It’s time for part two of our Romantic Times Rewind visit to the May 2014 issue, where we take a tour of the ads and features inside!
As I said two weeks ago, I wasn’t sure what having the images inside the podcast entry would do so I’m doing a separate post for each one. PICTURES AHOY Y’ALL.
You can also find all the RTRW content at our category page for Romantic Times Rewind.
And, most importantly, if you want to listen and follow along with this entry, we have more detail in the audio, but you can click play and listen and read and absorb all the visual goodness:
For this episode, we’re looking at the editorial features, the ads, basically all the content that isn’t reviews. We talked about the cover briefly in the last episode, but since we’re looking at editorial…
Check out the headline for the top story: The end is nigh for Sherrilyn Kenyon and Brenda Novak! That’s rather ominous.
As we discuss a bit later in the audio, the article itself is neat. Lisa Kessler wrote an interesting and thoughtful profile of the author’s point of view when their long running and beloved series comes to an end. It’s a clever angle for an article, especially since Kessler spoke to so many different authors about ending a series and what it’s like.
The editor’s letter from Kathryn Falk is a wild ride from gardening to pig roasts, special cabbage to longevity! Oh yeah, and then some authors are in this issue.
The photo at the top is also confusing: Aimée Thurlo is pictured with her husband David Thurlo, and at the very end there’s a mention that Aimée passed away in March. But the distance between the photo and the mention of her death, coupled with the “hey here’s some people” caption to the photo, was very confusing for us both.
Say Yes to the Dress!
Then we come to the cover story, featuring Valerie Bowman, whose book The Unexpected Duchess was the cover image. In the interview, Valerie mentions that she was on Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta!
I played a bit of the audio but here is the complete episode on Tubi. We’re going to have an episode with Valerie herself telling us about the dress, the experience, everything. We’re not only going back to magazines of May 2014, but television reality shows, too?
Sure, why not.
Stock Image Funtimes
Amanda flagged this ad for the Proposition Series by Katie Ashley:
Specifically this book:
I’m wary of learning the keywords for this stock image. Better I not know.
So. Much. Information. On. Three. Pages.
We also talk about the absolute monster truckload of information about book series and which ones had a new title, and a separate page of reissues, reprints, and paperback releases of former hardcovers. There is SO MUCH INFO my gosh.
Here’s a sample of part of the two-page list:
That’s four listings from a full page of four columns of book data. SO MUCH information in one place! It’s visually overwhelming but I imagine extremely useful for librarians and booksellers.
And look, there’s a HaBO!
As long as romance fans have been reading, we’ve been remembering tiny plot details while forgetting any inkling of the title or author.
Cover Trends, Part I
We spent some time with this full-page ad from Montlake:
There was indeed a time when much of women’s fiction had pictures of hats, or pictures of feet.
Cover Trends, Part II
In the article, there’s a group picture of four of Tenino’s books, causing Amanda to recall when m/m romance was all “butts and lots of gelled hair.”
Story checks out!
Amanda also flagged this black and white ad (on a page with some purple text and solid purple borders so the lack of color was eyecatching):
The books aren’t in focus, either – it’s weird.
Cover Trends, Part III
If you’re playing along at home, here are the 2014 cover art trends we’ve discovered:
- Women’s fiction: feet and maybe hats.
- M/M romance: butts, abs, and hair gel
- And Inspirational?
Inspirational covers: Perfect, and I mean ABSURDLY perfect hair.
Don’t lean on an old wood fence, like the model on One More Last Chance is doing. Bad idea jeans, per Amanda.
Do you remember when a gallon of gas was $1? I liked knowing how to do the math to fill my tank. It was around $10. Easy, peasy for broke college student me. Ah, the 90s.
How about book prices to give you a similar feeling of financial nostalgia:
That’s the cost of a trade paperback now.
Amanda flagged this ad for uncanny valley dimensions on the model in the back:
Also, the person in the front looks like Tilda Swinton now that I look at it again.
Another Set of Cover Trends, Part IV
We spent a lot of time talking about the cover design on these books:
…the same as THIS butt grope?
I cannot believe I recognized a stock image by the butt grope.
Also: WE REBUKE THEE, LOW RISE JEANS, FROM RETURNING TO THIS MORTAL PLANE.
ALL FOUR INCHES OF YOUR RISE ARE REBUKED.
Finally, in this collection of wild cover trends:
The Centers for Disease Control do not recommend posing with the capitol rotunda pointing straight up your skirt, not even with the possible protections of the urban fantasy belt.
And then there’s this ad from LooseId:
We honestly have NO idea what’s going on here. None idea.
Aw, hey, remember when m/m hockey romance was a big trend?
Ah, such a time.
And our last ad before the conference preview:
That really does look like Adam Lambert; Amanda’s right!
RT New Orleans 2014 Conference Preview
Did you attend RT in New Orleans in 2014?
And do you remember this buffet?
Have you had alligator fritters?
I took a look through my photos from RT, and if you haven’t been to a signing as large as those were, here’s a look at the ballroom:
If you have been to the RT convention signing, then you can probably hear this picture.
Our next episode on November 3 will examine the reviews for the June 2014 issue! And remember, if you join the Patreon, you’ll get access to the entire issue as a PDF. You can find all the RT Rewind recaps, episodes, and visuals at RomanticTimesRewind.com.
What about you? How much of the marketing budget do you reserve for the alligator fritters? Did you attend RT in New Orleans in 2014?
Do you remember any of these books? Or the publishers (it’s astonishing how many no longer exist)? How did you like this first edition of RTRewind?