This is really a week’s worth of stuff in one post so excuse the length:
Next week we are going to celebrate National Coming Out Day and the “It Get’s Better” movement started by Dan Savage:
With all the layoffs and downsizing, Borders has no need for the space its current headquarters offers. Thus Borders Corporate in Ann Arbor has been quietly listed for sale for a bargain $18.439 million dollars. That has to be a blow for the local Ann Arbor economy given that only an estimated 600 people still work there.
Macmillan Publishers (you know, the company whose CEO won’t allow digital lending of books and thinks readers should have to get out of their house to buy a book) is launching Macmillan Films so that it can package literary projects to Hollywood. I suspect Macmillan will start to want authors’ film rights now.
On Agency Gatekeeper Blog is a fun rundown of things that drive an anonymous reviewer for a “major book-reviewing outlet” crazy. (no, it’s no one from Dear Author that I know of). While the reviewer holds up the JR Ward series as one that gets it right (which is ironic given that the Ward series is devoid of any female personality and the heroines are distinguishable only by the color of dress that they were), she nails some points like how
#2– A career is something that happens while you’re waiting for a rich man (or in some cases, a rich vampire) to sweep you off your feet. If there is ever a choice between pursuing your career, maintaining friendships and enjoying daylight versus becoming a blood-sucking immortal fiend of the night who forsakes all human contact and can’t practice medicine anymore, a woman will always choose her man.
Speaking of lists, I particularly enjoyed Stephanie Draven’s 7 Deadly Sins of Paranormal Romance.
GREED: Too Many Speculative Elements. The best paranormal romance takes the world as we know it, or the past as we imagine it, and twists one or two crucial elements, following the repercussions from those changes like ripples on a pond. The worst paranormal romance turns itself into a carnival for every strange and unexplained myth, magic, and phenomenon in the cosmos. Elves and vampires, mining together on Epsilon 4 with space aliens who are ruled by the Wicked Witch of the West in a kingdom called Oz-readers need to be able to focus. In a world where everything is possible, what is truly at stake? (For an example of how too much of a good thing can ruin a series, see the television series LOST which started out with an intriguing premise, but eventually piled so many new paranormal elements onto the stack that the whole thing collapsed under its own weight, bleeding viewers and disappointing long-time fans.)
I refer to Greed as the “No Paranormal Left Behind” syndrome.
Sourcebooks is launching a new “line” of books called Casablanca Classics. CC will republish old books that have gone out of print. Unfortunately, the price of these new books will be $9.99. I love this idea and hate the price point. After all, I can find most of these used on Amazon for $.99 + shipping.
Devil’s Desire by Laurie McBain
Fierce Eden by Jennifer Blake
Moonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain
My Love, My Enemy by Jan Cox Speas
Merely Magic by Patricia Rice
Legacy by Jeanette Baker
Tapestry of Dreams by Roberta Gellis
Bride of the MacHugh by Jan Cox Speas
Midnight Waltz by Jennfer Blake
Catriona by Jeanette Baker
Given that the only thing Sourcebooks has to do is pay for a new cover and marketing, the $9.99 price point seems excessively high.
Random House is running at online promotion at Suvudu.com where fans get to vote on the direction of a chain story, in a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style. Here is the link to the page, and the original announcement is below. Lara Adrian, Harry Connolly, Lucy A. Snyder, Kelly Meding, and Stacia Kane are writing this short story of Munira, a "retriever" of magical items in the fictional city of Port Nightfall.
The daughter of a djinn, Munira is contacted by the most powerful sorcerer in the city, the wily Temesis who makes her an offer she can't refuse: steal the Light of Ta'lab from an evil necromancer or he will kill her father! Fans will have the opportunity to vote on the choices Munira makes in the story via Suvudu.com, and each new section (penned by the various authors), will reflect the fans' voices. The short story began on Monday, September 20, 2010 and, once completed, will be available for download as a ¢99 eBook.
Orbit has launched The Orbital Drop which is a monthly special ebook deal. Deals will include two-for-ones, digital boxed-sets, and big discounts on some of the best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Urban Fantasy in the known universe. Each deal lasts one month though. You can sign up here. When I signed up, it looked like it might be US only which is a big shame.
You know who loves happy endings? It might not be who you think. Eva Ibbotson, author of several beautiful YA novels, admits to loving the happy ever after ending. Eva’s childhood
was a “very cosmopolitan, sophisticated and quite interesting” childhood, but it was not a happy one. With parents who were very bad at hiding their dislike of each other living at either end of the country and grandparents in Vienna, Ibbotson was “always on some train, going about and wishing I had a home. When I came to write, consciously or unconsciously I always wanted to make things right for the hero or the heroine.” As a result, Ibbotson describes herself as a “happy endings freak”.
Thanks from Reader Robin F.
HarperCollins’ CEO says that revenue from digital books, excluding children’s books, is about 20% this year. That’s a hell of a sea change from just a year ago. No wonder publishers are in turmoil.