Monday, April 25, 2011

Announcement: Introducing the eBacklist Collection!

I have launched a new'curated collection' site to allow readers to easily find ALL Smashwords titles which were once print books published by a paper publisher. ANY book which is a backlist title the author is re-releasing is eligible for inclusion, provided it is available on Smashwords OR through a DRM-free vendor.

The best part? I have set up the site so that I don't have to do any of the updating myself! Authors can add their books directly! Do you have an eligible book? Here's how to add it:

1) Launch Smashwords or your vendor site, find the book. Copy the URL.
2) Open a new window; launch Delicious
3) Log in as 'ebacklist' (password is coker2011)
4) Choose the 'save a new bookmark' link in the right margin
5) Paste in your URL and then fill in the title, author and description
6) Add some tags for easy browsing
7) As a thank you, please consider adding my blog to your RSS feed :)

I have added one book to start things off. I hope all self-promo-loving backlist repubbers will go in this week and take 5 minutes to add their stuff. Remember, if it was once published by a publisher, and you have now put out the ebook, and it is DRM-free and ready to read by discerning readers, it is eligible for inclusion, and you don't need to wait on me. Authors can add to this collection any time they want to.

I'll go through once a week and clean up anything that looks messy. If you have any problems, email me and I can help you out.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Review: The Demise of the Soccer Moms by Cathryn Grant

The Demise of the Soccer Moms is a promising debut from Cathryn Grant, an apparently seasoned short fiction writer. It involves a close-knit group of suburban moms whose lives start unraveling when a quirky newcomer arrives.

It turns out that the unraveling isn't strictly free-spirit Charlotte's fault. Amy, the core mom of the little group, is battling some demons that are finally catching up with her. Somehow, she latches onto Charlotte as a fixation, and things escalate from there.

I had a few small nitpicks with the story---Grant doesn't seem to offer any explanation for Amy's immediate hatred of Charlotte other than 'she's crazy' for instance---but overall, it was a solid read. The story was well-paced and kept me turning the pages, and I thought that Rachel especially was well-written as a character. She struggles with balancing her well-meant loyalty to her friend Amy, and with trying to deal with her growing feelings of alarm as things escalate. Her snail-loving son Trent was one of the more fully realized child characters---the rest, save perhaps Charlotte's daughter Meadow, exist in the story as mere names.

Small quibbles aside, this was a readable and entertaining little drama, and well worth a read. Recommended!