Monday, May 9, 2011

Around the World

The media's self-publishing crush grows: The latest major mainstream media outlet to discover the self-publishing revolution is the Washington Post. Over the weekend the paper showed some big love to the growing number of romance novelists and other unknown writers gone rogue who are making a killing selling online at rock-bottom prices. The Post feature focused on the success story of romance writer Nyree Belleville, who made more than $19,000 in one month from her online sales. Any writers flying solo out there who have found similar paydirt? We want to hear your stories.

Hear ye query: An author's life is full of rejection, but when you know your manuscript is good, that rejection can feel more like a bad break-up than a failed pick-up line. To help writers avoid that sting, agent/blogger Sarah LaPolla gives tips on applying "band-aids" to a strong story that has failed to capture an agent's attention. For starters: avoid redundancy, don't have characters say what they're thinking, and "Pass Writing 101."

From keyboard jockey to junkie: Facebook is one of our favorite ways to procrastinate, and we know it's a weakness for other writers too. Though it is useful in many ways for promoting your work and connecting with others (the new Journalists on Facebook function is pretty neat) sometimes surfing The Book can turn into a full-fledged addiction. To find out if you're veering into junkie territory, check out this Social Times article on Facebook Addiction Disorder and see if you have some of the symptoms.

There's a scrap for that: Speaking of Facebook, Simon and Schuster is debuting an eye-catching new app for the site called Book Battle, which the New York Times describes as "a literary version of" The application matches up two books and users choose their favorite cover, author and characters. So far, it focuses mostly on young adult novels, but we'd love to see some other works go head-to-head, too. How about Sherlock Holmes vs. Miss Marple? The DaVinci Code vs. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Greg Mortenson vs. James Frey?

More e-news you can use: Here's some interesting new digital data points to shed some light on e-reading habits. First, new research shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, few iPad owners are using their device to read books. Substantially more e-books are being bought for the Kindle, Nook, Sony devices and other e-readers than for Apple's new iT toy. The one exception: kid consumers. USA Today reports today that children's books are the top-selling book apps at the iTunes store.

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