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

Courtney Milan

Tuesday Midday Links: News and Deals

Tuesday Midday Links: News and Deals

I’m combining the posts for the news and the deals in one. The deals are at the end.

First up is the news that Dan Lubart has been hired by HarperCollins as SVP of Sales Analytics according to Publishers Marketplace. I find this fascinating because Lubart’s firm, Iobyte, has been analyzing price data and list placement. I can’t help but wonder if it is because of Lubart’s influence that the prices of the Avon 2012 frontlist romance books are being reduced to $4.99 and $6.99. You can read some of Dan’s posts at Digital Book World.


A couple of lawsuit updates. First, the class action suits against publishers alleging that publishers and Apple conspired to set prices at a certain level have been consolidated in New York. I think the Second Circuit has been more friendly to publishers than the Ninth Circuit and thus this is probably a boon to the publishers.

Via Publishers Weekly.

James Grimmelman reports that Authors Guild has filed its motion for class certification and the motion doesn’t address any concerns that Judge Chen raised in his rejection of the class action settlement. I don’t really understand it. The Judge has already pointed out that the class is overbroad and basically signalled that he is not going to approve a class based on its current make up and the AG doesn’t even address it?? Either there is no good argument to be made or the client (Author’s Guild) is being difficult and demanding that the motion be put forward in its current state. Am befuddled by this.

Grimmelman doesn’t have the motion up on his site yet, but I expect it to be there in a few days.


Courtney Milan’s Unlocked was # 72 on Amazon’s 2011 Bestselling Kindle books of 2011. The only romance author to have a higher ranking was Nora Roberts. Steve Jobs’ biography was the number one in print and #5 digital.  Milan’s latest book “Unraveled” is recently released. I’m in the process of reading it and hope to have a review of it up next week some time.

In fact, Steve Jobs’ biography may save print this year. According to the NYTimes, retail brick and mortar sales are up in large part due to popular non fiction titles like the Steve Jobs’ biography.

Barnes & Noble, the nation’s largest bookstore chain, said that comparable store sales this Thanksgiving weekend increased 10.9 percent from that period last year. The American Booksellers Association, a trade group for independents, said last week that members saw a sales jump of 16 percent in the week including Thanksgiving, compared with the same period a year ago.


It’s these periodic boom sales of print books that likely leads executives like Maja Thomas to say that digital growth will be capped at 50%.

There is a natural limit to the growth of digital. I think it might be 50%. The book as an object is a perfect object. It has a lot of utility. People love it. There is something about a book. We’re going to see again a doubling of our growth over the next few years, to 40% or more. But once we reach a plateau, we’re going to have two businesses: a digital business and a physical business.

Read more at Hachette Digital’s Maja Thomas on Digital Revenue, Bookish and the Leaked Manifesto | Digital Book World

In some markets, the physical book will likely dominate such as picture books and children’s books but for long form fiction? I think the market will be more like 70-90%. The problem with publishers clinging to the idea that digital will only be 50%, it prevents strategic thinking and planning for when the market exceeds that marker.


Not only does Macmillan and Hachette not sell digital to the library market. Not only does Penguin preemptively turn off lending for its digital books without prior notice and then turn it back on only to say that new releases either won’t be digitally lent or will be windowed. Not only does HarperCollins demand repurchase after 26 lends. But now comes word that Overdrive has restricted catalogs for some libraries and not for others.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Ryan Claringbole, the Digital Branch Librarian at the Chesapeake Public Library in Virginia. He asked if I’d ever heard about OverDrive restricting certain libraries’ access to specific publishers’ materials, or, in other words, different libraries seeing different catalogs of eBooks available in the OverDrive Marketplace.

Overdrive blames this on the publisher.

Connection to Library Service Area: As Steve Potash communicated in writing to every one of our library partners earlier this year, select publishers set restrictions on their catalogs where the library allows access to the library’s digital collection by card holders that have no connection to the library’s service area. We are constantly working with library IT teams to test and validate patrons’ card status, before they can download copyrighted materials. In very few cases, where an institution does not restrict download access to only patrons with connections to their service area (such as residents, students, property or business owners) there may be limits on access to select publishers’ catalogs.

This is likely why the NY Public Libraries stopped allowing non resident New Yorkers to pay $100 fee for access to its catalogs, although it never publicly stated this.

Infodocket raises some great questions about this practice and Overdrive’s response.


Finally, the deals. The malls are thick on the ground with people.  If you don’t have to go out, don’t. It’s a jungle out there.  Here are some great ebook deals.  BN just launched gifting of ebooks.  Amazon has the same feature.  Both allow you to set a time and date that you want a gift sent.

I think the Suzanne Enoch books are republished by the author. (The  covers are kind of amateurish)

Dear Author Recommends for October

Dear Author Recommends for October

It’s October. I know, I can barely believe it either. The following are our recommended reads in October. Here is a catalog of October releases. The November and December catalogs are fairly up to date although the December one doesn’t have the category releases yet.


  • Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, recommended by Jane
  • You Are My Only by Beth Kephart, recommended by John



  • Room at the Top by Jane Davitt and Alexa Snow, recommended by Sarah F



  • Heartstrings and Diamond Rings by Jane Graves, recommended by Jayne (review to come)


  • S Before the Ex by Mira Lynn Kelly (caveat, the plot is fairly inane. I recommend for the emotional tension. Review to come)
  • The Doukakis’s Apprentice by Sarah Morgan, recommended by Jane