A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘popular literature

[FORUM] What have you been reading?

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Do you read fiction or non-fiction, books or shorter texts, printed material or online?


Written by Randy McDonald

May 28, 2016 at 11:59 pm

[WRITING] “It’s a Writer’s Market”: Bloomberg Businessweek on e-publishing

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Karen Angel’s Bloomberg BusinessWeek article is thought-provoking. Is this an accurate depiction of the situation facing writers? (Also: How do you become a midlist author in the first place?)

For Greg White, the last straw came when his publisher forgot to ship copies of his book to the launch party last October. It was just one in a series of lost marketing opportunities, says White, co-host of the Food Network show Unique Sweets. So he decided to take his book back. After getting his contract canceled, he turned to the editorial marketplace Reedsy to redesign The Pink Marine, his memoir about life as a gay serviceman. The author, who lives in Santa Monica, Calif., formed his own imprint, AboutFace Books, and cut a distribution deal with Ingram Content Group. “Five years ago, self-publishing was a scar,” White says. “Now it’s a tattoo.”

A new generation of online editorial services and self-publishing platforms is fueling that change in perception. The upstarts offer skills and services that used to be available only through traditional publishing, plus favorable royalty splits. They also allow authors to retain the copyright to their work. The array of offerings is spurring some writers to leave their publishing houses—particularly midlist authors whose books receive scant marketing support. Some are also using the new services to put out e-book versions of their out-of-print titles.

Janice Graham used Amazon.com’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform to release digital versions of her five novels, including 1998’s Firebird, a New York Times best-seller. For a novel in progress, she hired an editor through Reedsy and plans to self-publish unless a publisher offers her a good deal. “I’m not so interested in the prestige of being published by a traditional publisher at this point,” says Graham, who lives in Florence, Italy. “What I’m interested in is maximizing sales.”

Reedsy is a community of about 450 handpicked publishing professionals available for hire. The two-year-old London-based company offers software that allows authors to collaborate with editors without having to e-mail manuscripts back and forth. Reedsy co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Nataf says he had an epiphany when he got his first Amazon Kindle e-reader: “The barriers to publishing had been removed.”

Written by Randy McDonald

May 28, 2016 at 10:15 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Centauri Dreams continues the debate over whether KIC 8462582 has been dimming.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the collection, organized by the Romanian Orthodox Church, of three million signatures against same-sex marriage.
  • The LRB Blog considers racism in old works of fiction.
  • The NYRB writes on the handles of Wittgenstein.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes a migration of Chinese prostitutes to Africa.
  • Towleroad notes the defense by an Arkansas television station of a gay reporter who works there.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy reports on a poll suggesting Native Americans do not care much about the name of the Washington Redskins.
  • Window on Eurasia warns that Mongolia’s dams of rivers feeding into Lake Baikal might kill the lake, and notes the Russian economic crisis is making the military more attractive to job-seekers.
  • Arnold Zwicky shares photos of three native flowering plants of California.

[NEWS] Some Monday links

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  • Bloomberg notes Canadian-born Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s criticism of Brexit, looks at the continuing exodus of Somalis from their homeland, and looks at an unusual crisis with the creditors of Turkey’s central bank.
  • CBC looks at the human cost of the one-child policy in China, reports on Maxine Bernier’s decision to run for the Conservative Party leadership, notes that many cell phones have their FM radio chips turned off, and looks at the undue criticism of Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau for wanting help.
  • The Globe and Mail notes the lack of interest among Canadians in radically changing Canadian content rules.
  • MacLean’s looks at Québec’s careful policy on the sharing economy and shares Kathryn Borel’s interview with Anne Kingston.
  • National Geographic writes about the intelligence of birds.
  • The National Post notes a Washington State mall’s decision to accept Canadian dollars on par on holiday weekends.
  • Universe Today reports on a Japanese 3-D map of galaxies stretching billions of light years that confirms Einstein’s theory of relativity.
  • The Verge notes the compelling postmodernist fictions written by Google’s AI.
  • Wired reports about the genesis of Eurekalert.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

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  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about intermittent fasting as a weight loss method.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the Ukrainian victory in Eurovision.
  • Language Hat notes one Persian monarch’s problems with getting good translators.
  • Language Log looks at Singlish, the Singaporean variant of English.
  • Marginal Revolution compares tax fraud in Sweden and Italy.
  • Neuroskeptic reports on interesting brain scans conducted of someone having a mystic religious experience.
  • Window on Eurasia notes one brutal economic prediction for Russia, projecting sustained decline with only major cities resisting.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at homoerotic photos of men dressed as unicorns.

[PHOTO] Ten photos from TCAF, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival

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Early yesterday morning I went to see the Toronto Comic Arts Festival with a friend. We went early, so as to avoid the crowds, but even at 10:30 there were a lot of crowds. There were also a lot of exhibitors: This year, TCAF not only covered three floors of the Toronto Reference Library, it stretched a north a block on Yonge Street to include the Masonic Temple as a venue, as well as other locations scattered the length of Bloor downtown.

TCAF, first floor #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary

Looking up #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary

Looking down #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary

Looking across #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary

The crowds #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary

In the Appel Salon #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary

From the third floor #toronto #tcaf #torontoreferencelibrary

I have passed by the Masonic Temple many times, but I had never actually gone inside until yesterday. The space’s most recent incarnation as a theatre and performance space are obvious.

Stage, 2 #toronto #tcaf #masonictemple #stage

From the balcony #toronto #tcaf #masonictemple #balcony

One piece of art I quite liked came from Adrian Alphona‘s sketchbook, at his display at the Masonic Temple, of the first issue of Ms. Marvel. I’ve seen these pages, of Kamala Khan struggle down streets filled with terrigen mist, before in print. Seeing the delicate ink drawings was something else entirely.

Ink drawing, Ms. marvel #1 #toronto #tcaf #masonictemple #msmarvel #adroanalphona

[NEWS] Some Saturday links

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  • Bloomberg notes that Alberta’s oil camps are set to revive quickly and looks at Uruguay’s venture onto global caviar markets.
  • Bloomberg View argues that the US military buildup in Europe is unnecessary and talks about reducing urban inequality.
  • CBC notes controversy over forcing women to wear high-heeled shoes and considers the import and scale of Russia’s doping scandal.
  • The Globe and Mail interviews prolific author James Patterson.
  • MacLean’s notes how the Parti Québécois’ cycles of self-destruction hurt Québec’s politics.
  • The National Post reports of a FBI raid of an Orthodox school in New York’s Kiryas Joel.
  • Wired argues California’s drought is likely permanent and notes the impending mass introduction of electronic paper.

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