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

Thursday Midday News: Mr Romance Is Done

Google has partnered with iRiver to introduce a new ebook reader to the market.  This will be sold at Target and online.  PC World has a really good review of the device.  The pro of the device is that it has the crispest screen of any eink device on the market.  The cons? Poor software interface and lack of page turn buttons.

I don’t plan on getting this device but if someone does and wants to review it for DA, let me know jane at


Sony plans to release a new slate of ebook readers and tablet computers this fall.  The speculation is that the ebook readers will be cheaper with new software.  The tablet computers will integrate the reading application with the bookstore (more attractive to me).


Borders did get an offer of purchase but it has turned down the offer and now looks to be pursuing liquidation.

Borders Group Inc. said it will seek court approval to sell itself to a group of liquidators, rather than to a unit of Najafi Cos., after revisions to the earlier sale agreement and the terms of its bankruptcy loan.


RT apparently has pulled the plug on Mr. Romance. I’m not surprised nor sorry to hear this. Dorchester was the long time sponsor of Mr. Romance and no other publisher has stepped up to offer to take Dorchester’s place.  Mr. Romance, while maybe fun for the attendees, simply perpetuates the “romance is porn” mantra and contributed to an oversexualization of the genre.  Glad to see it go. I also suspect with this gone, some big name authors who have been absent in the past will be attending the conference.  It’s in Chicago next year.


We had a post from Maya Banks about her experience in publishing. Maya has been very successful, in large part due to her hard work.  A post on BookEnds shows a slightly different experience from author Ellery Adams.  Writing is tough work.

  • Number of publishers I’ve written for — 3
  • Average number of series I’m writing at once – 3
  • Average advance received from publisher — $6,000 per book
  • Average amount paid for large print or foreign rights — $500 or $1000


ABA, the independent bookseller’s association, is partnering with Bluefire to bring an ABA endorsed reading app to the masses. My understanding is that Bluefire has removed all the internal buy links and catalogs and thus to get books on your ABA app, you’ll have to buy them using your computer, download the books using Adobe Digital Editions, and then send them to your device, either through email or syncing via the USB cord and iTunes.


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. library addict
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 12:23:42

    I love my Sony 650, so am glad Sony is not getting out of the market here in the US.

    Sad to hear about Borders :(

  2. becca
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 12:37:22

    My understanding is not that Borders turned down Najafi, but that they withdrew after criticism of some of the terms of their bid, and the chance that the courts would deny the $6.5 million dollar break up clause.

  3. kzoet
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 12:49:31

    I am also not sad to see Mr. Romance go. That was just so embarrassing to me.

  4. Sophia (FV)
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 12:51:30

    While I’m faithful to my Kindle, I love that there are now more choices available in the ereader market.

  5. Gretchen Galway
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 13:14:02

    I’m very relieved to see “Mr. Romance” go. I’m glad I’m not the only one who found it embarrassing. I think I wrote it on DA at the time: if a men’s-fiction conference had a female equivalent, wouldn’t we find that old-fashioned and offensive?

    Maybe Chicago will be the first year I go to RT.

  6. Sherry Thomas
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 15:03:14

    Personally I am not at all sorry to see the mangeant go. But what about those RT attendees who did enjoy the Mr. Romance competition? Would they feel that they are getting less value for their money? Say what you will, it was rather unique.

  7. Chicklet
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 15:27:12

    My understanding is that Bluefire has removed all the internal buy links and catalogs and thus to get books on your ABA app, you’ll have to buy them using your computer, download the books using Adobe Digital Editions, and then send them to your device, either through email or syncing via the USB cord and iTunes.

    So adding umpteen steps to the buying/loading process is supposed to entice me away from buying ebooks at B&N? Have these people ever actually purchased anything, anywhere? I love independent bookstores, but they’re making it difficult for me to continue doing so.

    And I’m delighted that RT is ending Mr. Romance. I cringed every time someone mentioned it in their RT recaps.

  8. Evangeline Holland
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 16:00:09

    If the new Sonys are WiFi enabled, etc, I may skip getting a Nook (or Nook Color) and stick with them.

    As for the Mr. Romance contest, never attended an RT, but based on post-convention blogs over the years, I found the Ellora’s Cave models more cringe-worthy than the cover model contest. But I can see why RT is scrapping the entire thing…a lascivious cover model contest is thoroughly disreputable when you have Hollywood insiders, marquee-name mainstream authors, and YA readers/authors attending the convention.

  9. ShellBell
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 16:41:18

    The majority of my eBook buying is done from my laptop and eBooks are then transferred to my iPad and iPhone. I use Txtr more than Bluefire as there are 2 main issues that still prevent me from using only Bluefire – lack of metadata editing and the limited number of eBooks that can be retained within the app due to memory issues. I have to keep less than 350 eBooks in Bluefire otherwise the app will continuously crash. All I want is one app that will have all of my 2500+ eBooks in it no matter the format!

  10. DS
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 18:12:59

    Someone in the comments to the article was defending the Mr. Romance pageant as the models trying to get their foot in the door. If this was the import of it, then why wasn’t there a contest for women who wanted to model for romance covers?

    Considering that a lot of romance novel covers currently include stock photos and cropped out heads, I doubt that romance cover model is a growth industry right now.

  11. Gennita Low
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 21:06:15

    Sad to see Mr. Romance gone, although the time has come since covers aren’t done the same way in the industry any more. I enjoyed the mangeants, all twelve years I’ve attended. I’ve also enjoyed being friends with the models that return every year to either promote or participate in one form or another; I see them as part of the publishing industry with whom I grew up.

  12. infinitieh
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 03:07:14

    Aw… I liked the mangeant. Well, I’m sure having more authors and author events will make up for it. I guess (still pouting a little).

  13. Ann G
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 03:35:29

    I haven’t attended RT, but the Mr. Romance contest would not have been an attraction for me. As someone else said, why didn’t they have a contest for female cover models as well?

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  15. Antonia
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 10:15:09

    I have the iRiver Cover Story and I’m pretty happy with it. It’s nice to know they are working with Google and I’m sure the end product has turned out well.

    As for the Mr. Romance contest I’m happy it’s gone. I’ve never been to an RT convention but I’ve read about the contest and seen videos that made cringe. I had a lot of second hand embarrassment.

  16. Carolyn
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 11:57:32

    I’ve never been to an RT convention, but I’m sorry to hear that they are discontinuing the Mr. Romance contest. I don’t for one minute believe that discontinuing it will do anything to change the minds of the “critics” who claim romance books are just porn for women.

    As for female cover model pageants, there are plenty of audiences for that, something tells me they are not attending the RT convention. The Mr. Romance contest was good fun for (mostly female) romance fans who were just looking for a good time with their friends at an out of town convention. Nothing to apologize or be ashamed of in that.

  17. Amber
    Jul 16, 2011 @ 13:43:33

    I attended my first RT this year. I’m glad I got to see the Mr. Romance contest before it was killed. While the pageant itself was a little cheesy, I didn’t get the feeling that the cover models minded all that much.

    If anything, they resented their schedule, which was pretty much ALL day. Practicing, socializing, acting as escorts for people during various events. Most were professional body builders. And most were surprised by how…tame the requirements were.

    I’m going to disagree that the RT contest really had all that much to do with the genre’s reputation, either. Few people outside the romance community have any idea there was such a thing.

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