Tag: Publishing News

On Jane of Dear Author Writing as Jen Frederick

Posted March 26, 2015 by Holly in Discussions, News | 38 Comments

In 2013 I discovered new adult author Jen Frederick. Her first book was problematic for me, but I absolutely loved her second. Over the last two years I’ve read most of her other works. I also followed her on Twitter and exchanged a few reviewer/author emails with her. Based on her familiarity with authors online, and the community as a whole, I suspected she was an author or blogger writing under a pseudonym. Yesterday, Jane Litte of Dear Author confirmed my suspicions when she came out as best-selling author Jen Frederick.

The response from the DA readership has mostly been positive. The comments on the article are all along the lines of “Awesome! Go you!” or they were up until about 175, which is when I stopped reading them). There was some anger and confusion on Twitter, but it wasn’t until an anonymous author posted at The Passive Voice that any real dissent was brought out into the open. The majority of comments on that article have been overwhelmingly negative toward Jane/Jen. I’ve seen claims elsewhere that the angry commentors at TPV are just the “Pro-EC crowd” attacking Jane and being jealous because she’s selling better than they are. I don’t really agree with that.

The fact is, Jane deceived a lot of people. They have the right to be angry about that.

Jane emailed me a few days before her confession went live to tell me she was Jen Frederick. Prior to that, as I said above, I suspected Frederick was a blogger or author, but I did not suspect Jane. To be honest, that Jen and Jane are the same person has no bearing on my enjoyment of her books. While I found some of them problematic, the fact is I absolutely loved Unspoken. I still love it, even knowing that Jen is Jane (and vice verse).

As Jane said in her post, she wanted to be judged on her own merits as an author, not as Jane Litte writing a book. I can understand and even support that. For years authors, bloggers and readers have criticized Jane for her reviews and commentary; often saying she has no knowledge of what it is to be an author, so she can’t/shouldn’t comment. There are many who don’t agree with the politics at DA, and I can see why Jane wouldn’t want her position as a prominent blogger to influence sales of her books one way or the other.

That Jane chose to publish her novels under a pseudonym, and keep that pseudonym a secret, doesn’t bother me at all. Authors often write under pens names – sometimes multiple pen names – and no one bats an eye. I know many bloggers who are also writers (aspiring and published). I know many authors (aspiring and published) who are also bloggers. I don’t see that it matters one way or another.

But I think Jane made two huge mistakes.

First she kept her secret for far too long. Once she’d published a book or two, and did well enough to know whether it was something she could continue, she should have come forward at Dear Author. That she decided to publish her books isn’t a big deal to me. That she chose to publish many, which ended up as bestsellers, including co-writing books with another best-selling author, which were picked up by a traditional publisher and optioned for movie rights, is harder to swallow.

Her second mistake – and this is the big one , in my opinion- was in creating a full, separate identity for Jen Frederick. A website? Sure. A Twitter or Facebook profile where she could announce information about her books? Absolutely. But Jane took it a step farther. She befriended many authors, bloggers and readers. She joined private author loops. She commiserated  over reviews, and the writing process, and publishing, and any other number of things, all while she was also what many refer to as the Watchdog of the romance community.

I don’t see anything wrong with Jane and Jen being the same person. I do find it harder to swallow that she deceived – whether deliberately or not – the entire romance community. Would authors have been as open and honest with her if they’d known? Should they have been open and honest with her, considering her position at Dear Author?

I do not think Jane set out to purposely deceive anyone. I also don’t think – as some have speculated – she created this author persona as a way to glean information for the purpose of reporting at Dear Author. Nor do I think she used the information she was privy to as an author to hurt any fellow authors in her role as a blogger. But now everything she and Dear Author stood for is suspect.

I also think, had it been another blogger who did exactly what Jane did, Dear Author would have jumped all over them. The community feels deceived and I understand why. More importantly, Jane’s credibility as a forthright blogger and as an author, is being questioned. Considering the amount of works she’s done for the good of the community as a whole, I’m really sad about that. I’m also a little disappointed that she did something I know she would have questioned someone else for. It’s especially frustrating considering her stance on things like this in the past. For example, the disclosure she included when another author reviewed Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh at Dear Author.

DA Reviewer Disclosure

Of course, I haven’t even touched on the ethical questions this situation raises. Like the fact there were several mentions of Jen Frederick books at Dear Author, including Kati’s “Best of 2014” post, along with a mention in a Daily Deals post and an “If You Like” post, wherein Unspoken was recommended to those who like military roms. None of those are really Jane herself promoting her own work, but naturally it makes her claim that she kept the two separate a lie. A small one? Sure. But a lie nonetheless.

There’s also the fact that she was contracted with Berkley while still reviewing Berkley books. Did she positively review books from her publisher because they were her publisher? Probably not. But again, had she disclosed the relationship it wouldn’t be a question now.

For my part, I don’t plan to stop reading Jen Frederick’s books. But I do think she (as Jane and Jen), and Dear Author both, are a little tarnished now. In the end it comes down to trust. Jane broke ours. It’s as simple as that.

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Publisher Ellora’s Cave Sues Book Blog Dear Author #ChillingEffect

Posted September 30, 2014 by Holly in Discussions, News | 6 Comments

I’m sure most of you have heard about this. For those who haven’t, a quick recap.

On September 14, Jane of Dear Author wrote a blog post titled The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave. She outlined the history behind the company – praising them for being one of the first e-publishers to offer authors and readers erotica-type content – then related news of their slow decline in management and business practices. Per Jane’s article and the subsequent comments from EC authors, editors and cover artists: authors and sub-contractors haven’t been paid in a timely manner; royalty checks are at an all-time low and Tina Engler/Jaid Black, the founder and owner of the company has been taking shopping trips, buying new property and looking into starting new ventures (this, apparently, from her Facebook page, Twitter stream and personal blog).

EC is suing Jane and Dear Author for defamation, claiming what Jane wrote in her blog post was false.  I am not a lawyer. I don’t claim to understand a whole lot about the law in general and defamation in particular, but my basic understanding is that in order for EC to win this suit they have to prove that what Jane said – their authors/cover artists/vendors/editors/tax liens/etc not being paid – isn’t true. In order to do that, I would assume they’d have to provide company records, financial statements, etc. I may be mistaken about that, so don’t take my word for it, but I do know part of a defamation suit is proving what was said was untrue and that the untrue statements hurt the reputation of the one filing. So how else would they prove what she said wasn’t true but opening up their records for public scrutiny? Even worse, however, is that EC is demanding the anonymous commenters’ true names be revealed.

Here’s the thing, though. This suit isn’t about EC’s reputation.  Not really. It’s about is instilling fear in a community of authors and bloggers. Engler has been rumored to be notoriously vindictive when it comes to authors speaking out against her company. As bloggers, we’re often threatened by authors when we write bad reviews/report about the goings-on with the community, etc. That’s a scary thing for those of us who aren’t lawyers and don’t treat our sites as a business venture, but rather a hobby. I don’t know about you, but spending thousands on a legal battle isn’t my idea of a good time. Especially since this site doesn’t make any money on its own.

The Chilling Effect, defined by Wikipedia as:

In a legal context, a chilling effect is the inhibition or discouragement of the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights by the threat of legal sanction.

Basically, I think EC filed this lawsuit as a scare tactic. They want bloggers and their authors/staff to be scared of speaking out against them. Sunita wrote a post about it that goes into more detail, but essentially EC  is saying “we’re watching you”. As Sunita says in her post:

EC picked the wrong person to sue, no question. But by filing at all, they’re also reminding their authors and editors that they have no compunction about publicizing the personal information of anyone they see as an adversary. It’s not necessary to sue an individual person in this case; suing Dear Author LLC would have taken care of their needs.* But it wouldn’t have sent the same “we know who you are” message. EC has already stipulated in internal communicationsthat authors “include both legal name and pen name when communicating with Ellora’s Cave.” This just ups the ante.

Author Courtney Milan wrote about not being cowed by EC and their tactics. In her post, On Limited Purpose Public Figures #notchilled, she discusses the effect this lawsuit has already had in terms of the Chilling Effect and says she is Not Chilled (#notchilled).

CM notchilled 2


Jane has hired a lawyer and plans to fight this. I say good for her. Good for all of us. We shouldn’t be silenced. We shouldn’t be afraid that speaking out about a publisher or author will result in the worst possible outcome. We’re saying we won’t be silenced and we hope you won’t be either.

Today Jane asked for a bit of help. If anyone who worked for or with EC has any information they’re willing to share, please contact her.

DA Request for Info


Also, if you’re an EC author, be sure to take a look at the Ellora’s Cave Author Exodus Support Thread, hosted by author Deirdre Saorise Moen.

For those interested in following the story, here’s a compiled list of links detailing the troubles at EC and the coverage of the suit against DA.

Also, LATimes Jacket copy picked up the story.

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Finding Cinderella to be Printed Because of Twitter

Posted February 17, 2014 by Holly in News | 3 Comments

FCI admit I’m fascinated by the impact social media has on society today.  If you’d have said even 5 years ago that Twitter would be a viable news source, I would have laughed. I’m pretty sure publisher would have laughed if we’d told them they’d be printing books based on what’s trending on Twitter.

That’s what happened last week to Colleen Hoover’s free short story, Finding Cinderella. Fans began tweeting that they’d like to see it as a printed book (because you can’t smell an e-reader, and their shelves were lonely). 5,000+ tweets later and Atria announced they’d be printing the book.

This is definitely opening doors I thought were remained closed forever. What are your thoughts on this?

You can read more about this on S&S’s official Finding Cinderella page.

finding-cinderella-by-colleen-hoover#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover writes a free novella about the search for happily ever after.

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love has conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. But Daniel soon realizes that fairytales don’t exist, and unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

ColleenColleen Hoover is the New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, and This Girl and Losing Hope.  Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.  Please visit ColleenHoover.com.

Tagged: , , , ,

Read Pink® in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness

Posted October 24, 2013 by Holly in News | 0 Comments

read pinkRead Pink® in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness


What’s black and white and pink all over?  The initiative by the Penguin Group (USA) called Read Pink® in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)!


This literary embrace of a life-saving cause last year resulted in more than 400,000 best-selling romances shipped with Read Pink seals and information about the charity it supports – The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® (BCRF).  Penguin is thrilled to partner once again this year with BCRF, as 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs.


The $25,000 donation that Penguin Group USA contributes, regardless of sales, provides vital funds to support the mission of BCRF.


In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Group (USA)’s Read Pink® editions, we are featuring a few participating authors and what Read Pink® means to them…


Karen White (2013 Read Pink® Spokesperson), The Beach Tree

“To all of those who have fought the fight, or are in the middle of the battle, here’s a two-thumbs up for you.  You are not alone.  We are all in this together.”


Erika Robuck, Hemingway’s Girl

“As one whose life has felt the shadow of breast cancer through two friends’ illnesses this year, it is an honor to be included in Penguin’s READ PINK campaign. It is my greatest hope that this contribution may be a part of raising awareness and finding a cure.” ~Erika Robuck”

Jodi Thomas, Just Down the Road

“Breast Cancer is something all women fear. I’ve walked with two dear friends through the battlefield and both survived. We all must fight until the day comes when no one knows anyone who has had breast cancer.”

Carly Phillips, Perfect Fit

“So many of us have been touched by cancer, either personally, or through a family member or a friend’s diagnosis.   I’m honored to be part of the Read Pink! program.  Purchasing a Pink book donates money to the The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Buy and Read Pink! and together we can do our part to eliminate this dreaded disease.”

Catherine Anderson, Lucky Penny

“Breast cancer is a killer that robbed me of one friend and threatened the life of another.  One out of four women may get this dreaded disease.  I am honored that this is my fourth title to be featured in the READ PINK campaign, and I am proud to be writing for a publishing house willing to engage, year after year, in the battle to save the lives of women.”

LuAnn McLane, Pitch Perfect

“Shortly after my mother’s diagnosis with breast cancer, I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child, a risky pregnancy that wasn’t supposed to happen. I believe that during the treatments my mother drew strength from the determination to see her granddaughter born. That was twenty-two years ago and my mother still refers to Cara as ‘her gift’.  Cara’s birthday is a lovely reminder that my mother is cancer free.  I am thrilled to have Pitch Perfect as part of the Read Pink program. Any small part I can play in the fight against cancer is a huge honor for me.”


Liane Moriarty, What Alice Forgot

The last three generations of my family have been affected by breast cancer. We, like so many other families, understand all too well the importance of research.

So I feel very moved and privileged to be a part of such a wonderful initiative as Read Pink.”

Alyson Richman, The Lost Wife

“My own life changed dramatically when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer just before the publication of “The Lost Wife” in 2011, so it is incredibly meaningful that the book is now helping to find a cure for other women who have been afflicted with breast cancer.  Read Pink is helping to unite readers and authors for an extremely important cause.  Please buy a book for a mother, a daughter, or a friend to show your support for this disease that takes too many lives. My children lost their grandmother to breast cancer, so I know I’ll be buying the other books included in the program, to honor this woman we all loved.”


Sarah Jio, The Last Camellia

“Breast cancer is a villain more sinister than any shadowy figure in my stories. I know someone with an advanced case of the disease, a woman who is bravely fighting, but who has been given a short time to live. She will leave behind three children, a husband and a truly beautiful life. All I can says is that if there is hope to end this horrific disease, to bring this villain to justice, I want to be part of it. And I’m so very honored that The Last Camellia was chosen to be a part of Penguin’s Read Pink campaign. Together, we can help write a new story for breast cancer and hopefully give more women the happy endings they deserve.”

Full List of 2013 Participating Authors:

Karen White, The Beach Trees

Nora Roberts, Chasing Fire

Erika Robuck, Hemingway’s Girl

Jodi Thomas, Just Down the Road

Carly Phillips, Perfect Fit

JoAnn Ross, Sea Glass Winter

Karen Rose, Did You Miss Me?

Catherine Anderson, Lucky Penny

Kate Jacobs, The Friday Night Knitting Club

LuAnn McLane, Pitch Perfect

Liane Moriarty, What Alice Forgot

Alyson Richman, The Lost Wife

Sarah Jio, The Last Camellia

Penelope Lively, How It All Began


Mark your calendars and remember to join in the conversation with @BerkleyRomance and @PenguinGroupUSA on Twitter in October.  Make sure to use the hashtag #ReadPink!


For more information follow @BerkleyRomance and @PenguinGroupUSA, and visit www.us.penguingroup.com/readpink.


Read Pink® Blog Tour Schedule

Please support the blogs taking part in this special, Read Pink® Spotlight Tour!


October 1 – Guest post and entire Read Pink 2013 collection giveaway by spokesperson Karen White on Chick Lit Is Not Dead


“Spotlight” Blog Tour

September 23                                   Bridger Bitches Book Blog; Wicked Little Pixie

September 24                                   A Tasty Read Reviews; My Daily Romance

September 25                                   The Allure of Books; Ticket to Anywhere

September 26                                   Bookish Babe; Swoon Worthy Books

September 27                                   A Southern Girl’s Bookshelf; Christine’s Blog (“She Book Blogs”)


September 30                                   Sunshine and Mountains Book Reviews; Winding Stairs Book Blog

October 1                                            Eye on Romance; Books, Books, and More Books

October 2                                            Books-N-Kisses; Reviews By Tammy and Kim

October 3                                            Urban Fantasy Investigations; The Book Cellar

October 4                                            Supernatural Snark; Got Fiction? Books


October 7                                            Theresa’s Reading Corner; Romantic Book Affairs

October 8                                            Book Addicts Not So Anonymous; The Romance Dish;

Live Read and Breathe

October 9                                            Bitten By Love Reviews; Kindles & Wine

October 10                                          The Book Bellas; Stuck in Books

October 11                                          Thoughts in Progress; That’s What I’m Talking About


October 14                                          Boekie’s Book Reviews; The Romance Studio

October 15                                          Paranormal Book Club; Ruby’s Reads

October 16                                          Stuck in YA Books; Caffeinated Book Reviewer

October 17                                          Always YA at Heart; Fiction Vixen; The Reading Café

October 18                                          Fiction Fare; My Book Addiction and More


October 21                                          Adria’s Romance Reviews; Cocktails & Books

October 22                                          Reality Bites! Let’s get Lost!; Literal Addiction

October 23                                          G Reads Books!; Reading Between the Wines

October 24                                          The Book Binge; SheReads.org

October 25                                          The Irish Banana Reviews; Harlequin Junkie


October 28                                          Readers Live A Thousand Lives; The Delighted Reader

October 29                                          Reviewing Wonderland;

October 30                                          Smexy Books; Hesperia Loves Books


Tagged: ,

Eloisa James Releases New Love Story in Three Parts!

Posted March 14, 2013 by Rowena in News | 0 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

From our friends over at Avon, some exciting news:

As You Wish…
New York Times Bestselling Author Eloisa James
Releases a Sweeping New Love Story in Three Parts:
“With This Kiss” Poised to Be the Digital Publishing Event of the Season!

Eloisa James is one of the savviest authors in (print & digital) publishing today: the author, who is also a noted Shakespeare professor and the acclaimed author of her celebrated memoir, “Paris in Love,” is constantly pushing the envelope.

She is adept in remaining foremost in her readers’ hearts and minds: from penning full-length, sweeping romances that craftily weave in references to classic literature, to writing short form novellas for digital-first publication; from working with leading retailer Barnes & Noble to curate their monthly romance recommendations through her syndicated “Reading Romance” column, to publishing swoon-worthy original non-fiction content that allows her audience to get rose-colored glimpses into the author’s own very exciting life…it may be said that Eloisa is romance.

And now, this brilliant American writer is thrilled to present her newest endeavor, WITH THIS KISS, parts one, two and three. This novel, a digital original that will be published interstitially, is the eagerly-awaited story of two characters born of two previous Eloisa James titles, The Ugly Duchess and Seduced by a Pirate.

Readers are already on tenterhooks, eagerly waiting for the romance between Lady Grace Ryburn and the dashing young naval lieutenant, Colin Barry, to develop. The love story will play out as an extended seduction, over the course of three weeks, as Avon Books releases WITH THIS KISS: Part One as a digital original on 3/12/13 (e-ISBN 9780062276933: $0.99); WITH THIS KISS: Part Two on 3/19/13 (e-ISBN 9780062276940: $0.99); and WITH THIS KISS: Part Three on 3/26/13 (e-ISBN 9780062276957: $0.99).

For avid Eloisa James collectors, there will be a limited edition run of AS YOU WISH, the complete collection of this beautifully woven love story in three parts, published in a special bound edition with “Seduced by a Pirate,” available on 3/26/13 (ISBN 9780062276964; $5.99)

For more information on these interconnected tales, or to learn more about the author, visit www.EloisaJames.com, or www.facebook.com/eloisajamesfans. Starting March 12, Eloisa will also be leading a special, month-long Facebook discussion group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/WithThisKiss/). The author is looking to engage her readers in a vibrant read-along book club, where she will tease what’s coming next as each ‘chapter’ of the interstitial publication is set to release, answer questions, and indulge in her audience’s love for romance. She is excited by the opportunity, saying, “I don’t think we have enough anticipation in our lives as adults — I used to wait months for Christmas when I was a kid. Months! I’m hoping the group will make anticipation fun again. And get people talking, naturally!”

About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa’s very first book that she “found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar”; later People Magazine raved that “romance writing does not get much better than this.” Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers’ Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists.

After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Currently she is an associate professor and head of the Creative Writing program at Fordham University in New York City. Her “double life” is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she’s written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women’s magazines such as Good Housekeeping and More to writers’ journals such as the Romance Writers’ Report.

*Digital Original*
e-ISBN 9780062276933
On-Sale 34/12/13
*Digital Original*
e-ISBN 9780062276940
On-Sale 3/19/13
*Digital Original*
e-ISBN 9780062276957
On-Sale 3/26/13
*Limited Edition Paperback Original*
ISBN 9780062276964
On-Sale 3/26/13

This book is available from Avon. You can pre-order these books here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

Tagged: , , , ,