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Tools of Change: Thoughts from a Reader’s Perspective

I attended the 2010 Tools of Change conference in New York this past week (which is why some of the posts were late, sorry!). I have three main takeaways and then I’ll try to summarize what else I learned.

  1. Facebook is where it is at. Facebook has 400 million users and 100 million of them are mobile. Facebook directs more online traffic than Google.
  2. What we know and use today will be obsolete in a few years.
  3. Change is more likely to be forced on legacy publishers by outsiders who have no burdensome infrastructure to maintain.

Initially I was heartened by the tone of the conference. It seemed very focused on delivering the content to the readers in the manner that the readers want where the readers are. This may have been my own bias shading what I was hearing.

The opening keynote speeches made the point that we are in a period of acceleration. We are adopting new media faster than ever before. The way we change our method of consuming media moves quickly. One presenter said, tongue in cheek, that customers are always complicating the situation by getting new devices. The iPod entered our life the first time in October of 2001 and in a decade, it is ubiquitous. Facebook debuted in September 2006 and now it has 400 million users. In the last decade, several big chains and over 500 indie booksellers have closed as a result of customers moving toward internet retailing.

Skip Pritchard of Ingram noted that consumers can be paralyzed by too many choices. He gave an example about a grocery store that featured a huge assortment of jams one day. The press came out; there were long lines of customers to taste the jam. The next day, the store put out only a tiny selection and that day, the jams sold more than on the previous day. The publisher Twelve, put out one book a month and had eight bestsellers. Ingram noted, though, that there are over 1 million books published worldwide each year.

New players can change things faster because they don’t know what the limitations are supposed to be.

Arianna Huffington said that books are conversation starters and that the internet is the perfect place to continue the book story. This is the golden age of engagement as readers want to share with others. Goodreads has almost 3 million users and Library Thing a little over a million. Huffington pointed out that this should mean that the publishable period is gone. The three weeks between release and oblivion should be a thing of the past. The way that books can remain visible is by editors, interns, publicists getting out there and starting conversations. Reviews should be conversation starters not ends. This is something I’ll want to work on in the future.

But the participation by editors, interns, publicists can’t be limited to “hey, read this book”. As Mike Hendrickson of O’Reilly said, you have to promote other people’s things twelve times as much as your own to enable you to build your brand. In other words, for a publisher to come and talk about books with a reader, that publisher needs to build authenticity with the audience. It’s why Facebook is directing more traffic than Google. Facebook users trust their friends’ recommendations versus Google’s search results. I heard this as suggesting that those who want to promote to a community have to be part of a community. In the Bowker presentation, it was noted that personal recommendations are important to readers, second only to author reputation.

I attended an eclectic selection of seminars, most of which were product demonstrations but all of which gave me greater insight into how publishing works and how it affects us as readers. First off, the reason that we readers get such crappy metadata is because there is no standard. Metadata is the part of the digital book that contains the author, title, publisher, date of publication and anything else the publisher sees fit to provide.

Ingram is a third party distribution service which means they take product from the content creator, like an ebook, and distribute it to a retailer, like Fictionwise. The problem is that they don’t require metadata to all be standard. They don’t “enhance” the metadata for a customer (and by customer I mean the publisher). This is why some books have author firstname author lastname and some have author lastname, author firstname and some books have author “null” or author “unknown”.

There is no consistency and no requirements for even a standard level of information. Ingram says that some of its customers are very touchy about their metadata and the customers do not like a third party changing it.

The lack of consistent standards was driven home when I attended the Bowker session. Bowker is another third party distribution service. Bowker is a bibliographic information service provider. Bowker helps to provide unique identifiers to published products as well as ways for readers and students to find these products. The problem is that there is no standard for identifiers. Most print books have an ISBN, a unique identifying number.

Digital books, however, are not required to have an ISBN and the unique identifier can vary from retailer to retailer, particularly when there are different types of formats. In publishing terms, an asset is just one version of the product. For example, a title is a family of assets with the parent as the hardcover and each version of the product is a different asset such as the audio book, the multiple digital copies, the mass market, a POD file, and so on. Each one of those assets needs a unique identifier and each unique identifier and method of tracking said identifier is costly. One audience member said that it was simply too expensive to get a separate isbn for each digital asset.

Why doesn’t the industry get together and decide on standards? Standards for metadata; standards for DRM; standards for identifying products? It seems like lack of standards only creates more cost for publishers.

Liza Daly and Keith Falgren spoke about the new wave of digital devices. Landlocked devices are a thing of the past. I concur. They also urged publishers to invest in creating a way to deliver their own content directly to the consumer.

Publishers told Perseus in a survey that they are going to test the market by varying pricing based on version and monitoring of sales. 50% of publishers said that there won’t be fixed pricing. I have a sad feeling that the data that customers give back to publishers won’t be in line with what they want. Apple might not be the savior of publishing. $4.99 is the sweet spot for the app store and $2.99 is the optimal price in the Blackberry App store.

One of the last presentations I attended was the case study of the promotional efforts of Courtney Milan’s book, Proof of Seduction. It was the most fun session because LibreDigital showed video of actual readers! Holly from Bookbinge was shown first talking about her reading habits. She reads everywhere, all the time. Another reader who was unfamiliar to me shared that she fell in love with the historical genre after reading Courtney’s book. Isn’t that wonderful and amazing? One book changed her reading habits, maybe forever.

Then I went to the BISG presentation on ebook reader behaviors. The data presented befuddled and worried me. Befuddlement from some of the results: For example, it said that more men buy than women (51% v 49%) and that only 14% of ebook readers buy romances. WHAT? I mean, when you look at the bestseller lists, it is always populated by romance books. In other words, publishers have an opportunity to change readers mind about the value of ebooks. Worry: The BISG data says that ebook sales are cannabalizing print sales at a much lower margin. BISG says that readers getting into the ebook market are driven by the affordability of ebooks but, BISG says, that publishers have an opportunity to save themselves because every six months the market grows by a third. BISG also said that ebook readership would likely top out at 30%.

In the end, I felt like publishers have a huge challenge. We readers want content at the right price, in every format that exists now or may exist in the future (I was amazed at the number of people there buzzing about the iPad). Because change is happening so fast, many existing publishers are ill equipped to move to meet the changes. I feel that the status quo looks more promising to many than adapting. Ultimately change will come but as Peter Collingridge said there will be winners and losers.

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. Estara
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 05:29:59

    Worry: The BISG data says that print sales are cannabalizing print sales at a much lower margin.

    Did you mean that ebook sales are cannibalizing print sales, or vice versa?

    Lots of food for thought. I’d love to know the background on who was asked and how many were asked in the BISG study…

  2. rosecolette
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 07:35:53

    I’m not sure I agree with BISG that ebook readers will top out at 30% of the market. Schools, namely colleges, are experimenting with ebooks. Easy to build a base if potential readers are used to an electronic book. The overwhelming number of eReaders that were showcased at CES, if they make production, will offer a greater variety of readers at different prices. Microsoft, Apple, Acer, HP, and ASUS either have tablets about to hit the market this year or are in the process of developing a tablet.

    After writing the above I did think of two things that could stagnate ebook growth: 1) DRM and 2) Lack of universal format. The lack of universal format coupled with proprietary DRM formats worry me, especially with all the new eReaders coming down the pipe. How many new readers will be frustrated at being unable to take their books with them no matter the device? That’s a sure way to turn off current and future ebook readers.

  3. MariaESchneider
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 09:08:17

    Great article. Mark Coker also did a wrap-up if anyone is interested in more thoughts on the matter.

    I couldn’t BELIEVE the romance numbers–made the rest of the numbers a little suspect. Although the ebook reader male/female number didn’t completely surprise me. Could be a gadget thing. Lots of men like new gadgets and that might be why they own or use e-readers more. I’m pretty sure women will catch up, especially since we supposedly buy more books.

    I don’t think the lack of universal format will remain a big deal. Programs like Calibre will continue to help out there and every ebook retailer I know has a “meatgrinder” to format books. Eventually those things will get better–and more standard.

    DRM. What a headache…


  4. Sandy James
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 09:52:51

    I’m always amazed at the power of internet networking. And I’m totally in agreement with the Facebook phenomenon! I started a FB fan page a couple of weeks ago, and I’m surprised at the number of people who joined! My total stands at 794! Amazing! Those are people I might never have reached otherwise!!

    I’m thrilled to be a part of the ebook “revolution.” It will be fun to see how things keep changing.

  5. Kassia Krozser
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 10:04:50

    I asked about the BISG male/female numbers when they were first released. Apparently, the male percentage is due to a large tech book publishing population. I also suspect the numbers aren’t factoring in independent digital publishers. I think we’ll see a shift in the next survey.

  6. RachelT
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 10:21:34

    Jane, I’ve been interested to know how your sessions were received, particularly the results of the survey that you took. What impact did they have?

  7. Joanne
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 10:34:52

    I believe that more men are using ebooks because of the number of ‘how-to’ books that are bought. Those books are also relatively inexpensive. Buy the ebook, find what you want to build/repair/improve. Simple.(not the men, but rather the method)

    I would have to question which publishers are giving BISG their information. 14%? Of fiction books?

    I also wonder how they come to the conclusion that more men are buying if many women use a charge card with a man’s name on it when doing business online. That’s just a thought but I know many women who buy with their husbands cards. Not me, he would die of fright if he saw my book bill.

    I don’t buy into Ingram’s jelly and choices example either. In the U.S., anyway, we are brand loyal and that applies to the authors and publishers we purchase. If the only jelly on the shelf is a name brand or gets good word of mouth then it’s going to sell.

    I’m also not convinced about facebook. It’s fun to ‘fan’ an author but that doesn’t necessarily translate into sales. I use Goodreads to ‘toss a book I like at a friend’ but I wouldn’t dream of following up by asking if they purchased it.

    Statistics are skewed all the time, but the changes that are here and the ones that are coming to publishing make it even more important to relax with a good book. Some publishers will shoot themselves in the foot and others will fly high.

  8. DS
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 11:10:28

    I’ve been waiting for your take on the conference. Some interesting points to chew over, but this particularly interested me:

    The data presented befuddled and worried me. Befuddlement from some of the results: For example, it said that more men buy than women (51% v 49%) and that only 14% of ebook readers buy romances. WHAT? I mean, when you look at the bestseller lists, it is always populated by romance books.

    A blog called Kindle Nation did a Kindle owner survey and reported the following in the post for 2/18/2010.

    # 55.9% identified themselves as female, and 42% as male, which suggests that for 2.1% gender information is handled on a “need to know” basis
    # Less than 0.5% are under 25, compared with 38.7% aged 25-54 and 59% aged 55 or older

    Unfortunately he didn’t ask about genre preferences. There’s a link to the detailed results at the bottom of the post.

    I was surprised to see that the numbers skewed toward what the SSA calls “Advanced Age” (55 and over). I probably shouldn’t have been though because I skew in that direction myself.

  9. Joanne
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 11:23:56

    @DS: The
    Advanced Age (gad) sort of tells you who is taking these surveys doesn’t it, LOL!

    My take is that it’s probably due to more available discretionary income and possibly more book gift buying.

    I know I get a suck-up-I’m-soo-broke email from my Goddaughter everytime Shiloh Walker has a new book released and my friend has almost buried her new grandson in books he’s too small to even hold.

  10. Suze
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 11:38:06

    I don't buy into Ingram's jelly and choices example either.

    In “Blink” Malcolm Gladwell talks about a study done using jam. On the day when the 24 jams were on offer, sales were significantly lower than when 6 jams were on offer. The study indicated that the 24 was too much, and overwhelmed people’s snap-decision to buy process. People are much more likely to decide to buy one jar out of 6 than one jar out of 24.

    I don’t think that book-buying uses the same part of our brains, though. I buy jam for very different reasons than I buy books, and books are a much more specific decision.

    In short, I’m suspicious about the value of the BSIG statistics.

  11. Fran Toolan
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 11:41:33

    Thanks, Jane, for this. I, too, was heartened and disheartened by this conference. Previous TOC’s have left me feeling inspired, this one left me feeling with two conclusions: Consumers are going to have many choices about how and what to read, and the other is that the “book industry” as we know it is in its final death spiral.

    I was particularly disturbed by how many times i heard the word “metadata”. The very fact that this has become a household word is a data point for how low the industry is. When was the last time someone referred to the labeling on box of cereal as metadata? When was the last time someone referred to a clothing size/color chart, or a hotel rate chart as metadata?

    This conference seemed to focus on relatively small issues like metadata, but hardly touched on the elephants in the room, like our industry’s own hubris about being special, or how to become part of the larger consumer marketplace in conjunction with other products and services.

  12. Alyson H.
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 11:44:02

    “Skip Pritchard of Ingram noted that consumers can be paralyzed by too many choices. ”

    Yup. I’ve been trying to pick out an e-reader for about 7 months now, and the ever-expanding range of choices (plus the iPad) haven’t made it easier. It just makes me feel whatever choice I make is going to be obsolete or limited within a year.

    Great article, Jane.

  13. Sandy James
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 11:52:57

    @Alyson H.:

    It just makes me feel whatever choice I make is going to be obsolete or limited within a year.

    Kind of like buying a new laptop and knowing it’s out of date just as soon as you pull it from the box.

    I’ve thought about buying an ereader, but since I’m used to writing on a laptop, I’ve gotten used to reading on it. So why spend money on an ereader? I just read ebooks on my computer. Doesn’t help that the choices are so diverse, each having positives and negatives. Makes it almost impossible to settle on one.

  14. katiebabs
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 12:00:00

    Was there talk about fazing out mass market paper books? I heard from a source at Pocket books that they may want to stop publishing mass market paperbacks because they feel that they’re not selling due to the increase of Kindles and Ereaders.

    I think this won’t happen for another decade or so, but you never know. And apparently Trade books are on the rise.

  15. Sandy James
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 12:05:53


    Was there talk about fazing out mass market paper books? I heard from a source at Pocket books that they may want to stop publishing mass market paperbacks because they feel that they're not selling due to the increase of Kindles and Ereaders.

    That would make me very sad! I can embrace technology, but I still love nothing better than curling up with a paperback to disappear into a story for a while. Just don’t see that happening in quite the same way with an ereader…

  16. Janet W
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 13:00:00

    @Sandy James — how many of your almost 800+ fans on FB are engaged with you and part of a conversation? I know Fan Page numbers can jump up by leaps and bounds and that can sure feel good. Facebook can be an awesome tool, place to hang out, place to promote and push and share but it works best if you have committed, intelligent, readers who are carrying most of the “work” of the convo. Then the convo hops and sizzles and continues to flow. In my opinion, Fan pages work best if the readers dominate, not the author, because if it’s the author (other than book signings, contests, new covers and such), it starts to feel pimpy. It is a really fine line.

    Also, and I’m sure you know this from your own FB use: clicking on Become a Fan is almost easy stupid. How many of us do it just because a friend asks? And then how fast do you block that page when it starts showing up in your feed? For myself, I follow exactly 4 fan pages and I have clicked “yep” on way more.

    A ways back on Twitter, I think it was Angela James, said better to have fewer followers but they all KNOW you, care about you, are engaged with you…

    So in conclusion, FB rules if it is authentic and lively. Just another ho-hum if it’s not fan driven, or at least fan-invested. Dear Author could succeed magnificently on FB because it has engaged readers.

  17. MariaESchneider
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 13:11:05

    @katiebabs: I read a few years back that publishers were moving away from mass market because they make more money on trade paperbacks. I have no idea if this is true–mass market may require larger print numbers if I remember correctly–and I believe the margins are higher on trade (15 dollars compared to half that for the mmpb).

    I was annoyed at the time because I really love paperbacks. I just left two trades at home for my last plane ride. Since I was taking my computer, I just went with ebooks, but even if I hadn’t been taking the computer, I’d have left the trades. Much easier to carry the paperback. Much cheaper to leave behind if I need the space or finish the book, etc.

  18. Sandy James
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 13:12:15

    @Janet W:

    how many of your almost 800+ fans on FB are engaged with you and part of a conversation?

    Actually, most of them are friends, former students, authors I interact with, etc… I scrolled through the list, and there are maybe twenty names of people I don’t know. I’m blessed to be a high school teacher, and my former students have become some of my biggest fans. Whenever I need to call out their support, God love them, they always answer. Thanks to their support, I was able to muster enough votes to win a P&E award last year and LASR Book of the Year this year. Don’t know what I’d do without them!! When I arranged a booksigning at the local B&N, I only advertised it on FB. Sold 80 books in three hours. To me, that says it all…

  19. Jane
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 13:16:51

    @Estara: Yes, that was an error. Thanks for pointing that out to me. There was a ton of BISG data although they only gave us about 10% of the overall data available in its study.

    I tweeted quite a bit of it, but i can’t find all my tweets for some reason. I’ll have to go and look again.

  20. katiebabs
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 13:18:26

    @Sandy James:

    I like Facebook to reconnect with past friends and family members. Other than that, I can’t understand how some can become so addicted to Farmville.

  21. Jane
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 13:18:44

    @katiebabs I heard no talk about fazing out mass market books. Mass markets are an entirely separate part of the “trade” industry. In fact, I don’t think that they are considered to be part of the trade industry. One thing I was told was that while trade paperbacks are successful, some of the success is due to the fact that the cost of trades are absorbed in the hardcover.

  22. Jane
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 13:19:28

    @Suze This is the very example that Skip used. I think I need to read Gladwell’s book.

  23. Jane
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 13:20:51

    @DS In our own survey of readers, romance was about 25% of purchases. I thought the 14% was so dramatically low that I wondered about the overall results. One person told me that they had participated in the survey and that it was done orally, in a group with others. I wondered if the “shame” of reading romances may have resulted in under representation.

  24. Sandy James
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 13:22:06


    Other than that, I can't understand how some can become so addicted to Farmville.

    Beats me. I’ve avoided Farmville at all costs!! I waste enough time on FB as it is… On the other hand, I’ve reconnected with friends from junior high and high school, and that has been priceless!!

  25. Jane
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 13:23:09

    @Fran Toolan The keynotes seemed all about meeting the reader’s needs. The session presentations seemed to be about trying to manipulate the reader to meet the industry needs. Not sure who will win in the battle, but I’d probably place my money on the reader.

  26. Janet W
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 13:43:47

    @sandy james … serves me right to generalize! Clearly you are part of a vibrant community of friends who are supportive of you and your books. That’s how it should be, yes?

    I would just caution people not to equate pure numbers with success but it’s how those numbers translate into RL that’s important (or so it seems to me … and I’m no expert: these are my observations).

  27. Sandy James
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 13:50:06

    @Janet W:

    I would just caution people not to equate pure numbers with success…

    Good advice!! In a community like FB, you’re entirely correct. Numbers don’t mean much if there’s not some genuine communication between the people you’re networking with. I’m thrilled to have made friends with one of my favorite romance authors through FB!! When she leaves supportive comments, I get all warm and fuzzy. Definitely going to hunt her down at RWA National and give her a big ole hug for all her kind words!! :)

  28. DS
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 14:25:58


    I wondered if the “shame” of reading romances may have resulted in under representation.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that your surmise was true.

    The group I have spent the most time reading (and really in a sporadic way) is the Kindle group on Amazon. There’s quite a bit of dismissive “why all the free romance books” statements in the main Kindle group. Also people who equate romance with Danielle Steel, who they don’t personally read but they have a friend who reads her….

    I’ve also seen requests for ebooks of gothics from the 60’s– Dorothy Daniels specifically.

    I suspect the romance readers split out into the romance discussions or blogs for romance.

  29. Kim
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 15:02:08

    Thank you, Jane, for sharing your experience with your readers. I am curious about the promotional efforts of Courtney Milan – anyway we can learn about them?

    Also, your statement, “One book changed her reading habits, maybe forever.” The reader’s transformation reminds me of commercials for Life cereal with Mikey. Other children in the commercial assumed the cereal tasted bad until Mikey tried it and liked it (I may be dating myself with this commercial!) Thus, readers won’t know if they like a genre, author, or subject if they don’t try it! Back to the old adage, don’t judge a book by its cover!

  30. Jane
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 15:05:47

    @Kim: The stats of the promotional efforts were offering 1,000 digital arcs through Living Social, a facebook social media platform for books. There were over 900+ registrants and about 1/3 of those (250?) downloaded the arc. They had about 113+ reviews posted based on the 1,000 galley offering.

    Harlequin was able to add some real reader cover quotes to the copy of the book such as “I stayed up until 4 am twice to read the book” (or something like that). I thought it was interesting that they were going with reader quotes. I liked it.

    LibreDigital and Harlequin didn’t share sales results with us so I don’t know what success it was but they did say that Courtney Milan was the perfect author to work with because she is really good at handling the internet, responding to criticism in a good way and always replying to readers.

  31. Courtney Milan
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 15:30:32

    “LibreDigital and Harlequin didn't share sales results with us…”

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m not sure that this is even an answerable question at this time. With all genre fiction, the point is to build an author and not necessarily sell the instant book (although if that happens it is a bonus). For just about every debut author of genre fiction, the sales in the first month or two are really more a function of placement than anything else. Other factors contribute, of course, but the #1 reason people won’t buy a debut author’s book is because they don’t find it on the shelves.

    The hope is that promotion results in readers for the author, not just sales for the book. So the real question is going to be: how do Books 2 and 3 and 4 sell?

  32. Jane
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 15:39:15

    @Courtney Milan: Of course, you are right. And this is an important point because Harlequin is obviously investing in you and I think that is great. It’s important for publishers to invest long term in their authors instead of requiring them to hit it in 3 books or less.

  33. Kim
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 16:09:44

    Thanks, Jane and Courtney, for the stats and comments about the promotional efforts.

    And I ditto the publishers’ perspective that “Courtney Milan was the perfect author to work with because she is … always replying to readers”. Courtney generously supported literary programs for military spouses here in Hawaii. In fact, I had not read Proof of Seduction yet, but I packed it in my overnight bag in preparation for an evacuation (luckily, it didn’t happen). So I have started reading PoS in the quiet calm following a tsunami warning!

  34. lorenet
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 16:53:03

    @Sandy James: I don’t understand this comment, since you just admitted that you don’t own an ereader. Reading on a laptop is different from reading on an ereader.

  35. Sandy James
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 16:58:19


    I don't understand this comment, since you just admitted that you don't own an ereader. Reading on a laptop is different from reading on an ereader.

    I read on a laptop if I have to, but I much prefer holding a paperback in my hands. I suppose I need to give an ereader a chance. Maybe it would serve just as well.

  36. Stevie
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 17:03:00

    Re publisher investment in authors:

    I’m assuming that it probably helps when the publisher has had to enter an auction to secure the book in question, as was the case with Proof of Seduction.

    I must confess to a slight feeling of guilt; I have just read ‘The Goddess of Small Things’ and liked it so much that I immediately ordered PoS.

    I don’t like Harlequin’s excursion into vanity publishing, as typified by the debacle of Dargan’s Desire featuring a hero who has ‘mistakenly’ taken the heroine’s virginity, hence the guilt.

    On the other hand at least I didn’t have to bite the bullet and buy it on Amazon; it’s available with free shipping from

  37. Ridley
    Feb 28, 2010 @ 17:25:09

    I don’t see what’s so hard to grasp about Facebook, but despite its staggering popularity (even my very nearly 60 parents are on it, along with their friends) people still don’t seem to believe it’s true.

    The best fan pages operate like a mix of Twitter and a blog, in my opinion. They send out daily status updates – like tweets on Twitter – but then have robust walls and comment back and forth, like a blog. I don’t friend authors on FB, since I’m not willing to admit what I read to my extended network (sorry, but my parents and family don’t need to know I love those who write hot sexxoring action) but I do keep up with my news that way, following the Sox, Bruins, ACLU, musicians and a bunch of other interest groups. Their status updates filter the news for me, but then I can go and argue/comment/whatever on these tidbits in a way pretty much impossible on Twitter.

    Judging from the dozens to hundreds of comments I see on the status updates in my feed, I don’t see the mystery. Facebook is big, even if you don’t have a mob or farm.

  38. Lynne Connolly
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 09:02:48

    I think the romance numbers are wrong simply because most romance publishers are not releasing their numbers to a public service like Nielsen or any other third party. Yet. You can only work with the numbers you have.

    But a really great summary. Thank you, Jane.

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    […] Tools of Change: Thoughts from a Reader’s Perspective: Dear Author’s Jane Litte weighs i… […]

  40. Joy
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 10:13:09

    “For example, it said that more men buy than women (51% v 49%) and that only 14% of ebook readers buy romances. WHAT? I mean, when you look at the bestseller lists, it is always populated by romance books.”

    If that statement is true, I’d wager that that 14% drive a boatload of volume. I probably buy a romance a week in the course of a year.

  41. MaryK
    Mar 01, 2010 @ 14:38:02


    I have just read ‘The Goddess of Small Things' and liked it so much that I immediately ordered PoS.

    :D I did the same thing back when PoS was still in the preorder stage. She’s gotten a lot of miles out of that short story. :D

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