Monday, October 27, 2008

So Many Books, So Little Time

Life here on Planet Perkins has been intense.

On top of working two jobs, it was my mother's 75th birthday, so I threw her a party and all of her friends (and my relatives) came in for a shin dig on Thursday night. My favorite cousins (my cousin Dennis turned me on to comic books and my cousin Diane did the same with Barbie's, and now I have the most awesome super hero Barbie collection you could imagine) stayed with us for four days, and it was terrific to catch up, but almost impossible to keep up.

It was wonderful to be surrounded by people you adore celebrating a life well-lived, but reading and editing in between was just about too much. The New Jersey Romance Writers had their convention this weekend too, but Marsha Philtas went in my stead (see her blog post about it).

I have two big book deals in the works - one that I've been working on for over 2 years. When it rains, it pours.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Two New Agents at L. Perkins Agency

We have some personnel changes at the L. Perkins Agency.

Marsha Philitas, who was a part-time erotica agent, has just been promoted to a full time agent and will be working full time for the agency. She is looking to increase her client list. She can be reached at and has her own blog,

E.K., who was an intern with the agency, will be joining the firm as a junior agent working directly with me. She, too, will be taking on a select number of clients. Her email address is

As a result of this expansion, Jenny Rappaport will be focusing more directly on her passions - young adult, science fiction and fantasy.

We're really excited about these changes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Some Publishing Numbers in this Economic Downturn

(this is taken directly from Publisher's Lunch)

The Publishing Ticker: How Bad Is It? How are publishing-related entities faring relative the overall market as stock prices continue to fall? Fair warning: this story is not for the faint of heart, so skip down if you need to.

Below are some comparative results, looking over the past month, and in particular at the six days of trading ending with yesterday's market close. In this corner of the world, debt-free Barnes & Noble has been the most resilient so far, and among publishers and their parent companies, Pearson appears to have held up the best (though among somewhat smaller companies Bloomsbury is the star performer). As a benchmark, the S&P 500 is down 27.5 percent since its peak within that month on September 19, dropping 21.5 percent in the past 6 days. Since we're looking at some UK-traded companies, note that the FTSE 100 have given up over 20 percent in the past month, dropping 13 percent in the past 6 sessions ending yesterday.

Barnes & Noble is off 19 percent from their high on September 19 of 29.06, beginning their tumble after S&P cut their rating on the stock to "sell." But the stock is down only 10 percent in the last 6 trading sessions.

Scholastic had peaked on September 19, and is down 26 percent since then. The company has slid only 13 percent for the last 6 trading sessions.

John Wiley is off 25 percent from its September 11 high of 43.64, losing 19 percent in the past 6 sessions. Of the group the company is suffering the most in today's trading however, down over 8 percent in the first hour.

Borders is off 44 percent from their high on September 11 of 7.80, and down 35 percent in the last 6 trading sessions.

Books-a-Million has fallen even further, giving up 49 percent since peaking at 7.20 on September 11, shedding 25 percent in the past 6 days.

Among book publishers with publicly-traded parent companies, Pearson's London shares peaked on September 12 at 697.50 pence and have dropped 22 percent since then, but they have given up only 8 percent in the last 6 sessions.

Hachette parent Lagardere is down 31.5 percent from its high of 38.22 on September 12, giving up almost 19 percent in the last 6 days.

Harper's owners News Corp. are down 36 percent since peaking on September 12, dropping 24 percent in the past 6 sessions.

Simon & Schuster parent CBS is down 40 percent since September 11, giving up almost 30 percent in the past 6 days.

But, as noted above, Bloomsbury has been quite resilient, losing just 3.5 percent over the past month and actually gaining 8 percent in the past six sessions.

A little further afield, Amazon peaked at $81 a share on September 19, losing 31 percent since then. The company has declined 19.5 percent in the past 6 days. Company News: Lulu Layoffs; Harper Studio UK; and More is laying off 24 employees, almost a quarter of their workforce of 100. The reductions include recently-hired president Bryce Boothby Jr. and European vp Cristel Lee Leed. The company plans to relocate its headquarters from Morrisville, NC to Raleigh within the next few months. CEO Bob Young tells NewMediaAge "with the credit and capital markets frozen solid Lulu couldn't continue burning through money at its previous pace. We're very disappointed.... we were forced into a position of having to cut costs."

Bob Miller's Harper Studio has made an agreement with Harper UK to provide for direct publication in the UK, Australia and New Zealand of nearly all the books signed by the start-up so far. Studio is working with Harper UK nonfiction publisher Carole Tonkinson and editorial director Susanna Abbott. The same piece, Miller admits to The Bookseller's Gayle Feldman that his intention of selling on a non-returnable basis "might fail" though he says "it's too eary to tell."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Playgirl by Regina Perry and Porn as Plot Element

One of my readers wrote in and asked "Who is it, what's the book and when's the release date?

Also, do you know of any novels centered around porn as a social issue? Or even some that focus on it in a personal way, like this novel?"

So I asked the author if I could share the details of the book with my blog readers, and she said she was happy to do so.

Playgirl is one of the December titles for Ravenous Romance. I'll share the date as soon as we schedule it.

And we also bought a really titillating short story from her, Tan Lines, about an unexpected encounter at a tanning salon.

My reader's second question is a whole other issue.

There's another title in the Ravenous launch list that works in this way, and I had a literary novel that used the porn world as a piece of the meta fiction mythos (which I couldn't sell), but I can't think of any other books off the top of my head.

So, how 'bout you? Do you know of any other novels that use porn as part of the plot, especially as a positive element?

I am sure there are classics in this vein in the LGBT market that I am just unaware of, but I would love to know what they are. Please share.

Friday, October 3, 2008

What Comes Around, ...

Three years ago I attended the Florida Writer's Conference (which I am going to again this year) and announced that I was starting to look at erotica. A shy woman scheduled a meeting with me and told me she was working on a novel about a former Sunday school teacher who discovers Internet porn and how it transforms her life.

I told her to send it to me. It was both edgy and sweet, but needed work in its story-telling and structure.

When I got the gig at Ravenous Romance, I looked up the author. She had finished her novel. We read it, and we had a brilliant intern who helped her restructure the book.

She had also grown as a writer by then too, so we were able to buy the book, as well as a short story.

I was the editorial reader on that novel, and I was thrilled to see just how compelling this novel had become.