Monthly Archives: September 2013

Fleeing the Inquisitors: “Darkbeast” Sequel Takes Its Young Heroine to a Dark Place

In Darkbeast, author Morgan Keyes introduced the young heroine Keara whose questions about the repressive society she lived in got her into mortal danger. Now on the run with her “darkbeast” Caw, she has discovered other rebellious souls like herself.  Whether they can be trusted is the story of Darkbeast Rebellion, just published.

Betrayal threatens everything Keara dreams of in this fast-paced, exciting sequel to Darkbeast.

Keara, her friend Goran, and the wily old actor, Taggart, are fleeing for their lives. They have all spared their darkbeasts, the creatures that take on their darker deeds and emotions and lift their spirits. But their actions defy the law, which dictates that all citizens must kill their darkbeasts on their twelfth birthdays.

There are rumors of safe havens, groups of people called Darkers who spared their darkbeasts and live outside the law. To find the Darkers, the trio must embark on a dangerous journey—and evade the Inquisitors who are searching for them everywhere. In the middle of winter, freezing and exhausted, Keara and her companions are taken to an underground encampment that seems the answer to all their hopes. But are these Darkers really what they appear to be?

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“Behind the Candelabra” Cops 11 Emmys

Liberace (file from the Wikimedia Commons)

Behind The Candelabra, the blockbuster HBO film adapted from the Scott Thorson memoir represented by Richard Curtis Associates, scored 11 Emmy awards in last night’s celebration of outstanding television achievement.  Among the winners were Michael Douglas (Lead Actor)  and Steven Soderbergh (Best Director).

And the film won Best Movie.

Tantor Media has reissued Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace, the memoir of Liberace’s “Boy Toy” played in the film by Matt Damon opposite Michael Douglas as Liberace. The book was co-written with Alex Thorleifson.

Tantor went out with the largest first printing since it launched its book unit last fall and produced an audio edition as well.

Ron Formica, Tantor’s director of rights and acquisitions, snapped the long-out-of-print book up from Curtis. Thorson wrote a new afterword bringing readers up to date on the rather dismal and sometimes sordid life he led after Liberace dropped him. The audio is narrated by Peter Berkrot; an interview with Thorson is available on Tantor.com.

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First Volume of Dave Duncan’s New Fantasy Duet Released by 47North

With Dave Duncan’s King of Swords, 47North releases the first volume of Starfolk, a fantasy duet of breathtaking beauty and complexity. But Duncan’s hallmark swashbuckle makes King of Swords as exciting to read as it is elegant.

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Rigel has always known he is not quite human, but the only clue to his origin is the otherworldly bracelet he has worn since childhood.

His search for his parentage leads him to the Starlands, where reality and fantasy have changed places. There he learns that he is a human-starborn cross, and his bracelet is the legendary magical amulet Saiph, which makes its wearer an unbeatable swordsman. Fighting off monsters, battling a gang of assassins seeking to kill him, Rigel finds honorable employment as a hero. He knows that he must die very soon if he remains in the Starlands, but he has fallen hopelessly in love with a princess and cannot abandon her.

Through the imaginative landscape of the Starlands, Rigel’s quest leads him to encounter minotaurs, sphinxes, cyclops, and more fearsome creatures in Dave Duncan’s latest fantasy series.

Dave Duncan is a prolific writer of fantasy and science fiction, best known for his fantasy series, particularly The Seventh Sword, A Man of His Word, and The King’s Blades. E-Reads carries these among its 31 vintage backlist Duncan titles. Visit his author page to see them on display. And check out Duncan’s blog and webpage: www.daveduncan.com

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With Amazon MatchBook Bundling One Big Step Closer to Reality

Publishers Weekly reports that “After years of false starts, bundling e-books with print books may have gotten the spark it needed Tuesday morning when Amazon announced an October launch date for Kindle MatchBook. Under the program, customers who buy—or have bought—print editions of titles can buy the e-book at prices ranging from $2.99 to free. At launch, Amazon expects to have over 10,000 books in the program, ranging from new books to books that Amazon began selling when it first opened in 1995.”

For background here’s a piece we published several years ago:

Bundling is an age-old merchandising technique in which customers are offered a discount if they purchase two related products. In the case of books, it’s a combo of two formats, print edition and e-book. Though the technical barriers to delivering both in one transaction are coming down, the real issue is how much to charge for the bundle. A little test we gave readers a few years ago will give you a sense of how challenging the concept is:

When you purchase a print book you should be able to get the e-book for…

a) the full combined retail prices of print and e-book editions
b) an additional 50% of the retail price of the print edition
c) an additional 25% of the retail price of the print edition
d) $1.00 more than the retail price of the print edition
e) free

The choices aren’t just economic but philosophical, reflecting just how aggressive a publisher wants to be and the various thresholds at which the publisher believes consumer resistance will melt. A good argument can be made for each, and as the bundling issue warms up you can expect to hear them all endlessly debated.

The time will soon come when publishers will have to choose one of the above strategies and put it into effect. Misjudging consumer attitudes could prove to be a big mistake and possibly a ruinous one. My own view? I strongly believe that the e-book version should be included free of charge with the purchase of the print edition. What do you think – and why?

Details in Bundling: Publishing’s Next Battleground.

Richard Curtis
This blog post was originally published on Digital Book World under the title Why Do We Have to Choose Between Print and Digital?

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