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TeleRead live from the Edinburgh International Book Festival
August 19, 2013 | 10:42 am

Yes, it's true: TeleRead is officially reporting live from the Edinburgh International Book Festival ... which, by the way, is crazy: Huge crowds, long queues, yurts for journalists, authors mobbed at signings, special literary deckchairs. You name it, it's here. Below, a few shots from day one. Entrance to the Festival: The press yurts: Commemorative deckchair: More to come in the days ahead—stay tuned....

Administrivia: Acting guest editor, and GenCon bound!
August 8, 2013 | 6:50 am

Hello, everyone! Here are a couple of administrative notices. First: I’m filling in as editor while Dan Eldridge is on vacation for a week. I hope Dan enjoys his vacation, and I will do my best to make sure there will still be a blog when he gets back! Second: I will again be attending GenCon in Indianapolis this year, driving up from Springfield, Missouri to Indianapolis to spend the weekend after next among gamers and their friends. I last attended the convention for TeleRead two years ago, and I’m looking forward to being there again. ...

Are literary festivals little more than money-grubbing scams?
July 16, 2013 | 11:57 am

literary festivalsBritish author and historian Guy Walters (pictured at left) just ran a piece in the UK Literary Review about his less than totally positive experience at the Hay Festival. After a triumphant reading in front of an estimated 800 people, he recounts, he asked for expenses to cover his trip to and from the Festival—and was refused. "As I drove home, I did some maths," Walters states. "Those eight hundred people had each paid £7 [$10.57], earning Hay a tidy £5,600 [$8,455]. Compared to Hay's turnover of £4 million [$6 million] and gross profit of £1 million [$1.5 million], that's not a...

CSI meets Law & Order at the Killer Nashville writers’ conference this August
June 30, 2013 | 1:41 pm

Killer Nashville[Press Release] On August 22, 2013, crime scene tape will go up at Nashville’s Five-Star Hutton Hotel, and hundreds of crime fiction readers and writers will converge to learn from—and sometimes match wits with—forensic anthropologists, psychologists, attorneys and law enforcement professionals. The occasion is Killer Nashville, a conference for fans and writers of thrillers, mysteries and other crime literature. In addition to a reader/fan track and three tracks of panels and presentations on the business and craft of writing, the conference offers an extensive forensics track certain to appeal to "CSI" fans or anyone with an interest in investigative techniques. One of Killer...

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013 kicks off program of e-book-related events
June 24, 2013 | 6:55 pm

Edinburgh International Book FestivalPreparations have begun in Scotland for the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which is the literary component of the Edinburgh Festival, the UK’s biggest annual cultural jamboree, and which this year runs from August 10th to 26th, and showcases 800 authors in over 700 events. Many of the discussions and appearances this year will be either dealing with issues raised by the digital disruption of publishing and book production, or presenting authors in the context of their e-books and digital media work. “It’s our 30th birthday this year and we celebrate with a programme of events looking back over three astonishing decades...

Feeling Rudderless with the Loss of O’Reilly’s TOC? Consider This
May 10, 2013 | 9:37 pm

Tools of ChangeMuch conversation and virtual space has been devoted over the last week to the announcement by O’Reilly that they are discontinuing the Tools of Change conference. The announcement stunned many, and lamentation abounded at the loss of what had been, for many, a forum for hearing new ideas and, equally important, an arena for networking and maintaining significant ongoing professional connections. As the producers of the Publishing Business Conference & Expo, one of the events in the same space as TOC, we have long respected our colleagues at O’Reilly. It might be expected that we would jump into the fray and exclaim...

Locus Awards 2013 Ballot Announced
May 9, 2013 | 4:54 pm

From Boing Boing comes news of this year's Locus nominees, shared there because one of its editors, Cory Doctorow, is nominated. I am not a huge SF reader, so most of these have stayed off my radar. But if you go for that stuff, enjoy this list of good books! SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL • The Hydrogen Sonata, Iain M. Banks (Orbit US; Orbit UK) • Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen) • Caliban’s War, James S.A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK) • 2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK) • Redshirts, John Scalzi (Tor; Gollancz) FANTASY NOVEL • The Killing Moon, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK) • The Drowning Girl, Caitlín R. Kiernan...

Look Who’s Talking: Book Business’ New Video Chat Series
May 7, 2013 | 8:34 pm

Book BusinessLast week, NAPCO's Publishing Media Group launched its new video chat series, Literally Speaking Publisher Chats. The chats will take place every Friday at 11 a.m. EST, and I will be speaking to a variety of publishing people. The fun new video platform Shindig is hosting our events. On Friday, May 3, I spoke with Beth Kephart, an amazingly prolific author who has written in multiple genres including YA and memoir, and who has worked with a range of different sized publishers, from Gotham Books to Temple University Press. Kephart’s new YA novel, Dr. Radway's Sarsaparilla Resolvent, was just published on Wednesday and her next book, Handling...

New media needs to take responsibility and credibility seriously
April 18, 2013 | 3:02 pm

mediaThe Rise of the Digital New Media Entity panel at the paidContent Live conference was one of the more interesting ones on Wednesday. The moderator was Jim Weisberg, chairman and editor-in-chief of the Slate Group. He weaved current events into the discussion to talk about how these new platforms have a responsibility for what is being put on their sites, especially when it comes to sites with large amounts of user-generated content, like Reddit. One particular topic that was raised involved the subreddit in which users have been combing through photos of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Weisberg asked Reddit’s Erik Martin about his...

New publishers use metadata to get marketing results
April 17, 2013 | 8:36 pm

metadataData. Traditional publishers have not used the word often when it comes to marketing. But newer publishing companies are using data in a way traditional publishing houses have not, several members of a panel at PaidContent Live said in New York City on Wednesday. “The old evolution of traditional book publishers used to be very allergic to data," said Dominique Raccah, the publisher and CEO of Sourcebooks. "What you just heard is a very different approach from that. For us it’s about metadata and surfacing, and then rinse and repeat. Metadata is a new term in our industry.” [caption id="attachment_83482" align="alignleft" width="154"] Sourcebooks CEO Dominique...

Happy Birthday to the King of the Beats!
March 13, 2013 | 8:40 pm

Jack KerouacYes, I was male suburban cliché: Like thousands of other disaffected middle-class white kids before me (and many more after, I'm sure), I discovered Jack Kerouac's On the Road in high school—I'm proud to say I still own the very same copy I picked up at a long-since shuttered Borders Books in McMurray, Penna. It was the first book I ever read, front to back, in one sitting. (Embarrassing as it is to admit, Bukowski's Ham on Rye was the second; The Catcher in the Rye was the third.) I have a few other good Kerouac stories: When I moved to San Francisco...

Do publishers need to give authors more info to keep them happy?
March 11, 2013 | 12:43 pm

More than a few self-published authors, of course, have found serious success through various channels over the years—selling a vast amount of books on their own, for instance, or having their previously self-published book picked up by a big publishing concern. And yet, contrary to popular belief, not every self-published author actually wants to be picked up by a mainstream publishing house. Some are more than happy working independently, and pocketing as much money from their DIY publishing project as possible. This topic was brought up last Sunday, March 10, during the Self-Publishing in the Age of E panel at the SXSW in Austin, Texas. The...