Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Tuesday Night Links Round Up: Jessica says categories are the Iron...

FlowerPot_thumbHarlequin is going to allow us to purchase the vintage cover paper goods. Woot. I am ordering some of those matchbook notepads and some of those little paper booklets and postcards and WHERE IS MY COFFEE MUG??? Seriously, Harlequin heard our voices, you guys!

It’s Western Week in blogland. Kristie J started it off.

First off, I’ll start with why a Western. I’ve always been more a fan of "blue collar" type heroes then the "white collar" type. I just love a hero who works with his hands and isn’t afraid to work up a bit of sweat now and then. I love a hero who is willing to labour for everything he has rather then just inheriting it. And no one works harder then many a Western hero, whether it’s being a marshal, a cowboy, a gambler, a gunslinger or even a reformed outlaw.

And a Western heroine is one I can identify with so much easier. I don’t know if it’s my age or ’cause I’m more average myself, but while the girly girl in me likes reading about all the fabulous balls and dresses and things in Historicals set in Europe, I very much the ‘realness’ of the conflicts a Western heroine goes through.

Dear Author isn’t officially on the tour, but we are butting in because I have to tell you about Jo Goodman’s September release, Never Love a Lawman. I’m posting my review tomorrow along with a 10 ARC giveaway (one is a read copy, mine, but we want as many people as possible to experience this book). It’s MEN! HORSES! WOMEN! PIONEERS! (okay, not pioneers, but survivors nonetheless).

Wyatt stroked his black gelding’s even blacker mane. “You saw her, didn’t you? Was I wrong?” Raider shook his head and snuffled loudly. “That’s right. And if you still had your balls, you would have stood up to her.”

A digital reader is coming to the PSP but it’s aimed toward comic books. That makes marketing sense to me. The PSP has a 4″ screen. Click here for a closeup of what that might look like.

The Publishing Tidbits blog has a piece about Sony’s decision to drop its own proprietary format and go with ePub.

As Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian explain when discussing proprietary versus open standards, a company’s total reward is a product of the size of the platform and its share of that platform. By abandoning its proprietary file format and instead selling only ePub content, the company hopes to increase the size of its new platform by an amount that more than offsets its decrease in share. To do so, Sony must do two things.

Jessica blogs about the category in general and Kathleen O’Reilly’s categories in particular.

My favorite comment was Wendy’s, who said she loves categories because they give you "all of the romance, with none of the bullshit".

I totally agree with her on that. It’s cheeky to call secondary characters, subplots, worldbuilding, suspense, and fur, "bullshit" but I totally know what she means. I’ve already gone on record as saying that to me, the contemporary feels like the purest form of romance. … I have a lot of respect for category romance writers, because they have so much to do in so little time, with so many rules. It’s like the Iron Chef of romance writing.

According to this contribution on slashdot, 88% of consumer electronics exports are recycled and not dumped. I love hearing that. I don’t know how true it is though.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. SonomaLass
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 21:18:34

    LOL @ “Where’s my coffee mug?” That’s exactly what I said! But it is awesome that so soon after we started Jones-ing for vintage cover art merchandise, the awesome Harlequin folks made it happen. WTG!!

    Thanks for the heads-up on the Jo Goodman giveaway! I ♥ her books.

  2. Keira Soleore
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 21:20:09

    I’m putting in a bid for a copy of Jo Goodman’s in early. Me! Me! O pick me! Ahem.

  3. Moriah Jovan
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 21:23:39

    By abandoning its proprietary file format and instead selling only ePub content,

    Dang it, I wish they’d stop phrasing it so people think their ePub files aren’t locked down.

  4. katiebabs
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 21:28:03

    Every single Goodman book I have read has some sort of incest in it. Is there any in Never Love a Lawman?

  5. MaryK
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 22:24:18

    The eHarlequin site has a “Bonus Bucks” program, and one of the things you can get is the 60th anniversary tote bag.

  6. KristieJ
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 22:50:24

    Ooooohhh Jane – Thanks for the shout out!!!
    I’ll be waiting eagerly to see what you think of Jo Goodman’s Western. I’ve been waiting with bated breath to read this one!!

  7. Jessica
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 04:37:57

    Oh, I am so glad someone appreciated my joke! Thank you!

    And all these Western Week posts have really got me thinking “need more cowboy”. I am so appreciating being introduced to a “subgenre” I know nothing about.

  8. Jane
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 07:03:48

    @katiebabs: Nope, no incest. I don’t think every Goodman book has incest in it. She often writes about abuse. The two main characters have some tragedy in their past but no real abuse and definitely no incest.

    @KristieJ: I think you will love it.

    @Jessica: I can’t remember if you’ve read Goodman, but I certainly think this Western is a decent place to start.

  9. RStewie
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 07:04:36

    That quote from Never Love a Lawman was full of win. I’m looking forward to reading that review, AND that book.

    And I’m Very Happy about the Sony/ePub dealio. I’ve talked to a couple people at work (mostly IT people, actually) about it, and we all agreed that it was a great step in the right direction for Sony (and the ePublishing world, in general…hopefully more will follow in their footsteps). One thing that did come up, though, was that evidently the Apple Tablet is the way to go if you’re a magazine ereader? I’m not, but it sounds like that’s one of the most attractive things about the Apple tablet.

  10. GrowlyCub
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 07:24:22

    While I like the idea of having fewer formats, I’m not sure I’m happy about the epub thing. I really like converting to .rtf because that allows me to blow up the font beyond what the 505 and the publisher allow and to edit out all the superfluous info (excerpts, publishing info, etc.). I hate nothing more than thinking there’s another 40 pages to go only to realize nope that was the last sentence of the book and the rest is other stuff. Really bugs me!

    So, I guess the question is, is there software to convert and edit epub files?

  11. TerryS
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 11:01:31

    I hate to be a pessimist here, but Sony has a long history of making great, GREAT products then abandoning said products when they don’t provide the expected market share in a timely enough manner. Changing to epub is good for ebook readers in that their ebooks purchased to read on a Sony reader won’t be just a memory of good things gone forever (I’ll be generous here and say “if” and not “when”) if Sony again lives up to their history and abandons the Sony reader.

  12. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 11:19:47

    So, I guess the question is, is there software to convert and edit epub files?

    I found some kind of python-thing-a-ma-jig (after discovering a book I wanted only came in Kindle and ePub, and my CyBook can’t use those), but I can’t say I was happy with the results. Oh sure, all the words were there, but the formatting was lost. It was a hot mess and a real pain to slog through . . .

  13. Moriah Jovan
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 12:11:43


    If it doesn’t have DRM, change the file extension to .ZIP, extract the files, click the OPS folder. There should be one or a bunch of HTML files there, by chapter.

    I don’t know what to do for one with DRM, and Sony will be using Adobe’s DRM scheme on most of their books (if not all). I doubt they’ll list which ones are secure and which aren’t.

  14. samanthadelayed
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 17:15:25

    9 Bonus Bucks for the Harlequin bag and I only have 8 bonus bucks… time to place another order I guess. :)
    Thanks for the info MaryK

  15. Scott
    Aug 20, 2009 @ 11:36:28

    @Moriah Jovan: You’re exactly right that the content is still protected. However, there is an important distinction between proprietary file format and proprietary DRM protection. In fact, the post goes on to state:

    “Fear of lock-in may cause many consumers to move to a more open system, but Sony's new platform is susceptible to many of the same negative consequences as Amazon's. Sony's power over content has not disappeared — it has simply been transferred to Adobe.”

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