Reflections: Cross Posted from The Biting Edge

Jeanne Stein here.

Writing is a crazy business. It's fraught with anxiety and self-doubt and stomach-turning worry about how your new book will be accepted. Sales-figures turn your hair gray. Reviews (or lack of them) turn you into a raving lunatic. Your family and friends learn to tiptoe around you in the weeks before a release.

Then you have an evening like last night.

Good friend Pat Andreatta hooked me up with aspiring writer Rhonda Skallan. The three of us met for drinks and conversation at YaYa's-- a great place in Greenwood Village. For three and a half hours, we talked about writing. Rhonda's enthusiasm and determination to follow a dream reminded me how I felt when I was starting out. She reminded me of how wonderful it was to have achieved (even modestly) what I set out to do when I took those first steps on the path to becoming a published author. She reminded me of the passion.

I want to thank Pat and Rhonda for something I'd almost forgotten in the furious flurry of activity before a new release--I love what I'm doing. If Chosen turns out to be the last book I ever write, I DID it. My books are out there in the world. I'm very lucky.

And that brings me to another writer pal whose book was just released. Leaguer Kat Richardson's Labyrinth, Book Five in the acclaimed Greywalker series, is available now on Amazon or at your favorite book store. Check it (and all the books on the sidebar from your League pals) out.

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On to other stuff.

Main book news this week was Dorchester's decision to go all digital. Here;s a good summary from Publisher's Weekly:

Dorchester: Digital, or Desperate?

Dorchester Publishing has switched to subsistence mode, though they have tried to sprinkle some digital fairy dust over the move. The mass market publisher has struggled for some time, now. At the beginning of the year they sold both frontlist and backlist titles from many of their top authors to Avon--an imprint of their distributor, HarperCollins. Earlier this summer, the Romance Writers of America reportedly cancelled Dorchester's participation in their annual conference because the company was "past due in fulfilling contractual obligations to some of their authors." And company president John Prebich confirmed to the media last Friday that their retail sales fell 25 percent in 2009 (before they sold off top properties.)

So the company is giving up on functioning as a traditional print publisher. In a last-ditch effort to subsist, they will now issue all titles to the trade as ebooks only. Dorchester has laid off their sales force of seven people, and will work with Ingram Publisher Services to distribute POD versions of some titles. Romance titles have been successful for years in ebook form, so the company may find some strength there. But for now this a story about a genre mass-market publisher retreating rather than a bold digital initiative.

Hard Case Crime owner Charles Ardai tells the WSJ he may move his imprint's distribution as a result, which makes sense. "It's been a good run, but if they aren't publishing mass market paperbacks, we'll have to decide what to do."

Full article here .

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Want a portrait of your favorite books?

Jane Mount will do it for you. Order here .

Or how about new wallpaper?

From Anthropologie .

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Contest for aspiring YA writers:

Delacorte Books announces its 29th Annual Delacorte Press Contest for a First Young Adult Novel. First prize is a book contract with $1,500 cash and $7,500 advance against royalties. You’re eligible to enter if you haven’t previously published a book-length work or young adult fiction. Enter the complete manuscript of a contemporary novel suitable for readers aged 12 to 18. Manuscripts should be between 100 and 224 typewritten pages. Entries must be postmarked after October 1 but before December 31, 2010. Find all the rules here .

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Ever heard of motion comics? I hadn't. Here's a definition I found:

Motion comics look like traditional comic books, but incorporate voice acting and a musical score. And only certain elements of the “page” are animated: a zoom-in, a pan, someone raising their arms.

And an example from Angel: After the Fall:

New trend? What do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down?


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