Sunday, July 29, 2012

Score one for the so-called "anti-bullies"

One of the reviewers targeted by 'Stop the Goodreads Bullies' has decided that she has had enough of their harassment and closed her review blog.

Reviewer Wendy has closed Cupcake and a Latte, a blog that provided valuable YA reviews, and also her Twitter account.

It is sad that the blog-verse will lose Wendy's reviews, but I understand that sometimes it is just too stressful to deal with the crap that some people are willing to shovel onto anyone they disapprove of.

Update: to be clear the anti-bully in this case is Carroll Bryant, not STGRB, although the two seem to have some association back of house and STGRB covered Bryant's complaints--so I do tend to see them as part of one general movement by authors against reviewers,

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Noble Romance FUBARed?

While the lights are still on, everything else seems to be a bit of a mess. Many of the authors are circling the wagons, no doubt hoping to get their royalties and/or rights back.

Update: Noble Romance added to our "Not Recommended" list.


Tales of a Trunk Novel

  • Penelope Trunk is trumpeting that she sold a book, decided to self-publish instead, but kept the advance.
  • Greenfield at Digital Bookworld called this out as impossible, and then edited it back to somewhere between implausible and unusual. Comments on this post point out that the self-published version fo this book is only 50 pages long--so perhaps not the full 300-page product initially contracted.
  • Ron Hogan adds that she stepped out on Que, a rather minor imprint of Penguin and perhaps not "all that". And that the cancellation seems to have been rather last minute.
All in all I am not sure that this so much the triumph of a scrappy author over the incompetence of mainstream publishing, as an author who never finished the book and took advantage of a legal loophole?  Time will tell.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jill Noble Leaves Noble Romance

Senior Editor Jill Noble is leaving her position at Noble Romance.  The exact reasons are unspecified but Noble describes them as "powerful and legitimate".

Noble romance is known for taboo-breaking themes and an overall brand that is largely synonymous with Jill Noble.  Therefore its future without her seems uncertain at best.

The CEO of Noble Romance is Jim Noble.

Update: Noble Romance Publishing: Poof! Gone Baby Gone?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The book reviewers love to hate

Well, color me surprised. My quick-and-dirty comparison of scores from the new 'Rotten Tomatoes for Books' website shows that higher ratings actually correlate with better sales (as estimated by Amazon sales rank).

With one notable exception:

Is the online reviewing world going bonkers?

  • First we had the anti-meangrrl-Goodreads-reviewer stalker site allegedly set up by self-publishing authors, sparking a rampant, recursive and blithely hypocritical GR-bullying meme.. 
  • The Chick Lit Girls went after an author who revealed they charge fees and suffered under an internet dog pile (which I guess I was part of).
  • Then Rotten Tomatoes had to close a movie to comments for the first time ever due to virulent attacks against anyone posting negative reviews about a Batman movie.

I think it is time to take the dog for a long walk, have a couple of G & Ts, and hope the tomorrow will be another day.  Perhaps one in which all the teacups are not rattling with self-important storms of hissy outrage because some stranger posted some  less-than-sparkly comment about a book or movie on the internet.

See also:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Instant Shades

So what does a publisher do if they need a 50 Shades style erotic novel or two, but don't have a back catalog or bottomless budget?

309 did it the under-the-counter way by just hijacking and rewriting classics, but it seems this particular solution is in the air:Take a classic, and sex it up.

Total E-bound is doing saucy versions of Austen and Conan Doyle.  At least they are giving the original author co-credit....

I am unconvinced that there is a big market for classics verbatim with sex added, rather than written-from-scratch pastiche.  But time will tell.

Monday, July 16, 2012

How much per star?

It seems that charge for reviews, but get very upset if you mention this online.  I don't think anything you tell every author that approaches you for a review can be counted as a "secret".

Update: The Chick Lit Girls blog seems to have closed.

See also:

Forever Amber/309--now plagiarising dead people

These public domain short stories so they could reissue them. But taking the book, changing it a little and claiming authorship under a new name is not legitimate.

And Amazon does not accept ressiued public domain books.

So, um, no.  Strike two.

I suspect there are more 'reinvented' books but only had time to check a few right now.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

309 East 83rd Publishing

Okay, so what's the deal with 309 East 83rd Publishing? redirects there (You may remember they were busted for rampant plagiarism)

The website still says "We are still in the process of uploading and debugging our new site
and will have a brand new and shiny site completed on Friday, May 11, 2012" ... in July.

Some of the books are clearly repackaged.  For example, the book now listed as "Travels in Seduction" by Bethany Ratner seems to be identical to what was "Travels with Angelina" by Felicia Sussex.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

1Place for Romance closed

Romance e-tailer 1PlaceforRomance is closing up shop. At least it is being wound up in an orderly fashion.

Monday, July 09, 2012

DZFiction, wait and see

Absolute Write's Uncle Jim is inclined to say "publisher is not an entry level position."  I would be inclined to say the same about being an ebook retailer.

When you looka at DZFiction at first it seems fine.  They allow derivative works but it seems to be only of material loaded to their site and categorized as permitting same.

But then I see mention of permitting "scanlations"--which usually means scanning a manga, and translating the language of the text.  Scanlations are normally done without the permission of the copyright holder.

Then in answer to queries on the forum DZ writes:

"Just to clarify, all fanfiction are not for sale - users will be blocked from pricing any work under this category."

As I am sure you all know, unauthorized fanfiction is just as illegal free as it is when you charge money for it.  That is why mainstream vendors need to stay well, well away from it.

"We believe in giving our users a second chance and allow them to learn from their mistakes"

So everyone gets to plagiarize once (per account)?

Account are available to all ages.

My advice would be to steer clear of this outfit until they work out how to operate fully within the law.

Friday, July 06, 2012

12 Shades of Coat-tails

Mills and Boon is calling its new sexy line of sexy old (reprint) books "12 Shades of Surrender" -- a.k.a. if-you-liked-50-Shades-of-Grey-please-give-us-all-your-money.

I understand the motivation but wish they has been just a tad more subtle about it.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Charity Books

Sometimes it seems to me that if a book is for charity, or is written by a child, it is means to be untouchable. So what kind of bitch would criticize a book by a child, for a charity.  Answer: me.

It is great that a ten year old wrote a book to help work through his issues with nightmares, and wants to help fund cancer research after his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

  • The book is 28 pages long 
  • It is priced as $18.63
  • Only $1 of this is being donated
This leaves me less than entirely impressed with both the precocious talent of the child and the charitable intent of the book..