A Hodgepodge of Useful Bits & Pieces for June 2013

Posted June 3, 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

In the TOC (to the right), posts that share a common theme — Bookstores, Kids, Social Media, etc. — are in ALL CAPS.

Win Scholarship to Workshop with James Scott Bell

Time Sensitive C.S. Lakin at Live Write Thrive has posted about a scholarship for James Scott Bell’s workshop, “Next Level Fiction“, in Newark, California. Click here for details.

BEA 2013: IDPF 2013: Authors, Readers, Data, the Future

Read near the bottom of Calvin Reid’s post, “BEA 2013: IDPF 2013: Authors, Readers, Data, the Future” for revealing data about the income differences for hybrid, traditional, and self-published authors!

6 Indie Authors Took a Booth at BEA

Porter Anderson posts the news on Jane Friedman’s blog about six independent self-publishing authorsBella Andre, Stephanie Bond, Tina Folsom, Barbara Freethy, Hugh Howey, and CJ Lyons — getting together to have a booth at BookExpoAmerica (BEA)and taking another step toward legitimacy for all self-publishing authors. Yeah!!

eBook Price Fixing Trial

Apple’s Gots Worms

Trial Begins June 3

Oopsies, Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly reports in his post, “At Hearing, Judge Says She is Leaning Against Apple“, that “Judge Cote to share her initial impression of the case. In what Reuters called ‘a blow’ to Apple, Cote said her ‘tentative view,’ was that the government will likely be able to prove Apple’s guilt in coordinating a conspiracy to raise e-book prices.”

The New York Times weighs in with Edward Wyatt and Nick Wingfield painting an interesting picture of Jobs pressuring the Big Six in “U.S. Now Paints Apple as ‘Ringmaster’ in Its Lawsuit on E-Book Price-Fixing“.

Andrew Albanese points out the stakes if, when, Apple loses.

Seems paying attention to this upcoming trial could be “veddy interesting”, and not in Amazon’s favor. Andrew Albanese at Publishers Weekly notes that “While Heiss concedes that some of the information Amazon wishes to keep private may be “potentially embarrassing,” for Amazon, including documents and testimony pertaining to “profitability, pricing, and contract terms,” he called Amazon’s approach to confidentiality “unreasonable,” and argued that public access would not harm Amazon’s “competitive standing” — the legal standard for redacting or sealing documents.

Amazon attorneys, however, call the redactions a matter of “critical importance,” noting that several of Apple’s pretrial filings contain “highly confidential” proprietary business information, including detailed “transactional data” regarding e-book sales; internal pricing rules; specific terms of Amazon’s contracts with publishers and “documents reflecting its strategy in negotiating those contracts, ” as well as other “internal planning and strategy” documents.”

Penguin Settles…But They’re Innocent

Albanese also has the results as Penguin “finally settled their outstanding e-book price-fixing charges…for a hefty $75 million, although they will admit no wrongdoing.” Yeah, right…I’ll pay 75mil when I’m innocent, LOL.

Ooh, Who’s a Naughty Boy Then?

Jason Boog at GalleyCat reports that the Department of Justice has released their “findings of fact and conclusions of law” (PDF link) in a long court document this week. The documents included a number of charts created by economics professor Richard Gilbert showing how eBook prices increased once major publishers began selling digital books at the same price across different marketplaces.”

Just for Fun


Indie Book Sellers Are Still Around

You’ll get a kick (and heave a sigh of relief) at Tim Sunderland’s post on the rise of the independent book sellers! And get a touch of insight on what not to do — Barnes & Noble? Are you listening?


Shelf Awareness informs us that “DIESEL, A Bookstore, will be opening a new store in Larkspur, California in the Marin Country Mart complex at 2419 Larkspur Landing Circle.

BookSmart Books and Toys opened a second location at the New Park Mall in Newark.


Edgewater Books opens this summer on Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis, Maryland. The owner, Ken Kennedy, plans on a Spanish storytime and will stock “foreign-language books for kids, as well as eco-friendly stuffed animals and educational toys”.

“Edgewater Books is already working with its local TD Bank on its summer reading program” – “the bank deposits $10 in a new savings account for each child who reads ten books between now and the end of September. Kennedy is planning to add an additional $5 and invites those looking for book suggestions to contact him through the store’s new Web site.” Parents, get clickin’!


June 1 is the grand opening for “the expansion of Park Street Books & Toys owned by Jim James in Medfield, Massachusetts, which sells new and used books for kids along with space for “classes on sewing, knitting, and science, along with pottery parties and summer camp. It’s where he launched the Pottery Place (a space within the story where visitors can paint a selection of pottery)”.

Michigan and Elsewhere

Per the Detroit News, Books-a-Million is opening stores right and left across the country with “two stores in Detroit (and “plans an aggressive search for more brick-and-mortar properties here”), Beverly Hills, Macomb Mall in Roseville, Traverse City, and Monroe.

New York: Brooklyn’s Bookstores are Expanding

Judith Rosen at Publishers Weekly reports that Community Bookstore is taking over Babbo’s Books 500-sq-ft space in Windsor Terrace and renaming it Terrace Books to open the first week in June. And they’ll be honoring Babbo credits and gift certificates.

Three other bookstores which have expanded in the neighborhood include Powerhouse Arena with its last-year-new Powerhouse on 8th, a small general bookstore; Word plans “to open a second store in Jersey City in July”; and, BookCourt is both adding a second location and raising funds to buy Bibliobarn.

Queens will have a new bookstore mid-August when Astoria Bookshop at 31-27 31st Street has its grand opening. The store “will offer a full line of titles and sell ebooks online — as well as host readings, children’s story hours and book groups”.

And David Gutnick of CBC News writes of yet another success story for Sarah McNally of McNally-Jackson Books in Soho in Manhattan who has just opened a second bookstore, Goods for The Study, and doing very well. Woohoo!

Fortunately Beach and Rourke found a landlord who wants a community bookstore in Astoria. The bookshop will be next door to Petals & Roots.

Read more from Stuart Schuffman at Lonely Planet about “a selection of some of the wonderful but lesser-known bookshops where New York City’s locals go (and tourists should go) to get their fill of the written word”.

North Carolina

Jessaca Gigli with the News Observer notes that So & So Books is a new independent bookstore opening in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, “in the front of the in situ studio architecture firm on Person Street”.


Main Point Books opened in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania on May 28 per the Philadelphia Business Journal. Read what Jeff Gammage at The Inquirer has to say.


“The Nation has announced the launch of eBookNation.” The Nation is putting “original works by Nation writers, and collections of essays and articles from the Nation Digital Archive” into a digital format” for “readers on tablets, smartphones and computers”.

The debut title is Gore Vidal’s State of the Union, Nation Essays 1958-2005. Later titles will include the essays of Molly Ivins.”

Rowman & Littlefield Launches eBook Store

Rowman & Littlefield, an independent publisher and distributor in North America, has launched an eBook site with 12,000 titles and seems to intend to convert new titles into eBooks as the new titles are published. “Libraries can buy e-books only for single use, but the company said it is working on a plan to be able to sell e-books directly to libraries which can then be loaned to patrons.” I may not have interpreted this accurately, so you may want to read it yourself.


Libraries Evolving in This Digital Revolution

Digital Content: What’s Next?, “examines how libraries are evolving in the digital revolution, from e-books, to licensing, to developments in self-publishing. The supplement also details progress made by the ALA’s Digital Content Working Group.”

A view among some publishers (and indeed some authors as well)…most commonly expressed when they are talking privately among themselves…is that circulating libraries are thieves.

I particularly liked that the “State Library of Kansas captured attention when it launched a Facebook page that lists ebook titles that publishers refuse to sell or license to libraries”. It also points out the issues encountered by school libraries when it comes to eBooks. This section in Digital Content: What’s Next? continues with a call to action by the public. Complain to the publishers who won’t allow eBooks in libraries. (I’m working on a post that will list the publishers so readers know who to target.) If you can’t find a title in the eBook section of your library, it could be that the publisher refuses to sell or license that title to your library. It may not be — as I’ve whined in my head! — that the library didn’t have the funds for it, but the publishers’ greed! Wankers!

The notion that you buy an ebook or own an ebook is a great marketing lie.

Another section points up what libraries have learned from their interactions with publishers. That the Big Six (Hachette, HarperCollins, MacMillan, Penguin, Random House, and Simon & Schuster) don’t want to sell to individual libraries (they prefer to sell to consortiums such as Overdrive), but “the medium-sized and small presses were receptive to doing business with [libraries]”.

Ran across an interesting web page at the ALA on marketing books to libraries. There are tons of links with all sorts of information.

There’s a useful bit on the nondisclosure clauses the Douglas County Library (DCL) uses to reassure publishers and authors on how their work will be protected. DCL also provides a “Buy” button for each digital book, so a reader can purchase without waiting. Hmmmm, I like that!

There’s an excellent summary of what libraries need from a publisher regarding digital books from MARC files to why ONIX and Excel are a pain.

Did you know that there is a law that “forces” publishers to allow libraries to buy printed books but it doesn’t cover eBooks (and their license agreements)? Can I say how disgusting I find it that we have to have a law about this?

Publishers can “opt not to do business with libraries (by not allowing circulation as a permitted activity under the license offered) or charge libraries at differential (much higher) rates, as well as manipulating availability (for example, no bestsellers in the library till a year after consumer release). Some major publishers severely constrain which titles and libraries have access to their e-titles; some are charging very high prices or renting books to libraries for a limited number of loans or a limited time period, or both.

Have you ever whined about the labyrinthine process of finding and then borrowing an eBook from your library? Yeah, well, it turns out…don’t blame the library. Blame the publishers. They don’t want to make it easy for you to “borrow” a book, not when it is soooo much easier for you to click a button and…”buy” it instead. Grrrr…

Hmmm, it seems that Amazon (I assume other eReader manufacturers have the same ability) can remove books you’ve purchased whenever it likes…

There’s a section in this report on the library as publisher. This is a trend I’ve been reading about recently — “Libraries Become Publishing Portals?” In some ways it seems as predatory as a regular publisher, and in others, it seems like a great idea.

Digital Content mentions the two-day summit in February 2013 in which the W3C — the web standards organization — met “with the Book Industry Study Group and the International Digital Publishing Forum entitled “Ebooks: Great Expectations for Web Standards”, intended to discuss how open web standards such as HTML5, CSS3, SVG, XML, and RDF could be further integrated into ebook production”.

Publishers versus Libraries

And now Connecticut lawmakers are jumping in with concerns about illegal practices. Read the article, “Connecticut bill would study library access to e-books“.

Eric Heredia at My Record Journal says this bill passed March 12 and “requires publishers of eBooks that sell or license to the general public to offer all such products to Connecticut libraries at a fair price…YEAH!

Joe Konrath, Blake Crouch Selling to Libraries

That boy is such a radical…! Now he and Blake Crouch are selling their eBooks directly to libraries at excessively reasonable rates…excessively!!! Hmmm, I wonder if my library would consider it…

Social Book Sites

BookLikes Goes Live

On May 14, 2013, BookLikes has launched its service: “a blog platform for book lovers with strong social component lets users create a personal webpage with blog, virtual bookshelf and reading timeline. It’s a mix of a Tumblr-like blog platform, book cataloguing site and social network which provides new possibilities for book lovers.” Susan Lulgjuraj at TeleRead has a brief review on BookLikes.

Goodreads Alternatives

Judith Rosen at Publishers Weekly has a post on a variety of alternatives for Goodreads from Riffle, Zola, and Bookish (now allowing imports of Goodreads shelves) on to BookLikes.

Digital Book World notes that The Reading Room, a book-focused social media site, has entered the eBook publishing market earlier in 2013, and is now entering the print market as of June 1.

Publishers Setting Up Their Own Online Communities

Jane Tappuni has contributed a guest post at Publishing Perspectives on “Number of Publishers’ Branded Reader Communities Set to Explode“. She points out that, “due to the decline in library purchases and the closing of bookstores over the last few years, publishers have devoted more of their marketing budget towards building a direct relationship with their customers. The creation of online communities has been central to this.” …with “the number of publisher-owned online communities is set to more than double over the next two years. The study, which focused on US and UK publishers in both the trade and academic markets, found that two-thirds of responding publishers currently host reader communities, and that this number is set to rise to over 90% over the next two years.”


2013 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize

“Howard Jacobson wins this year’s Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for his novel Zoo Time” (Telegraph).

2013 Orwell Prize

“A.T. Williams won the €3,000 (about US$4,590) Orwell Prize, which recognizes work that comes closest to George Orwell’s ambition ‘to make political writing into an art’, for his book A Very British Killing: The Death of Baha Mousa.”

Lydia Davis Wins Booker Prize

U.S. writer Lydia Davis gets €60,000 Man Booker International prize for “achievement in fiction”.

2012 Nebula Winners

2012 Plutarch Award

Robert Caro’s The Passage of Power (The Years of Lyndon Johnson, 4) “won the inaugural Plutarch Award for the best biography of 2102. The award is voted on by members of Biographers International Organization.”

Winner for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker, a Dutch author, (translated by David Colmer) won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and €10,000.

Innovations in Reading Prizes

The National Book Foundation announced the winners of its It seems that the 2013 Innovations in Reading article from the mid-May Hodgepodge missed a couple winners. “Reading is the Way Up…which has placed over 170,000 books into the hands of students. …through strategic partnerships with Barnes and Noble and Reading Is Fundamental, with the goal of promoting book ownership.” The second one is “Little Free Library…which started in Hudson, Wisconsin, with one little box labeled “Free Books… Books became the currency of friendship, and constructing the free neighborhood book exchanges themselves emerged as a new American folk craft.”

Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism

The New York Public Library’s $15,000 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism went to Katherine Boo for Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. “Boo announced at the awards ceremony that she will be donating the money to the community in Mumbai that was the subject of her book.”

Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reporting

The Ryszard Kapuściński Award for Literary Reporting went to Ed Vulliamy for his book Amexica: War Along the Borderline.

Romantic Novel of the Year Awards

The Romantic Novelists’ Association hasn’t named this award very well. There are actually five categories in the Romantic Novel of the Year…awards… I gotta say their website really sucks in terms of trying to find out who the winners are in what categories. I’ve been clicking all over the place; finally found some information buried in one article, then on the page with the winner announcements, they couldn’t be bothered to include the winning titles…WTF? Instead I had to go hunting within the small print on several different pages. Never did find out who won two of the awards. Maybe there weren’t any contenders, and I was not inclined to hunt ’em down. I mean, If the RNA isn’t fashed enough to care…

Flicks from Books


Sara Vilkomerso from Inside Movies brings you up-to-date with Tris going ‘Dauntless’ in the upcoming Divergent movie from the book by Veronica Roth.

Christopher Robin Coming to the Screen

Andreas Wiseman at Screen Daily writes that a period drama, Goodbye Christopher Robin, about A.A. Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh, and his son, Robin Milne, the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh, is scheduled to start filming in 2014 with Damian Jones and Pinewood Films’ Steve Christian teaming up with a script written by Simon Vaughan.

Salinger Preview

A taster of this fall’s upcoming movie, Salinger, about J.D. Salinger (author of Catcher in the Rye) is being previewed at the Cannes Film Festival per Charlotte Higgins of The Guardian.

Fun Wine Glass Charms

I love it! Using Scrabble tiles as the base for a “book cover” wine glass charm!

Artful Book Bindings by Richard Tuttle

Not that practical, but absolutely inspiring artistic book coverings with yet more examples at Franklin Books‘ website. I do like his imagination!

6 Brilliant Portrayals of Editors on Film

At Word & Film, Dan Ozzi writes of “6 Brilliant Portrayals of Editors on Film“, and they’re a pip.

Books That Are More Filling Than Food

At NPR, Jessica Sofer talks about “What’s Cooking? 3 Books That Are More Filling Than Food“, and the sad emotions that go with these stories.

It has got me thinking of other books in which food plays a part. The most recent is S.M. Stirling’s Shadowspawn books in which the evil characters’ senses are so heightened that they can’t tolerate anything but incredibly fabulous food. Janet Evanovich’s earlier books in her Stephanie Plum series almost requires you to pick up donuts, subs, pizzas, and birthday cake along with the latest novel, and J.D. Robb’s Eve has to be enticed by Roarke into eating. With him, it’s a gourmet feast, on her own, Eve eats the worst of vending machine and street vendor foods. Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate; Peter Mayle’s Year in Provence; Joanne Harris has some good ones including her Chocolat series, Blackberry Wine, and Five Quarters of the Orange; Isak Dinesen’s Babette’s Feast is a classic; Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café; Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; and, Diane Mott Davidson’s Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery series…I’m not even going to attempt all the mysteries that revolve around food! Does anyone know the name of the book about the Chinese family and food…?

What food-fixated novels have you read lately?

Fun and Funky Book Furniture

Fun and Funky Baby Bookshelves

My Tiny Nest at Project Nursery has gathered a few cute bookshelves — there are a couple I wouldn’t mind for myself — for the baby’s room. Or anywhere you need to corral a small collection.

String ‘Em Up!

Then there’s the bookcase that uses thread to hold each book in its place!

Awesome Bookish Lamps

Derek Attig at Book Riot has a post of fun and funky book lamps! I do love that poetic curl…

HowStuffWorks Coming to You as Interactive eBooks

This should be fun! Claire Kirch has an article at Publishers Weekly about three new Discovery/HowStuffWorks eBooks which are being released on June 4 by Discovery/HowStuffWorks. The titles include Stuff You Missed in History Class; The Real Science of Sex Appeal, which will include ‘Stuff Mom Never Told You'”; and, 50 Amazing Facts from Josh and Chuck.

“Two HowStuffWorks e-books will be released on July 9, including Future Tech, Right Now; and, Lightsabers, Batmobiles, and Kryptonite: The Science of Being Super, which will include information on the technology and science behind gadgets used by super-heroes and their villains.

Priced at $4.99 each, the “HowStuffWorks e-books will feature interactive quizzes, four-color photographs, and audio and video clips from HowStuffWorks podcasts, as well as sidebars, diagrams, and interactive timelines providing related factoids and anecdotes. The e-books will also include ‘Top 5’ and ‘Top 10’ lists pertaining to that e-book’s theme, such as ‘5 of History’s Biggest Lies’ and ’10 Star Trek Technologies That Came True’.”

Might be worth picking one or two up to get ideas for your own books…


NOOK’s Simple Touch Gets an Upgrade

Darrell Etherington at Tech Crunch notes that the Nook Simple Touch line of e-readers are getting an over-the-air update starting June 1 to allow these eReaders to access the Internet, email, and an update store app.

Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader reports that NOOK (and Barnes & Noble) didn’t even have a booth at BookExpo America. This does not bode well for the NOOK continuing…

Kobo Unveils Latest eReader Model

Kobo “announced its limited-edition Kobo Aura HD E Ink eReader…has the highest resolution 6.8-inch E Ink display available on the market today” with a dpi of 265 and 30 percent more reading surface, 25 percent faster due to the 1GHz processor which is supposed to make the pages fly (oh man, I could use that!), 4GB of storage expandable to 32GB, and a battery life of up to two months.

You have a choice of 10 fonts in 24 adjustable font sizes and can access the Internet to browse the Kobo eBookstore — that seems to indicate you can’t simply browse the Internet. You can pre-order it for $169.99.

Google Play Upgrades Again

Harrison Weber at The Next Web notes that “Google Play Books has received a redesign on both iOS and Android, and now allows you to upload your own PDF or EPUB files for reading” plus a few other improvements.

Sony’s Plans for New eReader & More

Calvin Reid at Publishers Weekly has a post, “E Ink, Sony Debut New Flexible Screen Technology” that sounds promising for schools…and a lot of fun!

“E Ink is working with Sony creating “a device…designed specifically for classroom curriculum materials.”

  • Developing a large-screen display e-reader for the education market
  • Extremely thin e-reader about the size of a sheet of 8½ x 11 paper
  • 1200 x 1600 screen resolution
  • 16 level grayscale
  • Handwriting recognition that allows users to make normal notes right on the screen as if it were paper

E Ink Excited About Three Colors and Freezing

E Ink must be feeling the pinch when they’re getting so excited about having added red to their E Ink displays with the E Ink Spectra. When it comes down to it, the red is all about being able to use that red to draw attention to special sales, etc. while the E Ink Aurora is about their shelf labeling technology working in a freezer.

The Spectra could be useful from an author/publisher’s marketing standpoint while the Aurora seems more of an expansion of E Ink’s appeal outside the eReader market as tablets continue to grow in popularity.

Kindle Fire HD Dropped in Price

The 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD — the big one — has dropped to $269 for the WiFi version and $399 for the 4G version, and is on sale now in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan.

Amazon to Sell Kindle in China

Catherine Shu at Tech Crunch reports that “Amazon Kindle e-readers and tablets will reportedly be available for sale in China on June 7″.

Kids’ Stuff

Kids and the Pros and Cons of Digital versus Print

Charlotte Williams at the Bookseller has a conflicting post, “Children reading more on screen than print“, in which the National Literacy Trust has found that more kids are reading on screens, but that kids who read print books are stronger readers. And like reading more!

Summer Reading Ideas

Shelf Awareness has created a list of summer reading for kids and teens while Margaret Bristol from Bookish has suggestions for teens.

The Things You Can Read has a very useful post for parents concerned about their kids reading over the summer — along with reasons why they should be reading over the summer! Check out “Summer Reading Resources” and discover a variety of ways to entice your child! I love her “Demonstrate the Power of Words” info box with its great tips and suggestions!

Another Book Subscription Service for Kids

Sarah Perez wrote about Sproutkin back in March. Now she’s writing about Zoobean, another book site which offers the choice of subscribing or buying online. Started by parents, Zoobean has “nearly 1,500 books for sale, all of which are parent-recommended, curated by a team of parents, teachers, librarians and others, and which are cataloged more extensively with topics, characters’ backgrounds, recommended ages, keyword tags and more”.

Artemis Fowl’s Top 10 Picks for Nasties

Eoin Colfer lists his top ten villains, and it’s an interesting list. Two of his nasties I haven’t yet read…they’ll be going into my TBR!

Read to Your Kids

I love Katherine Stone’s post at Babble on “7 Reasons Why You MUST Read Aloud To Your Kids At All Ages“, and I thoroughly agree. I know that my reading as a kid helped me a lot with school and getting into university. And think of all that lovely bonding time with the kids, time invested that may make problems that crop up in the future easier to deal with!

Top 10 Picks for Young Detectives

Kate Pankhurst notes her top ten picks for young detectives.

YA Readers in Social Networking

Parents who have kids interested in blogging about books may want to explore this article by Matia Burnett. Yes, it’s long, but it does have some useful suggestions about blogging and reviewing books for kids of all ages. It’s never too early to encourage kids to follow their hearts!

Artist’s Way for Parents

Things You Can Read tipped me off to this offshoot from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way except this version, The Artist’s Way for Parents, is suggestions for parents on how to encourage artistic talents in your kids. I haven’t read this one, but if it’s anything like Cameron’s original…you can’t lose. Read Cynthia White’s review for yourself.

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables in eBook

Sally Lodge at Publishers Weekly reports that Sourcebooks will be releasing paperback and eBook editions of the six novels in the Anne of Green Gables series in February 2014. Which is a bit confusing as Goodreads lists eight books… Ldoge goes on to report that Sourcebooks has acquired the rights to other L.M. Montgomery titles as well as the Emily of New Moon series.

LA Review of Books Going Online

Wendy Werris at Publishers Weekly notes that the Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) will now have a print edition as well as their existing online version. The LARB “plans to make it a perfect bound quarterly that will be offered as a premium to kick off LARB’s major membership program in June”.

A Publishing Cinderella Story

You may have heard about this book, Isabelle and Isabella’s Book of Rules created by Isabelle Busath and Isabella Thordsen, as an attempt to teach their younger siblings the ropes. “They had been coloring with crayons and one of the younger kids wrote on Isabelle, so one of the rules became ‘Don’t color on PEOPLE’.”

It’s a cute story as related by Sue Corbett at Publishers Weekly on a par with Lana Turner being discovered at Schwab’s!

Travel: Does Your Hotel Have an Ultimate Library?

Ultimate Library provides subscribing hotels, such as the Hilton, Sheraton, Westin, Aman Resorts, Swire Hotels and the Savoy, with an up-to-date library for the use of their guests. Check here for a list of favorites.


Cooking Tablet

Jack W. Perry over at Digital Book World writes about the new “ChefPad [from Archos], a tablet designed specifically for Foodies. The tablet curates apps so that only Cooking ones come up. It has a waterproof protective cover, built-in stand and front & back dual cameras.

There have been quite a few articles about it. Two of the better descriptions are from CNET and Nate Hoffieder’s excellent review at The Digital Reader.”

Betty Crocker as eRecipes

“Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced the release of The 20 Best e-book series which will feature 20 original e-books, each containing 20 recipes from its Betty Crocker cookbooks.”

Is Internet English Debasing the Language?

As Steven Poole at The Guardian says, “Some of the prose on the web is dreadful, but some is as good as anything on paper”, which is what one could say about print books as well. It’s a fun article (well, for those of us fascinated by words and language, anyway…*grin*…


Author Obituaries

Children’s Author, Bernard Waber Dies

Bernard Waber, the creator of Ira Sleeps Over and Lyle the Crocodile, died on May 16. He was 91 years old. Click here for a list of his work.

Historian, Penry Williams Dead at 88

Penry Williams, an Oxford historian who wrote political books about the Tudors and others, died last month at age 88.

Are Children’s Books Reinforcing Materialism?

Alison Flood posts an excellent question from Rachel Franz about children’s books in this Guardian article: “How do picture books potentially deter or reinforce materialism and consumer involvement in young children?” Oh, boy, I have to confess that I never thought about the many ways books can be used to affect children’s behavior from bullying to greed to tantrum-like behavior. It continues with obsessions about appearance, long before Barbie appears to reinforce this earlier childhood message. Parents, you may want to read this if only to ensure you’re making good choices in the books you bring home for your kids!

Borders Class Action Suit Denied

Judith Rosen at Publishers Weekly reports that
holders of Borders gift certificates were denied participation in a class action suit to redeem their certificates because they filed too late.

It was impossible to tell from the post if this means the entire class action suit got tossed or what??

Barnes & Noble Practicing Censorship

I first heard about this in Maya Cross’ blog over on Goodreads. And it doesn’t bode well for independent authors of books that a small group of readers decide is “bad”. At first I thought, ooh, sour grapes…but Hugh Howey also has a post on this issue of B&N cutting off or hiding “questionable” books. The primary victims appear to be erotica, but other genres have been targeted as well. Most of them are self-published or published by a small press. This is wrong from both an author’s standpoint, but also smacks of censorship with B&N deciding what you as a reader should be permitted to buy. It appears to be worse in the UK.

Authors I currently know of who are affected are Maya Cross, Selena Kitt, Gail McHugh, Cassia Leo, and Liliana Hart.

Seems Amazon is wielding the same blackout per an article by Kerry McDermott at the Daily Mail in “Amazon accused of censoring erotic fiction by ‘hiding’ titles so they don’t show up on searches“.

More Poetry Plagiarism…

Alison Flood at The Guardian notes that “Another plagiarism scandal hits poetry community, and David R Morgan admits to passing numerous works by other people as his own and says he is ‘truly sorry’.” Yeah, I’ll bet…sorry that he got caught!

South Africa Printing Out eBooks

In South Africa, booksellers are finding that as democratizing as eBooks and Wikipedia are, if you don’t have Internet access, you are falling behind.

Arthur Attwell, founder of Paperight states that “The irony of the digital revolution is this: as it democratizes publishing, it widens the gap between those with Internet access and those without. For instance, take Wikipedia: this is perhaps the most useful collection of human knowledge ever created. And it’s wonderfully democratic. But where a few years ago you could read a relatively up-to-date paper encyclopedia in your local library, today you can’t — because of Wikipedia. Up-to-date encyclopedic knowledge now exists only online, and if you don’t have Internet access, too bad. The gap between the Internet-haves and the Internet-have-nots is getting wider.

That gap in turn will translate into an education gap, an economic gap, and a healthcare gap.”

One thing that Paperight is doing to help combat that is “putting ebooks back on paper, because for most people in South Africa, paper is just easier and cheaper. We do this by printing them out, on demand, in regular photocopy shops”.

It’s a sad state of affairs in some ways that making information and knowledge available to all is backfiring. Then again, it’s nice to think that printed books are still a possibility…

Getting a Donation from Your Local Bookstore

Josie Leavitt makes some good points that are applicable to any charitable organization requesting donations. Read it and pay attention!

Writing Tips


Kristen Lamb’s Talk is Cheap

Okay, Lamb makes an excellent point in this post in which she carries on from her earlier post and rams it home about externalization. Yeah, it’s a tough one. But if you think about the stories that really grab you, it’s the ones where the characters get pushed or do push it.

Use Your Character’s Core Problem

Kristen Lamb addresses finding that core problem for your character and forcing it into the open.

The Sympathetic Bad Guy

Tim Sunderland has a summarized list of 11 points on how to create a bad guy that your readers can sympathize with — critical to making your story even more interesting — based on a more elaborate explanation by James Scott Bell on the KillZoneAuthors.

The Harry Potter Spreadsheet

All right, y’all, ya ain’t got no excuses about tracking your timeline or characters…not after looking at J.K. Rowling’s handdrawn spreadsheet!

Writer’s Block?

50+ Things to Blog About When You Have Writer’s Block

Caitlin Muir at Author Media has some useful suggestions on topics that could kickstart a blog post whether you’re into fiction, non-fiction, a public speaker, or just need something to tweet about.

Inspirational Nudges for a Stuck Writer

These are some fun ways to regenerate your writing engine: Easy Street Prompts; SMITH Magazine with its 6-Word prompts with tabs for Life, Advice, Questions, Teens, and more; Creative Writing Prompts has hundreds of possibilities — just hover over a number and choose; and, the pretty prompts from Pinterest.

Be a Children’s Writer & Feel the Love

Elizabeth Bluemle at Publishers Weekly wrote a lovely post, “The Company of Writers“, about the caring and support children’s writers and illustrators provide each other.

Steve Jobs and 5 Tips for Being a Successful Author

Kristen Lamb makes use of “Steve Jobs and 5 Tips for Being a Successful Author“, and I thought it was very inspirational. I love his comment on piracy and excellence — always more fun! Then it’s followed by simple, love, and, sigh, failure. And it’s true…if you don’t try, you won’t fail, but you won’t get anywhere either.

When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through. ~Steve Jobs

5 Things Indie Authors Do Very Well

Dr. Alison Baverstock, a woman who has been in the publishing business and academia, has written a fascinating article at the Indie Reader on her observations on the truth behind self-publishing authors. And, dang, read this and feel proud!

How Do You Know When Someone Steals Your Content?

Ginny Soskey at Hubspot has a, unfortunately, useful post on “Are People Stealing Your Content? How (and When) to Fight Back” with a lot of good tips and suggestions.

Analogies Defined

Pee before reading…

Jeff Wysaski at Pleated Jeans has an hysterically funny post on “Really Bad Analogies Written by High School Students“. Better than a definition any day, LOL.

Short Story Written on a…Stamp!

Dublin teenager Eoin Moore wrote an entire short story on a stamp commissioned to celebrate Dublin’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature. Check it out on The Journal. Not quite what I was expecting, but nicely done.

Words that Squick: Return of the Moist

Natasha Carty at Heroes and Heartbreakers is feelin’ the “Return of the Moist” in words that just squick her out. I gotta admit, I’m definitely with Carty when it comes to panties. I flash between imagining granny panties or kids’ panties with little trains on ’em…and, ewwww… Be sure to read her sample paragraph at the end…and howl with laughter.

Analyzing Stephen King’s Themes

Okay, this is interesting. Aaron Stanton of BookLamp has done a visual analysis of how themes flow in Stephen King books.

EPUB3: One File, Many Ebooks

Deanna Utroske at Digital Book World has assembled a post on the virtues of ePub3, which can be summed up by Liz Castro (tech expert and author) as “A single EPUB3 file can be used to create an ebook for all e-readers”. (It’s a bit like Kobo being an eBook seller to a variety of devices — no discrimination!). Well worth reading this short post if only to be aware of some of ePub3’s extras.

Upcoming Writing Conferences

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

Date Location Conference/Workshop About
June 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
€EUR 750
Discounted for DAISY Members: €375
Copenhagen International Publishing Conference, a CPH-Conference Presented by Nota and The DAISY Consortium in cooperation with The Ministry of Culture Denmark.
June 14-16, 2013
Includes conference fee and all meals.
State University of NY,
New Paltz, NY
21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference Focuses “specifically on children’s nonfiction” with a “faculty lineup is extremely impressive, featuring top authors and editors from major publishing houses. The schedule is packed with panels and workshops that focus on bringing quality children’s nonfiction into classrooms, libraries and homes.”
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

$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.

June 26-30, 2013
Courtyard Marriott Silicon Valley
Newark, CA
Writing for Life Workshop: Next Level Fiction James Scott Bell is the instructor.

A scholarship is being offered; you must apply for it by June 10.

Will teach more secrets about writing novels that sell than most writers learn inyeas of trial and error. He’ll help you take your novel to the next level.

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 14-15, 2013
Courtyard Marriott Silicon Valley
Newark, CA
Writing for Life Workshop: Prose in Motion Davis Bunn is the instructor who will teach you how to craft fiction for commercial success and teach you how to go from the blank page to the best-seller lists. An intensive two-day event.
Sept 21-22, 2013
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
Sept 26, 2013
$79-445 until July 19
$95-495 until Sept 25
$19-595 on Sept 26
Metropolitan Pavilion
New York City
Marketing + Publishing Services Conference & Expo The conference is a partnership between Digital Book Worldand Publishers Launch Conferences to “provide the latest data, analysis and emerging best practices in mission-critical process areas at publishing companies today – marketing, editorial/production, digital asset management/distribution, and rights and royalties”.
Oct 19-20, 2013
Courtyard Marriott Silicon Valley
Newark, CA
Writing for Life Workshop: Advanced Story Mastery Michael Hauge is the instructor.

Uses an innovative approach to story mastery for screenwriters and fiction writers of all genres and expands on Michael’s princples of The Hero’s 2 Journeys.

The Publishing Business

Avoid OMICS Publishing Group

Okay, I gotta get my snark out first…If ya wanna make us think you have a case, get an editor before sending such a letter!

I feel better now…Ken White at Popehat “is in trial preparation mode” regarding OMICS Publishing Group which is suing Jeffrey Beall who runs Scholarly Open Access (SOA) for $1 billion. SOA helps writers stay aware of predatory open-access journal publishers who prey on new academics who need to publish early, often, and in peer-review to make progress in their careers. And there are publishers who know this and offer up all sorts of blandishments.

Read more about what Beall finds reprehensible about OMICS Publishing Group.


Sparks, the New Print-On-Demand

The IngramSpark platform (Ingram’s version of POD) will launch in July and is aimed at small, independent publishers, NOT self-published.

Publishers Weekly also reports that Ingram is expanding from simply (!) POD to what they’re calling Life Print which will “allow publishers to use Ingram to manage the complete life cycle of a book, manufacturing books in any quantity. The program also gives publishers the flexibility to manage all frontlist, backlist and long tail titles from one source, using one file and one order process, Ingram said.”

Shifting Sands of Distribution

Kristine Kathryn Rusch at The Business Rusch has an informative post on how distribution* is shifting today. One thing that it does confirm for me is that if you are self-publishing, you want to buy your own ISBN and be independent of the CreateSpaces, the Lulus, the B&Ns, etc. Do read through the comments as I found some very useful information in those as well!

* Distribution is how books get from the publisher to the buyer; in this case, the post primarily discusses the printed book.

Jane Friedman's infographic of publishing risk

Click the infographic to download a PDF for your own use.

Infographic of Publishing Paths

Jane Friedman has put together an infographic of five different paths of least-to-most-risk for an author deciding how much risk to assume in publishing their work with some “agent-assisted models in ‘special cases’ below the chart”.

Red Flag Wavers…

There is some disagreement about Friedman’s infographic, particularly with regards to her inclusion of all the self-publishing being heaped under a single self-pub category. However, the objections primarily center around how involved an author chooses to become in the self-publishing process, including the marketing aspects.

Kindle World

Amazon Launches Kindle World

Amazon.com will launch Kindle World, “the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so,” on June 1. Royalties will be paid to both the original copyright hold — the original author — and the fanfic author. “The standard author’s royalty rate (for works of at least 10,000 words) will be 35% of net revenue. As with all titles from Amazon Publishing, Kindle Worlds will base net revenue off of sales price — rather than the lower, industry standard of wholesale price — and royalties will be paid monthly.”

“Amazon Publishing will pilot an experimental new program for particularly short works — between 5,000 and 10,000 words. For these short stories — typically priced under one dollar — Amazon will pay the royalties for the World’s rights holder and pay authors a digital royalty of 20%.”

Check out the guidelines for using Kindle Worlds for “novels, novellas, and short stories inspired by the Worlds [Amazon has] licensed”.

The Red Flag Wavers Say…

John Scalzi points out areas — he does include a disclaimer that these are simply initial thoughts — in which fanfic authors can lose out if they publish through Kindle Worlds including “use your new elements and incorporate them into other works without further compensation to you”, loss of world rights; “Amazon Publishing will acquire all rights to your new stories, including global publication rights, for the term of copyright”.

Suw Charman-Anderson at Forbes notes in her post, “Amazon Legitimises Fanfic, Publishers Are Left Behind Again“, that “Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment division for its New York Times best-selling book series Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar; Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard; and, Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith”. They have “plans to announce more licenses soon. Through these licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by these popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store.”

Ingram Adds Four Publishing Partnerships

Ingram has announced partnerships with Smoke Alarm Media, a firefighter-owned media company that publishes a series of cookbooks; Little Pickle Press, which focuses on the environment; Mouse Prints Press focuses on adventure books that tell the stories of world voyages drawn from historical moral teachings; and, Jumping Jack Press, which publishes keepsake pop-up books for children.

Barefoot Books Dumps Amazon

Christopher Zara at International Business Times reports that “Barefoot Books, an independent children’s book publisher based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced on Monday that it is severing ties with the online retail behemoth Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq:AMZN) in North America and the U.K.” partially due to Amazon’s strong-arm tactics.

“The quirky company, which aims to provide an alternative to the commercialization of childhood through books that stimulate kids’ imaginations, said it will continue to sell books to the education market, as well as independent bookstores and its own website. It will also maintain its existing relationships with distributors Baker & Taylor and Ingram.”

Jack W. Perry at Digital Book World looks at nine reasons why Barefoot Books has a good chance of surviving without Amazon. Independent bookstores may want to check their strategies out.

Self-Publishing Support

Self-Publishing: Alexandra Sokoloff’s View

Alexandra Sokoloff does a guest post at J.A. Konrath’s blog on her entry into the book publishing field (look for the post titled “Blood Moon and Having Control” dated May 6), and I liked her comment about authors sharing their numbers. The less authors know about the kind of numbers other authors are achieving, the less publishers may have to pay to an author.

Should You Self-Publish?

Jane Friedman has a list of 15 questions as to whether you should even consider self-publishing.

Self-Publishing Support at Indies Unlimited

Stephen Hise is one of the people behind Indies Unlimited, a platform for independent writers which encourages you to “engage, inform, discuss, and build quality relationships”; “promote your books or yourself by participating in discussions and providing valuable content…informative, educational, or opinion minded comments, guest posts and other contributions”; get “advice from industry veterans; access to writing contests and magazines which accept submissions; and, opportunities for authors to showcase their own works to the public”.

Indies Unlimited promotes adventure, romance, mystery, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and biography along with some children’s books and “stays away from sex, religion, and politics. We rarely feature poetry or business writing (except as it relates to the business of writing)”.

Bowker Adds SelfPublishedAuthor.com

This press release seems to indicate that adding SelfPublishedAuthor.com is the final leg in Bowker entering the self-publishing market with features such as “blog posts with advice for authors as well as a self-publishing checklist, which includes links to Bowker-owned services, like ISBN purchasing, as well as Bowker-affiliated services, like ebook distribution from Vook” as “an information, advice and resources portal with information on self-publishing books and ebooks.”

“In February, Bowker partnered with DCL and Vook to offer its customers who purchased ISBN numbers ebook production and distribution options. In May, Bowker teamed up with book publicity firm Smith Publicity to offer public relations services.

A Union for the Self-Published?

The indiePENdents sound like a union for self-published or independent writers…pssst, it’s free to join! They do make some good points, but on some of the points, well, the times they are a’changing, and it’s becoming easier for self-published authors to get their books into independent bookstores.

Self-Published eBooks on the Rise!

Five titles out of the top-25 on the eBook best-seller list are self-published. Go team! Read what Greenfield has to say about the average eBook price as well.

When Should We Add the (Book) Marketing?

Joel Friedlander of The Book Designer takes off on Seth Godin’s original post and includes insight from Robert Bruce and Brian Clark from Copyblogger on when an author needs to start planning his or her marketing…You’re not gonna wanna read this. And I can so sympathize, HOWEVER, look at the blogging/marketing/media thing as a way to keep you on track, to keep writing. After all, you’ll get excited in your blogging/tweeting…and you’ll have to stay honest…

MetaComet Releases Royalty Tracking System

MetaComet, the creator of royalty tracking systems, will release AuthorPortal.com to publishers at BookExpo America, giving authors access to all sorts of publishing information including “royalty statements and centralizes their contracts, manuscripts, and other documents in one easy-to-navigate interface”. Check it out, authors, and see if your publisher intends to incorporate this.

Starting Up in Publishing

An interesting post over at Medium on “Starting Up in Publishing” by Liz Daly, founder of a digital publishing startup called Threepress, in which she points out what she felt was done right, wrong, and what the current issues are facing digital publishers. It’s a not-so-subtle challenge on one side and excellent advice in general for anyone starting up a business with useful tips for publishers in particular.

Marketing Ideas

Social Media

Social Media – Essential for Your Business Plan

You thought it was bad with all the marketing people pushing at you to be on social media… Paige Crutcher at Publishers Weekly reports in her post, “BEA 2013: Being Social Matters“, that social media has now become essential to one’s business plan…dang it…

The Social Media Deluge Pushing for Sales

Mary Cummings at Digital Book World has an excellent point in her post, “Book Publicity: What’s Changed and What Hasn’t“: ” Think again of how you’d walk into a room, business card in hand. You would greet and get to know the person with whom you’re networking, then offer your resume. You would do no more but let that person read about and consider you.”

Digital and Social Discoverability

Deanna Utroske at Storify had an interesting video on “Finding Books Without Borders: Discoverability in a Digital and Social” –I had a preference for Jellybooks’ presentation by Andrews. He left me itching to get to work on my own publications. Which I’ve been neglecting shamefully…


Use Twitter to Launch Your Book

Oh yeah! Caitlin Muir at Author Media has some practical suggestions for using Twitter to launch your book. And she has a post on “44 Essential Twitter Hashtags“. Check out #tagdef to run a search on an unknown hashtag.

6 Easy Ways To Use Twitter For Your Business

Jon Rognerud has a quick post on “6 Easy Ways To Use Twitter For Your Business (And Get Some Love Too)“. I liked his reminder about using Twitter’s lists and the last tip on using Twitter power tools.

NEW: Twitter Lead Generation

For those of who have or are considering paying for an ad on Twitter, you may want to look into Ginny Soskey’s post on “ Twitter Introduces Lead Generation ‘Cards’ to Collect Leads From Tweets. It certainly sounds like it could save time and ensure accuracy!


Another Look at the Facebook Cover Photo

Andrea Vahl takes a different approach to the changes in Facebook’s cover photo guidelines.

How to Find Value in Facebook

Lisa Hall-Wilson has written a guest post at Kristen Lamb’s blog on “6 Reasons Writers See No Value In Facebook“, which actually discusses why you probably don’t see any value in it. Hey, I’m with the anti-Face crowd. I cannot figure out how to use the dang thing, so I mostly avoid it. So, yeah, it’s on my…gag…to-do list. Hall-Wilson does have some useful tips that helps reduce a tiny bit of the dread… And she makes a heckuva lotta sense about how to use Facebook!

Google+ Beats Facebook for Author Platform Building

Marcy Kennedy does a guest post at Jane Friedlander’s blog on “6 Reasons Google+ Beats Facebook for Author Platform Building“, and she makes some good points. I’m thinking of taking her Saturday, June 15, 90-minute webinar, “A Crash Course to Using Google+ to Build Your Author Platform” ($35), which covers how to effectively set up your profile, what to do about circles and communities, how to use hangouts, and more, if only because I’ve been trying to set my Google Authorship up and have been stymied by all sorts of issues.

Kennedy promises that “even if you can’t attend the live event, the webinar will be recorded and sent to all registrants”. Click here to register.

If you’re half as confused as I am, Demian Farnsworth at Copyblogger states that “Authorship markup might prove to one of the most confusing conversations in our Author Rank series. For one, many people think authorship is the same thing as Author Rank. Repeat after me: Authorship markup is not the same thing as Author Rank.

Pinterest and the Interactive Book

For authors stuck for ideas on how to use Pinterest to promote your books, you may get some inspiration from Marcello Vena at FutureBook with his post, “eBook streaming on Pinterest” about “a new service for book lovers just launched by RCS Libri [the second largest book publishing group in Italy and owner of – among other publishing houses – Rizzoli, Bompiani and Fabbri Editori] in Italy”. It’s an intriguing “value proposition to book readers”, and you may want to check out RCS Libri’s Pinterest account to see how they’re providing interactive samples!

Target Audiences

Data About Target Audiences

Calvin Reid at Publishers Weekly has a fascinating post on data. Yes, it’s a dry topic. Don’t read it when you’re tired. However, I would suggest reading it if only for the positive note the Book Industry Study Group’s Making Information Pay Conference had about the state of publishing today — it’s surviving, which is better than the music industry with eBooks driving that publishing success.

Hilary Mason notes that “the right audience [online] is better than a large audience.”

Reid relates who the eReaders are, how they’re nurtured, and who is it who buys how often — *snicker*, you’ll just have to work out what I’ve said! His post notes that the proprietary eReader is being surpassed by the iPad, what format the Wattpad readers are using, and more.

Target Audience: Young Adult Genre

Liz Cook with the Kansas City Star has a fascinating article on “Novels for young adults are reaching more (adult) readers“. Cook points out some excellent reasons why the Young Adult genre is doing so well — and it goes right along with my whining about authors who talk down to teens — paying particular attention to John Green’s success (The Fault in Our Stars is only his latest successful publication!).

Young Adult, however, is an audience and any genre may be written for that audience. Check out Cook’s article for a lot more information, including the increasing number of buyers for YA.

Digital Strategy of the Year Award to Pottermore

Phillip Jones at Future Book notes that “Pottermore picked up the Digital Strategy of the Year award at The Bookseller Industry Awards” in his post, “Pottermore’s winning digital strategy” against seven other contenders.

Digital Book Signings

Beth Bacon at Digital Book World explains how to have a digital book signing. Who’d’a thunk…? In part 2, Beth Bacon discusses “Digital Book Signings: A Range Of Technologies And Services” and lists four e-signature options.

eBook Publicity Success

Deanna Utroske at Digital Book World has a checklist for eBook Publicity success, and it’s short, sweet, and to the point.

7 Secrets to Writing Persuasive Back Cover Sales Copy

Casey Demchak has a guest post on Joel Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer, that covers “7 Secrets to Writing Persuasive Back Cover Sales Copy“, and Demchak lays it out well.

Pomegranate Books Uses Clever Promotion

Authors of eBooks and bookstore owners may pick up some ideas from Kathleen Jewel of Pomegranate Books, a general bookstore in Wilmington, North Carolina. She keeps the shop “consistently filled with author readings, children’s events, lectures and workshops, community gatherings, and more. …and keeps finding ways to promote the store’s ability to sell e-books.”

Audio for Your Book Trailer

James Revels III offers up what he refers to as eargasms, and they are available for free or a donation (I think). You might find something you like for the audio in your next book trailer.

Another Distributor: Sellbox

Another distribution possibility for your book is Sellbox.com an eBook consulting and publishing organization offering their services to businesses, publishers, and authors, converting manuscripts to eBooks to POD or books to eBooks. It appears as though they cover eBooks and eBook distribution from soup to nuts in any flavor you like. I haven’t looked into what they charge, but it’s an interesting site.

eBook Bestseller List Online Only Now

Digital Book World‘s bestseller list for the week ending May 12, 2013. And, as of Sunday, May 19, “the New York Times ebook best-sellers list will be online only. … And as prices change frequently, the Times will no longer include cover prices on its list (DBW).”

Marketing Calendar

Jack Media has a 2013 Affiliate Email Marketing Calendar that points out the big holidays a marketing person should pay attention to with suggestions and tips on how to play up to it.

Marketing Lessons from Jane Friedman

Laura Hazard Owen at Paid Content has a mixed post on “Six book publishing lessons from Open Road Media’s first three years” which looks at Open Road’s reasons for becoming and its marketing plans ahead.

Go Kobo for International!

Digital Book World notes that “Barbara Freethy sells ten times more Kobo ebooks internationally than she does in the U.S.”, selling “in over 190 countries and devices in over a dozen; it has significantly higher market share in countries like Canada and Japan where the market is much smaller but growing quickly”.

“According to CEO Mike Serbinis, Kobo is planning on doubling the number of countries where it sells its devices by the end of next year.”

Building Your Own Website

10 Useful WordPress.ORG Plug-ins

Please do note the .ORG. These will not work with a WordPress.COM website because .COMmers don’t have access to the php files.

1st WebDesigner has ten useful plug-ins intended to help your blog’s performance including adding post meta descriptions, split your content into multiple columns, Google Maps, redirecting those nasty ol’ 404 pages, create a custom way to display posts in your home page, a dropdown menu for page categories, display similar posts WITHOUT a plug-in all the way to creating custom widgets — woohoo!

Billboard-Styled Websites

Jane Friedman has an excellent post with a different perspective on designing websites — billboards! “Three Ways to Improve Your Website Design” spouts some home truths you’d be well advised to plan around. Think about how you approach a website and how the masses and masses of text with no space between or around sends you screaming outta there!

6 Google Sins

Jon at Boost Blog Traffic posts about “6 SEO Sins That’ll Put You on Google’s Naughty List“. And you DO want to pay attention to this as ignoring it can get you cut off from search engines!

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