Friday News & Deals: New Deals, Fifty Shades of Grey Hitting All the Papers,
F&W is launching a digital book publishing company that will specialize in releasing digital copies of genre fiction from the 1940s to the 1970s.
F+W Media is launching a new digital-only imprint, Prologue Books, that aims to reintroduce readers to previously out-of-print crime, sci-fi/fantasy, romance, western and YA titles published between 1940 and 1970.
No word on whether these will be bowlderized like the Harlequin Vintage releases. I hope this means that Charlotte Lamb books will finally be digitally released.
Which reminds me that Keishon emailed me to let me know that the Queen of Ellipses, Barbara Cartland, books are being released digitally as well. Barbara Cartland books on Kindle. I hope that these are legitimately for sale from her estate. The ePub versions appear to be for sale from this store.
With Fifty Shades of Grey making the New York Times interest has arisen from major print newspapers. The women who are reading these series of books are not regular romance readers, but literary fiction book club readers who maybe read Kite Runner in their last group and furtively downloaded the Twilight series to their Kindles. The paper books are hard to find, a status symbol one person told me. Some women are even calling it Twilight for Moms. The articles are focused on the sexual aspect of the books and how the wives are all buying gray ties and getting tingly downstairs. The coverage could not be worse for us romance readers but given that the comparisons to Story of O will direct attention away from the romance genre. According to the publisher, the three book series has sold more than 100,000 copies.
Interestingly enough, the articles seem to fudge on the issue of the story’s origin although it is clear that the writers of these pieces don’t know what fan fiction is. There are a number of YouTube videos made for these books which are mashups of various movie scenes acted out by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison).
- Globe and Mail “For yummy mummies in NYC and beyond, the trilogy is a grown-up Twilight– their “mommy porn,” as some have put it.”
- NYPost “A guy friend of mine said he wanted to form a business looking for girls who have ‘just finished the book, before they cool off,’ ” says Brod
- MSNBC “I downloaded a copy and don’t think I put it down until I finished it, despite what the pilot on my flight to Florida said,” she told TODAY.com. “I can say, along with many other women I’m sure, that reading this book is very good for your marriage!”
- Kate Davies reported that Jay Leno incorporated Fifty Shades into his monologue last night and another person emailed me to say that it was on the Today show this morning.
You can read Lazaraspaste’s epic review of Fifty Shades of Grey here.
I don’t know what to make of this article in the Washington Post about Oprah’s net negative effect on book sales. Apparently because the books that Oprah recommended were hard to get through sales of breezier fiction declined. Or something. And that is a bad thing.
When Oprah told people to go read books like “Anna Karenina” or “Love in the Time of Cholera,” romance and mystery sales plummeted. People were too busy marching through 862 pages of Tolstoy to breeze through their usual summer reading.
Chris Keeslar, the last editor left at Dorchester, found a new home at http://www.BoroughsPublishingGroup.com/. Never heard of them? Don’t worry, no one that I know of has either. It is a new digital romance publishing house. This seems like the late 2000s where new digital publishers sprang up overnight.
Linda Hilton did some research on reviews at Amazon. It’s a pretty fascinating post. Here is a longish excerpt posted with permission:
Of the 13 reviewers who gave Daughter of Deceit 5-star reviews, six have no other reviews on file. Five of the remaining eight have other reviews, but only of other books by Haynes, either under that name or writing as Jerri Hines. The remaining two reviewers, identified as “Ruby W.” and “RCardello,” have reviewed other books, but they have given all of them 5 stars. “Ruby W.” reviewed four of Haynes/Hines’ books, giving all of them 5 stars.
Interestingly enough, Ruby and “RCardello” also reviewed books by Annette Blair, and of course gave them 5 stars also.
According to Jerri Hines’ blog both Annette Blair and Ruth Cardello are friends of hers.
And while there’s nothing wrong with friends helping friends, it does appear to me — if not to anyone else — that only friends and family members of Carrie James Haynes/Jerri Hines are giving Daughter of Deceit 5 star reviews. (Edited to add: One of the 5-star reviewers of Daughter of Deceit is identified as “Ramona.” Another of Haynes’ novels is dedicated to her mother, whose name is Ramona.)
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