Friday Midday News Roundup
I ordered a bunch of Harlequin Stationary goods that feature the vintage covers. The stationary goods include little matchbook notepads, bound composition notebooks and address books. I liked the address books the least. They have a spiral binding and I found them to be a little too bulky. My favorites are the little matchbook notepads. They come three to a box. The composition notebooks are nice as well and feature very hard cardboard front and back covers so it would be easy to write on a non hard surface.
The postcard tins are a great gift item but I don’t have anyone to send snail mail to. Should I start up a prison correspondence?
I’m going to give the notebooks and the address books away on the blog (am keeping the notepads myself). Just as a disclaimer or non disclaimer, I purchased these myself and Harlequin, which does many nice things for Dear Author, did not pay for them or give me any kind of discount.
Simon & Schuster saw sales increase in the last quarter to $230.4 million which is up 2.4%. The improvement in sales was offset by “higher write offs of advances for author royalties” which I understand to mean that there were a number of author royalties that ended up being a loss for S&S. Ebook sales are about 4% which matches that of HarperCollins. CEO of S&S is disappointed by the fall sales. Read more at PW.
Internet users aren’t actually more isolated than not internet users according to PEW.
Instead, researchers found that online participation and mobile phone usage leads to people having larger and more diverse core discussion networks. (Discussion networks are defined as being the places where we can discuss “important matters” with friends and confidants.)
I know I’ve often read comments from readers stating that the internet has allowed them to find other romance readers and that their reading interests have grown and not diminished because of the online romance communities.
New Fiction blog notes that the BN prices for ebooks are more expensive, almost uniformly more expensive, than the prices for ebooks at Amazon. If you buy a lot of books this will add up. I noticed this last week when I was purchasing some backlist titles that the Amazon books were almost $1.00 cheaper than Barnes and Noble except for BN’s promotional pricing. I did receive an email today from BN proclaiming that it has reduced pricing for over 100,000 books and that it is upping its affiliate program to 8% commission. I find that the BN affiliate program is difficult to use so I doubt I’ll change. (I’m far too lazy even for an extra 2%).
Jessica, at the Dystel & Goderich blog, notes that online promotion can be effective well past the initial release date and that it can help move beyond publishing’s reliance on the blockbuster model:
Connecting an author with communities of like-minded readers on-line requires about as much virtual legwork as finding these folks in the real world, but especially as traditional media contracts, it’s well worth exploring. On-line promotion does not necessarily rely on a rolodex of producers and editors. Anything that helps move the industry away from the blockbuster model, which makes failures of far too many books, is, in my eyes, welcome.
A recent study out of the UK claimed that file sharers represented the largest portion of legitimate music purchasers. This has flustered media and IFPI, an international music trade group put out a release to counter the study. Ars Technica notes that few outside the music industry actually believes that file sharing is the main cause of revenue decline including folks at the European Commissioner for Information Society and Media. However, this has not stopped many countries in engaging in treaty talks about copyright under the guise of stopping counterfeiting.
News of the secret treaty talks leaked earlier this week and present a real shocking list of super restrictive copyrights which seem to be to overturn the fundamental concept upon which our criminal justice system is premised as well as poses unreasonable responsibilities on the shoulders of ISPs which will result in much higher internet costs. Apparently the secret treaty would like to dispose of fair use ; block internet access; take down websites on accusations (not proof) of infringement; criminalize copyright infringement even when there is no commercial gain; ban any legitimate circumvention (like cracking the DRM so you can read a book on your iPhone as well as your laptop); and so on. It’s pretty frightening.
On the one hand, I find it outrageous and on the other, I hope it gets passed. Restrictive copyright helps large corporations and not content creators. Restrictive copyright actually works to chill creation and I can see this ultimately leading to fiction being primarily work for hire. Copyrights will be too valuable for individual content creators to have them (much like comic books).
See you all over at fanfiction.org, that is unless you’ve watched a Youtube video with a song overlaid on it because then you’re internet will have been cut off. Actually, there won’t be a Youtube. Maybe I’ll buy those postcards after all.