Small presses, review angst, and miscellany

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Photo has nothing to do with anything, I just love collecting images. I’m taking a break from pawing through old watch parts to create more “steampunk/altered art” lots to sell. I possibly make more money doing this than writing. I noticed today a post in which some authors were surprised that there exist agents with “second” jobs, or vice versa. Hmnn. I would love to see the statistics on that.

Of course, most of the authors I know have “day jobs,” including those who are full-time homemakers and mothers or fathers. I would expect that number to increase on the one hand–given publishing hard times. To decrease possibly–given day job layoffs! These are tough times, and I’ve noticed a lot of aspiring and new authors (like myself) very worried about the lack of a market for their work. I was in Manhattan this weekend, thinking of a time when I worked there in publishing, and how times have really changed. It will bounce back, and it will be different when it does. Wish I had that crystal ball.

Visited Just Erotic Romance Reviews for the first time in a long time, and noticed something–mainstream mass market releases alongside epubs. Reviewed together, all mixed in. Huh. Then it struck me that most online review sites are doing this as well. So when did that happen and how? When New York realized they wanted to market to an online romance community that is already thriving? Have epublishing/small press houses actually carved a path? I wonder what the upshot of that melding of the two worlds will be? Or is it already one world, where romance writers have a foot in Ellora’s Cave or Samhain, for example, and another at Kensington, etc.

What is old is evidently never too old for the romance writing community–reviews, or rather, the analysis of review sites. Today on some threads I noted that the usual suspects–Smart Bitches, Dear Author, Mrs. Giggles–drew some ire. The question is always the same. “Why are they so nasty?” (Dear Author generally not cited as uber-nasty.) The answer is always the same “Ratings.” The idea is that the motivation for being funny/snarky or downright despicable if you’re inclined to view it that way overrides some moral compass that reviewers ought to have. But don’t. Or some do. Whatever.

Once again, I’m the outsider, basically agreeing with just about everything Mrs. Giggles has ever said about MY OWN books. Okay, maybe I’d throw myself a few more points on each title, but she’s always nailed some weak point. It maybe hurts when she gets a laugh at my expense (admittedly, it’s been a while since a new release), but that’s a matter of style. The other argument is that bad reviews can help sales. I. Don’t. Think. So. I think that’s something authors tell themselves to soothe egos. I would propose that some other marketing initiative or parameter is at work and it’s a coincidence that your sales went up the week your book got trashed. I think reviews are for readers, and some readers simply love funny reviews. Crickey, look at Saturday Night Live. They’ve been on–how long–making fun of popes, presidents, blind governors? Ratings. Viewers.

The Wild, Wild West (not the bad Will Smith movie). My opinion is that authors should stop trying to wrestle these snakes in a bag (bad metaphor–snakes on a plane?) called the internet. You can’t control it. Read it and laugh, or don’t read it.

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One thought on “Small presses, review angst, and miscellany

  1. laughingwolf says:

    methinks you’ve nailed it, it many areas šŸ™‚

    seems the electronic and the hard copy world will continue to cohabitate, live in sin as it were… but their offspring will be the critters to watch, whatever they end up being šŸ˜€

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