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Thursday Midday Links: A Smart Bitches Book Chat Invitation

Amazingly, one of Sarah Wendell’s favorite Amanda Quick books is the same as mine:   Scandal. In an email exchange, Sarah and I discovered our mutual affection for such a book and Sarah decided to pick it for the Sizzling Book chat.   I remember exactly where I saw Scandal.   It was on the upper rack above the magazines at a local convenience store.   This was originally published in 1991 and probably is as historically inaccurate as any book out there but I loved this book when I first read it and I love it still today.   Emily and Simon are the perfect match. Emily takes care of her family, loves Simon without reservation and in return, Simon takes care of Emily and loves her without reservation.   One passage sticks out:

“As of now,” Simon said coldly, “the Incident never occurred. And I will personally destroy anyone, anyone at all, who says it did. Do I make myself clear, gentlemen?”

The twins gaped open-mouthed at him and then exchanged bemused glances with each other.

“You cannot make the great blot on her reputation simply vanish, sir,” Charles finally ventured carefully.

“Watch me,” said Simon.

Allromance.com is the sponsor of this bookchat.   You can buy the book here and during the bookchat, allromance.com will be sponsoring giveaways of digital books galore.

The chat will be Tuesday 28 December at 9:00 pm EST-10:30 pm EST. Unlike previous chats, the author won’t be joining us (woe!) but we will be partying the entire time, with giveaways, discussion, polls (have you seen the polls?), old skool cover madness, and general discussions, like what title could possibly top “Earl of Blade?” Maybe “Duke of Sharp Badassery.”

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This is really ominous. In 2011, new state tax structures could require a duplicate tax on digital books: state tax where you live and state tax where the digital book resides until it is downloaded.   The increased sales tax could be as much as 21%!!!!   I would stop buying digital books. I would probably buy paper books and make my own digital book from the paper copy.   This is really distressing.   Maybe someone will point out in the comments that this is totally false (or is that just wishful thinking?).

Those 10 million Kindle owners are NOT going to be happy.

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Simon & Schuster enjoyed   a better year in 2010.   Digital gains were up but sales still lagged because of the “soft” brick and mortar retail sales.   International sales were growing as well (another reason to end the geographical restrictions).

In 2010, S&S children's publishing group "is booming and their results this year are the strongest in their history," Reidy said led by gains in teen, fantasy and middle grade categories. Highlights in the adult group included higher sales for authors such as James Lee Burke, Kresley Cole, Vince Flynn, Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner. The international group is thriving "as never before" she added with its U.K. division in particular having a solid year with sales up by more than 18% in a market Reidy said has declined by 3%.

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Apparently authors do not like to get a rejection letter that doesn’t have any explanation but if you want an explanation, you might get one that you don’t like.   Here are some examples of famous authors’ rejections.

6. Mary Higgins Clark

Back in 1966, the young romance author was trying to sell a story she called "Journey Back to Love." It didn't go well, however; her submission to Redbook came back with a rejection from the editors, stating "We found the heroine as boring as her husband had." Ouch! The piece was eventually run as a two-part serial in an English magazine, and Mary Higgins Clark currently boasts forty-two bestselling novels.

I’ve got to remember that line…

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

24 Comments

  1. Gwenny
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 11:25:30

    Freaking out about the taxes!

    ReplyReply

  2. Jane
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 11:26:47

    @Gwenny: Oh, I know. I want someone to tell me that I am an ignorant slut in regards to this issue.

    ReplyReply

  3. Jayne
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 11:36:21

    @Jane: I would stop buying digital books as well. That is obscene.

    ReplyReply

  4. san_remo_ave
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 11:40:03

    Seriously, on the taxes thing?

    If Amazon is smart, they’ll put up servers in every state and thumb their nose at the legislators. Surely they have enough money to do that after selling so many ereaders? No where di I read the size of the server mattered (heh) so a simple PC acting as a server should do. Heck, I’ll GIVE them space in my garage if they want to set one up there for the state of TN.

    Lacking that, I have a big enough TBR to wait out this foolishness.

    Yesh.

    ReplyReply

  5. san_remo_ave
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 11:42:40

    BTW, we’re currently renovating the garage, so that’s not a shady deal for AMZN. It’s gonna be a ginormous playroom complete with Kinect gaming. Merry Christmas to me!

    ReplyReply

  6. Lisa J
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 12:14:20

    Agency pricing has already cut into my e-book purchases, add in the double tax and I’m not going to love my Sony anymore. I would definitely stop buying e-books if I had to add another 20%.

    ReplyReply

  7. Lisa W.
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 12:34:15

    @Lisa J: I’m totally in agreement with you.

    ReplyReply

  8. library addict
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 13:22:25

    Looking forward to the book chat.

    Add me to the list of folks who will quit buying digital if I have to pay two taxes. Not happy about the cell and cable hikes either.

    ReplyReply

  9. joanne
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 14:30:35

    According to SmartMoney the double tax might only be the beginning. If your county decides to impose its own tax- and my county never misses a chance- then it would be another added expense to the purchase of ebooks.

    Meantime: I have my musty, dusty, raggedy original copy of Scandal and a deep and abiding love for Emily & Simon.

    ReplyReply

  10. Ridley
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 16:27:28

    Jesus effin Christ. As if agency pricing didn’t screw disabled readers hard enough, I’m going to get gouged on taxes on my undiscountable books as well?

    Reading paper books isn’t really an option, so I guess I’ll just have to be thankful WoW just released a new expansion pack. Between the pricing, the content censorship and the taxes, ebooks aren’t looking so hot these days.

    ReplyReply

  11. LVLMLeah
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 18:42:52

    Ebooks being double taxed is so going to suck runny eggs.

    I’ve reached a point where I have a hard time with paper, it hurts my neck and hands too much to hold books open.

    If this happens, I will still buy ebooks, but my spending will go way down. Instead of buying books that I might read in the future, I will just buy what I want to read next and that’s it.

    It will also make me consider very hard which books I will buy. No longer will I buy a 20K book for $5 if that goes up to $6 due to extra tax, no. Sorry. I will be very particular what I buy and look for bargains… longer books at a cheaper price.

    My state has no employment tax, so there’s a high, 9.5% sales tax. At least Amazon has a server in my state so it won’t be double on that count. But I buy from small epubs a lot, which will add. This sucks.

    ReplyReply

  12. Vi
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 19:51:29

    How do you know if Amazon has a server in your state?

    ReplyReply

  13. Kiernan
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 20:08:40

    Sounds like a recipe for a lot of server farms in Oregon…no sales tax.

    ReplyReply

  14. LVLMLeah
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 20:19:38

    @Vi:

    I’m not sure, but I’m assuming if they have a warehouse in your state, then if you order from Amazon you probably have to pay state tax on what you buy from them. In that case, you probably wouldn’t pay double tax. I live in WA where the headquarters are, so I know they are here. I already pay a state tax on everything I buy from Amazon.

    But I can’t see companies not fighting this if it were to come to pass. It’s a huge loss of business to them if it happens.

    ReplyReply

  15. nasanta
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 22:00:18

    And here I was, just starting to read more e-books to paperbacks. Guess I’m going back to paperbacks.

    ReplyReply

  16. Merrian
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 00:05:57

    I wonder how or if this e-book tax issue will affect international customers? Here in Australia we have a Goods & Service Tax that affects books bought on shore. There is a GST free threshold of $1,000 for items purchased on line and at the moment there is massive retailer backlash against this being led by books and mortar book retailers. The retailers want the threshold reduced but too what? Every purchase? Evidently online purchasing now accounts for between 1 and 3% of retail purchases and so we online buyers are responsible for the downfall of the Roman empire/ the current model of retail sales according to the usual suspects.

    ReplyReply

  17. Nadia Lee
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 01:54:23

    @Jane: Actually your interpretation of the article is correct, though I’m not sure if the reporter’s interpretation of what’s going on is correct.

    Regardless, I’m tired of politicians taxing more and more to fund their spending spree. Why don’t they just spend less?!?! No money ==> don’t spend, not double, triple tax!

    ReplyReply

  18. Evangeline Holland
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 02:02:03

    Won’t this just increase book piracy?

    How will this affect self-published authors?

    ReplyReply

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  20. shelleyannsmith
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 09:15:37

    I will be sooooo PISSED if they tax ebooks more and will definitely not buy them.

    What to do with my nook….hmmm….I guess I can put it under a corner of my washing machine so it won’t rock when it spins.

    ReplyReply

  21. Ridley
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 12:21:26

    @Nadia Lee:

    I’m not anti-tax in the least. I am one of the few people I know that thought we should have let all the Bush tax cuts expire.

    What I dislike are regressive taxes. Income taxes scale with your income. Consumption taxes hit the less affluent the hardest and the most affluent not at all.

    I’d much rather our governments (and here I’m glad we got rid of county government in MA) raise money with progressive taxes on income and wealth. They’re the fairest way to pay for government without discouraging consumption.

    ReplyReply

  22. Carolyn Jewel
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 12:33:35

    1) I adore Quick’s Scandal, too. Love Love Love that book. I have it still and have re-read it many times.

    2) How the heck will anyone know the location of the server? Not to mention “the” server is a HUGE misstatement, since a vendor of any size is probably distributing and mirroring their files across co-location facilities. If you’re wise, you do one on the west coast and another on the east coast. In fact, my own webhost does that. A lesson they learned the hard way when their server facility had a power outage that took down ALL their sites, including their own.

    Suppose there’s a power outage and COLO #1 in New York is out of commission. Everything fails over to COLO #2, located in, say, San Francisco. What a nightmare trying to figure out what tax to apply!

    And anyway, if you’re distributed, how would you ever know?

    I HATE when politicians who know nothing about technology make laws about technology.

    ReplyReply

  23. Carolyn Jewel
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 12:48:47

    OK. I got to thinking that such a tax policy was so incoherent as to be suspect, and in fact, a lot of this looks like poor reporting. Those journalists didn’t actually RTFA.

    Most of the links about the tax story linked to each other – mostly a Smart Money article and all anyone did was reference a MyWireless.org report without actually linking to the report.

    I found it here: http://www.mywireless.org/issues/view/digital-goods

    and it doesn’t seem to be saying that this tax situation WILL happen, only that it COULD happen. In fact, the report specifically says this:

    H.R. 5649, or “The Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2010,” was a recently introduced bipartisan bill that would make sure consumers aren't burdened by multiple and discriminatory taxes on digital commerce.

    So, I think panic and anger is slightly premature.

    ReplyReply

  24. joanne
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 13:29:20

    @Carolyn Jewel:

    So, I think panic and anger is slightly premature.

    Never too early to panic and be angry. Not online anyway, LOL!

    Particularly at government agencies and publishers. (I know that an extra tax or two wouldn’t be a publisher’s fault but I would blame them anyway).

    Ranting at the cost of books; it’s one of the few things that bind readers together in a united front. *g*

    ReplyReply

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