Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Around the Word

Crowd out: Here's a novel twist on the old new media practice of crowd sourcing. New York Times book critic Dwight Garner turned to Twitter for some public speaking advice yesterday, asking for his followers' top tips. The responses ranged from the practical ("Wear a watch") to the kooky ("Accupressure"). What advice would you give the Timesman?

Mult-e-tasking: Though the e-book market is rapidly growing, many authors wonder if penning an e-book is worth the extra effort when they're working in print as well. Alexis Grant, a journalist and social media maven, strongly advises digital double dipping. She suggests using e-books to supplement your traditional writing -- for example, writing an online-only how-to guide that complements your other work and shows off your expertise. This engages your audience, creates extra revenue and drives traffic to your blog. Has this strategy worked for any of you?

Perennial hope: With the publishing industry in an unprecedented state of flux, there are a few publishers that seem to be making lemonade out of e-volution lemons. Salon has singled out the HarperCollins imprint Harper Perennial as a particular success. Harper Perennial focuses on young, unknown authors who write quirky or avant garde fiction. With small advances to keep costs down and a particular focus on design, Harper Perennial works like a small press inside the publishing giant. Check out the article and let us know what you think -- are imprints like Harper Perennial the way to keep fiction publishing alive?

Book blasphemy or blessing? Though e-readers may have their flaws, they certainly have print books beat when it comes to conserving space. As any bibliophile with limited shelf space knows, books are heavy, bulky and fill up bookshelves quickly. One Japanese company has proposed a suitably high-tech solution: you ship them your books, they scan them to PDF, your books get recycled. This seems like a win-win for tech-savvy book lovers, who get to keep the text of their books for their e-readers while freeing up shelf space. But others see the pulping of books in exchange for electronic text as practically sacrilege, reports the New Yorker. Would you ever trade in your paperbacks for PDFs?

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