Beyond the Literal – New Publishers Light the Flame

The heat is on for Australian authors

Ainslie Paton

The local scene for romance writers is heating up and set to sizzle this summer with the launch of three new direct-to–digital publishers, each acquiring local writers.

First with the factor fifteen was Destiny Romance which launched in August with four titles and is adding two per month.

Destiny authors include:  Jennifer St George, Kelly Hunter, Elsie K Ackers, Peta Crake, Charmaine Ross, Carla Caruso, Bernadette Rowley and Imelda Evans (and coming soon, Louise Reynolds and L.J. Young).

In mid November, Harlequin turns up the heat with the launch of their electronic first line, Escape, also with a line-up of newly discovered and established writers.  More on the Escape launch will follow in a Publisher Interview by Juliet Madison.

But currently upping the burn quotient to scorching is Pan McMillan’s, Momentum with the release of its Hot Down Under series.

Hot Down Under is a series of fourteen erotic short stories by new and established Australian authors being released over a three-month period beginning in November.

According to Momentum it aims to propel Australian erotic romance writing to the top of the bestseller charts.

The series includes straight and gay erotica, plus scenes involving multiple partners and fantasy elements.  Each of the stories has an Australian setting and a ‘flame’ rating out of five on the cover, which indicates how explicit the story is.  None of the stories is lower than a three-flame rating.

Hot Down Under authors include:  Rhyll Biest, Rhian Cahill, Kasey Channing, Cate Ellink, C.T. Green, S.E. Gilchrist, Keziah Hill, Shona Husk, Beverley Oakley, Kylie Scott, Tracey O’Hara, Mel Teshco and Marianne Theresa.

Five of the authors are previously unpublished and were mentored by the established authors during the writing process. The resulting stories combine a fresh approach with years of experience.

Announced just ahead of the RWA Conference in August, the project was the brainchild of Tracey O’Hara.

“The Hot Down Under project originally started out as a way to help mentor new writers and soon became much more. We were all extremely thrilled when Momentum came on board,”  said Tracey.

“Erotic fiction has been huge long before Fifty Shades of Grey came along.  It has been selling like hotcakes in the US for many years now. It is great to see an Australian publishing company supporting great genre fiction,” she said.”

‘We always planned to publish extensively in genres like romance and erotic romance when we first launched Momentum. However, we weren’t expecting such a gifted collection of new and established authors to approach us with such an accomplished project,” said Joel Naoum, publisher at Momentum.

“More than anything, this proves that there is a vibrant and talented community of genre writers in this country who are looking for support from their local publishers.”

Due to the nature of digital publishing, Momentum was able to publish the stories within a few months of first receiving the pitch – an amazing turnaround time in today’s publishing environment.

‘Digital publishers are more able to take risks.  It would be impossible to print these short stories individually, the costs would be prohibitive and shelf space in bookshops is extremely competitive,” said Joel.

For more information:

Destiny Romance

Momentum Books

Escape Publishing

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