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

Tuesday News: Dismal author salaries; Tumblr and book promotion; the trouble...

“Until recently you couldn’t put video on Facebook – even our header is animated,” Lauber said. (The header is written in a watery script that shimmers.) “With Tumblr, the social sharing is more natural because of the way the interface works, and we can pull in music through Spotify. It’s a hybrid of everything that’s good about all the other sites.”” Publishers Weekly

“As Mike Gallego points out, the story would have been appropriate, and still quite fascinating, if the transgender detail were omitted entirely. This invasion of personal privacy was uncalled for, and Grantland’s editors have the salary and status to know better. If any good comes out of all this, it will hopefully be more widespread education and awareness of the plight of the transgender community.” The Big Lead

“The little miracle of King’s writing lies in the way he so easily blends homemade metaphor (the flight crew), biblical imagery (the lion and the lamb), and poetry (near the very end he references a line from Keats). His prose, like Lincoln’s, is plain and straightforward, and yet supple enough to allow him to range from a whisper to thunder in the space of a few lines.” The Daily Beast

“This might seem like a small issue, but as of October 2013 Twitter reported that 75% of their 218 million users use the service via a mobile app. That means that Feedly has set itself up to steal most of the page views that a publisher could have gained when an article is shared via Twitter.” The Digital Reader

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. Zara Keane
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 06:38:55

    Robin, have you seen Beverley Kendall’s 2013 Self-Publishing Survey? Very interesting reading. I’m curious to see how these stats look at the end of 2014.

  2. Ros
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 07:28:22

    I am not really sure why ‘aspiring authors’ were included in a survey on author earnings.

  3. Sunita
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 08:18:03

    I dumped Feedly when they first substituted their URLs for the original. I realize some people might think it’s a small point, but for me the the important issue is that the content creator has no control over it. Feedly pulls these changes if they get enough pushback (as they did the time before) but they keep introducing them. There are plenty of news readers that don’t do crap like this, it’s not hard to find an alternative. I switched to The Old Reader, for example, and it is cross-platform so my RSS feed is synced across phone, tablet, and computer (all of which are different OS).

  4. Moriah Jovan
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 09:38:21

    Like Sunita, I quit Feedly when I noticed they were doing that way back a while ago.

  5. Michelle
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 10:06:27

    I have a feeling that the “aspiring authors” are tilting that scale. And it would be more useful if there was some indication of number of books published per author.

  6. Monique
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 10:18:34

    I knew that a lot of authors didn’t earn a lot of money, but I was truly shocked ! Everybody knows that there are few Cornwells, Grishams and Rowlings, but that bad ! Now I really understand why a lot of our favourite authors, even ever so subtly, ask for our support ! And I will definitely endeavour to support them more and help spread the word about their publications. Ooof !

  7. Amanda
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 10:40:55

    I never realized this with feedly but then I just use it on my desktop to see what is posted on my favorite websites, if it looks like I would want to read a particular post I then click over to the actual website.

    I still miss Google Reader

  8. Evangeline
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 12:02:18

    @Sunita: Thanks for mentioning TOR. I don’t share my Feedly on social media, but I was through with them when they changed the site to only allow searching your own feed when you upgrade to a paid account. If I haven’t saved it for latter or tagged it, I can’t look at feeds older than two days.

  9. Janet/Robin
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 13:33:14

    @Ros: I assumed it was based on contest/competition winnings.

  10. Jackie Barbosa
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 13:39:31

    There are so many problems with that DBW survey, it’s remarkable that it’s getting any traction at all. I guess it’s another matter of lies, damn lies, and statistics.

    As Ros says, the survey sample included aspiring authors. In fact, my understanding is that only 32% of the authors surveyed had actually published a book. Many of the remainder had never finished a manuscript, while some hadn’t even even STARTED one.

    More than that, however, you have to consider that there’s no distinction in the study between a self-published author who has written one book, slapped a homemade cover on it, and put it up unedited on Amazon for 99 cents (a dabbler/hobbyist) and someone who’s doing it with the intent of making writing a career (or at least a part-time job). The people in the trade publishing pool, by contrast, are none of them equivalent to the self-published dabbler I mentioned. If you’ve gone to the trouble of querying agents and publishers and are a good enough writer to get a contract offer, you’re serious about writing.

    The survey would be a lot better, IMHO, if it distinguished between the dabbling SPer and the ones who are serious about it. Because the ones who are serious about it (including ones like me who are very slow producers and aren’t anywhere near the bestseller lists) are averaging a lot more than $1,000 a year. Of course, I can’t prove that, but DBW’s survey can’t prove I’m wrong, either.

  11. Janet/Robin
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 14:18:13

    @Zara Keane: I haven’t seen that, but thanks for the link!

  12. Hm
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 15:51:00

    Thanks Sunita for the Old Reader recommendation, I didn’t realize that feedly was substituting urls from original sources. I’ll be switching my reader app. I wish Google Reader was still around :(

  13. Fiona McGier
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 18:25:29

    @Jackie Barbosa:

    I have been published by three different publishers for the past 4 years. I have 15 books out now. I have a website and I do as much promoting as time and funds permit. I work as a sub in high schools so work is sporadic…so is money, and with 2 kids still in college, I have to bring in as much as possible. I’ve never made close to $1000 in any year. Spent way more than that trying to be the highest jumper with the biggest neon sign in a room full of naked writers jumping up and down, trying to get reader attention.

    I don’t write about billionaire doms and virgins. I don’t write menage. But I do write erotic romance and I write what readers here and other places say they want to read: realistic erotic romance about people of many colors/ethnic backgrounds, and many are older heroes and heroines, at least in their 40s. My current WIP is about a couple falling in love in their 50s. The reviews I’ve gotten are mostly 5-star. So please tell me, what am I doing wrong that you can be so dismissive about my puny sales? Am I not trying hard enough? Not writing enough? Not spending enough? How do I catch the “right” people’s eyes?

  14. Cecilia Grant
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 19:23:34

    I loved that article about MLK’s Nobel acceptance speech. What a terrific writer he was. His word choice – “a majestic scorn for risk and danger” – was just impeccable.

  15. SonomaLass
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 19:39:07

    My understanding, largely via Carolyn Jewel’s post on the subject, is that not only were “aspiring authors” included in the DBW study, but that very few romance writers seem to have been included. As that’s one of the more robust areas of self-publishing and digital reading generally, I think the study is pretty much crap.

  16. Jackie Barbosa
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 22:19:40

    @Fiona McGier: Oh dear! I certainly didn’t mean to “dismiss” authors who are earning less than $1,000 a year despite a genuine professional effort. I only meant to point out the limitations of that particular survey to tell us anything useful about the relative financial benefits of traditional publishing vs self-publishing. Based on the study, it is presumed that self-publishing authors are less likely to make more than $1,000 a year than traditional publishers. I’m unconvinced of that conclusion. Your experience with three publishers would seem to suggest exactly what I was trying to say–that traditional publishing is no guarantee of better financial success.

    I don’t feel comfortable addressing your questions on a public forum, but I’ve looked at your books on Amazon, and let’s just say that I have “ideas” (and none of them have much to do with whether your books are good or what readers want). If you would like to chat privately, I can be reached via the contact form on my website (

  17. Julie
    Jan 21, 2014 @ 23:14:09

    He also discovered that the putter’s inventor was transgender, and it appears that Grantland’s treatment of this discovery — and the woman in question — led to her suicide.

    Suicide is a tragedy and wanting to place blame is a normal human response. However, I read the linked article as well as several critical responses to it, and there was nothing to suggest that the treatment of this discovery or the reporter’s interactions with the inventor regarding it had anything to do with her suicide, which took place several weeks after the the reporter’s last contact with her.

  18. Kati
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 08:20:58


    It seems to me that the reporter’s outing of the woman to her investor may have been in a factor in her suicide, particularly because the woman specifically asked the reporter NOT to out her. Either way, it’s bush league journalism, given that the woman’s sexuality had NOTHING whatsoever to do with the story. I don’t understand how you publish a story about an LGBT woman without ever having someone from that community read it, especially when the editor-in-chief flat out says that they were ignorant of the community AND ESPN has a transgendered woman ON STAFF. This story is incredibly unfortunate and really leads me to question the editorial process on the website. Which is unfortunate, because Grantland is incredibly readable.

  19. Sirius
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 09:13:00

    Kati, outing of LGBT people – transgender or not always leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and I have no problem thinking that easily may have been a factor contributing to this woman’s suicide. I mean, seriously are you ( reporter I mean) are that dense? You never heard of how cruel society can be especially to transgender people ? Anything for a buck to make your article more readable even if she specifically asked you not to out her? Gah.

  20. Lynn Rae
    Jan 23, 2014 @ 17:36:04

    @Fiona McGier
    I feel your frustration! I’m in a similar position. I’ve pubbed two books with two publishers in the last year, have two more under contract and I have spent one hundred times more on promo than I’ve made (I know because I’m gathering receipts for tax time!). I don’t have the heart to calculate how much of my time I’ve spent on promo which leads no where. Its incredibly frustrating and all the well-meaning advice has begun to grate on my last nerve.

    I write realistic contemporaries. No angsty men with terrible emotional scars who need the ‘right woman’ to make them halfway decent human beings, no women fleeing a mysterious, shadowy criminal conspiracy who need a brooding, overly protective male. Just regular people with regular lives overcoming regular obstacles on their way to love. They are the kind of books I like to read and are so hard to find I decided to write some for myself, so I guess I’ve succeeded (?) as a writer, but it would be nice to break even in the process.

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    Jan 24, 2014 @ 02:01:42

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