Links: Average Vaginas, Reader Shaming, Dialects in the US, New Novellas, and More

Via Darth Jenni: there is no such thing as an Average Vagina.

So, are you normal? Are you average? Yes. No. Most likely. It turns out that there is so much variation among female anatomy that doctors, surgeons, and researchers find it difficult to define exactly what normal is – or even if it exists. And a few at least have been trying.

That is NOT the most work-safe link (hence this link post in the evening hours) but wow, is that ever fascinating. 

Via Chuck Wendig: this map of dialects in the US is completely jaw dropping. Does “pen” rhyme with “pin?” So much hinges on how you say a few words. 

The Atlantic has a new list revealing the 10 least common jobs – and 10 most common – in America today. Before you even look – small town cop? Bakery owner? Which hero or heroine jobs are on the list? 

The romance character possibilities are enchanting to think about. A hero who assembles timing devices? He'd be an explosive hero (ba dum dum!). 

I'm over at Kirkus this week, talking about reader shame, and the general dismissal of an entire genre of fiction based on a relatively small sample:

There are a good number of theories about why genre fiction, especially romance and sf/fantasy, seem to attract the sweeping judgment broom. Dealing with that broom requires some deep breathing, but perhaps also an examination of possible reasons for the broom may make the broom easier to avoid, or ignore.


There are a few sources of that behavior, but the first that pops into my mind is this: It can be terrifying for many people to admit that they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.

Via Ann: another link to the Atlantic, this time discussing the simple reason why Goodreads is valuable to Amazon

And as shown in the graph below, which like the other charts in this piece come courtesy of the industry researchers at Codex Group, and updates the sample data to match the 2010 Census, just 19 percent read a dozen or more titles. 


Or, to put it another way, according to Codex just 19 percent of Americans do 79 percent of all our (non-required) book readin'.

So wait, 19% of the US are buying 79% of the books? I WONDER WHO THAT COULD BE. DO YOU KNOW WHO THOSE READERS ARE? HMM. Let's all wave at them! 

I was sent a press release about a new publishing venture by a group of romance authors offering original romance short stories between 10,000 – 20,000 for $1.99. They're calling it Lunch Hour Love Stories

LUNCH HOUR LOVE STORIES was inspired by the fun trend of Japanese “novelettes” deliberately crafted to be read on a smartphone or e-reader during lunchtime, in waiting rooms or between soccer games. The site allows authors to flex their creative muscles while providing readers with fresh new stories to enjoy between major book releases by their favorite authors. All of the authors involved have substantial fan bases and love the idea of being able to combine their marketing muscle in a sort of “promo co-op”.


LUNCH HOUR LOVE STORIES’ core group of “founding authors” includes Victoria Alexander, Susan Andersen, Elizabeth Bevarly, Connie Brockway, Christina Dodd, Suzanne Enoch, Barbara Freethy, Karen Hawkins, Candice Hern, Stephanie Laurens, Susan Kay Law, Julia London, Emily March, Teresa Medeiros, Barbara Samuel, Christie Ridgway and Barbara O'Neal.

Do you like romantic short stories? Any you recommend?


The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1
    Charon says:

    That dialect map is fascinating. Anyone who rhymes “father” with “brother”, let me know where you’re from. I grew up in CA. I’ve lived in WA and CO. All these places supposedly do this. But it sounds so bizarre to me that I’m sure I’d have noticed if anyone did that. I can’t even imagine how to rhyme them.

  2. 2
    cleo says:

    @Charon – It’s father and bother, not father and brother.  I’m having trouble figuring out those two *wouldn’t” rhyme.

  3. 3
    Liz H. says:

    I just spent 15 minutes looking at labia. A different way to spend your Friday.

    The average vagina is absolutely amazing. That should be required reading in all sex ed classes. And for all romance writers. And probably for all women everywhere.

  4. 4
    Nan Comargue says:

    I think I’ve always known about the 19% buying the books.  I read a lot and the fellow readers I meet are the same way.  But those people I meet who claim to read NOTHING outside of work-related reading far outweigh the readers.

    I get tired of pushing books on people who simply don’t want to read but I’m convinced I’m doing right.  As the incomparable Jay-Z said in that immortal hit, Big Pimpin’, “Go read a book you illiterate son of a bitch”.

  5. 5
    Elle says:

    @cleo, it’s an ah vs an awe sound (to my British ears anyway) – fAHther/bAWEther

    Fascinating stuff!

  6. 6
    BethSmash says:

    it’s an ah vs an awe sound

    Those make the same sound to my Utah ears Elle.  :D

  7. 7
    HelenB says:

    The UK ah would sound more like ar and the awe sounds like or. Does that help, trying to explain sound is really difficult

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