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

Wednesday Midday Links: Kobo Launches in Germany


Updated: Amazon just announced that AT&T is sponsoring its Kindle with 3G (and I don’t know for how long) so that the price of the Kindle 3G with special offers is now $139. Even without a touch screen, I think this is the best ereader on the market. The 3G makes it so easy to get books on your device. All you have to do is mail them to your Kindle address. Don’t forget to use the instead of so you don’t pay for any document charges.


Galley Cat reported that Justin Bieber can’t sell magazines and ponders whether book publishers should no longer be pursuing celebrity memoirs.

In a post analyzing recent magazine circulation figures, WWD Media revealed that Vanity Fair‘sJustin Bieber cover story tanked at the newsstand. Despite Bieber’s 10 million Twitter followers, his issue could be the worst selling edition of the magazine in 12 years.

Despite this showing by Bieber (and frankly Vanity Fair readership is not the Bieber audience), I’ve been told by publishing insiders that celebrity memoirs are the closest thing to a sure bet these days.  A quick look over the NYTimes non fiction bestseller list and you can see why celebrities are pursued with vigor: Tina Fey, Anne Coulter, Tim Tebow, Chelsea Handler, Steven Tyler.  Snooki, the person on Jersey Shore who is famous…for being on Jersey Shore? has signed a deal to write the sequel to A Shore Thing.


Kobo is signing some major agreements.  First, it has a terminal in Grand Central Station.  I actually love this. I wonder if this will lead to kiosks in malls? The kiosk will be staffed with Kobo experts:

    • Kobo kiosk hours of operation are Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 6 p m.

Kobo Kiosk counter shot

Kobo also announced the launch of its German store:

Canadian upstart Kobo, which is currently well behind the e-book leaders in the U.S., has always had a global strategy, and is now launching in Germany, with an e-bookstore that offers 80,000 German language titles and a total of 2.4 million eBooks. By contrast, Amazon currently offers around 25,000 German-language titles.

Read more:


If you are a George RR Martin fan, you might be frustrated (or elated) to hear that Martin is likely to write three more books in the series as more plots and characters have been added in the previous two books, making it difficult for Martin to wrap up as he had originally planned. Actually, according to the Atlantic interview, Martin intended this to be a trilogy (which is why the first three books are awesome and the next two are messes).  Also frustrating? Martin doesn’t plan to start book 6 until next year.  I have to say I feel better everyday about cutting the Martin cord after book 3.

Jia is slaving over A Dance with Dragons and I suspect we’ll have a review up at some point in the next few weeks. (No pressure, Jia!)


Ellora’s Cave is loosening up its restrictions on subject matter in its books:

In an effort to stay with the times and to allow your stories to reflect modern sexuality and/or sexual fantasies, I am loosening up on the taboos listed under “submission guidelines,” which can be found at

1) I stand firm on the following: NO necrophilia, bestiality, pedophilia, or weapons stuffed up various parts of the female anatomy.

2) golden showers are now permissible in the kink, m/m and exotika lines ONLY. SCAT is still forbidden.

Really? The people who aren’t bothered by golden showers would be bothered by SCAT?  I wonder if EC is hurting for submissions.  Some of the new release pages are peppered with older books.  These older books aren’t designated as older releases but you can tell when you click on the excerpt and see the copyright date.  EC announced today that Laurann Dohner signed a 75 book deal with them.  75.  O_o.


A historical fan?  You might like this new community.  A  half-dozen Regency authors are starting a new group blog:  and it launches tomorrow, the 14th.  The authors involved include Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Gaelen Foley, Miranda Neville, Katharine Ashe, and Sabrina Darby.  They’ll have regular posts three times a week, and most posts will be dialogue, like snippets of conversation overheard in a Regency ballroom. For example, author-to-author, author-to-character, Lady B (the fictional hostess)-to-whomever she pleases.  The Ballroom will be light, fun and reader-focused.

This sounds totally different and entertaining.  You can also find the group on facebook: and on twitter:

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. Karen Scott
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 10:53:54

    That 75 book-deal is beyond crazy. I think submissions must definitely be down. It smells of desperation to me. I wonder if their current stable of authors are giving them crap behind the scenes? Hmmm….

  2. Karen Scott
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 11:52:44

    1) I stand firm on the following: NO necrophilia, bestiality, pedophilia, or weapons stuffed up various parts of the female anatomy.

    It’s only a matter of time before this status quo changes. Desperate, desperate, desperate!

  3. es
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:10:40

    Do you have any info on EC for Men? I’m curious about when that line’s going to open and what they’re planning for it.

  4. Eva
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:15:18

    Thanks for the news. So far I havent heard of the kobo e-reader here in Germany. Love my kindle and wouldn`t change it.

  5. Anonymous
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:28:03

    An email came across the EC loop a few weeks ago telling authors that EC would take a second look at manuscripts they had previously rejected. So yes, I imagine they’re hurting.

  6. Vi
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:42:20

    I am big fan of the KSO. I sold my 3G to buy the 3G KSO when it was first introduced. There has been a lot of great offers, including purchasing a lighted case for half off.

  7. Joan/SarahF
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:42:37

    The people who aren’t bothered by golden showers would be bothered by SCAT?

    Actually, yes, absolutely. Within the kink community, golden showers are relatively mainstream. Urine is actually sterile as it comes out of the body (assuming no infections), so golden showers, piss play, or variations thereof are pretty normal, especially in the gay male kink/leather community, but increasingly in the het community too.

    Scat play is, inherently, extreme edge play, considering the nature of the substance. Most kink communities and venues won’t allow scat play at all.

    How that translates to the EC readership is another question, but yes, golden showers and scat are utterly different in real-time kink communities.

  8. Christine M.
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:49:48

    Just out of curiosity Jane, is there a particular reason why you haven’t mentionned the new Google eReader device yet? Or did I miss the link somewhere?

  9. Jane
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:03:11

    @Christine M. Oh, laziness? I linked to it on Twitter. It’s kind of disappointing but I’ll put it up before the end of the week. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. Jane
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:03:52

    @Joan/SarahF Ick to both. I don’t care that urine is sterile. I can’t think of anything more demeaning than having someone piss on me.

  11. Jane
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:04:35

    @es No, but I suspect it to be porn-y.

  12. DS
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:17:08

    I’m rather glad that my Vanity Fair subscription is currently lapsed.I think you are right about the VF readership not being the same as Justin Bieber fans.

  13. Lori
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:20:02

    Sorry but I have to ask: when a writer is getting into extreme kink like golden showerts or scat, who is the audience? At what point is romance becoming not romantic?

  14. Sunita
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:33:32

    @Jane: You beat me to it! I was going to say: See Hustler, Penthouse, and/or Jugs-type publications for previews.

  15. SuperWendy
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:42:52

    This is strictly my experience from Library Land but re: celebrity memoirs – it all boils down to the celebrity. Chelsea Handler is doing very well for us – as is Tina Fey. Steven Tyler has been respectable, and Rob Lowe is going great guns. But “memoirs” from reality folks like Jershey Shore, Real Hosuewives etc.? Yeah, not so much. You can positively hear the crickets chirping away.

    Also, after reading this blog post and comments – I hope you have a good spam filter Jane. Beiber and EC submissions in one post? Eep!

  16. kzoet
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 14:34:25

    A 75 book deal? Wow. How is that even remotely sustainable on either of their parts?

    If the author cranked out 5 books a year, that’s a 15 year commitment to one publisher.

  17. MaryK
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 14:37:03

    My dad briefly had a Sony Touch (he lost it!). Now he has a wifi Kindle and says he likes it better. Says it’s more responsive and easier to get things on it. He mostly reads old, out of print books that he downloads for free. Though he also follows a lot of news feeds and uses Calibre to organize them.

  18. Moriah Jovan
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 14:54:04

    Re 75-book deal. “Book” means nothing here when each e-publisher can call a 5,000-word short story a “book.”

  19. Joan/SarahF
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 15:29:36

    @Jane: Well, yes, that’s pretty much the point. But it does matter to those participating quite a bit that it’s sterile and shit obviously isn’t.

  20. Jane
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 15:32:02

    @Joan/SarahF: Being demeaned is the point? Well, then, I call posers on those who will ok the golden shower but not scat because true humiliation comes from being defecated upon. Push those limits or else you aren’t even trying.

  21. Estara
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 15:42:57

    Oh, so THAT is why when I go to the Kobo page they have been offering me only German books for the last three weeks – which is really annoying. However I can still search for the books in English which publishers are willing to sell me outside the US or UK – so that’s something.

    @MaryK: One thing that struck me reading your comment – out of print does NOT mean out of copyright. Unless your dad only reads Project Guttenberg books he might get into trouble.

  22. Annabel
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 16:06:46

    OMG, Jane. HAHAHAHA! Posers!

    But let’s be realistic…poop smells so much worse than pee!

    In seriousness, humiliation and degradation is a very popular fetish that probably falls most comfortably under the BDSM umbrella. The “HumiliaTion Nation” group on has fourteen thousand members!

    For the record, the biggest golden showers group on Fetlife seems to have about 2000 members and the biggest scat group has 1800 members!!

    The question is, do these pervs read romance? :-)

  23. MaryK
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 16:21:35

    @Estara: He’s in IT security so he knows about that kind of thing. In this case, old is like 100 years. Mostly religious commentary, I think.

  24. Sarah Frantz
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 16:32:43

    @Annabel: The question is, do these pervs read romance? :-) That’s exactly the question. And I have no idea. I’m not sure if people who are into golden showers would even think to go to EC or if they’re even into *reading* about it as opposed to watching it.

    @Jane: I’m going to assume there’s a bit of sarcasm there in your comment. But, just for the record, most of those who practice BDSM — and all of those who do it ethically — do it under the Safe, Sane, Consensual maxim. Golden showers are, for the most part, Safe and Sane, whereas Scat is decidedly not. So if humiliation is your kink, and yes, it’s a huge kink for many people, then golden showers work with that, whereas scat just doesn’t.

  25. Annabel
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 17:06:34

    I have to admit I got turned on by a golden showers scene once…it was in Claire Thompson’s “Obsessed”. However, that was non-con erotica, in no sense of the word meant to be a romantic book.

    To be honest, I think people who like humilation and degradation are much more likely to read non-con, edgy kink type stuff rather than romance. But I think EC’s “exotika” line is the non-romance, pure erotica line they carry? So maybe it will fly with some of those readers.

    I’m sure they will put a big disclaimer in the publisher blurb too, that the book contains golden showers. Wonder how many authors are going to take the risk that readers will want to buy such a book? I don’t imagine a flood of golden showers books hitting the site. (Get it, flood? Heh heh.)

    This could also be an effort by EC to gain readers that other romance publishers aren’t going after. But like I said, those readers already know where to find the more fetish-y kink stuff…and Ellora’s Cave has not traditionally been that place.

  26. Jackie Barbosa
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 17:44:21

    1) I stand firm on the following: NO necrophilia, bestiality, pedophilia, or weapons stuffed up various parts of the female anatomy.

    But apparently weapons stuffed up parts of male anatomy is okay?

    /trots off to write Ak47 pegging scene

    What, you think not?

  27. Janine
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 18:49:44

    Ah gross. Sorry, had to get that off my chest. What’s between consenting adults is strictly their business and none of mine, but I have less than zero interest in reading a romance with golden showers, scat play, or weapons up anyone’s orifice.

    Thanks EC and Jane, for images I now have to scrub from my mind.

  28. jayhjay
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 19:00:54

    Out of curiosity I followed the link the EC site. I had to crack up that they have to explicitly state they don’t include stories where the heroine is TSTL! Is that something other publishers actually intend? I mean, I always assumed it was just bad writing when that happened, not a story genre someone might actually be meaning to write!

  29. Sandra
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 19:13:58

    @Jackie Barbosa: But apparently weapons stuffed up parts of male anatomy is okay? Jackie, you beat me to it. I was wondering the same thing.

    In regards to e-readers, I just bought one of the next generation nooks and love it. I had it at my parents’ house over the 4th weekend, and my 80YO father liked it so much, I had to buy him one. This from a man, who’s not precisely a Luddite, but is definitely not an early adopter, or e-gadget person. He won’t even use a computer. He leaves taht up to my mom.

  30. sarah mayberry
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 19:18:19

    George RR Martin is doing his best to drive me insane. If I could I would grab him and shake him and tell him that most writers would give their eye teeth and even a few bloody molars to have the readership he does… and yet he seems so damned lackadaisical about servicing the demand he’s created. I now it’s hard to sit down and write every day (note I am commenting here and not working on current MS myself!) but he entered into a contract of sorts with readers when he started those books and he’s so reneging on it right now… Plus I cannot believe those books were supposed to end after book three!!! But it does explain a few things, for sure. I hate movies/books that were never meant to be extended but get sequels etc because of success (Matrix anyone? Star Wars eps 1 – 3?). If the story was complete in the first instalment, adding extra story on always feels wrong. Dance of Dragons better be good or I may have to join you, Jane, in the abstainers camp.

  31. Nikki
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 20:17:18

    Considering some of the idiocy of heroines I have read in some EC books, I don’t think that is an important or closely followed rule. I agree that the scat is far on the edge. The golden shower as it were is weird but if done well a la Morgan Hawke and the Interstellar Service and Discipline series it could work. I interpreted the way she wrote it as an ownership/territory marking thing and it was appropriate within the context of the story. However, regardless of how sterile urine is, you have bacteria in the urethra and on the skin, the minute it comes out, it is no longer sterile.

    I wouldn’t be shocked if EC was hurting for submissions. In the first place if you overprice your books and limit availability then you lose readership, then you lose writers because they aren’t making money either. I know even beyond Samhain’s quality, the reason why I buy so many of their books is that they are available via Amazon and other vendors and I can read the books anywhere, including when I travel, when I have a free 15 minutes at the hospital, etc.

    The fact that Laurann Dohner signed a 75 book deal seems more like desperation on both parts. Amazon kept putting her books up as an option for me so I tried one because I was desperate for reading material and wished I could get my money back desperately. In addition they are far overpriced for their very brief length. So if she writes brief novella or shorter types, she can get the 75 books done in no time! Quality will no doubt suffer.

  32. Ridley
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 20:36:48

    I would probably really enjoy a pissing scene in kinky erotica. D/s is my kink, and I really like when an author works actually degrading things into a scene. That’s sort of the point. I’d much rather read a pissing scene than puppy/pony play.

    But would I buy kinky erotica from EC, pissing or otherwise? Probably not, unless Cara McKenna wrote it. I’ve hated pretty much everything they’ve put out in the past few years and their prices are way too high.

  33. k reads
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 22:47:15

    When I clicked on the link for the EC submission guidelines, it said this:
    •NO bodily functions as sexual activity (for example, “golden showers”).

    Does this mean that the rule has been changed back or do you think they just haven’t gotten around to updating the page yet?

  34. Jackie Barbosa
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 10:29:42

    @Nikki: Amazon kept putting her books up as an option for me so I tried one because I was desperate for reading material and wished I could get my money back desperately.

    FYI, Amazon allows you to return a digital book within 7 days of purchase.

  35. SAO
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 15:34:30

    Schistosomiasis is just one disease that is transmitted through urine. I guess urine is only sterile when it’s sterile and not when it isn’t.

    But assuming the dubious claims of sterility are correct, sterile doesn’t mean good for you, as diaper rash shows. Urine is high in ammonia, which is not good for the skin or any other body part.

  36. Sunita
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 16:18:21

    @SAO: My understanding is that urine is sterile while it is in the body and then loses that quality when it passes out of the bladder, potentially picking up any bacteria it comes into contact with. The urethra, etc. are not sterile.

  37. Ridley
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 16:24:30

    @SAO: Well, it’s not like sex is sterile by itself. Is pissing really any more disgusting than AtM?

  38. Sue T
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 16:58:20

    Oh my goodness, this is both hilarious and disgusting at the same time. Golden showers? Scat? Ick, just, just, ick and funny. Dear Author – you ladies (and gentleman) rock! :-D

    And yes, EC is hurting for submissions. I heard this as well from a published author in my chapter just this weekend.

    Okay, I keep thinking, ick. Really.

  39. LG
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 17:13:56

    I’ve never really wanted to buy anything from EC – I have trouble getting past how awful their covers tend to look (yes, I have a habit of judging books by their cover if I’m not shopping using reviews). I have trouble imagining that the wooden creatures they tend to feature could feel something like love or, in some cases, even affection. The few times I read descriptions, I haven’t found anything that sounded appealing to me personally. And then every bit of news I’ve heard about them makes me want to buy from them even less.

  40. Samtha
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 20:28:08

    They can’t be too hard up for submissions. Someone on Twitter said that they hired a bunch of new editors.

    I’ve had good luck with books at EC recently, and for a long while it’s been slim pickings. Daisy Harris, Delphine Dryden, Shoshona something or other, have all put out some decent books. And there’s one called Skin Games that was good.

  41. Stumbling Over Chaos :: A very Potterity linkity
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 08:16:50

    […] and publishing news from Dear […]

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