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

Tuesday Midday Links: RWA Tips Hints and other stuff

RWA is coming up and even though I have been degowned (as opposed to defrocked) I am going to meet up with editors, authors, publicists, and other bloggers and readers.  As part of the TBR newsletter, I’ve offered some tips on packing.  I’m a big believer in carry on only but this year will be a real struggle.

I’m also meeting with various houses to find out what new titles for which we readers should be on the look out.  Is there anything you want to know?  Here are a list of publishing houses that agreed to meet with me:

  • Berkley
  • NAL
  • Avon
  • Hachette
  • Bantam/Ballantine
  • Sourcebooks
  • Kensington
  • Harlequin
  • Carina Press
  • Samhain

I’ll be filing daily reports of these meetings.

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At the literacy signing, a number of authors are participating in the romance trading card venture.  Look for the red RTC button or print out this list.  I will tell you that this is a great way for a reader to break the ice with an author. I’m reluctant to go up to people I’ve never met and this is a great excuse.  The Romance Trading Cards are the brain child of Jeannie Lin whose September book, The Dragon and The Pearl is about a real courtesan.  Can’t wait. Take a gander at these:

Jeannie Lin's RTC

From Jeannie:

The best way to find the cards is to look for the RTC buttons and stickers which authors will be displaying on their badges and on their signing table. Also check out http://www.romancetradingcards.com for a list of authors and sample cards. I’m hearing buzz about groups of authors such as the Ruby Slippered-Sisterhood (of which I’m a part) issuing special series and doing a scavenger hunt during the Literacy Signing so fans can collect all the trading cards. I know there were similar ideas being batted around in other groups.

RTC-Button

I will be collecting a set of 4 cards to giveaway here on the blog. I have 4 sets from RT to giveaway as well.  Author Meljean Brook has had art specially commissioned for these cards.

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Galley Cat brings up a good concern.  Publishers are bragging about how fast they are going to digital press with new books but what does that mean for the reader in terms of quality.

But is this quickness to turnaround copy realistic? Even cutting out manufacturing and distribution times, it seems awfully quick for a book to be written, edited, laid out, copyedited and formatted in just a couple of days. Is eBook publishing changing the expectations of book turnaround times?

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There is a lot of chatter amongst authors about the underreporting of royalties.  One publisher expert suggests that the problem extends even further, from publishers to retailers.

We are not questioning the integrity of any reseller service, we are merely pointing out that the digital ebook world is built on a lots of trust and not a lot of counter balances. Some aggregators do provide some statistics of sales online, others you wait for the sales report to tell you the facts after the event. In all cases money sits in cash flows waiting for yesterday’s financial processing to grind into action.

Obviously there are a number of problems in the existing system.  One other expert in the multimedia sales arena has shared that flash reports of sales can be given daily with monthly true ups.  It probably behooves authors to move away from 6 month based royalty reports to something quarterly.  This will be a seismic change for traditional publishing, but probably a necessary one.  As authors’ opportunities for publishing grow, publishers will have to modify their behavior to provide a more attractive service for authors, outside of the advance itself.

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New York Post is now blocking access to its web page if you are using an iPad.  Instead, it directs people to purchase the App.  I think this is a terrible idea but what do I know?  How this is done is by the website recognizing what browser you are using. The browser you use has a footprint based upon the size of the webpage it reads and the operating system.

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Overdrive has been the sole digital book vendor to libraries for a long time, but competition is heating up causing Overdrive to become more aggressive in its offerings.  Yay for us.

To meet both demand and respond to librarians concerns, OverDrive said it will introduce a series of new features that eliminate the need for librarians and readers to deal with various e-book file formats, allow multiple patrons to simultaneously check out the same title, and add thousands of new e-books and audiobooks. It will also provide support for Kindle Library Lending, and add an opt-in feature that let patrons recommend desired titles to their libraries.

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In the Kindle and other etailer stores, readers will be seeing a whole slew of Harlequin category titles.  Harlequin has a goal of digitizing over 10,000 books in 2011 and books from the 1990s and earlier will be designated as “Harlequin Treasury” titles, in part to make readers aware that these may not have the most modern of sensibilities within the covers. I keep asking for Charlotte Lamb books.  Someday.

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

19 Comments

  1. Christine Rimmer
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 11:25:42

    Hmm. Very interesting about Harlequin digitizing books from the ’90s and earlier, as my understanding is their boilerplate contract from those years would have to have an addendum to cover e-sales. Must be some authors are going for it. At the 6% royalty level???

    Have a totally fabulous time, Jane!

    ReplyReply

  2. library addict
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 11:56:07

    I’m still holding out hope of getting Nora’s complete Silhouette sollection, as well as books by Judith Duncan, The Kel Sabin books by Linda Howard, and early Justine Davis, Carole Buck, Naomi Horton, Kathleen Korbel, Lee Magner, etc.

    Speaking of old category titles, have the Loveswept titles all reverted to the author? I would love to get the early Marcia Evanick, Gail Douglas, and Barbara Boswell books in e.

    Have fun at RWA.

    ReplyReply

  3. Jayne
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:04:06

    When will these 10,000 titles start being sold? Are the backlist ones at the eharlequin site considered some of them?

    ReplyReply

  4. elaine mueller
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:24:29

    re editing and putting e-books out “too” quickly.

    first of all, some of the “editing” i’ve seen lately in romancelandia — print as well as e- — has been conspicuous by its absence, but then that’s not a new phenomenon. i can’t imagine quick turn-around time will make a whole lot of difference.

    second of all, quick turn around time is nothing new. all the way back in the medieval period of the 1970s, the first book about the 1976 raid on Entebbe Airport to free a hostage airliner was published about a week or so after the actual events. it’s more a matter of how best to ensure a healthy bottom line. no, i take that back. it’s ALWAYS a matter of how best to ensure a healthy bottom line.

    elaine

    ReplyReply

  5. library addict
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:47:20

    Amazing. I see that Nora’s Stars of Mirtha and MacKade brothers are now actually available in e. Sucks that they are at Mira prices rather than category ones, but at least Harlequin allows discounts.

    ReplyReply

  6. Jane
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:48:34

    I should have posted the link but I’ve updated the Harlequin backlist titles to include June. Will have July + more after RWA.

    ReplyReply

  7. Jane
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:49:26

    @Jayne: Yes, I think it includes all the titles at eHarlequin that have been digitized this year. I have those tables listed here (see previous link or sidebar). I wonder if I should make one big table and host it on google or something?

    ReplyReply

  8. LisaCharlotte
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:58:41

    RE: NYP forcing an app purchase. I do all my surfing on iThings. If I cannot access content due to issues like flash or lousy mobile formats I eliminate those sites from my browsing list. There is no lack of content that does work with my iThings.

    ReplyReply

  9. Lisa J
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 13:11:16

    @library addict: They are only $4.50 each at Diesel. That’s not too bad.

    ReplyReply

  10. MaryK
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 13:12:55

    I wonder if “Harlequin Treasury” will work as a publisher search term. I’ll have to try it later. I noticed some “Harlequin Treasury” books in the Kindle store the other day when I was searching for Elizabeth Power titles. I’d picked up an old HP by her for 25 cents at the library sale because it looked interesting and ended up really liking it.

    ReplyReply

  11. Mike Cane
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 13:19:08

    What are these cards like? Are they like the gum cards of yore? Does everyone use the same outfit to print them? What’s the print run and cost? You need to find out these things!

    ReplyReply

  12. MaryK
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 13:22:26

    PS – “Harlequin Treasury” does work. I did an advanced search using it as the publisher term and it pulled up a ton of stuff.

    ReplyReply

  13. Vi
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 13:25:23

    Finally, some Nora Roberts titles are available! Thanks for the info.

    ReplyReply

  14. Christine Rimmer
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 14:29:18

    @Jane: Jane, thanks for the list. And did some research. Yeah, okay. Harlequin *can* epub those old books. le sigh.

    ReplyReply

  15. Danielle D
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 14:42:59

    Have a good time, Jane!

    ReplyReply

  16. Susanna Kearsley
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 15:20:13

    @Mike Cane: Yes, Mike, they’re like bubble-gum cards :-) Or baseball cards. Or my son’s Bakugan cards. Square-cornered, glossy both sides, and all that.

    Some of us are using standardized templates with different-coloured borders for historical, contemporary, paranormal, etc., and most of us seem to be using GotPrint, since they’re fast and fabulous and reasonably priced (1000 double-sided coated cards cost less than $25, including the proofs).

    You’ll find most of your questions answered here: http://bit.ly/gXUZxU

    I, for one, have been having a lot of fun both making cards and collecting them..

    ReplyReply

  17. Na
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 15:38:37

    My verdict is still out on whether publishers are able to quickly publish a book through epublishing is a good thing. I would certainly want quality over quantity when it comes to a great story, but if a great story can be achieved quickly I’m all for it. A good thing I do see about epublishing is the return of out of print books; books that I would love to read but are no longer made available. Digitally, this is a possibility (assuming all rights and legalities concerns are met). These “old” books have already been through the publishing process and just need a swift return to the reading community.

    ReplyReply

  18. Lynn S.
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 18:25:56

    Yea, Susan Napier’s Mistress of the Groom is coming in July along with about 2,500 other titles. I saw some Charlotte Lamb, Michelle Reid, Anne McAllister, Cheryl Reavis, Judith Duncan, and Jan Freed in the mix as well. I had good luck searching by simply going to the Kindle Store and typing in harlequin treasury and the name of the author I was interested in. Serious trouble.

    ReplyReply

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    Jun 24, 2011 @ 02:03:04

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