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

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Tuesday Midday News: AJ Llewellyn Admits Adopting Male Persona Despite Being Female

Tuesday Midday News: AJ Llewellyn Admits Adopting Male Persona Despite Being...

It’s election day in many places. I hope if you live in one of those places, you are voting today.


Self published superstar C.J. Lyons has been picked up by Minotaur.  I thought that Lyon’s books were romantic suspense but if they are published by Minotaur, it sounds like they are more thriller?  I believe Minotaur was the publisher of Barry Eisler before he accepted a similar offer from Amazon.  Minotaur also bought three books from Allison Brennan for over $500K soon after Eisler turned down his offer from Minotaur.


In non related book tech news, Republic Wireless is offering low cost cellular service because it falls back and uses wifi whenever possible.  The cost? $19 a month for unlimited text, data, and voice service.

As GigaOm reported last week, it will cost only $19 a month for unlimited text, data, and voice. It can offer these low rates because its phones use a special ‘Hybrid Calling’ system that relies on Wifi whenever possible, falling back to cellular connections when Wifi isn’t available. The initial cellular partner is Sprint, but Republic is working to use other carriers as fallback options as well.

Yeah for competition!


Merrian sent me this link to the Australian Romance Reader survey. Book buying overall is down. Digital usage is up. Paranormals is the most read genre.

  • The most popular sub-genre this past year was contemporary romance, followed closely by historical romance and paranormal romance. But when asked which one sub-genre they read most, the majority of respondents said paranormal romance.
  • The most popular book format is still mass market paperback at 60.4% (but this is down from 69.2% last year). Ebooks on the other hand are up to 24.3% from 19.2% last year.
  • Book buying is down this year, with 59.9% buying less than 5 new romance books a month (46.7% last year) and 22.6% buying 5–10 news books (32.9% last year). Those buying more than 15 new books a month is down from 6.7% last year to just 2.9% this year.

Updated to reflect proper pronoun usagee: M/M author A J Llewellyn has been posting as a gay man for most of his writing career.  He’s allegedly written blog posts about coming out, being a victim of gay bashing, and even hired a man to sign for him at a booksigning.  He apologizes to any reader “who feels lied to” but argues that he is a victim herself.  Ugh.

This unsavory appropriation of an oppressed minority group’s life for profit has always been part of my problem with male pen names in the m/m genre.  It’s done, of course, to gain authenticity; to increase sales of books.  It’s not done because someone has some issue with transgender feelings.

Midday Links:  Get Lover Mine and Others for under $3.00

Midday Links: Get Lover Mine and Others for under $3.00

Amazon is pricing the hardcovers of many of the most popular titles at $9.99. To make it an even sweeter deal, you can sell many of these hardcovers back to Amazon through its Trade in program. For example, Lover Mine by JR Ward is priced at $9.99 (we’ll have dueling reviews on Monday of Lover Mine) but you can sell it back to Amazon for $7.70, making the book $2.29 to read.   Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris is priced at $9.99 and the trade in value is $6.50. It works for some paperbacks as well. Interested in Nothing but Trouble by Rachel Gibson after the positive review by Jayne (I know I am), you can buy it for $7.99 and sell it back for $4.05.

Of course, trade in prices probably vary greatly but if you were a Prime member, you could order today, get the book in two days, and still have time to read it and send it back by the due date set by Amazon.


Target Flagship StoreKindle will be sold in the Target stores starting with its flagship store in Minneapolis and then 102 south Florida stores. I guess the Amazon demographic is older people with vision problems that would benefit from larger text?   I am just wildly speculating. No word in the press release when there will be a wider release.

I hope Target has Kindle gift cards like they did Sony giftcards.

The nook is sold in Best Buy stores and there are rumors of a nook lite that has only wifi with a lower price.


Last year at the Digital Rogue seminar, Kassia Krozser talked about rights and books.   She indicated that chunking was going to be a movement in the future.   Chunking is the selling of chunks of content versus an entire work.   One of the signs that this may be coming soon is the move by Ether books to focus on publishing short works for cell phone users.   Another ebook seller called eBookPie is offering a “Chapterizer” feature:

The Chapterizer enables publishers to quickly and affordably split eBooks and other documents of any length into stand-alone, fully packaged content chunks, including eChapters, eSections and eArticles. For example, with just a click the Chapterizer can instantly turn a 15-chapter eBook into 15 or more fully packaged and saleable eChapters . Each eChapter can include a cover, customized front and back matter, and a customized marketing page

This might be a way to get more teens to read given that they spend far more time with their cell phones than any other device.


Former MFA grad talks about the ambivalence she has toward MFA grad programs given that so few of the graduates actually go on to write and publish a novel.   There’s something “unwholesome” about it.   The underlying thought here is that the MFA grad programs are selling something that can and will be accomplished by only a tiny few.   Reminds me of some other programs that sell the dream to many with full knowledge only a fraction of the members will achieve print published success.


Sarah blogged about the editing errors in ebooks.   They are many.   She suggests getting a refund for those books.   Amazon will not fix these books but will give a refund because of Bezos promise not to touch anything on a reader’s device again short of a court order.


Kristie J has some great reviews up for books we haven’t read here at Dear Author including Rose Lerner’s In for a Penny.   A number of people have came out with accolades for this book. Anyone here read it?