A Hodgepodge of Useful Bits & Pieces – February 2013

Posted February 5, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Hodgepodge Newsletter

In General

Tools of Change and Publishers Weekly is putting on a one-day conference, Author (R)evolution Day, in New York and are offering a discount rate through this post, if you’re interested.

The two are claiming that “this out-of-the-box conference tackles the issues head-on. No matter if you want to explore new routes to market, are interested in the latest tools, or need straight talk from some of the most visionary minds in publishing, this event will revolutionize your thinking about the future of authorship and your own business in the digital age.”

Just for Fun

Best Kids’ Books for 2012

The Association for Library Service has put together a list of the best younger kids, best middle school, and the best older children’s books for 2012.

The Essential 50 SciFi Books You Must Read

Richard Davies has a post at AbeBooks.com listing what he considers the “50 Essential Science Fiction Books“. It’s an interesting list with titles of which I never heard, titles I have but haven’t thought to read, and, of course, the ones I have read. And, it’s shocking how many I haven’t!

Creepy Digital Storage

Ooh, ick, this is just creepy! Gautam Naik over at the Wall Street Journal has written an article on “Storing Digital Data in DNA“. Images of zombies spouting that data are staggering amuck in my brain…oooh, brains…ick…!

Famous Authors Who Also Wrote Children’s Books

Lucas Reilly over at Mental Floss [hmmm, with zombies on the brain…] has an intriguing list of children’s stories written by such luminaries as Aldous Huxley, Salman Rushdie, John Updike, James Joyce, e.e. cummings, Ernest Hemingway, Umberto Eco, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, James Baldwin, and Leo Tolstoy.

Her Royal Spyness to be a Movie

Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness is being shot as a movie this coming spring in England. So for those of you who are fans of Lady Georgina, keep an ear open!

Catching Fire Set Located

Tor.com gives notice about several fans locating the Catching Fire location for the Cornucopia set.

Movies from Books for 2013

Gabe Habash from Publishers Weekly lists “The Ten Most Anticipated Book Adaptations of 2013” in this post, including Percy Jackson, the Hobbit, and the Host!

A Wall’o Books

Image courtesy of Carolyn Kellog and the LA Times

Oh, yeah, this is my idea of painting the house!

Index of Fantasy Maps

This is a lovely start of a list of maps for a variety of fantasy books and series.

Book Awards

The ALA Youth Media Awards is an umbrella for a number of awards, and below are a few of the winners. Click the various links for more information on authors who were honored but didn’t win. Also The YALSA Hub has an incredible list of teen books in yet more awards. I swear, the lists and awards just for 2013 will keep your kids busy for the year!

Agatha Christie a Spy?

Too funny! Richard Norton-Taylor over at the Guardian has an article on Agatha Christie being suspected by MI5.

Dr. Seuss’ Hats Travel

Celebrating the 75th anniversary of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel), Random House and Dr. Seuss Enterprises is doing a display of some of the crazy hats found in a secret bookcase.

The display of some dozen hats will open Monday, Feb 4, 2013, at “the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street and then travel to 15 other locations over the course of the year”.

New Nook App

B&N has introduced a new Nook for Windows 8 app, which will allow customers to sign in and shop the Nook store using their Microsoft account. Per Publishers Weekly.

Artists and Teaching

This one intrigued me…the arts side will always have a pull on me! In Fine Art Views, Luann Udell has a series of column on “Questions You Don’t Have to Answer”. This particular one on classes made a lot of sense; those of you who are artists may find it useful as well.


Kindles to Get Ads?

The Bookseller is reporting that Amazon is getting ready to stick personalized ads on our Kindles…boo…hiss…! The screen is too small to force me to look at ads as well. I want to read my story and JUST my story!

Amazon to Collect CT Sales Tax

Another state bites the dust. All you Nutmeggers have until November 2013 to buy your books on Amazon without having to pay sales tax

Writing Tips

Beth Reekles Talks to Teen Writers

Beth Reekles is seventeen and has signed a three-book deal with Random House. Yup, she’s written a post for the Guardian on what she sees as essential writing tips. Get your kids to read her suggestions, if only to encourage them that they too should go ahead and write. It’s not just for grown-ups!

Goldsmiths’ New Literary Prize!

Joshua Farrington at The Bookseller has written of a new literary prize for writers, and its aimed at new books in 2013. Check out his post for the particulars.

Kristen Lamb on Plagiarism

Kristen Lamb has a great post on how plagiarism can come back and bite ya on the butt.

12 x 12 Kids Books

Julie Hedlund has a unique concept, 12 x 12 for picture books in which you sign up and pay a fee for a year’s worth of interaction with other writers as you create one new picture book a month.

Hedlund has three levels of membership ranging from $39 to $125 for the year.

No, I haven’t a clue as to how helpful this idea is, I just thought it was cute

Expert Writers vs Professional Ones

Oh, I did love this post by Holly Lisle about the required education for a writer!

My father-in-law would have hysterics! I loved exploring all sorts of artistic media when I was concentrating on my arts career. Who knew it could be so useful now…

Going in Character

Oh, I did like Emily Asher-Perrin’s post on “Fiction into Reality: Why We Borrow From What We Love“. I suggest writers read this if only to consider the habits, clothes, or catch phrases they create for their characters for insight on possibly intriguing our readers enough to catch their long-term interest.

Christian Authors Guild

For those of you writing Christian-oriented books, you may want to check out the Christian Authors Guild.

Just Business

Simpler Home Deductions

Ann Carrns over at the New York Times posts about “A Simpler Form for Home Office Deductions” [for 2013 to be used in 2014]. Of course, the IRS is putting a cap on it of $1,500 with all the currently existing restrictions.

The Publishing Business

Future of Publishing

Mick Rooney has an interesting rebuttal to all the naysayers who are suddenly against self-publishing. He makes some very good points.

Fate of Self-Publishing

Anne R. Allen has a rather terrifying post on indie publishing in 2013. If you are self-publishing or marketing your work, do read this post. Allen has a TON of very interesting and potentially profitable information. Do NOT pass GO, do NOT skip this post.

Be sure to check out her comments about the 99-cent price point and how it now skews the algorithms!

25 Things You Need to Know

David Carnoy over at CNET.com has an amazing post on “Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know.”

Hidden ePublishing Costs

Richard Curtis over at Digital Book World has an insightful post on what it costs to publish an eBook. I admit I’m totally curious as it doesn’t seem as though a publisher has the same costs involved in putting out an eBook as they would in putting out a print book. It’s really burned my butt to look at buying a print book for $10.99 and see the eBook priced at $9.99. It’s the same initial costs for editing, cover, etc. The same royalty. But, the material costs involved are completely different. There’s no paper, no shipp…well, okay, they have to pay for Internet access and servers, so there is a semblance of shipping costs, so what has been the justification for such high eBook prices?

And, I ain’t buying it. Curtis is comparing apples and oranges — in my book. Of course, I’m going into this with my own prejudice (see above!), and he’s talking about digitalizing a previously published print book. Hey, my whine is reasonable since Curtis starts his article with a quote from Jeremy Greenfield that “Publishers are making a killing on e-books because they cost nothing to produce, distribute and sell and are almost 100% pure profit”. Sure, Curtis has a reasonable gripe about that “almost 100%”, but not on the rest.

Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators

For those of you writing children’s books, you might want to check out the SCBWI. They do have a pretty website…

Wait Before Print

Joanna Penn makes some thought-provoking points on why you should wait before going into print. As an editor, I’d like to add that it’s much easier and cheaper — and less embarrassing — to correct errors in your eBook than a print edition.

Marketing News

Free Music for Book Trailers

Lee Fitzsimmons is offering free music to use with your book trailers.

Kickstarter’s Interactive Hamlet

Laura Hudson over at Wired writes of a different type of interactive book being promoted by Kickstarter. The reader chooses “to be or not to be”.

Preview Mobile Sites

Useful previewing site for those of you working on your own websites. Check out the Responsivator for an easy peek to see how your site would look on screens from 320×480 to 1280×800.

Learn to Take Criticism

Joanna Penn does an interview with Mark McGuinness about the importance of the right types of criticsm, etc. You may want to view this or download the audio/text files and gird your loins!

Interview Practices for Authors

Chris Robley over at BookBaby has a post on “5 Great Author Interview Practices” you might like to read. They’re good commonsense tips, and it wouldn’t hurt to do a review.

BookGirl.TV for Women Writers

There’s a post about BookGirl.TV as a place to “provide a community where women readers and writers can have fun, find balance and achieve their goals” as a “new reading and writing resource for women”. “BookGirl.TV [plans to] host a monthly video book club…[with]…video interviews with best-selling and emerging authors, book reviews and recommendations, online writing courses, writing tips and tricks…”

Ladies, you might like to check it out…

Why Wool Howey Kept His eBook Rights

Per a post in Digital Book Wire on 17 January, 2013, Wool author Hugh Howey signed a “seven-figure advance for just the print publishing rights to his hit best-seller” because “he was raking in $150,000 a month in income for his self-published ebooks.”

eBook Prices Stabilize…

…”average of the prices on our top-25 best-selling ebook list is $8.16 this week, a slight decrease from last week when it was $8.30. Last week was the first time since Oct. that the average price of an ebook best-seller increased — from an all-time low of $7.66 two weeks ago.” according to Jeremy Greenfield at Digital Book World.

Publishers believe that best-selling eBooks will stabilize at $8.00. Read more.

BDSM Still Tops

Sylvia Day is having a good year with +five million sold of Bared to You and Reflected in You in her Crossfire Trilogy.

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