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Posts tagged The Guardian

Authors add pressure on UK government over school libraries
July 16, 2014 | 12:35 pm

school librariesDozens of British authors and others have written an open letter to the UK Department of Education calling for action in the wake of a report from the Libraries All Party Parliamentary Group, entitled The Beating Heart of the School, urging that the Department should supervise proper standards of services in school libraries. “Every secondary school in the UK should have a good library” declared the report. Published in The Guardian, the letter states: We – authors and illustrators, teachers, librarians, parents and others – are keen that this recommendation does not just become another piece of wishful thinking, and call on the Department...

Guardian takes up UK Society of Authors statement: Traditional publishing terms no longer fair or sustainable
July 13, 2014 | 1:41 pm

SoA logoAfter UK Society of Authors head Nicola Solomon wrote to TeleRead in the wake of the release of the UK Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) report on author earnings, The Guardian picked up the same statement from her to endorse the SoA view that "the terms many publishers are demanding are no longer fair or sustainable." And this time The Guardian, hitherto a more than somewhat anti-Amazon publication, only mentioned Amazon briefly and in positive terms, in the context of self-publishing. The Guardian mostly covers the same ground that Solomon already went over in her Q&A with TeleRead, and the arguments also covered here,...

The Guardian: Big Publishing’s most useful idiot
June 26, 2014 | 4:25 pm

Save Big MediaIn line with its past inflammatory anti-Amazon screeds, UK daily The Guardian has been weighing into the Hachette vs. Amazon spat with histrionic variations of its own. The latest, sublimely, stating that: "New Amazon terms amount to 'assisted suicide' for book industry, experts claim." The "experts" quoted in this instance are primarily anonymous publishers speaking to The Bookseller. Yes, The Guardian's Alison Flood quotes members of the publishers' club speaking in their favorite house organ as impartial, objective "experts." The "assisted suicide" quote actually comes from The Bookseller editor Philip Jones, who states that Amazon's push towards print-on-demand when publishers can't...

Dumping DRM is not a panacea
June 20, 2014 | 12:23 pm

As I’ve watched the e-book market develop, I’ve gradually lost a good deal of patience with the argument that DRM is the thing keeping people locked into the Amazon Kindle ecosystem. The latest example to pop up comes via Cory Doctorow’s latest column in The Guardian (found via BoingBoing). Doctorow feels Hachette is hoist by its own petard because of the DRM it insists Amazon (and the other e-book stores) use. It’s an old, old argument. And make no mistake, I don’t like DRM myself and would be just as glad if it all went away tomorrow. But Doctorow...

The Guardian names the winner of its first monthly self-published award
June 10, 2014 | 10:25 am

9146LOKgNIL._SL1500_The Guardian announced the first winner of its new monthly self-published book contest. The winner was “Dinosaurs and Prime Numbers,” a debut novel from Tom Moran. On Amazon, the book’s summary reads: “Enter the mind of Walton Cumberfield, an amateur gas and electricity meter-reader who is about to discover a cow that is independent of the space-time continuum. The debut novel by comedian and writer Tom Moran, Dinosaurs and Prime Numbers is like nothing else you'll ever read - beautifully bonkers and bizarrely brilliant. It has to be read to be believed.” But that doesn’t really say a lot about the book....

Top tips on Tweets with the Top Ten Twitter writers
May 28, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Follow TeleRead on Twitter by clicking hereWith all the Jonathan Franzen-style bleating about the grind of promoting yourself through Twitter and other social media, it's worth highlighting an instance when someone sums up what actually works for Tweeting writers. After all, if you're going to be “absolutely coerced into this constant self-promotion,” at least make sure that you're doing it right, yeah? In "10 authors who are brilliant at Twitter," The Guardian Books Blog groups together its pick of the masters (and mistresses) of the new medium. Joyce Carol Oates is one author who need make no apology for Tweeting as well as writing. You could reasonably...

Myindependentbookshop.co.uk isn’t yours. And it’s not a bookshop. And it’s absolutely not independent.
May 28, 2014 | 9:25 am

MyIndependentMoving on from Author Solutions scams, Penguin Random House has hit on another wheeze to attempt to convince the UK that it's the put-upon little guy gamely squaring up to big bully Amazon, in the shape of the new book recommendation community site myindependentbookshop.co.uk. This freewheeling "independent" version of Goodreads asks: "When it comes to finding your next read, nothing beats a personal recommendation. So what if you could show off the books you love and share recommendations with friends, fellow bookworms and even authors – wherever they are. How?" Actually, how readers would normally do it is via Goodreads, or...

The Guardian creates monthly literary prize for self-published authors
April 9, 2014 | 12:30 pm

guardianThe Guardian has created a new monthly literary prize for self-published authors. The newspaper is joining publisher Legend Times to find the best writing from self-published writers. The contest is open to novels written in English (translations also welcome). The submissions will be read by a panel of Legend’s readers, according to The Guardian. Ten titles will be short-listed from submissions and then be read by judges who will pick the monthly winner. The judges include literary agent Andrew Lownie, Legend Press's commissioning editor Lauren Parsons, author Stuart Evers, and HarperCollins author Polly Courtney "We are hoping to be a magnet to find the...

Penguin Random House UK CEO: You’ve never had it so good
April 7, 2014 | 10:25 am

publishersAs interviewed by Jennifer Rankin in The Observer, the Sunday imprint of the UK's Guardian, Tom Weldon, UK CEO of Penguin Random House, has some good things to say about the state of publishing. Good for publishers at least.  He declares that: ""Some commentators say the publishing industry is in enormous trouble today. They are completely wrong, and I don't understand that view at all." To judge from Weldon's comments, and some others quoted by Rankin in the article, publishing has actually managed the transition into the digital era.  "In the last four years, Penguin and Random House have had the...

Guardian stops ebook bashing, details benefits to small publishers
March 19, 2014 | 2:13 pm

small publishers[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="443"] Do it the Caxton way.[/caption] For an organization with an apparent anti-ebook and anti-Amazon animus, The Guardian seems to have had something of a change of heart. A long article in its Guardian Small Business Hub section, by Alison Coleman, under the title "Small publishers are benefiting from changes in the industry," demonstrates the benefits and opportunities of the new post-disruption publishing world for smaller and independent presses. "The world of publishing was once the preserve of very large organisations, huge publishing houses with massive production infrastructures and costs, that kept smaller niche publishers on the fringes, struggling...

The early history of e-books
March 13, 2014 | 11:05 am

Host-by-Peter-James-002The Guardian has taken a look back at early e-books, trying to determine when they began. One example the article points out is a novel called Host, published as a publicity stunt on two floppy disks in 1993. Since the book was about a scientist who downloads his mind into a computer, I imagine it seemed like a natural way to drum up some publicity. The Bookseller reports that London’s Science Museum has accepted the book for display as “the world’s first electronic novel,” but there seems to be some question as to whether that’s really true. As the...

UK publishing and those poor struggling writer people
March 5, 2014 | 8:38 pm

Robert McCrum has posted a very interesting - and inadvertently revealing - article in the UK Observer, Sunday sister of The Guardian, on the financial difficulties of that poor struggling species, the writer. And as longstanding literary editor of The Observer and a writer himself, he should know. And his piece paints a very interesting picture of the publishing industry and a writer's prospects within it, pre and post the great financial crisis of 2008. Just to be clear: I'm not belittling the plight of struggling writers who are trying desperately hard to get a foothold on both the literary and...