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

Thursday Links Round Up: Rupert Murdoch Is Unhappy

In the ereading category:

  • Sony officially announced its two new ebook readers to be available at the end of the month. The more affordable device has a 5″ screen, no external memory card, 512 internal MB on board (that will allow you to load over 500 books depending on the format), and will come in colors of pink, cool blue and silver with a $199 price tag. This link from the LA Times blog has a picture of the pink one and it is cute. The upper end device is $299, has an external memory slot, a touchscreen, and the ability to take notes with a stylus. There is no light and no online connectivity. The prices of new releases and NYT Bestsellers will match Amazon’s pricing at $9.99. My advice if you buy a Sony Reader? Try to buy epub format. Sony reads it and so do other devices like the iPhone.
  • Gizmodo has the likelihood of an Apple Tablet release at 90% with a September announcement date and a November release date. I’m saving my pennies (okay, more like my dollar coins, but yes, I am getting one if it is in the the $699-$799 unsubsidized range).
  • Shortcovers has announced that its pricing for new release hardcovers and NYT bestsellers will be reduced to $9.99.
  • Rupert Murdoch, who is losing money like its on tap at a college kegger, is going to charge for all its online content in 2010. Also, he might break with Amazon over its revenue sharing practices and Amazon’s refusal to provide the name of the subscribers.
  • Speaking of HarperCollins, I have been super frustrated with the fact that EOS is pricing its digital books at a premium ($14.99) given the price of the same book in mass market ($7.99). I emailed HarperCollins about this and they said that they would need to hear more consumer feedback on the pricing issue so, please, readers email [email protected] to let them know your pricing concerns. It’s helpful to provide examples. Pass this information along please.
  • Jim Baen’s Universe will cease publication due to the lack of subscribers.

In the business category:

  • HarperCollins announced that it had another dismal quarter to wrap up an equally dismal year. HC ended the fiscal year on a 20.6% decline in revenue which it blames on the weak market for book sales. HarperCollins is looking forward to the fall when most of the big books are supposed to be published. If the first quarter of the next fiscal year performs down as well, things could be very bad for Harper.
  • Last January, I thought it would be neat if there were vending machines in malls for book buyers. Booktopia 2 apparently had this same idea and will be placing up to 200 book vending machines in shopping centres, hospitals and other places (which I can’t read because I don’t subscribe to Bookseller + Publisher). The kicker is that Booktopia 2 is doing this in Australia.
  • An article in the NY Observer suggests that if you aren’t a big name author and your manuscript is late, your publisher might be asking for its money back. It’s a cautionary tale and one that wonders why being on time has been something of an anomaly.

From the blogworld:

  • SBTB has the second entry up of Doc Turtle’s blog a long of J.R. Ward’s Dark Lover. It’s funny but painful if you liked the book (like me).
  • and finally, from Gizmodo, possibly one of the greatest inventions of our time.
  • 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. Kalen Hughes
      Aug 06, 2009 @ 11:40:43

      SBTB has the second entry up of Doc Turtle's blog a long of J.R. Ward's Dark Lover. It's funny but painful if you liked the book (like me).

      But all the more hysterical if you didn’t like it (like me).

      Oh, and it's the third entry today, don't miss any of them if you're inclined to pop over (and don't drink anything while you read; your computer will thank you).

    2. nutmeag
      Aug 06, 2009 @ 12:52:04

      With your links round-up, I thought I’d add this to the list. One of my favorite online comics did a strip about bad romance novels:

      Questionable Content is a little heavy on music geek talk, but the characterization is pretty great. I’d suggest reading more than just this particular episode.

    3. LG
      Aug 06, 2009 @ 13:47:51

      “Time-traveling Viking Navy SEAL romance novels” – lol! Unfortunately, I’m sure this is the sort of thing people think of when I tell them “I read (and usually enjoy) romance novels.”

      On the NY Observer article, at first I thought by “late” they meant a few months or something, but there’s the scenario one agent mentions: “‘O.K., this book is two years late. Do we want it anymore?'” Two years?!

    4. nutmeag
      Aug 06, 2009 @ 13:50:27

      Yes, Time-traveling Viking Navy SEALs is a common trope. ;-) Embarrassingly, I do read that sort of thing, but for the same reason as the blond character (Penelope) does–for the amusement. It’s a nice palate cleanser. When you go back to the good stuff, you realize just how good it really is.

    5. Kalen Hughes
      Aug 06, 2009 @ 14:31:29

      On the NY Observer article, at first I thought by “late” they meant a few months or something, but there's the scenario one agent mentions: “’O.K., this book is two years late. Do we want it anymore?'” Two years?!

      Reminds me of the Hollywood idea of what being a published author is like (you know, the whole Stranger than Fiction thing where a lit fic author gets a special assistant from her publisher because she’s got writer’s block *riiiiiiight*, or the bit in


      where her publisher buys her a car *rolls eyes*). The only people who *get* to be two years late pretty much never would be. Two years late means the author is having some kind of life crisis.

    6. Kalen Hughes
      Aug 06, 2009 @ 14:33:00

      Why do I hit bquote when I mean to italicize? Why?

    7. Elizabeth
      Aug 06, 2009 @ 14:39:22

      I wonder what colour the sky is in that fantasy world Rupert Murdoch lives in?

    8. Babz
      Aug 06, 2009 @ 15:01:00

      @Elizabeth: Why, the color of money of course! Green!

      And that *is* the greatest invention of our time.

      And I will marry the man who buys me my first dedicated e-reading device. Seriously, I need it that much.

    9. Jane
      Aug 06, 2009 @ 18:52:51

      @Kalen Hughes – wasn’t Charles Frasier’s sequel to Cold Mountain several years later? There are a handful of authors that can get away with it.

    10. Jane
      Aug 06, 2009 @ 18:53:08

      @nutmeag – that is funny.

    11. Heather Massey
      Aug 06, 2009 @ 20:40:34

      Thanks for the heads up about EOS. I sent an email.

    12. DS
      Aug 07, 2009 @ 07:49:48

      I think Thomas Harris’ sequel to Silence of the Lambs was very late. And a disaster as far as I am concerned.

    13. Shortcovers eBook Pricing (Slightly More in Canada) « Books on the Radio
      Aug 10, 2009 @ 20:36:44

      […] Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary » Blog Archive » Thursday Links … […]

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