A Review of Two Lovely Berries on Words For Worms!

Sharing a review of Two Lovely Berries, a just-released novel by my favorite blogger, A.M Blair. I’m reading the novel now and enjoying it.

The Misfortune Of Knowing

Two Lovely Berries_Cover August 2014I can’t express the excitement I felt when I saw the first review of my novel, Two Lovely Berries, on one of my favorite book blogs, Words for Worms. I’ve been following Words for Worms for a long time, and I’ve also participated in her Fellowship of the Worms.

In her review of Two Lovely Berries, Katie wrote:

I don’t know what to say other than this book was excellent. I found the story engrossing from the start. Books that focus on interpersonal relationships sometimes turn a corner into a weird introspective place, but I thought Two Lovely Berries stayed grounded firmly in reality. Everything was realistically portrayed, and even the dramatic bits avoided abject melodrama. Tales of infidelity, workaholics, family violence, and sibling rivalry all blend together with refreshing glimmers of humanity that make the whole thing just work.

I am so glad that Two Lovely…

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Typos: Condemnation for Common Mistakes

The Misfortune Of Knowing

Miss Steaks from Spell Checker Poem

Once, after filing a 49-page appellate brief in a case, I received the following email from a well-established attorney in my practice area:

I did not want to undercut the ‘thank you’ email I sent on Saturday by mentioning anything negative [about the brief you filed], but there’s something you may have noted already, but which, in case not, I draw to your attention for the future: the proofing needs to be done more carefully.

The sender then complained that my brief contained two small typos and one incomplete citation. Thankfully, all of these mistakes were in pro forma portions of the brief that the judges were unlikely to read, but I felt awful about them, particularly after spending nearly three weeks drafting and proofreading the damn thing. I read the brief from cover to cover multiple times, as did several other attorneys involved in the case, and not one…

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Richard III: Science Trumps Shakespeare

Fascinating topic (by one of my favorite bloggers) … I’ve read Tey’s book as well….

The Misfortune Of Knowing

Two RichardsEver since archaeologists excavated King Richard III’s remains from a parking lot in Leicester, England in 2012, researchers have been working hard to uncover his 500-year-old secrets.* They have confirmed the ruler’s identity through mitochondrial DNA testing, discovered he had roundworms (but no other parasites) in his intestines, and have now learned that his spinal curvature wasn’t extreme enough to warrant the physical description Shakespeare gave him in the eponymous play, Richard III (1592).

Most of us know of Richard III through Shakespeare, who portrays the controversial last Plantagenet King as a villain responsible for the murders of his nephews, the Princes in the Tower, among other deaths. Shakespeare connects Richard III’s treacherous behavior to his physical appearance, describing him as “deform’d,” “unfinish’d,” and as a “bunch-back’d toad.”

As it turns out, though, Shakespeare’s description of Richard III’s wasn’t exactly right. In The Lancet (May 31, 2014),

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Why Is The Media Ignoring Author Exploitation By Publishers?

David Gaughran

prhasiThe Amazon-Hachette dispute has caught the media’s attention. But what about the story the media refuses to cover?

The media is more concerned with one-sided accounts of Amazon’s perceived actions – when no one really knows the exact nature of the dispute.

The media is more concerned with what Amazon might do in the future, than actual author exploitation by the world’s largest trade publisher: Penguin Random House.

Penguin Random House owns the world’s largest vanity press – Author Solutions – which is currently subject to a class action for deceptive business practices, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and violation of business statutes in California, New York, and Colorado.

The court papers cover the same ground that I’ve been blogging about for the last three years, that Writer Beware has spent even longer documenting, and others like Emily Suess and Mick Rooney have covered in extensive detail.

If…

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Did Apple Leave Amazon’s Kindle “in the Dust”?

The Misfortune Of Knowing

conclusion of apple caseIn The Judge that Apple Hates (June 2014), Vanity Fair profiles the federal judge at the helm of United States v. Apple Inc., the case filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against Apple and five traditional publishing companies.

Last summer, in a 160-page landmark opinion, Judge Denise Cote found that Apple and five traditional publishing companies “conspired to raise, fix, and stabilize the retail price for newly released and bestselling trade e-books” in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and other laws, thus explaining “how and why the prices for many [e-books] rose significantly in the United States in April 2010.” All of the publishers had previously settled.

The collusion came in response to Amazon’s e-book pricing, which typically sold new releases for $9.99, regardless of what price the publisher wanted. The publishers wanted e-books to cost more, but didn’t want to leave Amazon, and so Apple came…

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The Great E-book Pricing Question

David Gaughran

soulsale There’s more guff written about pricing than almost anything else, resulting in an extremely confusing situation for new self-publishers. I often see them pricing too low or too high, and the decision is rarely made the right way, i.e. ascertaining their goals and pricing accordingly.

Price/value confusion

Before we get to the nuts-and-bolts, it’s time to slay a zombie meme. Much of the noise on this issue springs from conflating two concepts, namely price and value.

Authors often say something like, “My book is worth more than a coffee.” Or publishers might say, “A movie costs $10 and provides two hours of entertainment. Novels provide several times that and should cost more than $9.99.”

Price and value are two different things. From Wikipedia:

Economic value is not the same as market price. If a consumer is willing to buy a good, it implies that the customer places a higher value…

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The HarperCollins Lawsuit: Keeping Authors Aboard As Traditional Publishing Sinks

The Misfortune Of Knowing

HarperCollins v. Open Road

In March, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, sitting in Manhattan, handed a victory to HarperCollins in its lawsuit against Open Road Integrated Media over the e-book publishing rights of Jean Craighead George’s award-winning children’s novel, Julie of the Wolves (1972). This “victory” for HarperCollins, however, highlights for authors one of the perils of pursuing the traditionally published route: desperate publishing corporations will stop at nothing to make sure “its” authors go down with the ship.

Let’s start with the facts of the case:

  • In 1971, author Jean Craighead George signed a contract with HarperCollins (then Harper & Row) to publish Julie of the Wolves “in book form” for a $2,000 advance (just over $11,000 in today’s dollars) and royalty payments between 10-15%.
  • Although the grant of publishing rights was in Paragraph 1, the contract also contained a provision (Paragraph 20) that said:…

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