Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Around the Word

Author e-notations: A new social reader, SubText, is joining the ranks of the many fledgling social software for e-readers. Though social reading has yet to really take off among e-ficionados, SubText has one snazzy feature that sets it apart from the crowd -- author annotations and other enhancements included in the first 18 books to be released. Publishers Lunch reports that extras include character updates by Frances Mayes to Under the Tuscan Sun, comments by book critic David Ulin in Nathaniel West's Miss Lonelyhearts and commentary by George R.R. Martin's editor and research in Game of Thrones. Will you be testing out SubText?

Phobophobics, beware: In honor of Halloween, Merriam-Webster Online has compiled a list of the frighteningly best phobias. From kakorrhaphiophobia (fear of failure) to phobophobia (fear of developing a phobia), these creepy Greek tongue-twisters will get you in the holiday spirit. Check out the list, especially if you're feeling a case of ergophobia (fear of work) and need a break.

Literate lovers: Reading has always been a romantic pastime, and lovers have been giving each other meaningfully symbolic tomes since Gutenberg. A new Tumblr site, The Books They Gave Me, pays homage to literature's role in romance. Readers submit the stories of books they received from beaus and their tales are compiled on the site. Though the list skews toward poetry (Yeates, Blake), there are some unromantic books (Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City) with surprisingly romantic stories attached. What books do you associate with love?

Top tips: Two items from publishing expert Rick Frishman caught our attention this week: how to be as disciplined as novelist Nicholas Sparks and how to use Amazon to figure out what your readers want. An interview with bestseller Sparks emphasized the importance of writing every day. "You have to be disciplined to be successful," writes interviewer Jeff Rivera. "You have to sit your butt down in that chair and write, no matter what." When it comes to figuring out what to type once you get your butt in the chair, Amazon can be a valuable resource. Search for books that are similar to your idea and "ask yourself, if someone bought this other book would they be a good candidate to purchase mine?" Then read reviews to see what readers loved, and what they could have done without.

No comments: