Monday, July 9, 2012

The Morning Pages: 07-09-12


To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”
—Allen Ginsberg, WD



How Penelope Trunk Got a Big Advance and Self-Published Anyway: "More than 85% of books sales are online, mostly at Amazon. It used to be that a print publisher could look at the data about which stores are selling the book and which are not, and then they’d have a good handle on who is buying the book. Suburban people or city people. Northern people or Southern people. Business book stores or gay and lesbian bookstores. It was decent demographic data. But Amazon tells the publishers nothing. So the publishers have no idea who is buying their books. Amazon, meanwhile, is getting great at understanding who is buying which book. The person who has the relationship with the customer is the one who owns the business."

Book View Cafe - The Fine Art of Faking It: "But what happens if the writer really isn’t paying close attention, and really doesn’t realize how little she knows about a subject, and chooses a subject that’s a bit more fraught than a farriery schedule? What if she chooses a real setting, either contemporary or historical, and writes about real events, which living people may remember, or may have heard about in detail from their elders? What if she’s convinced that she’s researched enough to write with authority about the setting and the events–but she’s in fact missed significant details? Can she still claim the 'it’s just a romp' defense?"

The Wall Street Journal - Your E-Book Is Reading You: "In the past, publishers and authors had no way of knowing what happens when a reader sits down with a book. Does the reader quit after three pages, or finish it in a single sitting? Do most readers skip over the introduction, or read it closely, underlining passages and scrawling notes in the margins? Now, e-books are providing a glimpse into the story behind the sales figures, revealing not only how many people buy particular books, but how intensely they read them."

Publishing Perspectives - DRM, Publishing, and How We Can Help Privacy End Itself: "Nevertheless, it also raises one of the big three issues which is causing consternation and confusion in the publishing industry - whether to DRM or not to DRM (the other two issues being the agency model and territorial rights). It’s already difficult enough for customers to find, purchase and read e-books in the manner in which they would like, as the Open Road issue above illustrates. If independent retailers hope to compete in an online marketplace, and publishers hope to continue to work with a wide variety of retailers, we must not construct any extra barriers such as DRM."

L.A. Times - Neal Stephenson Kickstarts Video Game Career: "Neal Stephenson, author of science fiction novels such as “Snow Crash” and “Cryptonomicon,” wants to swap his pen for a game controller. The 52-year-old writer, whose work has been honored with a Hugo Award,  the Arthur C. Clarke Award and multiple Locus awards, has come up with a concept for a  fantasy sword-fighting game called Clang.

But as the author followed an unfamiliar industry’s path, he learned how difficult the terrain can be for independent game developers who have a fresh idea but not a track record or reliable brand name."

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