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Friday News & Deals: New Deals, Fifty Shades of Grey Hitting All the Papers,

Friday News & Deals: New Deals, Fifty Shades of Grey Hitting...

News

F&W is launching a digital book publishing company that will specialize in releasing digital copies of genre fiction from the 1940s to the 1970s.

F+W Media is launching a new digital-only imprint, Prologue Books, that aims to reintroduce readers to previously out-of-print crime, sci-fi/fantasy, romance, western and YA titles published between 1940 and 1970.

No word on whether these will be bowlderized like the Harlequin Vintage releases.  I hope this means that Charlotte Lamb books will finally be digitally released.

Which reminds me that Keishon emailed me to let me know that the Queen of Ellipses, Barbara Cartland, books are being released digitally as well. Barbara Cartland books on Kindle. I hope that these are legitimately for sale from her estate. The ePub versions appear to be for sale from this store.


With Fifty Shades of Grey making the New York Times interest has arisen from major print newspapers.  The women who are reading these series of books are not regular romance readers, but literary fiction book club readers who maybe read Kite Runner in their last group and furtively downloaded the Twilight series to their Kindles.  The paper books are hard to find, a status symbol one person told me.   Some women are even calling it Twilight for Moms.  The articles are focused on the sexual aspect of the books and how the wives are all buying gray ties and getting tingly downstairs.  The coverage could not be worse for us romance readers but given that the comparisons to Story of O will direct attention away from the romance genre.  According to the publisher, the three book series has sold more than 100,000 copies.

Interestingly enough, the articles seem to fudge on the issue of the story’s origin although it is clear that the writers of these pieces don’t know what fan fiction is.  There are a number of YouTube videos made for these books which are mashups of various movie scenes acted out by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison).

  • Globe and Mail  “For yummy mummies in NYC and beyond, the trilogy is a grown-up Twilight– their “mommy porn,” as some have put it.”
  • NYPost  “A guy friend of mine said he wanted to form a business looking for girls who have ‘just finished the book, before they cool off,’ ” says Brod
  • MSNBC “I downloaded a copy and don’t think I put it down until I finished it, despite what the pilot on my flight to Florida said,” she told TODAY.com. “I can say, along with many other women I’m sure, that reading this book is very good for your marriage!”
  • Kate Davies reported that Jay Leno incorporated Fifty Shades into his monologue last night and another person emailed me to say that it was on the Today show this morning.

You can read Lazaraspaste’s epic review of Fifty Shades of Grey here.


I don’t know what to make of this article in the Washington Post about Oprah’s net negative effect on book sales.  Apparently because the books that Oprah recommended were hard to get through sales of breezier fiction declined. Or something.  And that is a bad thing.

When Oprah told people to go read books like “Anna Karenina” or “Love in the Time of Cholera,” romance and mystery sales plummeted. People were too busy marching through 862 pages of Tolstoy to breeze through their usual summer reading.


Chris Keeslar, the last editor left at Dorchester, found a new home at http://www.BoroughsPublishingGroup.com/.  Never heard of them? Don’t worry, no one that I know of has either.  It is a new digital romance publishing house.  This seems like the late 2000s where new digital publishers sprang up overnight.


Linda Hilton did some research on reviews at Amazon. It’s a pretty fascinating post. Here is a longish excerpt posted with permission:

Of the 13 reviewers who gave Daughter of Deceit 5-star reviews, six have no other reviews on file. Five of the remaining eight have other reviews, but only of other books by Haynes, either under that name or writing as Jerri Hines. The remaining two reviewers, identified as “Ruby W.” and “RCardello,” have reviewed other books, but they have given all of them 5 stars. “Ruby W.” reviewed four of Haynes/Hines’ books, giving all of them 5 stars.

Interestingly enough, Ruby and “RCardello” also reviewed books by Annette Blair, and of course gave them 5 stars also.

According to Jerri Hines’ blog both Annette Blair and Ruth Cardello are friends of hers.

And while there’s nothing wrong with friends helping friends, it does appear to me — if not to anyone else — that only friends and family members of Carrie James Haynes/Jerri Hines are giving Daughter of Deceit 5 star reviews. (Edited to add: One of the 5-star reviewers of Daughter of Deceit is identified as “Ramona.” Another of Haynes’ novels is dedicated to her mother, whose name is Ramona.)

Deals

Nook’s Deal of the Day

FREEBIE Fridays. Harlequin guarantees something FREE every Friday. It could be FREE Shipping, a FREE print book or a coupon for a free eBook!

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  • A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
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  • Secret Vows by Mary Reed McCall * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Secret Vows by Mary Reed McCall * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas * $2.99 * A | BN | K | S
Sunday Midday News:  Publisher Behaving Badly

Sunday Midday News: Publisher Behaving Badly

The Romance Reviews has a great big giveaway going on until August 31, 2010.   Check them out.

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Barnes and Noble is advertising free digital books.   Except these are books that are in the public domain so its a pretty lame promotion, if you ask me.   I did a post a couple of weeks ago about where to get public domain books which include   Project Gutenberg,  MobileRead, and  Feedbooks, Amazon and Sony.   Commenters pointed out manybooks.net.   The reality is that BN does have some good freebies to promote such as Karen Marie Moning’s DarkFever and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Steve Hockensmith.

Don’t forget to check out Books on the Knob for a list of more promotional freebies.

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Books on Board has a list of all the RITA nominees on one page.   I really appreciate this.   I use the RITA nominees to find new category books (not so much for the mass markets).

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Borders ebooksBorders has opened up its ebook store.   It sells ePubs encrypted with the Adobe DRM.   Last week it was giving away a few books but that promotion appears to have ended. In perusing the store, I noticed that if Borders could discount a book, the book was generally at least 20% off.   I found one really good deal and a worthwhile freebie:

Because Borders is missing a lot of content, it isn’t a replacement for your main shopping site, but it would be worthwhile to check out from time to time to see if you are getting the best deal for your Harlequin, Kensington and Random House purchases.

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Hearts’s iPad Magazine Apps will offer more functionality than just allowing a reader to peruse the magazine contents.    The Oprah magazine will have a built in ebook reader and will allow readers to purchase Oprah recommended books and read them through the “O” magazine.

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Michael Wolff writes for Newswer that it is a wasteland at the Times and SundayTimes in London behind the newly institute paywalls.

A Murdoch and Fleet Street veteran with whom I've been corresponding about the paywall reported to me on his recent conversation with an A-list entertainment publicist: "What was really interesting to me was that this person volunteered a blinding realization. "Why would I get any of my clients to talk to the  Times or the  Sunday Times if they are behind a paywall? Who can see it? I can’t even share a link and they aren’t on search. It's as though their writers don’t exist anymore.'"

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Paul Biba writes that there is a strong rumor that Apple and Amazon are going to employ individuals who will pursue ebook rights from authors whose rights have reverted or whose digital rights have never been sold.   This will be interesting.

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I thought this post at All About Romance by author Lisa Kleypas was quite interesting.   She said that she hoped her next books would be paperback or trade paperback at least.   It sounds like the publisher is pushing for hardcover.

Because this is a Christmas story, it’s going to be a shorter book in a hardcover format (I think price is 16.00)–this length and format seems to be what many readers prefer for a holiday read. But every book in the series can be read on its own, and the following three titles will all be full-length (which to me is much easier to write than a shorter length!) I would love for them to be released in paperback or possibly trade, but no decisions have been made yet.

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Speaking of libraries:

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Last, but not least, is a news bit about Lazy Day Publishing.   LDP came to my attention via a notice in my inbox.   As new epublishers spring up, I try to check them out.   This one, however, lacked any concrete information on who was backing the publishing house.   I put the email aside and figured I would check   back upon the release of their books.

This weekend I received an email that LDP was upset about the comments on Absolute Write Forum.   AWF, like all forums, has good information and bad information but there is no doubt it is a seriously valuable tool for aspiring and published writers a like.   AWF, for example, had posters up to two years ago reporting non payment by Dorchester. The purpose of AWF is to provide a safe haven for writers to share ideas about craft but also advice about the business side of publishing.   One of its most oft visited areas is the Bewares section.

Lazy Day Publishing starts its own thread on AW and the commenters were initially cordial but eventually there were the “who the f are you?” questions because, well, who are these people and what do they know about publishing?      Lazy Day took exception to this thread and wrote a blog screed which they deleted after a couple of days.   Why delete Lazy Day?   Have you not heard of Google cache? or um, screencaps? (I took the screencaps because I KNEW that this would be deleted).

took the higher road on this forum.  This was  not an easy thing to do.   How these cranky, arrogant and rude authors suddenly became the voice of the forum, I'm  notsure.   I guess the better question would be how they became so  negative in the first place?   Maybe it's all the rejection letters they have received in their lifetime.    :)

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These few authors who fuel the negativity on this site are doomed to an unhappy existence of barely making it as a writer.   I feel sorry for them.   I feel sorry that they have forgotten about the art of storytelling.   They have lost the dream of sharing their writing with others.   They have created this microcosm of hostility.   An existence I wouldn't wish on anyone.

Wow, does this sound familiar or what?

In reading over their website, there are wrong word choices and bad grammar usage.   There is no question that you will see bad grammar on our site all the time, but we are an unedited blog site, not a site for a publishing house.

Lazy Day Pub 2

So what do I take away from Lazy Day Pub?   They have short fuses, will try to embarrass you on their blog if you cross them, and they lack a copy editor for the Frequently Asked Questions.