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

The $1.00 Bin

Dear Ms. MaryJanice Davidson:

So I was at the Half Price Bookstore yesterday and was browsing through the $1.00 bin. There was a romance book there proclaiming to be by New York Times Bestselling Author so and so (see I can’t even remember her name today). I looked at the copyright date: 1980s. Hadn’t ever heard of the author. She obviously still isn’t a) writing or b) writing books on the NYT list. I hope she saved up some royalty money from those heydays because she certainly isn’t still making money on the writing gig today.

Moral of the story. Don’t be so bloody cocky (I don’t think I need to say which comment, but just in case: 109 posted on 05/14 at 12:00 PM by MaryJanice Davidson). This effen stupid reader who can’t read will still be buying books and pretending to read in 10 years. Will you still be pretending to write?

Best regards,


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. Jayne
    May 15, 2006 @ 07:59:09

    Romance readers are tired of having to defend their choice of reading material to the general public. I don’t think we should be under attack by romance authors as well.

  2. Fiona
    May 15, 2006 @ 09:42:35


    Your posts get better by the day.

    Thanks for the wonderful laugh.


  3. Karen Scott
    May 15, 2006 @ 10:44:55

    MJD does it again huh? Maili so shouldn’t have apologised, it just gave her an excuse to pipe up.

  4. Maili
    May 15, 2006 @ 11:36:51

    I think it’s a case of communication breakdown as I think MJD thought I confused PC’s rant with hers, which I didn’t. I was referring to PC’s supposedly track record, hence the apology.

    Oh, well, I think she was itching to say something as it seems that she thrives on being a Big Bad-Ass Author. Hey, if that gives her a thrill, by all means let her have it. :)

  5. May
    May 15, 2006 @ 11:56:11

    Well, it’s a darn good thing I’ve already had more than enough of her work.

    Jane, as always, great post!

  6. Karen Scott
    May 15, 2006 @ 14:11:46

    Maili, bad Kitty for apologising!

    Jane, it would be interesting to see how well MJD is still doing in 10 years time, and you’re right, we’ll still be reading, but will her books still be selling?

    People forget that unless you’re Nora Roberts, what goes up, must come down.

    I saw a few Diana Palmer books in a 50p book bin this weekend, and now I wonder how well she’s still selling. Can’t stand her books myself, but I guess she has her fans still.

  7. Jane
    May 15, 2006 @ 14:56:33

    I don’t think MJD will still be selling in 10years unless she can advance as an author. Her work is stagnating. I loved the first two Betsy books but the 3-4 sounded redundant. There was no new territory to be advanced in any of the subsequent stories. I don’t even know what number we are on with that series. I can’t say I want to read Betsy and her smart mouth for 10 more years!

  8. May
    May 15, 2006 @ 21:36:10

    I think it’s book 4 or 5, and that’s how I feel too. Her books haven’t changed at all.

    They’ve gotten a bit better from her e-pub days, but that’s it.

  9. Tara Marie
    May 16, 2006 @ 07:35:08

    The rant that just wont die. It’s amazing, it could have been left alone, but noooooo, it gets started back up.

    I’ve never read PC Cast or MJD, I’ll still give PC a try, but MJD certainly doesn’t seem to need my money.

  10. Keishon
    May 16, 2006 @ 09:20:41

    Oh, good one. It’s never a smart move to piss off consumers. I think I’ll donate my one and only copy of her book to the dollar bin, too.

  11. Dear Author.Com »Blog Archive » All Books Are Art?
    May 17, 2006 @ 10:15:30

    […] No, I don’t think it is all about the reader. But I tend to think that books are more like cars than they are like Van Goghs. To some degree, books are interchangeable. There are several books out there that I feel could be written by the same person or several persons. Some books are homogeneous with no distinct voice. Some books are mere commodities and should be judged accordingly. And some books are art that rise above the masses and place themselves in the pantheon of classics where generations of readers will take them off the shelf and read them. Not every book deserves recognition as art. Some will always be part of the $1.00 bin. […]

  12. Jaynie R
    May 18, 2006 @ 04:47:26

    oh wow – I read the first 2 and honestly she wasn’t as funny as I hoped. I dithered on buying book 3 but her online comments lately have put me further over on the no-buy side.

  13. Cassie
    Jun 29, 2006 @ 08:05:08

    My mother told me never to speak if I didn’t have anything nice to say. If you don’t like something don’t partiipate. Don’t buy it. But don’t be nasty. Karma will kiss you in the ass.

  14. Jane
    Jun 29, 2006 @ 08:41:59

    Oh my dear god. My mother totally failed at her job because I don’t think she taught me that. I’m going to kick her ass this weekend when I see her.

  15. Holly
    Jun 30, 2006 @ 11:23:48

    I happen to like MJD and Betsy’s smart mouth. I will continue to buy her books even if I am the only one buying them in ten years.

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