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The mystery of the book artist continues to inspire
December 18, 2014 | 12:25 pm

book artist Article by Colin Mackenzie, owner of The Butterflies In addition to Scotland’s most famous mystery, the Loch Ness monster, the mystery of the amazing book sculpture artist  continues with another magnificent donation. The  artist, who has become an internet phenomenon for their free ‘gifts' of art to libraries in Edinburgh, Scotland, has donated one of her most intricate works of art to a charity. 'The Butterflies' is an amazing book sculpture and was sold by the Macmillan Cancer charity during the Edinburgh Festival to a private owner.  This is the only one of the sculptures to come on the open market...

Amazon-Hachette: Whose Side Are You On?
July 8, 2014 | 10:30 am

laura resnickBy Laura Resnick The non-disclosure agreement governing the current negotiations between online retail giant Amazon and publishing corporation Hachette sometimes seems about as effective as a gag order in a custody battle between Hollywood celebrities. Hachette has released multiple statements and leaks about the negotiations, including a claim that "Amazon has been demanding payments for a range of services." Amazon made a statement in May, eventually followed by an Amazon executive telling the media in July, "This discussion is all about e-book pricing." However, apart from such occasional tidbits, there's little information about the specific terms on the table. And in the absence...

How are eReaders affecting our children?
June 30, 2014 | 12:25 pm

ereadersBy Miles Young Those of us who have been around for a while continue to marvel at the way mobile technology is rapidly becoming a part of everyday life. For today's young children, however, smartphones and tablets are as basic and intuitive as the household refrigerator. Parents and teachers alike are asking themselves: what role do e-readers have on today's learning reader? One of the reasons it is difficult to reach a conclusion is because there are several factors to consider, including age, platform, and whether the child is reading alone or with a parent. It is also important to note that...

How House of Leaves could transform reading (again) on eReaders
May 5, 2014 | 11:38 am

enhanced ebooks By Miles Young Mark Danielewski's surreal bestseller House of Leaves garnered a lot of attention when it was published in 2000. The strange story of a family that discovers its house is bigger on the inside than on the outside, joined with an unconventional format like no other, causes readers to lose themselves in the dark world of "House of Leaves." The Next Step Into the House: eReaders Evolve Applying the unconventional style of House of Leaves to the eReader format could revolutionize the way eBooks are experienced. Internet connectivity in eReaders permit virtually endless possibilities in the way we experience a book....

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...