Wednesday, September 30, 2009

David, Zachary and Rambo

As a fan of David Morrell, the author and the person, I was delighted to see this blog post by Zachary Oberzan, creator of the Indie Theater hit Rambo Solo.

-- Miriam

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

DGLM's been Wordled.

I'd never seen this before, but then DGLM client Leigh Stringer posted a lovely Wordle on the blog on which her book The Green Workplace is based. Wordle is a website that converts text into an image similar to a tag cloud (but prettier!). I suppose it's obvious that we'd talk about "books" a lot, but I'm pleased to see how often we use the word "think."

Why not Wordle your own blogs and then give us a link to the results in the comments?

- Lauren

Monday, September 21, 2009

Digital Publishing, once again

This article from Computerworld caught my eye over the weekend. I think most of his six points are valid, and they're worth discussing:

1. Bundled multimedia books. I couldn't agree more! Publishers could charge slightly more for a package that includes the hardcover, the ebook and an audio download. This gives consumers the power to consume their content in whichever way is most convenient. And, we publishing folk need to recognize that convenience is what motivates most buyers.

2. Ebooks that can be revised and corrected. I think this one is coming, and it was presaged by Amazon's unfortunate 1984 incident! With the power to push out changes over the air, books can be easily revised and updated. With the technology available, and with readers expecting this sort of benefit from this new medium, I think we'll see this as soon as publishers start seeing ebooks not as books, but as their own separate product.

3. Audio books that can be borrowed electronically. Why not? Doable, but someone needs to take enough interest to get it done.

4. Social books. Again, the technology is available. And, as we all know, nothing sells books like word of mouth. If readers can begin to share their thoughts quickly and easily, I see a lot of the book club readers migrating to ebooks.

5. eBooks that are published ahead of the print edition. Not going to happen anytime soon, unless Amazon and others relent on the $9.99 price point. Or, if as the author says, this is only available to those who buy multimedia bundles. And, I disagree about it being "bad enough that the editing and production process takes a year." The long gestation period for books improves their quality.

6. Cheaper audio books. I don't really agree here. There are too many parties involved in the production for even the digital download price to come down significantly.

As always, feel free to tell me I'm wrong! And do read the original article, as he goes into each of these a bit. And to publishers, I say this: let's address these issues before they're addressed for us. Only by being aggressive and progressive will we protect our business.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Literature by age

Since I can't resist any nerdery that involves a spreadsheet, I'm particularly tickled by this blog entry from the Guardian on charting literary characters by age and the separate blog this project has spawned. Has anyone ever had a similarly distressing realization that they'd now outpaced a character that they'd always thought of as older than they were?


Friday, September 04, 2009

In praise of the internet and in memory of Summer Fridays

It’s the Friday before Labor Day, marking the end of the publishing industry’s grandest tradition--Summer Fridays--until next Memorial Day. (For the uninitiated, Summer Fridays are half-day Fridays in the summer and one of the few things left over from the more civilized bygone days of three-martini lunches.) Let’s all shed a tear and distract ourselves with some of what the wide internet world has to offer:

Shelfari via Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing shows us why we should be jealous of Neil Gaiman’s library.

The New Yorker’s Book Bench blog brings us a few gems:’s explanation of Kurt Vonnegut’s explanation of drama queens--in handy graph form!

And a link to the Telegraph in the UK with their story about books most often left behind in UK Travelodge hotels--#2 is our very own Dreams from My Father! (Second only to what must be the most important book of our time, the latest memoir by the trashtastic Katie Price/Jordan. We just don’t do fake celebrity like they do in the UK!)

And a post in praise of risky covers with which I heartily agree! The cover they feature, for Black Cat's The Hole We're In by Gabrielle Zevin is phenomenal.

Some practical (but amusingly communicated) advice from Pimp My Blog, a blog by someone in the sales department at a major trade publisher, on blogging. I’m not sure I can really get behind #10, but I think we could all learn something from this post as well as the rest of the entries.

And to finish up, the Pimp My Novel Friday roundup (written by a “recovering publishing insider”, not the aforementioned sales team member) points to a piece on the Guardian Books Blog about not finishing books. I’m on board, generally, because there are very few books I’ll struggle through if I’m not loving them since I rarely find it worth it in the end, but I’d suggest that skipping out on the second half of Catherine O’Flynn’s What Was Lost is a mistake. I’ll admit I had trouble with parts of it, but because Michael praised it so heavily I kept going and was happy to have done so.

Happy Final Summer Friday everyone, and have a great weekend!