Tag Archives: Sourcebooks

For the Love of Romance

Barbara Vey -- September 18th, 2013

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Yesterday was the official launch of the Romance webcasts.  While there were a few bugs, it was an exciting hour.  I was honored to be asked to host the event and was beyond thrilled to be chatting with three very knowledgeable women in publishing, Esi Sogah, Senior Editor, Kensington Books, Deb Werksman, Acquiring Editor and Editorial Manager, Sourcebooks Casablanca and Diane Moggy, Vice-President of Series Editorial, Harlequin Books.

Dianne Moggy

Dianne Moggy


Esi Sogah

Esi Sogah

Deb Werksman

Deb Werksman





I wish I could have been taking notes while moderating because it was a fabulous discussion.  Here are some of the questions we discussed:

1.Romance Readers are very loyal. In your experience why do you think that is? How are Romance Readers different from other readers you market to?
2. Editors are always asking for fresh and new ideas. What makes something fresh for
3. How are publishers attracting new authors in this digital age? (Competing with selfpublishing. Barbara has example from last RomCon about the shift from publisher to self-publishing.)
4. What has digital allowed publishers to do that they couldn’t before? (I’m thinking novellas, e-serials, faster access, etc.)
5. There are so many different subgenres to romance. Why do you think that is? What are the signs that a subgenre is going to be a hit, have staying power? Or a subgenre that surprised you?
6. What are your favorites?

In addition, we took questions from the listeners and got the usual question about romance dumbing down readers.  Listen to what the editors say about that.

no audio

Unfortunately, there was a little technical glitch when audio was lost, but PW is working on it and as soon as it’s available, I’ll let you all know.

My favorite part?  Even though there we lost audio part way through, hundreds of romance readers stayed tuned and watched the slides.  That’s the kind of loyalty that abounds in the romance community.

Did you listen?  Did you enjoy what you did get to hear?  What would you like to see/hear in future webcasts?

Another one of my dreams has come true and I’m very appreciative to all of you who Tweeted, Facebooked, Google+’d and blogged about the webcast.  Your support is overwhelming and I’m eternally grateful.

Winners of the publishers gifts from the Webcast will be announced soon.  In the meantime, the winner of yesterday’s gift basket from Random House is Pamela Gardner.  Congratulations!  Please email suegrimshaw @ randomhouse.com for your prize.

Bottom Line:  Tomorrow is Talk Like a Pirate Day…so start practicing…Arrr!

For The Love of Romance

Barbara Vey -- August 12th, 2013

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I am beyond thrilled to announce that I will be hosting the first PW romance webcast.  For The Love of Romance will be an hour long chat on September 17th at 1 p.m. EST and include editors from Harlequin, Sourcebooks and Kensington.

Some of the topics we will discuss are what makes for a good hero or heroine, editors are always asking for fresh and new ideas so what makes something fresh for you, how are publishers attracting new authors in this digital age and what’s hot right now?  But I’m always looking for new ideas, so if you have burning questions, let me know.

While the show is live, you will be able to type in questions that I’ll ask the panelists.  Not only that but knowing these publishers, there will be amazing giveaways and you will be entered just for registering.

Register here and I’ll be looking forward to your feedback.  On Twitter, we will be using the hashtag #RomanceReads.

Bottom Line:  We all love romance, now let’s prove it.

Put Me in the Story

Barbara Vey -- November 21st, 2012

It probably comes as no surprise to you that my kids grew up around books.  I joined the Disney book club and had books delivered every month.  While other parents took their kids to the mall for toy stores, we hung around in book stores.  We were constantly at the library and I kid that I helped build it with all my overdue fines.

One day I discovered the adventure books that you could order to put your child in the story.  You filled out a form with their name, friends names, pet name and street you lived on.  Your child could go on an adventure in outer space, under the sea, with animals and even have a birthday party.  I ordered them all.  Of course, we read them until they fell apart.

Now Sourcebooks has developed an app for the iPad that works on the same principle, Put Me in the Story.  I had to try it out immediately.  I downloaded the app and saw a free book was offered.  Once I got the book, I could add in a child’s name (I picked my grandniece, Addy, 3) and also who it was from (Auntie Barb).  I just had to run over to her house and show her.

Addy adored it.  Her friend, Lily was there and it was challenging to hold the iPad while those little fingers wanted to press everything.  Yes, the book not only tells a little story, it has animation, things to move around and lights to turn on and off.  Their favorite parts were the barking dog, purring cat, bicycle that has a bell that dings and changing a picture from night to day and back.  You can even post to Twitter and Facebook from it.

Screen shot of the opening of the book

Screen shot of the opening of the book

While I read it several times to them (cause that’s just how kids like books read to them…over and over and over again), there are also options to have the book read to them or for them to read the book themselves.  You also have an opportunity to order a hard copy of the book if you want.

“There’s nothing more special than bedtime reading,” Sourcebooks founder Dominique Raccah told PW. “The question was, could we make that an even more creative experience? We took great stories people already love and added a magical element: you. It builds an amazing bond between parent and child.”  You can read the whole PW article here.

Right now there are three books available, but download the free one and see how the child in your life likes it.  Let me know what you think too. I had to wrestle my iPad away from the girls, but passed the app info on to their mothers.

Did you ever order a special made book for your child?  Would this be something you’d give to a child?

BTW, the winner of Book Marketing, Book Trailers and Author Etiquette in a Nutshell by Sheila Clover English and myself, from yesterday’s blog is Kate Rothwell!  Congratulations Kate, please send me (bvey@publishersweekly.com) your email address so I can have the ebook sent to you and thanks to everyone for stopping by.  And a special thanks to all of you who ordered the book because it has jumped up to #7 on Amazon.  Unbelievable!!

Bottom Line:  I have to admit that I had my fingers in that book too…I loved making the kitty purrrr.

Discover A New Love

Barbara Vey -- April 18th, 2012

Sourcebooks announced their Discover a New Love online book club last week.  The book club will allow members to join for $9.99 for six months and receive one digital book a month (out of four featured selections).   This month includes an historical, a paranormal, a contemporary and also a surprise me category.  They even plan to offer advance reading copies of books to members along with sharing an already issued book that may have been missed.

But discounted books is not the only thing that comes with the book club.  There will be discussions with author that members can participate in, parties with multiple authors and giveaways galore, a newsletter, blog and author showcases.


I’m thrilled to let you all know that Sourcebooks has asked me to act as media consultant to Discover a New Love.  I’ll be writing a weekly blog for them, hosting the author chats and coordinating the parties (because you all know that if anyone can throw a knock down virtual party, I can).   Hopefully, you’ll all be rested up from the Anniversary party, to stop by in June for the first one.  Not to worry, I’ll still be keeping up with my PW blog, going to conferences and reading all kinds of books.

But really, it’s all about the books.  Sourcebooks is reaching out to other publishers to have them join in the online book club.  This can only be great news to readers.  A great chance to read authors you already know, but also the amazing opportunity to discover new authors and genres.  I’m really hoping a lot of the publishers decide to get in on this.  I’m all for discovering new authors from everywhere.


I can remember, years ago, belonging to the Doubleday Book Club and getting a new book every month.  It was like receiving an adventure in my mailbox.  Now it’s even easier by receiving that monthly book on your e-reader and there’s a whole online community ready to share their thoughts with you about it during the author chats.  I know there were a lot of books I’ve read over that years that I wanted to ask the author questions about, but other than write them a letter, there was no way to get that answer.  Well, things are changing and the readers are the big winners.


The books will also be able to be moved from one device to another and shared just like a paperback book.  Most readers I know say, “You’ve got to read this book,” and then lovingly pass it along.  Now they’ll be able to do it with the Discover a New Love books.


Personally, I like this program because it’s so reasonable that I can gift these subscriptions and share my love for books.  Plus, once a month, when they receive a new book, they’ll think of me.   So, my first purchases will be to my sisters (Dee, Chris, Lori, Sally) for their amazing help at my reader’s luncheon, my daughter-in-law (Jennifer) for her birthday and Joysann (the terrific BHB blurber) for all her contributions.


Bottom Line:  Although I’ll be working on this project, it will in no way skew the way I feel about all books.  As a reader, I read a book…not a publisher.



Romance Takes Center Stage at PW

Barbara Vey -- September 7th, 2010

Rose Fox

As noted on Rose Fox’s Genreville blog yesterday, “As of today, PW no longer has a mass market reviews section. But don’t panic, because we’re going to keep reviewing mass market titles; we’ll just do it according to genre. In order to do that in the way that makes the most sense, our 9/6 issue inaugurates our romance reviews section, which I will be editing henceforth.”


This is much welcome news to the genre who sales comprise 65% of mass market.  Romance has been getting a bad rap for years with snide comments about some of the covers and titles, but the fact remains that the majority of the reading public would rather be reading a happily ever after.  And, now Publishers Weekly will be making it even easier to help pick a great book to read with all the romance reviews in one section.


So, congratulations to Rose for heading this project and super congrats to the Romance Industry who are one step closer to the getting the credit and kudos deserved for a job well done.


Barbara Vey and Neil Grayston of Eureka

Me and Neil Grayston of Eureka

And on the last day of DragonCon, I finally got to meet one of my favorite actors when Neil Grayston (Fargo) of the SyFy Channel’s Eureka showed up.  He and his wife, Ali, were delightful and she’s an avid romance reader.  Yea!!  I definitely left the con on a high note.


Other news for the week:


From Danielle L. Jackson, Sourcebooks: September 6, marks the official launch of AustenAuthors.com, a labor of love started by two Sourcebooks Landmark authors, Sharon Lathan and Abigail Reynolds. Noticing the success of group author blogs in the romance genre, they decided to gather up some of their fellow Jane Austen Fiction comrades and start a group blog!

Other authors joing the blog are Susan Adriani, Marsha Altman, Marilyn Brant, Skylar Burris, Jack Caldwell, Carolyn Eberhart, Monica Fairview, Regina Jeffers, Cindy Jones, Sharon Lathan, Kara Louis, Kathryn Nelson, Jane Odiwe, C. Allyn Pierson, Abigail Reynolds, Mary Lydon Simonsen, Heather Lynn Rigaud, Victoria Connelly, J. Marie Croft and Lynn Shepherd.

Let us know what you think about it!


From Marilyn Baron: The long-awaited sequel to the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales blog novel, Aspen Exposé, debuts Monday, September 6. Join us for three weeks of espionage, suspense, intrigue and sizzling romance as the Petit Fours shake things up with their unique spin on an original serial thriller. FBI agents Rachel, Tom and Jack are back to face a white slavery ring, a dangerous Colombian drug lord and their own passions. Log on  to daily from September 6 through September 23 for a great read and a chance to win a copy of our hot-off-the-press cookbook, Cooking with the Petit Fours and Hot Tamales and a $25 gift certificate to your choice of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million or iTunes. Just leave a comment to be eligible to win. The more you comment, the more chances to win. Prizes will be drawn September 24 and September 26.


From Tara Taylor Quinn: I have embarked on a three month international blog tour with more than fifty stops, ending with a charity even on December 4th in Phoenix.  During the tour I am going to be raising money for Strengthen Our Sisters. Two years ago I wrote a novella based on the life and work of Sandra Ramos, founder of Strengthen Our Sisters, the nation’s first battered women’s shelter. This year, after more than thirty years in existence, and with ten houses filled to capacity with battered women and their children, Strengthen our Sisters has lost $400,000.00 in donations. Staff members are working without pay to try to keep the battered women in homes. Sandra will be making guest ‘appearances’ on the blog tour.  If all you can afford is time, PLEASE JOIN US on this tour. We’re trying to build a combined energy that heals in and of itself.  Comment on the blogs.  Lend your support.  Let these women know they aren’t alone.  Let them know that women all over the world understand.  And care.  Let’s give them strength.  And if you have extra pennies to donate, that’s great, too.  Click here for more information.


From Jeanne Chybik: I wanted to share with you our new webisode series, Medallion Mondays, starring Josh “The Ponceman” Perry, and guest-starring “Big” John McCarthy, Road Warrior “Animal”, and actor Doug Jones. It’s a hilarious parody of life in the Medallion Press offices. Check it out! (I watched it and thought it was hilarious.  I’m looking forward to more.)


Lindsey Prevett, Penguin Publishing: Penguin Group launched a new monthly radio series called The Literary Life. Completely written, produced, and hosted by Penguin employees, The Literary Life features literary fiction and nonfiction from bestselling, critically acclaimed authors and fast-rising newcomers. It’s hosted by Jake Morrissey, Executive Editor at Riverhead Books.  Each episode will debut on the last Tuesday of the month.

In addition to candid interviews with authors, regular segments on The Literary Life include: Inside Publishing, featuring a publishing personality giving a behind-the-scenes look into the book industry; Writer’s Rant, where authors are given the floor to vent; and Penguin Mix Tape, featuring interviews and performances by musicians-turned-authors.
The debut episode of The Literary Life is now available for listening here and is downloadable from iTunes.  In this episode, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash, author of the new bestselling memoir Composed, answers questions and performs “The World Unseen.”  Maile Meloy, author of the bestselling collection Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It, and Doug Dorst, author of The Surf Guru and Alive in Necropolis, discuss the art of the short story. Sloane Crosley, author of the bestselling essay collections I Was Told There’d Be Cake and How Did You Get This Number, rants about punctuation.


Monday Giveaways


From Liz Maverick:  Kindle is offering a freebie of my book, Crimson City. You can get it here. Enjoy!!


From Jennifer Martin, Samhain Publishing: Happy September! Here are Samhain Publishing’s freebies for this month on Nook and Kindle. The first date is the day the book price flips to $0.00 and the second date is the final day and the original price will go into effect again.

Begin Date

End Date Book Title Author
9/1/2010 9/14/2010 The Pearl at the Gate Anya Delvay (AKA Anya Richards)
9/15/2010 9/28/2010 Compromising Positions Jenna Bayley-Burke


Bottom Line: Romance in the news…and it’s not even Valentine’s Day.