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Morning Links: Sue for copyright infringement in advance? Post-Nepal Facebook checkins
May 1, 2015 | 10:13 am

copyrightiPad Still King of Declining(?) Tablet Market (Ink, Bits & Pixels) Apple may be going through several quarters of declining tablet sales, but they're not the only ones. *** Business Musings: Mush Brain (Kristine Kathryn Rusch) I treat my writing like a day job. I think: would I have shown up at my day job feeling as crummy as I do today? The answer is yes. *** Can You Sue For Copyright Infringement Before It's Actually Happened? (Techdirt) It appears that HBO and Showtime have decided to pre-sue two sites that it claims are planning to stream the big Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao boxing match. *** Seven Million...

The other current genre controversy: The David A. Riley feud
April 13, 2015 | 10:25 am

With Sad Puppies already trailing enough dirt around the landscape, I hesitated a long time before eventually deciding to write this up. One reason I hesitated - and also one reason I finally decided to write - is that much of the to-and-fro in this particular spat was done on a no-name basis, with Tweeters and Facebook posters not naming the people concerned. It also doesn't help that one of the main instigators/protagonists was briefly off Facebook - in what I hope wasn't a hack attack motivated by the controversy. And I certainly hesitated because there was right and wrong...

Morning Links: Why I quit Goodreads. Facebook to become publishing platform?
March 25, 2015 | 9:00 am

goodreadsWhy I Quit Goodreads (or, The Bookternet Is Not Safe for Women) (Book Riot) The Kathleen Hale controversy snapped into focus something I had always kind of wondered about: as a woman, putting my views on the internet is an act of risk-taking. *** Rich Kids Use the Internet to Get Ahead, and Poor Kids Use it 'Mindlessly' (Teachers with Apps) According to MarketWatch, Putman said in an interview that most kids have access to smartphones but the poorest ones tended to use the devices “in completely different, mindless ways,” He went on to say, … “for all the wealth generated in the name...

A literary precedent for the blog: the feuilleton
January 21, 2015 | 2:25 pm

For all those writers and pundits who bemoan, à la Jonathan Franzen, the superficiality, triviality, and general lack of gut-busting seriousness of blogs, Facebook, and social media, it might do some good for them to recall one of the most well-tried literary modes of the last two centuries that just happens to bear a strong resemblance to modern online effusions: the feuilleton. And god forbid, it might even qualify as a genuine literary form and precedent. The 11th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica defines it as follows: "FEUILLETON (a diminutive of the Fr. feuillet, the leaf of a book), originally a...

Morning Links: Prices stable post VAT increase. Best book apps of 2014
January 6, 2015 | 9:00 am

vatZuckerberg Launches Book Club (PW) The publishing industry will likely be thankful for one of Mark Zuckerberg's New Year's resolutions. The Facebook founder and CEO, who has over 30 million followers, has launched a new book club as part of a challenge to himself, for 2015, to read a new book every two weeks. *** eBook Prices Stable After VAT Increase (GoodeReader) Many readers were concerned that when the VAT increased on e-Books all over Europe they have to have to pay more. This was not the case as retailers and publishers have helped cushion increase in price, so little has changed. *** On Loving Books...

Will new Facebook user news feed policies restrict authors?
December 3, 2014 | 10:25 am

Facebook fingerA Wall Street Journal article entitled "New Facebook Rules Will Sting Entrepreneurs" on new Facebook restrictions on user news feeds apparently due to come into force in January has already caused a stir in some self-publishing and independent publishing circles, including The Passive Voice. The concern is that the restrictions on how on how much can be promoted or advertised via user news feeds will cut self-published authors and small presses off from a highly important promotional platform. The many kinds of small businesses covered in the WSJ article don't include authors or small publishers, but it's hard to see any...

Blurred lines: Social media and news media feeding into each other
November 19, 2014 | 7:35 pm

On GigaOm, Matthew Ingram expresses fascination with the way that the news media and social media have collided and blurred the lines between each other, in the context of the recent Uber scandal. We’re increasingly seeing major news stories break and grow in social and new media—Twitter, Facebook, blogs—with the traditional media being relatively slow to catch on. Rather than issue press releases, public figures and companies are issuing quick responses via Twitter or Facebook. So is this a good thing or a bad thing? That depends a lot on your perspective. Obviously if you’re...

Writers, here’s how to time your social media self-promotion blitz
November 18, 2014 | 12:25 pm

For those of you writer folks out there who have defied the wrath of Jonathan Franzen and opted for social media self-promotion as a valid way to publicize your latest epic (self-published or otherwise), here's a useful infographic that details the all-important question of when to Tweet or Share. Courtesy of KISSmetrics, you can work out your social media tactics across all the North American timezones, with some data points applicable to other markets as well. For instance, it's fairly obvious that "Most Facebook sharing is done on Saturday" is likely to remain true for most Western markets, although the...

Morning Links: Do you still use your tablet. Should Facebook offer “Pay for Privacy?”
November 14, 2014 | 9:00 am

tabletWhy It's Time for Facebook to Offer a 'Pay for Privacy' Feature (GigaOM) Facebook’s privacy policies are back in the news again, and they reflect a major improvement — to the company’s PR strategy. Otherwise, it’s just the same old deal in which Facebook users agree to hand over more personal information in exchange for the right to use the service for free. *** Can Reading Local Cure my Amazon Addiction? (Book Riot) Here’s my confession. I buy 90% of my books from Amazon (gulp!), even as I diligently link to Indiebound.org on my blog to spur readers to shop indie. *** Do You Still Use...

Simon & Schuster launches social media initiative with Milq … who?
October 8, 2014 | 10:25 am

Simon & SchusterIn a news item that made it all the way to the top slot on Publishing Talk Daily, Simon & Schuster has just demonstrated how totally well it gets this social media stuff by announcing an exclusive book publisher partnership with Milq. That's right: Milq. Yes, you heard it: Milq. In case you're wondering ... um ... Milq who? well, so did I. Never fear, though: "As reported on in an article by Ben Sisario in The New York Times, Milq debuted out of private beta earlier this year with the aim of becoming the front door for how people experience...

Scottish literature after the referendum
September 21, 2014 | 2:29 pm

The referendum on Scottish independence gave Scottish literature, and Scottish culture, greater prominence as a separate force in the English-speaking world than at any time in recent decades. Arguably, that's no less than the post-war generations of writers that have numbered Iain Banks, Alasdair Gray, Edwin Morgan, and Irvine Welsh deserves. But the dissipation of all the hope and optimism of the Yes campaign on September 18th, and the recriminations afterwards against the British establishment, are darkening the mood and cbecking a lot of that impetus. Alasdair Gray himself described the result in Scotland's The Herald as "a great pity"...

Facebook reveals the top 100 books that have stayed with users
September 12, 2014 | 10:25 am

10523932_10152689349753415_6678921836677731688_nIf you logged onto Facebook recently, you may have noticed some of your friends talking about 10 books that stayed with them in some way. They then tagged someone in turn – maybe you – to continue the list. Facebook has brought all the data together from these status updates to show what books have “stayed with” Facebook users. Facebook gathered the data from the last two weeks of August. Here are some of demographics for the people’s whose content was aggregated: The demographics of those posting were as follows: 63.7% were in the US, followed by 9.3%in India, and 6.3% in...

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