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Specialty programming: good news for TV, bad news for books
March 10, 2014 | 4:43 pm

specialty programmingMy friend David Rothman posted this NY Times article on Facebook this morning, with the comment 'good news for TV, bad news for books.' The article talks about this golden age of cord-cutting, specialty programming (like on Netflix) and high-end cable series, with the following aside: "I was never one of those snobby people who would claim to not own a television when the subject came up, but I was generally more a reader than a watcher. That was before the explosion in quality television tipped me over into a viewing frenzy." This was an interesting reminder for me that, amidst...

How misinformation harms authors (or writers or whatever we’re calling ourselves these days)
March 10, 2014 | 2:25 pm

how misinformation harms authorsNate at Digital Reader featured an article in his Morning Coffee about opting out of Scribd if you're a Smashwords author. I was curious as to the reasons the blogger thought I might want to do this, and I read the article. Which I discovered was some serious misinformation. Not surprisingly, the blogger raised the piracy issue, but not the issue I thought he'd raise. I thought he'd talk about how the digital fingerprinting from Scribd was less than perfect and use that as a reason. Nope, he went in a whole 'nother direction. The problem with Scribd’s view on piracy is...

Beware Author Solutions, and never ever pay for publishing
March 9, 2014 | 1:11 pm

Author SolutionsIf this isn’t Rule One of self-publishing, it should be: You should never, ever, ever pay someone to publish your work for you. Full stop. End of sentence. Now, it’s fine to pay for useful services, of course. If you can afford it, it could be a good investment to pay someone to edit your work, or to design your cover art, or even to format your book for you if you don’t feel confident of your own skills in that regard. (Though I’d honestly recommend paying $40 for Scrivener and spending a few days learning...

How to reward great authors when reading them through (legal) free means
February 12, 2014 | 12:53 pm

reward great authorsI have just finished my first five-star read of the year---which I know is not saying much given that it's only February, but it's been a long time since I've read a book which really knocks my socks off. The book---[easyazon-link asin="B008QXVDJ0" locale="us"]The Golem and the Jinni[/easyazon-link] by Helene Wecker---is set in turn-of-the-century New York City (and is rich in historical details of this period) and finds the two titular mythical creatures washed up randomly upon its shore. The Jinni, a creature of fire, finds water-logged New York City unsettling, and hooks up with a mentor (a Syrian tinsmith) who tries...

Authors Supporting Our Troops: Book drive for soldiers
February 11, 2014 | 2:35 pm

Imagine having to share one Harry Potter book with 12 of your closest friends – and it was the only book you could read for weeks or even months. Any of the Harry Potter books are fun to read, but after the third consecutive reading you probably no longer need the book to recount the lines. That’s the situation a number of American soldiers face overseas. Armand Rosamila is trying to change that with the Authors Supporting Our Troops book drive. Rosamila has heard stories of the lack of books soldiers have overseas. So, he is collecting signed books from authors and publishers...

J.K. Rowling reveals her Harry Potter regret, but should she have told the world?
February 5, 2014 | 2:19 pm

j.k. rowling harry potterLong after a story has been told, authors may go back and look at the finished work. Sometimes the reaction is one of the pride and peace. They can relax feeling it turned out right. But, sometimes, authors may have regrets about the choices they made for certain characters. J.K. Rowling is in the news again after she told British fashion magazine Wonderland that Hermione Granger should have ended up with Harry Potter and not Ron Weasley. “I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment,” Rowling told the magazine (She was being interviewed by actress Emma Watson). “That’s how it...

Jack Matthews: Author Died Earlier This Month At Age 88
December 20, 2013 | 1:34 pm

Jack MatthewsThis crossed my desk a few days ago, and since Jack Matthews has been written about on TeleRead in the past, I thought I'd note his recent passing. I read the old article, and I thought it was interesting how a (then) living author with 20+ books had been so ignored by the Internet. No books on Kindle. No Wikipedia entry. No reviews of book that were available on Amazon. (I checked, and they aren't now.) Those of us who write about publishing talk about how the Internet now means that books will be available forever and how that's a good thing....

Nicholas Sparks create new genre for male authors “love tragedy”
October 12, 2013 | 2:26 pm

nicholas sparksAspiring author Monica Clark had an interesting encounter recently. She asked famous author Nicholas Sparks a question at a recent event, according to her blog. She asked Sparks this: “I noticed that when female writers write about relationships or an emotional journey, no matter how deep and well-written it is, it’s usually described as chick lit. Have your books ever been described as chick lit? And how do you think the response to your books or your career would have been different if your name had been Nicole Sparks instead of Nicholas Sparks?” Oh boy. The answer could have gone a number of ways...

An interview with children’s author Nicole Storey
October 10, 2013 | 10:26 am

Nicole Storey started writing as way to help her son. He is autistic and she wrote a book where the main character is an autistic boy like her son. He went on a wild adventure to save his friends. Little did she know she would end up publishing Grimsley Hollow: The Chosen One and it would become part of a much larger series. Storey note writes books for children and young adults. It provides unique challenges in reaching those audiences. Storey has to relate to the children while also connecting with adults to show them her books are worthwhile. I got a chance...

R.I.P Tom Clancy: Master Thriller Author
October 3, 2013 | 1:33 pm

I've been a huge fan of Tom Clancy, and his work since I was a teenager, and yesterday's news of his death hit me hard. Later in the day, I was having coffee with a friend, who mentioned Clancy during our conversation. Something told me he didn't yet know of the news, and I asked, "You do know he died today, right?" His face fell, and he said, "No, I hadn't." We both shared a spontaneous moment of silence. It felt pretty crummy to break the news to someone, but at least we weren't alone. For those of you who might...

Goodreads New Author Protection Policy
September 23, 2013 | 4:15 pm

Thanks to Nate at The Digital Reader for his comprehensive write-up of the new Goodreads content policy designed to 'protect' authors from cyber-bullying by overly exuberant readers. Goodreads couched the announcement as a friendly 'note regarding reviews' and it begins with 'reviews should be about the book' and then goes from there. The new measures include revised author guidelines, which Goodreads says it developed because "it’s clear that some problems have come up because some authors who are new to Goodreads don’t know what's appropriate on Goodreads and/or take matters into their own hands rather than flagging content that they feel...

Book as Dishware: The Shakespearean Insult Mug
September 18, 2013 | 11:06 am

In one of the ironies of my ebook adoption journey, the shelf space I used to occupy with books is being given over to a range of non-book items with markedly book-esque themes. There is the art print of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven; which was gifted to me by my Beloved; there were the vintage Winnie the Pooh books my Grandma left me that I had shadowboxes built for so I could display them as a memento. Now, the book bling has invaded my kitchen too! Our latest novelty find was this stunning mug, adorned with insults; pulled from...