Some of us are just born romantics
Archive for the 'Harlequin' Category
Tags: driver, Harlequin, NASCAR, racing, romance, stock car, track
Editor’s Note: I’ve got a post up on the Harlequin blog, 3 Life Lessons Learned While Editing Harlequin’s NASCAR Romances, and I’m cross-posting it below.
Three life lessons learned while editing Harlequin’s NASCAR romances
1.) Heroes are everywhere.
Growing up in Georgia, a lot of my friends made a habit of watching racing and the guys they most gushed over were the drivers. But in NASCAR romances, there are sexy dudes everywhere! On the track, in the pit stall, in the garage, owning the teams, sponsoring the teams…For NASCAR heroines, love happens when they find the perfect man for them, no matter his profession. I say this is true in life, too. And, yes, I am a hopeless romantic.
2.) Every person’s role is essential.
When I first started working on NASCAR romances, I was pretty sure the sport was about driving in circles very fast. Not so! Strategy and teamwork are the backbone of racing, and everyone—mechanics, technicians, tire changers—plays a vital role in winning. Half a second at a pit stop can change everything. Isn’t that sort of like life? Everyone plays an important role, even if we can’t always see it right away. One after-school encounter at the Del Taco can change everything, i.e., that was all it took for me to fall for my husband.
3.) It’s all about love.
NASCAR romances are tales of families—blood relatives, working relatives, team players, fans who make the track a tradition. There are parties and festivities, rivalries and drama. All of it centers on love—of a sport, of family, of a boy and a girl.
Starting this June, you can discover more NASCAR life lessons by checking out our brand new storyline. We’ve changed the format—two novellas in each book—and we’ve got brand new voices in the line-up—YA author Mandy Hubbard and reader favorite Pamela Britton to name two.
Have you read NASCAR? Or visited a race? [Go to the Harlequin Blog and leave a comment to be entered to win free NASCAR books.] Let us know what stock cars—or their drivers—have taught you!
Tags: blog, Harlequin, International Women's Day, library, mother, National Women's Month, Romance novels, Women's History Month
[Author's Note: I did a guest post on the Harlequin Blog this week. In honor of National Womens' Month, which coincides with Women's History Month, the blog editors asked contributors to write about the role of romance novels in their lives.
The broad topic led to some interesting musings from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books' Sarah, Dear Author's Jane, and two other editors in the NY office, with more posts to come. You can read all of the posts on this topic by clicking here.
Olga, the blog's editor, subtitled my post "On Why Sneaking Romances is Alright." But I'm cross-posting it here with a new title because even though my mom put up with my teenage sneaking around, I don't think she would ever agree that sneaking around is okay! (Right, Mom?) And, she probably would not agree that romance novels are good reading...but moms can't be right ALL the time. ;-)]
Reading romance made me the person I am today.
Just ask my mother.
The other day, she gave my sister, a mother of three, some words of wisdom that were both warning and advice: Monitor your children’s books, because you never know what reading can lead to.
Books, and romance novels, are powerful like that. They can make you see the world in a different way.
Robyn Carr’s medieval romances inspired me to infiltrate the adult section of the library before I was nine. Scarlett and Gone With the Wind made me believe that if I spoke my mind and everyone disagreed with me, it would somehow turn out okay in the end. Reading the Caitlin series gave me a yearning to see New York City, where I now live, and taste cappuccino in a real café, way back before Starbucks. And Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale showed me that loving a man for who he is, instead of accepting who family and neighbors believe him to be, can create the foundation for a 16-years-and-going-strong marriage.
I am thankful every day that my mom taught me to read, took me to the library and let me loose in the stacks. And I’m also thankful she didn’t complain too much when she caught me sneaking around with those clinch covers, letting romance novels have their way with me.
Tags: cover art, Harlequin, romance novel, Volta
Tags: Bollywood, Harlequin, India, Mills and Boon, Mumbai
The land of Bollywood romances filled with star-crossed lovers has a ready appetite for such titles as Taken by the Pirate Tycoon, and Blackmailed Into a Fake Engagement. “The Bollywood tradition is definitely complimentary to Mills and Boon. It’s all glitz and glamor and happy endings; and meeting the handsome prince. There is a cultural alignment,” says Retail Sales and Marketing Director Clare Somerville.
Tags: Harlequin, romance report, temptation, tempted
Romance Report 2010 is out!
Harlequin’s survey revealed that buying books was the number one temptation most (75%) Americans could not resist during the 2009 recession – sacrificing vacations, shopping sprees, dining out and going to the movies.
And they found that 20% of women have stolen money from their men’s wallets. Hmm. Maybe the ladies are stealing the money to buy books….
Tags: angela james, carina press, DBW, Digital Book World, future of publishing, Harlequin, panels, publishing
So not only did I miss what seems to have been great discussions at Digital Book World today, I have been nearly offline for the last week and a half catching up on reading for work.
Now that my deadlines have loosened their grasp just a bit, I scrolled through as many #dbw updates on Twitter as I could handle.
I was especially impressed to see Angela James’ (@angelajames) impact on the New Business panel.
amywilkins: Heehee RT @IrisBlasi Audible gasp from the audience when @angelajames said Carina’s books have no DRM–across the board. #dbwnewbiz #dbw
booksquare: RT @rilnj: RT @calreid: #dbw @angelajames No advances, 30% royalty/cover price & no DRM. R. Nash howls “you’ll be pirated!” angie: probably.
Love the gasping visual! And I’m intrigued by Angela’s response to accusations of letting in the pirates.
The DBW webinar last Thursday dealt with piracy, in a limited way (focused mostly on O’Reilly titles.) But the guest researcher, Brian O’Leary, said the initial data shows that the most pirated titles are also the titles with the most sales. Correlation? Causality? It’s unclear. (If I remember correctly, he said that the titles that were the most pirated also had 2/3s more sales than titles that were not pirated.) It seems to lazy-ol’ me that when it’s easier to buy than to steal, people will pay for the convenience, if for nothing else.
Also, aren’t publishers always giving away free reads? Like dope pushers, they know a good book will bring the addicts back for more. Samples, excerpts, advanced review copies, and libraries. Free e-books, just from anecdotal evidence, seem to do the same job. So maybe encouraging piracy is a good thing?
And then the conversation took a turn:
IrisBlasi: Discussion about ebooks getting heated. @angelajames offers to “take it outside.” #dbw #dbwnewbiz
A duel at dawn? Thunder Road? If only… It was probably more like, “Time’s up. If you want to keep chatting let’s go outside.” In any case, I can’t wait to read more about this panel from Angela and others who were there.
A few other updates stood out that were not Carina Press-related.
concentricdots: Most crucial message for publishers from #dbw today is STOP marketing products and START cultivate customers. Use the tools of change
This is where social media comes in, I suppose–but only when done right. IMO, Harper Studio’s blog is an example of the publisher getting it right. I read their blog because the posts are interesting. The blog writers, who all work at Harper Studio, cover timely topics related to publishing, media, entertainment, editing and, of course, their books. But when they do get around to writing about their books, the posts are about more than just what’s coming out and why it’s great. Instead they discuss something cool or personal that is related to their books.
Those blogs that only say “see this book/interview/author”? Ugh.
charleenbarila RT @IrisBlasi: Mindshift: Publishers are not selling the book, we’re selling the author.-@R_Nash #dbw #dbwnewbiz
Is this really a mindshift for publishers? Hmm. Isn’t that what happens with those blockbuster names like Nora Roberts, James Patterson, etc.? Harlequin folks always talk about “growing the author.” The assumption is that authors will always write more than one book, and future books will be just as good as, if not better than, the one that first caught an editor’s eye. Holding that assumption as true, an author’s audience should grow as she becomes known by more readers. Other publishers don’t think this way?
geogeller we are in the business of selling experiences, food for imagination #dbw #140conf @jeffpulver @chrisbrogan @garyvee @lizstrauss
I love this! Reading is always about the narrative experience for me, even for non-fiction. Now we readers can add to the imaginary world with other virtual experiences. Like that time when I was ten and I baked scones to go with my Philippa Carr novel–except way better.
nyefwm RT @alicepope: Sara Nelson: One of the truisms in publishing is that publishers don’t spend money promoting their backlists. #dbw
As someone who works on backlist quite a bit, I found this truism interesting. If publishers don’t spend money promoting those older titles, and authors have nearly forgotten that they wrote those books, how can editors best help get the word out? Homework for me!
Tags: bestseller lists, bestsellers, books, Harlequin, Presents, sales, tracking, USA TODAY
Due to a change in sales tracking, six Harlequin Presents titles made the USA TODAY bestseller list this week.
Congratulations to those authors on the January 3rd list:
#76 DESERT PRINCE, BRIDE OF INNOCENCE by Lynne Graham
#108 RUTHLESS BOSS, ROYAL MISTRESS by Natalie Anderson
#112 CAVELLI’S LOST HEIR by Lynn Raye Harris
#118 PRINCE OF MONTEZ, PREGNANT MISTRESS by Sabrina Philips
#123 POWERFUL ITALIAN, PENNILESS HOUSEKEEPER by India Grey
#124 THE ITALIAN BILLIONAIRE’S SECRETARY MISTRESS by Sharon Kendrick
These authors’s success makes me wonder: If sales had been tracked differently before now, how many other Harlequin series authors would be USA TODAY bestsellers? If online sales, from Amazon and others, were added to the mix would that change who we saw as bestsellers?
And, does anyone know of an ebook bestseller list that isn’t retailer-dependent?
In any case, no matter how they are tracked, here’s to many more bestselling series romances in 2010.
Tags: Harlequin, Horizons, publishing, self-publishing, vanity press
I am distressed. Like, feeling-an-ulcer-boiling-up-in-my-gut distressed.
Even though this blog has my own given name on it, and it includes a sweet little “this ain’t Harlequin’s blog” disclaimer on the right sidebar, and I spent my precious library time posting about how this blog is my personal opinion blah, blah, blah, I’m still worried people might be mistaking my thoughts for those of the Harlequin PR office. (Yes, I tend toward paranoia.)
I’m not an executive, a director, a manager or even a senior person at Harlequin. I just work there, happily, and love publishing, a lot. Naturally, I thought it’d be interesting to discuss exciting developments within my favorite publishing company as one publishing professional to others.
Alas, that plan isn’t working for me.
I’m too much of a nervous Nellie. Even though Harlequin has a permissive blogging policy, it still feels weird to go from 16 page views to over a thousand on the back of a blogosphere fury. To lower my stress, I’m holding off on discussing Harlequin on this blog. (At least until the Horizons furor dies down.) That way I can assure my bile-filled stomach that I haven’t accidentally said something that someone else will take as coming directly from Harlequin.
I love my job and I want to keep it. Also, I hate ulcers.
So. I’m going to publish this little piece and then play around in the comments that have piled up over these last few days. I will respond to as many as I can, though I will not answer any questions specifically about Harlequin or Horizons.
I will, however, change the comments to unmoderated so you guys can better discuss things amongst yourselves, if you want to hang around. And, I will continue to discuss self-publishing, vanity presses, e-publishing and any other crazy mode of non-traditional publishing that catches my fancy. Because, in spite of the naysayers, I think they are interesting ideas that deserve further thought and discussion.
Tags: future of publishing, Harlequin, Horizons, publishing, self-publishing, vanity press
Bloody fingers! Bloody fingers! (And I’m still chewing.)
I cannot express how frustrated I am not to be able to further the conversation about Horizons right this very minute. NYPL has given me a computer reservation that lasts less than half an hour, with page-load times that could barely beat molasses in January. That’s just enough time for me to approve all of the passionate, insightful and thought-provoking comments I’ve received so far, and not enough time to respond to any of them in any depth.
The one thing I do want to say in my limited time is that on this blog I am not acting as a “representative” of Harlequin, as some commenters have indicated. (My disclaimer on the right-hand side says this clearly.) This is my personal blog filled with my personal opinions about publishing, an industry I care deeply about.
I actually started this blog not long ago because of the many, many articles, posts and tweets I have been reading this year about self-publishing, vanity publishing, e-publishing, and other new and changing options and distribution models. I have a collection of links waiting to be posted that have nothing to do with Harlequin. It’s just that the company made some exciting announcements recently. Since my goal is to discuss how publishing works now and how it is evolving, I couldn’t very well ignore the winds of change that were fluttering the papers on my day-job desk.
If the only thing you know about me is that I work at Harlequin, you might think I’m touting the party line. An understandable mistake since this blog is so new I haven’t even filled in my About page! Honestly, nobody read my ramblings until yesterday when Angela James kindly alerted everyone to my presence on Twitter. (Thanks, Angela. I think.)
So, please forgive me for not being able to address your comments right now. I’m ready to discuss the future of good writing, wherever it may be published. As soon as I can get my hands on a real computer.