By day I work 60 hour weeks. At night I am a devoted father and husband to the world's greatest family. Somewhere in the non-existent time between the two, I am a writer. Join me from the beginning as I chronicle my adventures to become a successful published author.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 87 - News of the Writing World - Week Ending August 5, 2011

Welcome back to another edition of News of the Writing World! Formerly the Writing World Review and Writer's Weekly World Review. The title seems to be in flux, but the concept is the same: every Friday I gather the top five news items related to writing, publishing, and selling books and stories. I go through dozens (and sometimes more) stories to bring you what I believe are the most relevent, and give you a summary of each.

Today, we see the death of an e-Book innovation, copyright lawsuits from hell, Illuminated books for the new age, THE YA book series to keep an eye on this year, and the relationship of bloggers and novelists.

And yes, the podcast version is still planned, just be patient. It's been a big learning process!

1) Push-Pop Acquired by Facebook - Be sure  to click on "page 2" for the majority of the article.

Push-Pop was a promising new e-Book innovator. In some ways, it reminded of David Farland's dreams for eBooks, but it was a tool for everyday authors. And now they've sold out to Facebook which, as the article rightly points out, will probably mean that the tech will be used or glorified photo albums rather than innovation in the literary world. A shame indeed. To see a great article on Push-Pop before this travesty, see the coverage, which is excellent.

2) When the newspapers are stuggling to survive, bloggers get the knife

Thinking of posting our or five lines of a news article to your blog? Think again. There are some news groups that have climbed in bed with firms whose whole purpose is to sue bloggers and others for violation of the fair use laws for copyrighted material. The Editor and Publisher reports on this here. Think you're too small to be noticed? Wrong. Try no warning letter and $75,000+ demands. And it's legal. So make sure you brush up on copyright law, and when extensive quoting is needed, be sure you know the policies of the site it is coming from. You may need to get a release letter to do so.

3) Illuminated Books are Back... Sort of

While some publishers and start-ups are taking the Push-Pop approach to e-Books, the publishing company of Melville House has created a "hybrid" that they are placing under the auspicious title of Melville House Illuminations. If you don't know what an illuminated text is, I highly recommend you read about them at wikipedia and even do a google image search (okay, so I provided links... I am nice that way!). They are, to put it simply, the height of art in the written word and I have loved them since I was a child. The sum of these new hybrid illuminated books is that all editions have QR codes, including the print, where a reader can access a wealth o extra info on the book, such as essays on dueling, rules of games long gone, and historical or literary analysis. In some cases they will be longer than the story itself, but in the end they intend to "illuminate" the story.An interesting idea, as it can bridge the digital divide and help some make the transition to eBooks easier.

4) The Next Big YA Series? Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans... brought to you by the obscure and new coming publishing company Mercury Ink

Richard Paul Evans, author of the Christmas Box, international and New York Times (17 times in a row...) best seller, etc. etc. etc. (he has a lot going on for him) is set to release the first YA novel in a new series which has a rather awesome title: Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25. Aside from the mysterious and nifty pre-launch website that makes me want to go get the book right now, there is also a trailer with high production value. The bar has been set high or this book. Why am I announcing a book release though? It's because it is the first novel to be released by Mercury Ink, the new publishing branch of Glenn Beck's company Mercury Radio Arts in partnership with Simon and Schuster which I previously reported on. For a new company to have an instant best seller on its hands is nearly unheard of in publishing, and this will be big. I believe it will be a New York Times best seller in less than a week. Watch the extended trailer and get the interesting background to the story here (including the connection to Evan's Tourette's Syndrome).

5) To Blog or Not to Blog?

Finally, GalleyCat has an interesting bit on "Why Novelists Shouldn't Blog." The argument can be summed up as it's just not the best value for your time as a novelist, though for non-fiction writers it can be great. I'm a novelist. And a heavy blogger. Food to ponder, but hey, I am never one to fall in line with what makes the most sense! I do this because I love it, the same reason why I write.


Some interesting stuff here, Matt.

Illuminated books--I'm familiar with a few companies that make them for educational use. Read the page, click to get more infor on vocab, click to watch a video for background, click to see photos. I'm excited to see this hit the consumer market. Books are never going to be the same folks!

Great post here, and thanks for the links! I did not know about the copy right stuff on blogs. Thanks for that tidbit of info!

Great post. I especially loved watching and video of Glenn Beck and the story of how the book came to be. I will put that on my wish list. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for sharing this with AI.

You know, I have to disagree with the statement that novelists shouldn't blog. If it's a time concern, blogging really doesn't take that long, when you compare it to all the other things we do, and I've found it to be my #1 best marketing tool. People come to my blog, read about me, feel a connection, and buy my books. Without my blog, I wouldn't have near the following I have.

Thanks everyone:-). It takes quite a bit of legwork to do the weekly news report, is it's gratifying to know people read it.

Tristi, I have to agree with you. Mainly it's about individual preference. For me, I feel more motivated to blog than work on my novel sometimes, but I never do one without doing the other. So it's a tool, and I love both. For me, blogging sometimes does take a while because I am more content rich than some, but again, that's because it appeals to my broader writer desires.

great stuff! Thanks! I am really curious about what the future holds for Glenn Beck's publishing co.

The YA book sounds REALLY good! And huh, it makes you wonder with all the hype given from the site, about the other news on blogs and if they are important.

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