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

Wednesday News: Apple and the good old days, UK bestsellers of...

How Apple Went from Underdog to Cult in Six Design and Innovation Strategies from the Early Days – Pieces like this make me sad for what Apple used to represent to me — anti-establishment innovation. Now, in the wake of agency pricing and artificially depressed engineering salaries, I’m balking at the idea of buying another iPhone. Still, the forward-looking brilliance of these six recommendations that Hartmut Esslinger — the man who invented the Snow White design language — presented to Steve Jobs in 1997 makes me want to believe in fairy tales.

Within the new marketplace these advancements were creating, Steve’s biggest concern was Sony, [which], as a leader in micro-electronics that also owned Sony Music and Sony Studios, could be Apple’s most dangerous competitor. But … Sony was asleep at the wheel, as was Samsung and a number of mobile phone companies such as Motorola and Nokia, who were expected to move into the emerging market of universal digital convergence. These companies made good and well-designed products, but they didn’t understand that they actually were putting computers into people’s hands, which could enable them for a totally new experience and culture. . . . –Brain Pickings

The biggest books of 2013 across print and digital – What’s neat about this article is that it breaks down the way that format shapes sales numbers. While Gone Girl was not the top-selling printed book in the UK in 2013, it was the bestselling book across formats, which gives you a nice view into how and why format is important to consider when discussing the term “bestseller,” which, as any reader of genre fiction knows, is a word that is greatly overused and under-defined.

But the bestseller across all editions? Step forward Gillian Flynn. Gone Girl (Orion) was the UK’s true “book of the year”, selling more than one million units across all editions. It was both the third-bestselling printed book in the UK last year and, according to publishers’ e-book sales data, the third-bestselling e-book. Combined, however, it was the UK’s overall number one in 2013. Aided by excursions into e-book retailers’ deep-discount promotions, the thriller sold more than 400,000 units in “e” last year, with 40% of its total sales of 1.038 million coming from digital editions.  –The Bookseller

Impatience Has Its Reward: Books Are Rolled Out Faster – Oh, gee, publishers are putting more books into the market at a faster rate. And why? Well, because readers obviously want them to, of course! And guess what? They’re blaming it on Fifty Shades! Oh, and binge-watching television shows! Thanks to Berkley’s Cindy Hwang, for the nice, reasonable, cautionary comment, though I’m wondering how many publishers are watching for that balance.

The practice of spacing an author’s books at least one year apart is gradually being discarded as publishers appeal to the same “must-know-now” impulse that drives binge viewing of shows like “House of Cards” and “Breaking Bad. –New York Times

Bookstore Recreates Famous Scenes From Literature Using LEGO Bricks – This is one instance where a corny reference to Pride and Prejudice really works. The title of the article says it all. Enjoy the genius of the staff from Waterstones Bookstore. –TAXI

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. library addict
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 04:23:27

    I remember when Apple was anti-big brother, but they’ve long since done a complete 180.

    I love series books, but I wouldn’t want to start a series I was unsure the author would ever finish either. I can see the advantage to publishers holding on to a trilogy to have back-to-back-to-back releases over a short time frame. As much fun as it is to glom a new-to-you author’s backlist, authors need to work at their own pace. And even if they are speedy, they can’t write (not to mention edit) as fast as readers read. I would much rather have a the best book they can write than the fastest. And that’s why people who like to read read more than one author, right?

    As for the LEGOs, Darcy’s abs. Ha! But I don’t get why Batman is in Dracula’s room. Think I should go back to bed.

  2. Scott Malthouse
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 04:32:53

    Hey, thanks so much for featuring our LEGO diaramas! Glad you enjoyed them :)

  3. Avery Flynn
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 08:42:52

    LEGOs and books together. It’s like peanut butter and jelly. Perfect! My favorite link of the day.

  4. Darlynne
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 10:32:26

    The Lego scenes were great. I, too, am puzzled by Batman in Dracula’s bedroom.

    Back in the 90s, I worked at a computer training company on their PC side. Our Mac cohorts across the way were generally very creative and I was a little jealous of the artistic things they could do. Now, though, Apple seems to have gulped its own Kool-Aid and their fairy dust has lost its magic. When “innovations” focus primarily on new phone case colors, it’s time to have a talk with the emperor, or unseat him.

  5. Scott Malthouse
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 10:35:09

    Also, we put Batman in there because Batman is awesome. We have pictures where her father is entering the room, too, but…Batman!

    I think that’s reason enough ;)

  6. RowanS
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 10:37:02

    Love Jar-Jar Binks’s head on a post in the Arthur/Mordred one!

  7. Susan
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 15:47:13

    Ha. I thought Batman was a play on the vampire/bat thing.

  8. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Linkity for linkity’s sake
    Feb 14, 2014 @ 10:24:47

    […] and publishing news from Dear […]

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