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Monday Midday News Roundup: RomCon Reader Crown Finalists Announced

Wendy, the Superlibrarian, had a great post about the money v. no money trailers and which have a greater effect. Based on the comments on her blog and that on the SmartBitches, Tessa Dare’s charming homemade trailer seems the clear winner.

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Funnel Inc made an awesome graphical chart of how a book actually gets made.   It’s more complicated than you might think.   via Io9.

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Laptop Magazine did a speed test for eReaders.   The speed that the magazine was testing was how fast the page turns (or the screen refreshes).   Kindle, Sony Daily Edition, and IRex are the clear winners.   When we were testing the devices at RT, we noticed that it seemed the Kindle was twice as fast as the Kobo and the Nook but that the Kobo and Nook seemed to refresh at about the same speed.

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One tiny digital publisher’s success and the adoption of lines by mainstream publishing has led one major media outlet (MSN) to declare that erotica is saving publishing. I was surprised by the quote given by Kensington due to the fact that the Aphrodisia line is limping along on fumes, having been reduced by at least half.   Possibly it is erotica and not erotic romance, though, that will save publishing.

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In Amazon news, it is keeping track of what you highlight (and probably your notes) which makes me highly uncomfortable although kind of interested in the idea that there are similar passages being highlighted by a number of people.   Would kind of love to see what passages others highlight in my favorite (and not so favorite romances).

Amazon has also announced that you can earn affiliate fees on Kindle books. This wasn’t the case in the past.

Amazon is excited to announce that effective May 1, 2010, you can earn advertising fees on Kindle books. With over 500,000 books, including 105 of 112 New York Times ® Best Sellers, Kindle books represent another great way to earn money advertising Amazon products. Advertising fees range from 4 to 8.5%.

Link directly to the Kindle books page using the following link format, replacing "YOUR_ID_HERE-20" with your Associates ID: http://www.amazon.com/b?node=1286228011&tag=YOUR_ID_HERE-20

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RomCon announced its Reader Crown finalists:

(is it just me or is that site really hard to navigate?)

Best First

  • Anne Marsh   ~ The Hunt ~ Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Time Travel
  • Margaret Mallory ~ Knight of Desire   ~ Long Historical
  • Mary Sullivan ~ No Ordinary Cowboy   ~ Short Contemporary
  • Susan Gee Heino ~ Mistress by Mistake ~ Long Historical
  • Vanessa Kelly   ~ Mastering the Marquess ~ Long Historical

I’ve never heard of Sullivan or Kelly. May have to check those two out.

Erotica

  • Joey W. Hill   ~ Beloved Vampire
  • Livia Dare   ~ In the Flesh
  • Maya Banks ~ Into the Lair
  • Maya Banks   ~ Sweet Persuasion
  • Sunny ~ Mona Lisa Darkening

Love Joey Hill. I like the Sweet series, but have varying responses to each of them.   Sunny is very meh for me. I find her so derivative of other authors.   Livia Dare…I want to say I’ve read her but I just can’t recall.

Long Contemporary

  • Carly Phillips ~ Lucky Break
  • Erin McCarthy ~ Hard and Fast
  • Jill Shalvis ~ Double Play
  • Julie James ~ Practice Makes Perfect
  • Susan Mallery ~ Sunset Bay

This is a pretty stellar list given that McCarthy, Shalvis and James have all been part of our “Save the Contemporary” campaign.

Long Historical

  • Anna Campbell   ~   Captive of Sin
  • Deeanne Gist   ~ A Bride in the Bargain
  • Elizabeth Hoyt ~ To Desire a Devil
  • Jennifer Ashley ~ The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
  • Jodi Thomas ~ The Lone Texan

I haven’t read Gist or Thomas before.    Still surprised by the lack of Duran or Thomas here.

Long Romantic Suspense

  • Bella Andre   ~   Wild Heat
  • Catherine Mann   ~ Defender
  • Cindy Gerard ~ Whisper No Lies
  • Julia Harper ~ For the Love of Pete
  • Susan Crandall   ~ Seeing Red

Hmmm. For the Love of Pete, really?   Everyone but me must have loved that book.

Novella

  • Courtney Milan   ~ This Wicked Gift in The Heart of Christmas anthology
  • Emily Bryan    ~   My Lady Below Stairs in A Christmas Ball anthology
  • Erin McCarthy   ~   Undead Man’s Hand in Out of the Light, Into the Shadows anthology
  • Jade Lee   ~ Weekend Tigress in the Winter Heat anthology
  • Sophia Nash ~ Catch of the Century in the Four Dukes and Devil anthology

I haven’t read but one of these.

Paranormal

  • Carolyn Jewel   ~   My Forbidden Desire
  • Jory Strong   ~   Ghostland
  • Keena Kincaid   ~   Ties That Bind
  • Shannon K. Butcher ~ Burning Alive
  • Shannon K. Butcher   ~ Finding the Lost

I think its neat that Ghostland finaled because it has great and strong worldbuilding but WHERE THE FUCK IS NALINI’S BOOK????

Sci-fi/Fantasy/Futuristic/Time-Travel
Anne Marsh   ~ The Hunt
Jess Granger   ~ Beyond the Rain
Melissa Mayhue    ~   A Highlander of Her Own
Sandra Hill    ~   Viking Heat
Veronica Wolff   ~   Lord of the Highlands

I read Jess Granger’s book and liked it.   I’m not a huge time travel fan, but apparently the people love the Scottish time travels.

Short Contemporary
Abby Gaines   ~   Her So-Called Fiance
Abby Gaines   ~   The Groom Came Back
Holly Jacobs ~ Unexpected Gifts
Linda Warren   ~ The Sheriff of Horseshoe, Texas
Mary Sullivan   ~   No Ordinary Cowboy

I have Gaines on my TBR list.

Short Historical
Blythe Gifford   ~   In the Master’s Bed
Bronwyn Scott   ~ The Viscount Claims His Bride
Robyn DeHart   ~   Seduce Me
Terri Brisbin   ~   A Storm of Passion
Terri Brisbin    ~   The Conqueror’s Lady

I think I tried to read Seduce Me…

Short Romantic Suspense
Carol Snow    ~   Here Today, Gone to Maui
Delores Fossen ~   Christmas Guardian
Kay Thomas   ~   Better Than Bulletproof
K.M. Daughters   ~    Beyond the Code of Conduct
Sheri Whitefeather   ~ Protecting Their Baby

Haven’t read one of these.

Urban Fantasy with Romantic Elements
Anya Bast   ~   Witch Fury
Jenna Maclaine ~   Bound by Sin
Julie Kenner    ~   Tainted
Lori Devoti    ~   Amazon Ink
S. J. Day      ~    Eve of Darkness

Hmmm. Is all I can say.

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

21 Comments

  1. Shannon Stacey
    May 03, 2010 @ 10:06:59

    Had the nook you were using had the 1.3 software update, because it’s pretty damn fast. I’ll have to find somebody with a Kindle around here because I can’t imagine it’s that much faster.

  2. Angela James
    May 03, 2010 @ 10:14:05

    @Shannon

    Yes, it was my nook and I’d updated the software the same day it’d released. And it is faster. I think there might be video somewhere that Sarah took of the test.

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  4. Keishon
    May 03, 2010 @ 10:20:52

    I agree with Shannon Stacey. Nook update made it much faster than Sony Reader (to me) and I have the PRS 505 edition that I’ve quit using. No Kindle to compare but I am very happy with the refresh rate/page turns or whatever.

  5. Shannon Stacey
    May 03, 2010 @ 10:45:35

    I wish I could spot a Kindle in the wild around here because I can’t imagine an e-ink page refresh twice as fast as the post-update nook.

    I’ve been very happy with the nook but, as I mentioned to Jane on Twitter, after we spent a weekend up at camp, I’ve found myself sneaking a few new purchases onto the iPod Touch. It’s so portable and it’s backlit.

    *sigh*

    I just can’t seem to quit it.

  6. Shuzluva
    May 03, 2010 @ 11:27:42

    I think its neat that Ghostland finaled because it has great and strong worldbuilding but WHERE THE FUCK IS NALINI'S BOOK????

    My immediate response as well. W.T.F?

  7. becca
    May 03, 2010 @ 11:35:02

    every time I think I’ll just bite the bullet and get a Kindle, I read something like this – no thanks. Amazon scares me.

    still don’t know which ereader I’ll get… I guess I’m still waiting for the DRM and price wars to settle down.

  8. Ridley
    May 03, 2010 @ 11:48:13

    (is it just me or is that site really hard to navigate?)

    It’s not you.

    I was looking at it yesterday with my web designer husband and we declared it a hot mess of a website. It looks messy, the links don’t always make sense and that logo with the woman looks like it came out of a jr. high art class.

    In the end, I decided I wasn’t impressed enough with them to fly to Denver. If they can’t organize an attractive website when they’re trying to make a splash as a new contender in well-established romance con schedule, I’m not sure they can sew together a game-changing event either.

  9. Anthea Lawson
    May 03, 2010 @ 11:53:38

    As far as the Reader’s Crown — Almost EVERY contest out there has two basic requirements.

    1. The author has to enter.

    2. The author must pay a fee for entering.

    Perhaps Nalini didn’t feel the $75 price tag for this particular contest was worth the possibility of finaling? (And yes, that’s on the high side, though most contests run $25-40 per book to enter, plus the cost of giving away multiple copies of books, and postage for same. And no, usually the publisher doesn’t pick up the tab.)

  10. Danielle D
    May 03, 2010 @ 11:55:10

    I just have to agree with the RomCom awards — hmmmm is all I can say also.

  11. Vi
    May 03, 2010 @ 13:04:40

    What is the purpose having yet another contest for best book(s)? Couldn’t there be another fun activity for readers planned?

  12. Wendy
    May 03, 2010 @ 13:14:57

    I went back and edited by original blog post, because I found out the Tess Gerritsen trailer was actually a low-budget (if any budget at all) affair. Done by a couple of local guys the author knows, and the publisher had nothing to do with it. I thought it looked slick enough that it was “money.” So good work on the part of the filmmakers :)

    One thing I find interesting about the RomCon awards is that there’s a separate category for erotica, but not for inspirationals.

  13. MaryK
    May 03, 2010 @ 14:56:37

    I hope interchanging the terms erotica and erotic romance isn’t becoming a trend. I read one and not the other, and I’ve been having to ask for clarification lately.

  14. Ridley
    May 03, 2010 @ 15:19:34

    @MaryK:

    I blame Ellora’s Cave for cockblocking us on the use of romantica® as word. “Erotic romance” is such a mouthful. Being able to say “romantica” would be so much easier.

    And if they’re gonna hoard it, they should at least put out a readable story every once in a while.

  15. CathyKJ
    May 03, 2010 @ 16:44:49

    Glad to hear there are now affiliate links for Kindle. I’ve bought so many books because of DA, I’m glad you can get some kickback now.

  16. katiebabs
    May 03, 2010 @ 17:09:45

    Most of the conference nominated books from RT to the RITAS and now this are WTF’s for me.

    Notice there’s no GLBT romance category?

  17. Heather Massey
    May 03, 2010 @ 18:09:59

    Way to go, Jess!

  18. Shannon Stacey
    May 03, 2010 @ 18:53:34

    I saw this on the Dorchester blog:

    The winners in each of 11 categories receive some pretty impressive in-store promotion.

    That could be worth an entrance fee, but $75? That’s a lot.

  19. Jane
    May 03, 2010 @ 19:19:08

    @shannonstacey – yes, there is an endcap placement which is pretty good. $75 for each book or just one entry fee?

  20. Shannon Stacey
    May 03, 2010 @ 19:37:05

    I’m not sure. Contests are usually per book, but I don’t know. As for the $75, I went on what Anthea said. I looked all over the site and I can find multiple mentions of sending the appropriate fees and the $25 NSF fine, but I can’t find what the actual entrance fee is.

  21. Anthea Lawson
    May 04, 2010 @ 00:05:30

    From the RomCom website at http://www.romconinc.com/index.php/contest Note the $75 per entry (which means per book if you look at the forms, which I did when I considered entering) cost at the bottom.

    “Authors of works available only electronically are required to provide 5 printed and bound copies of their work, including the publisher’s copyright page.

    Entry fee is $75 per entry.”

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