Showing posts with label links. Show all posts
Showing posts with label links. Show all posts

Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday Night Links

For Art History fans, Christopher Moore has been touring the French Art World and giving his interpretation of famous pieces. That and his other french adventures are being covered on his blog. Check it out.

The Social Media for Writers Blog has great advice on how to use Social Media for writers and for publishers (check out the story regarding Chelsea Green and twitter).
Thanks to Midge Raymond for the link.

The Story Siren has a post up regarding Blogging Etiquette. This goes well with the Dear Author column on how to get into book blogging.

Rock Reads, as Flavorwire calls them, were quite popular in our store since we had two booksellers who hand sell the hell out of them. They were all nonfiction though, so it would have been interesting to see how these went over: From Great Jones Street to Garden State: Six Essential Rock Fiction Reads

This makes me smile. I tried taking inventory of what people were reading back when I was on a MAX route, but it mostly consisted of me trying to discern some sort of pattern (a la, the next reading theme will be Asian) or whether or not the books were from my store. This takes it to a whole new (sub) level.

Eric from Pimp My Novel asks "Self-Publishing: Great Idea... or Worst Idea Ever?" I'm not sure I agree with his conclusion because I've seen people who have really made the self publishing model work. It's interesting to note that all of those people have now been picked up by major publishers, but they were also (for the most part) niche books that turned out to have a wider audience than first believed.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween: The Great Pumpkin Link edition

I know that it has been (the living) dead around here lately, for which I apologize for the shallowness of another link post, but in honor of the holiday I wanted to post these links:

In case you were on the fence about buying it, the SF Signal reviews the zombie anthology The Living Dead as well as several other Halloween appropriate books. Somehow I don't think my mustket will protect me...Note to self: Buy crowbar.

In honor of Zombies, how about a little Yuppie Brain Juice from i09. Yum!

While you're having a drink, you can check out Bookgasm's review of Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide to plan your movie viewing during los dias de los muertes (which I believe is the name of a very bad zombie movie I saw on the scifi channel not too long ago, but I could be wrong).

Lynda Hilburn investigates "Why do Women love Vampires."

And finally, here's a little treat from the man made for Halloween--Christopher Walken interprets Poe's "The Raven" (via Bookshelves of Doom)



Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Google me this: Weighing in on the Google Book Search Settlement

I've been in painting lala land the last several days (someday we will be able to move into the house, I know we will), but this had to be posted. An agreement has been reached in the Google Book Search dispute and you can read the actual settlement here.

The O'Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing blog has a round-up of blogging reactions to the the settlement. If you've got the time, it's worth reading how people are taking the news, and how they think it will impact the future of how we read.

Personanondata, Michael Cairns, has posted his own thoughts as well.

Brave New World refers to it as the Great Book Bank Robbery?

The digitalist coins the word Googlezon in Googlezon: Good or Bad?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Book stripping

Colleen Lindsay of the Swivet has a link to J. Steven York article (on a bookstore who loved their books so much that they wouldn't strip them for returns) as well as an explanation of the book-stripping.

My own explanation on stripped books (from 2005, yikes!) can be found here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Entering the SciFi Zone

The Science Fiction Genre has been a hot topic on the interwebs these last few days. To catch you up:

First we have io9s Why Science Fiction Still Hates Itself--a look at science fiction shows on tv and their attempts to distance themselves from their genre.

Next we have a the SF Signal's response in Fear and Loathing in Science Fiction.

SF Signal follows up with a round up of links and an overview on the Borders' decision not to stock as many Scifi authors and titles in Do You Care if Borders Doesn't Stock All Science Fiction Books?.

Here is my take on the Borders decision: SciFi probably isn't the only section affected. Their new concept stores are based on the idea of fewer titles to allow for more face outs. More face outs means a better chance at that title catching a browser's eye, but it also means there is not as much shelf space for other titles and authors, especially stock that may run one or two books per store.

This doesn't stop people from special ordering a book for in store pick up. I've read that booksellers are saying they can't order the books in, but personally, I read that as booksellers can't order books in to put on the shelves. If you want a Tobias Buckell title, they can special order it for you in the store or you can set it up via their website. If they show a high number of special orders then they might change their mind about a particular title. I could be wrong--I have been before and will be again--and these titles might not show up even on the website, but it is worth a try.

And is there a moratorium against ordering SciFi on all the stores? That depends on the management. If you've got a bookseller who thinks they can really hand-sell a title, it’s up to the manager whether or not they order in the book be it from the warehouse or from Partners West, etc. While big box stores don't specialize to the level of the independents you do have to know your customer base. We were crazy about ordering specifically for our clientele at my old store, and we had the sales numbers to back it up.

Borders is making a business decision, but if a particular store can prove the stock is necessary to not miss out on the business (e.g. you are the Borders in Gregory Frost's home town), then an argument could be made to stock a title or author on a case by case basis. Lord Tophet, for example, is available on the Borders website.

This is not a defense of the Borders decision, so much as a perspective. Do I agree with the decision? Not in the way it has been phrased, a bookstore is there to sell books, and the best bookstores know their customers. As a company Borders has a tendency to forget that by simplifying everything down to price per item, upselling at the register, and other numbers that forget about the very human aspect of bookselling. The best booksellers are people who love books and know how to talk books to other people. The best booksellers have titles that they would walk across hot coals to hand-sell--to convert the non-reader to whatever the bookseller loves.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hodge Podge Links

Stephen King talks about what makes "Manfiction," although I know a lot of women who read these books as well.

readergirlz has been celebrating YALSA Teen Read week all week with Night Bites, and tonight they are hosting a fit of fantasy. Go chat with Holly Black, Ted Naifeh, Dia Calhoun and Tamora Pierce at the readergirlz Forum on MySpace.

Wendy the SuperLibrarian has an interesting post up on publishing, the economic crisis and how it is affecting librarians.

For those of you writers who feel that despite being successful you've never done your best, apparently that is a good thing.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Just in time for Halloween



Available through PartnersWest.


In Honor of Halloween: Zombies and links

The Zombie Apocalpyse...in Legos because Lego Zombies really were the final frontier. While you're hanging at i09 you can also figure out if you'll survive a real zombie apocalpse (because while you definitely be able to out run the legos, books and movies in recent years have let me to believe that the real things are a bit faster.

Free books, Books for the presidential campaign and more

Huh, I thought I had posted this a long time ago (read: a week), but just discovered it my drafts folder. Ah, well, here you go:

In honor of the election season, any indecision you may have can be laid to rest by checking out "6 Schience Fiction Classics to Help You Choose the Next President"

For book lovers everywhere, you can check out "Interesting Inscriptions" from famous writers at Abe Books.

Cory Doctorow is offering up his newest book Content for free. Unlike his other works, this is filled with the nonficiton pieces he's written over the years. What's even better is that readers have created different formats of the book which are all available at his site. Go,Read!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Different Take on the "End of Books"

Not everyone thinks its the publishing apocalypse, it seems. Dennis McDonald over at Social Media Today blogs on Why Books Will Survive.

Why?

Economics may change, societal preferences for news consumption may change,
but the need to communicate ideas with enough organization and detail to provide
the basis for thought and reflection remains.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Links: Copyright in the News

A friend and I were discussing the comic and book industries which eventually led to the discussion to the changing nature of copyright. She believes that the future of the creative arts will lie with s/he who creates the intellectual property. I believe we're going to have to come up with a less antiquated way to license and sell that intellectual property to make that work. While I've previously posted the link on the Lenz v. Universal suit, here are some other court cases you should be aware of:

  • A translation of the Lexicon Ruling from A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea cozy.
  • Penguin wins a reversal on the Steinbeck ruling.
  • Earlier this year a judge ruled that the heirs of Jerome Siegel were entitled to part of the copyright of Superman (rights that were sold for $130).

Note: Jerome Siegel's case was not unique, Jack Kirby did not have rights to many of the characters he created for Marvel. Even today, my comics knowledgeable friend says, there are comic book companies whose contracts strip the writer/creator of all rights to their characters.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Wednesday Links

Sarah Weinman has a really great discussion/explanation of imprints going on at Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind. See:

Publisher Imprint Report Card, Part I

And

Publisher Imprint Report Card, Part II

(To which I must confess, that Imprints drove me nuts as bookseller and still have the power to confuse me today.)

JA Konrath debunks “The Myth of the Good Book.”

Penguin has created its own "Peguin Authors Guide to Online Marketing." It's a large PDF so careful about clicking if your downloading speeds are, shall we say, insufficient. The guide has some very useful information in it, but it also lingers a bit in some unnecessary areas. I'll blog more on this later.

Just in case you missed it everywhere else, Cory Doctorow on why "Publishers should have a /covers directory." One of the arguments against this, in the comments focuses on the image rights and whether or not publishers have said rights to display without payment. This got me to thinking how the whole rights system when it comes to cover art is very last decade. With so much focus given to online marketing a cover is necessary for the process. If bloggers can't find the image from the publisher they'll just get a poorer version from Google or Amazon, circumventing the system. Sure, they could be hit with a take down notice, but wouldn't the use of the cover by a blogger constitute fair use if said blogger wasn't making a profit? Where do you draw the line?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Links at last

I thought I would catalogue these even if no one is still around.
  • Kassia Kroszer of the ever wise Booksquare discusses the demise of the Los Angeles Times Book Review and what that really means to readers in: Once More With Feeling: The LATBR Publishes Its Last. (You may have also seen her last night discussing this on News Hour with Jim Lehrer.)
  • New search site of interest: http://www.cuil.com/ was created by former Google engineers. I have no idea if it actually has a better or more accurate search function, but for an author (or anyone else) here's another way to find out what people are saying about you.



(For example: Here's what it looks like if you search Bookseller Chick)



  • Deidre Knight of the Knight Agency has been named Agent of the year by the Romance Writers of America (info: GalleyCat.) Congrats to a wonderful woman who definitely deserved it.


  • From A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy comes a thoughtful discussion regarding the New York Times article: Literacy Debate: R U Really Reading? To which I say, "What she said." I've known some incredibly literate fanfiction writers with Ph.Ds as well as some incredibly illiterate ones.


  • For your amusement: A pictorial editorial on the people who say they have read Stephen Hawking's A Brief History





  • And if you are in the Greater Portland, OR area and you are looking for Tuesday night entertainment, then you might want to check out these free movies:


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fun with Answers (and Links)

Keep the commentary coming on the “Blogging to Build Readership: Does It Work?” thread. I’m compiling my thoughts into something coherent that I’ll hopefully post later today or tomorrow. For those of you who’ve already shared your opinions, here’s a little something to keep you busy:

The Inkwell Bookstore Blog is looking for answers to the following questions:

As a bookstore employee/owner, what does your store do to attract a crowd?

And as a bookstore shopper, what sorts of things do you look for in the stores that you frequent?

Follow this link over and give them your answer. Maybe they’ll be able to co-op the idea into something that will work for their customer base. Go and spread your book-luvin’ knowledge.

Since the last link was to a blog, and we’re in the middle of discussing blogging in reference to how it affects an author’s readership, be sure to check out Coding Horror’s Thirteen Blog Clich├ęs. I freely admit that I’m bad about the apologizing and a few other things on the list (and by few I mean several), but I defend my “excessive blog roll” as it is meant to be used by y’all to do more research on your field. At least that’s excuse I’m sticking with.

Thanks to one of my fellow DPI grads, I’ve started following Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 Blog. Joe comments on a wide variety of areas that affect the industry and gives some great advice. I’m still mulling over his thoughts about e-subscriptions for magazines. PW allows subscribers to read the magazine online, but I only got a chance to play with one copy before my subscription ran out. Since I was reading it on the large (overly so, in my opinion) computer screen they provided us at the bookie job, reading wasn’t an issue, but with my laptop screen? I don’t know.

Through Joe I discovered Lori Cates Hand’s blog Publishing Careers, which is probably a bit more interesting to me than it is to you as it is billed as “An online "informational interview" for college students, new graduates, and career changers interested in knowing what a job in publishing is like and how they can get one.” Still, you can never learn enough about the industry you’re working in.

Awhile back when I was doing research on whether or not to move this blog, I ran across this breakdown of blogging software that I thought I should share. I don’t know how up-to-date it is given the changes different blogging sites have instituted, but it is a good resource if you’re thinking of trying something new.

In the realm of pure fun, go find a picture of you and your significant other (or significant something) and generate your own romance novel cover.

The cardboard Mr. Nelson pictured with me here was made possible by the good people at Fulcrum Publishing (and my DPI roommate who took the picture) who are responsible for Willie Nelson’s newest book On the Clean Road Again, which discusses Willie’s thoughts on Bio-diesel.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The “Just the Links, Ma’am” Edition

I see that some of you are having fun with Google Analytics. Good for you. I’ll put up the information regarding the other programs on the column soon. In fact, renovations and redecorating sound like something to do in between sending out cover letters and resumes. While I’m focusing on that, and lining up more goodness for this blog, here’s something to keep you occupied.

The Smart Bitches have a very informative interview up with three authors on the subject of making and using book trailers to advertise your book. Though the authors are all represent the Romance genre the advice they pass along and their thoughts on the book trailer subject are applicable to all. I especially agree with Tony McGee Causey’s advice to make use of the lower cost options around you, such as using grad students in theatre and film programs or connections through friends. Within two degrees of my friend group I know several actors, graphic designers, directors and film editors and I also happen to live a little over ten blocks away from the Art Institute where many budding artists attend. We’re all trying to make a name for ourselves doing something, and I know many people are willing to do something for less money if it allows them to build their portfolio.

Speaking of book trailers, don’t forget about Marta Acosta’s contest for the Best and Worst Book Trailer of a Classic Novel, which now has a trailer all its own. The deadline has been extended to September 15th. First prize is Adobe Creative Design Suite 3 Premium Pro.

Nephele Tempest of the Knight Agency breaks down Best-sellers vs. bestsellers.

Booksquare has a post up relating to book trailers, word of mouth and all other forms of reaching a reading public in, “Reaching Readers: The Door-to-Door Theory.”

Jessica at the Written Nerd posts her own thoughts on America’s reading habits.

Just a heads up to all you interested in the Bookselling World, the ABA (American Booksellers Association) has a blog called the ABA Omnibus, “a regular update on bookselling, retail, authors, culture, technology, and…”

Also of interest, Bookselling This Week has an article on Booksellers Who Blog highlighting the aforementioned Written Nerd among others.

In “Me, Me, It’s All About Me!” news, I’ve seen my name in print (and it is a glooooorious thing that will probably never happen again). I received my copy of The New Writer’s Handbook 2007 from Scarletta Press, in which my blog essay “Your Gateway Drug” appears. The book also contains essays from amazing folks like Neil Gaiman, Rosina Lippi, Jane Yolen, Erica Jong, Lynn Viehl, and Linda Sue Park (among others who are old hands at seeing their name in print). Now that all the visiting members of my family have left town, I’ll hopefully get a chance to sit down and read it.

My precioussssssssss.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Links About Town

Sorry for the radio silence. I’ve got two lovely notebooks full of notes just waiting to be turned into columns on the publishing industry. The Institute continues to be wonderful, but just so you don’t get the impression that I’ve been slacking here are a few links involving me, things of interest, and frequent commenters here at BS.

Proof of my non-slacker status:

My column “The Proper Care and Feeding of Booksellers (and How It Can Work for You)” is up over at Romancing the Blog. The column is not genre specific (for those of you who break out in hives at the thought of being called Romance) and continues my campaign to get authors to bring food when bribing booksellers.

My review of 13 Little Blue Envelopes, a young adult novel by Maureen Johnson, is up at Paperback Reader.

Things of Interest:

Booksquare has a very interesting column up called, “The World is Not Flat,” in which she discusses the theories raised by Andrew Keen’s book, The Cult of the Amateur. Booksquare focuses mainly on Keen’s argument that “Keen’s primary argument seems to be that the Web 2.0 revolution is destroying the guardians of Old Media,” and whether or not this is a bad thing. I find the discussion interesting when compared with the comments Scott Manning, of Scott Manning and Associates, made when he taught our class on publicity. Among other points, he talked about the blending of New Media and Old, and how the best publicity campaigns use both to build momentum. Newspapers pick up internet trends, publicists use the internet to target their niche markets and forward on print articles, and discussions evolve from both forms in both forms. Thoughts?

Since I’ve posted a link to a review, it seems only right to also link to Book/Daddy as he highlights Gail Pool’s book, Faint Praise: The Plight of Book Reviewing in America. An example of Web 2.0 examining print without bloodshed.

And in the realm of completely random (when compared to the previous topics under this heading), Bookshelves of Doom has been designing bags featuring old book covers. Let it be the ultimate of your library/bookshopping accessories. I know a couple of people I would buy the Doctor Who bag for.

Cool, non-slacking frequent commenter topics:

Marta Acosta will be hosting an interview with those Smart Bitches Candy and Sarah later today, and among other things they’ll be discussing “blog vs. print reviewers, romance and genre fiction, gender in writing, [and] their feelings about humor.” A wide range of topics for all.

The Written Nerd continues to outline her dream bookstore, and I must say I love her vision. Brooklyn will be lucky to have it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Little Me Content, Lots of Links

Via Shelf Awareness, O’Reilly—the lovely people who put on the great conference everyone was talking about*—now has a publishing blog to discuss how “technology is transforming publishing.” I must read for everyone wanting to discuss the newest innovations.

From A Chair, A Fireplace and A Tea Cozy, I got this link to Directory Aviva’s 12 Important U.S. Laws Every Blogger Needs To Know. Since I’m not a lawyer I cannot testify to the veracity of this information, but I would love to hear from someone who is. Aviva does a great job of laying out the guidelines in manner that makes them easy to follow (or at least make you realize what you are willing to ignore).

Booksquare talks about how the publishing industry can save money. Should I be taking notes to bring up in class?

I can’t remember where I read about this first (so we’ll use the Galleycat article instead), but this story just makes me happy. Yeehodi.com, the “website for hardcore hep cat swingers,” rallied around Frankie Manning’s memoir, Frankie Manning: Ambassador of the Lindy Hop, and created a video of his footwork to urge people to buy the book so that Frankie would be #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list on his birthday. Not only is this a great example of the targeted marking that MJ Rose talked about in her interview, but look how happy he looks in all the video clips! I guess it is true, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing… Happy belated birthday, Frankie.

Straight from Marta Acosta’s blog, here’s the skinny on the Classics book trailer contest she’s hosting for all you aspiring and professional book trailer producers out there:

BOOK TRAILER CONTEST: Okay, I've figured out the rules for the Best & Worst Book Trailer of a Classic Novel Contest.

First Prize: Adobe Creative Design Suite 3 Premium, professional design package.

Second Prize: $300 Gift Certificate to Major Store (winner can select from list)

Honorable Mentions: $50 Amazon Gift Certificate (two winners)

Contestents may submit either a “best” version of a book trailer of a classic novel, or a “worst” version of a trailer. For the purposes of this contest, a classic was written by someone who is dead or doing a good imitation of being dead (i.e., J.D. Salinger).

Trailers must be 2:00 minutes or less.

Contestants must state whether they are submitting as an amateur or professional, and will be judged accordingly. Entries will be scored for creativity, design, and appeal to target audience for the best trailers; and for creativity and humor for the worst trailer.

Contestants are allowed to submit up to four entries.

Submissions must be posted on YouTube with “MA Contest” in the title. For example, “MA Contest: Best David Copperfield Trailer,” or “MA Contest: Worst Huckleberry Finn Trailer.” The links must be sent to: contest@martaacosta.com.

Judges are:

Michael Gough, Adobe Vice President

Ron Hogan and Sarah Weinman of GalleyCat

Candy Tan & Sarah Wendell, Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels

Linsey, aka, Bookseller Chick

Contest runs through July 31. Winners will be announced on August 14.

All patently offensive (racist, pornographic, misogynistic, tediously insane…you know who you are so don’t waste our time) entries will be rejected.

It’s a pleasure to be in such illustrious company.

Rosina Lippi, the author of the Wilderness series under the name Sara Donati, is running two contests at the moment, but one really highlights an issue many authors and readers are facing in the book world. To get the word out (and to get her book ordered in) about her new paperback release, Tied to the Tracks, Rosina is having readers interested in winning a $50 gift certificate to Amazon and a pile o’books do the following:

Between now and July 5, either visit or call a local bookstore (that is, a brick-n-mortar store, near where you live or work). Once you've got the attention of a human being, ask:

1. When Tied to the Tracks will be released in trade paper;
2. When they expect to have it in the store;
3. How many copies will be available.

She then asks for the readers to either leave this information in the comments on her blog (or on their own blog and just link to hers).

Go read the comments. It’s horrifying, but not very surprising that a great number of the stores called have booksellers that don’t know the lay down date (otherwise known as the street date) or cannot (or will not) tell whether the book will be on the shelves. Part of the reason stores are hesitant to part with the information on how many books are coming in is because there have been a lot of schemes in the past—always with political books it seems**—to inflate numbers. People either order in books that they never pick up in the assumption that they’ll then be put out on the floor (they won’t be), or they bombard the store with calls hoping that they book will then be ordered in because there looks like a lot of interest.

Still, for the midlist author just trying to get their name out there, this might be helpful increasing the store’s book order from one to more, which means it is worth the effort. You can’t face out a book if there is just a single copy.

Alison Morris of Shelf Talker has a great post up called, “See that Galley? Sell it to me,” in which she bemoans the frustrations of receiving galleys with no synopses. She says, “Just as books have to sell themselves to customers, galleys have to sell themselves to booksellers.”

Hell yeah, sister bookseller. That’s what I’ve been complaining about for years. I hated, hated, HATED when I would get galleys with absolutely no information that was helpful to me. I don’t want to hear that this is the next Da Vinci Code or Historian, just sell me the story on its own merits! If you want to throw in something about how this will appeal to readers who liked X and Y novel then that’s wonderful and very helpful. That will stick in my head down the road when I’m trying to find a book that someone who liked both X and Y liked to read.

Powells has posted Bitch Magazine’s review of She’s Such a Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology and Other Geeky Stuff edited by Charlie Anders and Annalee Newitz. Behold the Geekery love.

Read Roger rants on the Mike Ford’s pay as you go novel idea.

The Readergirlz July issue is out and highlighting Melissa Schorr’s Goy Crazy.

In other YA news, I’ve just been alerted to the existence of Book Divas, the “leading book club for YA and college readers.” Although new to me, the Divas have been around in some form or another since 2002, and were recently purchased by Sinuate Media. If you have some time, click around the website to read different interviews with YA authors (they will be hosting a visit from E. Lockhart July 7th through the 21st), check out their contests and look at their message board and blog.

And that’s all for now. I need to go do homework and clean my house so it is not a wreck for me to come back to in August.

*What’s a girl gotta do to get invited to these things?

**I believe there have also been a few instances with non returnable titles, but I can’t think of a title off the top of my head. Maybe these are the equivalent of the scary tales that your parents told you to keep you in line.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Making the Rounds (A Linkalicious Monday)

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.

John Lustig of Last Kiss fame became Unshelved enough to contribute to their Sunday bookclub with Summer Moonshine by P.G. Wodehouse gone comic retro. Someone alert Bully!

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.

From Bookshelves of Doom, an author was beat up by his neighbors because his novel hit a little too close to home in his community in France. Truth, it is stranger than fiction more often than not.

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.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Free books for Teens

I'm deep in pony-land (the land of people who do not listen and get angry about for no reason--not to be confused with My Little Pony Land, the place of sparkles and giggles), but I thought I'd post this news while I have a chance.

Kris Reisz posted on his site that Simon Pulse is offering ARCs and free novels to teens in return for getting their opinion. If you know a teen who might be interested they can download the application form here. Unfortunately it does not look like adults who like to read YA novels are allowed to apply.

Phooey.

Back to pony land I go.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Post BEA (Sausage) Links Edition

My involvement in the wild and weird world of horse racing precluded me from going to BEA this year, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t do some book related activities this weekend. Nope, I spend quite a bit of time clicking away at work on different book websites trying to collect the best and most interesting list of book news. Of course, just as I’m about to copy and paste said list into a tidy little column file I get a call from an angry customer who dislikes the hair of one of our main announcers and wishes to lodge a complaint, causing me to forget everything I’ve just learned. In an attempt to avoid this repeated forgetfulness, I’ve just started keeping a running link list. There’s no guarantee that I’ll look at the link later and remember why I saved it, but it gives a bit of a clue, at least.

There are two new book advertising/compilation sites on the ‘net these days: Early Ink and Romantic Advances.

Early Ink is a website open to all genres (fiction and nonfiction) that allows authors/publishers to buy space for their upcoming titles as well as excerpts and links to various sites. Readers can then leave their comments on the upcoming titles as well as link back to the page from their own sites. Information on how to register your book and the price of a monthly preview can be found here.

Romantic Advances (still in Beta) is for upcoming Romance novels (or books with romantic elements) run by several romance bloggers. There is currently no price to submit your information to the website, but they may be offering advertising space in the future. The site is currently a work and progress and more features may be added at a later date.

Both sites offer you a chance to learn about new books that will be hitting the shelves soon as well as another arena to promote your book and up your presence on the internet (something I feel is important).

We have a new (relatively speaking as she’s been around since March) bookseller on the blog block in Jenn Brissett’s A Bookseller’s Tale. I particularly enjoyed her insights and additions in this post to Melissa Lion’s “Bookselling this Week” article “How to Talk to a Bookseller: A 10-Step Guide for Authors,” but she also does a great job highlighting books and other book news that I would not have heard of otherwise.

Oh, and after you’re done checking Jenn’s blog out, skip on over to The Stealth Geek, the blog of an anonymous scifi/fantasy publishing type. For those of you who don’t know what a Steath Geek is, here is a handy definition from The Stealth Geek FAQ sheet* that I found via google: A Stealth Geek (SG) is a person who has many of the internal qualities of geekiness yet who does not look or act like the stereotypical geek. Publishing commentary with a large dose of sarcasm, just like I like it.

Speaking of blogs, why did it take me so long to learn about the Rap Sheet? Formerly a column in January Magazine, the Rap Sheet is now a blog devoted to “information about new and forthcoming books, special author projects, genre innovations, and distinctive crime-fiction-related Web sites.”

Since we just focused on a thriller/crime-related blog, it seems only right to point you towards this article from 2004 by Lee Child called “Thriller Sidekicks.” Should someone tell Mr. Child that in movies at least, sidekicks have a high mortality rate for this very reason? You can’t have someone who outshines your star.

Let’s trade this thriller geekery, for something a little more scientific, shall we? Some of you already know that I have a degree in Biology, and while I realize long ago that I wasn’t cut out to be a doctor (I require a certain amount of sleep to resist giving in to my day to day homicidal tendencies) science in general is really damn interesting. So when I find something that celebrates not only science, but women scientists, I’ve got to spread the word. She’s Such a Geek is the companion blog for the book She’s Such a Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology and Other Nerdy Stuff edited by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders*. It’s filled all sorts of good nerdy (and girl nerdy) stuff for people who loves strange facts and interesting science figures.

Katherine Taylor, author of The Rules for Saying Goodbye and the woman who almost stumped me with her Lit Nerd list of books on the Monster Recommendations list, is the author/blogger in residence over at the Elegant Variation this week. Go check her out for Lit recs and Lit news as well as thoughts on the everyday.

Now because I’ve traded emails with Betsy Bird of Fuse #8 fame, every once in awhile she pops up in my Gmail chat friends list. Normally her messages have to do with work, but the other day there was a link to the blog “Children’s Music that Rocks” by fellow NY librarian Warren Truitt. I’m like Dennis the Menace with a button, give me a link and I have to follow it, often to my own detriment, but this time I was pleasantly surprised. If you’re a parent looking for children’s music “doesn’t make adults want to rip their hair out” this is the blog for you. It also includes recommendations of rock and roll themed or based books for children.

Finally, my nomination for best BEA blogging (noting, of course, that I wasn’t there so my opinion means nada) goes to Bully Says: Comics Ought to be Fun. Any blog narrated by—and involving cute pictures of—a cute little stuffed animal bull in costume has my vote. Not only does Bully have some nice thoughts on different comic booths, but he seems to mingle well with others. I hope that Norton knows what a little goldmine they have and they make him the publisher mascot. If publisher’s even have mascots that is…

That’s enough links from me, I think. How about you? Have any links you feel like passing along?

*Now updated with the new (and up to date) link!

**Charlie, I'm so sorry. I have no idea why I typed Charles instead of Charlie, other than my own inability to think in the morning. Thanks for the heads up on the name typo and many many sorries.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Working on the chain gang

I’ve had this word document open on my work computer waiting for inspiration to strike in between phone calls. Part of the distraction has been the blood stained copy of Chelsea Cain’s novel Heartsick sitting next to me (Sylla nicely sent me a copy that was floating around her backroom). Part of it is that this is Memorial Day weekend for most people, while today is my “Monday.” And still another part is that my brain is just preoccupied with matters of horseracing, customer interaction, and the total disbelief that often fills my days here that people wager this much money on a sport they maybe only have a 33% (or 28% depending on where you look up the stats) of seeing some kind of a return on.

I think you have a better chance of picking out a bestseller (wasn’t there a story on that not too long ago in the Times?)…or maybe you don’t. Depends on your definition of bestseller, I guess.

Y’all seem to feel the way I do on TPO issue, which is nice to know. Almost all my purchases lately have been in the Trade size because it fits in my purse perfectly.

The Written Nerd has a wonderful write up on how she feels about book reviews on her site. Definitely something to check out.

Colleen of Chasing Ray zeroed in on the whole NBCC maggot fiasco with a well-written query about how the post got through in the first place.

And I wish that I could provide some of bookish thoughts to finish this off, but it’s five minutes ‘til I’m out of here and there’s a drinks at a friend’s house calling my name.

I’m sure I’ll be much more bookish tomorrow, or at least wrapped up in a book. Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend if you don’t get back here until Tuesday!