For a limited time, the ebook edition of SEALed With a Kiss is available free!

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Feel like you’re always getting distracted?  Pushing things to the last minute (like starting a blog post due at midnight at 10 p.m.)?  The theme at the Casa Author blog this month is procrastination, and my post today is on how some things we might often consider procrastination can actually help increase productivity.  Truly, sometimes YouTube is ok.  See more here.

Another not-really-procrastinating time-eater is reading.  And now you can do it cheap with a Daring Debutantes and Dashing Dukes promotion offering $2.99 ebooks.  Authors include Laura Kinsale, Amelia Gray, Laurie McBain, Rosemary Rogers, Mary Wine and Abigail Reynolds.

Commenters over on the Casablanca author blog have a chance to win some May releases today–WICKEDLY CHARMING by Kristine Grayson and SEALED FOREVER by Mary Margret Daughtridge.  All you have to do is let us know what says romance to you.

When editing I often find it’s the little things, the tender moments that would have little meaning to anyone outside these characters, that really make my heart melt and the story resonate long after I’m done reading.  Check out more here.

And we have an amazing deal on our upcoming SINS OF THE HOUSE OF BORGIA by Sarah Bower–just $2.99 when you preorder the ebook, then going up to $9.99 after March 1. List price of the print edition is $14.99.  Available at B&N, Amazon, and wherever ebooks are sold.

If you haven’t yet seen the trailer for the new Borgia series on Showtime, check it out below.

Because there haven’t been enough blizzards in NYC this winter, I thought it’d be a good idea to travel to Chicago this week.  We did get in a great meeting with the great team at Levy, the folks who help get books into Target and Wal-Mart, before the snow started flying.  Truly, there’s nowhere we won’t go–even into the middle of a historic blizzard–to get books into people’s hands.  😉

Heck, we’ll even give away books for free.  This month sees the release of on of our YA line’s most hotly anticipated sequel, HAUNTED by Joy Preble.  A ghostly Russian czarina, a menacing mermaid, and a girl torn between her hot lifeguard boyfriend and the immortal warrior teaching her about powers she didn’t think were possible–HAUNTED is out in bookstores now.  And DREAMING ANASTASIA, the first of the series, is currently available as a free ebook.  You can find it wherever ebooks are sold in any format you prefer.


Be part of the publishing process.  We need help deciding a cover direction for YA release STUPID FAST, a seriously funny debut by Geoff Herbach.  Tell us which one you like best here and you could win an advance copy of one of our most highly anticipated books for the spring.

Need help polishing your manuscript?  Joy Preble, author of DREAMING ANASTASIA, is taking part in a charity auction to raise money for the Family Violence Prevention Fund.  Bid on a critique for 10 pages of your work here. And scout out the rest of the listings for critiques from agent Nathan Bransford and Flux editor Brian Farrey, signed ARCs and loads of other great stuff.

It’s liiiive–oh, wait, wrong book.  The iDrakula app is up at iTunes–and it’s free.  Check it out and you can get the ebook for only $1.99.  Great deal and an adorable icon.

One of the biggest hesitations in my deliberations between an iPod or a Nook for ebook reading was the lack of an iPod app for the DRMed ePub files.  The iPad coming out next month is supposed to support ePub, but no one is really sure yet what kind of limitations it might have.  Luckily, you can read ePub books now on your iPhone or iPod Touch through a free app called Txtr.

Txtr is still in its beta phase and definitely lacks the elegance of Stanza.  For example, you can change font size, but there are no bookmarks, annotations, or status bar to show how far you are into a book.  However, you can read any ePub file (except ones borrowed from the library; if there’s a way to do that, I haven’t yet figured it out).  All you have to do is sign in to your Adobe Digital Editions account, which you have to register for to get DRMed ePub files anyway.

The desktop version also allows you to sync pdfs, Word docs, Powerpoint, Excel and rtf.  You can drag and drop the files, or email them to your Txtr account.  Unfortunately,  the iPod app doesn’t support reading the Word docs.  Customer service was friendly and speedy when I asked about it, though.  And everything is still a work in progress.

The Txtr site itself is rather bare bones, but you can find more info from their execs at Teleread.

There’s been lots of big news in the publishing industry in the last week or so, much of it relating to new technology and how publishers are adjusting (or not) their models of doing business.  Much about Apple’s new iPad device and Amazon vs. Macmillan has been discussed in other forums and covered in the news, but a few thoughts from this end of things…


I was thrilled to see Apple was committing its new iBooks store to the epub format, which publishers are truly pushing to become the standard. But my elation was short-lived when Jane at DearAuthor reported that it seems as though the epub file will still have to be tied to an Apple device.  More and more, it seems ebook retailers are segmenting the market instead of uniting it. They’re making ebooks more difficult instead of easier for readers to try out.  As a reader myself, I want to know that the book I’m buying today, I’ll still be able to enjoy in 10 years, no matter what new devices are out. 

Beyond the iBooks format issue, I, like many, was a bit underwhelmed at the “revolutionary” new device.  I had been expecting something that acted like a netbook but in tablet form.  Instead, we got an overgrown iPod Touch.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love my Touch, and I believe I won’t be replacing it with an iPad anytime soon.

Amazon and ebooks

Publishers and ebook retailers still have a long way to go in figuring out pricing for ebooks, as evidenced by this weekend’s showdown between Amazon and Macmillan. But I have to admit that I have a hard time feeling too much sympathy for the publishers who don’t think they can make money for a product that sells for less than $9.99.  Obviously, the mass-market business model thrives on it.  Then again, we also plan for it. 

If $9.99 ebooks released simultaneously with $25.99 hardcovers become the norm, publishers are going to have to adjust for it in their breakevens.  And ultimately that’s going to affect what the authors are being paid in advance and royalty.

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