Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Around the Word

Self-published, agent approved: Self-publishing was invented to avoid the literary establishment, but one literary agency is already cashing in on self-pub frenzy. Dystel & Goderich Literary Management announced on their website that they will officially "represent" self-published authors and help them navigate the process. Having already represented self-publishing successes John Locke and J.A. Konrath, DGLM is well-positioned to help other aspiring authors. Is it only a matter of time before other agencies join in?

E-readers sprint ahead: E-reader popularity continues to soar and score headlines. The percentage of people who own an e-reader has doubled in the last six months -- from 6 percent to 12 percent, according to a new Pew survey. Tablet ownership, on the other hand, is smaller and growing more slowly -- only 8 percent of people own tablets, while it was 5 percent six months ago.

Wise words about Winston's words: Our friend Alice Griffiths pointed us to an excellent article in the most recent issue of American Scholar about Winston Churchill's forgotten legacy that will warm the hearts of our fellow speech nerds. Historian George Watson's piece primarily focuses on Churchill's overlooked contributions to the modern welfare state. But what caught our eye was the admiring nod to Churchill's oratorical skills and the underappreciated art of speechifying. "In academic schools of literature oratory is by far the most neglected of all literary forms," Watson writes. "It was not always so, and Churchill would not have countenanced such neglect."

When the novel-ty wears off: Many creative types dream of ditching their office jobs to write novels full-time. But journalist and social media expert Alexis Grant says not so fast. Having once devoted all her time to writing a book (and living with her parents to afford it), she's now a believer in the benefits of being gainfully employed. She argues that a job can provide a steady paycheck, inspiration and a chance to hone your writing skills. "I know my writing wouldn't be what it is without my day job,"  Grant contends. "When it comes to your writing career, [a job] is likely to pay off in the long run."

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