Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Tuesday News and Deals: Apple iPhone Sales May Fall; Booksellers Start...


So my understanding is that Amazon is wanting publishers to sign a coop agreement. Coop is basically in store advertising or, in Amazon’s case, placement on any number of lists, emails, front page promotions.  They want to charge more for on site placement and the publishers are refusing.  Amazon has already responded to IPG’s revolt by removing the “Buy” buttons for the digital books. Not sure what Amazon will do with 70% of the catalog of books that people purchase (the market of the Big 6) will be imperiled.

Interestingly Indigo is increasing its coop fees by 25% according to Quill & Quire.

“It’s always been a huge scandal that the tech press has not covered the fact that the iPhone routinely gets a bigger subsidy (often $100 more!) than even the most expensive Android phones, even though Android users pay EXACTLY the same fees to the carriers”

Here’s irony. Part of Apple’s huge rise in profits in the last 6 years, since the introduction of the iPhone, has been as a result of way better discounts that iPhone customers receive vis as vis Android customers. AllThingD

“While emphasizing that they are first and foremost a publicity and marketing firm—doing work with 30 clients to date—DeBartlo and Crary intend to publish at least four titles each year under the February Books imprint. Besides DeBartlo and Crary, February Partners employs a full-time social media manager, Kimberly Cowser, previously a senior publicist with Simon & Schuster. Freelancers, including editors, are hired as needed”

“DRM is supposed to prevent piracy and illegal file sharing. In order to provide DRM, you need at least $10,000 up front to cover software, server, and administration fees, plus ongoing expenses associated with the software. In other words, much bigger operating expenses than a small business can afford. By requiring retailers to encrypt e-books with DRM, big publishers are essentially banning indie retailers from the online marketplace.”


The Earls Are on Sale

  • As an Earl Desires by Lorraine Heath * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARE
  • Earl of Her Dreams by Anne Mallory * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARE
  • How to Engage an Earl by Kathryn Caskie * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARE
  • I Kissed an Earl by Julie Ann Long * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARE
  • My Irresistible Earl by Gaelen Foley * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARE
  • My Wicked Earl by Linda Needham * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARE
  • The Return of the Earl by Edith Layton * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARE
  • To Wed a Wicked Earl by Olivia Parker * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARE
  • What an Earl Wants by Shirley Karr * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARE
  • I Love the Earl by Caroline Linden * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S | ARE
This one looked interesting for Jayne.  “Retired doctor David Somerset, grief-stricken with the recent loss of his beloved wife, is trying painfully to follow through with plans they both made to the English Cotswolds and to restore a 600 hundred year old cottage. Although he makes friends with a number of colorful locals in the town of Winchcomb, he is still agonizing over his loss. Then rescue arrives in the form of a mysterious metal box a workman finds in the walls of his cottage. Inside the box, straight from the 16th century, is a rare Tyndale Bible, the first English translation of the Scriptures and the cause of Thomas Tyndale’s branding as a heretic by the Catholic Church and his burning at the stake. Also enclosed is the diary of a hitherto unknown priest named Father Christopher Moore, who was Tyndale’s best friend and later a chaplain in the court of Henry VIII. The Calm in the Late Afternoon is one of those novels that is more than a read. It’s a joyful emersion in life. “
  • The Calm in the Late Afternoon by Chuck Culver * $3.03 * A | BN | K | S
  • Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Cowboy Fever by Joanne Kennedy * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Wicked By Any Other Name by Linda Wisdom * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Merely Magic by Patricia Rice * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Kiss at Your Own Risk by Stephanie Rowe * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Making Waves by Tawna Fenske * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Darcy Christmas by Amanda Grange, Sharon Lathan and Carolyn Eberhart * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Whispers in the Sand by Barbara Erskine * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Return of Black Douglas by Elaine Coffman * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • No Proper Lady by Isabel Cooper * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Making of a Duchess by Shana Galen by Shana Galen * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Are You Going to Kiss Me Now? by Sloane Tane * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Through a Glass Darkly by Karleen Koen * $2.51 * A | BN | K | S

Darcy Fan Fiction

  • Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connell * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. JoanneL
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:19:52

    Am I missing something or is the New York publishers describing Amazon’s contract as draconian a kettle and pot conversation?

    Yet another $10,000 worth of reasons to get rid of DRM altogether.

    I love a good Earl romance almost as much as I do the mind-boggling number of Dukes. Thanks for the links.

  2. Kerry
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:31:41

    Amazon has always caved on their terms when they have to delist Big 6 books.

    If publishers are so concerned about Amazon’s market domination, I don’t understand why they don’t just say, “Screw you. Customers can buy our books from a thousand other retailers. Come back when you’re ready to play by our rules.” Do they think Amazon customers never buy anything they can’t get from Amazon and that x percent of sales will just evaporate if they don’t play this game every spring?

  3. Cara
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 13:37:40

    Hey, Jane – apparently it’s International Be Kind To Lawyers Day today. Just so you know. ;)

  4. Jane
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 13:40:35

    @Cara: I had no idea. I expect every comment here after to shower me with accolades.

  5. Loosheesh
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 13:46:08

    @JoanneL: “Am I missing something or is the New York publishers describing Amazon’s contract as draconian a kettle and pot conversation?” – My first thought when I read that!

  6. TFQ
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 13:55:56

    I always thought “draconian” referred to severity of punishments. Is he suggesting that these exorbitant fee increases are Amazon’s attempt to punish the Big 6 for the agency pricing? (Which, if I recall correctly, has actually helped Amazon’s bottom line, although not its rampant rush towards e-book market domination.)

  7. Laura Vivanco
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 14:06:34

    @TFQ: According to Oxford Dictionaries, “draconian” means “(of laws or their application) excessively harsh and severe.” Merriam-Webster gives a bit more detail:

    1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of Draco or the severe code of laws held to have been framed by him
    2: cruel; also : severe

    Examples of DRACONIAN

    1. The editorial criticizes the draconian measures being taken to control the spread of the disease.

    Origin of DRACONIAN
    Latin Dracon-, Draco, from Greek Drak?n Draco (Athenian lawgiver)
    First Known Use: 1775

  8. Maili
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 14:13:47

    Oh, nice to see Barbara Erskine listed. I think I’d describe her books as a cross between Susannah Kearsley and Mary Stewart or Sharon Kay Penman, maybe? When her book is good, she’s an entertaining storyteller. And when it isn’t, it’s easy to make one think: “I know she could do better than this. Ah, never mind. I’ll try one of her other books.”

    I haven’t read her books for years now, though. I do think Kearsley is way better, but Erskine would be good for anyone who likes that type of stories. Her novels tend to feature heroines at crossroads, paranormal (time slip, hints of supernatural or time travel), history mixed with the present, often strong romantic elements, and dual/parallel/interwoven tales of two women and sometimes, their romantic interests (which prompted some of my hist fic reader friends to detest and criticise Erskine for).

    Anyroad, I think Erskine as “Mary Stewart’s younger sister who’s into history, the supernatural and time travel/regression.” Heh. No idea if that’s accurate, though. :D

  9. Lada
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 14:39:25

    If you are a mystery fan and love paperbacks, BnN is having a $4.99 deal for a bunch of them. I noticed because JD Robb is included but the ebooks are of course all $7.99.

    And unfortunately, The Calm in the Late Afternoon is $8-something at BnN instead of $3.03 found at Amazon. Thanks for the mini-review…it sounds worth checking out.

  10. Ridley
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 15:01:53

    So, when you gonna fire up the anti-agency pricing petition, Jane?

    I’d write to my senators myself, but I don’t feel like that competes well with organizations like ABA lobbying as a group.

  11. Jane
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 15:03:41

    @Ridley – Sarah and I are discussing what we can do this weekend.

  12. Jen
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 15:31:00

    When I started reading this post, I actually double-checked the date to make sure that I hadn’t somehow found an old post from a previous year — it sounded so familiar! I guess it’s that time of year again… Serious question: is this Amazon/Big-6 stand-off any different this time than in previous years?

    Also, how can all Big 6 refuse to sign the contract, and not have it count as collusion? There’s so much attention on the DOJ, and whether the houses colluded on agency pricing, etc.; the way this Salon blurb is written makes it sound like they all got together and said, “No thanks, F you.” How is that different?

    Thanks for keeping me a little less ignorant every day, Jane! I love these “News & Deals” posts.

  13. DS
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 16:10:42

    @Maili: Love Kearsley but never got very far into the Erskine I tried– Lady of Hay. Any recommendations? I like historical fiction and don’t mind the supernatural factor..

  14. Estara
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 16:12:01

    @Jane: *SHOWER* You make some really difficult legalese easier to understand when you report about it and give your impression of what is happening – disclaimers and all. *END SHOWER*

  15. Jane
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 16:16:33

    @DS: The Isabel Cooper is historical romance with PNR elements. Also the January release by Kristen Callihan. I’ve not read the former but the latter was blurbed by the likes of Meljean Brook and Nalini Singh.

  16. Maili
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 17:07:16

    @DS: I usually struggle when I’m asked that because, although all her books have similar themes and tropes, they all are quite different. Different periods, moods and depth. And I’m not that keen on her medieval-era books.

    I enjoyed House of Echoes (a contemporary suspense and romantic tale of a woman, husband and their little son in her inherited old mansion that may be haunted) and Whispers in the Sand (Heroine visits Egypt to get away from her divorce and to visit places where her great-grandmother visited a few decades earlier. It has a supernatural element). I like ghost stories so those two suited me at the time. I’m not sure if I’d re-read them now, though.

    And maybe Midnight in a Lonely Place (Rosario did an awesome review here – she got it spot on. How could I forget Barbara Michaels? I loved her books!)

    On the other hand, my cousin Sarah wasn’t keen on those, but adored Child of the Phoenix, Kingdom of Shadows, Time’s Legacy (I never read this), On the Edge of Darkness (never read this), Hiding From the Light (‘Essex witch hunts’ & Matthew Hopkins), The Warrior Princess (never read this) and the revised edition of Lady of Hay (it has a new or expanded ending). Apart from Child of the Phoenix (hist fic), I think all have heavy doses of history, political intrigue, romance, paranormal/supernatural and present day.

    I wasn’t that keen on Lady of Hay (original ed) and King of Shadows myself, but that’s more to do with period settings (not a huge fan of medieval periods), locations (Wales? lol, no thanks) and royal political intrigue. I refused to read Child of the Phoenix as it’s a door-stopper. It has approx 900 pages. Ouch. Anyroad, judging by reader friends’ responses, those three books seem the most popular.

    If Lady of Hay didn’t work for you, then you might like to give Kingdom of Shadows (Outlander-ish, even though KoS was published a couple of years earlier) or Child of the Phoenix a try if you prefer historical fic.

  17. Kaetrin
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 20:02:57

    I followed the Amazon link for the Gaelen Foley deal – they’re prepared to sell it to me here in Australia (on the kindle) for $13.17!!! ARe can’t sell it to me at all. I HATE geo restrictions.

    I won a book from another blog a while back and the book was available internationally. It was a Loveswept and the person I won the book from sent me a Kindle gift. Which I could not use because the book was not available to people in my region. Even though it WAS. Turns out it was twice the price and that was the real issue. The US order was placed for a $2.99 book and for me in Australia, the same book on the SAME kindle platform was $4.64 so the gift wouldn’t work. Why oh why!! *tears hair out*

  18. Ridley
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 20:14:07

    @Kaetrin: Go ogle your surfeit of rugby players. That should dull the pain a bit.

  19. Loosheesh
    Apr 10, 2012 @ 20:26:41

    @Ridley: *snickers*

    I want to try Susanna Kearsley but the time travel aspect in her books holds me back.

  20. Rosario
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 04:25:27

    @Maili: Oh, great to know you liked Whispers in the Sand. I had a look at it recently and was tempted.

  21. Rosario
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 04:33:06


    I want to try Susanna Kearsley but the time travel aspect in her books holds me back.

    Please don’t let that put you off. I absolutely hate time travel, but love Kearsley, probably because most of her books aren’t the usual type of time travel (i.e. someone being mysteriously transported to another time).

    In Mariana, for instance, the heroine has sort of flashbacks of the past, where she experiences the life of another woman, but she’s still firmly in the present when she wakes up. Another, The Winter Sea, uses the device of ancestral memory. The heroine is writing a book and discovers that the things she’s writing, supposedly making up as she goes along, are based on real events and people that she couldn’t have known. Kearsley’s latest, The Rose Garden, is the only one that is traditional time travel (even then, I liked the story well enough that I was ok with this aspect).

  22. Roslyn Holcomb
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 07:53:36

    *fawning accolades* love the discounted lists like damn and whoa Jane. Just wondering if publishers ever put any multicultural books on sale? I know Kimani does, I’m on their lists, but it doesn’t seem that snybody else ever turns up. Am I just overlooking them?

  23. Variel
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 09:28:29

    Looked at Calm in the Afternoon to find it’s current price to be $9.99 AUD. So frustrating to see good deals on books that unfortunately don’t apply to Australian geo located. Over the years I’ve noticed Amazon put their prices up when our dollar is strong, it boggles the mind and my wallet. Our dollar is stronger than the US currently, if only just, and for once it would be nice if we had the upper hand in the online retail sector.

  24. Loosheesh
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 20:30:51

    @Rosario: Thanks for clearing that up :)

  25. DS
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 10:03:58

    @Maili: I just checked ebooks and US audible site because part of my problem with Lady of Haywas that it was a mmpb and had tiny print– I don’t think it was the tiny print though that kept sending me to sleep after a few chapters.

    I’ve a choice between Distance Voices, Daughters of Fire and Midnight Is a Lonely Place. Think I’ll go with the MIaLP audible offering.

    There are two versions of Daughters of Fire on US Audible. Both say they are unabridged but one is about 15 1/2 hours, the other one is read by Ms. Erskine herself and comes in at nearly 26! hours. I suspect that Lady of Hay wasn’t the only book that was expanded!

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