Tag: Publishing News

On Jane of Dear Author Writing as Jen Frederick

Posted March 26, 2015 by Holly in Discussions, News | 38 Comments

In 2013 I discovered new adult author Jen Frederick. Her first book was problematic for me, but I absolutely loved her second. Over the last two years I’ve read most of her other works. I also followed her on Twitter and exchanged a few reviewer/author emails with her. Based on her familiarity with authors online, and the community as a whole, I suspected she was an author or blogger writing under a pseudonym. Yesterday, Jane Litte of Dear Author confirmed my suspicions when she came out as best-selling author Jen Frederick.

The response from the DA readership has mostly been positive. The comments on the article are all along the lines of “Awesome! Go you!” or they were up until about 175, which is when I stopped reading them). There was some anger and confusion on Twitter, but it wasn’t until an anonymous author posted at The Passive Voice that any real dissent was brought out into the open. The majority of comments on that article have been overwhelmingly negative toward Jane/Jen. I’ve seen claims elsewhere that the angry commentors at TPV are just the “Pro-EC crowd” attacking Jane and being jealous because she’s selling better than they are. I don’t really agree with that.

The fact is, Jane deceived a lot of people. They have the right to be angry about that.

Jane emailed me a few days before her confession went live to tell me she was Jen Frederick. Prior to that, as I said above, I suspected Frederick was a blogger or author, but I did not suspect Jane. To be honest, that Jen and Jane are the same person has no bearing on my enjoyment of her books. While I found some of them problematic, the fact is I absolutely loved Unspoken. I still love it, even knowing that Jen is Jane (and vice verse).

As Jane said in her post, she wanted to be judged on her own merits as an author, not as Jane Litte writing a book. I can understand and even support that. For years authors, bloggers and readers have criticized Jane for her reviews and commentary; often saying she has no knowledge of what it is to be an author, so she can’t/shouldn’t comment. There are many who don’t agree with the politics at DA, and I can see why Jane wouldn’t want her position as a prominent blogger to influence sales of her books one way or the other.

That Jane chose to publish her novels under a pseudonym, and keep that pseudonym a secret, doesn’t bother me at all. Authors often write under pens names – sometimes multiple pen names – and no one bats an eye. I know many bloggers who are also writers (aspiring and published). I know many authors (aspiring and published) who are also bloggers. I don’t see that it matters one way or another.

But I think Jane made two huge mistakes.

First she kept her secret for far too long. Once she’d published a book or two, and did well enough to know whether it was something she could continue, she should have come forward at Dear Author. That she decided to publish her books isn’t a big deal to me. That she chose to publish many, which ended up as bestsellers, including co-writing books with another best-selling author, which were picked up by a traditional publisher and optioned for movie rights, is harder to swallow.

Her second mistake – and this is the big one , in my opinion- was in creating a full, separate identity for Jen Frederick. A website? Sure. A Twitter or Facebook profile where she could announce information about her books? Absolutely. But Jane took it a step farther. She befriended many authors, bloggers and readers. She joined private author loops. She commiserated  over reviews, and the writing process, and publishing, and any other number of things, all while she was also what many refer to as the Watchdog of the romance community.

I don’t see anything wrong with Jane and Jen being the same person. I do find it harder to swallow that she deceived – whether deliberately or not – the entire romance community. Would authors have been as open and honest with her if they’d known? Should they have been open and honest with her, considering her position at Dear Author?

I do not think Jane set out to purposely deceive anyone. I also don’t think – as some have speculated – she created this author persona as a way to glean information for the purpose of reporting at Dear Author. Nor do I think she used the information she was privy to as an author to hurt any fellow authors in her role as a blogger. But now everything she and Dear Author stood for is suspect.

I also think, had it been another blogger who did exactly what Jane did, Dear Author would have jumped all over them. The community feels deceived and I understand why. More importantly, Jane’s credibility as a forthright blogger and as an author, is being questioned. Considering the amount of works she’s done for the good of the community as a whole, I’m really sad about that. I’m also a little disappointed that she did something I know she would have questioned someone else for. It’s especially frustrating considering her stance on things like this in the past. For example, the disclosure she included when another author reviewed Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh at Dear Author.

DA Reviewer Disclosure

Of course, I haven’t even touched on the ethical questions this situation raises. Like the fact there were several mentions of Jen Frederick books at Dear Author, including Kati’s “Best of 2014” post, along with a mention in a Daily Deals post and an “If You Like” post, wherein Unspoken was recommended to those who like military roms. None of those are really Jane herself promoting her own work, but naturally it makes her claim that she kept the two separate a lie. A small one? Sure. But a lie nonetheless.

There’s also the fact that she was contracted with Berkley while still reviewing Berkley books. Did she positively review books from her publisher because they were her publisher? Probably not. But again, had she disclosed the relationship it wouldn’t be a question now.

For my part, I don’t plan to stop reading Jen Frederick’s books. But I do think she (as Jane and Jen), and Dear Author both, are a little tarnished now. In the end it comes down to trust. Jane broke ours. It’s as simple as that.


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Publisher Ellora’s Cave Sues Book Blog Dear Author #ChillingEffect

Posted September 30, 2014 by Holly in Discussions, News | 6 Comments

I’m sure most of you have heard about this. For those who haven’t, a quick recap.

On September 14, Jane of Dear Author wrote a blog post titled The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave. She outlined the history behind the company – praising them for being one of the first e-publishers to offer authors and readers erotica-type content – then related news of their slow decline in management and business practices. Per Jane’s article and the subsequent comments from EC authors, editors and cover artists: authors and sub-contractors haven’t been paid in a timely manner; royalty checks are at an all-time low and Tina Engler/Jaid Black, the founder and owner of the company has been taking shopping trips, buying new property and looking into starting new ventures (this, apparently, from her Facebook page, Twitter stream and personal blog).

EC is suing Jane and Dear Author for defamation, claiming what Jane wrote in her blog post was false.  I am not a lawyer. I don’t claim to understand a whole lot about the law in general and defamation in particular, but my basic understanding is that in order for EC to win this suit they have to prove that what Jane said – their authors/cover artists/vendors/editors/tax liens/etc not being paid – isn’t true. In order to do that, I would assume they’d have to provide company records, financial statements, etc. I may be mistaken about that, so don’t take my word for it, but I do know part of a defamation suit is proving what was said was untrue and that the untrue statements hurt the reputation of the one filing. So how else would they prove what she said wasn’t true but opening up their records for public scrutiny? Even worse, however, is that EC is demanding the anonymous commenters’ true names be revealed.

Here’s the thing, though. This suit isn’t about EC’s reputation.  Not really. It’s about is instilling fear in a community of authors and bloggers. Engler has been rumored to be notoriously vindictive when it comes to authors speaking out against her company. As bloggers, we’re often threatened by authors when we write bad reviews/report about the goings-on with the community, etc. That’s a scary thing for those of us who aren’t lawyers and don’t treat our sites as a business venture, but rather a hobby. I don’t know about you, but spending thousands on a legal battle isn’t my idea of a good time. Especially since this site doesn’t make any money on its own.

The Chilling Effect, defined by Wikipedia as:

In a legal context, a chilling effect is the inhibition or discouragement of the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights by the threat of legal sanction.

Basically, I think EC filed this lawsuit as a scare tactic. They want bloggers and their authors/staff to be scared of speaking out against them. Sunita wrote a post about it that goes into more detail, but essentially EC  is saying “we’re watching you”. As Sunita says in her post:

EC picked the wrong person to sue, no question. But by filing at all, they’re also reminding their authors and editors that they have no compunction about publicizing the personal information of anyone they see as an adversary. It’s not necessary to sue an individual person in this case; suing Dear Author LLC would have taken care of their needs.* But it wouldn’t have sent the same “we know who you are” message. EC has already stipulated in internal communicationsthat authors “include both legal name and pen name when communicating with Ellora’s Cave.” This just ups the ante.

Author Courtney Milan wrote about not being cowed by EC and their tactics. In her post, On Limited Purpose Public Figures #notchilled, she discusses the effect this lawsuit has already had in terms of the Chilling Effect and says she is Not Chilled (#notchilled).

CM notchilled 2

 

Jane has hired a lawyer and plans to fight this. I say good for her. Good for all of us. We shouldn’t be silenced. We shouldn’t be afraid that speaking out about a publisher or author will result in the worst possible outcome. We’re saying we won’t be silenced and we hope you won’t be either.

Today Jane asked for a bit of help. If anyone who worked for or with EC has any information they’re willing to share, please contact her.

DA Request for Info

 

Also, if you’re an EC author, be sure to take a look at the Ellora’s Cave Author Exodus Support Thread, hosted by author Deirdre Saorise Moen.

For those interested in following the story, here’s a compiled list of links detailing the troubles at EC and the coverage of the suit against DA.

Also, LATimes Jacket copy picked up the story.


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Penguin’s ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE by Marie Force Selfie Contest

Posted February 27, 2014 by Rowena in News | 0 Comments

PenguinFrom our friends over at Penguin:

***All New Selfie Contest!***

Starting 2/25/14, get back out there and find ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE in your local bookstore (Barnes & Noble, Target, WalMart, Books-A-Million, grocery stores, drug stores, etc,) or order your copy from an online retailer such as Amazon and take a picture of yourself holding the book. We want to see you WITH the print copy of ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (sorry, no ebook copies for this contest). When you’re out and about, consider getting a copy of the book for a friend who loves to read and hasn’t yet discovered Marie’s books. And remember, books make great gifts for birthdays and other important events! Better yet, once your friends have the book in hand, they can enter the selfie contest too! While you’re out taking selfies, consider getting a copy of ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE to donate to your local library, nursing home, hospital or other organization where people might enjoy Will and Cameron’s story! AND, if you’d like to have your book SIGNED, we can do that too with a signed book plate right from Marie! Send your request for an ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE bookplate and postal address to author@marieforce.com.

For each of the next THREE weeks, we will award a $100 gift card to one selfie photographer. You can enter as many times as you’d like to increase your chances to win. Entries carry over to the next week’s drawings, but we need ALL NEW selfies. The earlier ones will not count for this NEW contest. We will award the gift cards on Friday, February 28, March 7 and March 14. But wait, there’s MORE! On Friday, March 21, we will award YET ANOTHER grand prize trip to the Green Mountain Series Launch Party on June 28 at the Vermont Country Store in Weston, Vermont! This package includes:

• Two nights lodging for up to two guests in Weston, Vermont.
• $750 toward airfare for two from anywhere in the United States. We suggest flying into Manchester, NH (2.5 hours away), Burlington, VT (2.25 hours away), Hartford, CT (2.5 hours), Albany, NY (1.75 hours) or Boston, MA (3 hours).
• Reimbursement of up to approximately $300 for car rental and fuel to be used for transportation from the airport to Weston, VT.
• A special breakfast with Marie for you and a guest.
• $100 gift card to the Vermont Country Store
• $100 gift card to Bryant House Restaurant at the Vermont Country Store
• Your very own stuffed “Fred the Moose”
• Signed copies of All You Need Is Love and I Want to Hold Your Hand

Everyone who enters a selfie in the next three weeks will be entered into this grand-prize drawing. In order to WIN the prize, however, you must be able to answer three new questions about the short story TO KNOW HER IS TO LOVE HER, which is found ONLY in the back of the print book. (It will be released to e-readers on Marie’s website in May.) ALSO, everyone who enters this new Selfie contest will get our ALL NEW Green Mountain Romance sticker! UK, Australia, New Zealand readers: You are looking for YOUR LOVE IS ALL I NEED and your selfies count!

WAIT, there’s one more chance to win! If you SHARE this post, you will be entered into a drawing to win yet another super fun prize pack that includes signed copies of Marie’s books, Fred the Moose and other fabulous swag. Everyone who clicks the SHARE button on this post will be entered into the SHARE drawing!
So go forth and take those selfies and SHARE this post to get your friends out there taking pictures, too! We will feature as many selfies as we can on Marie’s Facebook page!

You must send your selfie to author@marieforce.com to be entered into the drawing. If you’d like the Green Mountain Romance sticker, please include your postal address (international entries permitted) and let us know if you’d like to be on the list for occasional postcards and other items by mail. NO selfies posted directly to Facebook or Twitter will count as entries. The only way to ensure that your entry is counted is to email it to author@marieforce.com with:

Your name:
Where you found the book (store/location):
Mailing address if you want the Green Mountain Sticker:
Do you wish to be added to the postal mailing list for occasional postcards and other swag during the year?

HAVE FUN!!!

Good luck!


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Finding Cinderella to be Printed Because of Twitter

Posted February 17, 2014 by Holly in News | 3 Comments

FCI admit I’m fascinated by the impact social media has on society today.  If you’d have said even 5 years ago that Twitter would be a viable news source, I would have laughed. I’m pretty sure publisher would have laughed if we’d told them they’d be printing books based on what’s trending on Twitter.

That’s what happened last week to Colleen Hoover’s free short story, Finding Cinderella. Fans began tweeting that they’d like to see it as a printed book (because you can’t smell an e-reader, and their shelves were lonely). 5,000+ tweets later and Atria announced they’d be printing the book.

This is definitely opening doors I thought were remained closed forever. What are your thoughts on this?

You can read more about this on S&S’s official Finding Cinderella page.

finding-cinderella-by-colleen-hoover#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover writes a free novella about the search for happily ever after.

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love has conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. But Daniel soon realizes that fairytales don’t exist, and unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

ColleenColleen Hoover is the New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, and This Girl and Losing Hope.  Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.  Please visit ColleenHoover.com.


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ATRIA BOOKS SIGNS FOUR-BOOK DEAL WITH #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR ABBI GLINES

Posted November 26, 2013 by Holly in News | 0 Comments

I haven’t found these retellings to work very well in the past, but I know Rush is a character many love so I figured I’d share.  Are you looking forward to reading the story from his perspective?

 

image001(NEW YORK) – November 22, 2013.  Atria Books announced today a four-book world rights deal with #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines. The first three books in the runaway new adult bestselling Too Far series, FALLEN TOO FAR, NEVER TOO FAR and FOREVER TOO FAR, will be published as eBooks in January 2014 with trade paperback editions to follow. Atria will also release a never before published novel, RUSH TOO FAR in eBook and trade paperback simultaneously in May 2014. The book will re-tell the story of Fallen Too Far from hero Rush Finlay’s perspective.

Fallen Too Far, Never Too Far, and Forever Too Far, originally self-published by Abbi Glines, established her as one of the foremost authors of the new adult genre, selling over 400,000 eBooks each, with Fallen Too Far reaching the half a million mark. These books launched the Rosemary Beach series, which follow the romantic entanglements within a group of best friends in a small resort town on the Gulf Coast.

Judith Curr, President and Publisher of The Atria Publishing Group says, “We’re so thrilled to be the exclusive publishers of Glines’s Rosemary Beach series and to have the opportunity to work with her on building a long term career.”

The deal was negotiated by Atria editor Jhanteigh Kupihea with Jane Dystel of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

Abbi Glines is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys (both published by Simon Pulse), Rosemary Beach, and Existence series. A devoted book lover, Abbi lives with her family in Alabama. She maintains a Twitter addiction at @AbbiGlines and can also be found at Facebook.com/AbbiGlinesAuthor and AbbiGlines.com.

To read the prologue of RUSH TOO FAR, visit http://issuu.com/atriabooks/docs/rushtoofar_excerpt

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Atria Books is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation. Simon & Schuster is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio, Simon & Schuster Online, and international companies in Australia, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom. For more information about Atria, visit our website at http://imprints.simonandschuster.biz/atria.


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