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

Thursday Midday Links: Take a Cowboy Home

Harlequin has posted a behind the scenes look at a cover shoot for the upcoming trilogy by Linda Lael Miller:

They obviously put a lot of thought and time into the covers. You know who I think romanticized cowboys for me? Louis L’Amour. I remember devouring his Sackett series as a teen. Sa-wooon. Anyhoo, Harlequin is also giving away $10,000 dollars. Enter here.


Time Magazine has a very interesting look at the corporate writing machine that is James Patterson Inc. Mr. Patterson candidly agrees his work is not fine art, but entertainment and he treats his books and his name as a profit center.


Games and other apps are coming to the Kindle. Kindle has announced that it is releasing a Software Development Kit so that third parties can produce applications to run on the Kindle. As Jessica of RacyRomanceReviews.com put it, let’s hope this leads to organizational tools like folders!


The sticky case of copyright is portrayed in the Sherlock Holmes case and, I think, is argument against the 70 years beyond the death of an author.


Financial Times reports that small publishers are not getting paid by Borders Group and that a group of smaller publishers have retained the bankruptcy group of Lowenstein Sandler as legal counsel.

The paradigm shift in the traditional bookselling space has forced some publishers to re-adjust how they do business with the retailer. One major publisher has terminated its return policy with Borders to reduce risk, said a consultant to publishers. A seventh publisher canvassed by Debtwire said his firm has stopped shipping to Borders because of fears the retailer will send the books back unsold…

Factors and credit insurance providers no longer sell hedges on Barnes & Nobles or Borders because of high perceived default, said two trade insurance brokers, a credit insurance provider and two factors.

UPDATE: PW reports that Lowenstein Sandler have not been retained by any group. Sheesh.


In other big Amazon news, it is now allowing publishers to remove DRM from their Kindle titles.

But eliminating DRM could also increase customers' comfort level with buying ebooks. Right now, someone who buys lots of Kindle ebooks is out of luck if, six months from now, some better non-Kindle ereader comes along. The books can't be moved over. Without DRM -’ and with the knowledge that their ebook investment can have long-term returns -’ readers might be willing to shift their buying to digital.

UPDATE: I have been informed that this option has existed for over a year.

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

28 Comments

  1. Shannon Stacey
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 11:56:52

    My mom had the entire leather-bound Louis L’Amour collection and I cut my reading teeth on them. While I loved them all, especially the Sacketts, I think Conagher was my favorite.

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  3. DS
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 12:37:52

    My dad was a big Louis L’Amour fan, but the only book of his I remember reading was The Walking Drum which was a medieval. I loved it and always regretted the lack of a sequel.

  4. Silver James
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 13:26:58

    I, too, cut my reading teeth on my dad’s copies of Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey books, as well as growing up around ranching and rodeo. My first major “book” crush was Tell Sackett. Years later, when he was played on film by Sam Elliott, my heart was forever sealed.

    I do wish, though, they’d picked guys who actually knew how to ride. I had to laugh watching their posture on horseback.

    I’ll definitely have to add these to my wish list!

  5. Ridley
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 13:51:43

    I wonder how the MP3s on Amazon came to all be DRM-free. Was that Amazon pressure, or did the record companies just decide to do it?

    I also wonder what would happen if Amazon decided to stop offering DRM at all. Would publishers go with it, or would they stop selling Kindle books?

    I’d love to be able to shop for my ebooks at Amazon. Still amazed that DRM is a thing.

  6. joanne
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 13:54:20

    They obviously put a lot of thought and time into the covers.

    I want Margie Miller’s job. Or to be her assitant. Or her slave on a shoot. I can cast cowboys. And help them dress. I Can!

  7. Maria Schneider
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 16:19:11

    The option to not use DRM may have been available in some manner, but as far as I know it only became visible on the upload screen about two weeks ago. (I didn’t have the option when I uploaded my first book in July 09, Aug 09 or Nov 09–that I know of.) So it is new, at least to some of us!

    The “No DRM” allows conversion programs like Calibre to take a Kindle book and change it to something that a Sony reader can use (theoretically–I haven’t actually DONE this.) Thus, as you said, a reader isn’t locked into a single device.

    There’s a lot of talk about how useful it is, but I think the majority of readers pick a device and just stick with it. Especially since it is now possible to download a computer app (ie Kindle for PC). Thus if you lose your device, you don’t lose your books.

    I’d say it will get interesting, but it’s already been pretty interesting! More has happened in the last two years than the 10 before that…

    :>)

    Yeah, I’m probably biased. And the whole POD printing was pretty new too.

    Maria

  8. Maili
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 17:23:46

    @Silver James:

    Years later, when he was played on film by Sam Elliott, my heart was forever sealed.

    Sam Elliott? Alrighty. Which film is this, please?

    I must confess I haven’t read anything by Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey. Recs, please?

  9. Jayne
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 18:28:16

    Sam Elliott? Alrighty. Which film is this, please?

    I must confess I haven't read anything by Louis L'Amour and Zane Grey. Recs, please?

    Elliot has been in Conagher (film review coming soon), the Sacketts and at least 1-2 others.

  10. GrowlyCub
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 18:35:46

    Fascinating look behind the scenes.

    I’m utterly depressed to think, though, that so much thought and effort goes into so many so mediocre or outright awful covers (not necessarily talking about these particular covers, but in general).

    How come we get so many covers with models that are nowhere close to the characters they represent?

  11. StacieH4
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 19:57:13

    My favorite L’Amour is “The Daybreakers.” As a teen, I had such a crush on Tyrel Sackett!

    We spent 2 weeks every summer on my grandparents’ cattle ranch in western North Dakota, usually in July. It was so hot in their unconditioned house that all we could do was sit in front of the fan and read. Grandpa had all of Louis L’Amour’s novels.

  12. Susan/DC
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 21:09:53

    The video was fun. The closing credits implied there’s a fourth McKettrick, Holt, played by Josh Delozer, but he’s barely seen in the film. Of course, from the little I saw of him, I thought he was the best-looking of the models, but YMMV.

    If nothing else, I now know how to pronounce Lael.

  13. Miki S
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 21:14:50

    Why does the video say I have to “friend” someone to view it??

  14. Janet W
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 21:26:29

    Thanks @growlycub … yeah, what you said. All that time, all that effort — and we get the covers we get. Which mostly do nothing for me.

    For a great article on outstanding covers, track down the guest spot by the publisher in charge of creating new Georgette Heyer covers (sorry, CRS syndrome … can’t remember sh*t is kicking in)!

  15. Shannon Stacey
    Jan 21, 2010 @ 21:28:04

    Maili, I’d start with The Daybreakers, which is the first Sackett story.

    He also wrote a present day (well, not anymore, but at the time it was) set book that’s another favorite of mine called Last of the Breed. Here’s the blurb:

    Here is the kind of authentically detailed epic novel that has become Louis L’Amour’s hallmark. It is the compelling story of U.S. Air Force Major Joe Mack, a man born out of time. When his experimental aircraft is forced down in Russia and he escapes a Soviet prison camp, he must call upon the ancient skills of his Indian forebears to survive the vast Siberian wilderness. Only one route lies open to Mack: the path of his ancestors, overland to the Bering Strait and across the sea to America. But in pursuit is a legendary tracker, the Yakut native Alekhin, who knows every square foot of the icy frontier–and who knows that to trap his quarry he must think like a Sioux.

    Or if you’d like a sampling of how he blended the adventure of the old American west with a wonderful dash of romance without getting into the whole family saga, I’d highly recommend Conagher.

  16. mezza
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 02:41:52

    I also loved the Louis l’amour books and used to own them all many h ouse moves ago. Alot of them are love stories and while I certainly heart the Sackett books I loved ‘Hondo’ which is about a woman and her young son isolated on a ranch in Apache country and how Hondo comes into their lives. D’own the Long Hills’ is about 2 children who survive a wagon train massacre and the people looking for them. Best of all her wrote lots of books and you are bound to find them in Used Book stores.

  17. Ros
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 03:08:54

    @Miki S: I get that message too. I just want to see the cute cowboys!!!

  18. DS
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 08:26:29

    @Maili: I would recommend Betty Zane by Zane Grey. It’s a fictionalized account of the life of Elizabeth Zane who was a Revolutionary War hero and also Grey’s great aunt. It’s on Project Gutenberg as are a number of his other books. He died in 1939 and his writing style is a bit dated. This was another of dad’s favorite authors.

  19. joanne
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 08:43:46

    @Ros: You cam go to the author’s site to view the trailer: http://www.lindalaelmiller.com/books/mckettricks_tate.asp#trailer

  20. Jane
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 08:50:43

    @Ros & Miki S: Here it is

  21. Jayne
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 09:15:01

    @Shannon Stacey:

    He also wrote a present day (well, not anymore, but at the time it was) set book that's another favorite of mine called Last of the Breed. Here's the blurb:

    “Last of the Breed” is fantastic.

  22. Shannon Stacey
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 09:26:48

    This conversation has made me realize I have no L’Amour in my house and I have 14 & 9 year-old sons who’ve never heard of him. This saddens me and I’m going to pick up a copy of Last of the Breed this weekend. Once they’re sucked in by his natural storytelling style, I’ll introduce the westerns. (Sadly, my sons are slightly biased against westerns due to my husband’s inability to channel-surf past a Bonanza repeat.)

  23. Ivy
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 09:57:29

    I come here everyday to find out what’s up in the book world. Y’all have some of the most interesting article links…

  24. Karen H
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 12:35:20

    I’m with Susan/DC that Josh Delozer was the best looking model. The credits gave his character’s name as Holt McKettrick. I thought that might be for an upcoming book but there is already a Holt book set in the past. Maybe he’ll be a modern namesake!

  25. Karen H
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 12:37:44

    I tried to edit my comment to no avail (it gives me a dark gray box on the screen and when I click in it, it goes away). Anyway, I wanted to add that there’s a 10-minute version of this video that’s even more yummy. You can go to Smart Bitches Trashy Books or the author’s website to view it.

  26. Estara
    Jan 22, 2010 @ 13:58:01

    Re: great western romances – did you see Sharon Shinn’s homage to Ernest Haycox on Oddshots?
    http://www.theoddshots.com/2010/01/special-guest-author-sharon-shinn/

  27. Brian
    Mar 30, 2011 @ 18:32:11

    I really had to laugh out loud when you mention Louis L'Amour. Those were the only books that were allowed in the house when I was growing up. I did sneak quite a few more in though..!

    Brian
    Webmaster at SpeechInWedding

  28. chesca
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 21:23:18

    Louis L’ Amour sounds very interesting..
    ahmm… I guess I had to know better his books.
    Great idea!

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