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

Thursday News: Apple settlement details revealed, Amazon’s “Kindle Unlimited,” online media...

If approved by a judge, the $400m will go to consumers. Apple will pay an additional $20m in legal fees.

“In a major victory, our settlement has the potential to result in Apple paying hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers to compensate them for paying unlawfully inflated e-book price,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who announced the settlement ahead of a damages trial that was set to begin on 25 August. –BBC News

The current Kindle Owner’s Lending Library has a one-book-per-month cap, so this could be an option for Prime users who want more access. The Kindle Unlimited test pages also offer around 8,000 audiobooks, something the current lending library doesn’t have. And the promo banners for Kindle Unlimited said subscribers could access their books from “any” device. This likely means any device that supports the Kindle app, like iOS, Android, and Windows phone. –Gizmodo

So what we really have are two versions of the online-media world, both of which exist at the same time: one is the noisy, click-driven, social-sharing ecosystem, which favors speed and shareability — and is more noticeable because of all the Like buttons and Favorite meters and other share-tracking widgets — and the other is a deeper and less noticeable ecosystem of longform articles that people actually read, and likely get shared through slower forms of media such as email newsletters and what some have called “dark social.”

Borthwick argues (and I share this view) that businesses or people who focus on the right-hand side of the chart embedded above — the “hill of Wow,” in other words — may not rack up the huge pageview numbers or highly-visible sharing statistics, but ultimately they will build stronger businesses. As Betaworks data scientist Suman Deb Roy puts it in a quote that Borthwick includes: “The landscape of media content diffusion… is a hill-valley-hill of attention, and you’d probably do better sitting on the right hand hill. People sitting on the left hill appear to be more visible, but there are people on the right hill too. And the latter is growing.” –Gigaom

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. Laura Jardine
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 07:28:38

    I got 7/20 on the book cover quiz and I missed one I should have gotten considering I’d read the book…

  2. Isobel Carr
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 08:54:37

    I only recognize three of them and I’m not sure which Seuss book that is) . Clearly mostly drawn from lit fic and/or mainstream fic, aka not stuff I spend a lot of time reading.

  3. SAO
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 09:13:26

    I might be up for a $10/month library subscription, but it has to have the majority of books I decide to read, which is not true of the on-line collection of my hometown library. The Kindle Owners’ library is so useless I never use it.

  4. MB
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 10:14:19

    I agree with SAO. I’ll sign up like a flash for this new service if it has most or all of the content I want. But if I’m limited to what’s available now in the Kindle Owner’s Library, then forget it! I struggle to find something worth reading there once a month. I certainly wouldn’t pay for what’s available now.

  5. Sunita
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 10:45:36

    After clicking through multiple links and reading about various attempts to measure time/engagement, I still can’t tell if Upworthy’s measure is primarily about video consumption or if it includes longform text to any great degree (their own discussion refers to video). And I don’t see how GigaOm knows that the “hill of Wow” is growing, or at what rate (if it’s a small absolute number, then obviously even if it doubles in size that absolute size stays small).

  6. Karenmc
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 10:51:18

    @Isobel Carr: Same here. I’m in my own little romance book world most of the time.

  7. Isobel Carr
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 12:00:11

    @Karenmc: I read a lot of SFF and mystery, too. I’m an unrepentant genre fan.

  8. Lostshadows
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 13:19:47

    I recognized 7 of the covers, but considering some of those books have changed covers at least once over time, I can’t say its the greatest quiz idea. (I’m rereading 12. I don’t recall ever seeing that version of the cover.)

  9. Robin/Janet
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 13:53:44

    @Sunita: As you know, there’s a long chain of entities and articles and research projects here, including a post by Mike Hudack and a post on The Verge to Borthwick’s post on Medium, which is essentially what Gigaom is pulling from ( All of that seems to be connected to the Alexis Madrigal article in The Atlantic Moriah Jovan tweeted this morning ( In fact, Borthwick references Madrigal right at the beginning of his article. Borthwick is CEO of betaworks, which includes Chartbeat, on whose data both Madrigal and Borthwick seem to rely.

    Anyway, I note all this to say that I *think* (and god knows I could be wrong) that it’s Borthwick who’s making the claim re. the hill of wow, and that Ingram is just referencing it in the Gigaom piece. In fact, looking closer it seems like Suman Deb Roy, a betaworks data researcher, seems to have made the claim. Which may not make it any more reliable, although it seems to be coming out of their ongoing research. I don’t know about the Upworthy graphic, beyond how the The Verge and Borthwick treat it (although, like you, I clicked through to the article and caught the video reference), but here’s another Gigaom article that links their research to a broader mission: At the very least there seems to be a fair amount of overlap among all of these research projects, which, for a non-scientist like me, means I’m just trying to follow the dots.

  10. Susan
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 14:16:48

    I missed a number of the covers for books I own in digital form, I guess because I really don’t pay attention to ebook covers. (But I do get pissed if they’re not provided. Go figure.) I did marginally better for books I own, or have seen frequently, in paper.

    Like others, I’ll reserve judgement on the Kindle subscription thingy. It has the potential to be good, especially with the audiobook component.

  11. Amanda
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 16:05:50

    I have to agree with others, if this is just essentially giving non-prime members access to the Kindle Owner’s Library it is not worth it to me.

  12. Robin/Janet
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 16:11:47

    @Amanda: What I *hope* is that it includes audiobooks, which for me, would be a huge selling point. I currently belong to Prime, plus I pay $15/month through Audible for one credit. Now, a lot of Kindle books come with a “but the audiobook for only a few dollars more” offer, but $9.99 for unlimited access to audiobooks? THAT would hook me, for sure.

  13. Sunita
    Jul 17, 2014 @ 21:35:38

    @Robin/Janet: Thanks for that Medium link, I missed that one when I was clicking through. The “reading more and for longer” comes from data use of the Instapaper app. Which is interesting, but if you’ve downloaded Instapaper you’ve already decided you want to read articles. And the two that are growing the most (leaving out the two that started v. small so have huge percentage increases) are the NY Times and the Guardian. That seems to me to signal time-shifting, which is not unimportant (people are still reading, which is good), but which I find less Wow than they do. Basically, Instapaper app users still read articles in the newspaper, they just read them from a saved file.

    I agree the Dark Social concept and article are fascinating and deserve more research.

%d bloggers like this: