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

Wednesday News: NYPL hosts Amazon roundtable, Guernica names first paid publisher,...

Amazon: Business As Usual? – Although I have not had a chance to watch it, and therefore cannot comment on the content, I’m thinking that the 759 comments (as of Tuesday night PST), some of which are pretty entertaining, suggest that it might be worth sitting through the 90-minute discussion of everyone’s favorite subject (not). From the website describing the event:

Authors, agents, and publishers take to the LIVE from the NYPL stage to tackle these urgent questions in a conversation moderated by Tina Bennett, literary agent at WME. Guests include: best-selling author James Patterson; Morgan Entrekin, publisher and president of Grove Atlantic; Bob Kohn, attorney and founder of; Tim Wu, law professor and theorist of “net neutrality;” Danielle Allen, political theorist, author of a new book on the Declaration of Independence and elected chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board; and David Vandagriff, intellectual property lawyer. –New York Public Library

Guernica Magazine Names Lisa Lucas PublisherGuernica Magazine is celebrating its 10th anniversary as an entirely free, volunteer-run publication that, as its latest edition demonstrates, is better than many professionally run publications. Lisa Lucas, who has been serving as volunteer publisher, is poised to be the magazine’s first paid employee, and she is expected to undertake fundraising to pay more contributors and even produce a print version of the magazine. It will be interesting to see how, if at all, funding changes Guernica‘s priorities, content, and/or reach.

“I am thrilled to be charged with ushering Guernica into a new era of growth and sustainability. For 10 years, the magazine has been publishing the highest caliber of intellectual and literary work for free,” Ms. Lucas said in an announcement. “With keen long-term strategy, we will continue to do so while fostering creative culture by supporting our incredible contributors and expanding our offerings to new platforms.” –New York Observer

How J.K. Rowling Plotted Harry Potter with a Hand-Drawn Spreadsheet – First, if you don’t already visit Open Culture on a regular basis, start today – the site is devoted to locating free content, whether it be music, film, books, or cartoons. This is a particularly interesting entry, as it contains a piece of notebook paper on which JK Rowling plotted chapters 13-24 of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. If you find writerly processes interesting, check out Rowling’s intricate chart.

At the height of the Harry Potter novels’ popularity, I asked a number of people why those books in particular enjoyed such a devoted readership. Everyone gave almost the same answer: that author J.K. Rowling “tells a good story.” The response at once clarified everything and nothing; of course a “good story” can draw a large, enthusiastic (and, at that time, impatient) readership, but what does it take to actually tell a good story? –Open Culture

The true cost of every wedding on ‘Game of Thrones’ – Want to recreate one of the Game of Thrones‘ weddings? According to wedding planner Sarah Haywood, all it takes is money. How much, you may ask? Somewhere between $500 and $10 million ought to do it, depending on your wedding of choice.

What if you were truly determined to host one of Game of Thrones’ infamous weddings in real life, and had the resources to do it? What challenges would you face, and just how much would it set you back?

Even with our copious infographic experience, we couldn’t calculate this one alone. So we roped in the help of Sarah Haywood, described by Time as “Britain’s most sought-after wedding planner and an authority on multimillion-dollar weddings.” Haywood has dozens of high-end nuptials under her belt, and she agreed to lend us her professional perspective. –Daily Dot

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. Lostshadows
    Jul 02, 2014 @ 06:33:32

    I have to wonder if the cost of GoT wedding is so high due to the cost of a good defense attorney.

  2. Keishon
    Jul 02, 2014 @ 07:32:46

    I watched the roundtable, Robin and it’s just what you would expect: Amazon is “evil”, the agency model, “leveled the playing field” and the DOJ “went after the wrong people”, Amazon is a monopoly with their “predatory pricing which they say is “illegal” and the rest of the content of the video is a blur. I’m no industry insider but these guys (James Patterson, et, al) know the drill when they can find anyone who wants to listen to them to whine about Amazon destroying publishing. Some nice things were said about Amazon but those things were immediately shot down. I thought this was interesting: Amazon is accused of using biased search results. News to me!

    When will these people ever learn that Amazon got to be this way because they refuse to change? Maybe this should be some sort of signal for them to make changes. Good luck publishers.

  3. Isobel Carr
    Jul 02, 2014 @ 09:06:37

    @Keishon: Yeah, you could tell by the panel that the Amazon roundtable was not going to be balanced. Where were authors like Bella Andre or Hugh Howey or Barbara Feethy to add perspective?

  4. SAO
    Jul 02, 2014 @ 16:03:31

    It seems to me that if you ask an authority on multimillion dollar weddings how much any wedding costs, you’re going to get a multimillion dollar answer. My brother and sister-in-law had a BYO food and booze wedding that I’m sure had elements of GOT (this was years ago, so it was not deliberate) held at a friend’s house. They didn’t share the budget with me, but my bet it was a fraction of the cost of the average American wedding.

  5. Greg Strandberg
    Jul 02, 2014 @ 19:40:16

    I wish the panelists on the publishing discussion would’ve had a bit more pep, get-up-and-go, or some form of moxie that would’ve made it more entertaining.

  6. Deborah Smith
    Jul 02, 2014 @ 20:21:11

    Amazon should have sent a company rep instead of a blogger/lawyer whose main point was to argue that trad publishers can’t be trusted and authors should self-publish. The rest of the panel, albeit all from the mainstream publishing industry, discussed various business angles, pricing, distribution, and a host of related topics. Vandagriff stuck to one topic: “self-publishing, good, everything else, evil.” So there really wasn’t any way light shed on Amazon’s perspective. Amazon sent a distraction, not a liaison.

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