An interesting ad campaign in South Africa…Google thumbs its nose at all of Russia… Sony makes a not so surprising announcement… Adobe is vying for the new overlord crown… And Amazon makes it possible for all of
my your naughty G.I. Joe fantasies to come true… Plus some notable new Releases for Valentine’s Day.
Sony pulls out of the North American e-book market
Considering the gargantuan hold Amazon has on the e-book market it comes as little surprise that Sony announced in early February that it will be pulling out of the North American e-book market. Sony’s online e-book store, Reader Store, will be closed on March 20 and all membership users will be transferred over to Kobo Inc., a major Canadian e-book provider.
According to Sony…
…“Kobo is the ideal solution for our customers and will deliver a robust and comprehensive user experience. Like Sony, they are committed to those most passionate about reading and share our vision to use open formats so people can easily read anytime and anywhere,” said Ken Orii, Vice President of Digital Reading Business Division, Sony Electronics. “Our customers can be assured that they will have a seamless transition to the Kobo ecosystem and will be able to continue to access and read the titles they love from Sony devices.”…
The full announcement can be found here.
This is sad news for those current Sony Reader Store customers as well as for those of us whose FIRST EVER READER was a Sony reader (Valentine’s Day gift 2009, *sniffle*). Sony started the current wave of digital reading that Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Apple are benefiting from. I still own my original Sony reader, as well as a Nook and a Kindle (because I’m a gadget junkie). But I understand that many people have one device and stick to only one platform. Fingers crossed that the transition to Kobo goes smoothly for all of their customers.
Adobe moving to enforce new DRM
And now we move to the evil overlord portion of this segment. Full disclosure here, when I first read this story I curled into the fetal position and slipped into a semi-catatonic state, that can only be induced by two things. 1.) Someone removing all of my delicious stash of Belgian dark chocolate from my home or 2.) Someone threatening my stash of books. So if any of these things cause a similar reaction in you, please skip this segment and move on to the next section.
Sooooo…On February 4th Adobe announced that it would implement a new stricter version of their digital rights management (DRM) and that they expected all current Adobe DRM users to upgrade to the new system by July 2014. And the entire e-reader device and e-book retail world who deals with providing EPUB or PDF files to customers proceeded to FREAK THE F OUT. The timeline set by Adobe would be virtually impossible to meet. What does all this mean you ask?
Nate Hoffelder over at Digital Reader explained the situation perfectly…
“This means that any app or device which still uses the older Adobe DRM will be cut off. Luckily for many users, that penalty probably will not affect readers who use Kobo or Google reading apps or devices; to the best of my knowledge neither uses the Adobe DRM internally. And of course Kindle and Apple customers won’t even notice, thanks to those companies’ wise decision to use their own DRM.
But everyone else just got screwed.”
It only took Adobe 24 hours to realize the people were circling their building with pitchforks, so the following day they announced that they would revise their timelines and allow publishers and retailers to migrate DRM standards at a time frame they feel comfortable with.
“After receiving feedback from customers and webinar attendees, Adobe has revised the migration timetable for customers. “Adobe does not plan to stop support for ACS 4 or RMSDK 9. ACS 5 books will be delivered to the older RMSDK 9 based readers”, according to Shameer Ayyappan, Senior Product Manager at Adobe. “We will let our resellers and publishers decide when they wish to set the DRM flag on ACS 5, thus enforcing the need for RMSDK 10 based readers.””
Yeah ALL of that really did happen and I still have the shakes.
Hello Joe, Is That a Gun In Your Pocket Or…
Amazon announced that they’ve acquired new licensing agreements with Hasboro and Warner Brothers opening up new “worlds” in their Kindle Worlds division. For those of you unfamiliar with Kindle Worlds, it’s this interesting venture Amazon opened last year that allows authors to create and publish “sanctioned” fan fiction. It’s an interesting publishing model that is growing a strong readership.
“Today, Amazon Publishing announced that Kindle Worlds has reached licensing agreements to open up seven new Worlds, including Worlds based on Hasbro’s iconic G.I. JOE brand, and Warner Bros. TV shows Veronica Mars and Pretty Little Liars’ spinoff Ravenswood. Writers can now choose from more than 20 Worlds to write and sell their own original fiction inspired by popular characters and storylines. These Worlds will open for writers to start publishing stories in the next few months.”
The full press release can be found here.
All of my Barbies played with G.I. Joes when I was a kid, because unlike the free-loading Ken, they had J-O-Bs and were ripped. Hmmm, in hindsight my current profession makes so much more sense now. Anyhoo, I’m hoping several authors will take this opportunity to create some steamy G.I. Joe stories for my reading pleasure.
It’s always fun to pick up a romance or two or twenty during certain holiday seasons and Valentine’s Day always brings some great reads. Below are just a few notable releases for the day of chocolate, roses and bow-chica-wow-wow…
I Need You by Vera Roberts
Ms. Roberts keeps her description for this one simple, sweet and to the point. Exactly what I’m looking for this weekend 🙂
Three couples. Three stories. Valentine’s Day. BDSM.
His Love Match by Shirley Hailstock
I don’t know what mojo elf filled Harlequin’s Kimani imprint last Christmas, but I’m loving it. So far this year they’ve been releasing books that have me itching to one-click and pleased with every read.
Will he be the last bachelor standing?
Wedding planner Diana Greer still believes in happily-ever-after. She’s just given up finding her own dream man. Until an internet dating site matches her up with her ideal mate. Too bad he’s someone she already knows…. In college, Scott Thomas was the big man on campus—arrogant and full of himself. So why is one kiss from the high-flying bachelor making Diana’s toes curl?
A failed trip to the altar has cured Scott of believing in storybook endings. So he’s stunned when someone meets his unattainable requirements for romance. The brainy bookworm he knew has morphed into a beautiful, desirable woman. But Diana isn’t ready to trust him. And then Scott unveils his secret. Now Diana wonders if she’ll forever plan strangers’ weddings and never her own….
Native Hearts by RaeLynn Blue
This story originally titled A Heart-Shaped Logan has been re-released with additional story content and a shiny new cover by Mocha Memoirs Press. And in honor of Valentine’s Day is currently on sale for 99 cents. I can’t resist a sweet Valentine’s Day story.
Lee Stone didn’t want a heart-shaped box of boring chocolates for Valentine’s Day. She didn’t want a trip to Vegas. She’d been there and done that. What she longed for was one Valentine’s Day that didn’t invite tragedy and chaos. The last three years with her boyfriend, Tank Begaye, had been host to a blizzard, a fire, and a heart attack. For once, she wanted to spend the day nestled in her lover’s arms.
Tank Begaye had weathered the long-distance relationship with Lee for years. Now, he meant to make her a permanent fixture in his life—as his wife. Avoiding the cliché Valentine Day’s proposals at restaurants and public landmarks, Tank knew exactly where to go—his family’s Hogan, deep in the heart of the Navajo Reservation. Surrounded by his ancestors’ spirits, he would ask Lee to join their family’s circle.
All Romance | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm…
A friend sent me this link to a new commercial airing in South Africa, that just had me tearing up and smiling all at once. The ad highlights, the country’s strong movement towards literacy and despite it being a liquor commercial, in my opinion it was perfectly executed.
NPR had an interesting interview with Harper’s editor Jesse Barron discussing the world of romance readers and authors.
No doubt many of you will join me in giving NPR and Harper’s the side eye. I love (not) how the entire interview comes off as disparaging of the romance genre. It felt like the two men were discussing the “silliness” of romance readers and writers. I fell over laughing when they mentioned Fabio. It was just so telling of how outdated their perceptions were. However, they did have a few good points. On the romantic heroine:
“She’s gotta be tough, but she can’t be cold, she can’t be whiny … and if she’s got those walls up, you must show her vulnerability,” Barron says. “She is just like the reader.”
The comments for the interview make me want to strangle somebody, but overall it was an interesting snapshot of an industry so many people still misunderstand or poo-poo because they’re dingbats :).
You can listen to the full interview here.
Message from Google to Russia…Nanny-nanny-boo–boo!
To kick off the beginning of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Google’s doodle of the day was an expertly done nose thumbing at Russia’s anti-gay policies. The doodle depicted some popular winter games each highlighted in the colors of a rainbow flag . And just to make sure no one didn’t misunderstand their intent, Google made sure to include a quote from the Olympic charter below the doodle about anti-discrimination. It was epic-ly delicious.
“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play,”
Laurel Cremant is an opinionated author and reader of romance with a wicked sense of humor. RNIC was smart (or crazy) to bring her on as a blogger. Come back on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month to get her romance industry news…with a colorful twist.