The end of January and the first week of February was filled with some interesting happenings in the world of romance. There were some new chart toppers, some expected, others not so much. Amazon is walking softly and carrying a big A$$ stick again. And we get one author’s take on the publishing industry and penning AA and multicultural fiction.
Author La-Tessa Montgomery wrote an interesting article over at Savvy Authors this week, highlighting some of her insights on the world of publishing as an author of African American and Multicultural romance. The article is worth a read and raises some interesting questions.
“…Of the AA romance readers and authors I’ve spoken to, about 90% of them still read across the many subgenres of romance, regardless of the lead character’s race. Yet, when I polled my non AA friends and writers, only about 5% of them have ever read, or plan to read, an AA romance, or any story featuring minority leads. I’ve wondered why this is so, and if this discrepancy will ever cease to be a factor in whether or not I am able to successfully sell my work. The optimist in me hopes it will. A good story is a good story regardless, right?…”
The full article is available here.
It looks like Draft2Digital (D2D) is the latest company to have it’s distribution rights to publishing giant Amazon pulled. D2D runs a service for independent publishers and small presses to distribute their books to book sites like Amazon, Apple’s iTunes and Barnes & Noble. D2D sent a letter out to all customers stating that their titles would be pulled from the Amazon market effective immediately. Those small and indies publishers must now load their books directly into the Amazon KDP market themselves.
Some speculate that this is a direct result of Amazon enforcing it’s Terms of Service agreement (TOS) as well possible issues with distributors like D2D performing poor quality control over the books they upload to Amazon.
D2D’s letter to its customers reads as follows:
“We have finally received follow-up communication from Amazon concerning the suspension of Draft2Digital books that took place on Thursday, January 30th. They offered us no opportunity to appeal or correct their complaints, and showed little concern for the impact that action has had on our users, but they did at last provide some detailed information concerning the fate of the books in our account.
Any of your books listed at Amazon through Draft2Digital will be removed from sale shortly. They recommended that you upload the books through your personal KDP account. We asked them to provide some way to migrate the current books (with rank and reviews intact), but no such option is available.
However, we were assured that if you list the book again using the same title and contributor names, their system will automatically recognize it as a match and transfer the existing reviews to the new book.
We understand and sincerely regret the inconvenience this causes you. We have made every effort to comply with Amazon’s requirements and to resolve their complaints, but Amazon’s absolute failure of communication and hostility toward our business model thwarted our best efforts.
We will continue to pursue a more stable business relationship with Amazon, but for the immediate future, we will cease all distribution there. We did receive assurances that they intend to make timely payment for all book sales that occurred through our account.
In the meantime, if we can assist you in any way, please contact our customer support and we’ll do our best to ease this transition.
I can only say “Yeoch!” I can only imagine the amount of scrambling and work needed in the next few days and weeks for authors and small presses to see their books on Amazon again. Not to mention what happens if you’ve purchased one of these books? Is it removed from your kindle library as well? I’m terrified to check my dashboard, afraid that I’ve temporarily lost some great reads.
Movers & Shakers
An Arrangement of Love by Kenya Wright
I could compose music based on the pinging sound my email makes every time some one suggests this book to me. The reading community is titillated (hehehe, titillated) at the premise and event of this book. I’ve yet to read it but, it is waiting patiently in my TBR pile. This book seems to be another case of love it or hate it. There have been no in betweens with any of the readers I’ve spoken to and I admit I’m curious…Either way An Arrangement of Love, skyrocketed to several Amazon best seller lists in the last week and is currently sitting firmly at #1 on the African American Romance and Interracial & Multicultural Romance chart.
He kissed me. And not just any kiss. He kissed me like he owned me, as if he bought me last night and my orgasm was the payment. His tongue didn’t explore my mouth instead it taunted me, gliding in and out between my lips in a rhythm that reminded me of hot sex. He shifted his hand to the back of my head and trapped me to him. My bag and its contents dropped to the floor. . .
What would you do for six figures?
Billionaire Chase Stone offers Jasmine a six-figure job that requires a full-time commitment in his office as well as his bed. If only she knew that before she agreed, then life would’ve been easier. It’s not that he’s unattractive. Jasmine just didn’t graduate from Harvard with honors so she could be some rich guy’s over paid mistress. What’s even more repulsing is that he lives with three women and wants her to be the fourth.
Not going to happen!
But Chase won’t give up, and Jasmine won’t give in. Someone’s going to have to change because the more they meet, the more something thick, hot, and electric bridges between them, until neither can breathe or think.
Unwritten by Tressie Lockwood
Ms. Lockwood has had a number of best sellers in the past few months, but her latest, Unwritten is topping charts and taking names. I admit that this book is an excellent example of book descriptions and cover art that just ROCKS!
Browsing through Amazon’s lists I saw that chiseled chest and thought, “Oh my, let me take a look.” After reading the blurb, I thought, “Now that just sounds like a hot mess, SOLD.” Five seconds and a one-click later, the book was resting all snuggly in my e-reader library waiting to be devoured. I’m a lover of drama and this book looks like it will deliver in spades. Others seem to agree since it’s sitting pretty and shining on several best seller lists.
Two years ago, Evie did the unthinkable. She put her cousin, the man she’d been raised with, before her husband. She had thought Anthony was just into small time crimes that would never hurt anyone. She was wrong. By the time her husband, FBI Special Agent, Kian Sloane, found out the truth, it was too late for his partner and best friend. Evie’s cousin killed the agent in cold blood and was sentenced to prison. Evie couldn’t forgive herself for her mistake, and it seemed her husband felt the same. When Kian turned cold and didn’t even want to sleep in the same bed with her, she couldn’t bear the hurt and filed for divorce.
Now Kian is back, just when Evie thinks her heart has begun to heal, but Kian doesn’t walk into the bar where she works for her ex-boyfriend in search of a reunion. Kian comes with the news that Anthony has escaped, and the FBI believes he wants revenge and to get Evie, the only family he knows. Evie must be protected and live with the man she still loves with all her heart. Will she and Kian get a second chance at love, or will Anthony and other devastating news tear them apart again?
La Famiglia by Sienna Mynx
Sienna Mynx finally dropped the latest installment to her Bataglia Mafia Series titled La Famiglia and the crowd went WILD! Love it or hate it, this series has definite reader support. If you’ve been waiting for this book and somehow crawled under a rock the last few weeks, SURPRISE!!! And if you’re in the market for a mafia romance give this series a try. Each book is a continuation of the saga so I recommend you start with book one, Destino.
The year is 1992. The Battaglia family awaits the birth of the newest members to their clan. Twin boys will be born to the capo di tutti capi of the Neapolitan clans. By an African American woman who has married the most powerful and feared Mafia boss in all of southern Italy.
Before the birth Don Giovanni Battaglia makes a decision that shocks the family. He will move his wife out of the Campania to his homeland of Sicilia. Against the advisement of his consigliere and uncle, the family relocates to the beautiful seaside beach town of Mondello. And unbeknownst to the Don the lies and secrets he keeps from his wife are already unraveling as well as his empire. His cousin Lorenzo Battaglia who has suffered a humiliating banishment plots secretly to return. The men of the Camorra, organize against him to take control of a region they feel he has left open to his enemies. And the most powerful Don in Sicily, Marsuvio Mancini, is determined to expose his famiglia tie to Mirabella Battaglia. It is an old Mancini family secret that will bring forth cataclysmic consequences.
And while Giovanni and Mirabella fight to hold onto their marriage, the family bonds that keep them strong begin to crumble. Will the Don realize the true meaning of preserving honesty, love, and faith in his marriage in time? Will Donna Mirabella find the strength to forgive her husband of his lies to keep the family safe from his wrath? And what will become of the others who are caught up in their cyclone of drama?
The Super Bowl
The Super Bowl came…and then it went. I’m not going to recap it, because I’m not a big fan of pro sports and the only thing I care about are the commercials (at least I admit it). Anyway, despite the lack luster sporting portion of the bowl, the commercials stole the show and the two that seemed to cause the most conversation were from Coca Cola and Cheerios. Since both highlighted love in different aspects I thought I’d share for those of you who missed them.
Coca-Cola produced this tear-jerker of American unity that showcased ALL of America.
And Cheerios, gave all bigots the finger when they impregnated an interracial couple 🙂
Laurel Cremant is an opinionated author and reader of romance with a wicked sense of humor. RNIC was smart (or crazy) to bring her on as a blogger. Come back on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month to get her romance industry news…with a colorful twist.