BOOKMARKED is the name we gave to our journal, but since not everyone is on Twitter and not everyone on Twitter likes, this is an adhoc round-up on the blog highlighting links and news that might be of interest.

Australian Romance Readers Convention 2015 — Dates and venue revealed

ARRA has announced that ARRC 2015 will be at the Rydges Lakeside, Canberra from March 6 to March 8. No word yet on the keynote speakers, but expect to see more announcements leading up to it!

2015 Australian Romance Readers Convention
Source: ARRA

Romance in the local media

Kobo classes at Pages & Pages

Independent bookseller Pages & Pages is holding a Kobo class on the third Saturday of each month from 3pm. If you’re new to the Kobo device or app, this might help.

Sony exits American ebook market

If your primary ebook vendor is the Reader Store, you’ll be interested to know that the US and Canada Reader Stores will close on March 20 (you can download book until April 20). Customers will receive instructions on how to transfer their libraries to Kobo, and Sony mobile devices will be shipped with the Kobo app. This only affects readers using the US and Canada Reader Stores, but it can’t possibly bode well for anyone dependent on Sony’s ecosystem. You can find the Sony FAQ here.

Adobe epub DRM changes

Nate from The Digital Reader has been following Adobe’s announcement to release a new version of their epub DRM. So if you’ve been relying on Calibre plugins to remove epub DRMs from your books, you might not have that luxury for very long. Originally, Adobe wanted to force vendors to use the new version from July; however, as Nate pointed out, that would screw all the readers using older devices for which the manufacturers probably won’t be bothered releasing updates. So Adobe changed their mind. Nate gives a great rundown of the issues in non-technical speak. (Via @eoinpurcell)

Library Lovers Day

Valentine’s Day is upon us once more, and libraries across Australia are taking part in Library Lovers Day. Not surprisingly, many of these events tie-in with romance fiction. You can check them out under the Events section in the sidebar (to the right of this post—if you’re on a mobile device, you might have to turn the mobile theme off).

2014 Library Lovers' Day
Source: ALIA

Readings New Australian Writing Award

Independent book retailer Readings has announced two new literary awards, one of which is for children’s books and the other for new Australian authors, the Readings New Australian Writing Award: It ‘recognises exciting and exceptional new contributions to local literature.’  I note, however, that the eligibility criteria exclude digital-only books and self-published authors. The prize money is $4000 and Readings is committed to supporting the award for at least three years.

Blog hops

  • George Packer’s article, Is Amazon Bad for Books?, in The New Yorker provides a fantastic rundown on Amazon’s strategy and business practices over the years. Whether or not you’re an Amazon supporter, this article is a very good read. And I hate to say it, but I feel a bit dirty picking up my Kindle now. (Via @suzilove)
  • Which segues nicely into Alex Adsett’s case for ethical ebook shopping at Books+Publishing (subscription): ‘in the same way that consumers may wish to know the ethics of their purchasing decisions for clothing, electronics, coffee or chocolate, readers are now in a position to consider the most ethical way to buy ebooks.’ (Via @loisas)
  • On The Huffington Post, Harlequin editor Patience Bloom identifies 10 Differences Between Finding Love In A Romance Novel And In Real Life: ‘Love angst is adorable, not an ugly montage of hygiene deficiency, binge-drinking, eating, sobbing and sitting alone in the dark apartment.’ (Via @SignetEclipse)
  • Adele Walsh from Persnickety Snark writes about contemporary romance in young adult fiction: ‘The best kind of romance sees its characters and their journeys first and foremost before that of kissing.’
  • The Silent-Reading Party by Christopher Frizzelle: ‘On the Unexpected Sexiness of Many People Quietly Reading and Drinking in Public’
  • Millie Woodrow-Hill asks, Is teen romantic fiction bad for boys? — To which I would say: If more male authors wrote teen romantic fiction, this problem would go away. And thanks for singling out romance—primarily aimed at female readers—when there are unrealistic portrayals of men in so many other genres. (Via @SnarkyWench)
  • Jezebel posted an article on a Toronto Public Library anti-Valentine’s Day event (since amended) inviting teen readers to come and deface romance books: ‘…some fans of romance novels weren’t entirely amused by the idea of a library using book-ruining as a way to encourage adolescent literacy’. Yes, an actual  library thought this was a good idea. (Via @VaVeros)

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