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

Tuesday Midday Links: More on the pedophilia author

Starting December 20, The Galaxy Express is hosting the second annual SFR Holiday Blitz. This event features a huge giveaway of over 50 science fiction romance books. 33 authors and 15 bloggers have joined forces to give the gift of intergalactic adventure and romance to readers around the globe.

Sample prizes include books by Nalini Singh, Linnea Sinclair, Marcella Burnard, Kim Knox, Jess Granger, Nathalie Gray, and KS Augustin.

Best of all, entering is easy: Just leave a comment at any of the participating blogs that has prizes you're eligible for. The deadline to enter is midnight at EST on Sunday, December 26.

Visit The Galaxy Express for complete details.

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Amazon is refunding the defective Kindle 3 non light leather covers.   Contact [email protected]

Remember the pedophile book that got pulled from Amazon?   The author has been brought up on obscenity charges and extradited from Colorado to Florida to face prosecution.   The Polk County sheriff’s department got the author to send an undercover officer a copy of the book through the mail. The author was charged with distribution of obscenity.   I’m not an expert on obscenity law or child pornography but I thought that the Supreme Court had determined that artist renderings of such acts were not obscenity but I do know that a manga collector in Iowa was charged with “possessing ‘obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children and mailing obscene material.’”   The collector pled guilty so there was no legal challenge to the statute.   Unless the author of the pedophile book gets some pro bono defense, my guess is that he will plead guilty and be imprisoned as well.   Thanks to everyone who mentioned the article to me.

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Avon Romance website has a new look.   It’s a cleaner design although with a few more css bells and whistles.   They are NOT selling ebooks from their site but rather highlighting some new ebook ventures like the original fiction shorts (this month it is Eloisa James) and ebook bundles of two of its more popular authors.

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Last night I was bemoaning that I was paralyzed by the size of my to be read pile and that my next instinct was to go to buy something new.   Apparently it is not an unfamiliar sentiment.   Someone tweeted me this link to an article in The New Yorker.   The essayist, Meredith Blake, suggests that the promise of an unread book is almost better than the satisfaction of the read book:

An unread book is an intoxicating, romantic thing, and the act of reading is, in one sense, destructive: all that possibility is reined in, made finite. Certainly we all have ideas about books we haven't read before we read them. That's why we pick them up in the first place. These preconceived ideas can be useful, too: part of the performance of being well-read is the ability to know what a certain writer or novel represents, even if you haven't actually read them (yet).
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Some ebook stats:
  • Random House’s global ebook sales are up 250% from last year.
  • 5% of Hachette’s sales in the 4th quarter were ebooks.
  • PW has an interesting article full of interesting stats on ebook reader usage/buying habits from a Bowker study.   Mass market and hardcover sales are falling. Trade is holding its own. eBook sales are growing. Nate’s analysis of these Bowker numbers   suggest that ebook unit sales are growing, but not the revenue amount which means customers are buying more ebooks but cheaper ones.

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

14 Comments

  1. AngP
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 13:07:39

    Finally, a logical explanation for my growing TBR! (At 87 books and counting. Ouch.)

    ReplyReply

  2. jennifer armintrout
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 13:13:04

    Wait, wait… the Sheriff’s department tricked him into sending them a copy of the book, then charged him with distribution? I’m confused at how that isn’t entrapment, the same way I am confused by the existence of obscenity laws.

    ReplyReply

  3. RStewie
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 13:30:43

    I don’t have a TBR pile…just a list, that also represents my TBB(ought) list…but I did purchase Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Kiss, and then held on to it for almost 6 months before reading it, just because I had this feeling it wouldn’t be as good as the first…all reviews pointing otherwise or not.

    I ended up reading it, and it was great. …The same thing happened with The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook, and, again, I was very happy with the book. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I never used to have these issues…

    ReplyReply

  4. meoskop
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 13:33:13

    @jennifer armintrout: They didn’t trick him – they ordered the book. It’s illegal to send the book to the state. It’s been done in Florida before.

    ReplyReply

  5. Courtney Milan
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 13:56:33

    @jennifer armintrout: It’s not entrapment unless you get someone to do something that they otherwise would not have done, but for your persuasion.

    Thus, for instance, going up to someone and bullying/blackmailing them until they agree to carry drugs across the border–entrapment. Going up to someone and saying “will you carry these drugs across the border?” and they say yes–not entrapment.

    @Jane re:obscenity. This falls in the category of “things I know too much about and wish I could forget.”

    The Supreme Court has made child pornography a special form of unprotected speech, which is not subject to the general tests for obscenity. The “child pornography” rules apply only where actual children are used, and there’s ongoing harm involved to the children in the reproduction of those images. (But see US v. Williams which is mildly incoherent on the subject).

    Ultimately, it comes down to this: the Supreme Court doesn’t want to get to the third prong of the Miller test to determine if its obscenity–if you use actual kids to make pornography, they don’t care if there is some other literary or artistic value to what you’re doing. It’s just anathema, period, and not protected as speech.

    What you’re remembering about artistic renderings comes from this: the rationale for treating child pornography differently is that actual children are involved.

    But just because something is an artistic rendering, and thus not subject to child porn prohibitions, doesn’t mean it’s not obscene. You just have to go through the Miller test to figure out if it is.

    ReplyReply

  6. TKF
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 13:57:03

    I don’t have a large TBR pile for this very reason. I buy 2-3 books at a time, then buy more when I’m done. Otherwise I just lose interest (kind of like leftovers in the fridge). EBooks are great for this, since I no longer have to worry that I won’t be able to find the book I want, and I don’t have to go back to the store for it.

    ReplyReply

  7. CK
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 14:14:58

    I, too, have found that the urgency to actually read the book disappears once it is in hand. I can put it in the pile and read it anytime! And there is always a new, shiny book to entice me.

    So, being the annoying sort that I am, I have a rule for e-books. I can only buy ‘one more’ e-book than the one I am reading. Once I start reading the last unread e-book, I can choose and buy the next one.

    I have a lot more trouble with the actual books that I get from paperbackswap.com or borrow from friends. I’m not so good at keeping the TBR pile of actual books down one or two. I think right now I probably have (quick count in my head) around 10 in that pile. Sigh.

    ReplyReply

  8. joanne
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 16:28:24

    I just couldn’t stand to have a TBR pile that consisted of more than three books. I only have that occasionally because my auto-buy authors all seem to have new releases on the same days.

    The rest of the time I buy what I am in the mood for and want to read at the moment and then read it. (ebooks, yay!)

    My list of books and authors to buy/try, on the other hand, is miles long.

    ReplyReply

  9. Heather Massey
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 18:18:35

    Thanks for linking to the SFR Holiday Blitz.

    Re: TBR pile: Since acquiring a Kindle, I’ve been getting through my backlog much more quickly, which means I can buy more books. Boo-yah!

    ReplyReply

  10. DS
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 19:22:41

    The eBook stats are interesting. I know personally that I am buying cheaper eBooks, more eBooks and I am happy to say that I have not paid over $9.99 for an eBook. Where I have dropped off is in the number of hard cover and trade paperback books I buy. Most of the mass market paperback books I have were bought used.

    ReplyReply

  11. Isobel Carr
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 21:02:28

    5% of Hachette's sales in the 4th quarter were ebooks.

    Sounds about right. This is pretty much spot on with my e#s and those of many of my friends. Which is why I’ve no intention of giving up writing for NY any time soon (whatever Konrath may say).

    ReplyReply

  12. job
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 12:49:23

    I love my tbr pile. I deliberately save the best books till last. I’m a tbr hoarder.

    ReplyReply

  13. Caroline
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 12:54:45

    I admire the self-restraint of anyone who can build up a TBR pile of actual books in the house. Once I get a book, I must read the book, and everyone can get their own dinner that night if it’s a good book.

    To Be Bought, on the other hand… I have that.

    ReplyReply

  14. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Ho ho ho, link link link!
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 02:03:16

    [...] news and views: Dear Author, ReadReactReview, and AAR on books being removed from Kindle [...]

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