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

Monday Midday Links: LA Banks Gravely Ill

Author LA Banks is gravely ill and could use assistance of the monetary kind. She is so gravely ill that she is not able to respond to text or e-mail messages received visitors or even accept flowers. There is more information about the donations you can make here.


I am one part horrified and one part amazed by Gillette’s ability to write ads on a strand of hair. The ad says that their work is best viewed close up, but still. Ads on hair?


In googling for the past leg bronzing product (my legs are ghostly white, like Edward’s, only non sparkly) and I came across this infographic on how to prevent sexual assault (prevent rather than avoid). I like Number 6: “USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM: if you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public. ”


Penguin and Greg Mortenson are getting sued for Mortenson’s allegedly fabricated memoir. At some point memoirs might just become too costly for publishers.


I’m viewing this as a bad sign, but others may find it really exciting. T. Bone has had the actress who is playing Katniss in Suzanne Collin’s Hunger Games into the recording studio to record an original song for the movies. I can’t see Katness recording anything unless it’s a message that would save her sister from sure death.


Chad W. Post, Publisher of Open Letter Books, pens an editorial for publishing perspectives on why the $.99 book is bad for us. He accuses self published authors of gaming the system by pricing their works low and having a hundred friends buy the books to push it up the bestseller list. I actually think gaming the system is fairly difficult, requiring a significant number of sales to actually get into the Kindle 100. Having said that, I do believe that the $.99 book is probably unsustainable for quality publishers of longer works.

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. Rose Fox
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 14:06:14

    Perhaps publishers can start taking out extra insurance coverage for memoirs. Like malpractice insurance.

  2. Jane
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 14:09:00

    @Rose Fox: That’s actually not a bad idea. I would think that a publishers E&O insurance, though, would cover this (and plagiarism, etc.)

  3. Anthea Lawson
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 14:34:20

    As to the Open Book article’s comments about authors ‘gaming’ the system to get into the Kindle top 100, you’re right, Jane. It’s not that easy. In order to break the top 100 in the Kindle fiction list, an author needs more like 600+ people to buy their book within a 1-2 hour period. I know authors who have cracked that list, and these numbers are based on what it took for them. And I’m not saying they were exhorting everyone they knew to buy a copy — they let the market work freely.

    I can think of a lot of songs Katniss might record — the Mockingjay song, Rue’s song, etc. They might be onto something interesting (and yes it’s a money thing too of course).

    Nice info-graphic – thanks for that. :)

    And prayers going out to LA Banks. The world needs writers like her to stick around!

  4. Danielle D
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 15:05:07

    My prayers go out to Ms. Banks and her family.

  5. DS
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 15:19:34

    I gave up about the point where the author of the Open Book essay was listing the top five books selling on Amazon, the price and the fact that except for The Help none were in the top selling literary fiction list.

    I have no objection to literary fiction, in fact I occasionally read or listen to it. But I never go looking for it. I have If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino on my desk right now. But it’s been there for a couple of months and I don’t know when I’m going to get past the first chapter. In the mean time I’ve listened to a dozen Depressing British Police Procedurals– the British police in crime novels have incredibly angsty lives– dead/insane spouses/partners all over the place. At least with my DBPP I get an interesting story and (usually) good solid writing.

    So if the Open Book products were priced at $.99 and my DBPPs were priced at $4.99, I would still buy the DBPP. You just cannot force people to like a certain type of fiction because it is good for them. (It just so happens that this is my current reading interest. At other times it would be romances, fantasy, other types of mysteries or science fiction.)

  6. Janet P.
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 18:06:47

    Initially that Open Press article left me with a feeling of anger over the condescending attitudes – toward digital books, toward Indie Publishers, toward those who have dared to breach the $25 hardback book model, toward the buyers who dare to buy John Locke ….

    But then I realized. This is a goof who is JUST NOW waking up to eBooks? Where ya been Chad W. Post because this editorial might have been relevant about 2 years ago but in 2011 you are way behind your competition. Either he’s only interested in selling to a small set of Luddite Literary snobs or he’ll be out of business in under 5 years.

    And I totally get the feeling from him that his next editorial will probably be some lament over the popularity of Romance in comparison to his “high class quality” line-up of literary fiction. Ah the unwashed masses, what are you going to do with them???

  7. Courtney Milan
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 21:24:08

    If you want to get into the top 100 from a relative standstill, you’re probably going to need to sell about 1,000 copies over the course of an afternoon. Anyone that can move 1,000 copies in a short space of time isn’t doing it because friends and family are participating. Nobody has that many friends and family. At that point, you have platform or know people who do.

    Last I checked, selling books because of platform wasn’t “gaming the system.”

    The rest is genre snobbery and mind projection fallacy. Replace “John Locke” with “Dan Brown” or “Stieg Larssen” and it’s the same same old.


  8. lucy
    Jun 14, 2011 @ 00:59:56

    What does LA Banks have? I don’t read her books but I do hope she gets better. It’s always a shame when an author has to stop writing.

    What’s the point of microscopic ads??? Normal people wouldn’t be able to see them, which defeats the purpose of ads. Obviously some people have too many free time.

    Wow, I’m really behind because I’m was not aware that the plan to make the Hunger Games movie was this far ahead. I haven’t read beyond the first book nor am I planning to, but I’ll definitely watch the movie.

  9. Christine M.
    Jun 14, 2011 @ 09:13:07


    Last stage adrenal cancer.

  10. Jody W.
    Jun 14, 2011 @ 09:31:24

    *chortles* 100s of my friends have not bought my 99 cents stories, that’s for sure! I think I’m playing that game the wrong way…

  11. sol
    Jun 16, 2011 @ 12:31:35

    So sad to hear about LA Banks…
    Hope she makes a full recovery

  12. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Frazzled linkity feels flighty
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 02:02:36

    […] and publishing news from Dear […]

%d bloggers like this: