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Friday News: The anti woman beat goes on; Penguin + Random...

  • – International sales accounted for 60 percent of quarter’s revenue
  • – Forecasts Q1 2013 revenue about $52 billion; share about $11.75
  • *North America segment sales, representing amounts earned from retail sales of consumer products (including from sellers) and subscriptions through North America-focused websites, and including amounts earned from Amazon Web Services (AWS), were $7.88 billion, up 33% from third quarter 2011.
  • *International segment sales, representing amounts earned from retail sales of consumer products (including from sellers) and subscriptions through internationally-focused websites, were $5.92 billion, up 20% from third quarter 2011. Excluding the unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, sales grew 27%.
  • * Net sales are expected to be between $20.25 billion and $22.75 billion, or to grow between 16% and 31% compared with fourth quarter 2011. 

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. Catherine
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 06:17:07

    The study is forthcoming in the journal Psychological Science.

    Durante, Kristina M., Ashley R. Arsena, and Vladas Griskevicius, “The Fluctuating Female
    Vote: Politics, Religion, and the Ovulatory Cycle”, Psychological Science, forthcoming.

    It’s available from her UTSA site:

    From a quick review of the literature, her research overall is all along these lines. Selected publications and CV available at

  2. Dabney
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 06:37:05

    Just to be clear on the antidepressants thing. At the end of the article, the researcher says:

    “The risks of taking most antidepressants are very, very small, and only a small number of treatments for severe mental health problems are known to cause significant side effects. Clinicians are careful to give women information to weigh up the risks of the illness against the risk and benefits of treatments.”

    The first medicine she quotes “sodium valproate” is typically used to treat epilepsy and is uncommon amongst the general patient population. According to the Mayo Clinic, most of the most commonly prescribed drugs are safe. Here’s their list of safe drugs during pregnancy:

    Generally, these antidepressants are an option during pregnancy:

    Tricyclic antidepressants. This class of medications includes amitriptyline and nortriptyline (Pamelor).

    Certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Several SSRIs are generally considered an option during pregnancy, including citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft).

    Bupropion (Wellbutrin). This medication is used for both depression and smoking cessation. Although bupropion isn’t generally considered a first line treatment for depression during pregnancy, it might be an option for women who haven’t responded to other medications or those who want to use it for smoking cessation as well.

  3. FD
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 07:06:59

    Here’s a link to Echidne of the Snakes a blogger with a more detailed take down – it appears that the actual research methodology may be flawed, not just the conclusions and the popularization.

    That Telegraph article is deeply irresponsible, and also creepy – reminds me of the CDC’s admonishment to all women of childbearing age that they should think of themselves as ‘pre-pregnant’ and permanently take a frolic acid supplement.

  4. cecilia
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 07:15:38

    @FD: The Telegraph is a pretty conservative paper, though, so it doesn’t surprise me that it would take that angle.

  5. FD
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 07:35:06

    @cecilia: True. The state of science reporting in general enrages me, but somehow it seems worse when it’s a relatively ‘respectable’ paper.

    I’m amused by the auto correct in my comment above – frolic is exactly what they’re afraid we’re doing.

  6. Sunita
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 07:47:47

    The problem isn’t that it’s an internet survey. Internet surveys have become more reliable and good scholars are well aware of the issues they confront in designing a good study using online respondents.

    The problem with this study is that it has a flawed design, a potentially flawed sample (I can’t tell from the information provided in the paper) and a flawed empirical analysis, and therefore we can’t assess the validity of the results. And all that is true even if you are sympathetic to the evolutionary-psychology assumptions driving the question.

    If I were the person being quoted in the Telegraph article I’d be furious. The scare headline’s quote is nowhere reproduced in the body of the article, and the professor’s quoted remarks are neither woman-blaming nor extreme. In fact, most of what she says focuses on the need to think about the tradeoffs, and she explicitly talks about the need to consider the mother’s health in addition to that of the fetus.

  7. Lynnd
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 08:02:31

    @FD: Thanks for the link to Echidne of the Snakes’ analysis. It never ceases to amaze me how many questionable “studies” get published in supposedly peer-reviewed publications – makes me wonder at the quality of the “peers” who are doing the reviews. The shoddy research methods in this one are enough to make a cat blush – my research methods professors would have used this one as a case study on how NOT to do proper research. I get why certain news organizations run with these things; they think that reporting on “studies” like this will attract audience and sell ads (the primary function of many privately owned news organizations being the sale of ad space rather than the accurate and unbiassed reporting of news – yeah, I’m a cynic).

  8. FD
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 08:23:27

    @Sunita: Interestingly in light of your remarks, the Telegraph has updated with this article which clarifies Professor Howard’s comments, and sits more in line with her previous publication history.

    I do wonder about ‘stories’ like these. There’s no research attached, no clinical evidence referred to, nothing in fact to suggest that this piece is anything more than a problem in the mind of a reporter that needs solving.

  9. Gwen Hayes
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 08:27:36

    I just read the antidepressant snippet to my husband and he said, “I’m just going to start dragging you around by your hair.”

  10. Jess
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 08:41:52

    On the antidepressant article: I see in the comments that there are further explanations, but that doesn’t change how I feel. And how I feel is, I’m 22, I’m taking an antidepressant (granted, one that might be considered safe), and I don’t want offspring(s). Therefore, I will take my antidepressant.

  11. SAO
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 08:55:51

    The thing that’s frustrating about the studies about fluctuations in women’s hormones leading to changes in behavior is that men’s hormones fluctuate, too. Just not predictably, meaning any study would require a gazillion blood tests, not just asking about periods. But the result is that women end up looking like we’re controlled by our hormones and men aren’t.

  12. Deb
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 10:30:28

    Did I understand correctly that the study CNN cited was actually conducted by someone with a background in Marketing and not science or medicine? What an asinine assertion/publication, but I am grateful for all of the hilarious commentary.

    Part of why I was willing to let my NYT subscription drop was that their Science section- one of the reasons I subscribed in the first place- can be just as equivocating as any of their other sections.

    @SAO, what, are you saying TESTOSTERONE is a hormone? Silly!

    Re: Random House/Pearson, is it true that The Book That Shall Not Be Named is a big factor? Please tell me that’s not true.

    Amazon’s NA sales are $7.8 billion, their International sales are $5.92 billion. Is there not more “international” than there is North America? That’s what would concern me the most.

  13. Sunita
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 10:51:26

    @Deb: No. The lead author of the CNN article has a Psychology Ph.D. from the University of Texas (her area of specialization is social psychology). Her current position is as a marketing professor at UT San Antonio.

  14. Deb
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 10:54:26

    Thanks @Sunita.

  15. Sunita
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 10:54:58

    @SAO: It’s worse than you think, even. The method of estimating the day of ovulation (and therefore the days of high fertility) takes self-reported information on menstrual cycles and then retrospectively predicts the fertility zone. No consideration of individual variation, etc. It reminds me of the rhythm method of birth control and I have a feeling it has a similar margin of error.

  16. Dabney
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 11:17:53

    @Sunita: And yet those headlines have so much power. People see them, don’t read the fine print, and endanger themselves.

  17. Ruthie
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 13:57:34

    Thank you for the Picard photo. There is always room for Picard.

    Also, as the spouse of someone who owns a good-sized chunk of Apple stock and is kind of obsessed with Apple, I can report that Apple stock prices ALWAYS seem to fall after the quarterly report, despite the fact that the last 17 or so have been record-breaking. And yet certain members of my household are always surprised and dismayed.

  18. Carrie G
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 15:50:41


    Thanks for this, Dabney. Doctors need to tell women the risks and then let the women decide how to proceed. Untreated depression has risks, too. Potentially serous ones, in fact.

  19. Wahoo Suze
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 20:19:36

    On the other hand, PMS may not exist. (That is, the psychological phenomenon that causes people to dismiss anything a woman may do or say, because she must be on the rag and therefore not rational.)

    “There are so many things going on in women’s lives that can have a distinct impact on their moods — stress, lack of social support, economic hardship, physical ailments,”

    Like, seriously, can it even be conceivable that ladies decide things for reasons other than hormones? NAAAHHHHH!

  20. B. Sullivan
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 20:35:53

    The one great thing about the hormones and votes article? The author has the PDF available. This is thankfully becoming more the norm, but there are still a lot of people who don’t post the PDFs like this. It can also benefit the author in those times when the press reports the study incorrectly.

    Hmmm, there are two studies in that one paper, second one has 502 participants – yeah I’m off to read more links. (I was about to say that 275 subjects seemed way small for significance, but gah, it’s a two stage thing.) Thanks for passing this one along, I love research critiques like this. (I SO do not miss running the stats though, boy that is so not fun. I admire the hell out of all the quantitative folk that love this stuff. However I still turn to the methodology sections first so I’m still up for that kinda reading I guess.)

  21. Sarah
    Oct 27, 2012 @ 17:23:26


    I agree with this. I never want children, I have been on antidepressants for years. I was diagnosed with depression in high school, but I know I was probably depressed at a younger age. I just “dealt with it” as best I could, without any help. If those medicines were considered illegal for me to take, I would be dead. I would have committed suicide. I wonder how they would feel then, but oh, that’s right, the lives of women do not matter, but the lives of the unborn do – until they’re born as girl children, then they’re again devalued as human beings and oppressed their entire lives. I am sickened by the stupidity of all of these supposedly education persons who are supposed to represent their people.

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