Monthly Archives: October 2011

It’s official: New Nook Color tablet launching Nov. 7

31 October 2011
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From CNet:

Barnes & Noble is due to release a new Nook Color on November 7, but can it come close to the Kindle Fire’s $199 price?

As we reported last week, rumor had it Barnes & Noble would be launching its next-generation, Android-powered Nook Color tablet e-reader on November 7. Now it’s become official, with Barnes & Noble sending out invites to the media for an event that morning in New York.

While the invite doesn’t refer to a specific device, it’s a pretty safe bet to assume it’s a new Nook Color, though it’s unclear whether it will be called the Nook Color 2 or something else altogether. The new tablet will presumably have an upgraded processor and perhaps an upgraded screen and some additional design refinements.

The biggest question is how much the new tablet will cost. With the Kindle Fire on sale at $199 (it ships November 15), there’s some pressure on B&N to come close to matching that price, though Amazon is allegedly losing money on each Fire it sells (our sources suggest the Fire currently costs around $220 to build). With that being the case, Barnes & Noble is more likely to come out with a faster, more powerful Nook Color that costs $249, though we wouldn’t be surprised to see it at $299.

At the same time, the company may leave the original the Nook Color on the market and price it at $199.

Link to the rest at CNet

A word is not the same with one writer as with another

31 October 2011
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A word is not the same with one writer as with another.  One tears it from his guts.  The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket.

Charles Peguy

Lawyers in Love – The Biggest Mistakes Romance Writers Make

31 October 2011

Passive Guy is not going there, but Dear Author does:

I’ve largely given up reading romances with books featuring lawyers. So few authors do it right and I can’t suspend my disbelief enough to get lost in the text. What I could do, however, is point out five of the biggest mistakes I’ve found in books featuring romances. Most of them do not involve around the intricacies of the law. I can forgive those. Most of the errors involve ethical breaches which would see the lawyers reprimanded at best and disbarred at worst.

1) Sleeping with the opposing counsel. This is a common trope because individuals on the opposite sides of the table is instant conflict. The problem with this trope is that most ethical rules require the sexual relationship to predate the suit that the two lawyers are involved with and require disclosure to the clients and consent of the clients in order for the lawyers to be involved with each other. Beginning to sleep with each other during the course of a case? Not without disclosure. Disclosure, though, makes everything so unsexy right?

2) Sleeping with the client. This is a HUGE no no. Does it happen? I’m sure, but sleeping with a client is considered an ethical breach. In Icebreaker by Deirdre Martin (review here), she handles it fairly well, but the fact of the matter is most lawyers view sleeping with your client as verboten. The Bar Associations which mete out the punishment to lawyers agree. Reader AS could not get over this ethical breach.

. . . .

5) Trial lawyers. Oftentimes I see lawyers having intense emotional relationships develop just days before a trial. I find this incredibly unbelievable. The more intense the case, the less likely I believe in the possibility. This is because trial preparation, if you are a decent lawyer, is all consuming. You are spending fourteen to eighteen hour days prepping your witnesses, reviewing your case law, reviewing your depositions, practicing your opening statement, reviewing your jury voir dire questions. There is no end of things that you need to do. People outside the case do not exist. There is a reason that there is a high burnout rate for trial lawyers and many divorces amongst those lawyers.

Link to the rest at Dear Author

“But,” you ask, “if lawyers can’t do these things, where do little lawyers come from?”

PG’s not going there, either.

He will only repeat the observation of a lawyer friend who said you can always tell which kids in a third grade class will grow up to be lawyers. They’re the ones who never shut up.

Analyzing Kindle’s Publishing Contract – II

31 October 2011

Almost one month ago, Passive Guy announced he would be writing a book that analyzed Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing contract.

It’s still happening.

He also announced this book would be available on November 1.

That would be tomorrow.

It won’t happen then.

The reasons are two-fold:

1. PG has been very busy working for his legal clients. His client base has grown quite rapidly. This is a good thing.

However, PG has obligations to his clients that he can’t ethically put on hold while he finishes his book.

2. PG has gained much more information about Amazon’s contract than he expected to gain. He can’t say more about that, but this is also very good because this means his book will be better.

However, it will take a bit longer to write.

PG is not sluffing off on this project. As evidence, he presents part of one the pages covered with what passes for a visual representation of PG’s analytical process.

This is how you find out everything about a contract. Well, maybe not you, but this is what PG does. PG has many, many pages like this.

“But wait,” you say, “the Kindle Direct Publishing Terms and Conditions are not all that long.” You would be right.

However, if you thought the Kindle Direct Publishing Terms and Conditions constituted an indie author’s entire contract with Amazon, you would be wrong. There is more.

To allay mounting hysteria among those conscientious souls who read the KDP Terms and Conditions and thought they knew everything, allow PG to say Amazon doesn’t have monsters in its basement. PG hasn’t finished his analysis, of course, but he has looked at enough contracts to be confident he would smell the monsters at this stage of his analysis if they were hanging around.

However, the longer a contract that includes cross-references and defined terms is, the more complex it becomes and complexity does not increase geometrically. A 20-page contract is usually far more than twice as complex as a 10-page contract.

One of the things a good attorney needs to do is to understand where all the moving parts of a contract are, then run through multiple scenarios under which various parts move in different directions and in different amounts. If there are 100 distinctive possibilities and an attorney only understands 99, as sure as the sun will come up tomorrow, possibility #100 will happen.

PG apologizes for not having his magnum opus Amazonius ready so you can give it to your grandmother for her birthday on November 2. He suggests 99 Little Doilies as a possible alternative.

PG is not going to reveal a new release date, but he is embarrassed enough about missing this one that the book will get finished in a hurry.

EPUB3 ready to go, now Amazon responds with Kindle Format 8

31 October 2011

New Zealand publisher and digital publishing consultant Martin Taylor is not terribly happy that Amazon has announced a new format:

Like EPUB3, the new Kindle format introduces support for the latest web standards, HTML5 and CSS3, and adds a host of new features that will allow development of much richer ebooks.

. . . .

This is good news. But for those of us who had hoped that EPUB3′s arrival might prod Amazon into adopting direct EPUB support, this announcement is a pretty clear indication that, if it comes at all, it will be some way into the future. We’ll have richer, higher quality ebooks but we’ll have incompatible formats. For the time being, this probably won’t bother Amazon’s users who are a happy lot. Amazon has done a great job of pleasing them with an eco-system that’s easy to use, with the best selection of ebooks, and support for most of the e-reading devices they’re likely to want to use.

But for publishers, it could add challenges as the new features these formats offer mean ebook production requirements and costs will scale up. And for the newly-minted EPUB3, it poses a challenge to stay relevant as Amazon’s importance as the number one sales channel might tempt some publishers to bypass it.

Even where sales of EPUB ebooks lag behind Kindle sales, many publishers have now built their workflow around EPUB as their primary source files. These convert well into the current Kindle format, allowing publishers to maintain a single format. To keep this workflow, it will be important that Amazon supports error-free EPUB3 conversion in its Kindle Gen 2 toolset. But as complexity increases, so do the opportunities for things to break. We won’t know until Amazon releases more details whether EPUB3 can continue to serve as this reference format. Indications are that EPUB3 is a richer format so publishers might want to restrict themselves to a feature subset that’s common to both platforms. No mention yet, for instance, of JavaScript support, MathML, or EPUB3′s extensive accessibility features.

Link to the rest at eReport-Digital Publishing Downunder

Barnes and Noble Nook Color vs. Kobo Vox Comparison

31 October 2011
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Good EReader put the devices through the paces and give you a general overview of how the two devices differ.

Link to the rest with video at Good EReader

Wall Street Journal’s First Best-Seller List

31 October 2011

The Wall Street Journal has released its first best-seller list using data from Nielsen BookScan.

It includes a couple of indies on the fiction list.

Here’s the methodology Nielsen uses. You’ll note it apparently includes data from Amazon:

Nielsen BookScan gathers point-of-sale book data from about 12,000 locations across the U.S., representing about 75% of the nation’s book sales. Print-book data providers include all major booksellers and Web retailers, and food stores (excluding Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club). E-book data providers include all major e-book retailers. Free e-books and those sold for less than 99 cents are excluded. The fiction and nonfiction lists in all formats include both adult and juvenile titles; the business list includes only adult titles. The combined lists track sales by title across all print and e-book formats; audio books are excluded.

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire after a few days)

Self-Publishing: A Tale of Two Cities

31 October 2011

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

Self-publishing these days is increasingly a tale of two cities.

There are established authors, like Nyree Belleville, who says she’s earned half a million dollars in the past 18 months selling direct rather than through a publisher..

Then there are new authors, like Eve Yohalem. More than a month after self-publishing, she has grossed about $100 in sales— after incurring costs of $3,400. She said she’s in no rush, though.

. . . .

Self-published women’s fiction writer Darcie Chan has seen her new work, “The Mill River Recluse,” hit No. 5 on The Wall Street Journal’s list of digital fiction bestsellers for the week ended Oct. 23. Ms. Chan priced her novel about a secretive widow living in Vermont at 99 cents, and says she has sold “hundreds of thousands” of copies since it went on sale on Amazon in May. The book, also carried by Barnes & Noble Inc. and other e-retailers, was previously rejected by major publishing houses.

. . . .

“My original intention was to gradually get my name out there as a writer, because when it was rejected one of the things I heard was that nobody knew me,” says Ms. Chan. “I never expected this.”

Ms. Chan says the book was featured on several Kindle-related sites that recommend e-books to readers. In August it broke into the top 10 on the Kindle store, where it ranked No. 6 Friday. She paid a site to review her book, which she thinks may have given her book a boost. And she also did some “inexpensive Web-based advertising” which also got the word moving among readers. Ms. Chan, a lawyer by training, said the novel is now being resubmitted to major publishers.

Then there are writers like Erik Kjerland. He has self-published four novels and one book about self-publishing in the past year under the pseudonym Derek J. Canyon. His profit of about $5,000 on sales of roughly $10,000 is better than he’d hoped but not enough for him to quit his day job as a technical writer.

. . . .

“One of the big differences between e-books and print is the sales cycle,” says Ms. Yohalem. “It’s almost inverted. A chain store buyer makes a decision as much as six months before the book is published, and then it has no more than six months on the shelf. At that point your sales cycle is over. But with e-books, it’s completely the opposite. It’s often six to nine months before your book takes off, and you never take it down.”

She says she began to think seriously about self-publishing after her second book—a collection of short stories aimed at readers 6-10—was rejected and she realized there wouldn’t be enough of a market to lure a big publisher. She also wanted to experiment with self-publishing. Her first middle-grade novel, “Escape Under the Forever Sky,” had been issued by Chronicle Books in 2009 to good reviews but only modest sales. Chronicle told her that story collections targeted to that audience don’t sell. A separate young-adult novel didn’t find a buyer either.

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (Link may expire after a few days)

The only way you can write

30 October 2011

The only way you can write by the light of the bridges burning behind you.

Richard Peck

How do Smashwords, Bookbaby, Lulu and Bibliocore Compare?

30 October 2011

Note this was created in July, 2011. Passive Guy hasn’t checked to see if things have changed with the aggregators since then.

From  Publish Your Own Ebooks:

In some cases instead of publishing directly to an ebook store you might choose to publish via an ebook “aggregator”.

What is an Ebook Aggregator?

An ebook aggregator deals with ebook authors directly and interfaces between them and ebook retailers such as Apple and Sony.

The ebook aggregator may offer other services besides distribution, for example ebook design and formatting services.

Link to the rest, including the footnotes, at Publish Your Own Ebooks

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