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

AuthorTalk

Dear Author

Saturday Link Roundup: AuthorTalk Bares All

Author Talk features nudity and PC and Kristin Cast.

Roxanne St. Claire is at the Borders True Romance blog talking about her latest book (a recommended read by Robin) and giving away three free copies of Hunt Her Down.

emoticon_tongueHuffington Post writes about the efforts of DirecTV to put cable stations TNT and TBS online. More and more consumers want to have access to television shows on demand via the internet. Sounds familiar. One of the reasons I’ve advocated so heavily for ebooks is that the competition for a book is not another book but other forms of media. If books are the only media that isn’t easily accessible on demand, it will lose out to movies, tvs, music and gaming.

ExclamationOur September recommended read list is available now for 20% off the list price at Books on Board. Go forth and buy.

eyeAuthor Shannon Stacey (of the Devlin Group among other books) has a blog post up about ratings for romance books. I believe in an industry instituted rating system because I believe that if the industry doesn’t respond, then a rating system will be forced on it by retailers. For example, Apple has a parental control system and requires all the applications to have a rating for obscenity, profanity, and the like. I don’t think Apple should be rating books or Barnes and Noble or Borders or anyone. It’s better, safer, for the industry to take this step. Stacey is concerned about the ghettoization of books based on ratings. This is a valid concern but I believe that ratings are coming regardless.

emoticon_smileAuthor Christina Dodd (of the Storm of Visions/Storm of Shadows) mocks the concept of writing the book of your heart.

Is your heart commercial? Does it team with interesting characters, fast pacing, and memorable dialogue? Because if it doesn’t, there’s a good chance you can’t sell The Book Of Your Heart. Do you want to write a book no one will ever read? Because every writer I’ve ever met who has suffered through the anguish, the anxiety, the pure put-you-butt-in-the-chair-for-hours-and-days-and-months-on-end agony, wants to publish that book.

emoticon_smileMobileTechReview has a great review of the new Sony Touch Edition (the 6″ screen without the 3G connectivity). The contrast is still not as good as the Sony PRS 505 but the refresh is very quick and the note taking is responsive.

The Touch Edition’s features are excellent and should be captivating enough to tempt Sony Reader 500 and 505 owners to upgrade. Even some Kindle folks might consider defecting given Sony’s more open format support (PDF, ePUB, TXT and RTF are native), easy touch screen UI and advanced note-taking features.

emoticon_smileFor readers in the UK, WH Smith is engaging in a price battle to attract consumers. It is selling the Sony Readers for  £20- £30 less than Waterstones, in addition to selling all of its ebooks at 25% off. Depending the on the exchange rate, shopping at WH Smith may make sense even for US Readers.

eyeMJ Rose argues that publishers have to pay authors differently now that more of the publicity expenses are being born by the author. I’m not sure if Rose is arguing for a higher royalty or a higher advance. Given that publishers are absorbing losses not born by the author, I’m not convinced of her argument. If Rose wants a greater co publishing relationship then authors will need to share in the risk whether it is taking a reduced advanced in favor of the higher royalty (the digital publishing model) or taking a greater role in absorbing losses (such as taking royalty off the net versus retail).

eyeTor editor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, talks about the future of SFF books and Tor’s plans to move forward into the digital market. Right now, it appears that Tor is playing the wait and see game:

PNH: We’ve been acquiring e-text rights as part of the default contract since the mid-90s. In mid-90s we needed to be sensible and we revised the contract to include electronic text. Now we have that as a clause. We won’t buy a book without e-book rights.

All the way from [Tor parent company Holtzbrinck in] Stutgart down to us, the conglomerate runs on the assumption that there will be changes in the next two decades and we don’t know what they are. We’re not locking ourselves into a platform. We don’t want to let one player become choke point; we don’t want to be a hapless manufacturer in the thrall of Walmart or something.