Round up #97: Amazon Yesterday, “romanticized” classics

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.

Seth Grahame-Smith’s

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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.

Clandestine Classics

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”

Forbes article

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 article

Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, which is a popular time travel romance series, is being adapted by  Ron Moore (the recent Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, the Roswell TV series).

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

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

6 Responses to “Round up #97: Amazon Yesterday, “romanticized” classics”

  1. Helen Burns Says:

    I’ve enjoyed your blogs since I first bought a K2 and now read it on my fire via Pulse. You have also given me helpful answers. I’ve noticed that whenever I try to purchase something you’ve mentioned directly from the blog on pulse it doesn’t work. It takes me to the Amazon site but won’t complete the transaction. Nothing about being blocked. I assume you get some kind of credit if the purchase is linked to you. Ideas?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Helen!

      Thanks for being a long-time reader!

      Try switching Pulse to the Web view from the Text view. You can do that with the Menu button (horizontal lines in a box), or you may see the option in your top right corner.

      I haven’t tried that specifically to purchase something, but that may work. At the bottom of the post, there is also a choice to “view full site” at the bottom of an article, which might help.

  2. Jimmy McPhink Says:

    If you like time travel books check out ‘The Accidental time Machine’. I really enjoyed it. Or the Guns of the South by: Harry Turtledove if you enjoy time travel and altered history.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Jimmy!

      I appreciate the suggestions!

      I’ve downloaded a sample of

      The Accidental Time Machine

      and I’ll give that a try.

      Alternate history is another interesting topic. I love the concept of “What if?” I find sometimes that alternate history can get bogged down in getting the little details correct and lose the story. However, no genre is a barrier for me. 🙂 I’ll download the sample of

      The Guns of the South

      but I can tell you, I won’t get to it as quickly…

  3. Rick Askenase Says:

    First, I loved the Amazon shipping yesterday paraody. VERY funny.

    As for Diana Gabaldon, I am one fo the few guys who has read some of that series (the first 4 books, I believe) and love it. It would be much like Game of thrones in scale. It’s a great read regardless. Recommended.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Rick!

      I’m glad you liked the parody…I enjoyed it. 🙂

      I appreciate the recommendation…I may give it a try at some point.

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