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Posts tagged books

Publishers go off deep end, pay consultant to tell them what they want to hear
April 3, 2014 | 1:24 pm

Diogenes-statue-Sinop-enhancedSo, let me get this straight. Frank Luby, a consultant speaking at Digital Book World, says that e-books are more convenient than printed books, and therefore, they should cost more. Is this some kind of a joke? Apparently not; it was posted April 2, and people elsewhere seem to be taking it seriously. This is so wrong I hardly even know where to begin. It’s true that I can see how publishers would want to hear what this guy has to say. Basically, he’s telling them only what they already believe themselves. And it’s a belief they...

Have we forgotten the value of a book?
March 26, 2014 | 12:24 pm

value of a bookWhen we look at buying a book, it seems many are caught up in the price – thinking: ‘Can I get this cheaper online? How much is Amazon selling it? Why can’t I get this ebook free?’ The value of books has taken a dive over the last couple of years. We have become obsessed with trying to read as much as possible by spending the least amount of money. Yet, we don’t take into account the value of what we are getting out of a book. A good book offers about four hours of entertainment. A great book will present even...

If Amazon drives competitors out of business, will it raise its prices?
March 13, 2014 | 11:53 am

One oft-expressed fear many hold about Amazon is that if it manages to drive other companies out of business with its “predatory” loss leader pricing on new e-books, it will then raise its prices, drop its royalties, insist on lower wholesale prices from publishers, and stick it to consumers, authors, and publishers all at once. But is this really likely to happen? According to Tim Worstall, a Senior Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute in London, basic economics says no. The thing about Amazon is that absolutely nothing prevents new competitors from entering the market, now or in the...

Morning Roundup: Children and touchscreens, Amazon good for literature, Konrath on Patterson, and more
February 24, 2014 | 9:21 am

Researchers Find Children Play with Touchscreens More than Traditional Toys (Teachers with Apps) Researchers find children play with touchscreens more than traditional toys - The following claim was made in Mail Online in the Science and Technology section. -- Why Amazon is Good for Literature (Electric Gutenberg) Maybe some of the people who are making money in this new ecosystem centered around a love of writing and books and art, are the people who are being replaced by robots doing the Amazon warehouse work that wasn't nearly as much fun.  That's what I...

Morning Links: Books in decline. Or maybe not? Depends on who you read.
February 17, 2014 | 8:41 am

books in declineU.S. Bookstores Decline by 1.3% in 2013 (GoodeReader) The bookselling industry in the United States declined by 1.5% in 2013 and fell 0.5% in December alone. *** 20 Authors Share Tips for Writing Love Scenes (GalleyCat) For those who are crafting fictional romance stories, we’ve collected 20 tips on how to write love scenes. *** Hugh Howey's Revolution (Futurebook) Yet, if anything, Howey is looking at a smaller corner of a much smaller picture. To borrow from his own analogy, it's as if the Cookie Council decided only cookies bought from one particular shop were relevant to its global report, recorded only sales of the chocolate...

Amazon floats fairly nutty lifetime reading list
February 11, 2014 | 10:28 am

I hate to be the one to give credence to Jonathan Franzen's anti-Amazon tripe - ever, anywhere, for any reason - but Amazon's own latest action gave me the awful creeping feeling that he might have a point. Because Amazon's latest list of "100 Books To Read In A Lifetime: A bucket list of books to create a well-read life, from the Amazon Book Editors," includes some titles that couldn't even create a well-stocked bookshelf, never mind a life. Of course, there are plenty of titles there that do deserve a place. For instance, George Orwell's 1984 heads up the list...

Can reading make you more stupid?
January 24, 2014 | 4:45 pm

There, thought that would grab your attention. And of course the answer is no. But I'm using that title to point up the somewhat asinine headline of a recent article by Dan Hurley in the UK Guardian: "Can reading make you smarter?" To which many might immediately answer: What else is reading for? And others might ask: Well, if reading can't, what the hell else can? [caption id="" align="alignright" width="238"] Dan Hurley: The smart money's on him - maybe...[/caption] But then, Hurley has quite a lot invested in the business of smartening up your smarts. He's the author of Smarter: The New...

Might an algorithm for predicting success of novels offer hope for the slushpile?
January 10, 2014 | 9:17 am

Scientists have analyzed what goes into a best-selling or poorly-performing novel, and come up with an algorithm that predicts a book’s commercial success with an 84% success rate. Oddly enough, the criteria for commercial success seem to be the same sorts of advice you get from writing coaches and workshops: They found several trends that were often found in successful books, including heavy use of conjunctions such as “and” and “but” and large numbers of nouns and adjectives. Less successful work tended to include more verbs and adverbs and relied on words...

Book Collections and Inheritance: The Quandary
January 3, 2014 | 4:00 pm

book collections and inheritanceOne thing the 'I love the smell of paper' people seldom talk about is what happens to your paper book collection when you die. We've been facing this issue in my family this week, clearing out the home of my grandpa, who just passed away at 90 years of age, over sixty of which he spent in this one house. Disposing of his books is not as straightforward an issue as it might appear. Grandpa was an autodidact of eclectic interests and some of his books are of a very peculiar nature. He was a master woodworker and most of his...

Infographic: A look at Goodreads in 2013
January 2, 2014 | 10:48 am

Check out this neat infographic the folks at Goodreads put together for a glimpse at 2013. ...

Christmas Eve in a bookstore: How it used to be
December 24, 2013 | 12:58 pm

100326VaughnCarrie Vaughn, author of the Kitty Norville werewolf novels, has posted to her blog an amusing tale of the Christmas Eves she used to work in a bookstore, right after college. She explains that she actually loved working Christmas Eve, in spite of the conventional wisdom about holiday-season retail, because last-minute bookstore shoppers were generally very easy to please, and in miraculously helping them find exactly what she needed, she got to “[feel] like Wonder Woman.” Because bookstores are, for the most part, staffed by intelligent, well-read people who want nothing more than to foist vast...

Lucky kids get ‘reading net’ in their parents’ in-home library
December 23, 2013 | 11:26 am

booknetYou know, this isn’t what they usually mean by “reading on the ‘net.” As if I didn’t have enough reasons to be jealous of a family that can afford to keep an in-home multistory library/reading room, such a family went and commissioned an interior design firm to figure out how to make reading in it more appealing to kids. So they spread out a great big hammock-like net to give the kids their own space to flop down and read their books. (More photos at the link.) Hey, forget kids, that would make reading more appealing to this 40-year-old...