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Housekeeping: Unsolicited advice for authors; Facebook; and Cheap reads 9 comments

Unsolicited advice for authors
Dear Author –
You have toiled and labored to bring your creative thoughts to your book. You have read, read, re-read, written and re-written repeatedly. You are to be commended.
You didn’t ask, but I wanted to pass along a little unsolicited advice. It’s free and my opinion only. Other readers may not agree.
You know all those wonderful comments you posted on the book’s webpage? The words of praise for your writing style and the plot and characters in the book have to be encouraging and points of pride for you. Well, first and foremost I want to know the book. If the book description doesn’t draw me in, then the reviews just won’t matter. Please make your book description the first item to read.
About that description. Please use a spell checker. Maybe you could ask a few friends to proofread. If you have spelling, grammar and/or punctuation errors in the description, I immediately think that your book is chock-full of spelling, grammar and/or punctuation errors. The description below was taken exactly from a web page in the Kindle Store:

Two stories in one;

Childhood Enemies: Nicolette had been bullied by Jay for most of her school life and that and a few other things had led to her leaving the small town she’d grown up in. Coming back five years later for the reunion and to visit her best friend, Tammy, she’s shocked to learn that some things havwe changed and others havent…

In the authors’ defense, updating descriptions can become a difficult task in the Kindle Store.
Do you have a pet peeve about book descriptions in the Kindle Store? Leave a comment with advice you would give authors about book descriptions. I’ll write more about descriptions in a few weeks.
Giving more to our Facebook friends
If you follow our site via Facebook, we have improved our look. For each of our posts, you will now see the bookcover. Please like a post every once in awhile to keep our posts coming to your page. We haven’t quite gotten the feed perfected, so you may want to visit the site periodically to see all the postings. Another way to see every post is to subscribe to our daily e-mail using the form in the right sidebar.
Beach Reads
The vacation season will officially start with the Memorial Day holiday later this month. We will be posting the great cheap reads that the publishers will be offering for your summer reading pleasure. Look for this summertime graphic to identify a lighter read at a great cheap price. Have you downloaded these cheap reads?
An Engagement in Seattle by Debbie Macomber (48 cents) – 2-book romance bundle
School for Dangerous Girls by Eliot Schrefer (52 cents) – young adult fiction
The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe by Andrew O’Hagan (59 cents) – a canine memoir
A Winter Discovery by Michael Baron (89 cents) – contemporary romance filled with irrepressible spirit
Olympic Fever
The 2012 Summer Olympics will open on July 28 in London, England. Publishers may offer books with an Olympics theme over the coming weeks. Let’s hope they are as cheaply priced as the book below – only 99 cents when you pre-order it today.
Book description: David Davis’s stunning account of how Merry Lepper became the first American woman to complete a marathon.
At a time when television was pushing male-dominated sports coverage into living rooms across America, women were struggling just to set foot onto the playing field. Barred from officially registering for long-distance running competitions, some women ran anyway, defying the authorities and the rules. Still, no American woman had ever successfully completed sports’ ultimate endurance test: the marathon.
That changed in December of 1963, when Merry Lepper became the first. Leaping out of her hiding place in the bushes at the start of the race, dodging cars and infuriating race officials, Merry Lepper challenged the status quo and defeated it, years before the ban on female competitors would be revoked. This is the story of the arduous journey women distance runners had to endure to reach equality with men, and the story of how one woman overcame tremendous hurdles to fulfill a shared dream, paving the way for generations of female marathon runners to come.
Pre-order this book today for only 99 cents and receive it June 5.
This ebook also includes a 17-page excerpt from Showdown at Shepherd’s Bush ($12.99) pre-order, the story of the epic clash at the 1908 Olympic Marathon that jump-started the first marathon mania and heralded the modern age in sports.

Click here to purchase Marathon Crasher

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Book Review: The Messenger – Free as of May 14 0 comments

In The Messenger, Siri Mitchell explores the Revolutionary War and brings to life an exciting element of history.
As a Quaker, Hannah Sunderland feels caught between sides. Her father insists the family remain completely neutral, even as British soldiers occupy the city and take over the family’s home. Hannah’s twin brother Robert signs up with the rebels and is taken prisoner. Though her father forbids visiting him, Hannah wants to do something to ease the starvation and deprivation the prisoner are facing.
She encounters Jeremiah Jones, the local tavern owner. Jeremiah lost an arm while serving as in the British Army. Revenge compels him to send covert messages on what he overhears from soldiers visiting his tavern. When he needs to sneak a message into the prison, he develops a plan to secure a pass for Hannah if she delivers the message.
The characters are very well-developed. Hannah was especially intriguing as she tried to come to terms with her faith, her father’s instructions, Jeremiah’s pressure and the questions in her heart. Jeremiah was an unlikely but engaging hero. His injury, and his frustration with it, figured prominently in the story. I was surprised, however, that the story did not move more quickly. For a spy novel, more suspense and danger would have been expected.
Mitchell brings extensive research and a well-written story together to create a compelling read. Currently, this book is selling for $9.68 freein the Kindle Store, as of May 14.
Click here to purchase The Messenger
I received this book free as part of Bethany House’s review program. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book,

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Housekeeping – All things taxing and Cheap reads for young adults and young-at-heart adults 3 comments

Taxes in Texas
Those of you in Texas will have to start paying sales tax on Amazon purchases July 1. The state had been in a dispute with Amazon for over a year regarding sales taxes.
As part of the deal, Amazon will also create 2,500 new jobs in Texas over the next four years and the state will drop its efforts to collect back taxes. Amazon currently collects sales tax in Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota and Washington and is in a dispute over the issue with the state of Arizon.
Considering the condition of state budgets, the sales tax issue will continue to bubble up around the country.
Taxes, the Agency Model and Amazon
When the agency model was implemented, many of you began paying taxes on e-books you purchased from publishers who had a presence in your state, such as a printing plant, a distribution warehouse, or corporate offices. With the announcement of the Department of Justice settlement and the anticipated end of the agency model, the tax collection by Amazon will probably end. You may still be responsible for remitting taxes to your state for purchases made on the internet. Some states, such as California, exempt e-books from sales tax.
Back in November, Amazon officials appeared before Congress to support The Marketplace Fairness Act, legislation that would provide a way for states to require online sellers to collect state and local sales tax in some cases. This article has much more information concerning the legislation.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, issued their opinion of the legislation on April 12. You can read here why this group opposed the tax. supports the tax and states their reasons for the bill being enacted., a federal bill tracking website, states that the bill has a 1% chance of being enacted. You can read the full bill here.
Cheap Reads for Young Adults and Young-at-heart Adults
Many young adult books are being offered at great prices now and we are posting the cheap reads daily on the jr. edition. Encourage the young adults in your life to read this summer by gifting a few of ebooks.
For a limited time, Hereafter, the first book in Tara Hudson’s haunting trilogy, is available as a special promo ebook, available to pre-order for only 99 cents. Delivery is May 22. The ebook includes an excerpt from the captivating sequel, Arise ($9.99 pre-order), along with an exclusive “love letter” from Tara to the city of New Orleans, where the trilogy takes place.
Can there truly be love after death?
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she’s dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she’s trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.
Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, Hereafter is a sensation you won’t want to miss. Pre-order for only 99 cents today.
Click here to purchase Hereafter with Bonus Material
These three books are selling for $1.99, $2.99 and $2.99 each:

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Housekeeping: In the Clouds, One Crazy Tablet, and Cheap Reads 14 comments

In the Clouds
Lately, I’ve had my books in the Cloud. The Kindle Cloud Reader is probably Amazon’s least understood offering for reading ebooks. It’s basically an online replacement for the Kindle for PC/Mac app. Go here to download it for free. Sadly, the Cloud is only available for Firefox, Google, and Safari browsers. Support for additional browsers is coming soon.
I’ve been utilizing the Cloud to store books I really have no interest in reading any time in the near future – as in the next 25 years, considering how many books are on my waiting list.

Before the Cloud, when I ordered a book, it would load automatically to the Kindle. If it’s been awhile since I’d turned on the wireless, or if lots of free books were offered, this could really clutter up the device. It also made no sense to me to have to load a book before you could remove it to the archive.
Enter the Cloud, that happy place in the sky where free books go to live out their lives. When you “one click purchase,” you can choose an option to send the book to whatever devices you have registered. When you choose the Cloud, it doesn’t automatically send to any device, but waits in perpetual storage, like an automatic archive option. The book does show up on the Kindle Fire carousel, but won’t download until you click it.
The Cloud also makes it possible to read a book directly in your web browser. This is a good option if you don’t want to use a lot of memory on your computer with the Kindle for PC/Mac app. Or if you’re on a computer (at work, perhaps?) where you don’t necessarily want to have your books downloaded.
This may also be a helpful technique to avoid hard restarts on the Kindle. Several users have reported that their devices have been shutting off and restarting frequently. One possible cause is the number of books stored on the device desktop that could overload the memory. If this has been a problem, you might try sending books to the Cloud and see if it helps.
This page on Amazon is the Cloud help page.
How have you used the Cloud and what user tips can you pass on?
One Crazy Tablet
That didn’t take long. PC World is reporting that since the end of February, the Kindle Fire accounts for more than half (54%) of android sales. The article calls the Fire the non-tablet that changed the market and is outsold only by the iPad.
Users report the Fire’s best feature is its ability to be used as an e-reader. Two thumbs up from Daily Cheap Reads! The comparative low price of $199, a simple interface and useful functions have made it the top seller.
National Day of Prayer
Today is the National Day of Prayer in the United States. We posted earlier about the event.
Stormie Omartian’s book on prayer is selling for the great price of only 99 cents.
Stormie Omartian has led millions to pray—parents, wives, husbands, women, teens, and kids. Each of her best-selling books have opened up the mystery of prayer and helped readers approach God with confidence and experience His power. With transparency and biblical depth, Stormie now shares what it means to connect with God in a deep and meaningful way through every circumstance that presents itself. In 30 short chapters, Stormie helps every reader find the freedom, wholeness, and success they want as they discover the simple steps to powerful prayer.
Click here to purchase The Power of a Praying® Life
Crazy Day and Cheap Reads
Yesterday was one crazy day with all one-day-only special prices on refurbished Fires and the Kindle DX. Rumors are that the next Kindle Fire announcement is imminent and the Kindle DX will be discontinued. When the rumors are confirmed, we’ll let you know.
In the meantime, whatever Kindle device or application you are using you will want to consider these 99 cent cheap reads. Topics include military history; true crime including Greentown about the Martha Moxley murder; dieting, a travelogue; and historical fiction.

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Housekeeping – Traveling, What’s in a name and Very cheap reads 3 comments

OR, this may be a case of you need to check again tomorrow morning. Prices fluctuate down overnight and then up in the late afternoon.

UPDATE: As of 4:25am Central US time on Friday, all of the books below are back at the cheap prices. It pays to shop in the mornings on Amazon.
On the road with Kindles
This last week was just a bit busier than normal as Tiger and I traveled to the Southeast United States to attend his class reunion. What did we see when we traveled? Kindles! At the airport, on the airplane, in the hotel lobby, at a restaurant, just about everywhere.
Three years ago when Kindles were just getting a good start the expression was that a Kindle had been spotted “in the wild.” Today they are the norm for the traveling public.
What’s in a name?
I browse through the books in the Kindle Store every day and have noticed something that just doesn’t sit right. Some independent publishers are being a bit misleading. In the cooking section of the Kindle Store, you can find books that are written by authors whose names are very, very similar to celebrity chefs from television networks. A reader who doesn’t notice the variation in spelling might buy the book, thinking they had gotten a great price on a book by this chef that would normally cost $9.99 or more.
Inspirational books are being authored by people with names so similar to well-known spiritual leaders you would have to look two or three times to realize the difference.
No doubt these publishers are making similar changes to book titles, hoping for sales from unsuspecting readers who don’t realize that they are being duped.
I’m not going to provide the names of the authors because I don’t want to give them any attention or business. That’s how strongly I feel about their behavior.
If my name honestly is Agatha Christy and I write mysteries, shouldn’t I be able to use my real name? (The famous writer is Agatha Christie.)
Do you see this practice as misleading or inappropriate? What about unethical? Should Amazon try to control this near-spelling or is it caveat emptor and the reader should be more careful? Tell us what you think about these near names and if you have been duped by one of these books or authors.
Some very cheap reads
Every book below is selling for less than $1.00 – as cheap as 57 cents and 95 cents on the high end.
Diana Palmer fans, the book below is a two-book bundle selling for only 63 cents. For those of you who can’t stand Diana Palmer, it’s still too much to pay, isn’t it?

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Housekeeping – A bad spell; Virgin River pre-order, Prices down then up then repeat; Hunger Games Trilogy – $15 5 comments

Spelling errors? I didn’t realise . . .
Pam sent a note asking

Why do so many ereader books have the word “realize” misspelled using s instead of z?

She had seen a book description on Daily Cheap Reads with the error.
Finding a spelling error on Daily Cheap Reads is easy. (I appreciate when you drop me a note about those typos.)
Pam’s note reminded me that the world is getting smaller. As the internet draws people with common interests together, language and spelling differences will become more widely known.
The book description Pam saw was by a British author. The original English speakers have alternate spellings to America’s accepted spelling.
Realise is British; realize is American.
Cosy is British, cozy is American.
Humour is British; humor is American. And on it goes
One author has this on her book’s webpage:

NOTE TO AMERICAN READERS: This book has British spelling and grammar as is written and spoken in Europe, Ireland included, which might look like spelling errors. The heroines are Irish and it would seem strange if they spoke American English.

Maybe I can use a similar excuse for typos on our site, calling them alternate spellings. It would seem strange if I didn’t have typos.
Next book in Virgin River – Sunrise Point – Available for pre-order
The next installment (19th book) in the Virgin River series is available for pre-order with delivery on April 24.
Sunrise Point ($6.39) Former marine Tom Cavanaugh has come home to Virgin River, ready to take over his family’s apple orchard and settle down. He knows just what the perfect woman will be like: sweet, decent, maybe a little naive. The marrying kind. Nothing like Nora Crane. So why can’t he keep his eyes off the striking single mother? Both Nora and Tom have their own ideas of what family means. But they’re about to prove each other completely wrong.…
You can see all the Virgin River books in reverse publication order here.
Prices in the evening in the United States
Prices have been a bit odd lately. Some books will have great prices in the morning, then jump to the regular price in the afternoon or evening, back to the cheap price the next morning, and the cycle repeats and repeats. This makes it very hard to post a book on our site with this kind of see-saw pricing activity. We appreciate your patience and hope that prices stabilize soon. We’ll keep posting those cheap books and ask that you check at different times if the great price is gone.
Tall, Dark, Texas Ranger is a Harlequin romance selling for 48 cents that has been bouncing around. An After-Hours Affair is a Harlequin Desire contemporary romance selling for 73 cents at the time of this post. Holiday in Stone Creek is a two-book set of holiday romances selling for 63 cents right now. Let’s see if these books will continue the pattern.
The trilogy of the year is now $5 per book
The Hunger Games Trilogy ($15.00) The extraordinary, ground breaking New York Times bestsellers The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, along with the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay, are available in a beautiful e-book trilogy edition. Stunning, gripping, and powerful. I (Susan) loved the books but haven’t made it the movie yet.

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Housekeeping – Agency model update; Is it just me? and Cheap reads 14 comments

Agency Model settlement reached for some publishers
Good news for readers! The United States Department of Justice announced in a statement yesterday (April 11) that Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster have reached a settlement where retailers will have “the freedom to reduce the prices of their e-book titles.”
This announcement was made at the same time that the DOJ reported filing an anti-trust lawsuit against Apple, Inc. and the five major publishers who first participated in the agency model, saying the publishers conspired with Apple to raise retail electronic-book prices to limit competition.
Read articles here: Marketwatch and Wall Street Journal.
Watch a video from Marketwatch about what this means to consumers:
Is it just me?
— Is it just me or is practically every new cookbook gluten-free recipes? Recipes now are either free of something or include every ingredient in the pantry, such as: Triple chocolate caramel layered brownies on pecan and coconut butterscotch crust with New York-style vanilla bean cheesecake filling and marshmallow fudge frosting. Is it just me or does that made-up recipe title sound yummy?
— Is it just me or are most contemporary romances now featuring a television/movie star or popular musician who is just looking for the simple life away from the stress of fame? Are these the people who have careers and money, replacing the wealthy corporate magnates of the past?
— Is it just me or are most self-help books either about losing weight or losing clutter? The weight loss need will always be a hot topic, but just a few years ago weren’t the decorating books all about displaying your collections? Now your collections have become clutter? Talk about setting the stage for your next book . . .
— Is it just me or are more novels featuring characters involved in political campaigns; employed by politicians or working to uncover corruption in government? Are these novels fiction or just remakes of the nightly news broadcast?
— Is it just me or are there hundreds, perhaps thousands of books about attracting and catching a member of the opposite sex, but only a few about what to do once you’ve caught one? Do any of the books give advice for attracting television/movie stars or popular musicians?
— Is it just me or is 80% of inspirational fiction historical romance? This market is ripe for something new – but no Hollywood stars or politicians, please.
— Is mine the only one or is your Kindle 2 doing a hard reboot about every 4 days? The archive list doesn’t include all my archived books, either. Now I’m thinking about buying a new Kindle Keyboard. Is it just me or does anyone else think the rebooting may be a marketing tool?
Cheap Reads by Lawrence Block
Lawrence Block is an acclaimed contemporary American crime writer best known for two long-running New York–set series, about the recovering alcoholic P.I. Matthew Scudder and gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr, respectively.
HarperCollins has priced forty-four of his novels at less than $5 with most of the books priced at $3.99 each. See the complete list here.
Below is the first Matthew Scudder novel The Sins of the Fathers (only 99 cents); the highest reviewed crime novel Eight Million Ways to Die ($3.99) and the most popular non-fiction book Telling Lies for Fun & Profit ($3.99).

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Housekeeping – Divine business plan, Update on agency model; Books no longer available; Kindle en Español and a Cheap read 5 comments

Divine business plan?
Earlier this week while reading my Bible, I came upon a verse that made me wonder if Amazon has adopted it as their business plan. What do you think?

“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!” –Luke 12:49 New American Standard Bible

Settlement near in the agency model collusion case
According to this article on’s website, Apple and some of its major publication partners are negotiating a settlement with the Department of Justice after the DoJ threatened to sue the companies for collusion in pricing e-books. See related Housekeeping post.
The article quotes sources as saying that Amazon and consumers will gain the most from a settlement. Cowen & Co. analyst Jim Friedland believes that Amazon stands to gain upward of $1 billion in revenue.
A settlement may be reached in a “couple of weeks.” E-book prices might be lower by the time the summer reading season arrives.
Books pulled from the Kindle Store
This week two books we featured in our posts have become unavailable in the United States Kindle Store. The webpages state “Pricing information not available.”
Both of these books (Amelia Peabody Omnibus and Last Seen in Massilia) were offered at great prices by Robinson, a publisher in the United Kingdom. Robinson holds the publishing rights for these two authors/books in the United Kingdom, but apparently not the United States.
The good news is that if you pre-ordered the Amelia Peabody Omnibus that was scheduled to be downloaded on May 17, the four-book-bundle was sent to your Kindle yesterday (April 4) afternoon. I did not pre-order Last Seen in Massilia, so I don’t know if those pre-orders will be or have been honored. If you did pre-order the book, let us know the outcome.
Kindle en Español
A new Spanish-language e-book store opened today within the Kindle Store, “eBooks Kindle en Español.” U.S. customers can now shop for Spanish-language books in the new store, or set any Kindle device to access a customized shopping experience designed for books in Spanish and access help pages in Spanish. The store has over 30,000 titles in total.
Cheap Read
The Woman Who Is Always Tan And Has a Flat Stomach: And Other Annoying People ($2.99) You know that overprotective PTA mom who needs to be resuscitated after she finds out you fed her son a hotdog? Or that couple who sends out the annual holiday letter about how their little Timmy came up with an alternative to fossil fuels while you’re proud of simply replacing the lint catcher in your dryer once a year? You’ll meet them again in Lauren Allison and Lisa Perry’s laugh-out-loud compendium. Allison and Perry take on soccer moms, video dads, rabid gardeners, and grating couples in this collection of short, punchy essays.
Less-than-perfect moms and dads everywhere will be sure to relate to the authors’ portraits of the most annoying people around!

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Housekeeping: Strange reading habits and places; Amazon purchase e-mails; and a cheap read 7 comments

This week I (Susan) finished a book that I had been reading for some time. Really, a long time. More than six months. It wasn’t that long of a novel, but I was reading it in short increments. In the bathroom.
A friend had loaned me The Rising ($9.28) a while back, but I had trouble getting started on it. Since I got my Kindle, I haven’t read that many paperbacks. I used to keep a magazine in the bathroom, but then I got the bright idea to browse through some more serious reading material.
I kept the book stashed on the back of the toilet and read through it as my schedule allowed. It was a little harder to get immersed in the story one page at a time, but it still worked. About three-fourths of the way through, the story picked up enough that I took it out of the bathroom and finished it over the weekend.
This book was a pre-quel to the Left Behind ($6.20) series, which I read years ago. It answered some questions about the series and had a darker but more interesting tone than the original novels.
Paula takes her precious Kindle to the minor league baseball park where she and Tiger have seats just a couple of rows above the home dugout. Tiger knows that if a baseball is batted at them, he protects the Kindle first and Paula second.
I might try reading another novel in this manner, though probably only with a print book and not the Kindle. Although it seems with ereaders, people are taking up reading in all sorts of new locations. What is the strangest manner or setting that you’ve read a book?
Amazon’s purchase e-mail improvement
Amazon has made a wonderful improvement in their purchase notification e-mails. Unless you are a high volume purchaser, you may not have noticed. Amazon is bundling notifications and sending them to the purchaser when 10 one-click purchases are made or after a period of time, whichever occurs first. I don’t know the time limit, but it is no more than a couple of hours.
If your purchases are paid through your credit card, this improvement will bundle purchases and submit a higher dollar amount to your card. Again, I have not confirmed, but it may mean that your book will not download to your Kindle until submitted to your credit card company. If anyone has confirmation on this, please leave a comment.
As a frequent purchaser, my mailbox doesn’t have nearly as many Amazon e-mails. That is an improvement.
A cheap read to pre-order
For a limited time at a special price of $1.99, enjoy Jacqueline Sheehan’s novel Lost & Found—A poignant and unforgettable tale of love, loss, and moving on . . . with the help of one not-so-little dog. As a bonus, you get an excerpt from Sheehan’s new upcoming novel, Picture This ($9.99), on sale May 22, 2012.
Lost & Found ($1.99 pre-order, April 17 delivery) Rocky’s husband Bob was just forty-two when she discovered him lying cold and lifeless on the bathroom floor . . . and Rocky’s world changed forever. Quitting her job, chopping off all her hair, she leaves Massachusetts—reinventing her past and taking a job as Animal Control Warden on Peak’s Island, a tiny speck off the coast of Maine and a million miles away from everything she’s lost. She leaves her career as a psychologist behind, only to find friendship with a woman whose brain misfires in the most wonderful way and a young girl who is trying to disappear. Rocky, a quirky and fallible character, discovers the healing process to be agonizingly slow.
But then she meets Lloyd.
A large black Labrador retriever, Lloyd enters Rocky’s world with a primitive arrow sticking out of his shoulder. And so begins a remarkable friendship between a wounded woman and a wounded, lovable beast. As the unraveling mystery of Lloyd’s accident and missing owner leads Rocky to an archery instructor who draws her in even as she finds every reason to mistrust him, she discovers the life-altering revelation that grief can be transformed . . . and joy does exist in unexpected places. Read reviews here.

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Housekeeping – The Agency Model and What Might Happen and a Cheap Read 6 comments

The Agency Model and What Might Happen
Last week, the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) warned Apple and five of the largest publishers in the United States that they intend to sue the group for collusion in e-book pricing. This has been known as the Agency Model, where the e-book distributor (Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google) sells the book at a price set by the publisher and receives a commission. The distributor cannot change prices and the publishers agree to price the same across all distributors. This model for books originated with Apple before their release of the iPad. Apple does not own content, but receives a commission for selling through their devices.
I think the agency model has not produced millions of dollars for publishers as they might have thought because:
1) The iBooks store never took off. The people who bought the iPad didn’t buy it to read books.
2) Consumers just flat out refused to pay the prices the publishers wanted for new releases and older books. Readers responded negatively and the outcry was loud.
I’m going out on a limb, but I believe executives and lawyers from the companies are meeting now with the DoJ to discuss what can be done to keep the lawsuit from going forth. If the companies come forward with a plan that satisfies the government and gives the impression that consumers will be better served, then the publishers look good. Apple will probably pay a fine as the DoJ will want money from somewhere. This gives the appearance that the DoJ was right in their threat.
It’s well-known that publishers don’t like Amazon, but they have to work with the 800-pound gorilla. Publishers need to look like they are in control of their industry even though they are losing their hold on which books will thrive in the marketplace.
I’m speculating that a compromise will be reached in which:
1) Publishers set the prices on some books; such as new releases and/or a pre-determined list of top-tier authors. These books will be under the agency model we know today.
2) Distributors will pay a set fee for other books from these publishers based on time in print and/or author and will have the ability to set prices and take a loss on every book if they want.
3) The library lending distribution system for e-books will end as publishers realize they can’t make money through the product and libraries continue to lose patrons and tax dollars in the coming decade.
4) Publishers will allow some books to be included in the Kindle Owners Lending Library. I speculate these will be the less popular books and Amazon will pay a set fee for each book borrowed.
5) Brick-and-mortar bookstores won’t be pleased with compromise, will declare that it stifles competition, and 25% will close their doors in the next five years.
What do you want to be the outcome of the DoJ action? What about libraries and brick-and-mortar bookstores? Will they survive?
A book I didn’t finish – now a Cheap Read
Several weeks ago I wrote about books I had not finished and mentioned I needed to post reviews on books that weren’t that great. Here’s one of those books that is selling for only 99 cents. I paid more when the book was sold by a publisher, but at this price . . . . no, I still wouldn’t like the book.
Written by Kate Angell, Squeeze Play is the first book in a four-book set about the Richmond Rogues, a world-champion baseball team. The players, team management, the girlfriends and/or wives and more are introduced. The book gets crowded with so many people. And the names! They are names for pets – Risk, Zen, Psycho, Chaser, and Stevie (a woman). Many of the scenes are at the coffee shop where the coffee, sexual innuendo and more flow freely. It all seemed rather sophomoric.
Ms. Angell’s writing style is fine. To me the characters and their relationships were confusing and if the men weren’t playing baseball, they were playing the women. The reviews average 4.2 stars, so some readers enjoyed this light read.
The remaining three books in the series are selling for $3.99 each. Maybe with enough sales the team will be able to afford jerseys.

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