Bitchin' Blog Posts
: The Link-O-Lator
by SB Sarah | May 06, 2013 | Monday at 2:34 pm | 19 Comments
While I was at RT, news broke that Tools of Change in Publishing is no more. Brian O'Leary, whom I met at ToC (and who, like many people in publishing, is my neighbor in Jersey), has a sharp post about the closing of ToC, and what it means for the people of the ToC community who gathered annually:
Even if you believe that traditional publishing “gets” digital (if there is any ambiguity: I don’t), what about things like self-publishing, or the primacy of web standards as a vehicle for creating, maintaining and disseminating content of all types? The most recent TOC in New York featured two widely praised, day-long workshops hosted by key players in the self-publishing and W3C communities. The hallway conversations alone were worth the price of admission. Who is going to lead that kind of dialogue now that O'Reilly has shuttered TOC?
You don’t have to convince me that maintaining a community is hard work. Sustaining a publishing community is even harder, because there is no one thing that people universally recognize as “publishing”. But once you’ve helped make a community, you have an obligation to nurture and sustain it. If you…
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by SB Sarah | April 26, 2013 | Friday at 12:48 pm | 15 Comments
Links! Things to read on Friday afternoon! Admit it, you're ready to go home now, right? I hear you.
First up: I'm over at Kirkus today, talking about how a lot of book covers look very similar because There's Only One Shade of Cover Art now:
Because the Fifty Shades of Grey covers were so distinct and so very, very not romance-like, and, obviously, so successful, there's been a lot of Shadesesque cover art of late.
If there's a stock photograph of a monochrome close-up on some fashion accessory possibly carried by a dude, chances are, it's been on a book cover. Considering how many people bought Fifty Shades of Grey (and according to Bookscan, that number was over 6.5 million copies sold as of December 30, 2012) there's an understandable desire on the part of anyone involved in book publishing to grab the attention of at least some of those people who bought those 6.5 million copies. And if you're looking to send a message that one book is much like another at a glance, you go for similar art.
Someday we'll see new more better and different covers, but…
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by SB Sarah | April 23, 2013 | Tuesday at 11:36 am | 4 Comments
Reminder! The Sizzling Book Club Chat for the April pick, Family Man by Marie Sexton and Heidi Cullinan, is this Thursday at 9pm ET!
I cannot wait to chat with you about this book. I've noticed a few folks talking about how surprised they were by it. I hope you can join us!
Many, many thanks to Leah V. for this link: Researcher: Men in kilts swing free, have happier sperm.
You might credit the legendary Scottish male virility of past time to single malt whiskey, or the sometimes brutal weather, or the fact that haggis is the national dish, but a Dutch researcher is proposing another answer: It was the kilts. Kilts, worn as they were meant to be worn, without underwear, lets our laddies swing freely in the breeze, creating, according to researcher Erwin Kompanje, the “ideal physiological scrotal environment.” Exposed to the bracing Highland coolness, testicles will make robust sperm.
This brings a whole new set of possibilities to Scottish romance, doesn't it?
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by SB Sarah | April 11, 2013 | Thursday at 5:45 pm | 7 Comments
Via Darth Jenni: there is no such thing as an Average Vagina.
So, are you normal? Are you average? Yes. No. Most likely. It turns out that there is so much variation among female anatomy that doctors, surgeons, and researchers find it difficult to define exactly what normal is – or even if it exists. And a few at least have been trying.
That is NOT the most work-safe link (hence this link post in the evening hours) but wow, is that ever fascinating.
Via Chuck Wendig: this map of dialects in the US is completely jaw dropping. Does "pen" rhyme with "pin?" So much hinges on how you say a few words.
The Atlantic has a new list revealing the 10 least common jobs - and 10 most common - in America today. Before you even look - small town cop? Bakery owner? Which hero or heroine jobs are on the list?
The romance character possibilities are enchanting to think about. A hero who assembles timing devices? He'd be an…
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by SB Sarah | April 09, 2013 | Tuesday at 11:08 am | 9 Comments
The champion of the DABWAHA has been decided!
Congratulations and confetti to Abigail Roux, winner of the 2013 DABWAHA, with her book Stars & Stripes!
Special awesomeness: in celebration, Riptide Publishing is offering 30% off backlist titles, and 50% editor's choice titles from today until 19 April, so if you're curious about the winning book, or any of their other titles, stock up now!
Congratulations to the author, and to Riptide, who promoted the hell out of the final, and to our DABWAHA Bracket Champion, Vi!
Vi had the mostest-correctest bracket of all, predicting not only the winning book, but the championship duel, and three-quarters of the Final Four with a 79% accurate pick percentage. Vi, got any lottery numbers?
Did you read Stars & Stripes? The publisher's warning of "explicit violence" warned me off, but I'd love to know what you liked about it.
Thank you to everyone who played along, and we'll see you…
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by SB Sarah | March 29, 2013 | Friday at 9:25 am | 4 Comments
I've been watching the news coverage and the increasing number of red avatars on Facebook and Twitter with a good deal of trepidation. The Supreme Court decision on Hollingsworth v. Perry (which will determine whether Prop 8 in California is unconstitutional because it discriminates against gay and lesbian citizens) could take awhile, but in the meantime, Courtney Milan's got a condensed comedic summary of the transcript which is both hilarious and sad:
ROBERTS: Since when does California get to decide questions of federal standing?
SOTOMAYOR: Because, you know, officers like the attorney general take oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution, whereas these assholes—I mean, the people bringing this case have no such duties.
COOPER: The Court has never held that.
SOTOMAYOR: We’ve never had a case like this.
BREYER: I’m going to ask you an extremely long question riddled with nonspecific nouns, and you’re going to have to guess what I mean by it.
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by SB Sarah | March 27, 2013 | Wednesday at 2:54 pm | 11 Comments
Reminder! Tomorrow at 9pm we'll be hosting the Sizzling Book Club Chat discussing The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand.
There will probably be intricate discussions of dessert and pastry. Ms. Florand will join us at 10pm ET for a Q&A. I hope you'll come by - book club chat nights are very fun.
I'm over at Kirkus today, continuing my series about identifying your favorite tropes and character types in romance. This week, in honor of Passover, I'm talking about identifying those things about romance you know you don't like - and can thus pass…over. Ba-dum-bump.
Just as identifying the character types and storylines that you like is a powerful and useful tool for finding more romances you love to read, knowing what to avoid is also a powerful and very useful tool. There is nothing less fun than realizing you are not enjoying a book at all. If you think about the books you really, really hated, the ones that made you angry, disappointed, or just plain bored, it's likely they have…
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by SB Sarah | March 24, 2013 | Sunday at 11:36 am | 13 Comments
A few links for Sunday morning reading:
I saw this article as I was checking out of a hotel and took pictures of the Wall Street Journal, but Holly @hi_26 on Twitter found the online version for me: Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster's financial dispute has led to BN significantly reducing the orders of S&S author books.
The dispute holds risks for both sides. Simon & Schuster is losing sales and promotions at the biggest book chain in the U.S. While the retailer is still carrying the publisher's biggest books in quantity, titles by lesser-known authors have been cut sharply, said the people familiar with the matter. Orders for some titles have been reduced by as much as 90%, according to one literary agent.
A recent walk-through at one of Barnes & Noble's stores in Manhattan found hard-cover editions of such current Simon & Schuster best sellers as Jodi Picoult's novel "The Storyteller" and Clive Davis's memoir "The Soundtrack of My Life."
Elsewhere, however, the paperback edition of veteran author M.J. Rose's novel "The Book of Lost Fragrances," published in February, was out of stock and a…
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by SB Sarah | March 13, 2013 | Wednesday at 8:46 am | 8 Comments
Heads up! The 50% eBook Buck rebate on this month's Sizzing Book Club Pick, The Chocolate Kiss, ends tomorrow, so grab your copy while you can. The after-rebate price is $6, which is Not Bad At All!
Also, mark your calendars, as the Book Club Chat will be Thursday, March 28 at 9:00 pm EDT. Laura Florand will join us at 10pm for a Q&A, and I may throw chocolates into the mix as well.
Need a Google calendar button? Here you go:
I hope you enjoy the book and can come talk about it with us!
Reader nominations for the DABWAHA tournament of romance novels close at midnight EDT, Friday 15 March! Head on over to the nomination form and tell us which book you think ought to be in the tournament.
Selection Sunday will be 17 March, and you'll be able to pick your brackets and get ready for the tournament then - let the trash talking and competitive awesomeness begin!
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by SB Sarah | February 12, 2013 | Tuesday at 9:07 am | 6 Comments
I'm heading to Tools of Change in Publishing today, and will be tweeting the hell out of the conference (#toccon). Today, the Author ( R)evolution Day is being livestreamed. You can read more about it here:
To paraphrase Todd Sattersten, “Every Author is an Entrepreneur” so we all need to start thinking like one. The publishing shift we see coming has most authors picking their publisher, not the other way around. In order to be well-equipped for this new environment, we think authors and content creators need as much training in business and publishing expertise as they do in writing. They need to understand deep structural issues like the way data flows around the industry, new modes of discovery, new thinking about consumer behavior, how to read the numbers, the potential of new technology, and how to build an effective team around themselves so they can run their businesses.
I'll be writing up my impressions of ToC as usual. You can watch the keynotes on Wednesday and Thursday online as well at http://www.toccon.com/live.
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by SB Sarah | January 30, 2013 | Wednesday at 8:58 pm | 6 Comments
Ready for me to steal away a few moments of your productivity? NO? Too bad!
I somehow ended up reading a blog called Fashionably Royal, specifically the section on gems and diamonds, and, well, here, enjoy with me.
First, there's the Beau Sancy diamond, worn by royalty, and a modest 55.2 carats:
The diamonds were brought from India to France by Nicolas de Harlay, Lord of Sancy, thus the names of the diamonds. In 1604, the pair of diamonds were separated when James I of England bought the Sancy to wear in his hat. Queen Marie (formerly Marie de Medici, Europe’s richest heiress) had wanted the Sancy had wanted to buy the Sancy, so she made her husband buy the Beau Sancy and she added it to her private collection. In fact, she wore it on top of her pearl and diamond coronation crown in 1610.
Like you do.
But the Magpie Monday section of that blog has other treasures - literally - to gaze upon, such as the Bernadotte…
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by SB Sarah | January 28, 2013 | Monday at 9:30 am | 6 Comments
Ah, the internet. Filled with interesting words, and pictures of cats. First, in news, Macmillan has announced they're going to begin digital book lending through American libraries:
Using the agency model and working with a number of distributors, Macmillan will offer libraries over 1,200 backlist e-books from its Minotaur Books imprint. At launch, Baker & Taylor, OverDrive and 3M will be selling the Macmillan titles to library systems. Once purchased by a library, the titles will be available to them to lend for two years or 52 lends, whichever comes first. All of the books in the program will have the same digital list price.
Macmillan refered pricing questions to its distributors and OverDrive said each title will be $25.
Oh, my goodness gravy. 1200 titles! I'm floored by the largesse, really. "Hey, big spender" is now stuck permanently on repeat in my brain.
I throw up my hands in "I can't even." So does Neil DeGrasse Tyson:
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by SB Sarah | January 22, 2013 | Tuesday at 4:45 pm | 29 Comments
I saw a few tweets about this go by but I cannot for the life of me find the first one to credit my source, so this will be attributed to the person I call SOTI - Someone On The Internet. Not quite enough of a citation, I agree, but it's the best I've got right now.
Austenland, a film based on the book by Shannon Hale, premiered at Sundance this week, and news today is that the film has been picked up for distribution by Sony, which plans to do all the big film things when releasing the movie this summer. Expect much Austening!
Austenland the book is still $1.99 digitally, if you'd like to grab a copy and do the "read the book before seeing the film" thing. Because book to film is something that NEVER happens to Jane Austen-y books.
Cover copy? YES COVER COPY. Jane is a young New York woman who can never seem to find the right man-perhaps because of her secret obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of…
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by SB Sarah | January 21, 2013 | Monday at 11:29 am | 6 Comments
First, Jim C. Hines' cover reshooting to raise money for the Aicardi Foundation has yielded a cornucopia of silliness. At the recent ConFusion, Jim C. Hines, John Scalzi, Pat Rothfuss, Charles Stross and Mary Robinette Kowal recreated "Young Flandry" - reversing the sex of the models, obviously. Thanks to Carrie S. and many others who forwarded me the link.
The result is just majesty.
There is a whole depository of hilarity as Jim posts more cover reshoots, including Jennifer Estep's Tangled Threads, Kelly Armstrong's Bitten, Lois McMaster Bujuold's Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, and a very special pose-off for Christmas.
That last one prompted me to wonder where Mr. Scalzi got all that fuchsia carpeting. Because awesome!
The BBC has picked up on Hines' cover reshoots: Lynsea Garrison wrote a profile of him and of the project:
Jim Hines straddles the remnants of a defeated alien species (a table), and clasps a pistol (a toy gun) as he triumphantly raises a cyborg's head…
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by SB Sarah | January 10, 2013 | Thursday at 2:37 pm | 6 Comments
Reminder! There's one more day to add your comment to the Molly O'Keefe Really Likes Bruce Springsteen giveaway, which ends tomorrow. You should, if you missed it, take a moment to read her essay about why she loves romance and Springsteen music and what they have in common, because it's awesome.
And then you can comment on that entry with something you love as much as romance - or as much as Molly loves romance and Springsteen music - to win a copy of her book. One lucky winner will get both Molly's new book, Crazy Thing Called Love, and a copy of the new Springsteen biography by Peter Ames Carlin.
Comment over there, not over here! Good luck!
I read this yesterday, and I'm still thinking about this epic ranting defense of the positive elements of Disney princesses, specifically Ariel, Belle and Jasmine:
so here is the thing about ariel, is that she always dreams of being on land with feet, is explicitly canonically unhappy with her body & choices way before meeting prince…
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