Wednesday Midday Links: The Iron Duke Bookchat
Are you guys up for a bookchat? We are hosting one for The Iron Duke that will be held Saturday night, December 18, beginning at 8 pm CST. We readers will chat for an hour and then the author, Meljean Brook, will appear at 9 pm CST to answer questions. If you haven’t read this book yet and would like a digital copy from Kobo or Kindle (because these two allow me to gift a specific title), I will give two digital copies away today to two random commenters in the post. The giveaway will end at 9 pm CST and I will email the books immediately.
You can sign up for a chat reminder using the widget on the sidebar —–>
Updated: Meljean Brook emailed me and offered 2 more Kindle/Kobo copies to random commenters.
Contest is now closed.
Updated: Two events readers might want to take notice of is the Harlequin Open House and the last day of the Unusual Historicals anniversary celebration.
Harlequin Open House: Are you ready for the eHarlequin.com Annual Holiday Open House? More than 140 of your favorite authors will be meeting with you, LIVE, December 15th to celebrate the holidays! We’ll have our discussion forums open all day long running through every time zone so that our overseas authors and members can meet on their own time zones! Then, in the evening, from 7-10pm Eastern Daylight Time, we’ll have three full hours of live chat! And, don’t forget, there’ll be oodles of door prizes and wild fun!
Unusual Historicals: The finale is drawing is going through this week, so people still have a chance to enter for the last prize package.
A few more details have been provided about the first India Mills & Boon romance. A handsome stranger and a city India girl meet in a yoga studio. This article suggests the work is only 2,000 words long which would be about 6-7 pages so hopefully that was just her contest entry and not the entire work. No word as to whether this will be available to non India readers.
Best Buy’s value is declining, in part, because it is losing market share to online retailers. I only mention this because it’s interesting to see what is going on in corollary retail markets.
Eoin Purcell takes a cynic’s view of Amazon’s offering limited Nieslen Bookscan data to authors. This move is bound to create headaches for publishers and foster the concept in author’s minds that they could do better dealing direct with Amazon. I tend to side with Eoin on this matter. After all, Amazon is only giving away valuable data for free because it expects to profit from it down the road.
Edward Docx (what a great last name) brings the haterade to Stieg Larsson and Dan Brown. Docx skills don’t lie in creating convincing arguments:
Readers, publishers and writers alike can agree that John Grisham, Robert Harris, Tom Clancy or Danielle Steel build up their massive readerships by knowing precisely what they are doing; they are master practitioners of their highly skilled craft. Conversely, Brown and Larsson – in their different ways – are mesmerisingly bad.
Laura Miller from Salon replies that we like Brown and Larsson because of the cliches in their stories, not in spite of them. Anymore, I am not sure what separates literary fiction from the rest of fiction other than a label. Not all literary fiction ends sadly and not all literary fiction is morose. Not all literary fiction is qualitatively good and not all of it is boring. Literary fiction, just like any other area of fiction, suffers from its bad press. There are bad books out there in every genre. Question is should we measure discrete areas of fiction by the best or the worst? And who judges?
I’ve heard that the next upgrade for Nookcolor will actually turn the device into a real tablet by giving people access to the Android app market which means you’ll be able to read Kindle books on your nook device. I wonder if opening up the nook will force Kindle to open up and accept ePub? If this next upgrade happens, I do think the Nookcolor is a great alternative to the iPad.
UPDATE: According to Mike Cane, this is not happening. Nookcolor will be getting an upgrade but it won’t be opening up its system to become a true tablet.
Curtis Brown is going to open a literary writing course that costs 1,600 pounds. That’s nearly $2,000. Each student will have the opportunity to be critiqued and reviewed by a Curtis Brown literary agent. While not exactly the same, Donald Maass’ wife, Lisa Rector, offers editorial services to authors. Maass is a respected literary agent. In at least one confirmed account, a client of Ms. Rector’s spent up to $10,000 with Ms. Rector but achieved no publishing success as of yet despite alleged promises that Maass himself would be interested in reviewing the manuscript once edited. The first hand account of this has all been deleted but references can be found at sites like the Kindle Boards.
Because agents are fiduciaries of authors, even prospective authors, this type of intermingling of services seems very odd to me. It would not be permissible within the legal practice but then again, neither would publishing books as some agents are doing.
I’m curious what people think of this in light of the huge outcry that went forth when Harlequin decided to offer Dell Arte Press, originally under the name Harlequin Horizons. A publisher has a very different (non fiduciary) relationship with prospective authors than agents do; yet, no one seems to be bothered by agents offering a service for a fee that clearly conflicts with this stated premise I’ve heard again and again: “all money flows to the author.”
Is it that in this changing publishing market, all bets are off and a new paradigm is emerging? Is it that authors have more trust in agents than publishers? Is it something else?
If Dorchester successfully completes its one-year probation, fiction contracted during that term will be viewed as acceptable for qualification for SFWA membership. If it does not SFWA will remove it from the list of approved markets.