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

Tuesday News: Beyoncé, Salinger, self-publishing, author platforms, and penis size

“While Beyoncé challenged the traditional brick-and-mortal retailers with this album release, she also challenged the business model of digital music vendors, including iTunes, by refusing to sell single-tracks of her new CD. The “XO” songs can only be purchased as a complete album.” Christian Science Monitor

“Because I write books for a living, I have an unnatural bias for the propriety of authors (and as a result, my answer here might reflect a degree of overcompensation). But this case is unique — normal ethical responsibilities don’t necessarily apply. Personally, I think Salinger’s desire to embargo his own work is deeply cool. It is not, however, particularly reasonable. And because we are not dealing with a life-or-death issue — since we are merely debating whether it’s O.K. to read a few stories — that irrational desire is not irrefutable.” New York Times

“For each book or series, authors need to run a cost-benefit analysis, decide what their goals are for the books, and choose the best publishing route for them. Sometimes that might be working with a traditional publisher, sometimes that might be working with a digital publisher, and sometimes that might be self-publishing. All are valid and play a useful role in todays market.”Laura Kaye, Author

“With indie publishing, authors like me have been able to publish our “unusual” or “different” novels and find readers. But after I’d put out five novels as ebooks (and some also in print), and did extensive marketing and promotion (spending an outrageous amount of money on publicity, for example)—following to the letter all the sage advice I’d garnered on how to sell for success, nothing worked. My author friends were making easily five figures each month, often off one title, or they would release a book and it would hit the best-seller lists off the bat.”

How many self-published authors can relate to what Lakin writes here? If you don’t want to wait for the book Lakin is writing on the experiment she did to see if she could boost her sales, you will want to read this article. Note that Lakin acknowledges that first and foremost, a book has to be good (amen to that), but she had some interesting results in answer to the question of whether she needed an “author platform” Definitely worth a read, whether or not you buy her strategies. The Book Designer

“Objectively, even big human penises are small, other than in comparison with other human penises; but virtually all human penises are big in comparison with those of the other 192 primate species.” Slate

Happy Holidays, Everyone.


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. AlexaB
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 10:58:40

    I would pay good money for a Dear Author reviewer to read and review C.S. Lakin’s “write by numbers” – or so her description of her process read to me – sweet Western romance. Especially since the point of the article seems to be pre-selling Lakin’s book teaching other authors how to write to the market, which she notes is dominated by romance, by aping what’s popular. So I’m curious whether she actually wrote a “good” book by Dear Author standards. (I’m afraid I had a rather negative reaction to the article, so I can’t trust myself to read her book objectively.)

  2. Sunita
    Dec 24, 2013 @ 12:39:30

    @AlexaB: I downloaded the sample. If I don’t hate it or fall asleep reading it, I’ll download the whole book and review it.

    Bias alert: I think Klosterman makes a crappy ethicist/ethics column advice-giver in general, so I’m biased, but his answer on the Salinger stories annoyed me even more than usual. First, it doesn’t answer the question that was posed. Whether the writer should read the distributed-without-authorization stories is a different question from whether they should have been distributed in the first place, and I don’t think the “ethical” answer is necessarily the same (although I’ll leave it to real ethicists to answer that more definitively). But the idea that Salinger is “unreasonable” in not wanting the stories shared beyond scholars and people who trek to the libraries to read them: how on earth does Klosterman’s judgement matter in this case? He’s not Salinger and they’re not his creative product. From an ethical point of view it seems wrong to me to override a creator’s choice of how that work should be managed, and the rationality or irrationality of the preference has nothing to do with it. From a practical point of view, such an attitude (and practice) increases the likelihood that work will be destroyed by creators before they die, to prevent such violations of their wishes from occurring.

  3. Kindle Books on Kindle… |
    Dec 25, 2013 @ 13:58:12

    […] Tuesday News: Beyoncé, Salinger, self-publishing, author platforms … […]

  4. DS
    Dec 26, 2013 @ 07:41:31

    “While Beyoncé challenged the traditional brick-and-mortal retailers with this album release, she also challenged the business model of digital music vendors, including iTunes, by refusing to sell single-tracks of her new CD. The “XO” songs can only be purchased as a complete album.” Christian Science Monitor

    Is this the pendulum swinging back again? One of the reasons that iTunes became so popular, according to a book I read whose title I can’t remember right now, was because the buyer did not have to purchase the whole album, only the tracks they wanted. I know that’s how I buy music unless it is one of those rare albums that I’m sure I will enjoy all of it (or there is a promotion that lets me download the album for less than the cost of the tracks I want).

  5. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Last linkity of the year
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 19:01:18

    […] and publishing news from Dear […]

%d bloggers like this: