

JD
 

Sakamonda

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I have contracted several novels with Ravenous and am very pleased with my treatment there, as well as the current efforts by the company to resell the print rights to those books to traditional NYC print houses (they've already sold print rights for several of their books this way). Anybody who has questions for me can PM me.

I think they are not short on novels as much as they are short on quality, usable short stories. I am editing two anthologies for them right now, and I can say based on my own experience with the submissions I'm seeing for erotic short fiction, that a lot of the stories that are probably coming in to the general acquisitions editor are a) unpublishable (i.e., very low-quality) or b) they are previously published elsewhere, meaning they cannot use them due to the rights Ravenous wants to buy. (I recently had to post an addendum to the call for subs I put out for my anthologies that previously published works are not accepted, since that was all I was getting in---albeit from some very respected authors).

It is my understanding that Ravenous is not having trouble getting quality novels at all----they've signed everyone from million-selling horror novelists to John Updike's protege (and moi)----but they are having trouble getting enough _quality_ short erotic stories to fill some of their current schedule. And I can tell you, they WILL NOT just publish anything that comes in. Quality matters.

I can say as someone who has edited erotica myself that there are a lot of aspiring writers out there that think erotica is easy to write, that they can just throw something together with some sex in it and it will be publishable. Nothing could be further from the truth. Erotica is actually quite difficult to write well.

FYI, there will be a very big feature article on Ravenous in next month's issue of Romantic Times.
 
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Stlight

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As I read, compulsively read this thread and Dear Author, I kept thinking there is a ‘Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am’ factor here.

Of course there isn’t. What it really seems to be is more of a W-mart attempt to corner the market or at least the authors.

Has anyone seen a contract for a novel, anyone who is willing to talk about it? What are the requirements? How many books per contract? Can the author move to another publisher? Submit books to their original publisher? Just how tightly locked are they going to be with RR?

S
 

Sakamonda

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I can answer any of your questions, Stlight, just PM me.

No author is "locked" with RR. You are free to write for as many other publishers as you want. RR is willing to write contracts for single books or for multibook series---I've done both, and am also still writing for print pubs. They are very flexible. Their terms are also very good in terms of royalty percentages, etc. And they do resell the print rights to established print pubs.
 

para

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Anyone who is doing nano and getting spammed via pm should report the spammer to the Nano Mods or your ML. They can ban the spammer. You are only supposed to self promote on the self promotion forum.
 

Stacia Kane

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Has anyone seen a contract for a novel, anyone who is willing to talk about it? What are the requirements? How many books per contract? Can the author move to another publisher? Submit books to their original publisher? Just how tightly locked are they going to be with RR?

S

In all fairness, I anticipate the terms on things like that are the same as any other publisher; there may be an option clause (I don't know for sure, I'm just saying there may be), but I doubt Ravenous is attempting to "lock" writers in forever.

I may not think they're the greatest bet in the world, but I haven't seen any evidence at all that they're treating authors badly or actively trying to scam them.
 

victoriastrauss

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I may not think they're the greatest bet in the world, but I haven't seen any evidence at all that they're treating authors badly or actively trying to scam them.

Nor have I (with the caveat that I haven't yet seen a Ravenous contract). My concerns are with the viability of the business model, and any conflicts of interest that may still exist due to the intertwinement of Ravenous and the Perkins Agency.

- Victoria
 

Sakamonda

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Victoria, email me and I'll be happy to share one of my contracts with you.
 
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Chumplet

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I'm contracted for an incomplete novel, and because of my family crisis, Holly kindly extended my delivery deadline to January or beyond if I need it.

I'll give this novel the attention it deserves, and if they do more with it than my previous work with other e-pubs, I'll be satisfied. If it drops off the grid, I'll move on.

As far as the options clause goes, I don't plan to write another erotic. If they treat me right and the first one sells well, maybe I'll give them another shot.
 

Erastes

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Getting more concerned

I saw this submission today

http://erotica-readers.blogspot.com/2008/11/call-for-submissions-deadlines-12108.html

Ravenous Romance has hired erotica author Jamaica Layne to edit two erotic short story anthologies for release in ebook form early next year, print edition also likely to follow. Advance paid, plus shared cut of royalties. Note that only ORIGINAL stories will be accepted (no reprints, please).

Advances are $10-$25 (varying by length), plus a shared percentage of the anthology's total royalties. Rights purchased include exclusive ebook and audio for the term of three years (renewable). Ebook: (38% royalty), audio (15% royalty; audiobooks are also sold online).

Other rights purchased are nonexclusive print, translation, and film.

Ravenous DOES have the ability to resell print, translation, and film/TV rights to all its books via its relationship with L. Perkins Literary Agency.
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Firstly, Ms Layne is a writer - see above - it all seems far too incestuous to me. I am put off by her extolling Ravenous in her Myspace, telling everyone that the company is spending money flying models to France to model in front of French castles, when it's rather bleeding obvious that the cover is a studio shot.

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?f...n=78D4796A-930B-4455-A2A4C16B7A670BEE41276429



I just don't like the smell of it, to be honest. Everyone seems far too eager to be telling us how GREAT Ravenous Romance are.

Plus - nonexclusive print, translation and film rights? What does that actually mean? - and for $10-25 ? I don't think so.

Erastes
www.erastes.com
 

Sakamonda

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flying models to France to model in front of French castles, when it's rather bleeding obvious that the cover is a studio shot.

Umm, that statement was TRUE. I was merely passing along the info I got from my editor in regards to the cover. The publisher did a shoot at a castle in the south of France for one of the coffeetable books it is producing for one of its other lines of business, and shot my cover there as well.

If you don't believe that, Erastes, I guess that's your prerogative, but anyone who wants to independently verify my claims about the cover shoot for my upcoming book can contact Holly Schmidt, editor-in-chief at Ravenous and CEO of Literary Partners Group, its parent company. (her contact info is on the Literary Partners Group website; I won't post her email here to prevent spamming.)

Erastes, as a fellow LustBites contributor and Virgin author, I am frankly surprised you are attacking me here. What happened to professional camaraderie?

I have just asked one of Ravenous' staffers to pop by here and address some of these questions.
 
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Sakamonda

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further info: the shot used on the cover on my upcoming novel KNIGHT MOVES was shot in the same South of France photo session and using the same models as Hollan Publishing's coffeetable book PLEASURING, which was published earlier this year. (Hollan Publishing is owned by the same parent company that owns Ravenous). This book is available in most bookstores in the Human Sexuality section. You can compare the shots accordingly.

And yes, some studio retouching was done on the cover, but the photo was indeed shot with live models in the South of France.
 
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Unimportant

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Does anyone know what the author:publisher cuts would be if RR were to negotiate the sale of translation or film rights for one of those short stories? If the cuts are in the 80%:20% range, and the author retained the final yes/no on any sale, it would be quite reasonable.
 

Sakamonda

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It's 50/50 split for First Serial, Second Serial, Other Publication (i.e., print).

It's a 75/25 split for Performance (TV, film, radio, stage, et cetera) and Translation.
 

Unimportant

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Those splits sound pretty reasonable.

Saka, can you explain how the 'non exclusive' bit works for the secondary rights? Who has final say, and can the author sell them independently of RR and keep all the proceeds?
 

IceCreamEmpress

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Umm, that statement was TRUE. I was merely passing along the info I got from my editor in regards to the cover. The publisher did a shoot at a castle in the south of France for one of the coffeetable books it is producing for one of its other lines of business, and shot my cover there as well.

I am sure you are reporting this accurately. However, the cover looks to me like a badly composed and Photoshopped studio shot as well. I don't know if that's an artifact of the data loss of posting a thumbnail on a web page and then looking at it on a browser, or just an unfortunate photographic angle, or over-retouching, or what.

So I have to side with Erastes on this point: however the cover was produced, it looks like a studio shot based on a quick look at the thumbnail on your page. But then again, that's a pretty high-loss situation, so it may look different in person.
 

Sakamonda

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Saka, can you explain how the 'non exclusive' bit works for the secondary rights? Who has final say, and can the author sell them independently of RR and keep all the proceeds?

"Nonexclusive" means exactly that----that the author can also sell the rights independent of RR and keep the resulting monies, but if RR sells them, then the split applies. But since virtually no author has the necessary connections to sell film/TV or translation rights on their own, I doubt that is a common occurrence.
 

ELMontague

I am sure you are reporting this accurately. However, the cover looks to me like a badly composed and Photoshopped studio shot as well. I don't know if that's an artifact of the data loss of posting a thumbnail on a web page and then looking at it on a browser, or just an unfortunate photographic angle, or over-retouching, or what.

So I have to side with Erastes on this point: however the cover was produced, it looks like a studio shot based on a quick look at the thumbnail on your page. But then again, that's a pretty high-loss situation, so it may look different in person.

The photo from the cover of the book is on the Hollan site under production, about half-way down. There's also one there, shot inside, that obviously has a European rustic feeling to it. At face value it may be OK, judge for yourself.

ModETA: Some photos NSFW.

http://www.hollanpub.com/lifestyle.html#

I just prefer informed discussions, so have a look. I will keep lurking now. I submitted a story so I'm very interested to learn positive things.
 
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para

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None of those pictures have a European feel, they feel very Americana. Could have been taken anywhere in the world.

The cover from the blog looks like it has been photoshopped.
 

Lainey Bancroft

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Some things to ponder:

(1) From Lori Perkin's RR blog, re short story rights...

Is this how things are supposed to be?

Granted, this is most certainly NOT how things have been. But if a savvy agent thinks there is $$$'S in it for her, there MUST be $$$'s in there somewhere for the authors.

Conflict of interest? Yes, that is my (admittedly inexperienced) knee-jerk reaction...but not enough to keep me from waiting and watching to see what happens to this site and the authors.

Hey, after 10/12 no responses on my 1st ever round of agent queries (and no, not the ones who say they'll only respond if they're interested) I'm open to someone who wants to dance to a different beat...if it works for both (all) of us.
 

victoriastrauss

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Granted, this is most certainly NOT how things have been. But if a savvy agent thinks there is $$$'S in it for her, there MUST be $$$'s in there somewhere for the authors.

But whose interests will the agent serve? That's the problem.

IMO, assigning other agents at the agency to work with Ravenous clients and contracts doesn't really address the conflict of interest issue--it just shifts it.

- Victoria
 

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