Friday, February 13, 2009

Book News, In Brief

Okay, so here's the deal. I'll give all of you self-published authors this l'il bit of false hope on the condition that you promise not to call us up this weekend asking if we sold any copies of your poorly edited erotic-memoir. Via PR Web: Outskirts Press, the fastest-growing full-service self-publishing and book marketing company, today announced that its top-five earning authors combined to gross over $60,000 in royalties in the fourth quarter of 2008. To read the whole thing, click here. But remember, you promised...

The Christian-Science Monitor has gathered up all of the major Kindle2 reviews, listing them by point of grievance and/or praise. This quote from The Silicon Alley Insider seems to sum up the summaries: For now, we still see the Kindle as an expensive toy for reading enthusiasts, frequent travelers, and gadget lovers — and not yet a mainstream device. Today’s improvements will make new Kindle buyers happier than they’d be with the old one. But they alone won’t do much to dramatically drive adoption.

The Reporter-Times has an article in praise of science fiction magazines. Remember those? An excerpt: Nearly forgotten in the world of science fiction media is the role of the great science fiction story magazines. Many of the great science fiction novels were first published in some shape or form in a magazine...The Skylark and Lensmen books by E.E. “Doc” Smith...Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey...(and) Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles.
Editor's note: Bookmark this one -- you'll be able to re-run it as an epitaph soon enough.

The old expression, 'Publish or perish,' has been updated. It's now, 'Publish and perish -- thanks to your publisher!' The Globe & Mail reports: "The publisher now seems to feel his duty to the writer is fulfilled when the writer has his book in hand. After that, the book must find its way in the world, like the seed off a poplar tree blowing in the wind." Another, a novelist, sees a "steady erosion of [publishers'] services toward creators. ... [They] no longer edit or proofread as they once did, buy advertising, employ a sales force ... and tour authors as they once did" - and this at a time when the books they publish have climbed in price to "the edge of affordability for most readers."