"When I started writing my first book in 2003, I’d been blogging for more than three years."
If you enjoy reading Kindle-brand electronic books on your iPhone or iPad, you've surely had moments when the best idea seems to be just erasing all your ebooks. There's something about the shoddy copy-editing and optical-character-recognition errors and lame single jpeg of cover art and terribly rendered illustrations that really puts a spotlight on the bad corporate non-fiction titles you've somehow spent $13 a piece to accumulate "in the cloud." Wouldn't it just be better if Kindle developed a "killer app" that would erase all of this garbage?
"In shipping the latest version, apparently the company's QA testers somehow missed a bug that can delete your entire book collection from [...]
Mike Shatzkin, a "widely-acknowledged thought leader about digital change in the book publishing industry" (his bio), counsels that Brightline, Barry Diller and Scott Rudin's new ebook publishing company with the fun and talented Frances Coady, "would appear to be poised to compete with major publishers for major books." And: "Diller and Rudin, with their Hollywood roots, certainly have access to many of the great story-creators and storytellers." True, but they have two bad choices there in order to compete: explain the finances behind ebooks to authors who are used to being overpaid—"Hey, you get 50%! Of something between zero and infinity dollars!"—or, overpay those authors up front, and [...]
Romance fiction is widely reckoned to be a very low form of literature. Maybe the lowest, if we're not counting the writing at Groupon, or on Splenda packets. Romance fiction: probably the worst! An addictive, absurd, unintellectual literature, literature for nonreaders, literature for stupid people—literature for women! Books Just For Her!
Low or not, romance is by far the most popular and lucrative genre in American publishing, with over $1.35 billion in revenues estimated in 2010. That is a little less than twice the size of the mystery genre, almost exactly twice that of science fiction/fantasy, and nearly three times the size of the market for classic/literary fiction, according to [...]
Perhaps you remember the very excellent "Weekend At Kermie's: The Muppets' Strange Life After Death," published here back in summer of 2011. That has led to a very exciting new Kindle Serial: Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career. And here is a big excerpt over on Longreads today.
Having trouble with iCloud? Confused by CrashPlan? Today's smart tech consumers are getting ready to purchase the sturdiest backup media of all: human DNA. The mad scientists behind a weird new study say that the double helix of genetic code has been successfully used to store all kinds of documents, including audio files and text of Shakespeare's sonnets and "a picture of their office," because most of what we digitally save is silly garbage. (Future archeologists will likely be baffled by the discovery of, say, a flash drive holding nothing but hundreds of weirdly filtered pictures of somebody's entrée with a glass of wine in the background. "These [...]
Alex Pareene's The Rude Guide To Mitt, a brief but thorough history of our next president.
Cris Beam left her mother's home at age 14, driven out by a suburban household of hidden chaos and mental illness. The two never saw each other again. More than twenty years later, after building the happy home life she'd never had as a child, Beam learned of her mother's death and embarked on a quest to rediscover her own history. What follows is an excerpt from her nonfiction account, Mother, Stranger, published today by The Atavist. It is available as an ebook single for the Kindle, The Nook, the iPad or iPhone and other outlets via The Atavist website.
When I found out that my [...]
It's a generally accepted rule that you shouldn't take too seriously anything an author says while promoting his book on the radio. Or at least I thought it was a generally accepted rule. Certainly, Christopher Buckley tells a great anecdote about the time he was asked by a radio host whether, per the author bio on his novel Little Green Men, he really had acted as policy advisor to William Howard Taft. Not only did Buckley happily confirm that he had advised President Taft, but he spent the remainder of the interview discussing the specific advice he'd imparted to the (very) late statesman. Of course Buckley said something ridiculous [...]
I congratulate you, my dear Cornelia, on having acquired the valuable art of writing. How delightful to be enabled by it to converse with an absent friend, as if present! —Thomas Jefferson
She hesitated, and then, impulsively, "I wonder if it would be too much to ask you for your autograph?"
Ralph then attached the Telautograph to his Telephot while the girl did the same. When both instruments were connected he signed his name and he saw his signature appear simultaneously on the machine in Switzerland. —Hugo Gernsback, Ralph 124C 41+ (1911)
On February 27th, Toni Morrison took part in an [...]
I may never stop laughing. Here is some advice for how to accomplish price-fixing, which we have learned here in US v. Apple et al (PDF), the lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice against ebook sellers for conspiracy to fix prices with Apple, so as to undermine Amazon. (Fun fact: the defendants in the case account for a full half of Amazon's ebook revenue.)
"Double-deletion" of email is the apparently common practice of deleting an email in your inbox, then deleting it again in your trash. It also largely doesn't work.
Also, "pro tip": it really helps if you don't keep emails about double-deleting your emails [...]
Blech, it's going to take ages for the thirty-odd different class action suits against Apple and/or various book publishers and Amazon and Barnes & Noble for ebook price-fixing to get consolidated and settled, at which time, in 2018, we all get checks for 30 cents and sign away our rights to further recourse and then keep buying ebooks from this cartel. Meanwhile, there's apparently a smoking gun, or someone who claims they saw a gun smoking, at least: a source who says he or she was privy to the actual alleged strategy for price-fixing. (This person, or others similarly situated, should feel free to email us to tell all.)
Last week, Amazon purchased the company that makes Stanza, the really quite awesome book reader for the iPhone. (It is basically the only way I read books anymore.) But lurking somewhere in their book-selling vendors, particularly Fictionwise, which is now-awkwardly owned by Barnes & Noble, there is a vandal defacing reviews. A wonderful, hilarious, subtle vandal, as this screenshot shows.