digital publishers

June 2013 Trial Date Set for DOJ vs Apple and E-book Publishers

Here’s the latest on the E-book pricing debacle:

NEW YORK — The Justice Department’s price-fixing lawsuit against e-book publishers and Apple will go to trial in June 2013, setting up a long legal struggle sure to reverberate across the nascent digital publishing market.

Apple has maintained that it did no wrong and argued to a federal judge last Friday that it wants a speedy trial to defend itself. The Silicon Valley giant is joined by McMillan and Penguin Group in fighting Justice’s suit. HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Hachette Book Group settled with Justice last April.

For those not following, this is part of the story:

Some consumer groups have defended Justice, saying Apple and publishers wrongly colluded to fix prices — which is illegal and sure to hurt consumers in the end, even if it created an alternative option to Amazon’s Kindle e-reader store.

You can read more at the Washington Post web site.

Looks like THIS is never going to end. But that’s how it works. I have a friend who lost her eyesight who is in the middle of a malpractice suit. She has been waiting for a “speedy” trial for the past two years.

Ravenous Romance, Buying E-books in General, and Customer Service

Though I’ve been published by all the lgbt print publishers, in the past two years my work has been focused between two e-publishers, http://www.ravenousromance.com/ and http://www.loveyoudivine.com/. And every now and then I like to post about a few things that readers ask me on facebook and other social networks.

First, as far as Ravenous Romance and Love You Divine go, I love being published by both. I’ve been with Love You Divine for about four years, and with Ravenous for about two. My work with Ravenous tends to be more on the romance novel side, and with Love You Divine I lean more toward erotic short story stand alones. I like to keep the distinction clear, so readers know what they are buying. Other authors are always asking what it’s like to work for these publishers. They send me nice private messages all the time. And I always answer the same way: I enjoy working for them, I enjoy having my books published by them, and everyone I work with is an absolute professional. So if there are any authors out there reading this post and they are thinking of submitting work to either Ravenous or LYD, I can’t recommend them enough.

The other area where I receive a great deal of messages has to do with purchasing e-books. People write me and tell me they can’t sign in, or they can’t sign out, or they can’t download the books. The problems are numerous; the solutions are always simple. I pass the messages on to the publisher and they are more than willing to assist. This is a part of customer service, and the publisher wants to know. Buying e-books is still a new thing to many readers, and it’s not always simple. I know from my own purchasing experience it can be daunting at times. But publishers, authors, and editors are always willing to help. So don’t be afraid to ask and don’t be shy about contacting authors when there are problems buying e-books. I’ve even been known to send a complimentary e-book to people who have had problems.

And finally, I’d like to speak in general terms about all e-publishers. The one thing I’d like to emphasize to other authors deals with hearsay. In other words, don’t listen to people who are not affiliated with an e-publisher. Online rumors have a way of taking off and growing. I’ve seen them, I’ve read them, and they always make me laugh. Most of the time these online rumors aren’t true. If you want to know something about a particular publisher before you submit work, contact one of the authors or someone associated with the publisher. I know I’m always willing to help and offer advice, and all the authors I know at the publishers where I work are willing to do the same.

Happy 1st Anniversary, Ravenous Romance

Today is ravenousromance.com’s one year anniversary. And I honestly can’t believe the year has passed so quickly. Actually, I began writing for RR over a year ago, in August of 2008. Two of the owners of RR, Lori Perkins and Holly Schmidt, had contacted me about possibly writing a novel and I jumped at the chance. Although most of my published credits until then had been in print books, with traditional LGBT publishers, I wasn’t a complete stranger to digital publishing. I’d already had a few short story stand alones published by digital publishers and I was eager to learn more about digital publishing.

And RR seemed like a great way to start. First, I’d been a longtime fan of Lori Perkins’ agent blog, http://www.agentinthemiddle.blogspot.com/, and I’d always enjoyed her blog posts. I respected her reputation within the publishing industry and I soon found out that we had similar tastes and backgrounds. Lori and I also share a journalism background, so I know how to dig for information. I did some basic research about Holly Schmidt and was just as impressed with her credentials as I was with Lori’s. And, it turned out that Holly once worked for Rodale Press, which is not far from where I live in Bucks County, PA. Basically, it all felt good right from the start.

Everyone who is associated with RR has worked hard in the past year to put out the best books we can possibly deliver to readers. I enjoy this faster pace; I enjoy working on hard deadlines and having pressure. When I don’t have pressure, I’m bored to death.

But when I look back over this past year, even though all of my experiences with RR have been positive, I think the single most important reason why I’ve been so pleased with RR is the voice they gave me. I’ve been writing gay fiction for over seventeen years. Five years ago I wouldn’t have been able to write the LGBT books I’ve been writing this past year. The gay/lesbian market has always been very small. And publishers have always been cautious about what they acquire. But with RR the process was different, and refreshing. Lori and Holly have trusted me to take their basic concepts and turn them into actual m/m romance novels. And for a fiction writer, it doesn’t get any better than that. And every step of the process, from the initial concept to the final product, has been enjoyable.

I’ve also built friendships with other RR writers that become stronger each day. I’ve read their work and I’m always impressed by the quality of their writing. I only wish I had more time to read everyone’s work.

I could rave on and on about RR. But no one likes blog posts that are too long. So I’ll end this by saying Happy Anniversary to ravenousromance.com, and congratulations to Holly Schmidt, Lori Perkins, and Allan Penn (I still haven’t met Allan, but I hear he’s a great guy) for achieving this accomplishment. It wasn’t easy. There have been times I’ve wondered how Lori and Holly have done all that they’ve done in the past year. But everyone has worked hard, including all the writers and editors (Jen Safrey, the best copy editor on the planet). So here’s to the next exciting year to come, which will be filled with a few surprises and a lot more great books.

But more than that, as a thanks to all the ravenous customers who have been so supportive, RR is offering a one day only special on all e-books:

For TODAY ONLY, ALL e-books are just $.99, in celebration of Ravenous Romance’s one-year anniversary! It’s our way of saying thank you to all of our readers. Stock up and enjoy!