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

Tuesday News: Women Writers Get Ignored; SMP’s Homage to the Brady...

News

There are a series of charts being passed around showing the sad gender divide between female and male journalists and female and male writers and what is being covered in the mainstream press. The gender divide isn’t really improving year over year.


Random House is one of the two big six publishers still partnering with libraries for digital content access but as of last week a book that would ordinarily run libraries $28 will now run them $80 .  Eric Hellman argues that this is a good thing because Random House is still willing to partner with libraries and libraries can negotiate.  ALA has come out against the price increase.

I am deeply disappointed in the severe escalation in ebook pricing reported today. Calling on our history together and our hope to satisfy mutual goals moving forward, the American Library Association strongly urges Random House to reconsider its decision. In a time of extreme financial constraint, a major price increase effectively curtails access for many libraries, and especially our communities that are hardest hit economically


Paid Content reports that Amazon will be offering non Kindle versions of digital content in an effort to persuade Barnes & Noble to relent and carry its Amazon published print titles in stores.  If you recall, Barnes & Noble (along with BAMM) has refused to carry print versions of Amazon’s books under the guise that such an action would violate B&N’s commitment to its customers to provide B&N customers “any book, anywhere, anytime” as it stated when it pulled the DC Comics books off the shelves after DC Comics exclusive deal with Amazon.

Confirming the decision, B&N said in a statement, “Barnes & Noble works with thousands of publishers to bring customers the world’s largest selection of physical and digital reading content. However, regardless of the publisher, we will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format.

“In a few isolated instances, exclusive publisher deals have prohibited Barnes & Noble from selling certain eBooks, preventing millions of our digital customers from access to those titles,” B&N added. “To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms, and not have the eBook available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes & Noble customers to make available any book, anywhere, anytime.”

I’m sure B&N will come up with another excuse to ban Amazon published books although when people come looking for the Penny Marshall autobiography, I’m not certain how B&N customers will react.  The question this piece raised in my mind, however, was whether Amazon would start carrying ePubs along with Kindle versions of each ebook and how devastating that would be. Currently Amazon is making little to no money on its devices.  It wants people to buy content (and other stuff) from Amazon.  If there is no format imperative to stay with B&N, Kobo, Sony, what kind of competitive advantage do they have?  Right now, going DRM free and providing Kindle compatible formats is a good way to leach away customers from Amazon, but if Amazon goes the other direction? Chilling.


This cover and the accompanying PM announcement was emailed to me last Friday.

*Recommended*

PM Announcement:

USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer’s new series THE HOUSE OF BRADY, following the six aristocratic adult siblings of a blended marriage who carve out their own paths to true love, to Jennifer Enderlin at St. Martin’s, in a significant deal, in a six-book deal, by Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency.

From the author’s blog:

My next project is a 6-book series called The House of Brady. The series will follow the adult romanric lives of each of the siblings in a blended family. The first book is about Lady Marcia. The next will be Gregory’s story. Then Jana’s, Peter’s, Robert’s, and Cynthia’s!!!

I was initially taken aback by what appears to be fan fiction of The Brady Bunch.  I wondered whether this was a violation of IP. Given that we don’t know what the books will be about (hopefully not riffs on episodes as I do think that would be infringement) but the branding of the books and the series clearly call on us to harken to the original series itself.  I emailed SMP and they provided me with this response:

Dear Ms. Litte,

Thank you for the recent inquiry you sent to Jennifer Enderlin about St. Martin’s upcoming publication of the first book in Kieran Kramer’s new “House of Brady” series.  Jen is out of the office, and so she asked me to send you a reply.

I’m not sure where you got your information about the series, but it is not quite accurate.  LOVING LADY MARCIA (as is also true for future books in the series) is a regency romance.  The book is set in London in the early 1800s.  The plots and characters in the novel are not based on any of the episodes from the popular television series The Brady Bunch, which of course was set in California in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  The use in the romance novels of certain character names for the members of the artistocratic family, and the name Brady, is intended as a humorous nod to the tv show, nothing more.  Homage of this sort does not require permission, nor does it raise copyright concerns.

Again, we appreciate your inquiry.

After thinking about this issue over the weekend, I’ve come to the conclusion that this movement toward looser interpretation of intellectual property only benefits readers and content creators. For fans of a series the use of clearly identifiable characters may seem violative of the original, but it opens a host of new avenues of exploration. I am certainly done to death with Pride & Prejudice fan fiction. Bring on the Eve Dallas & Zombies.  Eve and Roarke would make a great co alphas of a werewolf pack.  Someone could finally give poor Stephanie Plum that relationship conclusion some fans have been dying for, albeit in the form of a Victorian setting. (I could definitely see Ranger in a steampunk setting).

I brought this up on twitter and Lis Mitchel (@pixelfish) sent me a link to this video. I about died laughing:


I think I forgot to mention that HarperCollins sold Inkpop, its YA writing site to its larger competitor, Figment. In January 2011, HarperCollins had acquired a manuscript from a writer on Inkpop.


Jackie Collins is going to self publish a rewritten version of The Bitch.

Evidently, this could be more than just a one-time endeavor for the author. “If it does well, I probably will continue to e-publish, because I have a book of short stories and my publisher says short stories don’t sell,” she told [MediaBistro].


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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

78 Comments

  1. Isobel Carr
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 10:15:49

    So…I can take the boys from the BDB (names, relationships, and all) and shift them back into my preferred Georgian setting and there’s nothing J.R. Ward can do about it? Good to know. BDB dukes, here I come! (please note, I’m joking, but apparently St. Martin’s would just fine with this).

  2. Courtney Milan
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 10:24:21

    I said this on twitter, but I still think there are serious trademark concerns with this, even if there aren’t copyright issues. The Brady Bunch is trademarked, and is on the federal register. Use of the name “Brady” (which is a famous mark) in circumstances where the publisher & author have admitted that the intent is to connect the TV show with the books, can suggest endorsement, can dilute the mark, and has a substantial likelihood of confusion. If you look at the books, you know they’re about the Brady Bunch in the Regency. They’re designed to give that impression.

    How is this not trademark infringement?

  3. KB/KT Grant
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 10:26:19

    I’m waiting for a whole slew of historical romances to do their take on popular 80′s sitcoms like ALF and Small Wonder next.

    I thought most publishers don’t offer a 6 book series and usually only offer 2-3 books to begin win?

    @Isobel: BDB dukes spies? I can get behind that. Heh.

  4. HelenMac
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 10:26:56

    ahahahaha, Robert Webb dancing is always a joy to behold. Have you seen this? It may not be Regency, but it could still be seen as a period piece…http://youtu.be/5Lz6k5Zg2wA

  5. Shayera
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 10:34:52

    Let’s see, library budgets are being slashed everywhere. And Random House shoots prices into the stratosphere. Yeah, that makes so much sense on their part.
    I know a lot of my friends have basically started saying to patrons versions of “we’re very sorry, we would love to be able to purchase e-versions of those books, but we can’t afford it/the publishers won’t let us.”

  6. Lynz
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 10:38:56

    DISCO DARCY!!! That video never gets old!

  7. Ren
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 11:10:47

    @KB/KT Grant: “I thought most publishers don’t offer a 6 book series and usually only offer 2-3 books to begin with?”

    Rights grab. I’m sure the publisher can cancel the series at any time but hold onto enough ownership of it to prevent the author from self-publishing the remainder.

    See, you have to first entice the creature into the trap before you can break its spirit and make it stay with you.

    Not that I’m cynical or anything.

  8. Tina
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 11:41:29

    I don’t know about you, but that letter sounded awfully condescending. Rather than ‘Dear Ms. Litte’ it could have easily started out ‘Jane, you ignorant slut’ given the content of the rest of the letter. How nice of them to point out that the 1970s were a whole different year than the 1800s and that California is so very far away from England. Because it isn’t infringement at all if you keep the names, the relationships and the basic concept the same and only change the century and the location.

  9. erinf1
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 11:43:36

    OMG… I loved that video! Mr. Darcy the disco champion!

    Quick question: on the deals, Elizabeth Hoyt’s To Taste Temption is listed for $2.99. Amazon doesn’t have that price… is it already over?

    Thanks for compiling that list! I’ve already made several purchases… my wallet curses you :)

  10. Jane
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 11:49:05

    @erinf1 It must be. I’ll remove it.

  11. Sunita
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 11:56:33

    @Courtney Milan: That was my question as well.

    I realize that “House of Brady” is not identical to “Brady Bunch,” but every episode of that show opened with an establishing shot of the house of Brady (and they often used it again coming out of commercial).

  12. None
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 11:59:21

    Is the Brady series set in Ireland?

  13. Kate Pearce
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:00:25

    Can I add that there is a digital bundle of the first three Simply’s on kindle at the moment for $15.94-here?

    http://www.amazon.com/Kate-Pearce-Bundle-Shameless-ebook/dp/B007FGCTII/ref=sr_1_21?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1331056689&sr=1-21

    Thank you. :)

  14. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:13:43

    Lady Marcia[...]Gregory’s story. Then Jana’s, Peter’s, Robert’s, and Cynthia’s!!!

    As someone who tries never to comment on books she has not read, let me say this:

    Absofuckinglutely not.

    @Tina:

    How nice of them to point out that the 1970s were a whole different year than the 1800s and that California is so very far away from England.

    Well, I, for one, did not know that. So I’m glad the Unoriginals over there at SMP included that handy-dandy piece of information.

  15. Courtney Milan
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:19:15

    @Sunita: It’s not identical, but with non-identical marks you either have to establish a likelihood of confusion–or, since it’s a famous, nationally known mark, blurring (potential association of the mark with another source) and tarnishment (associating the famous mark with something they deem unsavory).

    Merely evoking the Brady Bunch is one thing, and probably (in my opinion) not a copyright infringement. (With the caveat that I’m lax on that side of things, and believe in laxity.)

    Actually invoking them by name is another thing altogether.

  16. Isabel C.
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:32:16

    @Moriah: I dunno, it sounds kind of hilarious to me.

    @KB/KT: For what it’s worth, “Charles in Charge” *already* works pretty well as a title…

  17. Meri
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:33:55

    Why not evoke them with similar, rather than identical, names? It would be better for historical accuracy – which I realize is not necessarily a key feature in Ms. Kramer’s books, but still.

    @KB/KT Grant: Now there’s a scary idea. Any number of 80s shows could be used – Regency Full House, Who’s the Boss in Victorian England, or maybe Cheers – the early years?

  18. Tina
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:36:54

    Ok, so it may not be infringement, but going back to Jane’s original question — how is it not fan-fic at the very least?

    The names — both first and last — are all the same and they are a blended family. There isn’t enough distance from the source for me.

    Of course, I am saying all this not having laid an eye on nary a page of the book. But it is invoking such a visceral reaction to me. Maybe if the names had been changed, then it would feel a little more palatable. The Brady Bunch is such an iconic thing for me that I think merely creating a blended family with three girls and three boys, no matter what you named them would have invoked feelings of Bradyness for me without stepping over the line into fan-fic territory.

    It is kinda like Clueless where you knew it was basically Emma but with Cher and Dionne. It really felt like an homage.

  19. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:37:34

    @Isabel C.: The whole concept just blows my head off for several reasons, most of which I will probably need to explore with my therapist.

  20. Jackie Barbosa
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:42:13

    I have to admit, I thought SMP had to be way out on a copyright infringement limb here, but then I watched an episode of CSI yesterday in which a murder takes place at a fan convention for a 1960s sci-fi series called Astro Quest. The “homage” to Star Trek could not have been clearer despite the name change, and in fact, there were multiple lines in the episode that recalled the original series (not to mention blatant similarities in costuming and the layout of the “bridge). Did CSI pay Roddenberry’s estate to do this episode? Maybe, but I kind of doubt it.

    And with that in mind, it makes me wonder if both that use and Kramer’s are being considered “fair use” because they are in the spirit of parody.

    Just a thought…although for me, the whole idea of a Regency Brady Bunch is a big, fat no.

  21. Maili
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:45:17

    That SMP letter? Ouch. Bear it in mind that about three years ago, Julia Quinn or her representative apparently objected to fanfic writers using the Bridgerton characters or universe as their playground. Those writers apparently had to take down their Bridgerton stories after they received letters (I don’t know from who). I tried to find the post outlining this situation, but I can’t find it anywhere now. My Google fu skills failed today.

    Edited:

    P.S. My reading skill failed today as well: which item is related to ‘Women Writers Get Ignored’ in the post header? Never mind. Found it. Thanks.

  22. Melissa
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:47:27

    Yeah, this one will be interesting to see play out. It seems more than a ‘humorous nod’ to the show. Not sure Paramount will find it very humorous or think that calling her Lady Marcia Brady instead of Marsha Brady avoids the trademark violation. ‘Everybody loves Marcia, Marcia, Marcia’ indeed.

  23. Sunita
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:53:34

    @Courtney Milan: Thanks! When Jane first tweeted about this, I assumed they had permission or a license because it seemed expressly designed to make the reader think they were related (ha), and I doubt I’m the only person who thought the books were explicitly connected to the show. But I guess the meaning of “homage” has evolved to be the same definition as “100% rip off.”

  24. SarahF
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 12:59:51

    @Tina: I think that should be a new meme: “Jane, you ignorant slut, who could you not know that….”

  25. Sandra
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 13:22:12

    @Moriah Jovan: And I suppose it’s coincidence that the cover model just “happens” to look like Maureen McCormick?

    Speaking as someone who went out of her way to avoid The Brady Bunch during its original run, there’s no way I’m going within a mile of this series. It sounds like a mistorical just waiting to happen, seeing as how the show wasn’t all that realistic to begin with.

  26. Linda Hilton
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 13:27:28

    @Ren: Is the right spot for

    This!

  27. Isobel Carr
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 13:29:15

    @Maili: Quinn also objected to another Avon author (one in Trade, so not even a MM competitor) having the word “Diary” in their title a few months before her The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever came out. She won too, and the author was forced to change the title of her book. Quinn doesn’t mess around when she thinks anyone is intruding on her turf.

  28. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 13:35:46

    @Sandra: Noticed that. I’m going to attempt to refrain from further comments.

  29. Shelly
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 13:46:40

    That Brady thing is what’s know as in fan fic as an AU, alternate universe. Same characters, different setting. I’ve written a Regency AU fic in one manga fandom that does the same thing. It’s not uncommon.

    Being AU is also used as an excuse against copyright infringement by 50 Shades of Gray, only those characters are written so poorly as to be unrecognizable as the originals so it might work in that case.

    On another note, DARCY! That was perfect.

  30. Emily A.
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 14:56:55

    On the Brady Bunch thing I consider the name Cynthia to be a change from Cindy. However according to IMDb Marcia Brady spelled her name Marcia. Not a name change at all.
    To be fair I have never read Ms. Kramer’s books although I always thought I might. Her previous books also seemed very silly. I am not sure she is outdone herself.
    I am having trouble picturing who this series is aimed at. I guess some people are sentimental about the Bradys from childhood. Lots of people didn’t like them and won’t want to read the books. Of course being very young I did grow up with them but not as they currently aired. The people I know who love the show are into the wholesomenesss of the show. They are not the sort of people to read romance, because they think books with graphic sex are immoral or whatever. Having never read Ms. Kramer’s work I have no idea what the sex is like, but if its anything like most romance written right now that’s too much sex. It seems odd to me but Kramer’s last series used children’s books for some of the titles.
    Two more things:
    One agree with None Brady is such an Irish last name it seems weird for an English family.
    Two At least there are a few titles without Duke Scandal Wicked, etc. in it. Progress?

  31. Angela
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 14:58:12

    @Kate Pearce: Thank you! These’ve been on my wishlist for a while. :)

    RE: The Regency Bradys – I really don’t see how this isn’t a trademark problem, but I’m not going to try either. One good thing about the blatant similarity to The Brady Bunch? It tells me that I do not want to read it. Of course I avoided The Brady Bunch when it was on tv too…

  32. Becca
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 15:11:16

    Bring on the Eve Dallas & Zombies.

    Nooooooo! I’d have to read it, and I don’t do zombies.

    Now an Eve Dallas/Sam Vimes crossover, that I’d read. And I’d love to evesdrop on a conversation between Lady Sybil and Roarke.

  33. Lynn S.
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 15:29:52

    A regency version of The Brady Bunch. Holy ****. Things are twitching that shouldn’t be twitching. Make it stop!

  34. Christine M.
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 16:31:04

    Disco Darcy is <3. I also loved how he told Caroline to shut the *($#& up. I've wanted him to do that ever since I first read P&P. :D

  35. Estara
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 16:58:15

    @HelenMac: Thank you for THAT LINK!! He is a goddess and totally owns Jennifer Beals… or rather her dance double.

  36. Joanne Renaud
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 17:26:00

    Oooookaaaay. So… the legal department of St Martins Press has actually, for realz, cleared a series which seems to be essentially AU Brady Bunch fanfic? I’m… astonished. Who on earth thought this was a good idea? I hope Paramount sues them into oblivion.

    I didn’t like the Brady Bunch even when I was a little kid; I can’t imagine wanting to read period Brady expies having sex. Oh God… please make it stop!

  37. library addict
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 17:38:27

    Those slides made me sad.

    I hope Amazon doesn’t start offering non-DRM’d Pubs. Chilling is right.

    How can RH charging such outrageous prices for library books be a good thing? They might as well not be offering library lending at those prices.

    I have no intention of reading AU Brady Bunch fanfiction, which despite that condescending email is what these books seem to be. Is SMP really that out of touch?

    And they wonder why the big 6 aren’t doing well.

  38. Caro
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 17:42:35

    @Jackie Barbosa — I think that CSI episode is a bit of a wider parody. The “show” is Star Trek, but the reboot the guy is trying to push is clearly the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica — underlined by the shot of Grace Parks in the crowd and the man who yells “You suck!” after the clip from the gritty version of Astro Quest is shown is Ronald D. Moore, one of the creators of the reboot. (Yes, some fans reacted just that way to the announcement of BSG, especially when they heard Starbuck was a woman.)

    @Shelly — Only two Brady Bunch fics on AO3, one of which is a Brady Bunch/Harry Potter crossover. So definitely not a large fandom.

  39. rebyj
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 18:22:28

    I don’t know if the Brady series is infringement but the “Everyone loves Marcia Marcia Marcia” is clearly from the series. (referring to the blurb on the cover)

    The library increase to 80 dollars per book is ridiculous. When I was too poor to buy books the library helped me educate and raise my kids along with entertaining us. I hate to see so many branches closing which means people with limited money for gas have to drive farther so the option for e books is a blessing for them. To see the corporate greed of Random House is nauseating.
    Back then I didn’t stop buying books because I went to the library, I checked out books and if I found a keeper THEN I’d buy a copy for the house when I had the funds to do so.

    If RH’s fear is pirating then if the average reader, not the well informed smart ladies here, knew all of this background greed and manipulation they’d feel they would have less reason to resist downloading pirate copies. kind of a “screw them all” action. I doubt they go to the library websites to pirate anyway!

  40. SHZ
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 19:24:18

    Copyright infringement or not – what in the bloody hell has happened to historical romance??!!

    I have seen this author arguing over negative reviews of her books on Amazon, so she’s already on my “Never Buy” list. But sheesh. No wonder I stick to contemporaries these days.

  41. Kaetrin
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 20:11:47

    @HelenMac: Absolutely hilarious! :D

  42. Kaetrin
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 20:18:20

    @SarahF: Given the Rush Limbaugh debacle recently, does “ignorant slut” now mean someone who puts a birth control pill between her knees? (ur doin it wrong)

  43. meoskop
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 21:09:57

    A Very Brady Regency.

    Yes, I still say OMG no. But there is a market for fanfic, it’s proven. The letter bothers me a lot – “I don’t know where you got your information…” is some hardcore PR fail.

  44. Maili
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 21:40:16

    @meoskop:

    “I don’t know where you got your information…” is some hardcore PR fail.

    It is. I actually laughed when I read that line. Had me hoping Jane would respond with this: “I got the info from the book title, blurb and author’s blog, my dear.”

    @Emily A.:

    On the Brady Bunch thing I consider the name Cynthia to be a change from Cindy.

    Not really. Cindy is a common pet form of Cynthia, isn’t it?

  45. Meljean
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 21:48:05

    @Maili: I hate myself for knowing this, but Cindy’s name is Cynthia.

  46. Polly
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 21:52:46

    The House of Brady? Based on the description, I won’t be touching that with a ten-foot pole.

  47. Maili
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 21:56:53

    @Meljean: LOL! Oh, wow. Things I learn off the internet. Thanks for that little diamond.

  48. Kinsey
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 22:24:51

    Two words. Stargate Almack’s.

  49. Dominoed Daredoll
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 22:25:28

    I would probably bet that the concept for the “House of Brady” went down something like this:

    [Scene: Author and Editor are discussing the business or another book late at night, over drinks, or both.]

    AUTHOR: Sometimes I regret that I wasn’t in the writing field when my favorite shows were on. I’d have loved to have worked on writing for one of my favorite series.

    EDITOR: Yeah! I know what you mean! TV’s not the same as it used to be. I miss the old shows. Green Acres, Get Smart, Dragnet… they don’t make them like they used to.

    AUTHOR: I liked the Brady Bunch.

    EDITOR: Yeah – good show! They never really got to the Good Stuff, though, did they? The show ended before everyone got married off.

    AUTHOR: Well, there were the movies…

    EDITOR: Who knows or cares about the movies? Ffft. It was like a Regency family saga set-up. It was perfect and they screwed it up by not going anywhere with it.

    AUTHOR: LOL. Lady Marcia marries a duke, Lady Cynthia marries an Earl, and Lady Jan is the bluestocking left at home until a smart young Colonel whisks her away… And then there are the boys…

    EDITOR: Exactly! Exactly! Someone should write that.

    AUTHOR: …. I want to write it. I should write it. Can I write it? I really want to write that now. I’m just imagining Lady Jan stamping her foot because Lady Marcia gets to come out first.

    EDITOR: You know what would be really funny? If you kept the names.

    AUTHOR: The House of Brady! LOL. OK. Oh, oh, and what if…

    [The discussion continues through the night and/or more drinks.]
    [The series gets plotted and set in stone. Author stands mulishly by the decision to make overt references to the original source. Editor stands by. Neither can be seen by the other to back down.]

  50. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 22:33:48

    @Kinsey: You are dead to me.

  51. Gwen Hayes
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 22:38:31

    @Courtney Milan: Invoking is exactly what I was thinking when I saw the cover….Betelgeuse Betelgeuse Betelgeuse = Marcia Marcia Marcia

    And I forgot who mentioned Charles in Charge but I think I actually cried real tears at the thought.

  52. Maria
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 22:53:15

    @Caro I’m not a huge CSI fan (I’ll watch it if its on and there’s not much else) but I may have to watch that episode just for that. I grew up watching Star Trek TOS, and am a huge BSG fan. And Starbuck as a girl? AWESOME! She kicked serious ass.

  53. SAO
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 23:10:19

    I don’t know why it’s so chilling if Amazon sells ePubs. I got a Kindle because the Amazon/Kindle deal was by far the best deal and delivered the best service. B&N never managed to sell me an e-book due to geographic restrictions, Amazon did. My local (when I was in the US) Borders was awful. The iBook store never figured out that I didn’t want the latest Patterson robo-written best seller and its search couldn’t distinguish between Jennifer Crusie and Cruise Ships.

    One presumes publishers, authors and other bookstores will eventually figure out how to deliver great service and products at good prices. If not, they deserve to die, IMHO.

    I am seriously chilled by the price hike on libraries. They existed for centuries without anyone thinking they were a threat and data shows they are a source of sales, not a threat.

  54. meoskop
    Mar 06, 2012 @ 23:41:38

    @Polly: It’s really hard not to make a Peter joke now.

  55. Emily A.
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 01:25:24

    @Maili and Meljean
    I honestly did not know that Cindy was a nickname for Cynthia. The only Cindy I knew was named Cindy. I appreciate you both for correcting me and you even more Meljean for knowing that! :)
    Now was Jan’s name really Jana…..

  56. Junne
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 06:38:33

    @Isobel Carr:

    Now that’s plain ridiculous ( the Quinn situation, I mean)

  57. Isabel C.
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 08:09:15

    @Gwen: That was me, but…I mean, the theme song? “Charles in charge of our wrongs and our rights/And I want, I want Charles in charge of me!”

    …annnnd we have an entire BDSM trilogy right there.

    @Moriah: See, I think they just appeal to the part of me that spent college inventing stuff like American History Mortal Kombat (“George Washington has a hatchet, obviously. Ben Franklin?” “Electrical attack. Duh. Franklin’s totally the Blanka.”) and, well, drinking. ;)

  58. kinsey
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 08:43:26

    Moriah: There’s a gate, you see, right there in Almack’s. Napoleon brought it back from Egypt. After Waterloo, the French Crown sold all his stuff b/c the country was bankrupt and the Earl of Jersey bought the gate. His wife, Lady Jersey, thought it would be just the thing to give the Assembly Rooms a touch of grandeur.

    So there’s this beautiful bluestocking, on the shelf at 23 but still being dragged around by her mama, Season after Season. She has a facility for languages, esp. ancient Greek and hieroglyphics, and she keeps finding excuses for wandering off to inspect the gate, until one day she activates it….

    And so we get lots of hot dirty sex scenes with Ronan.

  59. Maili
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 08:49:36

    @Emily A.: Haha! There are some odd nicknames. Such as Ludicia -> Dicey. Patrick -> Patsy. Alexander -> Sandy (this is a common male name in Scotland). Margaret -> Peggy. Patience -> Sissy. Christopher -> Kit. Theodore – Teddy. Susanna -> Sookie. And on it goes. :D

    Heh! Jan is still an unusual name in this country. I know three women and two men named Jan, and all from families with a connection to the Netherlands or Eastern Europe. Jan as a pet form of ‘Janet’ is surprisingly not that common here.

  60. Maili
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 08:50:14

    @Emily A.: Haha! There are some odd nicknames. Such as Ludicia -> Dicey. Patrick -> Patsy. Alexander -> Sandy (this is a common male name in Scotland). Margaret -> Peggy. Patience -> Sissy. Christopher -> Kit. Theodore – Teddy. Susanna -> Sookie. And on it goes. :D

    Heh! Jan is still an unusual name in this country. I knew three women and two men named Jan, and all from families with a connection to the Netherlands or Eastern Europe. Jan as a pet form of ‘Janet’ is surprisingly not that common here.

  61. Caro
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 08:52:26

    @Maria – It’s called “A Space Oddity” and is seriously funny. Pokes fun at fandom and fans, but not in a mean way, but also pokes at how studios and producers see fans as a revenue stream. It’s one of the episodes that came out of the writer’s strike, I believe, when some “hey, wouldn’t it be fun if” ideas were tossed around. I also recommend from that era “Two and a Half Deaths”, written by Chuck Lorre and Lee Aronsohn, who do “Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men.” Best line: “Beautiful people doing high-tech police work. There might be a series in this.” “I don’t think so.”

    @Kinsey: I laughed so hard I scared the cats on that one.

  62. Deb Kinnard
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 13:59:56

    @Isobel Carr:

    Can an author do that? Object (and win) to a single word in a title? If that’s the case, I have titles with “Ray” and “Way” and “Mist” in them — am I headed for a lawsuit?

  63. Deb Kinnard
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 14:04:45

    @Kinsey: Two words. Stargate Almack’s.

    This. Yes. This. I bow at your feet.

  64. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 14:05:51

    @kinsey: I hate it when you’re right.

  65. LG
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 14:08:22

    @Deb Kinnard: I think the key is that their release dates were so close. I know I’ve read about similar things being done with movies – for instance, Avatar got to be called Avatar, while Avatar: The Last Airbender had to be changed to The Last Airbender. Quinn was probably worried that her release might blend in too much if it came around at the same time as another book with a similar title.

  66. Kinsey
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 19:33:28

    Caro: Thanks!
    Deb: There are not NEARLY enough people kneeling at my feet, so I thank you as well.
    Moriah: MWWWAHHH!

  67. Jami Gold
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 20:34:53

    @Isabel C.: Loved the “Charles in Charge” BDSM comment. Seriously. Must breathe now.

    Can I just say that I *hate* this new trend of fanfic being treated like it’s not treading on questionable ethical grounds? I bow to Courtney Milan on the legal issues (or lack thereof), but ethically? I find this extremely distasteful.

    I know I’m not the only one given the 150+ comments on my blog post questioning when fanfic crosses ethical lines. So why do so many people act like it’s no big deal? *sigh*

  68. Kaetrin
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 22:30:29

    @kinsey: LOL! Love it! :D

  69. Mary Reed McCall
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 08:00:07

    I’m not sure how it ended up on the above list, but my book The Maiden Warrior will not be available in e-book form until sometime next week, and it will be priced at $2.99. It is a rights-reverted title that I am bringing back myself, completely revised and with a brand new cover. Just wanted to clarify…

    –MRM

  70. Jane
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 08:08:07

    @Mary Reed McCall: Good to know. I’ll take it down. If it is on the list, it showed up at Amazon at some point at that price.

  71. MrsJoseph
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 08:37:50

    The idea of a Brady historical romance…makes me feel dirty inside.

  72. Mary Reed McCall
    Mar 08, 2012 @ 11:04:45

    @Jane:

    As a kindle download from Avon, it was only ever available at $5.99. The book went out of print last fall and rights reverted to me in late January 2012; at that point the kindle version was taken down by Avon.

    However, there have been several “New/Used” copies of the mass market version available at $1.99 on a regular basis. Perhaps that’s the root of the confusion?

    Ah, well – at least it will be available in e-book form again sometime next week.

    Thank you for removing it from the list.

    –MRM

  73. Kinsey
    Mar 09, 2012 @ 20:34:17

    Ok, I’ve been thinking about this some more and I’ve decided that if this is going to be done, she’s got to go all the way. So over the course of the series, I want to see: Lady Marcia gets a bloody nose right before the event of the Season, and the guy she thought she wanted to marry quits courting her, and the guy she never looked twice at is there to catch her; Lady Jana’s book centers on Jana’s jealousy of Marcia, of course; Lord Bobby writes love notes to Lady Cynthia to make her feel better (but then they totally fall in love); and so on.

    Oh, and their dad has to be a gentleman architect.

  74. KT Grant
    Mar 09, 2012 @ 20:37:56

    And Sir Davey Jones will end up as one of Lady Marcia’s suitors.

  75. Kinsey
    Mar 09, 2012 @ 20:55:47

    But of course!

  76. Darynda Jones
    Mar 12, 2012 @ 17:19:31

    I LOVE the idea of Kieran’s House of Brady series! How cute is that? I’m very sad to see so many harsh comments on something that is just a cute idea and, as was already stated, does not break any copyright laws. JMHO.

  77. Liz C
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 02:52:11

    After spending a good chunk of the last 48 hours reading through all of the Fan-Fic posts and comments, I wanted to loop back to the Brady books and add a few thoughts.
    As I read through the E.L. James discussions, it was interesting to see the legal and ethical questions raised, and my moment of clarity in sorting through it all was asking the question of “who is potentially harmed” (which could be a legal or an ethical definition of “harm.”)
    Here’s how I broke it down, and how I think it applies in the House of Brady situation:

    -creator of the original work (author)
    Sherwood Schwartz, who is no longer living, and I assume that his legal rights are tied up with Paramount. (On a side note, I read the excerpt of the book, and the family name is “Sherwood”. Also, I won a beer at trivia night a question about his name and the mystical force in “Spaceballs.”)

    -investors in the original work (publisher/producer)
    Paramount (Viacom) holds the rights to The Brady Bunch. In the 40+ years since the show aired, there have been lots of fair-use parodies of the BB, including SNL skits, a Weird Al song, the “Real Live Brady Bunch show” and an X-rated film (that’s what I get for searching “BB parody”.) I’m guessing that at this point, Viacom is pretty assertive about their properties AND have a pretty clear sense of when they will win and when they won’t on use of the Brady name, characters and iconic images (the opening credits boxes have been used a thousand times.) I’d guess that if the book is already being promoted, they’ve decided not to pursue it.
    I’m also curious to know if it had been officially licensed, how it might be perceived differently.

    -buyers of the original work (reader/viewer)
    Doesn’t seem like there’s a “harm”, if the books become popular it doesn’t undercut the value of anyone’s BB dvds.

    -creator of the derivative work (author, fanfic writer)
    Maybe not a harm, but a risk of negative associations. Several of the comments here have mentioned an aversion to the original BB, or if potential readers end up searching for the book and end up at the X-rated movie version.

    -investors in the derivative work (fanfic community, publisher)
    I really didn’t know much about fanfic 48 hours ago, but after reading through the FSOG comments, it really came through that the communities felt that published fanfic a) took advantage of voluntary support (as fans, editors) and b) potentially threatened the future of these forums. In the House of Brady situation, there doesn’t seem to be a similar community or evidence that Kramer participated in a fanfic community when writing this.
    Did the author pull one over on the publisher, by presenting a derivative work as original? Despite the snarkiness of email from SMP, clearly they know that there’s a BB connection, and they’ve published Kramer’s other books, which have parody titles of other popular books and films. Kramer’s website says that she’s the author of “humorous Regency romances,” and I imagine that would strengthen the publisher’s case that the books are parodies.

    -buyers of the derivative work (readers)
    Several comments on FSOG mention that readers don’t realize, or realize too late, that they are just getting versions of Twilight characters. The promo material makes the connection clear, so if a reader wanted to avoid Brady-derivative works for asthetic or ethical reasons, they would be well-informed.

    I enjoy the Brady Bunch, and I’m positively disposed to enjoy things that riff on it, whether in parody or homage, and that led me to read the excerpt of “Loving Lady Marcia.” The writing didn’t work for me, so I can’t imagine reading 1-6 books.

  78. Yes, It
    May 30, 2012 @ 21:28:05

    [...] to the literary blog, Dear Author, Author Kieran Kramer has dreamt up some glorious fan fiction that stars one of our most beloved TV [...]

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