Harlequin CEO Donna Hayes retires, Craig Swinwood takes over | Toronto Star – So the title says it all here, except the article has some interesting information about both Swinwood (I keep wanting to spell his name “Sinwood” — a perfect Presents hero name, I think) and the company itself. For example, both sales and earnings have declined this quarter at Harlequin, but Swinwood insists that the market for Harlequin print books continues to be very “stable.” Harlequin currently has 1,300 authors writing for them, and their books are published in 34 languages. A little background on Swinwood:
“Swinwood, 49, was a police officer in Halton Region before joining Harlequin as a district sales manager where he worked with distributors getting books in to grocery stores and Walmarts from Thunder Bay to Windsor. It was a perfect fit, said Swinwood, who rose to higher positions in sales and marketing over 26 years with the company. Harlequin is owned by Torstar Corp., which publishes the Toronto Star.” Toronto Star
Comics publisher shuts down, holds big sale – Despite the current resurgence of comic books in the pop culture scene, independent publisher PictureBox, founded by Dan Nadel, is shutting down and selling off its stock at a 50% discount. I don’t know much about the viability of comic book publishing, but I know that many Dear Author readers are fans of the medium, and it is always sad to hear that an innovative independent publisher can’t make it.
“PictureBox released books from many of my favorite artists and “comix” innovators, including Brian Chippendale, Sammy Harkham, Renee French, Julie Doucet, Marc Bell, Gary Panter and filmmaker Michel Gondry. Nadel says the decision was personal, and the company “is no longer feasible for me as a thoroughgoing venture.”"USA Today
Book News: Ancient Texts From Vatican And Bodleian Libraries Digitized– There are actually a couple of interesting story links here, but this one about the digitization of some of the oldest existing texts is pretty noteworthy. A 3.2 M grant from the Polonsky Foundation is funding this partnership between Oxford and the Vatican, that has so far digitized a 1455 edition of the Gutenberg Bible, as well as the “oldest surviving Hebrew codex,” among other works. One particularly nifty thing about this project is that it means that the annotations and images that are part of the texts will now be digitally preserved, as well.
“According to the project’s website, “these groups have been chosen for their scholarly importance and for the strength of their collections in both libraries, and they will include both religious and secular texts.”NPR
Odon childbirth device: Car mechanic uncorks a revolution – Given the epic number of babies born in Romance novels, authors and readers alike may want to know about the new device invented by an automobile mechanic in Argentina that helps deliver babies more safely and easily, with less risk of injury and infection for both the mother and the child. Based on the same process by which you can safely pull out a cork that has fallen into an empty bottle, the Odon device (named after inventor Jorge Odon) is a wonder of low-tech simplicity. And I have to say that it makes me wonder why it took so long for something like this to be innovated, not to mention the fact that the idea did not even come from the medical community.
“Forceps were first developed in the 16th Century by the Chamberlen family, Huguenot surgeons who fled to London from France, and kept their invention under wraps. Once their secret got out, other surgeons copied them. “The Victorian era saw some monstrous modifications such as attaching the handles of the forceps to a winch, while the mother was tied down, in order to improve the traction,” says Damian Eustace from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. However, the forceps in use today haven’t changed much since the late 1800s – the more complicated they become, the harder they are to use and the more expensive to sterilise.”BBC News
Best Books of 2013 – Prepare to spend at least an hour perusing this visual cornucopia of NPR’s Best Books of 2013. Putting aside my excitement at the breadth of the selections (cookbooks!!), I will note that several Romance novels made the list, including Sherry Thomas’s The Luckiest Lady in London, Jayne Ann Krentz’s Dream Eyes, and Molly O’Keefe’s Crazy Thing Called Love. Also, Miss Anne in Harlem made an appearance on the list, prompting me to buy it with the intention of reviewing it for the blog (yes, I have many ways to justify my book habit). No matter what you like in books, you should be able to find something good to read here.NPR
isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnÊ¼t know, didnÊ¼t think about, or didnÊ¼t feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!