Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Around the Word

The grad-daddy of all commencement gifts: New Yorker cartoonist Bruce Eric Kaplan confesses to an unusual side gig -- he's a graduation speech groupie. He finds the field so inspiring, in fact, that he was moved to pen a book that tries to capture the best advice he's heard -- Everything is Going to Be Okay: A Book for You or Someone Like You. Our friend the Eloquent Woman, who is no pushover, gives it two tassels up today, calling it "a book that will delight anyone who's had to give a speech" as well as recent grads. To read more about Kaplan's ode to pomp and circumstance -- and to see a slideshow of illustrations from the book -- check out Kaplan's article in the Huffington Post.

Social studies for authors: As many of our writers can attest, authors are under growing pressure these days to master or at least muster social media to promote and market their work, and that can be quite a problem if not downright intimidating for the techno-challenged among us. To help out these digital newbies, editor and blogger Meghan Ward has compiled a list of the best social media books for authors. Add these volumes to your personal library and you'll be blogging, tweeting and Facebook-ing like a pro in no time.

Loving your inner luddite: For those writers who proudly embrace their inner analog, and want to rage against the digitizing of the light, you may want to join Garth Risk Hallberg's anti-Kindle crusade. He's mastered the art of making your book unpublishable on the Amazon reader, and is freely sharing his secrets for e-voidance. The black-and-white Kindle can't handle inventive typefaces or color illustrations, Hallberg points out, so if you want to make sure your book stays in pristine, printed form, pile on the experimental formatting. Other suggestions? Make your book a boxed set, encourage your readers to interact with the book (for example, by taking scissors to it) and add tons of end-notes.

Calling all literary cool kids: Here's a new website to watch, especially for our younger friends in the publishing biz. Publishing Trendsetter "is where young book professionals can gather guidance and share knowledge and ideas" as well as "a place for industry veterans to engage with the most creative and gifted up-and-comers." This collaboration between Publishing Trends and Market Partners International has a host of talented up-and-coming bloggers on staff and we're looking forward to seeing what these publishing pups come up with.

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