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In Stockholm’s Strindberg Museum
July 3, 2015 | 9:56 am

IMG_20150701_190620Polymath playwright, novelist, and painter August Strindberg is the one Swedish author that everyone knows (until Stieg Larsson, perhaps), and so he naturally enough is commemorated by the Strindberg Museum, housed in the so-called Blue Tower at the top of Drottninggatan, Stockholm's Piccadilly, where he spent the last years of his life until his death in 1912. The Museum includes Strindberg's fourth-floor apartment, reconstructed with its original furnishings, as well as his private library on the sixth floor. And the Blue Tower itself, though only blue in its interior plasterwork, is a beautiful period building worth seeing for its own...

Sad Puppies roundup, and the Irene Gallo controversy
June 10, 2015 | 8:19 am

sad_puppies_3_patchIt’s been some time since our last few posts covering the Sad/Rabid Puppies Hugo Awards controversy, and a few interesting developments and articles have come out since then, so it’s time for a roundup. First of all, Jim C. Hines has put a lot of time and effort into compiling a comprehensive history of the whole Sad Puppies movement, dating back to Sad Puppies’ first appearance several years ago. While there is not exactly any love lost between Hines and the Puppies, Hines has done his best to back up anything he says about them with complete quotes from...

Book Review: Writing into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith
June 6, 2015 | 11:49 pm

coverA couple of months ago, StoryBundle offered a writing workshop bundle—a number of how-to guides covering different aspects of writing and publishing. I apparently didn’t see fit to mention it on TeleRead at the time; I wish I had. Regardless, today I had the opportunity to read one of the included books, and found an interesting guide that might help new novelists overcome some of their worst writer’s block problems. The book in question is Writing Into the Dark: How to Write a Novel Without an Outline by Dean Wesley Smith. Whether to outline stories or not has long...

More on the ‘Author Income’ Crisis
June 6, 2015 | 2:59 am

I've been thinking some more about the 'author income' crisis Paul wrote about earlier this week. I typically find Teleread's Canadian news first because I am local so I see it sooner, but Paul beat me to it this time because I saw it and was still mulling over what to say when he posted. And three days later, I am still mulling. Here is my issue. I have always found it to be a flawed assumption that 'writing' is, firstly, a clearly defined occupation, and secondly, one which should assure its practitioners a solid career path, per se....

‘Why do I keep seeing journalists take notes on paper?’ Question for book writers, too?
June 5, 2015 | 6:12 am

evernote“I was at a lunch briefing today, and of about 10 people around the table---some Visa executives, some PR minders, most journalists---I was the only person taking notes in an app instead of on paper.”  - Former Washington Post tech columnist  Rob Pegoraro, in his blog on June 4. The TeleRead take: He goes on to recommend typing into Evernote or, if you prefer, alternatives such as OneNote or Google Keep or Apple Notes for OS X and iOS. I myself am usually interviewing by telephone or email, and when I’m on the phone, I may take notes with...

Morning Links: When good friends write bad books, Amazon food, and more
June 3, 2015 | 9:04 am

What To Do When Someone You Know Writes a Bad Book (Book Riot) Writing a book is a great accomplishment. It can take years of meditating, creating, editing, querying, marketing, and tweaking to get it published. It’s an effort that absolutely deserves praise. But what are we supposed to do when someone we personally know, even care about, writes a bad one? The Teleread Take: The last person I know who showed me their book surprised me: it was better than I thought it would be. But many of us in this age of self-publishing have been there! Book Riot has some...

Does luck still count for writers? You bet, Mr. ‘Prosperity Guy’!
June 2, 2015 | 6:00 am

Ernie ZelinskiErnie J. Zelinski, self-identified as “The Prosperity Guy,” has just responded to Paul St John Mackintosh’s thoughtful post headlined Canadian writers are also facing author income crisis. I’m glad to see TPG speaking his mind. That’s what the TeleRead comments section is for. Now here’s my own take: Congratulations on all your successes, Ernie. But, yes, despite your denials to the contrary, you are lucky. Books on "prosperity" and the like can be much easier to push than, say, novels of a literary kind. What's more, you may be a more talented promoter than many...

Scrivener for OS X and Windows half-off today via Macupdate.com
June 2, 2015 | 5:25 am

Here’s a great bargain for those of you using OS X: the writing app Scrivener is on sale for 50% off for the next 18 hours via Macupdate.com. This is a really handy tool and I use it all the time for writing and creating e-books out of my writings. (Some have even said it can be “a life-changing experience.”) It’s well worth its original price of $45, but at $22.50, it’s a real steal. Update: Thanks to Gary LaPointe’s sharp eyes, it turns out the Windows version is also on sale for $20. Now you have no...

Canadian writers also facing author income crisis
June 1, 2015 | 4:47 pm

canada-1The dire economic situation for British authors has been chronicled in appalling detail by the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) and the UK Society of Authors. And, for better or (very definitely) for worse, it turns out that the Brits are by no means alone. The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) has shared figures from its latest income survey of Canadian writers. Devaluing Creators, Endangering Creativity, demonstrating that "writers in Canada are making 27% less from their writing than they were making in 1998 (when last surveyed to this extent). What’s more, a full 45% of those surveyed indicated they are working harder...

Authors Guild President deplores free blogging—but where is the paid blogging?
May 27, 2015 | 1:00 pm

Last week, The Bookseller carried an interview with Authors Guild President Roxana Robinson warning that writers should not contribute free work to popular websites in order to gain “exposure.” Robinson holds that that by doing so they are devaluing the efforts of those who write for pay, and the promotional efforts may not even be effective. The rest of the piece was dedicated to demonizing Amazon and Google, but Nate Hoffelder at Ink, Bits, and Pixels has already done an excellent job picking apart those claims and the motives behind them, and I see no point in duplicating his...

Picking a pen name (or marrying a real one)
May 25, 2015 | 5:00 am

dragonsanddreamsYes, “Becca” is probably a friendlier name for the author of a kid’s book than is “Rebecca.”  But what about other factors, such as shelf position, not to mention the possibility of even marrying right? Oh, the possibilities. Kindle Boards has a lively discussion on writers’ names, with thoughts from authors of various genres. Related: Google links to pen-name generators.   ...

Arvon job ad hints at new UK creative writing platform
May 18, 2015 | 10:25 am

arvon-logoAn online job ad posted by UK creative writing charity Arvon, "renowned for its residential creative writing courses for schools, groups and individuals," points to an interesting new creative writing platform in the UK. The ad is for a Digital Communications Officer "to assist in the delivery of a major new digital project for Arvon, an online resource section about the craft of writing, with premium content for members, and a new Tumblr website that highlights writing expertise across the web." The ad continues: "The principles of the programme are about opening up access to opportunities in the arts, and talent...

Antique Lumière Brothers footage resurrects Bloomsday’s Dublin
May 16, 2015 | 10:25 am

MI+Lumiere+brothers+footage+dublin+late+1800s+YouTube  As many literati will know, Bloomsday is the annual celebration of James Joyce's Ulysses, and of Joyce himself in general, fixed on the same day, June 16th, that the events of the novel take place on in 1904. Now, thanks pioneering French cinematographers the Lumière Brothers, footage of Dublin dating back to 1897, showing O’Connell Street and St Stephen's Green just a few years prior to the events of the book, has been put into a new work. The footage has been incorporated into a 30-minute film, "Ireland - Birth of a Nation," produced by filmmaker Gerard McCarthy "to mark the...

If you haven’t enriched James Patterson enough yet, now you can pay him $90
May 14, 2015 | 4:25 pm

James PattersonIf you haven't already found enough ways to boost James Patterson into the Celebrity Net Worth top league and swell his $90 million p.a. income, here's another one. Rather than read his potboilers or watch his spinoff movies, why not pony up 90 bucks to learn to write like him? Because, lucky aspirants, now you can, with the online Masterclass "James Patterson teaches writing." "Set out to write a best-selling book," runs the blurb. "James Patterson, the author of 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times Best Sellers, reveals his tricks of the trade for the very first time. In this...

Why is Armenian so wonderful?
May 7, 2015 | 2:25 pm

This is a personal love letter to the Armenian written language, for looking so amazing. After all, we're talking about a script for an Indo-European language with fairly close affinities to Greek and Albanian (though also to the Indo-Iranian family of northern India and Central Asia), that originated from a Christian country (albeit one identified with the unique Armenian Apostolic Church), which was invented by a Christian theologian, Mesrop Mashtots, in AD 405. And yet ... it looks more like Thai than anything in the European linguistic family. It may have derived from one of the Pahlavi scripts of ancient Parthia, or...

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...

New ALCS survey finds UK authors’ incomes have only gotten worse
April 22, 2015 | 10:25 am

ALCSFollowing its previous survey of the income and work prospects of UK professional authors, entitled "What Are Words Worth?", the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS), Britain’s central clearing house for authors’ rights and payments, has released a fresh study based on 2014 data for writers' earnings and contractual terms, rather than 2013 data. The survey, "The Business of Being an Author: A Survey of Author’s Earnings and Contracts," found, as the BBC highlighted, that UK author incomes are "at breaking point." The survey, conducted with Queen Mary College in the University of London, which as the ALCS correctly states, "is one of...

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