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

Kindle 3G (with Special Offers) Giveaway

Kindle 3GA month or so ago I announced that we would start giving away one ebook reader a month to the DA readership as a thank you for using the affiliate code links to buy stuff at Amazon and other retailers.   (You can find those in our sidebar)  ——>

Today is our August giveaway. To enter the ereader giveaway, I would like for you to leave a comment about one thing you think DA does not do well.  We want to improve this place and it is always helpful to hear what the users think about the site.

To sum up, leave a comment in this thread about how we can improve DA to win the August eReader Giveaway.  This contest will be open until Wednesday 8 pm CST.  The winner will be announced on Thursday.

The September giveaway will be different.  During the month of August, I will be gathering up all the commenters who leave a comment throughout the month and giving away another Kindle 3G with special offers to one of those people. I encourage lurkers to comment on one of our Open Threads.   To enter the September eReader Giveaway, simply leave a comment throughout the month of August. (This thread will not count)

Thank you for being part of DA and for contributing its ongoing success.

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. Las
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 18:44:55

    I like First Page Saturdays, too. I’d like to see updates–not every step of the way, but a heads up on publishing dates would be nice.

  2. Maytoo
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 18:49:47

    Thank you, that helps a lot. I did not know you could do that.

  3. SandiN
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 19:09:18

    I adore the 29+ under 2.99 posts, but have a hard time finding them if I don’t see them right away. I would love it if there were a link to them under the “Need a Rec” or “Ebooks” menu in the menu bar.

  4. Pat L.
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 19:39:03

    I wish you would have more contemporary giveaways – not the paranormal, vamp, supererotic, demon, etc. Not that this is doing something not well, but just a matter of preference.

  5. peggy Quidor
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 21:51:53

    I like to see more historicals listed.

  6. Silver James
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 22:08:30

    Like others, I tend to skip the movie mention on Fridays, but at the same time, articles comparing movies with the books they’re based on could be interesting. Like others have mentioned, I’d also like to see more reviews of digital first books and perhaps more reviews on books written by lesser known authors. On the flip side, I really enjoy the midday links and being a tech doofus, I learn a lot from the ereader and other “techie” type posts.

  7. Fiona McGier
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 22:42:22

    I love the updates on industry news. I read your insights religiously. You make me feel as if I was there with you, when you hobnob with industry bigshots, so thanks for that.

    Criticism? I really dislike regencies, and you seem to love them to the point of nausea. They always get high ratings. And you love M/M romances with BDSM. I get that. But what about other romance genres? Paranormals? Contemporaries? Fantasy? Sci-fi? Or is it just that your reviewers only like certain genres and that’s all they will critique? Please add a little more variety!

  8. Joanna K.
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 22:49:08

    I wish there were more ARC reviews. Though, I’m not sure if that will affect people from buying books after their release dates.

    More interviews with authors would be great…or a post a month by an author…doesn’t matter if it’s a review or just anything interesting the author would like to talk about.

  9. Xiao Jin
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 22:58:40

    I find the midday links to be very helpful (otherwise, I would have been lost at much of the things going on in the literary world…as well as the technological world regarding apps, ebook readers, etc). I wouldn’t mind it if we can get more of those during the week.

    I’m also another guilty party who tends to skip the Friday film reviews and “first unnamed page” posts…I tried, but they never seem to catch my attention.

    My favorite reads are the paranormal and contemporary reviews and I love to see more of those! :)

  10. Harj
    Aug 08, 2011 @ 23:19:33

    I really like that service as well as it gives me a chance to read new authors with similar styles or genres that I like.

  11. Daisy
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 00:02:38

    Can’t really think of much that would improve the look or function of the site, but I did enjoy the site more when it had more discussions and fewer reviews on it.

  12. MaryK
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 00:55:47

    Am I the only one who thinks DA already has a lot of variety? I finally couldn’t stand it anymore so I broke down and tallied the recent reviews in the sliding banner at the top of the site. There are 24 books and the variety breaks down so:

    Historical Romance – 3
    Historical Fiction – 1
    Historical Mystery – 1
    Contemporary Erotic Romance – 1
    Category Romance – 4
    Urban Fantasy – 1
    Paranormal Romance – 1
    Epic Fantasy (m/m) – 1
    Contemporary YA – 1
    Crime Fiction – 1

    e-first Contemporary Romance (m/m) – 3
    e-first Contemporary Erotic Romance – 1
    indie Contemporary Romance – 1
    indie, backlist Category Romance – 1
    backlist Category Romance – 2
    backlist Contemporary Fiction – 1

    *Sorry for double posting. You can disqualify me if you want at least I got it off my chest. I suppose it’s what I get for reading the comments.

  13. Nimra
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 05:37:01

    I love this site and it frequently dictates what I will read. However, it would be useful to have the reviews listed by reviewer name bc over time it does seem like I have the same tastes as some of the writers and that’s good for when you want a for sure good read.

    Also, not really into the first page review, never caught my interest enough to read properly actually…

  14. Christine M.
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 07:13:41

    I tend to agree with you (hey, I’ve been reading the comment too).

    If the content gets too diluted, it won’t be about romance anymore. That and all the traffic that was driven here because of the free Kindle giveaway, it’s hard to tell how many people just took a quick look around and how many are actual lurkers with an understanding of what the site should be about when they make “improvement” suggestions. /2 cents.

  15. Christine M.
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 07:18:37

    Please see MaryK’s comment below, #183, re: variety.

  16. Kris
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 10:50:57

    More author interviews as part of the book reviews?? That even possible?

  17. Cally B.
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 11:57:10

    Maybe this is just me, but for some reason, this page at least, has a horizontal scrollbar and to get all of the stuff onto the screen it overlaps the dear author sidebar on the left.

    Other than that, hrm. It may be worth saying that I’m not actually a romance reader (often) though I have bought a handful of books based on your recommendation. I’m here for the snark, the ebook reader info, and the industry news.

    I will say that sometimes y’alls take on the ebook stuff can seem a little biased and left of center; I’m not sure if that’s a DA-overall decision or the result of having an opinionated expert/reviewer on the staff that handles it, but with book reviews we tend to get all of the underlying opinions laid-out on the table and it varies from reviewer to reviewer, but the ebook pricing / DRM stuff sometimes seems a little rantier than objective, which makes it harder to take seriously the projections for the future… which is unfortunate since one of the main reasons I’m here is learning about behind the scenes industry stuff and projections for the future of the book world.

    I know that above people said that they’d like you to narrow the focus of the blog — while I’d second keeping with romance in general and not branching out into hardcore sci fi as a general rule, please don’t start limiting yourself to just het romance or a narrow scope. One of my favorite things here is the reviews of “outside the norm” books like the menage and bdsm reviews. You guys do it so thoughtfully!

    Sorry for the TL;DR but you asked!

  18. Sandra
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 17:23:32

    I’m not going to be very helpful, because I’ve been happy with Dear Author since I started reading it several years ago. I enjoy both the reviews and the industry news. I love the way authors sometimes post here. The new $2.99 or less book list is also great. The only thing I don’t read is probably the movie reviews.

  19. library addict
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 19:23:34

    While I like threaded comments when reading comments late, I feel I (and others) may miss replies when reading more current posts. I don’t always have the time to go back and skim all of the comments looking to see if there are any. Actually, I just noticed today that they were back on and that was by accident.

  20. Jane
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 19:28:21

    That is definitely a downside to threaded comments. One way to be alerted to new comments is to subscribe to the comment thread. I’m open to suggestions. I know it’s been a matter of great debate as to whether threaded comments are better or worse.

  21. Ridley
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 19:46:19

    Dislike. Thumbs down. Boooooo.

  22. GirlyNerd
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 21:10:33

    I agree, please no YA. For the most part, your YA posts have been minimal. I have nothing against YA, I just have no interest in it. I don’t want to know about the angsty youths, I was one not to long ago and would rather not delve into it. There are so many blogs that do that already, you’re one of the few adult-mostly romance blogs.

    A huge thank you for the low price ebooks posts! I’ve read so many new kinds of romance I wouldn’t normally pick up, but because of the prices, I’ve been a reading machine (99¢, hells ya!)

  23. Yi Qiang
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 22:17:43

    I love that the site has so many reviews on diverse romance novels and very appreciative of the many giveaways DA has every year.

    If there was one thing I wish to change about the site would be the facebook integration. Before the site was moved to its new server, I remember we were allowed to sign in with our facebook accounts to leave comments. But, it appears to be missing after the migration. It would be great if that could be brought back.

  24. Leslie
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 22:30:45

    I think DA has a good balance of reviews, industry news, tech info regarding e-books and devices and author interviews.

    The only thing I’d like to see more of is maybe more reviews of older releases. With more authors releasing their back lists in e-books, it would be helpful to get a current review on some of those older titles.

    I didn’t read all of the comments so apologies if this has already been asked.

  25. MaryK
    Aug 09, 2011 @ 22:46:36

    I’m already seeing some disconnect with email subscriptions. Commenters don’t have to quote anything or even say who they’re replying to. I think I’m going to have to click through a lot more to figure out what’s going on.

  26. Craven Coward
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 08:23:21

    Like many others, I appreciate the variety on the site (e.g., that there is industry news, commentary, etc., not just book reviews). I even appreciate the reviews that are in subgenres I normally don’t read, because I like to know what’s out there and what people think about those books even if I don’t intend to read them. (Or don’t think I intend to read them, because, hey, I might change my mind.)

    However, when I read reviews, I also like to know the publisher, publication date, number of pages (or file size with e-books?), price. For me, it gives me some more parameters beyond author, title, and cover image about what’s being reviewed (e.g., is it self-published? small press? major publishing house? is it just published? still several weeks/months away from being released? already available? you get the idea). It gives structure to the book and helps me build an image of it before I hold it in my hands (either physically or electronically via e-reader).

  27. Franziska
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 12:16:34

    I really like Dear Author, just one thing would be better, at least for me: it would be great for me if the reviews could be looked up by the alphabet. Most of the time I am curious on how a specific auhor did with a book. I find I prefer that over having the reviews grouped in grades

  28. Deborah N
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 13:18:35

    Love DA. My only desire is for even more reviews. :) Keep up the great work.

  29. Kwana
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 14:48:41

    Like others have said, the first pages I don’t usually read but I do love your midday links. So I say keep it coming and more please!
    I’d love some more insider interviews also. I think you are a great destination for industry news.

  30. Craven Coward
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 17:44:32

    See, that’s just the thing. 4 of the 24 recent reviews were m/m; 6 of the 24 were categories. That’s 16% and 25%, respectively. Do those stats match with what’s being published or with what visitors to this site like to read? I’m not criticizing, I’m just questioning. And can see the viewpoint of those not attracted to m/m or category romances to think there has been a surfeit recently of reviews for books in these subgenres.

  31. Jane
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 17:47:43

    As I understand it, Harlequin accounts for over 50% of the romance market and probably 90% of what it publishes are category books making 35-40% of romance books category books.

    We have two reviewers who read a lot or exclusively m/m which accounts for those and one YA reviewer. Shuzluva reads most of our PNRs but she’s taking a bit of a break.

    Jayne and I provide the bulk of the reviews at DA and we are both big category fans.

    That’s probably part of the problem/issue/disparity. Hope that helps.

  32. Julie H
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 18:59:59

    I’d love to see a comprehensive listing of all digital romance releases — either by month or by week.

  33. Sarah_Florida
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 01:12:10

    I’d love to see a place for us visitors to leave suggestions of books we’d love to see reviewed by Dear Author.

    For example I love to see some reviews of Lorraine Heath books or Karen Rose even Nora Roberts :)

    Then maybe in the thread we can all comment on whether we liked it or not.

    I know you have open thread – but this would be where you would select one of the suggestions to review.

    If you already do this I apologise as I don’t always read the open thread discussions.

  34. KT
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 04:11:01

    Wow, what a ton of feedback! I’m sure I’ll get crap for my answer, but I would like to see the reviews be a little shorter. I enjoy reviews that are a quick hit — they get me interested & leave me wanting to run out and get the book! I have to give kudos for the amount of content & therefore effort you all put forth…so much to check out every day! So thank you:)

  35. Kindle 3G Winner and Changes to Dear Author - Dear Author
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 08:58:06

    […] Laura P says: August 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm I agree, reviews searchable by author would be […]

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