Round up #97: Amazon Yesterday, “romanticized” classics
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Literary classics in a plain brown wrapper
I have to admit…I often run into sex scenes in contemporary novels that I think make the book not as good as it would have been without them.
I’ve never been reading a classic novel (and I read quite a few of them), and said, “You know what would make this book better? If the characters got naked.”
Well, apparently, not everybody feels that way.
was popular and well-received, and issued in a new wave of literary mash-ups.
It wasn’t the first time that an author had combined public domain material with new material (John Myers Myers’ Silverlock immediately comes to mind…there are many others, like Fred Saberhagen’s The Holmes-Dracula File, Oh, and I’m not going to leave out An East Wind Coming and Autumn Angels by Arthur Byron Cover).
The format, though, of taking the original novel (not just the characters) and adding scenes…that caught other publishers’ attention.
Total E-Bound Books is now doing a series of books which add “romance” to classic novels.
I think I may be justified in using those quotation marks, since their book information includes a “sexometer” rating and an “erotic rating”.
When I first read about this recently, one of the books I saw listed was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. That puzzled me a bit. I have to admit, I first think of romance novels as being for women and, well, there aren’t really many women in that book. Certainly, once we get to the main part of the book, there aren’t any. Then, it occurred to me that one possibility is a romance between two male characters.
Checking the book on the site, yes, that’s what it is.
They also have a gay romance version of A Study in Scarlet, with Holmes and Watson as lovers.
They have Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and others…there is a diversity of romantic connections.
You can read excerpts and buy the books at their website: I didn’t see them in the Kindle store.
This is all legal, of course, under the current laws in which books fall into the public domain. If you think people shouldn’t be able to alter the classics this way, then you might be interested in the idea of permanent copyright.
By the way, the idea of taking a classic and adding a romance angle reminded me a bit of my piece, Lose the Lion. The difference is, I was kidding…
Amazon Yesterday Shipping (video)
wOOt!* I thought this was a fun parody:
For those of you reading this on an RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle…anything but a Kindle Fire), I realize you won’t be able to click on the link and jump there. On a video-capable device (a computer, a SmartPhone), you can go to YouTube and search for
Amazon Yesterday Shipping
Tom Gauld: New on Your E-Reader (cartoon)
I enjoyed this one also. I think you’ll be able to see it on your RSK…I’ll test it out on mine after I publish it.
Update: it took a couple of clicks, but then I could see this cartoon just fine on my Kindle Touch.
Forbes: “Nothing Against Jeff Bezos, But I’ve Personally Been Shrinking Amazon’s Profits — Here’s How”
This is an interesting article (I recommend it) talking about how Prime free shipping may be hurting Amazon’s profit margin…significantly.
I particularly found the chart of that profit margin worth seeing.
The article claims that in 2011, Amazon “…had shipping revenues of $1.5 billion but spent $3.9 billion.”
A net negative of 2.4 billion dollars is significant, obviously.
The question is whether those shipping losses are made up by profit on the items being ordered…and if they will be by inspired purchases in the future.
I also think Amazon’s profit margins are being significantly impacted by other expenses…all those licensing deals they are signing for video, for one thing. They just made a deal with Warner Brothers that brings the first three seasons of Fringe and The West Wing to Prime Instant Video.
They are also likely spending significant money on research and development on hardware…something that they didn’t really have six years ago.
Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series being shopped to cable TV
According to this
I haven’t read the series myself, although I’ve seen people mention it quite often. I may give it a shot at some point…I like time travel novels (I enjoyed The Shores of Kansas, for example…unfortunately, not available in the Kindle store).
For those of you have read it, I get the impression that this would be a big sweeping thing to adapt (not just the first book)…I wonder if they are pitching it as a “fantasy series like Game of Thrones”.
Well, that’s a pretty eclectic set of stories! I should say, I got started on some of these through the free Flipboard app on my Kindle Fire. I’m now starting to read it first thing in the morning, like a daily newspaper.
If you have comments on any of these (even if they just made you smile), feel free to let me and my readers know.
*wOOt (or WOOT) is internet slang. It’s an expression of joy and triumph. One of the origins is “Want One Of Those”, but you’ll certainly hear others (including from gamers). Spelled the way I did, with zeroes instead of Os, it’s “l33t speak” (or LEET speak). That’s also internet specific slang…it’s short for “elite speak”. l33t often swaps letters for numbers and vice versa…as you can tell, it’s not a spoken slang. Amazon owns a daily bargain site called http://www.woot.com/.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.