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Friday Midday Links: Coming Soon Catalog updated

easy resourcesLooking for something to read this weekend? I’ve updated the Coming Soon catalog.   Here’s the November page.   I’ve also updated the Harlequin digital backlist and the Berkley Trade and Mass Market list.   These can all be found under the Easy Resources tab.

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I’m surprised that no one has yet come up with a subsidized ereading device plan. It’s one I suggested a long time ago wherein you would require a customer to buy a certain amount of books every year or month in exchange for the use of an ereading device. I.e., you have to buy $20 per month of books from that store (say Amazon) and in exchange you get a new Kindle. Like a cellphone plan, you might be locked into that agreement for a period of time like two years. It seems like a good way to get users hooked on your platform. I wouldn’t even mind a lease or rental program for the ereaders given how fast these suckers change.

A Dutch company is offering readers a free ebook device (worth 149 Euros) in exchange for any customer who buys ten ebooks from them. Nate over at theDigital Reader is trying to run down the veracity of this claim.

Nate’s blog, which is a must read for any digital reading enthusiast, also has posts about a few new ereading devices:

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Stephen King isn’t quite ready to self publish but admits to making ridiculous money off his digital short Ur.   It took him three days to write and so far has netted him $80,000.

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Harlequin is really, really looking for some fresh voices. I’ve been told that they have a campus outreach program right now and are going to launch a week’s worth of talent scouting on the internet.   At the end of the week people can send in a first chapter and synopsis to a special email box:[email protected] and get a priority read by eager editors looking to work with new talent.

So You Think You Can Write allows hopeful novelists to spend an entire working week with more than 50 Harlequin editors andUSA TODAY bestselling authors through social-media tools such as blogs, podcasts, webinars, community chats, community discussions and Twitter. Harlequin editors believe that by engaging unpublished writers, explaining the tremendous appeal of the romance genre and offering professional insights into crafting the perfect story, they can help promising young novelists hone their skills and get started on the path to publication.

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Every major bookseller now has a digital self publishing platform:

Authorhouse has been signing up publishers to create a self publishing arm such as Harlequin’s DellArte Press and Thomas Nelson’s   WestBow Pres.   Self publishing is a huge business and with authors promoting this as a valid path to a career in writing you have to wonder how long the Big 6 can sit on the sidelines without wanting a piece of that pie themselves.

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Mystery Writers of America has delisted Dorchester Publisher as a recognized publisher of its organization and thus no books published by Dorchester will be considered for awards from the MWA.   One of my favorite responses to this was on Twitter:

Anyone else hear about MWA booting Dorchester off their approved pubs list? It’s kinda like hearing your ex got herpes after you broke up.

Of course, MWA is one upping RWA here.   RWA was able to call an emergency session to get Harlequin delisted but it’s still deciding what to do about Dorchester?

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Kobo is not going quietly into the night.   Determined to compete for consumer attention in the digital reading space, Kobo has announced that its wifi reader will be in Wal-mart and indeed,   the Kobo Wifi reader is selling for $129.   I’m definitely seeing a $99 ereader during Black Friday and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is the Kobo Reader   Kobo reader, if you recall, reads epubs but not nookBooks or Kindle books.   It is compatible with libraries and all other epub DRM book.

It has also announced that it will be selling newspapers and magazines as well with a 2 week free trial. Don’t forget you have a chance of winning a Kobo Reader if you buy Jeannie Lin’s Butterfly Swords before the end of October.

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One more thing about digital books and that is the issue of price parity around the internet. Some people have emailed me about this.   As I understand it, many of the Big 6 have price parity deals with the online retailers, in that if the publisher makes a promotional deal with one retailer, all retailers get the same deal (or all the big retailers).   So if you see a deal on an ebook at Kobo but you are a Kindle user, most of the time, the Amazon prices will be equal to that of the Kobo pricing.   For example, St. Martin’s Press is selling some of its old backlist titles for $2.99.

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

19 Comments

  1. Nate
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 09:59:41

    One of my readers found the page on bol.com. I updated my post.

  2. Natasha A.
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 10:10:19

    You can actually buy the original Kobo right now for $99 (so the non-wireless)

    http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/ereading/devices/kobo-ereader-porcelain/736211022714-item.html

  3. Natasha A.
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 10:10:50

    Oh, sorry, in stores only :(

  4. Sue K
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 10:18:17

    Re: RWA & Harlequin

    I guessed that I missed that. Could someone give me a link to that info?

    Re: MWA & Dorchester

    It is ‘good’ but I feel sorry for the authors stuck in that mudpit… why should they be punished?

    I’m hoping those in charge of current Dorchester doings get hoisted high without a net.

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    Oct 29, 2010 @ 10:35:14

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  6. Moriah Jovan
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 10:56:39

    Kobo is not going quietly into the night.

    I’ve been watching them. I’ve decided it’s worth my time to get my books into their store. I don’t necessarily feel that way about Apple.

  7. Janine
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 11:43:48

    @Sue K:

    You can find some of the pertinent links here, here, here, here, here,here, here, here, and here.

    And that’s just here at DA. There’s surely more elsewhere on the web too. It was a huge controversy.

  8. Lisa Hendrix
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 11:53:58

    RWA no longer “lists” publishers in the same way MWA does, and hasn’t since July 2007. Instead, RWA defines what a non-subsidy/non-vanity publisher is. Beyond that, they have publisher standards that vary based on the different RWA programs (first sales listing, PAN, PRO, etc). Full information on these standards is available to all members on the organization website. I checked this morning-‘it’s all there.

    In point of fact, RWA barred Dorchester from promoting the company to authors at this year’s conference in July because the company was and is no longer a qualifying market for that purpose, as defined in RWA rules. There is also a warning on the RWA Publisher page about Dorchester not paying authors and has been for some time.

    In other words, RWA was months ahead of MWA.

    Harlequin opening a Harlequin-branded subsidy publishing arm was a very different situation than that of a non-vanity publisher who is having financial issues. Harlequin was subject very directly to the RWA rules; by their action, they became a subsidy press, and they remained so until they rebranded the subsidy business and put it at arm’s length. Dorchester’s situation falls into a murkier area. RWA may be limited to what it can and cannot do regarding Dorchester by the Texas non-profit corporation law under which it’s incorporated.

  9. PatF
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 14:40:45

    Thanks for the “Coming Soon” page!

  10. romsfuulynn
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 15:25:19

    “I'm definitely seeing a $99 ereader during Black Friday.”

    Walgreen’s had through yesterday a $99 Android Tablet (Maylong 150) that runs Android 1.6 – for which there is both a Kindle and a Nook App. Plus iReader (which will read secure Mobipocket and secure eReader.) and also Aldiko, which is highly recommended.

    I ordered one. It’s back up to $129 now.

  11. Suze
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 20:30:45

    I ordered some ebooks from Kobo and could not for love or money figure out how to select more than 1 book for purchase at a time. I had to buy each book individually, and each book showed up on my credit card bill individually.

    Okay, it was pretty late at night when I was shopping, and I may have reached the blind and insane stage of consciousness, but seriously, it should NOT be that hard! Who buys a single book? Doesn’t the vendor usually have to pay a per-transaction fee to the credit card companies? It just really irked me.

    The books themselves are just fine, though.

  12. Jane
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 20:33:02

    @Suze: It is a huge annoyance that you can only purchase one book at a time. I don’t understand it.

  13. ShellBell
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 21:51:56

    I can’t see any titles listed in the Harlequin digital backlist for October – is it just me? I can see author, imprint etc but no titles. Perhaps there is something wrong with my laptop.

  14. Jane
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 22:03:33

    @ShellBell: I don’t know what happened there but it is fixed. New table uploaded with visible titles!

  15. Ridley
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 23:05:30

    @Jane:

    The single book thing is more than a simple annoyance. The small amounts trigger a fraud alert on my Bank of America debit card every single time, which gets my card locked down until I call BoA.

    It’s a huge pain in my ass.

  16. ShellBell
    Oct 29, 2010 @ 23:28:42

    thanks Jane. I love how Harlequin are re-releasing some of my favourite H/M&B authors backlists as eBooks. I just wish some of the really early books were being re-released as eBooks. I have some really old favourites such as King Country by Margaret Way; Substitute Bride by Margaret Pargeter; Beware the Beast by Anne Mather; Engaged to Jarrod Stone, Brand of Possession and Glass Slippers and Unicorns by Carole Mortimer; Eye of Heaven by Michelle Reid and The Veranchetti Marriage and The Trophy Husband by Lynne Graham.

  17. cead
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 08:05:52

    OMG. Is it just me, or is the guy on the cover of the new Angela Johnson release holding a sword as though it were a baseball bat??

  18. brooksse
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 08:39:48

    Speaking of Harlequin, they have 31% of this weekend with coupon code TREAT.

    Fictionwise is having 50% off with coupon spooky2010, if you can find anything there.  Samhain titles are excluded, and it looks like they are only selling ereader and multiformat these days.  The really spooky thing is how far downhill FW has gone since B&N purchased them.  

    The single book thing is one of the reasons I started using gift cards for ebook and mp3 purchases.  I’d rather see 1 or 2 charges for gift cards on my statement instead of multiple single title charges.

  19. DS
    Oct 30, 2010 @ 11:25:51

    Why is there a pair of pliers on the front of LKH’s Danse Macabre? Has Anita given up necromancy for home repair?

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