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


Dear Author

Wednesday Midday Links

The Carl Brandon Society is a literary organization that supports writers of color in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. They are holding a fundraiser for the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund. People can enter a drawing by donating a dollar and win an eReader — we’ve got Nooks, Kobo Readers, and an Alex eReader up for grabs. Each one will come pre-loaded with a lot of amazing fiction and poetry as well.

The Carl Brandon Society, an organization dedicated to racial and ethnic diversity in speculative fiction, is holding a prize drawing of five eReaders to benefit the Butler Scholarship, a fund that sends two emerging writers of color to the Clarion writers workshops annually.

In keeping with the Society's support of literature from and about people of color, the prizes include five eReaders: two Barnes & Noble Nooks, two Kobo Readers, and one Alex eReader from Spring Design. Each eReader will come pre-loaded with books, short stories and essays by writers of color from the speculative fiction field. Writers include: N. K. Jemisin, Nisi Shawl, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Terence Taylor, Ted Chiang, Shweta Narayan, Chesya Burke, Moondancer Drake, Saladin Ahmed, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and more.

The drawing's tickets will cost one dollar US ($1) and can be purchased at Entrants may purchase an unlimited number of tickets, which will be available from November 5, 2010 through November 22nd, 2010. Sales will close at 11:59PM EDT on November 22nd. Winners will be drawn randomly from a digital "hat" and announced online.


Copia has launched but with a whimper.   The Copia readers are dead according to PW. This doesn’t surprise me as the Copia line of readers kept changing.   It was clear that internally the company wasn’t developing its own reader but trying to use an existing device and rebrand it with its own software.   The thing that sets Copia apart from other platforms is that you can share your notes, in real time, with other readers.   The limiting factor is that you all have to buy books from Copia and only Copia.   Currently Copia works on Mac and PC and iPad.   It does not work on the iTouch/iPhone.   Copia uses Adobe ePub DRM so it is possible that you could buy from Copia and transfer to the book to your Sony, nook or Kobo reader. Copia would be great if a) the prices are good (and they aren’t ) and b) everyone used Copia (and they don’t).


Kobo will be launching a gift an ebook feature which is one of my favorite features of Fictionwise.   Instead of giving gift certificates, we can now give away specific books.   I’ll be using this for Dear Author in the future, particularly as Kobo sells worldwide.


Barnes and Noble is selling Spanish language ebooks.   I think this is a big win.   It’s too bad that BN only sells to US customers.


A Fordham medieval professor studied a number of medieval romances.

Aspects of modern medieval romances uncovered by her inquiry include:

• self-conscious historicizing with a flagrant disregard for historical facts;

• descriptions of time that serve to wrench the reader back into the present; and

• depictions of violent sexual encounters, which are seldom found in non-medieval Harlequin romances.


A number of reviews of the NookColor have come out and it is all basically the same.   If you are looking for a color ebook reader, this is a great device, but don’t think it’s a tablet because if you do, you’ll be disappointed.

I played with the device yesterday and it’s very slick with a great screen.     My worries would be the battery life and the sometimes laggy response to my finger flicks.


The Explainer column in Slate takes on iconographic “slapping the hysteria out of people.”   Apparently slapping does not bring hysterical people to their senses.   Instead, it leaves hysterical people with a sore face and some bruising.

Dear Jane:  What’s Coming Next for eBooks?

Dear Jane: What’s Coming Next for eBooks?

This post is inspired by Mike Cane’s post about what we are waiting for in ebooks.


Blio:   Blio is the brain child of Ray Kurzweil and everyone was super excited about it when it was first announced.   I had my own ebook tingles which waned as the software platform became more nebulous and when I actually saw the demo of Blio.   Blio is probably going to be good for educational purposes and non fiction but honestly, it is only going to work for those books that are specially made for this platform.   In other words, readers of long narrative fiction won’t find Blio compelling enough to move to its new platform and new DRM scheme.   Blio is supposed to be released this Thursday, September 28.   No Mac release, however.

Copia:   Copia has a lot to offer readers such as an integrated social network and a new way of shopping but the benefits of Copia, that make it worthwhile to move to Copia, really depends on how many of your ebook reading friends are going to buy books from Copia.   I sat through an hour presentation on Copia and one of the neatest features was the ability to read a book and see your friends’ notes and comments.   I would love that, particularly for a book chat.   But Copia’s social network of books that allows you to see what your friends’ think, intertextually, about a book only exists if all of you and your friends buy your books through Copia’s store.   I love a lot of the features Copia is going to offer, such as customized bookshelves (kind of like more visually oriented lists that Amazon allows you to create) with multiple levels of privacy but as an existing Goodreads user, I can’t see myself moving over to the Copia platform unless a lot of my online reading friends are there.   Copia is currently in beta testing.   No word on the release date.

Google Editions:   I keep reading that Google Editions will be the savior of everyone.   That independent bookstores will be saved; that publishers will be thrilled; and that consumers will win.   I don’t really get how all these magical things will happen with Google Editions.   What we know about GE is that your content will exist in the cloud.

Google Editions will be able to function on any device with an Internet connection. Once a user purchases, it will be stored in their collection when users sign in to their Google account, a type of freedom that eludes both Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad.   (Jane’s note: GE will likely not work on the Kindle even though Kindle has a browser and an internet connection and truthfully, we don’t know whether GE will function on a connected nook or a connected Sony Reader).

and it will have Adobe DRM

Google will support Adobe ACS4 as its current provider of an industry-standard digital rights management (DRM) solution for downloaded files of Google Editions. Google will require users to link the Adobe DRM software in their Google Editions via a one-time authentication per reading system. These devices may then request ACS4 encrypted EPUB or PDF files via a Google-provided API.

Now, Adobe DRM is flash based as far as I know so in order to have downloaded, offline access for Google Edition books, you will need to be able to authenticate your reading system through Adobe.   This currently is not possible under Apple’s operating system, as far as I know. (Hence the need for reading apps from Google for the iThing).   How this system is different than say Kobo is beyond me.   Richard Curtis claims that GE will “unchain” books, but offline downloading happens one book at a time.   What happens when you are done reading that one book?   There are a lot of offline devices out there, not the least being the 45 million iTouches out there. Further, while publishers get to set prices, the GE FAQ says that pricing is ultimately determined by the retailer.   This was confirmed in an interview with Debbie Stier from HarperCollins.   Confused yet? Me too.