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


Dear Author

Tuesday Midday Links: Rumble in the jungle

A reader emailed me this morning to apprise me of a feud which erupted between Laurell K Hamilton fans and PC Cast fans taking place primarily on the two facebook profiles of the authors. Apparently in Awakened, a YA book by PC Cast, one character makes a dig Anita Blake and Laurell K Hamilton:

Im pissed! Just finished P.C Casts Awakeing house of night series one that i liked untill this book on pg 203 when they not only diss Anita but also diss Miss Hamillton. "whos anita blake?" stevie rae askes "vampire killer chick written by a human chick who has a Totally Tragic fashion sense" Pissed me OFf

and LKH responded with:

Thanks everyone who told me that I get slammed in the P. C. Cast book. I would never have known since I don’t read them. Apparently, they do read me, so thanks for that. The duo who are P. C. Cast are quite mainstream in their fashion sense. Not surprised they don’t like mine. I would never, ever criticize another writ…er in my own books, let alone their personal appearance. When did being nice go out of fashion?

Fans of LKH went over to the PC Cast facebook page and started hurling insults, enough so that LKH felt compelled to post this:

Thanks to everyone who defended my honor with the slightly snarky mention of me in the P. C. Cast book, but guys, my point was – be nice. In your zeal to defend me, some of you have been mean & said far worse things to, & about the duo that writes as P.C.Cast. Please, don’t. No one else’s bad behavior gives you the ri…ght to behave badly, too. You can disagree, but mean makes everyone stop listening to your point.

I think this is the first author kerfluffle of 2011. LKH is no angel. She’s slung quite a bit of crap on her own blog at other writers.   She opens herself up to criticism of a personal kind by inserting herself and her sexual experiences into her books.   She is encouraging her readers to defend her. That said, do you think PC Cast went over the line by insulting LKH personally in the book? Or is this all in good fun?


The Kindle for iPhone App was upgraded yesterday to allow sideloading of ebooks (mobi worked for me) via the iTunes program (detailed here) or by simply emailing yourself the file and using the “Open in” feature. Kindle has also released an App for Windows Mobile.


A literary agent from a prestigious agenting firm has opened her own self publishing, author services house. Leila Dewji, age 27, left Sheil Land Associates (who represents authors like Diane Setterfield), to form Acorn Independent Press Ltd. with her brother.   From the description, it sounds more like a vanity or subsidiary publishing firm rather than a self publishing firm.   Or what Thomas Nelson and Harlequin offer through Author House.

Acorn Independent Press Ltd. offers premium self-publishing services for authors who want to launch in a big way; with fantastic editorial, design and production services as well as sales and marketing services to get books reviewed and stocked. Acorn produce beautiful books and e-books which they put in to international wholesale and distribution channels to reach readers all over the world.

This follows Curtis Brown Agency launching a writing school.   I suspect we will see more and more agents offering publishing services.   Publishing organizations will continue to struggle with defining the term “published author.”


The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has announced its selection for the 2011 Reading List.

The Reading List annually recognizes the best books in eight genres: adrenaline (including suspense, thriller and adventure), fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction and women's fiction. This year's list includes novels that will please die-hard fans as well as introduce new readers to the pleasures of genre fiction.

For romance:


"A Matter of Class" by Mary Balogh, Vanguard Press (9781593155544)

A lady is ruined. A merchant's son is trapped. Class differences loom large in this charming and playful take on the arranged marriage. Balogh's Regency gem, where nothing is quite as it seems, is filled with affection and wit.


"Faro's Daughter" by Georgette Heyer

"In for a Penny" by Rose Lerner

"The Viscount Who Loved Me" by Julia Quinn

Short List:

"Barely a Lady" by Eileen Dreyer, Hachette (Forever) (9780446542081)

"The Forbidden Rose" by Joanna Bourne, Berkley (9780425235614

"The Iron Duke" by Meljean Brook, Berkley (9780425236673)

"Something About You" by Julie James, Berkley Sensation (9780425233382)

According to YoungLibrarian, the short list are the runners up and the “read alikes” is a list of books that are similar to the winning book.


A teen blogger writes about her interest in an upcoming new line from St. Martin’s Press that is targeted at older teens and actual young adults.   (YA line is targeted to 12 years and older or 9th grade and up).

I’m sixteen, in case you’re wondering.

That doesn’t stop me from wanting to read about characters older than 18. I’d sure as heck love to go into the Young Adult section and pick up a book about a college freshman adjusting to their new life of freedom, stumbling around a huge campus, fighting with their roomate, and groaning about cafeteria food and being a poor student. I’d sure as heck love to read a book about a protagonist that sets off on an adventure after they graduate from high school, or who’s just taken up training as a cop or joined the army or taken a job you can’t do while still in school. I’d love it to bits if anyone wrote a book about a college junior’s experience as a study abroad student.

St. Martin’s new line is called “New Adult” and is described thusly:

“…[n]ew, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin's Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult-’a sort of an "older YA" or "new adult."


Publishers Weekly reports that publishers saw huge increases in ebooks sales over the holidays.

imon & Schuster reported a 150% jump in e-book sales for this holiday over the same period last year. Random House reported an impressive 300% leap, and Kensington said its e-book sales for this holiday season climbed a whopping 400% over 2009. Here is a compilation of publishers’ top five bestselling e-books (in descending order) for December 25 and 26.

The top selling title for Kensington was His Conquest by Diana Cosby.   At $3.79, I’m going to have to buy it myself.


Wednesday Midday Links:  Dear Author Community Bundle

Wednesday Midday Links: Dear Author Community Bundle

Dear Author Community Picks Bundle IX - JULY 2010Remember when Harlequin wanted another bundle and we got the Dear Author community to contribute suggestions and then vote on those suggestions?   Well, the speed of digital publishing is superluminal these days and the bundle is ready for sale.   You can buy the bundle right now at eHarlequin site for $14.40 or wait until July 1 and buy it from Amazon for the Kindle at $9.99. There are quite a few other bundles for sale including Blogger Bundle Volume VIII: SBTB’s Harlequins That Hooked You which contains Jennifer Crusie’s Anyone But You (love that book!) and Blogger Bundle Volume VII: America’s Bravest by Super Librarian which is comprised of a number of Harlequin Superromances, a line that is fast becoming a favorite.

At the $9.99 price, each book runs about $2.50.   Sweet.

Publishers Marketplace explained why there was a drop (paid link) in sales growth for ebooks in April.

The AAP tracks publishers’ receipts, or wholesale sales. In April, five of the largest publishers dropped their ebook prices across the board, and anyone else selling directly to Apple was getting a lower average wholesale price on at least a portion of their list. So you can see how the market could grow with the launch of the iBookstore, but the AAP numbers could decline.

If you recall, one publisher said that they would have to sell 20-30% more in volume to make up the loss they will suffer from agency pricing. Before April, publishers would sell to retailers at a list price (usually the same as the print book) at some discount (like 50%). From there, retailers would decide on the best price for the customer. Retailers, like Amazon, settled on $9.99 for many hardcovers and trades and lower for mass markets and incurred whatever loss that represented. Now publishers are getting 70% through agency pricing, but 70% off a much lower number. If PM’s assessment is accurate, it means that publishers aren’t making up in volume of sales because the overall publishers’ receipts are down.


If you bought the Nook or Kindle for Father’s Day and are seething about the price drop, seethe no more. The Wall Street Journal reports that you can call and ask for a refund of the difference.


Barnes and Noble is selling a number of older comics and graphic novels for an insanely low price.

Another good deal is from EA Sports.   The company is selling its iPhone games for $.99 like Need for Speed shift, Trivial Pursuit, SimCity, Command & Conquer, etc.   Sale ends today. I bought eight games and wondered how many books I would buy if a publisher had a $1 digital book sale.   A lot.

There have been a whole slew of contemporary romances being sold according to Publishers Marketplace. In the past two months, the following sales have been reported:

Addison Fox, a paranormal author, sold to NAL a series set in a small town Alaska where matching making matriarchs host games that pair the town’s bachelors (and their grandsons) with women from the Lower 48.

Starr Ambrose sold another small town (set in Colorado) contemporary between a hometown girl and a visiting celeb to Pocket.

Sherrill Bodine sold another book in her O’Flynn series to Grand Central. I read the first in the series and found it to be bland and kind of old fashioned.

Jill Shalvis is writing three new books for Berkley and three new book for Grand Central, all contemporary.

Molly O’Keefe, a Harlequin Superromance author, is going mass market with a contemporary featuring a hockey player on the cusp of retirement. This book will be published by Bantam Dell.

And in digging through the deals at PM, I found this gem:

Pamela Clare’s CONNOR’S STORY, in which the son of exiled Scottish rebels who was coerced into fighting with the English against the French travels with a Mohican war chief to a Shawnee village to negotiate for peace only to find a white woman being forced to run the gauntlet and marry an Indian after her family has been slain and discovers that he is her only hope of rescue, to Cindy Hwang at Berkley, by Natasha Kern at Natasha Kern Literary Agency (world).

I think I hear a chorus of “FINALLY!”.


Daily Mail has a long essay by P.C. Cast and her three failed marriages and her new found love with a true Scottish warrior.   I hope I age as well as Cast.   She looks gorgeous in those photos. Maybe it’s love!

I suppose my admiration must have been obvious, because our driver’s wife sidled up to me and said: ‘Och, it’s so sad that such a good man has nae a woman to care for him.’

Goodness, I could have hugged her! ‘You mean he’s not married?’ I smiled. ‘Och, not at all, not at all,’ she lamented. I felt my smile get wider and wider.

It turned out that although he had been in one long-term relationship and has an 18-year-old daughter, he had been single for some time.

Instantly, my attitude transformed. I dropped the mask of reticence and resolved to make it absolutely obvious to Seoras that I was smitten.


Speaking of men, romance, and Mills and Boon, actor Imran Khan is promoting Mills and Boon books in India to   promote a movie called I Hate Luv Stories.

Karan Johar, producer of the film confirmed the news: "Yes, we do have an exclusive association with Mills & Boon. They are coming up with an IHLS special edition, which is a compilation of all the classics. They felt a strong synergy between the theme of our film and a classic Mills & Boon romance," he told  Mumbai Mirror.

The tie-up will produce a series of eight books which will feature the story of Imran's character from the film who doesn't believe in love. The book will also have the cover of  I Hate Luv Storys.