Archive for 'unsolicited opinions'

Though I do have an ongoing giveaway here.

Let me preface this with an apology. I’m about to get all deep-thoughty about digital book pricing and so forth. I feel sort of bad blogging about this when a) I blog so infrequently nowadays and b) most of the people who regularly check this blog are, I suspect, not doing so because they want my unsolicited opinions on this topic. Most would probably much rather hear about the next book, right?

So I’m happy to say firstly–I have posted a bit of info about the new series and two–count them, two!–dueling excerpts from A Night to Surrender here. Anyone not interested in digital book pricing and libraries and so forth, please do follow that link and never mind what is beneath the fold.

If you are interested, read on… (but don’t say I didn’t warn you!)… Read More »

Firstly, winners! Thanks to all who entered the Jennifer Haymore/A Touch of Scandal giveaway! We will have four winners, since Jennifer is kicking in two extra copies. (Thanks, Jennifer!) Winners, as drawn by, are:

Liz (#9)
Liza (#14)
Peggy H (#15)
Hannah (#20)

Winners, please use the contact email form (click contact in top menu) to send me your snail mail address.

While I’m announcing winners, and since I’m still on a little high from the RITA final last week, I think I’ll blog a bit about contests. (If you’re not an aspiring author, this may bore you to tears. Sorry! I will not be hurt if you sneak out the back.)

In the time since I sold my first book, I’ve sometimes been asked by aspiring authors about contests. Did I enter RWA chapter contests as an unpublished writer? Did I find them of benefit?

The answers are yes, and yes–with caveats.

I entered a total of five chapter contests with Goddess of the Hunt, and one with a very early draft of Surrender of a Siren. The entries placed everywhere from first place to “bottom third” (where they mercifully do not reveal your exact ranking). I got something out of each and every contest.

What I got out of contests:

Some helpful feedback
Some unhelpful feedback
The invaluable experience of learning to sort out which is which
A few wonderful networking connections with published author judges
A chance to thicken my skin before dealing … Read More »

So, there was an article in the New York Times today that has generated some online discussion, much of which centers on whether it’s “stealing” for a Kindle user to allow a few friends to share her downloaded books. It’s not stealing, according to the terms of the Kindle user agreement. Customers are allowed to download a purchased book on up to five devices, much the same as a reader can pass a print book she’s purchased to her family and friends. Courtney Milan has a brilliant post today opining that such sharing is a reader’s right.

My own belief is that the sharing of books is not only a reader’s right, but an author’s benefit and a public good (that’s my librarian side showing). I’m not talking about piracy here, where a book is illegally downloaded thousands of times, but rather the sharing of purchased books amongst friends, family and neighbors. There’s a huge difference between the two.

I’ve had readers write to me to tell me they enjoyed my book(s), but then go on to apologize for the fact that they got the book from a library or a friend, rather than by purchasing it themselves. It just makes me sad that they feel they should apologize! Please, if any of you reading this feel that way – don’t. Feel free to write me and tell me your reactions about my books, however you obtained them. If your life is anything like mine, time is your most precious … Read More »

While I was off gallivanting in cornfields, a controversy exploded in the online romance community last week. In case you’ve missed it, the online portion of it started with agent/author Deidre Knight’s open letter to RWA (Romance Writers of America), and RWA President Diane Pershing’s response. Today, Dear Author has a helpful guide to further reactions around the Internet.

At issue are RWA’s positions and policies on digital publishing. Currently, the organization does not recognize any e-publisher as a legitimate publisher (for the purposes of presenting at conference, taking pitches, etc.), because they pay on a no- or low-advance/greater-royalty model, instead of giving advances of $1000 or more for each book. This has resulted in a complete absence of digital publishing education at our upcoming conference. RWA’s current policies have also created ambiguity in membership status–members who publish with an e-press or small press are considered “published” in some respects, but not in others, leading to inequities in contest participation, etc.

I love RWA–both National and my local chapter. But I do think the national organization in particular could be doing far more to educate the membership about digital publishing and e-publishers. Today, digital publishing affects every published and aspiring writer of romance–we all need to understand e-rights contract clauses, the Google books settlement, DRM, and more. And I take issue with the president’s repeated assertion that e-publishing is not the venue of the “career-focused” author of romance. I’ve published with an e-press, and it was very much a … Read More »

At my Samhain e-novella?

I haven’t got a page for it up on my bookshelf page quite yet — I’m waiting for the cover art. But the blurb and excerpt for my May 12th release went up on the Samhain website. If you read the title and laugh, that’s good! It’s a comedy. And the story is very loosely linked to Goddess of the Hunt.

Also – I finally have a contest going on this here website! So when you click that Contest link, it gives you something other than a vague promise of “coming soon.”

I had plans to blog more today, but I am terribly sick. I did just want to comment briefly on the latest online debate. There’s been a lot of discussion in the past week about the Kindle2 and it’s TTS (text-to-speech) feature – whether it constitutes a copyright violation, whether Author’s Guild was right to protest the feature, and whether Amazon was right to back down. (See here and here, for example.) I really can’t pretend to understand all the legal arguments involved, but I tend to agree that clutching our intellectual property tighter to our chests is not the best way to protect our income. And what I can’t understand is why an organization devoted to protecting authors’ interests would not view protecting readers’ interests as paramount to that mission. What are authors without readers? Sure, authors create the words on the page, but any cultural significance of a book is … Read More »

There’s a lot of conversation going on right now, on various loops and blogs, about the RWA’s new rules for the RITA contest, which require entries to be “mass-produced” and effectively exclude most e-books or books published using POD (print-on-demand) technology.

I don’t really want to get into contest rules nitty-gritty–I know those kind of things are by definition arbitrary, and it’s impossible to make everyone happy.  I don’t envy the (hard-working, volunteer!) rule-makers one bit.  I’ve heard the RWA leadership has already committed to looking into the issue further, and that’s good.  What I do want to blog about is something more general.

As the RWA’s current policies are arranged, an author who publishes a work of fiction (over 20K words) with an e-press (even if that press is on the RWA’s list of Non-Subsidy, Non-Vanity Publishers) is no longer considered unpublished for the purposes of entering the Golden Heart.  However, neither is she considered “published” and PAN-eligible unless she can prove earnings of greater than $1000 for that book.  And unless her book meets the (vague, undisclosed) definition of “mass-produced in print”, she cannot enter it in the RITA.  Basically, an author who chooses to e-publish must do so with the knowledge that she’s forfeiting certain valuable RWA benefits without gaining any new ones.  To me, that adds up to an RWA organizational bias against e-publishing.  I’m not saying this was the intention, but it’s the de facto effect.  And this general bias bothers me, more than any … Read More »