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

Various Odds and Ends

First up is the Apple iPhone issue.

On Thursday, Apple released an iPhone firmware update that adds several functions incluing TV out functionality (meaning you can hook up the iPhone to the TV and watch the video iPhone content on the TV) and the ability to buy music over a wifi connection from the iPhone. Updating the firmware will remove any modifications but it will NOT make the phone inoperable. If you have hacked the phone to add the, as I suggested in this post, wait until the programmers have updated the iPhone jailbreak code.

I do want to note that “jailbreaking” and “unlocking” are two separate things. If you have unlocked the iPhone to use with another carrier, then it is possible that your phone will be inoperable. If you simply opened up the iPhone’s programming (also called “jailbreak”) as I did, the firmware update simply removes your modifications and returns the iPhone to Apple’s preferred settings.

If you have done the jailbreaking but want to update, follow Natetrue’s advice here. If you did update and it is “bricked” or won’t work, then follow the instructions here on how to resurrect the phone from the dead.

I’m so happy with the state of my device right now that if I never upgraded the firmware, I would be fine.

Bookeen eBook reader.

The Bookeen eBook reader has been delayed until October. Bookeen has started a blog and Baen Bar has its evaluation units. Derek Benner has been posting his thoughts on the evaluation unit at his blog. The Bookeen unit will now support PDF files but not encrypted one.

Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne

I read this book at a Friday Night HS football game and if you know me, you know I love football. This is a pre-order ladies. It’s a fabulous historical. The book is not due out until January 2008 and while I don’t mean to torture you all with it, I will just give you fair warning I’ll probably be chattering about it non stop from now until January. It’s really exciting to see some new historical authors enter the field like Sherry Thomas and now Joanna Bourne* (no website that I can find). Claudia Dain is back in the game after a couple years absence with The Courtesan’s Daughter (our lego video review link). Elizabeth Hoyt finished her last trilogy very strong. I think things are looking up for historical romance lovers. According to the information I’ve got, Thomas and Bourne will release four books between them in 2008.

RWA Call for Papers

RWA is taking submissions for the 2008 RWA Conference in San Francisco. In the recent RWA Hot Sheet, the organization announced that the Business Education Task Force is working with the National Conference Workshop Chair to ensure that there are workshops at the 2008 conference that pertain to small press and e-publishing.

RWA governance

Today is essentially the last day to vote for in the RWA Board of Directors Election 2007. Voting ends 10/1/2007 7:30 AM Central Time USA. I voted last night and noticed that two of the five regional director positions went unchallenged. In Region 5, Melissa Schroeder is challenging Lorraine Heath. I voted for Melissa Schroeder because I do believe that e-authors need a voice at the table and Melissa Schroeder could be that voice. In Region 2, Cheryl Rabin is that voice. I voted for her too. I wish I had blogged about this sooner. I hadn’t thought of it until the other day when I spoke with Angela James on the issue. I think that either RWA needs people who understand ebooks in a position of leadership or ebook authors need a different organization. It seems like RWA is open to learning about ebooks and serving as an advocate for ebook authors, but change has to be led by author who are passionate about ebooks. It appears that Melissa Schroeder and Cheryl Rabin are those types of people.

If you are an ebook author and did not vote, then what foundation do have to complain about future RWA treatment?

*Joanna Bourne wrote Her Ladyship’s Companion for Avon in 1983 so while she’s been previously published, I think she’s still considered a debut author.

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


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  3. TeddyPig
    Sep 30, 2007 @ 09:26:52

    The Bookeen unit will now support PDF files but not encrypted one.

    Yeah! Hope it’s cheaper than a Sony.

  4. Charlene Teglia
    Sep 30, 2007 @ 10:25:06

    I voted. I agree that ebook authors need voices in RWA, and I’m really hopeful that the RWA task force will lead to better understanding of the business model and the opportunity it provides. Ebooks aren’t going away.

  5. Ann Bruce
    Sep 30, 2007 @ 12:20:49

    Apple is in such a great position to take over the ebook reader market, and yet they don’t. I’m trying to figure out their bigger picture and it’s hurting my brain. Are they planning on coming out with yet another proprietary format for ebooks so they can force users to buy books from iBooks like their customers already buy music from iTunes? Or are they simply ignoring the market altogether because it’s currently too small?

  6. TeddyPig
    Sep 30, 2007 @ 12:32:44

    I agree Ann all they have to do is load Adobe Reader and it’s a done deal.

  7. Estelle
    Sep 30, 2007 @ 14:31:52

    Jane, do you think you could give us a synopsis of Spymaster’s Lady? As a historical romance reader disappointed too many times these past few years, I’d dearly love to know more about this book.

  8. Jane
    Sep 30, 2007 @ 14:53:16

    I’d love to Estelle. The Spymaster’s Lady is the story of the Fox Cub, a young woman who is trained to be a spy from the age of 8 or even earlier for France. She is pursued by one of the French Heads of Section and one of the English Heads of Section because both believe that she holds the plans of the French for an invasion to Albions. Annique Villiers, the Fox Cub, is an extraordinary spy and Bourne shows it to you. She’s a memorable heroine who uses her intelligence and training in every situation. Robert Grey is the English Section Head. He admires Annique, hates hurting her but must have the Albion plans he believes her to have. It’s a unique power struggle because, I felt for the most part, that Annique did have a position of power through much of the book. Toward the end, I felt that power shift more toward Grey, but at the very end of the story, the culmination of it, Annique was able to make a choice about her future. I loved Annique and Grey, but in a genre that often focuses on the male character at the expense of the female one, The Spymaster’s Daughter stands out.

    If it makes any difference, Diana Gabaldon gave the front cover quote:

    “What a terrific story! One of the most unusual, resourceful, and humorous heroines I’ve ever met.”

  9. Meljean
    Sep 30, 2007 @ 15:05:16

    That does sound different. For me, it’s not who gave the quote, but what it says — I really like the idea of a spy heroine who really is clever and, well, spy-ish.

  10. sherry thomas
    Sep 30, 2007 @ 16:38:53

    I love a woman who can hold up her end. I’ll be watching out for Spymaster’s Lady.

  11. Shannon
    Sep 30, 2007 @ 20:37:59

    I rarely buy European historicals, but I’ll absolutely be getting this one. I’m always on the lookout for heroines who don’t keep their guns in the cookie jar, so to speak.

  12. Samantha
    Sep 30, 2007 @ 23:07:47

    Sounds good, but I am hesitant to put anything on pre-order without reading a nice fat excerpt.

    The author could clearly use a website…I only found a rather unpolished looking blog with no apparent chapter to read. Nor was there a “look inside” feature enabled at Amazon.

    I know release it 4 months away, but I’d be putting myself out there and getting my website up ASAP, especially if she is already getting reviewed.

  13. Samantha
    Sep 30, 2007 @ 23:14:26

    f’ing typos….[it’s release is]

    Anyhow, maybe she is working on a website.

  14. Melissa Schroeder
    Oct 01, 2007 @ 07:43:05

    Oh, WOW. One of my friends pointed me over here(I have been hiding out writing). Thanks so much for the vote. I was sitting in the AGM complaining that they didn’t understand ebooks, that there was no one on the stage who really did. And as I complained to myself, and those few around me who heard my sarcastic comments, I realized that I had to put up or shut up. With some prodding from Shelley Bradley, Sylvia Day and Kally Jo Surbeck, I decided to run. Truthfully, I really don’t expect to win, but I thought that we needed to get the issues out there. We need to make sure that our authors have the resources to choose what is right for them and their careers, and by shutting out ebooks, or not understanding that part of the industry, we do a disservice to our members.
    As an aside, I am proposing a workshop for San Francisco about ebooks. It will include moi, Shelley and Angela James for a panel discussion about ebooks, what they mean to the industry, and if it is right for you as an author:)
    thanks again

  15. Estelle
    Oct 01, 2007 @ 11:58:24

    Thank you, Jane! It does sound interesting indeed. Interesting and definitely different.

    I hope we’ll get an excerpt soon if the author puts up a website.

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