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Whither cli-fi? Publishers remain mum
April 24, 2015 | 2:25 pm

cli-fiSince climatologist Judith Curry ran a blog post in December 2012 titled simply "Cli Fi" about the rise of a new genre she pegged as cli-fi, with a radio segment on NPR picking up on her post and interviewing several novelists, the cli-fi meme has been in the air. Dozens, hundreds of news articles and web posts about the "mushrooming" new genre have appeared since 2013, from the New York Times to the New Yorker magazine in America to the Guardian and Financial Times in Great Britain. But what about the publishing industry? Have any editors or publishers or agents spoken publicly...

Accessory Review: Inateck 10W Stereo Bluetooth Speaker
April 24, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Inateck 10W Stereo Bluetooth SpeakerI love Inateck products. The Kindle case they sent me last year is still the one I'm using, and it's holding up nicely over time. I'm confident they have products which work well and will last. So when they offered to send me a sample of the [easyazon-link asin="B00JO6GQLS" locale="us"]Inateck Dual-Driver Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker[/easyazon-link], I was all over it. When I saw the picture, I fell in love with the idea of a combination stand/speaker which didn't involve a dock, so it can be used for any device, regardless of manufacturer. I'm using it as I write this to play music...

Author Inc, Part 2: Setting up a Specialty Website Account
April 24, 2015 | 10:25 am

download (2)I wrote earlier about my experiences setting myself up as a beginning author on the Kindle store. I found the experience pretty painless, overall. But how does another web store compare? Is it easier, or harder, to set oneself up there? For comparison, here is a recap of my first few days as a seller on the specialty website Teachers Pay Teachers. This website allows teachers to offer free and paid self-created resources for use by other teachers. It has become very popular because they require each seller to offer at least one resource for free, so there are a lot...

Morning Links: Juvenile book sales drop. Reading on the bus dangerous?
April 24, 2015 | 9:00 am

reading on the busJuvenile Book Sales Plummet (PW) Industry members expected that sales in the two segments would cool this year and sales, which started to slow this spring, plunged in the week ended April 19, 2015, compared to the similar week in 2014. Unit sales in the juvenile nonfiction category fell 39% in the week and dropped 46% in fiction at outlets that report to BookScan. *** In Praise of the Digital Calendar (Unclutterer) Dave has declared his love of the wall calendar, and I agree with the points he made. I also know plenty of other people who work well with either paper wall calendars...

Society of Authors head speaks to Teleread on ALCS author earnings report
April 24, 2015 | 8:15 am

Following my earlier coverage of the latest Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) study on writers’ earnings and contractual terms, “The Business of Being an Author: A Survey of Author’s Earnings and Contracts,” I contacted the ALCS, the UK Publishers Association, and the Society of Authors for their reactions. Nicola Solomon, Chief Executive of the Society of Authors, was first to reply, as follows: Teleread: The ALCS numbers show author incomes in a state of continuous decline at a time when the UK publishing industry appears to be enjoying great success. Why is this? Nicola Solomon: While it has always been the case that a handful of...

LG G Stylo offers new Samsung Note competition for a song
April 23, 2015 | 6:25 pm

LG Electronics in Korea has announced a new budget smartphone/phablet, the LG G Stylo, with size, specs, and pen input implementation to challenge the Samsung Galaxy Note, at a considerably lower price point. For some readers - me included - this could be the portable writing and productivity platform of their bargain-basement dreams. The new device offers a 5.7 inch HD IPS display, with Android 5.0 Lollipop as the OS, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU. Spokesperson Cho Jun-Ho, president of LG Electronics, stressed that "for consumers who prefer a large screen smartphone the G Stylo is focused on providing affordability...

Why the Hugos are broken, and who’s breaking them now
April 23, 2015 | 5:52 pm

Hugo-Awards-logoThe Hugo Puppies affair proceeds apace. As it will for at least the rest of this year, and probably the next as well. Everyone is having their say, and some excellent things have been written about the whole matter lately. I’ll get to those in a moment. The Internet Breaks the Hugos Whether you’re for the Puppies or against them, there can’t be any argument that the Hugo nomination and voting process is badly broken. The interesting thing is that the process hasn’t changed appreciably for years or even decades. It didn’t just break on its own. No,...

Windows 10: My story so far
April 23, 2015 | 4:25 pm

After some struggles with a progressively degrading Windows tablet hacked to run Ubuntu, the Acer Iconia w500, I decided to take a chance on the Windows 10 Technical Preview, the free-to-try advance look at the latest iteration of Microsoft's PC (and now phone) OS. Through the Windows Insider Program, thanks to which "you can help build Windows 10 alongside PC experts," I downloaded the latest build (EN-US_9926), burned it into an ISO disc, and installed it quickly and with very little trouble. In fact, even at this flaky stage, Windows 10 boots up and runs far faster than Windows 7,...

The Erosion of National Autonomy in Copyright
April 23, 2015 | 1:25 pm

copyrightThe fantastic and informative Michael Geist has a great analysis in today's Morning Links about the latest gambit in the copyright wars: a term extension which will protect sound recordings for an additional 20 years. Geist cites numerous reports done in other countries which suggest the benefit to artists from this extension will be extremely minimal. One report he cites---and a Canadian one, at that---says this: "Adding 20 years of protection would contribute 2.3% to the present value of royalties under a 7% discount rate, assuming that the flow of royalties remains unchanged during the whole period. Under identical assumptions, extending...

Tove Jansson Moomins your Mad Hatter with Alice in Wonderland illustrations
April 23, 2015 | 12:25 pm

I pity those few poor unenlightened souls with access to good bookshops and libraries whose childhoods weren't illuminated by the enchanting work of Tove Jansson, who probably won more love for Finland than Sibelius ever did. The world of the Moomins is one of those imagined lands that has won a place in the map of childhood alongside C.S. Lewis's Narnia, Middle-Earth, or Kenneth Grahame's Riverbank. Or Lewis Carroll's Wonderland. And as it happens, Tove Jansson paid tribute to her fellow imaginative fabulist with her own illustrations to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, very different from the John Tenniel images always associated...

Emeryville finds: house your poets, or lose them
April 23, 2015 | 10:25 am

Here's a piece of advice for local and national authorities: If you're going to introduce a high-minded Poet Laureate program, make sure you can actually hold on to your cultural resource and not lose them to your own ruinous real estate trends. Because that's what has happened in the case of Emeryville, CA, which has seen Poet Laureate Sarah Kobrinsky driven out of Emeryville by - according to one report - a rent-racking landlord who also happens to be a city planning official. The report singles out a 38 percent rent increase for Sarah Kobrinsky and her family, courtesy of a...

Morning Links: Freelance Scramble. Blueprint for digital afterlife
April 23, 2015 | 9:00 am

digital afterlifeThe Freelance Scramble Part Three: The Unthinkable (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) The freelance scramble happens when the cash doesn’t flow the way that a writer expects it too. Longtime freelancers have learned the dance that I call the freelance scramble, which is mostly about replacing expected income with something else. *** How My TV Obsession Got Me Reading Book Series (Book Riot) There were probably a number of factors, but if I had to pin down one thing that sparked my newfound (or rather, refound) enjoyment of serial reading, I’d probably say that it was the precedent set by my obsession with television, beginning a...