Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Romantic Times responds...

... and makes me create a new blog post label called "People being stupid!"

This is the full, unchanged text of Carol Stacy's comment on Laura Baumbach's blog. Read it yourself, draw your own conclusions. I won't tell you what to think. I'll tell you what *I* think, though--this woman needs a few public relations courses. And she also needs to reread the results of the poll that RT ran asking readers if they'd like to read reviews of gay, lesbian, and alternate sexuality romances--60% said a strong YES, and only 18% said a strong NO.

With that being said... read her comment and make up your own mind.

For the Record...

I have tried to reach Laura several times today to discuss this and she has not returned my phone calls and probably won't.

For the Record (Promo Items at the RT Convention)...
Promotion Lane where Ms. Baumbach's promotional items were displayed was in fact in a "public space" and so RT had no say in what the hotel decided to do.

For the Record...
After the hotel took down the poster and removed the promotional items we (RT staff) returned the items to promotion lane in a different spot sans the poster. So we did support the author despite our responsibility to comply with the hotel.

For the Record (Regarding RT's Policy to not review m/m books in RT)...
Ms. Baumbach and I have been through this over and over and over again.

My decision to not review these books has nothing to do with being homophobic. Some of my best friends are gay and in fact several attend our convention and have been friends for years and I love them dearly.

My decision is based on my "print" readership and the fact that the majority of my "print readers" are not interested in m/m books at this time.

As I have explained to Ms. Baumbauch if that readership changes in the future so will my policy to review this type of fiction.

This is a space consideration AND a business decision. If you will forgive the analogy: one does not cover yoga in a NASCAR magazine if you get my drift.

It's that simple.

For the Record (Regarding Advertising)...
When the issue of Ms. Baumbach advertising and not getting a review of her book came up months before the convention we offered her a full refund for her convention fee and her participation at the faery Ball. She refused and said she was OK with our decision.

For the Record (Regarding the Book Fair)...
Ms. Baumbach was included in the Book Fair along with every other author. She was treated like every other author i.e. she was seated alphabetically with the "Bs" and we ordered her books for her to sign the same way we ordered every other small press and e-book author's books. I have no idea how many books she sold but "For the Record" she was included.

For the Record...
The Book Fair was in a "private space" (unlike Promotion Lane which was in a public space) so her poster and/promotional items were allowed.

For the Record...
No one sid the Hyatt does not welcome gays. The Hyatt was responding to their guests who objected to the poster who were passing by the poster because Promotion Lane was in a public space that was in the path of the way to the parking lot. Please don't skew the facts.

My Personal Comment...
What boggles my mind and I cannot understand is why Ms. Baumbach continues to spend her money with my magazine and our Booklovers Convention when we are stating in no uncertain terms that we do not believe that she is reaching her target audience. Why not avoid these conflicts and look to other magazines and or organizations to spend her money where she could sell more books and expand her readership. Why does she insist on advertising with RT and attending the convention?

Carol Stacy
Publisher of Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine and organizer of the RT BOOKLOVERS CONVENTION.

4:15 PM

2 comments:

Grace Tyler said...

This is interesting, Amelia. If you just read the RT response, it sounds reasonable. But if you read the account of what happened on Laura's blog, the entire thing is unfathomable.

Could it get more personal? I don't see how it could be a subgenre bias, because other m/m promos weren't pulled, or a "nasty" problem, since that's a lovely, tasteful (and sexy!) poster.

Amelia Elias said...

Yeah, I *adore* that poster. Were I walking past Promo Row with my sons, I'd rather they see that poster than the cover of the woman giving the blow-job. At least Laura's poster requires no awkward explanations, other than, "Why doesn't that man have any clothes on?"

... my security word for this post is "dewdo." Ahahahahahahaha.