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

Monday Dear Author News

First up we have the winners of the Molly O’Keefe ARC and the Caitlin Crews novel.  We are giving these away in conjunction with a beautiful post by the two authors on Shame and the Romance Heroine.    Winners have been emailed and requested to please fill out the form at the bottom.

Author Word Cloud

Next, we have a couple of new features at Dear Author.  First is an Author Cloud. This is a representation of every author we have reviewed here at DA.  We will be deploying more features surrounding this in the coming months.  The idea is that we are trying to make it easier for you to access and find content.

Additionally, we have created an alphabetic list of our reviews. There is a list view for each grade as well as an image oriented viewing. As you can see in the latter pages, we have some work to do in generating images for every review. Bear with us as we clean everything up. These views will be accessible via the menu bar.

Advanced Search

Third, if you are looking to search through our reviews, think about using the Advanced Search Feature.  It’s in the sidebar and allows you to search for terms by Author, Title, Reviewer, Grade, and using “Key words”, the genre.

Finally, you may have noticed last week we had some problems getting our site to agree with Internet Explorer browsers.  The culprit appears to be the Advanced Comment Editing program.  I’ve always had problems with that.  I know readers love to edit their comments and one way I believe that this can be accomplished is by moving to Disqus.  I also have heard from commenters that some really dislike Disqus.  However, we can make it so that Disqus works almost exactly like the commenting system we have here.  There will be no threaded comments and you can comment anonymously without signing up for a Disqus account.

Let me know your thoughts.

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

61 Comments

  1. OctopusGallery
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:06:38

    Is there a lot of opposition to threaded comments? I really prefer those as it’s easier to see what something is a reply to and can also easily skip threads I don’t care about. I’m curious to know why people don’t like them.

    ReplyReply

  2. Angela
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:13:40

    Congrats to the winners!

    I like the new features making it easier to find reviews. I know whenever I see a book that looks vaguely familiar I come here (because it’s likely where I saw it) looking for a review or discussion about it. I like the idea of an image orientated view of reviews as well, because I like to browse that way. May bring me to something else I find I like.

    Fully selfish (and I know this), but I don’t like Disqus. I can’t comment on blogs that use it from my work computer. Not a big deal for most blogs because I don’t often feel the need to join in the conversations right away, but I comment quite a bit more here from work. So, like I said, entirely selfish but there it is. Also, personally I find I miss the editing feature less the more I’m away from it

    ReplyReply

  3. Ridley
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:15:52

    I would rather have editing disabled than use Disqus.

    ReplyReply

  4. Darlene Marshall
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:18:06

    I like the new features. I’m not crazy about Disqus, but I can live with it.

    ReplyReply

  5. MaryK
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:20:06

    The author cloud is kinda fun. I scrolled though to see which names are bigger. :)

    In the alphabetic list, there are some quotation marks causing book titles to sort wrong.

    ReplyReply

  6. Ridley
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:25:02

    @OctopusGallery: Jane tried threaded comments last year. Reaction split between regular commenters and lurkers with regulars vigorously opposed.

    Threaded comments are the worst.

    ReplyReply

  7. Lada
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:27:12

    “Finally, you may have noticed last week we had some problems getting our site to agree with Internet Explorer browsers.”

    Huh. The problem I had last week was getting DA to work on my iPad. There has been a few glitches on PC but mostly I can access content. When I tried on my iPad, it would flash from the DA main page right to a page showing only those ads you have up in the right corner. Not sure if it’s still a problem since I gave up and went on to something else and I’m on a PC right now.

    I appreciate all the hard work you’re doing Jane to keep DA running smoothly!!

    ReplyReply

  8. Jane
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:32:24

    @Lada: Let me know if that is still the case Lada.

    ReplyReply

  9. Jill Sorenson
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:35:31

    The only site I know of with Disqus is SB. I enjoy the “like” feature but hate having to reload pages every 50 comments. If the thread is long, I usually won’t bother clicking.

    ReplyReply

  10. OctopusGallery
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:35:42

    @Ridley: Huh. Interesting. I admit I don’t visit the comments here much so I guess that sticks me in the lurker school. Part of it is because I dislike wading through all the comments in a straight line but it’s certainly easier to see the newest comments. I also spent the vast majority of my formative internet years on places like LJ so that’s just how comments should work in my mind. Thanks for the reasoning!

    ReplyReply

  11. Lada
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:36:28

    That author cloud is kind of awesome fodder for DABWAHA smack. Heh.

    ReplyReply

  12. Lada
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:37:25

    @Jane: Don’t have my iPad with me but I’ll check it out tonight and let you know.

    ReplyReply

  13. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:37:57

    @Jane: I don’t have the same problem Lada does for iPad, but DA is the only site that freezes and crashes Safari if I turn the pad from portrait to landscape. That’s done that since I got my iPad a year ago.

    ReplyReply

  14. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:38:56

    Agree with Ridley on both Disqus and threaded comments. I quit SBTB altogether mostly because of Disqus.

    ReplyReply

  15. Jane
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:41:14

    @Moriah Jovan: Do you have an iPad 1? I can’t get that to replicate on my iPad.

    ReplyReply

  16. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:43:36

    @Jane: Yes, iPad 1.

    ReplyReply

  17. Darlynne
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:51:40

    I like the cloud, but I hope the banner of book covers will remain across the top. It’s nice to see a reminder of reviews I might have missed.

    Not a fan of Disqus at all, primarily because of having to reload more comments if the topic goes beyond 40 and doing so never brings me back to where I was. It’s harder to tell who a reply is directed at unless the poster includes the original poster’s name. But if Disqus makes life here at DA easier for you, just please oh please oh please, don’t make the comments threaded. Threaded comments were created by the Inquisition.

    ReplyReply

  18. Jane
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:52:47

    I didn’t realize that Disqus had a 50 comment limit. I don’t think that would work here at DA. Many of our comment threads exceed 50. I think we might have to live without the comment editing. You can always email me to edit your comment!

    ReplyReply

  19. Roslyn Holcomb
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:53:42

    I don’t read SB because of Disqus. I’d much rather have editing disabled than deal with that POS. Hate threaded comments with a passion. Stopped posting here because of the threaded comments was surprised to see it gone. I really like the author cloud, but then I’m a cloud fiend. I think a genre cloud would be kind if interesting, just to see which genres y’all review most often.

    DA went weird on my iPad last week too and I have a 2. The header went to the left of the page and I couldn’t get into any of the topics. This went on for a day or so, then was OK.

    ReplyReply

  20. Jane
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:56:19

    @Darlynne: Fixed that.

    ReplyReply

  21. Jane
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:56:47

    @Moriah Jovan: I wonder if it was due to the AEC plugin. Have you tried it this weekend? or Today?

    ReplyReply

  22. Brian
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:56:48

    @Ridley:

    Threaded comments are the worst.

    I agree completely.

    ReplyReply

  23. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:57:25

    @Jane:

    I think we might have to live without the comment editing.

    That would be lovely. I’m assuming a “preview” feature would pose the same problem as the “edit” feature?

    ReplyReply

  24. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:58:17

    @Jane: Yes, but in addition I now have a new problem: It freezes after I’ve typed a comment. That problem has popped up within the last four days.

    ReplyReply

  25. cleo
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 10:59:38

    @OctopusGallery: Interesting. I don’t like threaded comments because I think it makes it harder to find the new comments. If I’m following a conversation over a period of hours or days, I like to be able to scroll to the comment I last read and then read the new ones. Using the Reply option lets people link back to the original comment, so you can follow the “threads” that way.

    ReplyReply

  26. Darlynne
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:00:20

    @Jane: As much as I love need editing capability–I mean, seriously, how many messages did I send you just this morning, Jane, before I got one right?–I would happily forgo that if it meant Disqus never darkened DA’s door.

    ReplyReply

  27. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:04:15

    @Jane: But let me add: I cannot stand my iPad for a myriad of reasons, so this is just one tiny cut of the thousand that are draining my patience dry.

    ReplyReply

  28. Jane
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:04:55

    A lot of conflicts are caused by inept plugins. Maybe we’ll go plugin free today and see what happens. (Except for Askimet. Must have Askimet – the spam blocker)

    ReplyReply

  29. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:07:02

    @cleo: Threaded conversations work in Usenet-type settings where you can see where each thread has a new comment. In fact, with Usenet (Google Groups), I love threaded conversations, but blogs are more linear than Usenet (LiveJournal, Reddit, et al).

    ReplyReply

  30. Roslyn Holcomb
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:10:17

    Oh yeah, forgot to add, when I post a comment, the screen locks. I’ve noticed it only happens if I don’t remove the keyboard before I hit post comment. I can’t use the ampersand or reply buttons, but that might be an iPad problem.

    ReplyReply

  31. cleo
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:10:31

    @Jane: the way disqus works (or doesn’t work, depending on your point of view) at SBTB is that after 40 comments you have to click a button to see 40 more comments – so you can have comment threads that run long, but it’s slightly less convenient to view them. I don’t mind it when I’m just reading all the comments – one more click isn’t that annoying – but I do mind it when I’m following a conversation and I just want to see the NEW comments and I have to click More several times to see all 130 or whatever comments listed. I’m not sure if there’s a way to let viewers control if they see oldest or newest comments first. Don’t know enough about disqus to know if it has to be that way or not.

    Personally, I’m willing to live without editing.

    ReplyReply

  32. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:17:59

    @Roslyn Holcomb: Oh, I’ll try removing the keyboard first. Thanks!

    ReplyReply

  33. Has
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:20:38

    I loathe Disqus- I don’t mind not having the editing function, but I cant leave a comment with Disqus because I feel it is buggy and slow.

    I adore the Author Cloud!

    ReplyReply

  34. Carolyn
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:44:03

    I’ve been having problems with DA for the last week or so. It was really hit or miss – mostly miss! I even blogged about it. ;-)

    So, on a recommendation, I downloaded Firefox which worked great. It was then IE decided to behave, although I notice today it’s real wonky with the Cloud. Doesn’t like a script and refuses to DL the complete page.

    Lookes like it’ll be Firefox for DA from now on. :-)

    Regarding the Edit button: not having it is making me check carefully before I hit post. I could live without it perfectly fine.

    ReplyReply

  35. DS
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 11:48:16

    I have a problem with Disqus. It doesn’t work right for me on my Android tablet. And I also don’t like having to click through all comments to get to new ones. If it showed pages so I could skip over the ones in the middle I would be happier.

    ReplyReply

  36. Meri
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 12:04:49

    I’m not sure Disqus really has a 40 comment limit; I think it’s something about the SBTB setup. I know they use it over at The Atlantic, and there are some looooong comment threads there and I’m pretty sure you do not need to refresh to see them. Another site with Disqus-based commenting that doesn’t seem to require frequent refreshing is STFU Parents. I’m typo-prone so any editing feature, whether Disqus or otherwise, comes in handy.

    I actually don’t mind threaded comments, because I find it hard to keep track who’s responding to what right now. But another (better?) option might be to provide an easy way to block quote, so that commenters would be more inclined to use it :)

    ReplyReply

  37. Meri
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 12:07:58

    And, since we can’t edit at the moment, I’ll just add that Tom and Lorenzo use Disqus with pages rather than “load more”, and most sites I’ve seen allow you to choose if you want to oldest or the newest comments first. I think the way it’s set up on SBTB is just wonky for some reason.

    ReplyReply

  38. Isobel Carr
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 12:18:28

    I’m just happy DA is loading again for me! Poor Jane was going nuts last week trying to figure out what was making it hang mid-load.

    ReplyReply

  39. Ros
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 13:40:51

    @Ridley: I agree with Ridley. Disqus is dreadful.

    ReplyReply

  40. Ros
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 13:41:59

    @Ridley: I don’t think the split was that clear-cut. I’m a regular, but I like threaded comments.

    ReplyReply

  41. April
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 13:42:21

    I love that my name is in the author cloud. Is that a hint? My fiancé keeps urging me to write a book. :)

    ReplyReply

  42. Darlynne
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 13:56:27

    @Ros: @Meri: The Atlantic is what made me hate threaded comments; it was impossible to find where I left off in long topics and I didn’t want to have to read through all the old posts again. I’ll gladly use

    if doing so makes tracking replies easier.
    ReplyReply

  43. Darlynne
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 14:00:09

    @Darlynne: Well, let this be a lesson to anyone who wants to mention “block*quote” without actually using it in a post. Sheesh.

    ReplyReply

  44. becca
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 14:11:31

    I don’t see the author cloud – but I use FireFox with adblockplus – could AB+ be blocking the author cloud?

    ReplyReply

  45. Susan
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 14:32:49

    I’m not one of the regulars, so take this for what it’s worth: DON’T like Disqus, DO like threads.

    (I’m also not seeing the author cloud. Not a biggie. Will test it out on one of the tablets.)

    Back to lurker status. . .

    ReplyReply

  46. Maili
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 14:56:09

    No to Disqus. I kept having problems logging on. I’d have to go to Disqus’s own site to log in from there. Drove me crazy so much that I avoid Disqus altogether. But I’d be happy to use Disqus if I don’t need to log on. I’ll just have to remember to sign all my responses.

    No to threaded threads. I prefer a flat thread when on a blog, and threaded threads when on a message board like AAR’s old message boards.

    The reason why I’m not keen on a threaded thread: when I click on a linked name a respondent was responding to, it doesn’t take me to anywhere if it’s on a different page of the thread, e.g. it’s on page 2 while the response is on page 4. I’d have to right-click on the linked name in the respondent’s response, and copy & paste URL to get to where that original response is. Too much of a hassle.

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  47. library addict
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 16:08:26

    Not a fan of Disqus here either. It’s much harder to comment on the SB site, so I lurk there more now than comment.

    I love the edit comments features, but if it has to be disabled to allow DA to stay Disqus free than I would much rather lose that ability.

    I am also not a fan of threaded comments as it makes it difficult to actually see what is new.

    I most use IE9 to access DA and other than a few loading time issues which I think were more than a week ago, have not had any problems.

    ReplyReply

  48. Sarina
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 16:15:49

    I really don’t see why people dislike Disqus so much. It’s not that difficult to load comments with an extra click or two, plus it keeps track of the comments you make, as well as likes, on all different websites that use the service.

    ReplyReply

  49. Keishon
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 16:53:10

    Sorry but I if I have to sign in to comment anywhere I just won’t comment. I’ll just lurk instead.

    ReplyReply

  50. Ridley
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 16:55:07

    @Sarina:

    plus it keeps track of the comments you make, as well as likes, on all different websites that use the service.

    That’s my problem with it, actually. I’m active in two online communities, romance and hockey, and don’t really want to cross the streams. I don’t want to have to create different logins but neither do I want hockey people to know I’m a big romance fan. The misogyny in sports fandom is oppressive enough. Adding romance to my profile would make it impossible for me to participate.

    ReplyReply

  51. Renda
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 17:32:48

    I have an iPad 1 and if I move in the least, it freezes.

    I am so techno backwards I am happily unaware of Disqus. I do know I get horribly lost at SB on who is commenting about what, though.

    ReplyReply

  52. De
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 17:39:58

    @Sarina:

    plus it keeps track of the comments you make, as well as likes, on all different websites that use the service.

    And to me that is a horrific reason to avoid it.

    ReplyReply

  53. Lada
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 17:48:46

    @Jane…FWIW DA works fine on my iPad now although the reply feature doesn’t work (can live with that) and trying to post this comment crashed Safari as others mentioned (grrrr).

    ReplyReply

  54. Lada
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 17:51:29

    Clarification: the grrrr was meant for Apple…not you!!

    ReplyReply

  55. Jane
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 18:42:13

    Using the iPad 1 I am having problems when moving from landscape to portrait. Frustrating.

    ReplyReply

  56. Merrian
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 18:47:20

    @cleo: what Cleo said.

    I just remember the last numbered comment I read and pop back to read more. If there is in inter-thread conversation it is helpful if people use not only reply but reference the comment number as well. On a linear and numbered comment thread the later commenters can be responding to individual comments, throwing in their two cents worth on the post or responding to a sense of possibility or issues emerging from the whole of the post and thread. I think this is muddled by disqus and even more muddled in threaded in-line replies. Jessewave has threaded comments and I find it distracting and hard to follow.

    On SBTB with disqus the new page starts at 40 comments so on a 600 comment thread that is 15 separate pages and harder to scroll back and follow conversation. Just on this thread you have over 50 comments so that is 2 pages already.

    In the ideal commenting world may be there will be a system available like the twitter approach of hidden conversations so that reply linked comments can be viewed that way if the viewer wishes or we can just stick to the linear thread.

    ReplyReply

  57. shel
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 19:08:33

    I don’t comment often, but ditto to the others – please don’t switch to disqus. Editing comments is a nice feature to have, but not necessary IMO.

    ReplyReply

  58. Dana S
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 19:08:41

    I don’t actually have a problem with threaded comments, unless they get too long at which point the comments are so narrow the text becomes vertical. But I greatly dislike Disqus, it loads slowly and causes my computer to lag, no matter which computer I try to access it on.

    ReplyReply

  59. Wahoo Suze
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 20:44:59

    A Disqus thing (or maybe it’s a blog thing) that’s coming up lately on another blog I follow is that it automatically relocates you to your geographic region, and all the comments from other regions disappear. So instead of going to dearauthor.com, those of us not in the US get automatically redirected to dearauthor.ca or dearauthor.co.uk. You have to add a new extension in order to see the comments. Solveable, but irritating.

    I enjoy being able to “like” comments, but I find the “load more comments” thing at SBTB really annoying.

    I like being able to edit, but it’s not necessary. There’s a lot of blogs where I have to add another comment to make a correction, and I feel like a tool, but I’m getting used to it.

    ReplyReply

  60. LG
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 09:13:59

    Am I the only one that’s been having problems with the “subscribe without commenting” feature? It doesn’t look like anything goes wrong when I use it, but I’m never actually emailed any of the comments people make.

    ReplyReply

  61. eggs
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 01:29:59

    I’ve basically stopped going to SB because of the ‘disqus’ thing, although I didn’t realize that’s what it was. First, I thought there was a problem with my browser, because the link would say ‘read 75 comments’ but I could only ever find 40 0r 50 or whatever when I clicked on read comments. Then I decided there must be a problem with the SB website, so I stopped going there every day in the hope it would get fixed in my absence. Then after a while I realized the button that I thought said “make a comment” actually said “load more comments” and I could click on that and all the mysteriously lost comments would appear. Doh! By that time, I was so frustrated with it all that I was out of the habit of visiting the website so decided to just keep on giving it a miss. I only go there now if there’s a direct link from this site.

    ReplyReply

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