Monday, March 31, 2014

Come join our launch party and win yourself some great freebies!



http://www.addictivereads.com/2014/04/01/welcome-to-addictive-reads-and-a-giveaway/


Come join our launch party and *WIN* the great prizes in the picture above!

ADDICTIVE READS is a group of twenty-three authors who have banded together to bring you books from all genres. Our goal is to provide you with well-written and entertaining reads.
Most are award-winning and several of our authors are New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors.
Take a few minutes to look around our site. Each author has an individual page with all of their books listed, along with their social media links. We also have genre pages where you can find books in just about any genre you enjoy. (See the menu guide links at the top of the page.)
And we have FREE ebooks for you, as well as collections (anthologies and box sets) at a bargain price from Addictive Reads authors.
As a thank you for checking us out, we're holding a giveaway. You can enter through Friday, April 4, 2014. Winners will be announced, Saturday, April 5th.
We're giving away one $25 Amazon Gift Card, one $20 Amazon GiftCard, and one bundle of eBooks from Addictive Reads Authors including:
§  LET'S SCARE CANCER TO DEATH Anthology (Horror) with short stories by Rhonda Hopkins & Gregory Carrico
§  EVIDENCE OF TRUST (Romantic Suspense) by Stacey Joy Netzel
§  DEADLY OBSESSION (Romantic Suspense) by Kristine Cayne
§  ETERNITY OF ROSES (Paranormal Romance) by Natalie G. Owens
§  BIRDS DO IT! (Contemporary Romance) by *lizzie starr
§  AIR: MERLIN'S CHALICE (Fantasy) by Meredith Bond
§  ANGEL OF DEATH (Fantasy) by Anna Erishkigal
§  WANING MOON (YA Dystopian) by P.J. Sharon
§  TRUST NO ONE (Suspense) by Diana Layne
§  ALWAYS REMEMBER (Contemporary Romance) by Sheila Seabrook
§  STARS, LOVE AND PIROUETTES  (Contemporary Romance) by Alicia & Roy Street
§  REVENGE (Romantic Suspense) by Dana Delamar 
§  SOME ENCHANTED WALTZ (Time Travel Romance) by Lily Silver

To enter the giveaway, just go to our ADDICTIVE READS site and follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter near the bottom of the post for your chance to win one of the prizes! 

We hope you'll visit with us often and connect with us on our social media sites. We enjoy talking with our readers.

Thank you for being part of our reading family!



To enter for a chance to win the goodies, enter the Rafflecopter HERE


*Link goes live April 1, 2014 at 1:00 a.m. CST


*Please note: If any of the winners do not respond within five days, we may select a new winner and the original winner will forfeit any prize.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Come join me at ARISIA!


Come join me at ARISIA!

Come join me and about 5,000 totally cool science fiction and fantasy fans at the ARISIA / Boston conference to be held on Martin Luther King weekend, Janary 17-20, 2014 at the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel and conference center.  Come in costume if you have one, or come mundane for the round-the-clock festivities.

Here's the official conference website: http://2014.arisia.org/

This year, I'll be participating in the following events and panels:

Friday 1/17 - I have minion duty!!! ARISIA is a 100% fan-run conference. Come volunteer with us and get free admission! I'll be the one running around in a superheroine costume :-) 

Saturday 1/18 - 2:30pm - Bullfinch - KILLING CHARACTERS (writing panel) - [*Mwah-hah-hah-haaaah!!!*] - How do you go about killing your characters? What's the difference between a cheap, unearned death and a meaningful one? Some authors kill off characters by the dozens, or thousands from one page to the next. Does body count matter in the context of the narrative? Does a horror writer get a free pass to kill as much as they want due to genre expectations? How do you make the death of a character matter to the reader? - [*I have no idea why they put me on this panel.  Moi?  Kill characters.  Twirls hair and whistles nonchalantly...*]. 

Saturday 1/18 - 5:30pm - Adams - AVENGERS ASSEMBLE (comic-verse/movie-verse fan interest panel) - Marvel's Mightiest Heroes are experiencing a renaissance in the wake of the mega-blockbuster movie of the same name. Since 1963 they've faced numerous challenges from fearsome foes to shocking line-up changes and continue to endure well into the modern age. Who's your favorite? What's your favorite story arc or creative team? Join our panelists as we talk about what makes the Avengers so mighty!  (And yes ... I'll go in costume THIS year as well.  Last year I went dressed as Black Widow?  Who will I go dressed as THIS year?  Sif?  Scarlett Witch?  So many superheroines ... so little time to make costumes!).

Yeah, yeah ... that's Catwoman ... but replace the ears with a gun and it's also my Black Widow costume.  Me and my awesome Plot Bunnies friend, Sian.

Saturday 1/18 - 7:00pm - Douglas - FLIRT LIKE A PRO! (this is a COMEDY panel). - Flirting, like any skill, can be learned and gets better with practice. Our panel of experts are here to help! They will discuss and maybe even demonstrate ways to flirt like a pro, and what never to do under any circumstances!

Sunday 1/19 - 1:00pm - Galleria - AUTOGRAPH SESSION - now's your chance to get your books autographed or snag a paper copy!  Last year I went dressed as She-who-is.  Hmmm... Who will I go dressed as this year?  Maybe Supreme Commander-General Jophiel?


Do these wings make my butt look fat?
 

Monday 1/20 - 10:00am - Hale - LIVE READING - Authors Anna Erishkigal, Greer Gilman,and Richard A. Silva will read selections from their works.  Last time I read Lucifer's rousing speech which fractured heaven.  This time ... hmmm ... what could I read from Agents of Ki?

Monday 1/20 - 2:30pm - Executive Board Room - ARE MAGIC AND VAMPIRES GOOD FOR SCIENCE? - Does science education suffer from the popularity of entertainment involving magic, mythology, and the supernatural? When Syfy has ghost reality shows and science channels feature more "fringe" topics, one must wonder if Carl Sagan was right that pseudoscience gets in the way by pressing our awe buttons with easy answers. Or perhaps some magic can be inspirational for understanding the real possibilities. Can Harry Potter inspire a new generation of scientists the way Star Trek did?

Come to ARISIA!  

And come in costume if you have one! Events run around the clock and so will I, so if I have dark circles under my eyes and can't seem to remember my name or what character I'm supposed to be that day, don't hold it against me.  They don't let me out of Arkham very much!  :-)


Friday, September 27, 2013

New Goodreads Review Policies - Discussion of the Limits of Free Speech






Hi!  I'm Anna Erishkigal.  By night I scour book discussions threads searching for great books to share with my friends and three 'tweens' so I have something to talk about and not look like a dork.  By day, however, I happen to be a practicing attorney with a sub-practice related to Intellectual Property law.  

Recently Goodreads clarified their Reviews Policy to spell out what authors and readers could and could not do when rating and reviewing books.  They did not do this to be mean or censor your right to talk about books with your friends.  They did this because some people have been breaking the law and, if they don't fix the problem, the government might come in and shut them down.  That would stink, wouldn’t it?  Where would we go to chat about the next great book?

In case you haven't already read them, here are Goodreads updated Review Policies:


A few people are really angry about these changes and have taken to the internet, saying that Goodreads is mean or does not have the right to do so because it violates 'free speech.'   In case you've never read the actual First Amendment, here it is:



There is a common misconception that 'free speech' means the right to say whatever you want.  Legally this is not correct.  Because knowledge is power, I will put on my lawyer hat and attempt to explain Free Speech in layperson language so you understand why they are making these changes and what you can and cannot do.

Supreme Court Caselaw:

Free speech means you have the right to:
·         Not speak (i.e., you have the right to remain silent);
·         To engage in passive protests to protest a war (such as to wear a black armband to school);
·         To use certain offensive words and phrases to convey a political* message;
·         To advertise products (with some restrictions);
·         To engage in some symbolic speech (such as burning a flag during a protest) but not others (such as burning your draft card). 

*Note the word political.  Political means relating to the laws and policies of the government.


Free speech does not include the right to:
·         Incite actions that would harm others.


For more information about Free Speech, why not visit the official US Courts government website at:  http://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/get-involved/constitution-activities/first-amendment/free-speech.aspx

 
Free speech rights only attach when it is the government doing the restricting.  They do not extend to private actors such as corporations, businesses, or private individuals.  This is why the local mall can legally escort you off the premises when you show up to protest Abercrombie's publically stating they only want skinny kids shopping at their store (link:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/abercrombie--fitch-controversy ), but your local town hall can only tell you to pipe down so your megaphone at 3:00 a.m. isn't breaking the local noise ordinance.

See what I just did there?  I made a derogatory statement about Abercrombie, but I included a link to a traditional, credible media source that I trust as backup (not a private blog).  Reposting links to something somebody else said does not insulate you from telling the truth.  I also included a link back to the uscourts.gov official website.  Do you know why I did that?  Because my right to free speech does not include the right to say something which is not true, especially when it could cause someone economic harm.  If I make a statement which I cannot later back up, Abercrombie could sue me, and they could sue Goodreads as well if somebody points it out to them and they don't remove the comment.

Now there has been some criticism of Goodreads lately for revising their review policies because some people mistakenly believe Free Speech means they can say whatever they want, but when you publish a statement about any product (even a book), everybody has a legal obligation to make sure what they are saying is the truth.

And that is what Goodreads revised Review Policies are all about.  Goodreads has gotten so popular that many people go there now to help them decide whether or not to buy their next book.  Amazon, Kobo, Sony, GooglePlay, and other booksellers use Goodreads data to decide what books to stock.  People look to us, Goodreads members, to help them make financial decisions about how to spend their money.  Isn't that cool?  You are helping people decide which books become the 'next big thing,' not some big wig advertising agency attached to a big publishing house!  But with that privilege comes a hefty responsibility.  

Once money gets involved, another whole area of law called Consumer Protection law comes into play.  If you write a review which is untruthful, harmful, or malicious, you could get sued.  You could get sued for defamation of character.  You could get sued for harmful interference with business relations.  You could get sued for cyber-bullying.  You could get sued for intentional inflection of emotional distress.  If you do, your screen name will not protect you.  The First Amendment will not protect you!  The courts will order Goodreads to give them your IP address, an IT expert will trace that IP address to wherever you usually log in, an attorney (like me) will serve you with a summons to court via a sheriff showing up at your door, and then you will have to do what I just did above when I made a snarky comment about Abercrombie … prove you are telling the truth.  That would suck?  Wouldn't it?

And here's why Goodreads had to revise their policy ... if they have reason to believe something somebody says is not the truth, or is said maliciously, or bullying, or harmful, they could get sued too.  It's already happened with fake hotel and restaurant reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor and YELP, and now the government is aiming their gunscopes at other websites that make their money publishing customer reviews of products.

http://www.nbcnews.com/business/ny-attorney-general-cracks-down-fake-online-reviews-4B11235875





Under the law, the burden is on them to prove they know you are telling the truth when you leave your review.  Yup ... they have to vouch for you.  If challenged, they have to stand up and say 'I trust this person was telling the truth' (just like when I cited that article from the Huffington Post about the Abercrombie CEO).  The best way to do that is to have a flagging system and clear written policies in place so that Goodreads can swear they looked into it when somebody accused a Goodreads member of leaving a false review and know you are telling the truth.  The new guidelines were written to protect you, the potential reader, from being influenced by sockpuppets, astroturfers, carpetbombers, and trolls.

Here is where you can learn more about consumer protection law.  It's a cool little 4-minute video by the Federal Trade Commission which applies to a lot more stuff than just Goodreads:  http://www.business.ftc.gov/multimedia/videos/ftc-endorsement-guides     


And here are the Federal Trade Commission Guidelines themselves which explain all sorts of things about customer testimonials (reviews), including why Goodreads asks you to say 'the author gave me this book for free in exchange for a fair review' if you do an R2R:  http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf

Now does this mean you can't tell people what you really think about a book?  No.  Of course not!  You are entitled to your opinion and sometimes the truth is, well, that book really does stink!  The truth about a product being sub-standard or not-your-cup-of-tea is every bit as important to a potential reader as a statement saying the product is great.  However, the law requires you to be mindful of the fact that when you publish a review or other comment on a book review website, that the people who read your review assume you understand the law and, therefore, what you say is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

The revised Goodreads Review Guidelines, the limits on Free Speech, and Consumer Protection Law all boil down to the Will Wheaton Rule:


Don't be an @$$....

I hope this long, boring legal explanation is helpful to people and will help you understand Goodreads recent review policy changes.  It's not about you.  It's about compliance with federal law.  Thanks for participating in this community!  And please, don't come to me for legal advice or start a flame war on this blog.  If you don't like the law, write your Congressman, not me.  I joined Goodreads to get away from my day job!!!

Be epic!
Anna Erishkigal

[*Boring mandatory legal disclaimers:  The above statements are my own personal opinions and does not constitute the official policy of Goodreads.  The above does not constitute legal advice.*]