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

Jane-Friedman

Dear Author

Thursday Midday Links: Rosario, One of the Best Bloggers You May...

Rosario is one of the oldest (not in age but in internet years) bloggers in romance.   She was one of my first blog stops ever. She took a few years off from blogging because she was attending graduate school but now she’s back, churning out a quality review almost every day.   If you haven’t put Rosario on your feed reader or bookmarked her, you may want to give her a try.   (Although, how could you give Anyone But You by Sarah Mayberry a C+? That’s my favorite Mayberry!)

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Siren of the Storm, a fan fiction writer, has a short 2 minute Regency read.

Heroine: Everyone knows that reformed rakes make the best husbands, because they have the four qualities women desire most in a husband: sexual prowess, commitment issues, promiscuity, and a diverse selection of venereal diseases!

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Motoko Rich from the New York Times published an article yesterday on the rise of digital lending.   What caught my attention most was that MacMillan, the parent of St. Martin’s Press and Tor (among others), and Simon & Schuster were not allowing their books to be sold, in digital format, to libraries.

But some publishers worry that the convenience of borrowing books electronically could ultimately cut into sales of print editions.

"I don’t have to get in my car, go to the library, look at the book, check it out," said John Sargent, chief executive of Macmillan, which publishes authors like  Janet Evanovich,Augusten Burroughs and  Jeffrey Eugenides. "Instead, I’m sitting in the comfort of my living room and can say, "Oh, that looks interesting’ and download it."

As digital collections grow, Mr. Sargent said he feared a world in which "pretty soon you’re not paying for anything." Partly because of such concerns, Macmillan does not allow its e-books to be offered in public libraries.

First, it should be noted that a digital library book works like a paper book.   The library lends only one copy at a time, requiring readers to be placed on a wait list until the digital copy is “returned” after three weeks.   The return happens automatically because the reader’s access is turned off after the three week period.   Why Sargent believes that access to books is only allowable by going out of one’s house for shopping, I have no idea.    I maintain that the biggest competitor to books is not other books, but other forms of entertainment and if other forms of entertainment are ON DEMAND in one’s house who is losing here?

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In contrast to MacMillan and Simon & Schuster, look at this article about the revival of Dungeons and Dragons online.   Apparently online D&D gaming subscriptions were down. The company decided to allow its client software to be downloaded for free. Gamers could then play, up to a certain level, for free.   Result? Subscriptions are up 40%.

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Mobility examines the Times article and contrasts that with what Harlequin is doing which is to make its catalog available to as many people as are willing and able to buy at reasonable prices. Even libraries.

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There is more on Jane Friedman’s new business venture from Richard Nash.   Her new digital publishing and online marketing platform will focus on big legacy titles and on niche areas such as LGBTQ and African American lines from Kensington.   Any new publishing will be based on the digital model – no advance and some profit sharing.   What will RWA do now?

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According to this Press Release from Libre Digital, one in three readers who samples something online will end up purchasing the book.

Highlights of other general online book browsing trends include:

* Women are spending nearly 70 percent more time browsing books online than men
do.
* The most popular genre of books browsed online is romance novels, followed by
books for tweens/teens and business books. The peak time for browsing romance
titles is 11pm – 1am, in contrast to 4pm – 11pm for tween/teen books and 9am -
5pm for business books.

Malle Vallik from Harlequin blogs over at Romancing the Blog about how authors should handle blog comments.   I agree with everything she wrote.   I think everything is more readable in list format, don’t you?

Dear Author

Pre Fourth of July Holiday Link RoundUp

Even though most of the U.S. has a holiday today, we are still blogging at Dear Author because if you can’t blog and read and blog hop on a holiday, what good is it?

We’ll start off with a non book treat, but a visual feast for the eyes. Via my Twitter friend Teresa Kopec, romance reader and political aficianado, are the wedding pictures of Adam and Hallis. It looks mystical, like something you would read in a book but never have the opportunity to attend yourself.

In other fantastic news broken on Twitter, Kristen Painter, co owner of the Romance Divas, sold her first long form narrative book to Orbit. It’s part UF, part romance, and wholly interesting. (yes, I’ve had the good fortune to read it). You can get a taste of Painter’s work in September when her first book will be released from Samhain.

Jane Friedman, former CEO of HarperCollins, who oversaw 10 years of growth for that publishing company, asks the question about what kind of middlemen will exist in the future of publishing. Unfortunately she provides little guidance. For myself, I see many smaller publishers because of the lower barriers to entry in the digital publishing world and I also see authors who are their own profit centers, contracting out the work that is done by a publisher. I also see freelance editors being curators of work as well as agents. It’s a changing world out there and in 10 years, I believe the face of publishing will be very different than it is today. I hope Dear Author is still around then.

Mike Shatzkin, a verticality evangelist, wonders if you won’t see consolidations and reductions in the big six as they jockey to become the king of the niche markets. “Publishers will turn into sports teams, trading lists the way teams trade players.”

In blog news, Amazon is cutting off its affiliates in states that are starting to collect sales tax on Amazon purchases based on the affiliates existence in those states. Hawaii, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and New York affiliate programs have all ceased. Up next are California