Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Boroughs Publishing: Smoke Signals

Boroughs Publishing was established in 2011 and began accepting romance in 2015 under the guidance of editor-in-chief Chris Keesler (previously an editor at Dorchester).  In September of 2017 Keeslar made a very low key exit from that position. Sporadic bad reports from authors have appeared at sites such as Piers Anthony. Even taking into account that no company, no matter how great, avoids getting a few bad reviews, this does seem to building into a mixed--trending bad--picture.

See also
Writers and Authors: Avoid Boroughs Publishing Group! [Jan, 2015]

Saturday, May 05, 2018


Writers.work is the latest company trying to sell access to a website with work for freelance writers.  Their advertising has many hard sell features; an looong animated intro, pop-ups saying other people are signing up, and social media ads to encourage well meaning people to tag every friend who every strung a few words together.  All of this presents freelancing as a way for any semi-literate person to make piles of money.  The disclaimers come late and any mention of the $47 fee comes right at the end. An amount just small enough that writer's with buyers remorse won't waste any more time pursuing a refund.

Freelancing is not different from other writing.  Yog's Law applies: "Money should flow toward the author." 

Friday, May 04, 2018

The Definition of "Cocky"

Faleena Hopkins is a big fan of the word "cocky".  Its a catchy word and looks great on her covers.  But she seems to be under the impression that you can trademark a word that is in the dictionary, and stop other people from using it. 

The goss is that she is sending trademark infringement notices to any other romance author with "cocky" in the title. I doubt she could win that one in court or would gain anything by trying; so I hope these intimidation tactic do not work. 

Erotic romancelandia! Do not cede your right to cockiness of any kind!.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Rebel Ink Press 2011-2018

Rebel Ink Press is closing June 30, 2018.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Ebooks as Ephemera

The Copyright Office is currently in the process of finalizing their rule defining which books are mandatory for a publisher to deposit one copy with the Library of Congress.  This rule, with a few minor exceptions, continues to exclude all electronic-only books from this requirement.

While applying any such requirement to e-books would place a regulatory burden on publishers, the exclusion of e-books is a lingering encoding of the opinion that they are, fundamentally, not "really" books.  The alternative being LOC developing a simple system for electronically submitting and digitally storing all ebooks newly published in the United States. 

The last posting of this rule received all of 15 comments, none of them from representatives of e-publishing, and the current Federal Register Notice has so far received zero comments.  Is electronic publishing asleep at the wheel when it comes to managing our history and our legacy?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

An Effective Method for Removing Duplicate Amazon listings

If you sell paperbacks on Amazon you may have noticed the annoying phenomenon of duplicate listings.  Second hand book sellers will add extra punctuation or characters to a book title, causing a their copy to have a separate product page and a unique ASIN.

The motivation is generally to increase their chances of selling a book at an inflated price, by avoiding having their copy listed on the same page as the in-print version or cheaper second hand copies. This is against Amazon rules specifically "Creating a product detail page for a product already in the Amazon catalog is prohibited." 

After trying a few different approaches I seem to have hit upon a way to get these duplicate listings removed with a minimum of effort. 

1. Open a Seller Account
This is the only inconvenient part.  The best avenue for getting listings merged is to open an Amazon seller account.  This is free to open and requires no payment or other actions.  And as a bonus you get access to the Amazon Seller forums which can be interesting....

2. Get the ISBN or ASIN for the the correct and the duplicate listing
You need to identify the correct and duplicate books by their number, and make sure you don't accidentally get the number for the Kindle version.

3. Request that the Listings be Merged
Go to the Amazon seller report page. You don't need to specify in which way because the title will merge back to your original listing no matter how it is actioned.  
  • Select Products and Inventory > Product page issue
  • Under What kind of issue are you having? Select Merge or split product page
  • Select Merge and provide the requested information
If the drop down options are not working properly you can simply type your merge request in as a general account issue, e.g.: "Please merge product pages for NUMBER and NUMBER as they are the same item".

Friday, November 10, 2017


Things are clearly afoot at Big Fiver Macmillan.  Four days ago they announced the end of their self-publishing platform Pronoun.  And just today, their romance website Heroes and Heartbreakers was thrown under the bus.

"As the digital habits of readers and consumers evolve, our strategic direction for reaching them evolves as well. Macmillan will be saying goodbye to the Heroes and Heartbreakers website by the end of 2017 and going forward will focus on engaging romance fans via our e-newsletter - which has a robust, growing circulation - and on social media."

I am not the kind of romance reader who resonated with that site, but it had seemed to gain some decent traction with the readership as a whole (no?).Macmillan is the fifth of the Big 5 with a Harry Potter fueled Scholastic hot on their heels.  These latest changes may reflect a healthy refocusing on their core business, or a general failure of their attempts to embrace digital-age consumers.  You be the judge.