Thursday, January 31, 2008


Whew. The day job turned my brains to mush, and I left a few things hanging. For instance, the Create a Contest Contest. Isabelle Santiago is the winner, and her "What Kind of Thief are You" contest will run on February 12 with my guest post at Beyond the Veil. (Isabelle, if you've purchased Like a Thief, I'll send you a MB&M gift certificate. Sorry about the delay.)

Also, last week, Jane at Dear Author wondered whether the ePublishing's reputation for erotic fare was driving away potential readers. She used Like a Thief in the Night as an example, since neither the interest Ember might have garnered from The Serial, nor Sherry Thomas 's public french-kiss--er, enthusiastic review of Ember and Like a Thief last week generated enough purchases at MBAM to put Like a Thief on their top ten bestseller list.

An interesting discussion of the perception of ePublishing resulted. Mrs Giggles blogged her thoughts. Nice Mommy/Evil Editor Angie started a weekly series at her blog highlighting Samhain's non-erotic romances.

Another interesting result? It's over there on the left.

What do I think of the whole thing? Aside from being thrilled to see Like a Thief in such great company (Hi Shiloh! Hi Bonnie!) I commented briefly on Dear Author, and in more detail at Mrs. Giggles's blog. In an overlarge and overlong nutshell, my thoughts are these:

The thing I like about ePublishers is that they seem a little more willing to take risks and break genre rules. Like a Thief has plenty of sex and even more violence, but those aren't the tough selling points. Like a Thief features a heroine who is, by her own admission, heartless, and the story crosses several genre lines--I call it an a sci-fi paranormal action-adventure erotic romance. Bit of a mouthful, eh? And its only 28,000 words long--roughly a third the length of the average single-title romance.

Writers writing for New York know what New York wants. Just as writers writing for ePubs know what sells. I knew going in that M/M and menage were hot categories. I knew Like a Thief's violence and the heroine might be a turn-off for some readers. But I wrote the story I wanted to write, and Samhain published it, and I'll always be happy about that.

I didn't expect to see Like a Thief on that list. It's my first novella. Ever. And the first thing I ever submitted anywhere. I expected a polite rejection from Samhain. Everything since then has been an awesome surprise. I did rather expect to see The Valentine Effect and Erotics Anonymous on the list on day 1. Both Bonnie Dee and Veronica Wilde have written some excellent and very well-reviewed stories. They have fans (I'm one).

The Strangers in the Night stories came out on the same day as the three stories from Samhain's Court Appointed M/M anthology. All three stories from the M/M anthology are on the list, along with two menage stories. At the time of this writing, the top 5 books are M/M or menage.

What does that mean for new authors? Or for authors that don't write erotic, much less M/M or menage? It means we are being subsidized by the more popular categories. The success of those subgenres is what allows ePubs to take chances on the next hot-selling subgenre.

So, while I think it's a shame some readers are put off by the more exotic and/or sex-centered offerings, I'm won't complain if my books' sales numbers get trumped by shapeshifting threesomes or hawt gay lawyers. Popular erotic subgenres fund the risk-taking I admire in ePubs.

I'd like it if more people appreciated the diverse offerings available from ePublishers.
And, like Jane, I'm going to do my best to remind people who think ePubbed books are all erotic romance and/or pr0n that ePublishing offers a diverse array of genres and content.