So I’ve been reading, working on a marketing ad thingie (I’m all sorts of good with the technical type wording, yup), and trying to find book bindery that will let me tour their facilities and ask all sorts of nosy questions (pesky kid!). I’ve got all sorts of interesting (in my mind anyway), half-finished columns on each of these topics, but that doesn’t do anyone any good for the here in now, so instead go follow some links and some news.
Chris! You've won a copy of Stephanie Gayle's novel, so please email me your address at the email to the right of this post.
Ms. Marta Acosta interviews Ms. HelenKay Dimon (whose Paperback Reader I’m an infrequent contributor to, and to whom I owe one review of Bad Kitty), divorce lawyer who writes romance. Marta, it should be noted, will be hosting a bad classic book trailer contest where the top price will be a copy of Adobe Creative Suite 3. Unfortunately being a judge precludes me from entering.
Kassia Krozser of Booksquare (and Paperback Reader as well) posted a column entitled, “Virtual Worlds for Fun and Writers, Or How to Make the Most Out of Second Life,” on Romancing the Blog about the use of Second Life in helping to build a believable world for your novel. I’ve never played in Second Life, nor (gasp) read Neal Stephenson, but the whole concept sounds worth checking out. Again, this is one of columns that could apply to any writing that requires world building, not just romance.
Are book clubs ruining the reading experience? I certainly heard a lot of people complain about their book club’s choices back when I was a bookseller, but I had just as many people gush madly. To avoid the homogeneity that the Guardian alleges, my friends and I had our own way of doing book club. Specifically everyone brought one or two books that they thought someone else should read. We would then sit around in a circle and “hand sell” the book to the group. After everyone took their turn we’d then trade, so there would be at least one other person in the group that you could discuss the book with next time. This also meant that a lot of different types of books got introduced.
Meanwhile Bookselling This Week offers up its own thoughts on the keys to book club success.
New blog Novelish had a great post a ways back on the dangers of Cover Deja-vu. I know that there are a lot more duplicate covers out there, and if you can think of any let me know in the comments and I’ll put together a complimentary post. See Fuse#8 for some examples.
Back when I was a bookseller, we would often hang little “if you liked X, then check out W, Y, and Z,” lists in the appropriate sections to get people to branch out from the big names and investigate similar new and up and coming authors. These lists not only helped the customer but also booksellers who wound up in sections they were unfamiliar with. If I still had a bookstore, rest assured that I would have kept this list of books that cover Tough Issues for Teens by Little Willow behind the counter and used it to order for the section. Not only does it come with age appropriate ratings, but it is broken down by subject. A must have for anyone trying to build a comprehensive Young Adult section.
Finally, a big, huge, fantastic Congratulations to Ms. Written Nerd who managed to not only do BEA and plan various events in the last month, but she did it all while doing the final planning for her wedding that takes place this week. Happy Wedding and Honeymoon!
Oh and before I forget (as I've been forgetting this for awhile now), here's the final version of The Machine is Us/ing Us by Michael Wesch.