Monday, February 20, 2012

Linkage, Good & Bad

An oft-overlooked segment of the non-heterosexual world is comprised of gender-queer (or questioning) and transgendered persons. But the Embrace the Rainbow blog seeks to change that. ('Bout time!)

Their mission is to:
  • foster awareness of the issues facing trans*, gender queer and questioning people;
  • increase understanding through education and open discussion/s;
  • pay it forward, by encouraging acceptance and support in others. 

The refreshingly plainspoken Teddypig has called out All Romance eBooks for THIS smarmy twist on the definition of romance.
W-T-F? I must lead a more sheltered life than I realized, because I had no idea ARe is now in the porn business. (God, those titles alone make my stomach clench!) The fact their YA/Juvenile category also contains this crap is especially bothersome.

And -- holy jamoley! -- they have the audacity to categorize this smut under "Family and Relationships."

Maybe it's time to find another place to shop for ebooks . . .

On a brighter book-related note, SFWA has announced its 2012 Nebula Award Nominees. The Nebula is a prestigious award that carries a lot of weight within the publishing industry and among readers of science fiction and fantasy. Does the awards committee shun books with GLBTQ content? I can't say for sure, but I doubt it. *ahem*

Finally, my newest Jackson Spey / Adin Swift novel, Carny's Magic, seems to have found a home. I'm withholding details until all the contract stuff is finalized.  


Tam said...

Congrats to those who started Embrace the Rainbow. Hope it is successful. I must get the link hooked up to my button on the blog.

There is a thread on GR m/m about the ARe books. It's called "flooding the market" but it specifically talks about the proliferation of tackily titled porn mixed in with the other books. (I can't see TP's post but I have seen some of the covers passed around - the excerpts are painful and sound like a 6th grader wrote them.) I have to say I rarely shop at ARe anymore unless I go looking for a specific book. I know what I want and I'll sometimes shop there because I get a free book every 10. But you can no longer just "browse" new items because for what I'm looking for, maybe 2-3 books per page of 10 are legitimate books, not cut and pastes from free erotica sites with lurid titles. And they are freaking expensive. Who is paying $2.99 for a 3000 word story? Do they not realize they can get that same quality (probably better) for free at places like Literotica?

It's kind of sad, there are some really good self-published books out there but they get caught up in the crap.

Congrats on finding a home for the new story. Looking forward to it.

K. Z. Snow said...

"Embrace the Rainbow" is a great idea. Many manifestations of queerness remain misunderstood.

Ptooey to ARe for going that route. I am so sick of businesses putting the almighty dollar above any semblance of integrity. At the very least, ARe should find a new name. Romance, this shit ain't.

And you're absolutely right about the pricing. One-handed fiction, whether well or poorly written, is plentiful on the 'Net -- for free. Wake up, people!

Tam said...

I understand at ARe, you need to have at least 10 titles to list, but really, how much would it take to hammer out 10 poorly written and unedited sex scenes. I suppose they don't have the staff to actually read all the submissions and determine whether they are worthy, but it is annoying when people jumping on the gravy train kind of screw it up for other people who are putting out legit works that are actually worth money. Although I suppose, my opinion of "legit" works might not jive with someone else's and those damn things seem to be selling, for now.

Chris said...

Jase said that ARe had gotten rid of the 10 title minimum, which led to the flood o' p0rn. :(

K. Z. Snow said...

I wonder if they ditched their minimum for the express purpose of inviting skeevy material. 'Cause if that's the case, it's an even more egregious surrender of standards to profit.

Chris said...

Or it might be an unintended consequence of trying to make things more friendly for legitimate indie authors.

K. Z. Snow said...

Maybe initially unintended, Chris, but the current volume of this stuff definitely points toward intent. ARe's owners can't possibly be unaware of it.

Chris said...

Hmm. I haven't been on the ARe forums in ages - I wonder what people are saying about the dreck over there?

Kris said...

Thanks for the pimpage and support of the 'embrace the rainbow' site, KZ. We really appreciate it.

Yay, to the new novel! And boo to that crap their selling at ARe.

K. Z. Snow said...

You're more than welcome, Kris. 'Tis a very fine thing you're doing by filling that gap!

And, I haven't forgotten about the "new novel" . . . if you catch my drift. ;-)

Tam said...

It's funny how issues pick up steam. I noticed there was some action on the m/m thread and someone named Sara (I don't know her but she publishes or works for a publisher) said ARe sent out an e-mail saying the following ... more or less.

"The gist of it is they will be changing the site over the next couple of weeks. Books will either be in an "erotica" or "erotic romance" category. Every book in that section will have to be manually recategorized to go into the new system. Those publishers who don't change their books manually (or indicate to the person in charge of the changes that they only pub erotica or erotic romance and their entire catalog can be moved en masse) will find their books unavailable after the changes are made."

So publishers are going to have to pick which category and those who just slap their stuff up there and run away waiting for the checks may find their books removed from the list. So hopefully this will get things sorted out somewhat. One can hope.

As for price of those small books, apparently at ARe you get 70% commission on books priced $2.99 or over vs ... 50%? Anyway, it's the reason they all jack the price. You can apparently not sell the book for less elsewhere so it can't be $1.99 on Smashwords and $2.99 on Are. So complicated.

K. Z. Snow said...

Hm. Well, it won't be difficult to peg those babies. The covers and titles give them away at first glance. ARe won't have any excuses for "overlooking" miscategorized books.

Even erotic romance doesn't seem appropriate for that crap. All Romance eBooks should have all romance ebooks. Otherwise, they need a new name.

Chris said...

It's a shame - I've picked up all sorts of covers for the Misadventures, but most of them I won't ever be able to bring myself to include. :)

K. Z. Snow said...

Definitely not. Ugh! You'd drive away all your followers. Unless your followers are pervier than I thought. :)