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Daily Deals Post: New Style

In a book called The Art of Choosing a study performed by a behavioral psychologist recounts how shoppers who have large number of choices are paralyzed and end up choosing nothing.  Reduce the choice to a few and people take action. The result of the experiment is that too much choice inhibits action.  In the past, I’ve tried to post all of the deals for books, but I’ve come to believe that this posting is not as helpful as it could be.

Based on this theory, I’ve decided to post just four deals a day at 4-5 pm CST.  The deals posted with be a list of books I think the readership would be interested in either because I’ve read the book or because I think it just looks interesting.  I’ll try my very best to post deals that both ePub and Kindle users can have access to and from time to time, I might post a low priced but worthwhile self published title.  Let me know what you think of this.

Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane) Elizabeth Hoyt

Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt. $1.99.

This is the first in the Maiden Lane series.  It’s likely discounted because the third in the series released this month, “Thief of Shadows.”  I’ve always considered Hoyt to be one of the jewels of the modern historical writing period. Her books are often dark and always erotic.  I haven’t loved everything she writes but at $1.99 it’s a great introduction to her style.


Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London’s most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand-she’s spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk . . .


Caire makes a simple offer-in return for Temperance’s help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London’s high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control-one that may well destroy them both.


( A | BN | K | S )

Slow Summer Kisses by Shannon Stacey Slow Summer Kisses by Shannon Stacey $1.50

The price of this book varies from place to place but both BN & Amazon have it priced at $1.50.  It’s a novella but Stacey has become some kind of master of the novella, fitting together a believable romance in a short space. It’s definitely worth the $1.50.

From the cover copy:

Anna Frazier is used to living life at 100 mph, but being downsized out of a job in the financial industry has her permanently stalled. With nowhere to go, go, go, Anna hails a cab to her grandparents’ neglected New Hampshire camp to plan her next move. It seems like a good idea—until she realizes there’s no takeout to be had and the boy next door has grown into a sexy but surly recluse.

Cameron Mayfield knows he can kiss his peace and quiet goodbye when Hurricane Anna blows in. She was loud and bossy as a ten-year-old—and besides developing some attractive curves, she hasn’t changed. Cam’s not looking for a relationship, especially not with a woman like Anna. He nearly broke down on that road once before. So why can’t he stop thinking about her?

It’s not long before their sizzling attraction leads to smoking-hot kisses. But as the days get shorter, Anna must decide if she’s found a new road to happiness, or just taken a detour.

( A | BN | K | S )

Heart of the matter emily Giffin

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin $2.99.

I have ambivalent feelings toward Giffin’s books. She’s a compelling storyteller but I’m not always satisfied with the direction she takes in her books.  That said, many readers love her.  Giffin, like Hoyt, has a new release out shortly.

From the cover copy:

A powerful, provocative novel about marriage and motherhood, love and forgiveness.

Tessa Russo is a stay-at-home mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie—a boy who has never known his father. Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, they are strangers to one another and have little in common, aside from a fierce love for their children. But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.

This is the moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.

( A | BN | K S )

along came a spider

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson. $3.99.

Back before Patterson was a factory of books, he wrote some pretty chilling and engaging thrillers. I read several of his Alex Cross books, including Kiss the Girls which had an unforgettable and nightmarish scene with snakes. Oh and did I mention that Alex Cross is black?

From the cover copy:

A missing little girl named Maggie Rose.

A family of three brutally murdered in the projects of Washington, D.C.

The thrill-killing of a beautiful elementary school teacher.

A psychopathic serial kidnapper/murderer who calls himself the Son of Lindbergh. He is so terrifying that the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police cannot outsmart him – even after he’s been captured.

Gary Soneji is a mild-mannered mathematics teacher at a Washington, D.C., private school for the children of the political and social elite. He’s so popular that the kids all call him “Mr. Chips.” And he’s very, very smart. Growing up, he always knew he was smarter than the rest of them – he knew that the Great Ones always fooled everybody. He kidnaps Maggie Rose, the golden-haired daughter of a famous movie actress, and her best friend, Shrimpie Goldberg, the son of the secretary of the treasury, right out from under the noses of their two Secret Service agents. But Gary Soneji is not surprised at his skill. He’s done it before. Hundreds of times before.

Alex Cross is a homicide detective with a Ph.D. in psychology. He looks like Muhammad Ali in his prime. Cross works and lives in the ghettos of D.C. He’s a tough guy from a tough part of town who wears Harris Tweed jackets and likes to relax by banging out Gershwin tunes on his baby grand piano. He has two adorable kids of his own. They are his own special vulnerabilities.

Jezzie Flanaganis the first woman ever to hold the highly sensitive job as supervisor of the Secret Service in Washington. Blond, mysterious, seductive, she’s got an outer shell that’s as tough s it is beautiful. She rides her black BMW motorcycle at speeds of no less than 100 mph. What is she running from? What is her secret?

Alex Cross and Jezzie Flanagan are about to have a forbidden love affair-at the worst possible time for both of them. Because Gary Soneji, who wants to commit the “crime of the century,” is playing at the top of his game. The latest of the unspeakable crimes happened in Alex Cross’s precinct. They happened under the protection of Jezzie Flanagan’s men. Now Soneji is at large again, still wreaking havoc.

Alex Cross must face the ultimate test as a psychologist: how do you outmaneuver a brilliant psychopath? Especially one who appears to have a split personality – one who won’t let the other half remember those horrific acts?

Soneji has outsmarted the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police. Who will be his next victim?

Gary Soneji is every parent’s worst nightmare. He has become Alex Cross’s nightmare. And now, reader, he’s about to become yours.

( 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. Kiahzoe
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 16:10:23

    I think you’re right about how people choose. I’ve seen this in action. I worked in a shoe store for four years and if you brought out more then 4 different kinds of shoes for someone to look at then you lost the customer. They became overwhelmed and ended up leaving without picking anything in about 80-85% of the interactions. As a salesperson you knew if someone was telling you to bring out 5, 6, 7 different kinds of shoes you really were just working with them as they modeled shoes. You weren’t making a sale.

  2. Teresa Hill
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 16:26:16

    Hmm. I’ve never found that a problem with books. :) More books are always good. And you can never have enough books. I suspect most readers share that sentiment.

  3. library addict
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 16:51:54

    Whatever is easiest for you.

    While I think the multi-column layout looks good in the new releases catalog, not sure it works as well with just the 4 titles though.

  4. Jen
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 17:07:27

    I like this idea! I get overwhelmed by the deals posts. While I still think they’re great and it’s amazing that you put the time into them, I haven’t been digging into them like I used to.

    Apologies if this is off-topic, but at first I thought this post was going to be about “the art of choosing” as it relates to finding e-books in general. Readers have so many choices now, and fewer factors that narrow down our decision-making: more self-published authors, less confidence in quality just because something is published by a major house, and the decline of brick & mortar bookstores that limit/curate the books avaialable. I’m so curious (and hopeful) to see what will step into that void of “discovery” for readers. What new tools will we be using to find great books in 5 or 10 years?

    Actually, didn’t one of your BEA posts talk about this discovery problem, and how when we have more choices, we tend to limit ourselves to the same few standouts? Versus when we have fewer choices, we’re more confident in looking for something new and are more likely to have more variety overall. I can’t find that post, but I thought it was interesting.

    TL;DR: Too many choices overwhelm me! :)

  5. MaryK
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 17:19:38

    Kiss the Girls must’ve been the basis for that super creepy looking movie I didn’t watch.


    I’m so curious (and hopeful) to see what will step into that void of “discovery” for readers. What new tools will we be using to find great books in 5 or 10 years?

    Well, the only self-pub books by unknown-to-me authors that I’ve bought have been DA rec’s. So …

  6. Susan
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 18:13:11

    I get sensory overload when shopping, especially in physical stores. I MUST have a list or I become totally overwhelmed and paralyzed. But I don’t seem to have this problem with books. And if I can’t decide between two? Just get both! :-)

    But I love the deals feature however it’s presented. Thx.

  7. Sweeney
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 18:25:38

    I like this much, much better. I was always overwhelmed by the deals list and usually ended up lost as I cross posted ith Amazon while reading book blurbs. Great idea!

  8. Sarina
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 18:26:23

    This is wonderful! I usually skipped over all the links posted because I couldn’t possibly click through all of them, and the prices going down the list caught my eye more than anything else. This, however, is so ENGAGING!!

  9. Jane
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 19:23:20

    @library addict: Yes, the columns were not very easy to read here.

  10. Jane
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 19:25:32

    @Jen: I felt the previous deal posts were TL;DR (too long didn’t read) and therefore not helpful. The deals really don’t change that dramatically so spreading them out over a period of time and putting in the jacket copy so that readers can make fairly easy buying choices seems to make more sense.

    As for curation, that is a great topic. I’m not sure the answer.

    @MaryK: Snake? Warm milk? Blind girl? Don’t watch it.

    @Susan and @Sarina: and @Sweeney and @Teresa Hill: thanks for the feedback.

  11. Las
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 20:56:52

    shoppers who have large number of choices are paralyzed and end up choosing nothing.

    That explains why I have so many books on my tbr and wishlist but I’m currently rereading a bunch of old books, many of which I don’t remember liking that much the first time around.

    My immediate reaction to the change was dislike, both because it’s so many fewer options and because visually it looks off (I can’t explain why, though); but you’re right, the previous posts were TL;DR–what I’d usually do was click on links with authors that sounded familiar and titles that didn’t sound dumb, which isn’t exactly a good way to go about it. While I got several freebies, I think I only bought about 4 or 5 books out the gazillion deals you’ve posted. So, yeah, less is definitely more. And I really like that you’re you’re including the blurbs.

  12. Jane
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 21:07:10

    @Las: I think I need to do a better job of formatting it but I’m not sure what it should look like.

  13. Tabitha
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 21:07:43

    I really like this set up better. The longer deals post was TL;DR for me as well. Too many and and my eyes often landed only on the familiar to me authors. With this shorter list and the book blurbs, I can actually take the time to read through the post rather than just skimming. Thanks!

  14. Erin
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 22:03:00

    I’m digging the new style. I especially love your thoughts about each book in combination with the cover copy. Makes it much easier to know if a book may work for me, rather than the old way of scanning down the list to see A. what books have authors that look familiar B. what books are cheapest, and then toggling over to Amazon. Thanks for this!

  15. Turophile
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 22:27:59

    Yes! I love it!! Whenever I see the deals on your site I get a bit overwhelmed. I don’t want to buy a book simply because it’s on sale – I want to know a little about it. This is wonderful!!! please continue.

  16. MaryK
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 23:28:45

    @Jane: Oh man, I didn’t know about the blind girl, that’s one of my phobias. Not that I was going to watch it anyway, but still.

  17. Rosario
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 04:01:17

    As someone whose work involves applying the insights of behavioural psychology to policy-making, I approve :-)

    Seriously, though, even if most of these deals don’t really apply to me (being outside the US), I like this format a lot, especially your thoughts on what’s noteworthy about that particular book.

  18. Jane A
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 08:49:03

    I Like this format, the more in depth analysis is particularly nice. It would be too bad, though to miss a good deal that just didn’t get posted, so I’mn torn about this change. Not that it’s all about me or anything. :)

  19. Laurie
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 09:36:42

    I like this format much better. I am one who is overwhelmed by too many choices and in all honestly I would always skip the deals posts. I can’t shop at the mall without knowing exactly what I’m going to buy beforehand. Especially when it comes to a store like B&N, Sephora or Ulta. I always leave empty handed so this makes complete sense to me.

  20. Christine Rimmer
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 12:04:02

    This approach totally works for me, Jane. I bought the Hoyt with your link to Amazon. Thanks!

  21. Lindsey
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 17:16:32

    I love the new format, even though I’m not sure my budget agrees. With the old format, I’d usually get overwhelmed and come away with nothing. With the two new-format deals posts, I’ve bought one book featured in each.

  22. Rachel
    Jun 30, 2012 @ 07:12:59

    Yes! I like this so much better, thank you.

    I miss old school Patterson.

  23. MaryK
    Jun 30, 2012 @ 15:23:12

    It would be really useful if folks who buy the deals would report back about any crappy formatting. In an earlier post, somebody warned about a Shannon Hale book. I’d been planning to buy the ebook and give away my paper copy so the warning was very timely.

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