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

Wednesday Deals and News: Apple Has Blowout Quarter & Social Media...


I think it is hard to say whether Apple can make inroads on textbooks, but schools are already looking for funds to increase iPad and laptop distribution throughout classes.  This infographic suggests that learning can be enhanced by technology but there are other studies that indicate the opposite.  Apple’s success does not depend on the education sector.  It’s 4th quarter financial results were beyond any analysts’ estimations and make Apple one of, if not the most, profitable company in the world.

Apple reported revenue of $46.33 billion and profits of $13.06 billion, or $13.87 per share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2011. That was up from the $26.74 billion, or $6.43 per share, the company saw at the same time last year.

Apple’s gross profit margin is a stunning 44.7 percent.  Are we overpaying for our iThings? I guess so.

Link:  CNET


At Digital Book World, the early mantra was that publishers need to develop direct relationships with consumers.  Man, how many times are we going to hear that before it actually happens with the mainstream publishers? Also, publishers hate Amazon.  Yet, Penguin and Amazon announced the launch of the 5th Annual Amazon Breakthrough Contest.  That’s a strange relationship for frenemies.

Link: FutureBook


The downside to social media is that the originators can’t control the message or so learned McDonalds. The fast food king urged users to start tweeting their McDStories and it quickly was picked up and mocked by users.  The most popular McDStories are about fast food eaters having heart attacks or growing weed.  Even the World Heart Federation retweeted this one “My dad’s friend ate a Breakfast Sandwich every day for 2 yrs. He had 3 heart attacks & is now dead.”

Link: Paid Content

Carly Phillips is a victim of social media as well. Someone used her author photo for an internet meme called “Sheltering Suburban Mom“.  The idea is that the suburban mom is a hypocrite, hating gays but loving Ellen Degeneres.  Someone from reddit, a place of knowledge and great misogyny, discovered the other day that the photo is Carly Phillips.  This led to a link to website  who hosted an interview with Phillips.   My advice would have been for Mandi at Smexy Books and Carly Phillips to do an AMA (ask me anything) thread.

See more suggestions at Smart Bitches.


Oh dilemma, you guys.  You see, there is this awful post and comments written by some guy out there on the internet on the topic of romances.

What the modern reader needs to understand is that romance novels by their very nature are meant to be inferior.

I think it’s safe to say that no Ivy League school will ever teach out of romance novels as part of the curriculum. No romance novel will ever be thought of as a classic along side Spencer, Bunyan, Swift and Dickens. If a romance story were that good, it would no longer be referred to as romance, but would instead simply be known as drama or literary fiction or a classic love story. If you think about it, there are of course a handful of classic novels that fit the description of the latter: novels that are full of romantic love but which are so well written that they aren’t thought of as romance novels/stories. Romeo and Juliet probably tops the list (though it was a play of course) followed by Jane Eyre. No one would call Jane Eyre a “romance novel.” It would instead be referred to as a “classic love story.” The very thing that separates classic love stories from romance novels is that romance novels must by default be bad, tacky even, or they’ll no longer be classified as romance novels and will get placed in a higher category.

I feel like he is being intentionally degrading in order to get hits. Plus, he is deleting comments according to various individuals who have left comments.  I don’t want to link to him and give him the page hits. On the other hand, per my inbox and twitter feed, many readers already know about it. In sum, Cale McCarthy, possibly gaslighting us romance readers for attention, says that romances are all inferior and his view of us is summed up in one of his comments:

“You might be surprised by this, but well adjusted women do not sit around thinking about romance as though they were still in junior high. Have a nice day. Have it away from me.”

Seriously, why am I writing about this?  The good thing is that Cale McCarthy won’t have any trouble staying single given that he views any woman who reads romance as his intellectual inferior.


Booklvr Blog has a chart showing the price differences between the Amazon v. Nook bestseller lists.  Amazon average price is almost $2.50 lower than the nook average price.

amazon v nook bestseller list price


Lyrical Press is looking for submissions. Please do not consider this an endorsement of Lyrical Press. I have no idea whether they are a good publisher and urge you to seek out that information on your own:

How would you like to start your new year with a publishing contract? Lyrical Press ( is now accepting entries for its first annual How Lyrical is Your Romance? Contest . This contest is open to both published and unpublished authors. Entries must be complete works, ranging in word count between 15,000-100,000 words, any heat level, and fit into one of the following subgenre categories:
* Contemporary romance
* Historical romance
* Paranormal or urban fantasy romance
* Romantic steampunk
* Romantic Suspense
Check out the Prizes!

1st Place: $200 advance and digital publishing contract (advance payable as $100 upon finalized contract and $100 upon publication).

2nd Place: $100 advance and digital publishing contract (advance payable as $50 upon finalized contract and $50 upon publication).

3rd Place: Top-scoring contestant in each genre category will receive an acquiring editor’s critique of synopsis and first 50 pages of manuscript.



  • My Heart May Be Broken, but My Hair Still Looks Great by Dixie Cash * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Still in My Heart by Kathryn Smith * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • In My Heart by Melody Thomas by Melody Thomas * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Love Story by Erich Segal * $0.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Anne Frank by Francine Prose * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • The Demi-Monde: Winter by Rod Rees * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Untie My Heart by Judith Ivory * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • The Red Heart of Jade by Marjorie M. Liu * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • Deep in the Heart by Sharon Sala * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S
  • The Truest Heart by Samantha James * $1.99 * A | BN | K | S

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She 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. JacquiC
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 10:17:47

    I’m being a pain again, but none of the deals I tried to link to on amazon above (Sharon Sala, Judith Ivory) came up at the prices shown. I tried the Kobo links too, and they seem to show up as regular priced. Maybe this is another example of different treatment between US and Canadian readers?


  2. Jane
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 10:18:47

    @JacquiC: I bet it is US only.


  3. Carolyn Crane
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 10:43:55

    Gasp. Untie My Heart. So good.


  4. Janet
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 11:00:00

    “Have a nice day. Have it away from me.”

    No problemo.


  5. Author on Vacation
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 11:08:26

    “You might be surprised by this, but well adjusted women do not sit around thinking about romance as though they were still in junior high. Have a nice day. Have it away from me.”

    *shrugs* OK.


  6. SarahT
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 11:14:39

    Jane, thank you for not linking to that guy. This reeks publicity stunt to me, and given all the RTs on Twitter, it’s working. Alone his “sexy and single and white” bio is a clue he’s not about to post anything I want to read.


  7. Isobel Carr
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 11:27:15

    I think it’s safe to say that no Ivy League school will ever teach out of romance novels as part of the curriculum

    I guess Yale isn’t an Ivy anymore than.


  8. MaryK
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 11:42:38

    No one would call Jane Eyre a “romance novel.” It would instead be referred to as a “classic love story.” The very thing that separates classic love stories from romance novels is that …

    … classics are classics and romance novels are modern and there’s no way to tell if modern novels will be future classics.

    He’s a man. How could he possibly know what “well adjusted women” think about? Moron.


  9. Ren
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 11:53:03

    The rate of relationship failure would be less appalling if more people did put some thought into romance.


  10. shiloh walker
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 11:54:15

    @Isobel Carr: Yeah, Sarah F pointed that out to him, as well as how he erred on the sex on the person who teaches it…and he deleted the comment. I saved a screen cap, because her comment was awesome.


  11. MrsJoseph
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 11:54:20


    The rate of relationship failure would be less appalling if more people did put some thought into romance.

    I heart you.


  12. shiloh walker
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 11:58:53

    I engaged with the guy. Couldn’t help it. I can’t exactly say I was ‘offended’ by his idiocy, because that’s all it is…idiocy. Said to somebody on twitter, it was kind of like poking at the annoying ‘know it all’…petty on my part, yep, but I couldn’t stop myself.

    This has just been a week of trolls and idiocy. Sheesh. And it’s only Wednesday…


  13. HelenB
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 12:11:32

    Here is a true story, large man on train, drinking beer by the can, reading a kindle. Had a peek and what do you know, it was a romance. Does not really have much to do with anything but I wanted to share.


  14. P. Kirby
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 12:26:08

    “You might be surprised by this, but well adjusted women men do not sit around thinking about bashing romance as though they were still in junior high. Have a nice day. Have it away from me.”

    Fixed that for ya. :)


  15. Karenmc
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 12:50:09

    @P. Kirby: Thank you. My brain feels better now.


  16. Mireya
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 12:52:23

    Oh, so here’s one for him, (if you are a Tolkien fan, DO NOT WATCH, the scene as it is pure invention by the director and may make you blow a gasket, unless you saw the movies and could live with the changes/alterations done in them)- this video has helped me control my tendencies to get pissed off with trolls. Every time I read a troll… the video automatically plays in my head:

    The *splat* is SO satisfying.


  17. Isobel Carr
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 12:52:51

    @P. Kirby: You rock my world.


  18. Brussel sprout
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 13:32:14

    I googled him and Erin McCarthy’s romance The pregnancy Test came up.


  19. Author on Vacation
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 13:33:50

    @P. Kirby:

    *thunderous applause*


  20. lazaraspaste
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 13:42:14

    @shiloh walker: Can you post the screencaps? Or did you do so somewhere else and I just missed it? I’d love to see the deleted comments!


  21. Laura Vivanco
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 13:47:19

    @lazaraspaste: They’re embedded in this post at Shiloh’s blog.


  22. Author on Vacation
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 13:59:45

    So, if well-adjusted adults don’t care about love and romance in romantic relationships, what’s their actual priority? Sex? Wealth? Power? What?


  23. courtship
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 14:00:55

    ooh, I have to pick up that Samantha James. I love her. So trashy and over the top and yet so addictive. Picked up Untie my Heart too thanks to Carolyn Crane. If only I had more hours in my day to read!!!


  24. Mireya
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 14:23:36

    @Laura Vivanco: Thanks for linking to Shiloh’s blog. After reading what was deleted, I definitely agree with Jane that he either wants the “hits” or he is just doing what he did for kicks and giggles.


  25. Patricia
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 14:39:58

    This Cale McCaskey guy says he’s a writer, but he doesn’t list any of his own stories on his blog and Amazon tells me: ‘Your search “cale mccaskey” did not match any products.’ Has anyone ever read any of his work? Has he ever published anything at all (including self-pub)? Is he really a writer, or just a blowhard?


  26. Author on Vacation
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 14:50:45


    Maybe he means he writes for personal fulfillment but doesn’t publish his work?


  27. Moriah Jovan
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 14:58:26

    Here’s the thing: Plenty of people, including women, feel exactly the way he does, and denigrate romance just as harshly, if not more. I don’t think he’s trolling (by virtue of the fact that he’s deleting comments instead of engaging everything and becoming increasingly more insulting) (but I’ll bet he’s pleased with the hits he’s gotten). I think he’s just saying what a lot of people think.

    To him/them (remember, women too, some of them who claim to be feminists), we’re all just an enormous collection of fat Peggy Bundys who have nothing better to do and can’t even be arsed to make a sandwich for the Man of the House.

    It’s possible he’s trying to drum up some attention for that point in time when he DOES publish his stuff so his name will be known, but he’ll have an audience in those who agree with him. And A LOT do.


  28. Ridley
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 14:58:31

    @Author on Vacation: Maybe he hides behind an internet handle, like some writers we know.


  29. LG
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 14:59:48

    @Patricia: If he has, I don’t think he’s written it under that name. The best I could come up with under “Cale McCaskey” was something called “The Cistaphasmatis.” However, when I started trying to look for that, all I could find was a novelette with the same title by someone named Charles Seper. On Charles Seper’s blog, there is a link to Cale McCaskey’s blog. Maybe they’re the same person, maybe not.


  30. Patricia
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 15:01:47

    @Author on Vacation: That could be, and certainly a writer is a writer even if he or she never publishes (by choice or not). But without putting any of his own work forward, why should I accept his word that he knows how serious, respectable fiction is written? He’s welcome to his opinion, unfounded though it is. I’d just like to see why he thinks he can do so much better.


  31. sarah mayberry
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 15:35:53

    I thought Cale McDouchebag’s whole post was patronising and woman hating. The whole tone of his blog reeked of smug arrogance and know-it-all superiority. Interesting, given that according to his own testimony he has only ever read one paranormal romance all the way through. Personally, I prefer to base my broad, sweeping generalisations and judgements on more broad and sweeping evidence, but that’s just me. As with all those other poor souls who don’t “get” romance, I feel sorry for him. His loss.


  32. jayhjay
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 15:40:15

    Wow, big difference in book prices between B&N and Amazon. That combined with so many really bad quality ebook adaptations have made me practically give up on buying from B&N (and I even own a nook!)


  33. shiloh walker
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 15:45:22

    @sarah mayberry: Heh. I like that. Cale McDoucheBag.


  34. Sunita
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 15:53:31

    @LG: Yeah, it’s the same guy. He says on a Seper-connected blog that he uses McCaskey as a pen name. Seper appears to be his real name (maybe he’s a Chicago Bears fan, or Cale McCaskey is his pr0n name).

    He’s got a bunch of different blogs. And the short story/novella was listed at Muse Publishing under the McCaskey name at some point (now unavailable).


  35. Junne
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 16:01:29

    You never give up, right? :)


  36. Jess
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 16:18:51

    On publishers having direct relationships with readers: I think, if the Big Six were to have tried direct publisher/reader relations earlier, people wouldn’t be so turned off by them and turning to alternative publishing companies/websites.

    On the Cale topic: It’s risky to say “It’s understandable that some people don’t like romance novels” on a predominately romance review website but…romance novels aren’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a twist ending concerning relationships, you might not be in the genre’s target audience. If, however, you want to know how the relationship that you know will end well came about and developed, then yes, romance is for you. If you don’t want to read about relationships as the main idea, then definitely find a different genre. It depends on what you want to read about, and sometimes romance isn’t it.

    What I have a problem with is saying that a genre loved by a significant amount of people is meant to be inferior. The writers of romance would (most likely) disagree. The readers definitely would, as evidenced by the comments here. Heck, I disagree and I’m not romance’s intended target (I do read paranormal romances once in a while and there are some neat things going on, but it’s not my usual genre/subgenre). If romance is not his thing, that’s an acceptable personal decision. When you have free time and enough money, it’s good to spend it on the products you want to use/read. If that item is a non-romance book, that’s okay. What is not okay is when he says that women who read romance haven’t matured (maturity is not based on the books a person reads) and they don’t teach romance in college (they don’t teach romance at the college I go to, but they don’t teach much in the way of speculative fiction, either; in short, that’s a lacking argument against romance).


  37. Author on Vacation
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 16:31:19


    That could be, and certainly a writer is a writer even if he or she never publishes (by choice or not). But without putting any of his own work forward, why should I accept his word that he knows how serious, respectable fiction is written? He’s welcome to his opinion, unfounded though it is. I’d just like to see why he thinks he can do so much better.

    Well, I don’t guess this fellow is much concerned with whether or not “socially maladjusted female lovers of romance fiction” accept him as a writer, much less a good writer.


  38. LG
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 16:37:42

    @Jess: “It’s risky to say “It’s understandable that some people don’t like romance novels” on a predominately romance review website but…romance novels aren’t for everyone. ”

    Not so risky, as long as it’s understood that any genre could be substituted for “romance novels.” Mystery novels aren’t for everyone, westerns aren’t for everyone, science fiction isn’t for everyone, etc. Everyone has their tastes.

    The “romance novels by their very nature are meant to be inferior” bit was part of what got to me, too. I mean, huh? “By their very nature”…what’s meant by that, exactly? It sounds like it’s leading into “because the readership is predominantly female” (my head really would have exploded, I think), but much of the next paragraph could just as easily have applied to all genre fiction. Just like there are still lots of people who specifically look down on romance novels, there are also people who look down on genre fiction in general, or feel guilty when they read it. A coworker of mine is finally becoming more comfortable with admitting that she reads mysteries for pleasure, rather than literary fiction, and it’s only been in the past few years that I felt comfortable telling coworkers (and even family members!) that I like reading romance novels. We both worried what others might think of us because of our reading tastes. Silly, I know. It was sites like DA, a college professor of mine, and meeting some nice people at a book discussion group that helped me start to get over my issues.


  39. JL
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 16:41:37

    Damnit, here I was thinking I was well adjusted with my healthy family and social life, wonderful marriage, good education and stable job. If only I’d known that enjoying romance novels would undo all that!


  40. Author on Vacation
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 16:53:37


    You must be on borrowed time or something. Any day now your love of romance will completely wreck your life.


  41. Ridley
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 17:05:32

    @Junne: Trolls are territorial. Someone just won’t get off my damn lawn.


  42. JL
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 17:48:51

    @Author on Vacation:
    Thus fuelling the addiction to romance novels as I pine for my former well-adjusted life!


  43. Merrian
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 18:13:21

    @Isobel Carr: Dr Sarah replied to this with a list of the conferences, programs and journals that represent serious scholarly work on romance. She was calm, professional and polite in the comment. Guess what – he deleted this response and was rude in the accompanying comment. It happened before my very eyes. Completely unable to deal with women is my guess.


  44. Sandra
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 18:48:53

    @Merrian: Completely unable to deal with women is my guess.

    Lemme guess… His girlfriend just dumped him, and she was a romance reader. Even worse, she dissed his writing on the way out the door.


  45. Heather Massey
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 20:10:16

    Thanks for the heads up about the Lyrical Press contest!


  46. Lil
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 20:27:34

    Untie My Heart – I love that book. Pity it’s too sophisticated and literary for Mr. McCaskey.


  47. shiloh walker
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 20:44:11

    @Ridley: LOL… Ridley, You can always make your avi one that reads… DON’T FEED THE TROLLS…


  48. Author on Vacation
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 21:16:28


    It’s just a vicious cycle.


  49. Keishon
    Jan 25, 2012 @ 21:44:06

    I wish Judith Ivory would write more books.

    re the guy talking trash about romance novels, I didn’t see where he had any influence to speak of, on his blog it stated that he had seven followers. I guess that’s seven too many.

    Oh and publishers dealing directly with readers? Not holding my breath on that one. They could have done that a long time ago.


  50. Isabel C.
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 06:47:13

    @Isobel Carr: Brown either. Although…Brown. ;) (Can make those jokes, as am still giving them way the hell too much money per month for my student loans.)

    Also, what exactly *are* well-adjusted people supposed to sit around thinking about, if not some variant of love/romance/sex? Are you telling me I was supposed to be paying attention in meetings for all those years?


  51. SAO
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 08:44:32

    Let’s see if good romance novels are “classic novels of love” and bad romance novels are romance, then obviously, all romance novels are bad.

    You can do the same thing with thrillers. Good thrillers are classic novels of adventure and bad thrillers are thrillers, therefore, all thrillers are bad.

    Good whodunnits are classic mysteries and bad ones are whodunnits, therefore all whodunnits are bad.

    How do you define the difference, if whatisname, Mr. Arrogance, reads it, it must be a classic and if he doesn’t then it’s a dime-store novel.


  52. Teri P.
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 11:56:32

    Yes, Apple is making money hand over fist. Considering they have more cash in the bank than the United States Treasury department, they must be doing something right. Although I will never buy a book from the iBookstore, I won’t live without my Apple products. I think there is a lesson there to be learned here. Are you listening Tim Geithner?

    As for the Big Six, Amazon could buy them all out and still have piles of money left over in the end. But does the Big Six listen? No, they just go on hating Amazon for taking their business away. Most successful business professionals learn early on that competition forces you to be the best you can be, so you can stay on top. Instead all the Big Six does is bitch and moan about how much they hate Amazon, and how they have taken their business away. No one can take what is already yours, unless you allow them to do so.


  53. Kaetrin
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 19:14:01

    That was me! I crafted my comment very carefully – frankly, I spent WAY too much time on it (what I really wanted to say was “you are a douche”).

    I can’t work out what I’m more suprised about – his insulting response which totally missed my point or that he DIDN’T delete my comment. He did delete my follow up comment which was “Oh, I intend to. Far, far away.” – it was a Star Wars reference but I guess he didn’t get it. Some sci-fi guy he is.

    I was telling the hubby about it that night and he was annoyed as he felt this douche was making sci-fi geeks look bad. He did ask the question “what would he know about a well adjusted woman? He knows the women on internet porn aren’t real right?” (*sigh* just one of the many reasons I love that man!! :D )

    I thought about creating the “bratty-authors-to-avoid” shelf at Goodreads (TM Ridley) for him but decided, no, I don’t want him on my shelves for any reason.


  54. Athena Grayson
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 21:11:34

    Wow, that’s funny, because I just finalized plans to go to a university (Ohio U) and speak as a romance writer along with a handful of other writers and *gasp* college professors who do, in fact, study romance as lit.

    I suspect *someone* has a bad case of butthurt that his writing was rejected (possibly by a female agent or editor) and/or isn’t selling well, and of course, rather than try to improve himself, he chooses to blame the world for not recognizing his genius.


  55. B
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 05:48:07

    [...] RT | DA 1 | DA 2 | DA [...]

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