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Are All Romance Ebooks on crack?

And you know which of her books won? The twincest one.

I mean seriously?

All I can say is, if All Romance Ebooks wanted to be taken seriously, they just took a long-assed detour. Any website where Carol Lynne is heralded as one of the best e-book authors of the year, deserves to have the piss taken out of them.

Thanks to you-know-who for the link.

Nora Roberts’ Hotel Destroyed By Fire…

Friday, February 22, 2008
Posted in: Uncategorized

According to The Herald Mail:

BOONSBORO — Today’s early-morning fire on the square in downtown Boonsboro started in the historic Boone Hotel, owned by romance novelist Nora Roberts, and has affected seven buildings, a fire official said.

Jason Mowbray, a deputy chief state fire marshal, estimated damage to the North Main Street block at $1.5 million to $2 million.

In addition to the Boone Hotel at 1 N. Main St., other buildings affected by the fire were at 9, 11 and 13 N. Main St., fire officials said.

The Boone Hotel and structures at 5 N. Main St. and 7 N. Main St. were destroyed, officials said. All that remains standing of the hotel are four walls.

How awful.

My condolences to Nora and all the people affected by the fire.

Thanks to AztecLady for the tip-off.

Is Silk’s Vault No More?

Friday, February 22, 2008
Posted in: Epublishers, Silk's Vault

I received an e-mail earlier asking me if Silk’s Vault had closed. I have no idea. All I know is, their site seems to have gone kaput.

A few months ago, Jane reported that Camille Anthony, an e-published author, had gone public regarding her lack of royalty payments from Silk’s Vault.

From that point, I can’t actually remember whether they actually died a death or not.

Anybody know? Or indeed care?

Well, I’ll repeat my comment at DA at the time:

My advice to any Silk’s authors out there is PULL YOUR BOOKS ASAP. There’s evidence of dishonesty already, so this ship is probably getting ready to sink. The warnings are loud and clear, and any author who stays with them out of fear, will only have themselves to blame when things go tits up, and the owner starts going batshit crazy. Mardi Gras Publishing anybody?

The website going kaput may be just a technical glitch, but I still think this is pretty good advice.

Contest, Promotion, Class…

Friday, February 22, 2008
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

Not too long ago, an author asked what readers liked about contests. Scavenger hunts? quizzes? random draw? etc. And, are contests a good idea, or are readers bored of them?

There were, as you can expect, as many different favorites as responses to the question. The common thread, though, is that readers like contests—and the prizes that go with them. From the responses, and as a reader myself, free books and gift certificates are the clear winners. A well thought out and strategically advertised contest will draw readers, and even if only one or two win something, the rest would have talked about it to friends, sent the link to the author’s blog/website, mentioned the book(s)—and created buzz.

And really, word of mouth is not only the cheapest promotion tool, but also one of the most effective ones.

A couple of very smart authors (full disclosure: they’ve both given yours truly ARCs of upcoming releases) ask winners to review the book somewhere (their own blog, a friends’, a message board, somewhere). Both of them ask specifically for an honest review—no gushing if the reader doesn’t think the book deserves it. From where I sit, that’s a very savvy way to handle it. It lets the reader off the hook in one way but, by implying trust, also ensures the reader feels honor bound to do her/his best to fulfill these requirements.

So, yeah, by and large, contests are a good idea.

Unless they backfire, of course. And here we get to the flip side, albeit in a roundabout way (I’m constitutionally incapable of brevity, in case you hadn’t noticed yet).

This February I have been really weirdly lucky, vis-à-vis blog contests. Really, a total embarrassment of riches. (No, I’m not going to tell you how many books I’m getting—suffice it to say, I’ve been rendered speechless twice. Well, mostly speechless.) After the third prize, I started saying how amazed I am about it, because hey! win nothing for a few decades, then suddenly a flood.

And then I remembered that I lied.

Yes, shocking, I know. So I’m here to publicly admit that I’ve lied *hanging head in shame*

I had won something before. Around these days last year, at Paperback Writer blog, I won a couple of Alison Kent’s books. I was amazed that one could get free books simply by reading blogs and commenting—yes, I’m that innocent—and so I started paying more attention, going around to more blogs, entering more contests. And lo and behold! within a month or so I had won two more books at two different blogs.

Yay!!! Joy!!! *happy dancing*


Well, actually, no.

‘Cause I never got those last two books. Never. I didn’t hear back from the authors at all. Zilch. Nada. Niente. Nichts. Nuthin’.

After a couple of emails, I stopped asking. It felt too much like begging for a freebie, you know? And I realize that authors—particularly midlist or newbie authors—don’t have all that much money to devote to promotion, so perhaps they ran out of author copies. I also realize that many have day jobs that actually pay the bills. And families. And hopefully a life. And things happen. So I let it go.

A brief email explaining the circumstances would have left me happy—I know that I’m not entitled to those books, they would have been gifts, and I certainly hope I would have been mature and gracious enough to accept and understand any explanation or reason given. But I have to say, the deafening silence? It left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.

Which is, I think, why I had pretty much forgotten that I had ever won anything, you know? Better not to think about the negative, if at all possible.

Another aspect of the contest thing that bothers me is when a contest is announced with a big fanfare. People come from all places to participate. Temporary increase in blog traffic, lots of comments, and it’s a given that some of those drive-by readers will become regulars. All good.

And then, the big day! Everybody stops by, on tenterhooks, hopeful, excited, willing to be happy for whoever wins if it’s not him/herself.

Only, no announcement.

A new post comes up. Other conversations start and die. Then days become weeks, and still, nothing.


I mean, honestly, I do understand that bloggers really have no obligation to offer prizes to their readers, but once they have done so, it’s only good manners to follow through, wouldn’t you agree?

And it’s much better PR for both blogger and author to follow through than not to. And, if life happens and the prize can’t be delivered for whatever circumstance, transparency would be a much better choice—no matter how hard to admit to whatever it is—than silence.

The former will earn sympathy and respect, while the second will either make the reader resentful, or make sure she forgets the author’s/blogger’s name pretty much permanently.

(Yeah, don’t ask me whose authors’ books I never got, ‘cause for the life of me I can’t tell you.)

Post By: AztecLady