BOOKMARKED is the name we gave to our journal, but since not everyone is on Twitter and not everyone on Twitter likes, I thought I’d run an adhoc omnibus of links on the blog to highlight links and news that might be of interest.

Kristan Higgins announced as keynote speaker for ARRC2013

ARRA recently announced that contemporary romance author Kristan Higgins will be one of the keynote speakers for the 2013 Australian Romance Readers Convention.

How likely is it that you’ll find R*BY finalists in your library?

Library insider VaVeros looked up the availability of titles shortlisted for the 2012 R*BY awards and concluded that they’d be pretty hard to find in your local library. June Loves, Helene Young, Mardi McConnochie, Anna Jacobs and Anna Campbell seem to be the most popular.

‘Harlequin makes a total of 1.94, and I make .06.’

Former Harlequin Intrigue author Ann Voss Peterson has written a guest post on Joe Konrath’s blog explaining why her contract with Harlequin does not allow her to make a living out of writing. It’s an interesting post, and the comments that follow—some from fellow ex-Harlequin authors—are a little depressing. There’s also some discussion around how well ebook backlists sell through Harlequin versus the author self-publishing their own backlists. Harlequin doesn’t come out well in this one.

Index of Harlequin Mills & Boon historicals

Maili sent me a link to a fan site dedicated to cataloguing category historical romances. This is for the dedicated glommers!

10 Aussie books to read before you die (and none of them are romance books)

ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club is asking readers to help them put together the ‘utlimate Australian reading list’. Looking at the list of nominees, I suspect quite a few people have nominated books they *think* should be in the list, rather than books they actually enjoyed. I know this because Maestro is on the list but there are no Melina Marchetta titles at all.

It’s also telling that male protagonists (based on a quick skim of the synopses) outnumber female protagonists by more than 2 to 1. That’s not even taking into account the books where the female lead apparently finds self-awareness through a man.

In non-fiction, the men are even more interesting than the women, apparently.

Digital rights—who decides?

The Australian Society of Authors hosted a seminar exploring digital rights and you can find the podcasts on the ASA website. It’s a very interesting discussion and provides insight into what the Australian publishing industry is at when it comes to digital publishing.

Publishing consultant Leonie Tyle (formerly with Woolshed Press/Random House) encourages authors to be outspoken about their inability to make a living out of writing in Australia. She also doesn’t think the big 6 publishers are nimble enough to cope with the rapidly changing industry.

Publishing consultant Alex Adsett’s speech mentions romance readers and Carina Press (around 4:25). Adsett also recommends at least 25% royalties for ebooks, but that seems very low to me. (She does have other recommendations, like rising royalty rates over time, which make sense to me, so I guess the message is ‘it depends’.) She also talks about self-publishing. Update 10/5/2012: Alex tweeted to clarify that the 25% rate is for traditional publishers. It’s around 40% standard for startup e-publishers.

The other speakers were writer and if:book Australia manager Simon Groth, author and ASA executive director Angelo Loukakis, and author Marianne de Pierres. The Q&A segment is also available.

I’d be interested to hear from e-published authors (especially those who publish with e-only publishers) if the advice in these podcasts matches their experience in e-publishing.

Experimentation in UK digital publishing

Momentum publisher Joel Naoum undertook a study on digital publishing experimentation in the UK trade market as part of an Unwin Trust Fellowship. Some of his key findings include:

  • Publishers think territorial copyright is essential to their business but probably won’t last in the digital space (and deals falling through due to limited rights availability)
  • Piracy is considered a huge threat
  • Little experimentation around DRM from publishers
  • Most publishers use a protective strategy around pricing, and many are largely driven by Amazon
  • Book-related apps are topical for publishers but require high levels of investment
  • UK publishers have a less negative view of Amazon than in Australia
  • Biggest area of innovation is in streamlining the book production process

You can read the abstract and download a copy of the report here.

How I can love the BDB when it’s so wrong on many levels

I recently came across a piece written by Rachael over at Social Justice League on how to be a fan of problematic things and it pretty much explains how I manage to simultaneously love reading the BDB yet hate myself for it. :-) But seriously, it also provides a framework for talking about romance books (among other things—the article isn’t specific to any one problematic topic) that we love even when we know there are serious issues with the story.

What do you think?

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