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

Open Road

Monday News: Romance Awareness Month at Open Road, Kindle Worlds a failure?, new children’s author Ben Bailey Smith, and reader-driven school supplies campaign

Monday News: Romance Awareness Month at Open Road, Kindle Worlds a...

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According to Tushnet, a big part of the problem is the creative limits that brand owners impose on the use of their work. In the case of G.I. Joe, for instance, the villain can’t wear a Yankees cap. Characters in other works can’t use drugs or employ profane language. And gay, bisexual or deviant sexual behavior might be off-limits too. –Gigaom

On the subject of fatherhood he is keen not to be “one of those people who says it’s changed me”, but it is touching. “I’m still the same reprobate I always was but I worry now. When you’re a parent you become responsible. And I can’t procrastinate like I used to. If you’ve got time you spend it with your kids and I rarely have time. I thought I understood what love was before I had children but I didn’t. Now I’m constantly concerned about the kids in a way I didn’t think about any girlfriend or even my own parents.” –London Evening Standard

It’s back to school time, but not everyone can afford the supplies needed for school. All profits from this Look Good, Do Good – School Supplies campaign T-shirts will go to the Kids in Need Foundation which provides free school supplies to students and teachers through the Kids in Need National Network of Resource Centers. Find out more here. If we sell 50 shirts, we will send approximately $400 to the Kids in Need Foundation. Come on, let’s show them what readers can do! –Fresh Fiction

Tuesday News: People want bigger phones, independent booksellers capitalize on Hachette v. Amazon, Open Road responds to Harper Collins, and literary miscellany

Tuesday News: People want bigger phones, independent booksellers capitalize on Hachette...

Survey Says: People Want Bigger Phones – Dear Apple, what is that they say — change or die? Remember the olden days when you were the underdogs, the upstarts, the revolutionaries? What happened, Apple? Please don’t make me buy a Galaxy Note. Please. XOXO, Me

Of the 23,000 people polled in almost two dozen countries, 57 percent plan to buy a new smartphone in the next year. And almost half, 48 percent, of intended buyers want a model with a 5- to 7-inch screen, Accenture said.
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In India, 67 percent of consumers are leaning toward a larger screen model, in addition to 66 percent in China, 61 percent in Indonesia, and 64 percent in Turkey. By contrast, In the United States, only 40 percent were seeking a larger screen and just 30 percent in Germany and 19 percent in Japan. –Yahoo Tech

Booksellers Score Some Points in Amazon’s Spat With Hachette – My brain keeps wanting to read this as “bestsellers score some points,” because for all the talk of independent booksellers taking advantage of a potential vacuum in the retail market, what’s happening with mid-level authors and books? From what I can tell (and this article seems to add anecdotal evidence to the case), it’s still the big books that seem poised to benefit. And that doesn’t seem like so much good change to me.

What bothered Mr. Sindelar wasn’t that Amazon’s tactics were so hard-boiled. Rather, “our goal as retailers is to connect people to books,” he said. “The notion that a retailer would obstruct readers from getting to certain books they want completely violates our ethics as retailers. I wondered how we could get that message across to customers.”

So Mr. Sindelar went to Hachette’s publishing list, looking for the next potential blockbuster. At the Hachette subsidiary Little, Brown and Company, he found “The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith — a.k.a. J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series — the follow-up to her best-seller “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” “That seemed obvious,” he said. “Ordinarily, we wouldn’t get any pre-orders for a book like that. Zero. But Amazon had deleted its pre-order button, so I thought we could capitalize on that.” –New York Times

Open Road Fires Back at HarperCollins in Copyright Case – Boy, this is getting interesting. Open Road is, among other things, claiming they’ve only made $19K in sales on the digital edition of Julie of the Wolves (about 10.45K books). Harper Collins wants something in the neighborhood of $1.1M, inclusive of attorneys’ fees and damages for alleged “willfulness” on Open Road’s part. Although the origins of this case were contractual (was there a granting of digital rights to Harper Collins in the 1971 contract), it may have more to do with royalties, which Jean Craighead George found to be insufficient with Harper Collins (only 25% to Open Road’s 50%). Considering the Hachette-Amazon battle, that makes the situation even more relevant and interesting.

Claiming that the Harper proposal is based on “a misleading portrayal” of the facts, Open Road attorneys argued that not only has Harper not suffered the kind of irreparable harm necessary to justify its proposed remedy, in fact it has not suffered any harm at all. “Harper cannot prove any present harm, let alone irreparable harm,” Open Road attorneys argued, noting that despite its win in court, Harper does not have the right to sell Julie of the Wolves e-books without the author’s consent, “which it has never obtained” owing to “a fundamental disagreement as to a fair e-book royalty.” –Publishers Weekly

The Secret Lives of Authors: The stories behind the stories. – Speaking of Open Road, they’ve got a pretty rich Pinterest board — a sort of ‘behind the scenes’ author board. Normally I’d shy away from posting something like this, because I think the focus on authors over their books has gotten a wee bit out of control. However, there’s some pretty cool stuff here, and some of the authors are no longer around. For example, there’s a list of ’16 things you didn’t know about Octavia Butler’ and some great old photos of the likes of a young Dorothy Sayers and Erica Jong, as well as a listing of ‘literary drinks — 10 famous fiction writers and their cocktails.’ –Pinterest