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

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Friday News: Bye, bye Sony; 3-d makeup printer; Romance novel survey; and a French portrait mystery

Friday News: Bye, bye Sony; 3-d makeup printer; Romance novel survey;...

Sony Reader Store to Close in the UK, Germany, Austria, and Australia June 16th – Well, that didn’t take long. Two months after closing the Sony Reader Store in the United States and Canada, Sony is pulling out of almost all its other markets, including Australia, the UK,and Germany, signaling an abandonment of the digital book business. As with readers in North America, those affected by the new closures will be automatically transferred to Kobo upon the June 16th closures.

Sony is abandoning selling books in every single market in the world now, other than Japan. The company has found it can remain profitable outsourcing all of the bookselling business to Kobo and earn commissions on every sale. All current and future Sony e-Readers and Xperia tablets and smartphone users will be able to buy books from Kobo in their own country. Kobo currently operates dedicated bookstores in UK, Germany, Austria, and Australia, so the transition will be smooth. –Good E-Reader

A Harvard Woman Figured Out How To 3D Print Makeup From Any Home Computer, And The Demo Is Mindblowing – Talk about disrupting the beauty industry. Grace Choi has figured out how to create makeup from a 3-d printer, and she has even built the printer. The Mink printer, Choi insists, will allow you to basically take a picture of a makeup color you like and reproduce it on the machine. Although right now the types of makeup are more powdered, Choi is working on creamier solutions, and if you check out the article, you can see how the printer works.

Choi created her own mini home 3D printer, Mink, that will retail for $300 and allow anyone to print makeup by ripping the color code off color photos on the internet. It hooks up to a computer, just like a normal printer. –Business Insider

Romance Novels in Public Libraries Patron Survey – If you want to help a Library Sciences Master’s student out, please click on the link and take a brief survey on Romance novels at public libraries. Elizabeth Tucker, a Romance reader herself, provides a description of her project below, and the survey has been approved by her university’s Institutional Review Board.

Dear DearAuthor Readers,

My name is Elizabeth Tucker, and I am a Master’s of Information and Library Science student at Southern Connecticut State University. I am currently writing my Special Project, “Romance Novels in Public Libraries: Perception versus Reality,” and I am hoping you will help me out. As a fellow romance reader, I am aware that there can be many challenges involved with getting romance novels at the public library, and when I become a professional librarian (finishing classes this summer!) I plan to bring better awareness of the romance genre to the profession.

With that in mind, I ask you to please complete this five-minute survey about your library-going and romance-reading habits. The results will be compared with a survey of public librarians to see if public librarian and romance reader perceptions align.

Thank you in advance for your help, and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

My very best,

Elizabeth Tucker

(bits dot tucker at gmail dot com)    –Survey Monkey

Is This Black Soldier the Inspiration for The Count of Monte Cristo? – This small portrait, by Emile-Jean-Horace Vernet, has not been identified, but circumstantial clues have led some to suspect that it might represent Alexandre Dumas, aka Thomas-Alexandre Davy de la Pailleterie, the father of the great novelist, who bore the same name as his father. The elder Dumas was a distinguished soldier, and even suffered through a two-year captivity after his ship was wrecked off the Italian coast, and his son’s stories found inspiration in his father’s military career. A very interesting historical mystery.

During the heady early days of the French Revolution, many people of African descent rose to the defense of the ideals of liberty, equality and brotherhood. One of the most notable results of the reformation of French armed forces during the early 1790s was the creation of a cavalry brigade composed of gens de couleur libres, or free men of color. The unit came about through the efforts of Julien Raimond and other delegates to the new French government from Saint-Domingue, or Haiti, as it has been known since it won its independence in 1804. –The Root

Tuesday News: Gaming Amazon’s bestseller lists, a glitch in the Sony-Kobo transfer, an essay defending NY book editors, and wacky book covers

Tuesday News: Gaming Amazon’s bestseller lists, a glitch in the Sony-Kobo...

My Buying Community Want to Help Authors Beat the Kindle Store Best Seller List – My Buying Community, with a purported 10,000 members, seems to be another way to game the system on Amazon. The idea behind the service is that an author can get members to purchase his or her book, driving it up the lists. Can Amazon figure out this crap is happening and put a stop to it? Where’s the Change.org petition to get THAT to happen?

Like the MyKindex site which operated for a period of time last year, MBC connects authors with a willing pool of book buyers. The site looks to be entirely author funded, and from what I can tell as a reader it works along the same lines as the services that sold reviews to authors like John Locke.

A user signs up, request to purchase a book, and after the purchase is verified the user is credited the price of the ebook plus an additional 30%. After a user buys enough books to pass the minimum payment threshold, they can request a Paypal funds transfer. –The Digital Reader

Welcome US and Canadian Reader Store Customers! – So who, among former Reader Store customers, has attempted to use your Kobo account? I haven’t yet, but apparently there has been a problem with the supposedly automatic transfer of gift certificate and other credit balances to Kobo. According to the Kobo site, they are aware of the problem and are attempting to resolve it, but if you are supposed to have a credit in your account, and haven’t yet checked Kobo, this might be a good time to do so.

Kobo Customer Care has received calls regarding credit balances that didn’t transfer to Kobo customer accounts. We are working with Sony to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. If your account is affected, Kobo will notify you directly. Thank you for your patience. –Kobo Store

YES, BOOK EDITORS EDIT – In his response to the essay collection MFA vs NYC, Harper Collins editor Barry Harbaugh defends the work of New York publishing’s editorial staff against accusations of irrelevance, laziness, and even non-existence. However, even if you aren’t familiar with the source of Harbaugh’s defense, his essay is still an interesting commentary on the numerous tensions within traditional publishing, including the role of the editor, who have historically served as underpaid workhorses for publishing houses.

The editorial staffs of New York houses are not the faceless lemmings that a certain retail giant with a vested stake in self-publishing would have us be. And though it would appear to outsiders that the health of our careers depends solely on measurements of quantity (of the books that we acquire and the units sold), we’re not numbers-obsessed automatons. Editors edit. A lot. As a group, we’re hesitant to speak up for ourselves, lest our decorousness be tainted by saying something too self-aggrandizing. But I’ll take the risk: I probably mark up fifty to a hundred pages a week, most of it on the weekend. I ask questions and cut sentences and write chapter titles and all that stuff. The other editors at my company, and editors I know socially from other companies, are just as rigorous. –The New Yorker

The weirdest, most bizarre book covers ever published – While I’m pretty sure these aren’t THE weirdest and most bizarre book covers, some of them are pretty darn creepy, from Mommy Drinks Because You’re Bad (a “Quality Religious Book for Children”), to Harpo’s Horrible Secret (which I’m sure you can guess, even without looking at the cover). –news.com.au