Monday, August 1, 2011

Around the Word

Crowdfunding success story: We wrote last week about the trouble with Unbound, a crowdfunding service specifically designed for books that seems to be struggling to meets its users' needs. But, as author and tech expert Paul Simon explained in a recent post on Men With Pens, crowdfunding books can still work with the right project. Simon decided to go rogue and self-publish his fourth book, raising all the money he needed on Kickstarter and producing a quality book in record time. We want to hear your crowdfunding stories. Has Kickstarter jump-started any of your book projects? 

Chartbeat to the rescue: Though technology and publishing are often characterized as mortal enemies, one tech company aims to use Internet traffic data to help save the written word. Chartbeat, with its tracking program Newsbeat, helps online media outlets chart and graph every click, view and interaction on their website. Though many worry that this will create a "race to the bottom" with content -- think photo galleries of kittens and stories about Lady Gaga -- Chartbeat has found that sites often discover their readers are more sophisticated than they had thought. Also, Gigaom reports that many editors like that they can have instant feedback on the effectiveness of a headline or story. What do you think about editors working as traffic-watchers? Is this just the next step in the e-volution of media?

Compound interest: In our world of smartphones, websites and Facebook, compound words are all the techno-rage. But for the meticulous writer or editor, these verbal mashups can often drive you to distraction, forcing a detour down style guide lane, only to find disagreements -- if it's there at all. So how do you know when to compound and when to separate? Ragan took a look at some of the trickiest two-for-one words, like "login," "health care," and the persistent, if generally incorrect, "alright," and offered some much-needed clarity to this vexing challenge. Which compound words do you find confounding? 

World Book Night goes global: This past March saw the world's first World Book Night, a project in the UK that gave away one million books. In 2012, World Book Night will head across the pond to the U.S. The charity plans to give away one million books to Americans next year, reports Publishing Perspectives. The aim of their project is "to celebrate books and connect readers to one another." Twenty-five lucky books will be chosen. You can go online to nominate your favorite title.

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