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

Link Roundup: BN thinks Pub Domain Books Are Subject to Copyright...

exclamationIt’s International Blog Against Racism Week.

emoticon_tongueBarnes and Noble is proclaiming it is giving away 6 free books when you download its special ebook reader on the iphone or laptop. The special ebook reader is merely a BN wrapped version of eReader. The six books are ones in the public domain and when one reader complained that these books were subject to DRM, BN replied with the following:

We selected public domain titles as our free eBooks because these books are traditionally among our customers’ favorite works of literature.

As an alternative, we also offer free samples of every commercial title available on our website so that you can discover for yourself how easy it is to read our eBooks on your iPhone, Blackberry or personal computer…Also, for copyright protection purposes, these files are encrypted and cannot be converted or printed.

Oh, BN, you are not inspiring confidence in your knowledge of books and technology. Just saying.

emoticon_happyIn contrast, Quartet Press is shaping up to be a very exciting entrant into the publishing world. Today, Mr X’s identity has been revealed and Publishers Weekly has a nice summary although I was told that the number units of books that need to be sold in order to make a title profitable is far less than 3,000 as was reported. And, apparently Kirk Biglione will be doing videos and podcasts to help readers understand digital book reading and how to get the digital books onto digital devices. If you are wondering why I think this is exciting, it’s not because I actually am interested in the videos or podcasts, but rather I could listen to Kirk’s voice all day long. Perhaps Quartet could do audio books…

emoticon_surprisedLori Perkins, the agent whose house submits books to her own publishing company, Ravenous Romance, has put out the call for YA and middle grade books to be looked at by a junior agent named EK. Yes, EK. I didn’t realize that agenting was held in such disrepute that the agents had to be anonymous.

emoticon_tongueAuthor Donn-with-two-nns-Cortez loses his cool online against a reviewer who a) put up the review really early and b) admits that she didn’t read the entire book by suggesting the reviewer has some personal vendetta. Other readers try to give him some friendly advice (including one who gave Cortez a super detailed favorable rating) but he doesn’t really want to listen which then provides obsevers (like me) some minor amusement.

My favorite part of this story is that the reader who emailed me the link also directed me to Mr. Cortez webpage wherein he confesses to being addicted to nude beaches. That, for me, falls under TMI because now that I know that I can’t help but wonder why he is writing about a female protagonist and god, I hope she never has a beach scene.

emoticon_unhappySome enterprising person found Sony 300 and 600 sales material online. And there were pictures. Pictures of ugly Sony Readers with no wifi which totally contradicts what is reported in  I could not be more underwhelmed. Dear Sony, your new ereaders are going to die before their release.   Love, your own Jane.

eyeHarlequin is doing okay but Torstar, the parent company, not so much. Digital products for Torstar are and other web entities, not digital book sales.

Quarterly revenues fell to $373.7 million, about 6.3 per cent lower than the $398.8 million last year. The Toronto-based company, which also owns the Harlequin Enterprises book publisher, was hit hard by the slump in advertising caused by the recession. In the quarter, Torstar benefited from a $19.2 million foreign exchange gain, but also booked a charge of $29.9 million, or 38 cents a share, related to a valuation allowance against future income tax assets of CTVglobemedia. a broadcaster and newspaper publisher in which it has a minority stake. …
“Results continue to be mixed with the decline in newspapers and digital more than offsetting the growth at Harlequin and lower corporate costs,” said David Holland, interim president and chief executive, said in a release before stock markets opened.

Author Carolyn Jewel defends the pantser:

Let me repeat the really important statement: During the period I was doing all the things plotters do, I was and remained unpublished.

Finally, I reached a point where I had to decide whether to give up writing — because eleven years is a long time to fail at something. But I didn’t want to stop writing. I wonder what would have happened to me if I’d heard that anti-pantsing statement at this point in my writing life? Because you know what I did?

I thought long and hard about the difference between what I was doing all that long and unpublished time and what I had been doing when I wrote two published books. And the difference between the two was that before, I followed my instincts. I looked at what was happening on the pages and went with that instead of what I’d plotted in advance.

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


  1. library addict
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 15:52:39

    I confess, I had to click to see what a panster was – LOL. Whatever happened to the “here are some various things that work for other people, mix-and-match to see what works best for you” approach? That’s always better than the “my way or the highway” type.

    I sure hope the new Sony readers are a step forward and not backwards. I am still waiting for a significant price drop before I purchase one, but I do drool over the 505 every time I go to Target or Borders. I would possibly drool over the 700, but neither store near me ever seems to have one.

  2. Maili
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 16:09:28

    And, apparently Kirk Biglione will be doing videos and podcasts to help readers understand digital book reading and how to get the digital books onto digital devices.

    (Putting the Accessibility FTW! hat on) I hope those videos and podcasts will be accessible to people with disabilities (aka potential customers). If it’s not possible, then please provide transcripts.

  3. Jessica G.
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 16:38:27

    Don’t be underwhelmed about the new Sony Readers yet, Jane. IMO, it looks like they scaled them back for a massive price drop. I could be wrong, but if it is, I think the point is to make them more affordable for everyone. I think that’s a great tactic – get them in the hands of more people and then start building more bells and whistles later, when the technology is less price prohibitive.

    Also, is it terrible that I haven’t heard of this Mr. X until today?

  4. Shannon Stacey
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 17:18:43

    I shouldn’t have read the bit about Ravenous Romance seeking children’s books while cooking dinner. As nauseated as I am now, I doubt I’ll be able to eat.

  5. Angela James
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 18:31:11


    I think you might want to reread that bit. RR isn’t seeking children’s books. Lori’s agency is.

  6. DS
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 19:56:37

    I’m not sure why all the enthusiasm for touch screens. Asus has a touch screen computer that I had to pull myself back from buying even though I honestly would have no rational use for it. My poor iphone constantly has to have the finger prints wiped off when I’m using it to a read a book.

    And no wifi? That’s really puzzling. Like touchscreens, wifi is one of those value added things that people seem to covet. Even Bob Evans Restaurants offer free wifi! (Ok, for any part of the world that doesn’t have Bob Evans– it’s a restaurant that specializes in breakfast foods and favored by the older set except on Sunday morning when it is packed with young families. I love the chicken salad, but there are days that I swear I am the youngest person in the place who is not employed there and I’m also certainly the only one there using an electronic gadget to entertain myself.)

  7. Shannon Stacey
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 19:57:14

    Oh! That’s a lot less horrifying. (I wish I had you to vet everything I type, not just the books. *g*)

  8. Christina
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 20:34:01

    I like the emoticons. Let’s us know, up front, what we’re in for. Clever. :-D

  9. Ann Bruce
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 21:53:18

    No mention of the new Samsung e-reader? If I didn’t love my iPod Touch, I’d be trading in my Sony PRS for the Samsung. It looks like it would be the perfect size for my hands.

  10. RKB
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 23:30:49

    Too bad Donn-with-two-nns-Cortez lost his marbles and posted that crap to Amazon. Plus he gave his own book 5-stars. What an unprofessional idiot. His book was on my “to buy” list, but now I’m not going to buy it and I refuse to buy the rest of his work if it’s ever published.

    I am getting really tired of seeing authors lose their minds and say stupid crap. In the past couple of months I’ve had to drop four authors altogether and give away all the books I had bought of theirs. Some of these authors are bordering on being bugf**k crazy because of what they say in various rants.

  11. Susan D.
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 07:05:12

    I hope Jessica G. is right and Sony is planning a price drop. I want one but am too cheap to spend $279 (what they cost at Target), when I can get a netbook for the same price and read books from it.

  12. Beth Gray
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 08:16:32

    I really like mobipocket now. It can be downloaded to almost everything including your blackberry and pc at home. However, I also like kindle and the way it can be downloaded to the iphone .
    This is definitely the way of the future.

  13. Randi
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 08:20:28

    Carolyn Jewel is hysterical. I find it intriguing that an artist (the plotter writer) would tell other artists how to do art. I mean…it’s ART. There are guidelines on how to do various art forms, but at the end of the day, each artist has to bring their own flavor to the form. ugh. what a tool that plotter is.

    OK, so I read some of Donn Cortez’ comments on Amazon. I don’t think he should be getting into discussions with the posters, but I found this really odd. He says,

    “I use because there’s a trend in pop culture today to use the last half of a word as an abbreviations instead of the first half–rents for parents, tude for attitude, and so on.”

    I’m interested (and secretly giggling) in this idea b/c while it was true that kids cut off some words back when I was in Junior High (1986-1988), I haven’t heard that kind of speak since the 80’s left the building. OK, really, I just think he’s a bit behind the times…*walks off giggling*

  14. Chicklet
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 08:39:14

    I'm interested (and secretly giggling) in this idea b/c while it was true that kids cut off some words back when I was in Junior High (1986-1988), I haven't heard that kind of speak since the 80's left the building. OK, really, I just think he's a bit behind the times…*walks off giggling*

    Tune in next week, when Donn starts ending his comments by saying he’s outtie!

  15. Randi
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 11:31:50

    @Chicklet: ROFLMAO!!!

  16. Pamela Turner
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 12:30:26

    That’s fine if Ms. Jewel wants to defend the pantster. But to imply that plotters will never publish is ludicrous. I have to plot; that’s just me. There are times when I’ve written something w/o plotting and ended up spending way too much time fixing what I wrote. So I’ll say that I’m a plotter and damn proud of it. XD

  17. Moriah Jovan
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 13:04:37

    But to imply that plotters will never publish is ludicrous.

    Did she do that? I read the article and didn’t see that or infer it. *confused*

  18. Randi
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 13:10:13


    it was the other way around. What Carolyn was peeved about was this other author who suggested that the only way one could get published was to BE a plotter, and this other author poo-poohed pantsers.

    Also, Carolyn actually says in her own blog that neither way is the right way; rather, each writer will have their own successful way of writing.

  19. Pamela Turner
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 19:47:49

    Sorry for the misinterpretation! :-) I agree that one has to find the technique that works for him or her. I also suspect that most writers apply a bit of both. Even I do.

    So again, thanks for setting the record straight!

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