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

Book-club

Wednesday News: Beauty blogger’s work used without permission; Google Classroom debuts; Edgar Awards announced; Dear Author’s May Book Club selection

Wednesday News: Beauty blogger’s work used without permission; Google Classroom debuts;...

I’m A Blogger. Respect My Work. – London Beauty Queen, a blogger with more than 22,000 followers on Twitter, has had her images used without permission. We often talk about how bloggers need to be careful about using photos from sources that are not public domain, but now, with the rise of blogs to media prominence, we have the opposite problem. LBQ made a comment on Twitter regarding London Beauty Box’s use of an image from LBQ’s site without permission. London Beauty Box responded with a claim they didn’t know what she was talking about, and you can see the whole exchange, including LBQ’s purloined image. Even when bloggers don’t monetize their sites, they still have rights to the work they produce. In the US, anyone who produces a piece of work has copyright over that work automatically, whether or not they register it. Registration confers additional benefits, but it’s not required for copyright to attach.

I’ve had images taken from my site without permission and used by brands on their social media channels. I’ve had blog posts copied and pasted to other sites without consent. I’ve had brands and agencies demand I place their links, information or offer on my site – just because they want it there. I’ve had rude responses when I’ve asked for compensation for my time, such is the little value placed upon bloggers and blogging by some. I’ve battled with brands for payment when they changed the goalposts at the last minute. I’ve been asked to act unlawfully and illegally. You name it, I’ve experienced it… And it just isn’t right. –London Beauty Queen

Google Debuts Classroom, a Free Apps for Education Tool – Although Google has shut down Google+, they’ve now expanded into educational apps, including Google Classroom, an app that allows teachers to track students and assignments. The app can be used to create, distribute, and collect assignments; create folders and organize class materials, and make announcements to students, among other things. According to Nate Hoffelder,

I know that this tool might not sound like much, but this is the kind of tool that other ed tech companies are selling to schools for annual fees. Google, on the other hand, is simply going to give it away. It won’t even be supported by ads, and Google has also promised that they will never uses a school’s content or student data for advertising purposes. –The Digital Reader

The Edgar® Winners and Nominees – This year’s Edgar Awards for Mystery have been announced, and I have to say, it’s a male dominated winner’s field. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger won for best novel, and The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood snagged best paperback original. Erik Dussere won in the category of best critical/biographical for America is Elsewhere: The Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture. The complete list of nominees and winners can be found at the Edgar website. –The Edgars

Dear Author Announces the May Book Club – In honor of the digital re-issuing of so much of Laura London/Tom and Sharon Curtis’s Romance, and the 30-year anniversary of their epic novel, The Windflower, Dear Author will be featuring that novel for our May 27th Book Club. Sunita and I will be providing a joint review of the book, and we are fortunate enough to have a Q&A with Tom and Sharon Curtis that, I must admit, serves as true fan girl moment for me. I have mad respect for the writing skills of the Curtises, and as you will se below, those of us who have enjoyed their previous books now have something else to look forward to:

1. Okay, let’s get the most important question out of the way first: what have you been doing in the years since you wrote your Romances, and are you planning to write any new books? What kinds of characters and stories interest you now?

In the years since we wrote romances, Tom has been working, driving his 18-wheeler. Sharon worked in bookstore management. Sharon cared for her mother while her mother was ill with lymphoma. We read lots, Tom went on long hikes with the dogs, we watched our children complete their education, start their professional lives, marry and begin families. We played with our grandchildren. Tom and the kids continue to perform Irish music in the family band. We were politically active. Sharon watched baseball. Tom went on three day bike trips with friends, which Sharon calls the tavern tours of northern Wisconsin due to the frequent enjoyment of libations along the way.

We are currently working on an urban fantasy. We like characters with vulnerabilities, psychological baggage, big hearts, a healthy sense of humor and a pronounced appetite for life. We like stories with adventure, humor, surprises and good outcomes. –Dear Author

Wednesday News: Net neutrality ruling, James Frey is back, a Pride and Prejudice proposal, BBC Map series, and an author attends his own book’s discussion

Wednesday News: Net neutrality ruling, James Frey is back, a Pride...

“Another fear among Net neutrality supporters is that broadband providers could create tiers of service that would require Internet companies trying to reach their customers over this infrastructure to pay a fee for a certain quality of service. For example, Amazon may pay Verizon to prioritize its traffic to ensure that its streaming services get a better quality of service or so that its Web pages load more quickly. Net neutrality supporters say such a system would relegate smaller Internet companies, which cannot afford to pay for priority service, to a slower and less reliable Internet. These Net neutrality advocates say this will stifle innovation.” CNET News

“Paul Constant, books editor at Seattle’s the Stranger, tweeted, ‘James Frey is still terrible, and he’s still being rewarded for it. His Hunger Games ripoff sold for $2 million.’ Writer Sarah Weinman followed by tweeting, ‘Suzanne Collins’ people should be looking at this with a very, very fine-toothed comb.’” Los Angeles Times

“The night the club was to meet, I showed up early, thinking I’d introduce myself at the start and ask if they wanted me there or not. But it was an informal setting, and it just felt too pompous to pop up and exclaim, “Hello, I’m the author!” I decided to wait until we were all supposed to introduce ourselves. I’d identify myself then, quietly reveling in the murmurs of surprise and delight that were sure to follow when they discovered the great man himself was among them.” New York TImes