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

Friday Midday Links: Book Scanning for $1 and Brand Loyalty

Limecello has been hosting a charity drive on her blog and it ends this Sunday.  Various authors have committed to donating money to the famine relief effort in exchange for comments.  You can read more about it here.

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Sarah and I are conducting a reader panel at RT in 2012. It’s very cool because the readers are the panelists. We’ll be choosing the panelists from those readers who sign up for the workshop. I’m pretty excited about this and hope it is as awesome as we have envisioned it in our minds. The time and day hasn’t been confirmed but it will be Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Registration will be open by September 15.

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Have a bunch of books that you would like to make into ebooks but don’t have the time or equipment? 1dollarscan will accept shipment of your books and send you a PDF in return for $1. This PDF isn’t a reflowable text that you can use on your smart phone or ereader. It is merely a scanned image of each page in one big PDF. Depending on the quality, you could take that PDF and turn it into a ePub or Mobi using an OCR engine, but that would be very time consuming. Still, if you have a bunch of books you bought from 10 cents at goodwill and are tired of them clogging up your closet, this might be a good option for you.

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In the Phoenix Sullivan thread and in the comments to Sarah at Smart Bitches review of Grand Sophy, some commenters appeared unable to separate their love for the book and their love for the author from the text itself. When I read this article at Wired about the brand attachment that some tech owners have, it all made sense.

The paper notes that its conclusions challenge some assumptions from previous literature on brand connections. It had been assumed that brands are treated more like an interpersonal relationship and that brand loyalty is indicative of relationship strength. Instead, the Illinois researchers believe people treat brands as they treat themselves, leading users to feel more affected by brand failure instead of less.

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A site called Bad Reputation has a great article about the representation of women in fantasy.  Juliet E. McKenna writes that fiction is important because many people will never sit down and watch a documentary or read a lengthy newspaper analysis of the perfidy of sexism. She points out that Young Adult fiction is doing a much better job of presenting texts that challenge kids to think about the existing worldviews and adult fiction writers should not undo all that good work:

So it’s vital that epic fantasies on the ‘adult’ shelves don’t undo all that good work. I really do not want my teenage sons unconsciously absorbing notions of male privilege and entitlement in stories where a woman’s importance is always defined by who she might choose to sleep with, or better yet, save her precious virginity for. Where women who transgress male authority are invariably punished by supposedly indifferent twists of fate. I don’t want my niece and god-daughters reading stories which imply that true happiness lies in meekness, submission and doing the cooking and mending to facilitate so much more valuable male heroics.

I have been reading Bruce Lanksy’s collection of retold fairy tales and fables beginning with Girls to the Rescue Book #1 with my daughter. It’s a wonderfully female empowering series as it shows the girls as wise, brave, and clever.

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There have been a couple of seismic events in technology this past week. (Yes, I am not overstating this).  The first was Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobile.  Motorola has always been a preferred device manufacturer of Google’s but most every one says that this acquisition is about the thousands of patents Motorola owns.  This places other Android devices in jeopardy although Google promises it won’t preference any of its own devices over those manufactured by other corporations.  Amazon tablet is rumored to be an Android based device so it will be interesting to watch and see what happens.

The other huge event is that Hewlett Packard is going to be moving away from hardware manufacturing.  Everything I’ve read suggests that HP is killing the hardware and focusing solely on software. It purchased Autonomy for $10.3 billion to shore up its software division.  HP came out with a tablet device called the HP Touchpad that ran WebOS. HP will no longer be producing products with WebOS.

By discontinuing WebOS products, Apotheker is backtracking on a strategy he announced just five months ago to put WebOS software on every Hewlett-Packard computer. The operating system runs the company’s TouchPad tablet and a range of smartphones.

I would be careful about buying one of those.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She 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

17 Comments

  1. AmyW
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 12:24:16

    When I started reading epic fantasy as a teenager, I quickly narrowed my choices to novels written by women after reading books by two acclaimed male fantasy authors with incredibly predictable, stereotypical female characters (one was a DNF). I don’t restrict myself anymore, but do rely on good recommendations to try a new author in the genre.

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  2. Berinn
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 13:08:06

    Great idea for a reader panel at RT2012. I may sneak into that panel just to listen in!

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  3. SonomaLass
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 13:51:49

    We bought an HP computer for my son last month. We considered the “all-in-one,” which I believe has WebOS. I’m glad we opted for the other one.

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  4. Lynn S.
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 13:55:32

    Instead, the Illinois researchers believe people treat brands as they treat themselves, leading users to feel more affected by brand failure instead of less.

    I might read BDSM but I’m not falling for any of that branding nonsense. I suppose this does explains the brand happiness and series mania of the publishing world and the mystifying and continued presence of certain authors on the bestseller lists. Damned Pavlovian tricksters.

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  5. Alison Kent
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 15:38:52

    The 1DollarScan is actually 1 dollar for 100 pages of a book. I’m going to give it a go for my big fat copy of Rebecca Ryman’s Olivia and Jai that I can no longer read in print with my bad eyes. And then I will enjoy it and NOT pirate it. ;)

    https://ss1.coressl.jp/1dollarscan.com/order.php

    ReplyReply

  6. Darlynne
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 16:12:32

    Re: fairy tales, girls, etc. Jane, I’ve just finished listening to Catherynne M. Valente’s fabulous The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. I loved the audio edition (which was read by the author) so much that I also bought the hard cover. The idea of a girl-centric fairy tale is what caught my attention first and Ms. Valente’s fully-realized and so, so creative world is what kept me going. The physical book is also beautifully and whimsically illustrated.

    I could go on for hours about how clever this book is, but you can see the first eight chapters at http://www.catherynnemvalente.com/fairyland/. In terms of originality, I’d compare this to Garth Nix’s Sabriel or China Mieville’s Un Lun Dun, which is the highest praise I can give any book.

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  7. Courtney Milan
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 16:21:37

    This is going to sound crazy, but I have 400 pounds of textbooks sitting in my basement that I cannot BEAR to throw out.

    Yes, I think I *will* ship them to 1dollarscan. It will cost me a ton of money to scan them all, but that gets them out of my basement and onto my hard drive.

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  8. Moriah Jovan
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 17:03:06

    That scanner place will be getting my business immediately if not sooner.

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  9. Alison Kent
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 18:15:08

    I just sent off my first book for scanning. They’ll be doing first come, first served beginning 9/1. A bit more info:

    - No more than 2.5 inches in thickness.
    - No more than 11.7 inches in width.
    - No MAGAZINES accepted.
    - We don’t scan the cover page. (This option will be available in Premium Service in the future)
    - WILL NOT BE RETURNED ONCE SCANNED REGARDLESS OF REQUEST TO RETURN.

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  10. allison
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 18:35:21

    Juliet McKenna writes some amazing female voices, herself. Her The Tales of Einarinnz series had some fantastically strong female characters.

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  11. Michael
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 19:49:29

    @Jane: 1dollarscan replied in the comments on that page that OCR is indeed included in that price. No doubt most books will need a lot of touch up afterward, but it’s a start.

    I hope this will speed the digitization of print backlists, so long as the publishers take the time to correct and reformat the text nicely. Then again, given the shoddy ebook conversions some publishers are trying to get away with selling us now, I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up.

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  12. Heather Massey
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 21:28:03

    Re: “representation of women in fantasy”: For this reason, I am praying that Pixar’s forthcoming BRAVE knocks it out of the park.

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  13. sarah mayberry
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 02:36:10

    If you’re looking for a feminist fantasy fiction writer, Sheri S Tepper is a good read. The Gateway to Women’s Country is a very subversive book. I love her Mavin Many-Shaped series, too – very strong female heroine.

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  14. Thomas
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 08:11:08

    Books can be scanned also at http://www.kirtaz.com or http://www.bookscanning.com .

    Thomas

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  15. pamelia
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 17:45:50

    Let me second Darlynne’s rec for Cat Valente’s book “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland…” She is a fantastic writer and I would also highly recommend her duology “The Orphan’s Tales” and her novel “Deathless”. Her treatment of gender roles in just one of the many reasons to check her out if you haven’t already done so.

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  16. Moriah Jovan
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 18:04:58

    @sarah mayberry:

    I second Sheri Tepper. But I’m her head pimp.

    ReplyReply

  17. Jane
    Aug 21, 2011 @ 20:52:29

    Thanks for the recommendations. I think that they are all a little old for the tot at this point. I did try to read Ella Enchanted to her but she seemed disinterested. I will definitely keep track of these though.

    ReplyReply

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