Monday, May 23, 2011

Around the Word

Book biz breakthroughs: In case you were unplugged over the weekend, the publishing industry got quite a 1-2 punch of news heading into this week's BEA extravaganza. First, Amazon reported on Thursday that e-books have outsold print books on its site for the first time ever. Though analysts are quick to caution that e-books still make up a relatively small share of the market (around 14 percent), this is sure to add to the digital buzz already surrounding BEA. Second, Liberty Media announced a $1 billion offer to buy book giant Barnes & Noble. Though its taken the booksellers more than a year to find a buyer, analysts at the Wall Street Journal attribute the beefy buyout to B&N's significant share of the e-book market. Is a Kindle-Nook battle royale on the horizon?

Change you can believe in: With the publishing industry's e-volution accelerating on a daily basis, Men With Pens blogger Vangile Makwakwa today suggests that writers should be asking themselves what they can/need to do to adapt and keep pace. Among her tips: Reconnect with your personal mission, acquire new skills and surround yourself with writers you admire.

Best Indie Books of the Year: The Independent Publisher Book Awards recently announced the winners of their 2011 IPPY Award gold medals, honoring 13 books out of 4,000 entries. Prize categories included: Most Outstanding Design, Most Inspirational to Youth, Most Original Concept, and (our favorite), Most Likely to Save the Planet. You can find the full list of winners here.

You don't say: Our early favorite for the word nerd list of the year is a throwback -- a compilation of "Words We Don't Say" that New York magazine editor Kurt Andersen posted Luther-ian fashion on an office bulletin board before being fired in 1997. The document was recently rediscovered by Andersen's successor, Hugo Lindgren, and republished on the 6th Floor Blog of the New York Times Magazine (which Lindgren now runs). Reflecting on his unwitting inheritance, Lindgren said that it is "still a pretty useful list of phoney-baloney vocabulary that editors are well advised to excise from their stories." Some of the proscribed bits of pretension: "queried,""fin de siecle," "duo," and "zeitgeist." Take a look for yourself and let us know if you think any of Andersen's cross-offs were off-base.

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