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Do You Know How to Pirate?
March 31, 2015 | 2:25 pm

pirateTechdirt's latest on the whole cord-cutting thing was a good one. They make an interesting point, which is this: piracy exists. That might not seem like such a revolutionary statement---surely we all know that?---but their point is is: One gets the sense that media outlets feel like if they so much as even acknowledge that piracy is a real thing -- they'll somehow be taken as advocates for piracy. It's as if piracy is some kind of angry and strange Lovecraftian god, and even mentioning its name will invite unspeakable terror upon the local village. Hear, hear. I have a question for...

This "reunion” story has legs
March 31, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Peter Kubicek[caption id="attachment_100800" align="alignright" width="240"] Peter Kubicek[/caption] It's a story with legs, as editors used to say in the print newspapers of yore, and this story does have legs. When the Irish Central online newspaper in New York picked up a San Diego Jewish World story about Holocaust survivors Peter Kubicek -- in New York -- and Tomi Reichental in Ireland, word started spreading via social media about these two men and their happy, contented lives in 2015, despite having seen the Nazi evil close and personal in 1944 when they were mere teenagers (and in Reichental's case, just nine years old). Both...

The Great Canadian Amazon.ca Upgrade
March 31, 2015 | 10:25 am

amazon.caI did something a little momentous today---I finally caved to Amazon's repeated suggestions that I move my account over to Amazon.ca. I did it in part because the Canadian dollar isn't so strong right now and I didn't want to get dinged on the exchange rate, and in part because I want to sell on the Kindle store and figured that a .ca account may simplify that process for me. But mostly, I did it because I wanted to try out Kindle Unlimited. There is a 30-day free trial option, and I wanted to look. And...how did it go? Smooth, very smooth....

Morning Links: Pretending piracy doesn’t exist. Changing roles of bookstores and libraries
March 31, 2015 | 9:00 am

piracyWhen Analyzing Cord Cutting Options, Most TV Analysts Continue To Pretend Piracy Simply Doesn't Exist (Techdirt) One gets the sense that media outlets feel like if they so much as even acknowledge that piracy is a real thing -- they'll somehow be taken as advocates for piracy. It's as if piracy is some kind of angry and strange Lovecraftian god, and even mentioning its name will invite unspeakable terror upon the local village. *** On the Changing Roles of U.S. Bookstores and Libraries (Dear Author) When I first started this series on how people read and buy books, I was surprised by how many...

Toronto Star Paywall Coming Down April 1
March 30, 2015 | 2:25 pm

toronto starAnd another one bites the dust! The countdown is on for one of Canada's major dailies to take their paywall down. On April 1, the Toronto Star website will once again be free. I am not at all surprised by this. I used to visit the Star's website regularly, but as soon as I heard about the paywall, I changed my morning news bookmark to the free (and owned by the same parent company) Metro News and never looked back. This, I think, is the fatal flaw of the paywall model---they never factored in that even if the content really was...

Do You Study, or Do You Read?
March 30, 2015 | 12:25 pm

readAn essay at Book Riot hit my RSS feed today on an always-controversial subject: how to read. I say it's controversial because every time an essay like this comes up, two things happen: the academics comment and say 'hear, hear' and the regular people comment and say 'OMG, lighten up and just read the books if you want to!' I see both sides of this one. But I think that for me, what it comes down to is, as it always seems to be with me, this feeling that it isn't really fair to lump everything together. I remember being a...

Morning Links: Perception in the business of editing. What happens to donated library books?
March 30, 2015 | 9:00 am

business of editingBusiness of Editing: Does Perception Matter? (An American Editor) We need to begin at the very beginning: How does a freelancer know what is too low a price to charge? *** What Happens to a Book After You Donate it to the Library? (Book Riot) There’s no better home for your gently loved books than your public library. But where do your books go after you donate them? *** Clean Reader Controversy: Censorship, or Right to Read? (GoodeReader) One of the recent controversies in publishing involves the creation of an app called Clean Reader that has authors of every level crying censorship. Built by two parents...

Weekend Links: Buying eReaders in Canada just got harder. Why YA novels make box office hits
March 29, 2015 | 10:04 am

ereaderBuying an eReader in Canada Just Got Harder (GoodeReader) 20% of all Canadians live in rural areas without a major bookstore and an electronics shop. Chapters/Indigo have been closing down locations and with Future Shop axing 65 locations, it will be difficult for Canadians to buy an e-reader on a retail level. *** 'Insurgent' And Why Young Adult Novels Make Box Office Hits (Forbes) The second installment of Veronica Roth’s dystopian trilogy, The Divergent Series: Insurgent, grabbed $52.3 million in its opening weekend at the U.S. box office, just shy of Divergent’s $54.6 million debut last year. *** Amazon is Testing Bulk eBook Bundles in Japan...

Stephen King takes a rod to the rich
March 28, 2015 | 3:23 pm

king-thumb.jpgStephen King is anything but my favorite horror writer - and after all, he can afford to ignore my snark. Literally. And that's precisely the point. But in that regard, he just substantially redeemed himself in my eyes - with a scathing and passionately profane article in The Daily Beast on just what he thinks the taxation policy towards his c.$400 million celebrity net worth ought to be. Just as a reminder, the context was a radio address by Paul R. LePage (R.), Governor of King's home state of Maine, claiming that the celebrated author had moved out of state because...

Toronto Catholic School Board Cuts Every Teacher-Librarian
March 27, 2015 | 12:25 pm

teacher-librarianIt's budget time here, and every municipality in my area is trying to balance the books. One of the more controversial cost-cutting tactics to come to light this week is the Toronto Catholic school board's decision to eliminate teacher-librarians in ALL of its elementary schools. As the Toronto Star write-up explains, teacher-librarians play a significant role in early literacy because, unlike the lesser-paid library technicians, they are both trained librarians and also certified teachers as well. Part of the problem is that teacher-librarians are allocated in the province's funding on a per-child basis, not a per-school basis. The provincial funding formula accounts...

Clean Reader, the auto-censor of mealy-mouthed dreams
March 27, 2015 | 10:25 am

Clean Reader, the ereader app that "prevents swear words in books from being displayed on your screen," looks almost old news now, since it's already been hit by such a shitstorm of the profanity it professes to screen out that it's likely to find the going very difficult from here on. For one thing, Smashwords has come out publicly against the app, which comes only second to a boycott by Kindle in terms of stopping an ebook-linked product in its tracks. Smashwords' Mark Coker said: Books are works of art, and the art is manifested by the author's word choice. You...

Morning Links: eBooks for libraries. Is Internet Addiction a real thing?
March 27, 2015 | 9:00 am

ebooks for librariesHow to Reach Millennial Readers (Digital Book World) For book publishers, millennials can be a tricky bunch. *** Why We Need Inclusive Lit, Not Just Diverse Lit (Book Riot) A few weeks ago, I attended a small but well-attended author panel featuring Jenny Han, Isabel Quintero, and Jason Reynolds at the Tucson Festival of Books. *** eBooks for Libraries (Joe Konrath) I want to help authors get their ebooks into libraries. *** Is Internet Addiction a Real Thing? (Lifehacker) Is it possible for someone to actually be addicted to the Internet? *** Kindle Daily Deal: 600 Hours of Edward and Edward Adrift (and others)...