Monday News: The Romance Reader is shutting down; Google+ goes into the minus zone; ComiXology changes purchasing terms; and bestsellers are made, not born
The Romance Reader to Close – Although AAR is mentioned much more often, The Romance Reader actually came first, and has been reviewing Romance for almost 18 years. Their one-heart reviews are among my favorites on the site, and even though they never went the way of offering a comments or message board function (which is why, from what I understand, Laurie Gold left to form AAR), they were always in conversation with trends and issues in the genre. It’s really too bad they’ve chosen to shut down, and I have no idea whether they’ll leave their archive of reviews online, so you might want to re-read your favorites asap. –The Romance Reader
Report: Google to end forced G+ integration, drastically cut division resources – You may have heard that the head of Google+, Vic Gundotra, was leaving the company, and now it’s clear why: Google+, the product that Google wanted to sneak into any and every product, seems is no longer a company priority. Which means that upwards of 1200 employees will be transferred to other areas in Google (hopefully not fired) and resources will be seriously downgraded, to. When you think of how much Google had invested in the much-hated Google+, this is no small abandonment. It’s going to affect a number of services, including Google Hangouts and YouTube, so it’s going to be interesting to see where Google is headed with all this.
It’s unclear what the future of Google+ would be, and the report says that Google itself isn’t even sure what to do with the rest of the Google+ team members. TechCrunch says that G+ is not officially dead, but with Gundotra gone and the resources being stripped away, the project seems more like the “walking dead.” We imagine that internally, it’s more like a drastic scaling-down of the social network, which at one point was deemed so important to the company that every employee’s yearly bonus was tied to Google’s success in social. –Ars Technica
COMIXOLOGY DISCUSSES APP CHANGES, STOREFRONT REMOVAL – Now that Amazon has acquired ComiXology, changes are afoot. Hopeful comics fans hoped that these changes would flow in the direction of expanding and enhancing the unique viewing experience and creativity ComiXology has been known for. Thus far, however, the changes have leaned in a different direction. For example, you can no longer purchase directly from ComiXology, despite the creation of a new app, and the Google Play option has been removed, as well. Hmmm.
ComiXology customers will now have to buy their comics through comiXology.com and sync those purchases with the app to read them on an Apple device — or buy them through the individual publisher apps comiXology supports, which are so far not affected by the change. In addition, comiXology made changes to their Android app, as they removed the ability to pay through Google and added the ability to pay with a credit card or through PayPal. –Comic Book Resources
TIL that the New York Times Bestseller list is considered editorial content and the editors can (and sometimes do) choose which books are “Bestsellers.” – For years this was an open secret in traditional publishing, and just in the past few weeks, I’ve seen several public discussions of the fact that publishers often engineered so-called “bestselling” books on the NYT list. Reddit threads are often a hot mess, but they do have some interesting discussions, too, and if you want to blow and hour or four, this thread might be for you. –Reddit