Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Around the Word

Signed, SEAL-ed, already delivered: Though the killing of Osama bin Laden is bound to be an event that launched a thousand book deals (security expert Peter Bergen just scored one), a new memoir coming out this month can already give us some insight into the elite force that completed the mission. SEAL Team Six is the memoir of Howard E. Wasdin, a former member of the elite counter-terrorism strike force responsible for finding and killing bin Laden. Like a successful operation, the launch of this book has managed to combine thorough research with precise timing. We bet Wasdin and his publisher are even more thankful than the rest of us for Sunday's turn of events.

Self-help for self-promotion: The comments section on most online hubs can be dodgy places, containing a lot more missives than hits. But every once in a while you can find some real diamonds in the rhetorical rough. Case in point: Galleycat stumbled upon a rather enlightening thread on the Amazon discussion boards this week of authors sharing lessons learned from their experiences self-promoting their works. The editors at GC culled the best tips into a Top 10 list of untraditional ways to get your book noticed. The be-all-end-all of the list (literally and figuratively): Paid advertising with Armegeddon Books

E-lancing made E-Z: As many of our writers can attest, the Web has quickly become a treasure trove of freelance writing opportunities, with dozens of sites posting job openings and new projects. But navigating the multitude of sites has turned into a challenge in its own right. How's a working writer to separate the wheat from the trash? Well, Mashable has come to the rescue, compiling a list of the top five online communities for freelancers. Have you ever used Elance, Sologig or any of the other top five freelancer social networks before? If so, we'd love to hear what you think.

Say hello to the "questolon": In our constantly evolving language of emoticons, LOLs and bloggable memes, surely there's room for a new punctuation mark. Katrina Olsen makes the case for the "questolon," a mark combining a question mark and a semicolon that signifies the pause between a question and a related statement. Olsen jokingly advocates for the establishment of the Questolon Establishment Support Team, asking "Will you join me(questolon) I hope you will!"

As Monty Python said. . . .: In this week's Chronicle of Higher Education, Harvard professor and librarian Robert Darnton has an interesting piece deconstructing five prevailing information myths of our time. Not surprisingly, his biggest beef is with the presumed obsolescence of the physical book and its primary residence, which he argues are far from dead. Though the wealth of digital information is certainly expanding rapidly, Darnton believes that old and new technologies can and will still exist side-by-side. "Old books and e-books should be thought of as allies, not enemies," he says.

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