A Hodgepodge of Bits & Pieces for Mid-May 2013

Posted May 17, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Hodgepodge Newsletter

Contents of this Post

Posts that share a common theme — Bookstores, Kids, Social Media, etc.—are in ALL CAPS.

In General

Riffle, the Goodreads Alternative

Judith Rosen at Publishers Weekly writes of Riffle, a social media book discovery tool, as a Goodreads alternative, and she has so much to say about the site, that you should read it for yourself. I have to confess, that I got a bit lost in the article.

I’m at the Riffle site and signing up, and I’m not too impressed yet. After filling out a few blanks, they have me following people I’ve never heard of or whose work doesn’t impress me…

Shelf Awareness is a Newsy Website

Ran across this website which has some interesting news bits: bookstores that are opening or closing; which authors are speaking on whose television talk shows; awards given out; a review at the end…

Just for Fun

Twitter-Writing a Novella

Prachi Gupta at Salon notes that Steven Soderbergh is writing a novella, “Bitchuation”, on Twitter. Catch up with the first seven chapters here.

African American Book Sites Launch Quarterly Bestseller List

Diane Patrick at Publishers Weekly reports that AALBC.com, Cushcity.com, and Mosaicbooks.com have launched the Power List (see the Spring 2013 list), a national bestseller list focused on books read by African-Americans. I must confess I got excited about this list as I initially interpreted the summary as suggesting books for African-Americans to read, books that focused on their history and culture. Instead, the article points out how companies can use our social media to, um, well, spy on us for information.

Lists of Books by Subject

QwikLit looks to be an interesting site if you’re looking for books about a particular topic, geographic region, a particular theme, illnesses, authors…you name it.

I ran across it when Things You Can Read mentioned a list of 20 classics you’ve never heard of…and it’s an intriguing list of books I’ve heard of, read of, and/or was curious about.

Very Cool Bookmarks

Strung Out on Books had a post on some very clever bookmarks.

Why Brandon Sanderson Likes Terry Pratchett

It’s sad that we’re losing Terry Pratchett to Alzheimer’s, but he’s leaving a large treasury of his thoughts with us, and Brandon Sanderson has written a few words about why “Terry Pratchett’s Discworld Might Be The Highest Form of Literature on the Planet“.


Evolution of the Kindle per Jason Merkoski

The Huffington Post is doing a five-part excerpt on Burning The Page: The eBook Revolution and the Future of Reading by Jason Merkoski, which tells the inside story of how the Kindle came to be. As the Huff Post says, “Merkoski was an early innovator on Amazon’s Kindle team, and his new book discusses how ebooks came to be, as well as where they’re going”. Read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5.

Ergonomics and the Kindle

Anyone concerned with carpal tunnel syndrome when reading their Kindle 4 may want to check out Wingo‘s offering. My hands can already feel the benefit—metaphorically speaking! See what Anita Li has to say about this new ergonomic accessory at Mashable.

Prices Slashed on 7″ Kindle Fire HDs

Adrian Diaconescu at Teleread notes that “Amazon Slashes Price on 7-Inch Kindle Fire HDs in Time for Mother’s Day which likely confirms that a “10-inch Kindle Fire tablet is in fact in the works and coming our way soon”.

Ingrid Lunden at Tech Crunch reports that Amazon is giving Kindle Fire owners in the U.S. “Amazon Coins, its new virtual currency. To kick it off, Amazon announced that it would put $5 worth of the currency – equivalent to 500 Coins – into all Kindle Fire users’ accounts to use on apps and in-app purchases on its platform”.

Color Kindle?

There is a rumor kindled by Nate Hoffelder that Amazon will be coming out with a color Kindle.


Folio Prize for Self-Publishers

Dan Holloway at The Guardian posts that a new prize has been established for self-published and traditionally published authors, the Folio. As long as the book is written in English and “published in England in the calendar year preceding each year’s prize”.

Previously known as the Literature Prize, the first award will be given out in March 2014 with a top award of £40,000.

2013 Christian Book Awards

The 2013 Christian Book Awards were presented by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) at the just-concluded ECPA Leadership Summit in Nashville, Tenn.

2013 Edgar Awards

The People’s Books Awards

This might be better tucked into the Marketing section… Anyway, The People’s Books Awards is a site where the average reader can nominate and vote every month on a book (Kindle or print) that can be found in any Amazon.com in the world. Their home page states that it used to be known as Amazonclicks awards. Thought you authors might like to know about it…*grin*…

2013 Children’s Choice Book Awards

Book of the Year awards went to:


New Bookstore Coming to Cincinnati

Judith Rosen at Publishers Weekly reports that “DK Booksellers founder Neil Van Uum began renovations this week on a 6,500 sq. ft. space vacated by Brooks Brothers in downtown Cincinnati, where he lives. When the Booksellers on Fountain Square opens in July with a full-service bookstore and café with a creperie and coffee bar, it will be DK’s second store.” (The first is The Booksellers at Laurelwood and is located in the Laurelwood Shopping Center.)

10 Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores

Read this one for a laugh. And you may end up wanting Jen Campell’s book, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores.

Whale of a Tale Downsizing

Wendy Werris at Publishers Weekly notes that the children’s bookstore, Whale of a Tale, is downsizing and moving shop with more limited hours.

Bookstores Closing…

The Book Nook, located in the D&F Plaza in Dunkirk-Fredonia, New York, since 1959, will be closing May 31.

Booked for Murder, which has been operating in a strip mall on University Avenue in Madison, Wisconsin, for the past 25 years, is closing on May 15, but its 15,000-title inventory of new and used books, as well as the store’s shelving, will be transferred to a 1,500-square foot retail space on Monroe Avenue, in the shadow of the University of Wisconsin’s Camp Randall Stadium. Mystery to Me bookstore will open its doors there on June 15.” Phew…

Maria Halkias at The Dallas Morning News reports that Half Price Books is closing at Irving Town Center, 3401 W. Airport Freeway in Irving because they lost their lease. They’re looking for a new spot.

The Book House in Rock Hill, Missouri, is crowdsourcing to raise funds to move by the end of July due to a philistine of a developer who wants to tear down the old house and other structures to build….ta-dah…a storage facility. You could also help by singing an online petition to the city of Rock Hill. It doesn’t say if you need to be a resident or a buyer at the Book House, but I suspect it would help make the petition more acceptable. Just my opinion…

Yeah!! Bookstores Opening…

Barnes & Noble is opening a new store in The Shops at River Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana, on May 22. It replaces its existing Clearwater Crossing store.

“Sony has opened an Australian Reader Store, joining its e-book stores operating in the U.S., U.K., Japan, Germany, Austria and Canada, the Australian reported. ‘Reader Store is a purpose-built e-bookstore that brings Australia customers a wide range of local and international eBooks, spanning best sellers, classics, new authors and more in eight languages,’ the company said.” I have to confess to a personal confusion about why anyone would go to a store to get an eBook…

Not a Bookstore, But a Digital Library

Michael Kozlowski reports that Bexar County in San Antonio is opening the U.S.’s first all digital library in August.

Bookstore Awards!

“The Women’s National Book Association has announced that two Michigan booksellers are this year’s winners of the Pannell Award, given annually since 1983 to two bookstores – one general and one children’s specialty store – that excel in bringing books and young people together. The winner in the general bookstore category is Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor, and Bookbug in Kalamazoo clinched the award for a children’s specialty store.


B&N Adding Google Play Content Library to NOOK

As of May 3, Barnes & Noble is adding the Google Play content library to its NOOK HD and HD+ devices and offering Google online services as part of the overall NOOK platform. This means more than 700,000 Android apps, games, music, and other digital content and access to Google’s YouTube, Google Search and Gmail services as well as Google’s Chrome Web Browser.

NOOK users should have noted a software update May 3 via wi-fi updating the software for U.S. and for U.K. consumers for all 7-inch NOOK HD and 9-inch NOOK HD+ devices.

Ellie Powers on the Google Play Team states on the Android Development Blog that “Google Play is now connected with Google+” and developers now have direct access to your reviews. This means you can practically talk to the coder who created the app you’re using. And they can respond to issues and accolades!

eReading Apps on Google Play

Anju Anna John at The Hindu notes four reading apps (Aldiko, Google Play Books, Kobo, and Moon Reader) available at Google Play along with a quick-and-dirty assessment of how they operate.

No Legs to Microsoft Rumors About NOOK

Publishers Weekly says there are no legs to rumors of Microsoft buying out the NOOK.

Sesame Street eBooks in Google Play Store

As noted by Digital Book World, “Sesame Workshop today announced the launch of Sesame Street ebooks in the Google Play store. Popular titles including The Monster at the End of This Book, Elmo Loves You, and Elmo’s Potty Time are among the more than 25 ebooks now available in the store.”

Hackathon to Discover Fun New Things to Do With Books

Publishers Weekly writes that “approximately 170 hackers have signed up so far to take part in the Perseus Books Group-sponsored Publishing Hackathon, an event designed to put together teams to develop new approaches to book discoverability. Hackers can sign up to participate in the event up until the night before the hackathon begins on May 18. Judges will pick the best three to five projects and those projects will be voted on at BEA on May 31 after demonstrations that start at 3 p.m.

Deleted Scene from Nalini Singh’s Tangle of Need

Subscribe to Nalini’s newsletter to read this deleted scene.

eBooks from Screenplays

Digital Book World reports that SL eBooks will produce “eBook novellas adapted from Hollywood’s best unproduced screenplays”, said James West, CEO”.

Baker & Taylor Launches E-Reader App

“Baker & Taylor, the world’s largest distributor of digital and physical books and entertainment products, has released a new, free application for tablets and smartphones called axisReader, which allows patrons of libraries with the Axis 360 digital media platform to seamlessly discover, checkout and read ebooks in EPUB and PDF formats on their mobile devices.” The axisReader “runs on devices with iOS or Android operating systems and is now available to install through iTunes and Google Play (formerly Android Market).”

TAKE5 New Books a Month

Houghton Harcourt Mifflin is promoting TAKE5, a deal of a program with five books each month—they’re thematically-linked—that they’ll price at $2.99 or less. And no…they’re not dogs, either!

Fun Quotes

Bellakentuky at They Said, I Said, You Say posted some “Writing Tips By Famous Authors“:

  • “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
  • “Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Bernard Cornwell
  • “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Ender’s Game Teaser Trailer

Rope of Silicon has posted a trailer for the Ender’s Game flick coming out November 1.

Encouraging Reading

Encouraging Your Kids to Read

Okay, this article by Leigh Anne Williams is actually about adults as well as kids, but I am passionate about getting kids excited about reading. Yes, I’m prejudiced as I’ve been an overly avid reader (just ask my mom!) for absolutely ever. Looking back, I can see how helpful that reading was in school and in my life, and I want this for everyone—but ‘specially the kids!

Innovations in Reading Prizes

The National Book Foundation announced the winners of its 2013 Innovations in Reading prizes, which are awarded “to individuals and institutions—or partnerships between the two—that have developed innovative means of creating and sustaining a lifelong love of reading.”

The 2013 winners are the New York City-based Uni Project which is a portable reading room … provid[ing] a portable outdoor reading room; the Vancouver, Washington-based Uprise Books Project founded in 2011 … to encourage underprivileged teens to read by providing them with new banned and challenged books; and, Seattle-based Worldreader, a US and European nonprofit created in 2010 … to make digital books (via e-readers and mobile phones) available to children and their families in the developing world.


AUTHORS – PUBLISHERS: PLEASE, Please, please…Take Note!!

Elizabeth Bluemle at Publishers Weekly puts a major peeve of mine quite eloquently!!!

And y’all wanna know how to make your readers happy… This is a VERY easy step toward doing this. Although, there’s another one that Elizabeth missed, and I cannot begin to tell you how often I encounter this one!!! Can ya’ll tell I’m worked up about this?? Tell us. Inform us. Help us easily know where to start or what’s next by giving us the info on the cover, in the frontmatter, on the spine…and on the Internet!!

I’ve been encountering books on the ‘net that use the series name as the title of the frickin’ book! And no, it’s not just self-publishing authors. There are some big names that are clueless or too worried about branding their series to care how confusing it is for us!

Award-winning Author, Fredrick L. McKissack Died

Shannon Maughan at Publishers Weekly reports that “award-winning author Fredrick L. McKissack, who with his wife and partner Patricia created more than 100 books profiling African-American heroes and illuminating aspects of the African-American experience, died of heart failure on Sunday, April 28.”

eBooks, Libraries, and Publishers…O Woe!

Jane Friedman reports on the status of libraries purchasing eBooks from the Big Six. “Five of them are making their entire e-book inventory available to us; Macmillan is offering 1,200 older ebooks as part of a two-year trial.

HarperCollins allows each title to be lent 26 times before…ahem…they claim it wears out. Gee, I guess I better be careful how often I read my own eBooks…gag. Penguin and Simon & Schuster offer one-year licenses, but only to those libraries participating in a pilot program (see “Simon & Schuster FINALLY Gets with the Library” for details) and Random House sells licenses without time limits but charges much more per license.

Hachette wants a premium price for a just-released eBook, but “graciously” “drops its price to 1.5 times that “primary” print book when the eBook has been out for a year. Although, Hachette is allowing libraries to purchase any and all Hachette eBooks with unlimited checkouts and doesn’t require repurchasing the title after a year.

I think it’s fair that the publishers require that an eBook can only be borrowed by one patron at a time, but charging up to 300% more (Random House) for an eBook license is just not on. And then to only allow a limited number of borrowings…?? Oh, and get this, the publishers think it’s too easy to borrow an eBook, that there’s no incentive to make us buy the book. Puh-lease…

Girly Covers

Dame Jacqueline Wilson Inveighs Against the Pink Tide

The pink tide being the pink covers publishers insist on using for YA books. Wilson’s problem with it is that it marks the book as a girly book, which she states her books definitely are not. JoJo Moyes complains that the color causes buyers to judge her work as chick lit.

Check That #CoverFlip!

Do check out the Huffington Post‘s post on Maureen Johnson’s call to action regarding girly covers (or just do a search for #coverflip). The Huff Post has a video and, lower down on the page, there’s a slide show of covers that are flipped—a real author gets a gender change with a cover to reflect it. And…omigod…You. Will. Crack. Up!

Marketplace Fairness Act Passes Senate

This online sales tax bill must still pass through the House of Representatives. The bill is intended to “allow states to collect taxes from online sellers that do $1 million or more in gross sales annually”.

Spelling Spiraling Down the Tubes

Susie Mesure at the Independent interviews Dame Jacqueline Wilson—yup, she’s getting a workout—who laments the state of grammar and spelling in England when “revealing that her young overseas fans write more eloquent English than UK kids”. I hate to say it, but I know she’s not speaking about American fans as the overseas writers…

Reasons to Guard Your Rights

This is a very sad tale of Peter Rabbit as posted by Caroline Fraser in the Horn Book. Too many rights lost and a lack of quality which will just make you cry.

Do Kids’ Books Need a Rating System?

I hate to be a hypocrite, but I do have to wonder if Mom Houston has a point about needing a rating system for Teen, Young Adult, and New Adult books. Although, I also have to agree with some of the comments in her post: Shockwave states that “Isn’t it odd that we’ve survived centuries with kids being able to read books left and right, even stuff we don’t want them to read? All these years, and yet the republic lives on… However did we manage to survive when anyone could read anything?” and The Future notes that “We already have a rating system – it’s called parents. Kids shouldn’t be buying these books in a vacuum. Parent is a verb too.”

Makes me think I should just shut up and read…

Google as the Book World Dominator?

Josh Constine at Tech Crunch has a post that reviews the Google And The World Brain film that “premiered at Sundance this year” with the premise that “Google Books is as an insidious plot for data domination”.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Google scanning in the world’s books, and I’m of two minds. On the one hand, I like that the world’s books are being preserved digitally, and if it helps Google perform better searches, I’m cool with that. What I am not happy about is Google digitalizing books that are still under copyright. And then, of course, there are the conspiracy theorists out there claiming that Google intends to sell those eBooks without compensating the authors. True or false? I don’t know…

WARNING: Don’t Use booksandauthors.com

Neil D. Ostroff blogged about a horrible experience he had with booksandauthors.com when he had a weak marketing moment. God, and it could so easily be anyone of us. You write (I edit and review), and neither of us wants to have to deal with the marketing thing. It behooves us to pay attention to these warnings!

In response to Ostroff’s woe, Charity Parkerson shared a post she wrote based on her own marketing tests in 2013. It sounds like Parkerson tried a nice variety, and I think it’s well worth a read.

The Imagination Library

Josh Dawsey with the Wall Street Journal reports that a popular reading program has come to a halt. The Imagination Library, provided in a joint effort between New York City and the Dollywood Foundation, brought books to disadvantaged kids under age 5, and it took months before the Department of Education got around to letting its users know that they had suspended operations.

This was a popular program providing books to 20,000 kids. It’s hoped that the New York City Imagination Library Books-from-Birth Foundation, which took it over last fall, will be able to raise the funds to continue.

Writing Tips


Creating a Multi-Dimensional Character

Kristen Lamb has an easy-to-follow post on the yin and yang of your characters. You can have a good character (or bad) and you must find balance with him or her. In other words, each character needs strengths and weaknesses, and Kristen provides her first tip on how to achieve this.

Lying Characters are Good Characters

Yup, lying can be a virtue according to Kristen Lamb’s post on “Creating Multi-Dimensional Characters #2—Everybody Lies“, and she’s absolutely right. It’s the lying that occurs everywhere within a story that helps create that tension, that sends your reader racing on to find out! That’s one of my biggest drives—I want to find out the why!

Building Dimensional Characters

Kristen brought yet another dimension about characters into play from a class with David Corbett “about building dimensional characters. …Force your characters to exteriorize. Thoughts and feelings can be taken back. Action makes characters commit to consequences.

Word Confusions

Top 10 Worst Examples of Management Speak

Oh, this is too funny. And sad. If you enjoy words and manipulating them—hmmm, sounds like the definition of an author…you will get a kick out of Steven Poole’s post, “Top 10 Worst Examples of Management Speak” at The Guardian.

Pay Attention in Those Historical Novels!

Judy Gill provides a few words not to use in your historical novel!

Nail Down the Hook for a Query Letter

Marcy Kennedy is doing a guest post at Kristen Lamb’s blog on writing a query letter, and it looks like an easy-to-follow, step-by-step process.

Editing—Are You Butchering Your Creativity?

Kristen Lamb has some good advice for writers who are looking for feedback on their work. You can be a premature editor!

Research: Bathing and Hygiene in the Middle Ages

Interesting article over at Medievalists.net regarding bathing with a list of reference books at the end. If you are looking for details about hygiene and bathing in this time period, you might want to check this out.

Adobe Acrobat Alternative

As Editing by Catch the Sun puts it, you don’t always need a 747-quality program, and the blog provides links to PDF-using alternatives. Useful to consider as Adobe Creative plans to shaft the small-time user for their programs.

Tip-Offs That It’s a Self-Pub

K.S. Brooks has a post on the top ten most “Common Book Mistakes” self-publishing authors make.

Upcoming Writing Contests

These are contests which are soliciting entries; I’m not endorsing these, I’m simply relating the information.

C. Hope Clark at Funds for Writers has a great post on the whys and why-nots of entering writing contests with a number of contests listed. Then, of course there are the scams… SFWA has a page devoted to Contest and Award Fakes with a section on “Assessing Contests and Awards”. Do read this one at least!

At the least, see how long the contest has been operating and determine who is running the contest.

Deadline Prize Contest Requirements
May 25, 2013
May Short Story Contest
(It’s a monthly contest)
A maximum of 750 words with a pawnshop setting and including graffiti and a dinosaur. The theme is “Trash to Treasure”.

H.M. Schuldt indicates that some of the writers are being included in book one of an anthology with more short story collections to come.

The purpose of this contest is to provide “fiction writers [who] are looking to win a short story contest and to keep in touch with making deadlines. …sharpen plot and character skills, collect your own short stories, receive good feedback, make a good connection with other writers, and take a short break from your current novel to get a fresh view when you return to it.

Upcoming Writing Conferences

I’m not endorsing these, I’m simply relating the information.

Date Location Conference/Workshop About
May 16-19, 2013
Member: $50.00

Non-Member: $50.00

Member Fee and Late Fee: $72.00

Nonwriter Guest: $50.00
Pittsburgh Airport Marriott
777 Aten Road
Corapolis PA
Pennwriters 26th Annual Writers Conference
May 16-June 14, 2013 1st is in person
Remaining 4 are online
Life Writing Workshop Five sessions led by Jon Hartmann. Investigate the fundamentals of character, setting, and point of view while mapping out a plan for completing your life-story or memoir.
May 18, 2013
10am – 3:15pm
General $30.00 ($32.04 w/service fee)
San Francisco PubCamp Hosted by Writer.ly and “learn how to become an “Authorpreneur,” exploring all the nuts and bolts of self publishing. We’ll cover everything from writing and editing your masterpiece, to building your author platform and throwing an amazing book release party”.

Click for full event details.

May 22-June 27
Online Dissertation Workshop Six sessions led by Jon Hartmann. Engage in three rounds of peer review, and learn how to perfect your dissertation.
May 28, 2013
350 3rd St.
Cambridge, MA
How to Be a Click Magnet “Jenny Hudson, owner of Merrimack Media…[in a]…hands-on workshop [limited to 10], we will develop your marketing plan…[and]… give you the tools to increase book sales by developing an online presence…with blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and more with tips to engage an audience through social media; learn how to get publicity, use social media, book readings, use PR, book reviews etc; set yourself up for successful blogging: Build an audience and reach readers; learn the difference between Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms; using the power of video: Tricks and tools; selling your book: Some scenarios that work; and, develop your media kit and sell sheet.”
May 28
8:30am – 5pm

Half day $179.99
Scholastic Headquarters
557 Broadway
New York City
Reaching Readers: Book Marketing Conference 2013 Produced by Publishing Perspectives and the Frankfurt Academy. People who should attend include marketing directors and managers; book publicity directors and managers; publishing executives; literary agents and editors; and, freelance book publicists, marketers, and consultants.

One of the speakers will be Neil Baptista of the “Odyl platform for Facebook allows publishers to offer book content, host giveaways and contests, and identify key influencers through custom analytics”.

Check here for the conference program.

May 29-Jun 1, 2013
$50 – 375
Pricing breakdown
New York City BookExpo America 2013 Trade-only event; NetGalley will be present.

Elizabeth Bluemle notes the type of fun you can have at BEA.

May 29, 2013
New York City Publishers Launch BEA “Near-term practical and strategic solutions and tips to help manage the digital transition. PLC BEA is for trade publishers everywhere. You’ll get the latest insights on digital change issues, including organizational changes and marketing innovation, that are not ebook-centric.” Takes place during BookExpo America 2013. Speakers are being updated daily.
May 29-30, 2013
$259 to 449
Co-located with BEA IDPF Digital Book Conference at BookExpo America Two-day conference focuses on the key issues in publishing in an increasingly digital world. Designed to give executives, marketers, and technologists practical information and tools to inspire and lead organizations. In-depth sessions will analyze key opportunities and pitfalls, highlighting compelling business strategies and actionable solutions.

Will feature insightful keynote sessions and three parallel tracks of targeted in-depth content (business & marketing, technology and production, and education and professional publishing). You’ll hear from top experts and industry leaders, and network with your peers.

IDPF Digital Book 2013 is for executives and professionals across the publishing industry including senior leaders, marketers, publishers and editors, educators, school district administrators, librarians, production teams, distributors, and programmers and developers.

Otis Chandler of Goodreads will be a speaker.

May 29
$165 after May 15
Includes Breakfast & Lunch Tickets at BEA Bloggers Conference & a full BEA pass for May 30-June 1
Co-located with BEA Bloggers Conference at BookExpo America “Learn, be inspired, and connect with book bloggers, authors, and publishing industry professionals. You will benefit from a jam-packed day of education, extreme networking, and the passion and fun that surrounds book blogging. Session topics include: blogging in today’s world, critical reviews, making money with your blog, creating community, and how publishers and bloggers work together.”
May 30, 2013
350 3rd St.
Cambridge, MA
The Write Reason Turning your idea into a book: A Book Bootcamp Session for the Entrepreneurial Soul. Jumpstart your nonfiction book project, learn how to get endorsements and how to stay on track. Led by Lisa Abbate.
Jun 1, 2013
$99 before May 15 (Does NOT include a BEA pass.)
$199 after May 15
Includes Boxed Lunch
Co-located with BEA uPublishU at BEA “Aspiring writers and authors will learn from industry experts tips and tactics and all about the tools and technology to help them self-publish a print book or an ebook.”
Jun 3-7, 2013
$900 + non-refundable $50 deposit required

Students responsible for their own lodging, food and transportation expenses.

New York City 1st CUNY Publishing Institute Course on book publishing for both entrepreneurs and people in the industry. Smart, fast, more intensive look at what’s happening in the rapidly changing world of book publishing whether you’re considering a start-up operation or keen to learn more about the business you are part of, as a writer or employee. Our focus is on new possibilities in book publishing, and we will touch on the major aspects of the industry.
June 6, 2013
350 3rd St.
Cambridge, MA
Editing on Your Own Break down the editing process, learn about pitfalls to avoid in your writing, and learn to edit on your own. Led by Jennifer Powell.
June 13th-14th, 2013
Copenhagen International Publishing Conference, CPH-Conference Presented by Nota and The DAISY Consortium in cooperation with The Ministry of Culture Denmark.
Jun 26, 2013
Includes a box lunch
Jackson Hole, WY Pre-Conference Writing Workshop “Focuses on finding your true voice, enriching your story through the depths of your unconscious, and identifying structural problems and character motivations. Participants should be familiar with long-form fiction-writing, have started or completed a substantial portion of a novel, and bring questions and problems to discuss at the workshop.”
Jun 27-29, 2013
$365 if registered by May 12, 2013

$175 for accompanying Teen Writer

Jackson Hole, WY 2013 Jackson Hole Writers Conference “Each year distinguished speakers, editors and agents join our resident faculty to deliver a weekend of active and engaging dialogue, collaboration and the opportunity for all of us to raise the stakes on our work.

Manuscript critiques are an important part of our conference, providing a way for you to discuss your work one-on-one with experienced writers, editors and agents.” The program also features a pre-conference writing workshop.

July 10-13, 2013
Each event is priced separately from $200 for the Awards banquet to $1,199 for the entire package; you have to purchase one of the packages for the AgentFest.
New York City ThrillerFest VIII Opportunity to network with other writers and meet industry professionals at the panels and workshops.

“Spotlight guests will include 2013 ThrillerMaster Anne Rice, 2011 ThrillerMaster R.L. Stine, T. Jefferson Parker, and Michael Connelly.

CraftFest includes NYT Bestselling authors who will share their secrets on the craft of writing—”learn about dramatic structure or characterization from Lee Child, John Sandford, Steve Berry, or acclaimed agent Donald Maass”.

AgentFest will have over 50 top agents and editors in the business will be on hand to hear your pitches (check out the agents who have shown in the past). Special guests will be announced soon.

Sept 21-22, 2013
Early (end of May): $199

Reg: $349
Vancouver School of Writing,
BCIT downtown campus in Vancouver, BC
Bestseller List Secrets Weekend How the professionals make Amazon’s bestseller lists; how to use Amazon’s Tools for maximum impact; get top indie reviewers to review your work; learn how to utilize give away promotions that can net you $10,000’s of $$$; create your own professional product without spending a fortune; building a support system that works; and, gain media attention without trying.

The Publishing Business

Easy Conversion of Blog Posts to eBooks

Eric Carter at Programmable Web discusses an app—Ebook Glue API which is based off Calibre—that converts blog posts to eBooks.

Publishers & Imprints

Pushkin Press: International Publishers

David Almond, on a post for the BBC, is thrilled about Pushkin Press bringing international books to an English market.

I seems that two parents wanted their children to enjoy the stories they had read as children, and formed Pushkin Press to ensure it.

Two New Children’s Imprints

Claire Kirch at Publishers Weekly notes that two Brooklyn-based publishers “are moving into children’s publishing. powerHouse Books, which is best known for photography and popular culture nonfiction, debuts its pow! imprint this fall and Akashic Books, publishers of gritty noir fiction and political nonfiction, had a surprise hit in 2011 with its children’s book for adults, Go the F**k to Sleep, and will launch Black Sheep in February 2014.

New Mystery Imprint at William Morrow

“William Morrow…announced plans for Witness [the imprint],…a “digital-original” mystery, suspense, and thriller line consisting of new titles, international bestsellers not previously available in the U.S., and newly digitized backlist classics.” The “first 10 titles will be released in October”.

Misconceptions About Agents

This is an old guest post by Andy Ross over on Murder by 4 (he’s an agent), but for writers looking for an agent, it has some good info.

Andy Ross has a blog on working and finding an agent. You may want to check it out.

Anatomy of a Book

Virginia C. McGuire has a post that lays out ten terms describing the makeup of a book—from a book by John Carter, ABC for Book Collectors.

Penguin’s Author Solutions Being Sued

Adam Klasfeld at Courthouse Solutions has posted on the lawsuit brought by three authors against Author Solutions, a self-publishing division of Penguin, and lists a few of the issues which authors need to stay aware of…including not working with Author Solutions, it seems!

Scamming You…with Glee

Oh man, this just pisses me off…

David Gaughran’s post at Let’s Get Digital on Penguin and its ownership of Author Solutions—and where Author Solutions has its tentacles—is damned scary. Read and take note of where not to go…!

“…Except the only companies recommended are Trafford, AuthorHouse, Xlibris, and iUniverse – all of which are scammy vanity presses, all owned by Author Solutions. And, fitting with the rest of the pattern, FindYourPublisher.com is just one of many (many!) such sites owned and operated by Author Solutions, purporting to make independent recommendations, but only recommending Author Solutions companies.”

Open Call for Manuscripts. . .

Publisher Genre Time Span Contact Info
Oaklight Publishing Newly completed romance novels Second half of 2013 and the first half of 2014 Send queries to Matt
Route 11 Books English manuscripts in several genres for print and e-book publication to an international market Send query and three chapters to publisher@route11publications.us.
Crime Wave Press Complete manuscripts of English language crime novels either based in Asia or containing a strong Asian connection and focus point.

Will also consider crime fiction novellas from 10.000 words up and True Crime titles, with an Asian connection or focus point of course.

The Rabbit Hole Press Looking for short books (45,000 – 65,000 words); Cult Fiction for 10 to 110 year-olds! Free PDF file on our plans and requirements.

Case Study: Storybook App Creation

I’m not really sure if this belongs under Publishing or Marketing, but Digital Book World is making this $5.99 case study, Storybook App Creation Demystified, by Amy Friedlander available as a PDF download.

It “explains how Wasabi Productions created its first app, Lazy Larry Lizard, and provides insight into the development of soon-to-be-released app, Gorilla Band. Inside, you will find notes on how storybook apps are produced from start to finish, including costs, production process, people, technology, pricing, release cycle, marketing and more. You will also find insights on technology, storyboard development and pricing.”

When Considering Foreign Markets…

Edward Nawotka at Publishing Perspectives has a post, “Surveying Ebook Adoption in Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia“, that notes a prevalence of mobile readers as opposed to eReaders, which rather reinforces Aptara’s “Study highlights importance of developing mobile content

Marketing Ideas

Branding Yourself

Discover Your Author’s Brand

Philip Martin has done a post at Blue Zoo Writers on, yup, another list of branding ideas. However, he has a different take on helping you find your brand. Could be worth a look…

Fitting into a Genre

PJ Royal at Humble Musings of a Literary Kind has a questioning post on genres that made me laugh, got me to questioning (and imagining), and explored some interesting points on the reading public’s expectations (you’ll crack up with this one!) and whether to settle one’s own book into those expectations. I did get to wondering if it could be possible to write a novel—an interesting one—without any hints of time…

Promotional Strategies

19th-Century-Style Mailing Promotes New Picture Book

Kimberly Winston at Publishers Weekly writes of a clever packaging idea which plays off the time period of Matthew Olshan’s children’s book, The Mighty Lalouche.

Giving It Away?

Download this free PDF by Cory Doctorow (assembled by the Editors of Children’s Book Insider) on “Why Authors Should Give Their Work Away, Stop Sweating Copyright and Focus on Building a Community of Readers”.

Robert Smith has done a post at Author Media on giving your book away. Definitely food for thought in this.

This post by Jason Boog from GalleyCat sort of ties in with Robert Smith’s post in that many of the bestselling self-published books started with big giveaways.

Utilize Goodreads as an Author

Mayor A. Lan has a guest post at Joanna Penn’s Creative Penn on a variety of ways in which you can utilize Goodreads as an author.

Easy SEO Introduction

This is one of the easier introductory SEO posts I’ve come across, and Alexis Grant’s guest post on My Name is Not Bob, “3 SEO Myths That Scare Writers (And How You Can Use Them to Your Advantage)“, will give you an easy start into this baffling “science”.

10 (Cheap) Premium SEO Tools

Kristi Hines at Kikolani posts about “10 Premium SEO Tools That You Can Try for Free (or Cheap)” you can play with.

Book Trailer: Cool Speeding-Through-Space Effect

Watching this speeding-through-space effect made me think of book trailers.

Getting Your Self-Pubbed Books in Bookstores

Read what Karen Schechner from the American Booksellers Association has to say about the systems that independent booksellers are setting up to work with self-published authors”.

Then explore this useful page of links from GalleyCat per “the American Booksellers Association…explaining how self-published authors can sell their books at a few independent bookstores around the country.

Promoting Your Book as an Event

This is a reality check with Kristine Rusch at The Business Rusch in which she explains the behind-the-scenes efforts at a publishing company and where your book is likely to rate. It will depress you, enlighten you, make you feel better (because you have a better sense of what you can expect), and provide some food for thought.

Kevin J. Anderson’s Glamorous Life

Oh, LOL, if this isn’t enough to put you off wanting to do a book tour… Read it and weep, and then laugh.

Twitter and the Hashtag

Caitlin Muir at Author Media has some eye-opening information on using Twitter to promote your work. Two points that really stuck out for me included the hashtags—and the intelligent usage of hastags! And, yes, they do sound like a lot of work to understand.

Hashtags are the internet’s way of indexing conversations.

A boon for authors who feel overwhelmed is the point about concentrating on one social medium at a time. Just ONE! Hallelujah! God knows I feel overwhelmed..! Once you get comfortable—notice that I did not say master it—then tackle another one. That’s part of what I’m doing now. I’m comfy with WordPress.com, so now I’m looking deeper into Twitter. A medium I’ve been coasting in till now.

Social Media Does Not Work

Catherine Ryan Howard had a metaphor for why Twitter and other social media doesn’t work that I just loved…

it’s like having a treadmill in your garage, failing to lose 30 pounds and then concluding that treadmills don’t lead to weight loss. Did you use the treadmill? Did you eat right? Did you avoid those knock-off Choc Ices from Aldi? I congratulate you if you did, because they’re delicious…

And, I gotta tell ya, she makes some excellent points about why you can’t avoid using social media to market your books. Well, unless you have a few million sitting around for you to toss at an outside marketing agency…

“…if you don’t bother telling me about your book, one of your competitors will get in there and tell me about theirs instead.”

Prepare for that Press Interview

Tim Sunderland at What If You Could Not Fail has some useful facts about preparing for an accurate—and more comfortable—interview with the press. Take notes!

Get Noticed at the Bookstore

Shelley Sturgeon has a guest post at The Book Designer that makes an excellent point about the effect of eBooks on traditional bookstores. Nobody sees you. There’s no way to have a physical presence in a regular bookstore. And Livrada has come up with a way around this with eBook gift cards they print for you. Further down in the article is a paragraph or so about Enthrill which “sells digital codes for $1.50 each or less if large quantities are ordered. Authors can have their own gift cards printed by any printer using the codes or distribute the codes by email or however they would like.” So far Enthrill is still based in North America; they hope to go international soon.

Pinterest Image Sizes

Caitlin Muir a Author Media has a post on Pinterest’s new sizes.

Lost Followers?

Kristen Lamb’s post explains what probably happened when you lose a few followers, so put the Ben and Jerry’s Karamel Sutra back in the freezer and read. I do like her pointing out that if someone is following you and there’s a huge disparity between the number of people being followed and the number of followers—delete. Quick.

Cool Business Card Ideas

Seriously, checking out other peoples’ ideas whether it’s their business cards, website or blog designs, or their book covers…ahem…can stimulate your own imagination. In this instance, The Beauty of Letterpress was showcasing the work of Studio on Fire.

Kobo’s Experiential Game

Leigh Ann Williams with Publishers Weekly writes in more detail about Kobo’s experiential game, The Descent, in combination with Dan Brown’s Inferno.

Current Popular eBook Prices

Jeremy Greenfield has a short post at Digital Book World on the current popular prices for eBooks selling well on Smashwords.

Smashwords Survey on Selling More

Mark Coker “identifies potential factors that could help authors sell more ebooks.”

Book TV

Each weekend, Book TV features 48 hours of nonfiction books from Saturday 8am (ET) to Monday 8am (ET). They also list Book Fairs, offer podcast interviews of authors, an assortment of videos on YouTube, and a schedule of events for the upcoming weekend.

Book TV is open to recommendations and comments at booktv@c-span.org or 202-737-3220.

Typeform Filling in Where Wufoo Left

I haven’t played with creating forms or online surveys on Typeform yet, but it looks interesting.

Book Tours: The Bookstores’ Costs

Kevin Hearne has done a follow-up post on the economics of a book tour from the perspective of the bookstore. This one and the first from an author’s perspective are intended to explain why your fav author is probably not coming to a bookstore near you…

Writing Book Descriptions

The Epic Fail: Stabbling My Kooties!

ROFLMAO funny…omigod, Stephen Hise at Indies Unlimited will send you running to your computer to check over your book descriptions…’cause I gotta tell ya, he’s right. A bad book description will turn more people off—including the reviewers you’re trying to attract!

In a print version, I’ll open to the middle of the book to get an idea of whether the writer will engage my interest; in an online version, I mostly rely upon the description as to whether I’ll review it or buy it or…? When I run across the examples that Hines provides in his post…yup, I run in t’other direction.

Blurb Doctor is In

K.S. Brooks at Indies Unlimited takes you through how she doctors up a bad blurb.

Licensing Rights: Whaddya Know

Tom Chalmers has an interesting post on “Authors and Book Rights—Some More Truths” which is a bit confusing to read, but does have some useful information about world rights, why you want to pay attention to those rights, digital copyright infringement, and a lot more that he presents from a different perspective.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, do me a favor and share it with friends by tweeting it.

One response to “A Hodgepodge of Bits & Pieces for Mid-May 2013

  1. A Hodgepodge of Useful Bits & Pieces – October 2013 | KD DID IT Takes on Books

    […] for Girls: Problems with Gendered Reading” (a discussion fueled by Maureen Johnson’s look at flipping book covers from girl- to boy-focused which I mentioned in my mid-May […]