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

Happy Anniversary Dear Author


So one year ago today, Jayne and I started blogging. Oh, my how time flies. In celebration of our anniversary, Jayne and I chatted yesterday about our time together, ebooks, and the future of our blog. We are giving away 10! $5 gift certificates to Fictionwise and Amazon to commenters today. Why don’t you drop a comment about the ways in which you would like to see DearAuthor change in the future? It can be anything from “more reviews” to “less reviews” to “less opinions” to “enough with the hideous pink”. Anything at all is welcome.

Don’t forget to fill out a Reader Rita Ballot for a chance to win free books and a whole basket full of RITA winners in July.

jayne (9:45:18 AM): Yo
jane1dearauthor (9:50:23 AM): Yo Yo
jane1dearauthor (9:50:25 AM): Yo
jayne (9:45:54 AM): we’re deleting that from the final product, right?
jane1dearauthor (9:50:51 AM): LOL. Right. I’ll send to you for review. So, tomorrow is our big anniversary
jayne (9:46:19 AM): Oh, I can check my spelling then. I can’t spell worth shit. I want an ice-cream cake


jane1dearauthor (10:15:24 AM): Do you regret coming on board? Even at all?
jayne (10:10:54 AM): Not unless I can’t get a review right in my head
jane1dearauthor (10:16:07 AM): What is the hardest book you’ve had to review? or maybe the hardest review to write?
jayne (10:12:23 AM): I hate doing a review for a book I asked for or specifically agreed to review and it turns out I didn’t like the book
jayne (10:12:38 AM): I want to like all the books I read
jane1dearauthor (10:17:31 AM): (Simply Magic?)
jayne (10:13:01 AM): I didn’t like the experience of reading it but the review wasn’t that hard to write. I guess C reviews are the hardest. Unless there’s something like the Bedwyns that really yanks my crank and I can beyoch about it easily.


jane1dearauthor (10:19:27 AM): Besides the free books !! what are the best things about blogging?
jayne (10:15:22 AM): being able to talk about books. when I finish one, and I love it or hate it, I want to be able to tell people about it and hear what they had to say as well and hammer out exactly what worked or didn’t work for me.
jane1dearauthor (10:20:51 AM): What do you want to change about the blog in the future?
jayne (10:16:35 AM): (thinking)
jayne (10:17:15 AM): let me keep thinking. I’m such a simple person….
jane1dearauthor (10:22:18 AM): lol
jayne (10:17:49 AM): see, you’re the Visionary. I just grab your coattails and hang on for dear life
jane1dearauthor (10:23:14 AM): If there was one thing that you could change / ad / subtract, what would it be? I.e., , I confess that I am tired of our layout and am thinking about changing it. . . .
jayne (10:24:16 AM): is it too crowded? or just time for a change
jane1dearauthor (10:29:12 AM): oh, I don’t know. I think that we could do a better job of highlighting our reviews. maybe separating out some content. There is a move in blogland to go toward magazine style blogging.
jayne (10:24:59 AM): I have noticed that it’s hard to go back and find our reviews of ebook sites
jane1dearauthor (10:30:03 AM): our search function doesn’t work worth shit. must replace that
jayne (10:25:36 AM): are we still looking at indexing the reviews by author name?
jane1dearauthor (10:30:31 AM): yes. I still want to do that. My brother, the sql god, however is ducking my calls. I can’t imagine why
jayne (10:26:06 AM): should we have a post asking for suggestions? improvements? see what is and isn’t important
jane1dearauthor (10:31:16 AM): Yes, I definitely want to do that.
jayne (10:31:53 AM): what about recycling content? are we all just talking about the same thing? over and over and commenting about each other? I don’t want us to just sit around and all become like talking heads on TV. all yapping about the same thing in only slightly different ways. Or become like an “in group” where we talk to each other all the time and others who don’t know these people or read their blogs feel left out. I don’t want the casual dropper-in to wonder what half of what we’re talking about is about. And I don’t want to lose what’s made us popular and what, for most people, seems to be our biggest draw — honest reviews and opinions
jane1dearauthor (10:44:41 AM): I don’t want to be talking about just what goes on in blogland either and I do think that there will always be some recycling of topics because, as in books, there are only a few major topics. I read somewhere that there are only 7 plots. So we have to make it fresh, somehow, everytime we bring up a topic.


jane1dearauthor (10:46:51 AM): Have you met with Laura Florand?
jayne (10:42:33 AM): yes, we went out for late afternoon coffee and chocolate in mid Feb. before Lent when I gave up chocolate! She’s a doll. and she sounds exactly like Lauren Bacall!
jane1dearauthor (10:47:49 AM): Does meeting authors make it more fun or less fun for you, as a reader? It seems that some author/reader contact is fraught with peril.
jayne (10:43:41 AM): she said something about me coming to some author’s meeting and smoozing but I hesitated. I don’t want to meet some of these people then have to write a C review for them. She had just gone to a SEP signing and had met a bunch of area authors there. I feel that I could give a more honest review if I don’t know them and I don’t want to do a pity review because I can see an author’s hopeful face in my mind.
jane1dearauthor (10:50:51 AM): I know. I’ve read some statements about how reviews don’t even consider the author and I think to myself, of course not, because if they did, no one would be able to write an honest review. We would all be thinking – well, I can’t be critical here or there because the author’s feelings are going to get hurt.
jayne (10:46:42 AM): and we start to sink into the quagmire of “let’s all be nice”
jane1dearauthor (10:52:04 AM): which does no one any good. I mean, I think that is what differentiates the online blog reviewer from the fanzines and fanzones.


jane1dearauthor (11:02:22 AM): you read alot of ebooks and are a big ebook fan. why is that?
jayne (10:58:48 AM): authors seem to be allowed to be different. try different genres or settings or plots that aren’t the same old same old. though you do find that as well
jane1dearauthor (11:04:05 AM): do you think that there is a quality difference between the ebooks and the print publications?
jayne (10:59:24 AM): yes
jayne (10:59:43 AM): wait…do you mean quality in writing or publishing?
jane1dearauthor (11:04:48 AM): well, what do you mean?
jayne (11:00:54 AM): I mean that the writing can be just as good – or not – but ebooks from ebook publishers do seem to lag behind in publishing quality – meaning more typos, missed words, etc
jayne (11:01:21 AM): the western I just finished is a huge example of that
jane1dearauthor (11:06:36 AM): I think that is because of the sheer numbers that ebook publishers put out. EC puts out like 6 or 7 books a week. that seems like a tremendous number
jayne (11:02:32 AM): BDSM, BDSM threesomes, BDSM fantasy, BDSM vampires…. Fated Mates!!!

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. Meljean
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 14:46:01

    Congratulations on the first year!

    And I don’t want to lose what’s made us popular and what, for most people, seems to be our biggest draw — honest reviews and opinions

    This is why I’m here. I hope you carry on. :-)

  2. Sandra Schwab
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 14:54:57

    Happy anniversary and herzlichen Glückwunsch!

  3. Susan G
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 15:05:31

    Happy Anniversary!

    Thank you for all the work you put into this site. I have discovered so many great books based on your reviews.
    If I could have one wish, though, it would be more You Tube movie book reviews. I am always thrilled to see one of Jane’s wonderful book summations brought to life through music and stick figures. Nowhere else on the web can you find that kind of entertainment!

  4. Nalini Singh
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 15:08:23

    Happy Anniversary!! I can’t believe it’s only been a year. DA has certainly become a presence very quickly.

  5. readerdiane
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 15:10:59

    I am amazed at all the books you manage to read. I can’t say that I always agree with your verdict, but you have pointed me to some good books.

    I have been entertained by some of the hot debates so that is a fun feature but I wouldn’t want it all the time.

    How about choosing a day to do a sub-branch genre like paranormal or romantic suspense?

    Happy anniversary!!

  6. sybil
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 15:17:05

    I have the email of a chick who just redid my site. She rocks the house and works cheap.

    Let me know if you need it.

    Happy Anniversary *g*

  7. Michelle in Colorado Springs
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 15:17:11

    I have to say “enough with the hideous pink”. I also say Congratulations!!!! I love this site, I check it at least 3 times a day.

  8. WendyPortia
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 15:29:48

    Happy Anniversary, Ja[y]nes!

    No probs with the pink… I think it’s just fine! And I’m happy with the mix of reviews and articles.

    All the best


  9. Deirdre
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 15:33:11

    I love reading your reviews but they have a terrible tendency to add to my every expanding TBR pile! I really can’t think of anything as an improvement. The reviews are great and I really enjoy readng the feed.

  10. Alison Kent
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 15:40:04

    I had a pink site for years. Love pink. DON’T like the lay-out of the comments, but that’s just me. Happy Day!

  11. Aoife
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 15:46:54

    dearauthor is rapidly becoming my first stop for reviews and great commentary, so thank you for all your hard work! I have no problem with the pink, and love the fact that you regularly review e-books, and e-book technology. You inspired me to buy an e-reader, and now my husband wants one, too.


  12. Teddy Pig
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 15:49:08

    More male strippers and beer. Everything is better with more male strippers and beer.

  13. Aoife
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 15:49:56

    Just had to add, I love the layout of the comments, they are so easy to read and follow.

  14. ellie
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:13:23

    Reviews are great and love even more of them. Congrats on a great first year and many more. Love this site.

  15. Keishon
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:13:49

    Happy Anniversary and many, many more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yeah, do something different so I can copy, k?

  16. pearl
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:14:46

    I visit dear author for its scintillating reviews since I have to have more books to read. ALso love the fun and interesting conversation.

  17. sharon
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:16:53

    Happy Anniversary. Enjoyable books that I would not be aware of and fascinating talk. Love the pink so keep it. Livens things up.

  18. alissa
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:17:56

    My first stop each day to see what new books I am going to be reading soon. Happy Days and continue with this great place. All the best.

  19. Laura Vivanco
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:19:28

    I like the fact that you publish new reviews so frequently, and I also enjoy the updates on what’s happening in publishing. The opinion pieces/what’s going on in Blogland are fun too, and having that mixture of different types of posts makes this feel like a very up-to-the-minute place to be if one wants to find out the latest news, views and gossip.

    I’m not a big fan of pink, but I do like the stamp a lot. It seems to be suggesting that there’s lots of liberty, fraternity and equality round here and that you’ll use your liberty to send some books to the guillotine if they deserve it, while the fraternity and equality make their appearance in the comments section.

  20. joelle
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:20:37

    Your reviews are great! Happy Anniversary. What a fabulous blog. Enjoyable,

  21. nath
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:26:32

    Hey, I just wanted to congratulate both of you for your awesome work!!! So Happy Anniversary :D Hard to believe that Dear Author is only one year old tho!

  22. Sarah McCarty
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:26:47

    WOOT!!! Congrats!! Hoping you have many more! (and not just because you’re my number one cruise by to see if I can find a good recommend spot. *G*)

  23. Jorrie Spencer
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:31:10

    Happy Anniversary! Feeling very non-critical: like the pink, like the layout, love the reviews :)

  24. MaryKate
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:49:19

    Congratulations! What a wonderful site this is. Here’s to another fantastic year of insightful reviews that we can rely on!

  25. Josie
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:53:48

    Happy Anniversary Ja(y)nes!!!!!
    I think you should read faster and produce more reviews kay? :-)
    I’m also a massive fan of the video reviews… Who knew that stick figures could provide us with so much information AND entertainment? Very impressive!

  26. Janine
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:56:31

    Happy Anniversary, guys!

  27. Sydney Somers
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 16:57:47

    Happy Anniversary! Your reviews always have me stopping to check out books I might have passed right by when I’m in the bookstore, which is hard on the credit card. *g* As for the site, I like the pink, and I also like the IM conversations like above.

  28. cathy
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 17:09:23

    Happy Anniversary. I like the idea of being able to search reviews by the author’s name.

  29. Angie
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 17:25:22

    I love your honesty, even if it doesn’t always work in our favor :)

    I enjoy all the content, but would love to see more “dueling” reviews where two of you review a book.

    You’ve done good over the past year!

  30. Jaci Burton
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 17:29:31

    Happy Anniversary! I hope you continue to do what you’re doing, which is telling it like it is, making everyone feel comfortable and welcome enough to speak their mind, and making this a fun place to hang out. I come here every day and really enjoy what y’all have to say.

  31. raine
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 18:04:52

    Wouldn’t change a thing.

    Happy Anniversary, Dear Author! :-)

  32. jaq
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 18:10:31

    Happy Anniversary!

  33. Kim
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 18:12:23

    Happy Anniversary! I like the reviews and all the ebook/book related information posts. I say “why mess with a good thing”. lol It’s a great site just the way it is.

  34. Rosario
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 18:26:21

    Feliz cumpleaños! It seems much, much longer!

    I love the mix of reviews and other stuff you do now, and I would like the reviews indexed by author. Keep hounding your brother, Jane! ;-)

  35. penny
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 18:27:53

    Congratulations & Happy Anniversary! I love this site – the reviews & opinions. I wouldn’t change a thing!

  36. Charlene
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 18:47:07

    Happy anniversary! I like the mix of ebook site reviews, book reviews, publishing info, etc.

  37. Marg
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 19:21:51

    Happy Blogiversary! I have found quite a few books to read after your reviews of them, so thanks.

    I agree that the search feature needs work, but other than that pretty happy with what goes on here!

  38. Kristie(J)
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 19:42:54

    Wow! Has it only been a year? What a refeshing splash you’ve made in the blogging world!! Congrats on your anniversary:)

  39. EC Sheedy
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 20:19:30

    Happy Anniversay, Ja(y)nes! I tried to post here when I first saw the announcement, but couldn’t find this nice little square.

    This is a really enjoyable site; I visit often, so whatever it is you’re doing–I’m enjoying the hell out of it. :-)

  40. Shannon
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 20:26:05

    Happy anniversary!

    I like the pink, but you should review more Shannon Stacey books in the future. *g* Just kidding.

    I enjoy this site a lot, and I hope you guys keep up with the reviews!

  41. Phyl
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 21:33:20

    Congratulations! I didn’t discover this site until last June or July, but it quickly became my favorite blog. I love the diversity of books that you review. And I can trust you to let me know if something is going on out there in blogland that I should pay attention to. Otherwise I can read & quilt in peace. Thanks for a great year! Looking forward to many more.

  42. DebR
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 21:41:14

    Happy Blogiversary!

    Love the reviews. My favorites are when you do dueling reviews so that we can read more than one perspective on the same book here.

    I don’t love the pink. :-)

  43. Tara Marie
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 21:50:43

    Happy Blogiversary!!

    You’re one of my first stops everyday. Love the reviews and publishing info, rants and opinions.

    Rosario’s right an index by author would be wonderful.

  44. Rosie
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 22:09:34

    Why don’t you drop a comment about the ways in which you would like to see DearAuthor change in the future?

    Change? You are going to change? I love the mix of reviews and what’s going on in the industry. Especially the tidbits about the publishing world at large. Hurrah for the content! Oh, and I love to check back to sites for reviews too so the author index would be way cool.

  45. Robin
    Apr 04, 2007 @ 22:23:40

    Wow, CONGRATULATIONS! I like the mix of reviews and issues. Besides more video reviews, maybe more dueling reviews? Overall, though, I think you have a winning format, and it keeps developing, which keeps it interesting.

  46. Karen Scott
    Apr 05, 2007 @ 00:21:11

    Happy anniversary girls!

    I can’t believe it’s only been a year!

  47. Karen Scott
    Apr 05, 2007 @ 00:27:45

    Sorry, was I meant to make suggestions? Lose the pink, far too insipid for such a vibrant site.

    Everything else, I lurve, lurve, lurve.

  48. Katie
    Apr 05, 2007 @ 02:53:47

    I love you girls :-) Your reviews and especially your Letter of Opinions. I could devour them every day. They are fantastically researched and either inform me about something in Romancelandia I haven’t known about or conform my own opinion. So all I can add to the row of accolades is that I want more, more, more :-) *lol*

  49. jmc
    Apr 05, 2007 @ 06:11:55

    Happy anniversary!

    Love the publishing news, reviews, rants. Change? Um, maybe dueling reviews? Or books of the month? Love the video reviews, but I know they are harder to do than the written ones.

  50. JulieLeto
    Apr 05, 2007 @ 06:30:20

    Happy Anniversary! I’m really surprised that it’s only been a year…the Plotmonkeys (my plotting partners and I) are celebrating our year anniversary in a week or so…I had no idea we started around the same time.

  51. LinM
    Apr 05, 2007 @ 07:36:50

    Congratulations on a great year! I started reading Dear Author just before Thanksgiving – it was a week of joyous reviews – bliss.

    I like the mix of reviews, news, commentary and discussion. In my mind the Ja(y)nes have the work ethic of Nora Roberts; there is no other way to explain the dynamic, fresh, wide-ranging content of the site.

    Change? a search function would be great. (SQL wizards should be more attentive to their sisters) Otherwise, I’m a stick in the mud; be different and don’t change the site layout.

  52. Jenny
    Apr 05, 2007 @ 09:31:27

    Happy Anniversary! Keep up the good work!

  53. Fiona Glass
    Apr 05, 2007 @ 10:17:09

    You’ve blogged about *how many* books in just one year? OMG, you deserve a medal. :)

  54. HelenKay
    Apr 05, 2007 @ 10:17:45

    Wahoo!! Happy Anniversary!

  55. Devon
    Apr 05, 2007 @ 15:21:21

    Happy Anniversary! I look forward to more reviews and interesting discussions.

  56. May
    Apr 05, 2007 @ 18:58:05

    Congrats, ladies!

    I don’t like the layout of the comments, especially when the posts are long–I’m not complaining about the length of some of your posts though.

  57. Jane
    Apr 05, 2007 @ 21:25:13

    Okey dokey, I think the general consensus is we have to do something about those comments! and maybe the pink. . . . We appreciate all the nice things you’ve all said and we appreciate you c oming and commenting because obviously a blog is nothing without its commenters.

    The winners of the GCs are


    which means: Aoife, Josie, Shannon, Susan G, Sharon, Joelle, Tara Marie, Charlene, Penny, Karen Scott all need to email me at jane @ and tell me whether you want a fictionwise or amazon GC.

  58. Karen Scott
    Apr 06, 2007 @ 01:58:52

    I really should pay greater attention, where was the mention of the Amazon Gift certificates?

    Thanks guys, what a nice surprise! Will e-mail ASAP!

  59. Laura Florand
    Apr 06, 2007 @ 13:59:57

    Jayne, truly, you are my hero for pretending I sound like Lauren Bacall. I’m not sure what it does for your credibility when people actually hear me, but still…actually, I think I MIGHT sound like Lauren Bacall right now. I believe all the yellow pollen has coated my vocal cords that much.

    Happy Anniversary! It’s a fantastic site, it’s hard to believe y’all built it up to what it is in only one year.

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