REVIEW: Ebook Weekly: Venus Press Review

CONTEST! Venus Press is offering DearAuthor readers a chance to win three gift certificates worth $5.00. You just need to post below one of the three books Jane bought in trying out Venus Press. Hint: One is from the Confessions line, one from the Paranormal line, and one from the Contemporary line. The first three posters to guess one of the books will get the $5.00 gift certificate.

Venus Press opened its doors in 2004. It publishes erotic stories in a six categories:

  • Confessions (2,000 to 5,000 words)
  • Aphrodisiacs (5,000 to 9,750 words),
  • Short stories (around 10,000-18,000 words),
  • Novellas (around 19,000-30,000 words),
  • Category length novels (around 31,000-45,000 words),
  • Novel length works (46,000 to 80,00 words).

There is a Yahoo Group Newsletter. The link to the newsletter on the "News" page does not work, but I was able to find the Yahoo Group logo. The store offers a generous monthly contest (one winner gets 6 free books!).

There is a link to an author information page which has links to individual author pages. Those author pages give the covers of each book (nice touch). Clicking on the cover leads you to the book itself. Some authors have one sentence excerpts from reviews. Strangely, those same reviews do not show up under the books.

There is a sale section which identifies a number of books that are 20% off. They have a buyer’s club wherein you prepay for a month in the amount of $35 initially and $25 thereafter. In return, you get $5.00 gift certificate.

Some books are available in print and can be purchased on EBay or Mail Order. There is a customer service page which answers a few questions and provides a contact email.

  • Navigation-by Author, title, series, genre and line. There is no bestseller list. There is a search function that is powered by Freefind which is a search engine that I don’t like very much because the sponsor ads at the time confuse me. I often think I have been taken outside of the website.
  • Excerpts-Short to very short excerpts.
  • Reviews-No reviews
  • Series-Notes which books are part of a series
  • Word Count – Ranges with cutesy names (Confessions 2K – 5K, Aphrodisias, 5K – 9K, etc. Word counts were hard to find and not very intuitively placed. It’s in the “submission” section of the bookstore. I don’t know that a reader will often be looking there. Some of the books had links to the word count key but not many.
  • Wishlist– I did not find a place to store information about books I might be interested in buying later.
  • Bookshelf-No library or place to redownload. The bookstore sends you a dl link that will expire after a certain time. But there is no notice of this anywhere except on the Customer Service page. This should be posted somewhere prominently on the site or even in the email sent to you.
  • Payment-Credit cards and paypal.
  • Downloads-Once you have completed your purchase, you wait for a link.
  • Confirmation-A confirmation email includes the dl link.
  • Formats: PDF, MObi, LIT, HTML
  • Irks– Prices are high again. In the submissions area, it says “We are also open for multicultural stories as well, but they will be placed within the above genres as well as the “Ebony Side” line.” What about other ethnicities? Do they go in the Ebony Side as well? And what exactly is an Ebony Side? Does that refer to one half of the relationship? If the relationship is all black or yellow or green or wolfie, is it still multi-cultural? Is it the left side, the right side, underside, the Upside? What does Venus Press know that we don’t???
    Other big irks are that you don’t know that your download link will expire unless you read the Customer Service page and there is no opportunity to redownload; and you have to re-enter your personal information each time you buy.
  • Overall, I would give the store a C because of a) hidden word counts; b) no chance to redownload and c) the weird line called “ebony side” where all multicultural romances sit.

Author and VP of Marketing, JJ Massa, took the time to answer our questions about Venus Press

1. What is your niche in the publishing market? Our niche, shared by other, popular publishers, is simply providing high quality, entertaining stories in many popular genres, from erotica to sweet romance, available to readers eager for them. Venus Press attempts to meet all of the readers' needs by making books accessible in as many formats as possible at an affordable price.

2. What makes an ebook publisher successful? Consistency and quality are the things that ensure success, and not just for the reader. A publisher has to offer those same things to authors as well. When authors feel comfortable and valued by both readers and their publisher, good books are the result.

3. Where do you see your publishing house in 5 years? In five years, Venus Press hopes to offer even more of the type of reading popular in today's market. Erotica, the cornerstone of Venus Press', is a growing genre that includes paranormal, contemporary, menage, male/male, BDSM and more. That will always be available here, as well as Inspirational and Children's stories, even poetry, through our non-erotic arm, Titan Press. So, in five years, we intend to have even more of what the readers are looking for, and will provide them in electronic, print, possibly even audio formats if the demand is there.

4. How responsive are you to reader demands in determining content? Venus Press is very responsive to reader demands. Although each author is encouraged to write as they choose, allowing their unique voice and story ideas to flow, readers are often asked what they'd like more of, what books most appeal to them. In response to their requests, various new lines are formed, such as our Bad Girls Do It Better line and Sexy Confessions to Venus, just to name a couple.

5. Why should a reader be buying from you? A reader should buy from Venus Press because they like the stories we publish and are comfortable with the prices we charge. At Venus Press, we do all we can to answer customer questions and problems as quickly as possible. We're all avid readers and we know how important it is to have the book you've chosen, and have it as quickly as you can get it. That's why we offer various payment options and formats. Reader convenience and satisfaction is important to all of us.

6. Are there any things about your site you’d like to be sure get featured
in the Dearauthor post

Yes, Jane, there are. Thanks so much for this opportunity. Venus Press has been known from the start for the Sons of Zeus and Olympian line, which features sexy male models on every cover. Other lines have been developed that readers are really enjoying and I'd like to name them all right here.

All Hallows Eve: Spooky tales revolving around that special time of year– and watch for more this October!

Sweet Ambrosia: Sweet Romances–when you want a great story with a sweet romantic approach.

Aphrodisiacs: Short erotic stories reasonably priced.

Bad Girls Do It Better, mentioned above. These books are all about women who are not afraid to take charge!

Ebony Side: A special line for those looking for multicultural sensual romance, erotic romance and erotic fiction!
Golden Apples: Anthologies Mystical Signs: These sexy stories are all based on the astrological signs. Some are contemporary, some are not, but they're all hot, hot, hot.

Sexy Confessions to Venus: Hot, steamy, and straight to the point confessions for $1.49

Under the Cover Lovers: Steamy stories about unknown or unrequited love.

And much more at our sister site, Titan Press, where some of our most talented authors explore the less steamy side of story telling. Here you can find kids' books, poetry collections, light romance, suspense, even horror, by many talented authors who have plenty to share.

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