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

Tuesday Midday Links: Blogger Bundles Up for Presale (& Giveaway)

Candace Sams continues her notoriety tour by making the Guardian blog. “When Authors Attack” is the headline. Sams has since deleted her posts, but we do have screenshots for posterity sake. If you haven’t had your fill of Amazon review craziness, check out the review thread for this book that was published in all CAPLOCKS. Seriously.

****

The first of Harlequin’s Blogger Bundles are available. Dear Author compiled a group of books as did Wendy, the Superlibrarian. (Where is Volume II??) Keishon spotted them at Fictionwise with some significant micropay discounting. Jessica has some thoughts about her own bundles as does Keira Soleore.

I’m going to give away a copy of each bundle to 5 readers. These are digital copies and will be sent through Fictionwise. Leave a comment about the blogger bundle you would like to see.

****

In a super annoying website, LibreDigital has the top 10 things you should know about ebooks. Romance is the genre most often browsed online and Forrester Research predicts ebook sales in excess of $500 million in 2010.

****

Peter Ginna of Bloomsbury Press makes the case for publishers or maybe it’s just publishing in general.

The book business looks from one perspective like publishers “buy” content from authors and then resell it. But from another perspective, we’re providing a service€”enabling the author to reach readers (and collect money for his content). Around Bloomsbury we sometimes say “the author is our customer.” In a sense we are selling the services of editing, design, printing, marketing, distribution and so on. Could a group of authors do the same things themselves? Yes. Of course, then in effect they’d become–publishers. An authors’ co-op might produce more money for writers than a conventional publishing contract, but I don’t know if it would make either writing or publishing radically more lucrative.

****

Christian Science Monitor has an interview with a Toronto student who has a school issued Sony Touch. Let’s just say he’s not going back to paper.

****

Amazon has had a great year in profits despite a down economy and it has publishers engaging in bad publicity (you can’t have books you want until we are ready to give them to you) in an effort to tamp down Amazon’s competitive advantage. In an interview with Bezos, he is asked about the key to Amazon’s success. Bezos points to the fact that Amazon exists to serve its customers:

LYONS: Amazon started off as a retailer. Now you’re also selling computing services, and you’re in the consumer-electronics business with the Kindle. How do you define what Amazon is today?

BEZOS: We start with the customer and we work backward. We learn whatever skills we need to service the customer. We build whatever technology we need to service the customer.

Also? For every book that has a Kindle version, Amazon is selling nearly half in Kindle and half in print.

****

Elise Blackwell writes a thought provoking piece on curation and the future of curation and filtering in the new media age.

So my question is this: can we support a diversification of quality literary gatekeepers, distributors, and venues so that more of us will write books that reflect our freedom, rather than books we think we can get published and legitimized by a few editors who must answer to their marketing departments? How will such books find their readers?

****

I’m rabidly anti DRM because I think it hampers ebook adoption and cripples consumer choice. Eric Hellman argues that if you can make DRM provide value to the reader, the reader will gladly accept it. I would buy into that theory.

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

48 Comments

  1. Kwana
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 11:57:55

    The bundles look great. So hard to choose. I’d love to see a bundle with the best of Catherine Coulter and Danielle Steel to take me back.

  2. Maria
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 11:58:39

    In a super annoying website, LibreDigital has the top 10 things you should know about ebooks.

    Super annoying…That was like standing in a line inside a tunnel. You can’t get out of line, you can’t go forward and there’s people trapping you from behind. Yikes. Who thought that was a good idea???

    I enjoyed the Bezos article. He’s generally well-spoken and often funny.

  3. Keishon
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 12:00:39

    Yes, like where is volume 2….

  4. Angela James
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 12:03:51

    I pre-ordered them yesterday and wondered where volume 2 was as well.

    And LibreDigital’s website played all kinds of hell with my browser this morning. I could have lived without all the fancy stuff and just done with the content itself.

  5. Carrie
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 12:23:31

    Old School Romance Bundle (Coultier, Dailey, etc.)…or maybe a bundle with the most absurd titles.

  6. Danielle Yockman
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 12:47:22

    I would like to see a bundle…the best of HQN Blaze Historicals…cause I like my history hot! LOL!

  7. Rachel T
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 12:53:17

    I don’t know if anybody else has noticed, but the bundles are geographically restricted at FWise, despite the fact that Harlequin doesn’t do this. So those of us in the UK (and a lot of other places) have to pay much higher rates —- again!

  8. Rebekah E.
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 12:54:49

    I would also like to see historical romance bundle.

  9. Lisa J
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 12:59:29

    Bundles of older (1970, 80, and 90) Presents and Romance titles. I would love to see some old Anne Mather, Penny Jordan, Helen Bianchin, etc books available.

  10. SonomaLass
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 13:30:13

    If I had to pick two bloggers to do bundles of Harlequins, it would have been Jane and Wendy. I’m super excited about both of these! I missed a lot of years, and categories are the hardest to catch up on. I hope these sell really well, so that the trend continues as more than an anniversary marketing device.

  11. Susan Laura
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 13:36:07

    Oh, how I would love to win Wendy’s bundle. I really enjoyed Jo Goodman’s “Never Love A Lawman” and ever since have been looking for more good American West romances.

    And I wonder if Mrs. Giggles was asked to create a bundle? I’d like to see what books she would choose.

  12. Michelle
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 13:53:54

    I would really enjoy Jane’s bundle. I bought myself an early Christmas present-the Sony 300 pocket reader and had fun with it all last weekend.

  13. marelou
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 13:54:30

    I like the two that are previewed, especially the historical westerns. I would like to see other historical bundles as well.

  14. Amy H
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 14:10:31

    I love the ones listed – they look fantastic (and really, who better to put the bundles together?!). I’d like to see a bundle of non-traditional locations.

  15. Jody F.
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 15:50:50

    I’m a huge fan of Lorraine Heath so a collection of hers would be great. Also, one featuring Rubinesque, or heroines with physical flaws, would also be great. But the bundles listed above have a great assortment.

  16. Lorraine from CA
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 16:14:21

    Jane’s bundle looks very interesting. I am going through a Blaze and Temptation phase, so I’d be very interested in reading all the books from Jane’s selection.

  17. Misty G.
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 16:16:19

    The first bundle looks awesome. Love me some mathematician romance!

  18. MaryK
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 16:28:44

    If I don’t win these bundles, I won’t be able to read them because I don’t buy DRM.

    A Susan Napier bundle would be great. I like to have my favorites in paper and electronic when possible.

    [Seriously, the only thing standing between me and half of Harlequin's ebook backlist is DRM. Maybe I shouldn't complain about that!]

  19. MaryK
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 17:06:31

    LOL!

    From the student interview:

    Where do you read on your e-reader?

    . . . It's a lot easier walking down the street reading this than an actual book because you're never going to lose your page.

    Isn't it kind of dangerous to read while walking down the street?

    No. You can also buy a protective case for it. Even if you drop it, it will be fine.

    :D

  20. Amanda
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 17:19:46

    love to see historical romance bundle!

  21. Deirdre T
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 17:36:47

    Dammit you make me want to hunt up all the books in your bundle, unusual heroines sounds like fun, particularly the mathematician!

  22. Caligi
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 17:39:59

    @MaryK:

    Just remove the DRM. One of HQ’s formats is notoriously easy to clean the DRM from. I do this so I can convert to epub to read their books on my Sony touch edition. Otherwise their secure pdf is nigh unreadable.

    It’d take you maybe 5 min on Google to find out how.

  23. GrowlyCub
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 18:15:32

    @Caligi:

    Are you sure? Because FW is selling this only in Mobi and ereader and I have not found an easy, hasslefree way to get the DRM off either format.

    So my wish for a bundle is a format that I’m actually willing to buy, which is .lit so I can strip the DRM off or non-DRM rtf/doc files.

  24. Caligi
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 18:43:30

    @GrowlyCub:

    Well, damn, I stand corrected. I saw Harlequin and just assumed it’d be in the usual formats, but when I looked at the site I saw I was wrong.

    That sucks. I won’t be buying it either, then. Mobi and ereader are no good.

  25. GrowlyCub
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 18:51:06

    @Caligi:

    I was really hoping you’d tell me I was wrong about the cracks… sigh. Why oh why are they making it so hard on us to give them money?

  26. Mischa
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 18:57:24

    Eric Hellman argues that if you can make DRM provide value to the reader, the reader will gladly accept it.

    While that might sound nice, it’s physically impossible. DRM’s sole purpose is to remove value. To prevent a user from doing things that the seller doesn’t want the user to do.

    Any functionality that adds more value over what could be done without DRM is not truly part of the DRM. Publishers may not want to add the functionality without also having DRM, but nothing physically prevents them from adding it. Users know this.

    The only way to “give a user added value with DRM” is to give them back what the DRM took away. If you are doing that, why bother with DRM in the first place?

  27. salseradoc
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 19:32:42

    eReader is actually pretty easy to crack. You need to have a Python script (and Python…) to do it, but then it will be in html and easy to transfer to the device of your choice. I’d be happy to help anyone with this.

  28. Jessica G.
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 20:08:42

    For those asking for a historical romance bundle – I remember several months ago I (and others) made the same comment at SBTB and Malle (I think) said they would get cracking on it, and about two months later I saw one pop up on Sony. So if you do a little digging, you’ll find at least one. I can’t remember what was in it though.

  29. Caligi
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 20:39:39

    @GrowlyCub:

    There is a way to do it. I just have never done it. It involves stuff that sounds shady to me.

    And that’s what kills me about DRM. It only prevents the un-shady from fully using what they’ve bought. It does nothing to stop the shady people at all.

  30. Ruth (CO)
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 20:48:50

    They all looked like fun. I would like to see those old ones from Jessica but would love Wendy’s as well.

    How fun to get to create.

  31. SandyW
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 21:36:53

    @salseradoc

    You need to have a Python script (and Python…) to do it, but then it will be in html and easy to transfer to the device of your choice.

    Am I correct in thinking that Python is a programming language? How much disk space are we talking? Microsoft Lit files are getting scarce.

    And to save the reply from being completely off-topic, I like the bundles of inter-connected books, like the one Wendy put together. I was thrilled when HQN released Linda Howard’s Makenzie series as a bundle. I had been looking for them in used book stores for years. I prefer to read series in order.

  32. salseradoc
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 22:19:26

    @SandyW

    Yup, Python is a programming language. I just checked, and Python 2.6.4 is taking up 46.4 MB on my disk. I don’t know anything about the language, just how to run a few scripts that take care of my eReader and Mobi files.

    If you want to take a look, you can download Python at http://www.python.org/download

  33. Anita Chax
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 22:30:47

    I love Jane’s recos. Haven’t read any of the writers in her bundle so yes, Jane’s bundle would be the one for me.

  34. salseradoc
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 22:34:39

    And I forgot to add, I’d love to get Jane’s bundle!

  35. K.C. {Smokin' Hot Books}
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 23:03:23

    God Bless you for finding that ridiculously funny thread on Amazon. I MEAN WHY WOULDN’T I WANT TO BUY A BOOK WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS THATS SPOUTS UTTER NONSENSE

  36. MaryK
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 23:39:48

    @Caligi:

    There is a way to do it. I just have never done it. It involves stuff that sounds shady to me.

    I’m convinced if I download stripping tools I’ll end up with a killer virus, and my laptop and I have an uneasy relationship as it is.

  37. Courtney Milan
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 00:03:56

    Also? For every book that has a Kindle version, Amazon is selling nearly half in Kindle and half in print.

    I read Bezos’s remarks as saying that Kindle sales were 48% of what print sales were, meaning that of Kindle + book sales, Kindle sales were 1/3. Looked back at the article and it’s not clear which way Bezos meant his statement, but it translates into “a lotta Kindle sales, growing really fast” no matter how you cut it.

  38. Renee
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 01:15:02

    I’m so excited about Wendy’s bundle!
    I would love a fantasy bundle, with titles from Harlequin’s Luna imprint, to introduce readers to some of my favorite series:
    CE Murphy’s Negotiator Trilogy book 1, Heart of Stone
    Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of Elantra/Cast series book 1, Cast in Shadow
    Laura Anne Gilman’s Retriever’s series, book 1, Staying Dead.

  39. S. W. Vaughn
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 08:01:06

    I JUST SPENT 30 MINUTES READING ALL THOSE REVIEWS ON AMAZON FOR THE GREATEST BOOK TO EVER BE PRINTED, BUT IT COST ME THE $135 I NEEDED TO BUY IT – NOW I SHALL NEVER BE SAVED!!!!

    Oh, well. Guess I’ll just have to keep on sinning…

    (thank you for that, Jane. I’m… horribly amused!)

  40. Linda Banche
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 08:58:33

    I’d love to have Wendy’s bundle–I’m a historical girl to the end. I would love to see a Regency bundle with those “names before they became names” like Nicola Cornick and Anne Gracie.

  41. Kalen Hughes
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 09:50:38

    eReader is actually pretty easy to crack. You need to have a Python script (and Python…) to do it, but then it will be in html and easy to transfer to the device of your choice. I'd be happy to help anyone with this.

    It was easy to do, but the results were nearly unreadable. All the formatting disappeared, making it something of a brainteaser to keep track of which character was talking. Ugh.

  42. AmyW (from Harlequin)
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 10:49:19

    Hi all,

    I’m not sure why Fictionwise is missing only Volume II (we will check), but it is a selection of Presents from We Write Romance. Here’s the Amazon listing:

    http://www.amazon.com/Blogger-Bundle-II-WeWriteRomance-com-ebook/dp/B002WEPC1Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261585833&sr=8-1

    @ Danielle Yockman – We bundled the first 3 Blaze historicals in July (the one requested at SBTB mentioned by Jessica G. ). Look for a bundle with the next 3 in April 2010!

    Harlequin did several more historical bundles, mostly from 2007 and 2008 (the bundle heyday, if you will). Some were by theme (Governess Brides, Sex in the Old West, Sexy Scotsmen), others my author’s minisieries (for example, Kasey Michael’s Becketts of Romney Marsh trilogy). All the bundles are listed at http://www.ebooks.eharlequin.com — go to eBook Bundles under the “exclusive” menu, though you’ll have many pages of bundle to browse through (um, sorry).

    Thank you all for the suggestions for future bundles as well! We’ll keep them in mind :)
    ~Amy Wilkins, Harlequin Internet & Digital

  43. Sheila L.
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 15:05:32

    I think that it’s great that Harlequin has been doing ebook bundles. I would like to see more single author or miniseries bundles.

    Like Susan, I would like to see an ebook bundle that Mrs. Giggles puts together. However, the Unusual Heroines bundle looks interesting.

  44. Jessica G.
    Dec 23, 2009 @ 19:28:47

    Oh god a Governess Brides bundle???? AMAZING!!!! Please please please be available on Sony *runs off to check* YES! I found it! Amy I love you! Harlequin I love you!

    Seriously though, you guys rock. I can’t say it enough. This just makes me so happy :)

  45. Pat L.
    Dec 27, 2009 @ 15:04:33

    I would love to see non ebook bundles. Is there such a thing? Probably.

  46. Samantha
    Dec 27, 2009 @ 22:52:30

    I would like the Dear Author’s bundle. The unusual heroines sound very interesting.

  47. Flora
    Dec 29, 2009 @ 06:24:03

    @Kwana:

    And Jude Deveraux, too!

  48. Lupita Talkington
    Jan 26, 2011 @ 23:48:30

    d

%d bloggers like this: