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USA-Today

Monday Midday Links: USA Today Gets a Romance Blog and Amazon Exclusives Brings Out BN’s “Scorched Earth” Policy

Monday Midday Links: USA Today Gets a Romance Blog and Amazon...

Happy Ever After Logo USA Today

USA Today launched a blog devoted to romances. Huzzah!  Author Joyce Lamb, a copy editor for the paper and author of romantic suspenses published by Berkley, heads up the blog.  Mandi S is one of the reviewers.  Her blog is here.  Other readers and authors will be contributing.  It’s great to see positive coverage of the genre at one of the largest mainstream news sites in the US.

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Mitchell Gross writing under the name Michael Graham is an author of thrillers and a fantasy trilogy and he’s been using his status as an author to lure women online into a relationship and then convince them to invest in a fraudulent company.

Mitchell Gross, whose books include the suspense story “Circle of Lies,” duped at least two women into investing about $4.4 million in a sham company he set up, using some of the money to buy expensive artwork, a luxury car and a golf club membership, federal prosecutors said.

He was civilly sued by one of the women and she has a judgment against him in the sum of $4 million (including interest). Here and here. Thanks Amy and DS.

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Seattle Times had an interview with the VP of Kindle and he revealed a few interesting tidbits.

  • The Kindle Fire will mount as an external drive.
  • It does not support ePubs.
  • Seven hours of use for video playback and eight hours for mixed media usage.
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This article which examines the cultural affect of the romanticization of the psychopathic hero is very even handed and worth a read. Yes, Edward is a psycopath.  Yes, presenting him as a romantic ideal is problematic, but it is not new.  Hello, Heathcliff.  Yes, some people use these archetypes to escape, but no, not every woman is a dupe.

‘There appears to be a contemporary obsession on the part of some academics and commentators to a) pretend that women are cultural dupes passively accepting anything they ever read or see; and b) to pretend that any single controversial item-be it a Twilight novel or an explicit music video-is the only media influence that a person gets.

“Neither of these things are true.We’re each exposed to a deluge of different media influences and to pretend that any one item influences more strongly than another is ludicrous [as years of media research has proven].”

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/movies/mad-bad-romance-20111007-1ldoh.html#ixzz1aL4XQ6Ns

Of course, the problem isn’t a story in isolation, but the prominence of the representation in literature.   Thanks, Sarah, for the link.
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Inkubate is an online marketplace and manuscript review site currently in beta.
Inkubate is an online site currently in development that allows writers to upload content—full manuscripts, excerpts, out-of-print works and more—for review and possible acquisition by agents or publishers. The site is free to writers while  publishers and agents pay a subscription fee for access to a database of content designed to provide copyright protection for the writer and an auditing system that tracks revisions, drafts and who has viewed its content.
This seems like a solution in search of a problem. Are publishers and agents hard up for submissions?  Via Publishers Weekly.
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DC Comics announced that it will make a certain number of digital comics exclusive to Amazon’s new Kindle Fire.
Initial offerings includes Watchmen, the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, which has more than a million copies in print; it has never been offered digitally before. The rest of the line-up includes such perennial favorites as The SandmanFablesY the Last Man and Superman: Earth One. The digital Watchmen is available for pre-order now and sells for $9.99, half the print price. These 100 books represent only the initial roll-out; more titles will be announced as the Kindle Fire becomes available in November.
This prompted BN to pull all the paper versions from their stores:
They contacted DC to express their displeasure, but hit a brick wall. And as a result, they’ve gone for a scorched earth policy. An email sent to stores yesterday instructs them to remove all of the 100 graphic novels listed from the shelves, including Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Sandman, Fables, Blackest Night, All Star Superman, Y The Last Man, V For Vendetta, all strong sellers for the company. You will still be able to order the books on the website, but in bookstores you won’t even be able to special order a copy – unless you request it delievered to your home. Copies will not be allowed to enter Barnes & Noble premises.
Expect more of this in the future.
Dear Author

Thursday News Links: More Digital

Kindle sales are now being counted toward bestseller numbers. I hope this goes a long way toward pushing publishers to get their act together and release ebooks in a timely fashion.

Slow web loading speed can be a greater deterrent than anything and can overcome great features or content. This is something I struggle with at Dear Author – the trade off between widgety goodness and fast loading pages. I think it’s a battle I’m losing right now and plan to relaunch at the end of the year, a better faster Dear Author.

Teleread reports the Sony 700 is no longer available through the French store.   Mike Cane noticed that the Sony 700 and Dark Blue Sony Reader 505 are gone from the US site.   Does that mean the Gen 3 Sony Reader can’t be too far behind?

Twilight is turning ComicCon into a girlfest of sorts as teens descend upon the conference to catch glimpses of Robert Pattison who is scheduled to be on the New Moon Q&A panel.

Wall Street Journal writes about the digital buyer remorse when she finds out the books she bought, she doesn’t really own (which is why I crack the DRM on every book I buy even though it violates the DMCA)

Is the system of patronage returning to the arts? More musicians are producing their work under their own label and getting start up money from successful artists and investors.   It’s possible with the rise of digital books that authors as profit centers may grow in both practice and acceptance.