Book reviews, new books, publishing news, book giveaways, and author interviews

Bookish links 11 Dec: lending ebooks, social magazines, surprise robots in YA more!

book news Bookish links 11 Dec: lending ebooks, social magazines, surprise robots in YA & more!

RIASS stuff:

The Story Girl and Anne: or why we need more quiet books

Occupational hazards: can writing ruin your love of reading?

Mr Darcy and The Awkward Man: the perils of shyness in literature

Historical Holiday Blog Hop giveaway: Newes from the Dead by Mary Hooper'(open to all)

Other bookish stuff:

Infographic: print books and ebooks can coexist!

Ever wanted to lend your ebooks to your friends? Ownshelf is a new start-up that lets you do just that.'This is one that Im going to be keeping an eye on. Id sign up for the beta, but you know, Facebook. Ugh. Im just a bit tired of sharing all of my personal information, and my friends, with companies.

On turning traditional magazines into social hubs''Our proposition is that what if enrichment isn't the long play,' said Harris. 'What if magazines are really great social networks waiting to be unlocked? Publishers should be able to do this concurrently with whatever else they're doing,' says Jonathan Harris, CEO of netizeen.

An interview with Adam Selzer'I'm one of those YA mid-listers who gets good reviews but sells about six copies per book. All these years of publishing has taught me a valuable lesson: reading is for squares. These days I mostly concentrate on my night job

This is from months back, but I happened across it and thought that it was interesting:'on friends reviewing friends.'But it can be a challenge to observe not reviewing the book of someone you know, or in the year you have your own book out, or when you are one of the few subject matter experts able to review a particular type of book. It is only natural that a book editor will call on you if you areone of only a few people with specialist knowledge of business or sportSome crossover is inevitable.

How to de-risk book publishing'It used to be that having conversations with readers came after publication. But today a book is the outcome of thought leadership, blogging, and conversational leadership. It is the deep, valuable synthesis of a thought leaders vision and understanding. Its paid media, and as such needs to provide something that free media doesnt.'So if you want to know if an author can sell books, search Twitter. Its a good place to start. Im not quite sold on this article. I think that a lean start-up approach: testing a product in its earlier stages by showing it to a test audience, rather than waiting until a book is published to see if its going to work, is a way better option than seeing how many Facebook fans someone has.

Girls who dont know that theyre robotic are the new zombies. Also, this was a Stargate episode.

Every word counts: on profanity.'Profanity has never been far from our lips. Humanity under pressure has always needed release, and crude references to body functions or blasphemous prayers for condemnation have provided a convenient valve. A'neurologic experiment'with college students even demonstrated that the use of profanity can relieve pain. But obviously, context and content are key.

Why magazine apps suck.'Magazines and newspapers are stuck in the old way of doing things. They need to evolveWhat if instead of pushing out all your content on a monthly basis, you released a weekly 'mini' version with new content and live updates as needed? Instead of getting one giant dump of content one time a monthyou'd get four manageable deliveries a monthNo one is saying that every bit of content has to be breaking news. It's not going to be. In fact, most of the best content will be longer-form thought and opinion pieces. Magazines should own this type of content ' they largely did in the era before the web.

The complete story of Harry Potter in eight posters

Interactive art installation encourages writing in library books

Childrens books shouldnt sit still and behave'Children's literature is a place of great experimentation. Like children themselves, it can be hilariously playful and deeply serious. It isn't content to sit on shelves and behave. It is inquisitive, exploratory ' and difficult to categorise. It tells tales of rabbits and ducks, of vampires and zombies, of ordinary kids in ordinary homes, of love and death, and explores the most profound, joyful and troubling aspects of human experience.

The Coffin Factory interviews Jonathan Galassi and Jeff Seroy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.'I think a lot of young agents have come along and realized that their best commercial shot with an author is with his or her first book. That there's a lot of potential upside with an unknown author. That if they have already published one book that hasn't worked, their options are much more limited. Agents aren't always thinking of the long game; they want to make a killing'now. But I think it's very rare that an author actually publishes his or her best book on the first try. So the game is a little bit counter to the way we publish.


  1. That interview with Adam Selzer was interesting, learned some new, not so surprising things, about my city. Ive also always wanted to go on a ghost tour, I think it would be fun.

    • Stephanie /

      Ive been on a ghost tour here in Melbourne, and it was pretty coolmore historical than interesting, but certainly interesting. Then again, Ive also slept in a cemetery

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