Friday, October 31, 2008

AAP, Authors Guild, Google Announce GroundbreakingSettlement over Google Book Search Library Project

I wanted to share with you the recent press release and annoucement regarding a tentative settlement (pending court approval) regarding the lawsuits brought by the Associate of American Publishers and a class action suit by the
Author's Guild against Google.

This is a highly complex issue with strong opinions in every direction! Put perhaps overly simplisticly, these organizations actions were in response to Google's plans to digitize copyrighted material (entire books) without the right's holder's permission.

I wanted to share this information, and the material below was taken from and is available on the AAP website. It has been a very long and arduous process to get to this agreement. I applaud the participants and I think it is a remarkable and positive step that will significantly benefit all parties.

October 28, 2008

AAP, Authors Guild, Google Announce GroundbreakingSettlement over Google Book Search Library Project

On October 28, 2008, AAP announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement in the Google litigation that will expand access to out-of-print books online for millions of American readers, allow rightsholders, if they wish, to include in-print books, and will create a mechanism for payments to authors and publishers by establishing a Books Rights Registry.

AAP President and CEO Pat Schroeder stated "AAP is proud to have been a part of the process that has produced this historic, landmark agreement. We believe this settlement, the product of many years’ hard work, is a great 21st Century solution."

For More Information:

Press Release
Joint FAQ
Settlement Documents
Statement from AAP Chairman Richard Sarnoff
Settlement Website(Google)
Author's Guild Website

Past Coverage:

Click here to view the full complaint from 2005

Thursday, October 23, 2008

- The Great American Romance Novel

I've agreed to help a friend (not HQE) with a project to create a list of the best American Romances of all time, and I need your expertise, if you're willing to share it.

1). So tell me, what would be your top ten American romances of all time be? (it can be more than ten, if you're inspired). While I'd love to see them ranked and have you tell me why you made the choices you did, just a list of titles/authors would be great.

2). I also want to include a range of categories within the genre: i.e. Contemporaries, Historicals, Paranormal, Futuristic, Fantasy, Westerns, Civil War, Saga, Romantic Suspense, Romantic Comedy, Multi-cultural, Inspirational, etc., so welcome your favorites in a particular category you're fond of.

What do I mean by American? Well, an American author or one living in America. What do I mean by Romance? Basically a focus on the developing romantic relationship between a man and a woman with a satisfying and positive ending.

Yes, there are some stories out there that don't entirely fit that definition that I plan to include--I have to include GONE WITH THE WIND.  While it doesn't have a traditional happy ending (HEA), I've decided that (dreadful sequels aside) we know in our hearts the book stops, but the story is far from over. S o while I'd say a firm "no" to, say, LOVE STORY, I do want to hear your favorites, just alert me to any caveats or concerns about fit that you might have.

So would love to hear your thoughts to ensure this list is a stellar collection of truly wonderful stories.

Thank you!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Harlequin Podcasts!

I'd been meaning to do a post on the Harlequin Podcasts. I'm proud to say I've learned how to use an iPod, I've discovered the many free podcasts available on iTunes and have discovered the joys of hands-free, eyes-free 'reading.'

Then I saw Michelle Styles' excellent post on Leena Hyat's Tote Bags 'n' Blogs . Well, I thought it was a great presentation of the podcasts from a perfect source--a published author. Michelle and Leena kindly agreed to let me post Michelle's excellent piece, so here it is!

Until earlier this year, I will admit that I was only vaguely aware of podcasts and podcasting. However, then Harlequin began to put editorial podcasts on its website and I started to listen. And a new procrastination tool was born. You can download them to an ipod or you can do as I do and listen via your computer.

The editorial podcasts are basically two editors talking in depth about one particular line. Each podcast lasts between 20-40 minutes. They are not only interesting from a writer's point of view but also from a reader's point of view. Ultimately they are a masterclass in what each line is about.The editors have tried to explain what televisions shows/movies the line is most like. Romance used Love Actually to sum up the line -- lots of stories each month but each being about love. SSE chose Brothers and Sisters.

At the moment, the recent podcasts have been from the London office. So Senior Editor Tessa Shapcott and Editor Sally Williamson explained the differences between Modern and Modern Heat as well as the difference between Presents and Presents Extra. Presents Extra are grouped around a specific theme. And they talked about titling and why titles are chosen the way they are. With the Historical podcast, Sr Editor Linda Fildew and editor Joanne Carr talked about popular time periods, themes and heroes. In the most recent podcast on Harlequin Romance, sr editor Kim Young and editor Meg Lewis dispel some of the myths about the Romance line as well as explaining what it is about the line that makes it so special. They also explained that within the line secondary characters provide flavouring. This is different from some of the other lines where secondaries play key roles. Medicals should be coming up soon.

Earlier podcasts included ones on Nocturne, Blaze, Superromance, Intrigue, Special Edition, Desire etc. And the intention is to do all the lines.

For me, it has been an education in what makes up series romance, plus I have discovered several new authors. And as it is sort of working, I can justify the listening. I know when I listened to the historical podcast, I came away with a ton of notes about how my latest books could be improved. And in several places, I thought -- ah that is what my editor meant when she said xyz.

Has anyone else listened to the podcasts? Or does anyone know about any other good podcasts?

Thank you Michelle!