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

Midday Links: Get Lover Mine and Others for under $3.00

Amazon is pricing the hardcovers of many of the most popular titles at $9.99. To make it an even sweeter deal, you can sell many of these hardcovers back to Amazon through its Trade in program. For example, Lover Mine by JR Ward is priced at $9.99 (we’ll have dueling reviews on Monday of Lover Mine) but you can sell it back to Amazon for $7.70, making the book $2.29 to read.   Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris is priced at $9.99 and the trade in value is $6.50. It works for some paperbacks as well. Interested in Nothing but Trouble by Rachel Gibson after the positive review by Jayne (I know I am), you can buy it for $7.99 and sell it back for $4.05.

Of course, trade in prices probably vary greatly but if you were a Prime member, you could order today, get the book in two days, and still have time to read it and send it back by the due date set by Amazon.

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Target Flagship StoreKindle will be sold in the Target stores starting with its flagship store in Minneapolis and then 102 south Florida stores. I guess the Amazon demographic is older people with vision problems that would benefit from larger text?   I am just wildly speculating. No word in the press release when there will be a wider release.

I hope Target has Kindle gift cards like they did Sony giftcards.

The nook is sold in Best Buy stores and there are rumors of a nook lite that has only wifi with a lower price.

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Last year at the Digital Rogue seminar, Kassia Krozser talked about rights and books.   She indicated that chunking was going to be a movement in the future.   Chunking is the selling of chunks of content versus an entire work.   One of the signs that this may be coming soon is the move by Ether books to focus on publishing short works for cell phone users.   Another ebook seller called eBookPie is offering a “Chapterizer” feature:

The Chapterizer enables publishers to quickly and affordably split eBooks and other documents of any length into stand-alone, fully packaged content chunks, including eChapters, eSections and eArticles. For example, with just a click the Chapterizer can instantly turn a 15-chapter eBook into 15 or more fully packaged and saleable eChapters . Each eChapter can include a cover, customized front and back matter, and a customized marketing page

This might be a way to get more teens to read given that they spend far more time with their cell phones than any other device.

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Former MFA grad talks about the ambivalence she has toward MFA grad programs given that so few of the graduates actually go on to write and publish a novel.   There’s something “unwholesome” about it.   The underlying thought here is that the MFA grad programs are selling something that can and will be accomplished by only a tiny few.   Reminds me of some other programs that sell the dream to many with full knowledge only a fraction of the members will achieve print published success.

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Sarah blogged about the editing errors in ebooks.   They are many.   She suggests getting a refund for those books.   Amazon will not fix these books but will give a refund because of Bezos promise not to touch anything on a reader’s device again short of a court order.

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Kristie J has some great reviews up for books we haven’t read here at Dear Author including Rose Lerner’s In for a Penny.   A number of people have came out with accolades for this book. Anyone here read it?

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

19 Comments

  1. GrowlyCub
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 10:18:25

    I read ‘In for a Penny’ and really, really, really loved the first 2/3s.

    Unusual story, honest communication, awkwardness in the marriage bed. It felt *real*, but also very sweet because both were trying.

    Unfortunately, the author felt the need to include a suspense subplot that really didn’t add much to the character arc and ended up being a distraction. It was a social issue that got short shrift. Too much of it as it was written, too little to really address the issue as it deserved.

    But I definitely recommend IfaP anyway. I read it in one sitting and am looking forward to Lerner’s next book.

  2. Castiron
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 11:04:47

    Amazon will not fix these books

    Even if Amazon’s the one who did the conversion in the first place (and won’t give a copy to the publisher to proofread)??

  3. GrowlyCub
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 11:27:16

    I know nothing about who does what, but would Amazon actually be scanning books? Or just do the conversion to their kindle format from a digital file provided by the pub? To me the above don’t look like conversion errors, they look like OCR scan issues.

  4. FD
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 11:28:19

    I bought In For A Penny from The Book Depository (Oh, how I love them btw.)

    I liked it a lot, very strong first novel. Not perfect however, it was a tad kitchen sinky, and I agree with GrowlyCub that the suspense plot was a rather de trop, and the villain was a little OTT in his eeevilness. I was amused by the ultimate ending – it’s very logical and mundane and exactly what a responsible landowner would have done, compared to the dramatic hijinks preceding.

    Very sweet, fumbly, and honest relationship. In some ways reminiscent of Mary Balogh / Joan Wolf, although I can’t quite put my finger on why.

    I scratched my head a little about the MFA, because in my UK experience, the MFA in Creative Writing isn’t ‘sold’ as being for novel writers. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but I really don’t understand the implication that you would only learn about something because you wished to make money out of it.

  5. Castiron
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 11:48:44

    @GrowlyCub: I know Amazon does conversions from publishers’ digital files; I don’t know whether they scan from physical books anymore (the Amazon DTP pages suggest no, but the deal with a big publisher might be different).

    It’s very possible that Amazon received PDFs, though, and that that’s where the OCR-type errors are coming in. (In that case, though, I still think Amazon ought to give the publisher free access to the Kindle version so the publisher can proofread it themselves.)

  6. Jane
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 12:02:16

    @Castiron I believe that Random House is scanning these books. I have purchased many a RH backlist title and they all have these OCR errors, no matter where you purchase them.

  7. Angie
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 12:08:17

    MFA (in creative writing) programs aren’t designed to produce published authors, although they won’t generally admit that up front. MFA programs are designed to produce college-level creative writing instructors, and similar literary-focus academics. Big difference. If you want to actually be an author, there are a many better (and much cheaper) options.

    Angie

  8. Joy
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 14:05:14

    My capsule review of In For a Penny

    127. _In For a Penny_ by Rose Lerner (romance). This was another shockingly good debut novel. A young Earl who has inherited a sh*tload of debt marries the daughter of a wealthy, teetotalling (! ) brewer. This would sound a bit like Heyer’s _A Civil Contract_, but it’s not at all like that. The young couple are actually attracted to each other, but must make their thorny way through shattered friendships, ex-lovers, financial and family stressors, civil unrest, and a villainous neighbor. I particularly liked the way Lerner deftly tied together about a dozen plot strands, bringing them all to a crisis at the same time; this author doesn’t make it easy on her characters but I think I like romances that are all full of angst just as well as the comic ones.

  9. jmc
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 14:09:22

    Hmm, I’m not willing to pay $9.99 outright for the next hit of BDB crack, but if I can buy it then turn around and resell it for a net cost of $3, then I might be interested.

    Amazon won’t fix typos but if you contact the publisher, they may. I had a problem with Lessons in French, and blogged about it, and SourceBooks fixed the problem and sent me a new copy of the file with the fixes. Of course, SourceBooks is a relatively small publisher, so that experience isn’t one I would rely on.

  10. Kaetrin
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 16:33:11

    I read In for a Penny and loved it. My review is here if anyone’s interested: http://kaetrinsmusings.blogspot.com/2010/03/in-for-penny-by-rose-lerner.html

    I’d also recommend AnimeJune’s review over at Gossamer Obssessions.

  11. Deb
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 16:34:35

    I have found a book or 2 sold in the Amazon Kindle Store which I suspected was not sold by the publisher but a pirated copy. 2 titles definitely were. I contacted Amazon Customer Service and the authors. They were removed. For giggles, I downloaded a sample of Hunter’s By Arrangement, listed publisher, Bantam. It jumped out as the publisher listed for the 2 for 1 is Delta(?). The single title By Arrangement, appears to be a pristine formatted file.

    I believe Bantam (Random House) and Madeline Hunter may be victims of a pirate here. I will contact Amazon, et.al. to check.

    Amazon needs to do some house cleaning with the issue. Amazon makes it too easy for the pirates to use Amazon’s publishing tools and store to make $$. It’s bad enough we have to deal with Agency pricing, and in the case of Penguin, having to invest in either a Nook or iPad, but to have to deal with piracy within a legitimate reseller site, is for the birds.

  12. Jennifer M
    Apr 22, 2010 @ 22:35:00

    I’ll chime in regarding In For a Penny. I would agree with the other reviews. I really liked it. I’m especially partial to Regencies that include lead characters with class differences and what I liked about this one was that the class differences between the two leads were an integral part of the plot, not just a throwaway. Plus the hero and heroine were really likeable characters, no TSTL nonsense.

  13. Maili
    Apr 23, 2010 @ 02:25:09

    @Jane:

    I believe that Random House is scanning these books. I have purchased many a RH backlist title and they all have these OCR errors, no matter where you purchase them.

    Fabulous. It will make it a lot harder to tell the difference between legitimate digital books and illegally scanned digital books. OCR errors are/were usually a dead giveaway.
    If publishers like Random House are too lazy to correct those OCR errors, they will make it harder for legitimate book buyers to pay for something so shoddy.
    And it’ll be harder for those legitimate book buyers to spot a pirated copy as pirated digital books can be uploaded to sites like Amazon.
    Actually, it’s a horrible joke if the formatting and editing make pirates’ digital books superior to publishers’ digital books.

  14. Ana
    Apr 23, 2010 @ 02:34:29

    In For A Penny is the best romance I read this year so far. Totally recommended even if yes, the ending is a bit OTT.

  15. Eve Paludan
    Apr 23, 2010 @ 09:59:42

    @Angie:
    Angie (comment 7)

    I work at a university and I know this to be very true. The irony is that the college-level creative writing instructors must have their work published in order to make tenure and/or to keep their jobs. They usually have five years to get a book published or three journal articles. (Requirements vary by college or university.)

  16. Joanna
    Apr 23, 2010 @ 14:38:12

    Regarding the comment about the Target deal and Amazon’s demographic being older readers – I think there may actually be some truth to that. I’ve seen comments on Amazon about how the kindle has allowed customers to really read again because they can adjust the print size and how happy they are about this. Maybe Amazon picked up on this too and is using it as a selling point!

  17. DS
    Apr 23, 2010 @ 17:21:49

    @Deb: Look at Hunter’s web site. The double book is listed there as a trade pb also published by Delta.

    Also in my past experience Amazon will take down a badly formatted or error filled Kindle file, even if it is legitimate. That has been an ongoing problem with some publishers. Amazon gets their money back from the publisher. I assumed it shows as a return on the author’s royalty statement but I could be wrong there.

  18. ChrisO
    Apr 25, 2010 @ 19:25:18

    Thanks for the Amazon trade-in tip! My local used book store went under two years ago. Since then I’ve been hesitant to purchase if I know I’m going to be out full price for a sucky book. With the trade-in program I am much more likely to buy rather than wait weeks for a library copy.

  19. Tuesday Midday Links Roundup: RWA Conference Faces Uncertainty with Nashville Flooding | Dear Author
    May 04, 2010 @ 11:04:15

    [...] last week when I posted you could by the JR Ward, Lover Mine for $9.99 and then sell it back to Amazon for over $7.00?  The mainstream media picked up on the fact that [...]

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