Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Just Trying to Get Some Long Tail

Have returned from the BEA (Book Expo America) and lived to tell the tale.

Now that I’m in New Business, I have a lot to learn, so I went a number of the seminars and forums. Learned how to embrace collaboration from Don Tapscott (interesting); learned about Blogging and how to better serve my readers (your attention span is VERY short. One screen is about all you can handle. I’ve been telling you far too much. Sorry!)

I also need to get more connected. This same blog is also available on http://www.isabelsblog.com and I’ve signed up with Technorati.com as well. Check out my Technorati Profile. Blogging is not the place to be shy and retiring.

Was among the many who attended The Future of Publishing in the Digital Age (wouldn’t you want to know the answer to that?). Given by Carly Fiorina, the room was packed. She has a book coming out (big surprise). The whole experience was a great example of Marketing coming up with a selling title and then forgetting to mention it to the author or whatever. Carly quickly informed us that she had no answers, only questions (Please, I think we can all come up with those on our own!) and had only recently even heard of Wikipedia (not something I’d share).

The most impressive thing about the entire event was Carly’s hair. If it was done with tinfoil, they must have used rolls of it. And hours. Many hours. I didn’t put any money down, because no way to verify, but I was wondering if they went the bathing cap/crochet hook route. It was that impressive. That would be significantly painful though, and I was wondering, given all that she’s gone through, if she had the stomach for it.

Listened to Chris Anderson on The Long Tail, which I’ve mentioned in prior post (and if you click on Long Tail, it’ll take you to the Wikipedia definition). His book is coming out, and seems worthwhile. He coined the term to articulate the idea of small sales and niche content—a new way of looking at the market.

It was interesting listening to a lot of these guys laying claim to word coinage in their forums, like planting flags on the moon. Very…you know.

And you’ll be intrigued to know there is not only a Long Tail, but a Big Head as well. Are you following me?

Yes, there were moments when I felt that the 21st century was afloat with countless spermatozoa searching for…I’d better stop now! I’ve gone on long enough and your attention span is flagging.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Blood Ties Book One: The Turning
by Jennifer Armintrout
MIRA, June 2006

But don't take my word for it. Publisher's Weekly says: "Armintrout's bold debut, the first book in a violent vampire series, bares its fangs early, unafraid to spill blood and vital organs from its very first pages....

"The book's level of gory detail—the narrator is, after all, a newly minted emergency room doctor—may put off all but the most stalwart of readers, but if you've got the stomach for it, this fast, furious novel is a squirm-inducing treat."

Well, I don’t think there’s anything in The Turning that will do anything other than delight anyone who enjoys the genre. And I really mean delight.

I love the genre, but there’s a lot of same old same old out there, and strangely there are some writers that decide to be different by making their vampires...nice. Really, I’m not kidding. I loved this story, loved the heroine, loved the crazy situation she finds herself in, loved the humor, human-ness, sexiness, tension between the characters, pragmatism, realism and utter otherworldliness too.

Check out Jennifer Armintrout who created this excellent tale. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan and can be contacted through her website. This is her first novel—pretty amazing.

And what does her editor have to say? Well I just thought I’d go straight to Sasha Bogin and ask her to share some of her thoughts...."I was thrilled when The Turning was put in my hands—thank you Mary Theresa Hussey for passing it to MIRA from Luna and Stacy Boyd for her initial work on the manuscript (it takes a village!).

"The Turning is like reading a Quentin Tarantino film, with its pop culture references, witty dialogue, edgy voice and gritty genre realism. After I read the first chapter I literally jumped in the air with excitement at getting this book sent my way. And it just got better.

"It's a story that appeals to all ages—but I think it has special appeal to younger MTV-influenced people such as myself who will connect with the fresh voice fused with vampire folklore.

"The Turning is different than many books in the genre because of its contemporary nature: the mixture of humor and sexiness, well-written prose and occasional enthralling gore. (Yes, I have the stomach...And if you can watch ER you do too!)

"Even someone who doesn't ordinarily read vampire fiction will enjoy the story because of its contemporary voice—and the fact that the book contains a more serious theme and focus on humanity—or lack thereof—and what defines us as human beings.

"The author and I spent hours talking about editorial direction and cover design—and telling everyone who would listen to read the book...And I really hope that everyone does!"

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mothers and award winners…perfect together!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Did you know that Harlequin will be celebrating by giving away half a million Superromances with newspapers, delivered to homes in the State of Georgia between May 12-14? We gave away books earlier this year on Valentine’s Day and got some of the loveliest thank you notes!

The sampler contains $1.00 off coupon for any Harlequin or Silhouette book and $2.00 off any Superromance, so we’re working on spreading the word….

Last week, there was a sampling initiative at Walmart, and on Friday, May 12th, Harlequin will hold a Mother’s Day event for 4,000 employees of Sears Holdings Corporation. Sears Holdings Corporation is the parent of Kmart and Sears, Roebuck and Co. Brenda Novak will be part of the event, signing copies of her book A FAMILY OF HER OWN.

Other amazing and delightful news….

Karen Harper has won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for DARK ANGEL!
The Mary Higgins Clark Award is sponsored by Simon & Schuster and given to authors who write suspense fiction, Mary Higgins Clark style. The award was presented on Wednesday April 26th at the Mystery Writers of America party. The award ceremony recognizes suspense books published in 2005.

Haunting suspense, tender romance and an evocative look at the complexities of Amish life — Dark Angel is simply riveting! — Tess Gerritsen

Don’t forget to look for her next title, HURRICANE, coming out in June!

We were so thrilled when Hannah Alexander won a Christy for HIDEAWAY—Steeple Hill’s very first Christy Award. This year the 2006 Christy Awards finalists are announced and Two Steeple Hill titles nominated in three categories, which is, frankly, very cool.

THE ROAD TO HOME (April 2005) by Vanessa Del Fabbro is nominated in both Contemporary (Series, Sequels and Novellas) and First Novel Categories

And Susan May Warren’s IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING (September 2005) has been nominated in the Romance Category.

Consult http://www.christyawards.com/ in the coming days for a full list of finalists. The 2006 Christy Awards will be given on July 8, 2006, in Denver, Colorado.

Celebrating our inner and our external mothers and our award winners…may your May be delightful!

Friday, May 05, 2006

GO GO with HOTGo

Harlequin On The Go™ (acronym HOTGo, of course). Yes it’s true. We are everywhere you want to be. Inside your purse. Next to your ear. In your pants pocket—watch out, don’t sit on us! Harlequin is on your mobile phone, and I, for one, think the world will be a more entertaining place for it.

Of course I am spoiled. I have one of those fancy phones—I can download my eBooks (reading Heather Graham’s Ghostwalk right now, riveting) and I am totally addicted to my digitally downloadable audio. I listen to my Audible.com titles (Meryl Sawyer’s Half Past Dead in my ear, great southern voices and sexy!) while I knit. But this is different. HOTGo you can do on a lot of different types of phones, from nice to fancy. There is limited mobile content for women, so this is a real opportunity. Right now the program is with Verizon, but it will branch out.

Let me just quote: “VOCEL, one of the most exciting "push technology" companies in the wireless field, and Harlequin Enterprises Limited, one of the world's leading publishers of women's fiction today launched Harlequin On The Go™ the first Female-Focused Mobile Entertainment application offering a variety of entertainment choices, including daily-serialized novels by best-selling authors.” We’re going to be offering.....

Program Highlights:

Daily Reads
- Leverages compelling online read content
Six Degrees of Kissing
- Connect celebrity movie kisses (pretty amusing)
Writing 101
– Weekly tips (always useful)
Harlequin Poll
- Vote on daily romantic entertainment question (see what everyone else said)
Book List / Buy
- Preview of 5 current books each day
- Move to "wish list" for future shopping reference
- Buy from your phone
- Is this cool or what?

The subscription cost will be $2.49 a month and can be accessed at http://store.eharlequin.com/splash/mobile_intro.jhtml

Much of what is being offered via cell is material created for eHarlequin, which just to remind us all, launched just over six years ago. So we have all worked to build and create a new business and are now beginning to see opportunities to expand on what was created. It is still very much a new frontier, but we’re seeing a few towns springing up and fields getting planted with the expectation that we’ll be around to harvest them!

Let me just quote Pam Laycock, who says it so well in the Press release: "Harlequin On The Go™ means you will never be caught without great reading again," says Pam Laycock, Executive Vice President, New Business Development and Strategy. "We are always searching for exciting new ways to reach readers. In addition to being a groundbreaking new format, this application introduces a fun and refreshing new way for women to enjoy the Harlequin experience. This mobile application is a key thrust in our digital delivery strategy which also includes downloadable audio and eBooks.”

Check it out!