Sep 3 2009
Tomorrow is the last day to Opt Out of the Google Book Settlement Agreement. You can do this online. The biggest question you have to answer is what do you get by opting in that you don’t get by opting out, other than $60 per book? The publishers are all participating and to the extent that they currently hold your digital rights, they can include the book in the Google Book Settlement, but an author is bound by the terms of the settlement unless she OPTS OUT. (Do nothing and you are included by default). Do you know how your existing contract is modified by the GBKS? If you don’t know, you should find out.
I find it interesting and depressing that Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have taken a stance (it is anti GBKS) but RWA has not.
Governor Schwarznegger is exploring his own public option but this time its with education. California is struggling with an immense budget deficit and Schwarznegger is looking to save money everywhere including holding a huge government garage sale. One of the other cost saving measures he is exploring is moving away from paid textbooks to free textbook content. Read the entire article by Michael Cairns at Teleread.org.
In May, Governor Schwarzenegger established a “Free Digital Textbook Initiative” to review free digital high school textbooks to determine which met the state’s established academic standards. State education officials asked content developers to submit content. Then the California Learning Resource Network (CLRN) facilitated the review of the submitted content.
Most of the free textbooks scored highly.
Mayor John Hickenlooper of Denver has established a program in which he supports one book for a citywide read along. How neat! This year the book is To Kill a Mockingbird.
Paperback copies of the book, as well as reading guides, are available at bookstores and the Denver Public Library.
Over at GalleyCat, there’s a rumble taking place in the comments over MJ Rose’s argument that authors need to be paid more if they are going to be expected to do publicity too. Some comments veer toward the ridiculous “Sure, I get that they work hard to produce their art, but if its something they love, they should get satisfaction simply out of it getting published and put out to the public” but it’s an important conversation for authors and publishers to be having. Bob Miller of HarperStudios suggests that authors and publishers should be partners, splitting the profits 50/50. This, of course, is a situation in which an author does not accept an advance. This, in turn, is the digital publishing model despised by many.
SmartBitches noted that Powell’s will be adding a romance blogger to its coterie of bookbuyers and booksellers talking about books. It’s a welcome addition given the unique perspective the blogger has as the romance buyer for Powell’s airport store in Portland.
Our strongest categories have been professional reference/textbooks and romance. We’ve worked a lot with Mia Amato at Harlequin on Harlequin promos, but of course no one can touch Harlequin in terms of the technology and vision in terms of how best to market their stuff.
We included Powells in our romance ebookstore pricing comparison and they came out favorably.
For those with a number of portable electronics around the house, you might want to take a look at the new Duracell rechargeable batteries. The lower cost model at $20 will charge anything that uses a USB port, like the iPhone. Gizmodo was very pleased with these devices.
Romance ebooks are the most popular library downloads according to Overdrive that fulfills over 7500 + libraries, retailers & schools in the US. Lisa Kleypas books dominating the list with 6 out of the top 10 spots. The upcoming Sony Digital Edition will allow you to check books out directly from your device. In the UK, the British Library will launch digital ebook loans.
Jessica, a professor of philosophy and romance reader, discusses the prejudice against romance books in the academic world. Apparently anime, hip/hop, food, supervillians/superheroes, all have a place but romance does not. I can’t imagine how frustrating this must be for Jessica and those of her ilk. My philosophy professor called Philosophy 101 the study of the DWEBS – Dead White English Boys – and it looks like their hold over academia is still strong.