Romance

Lord John’s Dilemma

5 March 2015

Lord John 6x9

Mrs. PG has just released another Regency romance titled Lord John’s Dilemma.

What’s it about?

Lord John doesn’t like Napoleon.

Lord John goes to Waterloo.

Waterloo doesn’t end well for Napoleon and Lord John.

Lord John thinks he should marry Miss Lindsay.

Miss Lindsay thinks that’s a good idea.

Being a man, Lord John starts eyeing Miss Lindsay’s governess, Miss Haverley.

PG doesn’t know whether the brunette on the cover is Miss Lindsay or Miss Haverly.

Lord John is the brunette on the cover who needs a shave.

He probably lost his razor at Waterloo.

Miss Haverly doesn’t seem like a typical governess.

Because she’s not.

Miss Haverly has a big secret.

Lord John wants to find out what the big secret is.

Miss Haverly thinks that would be a bad idea.

Eventually, Lord John finds out what Miss Haverly’s big secret is.

PG can’t say what Miss Haverly’s big secret is.

Finding out the secret is one reason to buy the book.

There are many others.

PG isn’t certain exactly what Lord John’s Dilemma is.

Maybe Lord John isn’t sure whether to buy a new razor or go back to Waterloo to look for his old one.

Lord John’s Dilemma is available on Amazon and Draft2Digital is diligently working to make Lord John available in a lot of other places.

 

 

Abandon your dignity and write a racy page-turner

5 March 2015

From The Independent:

Writers should “abandon literary dignity” and write page-turning versions of their thoughtful masterpieces for the e-book audience, the acclaimed author Fay Weldon has suggested.
The 83-year-old author, who has written more than 50 works including The Life and Loves of a She Devil, told an audience at The Independent Bath Literature Festival that a different type of reader needed a different type of writer.

Authors should write a literary version for publication in print form, and a racier “good-bad” version for those who use e-readers such as the Kindle. Weldon revealed she had considered expanding a recent e-book novella for print.

“Writers have to write now for a world where readers are busy, on the move and have little time for contemplation and reflection,” she said. “The writer has to focus on writing better, cutting to the chase and doing more of the readers’ contemplative work for them.”

Weldon expands on the theme on her blog, quoting a survey in The Bookseller last year which showed that 90 per cent of book buyers read e-books with genre and commercial fiction comprehensively outselling literary fiction. One e-reader company, Kobo, also revealed the most read books last year were romance, followed by crime and thriller novels and fantasy.

Link to the rest at The Independent and thanks to Sandra for the tip.

Author Solutions Partner Imprint Bites the Dust with the Closure of Harlequin’s DellArte Press

20 February 2015

From The Independent Publishing Magazine:

It was one of the early self-publishing service imprints to be launched by a major publisher in the USA. Back in November 2009, the launch of DellArte Press (Harlequin Horizons as it was then) — an imprint of romance publisher Harlequin — was operated under a partnership agreement with self-publishing service giant Author Solutions Inc. The launch of DellArte Press quickly followed a similar partnership Author Solutions had with Christian publisher Thomas Nelson. While self-publishing service imprints are now nothing new for the big five publishers, the reception to such imprints was very different in 2009. While Thomas Nelson escaped much of the backlash with its WestBow Press imprint, Harlequin drew considerable negative feedback from the traditionally published author community, particularly those published by Harlequin itself.

The imprint never quite took off at a time when other print-centric self-publishing services were booming in 2009. In its original incarnation as Harlequin Horizons, Harlequin came under considerable pressure from USA-based writers’ organisations and publishing watchdogs. Preditors & Editors changed its listing for Harlequin to that of Vanity Publisher. The Romance Writers of America (RWA) briefly revoked Harlequin’s rating and benefits which it generally extended to all traditional publishers. The Mystery Writers of America (MWA) also took up the gauntlet and Harlequin, after several weeks, announced a change of name and some contract terms. The direct association with the Harlequin logo was removed from the imprint’s website, and Harlequin Horizons quickly became DellArte Press.

Link to the rest at The Independent Publishing Magazine and thanks to Cora for the tip.

How Amazon and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Created a Golden Age for Self-Published Romance Authors — and Why It May Already Be Over

14 February 2015

From Flavorwire:

For Monica Murphy, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance writer living in the foothills of California’s Yosemite National Park, a typical day goes like this: she spends an hour online tending to her social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Then, when her three kids are off to school, she gets down to the serious business of writing sexy romance novels.

Murphy is a pen name — and as Murphy, Karen Erickson has been writing adult novels since 2013. She had been a working romance writer since 2006, publishing under her own name, but it took Murphy’s sexy new adult novels to bring Erickson the kind of “life-changing” success that meant that her family wasn’t living paycheck to paycheck. And as she told Flavorwire, “I’m able to work at home and if my kids need me, I’m there for them.” The work of both Erickson and Murphy — but especially Murphy — kept her family afloat when her husband lost his job.

At first glance, it would appear that the success of “Monica Murphy” has a lot to do with the aftermath of the biggest romance phenomenon in recent history, E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. For anyone who knows the contours of James’ story, Erickson appears to have followed a similar path, along with plenty of other self-published romance writers, who are creating a new class of working genre writers online.

. . . .

In a recent Vanity Fair article on the upcoming film adaptation, writer Vanessa Grigoriadis described what Fifty Shades mania meant for publishing: “Worldwide operating profits for Random House, Vintage’s parent company, jumped almost 76 percent for 2012, and every US employee got a $5,000 bonus, which was announced at the Christmas party.” According to The Guardian, James made $95 million in 2013.

Fifty Shades of Grey was one of those decade-defining books that made the genre of romance palatable to the masses. It also opened up the use of Kindles and e-readers to a new audience, and according to an Amazon source, the Kindle edition sold four times as many copies as the print version. The Fifty Shades phenomenon was like “a rising tide lifting boats,” according to Sarah MacLean, the author of nine historical romance novels, including Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake and Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover. She told Flavorwire, “Romance is too big of a ship for one book to disrupt it. [But] Fifty Shades blew the door open to a whole new group of readers. It was just early enough in the self-publishing story that there weren’t that many novels out there and it was one of the first that people could download quickly and put on their reader.”

. . . .

MacLean, who’s been publishing with HarperCollins since 2010, has observed the fervent reading habits of romance fans up close. “Romance readers are tremendously passionate about their books, and they read on average ten to 12 books a month, which is way more than most readers do,” she says. The appetite of romance readers has been a particular boon for self-published authors, with most cranking out their stories at a quicker clip than your typical traditionally published author. MacLean averages about two books a year, while Erickson, as Monica Murphy, completes a book roughly every two months.

What makes a romance novel successful? Books break out because they fulfill the very intense criteria of the best of the genre. Romance needs to hit beats that are driven by emotional investment in the story. The form, in some ways, is very prescribed, and what makes books interesting is what they do with that form. “It’s a very visceral experience for readers,” says MacLean, who also writes a romance review column for The Washington Post. “Many readers see themselves in the stories and are able to imagine their lives in different ways through romance, and those things are not to be discounted.” Romance readers want to feel everything, to care deeply about the relationship in the story, getting both turned on and thoroughly invested in whether or not the central relationship has a shot in a world that suffers cruel and delicious twists of fate, right up until the happy ending.

. . . .

In 2007, Amazon introduced Kindle Direct Publishing — a free way for authors to distribute their work — along with the instrument to read these e-books on. This made the entryway to publishing as easy as getting an email address, creating a rich opportunity for romance writers to find a broad audience of readers. It’s created its own six-figure-salary mid-list, whose rise was a result of talent, and crucially, timing. The romance authors that I talked to have certainly benefited from Amazon: as Erickson put it, “When Amazon launched Kindle, for a lot of us, we were making real money.”

. . . .

This economic state has led to the slow death of the mid-list author in traditional print publishing, where fewer and fewer writers survive in the middle of the sales pack. Their advances are falling and their sales are, too. A Publishers Weekly article from 2011 discussing the changing expectations of the “big six” (at the time — in 2015, it’s the “big five” with Penguin Random House) reveals that publishers aren’t signing up books that seem like they’ll sell 25,000 copies at most, and an agent is quoted as saying “5,000 is the new 50,000” regarding advances.

Yet romance has stayed steady in print, and it’s simply exploded in e-book sales: in 2010, it occupied 19 percent of the e-book market, and by 2014 it had grown to 24 percent, which means for every four e-books sold, one is a romance.

. . . .

Although Amazon is consistently opaque about the numbers its “best sellers” designation actually represent, a former Amazon employee told me that “from past experience, the #1 seller could mean it’s selling [anything between] hundreds of copies a day to thousands [a day].” For a romance writer working at great speed and efficiency, like Murphy or Grace, this can translate to a six-figure salary for what would be considered mid-list sales.

. . . .

The time may have passed when the average writer could upload their romantic story online and make an instant career out of it. It’s looking as if it’s harder to get to the level that both Erickson and McDonald have achieved in a few short years. As Weinman says, “Some [writers] have broken out. But fewer and fewer do. The ideal ecosystem is a hybrid one, where authors can move back and forth between publishing with mainstream houses or on their own, or do both at the same time.”

Link to the rest at Flavorwire and thanks to Dotti for the tip.

Amazon.com Releases the Top 20 Most Romantic U.S. Cities

5 February 2015

From The Amazon Media Room:

Love is in the air at Amazon.com as the company unveiled its annual list of the Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S.

The list is determined by a compilation of sales data from cities with more than 100,000 residents on a per capita basis and includes purchases of romance novels and relationship books (both Kindle and print); romantic comedy movies (DVDs and digital); a curated list of romantic music, including artists like Maxwell, Miguel, Barry White and Luther Vandross (CDs and MP3 format); as well as the sales of sexual wellness products.

The Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S. are:

1. Knoxville, Tenn.

11. Las Vegas, Nev.

2. Miami, Fla.

12. Pittsburgh, Pa.

3. Orlando, Fla.

13. Everett, Wash.

4. Alexandria, Va.

14. Broken Arrow, Okla.

5. Vancouver, Wash.

15. Springfield, Mo.

6. Cincinnati, Ohio

16. Salem, Ore.

7. Dayton, Ohio

17. Billings, Mont.

8. Columbia, S.C.

18. Wilmington, N.C.

9. Round Rock, Texas

19. Gainesville, Fla.

10. Murfreesboro, Tenn.

20. Erie, Pa.

Some of the interesting finding in Amazon’s romantic data revealed that:

  • Knoxville, Tenn., fell in love all over again, reclaiming its position as the most romantic city after a heartbreaking year away from the top spot.
  • Cupid fixed Broken Arrow, Okla., which debuted on the list for the first time this year.
  • Hearts are on fire in Florida, with three cities making the list this year: Miami, Orlando and Gainesville.
  • Round Rock, Texas, Erie, Pa., and 10 other cities can’t help fallin’ in love, appearing on the list for the third consecutive year.
  • Columbia, S.C., Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Pittsburgh, Pa., turned up the heat in 2015, ranking higher on the list compared to 2014.
  • Five cities lost that lovin’ feeling with San Antonio, Texas, Seattle, Wash., Spokane, Wash., San Jose, Calif., and Sioux City, Iowa, falling off the top 20 this year.

Link to the rest at Amazon Media Room

The Last Taboo: What One Writer Earns

20 January 2015

From author Cara McKenna via Wonk-o-Mance:

When I was a new writer, there was only one place I knew of that offered a sense of what money there was to be made in this gig, and that’s the famous Brenda Hiatt blog post, Show Me the Money! Even now, I don’t really know what my closest writer friends make—and we blab in excruciating detail about nearly everything when sequestered late at night in conference hotel rooms, with our Costco merlot swirling in plastic tumblers and our achy dance-floor feet dangling off the edges of our overpopulated beds.

. . . .

[T]oward the end of 2014, I met what I’d always imagined was a ridiculous, pie-in-the-sky professional goal—a dream more than a goal, really. I set this goal when I sold my first book, just over five years ago. I was infatuated with writing, and I told myself that I would feel satisfied and proud and legitimized forever if I could manage just this: to one day make as much money in one calendar year of writing as I’d made as my salary when I stopped being a full-time graphic designer. And this past year, I did it. With a couple thousand dollars to spare.

. . . .

Now, let’s get the figures out of the way, because in all honesty they’re probably not going to blow your mind and so I don’t want a big build-up. At the time my old office in Boston closed in 2009 and I lost my design job, my salary was $44,000 a year. I wasn’t raking it in by some standards, but hey, I went to a state art college. The kid done all right. And now my “Book Earnings 2014” spreadsheet tells me that, from January through December of last year, I earned from royalties and advances $46,517. And eighty-six cents.

. . . .

I’m comfortable writing about this because in all honesty, I don’t care what anyone thinks of what I make. Money to me is strictly about security and freedom, not prestige or worthiness or even success. I want enough money, but not much more than that. Having much more money doesn’t seem to bring people much more peace of mind. Some might think the amount I now make is great, while some others will probably try to draw me aside in the lobby at RT this spring and murmur conspiratorially, “You know, you could be making so much more by self-pubbing. Let me share with you my secrets.”

. . . .

“Woman Writes for Several Years, Eventually Makes a Living Wage” is not a headline that’s going to inspire thousands to quit their day jobs.

. . . .

I have been writing seriously for 6.5 years.

In that time, I have sold 39 original books and novellas to 5 publishers. (I’m not counting anthologies featuring previously released stories, foreign editions, or re-releases.) Of those 39, 6 titles are not yet released.

My first title was published just under 5 years ago, with Ellora’s Cave.

. . . .

My first royalty check was for $141.00. (Always one to keep my expectations low, I had been hoping for $40, enough to pay for some celebratory drinks, so I was stoked to surpass that by a hundred and one bucks. I’m pretty sure we got Indian food that night.)

In 2010, my first year of being published, I made $11,000 from my writing, with 7 titles released and 1 more contracted. (A large chunk of that came from my first advance, with Harlequin Blaze.) That’s a lot of titles in one year. I wrote short, and quickly. I was intoxicated by this new job that I ached so badly to keep. I was on unemployment, so money wasn’t too much of a stressor between me and my husband. I was very excited to have made five figures in my debut year, considering my initial hopes of getting $40 out of that first royalty period.

. . . .

The healthiest chunks of my income arrive as advance payment checks, not individual books’ royalties. I would not be surprised if my yearly income takes a dip in 2015, if only because I’m contracted and on deadline through the spring of 2016, and don’t imagine I’ll be seeing any juicy signing checks for selling new proposals this year.

Of my 8 books that came with advances and have been out for 12 months or more, only one has yet to earn out its advance—and even that straggler’s getting very close. Modest advances aren’t a bad thing, provided you don’t like a lot of pressure and you’re not too vain.

Link to the rest at Wonk-o-Mance and thanks to Mike for the tip.

Here’s a link to Cara McKenna’s books

Bite Me

9 January 2015

From Nora Roberts:

[A]t the end of the year I did a blog post about positive virtual space, and resolving to maintain this blog and my Facebook pages as such.

It didn’t last a week. I don’t often make resolutions for just that reason, but in this case I’m determined enough to see it through to do this follow-up.

The title of this post is what I often wish to say to posters who come on those Facebook pages, into a thread where everyone’s pretty happy, and feel entitled or compelled to drop some negativity bomb. Moreover, if I–or other posters, or Laura–address the explosion, said bomb-dropper gets defensive or increases the charge. The most-used defense is:

It’s just my opinion.

Recently Laura announced there would be a new trilogy, The Guardian Trilogy, starting at the end of this year. Most who come on my Facebook pages enjoy getting updates like this, finding out what’s coming up, engaging in the discussions Laura springboards. Nowhere in any of that is the phrase: So, let’s have your opinion on Nora’s work.

. . . .

In the middle of the excitement over a new trilogy, someone comments all my trilogies are the same. (One of the given reasons is they’re always about three men/three women, and I can’t argue about that. But . . . duh.)

. . . .

Readers are absolutely entitled to opinions, and there are a zillion places on the internet to express any dissatisfaction. I’m not going to go onto those sites and debate with a reader over her opinion on my work. But these are my pages.

. . . .

Constructive criticism. The reader is not my employer, my teacher, my mother. This is not my hobby, this is my profession, and in this profession I have an editor. I welcome her constructive criticism. I have an agent. I welcome hers. Readers, having those opinions that will vary dramatically from one to another? Not welcome. Not asked for. Not accepted.

Because you use a sink do you get in the plumber’s face and advise him how to fix it? Do you walk into a shop and tell the owner she needs to shake up her stock?If the plumber isn’t doing the job to your standards, find another plumber. If the shop doesn’t have what you’re looking for, try another shop. That’s your power as a consumer.

A book doesn’t come with a suggestion box, and the writer is not obliged to sculpt a story to your specific needs.

Readers read. Writers write. Readers can voice their opinions in appropriate areas, to their friends, to their bookclub and so on. But those who insist on coming into my spaces with their negativity are going to be called out for it.

Those who get huffy because they were just expressing an opinion or offering me constructive criticism? Bite me.

Link to the rest at Fall Into The Story and thanks to Kristen for the tip.

Churning It Out

8 January 2015

From Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

Toward the end of a pretty good Entertainment Weekly article about the romance side of the publishing industry, this sentence appears:

[Bella Andre]’s a naturally fast writer — on average she churns out four to six books a year — and she released the first one in June 2011.

Before we get to the reason I’m telling you about that sentence, let me say one thing that might or might not be related: There’s a slight snobby tone to EW’s romance article. What’s that all about? The magazine’s called Entertainment Weekly, not The New York Times Book Review. EW sings the praises of The Walking Dead and video games, and everything in between, for heaven’s sake, but somehow romance fiction doesn’t meet the high standards of entertainment?

Sorry. I had to get that off my chest.

. . . .

So why am I objecting to that single sentence?

I’m not, really. It’s a common sentence from any media that covers books. And I’m not even objecting to the entire sentence. Bella Andre does write fast by most writers’ standards, and she does so comfortably.

What I’m objecting to is the phrase “churned out.”

It’s become a cliché. Any writer who writes fast “churns out” material. Or she “cranks out” or “pounds out” whatever it is that she writes. Because clearly, no writer who writes fast can think about what she writes.

There are other implications in that phrase. The material “churned out” isn’t very good. It’s also an exact copy of what has come before. It has no real value, primarily because of the speed with which the writer “churns” the material out.

In the olden days of traditional publishing, those of us who “churned out” a lot of books did so under a lot of pen names. Here’s how it worked in my case: Kristine Kathryn Rusch might, at best, put out two books per year; Kris Nelscott one every two years; and Kristine Grayson one every six months.

. . . .

While reading a midlist thriller novel in bed one night several years ago, I laughed so hard that I woke Dean up. What made me laugh? The author’s bio, which stated that the byline of the novel I was reading was a pen name for a “well-known #1 New York Times bestselling author.” Ballsy and hysterical. That writer wrote so many books that his publisher refused to publish them all under his bestselling name.

. . . .

Think about this, people: How many other industries that have megaselling products demand that the producer of popular, high-quality material slow down? What happened to providing the consumers with what they wanted?

When Nora Roberts started out, she was fortunate to begin with Harlequin, which could publish as many books as she produced. She stayed with Harlequin even after she moved to a bigger publisher (Bantam for a once-per-year hardcover, which then became a once-per-year hardcover and twice-a-year mass market paper, and then became twice-a-year hardcovers and three-times-a-year mass market paper, and finally, she had a big fight with Harlequin, and started up the J.D. Robb pen name (twice per year) and her publisher (by then, Putnam) threw in the towel. The publisher finally agreed that Nora could put out a lot of books. But not the publisher’s other writers.

Her speed didn’t matter to that publisher because the publisher had no expectation of quality based on the genre. As we all know, and Entertainment Weekly’s snobby tone confirms, romance is trash anyway. No one expects quality fiction from writers who crank out cookie-cutter books for women.

. . . .

Romance has a lot of respect now compared to thirty years ago—and still writers see phrases like “churned out” and that slightly school-boyish tone that every Literary Critic uses when discussing romance.

It’s about love and mushy stuff. It can’t be good. It might include kissing and touching and actual irony-free emotion. Anyone can churn out that crap if they put their minds to it. But most people are sensible enough to want respectability instead of…whatever it is that these romance people have.

Oh, yeah. Money.

And readers.

Who actually like the books.

Link to the rest at Kristine Kathryn Rusch and thanks to Deb for the tip.

Exile

6 January 2015

Those who have persevered on TPV for awhile know the introduction by heart.

1. TPV isn’t a book blog. PG has nothing against book blogs and thinks they’re delightful, but that’s not what he wants to do around here.

2. Since TPV isn’t a book blog, when PG receives a request to talk about a book, he politely declines, hoping not to hurt anyone’s feeling.

3. There is one exception to this pattern of behavior – Mrs. PG and her books.

 

Exile Cover - ebook

 

When Mrs. PG releases a Regency romance, PG prepares a smartypants plot summary.

But her latest book, Exile, isn’t a regency. Instead, it’s a historical romance set during the waning years of the short peace between World War I and World War II, so smartypants is probably not appropriate.

Exile is a stand-alone sequel to The Last Waltz, which begins not long before the commencement of World War I. You can read a bit more about The Last Waltz and its Viennese setting here.

Mr. & Mrs. PG would each appreciate your consideration of her latest work.

Exile

The Last Waltz – A Novel of Love and War

How fangirls changed the future of publishing

11 November 2014

From The Kernel:

Fifty Shades of Grey was one of the biggest book phenomena in history. Before it became the fastest-selling book of all time, if you’d tried to market a work of incredibly explicit BDSM erotica that started out as a form of vampire-less Twilight fanfiction, you’d’ve been laughed out of publishing.

Instead, Fifty Shades became headline news around the world, outsold Harry Potter in its home country, and ushered a year-long conversation about “mommy porn” into our lives, whether we wanted it or not.

For fandom, which was suddenly and irreversibly dragged into the limelight thanks to Fifty Shades’ fanfiction origins, the cultural shift has been even more significant. The publishing industry is now learning how to contend with fanfiction, while fans are learning how to contend with the attention of the outside world. But what has largely gotten lost in all of this hubbub—in the endless think pieces about women’s fiction and erotica and endless debates about whether it’s ethical to take a work of fanfiction and adapt it into original fiction—is that Fifty Shades wasn’t alone.

In fact, Fifty Shades author E.L. James was actually only one ofhundreds of fanfiction writers and supporters within Twilightfandom who created this new erotic publishing phenomenon all by themselves.

These fans, most of them women, began by claiming ownership of their fanworks to an unprecedented degree. Then they spent the waning years of Twilight fandom forming small publishing presses and setting up shop as editors, designers, marketers, and writers to publish and sell the works of fanfiction they loved.

. . . .

The Twilight fandom publishing houses were born in controversy, and they have been mired in it ever since.

For decades, fanfiction was everyone’s dirty little secret. Fans often lived in fear of the discovery of their hobby and frequently saw their work pulled or deleted off the Internet at the request of the original copyright holder. Out of this culture of shame and secrecy arose fandom’s most binding ethical code: As long as fanfiction, or fic for short, remains strictly not for profit, it can reasonably be deemed fair use under the protection of current U.S. copyright law. Fanfiction’s free, just-for-fun status is its biggest protection against claims of copyright infringement, and it also helps create a unique and thriving gift-based fandom economy. Anything that breaks that code is met with scathing criticism from both fans and professionals, as was the case whenFifty Shades’ fanfiction roots were made widely known.

But “fanfic can only exist if it’s free” is a murky rule to abide by, particularly given numerous questions about what actually constitutes “profiting” and what constitutes “fanfic.” And most importantly, the idea that for-profit fanfic is illegal isn’t actually true. Under current U.S. copyright law, if the argument can successfully be made that a work of fanfiction “transforms” the original work, then it’s perfectly legal to sell it and profit from it.

. . . .

At San Diego Comic-Con in 2009, an audience member attending a panel on Twilight fanfiction asked the panelists if they’d tried to be published outside of writing fanfic. One of the panelists was Elizabeth Andrews, better known in Twilightfandom as psymom, owner of the then-major fandom hub Twilighted.net.

Andrews answered with an explanation of the ease with which you could take a Twilight All Human fic and turn it into an original fic. The idea is that all it takes is a find-and-replace on names and places in fanfiction to magically change them to original characters and settings. The practice Harper described has long been known to fandom. Older fandoms refer to it as “filing off the serial numbers,” implying that the only thing about the story that’s really changed is its alleged point of origin.

Traditionally, filing off the serial numbers on fanfiction was done in secrecy and solitude. Authors often acted with the illicit partnership of agents and editors who would quietly seek out fandom authors whose writing they admired to ask them to submit works that could be easily adapted to an original setting. This practice went on for decades, entirely under the radar. At the 2010 gathering of Book Blogger Con, which brought together book fans, publicists, and editors from around the publishing industry, keynote speaker Maureen Johnson polled a room of about 500 people to ask how many had heard of fanfiction. Less than half raised their hands.

Fanfiction was at the publishing industry’s back door, and few people knew it except the fans.

. . . .

On Jan. 1, 2010, Andrews dropped a bombshell on Twilighted.net: She and a group of other well-known Twilightfanfic writers had gotten together to form a new publishing company, Omnific Publishing, made with the express purpose of publishing “authors with a proven track record of online success in transformative works”—that is, fanfic.

Omnific’s proposed publishing model seemed to essentially cut out the role agents traditionally play in the industry, instead going directly to the authors of popular fanfics in the Twilightfandom and providing publishing services to convert those fics into original novels. The same day a discussion about the announcement on Journalfen provoked censure and ridicule.

“What could possibly go wrong?” snarked one commenter. Early on, there was speculation on publishing watch forum Absolute Write that Omnific was “an author collective.” Baffled users tried to figure out whether it was a legitimate publisher or not. But with a staff of editors, designers, marketers, and more, Omnific was legit, and over the coming months it followed up the announcement with the acquisition of new titles and the release of new anthologies. It pounded the pavement at romance conventions, fandom conventions, and publishing conventions. People took notice.

Link to the rest at The Kernel and thanks to Anne for the tip.

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