Dear Bitches, Smart Authors Podcast

19. Buying, Reading and Reviewing

This was recorded when I was coming down with the flu and pneumonia, and I'm slightly out of breath – and coughing. I edited out most of the coughing but if I missed one, I apologize.

This episode includes Sarah's nefarious plans for Romantic Times in 2012 in Chicago, reader mail from Sarah's inbox about buying books, picking self published books for review and how we do it, pitching books for review and how not to do it, and reacting and responding to reviews.

Jane also tries to recommend books to Sarah.

Here are the books we discuss in this episode:

Book CoverBook CoverBook Cover

And yes – more Peatbog!

The music this week was provided by Sassy Outwater, and the track is called “Nyup” and it's by the Peatbog Faeries from their 2007 album What Men Deserve to Lose. You can find them at their website, or at iTunes.

If you like the Podcast, you can subscribe to our feed, or find us at iTunes. You can also find us at PodcastPickle.

In our next episode, we'll be taking a look at your contest entries to give a name for the incorrect location of the hymen. Get ready for hilarity.

If you have content suggestions or have feedback, email us! The email address for the podcast is Thanks for listening!

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  1. 1
    Kaetrin says:

    Are you better now Sarah?

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    I am working on it! Still have a wee bit o’ pneumonia (is much more tolerable in brogue, you know) but also have wonderful drugs and am getting better each day. Thanks for asking!

  3. 3
    Laura says:

    I completely agree with the comments on doing Amazon reviews.  I, too, use them a lot when I’m considering what to buy or (more often, because I’m poor) what to put on my library list.  For a long time, I never gave back by writing reviews myself.  But I kept getting burned by reading books that were apparently reviewed by people who don’t share my tastes at all.  So now I review books that I loved and hated.  Sometimes it’s only a couple of sentences, and sometimes it’s a few paragraphs.  But I figure, whether or not the other people reading have the same tastes as me, the more reviews there are, the better.

  4. 4
    Kaetrin says:

    Glad you are on the mend.  You sounded good in the podcast, no apologies necessary!

    Looking forward to the next podcast to hear the suggestions for the mislocated hymen and to see how “hymythical” goes :D

  5. 5
    Fran says:

    I feel like the YA book platonic sleep partner thing happens enough that it’s not weird.  I’ve always read a lot, especially in middle school (I’m only 18 so that’s pretty recent stuff :) ), and this observation didn’t surprise me even though I’d never thought of it that way. 

    I went through the goodreads YA book list to jog my memory, and I think this happens in the later Inkheart books a few times, and it most definitely happens in the Hunger Games.  The male and female leads basically share a bed whenever they’re in the same place during the competitions, even before she really loves him. 

    It’s a comfort thing, in my opinion, being close to someone the character cares about without having to take that step if they’re not ready.  I notice in most YA books the boy is the one with experience, and the girls have a lot of insecurities so they need to feel that the boy really cares about them before they take that step.  Then again, I usually read the urban fantasy/fantasy type YAs where the characters often need comfort because their lives fall to pieces.

    However, one of my favorite YA books ever—This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen—-features this just sleeping thing a few times (if I remember correctly—-I lent my copy out 3 years ago and haven’t seen it since).  The girl does have a lot of experience but the hero wants a real relationship, which she basically hasn’t ever done.  The characters never go for it in the course of the book, even when they’re really in love.  I adored the book (for different reasons) when I picked up in eighth grade. 

    Of course, Edward holds Bella when she sleeps in Twilight. 

    I’m sorry I haven’t presented a lot of hardcore examples.  I usually donate books to my school library after I’ve read them because I rarely re-read, so staring at my shelf didn’t help.  I did put out a call to my friends though (who are also avid readers, for the most part) to see what they can come up with.

  6. 6
    Bibliovore says:

    Yay for Angelfall!! I read it as a first-round judge for the Cybils, a blogger-given literary award for kids’ and teen lit. Rather snobbishly, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it much when I loaded it onto my Nook. Holy wow. I think my machine had dents in it from gripping so hard. I agree, there was a lot of fuzziness in the worldbuilding, but Penryn and Raffe and their interactions had me so spellbound that I could overlook that.

    And to address something that Jane (?) said in the podcast, in tone it wasn’t markedly different then a lot of the dystopic/post-apocalyptic novels for teens out there right now. Penryn had a strong Katniss (Hunger Games) vibe in that she’s much too young to be keeping all this shit together, but she is because she always has, and why are we talking about this anyway? We have angels to run from.

  7. 7
    Mia says:

    I’m a 20 year old college student and YA is almost all I read – I’m definitely with Fran. Platonic sleepovers in YA novels is a common thing and it’s definitely not weird. Personally I find it pretty adorable.

  8. 8
    lian92 says:

    yeah Penryn and her fmily situation did remind of Katniss and HG but i woudnt cotigorise   as , Distopien more horror apocalyptyc with Mithology thrown in.

  9. 9
    Deb says:

    I am just leading and listening to the full podcast backlog, so first, hello! I wanted to share my thoughts on the “I know you’re going to be mean, but please review me” trend. I firmly believe that comes from writers who get their start in fandom; it’s very common for writers to talk their stories down in the author’s notes.

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