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Digital Imprints
LisaMarie
Posted: Thursday, April 21, 2011 4:26 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216


What are these? I recently found out that Harlequin has Carina Press. Avon has something called Flame or Flare -- can't remember. What are digital imprints, and how do these work exactly?

MarieDees
Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 1:29 AM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157


Digital imprints release the books as ebooks first and may or may not release paper/print versions.

Each publisher may handle it differently, but with Carina Press the genres and lengths seem to be more flexible than other Harlequin imprints. I know Angela James often answers questions on the Harlequin forums to explain what she's up to with Carina Press.
LisaMarie
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 12:15 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216


I really like the idea of going with a digital imprint, for some reason. Maybe I've been reading too many articles in trade publications about how ebooks are taking off, or maybe they appeal to me because of my sense of eco-consciousness (less paper, healthier environment). I was just wondering about the publishing procedure in place, and if the writer really needs an agent to go this route.
MarieDees
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 2:05 AM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157


Most publishers offering digital-first imprints as well as most small ebook publishers take submissions directly from authors. No agent required. And actually most agents won't pitch to them. Print is still outselling ebooks, despite all the Amazon press. (ebooks are outselling print on Amazon, not in the world in general.)

ebook publishers and digital imprints generally offer no advance or a very small advance but larger royalty percentages. This generally isn't an arrangement that works well for agents. Agents earn their worth with an author by being able to negotiate a larger advance and other monies in the contract. With most ebook publishers and digital imprints there simply isn't anything to negotiate. All authors work to the same contract. Sell more and you make more money.

Right now authors still tend to make more money with a traditional print publisher. But ebook publishers and digital imprints are offering a way to get books out that appeal to smaller audiences or might just be more risky.

I'm out at Gay Days in Orlando this weekend and we have nearly a whole row of gay erotic romance publishers, authors and distributors plus a series of panel presentations. It's a market that most of the larger publishers aren't ready to open up to yet, so authors work with the smaller press and digital imprints. But our work isn't done when the book is epublished. We have to get out there and connect with our audience. You need to have an idea of who your audience is and how you'll reach them.
LisaMarie
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 6:32 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216


I'm definitely out for a niche market. This one, to be precise:

http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/comments/gs.-vs.-sta-heroines-who-dont-want-kids/

Of 20 percent of American women, there's bound to be a small but devoted audience; in the UK, it's 25 percent, in Europe 30-35 percent and 50 percent in Japan. I've studied this demographic carefully and have done a lot of networking. Even though all of my novels will feature heroines and heroes who are CFC, it's really tough to market myself as a CFC writer, because really, there's still a lot of potential crossover into the mainstream readership. I do know that there are a lot of women who want more of these books, myself included -- especially contemporary romance.

I can definitely see a digital imprint being a better idea from a publisher's perspective. There won't be too much of a problem drawing readers, if I market my work tastefully.
MarieDees
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 11:16 AM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157


I'm not sure that's a demographic that that there are epublishers or digital imprints looking for. There just isn't a genre out there for Romance that specifies CFC and digital publishers still have to get the books listed into a category on AllRomance ebooks and Coffee Time Romance and similar sites. If you check out the books presented to answer the SB thread, you'll notice that none of them are marketed as child-free. They fit into other romance categories, but simply don't focus on the couple having kids.

Carina Press wants books that focus on establishing a deeply romantic love between the two characters. While they don't insist on children, I'm not sure they'd want to focus on the CFC concept. (I'm basing that on feedback from an editor on my gay angel/demon story which presented religious issues they weren't comfortable with. Carina Press hasn't strayed that far from traditional.)

But the other problem might be that for the most part the erotic romance market doesn't focus on having kids. So there's already a huge selection of books to read that don't fall into the "brides and babies" category if you venture outside of the old-fashioned romance.
LilySea
Posted: Thursday, November 10, 2011 3:27 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241


I'm bumping this thread because I've recently decided to use a multi-pronged approach to my developing writing career and digital imprint is one of the things I want to try.

I recently uploaded an attempt at historical romance here. It's a revision of a general historical fiction novel I had shelved, and I'm trying to revise/rewrite to genre conventions and turn it (one novel) into two novellas (a book+sequel) and then sell it to one of the e-imprints/digital-only presses.

I think I'll start with Carina, simply because I like the idea of an imprint of a huge, historically successful publisher. But I am trying to make a list of other places to go as well.

Here' the hitch: while my story is, I think, probably a fairly traditional one according to historical romance conventions, it's actually entirely queer, as the "hero" is a woman disguised as a man, or a transgendered man (which is really anachronistic for this period, but for lack of better terms...).

So on the one hand, I would expect it to appeal to the typical romance fan, on the other, maybe the typical romance fan would be squicked by the gender bending. So Carina? Maybe not.

But it's also not "gay erotic" romance.

Anyway, I am feeling positive about the possibility of finding the right fit for it, but I also want to find the best--most prestigious--place for it.

Suggestions? Advice?
HJakes
Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 1:57 AM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 46


I think you'll find some non-traditional romances rolling out with digital imprints. Do your homework on their submission guidelines. Just because they're digital or digital-first doesn't mean they aren't looking for HEAs, but I've seen some very interesting twists lately.

And agents do sell to digital. I don't think it's their first choice because these publishers/imprints generally don't offer an advance, but I've seen dozens of agented sales to Entangled, Carina and Samhain in the last few months alone. If advances are down at traditional pubs, but the digital imprints are getting the books to market faster - and often with higher royalties - they are suddenly looking more attractive.
LilySea
Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 10:56 AM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241


Ya'll probably already knew about this, but I was pointed this weekend to a small presses page at Writer Beware that is full of terrific, helpful information about small and/or digital presses.

 

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