Whether openly acknowledged or not, the

Whether openly acknowledged or not, the book market is “now in a battle for both the survival of physical-world book selling and the trade publishing business model that depends on it,” Hildick-Smith said. “The choice is either to emulate the film industry, with its theaters and strong multiple channels of distribution, or else by default, go the way of the music industry, which has endured a massive revenue decline since it became dominated by digital distribution.” http://ow.ly/AnGRJ

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Now available for freebie borrows during

Now available for freebie borrows during the trial run of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited launch: FOREVER YESTERDAY, SAVING JONQUILS AND HEARING WINGS. I’ve also made WHERE THE FOXGLOVES BLOOM available for borrowing at Scribd — but I can’t put it in Amazon’s program because the novella is sold in a variety of places so that disqualifies it (Amazon’s rules.)

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Hey, spell my name right when you diss me, okay?

I’ve caused an uproar. An “uproar?” I’m sitting here listening to digital crickets chirp. Where is this uproar? The breadth and width of my Twitter and Facebook and blogging universe is far, far bigger than I ever imagined, since the only posts I can launch further than a long spit out a high window are pictures of my cats licking themselves.

Anyhow, today I’m one of the subjects in Digital Book World’s column by Dana Beth Weinberg.

Empowering Writers With Data

Not to belabor the points, smack a dead horse, etc. so I’m just posting the same answer I’ve posted at DBW. As follows:

One correction up front: my company’s name is spelled Bell Bridge Books, thanks.

As I think I’ve made clear in my blog posts and in private correspondence to Dr. Weinberg, I support her data and have followed her reports here at DBW in the past. My beef, as I’ve stated repeatedly, is with Romance Writers of America using her data in a disingenuous way at the upcoming national conference. When a topic is titled “Is there still a case to be made for traditional publishing?” and the program notes tell attendees that Dr. Weinberg will present “for and against” research about publishers, those who don’t know anything about her work will assume a negative slant. RWA has produced a dramatically skewed workshop schedule this year, in my opinion, overwhelmingly aimed at self-publishing authors and flavored with a bias against traditional publishing. The only other workshop dedicated to traditional publishing topics is titled “What good are agents?” So — with all due respect to Dr. Weinberg and her best intentions, statistics alone are often used as propaganda. Especially when presented out of context, at a workshop that does not include the publishers and agents about which she is offering conclusions. My concerns are about context and fairness. I wish Dr. Weinberg the best.

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Free Book Palooza Today!!!

Today is the first annual Digital Book Day, organized by bestselling author C.J. Lyons. Authors from around the world are giving away ebook editions of their novels. Yours Truly has put my novella, Forever Yesterday, up for free grabs. The project is a promotion for authors and a gift to fans, no strings attached. Just go to digitalbookday.com.

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Why the messenger is not the problem at RWA

Put down yer flame throwers, troops. This is not the (Harvard PhD Sociologist and Queen’s College-CUNY Professor of Sociology) droid you’re looking for.

To further clarify my point from RWA Takes My Money
Then Asks If I Deserve To Exist
, my beef is with RWA’s 2014 workshop schedule, which I feel has an ugly bias against traditional publishing. With only two workshops specifically targeted to trad pub topics (I don’t count the publisher spotlights) let’s review the titles of those workshops:

“What good is an agent?” (Holy creepers, Batman, that’s rude.)
And: “Can a case still still be made for traditional publishers and agents?” (Geez, Batman, now publishers are cast in a negative light, and agents get dissed a second time.)

I took exception to the negative titles, and to the fact that the publisher topic will feature sociologist Dr. Dana Beth Weinberg.

I think it’s inappropriate for a non-industry voice to be the only speaker on a topic that has only one narrow window of coverage at a conference where all the major sponsors are publishers and where a substantial number of the published attendees write for traditional publishers.

But let me be clear: this is not a personal slap at Dr. Weinberg or her presentation, about which I do know quite a bit, actually.

Analyzing the Author Earnings Data

Earlier this year Dr. Weinberg took on the daunting task of vetting indie author Hugh Howey’s popular statistics on self-publishing. Her conclusions were not overwhelmingly supportive of Howey’s conclusions, a fact that earned her a whole bunch of flaming spitballs from his followers.

I expect she’ll present the core of that same report at RWA, and it will be fair to publishers as well as to agents. I also suspect that she’ll get grilled by self-published authors in the room. In my experience, that won’t be pretty.

I don’t want anyone in the trad pub posse going in there with crazy flaming spitballs ready to heave at her. She’ll have enough trouble, as it is.

So once again, let me be perfectly, Nixonianly clear:
RWA needs to get its act together.
But Dr. Weinberg is not the scapegoat for RWA’s poor judgment.

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I’m getting an eyepatch–and minions!

The response to my little blog post: “RWA Took My Money Then Told Me I Don’t Deserve To Exist” has been great! And by “Great!” I mean “Sunny with a Chance of Flaming, Frothing Spitballs.” Seriously, thanks to all the thoughtful posters, whether you agreed or disagreed. And to the others . . . well . . . don’t run with scissors, look both ways crossing the street, and I hope you don’t use that mouth to kiss your mama. I wasn’t going to publish some of the remarks, especially when the poster wouldn’t give a real name, then I shrugged and decided to let the sun shine down into that cave.

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Is RWA deserting all but a few romance genres?

The workshop and main speaker schedules for the upcoming Romance Writers of America conference in San Antonio reveals the organization’s full transformation from a traditional publishing conduit into a voice almost solely for self-published authors, with a side dressing of open animosity toward traditional publishing and thus, toward its traditionally published members.

So the question that faces not only traditionally published authors but also hybrids and even many self-pubs may be: is the organization kicking us out? Warts and all, (I joined in 1984) RWA has always been relatively inclusive of a broad range of romance genres. Despite flame wars over adding awards and workshops dedicated to emerging sub-genres, RWA had, until recently, trended toward *expanding* its definition of the romance novel.

But then, two years ago, women’s fiction and YA romances were dropped from the awards. New berths were made for erotic romances but at the loss of those two substantial sub-genres–which didn’t need to be eliminated in order to accommodate erotic romance.

The recent, overwhelming adoption of self-publishing by some romance authors (romance far and above dominates self-publishing and most of the successes in self-publishing are romance authors) has led quickly to RWA focusing on self-pubs’ interests. Nothing wrong with serving your membership.

But self-pubs remain only a part of RWA’s membership, albeit a very vocal and visible one. Eighty-five percent of all books are still published by traditional presses (including the Amazon Montlake romance imprint, which, ironically, offers terms similar to other “evil” publisher’s).

Most of the self-pub successes are within the narrow confines of contemporary hot/sexy/erotic/NA romance, leaving a huge (perhaps majority) of other romance writers out of the scope of (likely) self-pub success.

That means what RWA has done is narrow the org’s focus to the interests and viewpoint of a very small group of authors. Maybe it’s time to rename RWA something like “A Small Group Of Romance Writers In America” for truth in advertising.

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