Friday, July 20, 2007

Anyone, Anyone?

So I spent the evening yesterday reading the conversation on Smart Bitches about the choice of a couple of authors to "dress up" for the RWA literacy signing. It was an interesting discussion, actually, and people had a lot to say (there are close to 100 more comments now than when I shut down last night). Can't decide if I can be arsed to check out the new comments. But while wading through 409 comments, I learned some new and fascinating things and my mind was sent on all kinds of tangents. Here are some things I am curious about:

**Two of the authors under scrutiny are Liz Maverick and Marianne Mancusi who dressed up in the style of the new, anime/manga inspired Shomi line. There was a lot of discussion about the appropriateness of the outfits etc. as well as the appropriateness of wearing said outfits to the events. I'm in the camp that doesn't find the outfits all that shocking. They remind me of something I would've worn for a party in college. All that's missing is some Wine with Everything lipstick and a Rolling Rock. The outfits are part of their marketing campaign to set the line (and themselves) up as the cutting edge of romance. They're aiming to grab that twentysomething demographic that's outgrown YA and disdains Romance. Mancusi and Maverick are calling themselves the Rebels of Romance. Now I am interested in the books (hate the covers), and will try it regardless, but I was surprised to find myself irritated. It bugged me. It seems kind of like this forced, we're cooler than you, cheesy thing. I think its the "rebels" thing that makes me want to sniff and say, "Poseur". A real rebel wouldn't call themselves a rebel. On the other hand, someone in high school would. So perhaps these ladies are just writing to an age group which I am no longer part of. Ehh, I don't really care, I like that someone's trying for something a little different. Didn't care for it though, and was curious if anybody else had a reaction.

**Why Trade? Seriously, I'm not being snarky, what is the point of the trade paperback? Why pay 13-15 dollars for a big paperback? How do they decide if an author will be published in MM, Trade or Hardcover? Is there a reason, publisher-wise for it? I figure there must be, but what is it?

**Dude, did you realize that there are sites that charge for reviews? Oh, I'm sorry, for "guaranteed" reviews. Wow...that's interesting. When I reviewed for SLJ, it was all volunteer reviewers, and I would imagine its the same for most of the other major review journals. Is it cool to charge for reviews? Now I spent all of ten minutes looking around Two Lips Reviews, and I haven't bothered to check out their fee structure. Perhaps it is very reasonable. But I did notice that for the most part it was erotic romance of the electronically published type. Probably doesn't get reviewed in too many places, and I would imagine any exposure is good for an author. I just don't understand the ire directed at bloggers who review honestly, if harshly, who do it because they love to read romance, but no one has a problem with the idea of someone taking money to write a bland, generic review? For the record, if anyone wants a review, I'll do it for free. I can't guarantee an A, but it'll be detailed enough that anyone will know exactly what worked and what didn't. I don't get a ton of hits, but I'm sure I could get my sister to link, and she gets lots of hits :) I was just surprised, and a bit dismayed. I thought people were joking about 4 wet thongs etc.

**This one has nothing to do with RWA, but sadly I can't stop thinking about it. Has anyone seen Rock of Love yet? Train-wreck compelling, for sure. I can't quite figure out what makes this one so much more depressing than, say, Flavor of Love or the one with Peter Brady and Adrianne Curry. That motley crue of chicks they've assembled is very sad. Most of them seem to be taking it deadly serious, and I think my dogs are smarter. At least he didn't keep the weepy, fall-down drunk on. Like I said, it's funny for now, but I'm definitely laughing at them, not with them, and I could see that getting old fast.


Kristie (J) said...

Having been there in person, I thought Liz and Marianne were kind of cute. I rolled my eyes when I saw the swan and the rest of the get up on Sherry Lyn Kenyon though. But since I don't read her books anymore I just walked on by. I do think it was over the top - but heh *shoulder shrug*
I don't understand the whopping amount of comments at SB's though. Doesn't strike me as being that big a deal - three authors out of hundreds dressing up.
As for the Rock of Love - that just squicks me out totally!! Looks like a bunch of hookers/strippers vying for the love tool of an aged surgically enhanced former rock star *shudder*

Bev (BB) said...

I'm honestly having a difficult time understanding calling two outfits that quite clearly could've been worn on the street "costumes" in the first place. Expending that many comments on their outrage about them is amazing. Had they truly been costumes, maybe then I could see the point.

Now the swan, I'm trying to figure out all the way around. I've seen it in a photo and still have yet to have anyone explain it to me. It must be an inside joke, which means it's value as a promotional item is questionable to begin with. If so, that one has to be chalked up to author eccentricity and they can have at it all day.

Devon said...

It's midnight and I still haven't started HP7. I did read 200 freaking more comments on that thread at SBTB!! I think it might finally have died. Defintely a mountain out of a molehill.

I didn't have a problem with the Shomi outfits. The marketing site gave me pause. But upon frther thought, its not aimed at readers anyway, so I shall put it out of mind.

SK's got swan hat pins for sale. Ha!

Bev, it apparently has to do witth the cover of a book that she hated. The only thing she liked was the black swan, hence the hat. Yeah, weird. And hat, weird. But it fits with what little I know of Kenyon from her books, site and the signing I went to. She's got a corny sense of humor, and is down with the whole goth/vamp/80's metal thing. When I saw the pic on DA, I was like, "Heh, nice hat" And didn't give it another thought because it fit what I thought y'know.

Really I wouldn't have given any of the get-ups a second thought if the convo at SBTB hadn't exploded the way it did.

Unknown said...

Son of a... Two Lips provides PAID reviews?! Damn, I've even quoted them in MY reviews. I've gotta tell ya, though, there are a couple of other review sites that I seriously wonder if they are also getting paid. EVERY book seems to be gushed over. And come to think of it, they mostly review ebooks, too. PPFFFTTT!

As to the whole costume drama, I have to admit I was a little surprised to see costumes at National, too. I was always under the impression that RT Con is where you "entertain" the fans. But I had always heard that Nationals was a very businesslike and professional gathering of peers. So, no, the costumes did not seem appropriate in this venue. Besides, what does the swan do to sell SK's books anyhow? Are we to assume that wearing that thing labels her as different and therefore incites book lust in us?

Tara Marie said...

The whole thing seemed like a tempest in a tea cup or maybe a tea pot considering there's over 600 comments now and they've been turned off. I can understand wanting professionalism, but the whole thing seemed a little obsessive and at times down right nasty.

I didn't go into any of the reviews at two lips, I'm curious do they give good reviews to everything? or just the ones that are paid for. Or is everything paid for? I probably should go over and actually read them.

Bev (BB) said...

Well, huh. See, if the swan is that much of an inside joke, then it definitely ain't a promotion.

Devon said...

Bev, it seemed like quite a leap from that story to that hat, but if it amuses her...

Tara, I should've spent more time at Two Lips myself, but it seemed like everything was positive and of the "You'll need a cold shower" or "get out the sex toys" variety.

Devon said...

QB--I'm curious about some other sites myself. I looked at Fallen Angel, and they don't appear to, but I was curious about the Author Sponsors on the side of the page. I'm going to look at some others, just 'cuz I'm curious.