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

Friday Midday Links of Webtailing


Rather than make a new post, I’m adding a few links to the existing one:


Greek opposition leader,  George Papandreou, argues for a Kindle for every reader. (Sony, get yourself to Greece Stat!).   Thanks Xandra G.

  • UK’s RNA announces its shortlist which includes India Grey, a favorite of Meljean Brook, and Fiona Harper, who I swear won last year.   Must try her out.   RNA is a very, very prestigious award in the UK as the longlist is selected by a group of 80 readers all over the country and the shortlist is determined by a panel. I think it is so cool that they include readers in this award.
  • Silhouette author Suzanne McMinn’s blog CHICKENS IN THE ROAD has been nominated for a Bloggie! She is in the best kept secret category of the blog awards.   The bloggies are like the Oscars of the blog world.   Being nominated for a bloggie is great.   Winning a bloggie can turn you into Dooce or Pioneer Woman.   So go forth and represent for the romance world.
  • HarperCollins has offered early retirement packages to anyone who is over 55. Given how crappy people’s 401K plans are these days given the downward death spiral of the DOW, you have to wonder how many people are going to take it. And given the news that NewsCorp. (HC’s parent corporation) is having financial trouble, you have to wonder what will happen at HC in the upcoming months:

Our fear is that News Corp is so committed to its existing businesses that it will be willing to sustain businesses that slip into negative profitability for years, (similar to its approach to the NY Post). We believe several of its TV stations are or will shortly be “in the red,” with book publishing heading for losses, as well as a significant number of its Newspapers. In fact, on a reported operating income basis, Dow Jones will generate meaningful losses in its first full-year of News Corp. ownership following its $5.7 billion acquisition.”

  • If you are a) embarrassed by your books or b) really into that monochromatic look or c) all of the above, you might want to check out the pixelated covers as seen on Gizmodo.
  • I try to stay away from political stuff, mostly, but I loved this “story in pictures” (it’s just two pictures and safe for work).
  • Amazon (and Apple) is one of the few companies making money in the down economy, at least for now. In it’s 4Q conference call, Amazon revealed that sales were up 18% over 2007 sales and net sales were up from $5.67 billion in 2007 to $6.7 billion in 2008 (for the 4th Q). Of particular note was that Kindle users continued to buy physical books at the same rate or at a greater rate than before the Kindle purchase and that Bezos was surprised by the 4th Q demand for the Kindle (to which I say, duh, it was Christmas time).   Operating income hadn’t increased a much ($272 in 2008 Q4 v. $271 M) which one analyst suggests is the result of aggressive discounting.

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. DS
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 19:24:09

    Oh, wow, what a difference in the two events. There was a very good item on the local public radio station about the background on the Lilly Ledbetter story also.

  2. Teddypig
    Jan 30, 2009 @ 20:10:40

    From Businessweek: not good…

    Sony yesterday announced an operating loss of ¥18 billion ($197 million) for the crucial Christmas quarter of fiscal 2008.

    Sony is not making money on much of its hardware: games, TVs and mobile phones in particular are all loss making and are no longer automatically considered “best in class,” despite the premium price tags.

  3. AReader
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 05:34:04

    Huh I thought that India Grey book was awful – a heroine who was passive, a hero wallowing in self pity and a blurb which described a different book. Reminds me why I tend to avoid books that make award shortlists.

  4. Sunita
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 14:18:44

    Thanks for info, Jane. The RNA love Fiona Harper! She won the New Writer’s Award for her first book, which M&B published as Blind Date Marriage. I read it and thought it was really good (it’s not out in ebook form, but I found it in my library). I’ve read all her other books, but they’ve been a bit hit or miss for me. My other favorite is English Lord, Ordinary Lady. The rest have ranged from meh to good for me. The writing can be a little clunky and there is sometimes more telling than showing. I was not crazy about Saying Yes to the Millionaire in the end, but the London scavenger hunt plot is terrific and well executed, so others may come away with a stronger liking for it. I think Harper is very good at creating sympathetic, multi-dimensional heroes and heroines, and even when they fit the Lord or Millionaire/Billionaire template, those attributes don’t overwhelm the normal, more interesting character traits. Even when I am not entirely satisfied with one of her books, I’m never sorry I spent the time and money on it.

  5. Susanna Kearsley
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 15:35:20

    Hi Jane,

    It’s so great of you to announce the RNA’s award list. Just a note: it wasn’t Fiona Harper who won last year’s award, it was Kate Hardy for Breakfast at Giovanni’s (I think the US title was In Bed With Her Italian Boss…)

    Anyhow, here’s last year’s announcement from the RNA web site:

    The Romance Prize for 2008 has been won by Breakfast at Giovanni’s by Kate Hardy. Novelist Trisha Ashley gave the judges’ speech, summing up each of the six shortlisted romances in a few, perfect sentences. All the books, she said, would have been worthy winners, but one had stood out as having that extra dollop of warm, feel-good, heart-lifting romance.

    Kate Hardy was completely taken aback at hearing Trisha announce Breakfast at Giovanni’s as the winner. Arriving on the stage to collect the Betty Neels Rose Bowl, she apologised for her uncharacteristic lack of words, saying she had been all ready to applaud one of the others! She then made a very moving speech thanking her agent, editor and the RNA, and saying that winning the award was a wonderfully bright spot in what has so far not been a terrific 2008.

    Looks like 2009 is starting well for Kate, too, since she’s up for the award again with her new book!

  6. Sunita
    Jan 31, 2009 @ 15:53:01

    @Susanna Kearsley:
    I should have noted that in my comments on Fiona Harper. Kate Hardy is terrific; she’s one of my auto buys. I’m so glad we’re finally getting her Medical Romances in ebook form on this side of the Atlantic.

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