Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fourteen more years, and Phaze is legal, baby!

Phaze Books is having an anniversary sale! Starting Friday, use the code BIGFOUR when you check out of our cart to get 25% off your order!

I've been remiss in my hostess duties. It's common knowledge around our merry Satellite of Love that Phaze Books is four years old this month. Unfortunately, the exact date of our launch escapes me, but I want to say it was around the middle of the month, maybe later. That month in 2004 we launched three books, among them Truth or Dare. I don't believe I had ever been as excited about a book release as I was with that one.

Not only did Truth mark my first steamy romance release, but this was the first time I helped "open" a house. True, Phaze Books was and remains a part of Mundania Press, but the imprint has always operated separately from the parent company. Mundania had given Phaze a good amount of autonomy from the beginning - it worked in some ways and didn't in others, but four years later we are still here. In a time when a number of eBook houses have opened and closed and others are under scrutiny for various issues, I like to think we've done well for ourselves.

I didn't start out as Phaze's publisher, nor was it ever my intent to take on the job. Things just happen, I believe for a reason, so it's up to me to continue steering this ship. That we had a decent few months in the midst of economic uncertainty is comforting to me, but there are still areas which need work.

At RT Houston, one lady remarked to me that Phaze was a one-woman show. Hardly. We have so many wonderful people working behind the scenes. Four years ago we did have one person taking up the bulk of the work. Now we have an Art Director in charge of several on-call designers, a promotions coordinator who has actually been offered freelance work by outside authors to do their PR, a staff of editors and proofers who love our authors, and the wonderful authors themselves. We have Mundania for support, and of course our readers, without whom we wouldn't still be here.

The face of erotic romance has changed over the last four years. You might think it's an odd thing to say, but if you have followed the trends you will have seen changes in buying and writing patterns. The first erotic romance of the eBook generation I read was Jaid Black's The Empress' New Clothes. Pure alpha male capture seduction. Hulking aliens gods come to Earth to claim their sacred mates, because apparently women on their own planet just don't cut it. The sex is hot and plentiful and keeps us watching the skies at night in wishful thinking. I don't know if Jaid expected to create a sensation when she started the company that sells this book, but it's because of her that many ePubs have embraced the steamier side of fiction. Mundania had been around as long and recognized the market potential, so here we are.

Lately, I find that while capture/bondage still has its audience, there is growing demand for M/M fiction for women. Some authors I've known who wouldn't have touched the genre a few years ago are now trying for a slice of the action. Four years from now, however, the trend could shift to something else. What do we do but keep riding the waves and staying afloat? It's my hope we do better than that.

So here's to four years, two RT Top Picks, three ARIANAs, one EPPIE, three ARe Book of the Month Club picks, several reviewer awards, and some great times. We'll see you in four years, the next four after that, and so on.

No comments: