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


Thursday News: Twitter user languages, hidden costs of Getty Images, crowdsourcing book material, and Scribd’s stubborn piracy rumor

Thursday News: Twitter user languages, hidden costs of Getty Images, crowdsourcing...

The Languages of Twitter Users – This is a pretty nifty little chart detailing the different languages used on Twitter, and how their combination has changed since 2007. Although English still represents the largest percentage, its share of the Twitter marketplace has decreased over the past seven years, and several new languages have been added to the mix over the last couple of years (including Swedish, Chinese, Polish, and Thai). –New York Times

Getty Images Allows Free Embedding, but at What Cost to Privacy? – I should have known this was too good to be true. Or, rather, that the use of these images would be far from “free.” In addition to all the normal privacy concerns you have when you use certain types of third-party content, Getty is going to be amassing a massive database on user data that it might “monetize,” which would be an indirect, but no less worrying, charge to image users. Let’s hope that Getty looks at better, less invasive and ethically suspect methods to profit from doing the right thing.

For one thing, given its scale and popularity, Getty Images embeds may appear on a significant number of different sites that a single user visits. That would allow Getty to correlate more information about a user’s browsing history than any single site could. That information, in turn, is subject to government requests, sales to data brokers, or even breaches or leaks.

These concerns might be mitigated by a strong privacy policy or some indication of what Getty intends to log and how it’s going to use it. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten the opposite. –EFF

Aziz Ansari Is Crowdsourcing Reddit for His New Book Modern Romance – So Aziz Ansari has set up a subreddit through which he can source material for his new book on dating and romance, especially within a social media environment. On the one hand it seems an obvious, even genius, strategy, but on the other, it’s going to be interesting to see if anyone objects to having their words used in Ansari’s book, even though he’s clearly stated that all of the responses can be used in his project. And I’ll admit that I’m getting increasingly uncomfortable with the trend of crowdsourcing intellectual property (Kindle Worlds, I’m looking at you). I mean, who’s profiting most here – contributors, individual creators, or corporations?

As Famously points out, r/modernromantics acts as a reverse AMA: Instead of answering Redditors’ queries, Ansari is asking the questions. (There used to be a joke thread posted by a different user, titled something like “Would you leave your significant other for Aziz?”, but it’s since been removed.) So far, Redditors are engaging in the kind of open-minded discussion I see on other dating subs (I frequent r/okcupid), but with far more optimism –Huffington Post Books

Scribd, Piracy, and Why You Can’t Always Believe What You Read Online – Nate Hoffelder addresses the tenacious rumor that users of Scribd can easily pirate books downloaded from that site. Rich Meyer at indies Unlimited has been urging authors to remove their Smashwords books from Scribd based on this rumor. Beyond the ongoing hysteria over piracy, this rumor demonstrates — as Hoffelder points out — a lack of understanding about how technology works, specifically about how publishing technology works.

Juli [Monroe] and I both think that Scribd stores their ebooks in a folder called documents_cache. We came to this conclusion independently, and if that is where Scribd puts the ebooks then I seriously doubt the average user will be able to strip the DRM. The ebooks aren’t stored as ebooks; instead they are stored as collections of JSON, CSS, and image files. And while I can’t speak for the JSON files, the image files have DRM of some kind. –The Digital Reader

Daily Deals: Contemporaries featuring rich guys, famous guys, and a Dr. Who fan

Daily Deals: Contemporaries featuring rich guys, famous guys, and a Dr....

If You Dare by Adrianne ByrdIf You Dare by Adrianne Byrd. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Once the world’s most notorious thief, Damien Black retired at his peak rather than risk taking a wrong step that could cost him his freedom…or hislife. Now a seductive proposition istempting him again–a multi-million-dollar heist that would be smooth as black silk…if it wasn’t for Angel Lafonte.

The new director at an Atlanta museum, Angel is smart, sophisticated, and a stunning ebony beauty, exciting the daring thief even more than the possibility of a big-money payday. But when the heat reaches sizzling, Damien’s going to have to choose between a life of larceny and the passionate lady he’s suddenly growing to love.

More than one review mentioned the typos and formatting errors (weird spacing). “In one memorable case, the character Sean is suddenly Sejum for a page.” Another review indicates that the story is a bit slow at the beginning.

AmazonBNSony KoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie JamesJust the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

From the New York Times bestselling Julie James comes this dazzling romance about a hunky heartthrob and the woman who refuses to let him capture her heart. For fans of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson.

Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom, she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her—not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his next big legal drama, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.

Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match?

This is the first book by James. She has a new book coming out which I really enjoyed called “It Happened One Wedding” which is a sexy romance featuring two adults who have great banter.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREAppleGoogle

Fixed Trilogy Bundle by Laurelin PaigeFixed Trilogy Bundle by Laurelin Paige. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

All three books of the NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Fixed Trilogy are included in this bundle.

Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Wither’s past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out–move up at the nightclub she works at and stay away from any guy who might trigger her obsessive love disorder. A perfect plan. But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart, rich, and gorgeous–the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of it. Avoiding him isn’t an option after he offers a business proposition she can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.

Alayna Withers has only had one kind of relationship: the kind that makes her obsessive and stalker-crazy. Now that Hudson Pierce has let her into his heart, she’s determined to break down the remaining walls between them so they can build a foundation that’s based on more than just amazing sex. Except Hudson’s not the only one with secrets.

With their pasts pulling them into a web of unfounded mistrust, Alayna turns to the one person who knows Hudson the best–Celia, the woman he almost married. Hoping for insight from someone who understands all sides of the story, Alayna forms a bond with Celia that goes too far–revealing things about Hudson that could end their love for good.

This is the first relationship where Alayna hasn’t spiraled out of control. And she might lose Hudson anyway…

Alayna Withers relationship with Hudson Pierce has tested both her and his ability to trust. They decide that the only way they can move forward together is with open doors and transparency. It won’t be easy for the scarred lovers, but they’re committed to each other more now than ever. Alayna, in particular, has grown through their trials, and has emerged more confident and faithful to the man she loves.
But while the pair is focused on the future, their past shows up again to threaten their fragile bond. Promises that were made are broken, and Alayna learns that Hudson still has very potent secrets–secrets that will tear them both apart. As much as she feels for him, her ability to forgive and forget is tested beyond her limits.

Even though she found the only man who could fix her, a forever with Hudson seems more and more out of reach.

This is a great price for a trilogy of full length books. I was intrigued by the premise and it’s fairly sexy. I had a little problem with how the trilogy are unspooled.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google

He's Come Undone by Theresa WeirHe’s Come Undone by Theresa Weir. $ .99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Penniless and behind on rent, college student and once famous child actress Ellie Barlow takes on the role of a lifetime when she’s hired by a group of young women to break the heart of the campus player who cruelly dumped them.

Transformed from slob slacker to jaw-dropping beauty, Ellie is dressed, styled, bleached and waxed, her chunky glasses exchanged for violet contacts. Along with physical prepping, she’s coached on Julian’s obsessions, which include long-distance running, Doctor Who, and J.D. Salinger.

In no time, Julian is in pursuit of his custom-made next victim, but when Ellie goes off script and begins to fall for her target the newest broken heart in this risky game could be her own.

Weir is a favorite author of reviewers here at Dear Author. This is the introductory price and I guess it will go up after a certain amount of time.

AmazonBNSonyKoboBook DepositoryAREApple Google