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

Wednesday News & Deals: Paypal Reverses Stance

News

Yesterday, Paypal announced that it would be reversing its stance on bans on fiction.  According to the Chicago Tribune, Paypal will look at books on an individual basis:

PayPal’s new policy will focus only on e-books that contain potentially illegal images, not e-books that are limited to just text, spokesman Anuj Nayar said on Tuesday. The service will still refuse, however, to process payments for text-only e-books containing child pornography themes.

The revised policy will also focus on individual books, rather than entire classes of books, he added. E-book sellers will be notified if specific books violate PayPal’s policy, and the company is working on a process through which authors and distributors can challenge such notifications, the spokesman said.

Based on this announcement, Smashwords will roll back its Terms of Service to its pre-February 24 state.   I know that terrible things were said about Mark Coker, both publicly and privately; but Coker clearly fought for authors and their rights to creative freedom.

Thanks to Darlynne V and all the others who shared the Smashwords email with me.


Dorchester claims it is still in business.  They posted on their Facebook page:

Dorchester has apparently posted this to their Facebook page:

Not to worry, Dorchester Publishing has not closed. However, due to challenging economic conditions, we have decided to vacate our 200 Madison office and become a virtual business. Though the transition was not as seamless as we had hoped, our phone lines are back in working order and our email is still fully operational. Our new mailing address is:

Dorchester Publishing and Dorchester Media
105 East 34th Street, Box 175
New York, New York 10016

What is the future for Dorchester Publishing? We are currently in the process of entertaining offers from reputable publishing companies and look forward to making an announcement shortly. We recognize a sale to a strong publisher is in your best interest and look forward to informing you as soon as we close a deal. We apologize for our lack of communication during this transition and for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Their new mailing addy is apparently a UPS store.

Via Tasha


I read this article about retail sites creating editorial content like recipes, party planning guides, and the like which all encourage more shopping. We get the monthly Costco magazine which contains recipes, financial tips, book suggestions, and other shopping suggestions. It’s something to think about. Are these movements toward original content centered solely around encouraging retail or will it expand into larger non fiction publications? Just something to ponder for now.


Wal-mart is one of those DVD to digital centers which will take your DVD and make a digital copy with special DRM. For only $2 more you can turn your DVD into a portable copy that you can view from the cloud.

At a press conference today in Los Angeles, the company announced that, as rumored, it’s launching a new program called the Disc to Digital service. Starting on April 16, anyone can bring their DVD collection into a Walmart store, and copies of each movie will be loaded onto your account on VUDU, the online video service that the retailer acquired two years ago. Standard definition DVDs will be converted into standard definition videos and Blu-rays will be converted into high-definition, for $2 each. You can also “upgrade” a standard DVD into an HD copy for $5.

Encyclopedia Britannica will no longer produce print editions.

In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project.


Penguin has filed an answer to the class action pricing lawsuits arguing that Kindle and BN’s terms of service allow only arbitration and thus, customers are only entitled to arbitration and not civil justice because Penguin is the principal and Kindle and BN are the agents. It’s actually the first real argument I’ve seen regarding actual agency between the parties. Penguin will have to prove that it has assumed more risk in the transaction than Amazon and BN along with some other attendant agency principles but while I’m disgusted with Penguin, I kind of admire them for finally, finally putting out a true agency argument.


Penguin is selling Penguin emblazoned tchotchkes in boutique areas within Barnes & Noble.  This has been successful in the pilot stores and so B&N is expanding these Penguin oriented boutiques into more stores.


From the battery of press releases from Entangled Press, one would think that they are starting a new line and launching a Titanic sized number of books. But one highly lauded line called Lori Wilde Presents has yet to make its debut. Perhaps in part because Lori Wilde has left Entangled. The Presents line of category books will be helmed by Alethea Spiridon-Hopson who is also directing the new paranormal line. Current editor Libby Murphy is also assisting both those lines. I’ve always felt that the Entangled business model made little business sense. Everyone being paid a royalty from the sale, from the editors to the authors to the cover artists. It’s nice in theory, but practically, I don’t think it is feasible.


Deals

I included a smattering of contemporary “deals”. Quite a few are self published.  I tried to exclude any books that were exclusive to Amazon.

  • Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S *recommended*
  • More Than Memories by Kristen James * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • My Last Blind Date by Susan Hatler * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Sleeping with Paris by Juliette Sobanet * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S - very popular
  • No Dress Required by Cari Quinn * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S - short story
  • Taming Mad Max by Theresa Ragan * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Silent Witness by Rebecca Forster * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Western Ties: Compass Brothers by Mari Carr and Jayne Rylon * $2.70 * A | BN | K | S - bought it
  • For Love or Legacy by Ruth Cardello * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S - well reviewed but could be fluff reviews

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

20 Comments

  1. Ros
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 10:13:22

    Jane, the Lori Wilde line is called Indulgence, not Presents, and it launched in February. The March titles are due out tomorrow. The four February titles have all sold well, and especially The Marriage Bargain: http://www.entangledinromance.com/2012/03/13/a-modern-day-fairy-tale-by-jennifer-probst/

    ReplyReply

  2. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 10:22:21

    I know that terrible things were said about Mark Coker, both publicly and privately; but Coker clearly fought for authors and their rights to creative freedom.

    Hear, hear. I don’t know of anyone else who could’ve gone to the mat like that and won. (Of course, I don’t know why anybody blamed Mark in the first place, so…)

    ReplyReply

  3. Sarina
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 10:35:58

    Jane, Rebecca Forster’s “Silent Witness” is listed on Amazon as 2.99$ :(

    ReplyReply

  4. Mikaela
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 10:55:48

    Books on board are offering up to 33% off right now. For me that lives outside the US it applicable on all their books, but I suspect that in the US it is non agency e-books only.
    So if you have a non-agency book that you want to buy, this is a good chance.
    It is also a good time to pre-order books from say Samhain. For example, Vivian Arend’s Wolf Line is only 2.37 right now.

    ReplyReply

  5. Kim
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 11:08:20

    @Jane: I was wondering if Kristen James was the Silhoutte author from the 1980s, but when I clicked on the BN link for info, it found zero results for More Than Memories.

    ReplyReply

  6. Helen
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 11:09:12

    I wonder how libraries will have to change their reference sections?
    Our library has about a dozen computers that can be used for up to two hours. I noticed that in the winter that most of them were in use five minutes after the doors open. One librarian said rather snottily, “Most of them are homeless, they’re here all day.”
    Will reference sections have their own computers? With a 32 volume encyclopedia more than one person could use it at a time, so how many computers do you need to replace a set of encyclopedias in a library?

    ReplyReply

  7. library addict
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 11:22:49

    @Kim: One of Candace Camp’s pseudonyms in the 1980s/early 90s was Kristin James (but it was Kristin, not Kristen).

    The Amazon site lists an author bio which does not appear to be the same person.

    ~~~

    Since I apparently am not allowed to sue Penguin (those pesky details in the TOS), why would I want to buy a Penguin coffee mug? And does this mean Agency pricing isn’t going to go away? Or will we all get a gift certificate for a Penguin emblazoned tchotchkes as part of the arbitration “settlement?”

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  8. Linda Hilton
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 11:28:29

    Last week I sent a hard copy, certified mail request for reversion of rights on the book I published through Dorchester/Leisure in 1985. Dorchester responded this morning with an email, the text of which is at http://lindahilton.blogspot.com/2012/03/what-lies-behind-words.html

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  9. De
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 11:29:10

    @Helen:

    Reference Librarian sitting at the Reference Desk –

    That’s going to be different at each library.

    Here, it won’t matter. Our encyclopedias don’t get a lot of use, and we’ve almost always got open computers. I also know I won’t be subscribing to Encyclopedia Britannica online. The patrons that would use EB are the same ones that call us to have us search for phone numbers and addresses for them because they don’t use computers. Here, for my population, it doesn’t matter.

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  10. SuperWendy
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 11:55:37

    @Helen: Every library is different, but at least where I work we have several computers that are dedicated just for catalog and reference use. You can look at our catalog and check out the databases (encyclopedias, newspaper archives, journal articles etc.), but we lock down the Internet so you can’t check your e-mail or get on Facebook. We have separate Internet stations for that, and yes – they tend to be used non-stop from the time we open to the time we close.

    ReplyReply

  11. Jennie M.
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 13:43:40

    I’ve noticed that the Entangled book covers have lowered in quality. Some of their newer stuff looks badly photoshopped. One such example is My Super Sweet 16th Century. For a company that is trying to reach mass market with releases like Obsidian, you’d think they’d try better. If they are releasing so many books, they should look into overall quality as well. I know they say “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, but wasn’t the point of the company to release books like mass market ones, but digitally and have more control over these matters?

    ReplyReply

  12. EmilyW
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 13:44:04

    Not sure if you posted this deal before, but To Love a Thief by Julie Anne Long is 99 cents at Amazon.

    ReplyReply

  13. Brian
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 14:12:22

    Today’s Kindle deal of the day is Child Bride by Suzanne Forster for $0.99 (Loveswept No. 541)

    ReplyReply

  14. Samantha
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 14:13:47

    Not sure about how they paid the cover artists, but at least in the past, Samhain paid their editors from royalties. A lot of the smaller presses do that because it lowers the upfront costs.

    ReplyReply

  15. cecilia
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 17:39:07

    Fifteen or even ten years ago, back when I was less impatient with tchotchke type things, I would have loved Penguin-themed stuff, partly as an expression of my own nerdiness. But now instead of associating Penguin with classics that were reasonably priced, I associate them with douchy behaviour about pricing ebooks and making them available in libraries. The only thing the logo makes me feel is irritation.

    ReplyReply

  16. SAO
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 23:14:27

    Why the hell would I pay to get DVDs I own DRMed? I use Ripit. I figure I own content I bought. And sure, if I wanted to read the fine print, I’d discover all sorts of limitations, like every time I move countries, I’m supposed to ditch all my DVDs and some CDs and buy new for no better reason than because mobile expats are collateral damage in the war on pirates.

    As a side point, my kids’ Moscow school’s mascot is a penguin and the teams are called the Penguins, so I suspect the B&N penguin tchotchkes are going to be popular here. (We’re mostly expats, so B&N is a common source of books and, soon, I suppose, other stuff).

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  17. MaryK
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 23:37:47

    If they’d do VHS, we could talk.

    How are they justifying that though when personal format shifting is supposed to be a no-no? Will they only do titles they have a listing/permission for?

    ReplyReply

  18. Caridad Pineiro
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 07:25:25

    While it’s sad to see Lori go, congratulations to Lori on her fabulous new contract that necessitated the change and also to the new editor, Alethea Spiridon-Hopson, formerly with Harlequin. Another major congrats on having one of the new Indulgences hit the USA Today bestseller list. I have signed with Entangled as part of the DEAD SEXY romantic suspense line and for the relaunch of THE CALLING Vampire Novels. Very excited about working with them and seeing all the amazing things they are doing for both authors and readers!

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  19. Jody W.
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 09:59:41

    @Caridad Pineiro: Would that be the line of books described in the original article as not having debuted yet? How could it have a book raking in 50K already? *laugh*

    ReplyReply

  20. Misa Ramirez
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 12:14:19

    @Jody W.:

    Dead Sexy launches in May under the editorial direction of Nina Bruhns. Caridad has signed with that line and the first book in her new series will come this summer. We also have the Covet line (paranormal) and Scandalous (historical) which will be launching in the fall.

    The Indulgence line (contemporary category romance) launched in February with the first four titles. The March titles are coming out this week. Here’s a post about Jennifer Probst’s numbers, sales and royalties: http://www.entangledinromance.com/2012/03/13/a-modern-day-fairy-tale-by-jennifer-probst/ (The author’s royalties are over $50,000 so far, it’s true!)

    In addition, we’re posting something soon about how a strong seller like The Marriage Bargain, from our first Indulgence launch, pans out for all the people involved with that book based on our royalty structure, so stay tuned! The Entangled business plan *is* different than most in traditional publishing, and sure, there is risk involved, but we all believe in what we’ve created, in the books we’re putting out, in the authors we’ve acquired, and in our operations. Jennifer’s success (#57 on the USA Today bestseller list this week: http://books.usatoday.com/list/index?r=51-60 ) is just the beginning for us!

    We love open discourse and believe in being as transparent as possible, so thank you for the opportunity to share and for the discussion!

    ~Misa

    ReplyReply

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