Monday News: More ARe drama, 2017 comic book movies, innovative bird-call book, and those new year resolutions
Court Documents Regarding All Romance E-Books’ Disturbing Business Practices Surface – I have not had time yet to go through all the documents mentioned here, but if any of these allegations are true, the All Romance eBooks closure is even more troubling than previously thought. Did anyone even know all this was going on (the court case, I mean)?
Anyway, one thing that I don’t feel has been properly recognized is the damage to readers, some of whom have hundreds, even thousands of purchases they may or may not have been able to backup before the December 31st deadline. My understanding is that publishers and authors were pulling books from the site as soon as they heard about the upcoming closure, inadvertently thwarting readers who had not downloaded all of their purchases.
To those authors and publishers who have been offering readers a replacement, thank you for acknowledging the toll these closures take on readers. To those readers who have lost books in this debacle, if you contact the publisher (and in the case of self-pub, this may also be the author) with proof of purchase, you can often get a replacement.
In order to see the whole story, you need to go back to 2014 when a dramatic conflict began between Lori James and her business partner, Barbara Perfetti Ulmer. In fact, Ulmer sued James and All Romance E-Books, LLC in the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court of Pinellas County, Florida – where ARe was established as a legal business entity – on March 2, 2015. Ulmer filed a complaint alleging that James had been “denying access to contemporaneous and current financial information related to All Romance, breach of duties (fiduciary, care, and loyalty) unjust enrichment, inequitable distribution, and judicial dissolution of All Romance.”The information regarding this lawsuit is easily found thanks to the open court records in the state of Florida, and can be viewed online here. Interested parties do not need to have an account, the records cost no money to view, and every document pertinent to the lawsuit (including exhibits) are indexed and viewable. All you need to read these documents for yourself is one name: Lori James. – Blogcritics
Superhero movies may break the box office in 2017 – As Romance readers, we are used to thinking that the genre dominates book sales, but I think we need to start re-thinking that assumption, especially as we are seeing more and more ways to deliver storytelling and the evolving expectations of different generations of cultural media consumers. Jane has long predicted that books would have to compete against other forms of entertainment, and as usual she appears to be correct. For example, the burgeoning of comic books, graphic novels, and comic book films and television series seems more obvious when you examine the multimedia options built in to “comics” in the broadest generic sense (films, gaming, merchandise, cosplay, fan fiction, Netflix and Amazon Prime original programming, etc.). CNBC and CNET are already anticipating a robust year for “superheroes” (are we using that term as gender neutral?) and comic book films:
The year has a number of milestones in store. The latest iteration of Sony‘s Spider-Man franchise merges with Walt Disney and Marvel Studio’s cinematic universe. Warrner Bros. and DC Comics launch their answer to Marvel’s Avengers with “Justice League.” Meanwhile, Hugh Jackman portrays Wolverine one last time, after eight separate appearances in the role since 2000—a few of those in his own solo films.
For Marvel Comics and DC fans alike, 2017 is shaping up to be “comic book nirvana,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore.
The coming year “is going to be a killer. I think it’s going to be the biggest year ever,” he told CNBC. “The superhero side of things I think is going to be kind of off the chart.” – CNBC
Songs of hundreds of birds are embedded in this book – Speaking of multimedia, a professor of ornithology, Donald Kroodsma, took a trip 5,000 mile North American bicycle trip with his son, David, recording many bird calls/songs along the way. The resulting book, Listening to a Continent Sing, is not just a memoir (with some history and geology included), but also an opportunity to “listen.” I’m not generally a fan of so-called enhanced content, but it just makes so much sense in this context.
The book’s margins are filled with QR codes that play the songs when you scan them with your smartphone. (Ah, so that’s what he means by kaSLWEEP!) There are 381 of these codes, though not all are birds — at Yellowstone, for example, you can scan three QRs and hear the hissing, bubbling and erupting of geysers.
There’s also a website — at listeningtoacontinentsing.com — where you can sort the recordings by, say, all the owls, or all the swifts and hummingbirds. – Washington Post
The Science of Willpower: 15 Tips for Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Last from Dr. Kelly McGonigal – If you are rolling your eyes at the mention of “willpower,” just replace it with “developing a new habit,” which is really what McGonigal is talking about. And isn’t that really what people are hoping to do when they make those resolutions?
This weekend, millions of New Year’s resolutions will go into effect, with the most common ones being lose weight, get fit, quit drinking and smoking, save money, and learn something new. Unfortunately, 33% of these resolutions will be abandoned by January’s end. And 80% will eventually fall by the wayside. Making resolutions stick is tricky business. But it’s possible, and psychologist Kelly McGonigal has a few scientifically-proven suggestions for you.
For years, McGonigal has taught a very popular course called The Science of Willpower in Stanford’s Continuing Studies program, where she introduces students to the idea that willpower is not an innate trait. Rather it’s a “complex mind-body response that can be compromised by stress, sleep deprivation and nutrition and that can be strengthened through certain practices.” – Open Culture