Friday, October 30, 2009

Bulletin: Cacoethes

I see that the Cacoethes Publishing website has vanished. Is it a glitch.... or is it the end?

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Amazon Patents Changing Authors' Words
"...Amazon also touts the use of 'alternative misspellings for selected words' as a way to provide 'evidence of copyright infringement in a legal action.' After all, anti-piracy measures should trump kids' ability to spell correctly, shouldn't they?" (Slashdot)

“Due to the fact that the unhappy have made a nuisance of themselves…”
"Lol, why am I not surprised that those idiots at NCP would mistakenly remove books of the few authors that they have, who are crazy enough to still want to stay with them?" (Karen Scott)

Macmillan Issues New Contract Boilerplate for All Divisions, E-Royalty Lower than RH, S&S, Other Majors
"The e-book royalty will come as the biggest surprise to e-book royalty watchers, as it goes contrary to the trend (which some think is a polite word for something darker) among major publishers to pay 25% of net e-book receipts to authors. Unfortunately, Macmillan offers even less than that - 20%." (

Imitator Sues Me to Overturn Copyrights: Please Help Defend My Art
"My original art has been copied by a manufacturer who is now suing me in federal court to overturn my existing copyrights and continue making knockoffs. I have a strong case, a great lawyer and believe that if I can continue to defend myself, the case will be resolved in my favor." (John T. Unger, Sculptor)

Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books.
"...officials at the pristine campus about 90 minutes west of Boston have decided the 144-year-old school no longer needs a traditional library. The academy’s administrators have decided to discard all their books..." (

Scholastic Reverses Decision to Exclude Gay Friendly Book from Fairs
"During the past 48 hours more than 4,000 members joined in calling for Scholastic Books to reverse their decision to exclude a book from Scholastic's popular book fairs, simply because the book featured two moms raising a child. The book in question is Luv Ya Bunches by best-selling children’s book author Lauren Myracle." (

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I find it interesting that Dear Author castigates authors for lack of enthusiastic response to DA initiatives on the the issue of plagiarism, but also castigates them for too much enthusiasm on the issue of piracy.

Yes, Dear Author is "a reader blog and our focus is for the readers" but I am having a little trouble seeing the two issues as vastely different from a reader point of view--they both relate to the quality, integrity and sustainability of the product the reader is consuming.

But I suppose there is an obvious symmetry of author and reader point of view, if you compare the old EREC post: Breaking News: Plagiarism, Still Bad,and new Dear Author post: Piracy Is Bad.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And the prize goes to....

The Beatles Memorial Prize for Humility goes to Sheniqua Waters for her website domain of which takes the designation previously given to such pulpy rubbish as the Bible or Ulysses and bestows it on the Slave Girl.

"We're glad you decided to visit ... Here you will find out more about the newest up-and-coming author Sheniqua Waters and her breakout new historical romance novel Slave Girl ... Sheniqua Waters knows how to put "love" in a love story. She has a unique writing style and creates vivid scenes and intriguing story lines unlike any author we've seen. In our opinion, that is what makes her "The New Face of Romance".

Meanwhile the Inaugural Veinglory Prize for Chicken-Fingered Typing goes to Dark Castle Lords for the email to subscribers excerpted below (explaining that no newsletter will be forthcoming for October):

"Pam and I have gone through all the survey resutsl and will be implementing some of your suggestions next month. the first chagne you will notice will be that th enewsletter will be delivered in PDF. I have also moved the newsletter from the start of the month to towards the end of the month ... These chagnes are not set in stone and we hope you wil let us know if the changes we make are worthwhile and a benifit to YOU."

Sunday, October 25, 2009


The good

Crocheted Boobie Pillow (Etsy): "These boobie pillows are crocheted with worsted weight yarn and stuffed with polyester fiberfil. The nipples are either rubber baby bottle nipples or crocheted. Just let me know which you would prefer."

Frugally Marketing an E-book: "When I contracted with Red Rose in January, I started compiling my promotion toolkit."

The bad

I'm disappointed in the drama: "After attempts to talk to the owner of Red Rose, I got a brief email stating she'd turned over information to her lawyer regarding my book."

Shift to e-books to hurt bookstores, analysts say: "As the math currently works, each sale through a Nook is not just unprofitable but potentially replaces a higher-margin sale at stores," Balter wrote in a client note Friday."

The fugly

Cakewrecks: that's some spout: "I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my..."

Insert the Usual Rant here (a.k.a. Fisking Breathless)

Full details here: Romantic Writing and Breathless Press have teamed up to provide the romantic stories writing competition exclusively for writers. To the winners goes a publishing contract offer with Breathless Press and free promotion.

Gee, I wonder is there is any other way to "win" such a wonderful "prize"?

All submissions will be shared in book format and requires the prologue to be a query letter.

What? [Reads it again] Seriously, what does that mean?

Submission Directions: This contest requires creating a book. So prior to submitting your first chapter you should create a book. Click here to create your book.

Oh, I see. Breathless is requiring people to join Fanstory in order to submit a short story to Breathless. Because, um.... because....

The contest winners will receive a contract offer with Breathless Press. Sample Breathless Press Contract. The contract is for ebooks. Breathless Press will be publishing print books on select titles after several months as ebooks.

A.k.a. possibly never.

The contest winners will be chosen by Breathless Press. This contest does not offer a Visa Gift Card prize.

Good to know.

See also:
Breathless Press Newest eBook Publisher Officially Launched: "In an industry full of e-publishers, Breathless Press ( promises to raise the standard of eBook publishing and it looks like they’re off to a great start."

Open Calls

Slash Books Call For Submissions - "Kink Bingo"
X marks the spot for this anthology, where each story utilizes a different kink to fill in a square on the Slash Books Kink Bingo card! Pitching for this anthology is simple: pick a kink, and let your imagination run wild! We'll be looking for stories from 2000 to 20000 words that explore the fun and wild side of kinks. As usual, all stories must include at least one same sex relationship. Your story should focus on the relationship. Intriguing characters and interesting situations are the ticket to success here. Be creative! All genres welcome. (Five days 'til the deadline!).

Like the Knave of Hearts: Circlet Press.
What if Alice returned to Wonderland as an adult, and met up with the White Knight or the Red Queen again? What if there was more going on between the Queen of Hearts and the Knave than just those tarts? And what kind of adventures was Mary Ann, the White Rabbits maid, up to when she wasn't at home? We're looking for a darker, sexier view of Wonderland. Be creative, keep it legal, and don't be afraid to explore your nightmares as well as your dreams.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bookwhirl, in a hole and digging furiously

I had more-or-less forgotten about the so-called book marketing company Bookwhirl until a determined little defender-of-the-faith turned up on the POD People blog. Such things tend to make me take a good long long at my attitude, and cause it to either soften... or harden.

As for Bookwhirl, well, this is what I see:
* They spam egregiously--which is not a good look in a marketing company.
* Their use of the English language is quirky at best, this from their website: "Email advertisements works like a spider web. Its expansion can be boundless, thriving more possibilities, and bigger sales."
* Clear targeting of self-published authors: "Marketing your self-published book is never easy and it is very time consuming."
* Their online reputation is mud, well--something like mud but stinkier. If they can't promote themselves well, why would you hire them to promote a book?

So... It seems to me that Bookwhirl is a way for inexperienced authors to waste money on stuff that probably won't increase their sales and may actually make them look bad. That's my opinion, and comments from names with no Google footprint, that link to Bookwhirl's website, and are spiced up with convoluted logic and veiled insults aren't likely to change it.

Funny, that.

See also:
BookWhirl Can't Even Sell Itself
BEWARE OF BOOKWHIRL! -commonly mis-pronounced BookWorld
Ripoff Report: Bookwhirl
Bookwhirl's "lively" author forum (they had time to post a PR release about it, but not to delete the spam bots that quickly took it over).

Monday, October 19, 2009

...Long Live the King

Fictionwise is closing in on merging with Barnes & Noble and it does not like the the transformation will be a wholey agreeable one--with restrictions on content and extra charges already appearing. A few years ago there would not have been much in the way of an alternative. But AllRomanceEbook spin-off Omnilit is showing signs of stepping into those shoes. Omnilit recently forged and agreement with Ingram Digital giving them access to ebook from publishers like Random House, Harper Collins and Little Brown, in addition to the small epublisher who have been with them from the beginning. I am about ready to swap from Fictionwise to Omnilit; am I the only one?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Ears Are Burning (Astatalk)

In the past I posted about what an extended process it was to get full text links to my work removed from Astatalk. This morning I noticed several hits to that post from a private "Closed Team" Astatalk forum thread which I cannot access, but which has the url "!!!". Do they mean avoid posting my pirated work? I sure hope so. I have added a check of Astatalk for my books to tomorrow's schedule.

Publisher Doings

Shadowfire is seeking F/F
"We could really use some great lesfic stories and books to publish in 2010. We even consider reprints so long as you have the rights to your work back from the prior publisher. You can see our formatting guidelines and instructions on how to submit here ... If you don't write holiday or themed call stories, we'd like to see the erotic romance lesfic stories you like to write. Guidelines to general erotic romance submissions can be found here." [Michael Barnette, Editor-in-Chief Shadowfire Press]

Eirelander Officially Opens
Eirelander took a long run up at it, which isn't necessarily a bad idea. This month they officially opened and more to a new website url. There still don't seem to be any books for sale from the website (when I click ont he covers,nothing happens?), although they can be found on websites such as Amazon. One of the first two releases from the Heat line is by the owner, TJ Killian.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Cacoethes Blow Out Sale
Cacoethes Publishing is having a massive sale: all ebooks $2 and paperbacks either $5 or $10. Generosity or desperation?

JA Konrath shares Kindle sales levels
J A Konrath recently blogged, with unusual candor, about how Kindle sales (via publisher and self-published) stack up. I would suggest reaing the whole post as it makes a number of very good points. One of them being: "If I had the rights to all six of my Hyperion books, and sold them on Kindle for $1.99, I'd be making $20,580 per year off of them, total, rather than $4818 a year off of them, total ... According to my math, I'd be making more money if my books were out of print, and I had my rights back."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bulletin: Brits get pounded, again (and so do most of the rest of us)

I previously noted that the British prices for ebook readers seem much higher than what is charged in the US, regardless of where the device is manufactured. Now it seemed the Brits will also have to pay more for Kindle-format ebooks--and so with the rest of the "foreigners".

After initially denying the rumors, Amazon now reveals to the Guardian that "foreign customers - including those in Britain - would be paying $13.99 (£8.75) for new releases and bestsellers, instead of the American price of $9.99 (£6.25). That amounts to a 40% premium for the same title."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fisking Untreed Reads

Untreed Reads

As ever, their website txt + my 0.02:

"Untreed Reads Publishing is the primary imprint of fiction work. We are looking for fiction with minority lead characters and plots (Latino, African-American, Native American, GLBT, female, etc.)."

Um, last I checked females were not a minority, and what the hell is a "minority plot"? Is it a story made up by only one of three psychics?

"Any genre is acceptable except erotica, romance and poetry. The feeling is that these categories are already well-represented by other publishers, and we prefer our focus to be on lesser-realized genres such as sci-fi, mystery, fantasy and mainstream fiction."

No majority genres please. We only want less mainstream genres like... well, "mainstream".

"Romance and eroticism are welcome within the work, but we prefer plot over erotic scenes."

Because we all realise that off the many qualities a work of fiction might have, only two are connected by a direct, inverse correlation such that adding more of one results in having less of the other.

"It is our goal to present to the world multicultural fiction that expands the somewhat limited view currently seen in the industry."

Yes, world multi-cultural fiction populated by Americans of all different genders, colors and sexual orientations, not too focussed on falling in love and not having too much sex.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fusion my Arse

In the case of JJ Massa we had an ebook writer lifting a story from fanfiction. Now there seems to be an example of the equal and opposite plagiarism of the ebook Among the Living by Jordan Castillo Price by gwendolynflight to create a full length Arthur/Merlin fanfiction of the same title (the only major sifferences being character names and a POV shift). The source is acknowledged in comments by the "author" as a "fusion". Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

Jordan Castillo Price's response

See also:
Jordan Castillo Price Plagiarized in Fandom
Blatant Plagiarism

Piers sends up smoke signals about Fictionwise

As has already been reported by Mrs Giggles and Teddypig, Piers Anthony has posted the following:

"October 2009 update: troublesome report that the one-time $15 set-up fee now is invoked any time a change or update needs to be made. They have been paying late, and sometimes in error to the author's disfavor, not corrected; this is harder to track because they have removed real-time figures. They have censored books, removing ”controversial” ones. This sort of thing bothers publishers, but few dare to protest."

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Book review bloggers, take heed....

With recent legal changes, of you are an American blogger and you accept review copies of books you may need to post a disclaimer of some kind to avoid potential legal liability (and a $11,000 fine). It is really no big deal, you just have to write an honest review and disclose anything you received in return, including the review copy. Whether or not it is "fair" to require this, I don't see any reason not to do it.

See also:
FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials
Book Publishers, Bloggers, & the FTC Guidelines
My Take on the FTC New Guidelines -- c.anne.gardner


"We are the second largest ePublisher specializing in romantic fiction and erotic romance novels." [Lucia Carr, Public Relations Director for Samhain Publishing]

"What is the reason behind all the e-publishers shutting their doors, when other e-publishers starting up seem to thrive?" [Gracen Miller on the closure of Firedrakes Weyr]

"Readers aren't stupid like some people like to believe. They can tell the difference between bad story telling and bad editing." [Carrie, in reply to Gracen Miller]


* The Death of the Midlist… [Romancing the Blog]
* The Snuggie Sutra
* Ravenous Romance on Home Shopping Network