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

Tuesday Midday Links: Bad Sex Award given to an author...

The Harlequin Historical Authors are doing an online Advent calendar, starting December 1st. Each day, readers can visit a new historical author and have a chance to win signed books, chocolate, and other goodies. All entries will then be gathered together and one grand prize winner on Dec. 23rd will receive a Kindle 3-G loaded up with historical books. It's open to readers from the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.

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Gordon Murray decided to write a book about financial planning when he found out he had six months left to live. Two years after that fatal diagnosis, Murray’s self published book is being courted by several major publishing houses. Co written with Dan Goldie, the book “The Investment Answer”, was the subject of a recent NYTimes article. Within 10 hours, the book had been sold out at Amazon. Currently there is a little stock left at Walmart.com.

The men have been contacted for interviews by CNN and others. Goldie is also being courted by publishing companies interested in taking over sales of the book that he self-published in September. He says it is not clear to him whether there could be advantages to using this approach. Even before the New York Times article, many of the 15,000 sales of the book had occurred. The book got a boost when the San Jose Mercury News published a similar article.

Murray said he went the self published route because he had the skills to self publish and didn’t want to wait to try to sell to a major publishing house.

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Some people are using Amazon CreateSpace to wrap up public domain books from Project Gutenberg and resell them. There isn’t anything illegal about this although Project Gutenberg suggests the activity is unethical. PG would like Amazon to list all the PG books for free much like the Apple iBookstore does.

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I’d like to know more about this litigation but ghostwriter, Vera Lee, was awarded $10 million for having written a false holocaust memoir.

A court had awarded Ms Defonseca and Ms Lee the money in 2001 after Ms Defonseca sued Ms Daniel for concealing profits, and Ms Lee counter- sued her for not giving her proper attribution for having co-written the book.

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The Bad Sex writing award was given to Rowan Summerville for a single line:

Rowan Somerville won the Bad Sex in Fiction Award, the U.K.'s "most dreaded literary prize," for a scene in which a nipple is likened to the upturned "nose of the loveliest nocturnal animal, sniffing in the night."

Somervillle was on hand to accept his award and did so with grace. Can you imagine this happening in romancelandia? No, me either.

In fact, over at the Romance Divas, author and co owner of the site, Kristen Painter, suggested that one author writing a negative review of a bigger, better known author was akin to professional suicide.

Author B is strictly epubbed and not one of the big names, she’s just got a handful of books out, most with smaller presses, but some recent ones with a bigger epub.

Now, the situation:

Author B gives Author A’s new book a DNF review on a well known review site (amongst a slew of other 4 and 5 star reviews), saying some less than kind things about the book. Author B makes no attempt to hide who she is (another author).

Your take:

Is it just me or does this seem like professional suicide? Not to mention, pointless? Would you ever diss another, bigger author in a public way? What do you think about this whole thing?

I can’t read the thread because RomanceDivas requires an account and my account isn’t being recognized by the site. Is it professional suicide to diss a “bigger author”? Particularly if you are a lowly epublished author?

Is that because bigger name author will go about trying to get lesser name author blackballed ala the infamous Dixieland Mafia episode? A reviewer on Amazon wrote a negative review of a Harlequin Blaze that had been edited by Brenda Chin. Somehow that reviewer was outed as an aspiring author. I was privately told that the reviewer’s name was plucked out of the Memphis RWA membership applications, a violation of RWA policy. There was some suggestion that Brenda Chin was forwarded the review so that she could be aware of what was being said. What’s ironic is that ever since the Dixieland Mafia incident, I have been unable to read a book by the author who was originally criticized.

There was a number of authorial comments on a blog post by Alison Kent that was published in July of 2006. Said blog post and comments no longer exist at Kent’s blog but on Dear Author, Julie Leto claims that editors are professionals and that if an editor like Chin, had a personal problem with an author she would pass the author to an assistant:

KelliJ, let me tell you something about Brenda Chin–and I can say this because I've been working with her for over ten years now. Yes, she is incredibly protective of her authors. She believes in us and our careers and as our advocate within the company, she is protective and supportive. She wasn't named Editor of the Year last year by PASIC for no reason. But she is–first and foremost–a consummate professional. From what I've heard, this woman is NOT submitting to Blaze at all, so Brenda would have no power over her career–but I do know that when Brenda has run across authors who have rubbed her the wrong way, she always passes that authors work on to another editor and recuses herself from the submission process.

Leto also goes on to say that authors have no power over other authors:

I'm going to say it for the last time–authors have NO power over what is bought and what isn't–nor should we. I know of one published author who attempted to derail another published author (a rival) back in the 80s. Called her editor. Spewed all kinds of hate. THAT author no longer has a career. The author she tried to screw with? New York Times, baby. (This published author also messed with me as a lowly unpub. I have no idea why-I'd never said two words to her. But I was young and cute at the time and that must have set off her warning lights. I have no idea if that editor rejected me because of it-I suspect not because in retrospect, that first book really sucked.) And this was all before the Internet.

According to Leto, a negative review by an epublished author on say…goodreads… about a traditionally published midlist author wouldn’t be professional suicide and that any attempts by traditionally published midlist author might actually reflect poorly on said traditionally published author.

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

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