Wednesday News: Harlequin + Cosmo + Sylvia Day; Retail stores that showroom only; Credit reporting companies have shockingly horrible protections; Waterstone’s new plan will anger readers; RH changes digital first terms
Harlequin sent me a press release that said announced a seven figure two “book” deal with Sylvia Day which will launch a new line of books, ‘Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin’.
The two books are going to be titled, Afterburn (available August 15, 2013) and Aftershock (available November 15, 2013), which will feature two “fun, fearless Cosmopolitan-type heroines as well as delicious, dangerous heroes,” states Sylvia in the press release.”
I had a lot of questions.
Length of ebooks: The ebooks will bear both the Cosmopolitan and Harlequin logos on their covers and will be shorter in length (approx.. 30,000 words per title).
Price: $3.99 (U.S. / CAN.)
What can we expect from Cosmo Red Hot Reads: Harlequin will publish two original ‘Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin’ per month, beginning in August 2013. The novels will feature strong narratives centering on modern young women living the free-spirited and outgoing lifestyle espoused by the international magazine. The ebooks will bear both the Cosmopolitan and Harlequin logos on their covers and will be shorter in length (approx.. 30,000 words per title). Available wherever e-books are sold.
Who will be acquiring for them: All of the authors will be acquired through Harlequin. Writing guidelines and submission information can be found here: http://www.harlequin.com/
Available word wide: We do have the world rights, but UK / Australia are currently negotiating local contracts with the Cosmo counterparts over there. I followed up and asked what that meant and was told that the books will be available worldwide in English.
With or without DRM: They will have DRM
Stores That Sell Nothing Are the New Stores That Sell Something – Someone has beat Amazon to the new shopping experience called “showrooming” where all you do is browse stuff to be purchased online later.
USA Today reports that Bonobos, seller of wack menswear, is opening “guideshops,” which are kind of like “shops,” except for the fact that after you try on the clothes and find just what you want, you have to order that shit on Bonobos.com and wait a couple of days for it to be delivered to your house. In fairness to Bonobos, I cannot think of any reason that a man would need some mustard yellow chinos right this moment. He should be able to wait a couple of days. The only rational thing to do with them is to toss them directly into the trash, so the slight delay should not impact the final customer satisfaction all that much.”
The Shockingly Easy Process Behind The Celebrity Credit Report “Hacks” – This is pretty disturbing. Hackers have leaked the credit reports of highly famous people. How famous? Oh, like Michelle Obama and Joe Biden. And Shawn Carter aka Jay Z and Beyonce.
How was it done? Apparently Equifax has really crappy security and it is astonishingly easy to gain access to people’s credit reports. Thanks to Buzzfeed’s step by step instructions even those most rudimentary hacker can obtain this sort of stuff on anyone. Equifax
For the cunning plot to lure book buyers away from Amazon – UK readers are going to be faced with a new dilemma. In order to lure readers to print, Waterstone has struck an exclusive deal with the author. I think it is interesting that the retailer has struck a deal with the author, rather than with the publisher.
“Anyone who buys the new Joanne Harris paperback Peaches for Monsieur le Curé from Waterstones will find it contains an extra chapter not included in copies sold elsewhere, after the book chain signed an exclusive deal with the author.”
I expect readers to be seriously unhappy about this. Ebook readers aren’t going to eschew their favorite format for a bonus chapter. Instead, they are just going to be angry. Expect 1000 downvotes and one star ratings of the book to follow.Independent.ie
Random House Announces New Terms at Digital Imprints Hydra, Alibi, Loveswept, and Flirt – Random House is making changes to the digital first lines: Hydra, Alibi, Flirt AND Loveswept. There are two different options an author can choose. First, the profit sharing agreement with a 50/50 split of net revenue which is actual sales income. No chargebacks. If print editions are produced, there will be a chargeback for actual production and shipping costs but those costs would be itemized for the author prior to shipping. Random House will also offer up to $10,000 book specific publicity.
Under an advance/royalty deal, authors receive a traditional publishing contract and royalty rates of 25% of the net.
Reversion clause has been improved (although I didn’t see the details of this). Writer Beware ® Blogs!
Nook Customers Can Download Rentals: You Just Need A Working SD Card – If you have a Nook and would like to rent movies but not watch them via streaming (because you’ll be on a plane or on vacation without wifi access), you need to have a functioning microSD card.
A customer had been told that this wasn’t possible by a BN service rep but a friend recommended he swap out the card with a new one and it worked. Consumerist
I struggle to see how you can add a bonus chapter that is worth reading without undermining the main book. Do you stick a full, never-mentioned-again subplot in? Is it an epilogue (sweet, charming, but usually plotless, as the plot has already been wrapped up)? Does the non-bonus book skimp on character or plot development or does the bonus book reiterate points made elsewhere?
So Day gets 1,000,000 for 60000 words? Bloody hell, that’s not a bad deal! Good for her.
$3.99 for 30,000 words seems pricey to me.
I either want to shop from home or get immediate gratification at the b&m store. Having to go to the store and then order on-line defeats the purpose of shopping from home to me.
I wouldn’t pay 3.99 for 30k words. But good on Sylvia Day for 1,000,000 on 2 books.
Isn’t the Waterstones deal just a variation on the “bonus” material that gets tucked into ebooks? Something nobody much wants in the first place? It’s not as if you only get the final chapter/solution of the mystery if you buy the paper book.
I think that any extra additions to books should be available in all formats. I find it very irritating when I have purchased the trade PB to discover that the MM PB that is released later is going to include an additional short story that I will now have to purchase as a stand alone or buy the MM PB to gain access to. To me this is the same as adding bonus chapters or any other “extra” they might come up with to try to lure you into spending more money.
I could see the extra chapter thing working in a mystery, especially a series mystery. Those tend to have pretty short chapters, and the extra one could be the protagonist(s) chasing down a lead that ultimately comes to nothing (perhaps connecting with some heretofore unknown info about the protagonist(s)’ history) or it could be an insert chapter from the villain(s)’ POV…
“Expect 1000 downvotes and one star ratings of the book to follow.”
Followed by the chapter being pirated and posted online anyway.
They were discussing the Waterstones deal on the radio yesterday. Other potential ‘bonus’ features for bookstore deals were suggested: essay by author, interview with author, pretty gilding on the pages. The interviewer pointed out the similarity to DVD bonus features which, um, have not saved the DVD market from online streaming of films etc. A bookshop owner was desperately trying to justify his existence to publishers and persuade them that he deserved these special deals and special editions. It all sounded like clutching at straws to me.
We have an example right now of a book where there are different “extras” in the print and ebook versions with Captive Prince and it makes aspects of the discussion more difficult. Over at my personal blog I brought up an extra short that’s in the Vol. 1 ebook. But another commenter had read the online version and at that point couldn’t get the ebook in Australia, so she couldn’t comment on my points (even though she’s read both volumes). Similarly, the print book has maps, which I would enjoy seeing, because some of us have questions about how the countries are laid out and the general topography. But those are only in the print books. To get all the material that’s part of Captive Prince you have to spend upwards of $35 USD.
It’s analogous to the discussion we had a while back about revising self-published ebooks and not making clear that there are different versions. How do you have a conversation about the text, and what comprises the text in these cases?
I really hope that we don’t start seeing widespread store only ‘bonus features’ like there are with DVD’s/Blu-Ray’s right now. I don’t want to see one version from Amazon and a different version from B&N and yet another version at BAAM, at least not content wise. If they want to do different covers or something I could live with it.
I also don’t want to see different content in the pbook vs the ebook. I still haven’t bought ‘Thirteen’ by Kelley Armstrong since pbook readers got an exclusive short story/novella and author notes on the series in their copies that ebook readers didn’t. All adding that extra content to the pbook did for me was to put off buying the book indefinitely, although it doesn’t seem to have bothered too many people.
Can someone explain why authors/readers/publishers appear to be gravitating towards shorter “books”? I always thought your basic Harlequin filled that place in the market but this new line features stories 20,000 or more words shorter than even that?? Not a fan and I agree that $3.99 is much to high a price for so short a work.
@Lada: My best guess is because some authors can produce novellas quickly and they seem to sell quite well, even in the $2.99-$3.99 price range. If you can produce multiple novellas or category length books in the same time it would take you to produce one single title length book, it makes more financial sense to put out multiple shorter works. I would expect to see his as a growing trend over the next couple of years based on the numbers I see my self-pubbed friends reporting.
So, $3.99 for 30K with DRM? Pass. Extra chapters will never get me back to print. We are never ever ever getting back together. :)
Credit reports have always been shockingly easy to get. I used to work for a company which sold franchises, and we had a (very cheap) subscription to one of the big three to get reports to vet potential franchises. Everyone in the office used to use it to vet potential boy/girlfriends, etc. It was nuts.
I’m pretty sure Waterstones have done something similar before – I think they had an exclusive short in one of Ben Aaronovitch’s Peter Grant mysteries (it was a self-contained mystery, IIRC). I ended up reading that in-store…
Agree with Brian re exclusive content putting me off – I borrowed the Kelley Armstrong hardcover from the library instead of buying the ebook, so it was probably kind of counter-productive.
The only person I know who reads Cosmo is my 75-year old father.
And, ironically, I lost track of Kelley Armstrong after I bought my e-reader and geo-restrictions began to stymie me. Ironic because a Canadian couldn’t buy an e-book written by a Canadian because geo-restrictions. (The e-books eventually became available in Canada, for about a buck more than the paperback. Eventually, I found other authors to read instead.)