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REVIEW: Not That Kind of Girl by Susan Donovan

Dear Ms. Donovan:

It is no secret that I am a fan of your early books, especially Knock Me Off My Feet and Take A Chance on Me. The quirky characters, quirkier animals, semi-farcical situations, and likeable heroines all appeal to me. It is also no secret that I have not been as enchanted with some of your recent books, so when Jane sent Not That Kind of Girl to me for review, I was wary. In the end, though, I found myself thoroughly engaged in Roxie Bloom's quirky, semi-farcical story.

not that kind of girl susan donovansRoxanne Bloom has had terrible luck with men. Her father left the family when Roxy was six, telling her in no uncertain terms that he never wanted to be a husband or father. And no man in her life since gave her the kind of love and acceptance any healthy, rational woman would want and deserve. But her last boyfriend was the clincher: a pompous, high-powered, misogynistic attorney more than twice Roxie's age who liked to entertain his acolytes with tales of her sexual deficiencies. Until, that is, she caught him in public doing just that and put a cigar out in his bald spot. Now Roxie, not even yet thirty, has sworn off men and is building a successful business with her website www.i-vomit-on-all-men.com.

And if her own bitterness were not enough, she's dealing with an insecure, aggressive rescue dog that fails every obedience class and gets kicked out of every day care. Which might not be so bad, except for the fact that Lilith also hates men (yes, her name is no coincidence) and vents her displeasure on Roxie's ex-boyfriend's neck one night when he forces himself through her front door, enraged over a thinly veiled attack on Roxie's website. And even that might not be the end of the world, except for the fact that Roxie's only hope of rescuing Lilith from impound and saving her from the death sentence the ex-boyfriend wants to ensure is yet another man, a sexy cowboy-type with whom Roxie shares an explosive – and unwanted – sexual chemistry.

Eli Gallagher is not entirely at home in San Francisco, but he promised his friend Rick Rousseau (of the first book in the series, Ain't Too Proud to Beg) that he would help him with dog training at his newly opened Bay Area pet store. Informally dubbed the "dog whisperer," Eli may strike people as perfectly calm and in charge, but he is troubled by the revelation that the man who raised him and recently died was not his biological father. So while he helps Rick get one of his new stores off the ground, Eli is also tracking down potential fathers among several men his mother knew during her first year at UC Berkeley, where she found herself single and pregnant. Dealing with Roxie Bloom's hostility, despite her enticingly beautiful dark hair and fair skin, is a complication Eli neither needs nor wants, but it seems the two cannot avoid each other. And when Roxie calls Eli in a breathless panic, begging him to help her rescue and rehabilitate her beloved Lilith, Eli's natural graciousness and reluctant attraction guarantee his immediate agreement and the beginning of a volatile and passionate relationship between Roxie and Eli.

Let me say right off the top that for me Not That Kind of Girl rode the knife's edge between enchanting and cringe-inducing. Eli needs to gently train Roxie's dog, but in order to do that, he needs to gently train Roxie, as well (he even uses the phrase "settle down, sweet thing" while they are in bed. Yes, I winced and groaned, as well). And I have no doubt that the metaphor was selected and executed intentionally, because Roxie's ex, the narcissistic Raymond Sandberg, thinks of all women as "bitches" who must submit and be tamed. Roxie, having been burned by Sandberg's cruelty, is highly suspicious of Eli's gentling and aware that her baffling attraction to him undercuts everything she knows and believes about being a strong, independent woman. When "God's gift to dogs and girls" comes into her home and insists on marking the territory in preparation for training Lilith, Roxie can barely stand it, because it's a clear invasion of her space, as well. And I appreciated that awareness on Roxie's part, because it made me feel that the whole "dog whisperer " thing wasn't being fed to me without irony. This isn't a book about a girl who falls in love with alpha male Caesar Milan and lives happily ever after with him and his hundred dogs; this is a book about a woman who's been hurt and who has to deal with her own power and control issues in order to be happy and at peace with her insecure dog and the man who best suits her. And secondarily, it's about a man who does not completely fit the "gentler" stereotype that so many women around him find appealing.

The basic plot structure of the book is not complex: Roxie has limited time before doggie court to make Lilith well-behaved, well-adjusted, and calm. That forces an intense relationship between Roxie and Eli, which in turn forces them to deal with the feelings they have for one another. Roxie is doubly resistant, because before all this she invited Eli out to lunch and he refused, which makes one more rejection she can use to nurse her resentment. She does not know that Eli was nursing his own rejection at the time, and was afraid of what might happen with Roxie, given his strong attraction to her. So in a whirlwind of travel between San Francisco, Sonoma, and Utah, the two now work to break down the numerous barriers between them. Roxie has to learn to trust again and to serve as a calm and trustworthy pack leader to Lilith, while Eli has to trust that Roxie will accept his dual nature (gentle teacher and controlling, potentially overpowering lover). This element of Eli's character was interesting, and I wish its implications for the stereotypical alpha hero had been explored more. Also, I appreciated the fact that Eli had blond, curling hair (men don't have to sport the black forest on their chest to be sexy and masculine!) and a kind nature. However, at heart this is really Roxie's book, and her intelligence and likeability represent a lot of what made it enjoyable to me.

The third (and last?) in a series featuring four women ranging in age from late 20s to mid-50s, Not That Kind of Girl is unequivocally a "chick book." The strong, female friendships among these four women anchor the series, and even when I haven't enjoyed the other books in the series, I've enjoyed and appreciated the raucous, honest, and supportive bond among the women. Two of them are now enormously pregnant. Josie insists she's so big she has her "own gravitational pull," such that she "wake[es] up sometimes and see my toiletries orbiting around the bed," while Ginger is afraid that giving birth in her 40s means she's going to "snap like a dried-out Thanksgiving wishbone." Bea, the unmarried 50-something sportswriter with a dachshund named Martina (stereotype alert!), is trying to keep both of them calm so that their not-so-slightly over-reacting husbands won't panic (there is one scene in which the women are laughing so hard that the men think they're in labor that's reminiscent of "I Love Lucy"). In this book, both Roxie and Bea find their romantic HEA's. Bea's sweet relationship with another woman is relegated to secondary status, but presents a welcome change of pace from previous Donovan books, where gay characters are generally either villains or less than flattering caricatures.

As for Roxie and Eli, I do not believe that the book ever really subverts the "heroine gentled into love by the hero" stereotype, in large part because it doesn't seem like Roxie would have grown on her own without Eli's intervention. I love the process by which a heroine learns the difference between dependence and interdependence, settling finally into a relationship of two independent, interconnected characters, but Roxie seems more "healed" by Eli than evolved on her own into her personal happiness and peace. Further, her rapid transition from a self-described "man-hating demon succubus" to "floating on a fluffy cloud of love" completely contravenes the depth of bitterness we're supposed to get from her. Which, frankly, was fine with me, since I didn't want the book to delve any deeper into "hero heals the angry, traumatized heroine" territory. I liked Roxie and rooted for her happiness, but didn't want her to lose the sassy edge that made Eli's deep attraction to her so believable. Like when she tells Eli's mother that her "bitterness" won't ruin Eli:

"So, yeah, I had some bad experiences and I let them get to me, but I'm learning to let it go, a little bit every day, because I don't want to live like that anymore. Eli's been helping me find a different approach. Now, if that's not good enough for you – if my desire to do better and my sincere affection for your son isn't enough – then I guess you're shit out of luck, and you're the one who's going to be bitter."

Although she likely won't ever have to deal with a cigar put out on her head…

If it seems that I'm talking about this book somewhat elliptically, well, I am. Because beyond the simple plot construction I mentioned, this book is about a number of different relationships, and it's a blend of farce, Romance, and chick lit. Much of the farce has a rom com feel, and there is an over-the-top quality to the villainy in the story. The dog court scene reminded me of the court scene from What's Up Doc? with Barbara Streisand and Ryan O'Neill, if that gives you a sense of what the humor is like. There are also numerous things I found problematic, from the way Eli treats his mother after her revelation (despite being portrayed as Mr. Perfect), the implications of what happened to her the night she got pregnant (a HUGE thing that's simply brushed over, in my opinion), the revelation and implications of who Eli's father is (I guessed it, and so did the heroine at one point, although she initially dismisses the idea), the sticky-sweet epilogue, and the reference to "craggy mountains" in Somona (locals refer to them as "rolling hills").

Objectively, there is enough in this book to keep the feminist and lit scholar in me busy for quite a while. But as a reader, as someone who picked up this book with trepidation and found that I could barely put it down, it got to me. The writing is witty and most of the characters are pleasantly down to earth (although I'll be thrilled when Romance isn't so quick to embrace the eeevil villain). Several scenes had me laughing out loud, and I felt the book did a nice job of humbling Roxie without humiliating her. And even though I felt a little guilty enjoying it so much ("settle down, sweet thing" *cringe*), I cannot blame the book for that; in fact, that's a testament to how successful Not That Kind of Girl ultimately was for me. B

~Janet aka Robin

Book Link | Kindle | Amazon | nook | BN | Borders
| Sony

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!

34 Comments

  1. becca
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 16:53:27

    I nearly bought this book, just based on this review, but the Kindle price and the mass market paper back price were the same: $7.99. I’m not going to pay the same price in eformat as for paper. Oh, well. Another lost sale.

  2. ka
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 17:25:45

    After shuffling back and forth between links to grasp Tuesday’s Mid Day news, your review was just … refreshing. Actually, it would have been refreshing anyway. I appreciate how you explore the themes … and I enjoyed your sentiments in the last paragraph.

  3. Tweets that mention REVIEW: Not That Kind of Girl by Susan Donovan | Dear Author -- Topsy.com
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 18:06:11

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robin L., dearauthor. dearauthor said: NewPost: REVIEW: Not That Kind of Girl by Susan Donovan http://bit.ly/fdlmP9 […]

  4. Holly
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 18:08:48

    Okay, I’m baffled. Why the heck is the dog is doggie jail? If some dude forced himself through my front door in a threatening manner and my dog went for him, I’d be thrilled. Also, I’d have the guy arrested for attempted assault on me. He was trespassing and acting in a threatening manner on MY property. This is a problem…why?

    This sounds like an interesting funny story – but I’d be publicly crusading for my dog and not cringing in apology because my dog protected me from an intruder. I get that the ex is a lawyer but HE was in the wrong. Not the dog.

  5. SonomaLass
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 18:14:55

    Great review! You’ve got to love a book that hooks you so well that you’re reading on even as you’re cringing. Because yes, even in real life, people (and relationships) that make some of us cringe work really well for others who are IN them. Happy for the characters is what HEA means, right?

    I’ve never read this author, but you make me want to. Not going to pay full MMP price for DRM’ed book, though, and the book before this in the series is MORE for Kindle than for paper. But Ain’t Too Proud to Beg is $2.99 for Kindle right now, so I’ll start there.

  6. Robin
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 18:30:11

    @Holly: The problem is that the ex is a very influential attorney, and he has used his influence to file a formal complaint against the heroine and have the dog impounded. If Roxie cannot show the dog to be healthy and sound at the trial, the dog may be euthanized.

    Let me just say that I turned an intentionally blind eye to the legal soundness of any and all of this. ;D

    @SonomaLass: I have been recommending one of Donovan’s older titles — Knock Me Off My Feet — to people who have not yet read her. The heroine has inherited her mother’s Martha Stewart type business, despite the fact that she HATES anything domestic. The hero is an Irish cop who has been brought in to protect the heroine from anonymous death threats, and despite his obvious masculinity, he’s collected every column the heroin’s mother ever wrote. It’s quite a cute story and is one of my faves by Donovan.

  7. Robin
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 19:15:23

    @becca: I had the exact same reaction. I was going to purchase the book in Kindle format, but the price totally put me off. A lost sale for me, too. ;D

  8. Char
    Nov 30, 2010 @ 23:33:15

    So how low do you want the kindle price to be? Will there be anything left after Amazon’s cut for the author?

    Just asking.

  9. Jane
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 00:08:48

    @Char For digital books that are just on a lease and not owned by the reader, I think the price should be much lower than a paper book which I can resell or lend/share as many times as I want. If I owned the digital book outright, without DRM, I would be willing to pay a higher price, but again never as high as the paper book because I don’t have the same rights of resale and lending.

    Thus price for me is bound up in the rights that the sale confers. If I am just leasing the book for some period of time, then I should only have to pay a lease price.

  10. Char
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 00:42:41

    So if you can’t share or sell the ebook, which you can’t except that I was told you could share Amazon ebooks with three other kindles, you consider it a lease.

    Except in other situations when you lease something you return that thing – car, apartment, furniture, whatever – to the company leasing it when you finish with it. You don’t return an ebook.

    So I can’t really see it as a lease/rental, but I admit you can’t sell it again. It is a new creature, unlike others or not.

    But I think the ebook well the paper and hardback books should carry their portion of the fixed and variable costs (editing, offices, editing support, employee taxes etc). It they don’t they aren’t really books at all, they are some strange sort of advertizing and perhaps should be taken as an advertizing expense by the publisher. In which case, perhaps they should be made from the arcs not the final copies.

    But thank you for explaining your view, I had not thought of it as a lease before.

  11. Babs
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 01:23:20

    I’ve been looking forward to this one…I really enjoyed the first two in the series.

  12. Vi
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 08:21:07

    @Robin I just your description of Knock Me Off My Feet. That does sound like a fun book! I hope the Kindle version is cheaper than the paperback copy.

  13. Susan Donovan
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 09:02:01

    Wow. I am humbled by this review, Janet/Robin! I want to sincerely thank you for sitting with this story awhile and thinking it through. It was a complex tale to write. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    I do want to say one thing about the cost of Kindle and e-books. Please understand that most authors are no longer profiting from the sale of their work in mass-market paperback format. Paper sales are down across-the-board. Because of the industry transition to e-format, e-books can account for as more than a quarter of an author’s sales. (That’s what I heard in September — it’s probably much bigger by now!) In essence, buying a novel at cover price via Kindle or other e-format version is the same process as going to a store and buying a paperback book in its physical form. By paying cover price, you are allowing the author to make a living.

    Huge thanks to everyone who has purchased and enjoyed my books — in any format. Thanks, also, to those who are reading me for the first time. I love my job, and I look forward to giving you lots of good books in the future.

    Susan

  14. beccab
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 11:15:27

    Susan, Char, I do want my authors to make money from selling their books, but I’m also not going to spend the same amount on a virtual book that I would on a paper book that I can lend, give, or re-sell. Susan, ebooks are not the same as a paper book, and so I don’t see why I should pay the same cover price when I receive less value.

    I have, on occasion, spent $6.99 for an ebook when the paper book costs $7.99. I prefer to spend $5 – $6 on ebooks, however. If Baen can do it, I don’t see why other publishers can’t do it – and I’ve never had a problem with a Baen book in formatting, or felt that they spend less time editing, proofing, and all the other steps that add value to a professionally published book.

  15. Janet P.
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 11:43:46

    Well sadly Macmillan books are a double whammy for me. $7.99, when there are loads of similar genre books from other Publishers in the $4 to $7 range and the fact that I can never get their products via Library Overdrive to sample them. I pass over many Macmillan books because of those two points.

    I remember reading the first book in this series and it didn’t really click with me either although I have also really enjoyed several of Susan Donovan’s books in the past. This one does look like I’d enjoy it more and the cover is beautiful.

    $7.99 is just on the wrong side of my take a chance on the book price point too. As much as I love to support authors, I also love to be able to pay my kid’s college tuition bills. I’m on a budget and these kinds of things do come into play from the consumer point of view.

  16. Robin/Janet
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 12:31:39

    @Susan Donovan: Thanks for stopping by. I can certainly appreciate your perspective on ebooks.

    I don’t know how much of a regular you are at Dear Author, but with Jane as a very savvy and forward thinking voice on digital technologies, many of us are dedicated readers of ebooks. I have a Kindle, a Sony Reader, an iPhone, a desktop computer, and 2 laptops, all of which I’ve used to read ebooks.

    Unfortunately, with DRM, I cannot sell, give away, lend, or otherwise share my ebooks, and in many cases, I can’t even do that between my own devices. I have lost DRMd ebooks that my current devices can no longer read, and when the (not)agency model went into effect, I was in the process of buying digital books I could not get fulfillment on.

    So from your perspective, you want to get paid more, and from mine, I want the same rights for my digital books as for paper. Should we make each other responsible for those things? Obviously not. The publisher stands in the middle, coordinating all of this. As an author, you negotiate your contract for digital royalties, and as a reader, I have basically no recourse to protest IMO inflated ebook prices coming from traditional publishers except refusing to purchase (because traditional publishers do not view readers as their customers). Contrary to what some publishers seem to think, many of us will not buy paper when ebooks are too expensive. In fact, I offered my paper ARC of Not That Kind of Girl to no fewer than five people who were interested in the book, and all refused. For more and more readers, it’s digital or nothing. And with limited reader rights, we believe the price should reflect that.

    So while I certainly support authors getting paid fairly for their work, I don’t think it’s the reader’s responsibility to ensure that, just as I don’t think it’s the author’s responsibility to eliminate DRM. Although I will tell you that I did purchase Josie’s book in digital because it was discounted at the Kindle store.

    One more thing (and I’m sorry to seem like I’m complaining!): yesterday, I found out you were on Twitter and went to your feed to see if I could find any info to share on future books, either in the series or in general (I’ve had many conversations about NTKOG and have recc’d other books to people in the past few weeks), and I found your feed locked. Now that alone didn’t bother me — I totally understand the desire to have a private Twitter account. But what confused me was the fact that your Twitter background was your new book cover, so it seemed like it was an official author (aka promo) account, but one I didn’t have access to. It was a bit disconcerting, and I only mention it because I’m sure I’m not the only reader who has had that experience. I’m glad I know not to refer readers to that account for book info, but because Twitter is often more current than websites, I know a number of readers who keep up with author releases that way. Anyway, not asking you to change that, just wanted to let you know.

  17. Edie Ramer
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 15:17:28

    Wow, do I want this book! But I have to agree about not buying this on Kindle for the same price as a paper book. Even if it were just $1 less, I would load it up right now.

  18. becca
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 15:53:14

    I went and logged this book on lostbooksales.com. I wish there was some way to do a currency conversion and have some sort of total dollar amount of lost sales posted, though. I don’t think numbers of entries will impress publishers, but dollar signs might.

  19. Vi
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 16:20:35

    Well said, Robin/Janet!

  20. Char
    Dec 01, 2010 @ 21:20:58

    It is nice that Baen and others give you the same book as an ebook as in other formats, that means the same money is expended to give it proper editing, formating etc. Someone takes the loss on the lower prices. Which means the reader gets a gift.

    But every gift has a price. If writers can’t earn a living writing and must work a second job to survive, readers will have to learn to wait two or more years between books. That seems fair, so I guess you guys are right.

  21. Susan Donovan
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 08:39:38

    @Robin/Janet:

    I had no idea my Twitter was private! LOL! I I’ve been posting for God knows how long with no one being able to see my gems?! Hmmm … no. I do not seek privacy via Twitter. To me, that would seem the ultimate oxymoron. My challenge now is to figure out how to fix that. I think it may be related to problems I’ve had with my website email account, to which my Twitter is registered. Thank you for telling me!

    Anyway, the discussion on e-book pricing has been a real eye-opener for me. I didn’t comprehend the level of reader anger out there regarding full-price e-books and the boycott of such purchases. I wish I wasn’t on two deadlines right now so I could fully engage in this exchange. There’s a lot to be discussed.

    But there’s one thing I must say. Please understand that most writers who work for major publishers are stuck in the middle, here. We don’t set our book prices, and 99% of us cannot negotiate our e-book royalties — they are fixed at an industry standard. This is not about author greed. It’s not that writers are out there demanding MORE money. We’re hoping for ANY money. And when you combine the consumer boycott of full-priced e-books with tanking paperback sales, it doesn’t look so good for authors. Eventually, the overall quality and variety of fiction available to readers will be affected.

    Again, thanks for the great review! Now I must go meet my page count for the day!

    -Susan

  22. Vuir
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 10:31:53

    @Susan Donovan:
    It doesn’t look so good for authors who are with publishers that sell their ebooks at the same price point as their paper books, but it’s a bonus for authors who are with publishers that do sell their ebooks at a lower price than their print books.

  23. becca
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 11:11:20

    @ Susan Donovan: I think most of us realize that it’s the publishers who are setting the prices, and that the authors really are stuck in the middle.

    @Char: yes, I’m angry, but at publishers who have no problem selling me a crippled product at the same price I can get an unlimited one (paper). Favorite authors do get purchased in both e-format and paper, and a select few also get purchased in audio. I do what I can to support my favorite authors. OTOH, sometimes it seems like some people feel that authors are somehow entitled to my money, just because they’re authors.

  24. Robin
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 13:21:48

    @Vuir: Exactly! In fact, last night I passed up two digital books I wanted (one from Simon and Schuster, one from Macmillan) for an older Penguin release, which was only a buck cheaper, but it was enough to trigger the sale (Deidre Martin’s Body Check, for anyone interested).

  25. Vi
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 14:47:00

    I agree with all of your comments. I want to throw my money at the Agency 5 by buying the backlist of beloved authors like Lisa Kleypas and Loretta Chase, but I refuse to pay $7.99 for an ebook that I already own a pb copy. Instead, I buy new books like Zoe Archer’s Stranger and Jo Goodman’s Marry Me. Their ebooks cost roughly $4.50 each.

  26. Char
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 16:28:00

    OTOH, sometimes it seems like some people feel that authors are somehow entitled to my money, just because they're authors.

    becca, most people in the USA do expect to be paid for the products they produce.

  27. becca
    Dec 02, 2010 @ 18:36:43

    Char, I do understand that authors deserve to be paid for the products they produce… if there is a market for that product. I understand how hard writing a readable book is – I couldn’t do it – but if that readable book isn’t something that I want to read, I reserve the right to not purchase it. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that.

    I’m also not saying that ebooks should be free. I’m more than willing to pay for a book *that I want* if it’s a price I’m willing to pay. sometimes the two conditions just don’t go together, in which case, I don’t buy the book.

    and sometimes (and I’m *not* pointing fingers at you), it seems to me that some authors forget that they need to write things that people are willing to pay for. And publishers forget that the price has to be right, or I won’t buy it. I’ll pay $35 for the autobiography of Mark Twain, but I wouldn’t pay $35 for Outlander (just a random book, figuring that the two books are roughly equal sizes).

  28. Jane
    Dec 03, 2010 @ 10:25:50

    @Char I didn’t get that was what becca was saying. What I interpreted it to mean is that you don’t have to buy something simply to perpetuate someone else’s living, unless you want to. I’m sure Ms. Donovan didn’t mean it to sound like this, but there is a slight “You should buy us or else you’ll lose out.” It’s not an unfamiliar refrain and could be applied to those who use the library, buy used, participate in Paperback Swap, or borrow from a friend. No reader owes an author her livelihood. We can certainly choose to speak with our dollars by buying books that we want to see published but there is no obligation there for the reader. I think that was what becca was getting at or at least how I interpreted her comments.

    I think most readers understand that authors want to make a living writing books but it isn’t the reader’s responsibility to see that happen.

  29. becca
    Dec 03, 2010 @ 13:40:27

    Thank you, Jane – that’s exactly what I intended to say.

  30. Anonymousss
    Dec 03, 2010 @ 15:17:18

    Jane said:

    I'm sure Ms. Donovan didn't mean it to sound like this, but there is a slight “You should buy us or else you'll lose out.”

    I’m sure this wasn’t her intention, but the reality is that, at some point, readers MIGHT lose out, because some authors simply won’t be able to pursue this line of work anymore if they can’t make a living at it.

    Heck, a lot of published authors can’t make a living as novelists as it is. They work day jobs, or are financially supported by a spouse. Let’s do some (overly) simple math: suppose an author sells 50,000 books retailing at $7.99 at a 10% royalty rate (about 80 cents per book). That’s $40K gross, paid out over multiple years. Earn out your advance, then pay expenses (promo, conferences, etc.), taxes and agent fees out of those earnings. Then start paying your bills. Let’s just say that most working authors aren’t rolling in dough.

    Last year, author Lynn Viehl generously posted her first royalty statement for her NYT Mass Market bestseller, TWILIGHT FALLS, at the Genreality blog. It’s eye-opening, to say the least.

    I don’t mean to suggest that readers should buy a product they aren’t interested in, that they think is overpriced or of poor quality, or that, as an industry, we shouldn’t pursue a fair e-book pricing model. But reader purchases DO directly influence a writer’s ability to keep writing. That’s my perception of what Ms. Donovan was saying.

  31. How much is too much? | Magical Musings
    Dec 06, 2010 @ 00:07:48

    […] for their publishing news links. I was there earlier this week, and somehow I ended up reading a review of Not That Kind of Girl by Susan Donovan. It was a good review. I’m already a Susan Donovan fan, so I probably would buy it even […]

  32. Robin/Janet
    Dec 06, 2010 @ 11:11:01

    @Anonymousss:
    One of the problems is that we’re all struggling financially. And so your “simple math” applies to readers, as well. The higher priced books I buy, the fewer books I buy and the fewer authors my money supports. I don’t see how buying fewer books helps more authors keep writing. And it certainly doesn’t keep me reading more, especially if my local library doesn’t lend digital books.

  33. May
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 17:33:15

    Great review!! :)

    I just finished this one, and I really enjoyed it except the whole “sweet thing” sex scene. I just could not imagine WHY we had to have all that ‘dominate/you’re mine’ stuff in there… or who would find it a turn on. Was gross to me.

    But outside that one scene – such a fun read. Like you some of her earlier work is among my all time Contemp. faves. Hope to see more great stuff from S.Donovan!!

  34. Wot I Read In December « Sonomalass's Blog
    Jan 03, 2011 @ 19:49:33

    […] in this series caught my attention. It was Robin/Janet’s review of the third book over at Dear Author, and the comments that followed, that made me decide to give this book a try.  While I thought […]

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