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Going on Hiatus

My apologies to everyone who has been following Kindling Romance, but a family situation has arisen that forces me to put this blog on temporary hiatus. I hope to return to blogging soon. In the meantime, my thanks to everyone who has been following the posts here, and been so generous with their comments and suggestions.

It’s almost most Halloween and we all know what that means, Christmas decorations in every store on the planet. I’m going to jump the gun with two holiday reads among this week’s selection of free eBook downloads…

ChristmasHookupChristmas Hookup by Lex Valentine

Publisher: Pink Petal Books
Subgenre: Erotica, Holiday Romance
Length: 7.5K words
Formats: Adobe Acrobat, HTML, Mobipocket, Epub

A class reunion, a parking lot encounter, and a holiday she’ll never forget…

Black Cat by Cat Johnson

Publisher: Linden Bay Books
Subgenre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Length: 12K words
Formats: Adobe Acrobat, HTML, Epub

Lar has existed as a cat for a thousand years, with all the discomforts and indignities that go along with it. But when he is adopted by Belinda and gets a look into her life, can his curse finally be coming to an end?

DiscoveryingDaniDiscovering Dani: Jamesville Book I by N. J. Walters

Publisher: Samhain
Subgenre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 220 pages
Formats: Kindle, iPhone, iPod

Burke Black wanted something he could live with, but ended up finding someone he could live for.

Dani O’Rourke has had the responsibility of raising her two brothers, Patrick and Shamus, since the death of their parents. As sole owner and operator of O’Rourke Cleaning Services, she is no stranger too hard work, but she is a beginner when it comes to men.

Burke is a very rich and successful businessman whose brush with death has made him question his priorities. He-s traveled to Jamesville for peace and quiet while he plans the rest of his life.

Their lives collide when Burke accuses her of breaking into his cabin to steal from him. Their attraction to each other is immediate, and after a series of misunderstandings he finds himself caught up in the lives of Dani and her brothers.

But can this gentle, giving woman get a man as hard and cynical as Burke to believe in the power of love? Or will Burke leave town without ever discovering the wonders of life with Dani?

givingchaseGiving Chase by Lauren Dane

Publisher: Samhain
Subgenre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 204 pages
Formats: Kindle, iPhone, iPod

Together they find a special love-can it survive the threat stalking her?

Some small towns grow really good looking men! This is the case with the four Chase brothers. The home grown hotties are on the wishlist of every single woman in town and Maggie Wright is no exception.

Maggie has finally had it with the men she’s been dating but a spilled plate of chili cheese fries drops Shane Chase right into her lap. The sheriff is hot stuff but was burned by a former fiancee and is quite happy to play the field.

After Shane’s skittishness sends him out the door, Maggie realizes that Kyle Chase has had his eye on her from the start. Now that Shane has messed up, Kyle has no intention of letting anything stop him from wooing her right into his bed.

Despite Maggie’s happiness and growing love with Kyle, a dark shadow threatens everything-she’s got a stalker and he’s not happy at all. In the end, Maggie will need her wits, strength and the love of her man to get her out alive.

demonscoverDemon’s Desire: A Christmas eBook by Kim Knox

Publisher: Samhain Free Read
Subgenre: Contemporary Paranormal Erotica
Length: 11 Pages
Formats: Adobe PDF

No blurb: A fiesty heiress and her demon bodyguard hookup at a New Year’s Ever party.

Kayla’s Birthday Present by Ashlyn Chase

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Subgenre: Contemporary Erotica
Length: Short-Short
Formats: Adobe Acrobat, HTML, MS Reader, Mobipocket, Rocketbook

Kayla’s best friend Marcus returned from Kuwait just in time to celebrate her fortieth birthday. She never expected to cry about it or let him comfort her with sex, but that’s what happened.

The next day Marcus confessed the feelings he’d had for her all along and then gave her the best lovemaking of her life. After spending her week-long “staycation” in bed with Marcus, can Kayla let him leave when he’s transferred to Alaska? She won’t go with him. The career she worked so hard to build is something she loves too.

If you’re published, but are already on book number two and haven’t hit the bestsellers lists, chances are you’re what’s termed a midlist author. To publishers, midlist authors are the least exciting category of writer. Their first books weren’t hotties. They’ve been bought again because they did okay their first time out, but are often pushed to the back of the bus in favor of those at the top, or the next potential hottie to come along.

Editors and publishers have been shouting about the death of the midlist since dinosaurs were harnessed to run printing presses, sometime in the mid-1980s. Publishing industry pundits at the time urged their readers to cup a hand to their ear and listen for the death knell, as corporations began gobbling up publishing houses and sought to “trim the fat” off their operations.

Why should we publish people who aren’t going to be runaway bestsellers? was the prevailing corporate wisdom of the era.

In truth, I suspect that the history of the midlist over the last twenty-five years could provide hours of lively debate. Is it less than it once was? The proverbial mere shadow? Or is it even stronger today?

Lori Devoti’s “The Death of the Midlist” revives the old arguments at Romancing the Blog, with news that two publishers are supposedly sending their midlists to the gallows. In addition to providing an excellent Midlist for Dummies-style primer, Devoti asks an important question.

…when I heard these two publishers were eliminating their mid-list I thought, “How?” Are they dropping everything that isn’t an A to them? Are they getting out their crystal ball and only buying the “big” books? Or are they just gouging out the middle? Keeping the A’s and the D’s but dumping those darn B’s and C’s?”

The answer, I think, would be yes. If publishers wanted to cut their midlist, there are a number of ways they could put the squeeze on the middle. They might raise the criteria for purchases of an author’s second and subsequent books, requiring higher sell-through rates or even a back-to-print order before an author was bought again. They could contract fewer new authors, selecting just a handful at a time, those they perceived as having the potential for mass appeal; whereupon they made those lucky few into bestsellers.

Where would all the unwanted authors go? It’s a sure thing that they wouldn’t stop writing, or attempting to see their books published. I know I wouldn’t. My guess is that more and more of them would turn to eBook publishers and even self-publishing as an option.

Which makes me wonder, will the large New York houses decide not to eliminate the midlist, but transform it instead?

What are the chances they’ll release most of the dinosaurs from the printing presses and put them to pasture, or swamp, or the Brontosaurus graveyard, and choose not to print, warehouse and distribute midlist books? What if they looked forward a decade, to when print book sales will be on the wane anyway, and came to the conclusion that the midlist should be eBook-only?

In this scenario, print would be reserved for two categories of books, the A-list, and those whom publishers visualized as having the potential to A-list, whether they be first-timers, or long-time eBook only midlisters who have found a large enough audience to merit the luxury.

Devoti makes a good argument in her post when she wonders how the buying public would react to a total evisceration of the middle:

…my guess is a lot of authors who live on the mid list would just disappear. This would be okay for a while. There is a never ending supply of new hopeful writers, but eventually wouldn’t that get old? There are a lot of really good books on that mid list. (Seriously, none of us believe only best-sellers are good, right? Or even all best-sellers are good.) If you could only pick between the new and the big, I truly think you would miss what used to be in the middle.

Regardless of what choices corporate publishing makes, to transition their B- and C-list authors to another format, or allow a great migration of the same to smaller eBook-only houses, my belief is that the midlist will never truly die.

Each Wednesday, Kindling Romance posts a sampling of the bestseller lists in eBook romance culled from across the Internet. Both publisher and retailer-only websites are included, as are books that have print versions in addition to eBook format. Lists should be considered a snapshot of the rankings on each site at the time gathered. Live rankings are more fluid than old school print bestseller lists and may have changed by the time you read this.

Though they sometimes appear in bestseller lists, eBooks that are free to readers (List Price $0.00) are not included, as they are not actually for sale.**

Websites are listed in alphabetical order.

allromanceblogALL ROMANCE (allromanceebooks.com)

Retailer or Publisher: Retailer
Editions: eBooks only, though some books on the list may have print editions available elsewhere.
Formats/Devices Available: Adobe PDF eBook, MSReader, HTML, Mobipocket, Palm DOC/iSolo, Franklin eBookMan, Hiebook, Rocketbook, Open eBook.

  1. Warrior’s Cross by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban, Dreamspinner Press. #1 on this list last week.
  2. Twisted Rose by Amber Kell, Literary Road. #2
  3. Songbird by Maya Banks, Samhain. #4
  4. Unrequited by Abigail Roux, Dreamspinner Press. #6
  5. His Convenient Husband by J.L. Langley, Samhain. #7
  6. My Lupine Lover by Stormy Glenn, Siren Bookstrand. #8
  7. Nick Of Time by T.A. Chase, Amber Quill Press.
  8. Tabloid Star by T.A. Chase, Samhain. #10
  9. The Endowed by Tianna Xander, eXtasy Books. #5
  10. Beyond the Norm by Shawn Lane, Dreamspinner Press.

AmazonKINDLE BOOKSTORE (amazon.com)

Retailer or Publisher: Retailer
Editions: Mixed. Sells books that are eBook only, as well as digital versions of print books.
Formats/Devices Available: Kindle, iPhone, iPod

  1. Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon, St. Martin’s Press. Print edition available (#5 in Kindle top sellers.**)
  2. The Renegade Hunter by Lynsay Sands, HarperCollins. Print. (#8)
  3. Hot for the Holidays by Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Anya Bast and Allyson James, Jove. Print. (#11)
  4. Feel the Heat by Cindy Gerard, Pocket. Print. (#12)
  5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Dell. Print. (#14) #1 last week on this list.
  6. Kissing Sin by Keri Arthur, Dell. Print. (#16) #3
  7. Tempt Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas, Minotaur Books. Print. (#17) #2
  8. Make Her Pay by Roxanne St. Claire, Pocket. Print. (#18)
  9. Dreamfeaver by Karen Marie Moning, Delacorte. Print. (#19) #4
  10. Dark Slayer by Christine Feehan, Berkely. Print. (#20) #5

Barnes & NobleBARNES & NOBLE (barnesandnoble.com)

Retailer or Publisher: Retailer
Editions: eBooks and Print.
Formats/Devices Available: iPhone, iPod, Blackberry, PC, Mac

  1. Hot for the Holidays by Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Anya Bast and Allyson James, Jove. Print edition available. (#18 in B&N top sellers.**)
  2. Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning, Delacorte. Print. (#19) #8 on this list last week.
  3. An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, Dell. Print. (#21) #1
  4. The Darkest Prison by Gena Showalter, Harlequin. Print. (#22) #2
  5. The Renegade Hunter by Lynsay Sands, HarperCollins. Print. (#23)
  6. Bitten and Smitten by Michelle Rowan, Forever. Print. (#24)
  7. Kissing Sin by Keri Arthur, Dell. Print. (#26) #4
  8. Kiss of Crimson by Lara Adrian, Dell. Print. (#27)
  9. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Dell. Print. (#28)
  10. Midnight Rising by Lara Adrian, Dell. Print. (#29)

The eBook Store from SonySONY (ebookstore.sony.com)

Retailer or Publisher: Retailer
Editions: eBooks only, though some books on the list may have print editions available elsewhere.
Formats/Devices Available: Sony Reader, Windows PC with EBL software, (no Mac Support).

  1. Dark Slayer by Christine Feehan, Penguin. Print edition available. #3 on this list last week.
  2. Hello Darkness by Sandra Brown, Simon & Schuster. Print. #1
  3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Dell. Print.
  4. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory, Simon & Schuster. Print. #2
  5. The Darkest Whisper by Gena Showalter, Harlequin. Print. #6
  6. Dead and Gone by Charlaine Harris, Penguin. Print. #7
  7. Bitten and Smitten by Michelle Rowan, Forever. Print. #9
  8. Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning, Delacorte. Print. #5
  9. 92 Pacific Boulevard by Debbie Macomber, Harlequin. Print. #4
  10. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Hachette, Print. #10

FictionwiseFICTIONWISE (fictionwise.com)

Retailer or Publisher: Retailer
Editions: eBooks only, though some books on the list may have print editions available elsewhere.
Formats/Devices Available: Sony Reader, Kindle (using unencrypted MultiFormat books and Mobipocket), MSReader, Adobe PDF, Mobipocket, Windows PC, Win CE (Palm Doc), Rocketbook, Franklin eBookMan, Hiebook, Symbian

  1. To Sir Phillip, with Love: The Epilogue II by Julia Quinn, HarperCollins. Print edition available.
  2. Dark Slayer by Christine Feehan, Penguin. Print. #1 on this list last week.
  3. Storm of Shadows by Christina Dodd, Penguin. Print. #2
  4. Wicked All Day by Liz Carlyle, Pocket. Print. #6
  5. Hot for the Holidays by Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Anya Bast and Allyson James, Jove. Print. #8
  6. The Renegade Hunter by Lynsay Sands, HarperCollins. Print.
  7. Living on the Edge, Susan Mallery, Harlequin. Print. #7
  8. Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch by B.J. Daniels, Harlequin. Print.
  9. Hael’s Fury by Viola Grace, eXtasy Books. eBook only.
  10. Diner Girl by Mary Malcolm, The Wild Rose Press. eBook only.

eHarlequinHARLEQUIN (eHarlequin.com)

Retailer or Publisher: Publisher.
Editions: Mixed. Sells books that are eBook only, as well as digital versions of print books.
Formats/Devices Available: Adobe PDF eBook, Microsoft eBook, Mobipocket.

  1. The Billionaire’s Bride of Innocence by Miranda Lee. Print. #8 on this list last week.
  2. The Greek Billionaire’s Innocent Princess by Chantelle Shaw. Print.
  3. The Christmas Love-Child by Jennie Lucas. Print.
  4. The Diakos Baby Scandal by Natalie Rivers. Print.
  5. After the Kiss by Michele Hauf. eBook only.
  6. Raffaele: Taming His Tempestuous Virgin by Sandra Marton. Print.
  7. Wedding at King’s Convenience by Maureen Child. Print.
  8. Bedded at the Billionaire’s Convenience by Cathy Williams. Print.
  9. Constantine’s Defiant Mistress by Sharon Kendrick. Print. #3
  10. Hot Boss, Wicked Nights by Anne Oliver. Print.

mbamlogoMY BOOKSTORE AND MORE (mybookstoreandmore.com)

Retailer or Publisher: Retailer.
Editions: eBooks
Formats/Devices Available: Formats determined not by retailer, but by individual publisher. May included PDF, HTML, Mobipocket/Kindle, MSReader, Rocketbook, ePub.

  1. Coming Full Circle by Liz Andrews, Samhain. #6 on this list last week.
  2. Damned by Blood by Evie Byrne, Samhain.
  3. Lions’ Pride by Teresa Noelle Roberts, Samhain.
  4. Between Brothers by Lauren Gallagher, Champagne Books. #4
  5. Songbird by Maya Banks, Samhain. #5
  6. Cabin Fever by Alisha Rai, Samhain. #1
  7. Bound by Design by Natasha Moore, Samhain.
  8. Gone with the Monster by Lila Dubois, Samhain.
  9. Shoulda Been A Cowboy by Lorelei James, Samhain. #10
  10. Maison Domine by Skylar Kade, Samhain.

Lists are retrieved from the individual retailers’ or publishers’ own websites, and are not official reports. At this time, I can find no mainstream news media, such as Publishers Weekly or The New York Times, tracking bestsellers in eBook format. Lists are gathered on Wednesday and reflect the rankings at the time they were retrieved. Please be aware that each site uses its own methods to arrive at or update a bestseller list (i.e. daily, hourly, etc.) and that no Internet server is infallible. Sometimes glitches happen.

For sites that list print and ebooks in the same list, every effort is made to separate out and/or note ebook-only romances. As with Internet servers, human glitches have also been known to occur.

swlogoJust last month, Smashwords announced that authors and small publishers would have the ability to sell their books on barnesandnoble.com. Now comes word via Digital Beat that distribution channels for small presses and the self-pubbed have expanded once again.

The shift toward digital books is helping small-fry authors and publishers to get in front of wider audiences than ever before. That trend is being reinforced today as Smashwords announces that it has a distribution agreement to get its books published on Sony’s new eBook portal.

Self-published authors can now visit the Sony Publisher Portal and click on Smashwords to sign up for a free publishing account. Then they can format a book in Smashwords’ style and choose their distribution preferences, and their book will be made available for immediate sale at Smashwords.com. The book can show up a few days later on Sony’s eBook Store.

This welcome development means there are even more options for newer authors who haven’t yet made that first sale to a publisher, or published romance authors with a project that, due to story length or theme, may otherwise have difficulty finding a good home.

In just nine short years, eBook sales will dominate the market. So says a survey from the Frankfurt Book Fair. Conducted last month, the survey polled 840 industry experts in connection with the fair, scheduled to take place October 14-18 this year.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is well known as the annual international meeting place for thousands of publishing industry professionals, a sort of RWA Nationals for agents, editors, publishers, film producers, and others who attend to buy, promote, and sell media and foreign rights.

In a post about the FBF survey, Bookseller.com reported:

Around half of those who responded to the survey said 2018 was the “turning point”, up about 10 percentage points on the same survey last year. In 2008, 27% were of the opinion that digital would never overtake print – now that number is only 22%.

The bullish prediction comes despite the majority of respondents admitting digital products still comprised just a fraction of overall sales – 60% esimated that “considerably less than 10% of their revenue” would come from digital sources this year – though this is expected to grow sharply over the next couple of years.

The vast majority – 80% – said they embraced “the radical change” digitisation brings about, rather than seeing it as a threat to the old guard.

I wonder how the Romance Writers of America awards committee will take the news, given their current stance on the legitimacy of eBooks?

For those who can afford Christmas this year, and in a recession of this magnitude that doesn’t include everyone, 1 in 5 gift recipients could find an eReader device under the tree.

In a study by Gadgetology, commissioned by electronics website Retrevo, 21% of respondents stated that they would be buying an eBook reader this season. If the study is any guide, it appears that Kindle could be the big winner of such a buying spree, with 62% of prospective buyers leaning toward Amazon’s reader, versus 32% who expressed interest in buying one from Sony, and only 6% shopping among the multitude of other readers hitting the market this year.

Other findings from the study:

  • More men than women planned to purchase an eReader this Christmas (26% to 17%).
  • 69% of prospective buyers were under the age of 35. Only 10% of those above the age of 45 planned to buy one.
  • Those with household incomes of $100K-$200K (33%) were twice as likely to state they would be buying an eReader, than those in the $50K to $100K bracket (16%). No word if those making less than $50K could afford one.
  • Prospective buyers in the Northeast region of the U.S. outnumbered buyers in the West by a margin of 2:1.

You’ll find more info on the study at Retrevo, as well as some fairly cool graphs to illustrate the above statistics.

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