Monday, May 31, 2010
Which leaves me wondering, what exactly is new Holland Publishing bring to the party?
Romancing The Ebook – South Africa's Romance Ebook Store, Ebook Diva, Launches
.eBookDiva.com: New ebook store for ePub Romances
So, I previously commented on StoneGarden not displaying books on its website and requiring people to register to use their website. However I will not be able to tell you any more about the website behind the membership wall because, three weeks after applying to register, I was declined.
"StoneGarden.net Publishing - Your registration has been rejected!
Your registration at StoneGarden.net Publishing has been rejected for the following reason:
NOTE: This email was automatically generated from StoneGarden.net Publishing (http://stonegardenbooks.com/)."
So, I was automatically rejected, with an exclamation mark, for the following reason:
THIS WEEK: The last book I finished reading was:
LAST WEEK: The epublisher I have bought the most romance/erotica ebooks from in the last year is:
I was previously rather hard on the website for Opus Expo, a Canadian epublisher. A year and a half later the website is much improved. However I would note that you have to send a signed contract upon submission of your manuscript. A contract which, by the way, includes the following highlights:
"...you grant to OpusExpo the exclusive right throughout the World to publish, reproduce, broadcast, perform, telecommunicate, distribute, rent, sell and otherwise exploit in any manner whatsoever any material or content (each a "Work") that you submit to OpusExpo for publication..."
"OpusExpo's editor(s) shall have the right to alter, edit, update and/or modify the Work in any manner whatsoever ... OpusExpo may submit a final proof to you for proofreading. You will be allowed ten (10) days to make typographical corrections, but you may not otherwise change the Work."
The contract gets even murkier on the issue of royalties:
"OpusExpo will pay to you twenty five percent (25%) of OpusExpo's gross receipts which arise as a result of any exploitation of the Work. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no royalties will be payable on the first 25 copies of the Work which are sold."
Gross receipts (or "gross) is generally defined as the total amount of income received without subtracting any costs or expenses (IRS). However, Opus Expo defines it as follows:
"OpusExpo's gross receipts are defined as all monies actually received by OpusExpo from the exploitation of the Work less any publishing costs, distribution costs, refunds, returns or trade credits paid or granted by OpusExpo in connection with its exploitation of the Work."
Is it just me or have they just defined gross as being net? Oh wait, it gets better:
"It may be necessary to employ agents to assist in the publication of the Work. All commissions and amounts paid to such agents will be deducted from OpusExpo's gross receipts for the purposes of calculating the royalty. As well, any license fees paid by OpusExpo to any third party for any content that may be included with the Work will be deducted from OpusExpo's gross receipts for the purposes of calculating the royalty."
This may just explain why Opus Expo's current line up consists of Public Domain works?
1) Does "reading from a different angle" refer to reading from the angle of being a blonde, or the angle of being a gorilla?
2) Is it really a good idea to have a logo that suggests one's books are written by bemused gorillas? Were the monkeys on strike?
3) Why have a Frequently Asked Questions page when it seems you either don't get questions, or don't answer them?
4) Why do they require anyone with an interest in the publisher (perhaps, for example, a customer?) to undergo a three-step moderated registration process?
And finally, 5) why is the website for "StoneGarden.net Publishing" at StoneGardenbooks.com?
THIS WEEK: The epublisher I have bought the most romance/erotica ebooks from in the last year is:
LAST WEEK: literary agency refering clients to their own wholly owned epublisher is:
First we had Lori Perkins blurring the lines by referring authors she or others at her agency represented to an epublisher she co-owned. Now the Waxman Literary Agency is apparently starting their own epublisher (Diversion Books) which is releasing books written by their clients. Diversion Books opened quietly this March and is unrelated to the existing Diversion Press.
The similarity to the Ravenous Romance affair extends to the arrogance of the founders, in this case Scott Waxman: "I think because it emanates from my literary agency it gives us a unique perspective on what the authors need and want. Because we understand editorial development, rights, various genres and the everyday life of an author I believe it will provide a comfort level for writers."
That is, other epublishers presumably do not understand 'editorial development, rights, various genres and the everyday life of an author'. Puh-leeze. If blithe acceptance of an obvious conflict of interest is meant to be part of the brave new world of epublishing I want nothing to do with it.
Waxman is a very respected literary agency, but how long is that going to last? They wouldn't be the first to squander a big share of their reputation on an ill conceived money making project (Kirkus Discoveries, anyone? Harlequin Horizons?)
Linkin reports that Waxman also founded the short-lived epublisher "Live READS".
News via Romance Divas
On self-dealing <--recommended reading
It's Just Upsetting
The Strongest Start Novel Competition is advertised with the following blurb (emphasis added):
"We're looking for opening chapters that will create a burning need to find out what happens, how the characters turn out, how the novel resolves itself. The kind of start that gets an agent to call back, a publisher to show interest, and a reader to plunk down their hard earned money. Above all, give us three opening chapters that will keep us reading. The winner of the Strongest Start Novel Competition will be the writer who is judged to have the strongest three opening chapters. In addition, one winning writer will be selected from each of the three category competitions. Two runner-ups will be selected from the main competition as well as from each category competition."
The the main winner receives: "Self-publishing package, $500 cash, subscription to TheNextBigWriter Online Writing Workshop."
Because clearly if you have a book that would hook an agent or a publisher you should, um, self-publish it with Createspace....
It seems that Google is going to sell ebooks through their controversial Google Books portal. It's specific strength would be the ability to suggest ebooks based on users search words.
In a perfect world this would be healthy competition for Amazon, or at least create a climate for others (like Borders) to grab a decent share of the ebook market. But Google has been trying to get their paws on out-of-print books for free--making them arguably even more hostile to authors interests that Amazon.
The ebookstore "Google Editions" is scheduled to open in June or July. And on the up side they do not plan top wed their ebook format to any specific website or device. But most of the details about pricing and publisher involvement/control are still very foggy
My overall response is not "yay!" or "boo!" but more along the lines of "meh". Time will tell.
No I mean she really doesn't.
"...it’s immoral, I _know_ it’s illegal, and it makes me want to barf..."
Overall she makes some good points and is certain entitled to a strong opinion on the matter, which affects her directly. But one eyebrow inched up when I saw:
"...Ergo, including sex is by far the easiest way to get someone to look at something. I assume that that’s one of the reasons fan-fic authors so frequently write sex scenes or slash stories."
Okay, benefit of the doubt here. I will assume she specifies gay sex stories because they are more common in fanfiction.
"I wouldn’t like people writing sex fantasies for public consumption about me or members of my family—why would I be all right with them doing it to the intimate creations of my imagination and personality?"
But the dividing line between reality and fiction is feeling a little thin here. However her closing point is the most problematic even for authors who are not that bothered by fan-fic interfering with the lives of their fictional "family".
"If I learn about fan-fic and _don’t_ make any protest, I might at some point lose all control of what’s done with and to my characters. Practitioners could point to the fact that I knew about this stuff and didn’t object over a long period of time, ergo, I must think it’s OK...."
Her blog post has 502 comments. That's too many to even consider reading IMHO. No doubt I am just repeating what is in there....
Some general warnings:
Preditor & Editors: "Not recommended."
The rumors about low sales:
Piers Anthony: "I have learned of royalties under $5 for a year."
A high kill fee being used to retain even low-selling books:
AbsoluteWrite: "Once a work has gone into editing and forward and the Author wishes to terminate this contract prematurely, a penalty shall be charged to the Author to cover costs of staff and artists for work already performed. This fee shall be at a minimum of $50.00 to a maximum of $1000.00..."
BTW their listing at EPIC is seriously out of date.
I would like to request reports of sales for Eternal and Damnation Press, both erotic romance and other genres.
WARNING ABOUT DAMNATION BOOKS/ETERNAL PRESS