Thissssssssss Weeeeeeek… InPublishing
Page Critique Friday is alive and well!! It’s happening over in the Forums. You do not need to register in the Forums to check out the Page Critique thread, but you will have to register if you’d like to leave a comment. To register, just click here and it should be quite self-explanatory. Other than that it’s the same as before, so stop on by. UPDATE: My critique is posted here.
Lots and lots of news this week, so let’s get started.
First up, the most comprehensive review I have ever seen about the relative environmental benefits of e-books vs. paper books was published by Slate’s The Green Lantern. The winner? E-books on every count, provided you read more than 18 books on an iPad and 23 books on a Kindle. Even on chemicals/metals, often cited as a problem with e-readers, the Green Lantern judged the side-effects of producing ink more harmful than the metals that go into e-readers. Worth a read.
Random House and agent Andrew Wylie have settled their standoff over the rights to backlist e-book titles that Wylie had announced would be exclusively published by Amazon. In the end, Random House and Wylie came to terms, and the e-books will be published by Random House after all. Word this morning is that Wylie and Penguin are negotiating as well. Bloomsbury publisher Peter Ginna has a great analysis of some of the implications. While early reports tended to characterize this as a “win” for Random House, Ginna points out that it really depends on the deal that was struck (and the ones yet to be struck).
In further e-book news, PWxyz spotted a good explanation from Wired about the economics of e-book pricing, another e-book domino has fallen as Laura Lippman’s brand new bestseller is selling more e-books than hardcovers, there’s a color e-reader called the Literati coming, the Wall Street Journal took a look at the reading habits of e-book readers (hint: they read more), Seth Godin made some publishing waves as he said in an interview that he will no longer publish the traditional way (citing the frustration of the long wait and filters of traditional publishing), and oh yeah, the NY Times had an article about digital devices and learning and attention spans but I’ve already ohmigod how awesome was Project Runway last night????
And yeah yeah news news, what about e-books and author revenue? Well, Mike Shatzkin has a really great post explaining how the royalty math breaks down (with helpful charts!) based on different formats and models.
And finally in e-book news, the NYTimes’ David Pogue reviewed the new Kindle and came away a fan, calling it “ingeniously designed to be everything the iPad will never be: small, light and inexpensive.”
The Franzen/Picoult/Weiner, um, well, not sure what to call it, but anyway, that discussion has kept right on going this week. Writing on Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog, new Paris Review editor Lorin Stein defended literary fiction against “fake populism,” and argues that formulas are death in literary fiction. In an interview in the Huffington Post, Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner continued their broadside against what they see as a culture of snobbery and favoritism toward white male Brooklynites, and attacked Stein as well. Laura Lippman also tackled the question, bringing some facts to the table and noting that considering how much more women read fiction than men, “All fiction is women’s fiction.” And there you have it.
Meanwhile, Salon profiled author Tao Lin and wonders if he is the future of literary fiction, or at least whether he embodies the future role of the literary author. He trespasses in bookstores, is featured in Gawker, sells shares in his books, holds experimental contests, and writes books as well. Is this marketing, a side-effect of the Internet age, crass commercialism, literary performance art, all of the above? (via The Millions)
Eric at Pimp My Novel had some great posts this week, one that delves into the situation at Barnes & Noble, and another that gives some insight into some reasons why the practice of returnable books still persists in the modern book world.
With NaNoWriMo just a few months away, Ian T. Healy has some ideas on expanding it: agents should take on ten clients in November, (NaNoSignMo), publishers should acquire ten books in November (NaNoBuyMo), and readers should buy and read five books in November (NaNoReadMo). Great ideas, but I think I’m going to be taking a break during my Thanksgiving weekend and participating in NaNoSleepMo.
Comment! of! the! Week! There were lots of really great and thoughtful comments this week, but I thought I’d choose two from the post about children’s literature and violence. What’s interesting about these comments is that they are both by people living in South African, and yet it illustrates how differently we humans cope with and react to violence. Fiona Ingram worries about the effects violent stories have on young people, while Misha notes that it’s almost always hatred, not stories, that breed the worst violence and puts the onus on parents.
And finally, my client Lisa Brackmann, (who by the way had a really great post on how life-changing and disorienting it is to have a book come out coupled with the pressure of the second book), sent me this utterly mesmerizing video that I most definitely had to share.
I give you….. Bunny Show Jumping:
Have a great weekend!