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Wednesday Midday Links: Kristan Higgins’ All I Ever Wanted Digital Edition...

USA Today bestseller list is now counting ebook sales when compiling the list.   Harlequin Books tweeted that Kristan Higgins made the USAToday list today at #102 for her ebook edition.   It’s the ebook edition because of the (E) notation and the $6.99 price point (the paperbook is $7.99).   There are other (E) editions on the list.   I think this is a real sign of the ebook penetration.

UPDATE: From the USAToday website:

USA TODAY’s Best Selling Books list ranks titles regardless of format. If, for example, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice sells copies in hardcover, paperback and e-book during a particular week, we combine sales from each format. In our list, following a title’s description, we note which format recorded the most sales that week and the price of the book in that format.

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

*****

New poll question.   Susanna Fraser debuted her new website today and a number of people thought it was awesome.   and funny.   and I? was confused by the praise.   I thought it was hard to read with the big blocky text and given that the voice of the site appeared to be her husband’s, I wasn’t sure what the site was telling me about the book other than her husband wants us to buy the book so he doesn’t have to design her websites anymore.   I am curious if the site motivates you to buy the book.

Does SusannaFraser.com motivate you to buy the book?

View Results

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As an aside, Sunita enjoyed Fraser’s review and will have a review of the book next week.   As one person noted, it’s a publicity trick, at least, and we are all talking about it, right?   I wonder if there is a divide between author and reader as it seemed like the people who liked the site were primarily authors.

*****

Gizmodo says that Google will release a Verizon connected Android tablet on Black Friday that will be highly subsidized.   Google Editions is supposed to launch in the fall (they said earlier this year they were going to launch in the summer).   Also, independents are embracing Google Editions because it will save independent bookstores somehow.

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The Guardian looks at book recommendations gone awry which reminded me of Holly’s unhappiness with my recommendation of An Heir for the Millionaire.   I admit that it is much harder to give a good grade than a bad grade because I fully recognize people may be forking out their hard earned money for a book I’ve recommended.   I apologize in advance to all readers who have been burned by my recommendations!   But I enjoy the debate about the book and love to hear comments, good or bad, on books we’ve blogged.

*****

I explain how we pick the winners for our giveaways in the Mockingjay announcement.

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While I enjoy my Kindle, I know that others out there are enjoying their ebook devices.   This is a nice rundown of the good and bad points of the Kobo by a previous Kindle owner.

*****

Kristen Nelson pointed out that Macmillan is sending out letters to authors asking them to sign a contract that would authorize Macmillan to publish their digital backlist.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She 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

32 Comments

  1. Mireya
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 14:28:44

    I actually found the gimmick amusing and refreshing.

    This is what I learned:

    I know it is either regency set.
    I know it is an ebook (as it’s a Carina Press book), and ebooks is my preferred reading media.
    It made me smile.
    The author of the page took a huge risk in using humor of that sort. As a marketing major in college, I am aware of the risk, and I give brownie points for taking that risk.
    I LOVE the cover.
    The site gives me a short blurb.
    The site tells me a bit about the author.

    So, it may not have a ton of cool stuff and a humongo-blurb, or advance reviews or raving one liners from big name authors, but then again, information overload puts me off and big names in covers touting the wonders of a book puts me even FARTHER off.

    Information overload has never been my thing and I don’t even bother with excerpts. If the blurb and the cover do not catch my attention, I don’t buy, period. The page alone caught my attention, which is a LOT more than I can say from some professional looking sites.

  2. Sarah
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 14:36:52

    I’m fairly new to this website – only found it about a year ago – but the reviews here have helped me find new authors (to me) to try.

    I recently tried a Lisa Kleypas book due to a review here. Funnily enough it wasn’t the book that was reviewed – but it was the review that got me to look out for her.

    Then I realised I had an old Kleypas book in my TBR pile. So I got it out, dusted it off and was hooked. What’s so great is that because Kleypas has quite a long backlist I have loads to enjoy!

    Thoroughly enjoyed the Derek Craven series and now I’m on the Bow Street Runners. How had I overlooked them I don’t know!

    So Thank You Dear Author :)

  3. Phyl
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 14:41:46

    I pre-ordered the book. Not necessarily because of the website (which I loved for many of the same reasons as Mireya) but because 1) it’s Regency-set; 2) the hero is not titled; and, 3) the blurb reminded me of Carla Kelly’s books. I’ll try anything CK-like.

  4. Chicklet
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 14:51:12

    I loved Fraser’s website, because the tone is so different from other romance ads; something that marries the snarky tone common on the internet with a romance novel works for me. (See also: the one character in a soap opera who’s snarky and sarcastic, thereby bursting through the other characters’ deadly-dull earnestness.)

  5. Ros
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 14:56:57

    I haven’t bought Fraser’s book and I haven’t yet decided if I will. BUT I read the whole webpage (yes, the whole of it – can’t think of any other website I’ve done that with) with a smile on my face and Susanna Fraser is now an author I’d definitely like to get to know better. I liked the page because it knew what it was there for – to sell the book. It had all the information I needed to get a good sense of what the book was about, the style of her prose, where I could buy it, when it would be coming out. And it wasn’t telling me stuff I’m not interested in about her cats, her kids, or her holidays in Venice. It wasn’t giving me a tearjerker about how writing had been her childhood dream. It wasn’t pink and swirly and hideously overdesigned. It was tongue-in-cheek and to-the-point and that made it a winner for me.

    And yes, we’re all talking about it, so it’s definitely worked!

  6. Ros
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 14:59:48

    On a different note, while I agree that Macmillan’s approach to authors may be problematic, I am excited about more and more backlists becoming available in ebook format. I hope that authors can quickly get good deals in place for these rights so that readers can enjoy their books.

  7. Carin
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 15:14:59

    I liked Fraser’s website. I’m assuming this is a one time thing for the release of her book. It’s not in a format I would go back and read often, since it was a little difficult to read and not pretty. Other than the cover of the book, which is nice!

    However, even though I thought it was a little hard to read, I read the whole thing and it made me smile. As Ros said, the sense of humor makes me want to know her better.

    On the topic of All I Ever Wanted (E) making the list. It confuses me to have it listed separately. I want to know the best selling books, I don’t really care what format it’s in. With the list set up this way, can’t a book make the same list twice? And could the two formats keep it out of a top 10 or top 20 list? That doesn’t seem fair.

  8. Jane
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 15:20:41

    I think one of my major problems with the site is that it is a complete tone mismatch for her book. Is the book snarky? Sarcastic? No, so why have that as the website. But I applaud you who were able to read it. My eyes glazed over.

  9. Mireya
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 15:35:47

    @Jane: which may have been done unintentionally, but gives just one more reason for some to want to find out, right? It’s a clever marketing ploy, even if it didn’t do a thing for some. I wonder what the author’s husband does for a living.

  10. Joy
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 15:44:23

    I enjoyed Fraser’s site and I pre-ordered the book because I liked the description of the book. I thought it was hilarious, straightforward in its way, and easy to read (as opposed to the whistles-and-bells graphics heavy websites that drive me nuts. I can’t say that I like makeover that this site had a while back–made it too busy, but I adjust).

  11. Janet P.
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 15:56:44

    I laughed at the author site although I don’t read Regency Romance so I’m probably not the best barometer of suitability. It reminds me a little of Patty Brigg’s site which is also done by her husband, bless his heart. He seems like a nice guy but his idea of what her readers might want to see on her author site is a bit odd.

    MacMallin, just when you think they can’t get any slimier. A good part of me hopes Andrew Wylie gets hold of that author email lists and offers to ePub them all through Odyssey.

  12. Sarah
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 16:07:38

    That website is terrible! It looks terribly late ’90s old school internet.

  13. joanne
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 16:26:17

    Fraser’s website didn’t work for me, maybe just too cute or too snarky but I only read past the cover pic because I thought it would get better. One of the few times I didn’t try the excerpt of a new author’s work but it was not an introduction that pulled me in.

    Regarding book recommendations; if a book doesn’t work for me then it’s just a difference of opinion not a cause for a rant. Nothing venture nothing gained when it comes to new-to-me authors.

    Has the preview of posts feature and the recent comments feature in the sidebar been taken away forever? I miss them both.

  14. Kim in Hawaii
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 17:07:28

    I liked Susanna’s site because I can relate to it – just the plain facts. She comes across at the same level as me, a working woman.

    I’d rather the author spend her time writing a great book rather than paying $$$ for a fancy website.

  15. Vi
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 18:31:53

    I don’t always buy every book you recommend. However, when you do love a book, I take the time to find it in a store and flip through the pages to see if it’s worth buying. I will always be thankful to you for review of Jo Goodman’s Never Love a Lawman. Westerns aren’t normally books I read so I would have overlooked it if it weren’t for the review.

  16. Jane
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 18:59:39

    @joanne I’m not sure what you mean by the “preview of posts” feature but I’m not sure what I am going to do about the recent comments feature. Apparently the code that came with the theme isn’t very good and it causes the site to slow down, quite a bit. My host suggests not running it. I’m looking into other options.

  17. joanne
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 20:12:20

    @Jane: Before when we (guests) typed a comment we could ‘preview’ it and make any changes before it was posted.

    Thanks for responding, I figured it was a programing thing, no biggie, it was just quicker to see the latest comments on the longer threads.

  18. Jane
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 20:15:11

    @joanne Thanks for the heads up. I can reactivate the preview one.

  19. Elly
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 20:16:12

    Re: Susanna Fraser’s website – I’m not a fan, but because of the husband angle rather than the poor design. I think the idea of dyi due to not being able to afford a designer is kind of cute, but surely her husband could’ve done a better job if he had enough html skills to build this, which gives me the message (especially when combined with the digs like “And maybe a certain author will learn to build her own websites instead of asking her husband to do it. HI DEAR!”) that he resented being asked to do the site and by extension resented her enough to put it on the internet like that. I know that it’s clearly a joke, but that sort of marital humor (eg, take my wife, please!) plus the poor author-woman being unable to learn such poor html coding on her own just strikes me the wrong (anti-female) way. I would’ve liked it better if she said she couldn’t afford a designer so she did it herself and this is the result… Either way though, the website really doesn’t affect whether I would buy the book – the back cover copy and maybe an excerpt if I was interested enough are the things that would do that.

  20. Ridley
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 20:16:35

    My husband and I enjoyed Susan Fraser’s site. I thought it was a cute internet joke – though a few sparkling animated gifs would have really sealed the deal. Anyone with a good sense of humor like that probably writes in a way I’d identify with, so I’ll give her a whirl.

    As for the recs, no two people have reading tastes that match exactly. Sometimes a rec is gonna flop for you. I have Goodreads friends with whom I am nearly matched book for book, but every once in a while they 5-star something I’d wipe my tush with, and vice versa. I was shocked when SB Sarah DNFed Meg Benjamin’s new book, and I’ve wondered what she was smoking when she rated The Spymaster’s Lady so highly, but generally agree with her grades otherwise. It’s all part of the fun.

  21. Eva_baby
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 20:35:08

    I clicked on the link and read through the site only because it was mentioned here.

    If I had come across the site through general browsing I would not have read the verbiage simply because it isn’t pleasing to the eye. The font is too large and blocky, it is a tick wordy and there is nothing that draws the eye in. It had the appearance of being a big block of text. A no-no in casual browsing, imo.

  22. RebeccaJ
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 20:45:49

    To me, the website came across as more sarcastic than cleverly humorous.

    And as someone else mentioned, it wasn’t the least bit eye appealing. Didn’t care for it.

  23. Susanna Fraser
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 21:04:50

    Hi, Susanna Fraser here. Just checking in with a little more background on my current website and how it came to be:

    It’s not a publicity stunt, at least not consciously so. My husband is a professional web developer, and his usual work is much more polished. It literally was built in half an hour because I needed *something* live because my site was going to be listed in a newsletter as part of upcoming release information. He didn’t have more time to put it together because we were in the middle of moving to a new house and he was teaching a class on top of his full-time job, and everything to do with the move took about five times as long as we’d expected. So he put it together quickly and snarkily, and it’s what’s there until we have time to put together something more reflective of both my storytelling style and his web dev skills.

  24. Shiloh Walker
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 22:00:16

    Nah, the website didn’t motivate me to learn more about the book… had the book caught my eye, the website might have enticed me to linger a little longer. The humor in it did make me smirk a little but that’s it. I didn’t like it, didn’t dislike it. It’s pretty much just a complete ‘meh’ for me.

    And that’s cool nows about Kristan Higgins’ digital book hitting a list-very cool.

  25. Ridley
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 22:07:09

    @Susanna Fraser:

    Might take a peek at Drupal Gardens if you want to make something else without pestering the hubby. I believe it’s a free DIY website tool, like Blogger is for blogs, so you could whip up your own site.

    I’ve never used it myself, but I’ve heard good things.

  26. Kim in Hawaii
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 23:52:43

    @Susanna Fraser: At least your hubby put something together for you (which I think is clever in its direct approach).

    My hubby – a computer officer – rolled his eyes when I asked if he was interested in designing a website for me. Then again, he was walking out the door with his golf clubs.

    @Ridley: I agree wholeheartedly with your comment, “No two people have reading tastes that match exactly.” Life would be boring if we all thought (and looked) alike.

  27. Tweets that mention Wednesday Midday Links: Kristan Higgins’ All I Ever Wanted Digital Edition Makes Bestseller List | Dear Author -- Topsy.com
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 00:44:17

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by shiloh walker and Sylvia Day, Denise A. Agnew. Denise A. Agnew said: RT @shilohwalker: a good link to read for the authors who still think digital sales don't count to making lists. um… WRONG. http://bit.ly/dq1cWf […]

  28. DS
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 07:27:23

    Well the web site kind of reminded me of my first web page although I had a picture of one of my terriers on it and it was on Geocities. I smiled at it.

    However, I’m not interested in the book at all. When I glanced at the cover I thought it was about the US Mexican War because the hair style and dress the woman was wearing sort of says 1840’s to me rather than regency.

    I might have gone for 1840’s but I’m a bit off Regency novels right now.

    I wouldn’t ever blame a reviewer if I didn’t react the same way to a book. Also I don’t rely on just one review before buying. My ideal second review would be from someone who thoroughly disliked the book. If I find their reasons for disliking it unpersuasive or trivial, then I feel like I have done my due diligence.

  29. hapax
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 08:56:23

    Disclaimer — I already “knew” the author through other websites, and had liked her voice and writing style, and since I very much like that genre, I was already disposed to order the book.

    Nonetheless, the website gave me the nudge I needed to actually order it (even though I generally dislike e-reading), mainly because I am an aspiring author myself who is both terrified and resentful of the sort of self-publicity that authors are expected to engage in nowadays.

    (WHY people think that skill at tweeting amusing 140-character snippets will somehow translate into the ability to develop engaging characters, create a believable world, and sustain an absorbing narrative arc is beyond me, but I digress)

    Anyways, I just loved how the site was the exact antithesis of what an author’s website was “supposed” to look like, and the rueful cleverness in acknowledging that.

  30. The Reading Reviewer
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 15:54:37

    I think Susanna Fraser’s website was very honest and refreshing. She wanted to tell everyone that while her goal may have been a home run, she did at least get on base. I have also asked my tech husband and geeky son for website help and both of them told me any teenage girl knows how to do that. Well awesome thanks for that update but I need help which I did not get and was able to figure it out after many mis-steps. The theory is if you are messing with your website you are not writing or reviewing but without the website no one knows what you are writing or reviewing. Yikes!

    Also, I was lucky enough to have read Susanna’s book and in fact bought a Kindle just so I could read the book and wanted to say it is amazing, well written and a complete delight.

    @Ridley – thanks for your thought as well on the places to go for help. There are allot out there and suggestions are also a huge plus.

  31. willaful
    Aug 21, 2010 @ 13:32:29

    I liked the website enough to share it on Facebook, so I’d call that a win.

  32. willaful
    Sep 03, 2010 @ 12:10:21

    Bopped back in to say, I just bought the book for $.99. That may not sound significant, but I don’t like ebooks much and it’s actually only the second one I’ve ever paid for. The website making it stick in my head definitely accomplished something.

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