first published in the Brisbane Courier-Mail 30 June 2007
Lots to report from the world of romanceland this week, and most of it comes from the realm of e-publishing.
Anyone indulging in the world of romantica will be familiar with the name Triskelion, which was, up until this week, one of the big players in e-romance. After Ellora’s Cave, the current leader in romance publishing online, Triskelion is the only e-publisher to ever match the Romance Writers of America’s standards for a recognised publisher. Further, Triskelion has also been a launching point for a number of rising authors including MaryJanice Davidson.
Last month, the RWA released a statement that it was uninviting Triskelion from their annual conference. This in of itself is not that big of a deal. After all, Triskelion had already announced that they were undergoing a major reshuffling in management; a step back from their outside commitments seemed like good sense, not a set back.
From that point on, however, disquieting rumours started coming out of unprofessional conduct, missed print deadlines, bounced cheques, and poor author-editor relationships. In the weeks leading up to the final decline, two camps emerged – those authors that have had less-than-exemplary experiences with the doomed publisher, and those that have thrown their weight behind Triskelion, offering positive stories to counteract the bad. Problems were compounded when a rambling letter from editor-in-chief Gail Nordstrom to all Triskelion family was leaked detailing some very personal information about her family situation and the leaking holes in the press.
When whisperings of trouble first came out, Triskelion offered their authors the chance to withdraw from the publisher with their rights, and a number of authors took them up. What’s unfortunate for those authors who did show support by staying on the Triskelion books, is that their rights and works are now frozen with the rest of the publisher’s assets.
In other internet news, if as a romance reader you do not include Smart Bitches who love Trashy Books (www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com) in your daily or weekly internet round-up, run – don’t walk – to your computer and log on immediately. With an irreverent, cheeky, often snarky, sense of humour, these are two very intelligent women who love their romance novels, but never pull their punches when dealing with the genre. With weekly cover snark, their patented ‘mantitty’ specials, reviews, contests, and patented Smart Bitches titles, this is a must visit website if you like your romance with a side of humour. And, luckily for all us readers out there, Candy and Sarah, owners and creators, have just been offered their own book deal. There’s a book I can’t wait to see on my shelf.