Links to Make Thursday Brighter

imageI am home with Hella Flu, so sick I am nonsensical, so here, have some links, and my attempt to explain why I’m linking them. If I make no sense, blame Ny Quil.

First, from Philippa, a link to a re-reading of a very old Harlequin Historical, Unicorn Vengeance. Usually I’m prepared to grit my teeth when someone unfamiliar with romance takes a few pokes at it, but this book clearly deserved a righteous skewering, and Alan Scherstuhl gets a drink from me for making it through the chausses, the Sexy Yoda, and the worst line ever.

I do question the status of the worst sentence ever published in English. My vote still goes for Kaliq dismounted with the same speed and grace as he would remove himself from the body of a woman he had just made love to. Or perhaps the perfect symmetry of Fucking her ass. Saving her life. But Unicorn Vengeance makes a hard argument for bad Yoda prose. With chausses.

Next: I was having a very interesting email conversation with Kathryn S. about piracy and how it’s far easier to connect with authors than publishing houses, so authors hear about problems they have no power to fix. Kathryn sent me this fascinating presentation about the Trent Reznor business model, namely “Connect With Fans (CwF) + Reason To Buy (RtB) = The Business Model ($$$$)” In other words, if you connect with fans and give them a reason to buy (not an obligation or expectation to buy), they will. I would amend the “connect with fans” to also include the option for fans to connect with one another, but this presentation (the 15 minutes does go by very quickly) was really, really interesting.

Articulating my thoughts while they swim through the mud of my flu-addled brain is next to impossible, but I would love to hear what you thought of this presentation, and whether a similar model would work for authors, or already has in some cases.

From the Awesome but Not Surprising Department: Nora Roberts has sold 1.2 million Kindle books. There’s a list of the top Nora Roberts books of 2010, but I wonder which one is the best-est seller over all?

And finally, from author Sarah Morgan via Twitter, a story that will give you all sorts of “Awwwwwww” cuteness: Surprise Secret Baby…. giraffe!

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The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1
    Heather says:

    RE: New Business Model

    I think it can work with authors, and I can think of a few cases off the top of my head where authors are doing just that.

    The internet is a text-based medium (obviously) and authors have a leg up on others by being good at writing. And a well-written blog gives some indication as to the style of the book, whereas, for instance, you can’t really tell how good a musician is by their blog. Some authors who I started reading just based on their blog are Cherie Priest, John Scalzi, and Patrick Rothfuss.

    Giving stuff away for free on the blog doesn’t seem to cut into sales, either. Neil Gaiman has said several times that whenever Graveyard Book seemed to drop in sales (it was on NYT list for months), he would mention that people could listen to the entire book for free on his website. People started listening again, and sales of the book would go back up.

    People don’t mind buying stuff when it’s good. Let people try it, find out they like it, and then they go buy it. Plus when reading a blog, you as a reader get a more of a personalized view of the author: their personality, their trials and tribulations, the fact that they aren’t rich, and thus a greater incentive to actually support someone you like.

    I don’t think it would take all that much from an author (I had to stop reading Robin McKinley’s blog because her daily entries are ginormous), but that kind of personal connection (and the ability to say, BTW I have a book out, go buy it) is definitely useful now.

    Feel better.

  2. 2
    Cpirie says:

    HAHA that is amazing! Definitely on my to-read list.

  3. 3
    Lovecow2000 says:

    heh… there’s some lute coveting going on.

  4. 4
    Donna says:

    Are those wings? or constellations? I haven’t had coffee yet. Almost as bad as Nyquil.
    Re: the Trent Reznor business model? His momma didn’t raise no dummy. If two or three people are offering a product you’re interested in, aren’t you more inclined to buy from the one who shows an interest in you, not just your wallet?  When you connect with a consumer on more than one level, you create a relationship that lasts.

  5. 5
    Carrie S says:

    SB Sarah, feel better!

  6. 6
    Susan Reader says:

    Verily, reminded I am why the Claire of Delacroix’s works enticed me not.

  7. 7
    liz says:

    I don’t have the flu so I can’t blame it on Nyquil but I laughed my way through the entire skewering of Unicorn Vengeance right from “Publisher: Harlequin Historical, because unicorns are historical” all the way to “The murderer was he, he realized.” Thanks for the link, the was some good crack. I may be laughing all day.

  8. 8
    KTG says:

    Any time an author yells at their fans for piracy or any reason really, I’m put off their work. It doesn’t matter if I agree with them, and it doesn’t matter if they are right in what they are bitching about. That is not making a connection, it’s totally the opposite. Which is why I love (and buy books by) authors like Neil Gaiman and Patrick Rothfuss. They connect with their fans and make us want to spend our money.

    Trent Reznor is a genius, and I think more musicians and authors can learn from him. Instead of bitching about piracy he DID something about it. And made tons of money in the process.

  9. 9
    Ros says:

    Did you notice that the Surprise Secret Baby Giraffe’s father was Yoda??!

  10. 10
    SB Sarah says:

    Yes! Surprise Secret Baby Daddy is Yoda! So full of win.

    Thanks for the well wishes. I’m being snuggled by Zeb, my smaller dog, who is very pleased I have a fever: “The Lady is WARM.”

  11. 11
    Isabel C. says:

    I would absolutely read a novel with Secret Baby Giraffe Plot.

    I would also read a novel with actual vengeful unicorns—like My Little Ponies but with camo and eyepatches. It would be great.

  12. 12
    Lynn S. says:

    Bless your poor sick heart.  Those links made my Thursday so much brighter.  Candy’s kink-a-link review of Decadent was my favorite.  Just imagine the possibilities when today’s erotica/romantica becomes old school.

    Smart Bitches – even funnier with the flu.

  13. 13
    Julie says:

    Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear you have Teh Sickness. I’ve been dealing with it for six days now as well.

    NyQuil, rest, fluids, more rest, and after that, a nap.

    I hope you’ll be feeling much better soon!

  14. 14
    DreadPirateRachel says:

    I’m right there with you, Sarah. I’m in day 2.7 of a cold that hit me with the force of a freight train, and these links definitely made me feel better. I might even be able to drag myself out of bed now!

  15. 15
    JessicaL says:

    I’m sick as well and on day 2 1/2.  I only have two doses of nyquil left and that makes me very sad.  I am also very sad that there are no real unicorns in, “Unicorn Vengeance, the thrilling conclusion to the Unicorn Trilogy.”  Mayhap ‘twas a euphemism for what the chausses could barely contain?

  16. 16
    Diva says:

    Ah the sweet boundless delight of that link to the Unicorn Vengeance review! The sentence structure alone boggled the mind. It is truly yoda-esque.

    Although, for worst line in written english, may I nominate a screenplay line that I heard spoken in the preview for Transformers:

    Shia Lebouef says:

    “Megatron wants what’s in my MIND!”

    now, let’s face it. whatever’s in young shia’s mind, it’s more nlikely to be a fantasy of a scantily clad Meagan Fox, a mirror, and some pocket lint than any arcane knowledge a fictitious robot would be willing to kill for.

  17. 17
    zinemama says:

    Aye, this day zinemama would know the fullness of uncontrollable giggles!

  18. 18
    Donna says:

    My Little Ponies but with camo and eyepatches. It would be great.

    @Isabel, check out Robot Chicken’s “Apocalypse Ponies”. ALL of the above.
    And now I have the sniffles. Can you catch a computer virus?

  19. 19
    AgTigress says:

    I enjoyed the review.  I thought chausses covered the legs only, not the crotch: more like chaps than trousers. So all this ‘bursting his chausses’ stuff seemed rather weird unless the hero’s manly attributes were strangely misplaced.  But I am no expert on medieval costume.
    Sarah, best wishes for a rapid recovery.  Flu can be horrid.

  20. 20
    Ali B. says:

    I applaud any reader who has the fortitude to slog his/her way through such schlock. :-)

  21. 21
    Kinsey says:

    OMG did I love the Dukes of Hazzard reference, and I could hear the beloved Waylon saying “Well it seemed that the time for confidences was not ripe.”

    There’s a lot of schlocky crap written in every romance genre, but the medieval romances offer the greatest dangers/temptations for slipping into schlock. It’s really hard to write a medieval that doesn’t come off all lutes and tights – or at least I assume it is, because I have no intention of ever trying to do it.

  22. 22
    Kinsey says:

    Also, curse you Sarah – once you’re recovered, of course – for the Studies in Crap link because that’s just ANOTHER page I’m going to get hooked on and will have to add to my ever growing list of Web Sites That Help Me Avoid Writing.

    VW is indeed93. Which is weird because the last VW was low93. Low93? Indeed93!

  23. 23
    sandra says:

    Does that guy have pixie wings ? Spamword Natural57.  Natural they do not appear to be.

  24. 24
    Ducky says:

    I definitely agree that making a connection with your readers is something every author interested in sales should at least try to do. I get most of my books from the library, buying only the ones I really, really like. Well, I started reading Moira J Moore’s Hero series, and when I looked it up online, it turned out she blogs via LiveJournal. Reading through entries, I discovered that not only did I like her books, I liked really liked her, and I ended up buying every single one of her books from my local Borders in response (with coupons, but still, spending money).

    Plus, it’s fun to be at the bookstore and able to tell your friends “Oh, yeah, and the author of this book liked my comment on such and such.”

    Of course, I suppose this only works if you are a likable person. If I’d found some kind of Terry Goodkind blog back when I was young and impressionable enough to think the Sword of Truth books were good, maybe I’d have caught on faster to their underlying crazy.

    …“been69”? Goodness. That’s awfully personal for a catchpa.

  25. 25
    Tamara Hogan says:

    They connect with their fans and make us want to spend our money.

    Does anyone else find this issue of fan connection kinda fascinating from a cultural or anthropological perspective? I think this expectation of a personal ‘connection’ with artists or famous people is fairly recent, and definitely facilitated by technology. Twenty to twenty five years ago, if I wanted to express my appreciation for the work of Stephen King or Nora Roberts, I’d pick up a pen and write a fan letter, lick a stamp and mail it. Maybe I’d have a chance to meet them in person and get an autograph if they did a book tour in my city. I connected to their BOOK, not to them as a person. I certainly never had any expectation that I’d develop even a superficial connection with the people who wrote the books, who created the worlds, that I so enjoyed.

    This boundary has shifted over time. It’s an aspect of the author job description that I’m still trying to come to terms with.

  26. 26
    ev says:

    When you’re sick, happiness is a warm puppy. Mine curled up with me while I napped my way thru it. Warm fuzzies always help with crappy sicks.

    Giraffes’ are always cute-it’s no wonder the evil Toy Store uses one. They always get awww’s with good reason.

    Even tho I work for the company that owns a major publishing house, I don’t do the publisher websites to find someone new to read. Thru other friends and author’s I have found other author’s. I buy their stuff. Trent is a genius in many ways and others should really follow his example. I don’t support piracy, but sometimes, peoples attitudes towards their fans doesn’t make me want to spend my hard earned (actually my husband’s) dollars on their stuff, and I can understand people doing it. Attitude towards me and others counts on where I spend those $$$$. And I spend lots of them, not just on books. I have lots of choices where to spend them, so if there is an author who’s books I like, but I don’t personally like them, I will get it from the library and not spend $$$ on them.

    spamalot word= economic43. I always hated those economic classes.

  27. 27
    Literary Slut Kilian says:

    Donna asked:

    Are those wings? or constellations? I haven’t had coffee yet.

    I found the book on Amazon (110 copies available for $0.01), and it is a phantom unicorn in the sky behind them.

  28. 28
    Jeannie says:

    Ah, the bliss of a Nyquil-induced coma…

    Sarah, even sickly you are da bomb for bringing such smiles to our faces. Here’s what always puzzles me though when I read these great snarky reviews: When all you hear is how hard it is to get something published, how in the flying-unicorn-fuck does this kind of schlock get across first an agent’s and then a publisher and an editor’s desk? It’s beyond comprehension.

    Feel better soon, and doggy kisses always help!

  29. 29
    Eve S. says:

    “‘Twas warm, the air redolent of the sweet leavings of the horses.” from Unicorn Vengeance

    I worked with horses for a number of years, and cannot ONCE remember their ‘leavings’ as smelling sweet on the warm air. :)

    gone33: yep that was 3 years ago.

  30. 30
    DS says:

    AgTigress is right.  If the hero is about to burst his chausses it is more likely that he is turning in the Incredible Hulk rather than getting a stupendous erection.  He would burst his brais instead or maybe send his codpiece rocketing across the room.

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