Red Dress Ink, Harlequin's women's fiction imprint dedicated to publishing novels about modern-day women coping with the pressures of life in the 21st century, celebrated their one year anniversary in November at a posh party in New York City. Craig Swinwood, vice president of retail marketing, announced in a press release following the event that over the past year Red Dress Ink books have "exceeded traditional publishing print runs." He pointed to figures such as the 60% to 70% increases over industry averages for first-time authors in trade paperback. Red Dress Ink currently publishes one book a month in trade paperback format, with plans to expand to two and three books per month in 2003, and will publish its first hardcover, The Thin Pink Line, in July 2003. For more information, check out the website at www.reddressink.com <http://www.reddressink.com>. (HarlequinPress Release/11-23-02)
My favorite part of the column . . . reporting new sales. Congratulations to WRW member Mary Alice Monroe for the sale of her new novel SKYWARD for publication in summer 2003, plus SEA GRASS, her hardcover debut (for 2004), and one more book, to Dianne Moggy at Mira Books, in a good deal. And category romance author Lori Wilde has sold her first single title sale to Beth DeGuzman at Warner, in a nice deal, for two books. (Publisher's Lunch/12-16-02) And kudos to Sue Civil-Brown for the sale of A PRINCE AMONG THIEVES, a romantic comedy about the prince of a tiny European country living anonymously in Florida who must claim his throne in order for his countrymen to benefit from a lucrative deal with an American genetic research firm, to Amy Moore-Benson at Mira for two books (Publisher's
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Unfortunately, Christmas 2002 wasn't all that merry for most booksellers. Sales were down 20% compared with last year, according to the USA Today Best-Selling Books list. The sales continued a slide in sales that peaked in 1999 when J.K Rowlings books swept the list for the holiday sales. On the good note, independent booksellers report an impressive surge in the sale of gift certificates to be used in their stores - something they hope will boost sales in January and February. (USA Today/1-9-03)
It is with great sadness that I report the death of Superromance author, Fay Robinson (a.k.a. Carmel Thomaston). Fay was the founder and owner of Painted Rock Writer's Colony as well as a two-time winner of RWA's RITA award. Condolence cards may be sent to: Jack and Casey Thomaston 10421 U.S. Highway 280 West, PO Box #240, Waverly, AL 36879-0240.