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How TV is Looking to Novelists for Inspiration
March 27, 2014 | 10:25 am

novelistsBy Miles Young Game of Thrones. The Walking Dead; if you've ever had trouble tearing yourself away from one of these hot TV programs, you understand why critics call today's menu of tantalizing cable offerings the “New Golden Age of Television.” The shows keep you up past your bedtime. They account for a significant amount of bleary-eyed commuters each morning.  Staying up late to find out what happens next in a soul-gripping TV melodrama isn't a new phenomenon. Before the serial soaps of today, there were the thrilling page-turner novels of yesterday. Some people say that today's must-see cable shows rival the...

Five reasons why you need a professional editor for your novel
February 11, 2014 | 4:05 pm

professional editorBy Jim Dempsey With e-books selling for such low prices and tight profit margins in self-publishing, there’s constant pressure to keep costs down. As a result, authors can be tempted to cut corners in editing and production to save money. That’s risky because the quality of the final product can suffer. A poorly edited and produced novel risks being unread. A well-edited novel will stand out from the crowd and command attention – and even help boost sales. Professional editing will not only correct errors, it can clear away the clutter, tighten up the plot, invigorate characters, and strengthen the author’s voice. Here are...

Make the DPLA a world-class academic system, let public libraries form their own e-system, and create an endowment for both
November 2, 2013 | 9:58 am

DPLAEditor’s note: This is Part Two of Jim Duncan’s LibraryCity series on the Digital Public Library of America and public libraries. Part One is here. The U.S. needs two intertwined digital library systems and a national digital library endowment. One system should focus on the needs of academics and other researchers. It should be guided by academic librarians and archivists. The second as-yet-to-be-developed system should address public libraries' challenges in such areas as acquisition, management and delivery of e-content to serve the needs of children, teens, their parents, small business owners, hobbyists, recreational readers, the lady down the street, and me....

Why the DPLA is not a public library, despite its many virtues and the P word in its name
November 2, 2013 | 9:53 am

DPLAEditor’s note: This is Part One of Jim Duncan's LibraryCity series on the Digital Public Library of America and public libraries. Part Two is here. A decade ago, doomsayers insisted that the Internet would kill off public libraries. They said we were looking into the maw of an enormous digital beast, and libraries were just the appetizer. So what’s actually happened? Libraries here and abroad have reinvented themselves. Many of us say this is the most exciting time to be involved with libraries as an industry because of the diverse ways we provide services and deliver an array of materials. Some libraries...

10 Universities with Amazing Online Collections
December 13, 2012 | 11:00 pm

It's common knowledge that universities often hold amazing pieces in their library collections, from rare books to priceless works of art. Many are available for viewing simply by visiting the university, but many others are not available for public access, or visitors simply don't have the time or resources to visit in person. That's why so many colleges have begun digitizing their collections and putting them online, giving the world access to their amazing resources, and even opening up viewing of fragile or rare pieces that can't be accessed any other way. We've discovered 10 universities with incredible online collections featuring award-winning...

The 10 Most Defining Novels of the Millennial Generation
October 30, 2012 | 11:55 pm

In any culture, the people look to storytellers to give shape to the experiences of their times. This is the ancient practice of myth-making. It helps us commemorate and come to terms with what we've been through. The greatest writers are often those who manage to capture the quintessence of the zeitgeist around them. Millennials (sometimes also called Generation Y) are usually defined by demographers as the age cohort that was born starting in 1983 ... perhaps a few years earlier, at most. This generation has not yet turned 30, and unlike poets, mathematicians or gymnasts, novelists don't generally flower until after that....

Fifty Shades of Black-on-Grey: The unfortunate design limitations of e-books
October 30, 2012 | 3:47 pm

By Alan Cairns Last month, Amazon announced that they are selling more e-books than printed books for the first time. For every 100 hardback and paperback books sold on Amazon, 114 e-books are downloaded. The company says that we are experiencing a "reading renaissance," and book publishing stats also show that adult e-book sales grew 49 percent last year, selling nearly 100 million units. It seems that e-books are gradually replacing traditional printed books, but will printed books ever die out altogether? Regardless of whether texts are perfectly translated onto digital reading devices, most e-books tend to lack the individual character that is present...

A Plaintive Cry from the E-Text Wilderness
October 25, 2012 | 10:53 pm

By Rob Suggs So many public domain e-texts, so little time—and guidance. That there's the rub. Ever had this happen? You spot an intriguing title in the Gutenberg feed, or on some other free text site. New e-reader food? Maybe. What's the book about? Like all public domain texts, it dates before the Great Rise of the Subtitles, sadly. So this thing is merely called "The Amazingly Indescribable Thing," or something equally vague, by Lucius Q. Oldenscribe. The cover is a photo of a ragged, black-clothed library book with that title. By sheer reflex, your eager little fingers are instantly Googling title and...

The Coming Publishing Renaissance
October 23, 2012 | 2:08 pm

By Mik Strøyberg | Director of Consumer Engagement for Issuu  Conventional wisdom holds that publications are losing market share and that the industry itself is endangered. But in this case, conventional wisdom is wrong: We're actually on the verge of a publishing renaissance—a new age when people can access whatever content they want wherever they are—and it’s an exciting time to be in the publishing business. This isn't an unprecedented situation: When digital music files began replacing CDs, many prematurely lamented the end of the music business. But musicians kept creating new work, and music publishers kept generating more revenue. The same is...

Don’t Forget: Apple’s media event live blog is today at 1:00 PM EST
October 23, 2012 | 10:26 am

Apple media event on Oct 23, 2012By Aaron Kraus | for Technology Tell Apple has called reporters together for a conference on October 23, with the vague-but-suggestive line, “We’ve got a little more to show you.” Like all Apple’s announcements, the invitation to this event does not directly reveal the product(s) to be unveiled, but does contain a subtle hint: “little.” This event will likely be familiar to anyone who was around for the unveiling of the iPod nano back in 2005, and will be characterized by three key trends: Apple’s push away from hard disk drives to flash storage, Retina displays, and a move to miniaturization....

The Profitable Business of Kindle Book Lending
October 19, 2012 | 3:07 pm

Amazon Kindle TouchBy Andy Richardson, CEO of Influential Software Last week, Amazon announced that it was extending its controversial e-book lending scheme, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, to the UK. In its current state, Kindle Lending Library is a value-added service to Amazon Prime, the premium delivery service for which the e-commerce giant charges £49 a year here in the UK. It allows users to ‘borrow’ one of a selection of 200,000 Kindle e-books at a time for free each month (or for the equivalent sum of £4.08 per e-book if you don’t make use of Amazon’s delivery service that month). Some publishers reacted with horror...

Are Discoverability and DRM Mortal Enemies?
October 5, 2012 | 11:20 pm

By Brian Howard Publishers of e-books have a dilemma: You want readers to find (and purchase) your products. And yet you don't want pirates making your products available for free. But is digital rights management (DRM) technology, one method publishers use (with questionable success) to combat piracy, a hindrance or even antithetical to content discovery? At the Publishing Business Virtual Conference and Expo, an expert panel debated this very question. Moderated by the inimitable Christopher Kenneally of the Copyright Clearance Center, Peter McCarthy (Director of McCarthy Digital), Patricia Payton (Senior Director, Publisher Relations & Content Development at Bowker) and Brian O'Leary (Principal at Magellan Media Partners) discussed these very issues. Will DRM survive? Are we moving...