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

Tuesday Midday Links: Publishers still thinking not thinking about readers

Stella Price and a few other authors have banded together to create a reader oriented event known as “Authors After Dark.”   The event is $140, includes five meals and drinks, and takes place September 16-19 2010.

In 2008, NTYBS Jacquelyn Frank, Bianca D'Arc and myself got to thinking after we went to RT about the price of the event, and the return on what you pay. We wanted to create an event specifically tailored for readers that wouldn't drain their bank accounts, or make them dip into their 401K's. After a few weeks of research and talking, AAD was created.

Authors After Dark (AAD) was created FOR readers, by authors to further the reader/author relationship. At AAD, readers engage authors they love and ones they will in the future, in a much more relaxed intimate setting, though events, panels and parties focused on the readers and their love of books.

I’ve posted a whole informational section about this event at the bottom of this post.

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Dorchester is really excited about Erin Kellison’s Shadow Bound. If you read the prologue and answer a few trivia questions pertaining to the prologue, Dorchester will send you a coupon for $5 to be used at the Dorchester site.   Shadow Bound sells for $5.59 + shipping so it would be a decent savings (although admittedly I don’t know what the shipping costs are from Dorchester).

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Amazon is selling Refurbished Kindle for $139.00.

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Last week, Big Money hosted “Untethered” which was a conference about how tablets were going to reshape publishing. What it sounds like is a bunch of publishing folks got together and patted each other on the back for their lame digital adoption. Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches attended and you can read her lengthy report at her blog.

Lu then said, that when she discusses "open platform," that "open" doesn't mean open for me, as a consumer. Open is for her as a device manufacturer, not me as a consumer, because their device may be open but the bookstore that uses it may be closed. She then said that her device was for business-to-business use, not business-to-consumer use.

Farhad Manjoo, the Slate Technology Columnist then asked, "Doesn't that mean that consumer choosing your device will have to pay more for books?" Nell: "Yes."

Then came my favorite moment. Anthony Astarita said in as snide a voice as you can imagine, "Enjoy your $9.99 bestsellers while you can."

Ron Hogan, writing for Publishing Perspectives, noted that how cavalier publishers were in response to questions about the user experience.

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Enforcing the idea that the internet is only about porn (or at least sex) is the launch of anew sex store devoted to Christians. According to Gawker, the Christian site is safe for work and contains nice bland words to describe the sex toy the site is selling.   Hurrah for safe sex under God’s umbrella of protection.

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iBooks is now available for iPhone 3G, 3Gs and select iTouches with the iPhone 4.0 os.   You can now read PDFs through iBooks (not encrypted though) and while notetaking is added, it doesn’t work for PDFs.   Bookmarking is much simpler. Instead of highlighting text to create a bookmark, you can tap the upper right hand corner.   Problematically, some of the books formatted for iBooks don’t look that great on the iPhone because the smallest text allowed by iBooks is still too big.   I don’t recommend buying iBooks from the iBookstore.   Prices there are generally a $1.00 more.

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The Daily Beast celebrates the age old tradition of literary feuds.   Authors behaving badly was part of the literary culture.

Richard Ford vs. Colson Whitehead

In 2004, Ford approached Whitehead at a New York party for Poets & Writers, and spat on him, saying, "You're a kid, you should grow up." Ford was apparently responding to a poor review Whitehead had given Ford's Multitude of Sins two years previously. Whitehead responded in the New York Times, saying it "wasn't the first time some old coot had drooled on me, and it probably won't be the last."

Are we drumming out something important asks Dystel and Gooderich blogger, Jessica?

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John Scalzi and Will Wheaton are hosting a fan fiction contest. Sexytime entries are not welcome:

Contestants write a 400 to 2,000 word story describing the picture above. Any form of fan fiction is acceptable except slash explicit sex.

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More from Stella Price on the reader convention: Authors After Dark:

Hi Everyone! My name is Stella Price and while some of you might know me as an author, I'm also the Executive Director of an up and coming reader focused convention called Authors After Dark, and today I'm here to tell you guys all about it.

In 2008, NTYBS Jacquelyn Frank, Bianca D'Arc and myself got to thinking after we went to RT about the price of the event, and the return on what you pay. We wanted to create an event specifically tailored for readers that wouldn't drain their bank accounts, or make them dip into their 401K's. After a few weeks of research and talking, AAD was created.

Authors After Dark (AAD) was created FOR readers, by authors to further the reader/author relationship. At AAD, readers engage authors they love and ones they will in the future, in a much more relaxed intimate setting, though events, panels and parties focused on the readers and their love of books.

What makes Authors After Dark so different and unique? The answers to that are several things, but most importantly, registration. This year, AAD is only $140 and that is $20 less than last year, and that price includes 5 meals and free alcohol! That's right, no other con is offering such a low registration price that includes meals and alcohol.

So how can we do it? Simple. We aren't making one dime off this event, and all prices are the base of what is needed to run the event. Your registration covers all your meals, that's 2 lunches, 2 dinners and a breakfast this year, and the food amazing (I went and tested everything myself) and not recycled (IE: the same side dishes each time). We are also the only con to offer a full vegetarian option for all meals, and no, that's not just a steamed veggie plate. In our first year, we realized that so many attendees would rather the veggie option that we made it a stipulation in the food and beverage contract.

To add to the foodie goodness, we are the only romance con to offer a Con Suite too! In the Con Suite you will find snacks, drinks and alcohol free of charge the entire event. Everything from fresh veggies to home made baked goods will be available, as well as mixed drinks and wine. Cool right?

Also, we are the only romance convention that has a GLBT track and a participating GLBT publisher. Fans of the GLBT genre that attend can look forward to M/M panels, a roundtable discussion and a F/F panel as well as a slew of print books, and goodies from GLBT authors and the publisher, MLR Press.

Speaking of books, AAD is offering up over 2400 free books this year, which is about double what we did last year. Participating publishers include but are not limited to Kensington, Ballantine, MLR Press, Phaze Books, Tease Publishing, Changeling Press and Dorchester publishing. More publishers are signing on each week, and those books don't count the amazing giveaways from the authors during the meals and parties as door prizes.

By way of parties, AAD is offering a Games night Friday night, which includes romance pictionary, general romance trivia, Speed authoring, reader discussions, a full vendor bazaar, and our fabulous Mystical Mavens, a gypsy camp inspired room filled with both professional and author fortune tellers waiting to use their gifts for the attendees, all for free!

Saturday night we are offering a masquerade ball, and this year it is a theme of literary characters. Attendees are encouraged to come in costume, and the best ones will win some awesome prizes, including a 100$ gift certificate to Spafinders.com. After the contest we will have a fantastic DJ spinning tunes to dance the night away as well as an area set up strictly for professional grade photos.

There are also several smaller author and group sponsored parties including a champagne and chocolate fondue party on Friday night, a cupcake dessert party Saturday night and a cheesecake party during the masquerade, so revelers can recharge while they are dancing.

Of course, there will be an awesome book signing (along with a wine and cheese party) on Saturday, which will feature 45 authors including Jacquelyn Frank, Joey W. Hill, Susan Sizemore, Jessica Andersen and Rosemary Laurey among others. Our bookseller is top notch, and will have not only newer books but backlist as well for those attendees that are just discovering authors for the first time. During the signing, we will be offering refreshment in the form of a wine and cheese affair, sure to make the event more fun for all!

We are running an amazing charity raffle to benefit two fantastic animal charities, Brother Wolf and Pets Alive, a local no kill shelter that has continuously cleaned out puppy mills all over the country and saved countless dogs from Dead Dog Beach in Puerto Rico. Attendees will be able to buy raffle tickets for author made baskets, gift certificates and some high end gadgets including a NOOK, iPad and iTouch, as well as iPod, a full photography session with a NY based photographer, a gift basket from Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs, and several of our vendors as well.

Lastly, we have editor appointments for those authors, both aspiring and established searching to sell a manuscript. This year we are blessed to have Alicia Condon from Kensington, Kate Collins from Ballantine, as well as editors from some of the smaller presses, including MLR Press, Phaze, Tease Publishing, Changeling and others. A full list will be available in July for appointments.

As you can see, this event is designed from the bottom up for readers to have a fantastic weekend filled with fun and goodies and books galore. Space is limited to 225 people this year, and the hotel is mere minutes from the Newark International Airport (which we have a free shuttle to and from for our attendees convenience) as well as a mile from the Secaucus Junction train station (a free shuttle will be available at this location as well). Rooms are $109 a night double occupancy. And the hotel is a 3-minute bus ride into New York City.

We have taken great pains to make this event reader focused and friendly and not something that's going to drain you of funds. Now, we just need YOU to make it happen. Head over to the registration website: http://aadromanceunlimited.com and our AAD blog for all the up to the minute information and details: http://authorsafterdark.blogspot.com

We look forward to seeing you at the event, and if there are any questions, I will happily answer them for you! This is all about the readers, and above all, we want them happy and excited to attend.

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

21 Comments

  1. CourtneyLee
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 11:49:23

    AAR looks fantastic, and it also looks a lot like Lora Leigh’s RAW (Reader and author Appreciation Weekend), which I’m attending the weekend before, right down to the low registration fee and the masquerade party on Saturday night. The free booze is unique, though, and is brilliant. Reader-focused cons designed to give both readers and authors a relaxed, minimally-structured atmosphere in which to socialize, are such a great idea. The more, the better. I’ve attended RAW twice and I’m looking forward to going again; hanging out with fellow romance readers alone is priceless (no weird looks thrown at my clinch covers!), as is getting to meet authors in a social setting, not just a signing where you get a two minute conversation then have to move on.

    So while the idea behind AAR isn’t original, it’s definitely something that needs to be encouraged. Whether it’s AAR or RAW, getting the romance reading and writing community together socially is an awesome idea and I recommend it to any who can go.

  2. Helen
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 17:19:14

    Apparently all the 5 dollar coupon will get you IS the shipping.

  3. Deb Kinnard
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 18:19:40

    How odd that the only detail the AAD pitch seems to leave out is its venue.

    Where is it being held?

  4. Zoe Archer
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 06:11:35

    @Deb Kinnard: I found this on the AAD website:

    When: Sept. 16-19 2010, Harmon Meadow Holiday Inn, Secaucus NJ
    Registration: $140 includes 5 meals
    Rooms: $109 a night, double occupancy
    FREE shuttle to and from Newark Airport AND Secaucus Junction Train station

  5. stella Price
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 08:09:38

    Sorry about the Venue info! I could have sworn I added it in. the Holiday Inn at Harmon Meadow is the venue.

    CourtneyLee: No, its not unique in idea, but we are the only con that feeds you all weekend, for the price we have for registration. Other cons are charging registration and then extra $ for each meal. That and the free alcohol is what sets us apart from the other events.

    Jacquelyn Frank does RAW each year as well, and when she decided to fund an event, we took the model of both RAW and the Lori Foster event and rolled with it.

    Last year attendees went home with an average of 25 free books, and this year we are adding more to that number. Also, we just found out that MLR Press, Dreamspinner and Torquere are all sponsoring events and giving away goodies and books.

    Next year, to deal with the crazy amount of events in September, we will be doing it the second weekend in August, and i believe it will be in Philadelphia PA.

    I hope if your close enough to the event you will consider attending, with the amount of amazing events and special parties we have, we guarantee you will have a good time. :)

  6. Cat Johnson
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 08:19:32

    I’ll be there at AAD as an author. I was also there last year. As someone who attended the RT convention 3 years in a row, I have to say that the affordability and the intimacy of AAD is great in comparison to the bigger con. And of course I love that it’s East Coast and I can drive there. Lots of fun, good times, free books and goodies, nice mix of authors and readers, you can’t go wrong.

    Cat Johnson

  7. Stephanie Julian
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 08:31:43

    This is a great event. I had a wonderful time last year and can’t wait for this year. The affordability is the truly amazing part and I love the panel format. If you can, don’t miss it.

  8. JoLynne Valerie
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 08:36:23

    I’ll also be attending AAD (Authors After Dark) as an author for the second year in a row. This event is really fabulous. The authors range from big name to up and coming to Indie, and that’s what makes it a genuine event – by authors, for readers.

    Of all the stops I’ve got on my book tour this season, AAD is the one I’m most looking forward to. I’ve already heard from readers/fans who plan to attend, and as an author that makes it all the more exciting for me.

    The parties and cocktails make AAD special, along with the stellar panels and workshops. If you’re planning to attend AAD, please check out my Intuition Boot Camp workshop, Cast A Spell midnight event and my morning Meditation and Messages. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg… SO MUCH MORE from so many authors, on the site.

    Props and kudos to Jacquie and Stella for all their hard work and ingenuity. It absolutely shows, and we authors appreciate it more than you know.

    Jo Lynne Valerie

  9. Leigh Ellwood
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 08:43:38

    This is also my second year as a participating author and sponsor. Along with three other authors (Bridget Midway, Denise Jeffries, and Yvette Hines) I am co-hosting an 80s theme con suite. If you come, hope you can make it.

  10. Tweets that mention Tuesday Midday Links: Publishers still thinking not thinking about readers | Dear Author -- Topsy.com
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 08:51:05

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Stella Price, dearauthor. dearauthor said: New post: Tuesday Midday Links: Publishers still thinking not thinking about readers http://bit.ly/ak61aN […]

  11. Tilly Greene
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 09:15:47

    I went last year to AAD as a reader/author and will be going this year as well!

    The size of this con was perfect because I could actually talk to people and the costumes were incredible – can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with this year [characters from their favorite books is the theme]. The goodies given away were fun, but I enjoyed the raffles! WOW! There were some great goodies put up to support local animal charities – one even brought a couple of dogs to the signing for everyone to see who they were helping – so cool :-)

    Yup, love the trend of intimate reader focused conventions, wherever they may be, because I may write, but I’m also a big reader!

    I can’t wait for AAD!

    Tilly Greene

  12. Diana
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 09:17:53

    This is my second year as well. I was amazed at the detail taken for the con, and the whole thing was run so smoothly, even for a first year. You just couldn’t tell. As for the books, there’s gads of swag and books. Really.

    Honestly, I’ve been looking forward to this one since I had to step on the plane to come home last year. Can’t wait to see everyone. *waves to the girls* LOL!!!

  13. Elizabeth Darvill
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 09:34:08

    This will be my first year attending AAD, I will be on several panels and doing a variety of other things. I can tell you it is going to be a fabulous event and more than worth the registration fee!

  14. Kim in Hawaii
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 11:44:31

    Thanks for these news updates! I wish I lived on the East Coast so I could attend the AAD and other reader oriented conferences.

    I also appreciate your effort to promote diversity, so I was a little confused by your comment, “Hurrah for safe sex under God's umbrella of protection.”

  15. Deb Kinnard
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 11:55:46

    Thanks for the venue-info. And rats. It sounds divine and I’d love to go, but East Coast isn’t financially doable for me. Any thoughts about next year locating it more central-US?

  16. stella Price
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 12:06:29

    @Deb Kinnard: hi Deb,

    no I’m sorry! Because I’m the only person that is the organizer, and because I don’t make a salary off this event, I need to have it close enough to bring everything we need for the event because I store everything.Next year the event will be in Philadelphia PA, and that’s about 3 hours from where I live right now, and that’s as far as I can go. If for some reason I move then I can do it where I move to, but I don’t plan on moving in the future.

    We have a LOT of readers that drive from central USA to the event, and next year, we decided to do the event in Philly because it is a air hub, but its cheaper to fly into Philly then Newark and that will keep costs down as well.

    Sorry!

  17. Jennifer Armintrout
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 12:17:06

    PHILLY? I’m hyperventilating. I’ve always wanted to go there, and now it’s tax deductible!

  18. stella Price
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 12:18:36

    @Jennifer Armintrout: And yes, the cheesesteaks are amazing (Jim’s on 4th!!!!)

    **and Jen is coming this year as well… LOL**

  19. Joey W Hill
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 14:09:20

    I can add to the accolades about the AAD event. Coming to the very first one, I graciously expected that it might be like most first-time endeavors – a little disorganized as everyone figured out how best to run the event. Instead, I found Stella, Jacki and their crew had put on a superbly organized event with every question answered and/or anticipated, and best of all: entirely reader-focused.

    One of the things I particularly liked about it were the reader-oriented panels. So often, much of what’s offered is for writers (business and craft workshops), which is of course always great, but the AAD panels give the readers a well-structured chance to talk to existing favorite authors (and new potential favorites) about all elements of the stories that interest them.

    In short, it’s a great event – worth every minute of the drive from NC to get there. Looking forward to it again!

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  21. Leanna Renee Hieber
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 01:35:49

    I am SO excited to be coming to AAD as an author for the first time. Stella is a wonderful whirlwind of creativity and generosity, a consummate host! I can’t wait to interact with my fellow authors and meet new readers! I’ll be talking all things “Strangely Beautiful” – you’ll know me by my Victorian regalia. :)

    Thanks so much, Dear Author, for giving AAD this mention, and thanks Stella, Jacquelyn and Bianca for creating it in the first place!

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