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

Monday Midday Links: Musicians Seek Self Publishing Options; Real Data...

Personal Note: Self publishing mentality creeps into other creative venues. Louis CK did it with stand up comedy. Now musicians via kickstarter. It’s all about the platform now.

Personal Note: Because it is all about platform and platforms are built on constant (but good) content.

Personal Note: A must read data compilation by Thea from the BookSmugglers (a graduate student who wrote her thesis on ebook prices). She compiled responses from over 919 respondents.


Fictionwise Coupon for 55% off. Valid until the end of the day: 051112
Kobo Coupon Code for 50% off: Regg50us361

  • Eternal Kiss of Darkness with an Exclusive Excerpt by Jeaniene Frost * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Nothing Denied by Jess Michaels * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady by Kate Summerscale * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
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  • Dare by Abiola Abrams * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
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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. Isobel Carr
    May 14, 2012 @ 09:40:30

    Hello, old news, NYTimes! The standard in Romance has been two books a year for quite a while now (and my friends who are succeeding in selfpub [like Bella Andre and Tina Folsom] are saying that you really need to get something out every 3-4 months to hit the sweet spot and keep your books up in the rankings and selling).

  2. Maili
    May 14, 2012 @ 09:45:14

    Big Fish Games is offering $2.99 for each of all available games (Pc/Mac) onsite with this coupon: NEW299. Many good games there, but do avoid ‘Tiger Eye: The Sacrifice’ (sequel to the fabulous ‘Tiger Eye: the Curse of the Riddle Box’). Such a let-down.

  3. Renda
    May 14, 2012 @ 09:49:12

    @Isobel Carr:
    When my husband synopsized the article for me this weekend, I think my “and the new info there?” expression tipped him off that this is, indeed, nothing new.
    He only reads nonfiction of events that happened no earlier than last century, though, so I cut him some slack; NYT, no slack.

  4. Nadia Lee
    May 14, 2012 @ 10:06:06

    I did her survey, and I answered it as a fiction reader.

    Do not care (and will not pay a higher price) for enhanced ebooks/enhanced content

    There’s no way I’m paying more for some videos or music that go with novels. I buy fiction to enjoy the story, and once it’s over, I’m ready to move onto the next book.

    But for nonfiction I MIGHT consider paying extra if the “enhanced content” means more than just a 2 minute author interview. For example, a very high quality reproduction of rare maps, sound samples of old period instruments so I can hear what they are like compared to the modern variety, etc.

  5. Jennifer Leeland
    May 14, 2012 @ 10:12:19

    One of my favorite bands Digital Summer used Kickstarter to raise money for studio time for their new CD. I was 100% behind it, understanding the need to have creative control over their music. I love them, so I donated towards the cause.
    And I’ve felt the pressure as an ebook author to produce more than one book a year. I usually stress myself out (as opposed to being pressured by anyone else) and recognize that the business demands new and fresh. All an author has to do is look at their royalty checks to know that the first three months after release is critical and there’s a significant drop off after that. We all know that the best promo for a book is the next book.
    I saw the Mayan Calendar discovery and was fascinated. Of course, I’ve always been of the opinion that we (as human beings) fill in the blanks with our own limited understanding and are often wrong. It doesn’t surprise me that the “end of the world” scenario is faulty. But the discovery is fantastic and, hopefully, will give us more information about Mayan culture.

  6. JoanneL
    May 14, 2012 @ 10:34:44

    @Jennifer Leeland: Just a small disagreement but the best promo for the next book is the previous book.

    NYT = Nothing there ever for readers of the romance/romantic fiction genre but ridicule and condescension.

  7. library addict
    May 14, 2012 @ 10:45:17

    When did romance authors ever publish only one book per year?

    The only one I know of who does this is Sandra Brown, but that was only after years of multiple books per year and jumping from straight romance to mystery with only a hint of romance.

  8. ReadingPenguin
    May 14, 2012 @ 11:12:42

    Even one book a year seems like an exhausting prospect to me, since my writing efforts take me forever. Kudos to authors for all of their hard work!

  9. Sarah Frantz
    May 14, 2012 @ 12:10:01

    @library addict and @ReadingPenguin: SEP does one every 18 months, somehow.

  10. Isobel Carr
    May 14, 2012 @ 12:15:24

    @library addict: One book a year was standard at a lot of houses for years (and still is for a lot of other genre fiction). From what I saw, it was in flux when I sold my first book back in 2006 (and my first contract was for one book a year).

  11. Kerry
    May 14, 2012 @ 12:30:48

    @Sarah Frantz: Somehow = by taking the time to make them good.

    The volume-industry thing isn’t working for me as a reader. I would rather wait five years for one book that amazes me than read twenty slapped together and dumped on the market during the same period to keep the author’s name visible.

  12. JoanneL
    May 14, 2012 @ 13:55:20

    @Sarah Frantz:I think we might have a drinking game.
    Jo Goodman is another one-a-year-or-so author.

  13. sao
    May 14, 2012 @ 14:28:00

    I read one comment on enforcement of anti-piracy measures that stated that, particularly outside the US, raids are rarely followed by lots of prosecution. A raid on a pirate is quick and makes a good headline. The legal process that follows is slow and expensive.

    As an interesting side point, Russians are increasingly getting Kindles. The advantage of a Kindle, my Russian friend explained to me, is that the books are free. She’s reading Russian books in Russian, not bought from Amazon, but obviously, there’s a message about intellectual property rights that’s completely missing. It’s the Russian authors/artists who are being hurt. American authors can still make a decent living if every Russian in Russia pirates their books, which probably aren’t available legally anyway. Russian authors don’t have another market. I haven’t found a site that sells Russian music MP3s, although the internet is full of sites offering free downloads. iTunes and Amazon just don’t carry Russian musicians beyond the top 10.

    Rather than haranguing other countries about respecting American intellectual property rights, the publishers and record labels should focus on the message that a country’s native artists are hurt when they can’t sell their works, as well as the American interests. Because, frankly, spend your taxpayers hard-earned pesos/rubles/leva protecting Disney’s profits isn’t a prize winning slogan.

  14. Lada
    May 14, 2012 @ 14:41:10

    As far as I can recall, Nora Roberts was really the one mainstream romance author I know of who consistently published more than one book a year until the past few years really. Many authors were (and still are) on the one-book-per-year time table: Linda Howard, Suzanne Brockman, Janet Evanovich just to name a few.

  15. Moriah Jovan
    May 14, 2012 @ 14:54:52

    When we talk about “one book per year” or more, what are we counting as books?

    In four years, I published 617,000 words in three books (with five relationship stories), two freebies, and two stories in two anthologies. That works out to 2-1/2 categories per year.

    Hm. That doesn’t sound like much, I guess, now that I think about it.

  16. Isobel Carr
    May 14, 2012 @ 15:01:18

    @Moriah Jovan: I was talking about single title. Most category writers I know were already doing multiple books a year. I’m just not a fast enough writer to hold down a fulltime job and do two books a year. Wish I was, but reality is reality.

  17. Moriah Jovan
    May 14, 2012 @ 15:07:30

    @Isobel Carr: Yes, the DDJ (damned day job). There is that.

  18. Susan
    May 14, 2012 @ 17:39:15

    Ooh—great links today.

    ““I have been known to be a little grumpy on the subject sometimes,” said Steve Berry, a popular thriller writer who writes short stories that are released between books. “It does sap away some of your energy. You don’t ever want to get into a situation where your worth is being judged by the amount of your productivity.””

    I guess I never understood the one-book-per-year thing. I don’t know too many authors personally, but a couple of them used to remark that they really felt hindered by this cap. They had stuff in the hopper, so to speak, that they were holding back on because of the publisher’s schedule. That’s why some started a separate series, or wrote under pseudonyms, to meet reader demand. If the market will bear it, the quality doesn’t suffer, and the author is willing, then why the arbitrary cap?

    OTH, I sympathize with writers who can’t put out works faster, either because their writing process is just slower, or because of demands in their “real life.” I agree with Steve Berry’s comment that an author’s value shouldn’t be measured by output.* It sometimes kills me, but I’m usually willing to wait for the authors who make it worth my while with the eventual product (but, dammit, Lynn Flewelling, I really do wish you’d hurry it up!).

    *It amused me that James Patterson was used as an example in the article, when he’s apparently got a stable of “co-authors” helping to churn this stuff out for him. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read—and enjoyed—some of Patterson’s books, but this is definitely assembly-line factory writing.

  19. Wahoo Suze
    May 14, 2012 @ 20:25:54

    I’m willing to wait for a good story. I waited how many years for a new Kinsale? She burnt herself out writing too much, too fast. I emailed Patricia Briggs, begging her to not do the same thing. I may whine about having to wait too long, but I’d rather wait for the story than get mediocre filler every couple of months.

    And if Sharon and Tom Curtis wanted to get writing again, that would be nice, too.

  20. Melissa Blue
    May 15, 2012 @ 10:52:32

    Yes, that one year release kills me too as a reader. But most of the authors I wait a year for never disappoint.

    As for artist moving away from labels, I’m not surprised. The last CD I bought was Adele’s and it was because it was Adele. Before that Jill Scott’s first album, which came out eons ago. All because I don’t have a way to play the iPod in the car. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered. I buy everything digital when it comes to music and I really don’t care if the artist has a label. I don’t even notice. Do I want the song? That’s really all that matters.

  21. Moriah Jovan
    May 15, 2012 @ 11:05:44

    Anne Harris is a violinist I first saw on kid TV (can’t remember the name of the program). She’s brilliant and if I understand it right, she’s always been totally independent. BUT I would never have known she existed if it hadn’t been for that television show and she even has a decent following! So there are musicians out there who’ve been doing it for themselves for a long, long time.

  22. Edward
    May 15, 2012 @ 19:25:20

    Thank you for the Kobo and FW coupon codes! I’m off to buy bookzzzzzzz.

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