Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays

We're busy playing with our new toys from Santa (don't ask what erotica editors get!), so we are taking a few days break. See you in the new year!

EC Editors

Monday, December 24, 2012

2012 Words of the Year

Collins Dictionary (in the UK) publishes an annual list of "fad" words of the year.

"We were looking for words that told the story of the year," said Ian Brookes, the dictionary's consultant editor. "Some words are from events that have been and gone and so are not likely to stick around...but others are probably here to stay."

Twelve words of the year - one for each month - were selected on the basis of the frequency with which they were spoken, how many places they appeared and their longevity in public discourse. Appearing on the Collins words of the year list is no guarantee of insertion in the next dictionary.

So here are the Collins Dictionary's words of 2012.

broga  (yoga tailored to men)
Eurogeddon  (the economic situation in the Eurozone)
fiscal cliff
Games makers  (Olympics volunteers in London)
Gangnam Style
Jubilympics  (the overlapping British celebrations of the Olympics and the queen's Diamond Jubilee)
legbomb  (actress Angelina Jolie's pose at the Oscars)
mummy porn
Romneyshambles  (candidate Romney's visit to London)
zuckered  (if you bought Mark Zuckerman's Facebook IPO and watched your share price plunge)
47 percent  (reference to Romney's fundraiser speech)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winner: Bad Sex in Fiction Award

Two weeks ago, we listed for you the finalists in the UK Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction contest.

The bad sex prize was established "to draw attention to the crude and often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel – and to discourage it".

So the winner is...
Infrared by Nancy Huston

The author has said she hoped the win would "incite thousands of British women to take close-up photos of their lovers' bodies in all states of array and disarray."

Congratulations, Nancy, for winning the "most dreaded literary prize".

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Writing Tips: Naughty and Nice Lists

Santa isn't the only one who keeps lists of the naughty and the nice. Editors do it too (or at least, good editors do). But editor lists are about words, not children. The words or phrases that we most commonly spot as incorrect, so know we need to check for in every book. And each editor's list is different, has not only generally common errors but those words that the editor knows are her weak points or blind spots. Our copy editors are invaluable in helping with this. ("OMG, the copy editor flagged this same thing twenty-seven times in the last three books from me. I better put this on MY LIST.")

So here's a present from Santa for all you nice writers, and for you naughty ones who want to be nice--a list of some common errors you should look for in your writing. Do a Find in your document for each of these.

"could care less" - Think about it. What you mean is "couldn't care less".

"criteria is" - 'Criteria' is plural. If you just have one, say "criterion is"; if there are several, "criteria are".

"hone in" - Hone means to sharpen; you hone a blade or hone a skill. If you are pinpointing or locating something, you "home in" on it.

irregardless - This is a double negative, and means the opposite of what you want. Regardless means without regard, so irregardless means "without without regard"--in other words, with regard. So say "Regardless of the consequences" if you mean doing something without caring about the consequences.

kudo - There's no such word. Kudos means approval or praise; it is singular.

lightning/lightening - That bolt of electricity in the sky is 'lightning'. If you are making something lighter (in weight or color), you are 'lightening' it.

"off of" - Get rid of the 'of', just use 'off'. Go jump off a bridge.

"person that" - (Or substitute any category of people.) People are always 'who'; 'that' refers to a thing. Let's not argue about animals; do it whichever way your editor will allow.

"reason is because" - Redundant. Use "reason is", or if introducing a noun clause you may use "reason is that".

"road to hoe" - No, please don't dig up the road with a sharp farm instrument. That would be a difficult "row to hoe".

"those kind"/"these kind" - 'Those' and 'these' are plural and would modify plural nouns. So say either "those kinds" or "this kind".

"try and (action)" - This should be "try to" do whatever. 'And' is a conjunction used to join two actions or things. "Try and call the grammar police" means you are going to do two different actions: you are going to "try" something (what?) and you are going to "call the grammar police". What you mean is that you are going to attempt to call the grammar police - "try to call". Hey, we're right here!

undoubtably - No such word. This is a misspelling of 'undoubtedly'.

"would of" - This is based on sloppy mispronunciation. The term is "would have".

Happy holidays. Hope you enjoyed this gift list.

Monday, December 17, 2012

House of Books

This is what I want--a house custom-built to my specs, everything I want including built-in bookshelves everywhere--walls, staircases, even ceilings.
(Thanks to Diane for sending the link.)

Dream Homes Built for Books and the Nerds Who Love Them
“amazing houses that take bookcases to the extreme”

Friday, December 14, 2012

History of the PC

by Raelene Gorlinsky

How many of us remember the pre-computer, especially pre-personal computer, days? When we typed on typewriters? Ooh, what about all the way back to manual typewriters (which are no longer even manufactured today)? I'm old enough to have taken typewriter class in high school. Oh yeah, same age as when I replaced my slide rule with a Texas Instruments calculator (basic arithmetic functions, cost over $100).

Now we can't live without our PCs, mini-PCs, tablets, mini-tablets. But it's really only been fifty years since the minicomputer revolution began. The November 2012 issue of the AARP Bulletin (an organization for those of us over 50, old enough to remember typewriters) had an article "Evolution of the PC". Here's a summary, with a few annotations from me:

1962: LINC (Laboratory Instrument Computer) took up about 8 square feet, had 1kb of memory, and cost $43,600. MIT got one for its biomedical research lab.

1965:  The first minicomputer success, DEC's PDP-8, debuted; price was $18,000. (So stop bitching about the price of an iPad, which has a zillion times more functionality, memory and capacity at a tiny percent of the price.)

1969: U.S. Dept. of Defense established ARPAnet, the first computer network, the forerunner to the internet.

1971: ARPAnet sends the first email.

1972: Atari's Pong released, starting the video game industry.

1975: The MITS Altair 8800 computer kit made the front cover of Popular Electronics. The computer had an impressive 256kb of memory.

1976: Steve Wozniak created the Apple I. Sales income from that enabled the Woz and Steve Jobs to start Apple Computers.

1977: Lots of new computer debuts: Commodore PET, Apple II, Tandy Radio Shack's TRS-80.

1981:  IBM labeled its minicomputer the "PC"; the description became a brand and sales soared.

1982: Instead of Man of the Year, Time named the computer (yes, generic computer) the Machine of the Year. The magazine story was written on a typewriter.

1983: Compac made the first PC clone, compatible with IBM's PC.

1984: A $1.5 million Super Bowl ad launched Apple's Macintosh, the first successful computer to have a mouse and user-friendly interface.

1990: The World Wide Web was invented.
1990: The first successful version of Microsoft Windows 3.0 launched.

1995: Amazon and eBay debuted.

1998: Google and PayPal debuted.
1998: Apple's iMac became the first in its line of iProducts.

2007: Apple launched the iPhone, with 8GB of memory.
2007: (November 17) Amazon debuted the Kindle e-reader. The whole stock sold out in five-and-a-half hours.

2008: Apple launched the iPad. It sold more than 300,000 on its first day.

Fascinating how far our information technology has advanced in only fifty years.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday Writing Tips: Write For Us

Okay, this isn't a grammar-and-punctuation type of tip. It's for you authors and aspiring authors--we've put out calls for submissions for 2013, here's your opportunity!

Curve Appeal
Dangerous curves ahead! Cuddle up to some Big Beautiful Women in this series featuring hot ’n’ heavy heroines who have a little (or a lot!) extra cushion for the pushin’.

~ Length: 20K - 45K
~ Deadline for internal/external submissions: 3/1/13 (earlier is preferred)
~ All Lines and sub-genres welcome
~ Rubenesque heroines are a must; size must be one of the themes (heroines who are already comfortable in their plus-sized skin are definitely welcome
~ Stories release in September 2013

Boys Will Do Boys
Let’s get one thing straight—these heroes are not. Sorry ladies, no heroines allowed in these tales of lust and love between men. Bring on the M/M! (Or M/M/M, or M/M/M/M…)

~ Length: 20K – 70K words
~ Deadline for internal/external submissions: 5/1/13 (earlier is preferred
~ All stories will release under our Spectrum (GLBT) Line, but all sub-genres and themes are welcome
~ Stories release in December 2013/January 2014

Cotillion Christmas Traditions
Sweet, Christmas-themed traditional Regencies from our Blush Line of non-erotic romance.

~ Length: 12K – 25K
~ Deadline for internal submissions: June 15
~ Deadline for external submissions: May 15
~ Regency Christmas traditions must be a theme in all stories, with particular dedication to historical accuracy (no Victorian Christmas trees, etc.)
~ Cotillion guidelines: sweet (kisses only); set in Regency-era England; focus on the social setting/mores of the time
~ Ebooks release in October 2013
~ Print anthology releases in November 2013

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gifts for Bookloving Boys and Girls

By Kelli Collins

I've got tons of voracious readers on my Xmas shopping list, and plenty of them just want gift cards for the Kindle or Nook, and okay, fine, if that's what they really want... But between you and me, I'd rather dive into a pool full of barbed wire than buy such impersonal items. There's nothing more special to me than the hunt for that perfect gift. I'm old school like that. This year, I've got just the thing for my book-loving buds. Gifts guaranteed to serve up huge smiles, with a nice side of feel-good to boot:

Out of Print Clothing

The company's mission statement recognizes the swiftly changing print industry, as well as the popularity of digital, and is concerned for the fate of the beloved book cover (as they should be). Therefore, Out of Print is determined to preserve classic book covers -- in the form of T-shirts, journals, totes, notepads, iPhone cases and more!

As if that's not cool enough...Out of Print also works with a partner, Books for Africa, to provide one book to a community in need for EVERY product sold. (In case you missed it, this is where the "feel-good" part comes in.)

I'm hardly the warm-fuzzy type, but even I get a certain glow about me when I'm able to share my love or reading. Who wouldn't?

No no, don't thank me. Just log on and share the love. And the books.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bad Sex in Fiction Award


The Literary Review has announced the finalists for the annual Bad Sex in Fiction award. The bad sex prize was established "to draw attention to the crude and often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel – and to discourage it".

The Fifty Shades trilogy by E.L. James is not included; it  does not qualify for the contest "because the prize's rubric explicitly excludes pornographic and erotic literature".

The winner will be announced at a lavish ceremony in London in December.

The shortlist of nominees, with quotes from the sex scenes. OMG, just cover my eyes.

The Quiddity of Wilf Self, by Sam Mills
"Down, down, on to the eschatological bed. Pages chafed me; my blood wept onto them. My cheek nestled against the scratch of paper. My cock was barely a ghost, but I did not suffer panic."
• Noughties, by Ben Masters
"We got up from the chair and she led me to her elfin grot, getting amongst the pillows and cool sheets. We trawled each other's bodies for every inch of history."
• Back to Blood, by Tom Wolfe
"Now his big generative jockey was inside her pelvic saddle, riding, riding, riding, and she was eagerly swallowing it swallowing it swallowing it with the saddle's own lips and maw — all this without a word."
• Rare Earth by Paul Mason
"He began thrusting wildly in the general direction of her chrysanthemum, but missing — his paunchy frame shuddering with the efford of remaining rigid and upside down."
• The Yips by Nicola Barker
"She smells of almonds, like a plump Bakewell pudding; and he is the spoon, the whipped cream, the helpless dollop of warm custard."
• Infrared by Nancy Huston
"This is when I take my picture, from deep inside the loving. The Canon is part of my body. I myself am the ultrasensitive film — capturing invisible reality, capturing heat."
• The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine
"And he came. Like a wubbering springboard. His ejaculate jumped the length of her arm. Eight diminishing gouts. The first too high for her to lick. Right on the shoulder."
• The Adventuress: The Irresistible Rise of Miss Cath Fox by Nicholas Coleridge
"In seconds the duke had lowered his trousers and boxers and positioned himself across a leather steamer trunk, emblazoned with the royal arms of Hohenzollern Castle. 'Give me no quarter,' he commanded. 'Lay it on with all your might.'"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Contest Winners: 12th Anniversary

Thank you all for the wonderful comments about EC and about your first books and authors here! So we got a little carried away with selecting winners. Hey, you lucky folks, please email redlinesdeadlines@gmail.com to claim your free ebook from us--anything currently available, or listed as Coming Soon through end of December.

Renee Meyer - an EC fan since 2001

Christine - "EC popped my ebook cherry"

Debbie S - another longtimer, since 2002

Diane M - who knows she bought her first EC books on Nov. 7, 2001: Jaid's The Empress' New Clothes and three others in the series

Carmen Terronez - a newbie to EC, with a list of series she plans to read

Kini Taicho - who got hooked on EC's plus-size heroines, and our innovative ways (Kini, you'll love our "Curve Appeal" stories coming out next September.)

Jen - who's glad we refuse to behave, and is just contracted to publish her first book with us

PamK - another of many whose first EC book was Empress' New Clothes - the first book EC published

Carrie Hutchison - she loves our male/male romances (Carrie, watch for the "Boys Will Do Boys" stories in December 2013.)

Monday, December 3, 2012

What Do You Read On?

According to Bowker Market Research, for second quarter 2012, the devices used to read e-books:

Kindle - 37%
Kindle Fire - 18%
Nook/Nook Color - 14%
iPad - 12%

desktop/laptop PC only - 6%
Smart phone - 3%
iPhone - 3%
iPod/iPod Touch/MP3 device - 2%
Sony eReader - 1%
Other - 4%
These are the same as the figures from first quarter 2012, except that 2% of users switched away from Kindle to Kindle Fire.

Hmm, I think this survey was before the Nook HD tablet came out? I wonder what percentage of the tablet market it has now captured.

I use a Nook Color and love it. Do any of you read on your PC, rather than an ereader, tablet or cell phone? I wonder what comes under "Other". Do people still print out an ebook to read it?