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

Quartet Press

Dear Author

Wednesday Midday Links: Quartet Press Closes

emoticon_smileQuartet Press closes. I know. I can hardly believe it either. I’m reeling from it all. On the one hand, it makes sense to close the doors before the Press takes on rights and opens itself up to the paying public. On the other hand, it’s like completely destroying my faith in digital publishing. For all the WTF comments forthcoming, know that I am repeating that a hundred fold in my head.

emoticon_tongueHachette is so disturbed that the embargo on Ted Kennedy’s upcoming memoir was broken that they’ve hired a private detective to find out who leaked a copy to the New York Times. Apparently some publicity better than no publicity does not apply to book embargoes. Seriously, Hachette? Yen Cheong, publicist for Viking tries to make the case for embargoes, but I’m skeptical. Via Galley Cat.

eyeGiven the discussions we’ve had here on Dear Author about territorial rights, it’s interesting to see Random House Canada and McClelland & Stewart decide to close their subsidiary rights departments (like audiobooks) and outsource this to a newly created agency. In some cases, sub rights can help make an acquisition profitable.

eyeRachelle Gardner, agent, explains how an advance is paid out (either in halves or thirds) and why even an author getting a $30,000 advance per book might think twice about quitting her day job.

Advances are paid in two, three, or even four installments, over a period of time that could be a few months to two years or more. The agent’s 15% will come off the top. And you have to remember that no taxes are taken from advance checks like they are when you’re employed, so you’ll probably want to be setting aside another 20% or so from each advance check to pay the IRS when the time comes

emoticon_surprisedVia Slashdot comes a link to an article in the Baltimore Sun focusing on unschooling because public school, private school and homeschooling just isn’t cutting it? Unschooling is the concept of learning from life, I guess:

A byproduct of home schooling, unschooling incorporates every facet of a child’s life into the education process, allowing a child to follow his passions and learn at his own pace, year-round. And it assumes that an outing at the park – or even hours spent playing a video game – can be just as valuable a teaching resource as Hooked on Phonics.

emoticon_smileMeljean Brook is reposting a couple “Storytime with Missy” posts from her archive. (Post 1, Post 2). Missy is Meljean’s inner child and a lover of category romances. I keep begging for Missy to come review some of her old faves for Dear Author.

MELJEAN: Rogue changed her clothes?
MISSY: Don’t ask me. Ask Echo and Jessica. They took the damn pictures.
MELJEAN: Why is she humping Jean’s dead body?
MISSY: I’ll kill you someday.

Marketplace has a nice article on romance sales. Women buy a lot of books and this is news.

emoticon_smileThis is not likely to happen at a romance writing conference but Dragon Con is apparently a place for romance:

As Dragon*Con concludes this week, some single attendees are finding themselves coupled with someone who understands their passion for science fiction and fantasy.

“I’ve never cared about football or any of the normal guy stuff,” said Olsen, a home health care director who enjoys obscure sci-fi television shows and elaborate costuming. “I met someone who shared my same geeky interests, and that’s hard to find.”

eyePaidContent and a number of other tech sites have posted drool worthy pictures of a two screen color ebook reader from Asus. Asus are leaders in the netbook technology, small, low priced laptops. Asus is now bringing its low pricing to the ereading world. A lower end device is slated for around $164 and the higher end, two screened device is also to have a low price point.

eyePo Bonson’s next parenting book is being crowd sourced, kind of. Chapters on various topics will be posted on Bonson’s site as well as the publisher’s site,, and readers are invited to annotate and add their own content. will gather the additional content and sell it for $2.95 as an ebook supplement to the print book. Interesting. I know I’ve used the Berkley Parents network hundreds of times as a new parent. Additionally, I always read the comments at because oftentimes there are tips and hints that make the original recipe better.

Dear Author

Thursday Midday Link Roundup: It’s mostly smiles today

eyePopular Culture Association is putting out their annual call for papers:

We are considering proposals for individual papers, sessions organized around a theme, and special panels. Sessions are scheduled in one-hour slots, ideally with four papers or speakers per standard session.

If you are involved in the creative industry of popular romance (romance author/editor, film director/producer, singer/songwriter, etc.) and are interested in speaking on your own work or on developments in the representations of popular romance, please contact us!

SXSW will take place on March 12-14 and is a breeding ground for discussion about technology and media.   A number of people have proposed book panels for the conference. If you are interested in promoting these, vote for the panels.     The deadline for voting is September 4th.

emoticon_smileQuartet Press is putting the call out for contract editors, both content and copy editors.   You’ll have to take a test, at least for the copyediting position, based on the Chicago Manual of Style.   It would be fun to do something like that at Dear Author.

Content editors’ compensation is per word as well as royalty-based pay on ebooks and print books. Residuals are paid quarterly on all of an editor’s backlist. Copy editors’ compensation is per word. Per word compensation for both content editors and copy editors is paid immediately upon receipt of an invoice and completed manuscript.

emoticon_smileWhether this is a total rumor or truth, DigiTimes reports that ASUS is planning to put out an ebook reader by the end of 2009 and that MSI is considering an ebook reader as well.   Both companies specialize in low priced netbooks so I can’t imagine that these ebook readers would be very costly.   An e-ink device priced around $100 would be super attractive.

emoticon_smileSamhain has announced their new changes in management after the departure of its executive editor, Angela James. Laurie M Rauch will be the new Executive Editor and Lindsey Faber will be Managing Editor.

emoticon_smileBooklocker filed an antitrust suit against Amazon over its POD practices.   Amazon filed a motion to dismiss the petition which was denied by the Court.   This means that Booklocker can proceed with discovery which includes document production and depositions (oral testimony taken under oath).   This case could get very interesting but also very expensive.   It seems like Booklocker is in it for the long haul. I hope their pocket is fairly deep.

emoticon_smileI saw a Tara Marie commenting yesterday, but I didn’t realize that it was “our” Tara Marie.   When I started blogging, Tara Marie’s was one of my first blog stops of the day. It’s great to see you back, Tara Marie.

emoticon_tongueThere’s an excellent article about how Politico’s digital success has enabled it to produce a print broadsheet that is essentially responsible for the funding of its entire venture and creating enough revenue to pay reporters about the same that the Washington Post pays its reporters.   The lesson, Rex Hammock notes, is that print and digital are complimentary and the demise of the newspaper industry is not the print component but the business model. I think the same could be said for trade publishing.

emoticon_smileOver at Lifehacker, Kevin Purdy gives a good tip on using Google Voice. Google Voice will transcribe voicemails and email them to you. Utilizing this service, Purdy suggests that you send yourself voicemail notes that Google will then transcribe.   This is perfect for me as I will, from time to time, dictate thoughts about books for review.   Now I can do that using Google Voice and have a handy transcript.