First up are deals from Avon. These books are all priced at $4.99. Some retailers aren’t reflecting all the reduced prices but within the next week or so, this should be corrected. The deals are good for US and Canada and at Amazon, BN, and Kobo.
The Norse King’s Daughter by Sandra Hill * $4.99 * Amazon | nook | Kobo
Every Scandalous Secret by Gayle Callen * $4.99 * Amazon | nook | Kobo
The Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch and Nook Tablets are all available. I picked up my Nook Tablet yesterday and am getting my Kindle Fire today and this weekend, there will be a review of both. To test out video, I purchased a one month subscription to Hulu Plus. Did you know that there were ads on the videos in HuluPlus? I did not. *grumble, grumble, grumble*
Penguin has launched the revenue generating portion of Book Country today. You can buy packages to assist your self publishing endeavor. From Paid Content:
Book Country provides users with three self-publishing packages: $99 for a user-formatted e-book; $299 for a user-formatted print and e-book; and $549 for a professionally formatted print and e-book. Those who select the $549 option can choose from six styles created by Penguin’s in-house designers. Each style corresponds to a certain book genre: “The Sensation” for sci-fi/fantasy titles, for example, or “The Riddler” for mysteries and thrillers. Users can make up to 15 free formatting changes before the book is published.
In addition to the package price, Book Country also keeps 30% of the royalty if you price the book above $2.99 and 70% of the royalty if you price the book between $.99 and $2.98. I’m not sure what happens if you want to give the book away as part of a promotion. If the book is sold at a third party retailer site like Amazon or PubIt!, then Book Country keeps the same amount after the fees to the retailer are paid. Thus, if the book is priced $2.99 and sold at Amazon, the author gets to keep $1.47. (2.99 x. .70 (amazon keeps .30) x .70 (book country keeps .30). As a consumer, I’m not likely to buy a book at Book Country and I don’t have much interest in being a member there which seems to be akin to beta reading self published books for free.
YA is burning up the sales at stores, so much so that bookstores are giving YA books front of store placement. In my BN, there is a whole section at the front of the store called Teen Paranormal Romance. Romance has been reshuffled from front of the store to the middle between mystery and science fiction. Interestingly enough, some believe that YA’s success is that it is more HOPEFUL than contemporary fiction. You know what I think? I think the lurid romance covers are killing the genre.
Dimopoulos thinks that the egoism involved in YA books – including her own – might be the draw for grown-ups. How often do adults get to think only about themselves – and to experience love and sex for the first time? In addition, unlike much contemporary fiction, “There’s always some degree of hope at the end of YA novels,’’ Dimopoulos said.
Seriously, hopefulness in romance books has always been one of the major criticisms.
When customers visit a physical Barnes & Noble store and purchase Patterson’s Kill Alex Cross in hardcover, plus any other Patterson title for children or adults in any format, they will receive a Patterson novella, Merry Christmas, Alex Cross—exclusive to Barnes & Noble.
Will this lead to Books a Million and Amazon excising Patterson books from their catalogs as BN and BAMM did to the DC Comics after Amazon announced an exclusive windowing deal with DC Comics?
White characters are the default in books, even if the author describes them differently (which should encourage authors to experiment with race phenotypes in their books because most people won’t even notice!). When movie posters of Hunger Games revealed Rue and Cinna as black, many facebook readers were shocked. Some appalled. Despite the descriptions in the books that provided markers to indicate that these characters were non white, readers interpreted them through their own lenses. Rue, for example, is described in the book as having dark brown skin and eyes. Collin wrote in the facebook comment “Shes [sic] Black?” and then there is Grace who wrote “at first when I saw the picture I was all sad and like “she’s black!” but then I read the book again and the book describes her as black. soooooo yea.”
Cinna is described as “cropped natural dark brown hair and slightly dark skin” and the responses, well, read the responses via the link.
I don’t know if there is any better argument for authors to start diversifying their characters than those facebook comments. The norm, default character in literature is white in color and so even if you do write a character with dark skin, readers will see them as white. It’s win win win all around.
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