California’s New Law Could Halt Live Author Book Signings

R. Gardner Goldsmith reports on a California law affecting author signings.

 

RPBookSigning

So, I’m a writer. Hopefully, that comes through not only in the fact that I’m setting caveman fingers to keys, and you’re reading the results, but also in the quality of what I write, the idea that it has value. I write non-fiction on political economics and ethics. But what some folks don’t know is that I also write scripts, short stories, novels, and novellas. As a result, I’ve become familiar with how publishing works, and have become friends with a number of terrific authors.

Many of those truly fantastic writers don’t have the backing of big-name publishing houses. Some sign with small “indie” publishers, while others split from the old guard and self-publish. And what every author, even the well known who have the backing of promotional departments, will tell you is that personal, hand-to-hand and word-of-mouth connections are what sells books.
As a consequence of this, making appearances — at conventions and at book signings offered by local booksellers – is not only essential for authors to exist in the pro field, but the crowds these events generate are also important for the bookstores to stay in business.
But, on January 1, an amendment to a California law kicked into effect that makes it virtually impossible for authors and booksellers to conduct “book signings” the way they once did. And only the folks of the Pacific Legal Foundation, hired by an indie bookseller based in San Francisco, are fighting it.

Read more.

Harlequin Closing Five Lines, including Kimani Romance

Found out through Bookriot this morning.

Although Harlequin has yet to make an official announcement, word has broken that they are no longer acquiring titles for five of their series: Harlequin Western, Harlequin Superromance, Love Inspired Historical, Harlequin Nocturne, and Kimani Romance. The last books for these lines will be released next year.

Author Courtney Milan broke the news on Twitter.

Read full story here.

Just found RWA’s announcement of  the closures here.

Beware of Sharks in Publisher’s Clothing

DO you read The Book Designer? If not, then you should and here is one excellent post why.

 

Tate Publishing bit the dust and formally closed its doors on January 24, 2017. There are millions of dollars in lawsuits including one from Lightning Source (that’s Ingram) for over $1.8 million. In February, a default judgment was entered against Tate when its owners did a no-show in court. I can’t even imagine the number of authors and books who have been damaged.

Why another column on what I call the Publishing Predators?

  1. The self-publishing / indie publishing avenues now publish far more books than the traditional publishing stream from New York.
  2. Whenever there is growth, it identifies opportunity.
  3. Opportunity encourages darker forces to surface. The floodgates opened for self-publishing went into high drive when Amazon introduced BookSurge, the predecessor of CreateSpace in 2007. Scammers paid attention.
  4. In other words, scammers, publishing cons and publishing predators are breeding.

 

Continue reading here.

Torquere Press Is Closing

Writer Beware announces another publisher is closing, like EC for Books (Ellora’s Cave) Torquere Press has spent the last year or so giving part of their authors nothing but problems so this is not exactly a surprise. And like EC even the closing will give their authors nothing but another massive headache.

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

Troubled publisher Torquere Press is closing. Owners Kristi Boulware and Joanna Talbot announced their decision yesterday in an email that will doubtless infuriate many authors, but probably won’t surprise them:

We have thought long and hard about where things are with Torquere and made the very hard decision that we need to begin the process of closing this chapter of our lives….We have done everything we could to turn things around but with the saturation in the industry, the financial hardships we are in, my health in constant decline along with the negativity we have had hurdled our way. We feel like we are currently fighting an uphill battle.

For the complete text see here.

Just getting picky here but shouldn’t that be hurtled not hurdled?

Small Press Storm Warnings: Torquere Press, Caliburn Press, Month9Books

If you’re an author or a reader you really should check out Writer Beware. Strauss has posted an update on the problems various small presses are causing and/or experiencing.

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

A roundup of publishers about which I’ve recently received serious complaints (all of them documented).

TORQUERE PRESS

At the end of 2014, the founders of Torquere Press–a well-regarded small publisher established in 2003–turned the company over to new co-owners: Kristi Boulware and Joanna Talbot.

Before the change in leadership, Torquere had been trouble-free (or at least, not generating author complaints). It didn’t take long for that to change. In early 2016, a little more than a year after the new owners took over, reports began surfacing of royalty payment problems. More reports showed up over the summer, even as Torquere participated in Twitter pitch contests to find new manuscripts. Also during the summer, Kristi Boulware was arrested on a hot check charge, allegedly after payment to one author bounced.

For more see here.