Archive for the 'Harlequin' Category

Romance is my day job

Patience Bloom, senior editor of Harlequin Romantic Suspense

Patience has a blog, Romance Is My Day Job, and she’s invited other romance editors to post. Yesterday was my first contribution, so check it out!

Some of us are just born romantics

Wanting heroes and heroines to get together is part of my DNA. At least it seems that way. For as long as I can remember, I’ve looked for romances everywhere.

The Evidence…

Harlequin NASCAR

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.

Click over to the Harlequin blog and comment on the NASCAR posts to be entered to win FREE NASCAR books! NASCAR posts from authors Jean Brashear and Abby Gaines will be up later this week.

cover 1 cover 2

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!

In praise of tolerant mothers and romance novels

[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.

Harlequin cover art from Volta, NY

Volta

Mills and Boon in Mumbai

India Desire

Harlequin’s Mills and Boon Mumbai office was featured in today’s Publishing Perspectives.

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.

Are you tempted?

romance report

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….

#DBW–day 1

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!


Follow me on Twitter

Subscribe to Stacy Boyd’s blog

DISCLAIMER

I work as an editor at Harlequin, but the posts on this site are all mine and don’t necessarily represent my employer's positions, strategies or opinions.
my book shelf:
Stacy Boyd's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: