This week! Publishing!
Lots of good stuff this week in publishing, but first, I thought I’d lead with a tremendous post by my friend Kristin at Camels & Chocolate, who has some tough, honest, real-world advice about freelance travel writing. She should know – she’s extremely good and successful at it, which does not come easy in the freelance world. If you’ve ever thought about plying your writing trade around the globe, that article is a good place to start.
Meanwhile, this week’s End of Publishing as We Know It articles were brought to you by, well, me, and also former Random House Executive Editor-in-Chief Dan Menaker, who starts off a long post about the myriad challenges facing editors in today’s industry with Point #1: “Publishing is often an extremely negative culture.” It doesn’t get much more uplifting from there.
And speaking of, The Millions pointed me to a self-publishing success story by author Kemble Scott, who hit the SF Chronicle bestseller list for a book released in a limited hardcover edition and e-published on Scribd. Scott is far from an unknown (his book SoMa was a bestseller published by Kensington), but he didn’t want to wait to get his book out and just got to it.
Also in short fiction news, my colleague Sarah LaPolla is soliciting material for her bright and shiny new blog Glass Cases, so check that out as well.
Some guy named Dan Brown has a book out (via Danny Parker), and apparently the e-book version has been selling as well as the hardcover on Amazon. The Guardian summed up the early responses, and also posted a pained defense of Brown. Kind of.
And now that THE LOST SYMBOL is out, I’d like to make a personal plea that literary bookish types abstain from the whole “I’m so above his writing but okay the books are kind of fun to read” attitude. People! They’re entertainment. It’s okay to like them without apologizing. Or don’t like them. Whatever. Just don’t be too cool for school. It’s not like I watch The Bachelor in the hopes of finding deep meaning and spiritual enlightenment!! That’s just a bonus.
In more serious topics, World Politics Review notes the dearth of works of art that have emerged from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, in contrast to long conflicts in the past. Their theories: changing media landscape, the Internet, publishing trends, and a professional military. (via Andrew Sullivan)
Those wacky kids over at Google are partnering with an on-demand publisher to make all 2 bazillion out-of-copyright books available through the fancy Espresso book machine, which churns out a finished book and a mean latte (I wish) in just a few minutes. (via Scott Spern)
My colleague Katherine Arathoon passed me some pretty awesome links, including twopost that rename classic books according to current publishing trends. My favorite: Old: THE WEALTH OF NATIONS. Now: INVISIBLE HANDS: THE MYSTERIOUS MARKET FORCES THAT CONTROL OUR LIVES AND HOW TO PROFIT FROM THEM.
Almost finally, my most excellent client Rebecca Ramsey tackles one of my great loves: strange idioms in other languages. In this post she runs down the different expressions for when it rains really hard. I think the Danes win hands-down for “it’s raining shoemaker’s apprentices.”
And finally, thanks so much for all of the very interesting comments on yesterday’s anonymous commenting question. Your input was extremely helpful, and I was surprised at how evenly divided people were on the pros and cons. After giving this a lot of thought, I’ve decided to leave anonymous commenting on since people articulated some very good reasons for posting anonymously, and hopefully the comments will be more open and free-ranging if people can use the anon option to evade the purview of their employers and/or (politely) go out on a limb with a contrary opinion.
As Spider-Man will tell you, with great power comes great responsibility. Because of the tendency toward abuse of the anon option and the lack of context for an anon post, I’m going to unabashedly hold anonymous commenters to a higher politeness and constructiveness standard than those who post under a name or handle so that the anon function is not used as a cover to espouse an unproductive attitude that might otherwise not be written if the person were associating their own name with the comment. Hopefully this will best facilitate a constructive dialogue, and polite anons will have nothing to worry about.
Have a great weekend!