This photo of Valerie Sherwood Bertrice Small is from a photo essay by Mary Ellen Mark. Reading the blurbs accompanying the photos brought to memory the days when Romantic Times would feature the lavish spreads of various authors’ homes, the implication being that these authors were part of the Robin Leach “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” I remember being particularly awed over the Judith McNaught estate. Oh, good times. Thanks Maili for the link!
Sherwood (a.k.a. Jeanne Hines) and her husband bounce among their five East Coast homes but spend most of their time in a fusty Charlotte. N.C., ranch-style house, surrounded by 11,000 research volumes (among them a sizable collection on witchcraft), “oodles” of never-worn dress-up clothes and six cats, who have a suite all to themselves (“To Fuzzy,” reads one book dedication to a passed-away pet, “who smiled at adversity”).
The site of the 2010 RWA conference is the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Given that the first floor of the Hotel is completely underwater, Gaylord is being proactive about contacting convention attendees that the site is unuseable for the next 90 days. Last night, Gaylord began refunding the RWA attendees their deposits. RWA will have to find a new location in less than three months for its convention. Allison Kelley is meeting via teleconference with the Gaylord folks to find an alternative site.
I suppose it is possible that if a new location cannot be located (rumors are that the RWA convention is so large only a few hotels in the country can handle that capacity) the conference would be cancelled.
Amy, a reader who professes to like the Dear Author site, sent me a link to this site called, “Circle the Cat“. I say that Amy professes to like the DA site but this may be a crafty way to get me to abandon updates. I spent a good thirty minutes trying to circle the cat.
Written by Joan/Sarah F.: The National Leather Association International has announced the winners of its Pauline Reage Novel Award for excellence in writing and publishing about leather, SM, bondage and fetishes. The winner is Claire Thompson with her Submission Times Two. Honorable mention goes to James Buchanan with her Hard Fall.
Viewed at purely from the perspective of which is a better-written book, I’d personally have to go for Hard Fall, but Submission Times Two has a more obvious and consistent focus on BDSM as a theme as all three heroes are drawn together because of their BDSM needs, whereas it shows up as a logical extension of Joe’s character in Hard Fall towards the end of the book. So, with a focus purely on BDSM, I think NLA-I chose the right book of the two. And I did really enjoy STT a lot.
Overall, it’s heartening to see so much romance on the list of nominees. I haven’t reviewed the other two, but one was from Loose Id, so obviously was a romance as well: Melinda Barron’s Graceful Submission (Loose Id). The last nominee was Alex Ironrod, Obsession (Nazca Plains). Congratulations to Claire and James!
Marisa and Maria of RomanceNovelTV may have taken a hiatus from shooting romance video, but you can still find them talking about their love for romances at the Barnes and Noble Heart to Heart Club blog.
Mills and Boon has partnered with National Trust for a series of books involving the National Trust properties. National Trust is hoping that the books will increase interest in the properties. I know I would probably be interested in visiting the homes where books are sent, particularly these grand homes. For every novel sold at the National Trust properties, NT will receive 50p which will go toward the restoration of silk hangings at the Ham House.
Remember last week when I posted you could by the JR Ward, Lover Mine for $9.99 and then sell it back to Amazon for over $7.00? The mainstream media picked up on the fact that Amazon is downpricing the hardcover prices for Penguin books, apparently in an effort to get back at Penguin for not agreeing to whatever terms would bring Penguin Kindle books back.
Last Christmas, a number of online retailers, prompted by Amazon, began selling the bestsellers for $9.99. Even Sears got into the game by providing a $9.00 gift card for every qualifying book you bought online at Target, Wal-Mart, or Amazon.
I think the big question is whether Amazon is willing to shoulder the loss leader pricing of more than just Penguin hardcovers and if so, for how long? Not only is Amazon showing its customers that it is willing to discount but it is also working to push customer expectations downward as to the acceptable print price of hardcovers. If Amazon sold the print frontlist of all publishers at $9.99, wouldn’t consumers start to think that hardcovers should all be priced at that rate and that the digital books should be even lower? Amazon’s strategy would be successful only if all the major online retailers joined in the price war as they did last Christmas. Maybe this isn’t Amazon’s strategy and the current Penguin pricing is just to punish Penguin.
From Reader Preeti, Deborah Smith has been tweeting that Little Brown, a division of Hachette, is selling unauthorized digital copies of her books. I found two books being sold on the iPad by Hachette: On Bear Mountain and Alice at Heart. On Bear Mountain has a publication date of 2001 for Little Brown but was released by Belle Books in print format in 2009.