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Thursday Midday Links:  Facebook tried to launch a whisper campaign against Google

Thursday Midday Links: Facebook tried to launch a whisper campaign...

Facebook employed a major PR and lobbying firm Burson-Marsteller to launch a whisper campaign against Google. The Daily Beast broke the story and it is a compelling and almost unbelievable story. Burson-Masteller, for political junkies is the company owned by pollster Mark Penn, a chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s run for presidency.

Confronted with evidence, a Facebook spokesman last night confirmed that Facebook hired Burson, citing two reasons: First, because it believes Google is doing some things in social networking that raise privacy concerns; second, and perhaps more important, because Facebook resents Google’s attempts to use Facebook data in its own social-networking service.

The idea that FACEBOOK is concerned about privacy is a joke. But given that all the whispers were true, it’s hard to make a case out against Facebook, at least a legal one. More from the Daily Beast.

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Remember when Jennifer Egan made the off the cuff criticism of YA author Kaavya Viswanathan for plagiarizing banal YA authors? She’s offered up a gracious and fulsome apology calling her comments indefensible and thoughtless, adding nothing of value to the conversation.

“I have nothing to defend in what I said,” she said. “I really wish I hadn’t said that, and was incredibly and immediately sorry that anyone was hurt by it. I don’t blame anyone for being mad about it.” Though she does believe there’s an interesting conversation to be had about genre and gender and literary culture, she doesn’t see her comments in that interview as any kind of effective contribution to that discussion. “I’m all for criticizing; I’m not saying that no one should ever criticize anyone else,” she continued. “But if you’re going to criticize, you should do it intentionally and thoughtfully and carefully and know whom you’re criticizing and for what. And I didn’t meet any of those criteria.”

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Paidcontent has an article summarizing the publishers’ fears of tech companies overtaking publishing.

HarperCollins’ international CEO Victoria Barnsley warned delegates, noting Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) recently launched a new publishing imprint for romance novels.

“We must be very wary of any of the tech companies becoming too dominant, We must recognise the misalignment between us and some of the technology companies. Some of them would happily see content commoditised and, as we’ve seen with Google (NSDQ: GOOG), they can have a casual attitude to copyright.”

*****
Authors in the news include:

Danielle Steele is still known as a romance author, although I am not sure why. She apparently lives in Paris now and is offending San Francisco by deriding its lack of style.

In an interview this week, she complained: ‘There’s no style, nobody dresses up — you can’t be chic there. It’s all shorts and hiking books and Tevas [an ugly but practical style of shoe].

‘It is as if everyone is dressed to go on a camping trip,’ she told the Wall Street Journal.

and Nora Roberts was wearing the requisite hat at the Kentucky Derby. This is a short interview of her on the KD red carpet.

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Facebook contests run by authors might be coming to an end. Ashley March alerted her fellow authors that hosting facebook contests could lead to your page being deleted.

***You should read this last one again. If I’m reading this correctly, it means that we can no longer hold “Like my page and I’ll give away a Kindle when I reach 5,000 fans” contests.***

*****

Barnes and Noble has finally convinced Wall Street that it is on the right track. Stock is up 50% in the last month. This is a great analysis of BN which includes praise for its digital initiatives:

Shares really took off in the last week of April when Barnes & Noble formally upgraded the Nook and kicked off an ad campaign highlighting the Nook’s unsung capabilities. (Forget books. What about streaming movies, reading e-mails and all of those other time-sucking hobbies that the iPad is known for?)

But warnings about the drag of the physical retail space:

This is still a company that has slowly sat by as $400 million in annual free cash flow (back in the middle of the past decade) steadily shrank until the red ink started to flow in 2010. Foot traffic continues to slump at its stores, and a rising number of them are no longer profitable (and would have been culled by a tougher management team). The race is on for the Nook and BN.com (the company’s web arm) to boost profits high enough to offset losses from the brick-and-mortar stores.

Ultimately BN will either have to downsize it’s physical presence or convert that retail space into selling something other than books. In many BN stores, there is a rise in toys and game merchandise but BN will have to go beyond selling Legos and Monopoly in order to maintain revenues to justify its rents.

Gay Writes Winners

Gay Writes Winners

Here are the winners of our Gay Writes giveaways.

Individual review giveaways (you should already have received an email from me about your win; if you haven’t, check your spam and email me):

STRAWBERRIES FOR DESSERT Ridley
HOMECOMING Kelly Thrash
THE GLASS MINSTREL Morgan N. and Rebecca B
“TENGO UNA PISTOLA” Jambrea
HER TWO DADS Orannia
RESISTANCE Marie and Mary G

Our winners for our BIG Gay Writes Giveaways will be receiving emails from me either today or tomorrow, asking for your snail mail address for print books, or your format preference if applicable for ebooks. But I’m traveling later today, so please don’t worry if you don’t hear from me until tomorrow. If you haven’t heard from me tomorrow, THEN worry and email me at sarahfrantzATgmailDOTcom.

~ames~: Ashley M. Christman Requiem
Abbie: Victor J. Banis The Man from C.A.M.P.
Abby: Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee THE NOBLEMAN AND THE SPY
Adam B: Jeanne Barrack Bend in the Road
Alex Beecroft: Heidi Cullinan MILES AND THE MAGIC FLUTE
allison: Sloan Parker MORE
Andy: Missy Welsh MY SUMMER OF WES
angel Graham: Kim Baldwin BREAKING THE ICE
Anika: Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee GENTLEMAN AND THE ROGUE
bcissom: James Buchanan HARD FALL
Belinda McBride: C. Margery Kempe Spinning Gold
Bill S.: Anthology BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE
Brane: Dena Celeste Her Master’s Gift
Brita Addams: Adriana Kraft MEGHAN’S PLAYHOUSE BOOK FIVE: MEG’S FOLLY
Bryl R. Tyne: Barry Eisler INSIDE OUT
Carin: Scarlet Hyacinth Unseen Paths: Elven Journals
Carol: Torquere eBook of winner’s choice
Carolyn Jewel: Jennifer Fulton DARK DREAMER
Cathy in AK: Erin Dutton POINT OF IGNITION
Cathy MacDonald: Wren Boudreau BACK TO NORMAL
cead: Jules Jones SPIN DRIFT
Chris: Kimberly Gardner ALMOST HEAVEN
ChrisQ: William Maltese Beyond Machu
Christine Comment #79: Samhain eBook of winner’s choice
Christine Comment #129: K.A. Mitchell DIVING IN DEEP
Cindy: William Maltese Goldsands
cories5: Lee Benoit (Ed.) SOMEPLACE IN THIS WORLD
Dana: Martin Delacroix Boys Who Love Men
Dana S: K.Z. Snow MOBRY’S DICK
Danielle: Sarah Black Fearless
Darla M Sands: Ally Blue LOVE, LIKE GHOSTS
Debra G: Radclyffe TRAUMA ALERT
Donna: Adriana Kraft TOY BOX: TATTOOED LADIES
Drea Becraft: A.B. Gayle Mardi Gras
Dudlyne: Meghan O’Brien BATTLE SCARS
Edie: Anthology THE MYSTERIOUS
Elaine R: Laura Baumbach OUT THERE IN THE NIGHT
elaing8: Roxy Harte YOU’RE INVITED
Elizabeth: Heidi Cullinan DOUBLE BLIND
Ell: Victoria Janssen THE MOONLIGHT MISTRESS
Emilie: Ginn Hale Lord of the White Hell duology
emmytie: Ally Blue ADDER
Faith: Clancy Nacht A Certain Pressure in the Pipes
Gina: Julie Cannon POWER PLAY
hapax: Z.A. Maxfield Notturno
heatwave16: K.T. Grantz Lovestruck by KT Grant
Ian Snider: Lydia Nyx The Game in Spain
Janet H: James Buchanan CHEATING CHANCE, INLAND EMPIRE, ALL OR NOTHING
janS: L.D. Madison CAUGHT BY SURPRISE
Jason: Rick R. Reed Tales from the Sexual Underground
Jaye: Bryl R. Tyne Ignited
jayhjay: Summer Devon and Bonnie Dee SEDUCING STEPHEN
JenD: Reno MacLeod &Jaye Valentine A Perfect Game
jmc: Astrid Amara HALF PASS
Joder: Anthology Past Shadows
Jody: Anthology Forbidden Love
John: Joely Skye MARKED
josephine myles: Shayla Kersten NAUGHTIEST NUPTUALS
justacat: Loose Id VIP Pass
Kaetrin: Samhain eBook of winner’s choice
Kassa: Heidi Cullinan HERO print
Kate Montenegro: Gill McKnight GOLDENSEAL
Kate R: Isabella ALWAYS FAITHFUL print
KT Grant: Bryl R. Tyne Trey #3
LauraR: Ginn Hale Lord of the White Hell duology
Lauren: Isabella ALWAYS FAITHFUL
LaurieS: Anthology The Ties That Bind
LC: L.B. Gregg Bundle
LD: Jlee Meyer HOTEL LIAISON
Lee Benoit: Belinda McBride BLACQUE/BLEU
Leni: Shayla Kersten PAST LIES
Lindsey: William Maltese Snakes
LoriK: Stephani Hecht EMS Heat series (4 books)
Lorraine from CA: Anthology Last Gasp
Lucia Moreno Velo: Heidi Cullinan WOUNDS IN THE WALLS
LVLMLeah: Jove Belle SPLIT THE ACES
Lydia Nyx: K.Z. Snow THE PRAYER WALTZ
Lynnd : Kari Gregg Lovely Wicked
manloveebooks: Clare London Freeman
Mara Ismine: Torquere eBook of winner’s choice
Marg: Heidi Cullinan SWEET SON
Mark: Bryl R. Tyne THE ZAGZAGEL DIARIES: FORSAKEN, DENIAL, DESPERATE, LOST
Mary: Shayla Kersten eBook from backlist
May: Brita Addams Chocolate, Tea, and the Duchess
maygirl7: Keira Andrews THE STATION
Merrian: Keva D Out of the Closet
mfred: Carsen Taite IT SHOULD BE A CRIME
Michelle Herlihy: Ally Blue SHENANDOAH
Miranda: Shayla Kersten eBook from backlist
molli: Ally Blue Easy
Nikyta: Treva Harte MAXXED OUT
OmNe: K.B. Cutter Summer Heat
Patty: Tamara Allen WHISTLING IN THE DARK
Peggy P: Heidi Cullinan HERO digital
RachelT: K.Z. Snow ELECTRIC MELTY TINGLES
Rebecca (one of them): Victor J. Banis Deadly Wrong
rene: K.A. Mitchell Historical Anthology
rigmarole: Astrid Amara HALF PASS
Robin F: H.C. Brown Delicious
ruth: Ginn Hale Lord of the White Hell duology
SandyH: Jules Jones LORD AND MASTER
Sarah W: Alex Beecroft FALSE COLORS
SarahM: Ally Blue AN INNER DARKNESS
Sash Conte: K.A. Mitchell COLLISION COURSE and NO SOUVENIRS
Shannon LC Cate: Shayla Kersten eBook from backlist
Sirius11214: Samhain eBook of winner’s choice
SonomaLass: Kirsten Saell CROSSING SWORDS
Sotheara: Adriana Kraft TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH
srs: Heidi Cullinan SPECIAL DELIVERY and DOUBLE BLIND
Stephanie K.: Laura Baumbach Bit of Rough
Steve : Victoria Janssen TIME WELL-BENT
Sue D: Torquere eBook of winner’s choice
Suong: Shayla Kersten eBook from backlist
Tame Adams: Kim Baldwin FOCUS ON DESIRE
Tara: Torquere eBook of winner’s choice
TriciaB: Lee Benoit MOONSPUN
Twila: Anthology TEMPERATURE RISING
William Cooper: J.L. Langley WITHOUT RESERVATIONS
Yvonne B: Lynn Lorenz Jackson’s Pride
zonagirlie: Torquere eBook of winner’s choice

Congratulations, everyone, and thank you so much for participating. We’re thrilled to be giving away all these books. Enjoy!