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Monday Midday Links: Mass market sales continue to plummet

Diana Gabaldon disclosed to a reading group in Charleston that her eighth novel in the Jamie/Claire saga won’t be released for a couple of years. It sounds like the book is yet unwritten. Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner should be released in 2011.


Heather Osborn, formerly an editor with Tor, has been announced as the new Editorial Director for Samhain.   Heather will begin at Samhain on November 1, 2010.   Congratulations Heather!   and Samhain!


Sarah Wendell is the romance columnist for the newly launched Kirkus reviews. What a great gig for Sarah and what a great boon for romance readers. Both Publishers’ Weekly (Rose Fox, if you are wondering) and now Kirkus have two readers and lovers of the genre writing about the genre for the benefit of industry and library folks.


August Book Sales according to the American Association of Publishers. Book sales are up 6.9% year to date.

  • Hardcover Children's/YA: down 8.0 percent, $77.8 million sales. YTD sales down 14.6 percent.
  • Children's/YA Paperback: down 15.1 percent, $58.9 million sales. YTD sales dow 7.6 percent.
  • Adult Hardcover: down 24.4 percent, $83.8 million. YTD sales up 5.2 percent.
  • Adult Paperback: down 18.3 percent, $124.9 million sales. YTD up 4.1 percent.
  • Adult Mass Market: down 21.9 percent, $54.9 million sales. YTD down 14.3.
  • Downloaded Audio Books: Up 4.6 percent, $6.3 million sales. YTD up 28.8 percent.
  • Physical Audio Book: Down 23.4 percent, $9.9 million sales. YTD down 6.0 percent.
  • Year To Date E-Book Sales Comprise 9.0% of Trade Book Sales


Craig Morgan Teicher blogs about the poor state of ebooks, particularly those that are outside the norm of narrative fiction. He pointed out that Allen Ginsberg’s Collected Poems looks especially bad. JOshua Tallent, ebook coding expert, replied that hand coding is going to be the only way that ebooks will look as good as their paper counterparts. Teicher concludes that perhaps Blio will solve these problems. Unfortunately unless Blio will just show a graphical representation of the physical copy (thus no reflow, search, bookmarking, etc) the books on Blio must be coded similarly.

Ebooks priced as high as paper books but without the same quality? Yes, that is a problem.


Apparently an unnamed publisher is paying bloggers and others $20 per blog post according to RRR Jessica. Jessica is one of those bloggers who will be writing for the publisher site that is going live in November. In the comments at Jessica’s site, there is some discussion about the ethical nature of bloggers/readers becoming paid to promote a publisher website. Jessica is an ethicist and it is interesting to read her point of view, particularly as Jessica has, in the past, been uncomfortable with some aspects of the ARC to blogger transaction.

Given that it is at the publisher’s own site I don’t think this is a problem (although under the FTC rules, there probably needs to be some disclosure). And just in case you were wondering, I am not writing blog posts for pay for any publisher.


Harlequin/Mills & Boon is looking for new young writers and is promoting its efforts with a weeklong “So You Think You Can Write” event. Mills & Boon is still giving away 11 free digital books which you can download at   Silhouette is being axed or, at least, folded into the Harlequin brand.

In an effort to strengthen the Harlequin brand, all Silhouette lines will remain intact but will now be known by the new names of Harlequin Desire, Harlequin Romantic Suspense and Harlequin Special Edition.

And in other Harlequin related news, Carina Press will be offering some of its romantic suspense and mystery titles in print through the Harlequin Direct to Customer (DTC) program. According to the Carina Press blog:

Reader Service, as it known to customers, sends a monthly shipment of 3-4 books to readers who have signed up for the service. As a result certain Carina Press titles will be printed by the DTC team and included in a monthly 2011 shipment. Those titles are:

February 2011: In Plain View by J. Wachowski (edited by Melissa Johnson)
April 2011: Presumed Dead by Shirley Wells (edited by Deborah Nemeth)
July 2011: Fatal Affair by Marie Force (edited by Jessica Schulte)

This will begin in February 2011.


All About Romance is hosting its top 100 romance poll. You can enter your list here. Thanks to Cindy at Nocturnal Wonderings as I noticed this at her blog.


In another example of the need for intellectual property reform, HyperMac will cease making external batteries for Apple products due to legal threats from Apple over the use of the cord attachment. Yes, the cord attachment. Stock up now, if you like the HyperMac external battery sources. Via Engadget.