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

Thursday Midday Links: This kind of fake review is harmful rather...

No deals today.  What, you didn’t gorge yourself yesterday?  Get to it!


  • In the case of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, 24% of customers who borrowed “The Hunger Games” bought “Catching Fire” and 24% bought “Mockingjay,” despite the entire series being available to borrow for free in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. 
  • Debora Geary was one of the top 10 KDP Select authors in February, and 51% of customers who borrowed one of her books from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library went on to buy one of her titles. 
  • L.J. Sellers, author of the Detective Jackson Mystery/Thriller series, saw that 25% of customers who borrowed one of her books also bought one of her books, all of which are also available in the lending library.

Since the launch of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library in November 2011, the paid retail sales of backlist trade titles in the library have seen 229% higher growth than corresponding titles that are not enrolled.” Amazon Press Release

So we’re sympathetic to the position of brick-and-mortar booksellers, even the largest of them: this isn’t a fair fight, by any stretch. Still, it’s essential that authors and readers not become collateral damage. The authors and illustrators who signed contracts with Marshall Cavendish had no way of anticipating that the publisher would assign their contracts to Amazon. For these authors to lose their vital showroom presence in Barnes & Noble stores was clearly unfair and harmful. Children’s books, especially picture books, need to be seen to be appreciated by readers.

Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble isn’t backing down. Its executives made clear to us that it is making this exception because it announced the policy after Amazon announced its purchase of the Marshall Cavendish titles. For any new Amazon acquisitions, Barnes & Noble’s policy is to ban the books from their shelves.

 Digital Book World

The majority of book readers prefer to buy rather than borrow. A majority of print readers (54%) and readers of e-books (61%) prefer to purchase their own copies of these books. Meanwhile, most audiobook listeners prefer to borrow their audiobooks; just one in three audiobook listeners (32%) prefer to purchase audiobooks they want to listen to, while 61% prefer to borrow them.

This is because audiobooks are mothereffing expensive. Anyway, click away for more interesting details. Info Docket

In talks with the Justice Department, some publishers have proposed keeping keep the agency pricing adopted with Apple but scrapping the provision—known a “most favored nation” clause—that prevented them from giving other book sellers such as Amazon a better deal. The Justice Department has said publishers must go further, according to people familiar with the talks. The government believes that publishers were able to impose the agency model on the industry only through an illegal conspiracy between rivals, those people said. According to the people with knowledge of the case, the Justice Department has insisted on a “cooling-off” period before publishers would be allowed to resume the arrangement. It has argued that the waiting period would allow publishers and booksellers to resume a one-to-one relationship, free of the taint of collusion. The length of such a cooling-off period is one subject of the talks.

Okay, deep breaths. First, I believe any settlement has to be approved by a D.C. Circuit judge. Second, I am speculating that the cooling off period arises from a push for publishers to set up a true agency system wherein they source the books, DRM, collect and report the taxes, and, in essence, act like a true principal much like the Pottermore set up.

Penguin and Macmillan aren’t a party to this settlement says the article. I speculated here that Penguin wasn’t part of the settlement because it was arguing that it was already in a true agency/principal relationship with Amazon. Thus a cooling off period in which publishers are forced to set up an actual agent/principal relationship makes sense as it does that Penguin doesn’t want to settle. This is all speculative on my part, but seriously, why even bring an investigation and come away with this nonsense?

It is possible that these authors are buying their way to success using places like Fiverr wherein people with REAL NAME accounts offer up a review for $5.00. Sometimes the purchase of the book is included in the $5.00 offer.

I will write and post 4 Amazon reviews on anything or any one product . This gig is only to write 4 brief reviews and posting them. For likes please buy our other gigs. Our reviewers are real people and have real names. Our profiles are clean USA IP’s and we give genuine reviews daily. Buy 2 gigs and get 8 written reviews.


Your Amazon success relies heavily on user reviews. For just $5, I will post 3 reviews that YOU write, from different accounts. The reviews can be for one product or across 3. I will also LIKE your product! ?Satisfaction Guaranteed?”””

I used to trust these high number of reviews, but clearly that is tragically mistaken of me. In the comments/feedback to one “fivver” a disgruntled author writes

The ‘reviewer’ didn’t look at the book, not even at the book’s description, not even at the title! Two reviews had no content, the third was blatantly wrong for this kind of book. This kind of fake review is harmful rather than helpful. I complained, got the reviews changed, but am far from happy.


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


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