Thursday, December 6, 2012

12/6/12: Hot Updates & Titillating Tidbits for a Cold NYC Day

(From PR Newswire; GalleyCat) Harlequin, ever the innovating operation, has joined forces with Cosmo to launch novella length erotic romance, Cosmo Red Hot Reads. A joint endeavor, the series launches with two original ebook titles a month, in May, 2013 by “some of Harlequin’s bestselling authors”. No surprise, the Cosmo release references “if you picked up Fifty Shades of Grey then this is the book series for you.” I’m just wondering if HQ is now rethinking their abandonment of their print Spice line of erotica. Could be they jumped the gun and may reanimate it? Time certainly seems ripe.

As a New Yawka, I get and religiously read the NY Times, including the Sunday Book Section. After a series of changes, half the section now consists of a plethora of convoluted and confusing bestseller lists. But wait! They’re not done yet! Publishers Lunch reports today that they’re divvying up the children’s bestseller lists. There’ll now be at least 2 – one list each for middle-grade and YA. Seeing how YA is one of the hottest (the hottest?) genres going these days, I can see the impetus. Still. One needs a degree in actuarial type stuff to figure it out.

Bill Bryson discovered some (alleged) heinous skullduggery (is there any other kind?) by a former agent and is dragging the guy to court. Here’s to your victory Bill. It’s tough enough being an author without having to don a mask and cape to fight for truth, justice and royalties. Let’s hear it for all those terrific agents, too, who do great work and don’t rob their clients.

You might want to pick up the December 10 issue of Time Magazine. On page 44, “The Next EL James?” “The $ .99 Bestseller” article plunges into a discussion starting with the RT Conference, a J. A. Konrath presentation, and various self-publishing ins and outs. The article focuses primarily on Amazon’s self-pub arm, but touches on the pricing conundrum and DOJ suit, and details the successes and travails of a couple of authors of erotic romance, one up and comer, and another you may know well, millionaire author of ├╝ber steaming tales, Bella Andre. Definitely a must-read for any author, especially if you’re contemplating the indie pub route.

If you’re considering your New Year’s Resolutions for 2013, and they include networking at a writers’ conference, there are dozens to choose from. Digital Book World opens its doors in NYC from January 15 – 17. The Liberty States Fiction Writers one-day Create Something Magical conference in New Jersey falls on March 16, 2013 (I’m a member, so allow me to tout this group’s greatness. Definitely a great investment and here’s the link Writers Digest East Conference runs April 5-7 in NYC (no word on a WD West time or place yet). RT Book Reviews Conference gets underway in Kansas City from May 1-5. Make sure you check out regional conferences in your area, everything from Christian Writers, Comic Cons, and mystery and romance writers’ conferences. More listings coming soon!

And speaking of romance writers, the incredible ladies Leanna Renee Hieber, Hope Tarr and Maya Rodale and book blogger and all around delightful gent, Ron Hogan, several years back launched their beauteous brain child, Lady Jane’s Salon. This one-of-a-kind and only romance reading series in Manhattan, was an instant hit. So much so that there are now satellite Lady Jane’s proliferating all around the country. Check out their site to see if there’s one in your neck of the woods. The NYC group meets the first Monday of every month, at Madam X, 94 West Houston Street. The small donations go to women’s charities and the events are wonderful, fun evenings of romance readings by authors of every type.

I couldn’t let the opportunity go by to regale you all with my recent experience at the NYC BDSM Club, Paddles, where Lori Perkins, editor of 50 Writers on 50 Shades of Grey held forth with two panels of authors who’d contributed to the collection. The panels were incredibly provocative, and the speakers wonderfully erudite, funny, and gave lots of perspectives on the 50 Shades phenom (love it or hate it). And provocative wasn’t the word for the – ahem – hands on S&M demonstration by a Dom and his submissive. I’m betting everyone in the audience had a little tingle as we witnessed the flogging – and more. They were smart and gracious and gave the audience great insight into the D/s mentality and the BDSM lifestyle.

I’m wrapping up my year as President of the NYC Chapter of Romance Writers of America. It was a wonderful experience and I look forward to working as Past President with the incoming Board of Directors for 2013. Are you a writer of romantic fiction in or around NYC? Well, golly gee, how come you aren’t a member? Check out the Chapter Website (undergoing renovation as we speak, but up and running) for upcoming Chapter meetings and see what we’re all about. Don’t be afraid to depend on the kindness of strangers – we won’t be strangers for long, I guarantee it!

I had a chance recently to sit in on a CLE presentation (for lawyers to keep up with the legal eagle game; no floggers involved) on the recently decided Authors Guild v. Hathi Trust copyright case. Have you read the Copyright Act? Did you know that an author (or photographer or any rights holder) does not have absolute right to their material? Fair use is the principle that allows others to use your material under certain legally delineated guidelines – but note that many a lawsuit has been waged over how to interpret those guidelines and it is a thorny issue, my child. I gleaned fascinating information on the convoluted issues of copyright and I continue to learn a tremendous amount about intellectual property in general. This presentation followed on the heels of one concerning fair use and social media. Do you read the teeny weeny fine print on those terms of use on the various social media you are on? If you haven’t you’d better start. Learning what these sites are doing, and how to avoid putting your material in jeopardy would be a mighty smart move.

As a little cerebral tidbit for the day, in case you also haven’t given a gander to the Constitution lately, here’s from Article I, Section 8: The Constitutional Provision Respecting Copyright:

“The Congress shall have Power . . . To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Investors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

And speaking of lofty legal topics – I discovered a great blog by NYC lawyer Mark Fowler. If you’re interested in keeping abreast of legal type issues and discussions, add it to your favorites:

On that note, with a hidey-hidey-ho, here’s to a brilliant, sunny Thursday. Write happy, write smart!


Carly Carson said...

Wow. Thanks for all the news. It's an exciting time to be in this business.

Kwana said...

Thanks for the informative post Lise.