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Wednesday Links Round Up: S&S Layoffs

emoticon_smileConfirmation of the layoffs of three Simon & Schuster editors has been made. (We had some concerns about layoffs on Monday). News of the Star Trek editor had leaked out last week with a suggestion that there were others in the offing. Yesterday publisher Louise Burke sent an email notice that Maggie Crawford along with another editor (the Star Trek one) and an editorial assistant were given the pink slip. Any more forthcoming?

One thing I find interesting about the Crawford layoff is that she was a well known women’s fiction editor and I know that Pocket was looking for women’s fiction writers.  ¬†Will McKenna take the lead in this or will Pocket hire someone for less money than they were paying Crawford.  ¬†Maybe Friedman can hire Crawford for Friedman’s new publishing venture.

eyeRoss Rubin offers up his opinion that Sony can become a leader in the ebook industry if it can squeeze a 3G or wifi capability into the midrange units. Rubin also suggests that the Pocket Edition will be the big winner this fall with the bad economy.

emoticon_surprisedJapan is spending $21B to build a power plant in space that will beam power back to Earth. Sounds very SFF to me!

emoticon_tongueShannon Stacey responds to the article by Candy Tan at SmartBitches who was riffing off Meg Cabot’s hatred of the required reading list. Given the number of commenters at the Smart Bitches site who claimed that their teachers killed every desire to read, it’s a miracle that they are reading today. As for me, I read Romeo and Juliet, Beowulf, and Ayn Rand in high school because my English Lit professor made us. I still remember her instilling in me a love for the classics. Required reading lists are like vegetables. Good for you and an acquired taste. I think our friend Robin might have some further thoughts on this in an op piece later this month.

eyeiRiver is working on cutting a deal with European and US Publishers to bring its iRiver Story eink reader to the US. It’s currently priced at $300 but only available in Korea. The Story looks like an elegantly designed device.

emoticon_tongueGMAIL went down yesterday and I feared that half the world ground to a halt. It signals the danger of cloud computing. When your access to information depends on someone’s computer health, it can mean problems from time to time.

emoticon_smileJMC has a post about characters’ names and authors seeming desire to make them more and more unpronouceable and exotic.

Naming your protagonist Jayné and then telling that it is pronounced Zha-NAY? Monumental WTF moment.

emoticon_tongueCellStories.Net believes the future of publishing rests in cell phone delivery of short content. Having experienced Daily Lit which delivers short chunks of text in one sitting, I have to say that I am not a fan of this type of publishing but it’s something to watch for. When we did our digital publishing seminar in D.C. Kassia Kroszer of Booksquare talked briefly about chunking and I could see a number of blank looks in the crowd.

emoticon_smileIn distressing news, BBC wrote up a survey regarding girls and dating:

Nearly 90% of 1,400 girls aged 13 to 17 had been in intimate relationships, the NSPCC and University of Bristol found.

Of these, one in six said they had been pressured into sexual intercourse and one in 16 said they had been raped.

emoticon_smileLynn Raye Harris writes in her blog about winning the Harlequin Presents writing contest and gives her insight as to what she thinks makes a Harlequin Presents book. (There are three parts starting with this one.). Having read Harris’ debut book, I’m inclined to think that she knows what she is talking about as the Spanish Magnate, Red-Hot Revenge fit solidly into the HP ouvre.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. Heather (errantdreams)
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 08:38:10

    I have to admit to being surprised to see an article referring to allowing kids to choose their own reading material as “new.” 20 years ago one of my high school teachers was doing this. I think it’s a fantastic method.

  2. Lynn Raye Harris
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 08:47:52

    Thanks for including me in the links, Jane! There is a part 4 up today (which would have been up earlier if I’d published it in the right place last night). :)

  3. Emily
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 10:04:07

    FYI, it’s Maggie Crawford not Maggie Coleman. Ms. Crawford was around for years and worked with such authors as Johanna Lindsey and Jane Feather.

  4. Jane
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 10:05:39

    @Emily: Yes, you are right. The Star Trek editor was Margaret Coleman. Will make the change.

  5. Emily
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 10:08:09

    Ha. Actually that was Margaret Clark. There are too many C names going around.

  6. S. W. Vaughn
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 10:28:50

    I had to laugh on the names item. I went to school with a girl named Janet, who insisted that there was an accent over the e and that her name was pronounced Zha-NAY.

    Yeah, whatever, girl. Your name is Janet. Sorry. :-)

  7. Bethany Allinder
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 12:20:35

    Wow. I interned at Pocket in college. I knew each of them– Ms. Burke, Ms. Crawford, and Ms. McKenna. They are all great people.

    Maggie Crawford is big. She should be fine getting something. She was Connie Brockway’s editor in the 90s. Responsible for editing all her RITA winners. (I’m pretty sure all of them.)

  8. MaryK
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 12:46:02

    Have you seen the BBC series Keeping Up Appearances? The woman’s name is Mrs. Bucket which she insists is pronounced Boo-KAY.

  9. Janine
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 13:30:27

    I see that Maggie Crawford and Margaret Clark are being laid off, but who is the third editor?

  10. Jane
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 13:35:39

    @Janine: it was an editorial assistant who apparently wasn’t important enough to be named.

  11. Janine
    Sep 02, 2009 @ 14:15:59

    Thanks, Jane.

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