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

Thursday Midday Links: B&N Second Quarter Results

Some special deals for romance readers:


Woot is selling the 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tab (refurbished units) for $199.  This device has 16GB of memory, microSD, WSVGA (1024 x 600) screen resolution.  It’s a pretty good deal. I can’t figure out, though, whether you have to sign up for a 3G data plan. If you don’t, it is a great alternative to the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet.


Elvis Costello urges his fans to not buy the holiday compilation priced at $202 calling the price either a misprint or satire:

6th December 2011 sees the issue of “The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook” by Elvis Costello and the Imposters.

Unfortunately, we at find ourselves unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire.

All our attempts to have this number revised have been fruitless but rather than detain you with tedious arguments about morality, panache and book-keeping – when there are really bigger fish to filet these days – we are taking the following unusual step.

If you should really want to buy something special for your loved one at this time of seasonal giving, we can whole-heartedly recommend, “Ambassador Of Jazz” – a cute little imitation suitcase, covered in travel stickers and embossed with the name “Satchmo” but more importantly containing TEN re-mastered albums by one of the most beautiful and loving revolutionaries who ever lived – Louis Armstrong.


This is a hilarious story.  A robber comes into a house and threatens the couple living there. SOMEHOW they convince him to watch Patch Adams with them and he fell asleep!  So they escape and call the police.  Now he’s suing them because they promised to hide him from the police and give him money.  It sounds like a plot for Raising Hope.


Barnes & Noble’s quarterly reports are in and it’s a disappointment to Wall Street.

Total sales decreased 0.6% as compared to the prior year, from $1.90 billion to $1.89 billion. Barnes & Noble store (“Retail”) sales decreased 1% from $931 million to $918 million, with comparable sales decreasing 0.6%. Physical book sales declined, offset by increases in NOOK products and were positively affected by the liquidation of the remaining Borders stores. Comparable store sales improved each month throughout the quarter.

…. sales increased 17% over the prior year, from $177 million to $206 million. Comparable sales increased 38%, on top of a 59% increase a year ago. This increase was driven by continued growth of digital content sales and purchases of award winning NOOK(TM) devices. comparable sales reflect the actual selling price for eBooks sold under the agency model rather than solely the commission received.

The consolidated NOOK business across all of the company’s segments, including sales of digital content, device hardware and related accessories, increased 85% in the second quarter to $220 million, on a comparable sales basis.

If the physical book sales decline is made up by Nook increases and Nook increases are 85%, that is kind of scary.


Do you have an Android phone? One programmer posted a video that showed an Android software program called Carrier IQ  that comes with many Android handsets is recording every keystroke, every message, every place you have ever been with the phone.  The video was posted after the company that makes Carrier IQ made a legal threat against the programmer.  The legal threat was withdrawn after the video posting.

Carrier IQ says:

In an interview last week, Carrier IQ VP of Marketing Andrew Coward rejected claims the software posed a privacy threat because it never captured key presses.

“Our technology is not real time,” he said at the time. “It’s not constantly reporting back. It’s gathering information up and is usually transmitted in small doses.”

Coward went on to say that Carrier IQ was a diagnostic tool designed to give network carriers and device manufacturers detailed information about the causes of dropped calls and other performance issues.

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. Tabs
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 09:24:27

    Hah. That one story does sound like a plotline from “Raising Hope”! I could totally see that happening to Burt and Virginia.

  2. Isobel Carr
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 09:42:15

    Actually, the robber is claiming that they promised to hide him if HE gave them money. The concept of a contract not being binding under duress apparently eludes him, LOL!

  3. CourtneyLee
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 10:09:09

    The marketing VP’s last name is Coward? Heehee.

    I’ll have to pick up Devil’s Bride. It was the second historical romance I ever read, the first having put me off historicals for years. I gobbled up the next 7 or so Cynster novels. Awesome couples. Loved all the strong, spunky heroines.

  4. Nikki
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 10:32:30

    I checked out the listing for Devil’s Bride on Amazon. It is still full-price though the $.99 is working for nook. Do you think it is a delay?

  5. Sunita
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 10:36:08

    Looks like it’s not just Android phones. Several carriers are denying they use Carrier IQ, for what it’s worth.

    From the reporting so far it sounds as if the only phone platform not using it is Windows, although Nokia says it’s not so maybe it’s not on Symbian either.

  6. Avery Flynn
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 10:45:29

    The whole Big Brother thing freaks me out and yet I’m too sucked in by my addiction to technology to give it up. Sigh. Also, I love Elis Costello even more now than I did five minutes ago – and I loved him a lot.

  7. Renda
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 11:04:54

    The current edition is still $6.99.
    The .99 is for a pre-order for an edition with extra content.

  8. Brian
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 11:19:29

    Woot is selling the 7? Samsung Galaxy Tab (refurbished units) for $199. This device has 16GB of memory, microSD, WSVGA (1024 x 600) screen resolution. It’s a pretty good deal. I can’t figure out, though, whether you have to sign up for a 3G data plan. If you don’t, it is a great alternative to the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet.

    FYI, the Galaxy Tab 7 they’re selling is more on par with the Nook Color (a little faster) than it is the Nook Tab or Fire as it only has a single core processor. Samsung is now selling an upgraded version called the 7 plus with dual cores and running Honeycomb, but it’s $$$ and will be (is?) offering the Galaxy Tab 7.7″ soon in markets besides the US.

    $199 isn’t a bad price provided you don’t need to lock into a contract, but the device appears to be sold out already.

  9. Brian
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 11:27:37

    The whole Carrier IQ thing has me kinda pissed, since it appears my carrier uses it. Would this constitute an illegal wiretap of some sort?

    FWIW it’s not just Android, it appears it’s been on iPhone since OS3, although it looks like iPhone users can turn it off.

  10. Brian
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 12:28:12

    Some special deals for romance readers:

    Another new deal (at least I think it’s new) is ‘Smooth Talking Stranger’ by Lisa Kleypas for $2.99


    ‘Raised by Wolves’ by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is $3.99

  11. Ridley
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 12:54:57

    Android phones track your every move. iPhone 4s has an anti-choice bias.

    Pick your evil corporate overlord, I guess.

  12. Susanna Kearsley
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 12:57:37

    I have always loved Elvis Costello, but THIS:

    “If on the other hand you should still want to hear and view the component parts of the above mentioned elaborate hoax, then those items will be available separately at a more affordable price in the New Year, assuming that you have not already obtained them by more unconventional means.”

    THIS just makes me adore him. What a class act.

  13. Darlynne
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 14:18:08

    Thanks, Jane, I picked up both Ash and Devil’s Bride. You would think with an 85% increase in digital sales that (a) a company would do better financially and (b) publishers would figure out … never mind, waste of breath.

  14. Jane
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 14:53:40

    @Brian Thanks. I added both. I’m a huge fan of Smooth Talking Stranger.

  15. Nalini Singh
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 15:59:31

    Lord of the Abyss is also currently $2.99

    The robber story is going global – it was reported here in New Zealand, too!

  16. Jennifer U
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 16:15:15

    I bought the Samsung Galaxy Tab the last time Woot had it for sale (May? June?). I have NEVER connected with a carrier. I only use it with WiFi. I love my Galaxy Tab. I’ve loaded the Nook, Kindle, and Overdrive apps on it. I love being able to search my library’s ebook list and automatically download books. I am using the 16 GB SD card it came with. I love it. I write a crochet blog and I really enjoy taking pictures of my creations and uploading them to my online albums quickly.

    I highly recommend it.

  17. eggs
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 17:15:02

    Wowsers! I just looked for the Singh ebook, but it’s not available to Australians at any price. More interestingly, her entire backlist of Psy-changling ebooks are all now $12.86 on the Kindle. I bought Slave to Sensation on my Kindle July 6 this year for $7.36 and other books in the series for about the same price after that.

    I have noticed in recent weeks that the big publishers have cranked up their prices by about $5 for ebooks on the kindle. Same book you looked at yesterday, but $5 more to buy today. This price gouging is such a mistake. Australians are some of the biggest entertainment pirates in the world as it is. Blatant price gouging like this will just accelerate the rate of piracy.

    For myself, it is the tipping point in terms of honesty in ebook transactions. I will get a new kindle account and set it up with a VPN so I can buy big publisher ebooks as an American. It’s easy enough to set up. Of course, it’s actually much easier to just pirate the book instead of jumping through VPN hoops, so I imagine that’s the route most Australian readers will go. It makes me sad for the authors who have no control over pricing.

  18. Emily
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 19:43:27

    Thanks for the deals! I always wait for a sale to try authors that are new to me. I’ve been waiting for Karen Marie Moning and Jo Goodman to go on sale before trying them. I hadn’t read LK Smooth Talking Stranger to complete the TX series, so I was happy to see it on sale. Thanks a bunch!

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