I've been sitting on a file filled with links to some really interesting posts about publishing from ebook piracy and what the monetary value of books should be to author's thoughts on bad reviews. What made me decide that today was the day to share a bit of a link-up though was a letter written to Jane of Dear Author that I found quite interesting and worth nudging readers toward. So let me open with a link to that...
Of Rape and Rape Fantasies discusses the difficult subject that is rape in fiction. Most readers of romance have stumbled across it in some form. I'm one of those readers who is very uncomfortable with it in a romantic situation. The whole 'forced seduction' trope so popular in the 80's does not appeal to me at all. I don't find it romantic. Does that mean I can't stand rape ever being used in a fictional situation? No. For the sake of not going spoilery I can say that when one of my favorite series' heroine was raped it was shocking and made me angry. Not at the writer for going there but at the situation and I was so proud of the heroine as she got back on her feet after what she had been through.
What really intriqued me about the discussion there was a comment made by Lori:
"I think one of the things about the fantasy/reading is the ability to control it. When something happens to you, a violent act or an act that plays on your vulnerablity, you know that you never had control. You couldn’t turn the page or put the book down. You couldn’t do anything but be a victim.
The fantasy is taking the situation and not being victimized by it."
But another point that was even more interesting came from Julia Broadbrooks:
"But if we accept that women are entitled to rape fantasy in their reading, do we have to accept that men are entitled to the same fantasy?"
It's all some really heavy stuff and very thought-provoking to say the least.
I don't even remember how I found it now, most definitely through another blogger's post or an author's perhaps, but Joe Konrath aka J.A. Konrath wrote a really interesting post about how ebook piracy might not be a totally awful thing.
Now I DO NOT promote—nor encourage—piracy, but Joe made some really crazily sense-making points about the subject that were IMHO quite enlightening. He also points out something I've always thought to be true about the whole e-piracy thing in general:
1. You CANNOT assume that a downloaded free book is a lost sale. It isn't 1 for 1.
In some cases, the pirate would have never bought the book in the first place.
In some cases, the pirate does buy the book, and other books by the author.
In some cases, the book languishes on a hard drive, never read at all.
In some cases, the pirate would have never even been aware of the book or the author without finding it on the file sharing site.
Switching it over to the otherhand author Jeannie Holmes wrote an equally great post on the subject which poses a hypothetical situation and really drives home how much money could be lost to epiracy. Most notably her closing statement stands strong:
The truth is no writer writes to get rich. We write because we love telling a story, because we love books, and because we want people to read the books we write.
We only ask that we be compensated for the time we so willingly give to creating the stories you love to read.
So why do ebooks cost so much and what is the true value of a book?
Dear Author had this fabulous post up last month.
While this article goes more directly into eBook prices specifically.
And what about the influence of bloggers?
Apparently we Bloggers Have More Influence on Purchases Than Celebrities. Seriously? Wow. Could bloggers be the new celebrities?
I have noticed in the many magazines I subscribe to every month that there are more and more bloggers being featured in both fashion magazines and the ones for teens (which I get for the stepkid).
So do you think it's true? Are you influenced by celebrity endorsements? I can admit to only one thing I can be a little bit of a celebrity sucker for and that's fragrances. If a celebrity I like is the spokesmodel for one I'm not familiar with I tend to be drawn to checking it out. Strangely enough two of my favorite fragrances eventually hired actresses I admire after I was already a fan so it's not a huge influence but it is my one beauty indulgence.
Obviously our influence is reviewers has become quite controversial in the past couple of months with all the drama over Bad Reviews.
As a strong believer in the importance of the 'negative review' as a book seller I refuse to let myself be bullied by the unhappy authors. I'm not without sympathy for authors who read bad reviews and get offended, I'm sure I'd feel really shitty too. But I think it was Meljean Brook who I first saw really making a point to say that reviews are for readers not the author and I whole-heartedly agree.
Why do I love negative reviews? Because most of the time the very thing that a reviewer thought didn't work or disliked is what I'm looking for! Many a bad review has sold me on a book I've ended up loving. Crazy really but true.
So I have to link up this great post from YA author Justine Larbalestier, I Love Bad Reviews. If you read ANY of the posts I've linked up in this post I want it to be that one. It's brilliant, honest and hilarious.
Closing out the musings here I wanted to share something random and adorable, I already adore Kelly McCullough for his richly genius Rivirn books—which try though I might I cannot get the hubs to read and haven't caught up on myself—but Neil Gaiman proved how truly fun Kelly is. If that doesn't prove what a lovely guy Kelly is you have to see his Friday Cat Blogging posts over at the Wyrdsmiths blog.
Now I am off to feed the oh-so-patient toddler and fold some of this laundry. I got that email off for the BBB SmackDown 2011 earlier and now I need something to distract me from how nervous I am it's terrible. :P
Have a great Wednesday dear readers! -- Rhi