Don’t Microwave Your Library Books!

Americans Microwaving Library Books Coronavirus Pandemic

Apparently people are microwaving their library books in an attempt to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

I can’t believe anybody needs to say this, but don’t microwave your library books!

“Temple Terrace and all Hillsborough County Library Cooperative libraries quarantine all materials for 72 hours after they are returned. Please do NOT attempt to microwave library materials as the RFID tags, located inside, will catch fire. Stay safe out there.”

The Landowner’s Secret in the Library

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

Just a reminder that you can request your library to order in books that aren’t already in their catalogue. I requested an ebook version of The Landowner’s Secret for Libraries ACT and only just remembered to check if they’d bought it – they had!

There seem to be A LOT of stories about book piracy at the moment, but remember it costs nothing to join a library and you can have access to pretty much anything you want!

Stealing books isn’t a basic human right!

There’s been a big drama in the publishing world recently, involving an “internet archive” that has been lending pirated books to readers:

The lawsuit, filed June 1, does not just object to the National Emergency Library but to the way Internet Archive has long operated. Traditional libraries pay publishers licensing fees, and agree to terms that restrict how many times they can lend an e-book. Internet Archive, by contrast, takes books that have been donated or purchased, scans them and posts them online.

Now they’ve finally been stopped the internet has exploded …

… with people who are FURIOUS they can’t get all their books for free. Well I’m also furious.

STEALING MY WORK AND MY INCOME ISN’T OKAY.

STEALING ANY AUTHOR’S WORK AND INCOME ISN’T OKAY.

The outraged book pirates on Twitter are trying to frame this as a human rights issue. It’s not. Arguments like this are beyond selfish and stupid:

book piracy defenders 1

book piracy defenders 2

Supporting Local Bookshops

shop-front Books 'R' Us Tuggeranong HYperdome Canberra

I have always deliberately bought books from multiple sources, in an attempt to support multiple businesses. (Yes, I buy plenty of books from Amazon, too, but it’s SO important to support other sellers.)

Since this pandemic began I’ve been more aware of this than ever, but until a few days ago it didn’t even occur to me to check my local, family-owned bookshops to see if they sold online.

My mother bought a book at a private Canberra shop yesterday, and apparently they could do with some help. And, to my surprise, they have online shopping, and within an hour of me placing an order it had been sent.

If you’re in the south of Canberra, here’s a shop you can check out (in the picture above) before checking out the big retailers. If you go in person their range is HUGE – much bigger than their online offerings. However, there are places like this everywhere, so perhaps consider them next time!

No pubs, no kissing, no flying: how Covid-19 is forcing authors to change their novels

A few weeks ago a certain author who will remain unnamed (and forever on my “Do Not Read” list!) attacked me for suggesting the pandemic will have an effect on contemporary fiction. (Remember Covid-19? There’s so much going on now I’m worried a lot of people have forgotten.)

The author took particular exception with some of us suggesting contemporary romances might change, and that some authors and readers might struggle with the reality of books set “now” where everyone behaves like we did before the virus. The argument was that romance should NEVER reflect the real world and always be a total fantasy, which was one of the most breathtakingly narrow-minded things I’ve ever heard.

These days I’m regularly wondering how books set and released a year or two from now will fare. At this point we have no idea how or when things like international travel will resume or work. It’s a very uncertain future at the moment.

And so it was with a lot of interest that I read this article in The Guardian:

No pubs, no kissing, no flying: how Covid-19 is forcing authors to change their novels

It seems that upcoming books have *already* been pulled or rewritten to take into account what’s happening.

Here’s one of the quotes I found interesting, but the whole piece is worth a read:

“I’m trying to work out where we might be. Might there be a vaccine? Will getting on a plane feel wildly anachronistic? Will journalists working from an office seem weird? How interesting can a book actually be when everyone is sitting in their sitting room in their pyjamas?” Watt asks. “It feels odd to be writing about people hopping on trains or popping to the pub, but focusing on Covid might make it date hideously. But if you don’t mention it, it is the massive elephant in the room.”

Final Weekend of the Sale!

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

Just a reminder that The Landowner’s Secret is $1.99 in Australia and New Zealand until the end of this weekend.

Kindle Australia

Kobo Australia

Kobo New Zealand

Read the first two chapters.

New South Wales, 1885

When Alice Ryan wakes to find thugs surrounding her cottage, on the hunt for her no-good brother, she escapes into the surrounding bush.

It is wealthy landowner Robert Farrer who finds her the next morning, dishevelled, injured, and utterly unwilling to share what she knows. With criminals on the loose and rumours that reckless bushrangers have returned to the area, Robert is determined to keep Alice out of danger, and insists on taking her into his home-despite the scandal it may cause. Convincing her to stay on with him for her own safety, however, is going to take some work.

What Robert doesn’t expect is his growing attraction to the forthright, unruly woman staying in his home. Before either of them can settle into their odd new situation, their home and wellbeing come under threat and they will need to trust each other to survive. But they are both keeping secrets, secrets that have the potential to ruin their burgeoning love, their livelihood … and their lives.

The Landowner’s Secret is still only $1.99!

Just a reminder that readers in Australia and New Zealand can buy The Landowner’s Secret (Brindabella Secrets book #1) for only $1.99 on Kindle and Kobo (AU/NZ) until the end of the month!

The Landowner's Secret by Sonya Heaney blog-sized

Read the first two chapters.

New South Wales, 1885

When Alice Ryan wakes to find thugs surrounding her cottage, on the hunt for her no-good brother, she escapes into the surrounding bush.

It is wealthy landowner Robert Farrer who finds her the next morning, dishevelled, injured, and utterly unwilling to share what she knows. With criminals on the loose and rumours that reckless bushrangers have returned to the area, Robert is determined to keep Alice out of danger, and insists on taking her into his home-despite the scandal it may cause. Convincing her to stay on with him for her own safety, however, is going to take some work.

What Robert doesn’t expect is his growing attraction to the forthright, unruly woman staying in his home. Before either of them can settle into their odd new situation, their home and wellbeing come under threat and they will need to trust each other to survive. But they are both keeping secrets, secrets that have the potential to ruin their burgeoning love, their livelihood … and their lives.

 

Edits Edits Edits

Without giving too much away, I started edits on The Artist’s Secret at about 3am (now it’s nearly seven in the morning). Don’t ask me why I chose that time to begin!

The manuscript is still a bit of a mess, but in this screenshot you can see what it looks like “behind the scenes” when you’re working with an editor on a book: lots of highlights and shifting of words and comments in the margins!

Edit Screenshot The Artist's Secret by Sonya Heaney Historical Romance

How Reader Behaviour Is Changing During the COVID-19 Crisis

How Reader Behavior Is Changing During the COVID-19 Crisis

This article turned up in my email today, and it makes for an interesting read. Because each week feels like a year at the moment, it’s probably already a little out of date (it’s dated the 24th of April), but it shows that while people are still buying books, readers’ habits are changing.

Of course, this is a US-focused piece, so things are likely different in other countries. Australia is in a good position to start opening up again (and some of our restrictions have already been lifted), so I assume readers here are likely to return to in-person book shopping faster than – say – the US or the UK.