Dec 14 2011
Wednesday Midday Links: Major Publishers Support Internet Killing Bill & Retro Romance Debut from Samhain
In case you missed it yesterday, BN just launched gifting of ebooks. YAY!
Look for deals at the end of the post.
Seth Godin has a list of publishers that are supporting SOPA, a bill that many internet supporters believe will allow large corporations to cut off content access for individuals. SOPA is up for a vote tomorrow. SOPA will allow copyright holders to have an entire URL blocked if one part of the URL is hosting illegal material. For example, if there is a book trailer posted by an author that contains copyrighted photos or music, the copyright holder could have everyone’s access to YouTube blocked. This is what Viacom wanted in its suit against YouTube and ultimately lost. Proponents of the bill argue that it will never be used to block access that citizens enjoy and that it is only a measure designed to target overseas sites but the language of the bill is so broad and overreaching that any copyright holder could enforce these actions against sites like Etsy, YouTube, Google, Twitter, and so on.
The bill gives the right to any copyright holder to serve a notice on Etsy and have Etsy’s connection to the internet suspended:
Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade goods, where users can set up a storefront and create listings for things they’ve made. There are over 800,000 active “shops” filled with these handmade goods — far too many for Etsy to monitor manually. Further, because of the eclectic nature of goods listed, it’s difficult to technically filter through the objects listed.
All that means that it’s not feasible for Etsy to proactively prevent listings that may be perceived to violate US copyright or trademark law. That’s a problem, because under SOPA, anybody who is a “holder of an intellectual property right harmed by the activities” of even a portion of the site, could serve Etsy’s payment processors with a notice that would require them to suspend Etsy’s service within 5 days. That means that a trademark violation in one of the storefronts could lead to payment suspension across the entire site.
It’s not that people don’t want to protect copyright but that the language in SOPA is too overbroad. It’s not going to affect sites like DA because we don’t allow you to upload pictures or music or books but it can easily affect any site that does allow that such as photo sites, social media sites, internet commerce sites.
Boing Boing has an easy to use form that will allow you to contact your representatives and share with them your thoughts about SOPA.
Samhain has launched its Retro Romance line with some very attractive pricing. I’m not sure whether this is attractive to authors, but as a reader, I’m a fan. From the press release:
According to Heather Osborn, Editorial Director, the program is in line with the desire of many authors to find new readers for old favorites—without the challenge of self-publishing. “With the proliferation of eBook readers, authors know they can quickly reach a new audience with their books, but self publishing still has inherent challenges for authors who prefer to spend more time writing than promoting,” explained Osborn. “For authors who have older titles and want to release them digitally, but don’t care to act as their own cover artist, production assistant, editor, or distributor, Samhain’s Retro Romance line is an ideal solution. We take on the work of scanning print books into digital files, copy editing, formatting into all of the various digital formats, creating beautiful cover art, advertising and promotion – and supply authors with a robust built-in distribution. It’s a win-win.”
The line, which launched Dec. 13, includes the following authors and titles:
- Sharon DeVita, Heavenly Match
- Kate Donovan, Game of Hearts
- Patricia Hagan, Love and War
- Karen Kay, Lakota Surrender
- Debra Mullins, Once a Mistress
To learn more about Retro Romance, visit us online at www.samhainpublishing.com/retro-romance.htm.
Now the important stuff for the reader. The price points of this line is as follows:
- Plus Novel: $4.99
- Novel: $3.99
- Category Length: $2.99
During launch week, the books are 30% off at Samhain. Interestingly the covers of the Retro categories are virtually indistinguishable from Harlequin. Can you tell the difference?
An unhappy reader sent me a link to a blog post by Echelon, a publisher of romances. I think I’ve heard of them but I can’t say I’ve read a book published by them. In any event, the publisher is unhappy that readers aren’t reviewing more and points out that she reviews books that she publishes. What’s wrong with you lazy readers? You pay for the book and should review them too. Echelon is giving away a Kindle Touch once 50 reviews are posted to one random reviewer.
Taken by the Cowboy by Julianne MacLean is All Romance eBooks free book of the day.
Anthea Lawson emailed that her debut self published YA is on sale for $.99 through December 18.