Monday, October 31, 2011

Around the Word

Googling monkeys, publishing edition: Ready for the next phase of the e-volution? The new publishing company Hyperink, deciding that query letters are a passe way for finding promising books to sell, is going Googling for how-to subjects. They're analyzing search results and commissioning books on topics that are most in demand on the most searched engine. To get the book from idea stage to market, Hyperink pairs an expert with a freelance writer and then publishes an e-book for a fraction of a cost of the traditional publishing process (Gotham-ites, start your laptops). As GalleyCat notes, "the how-to book market is getting turned on its head" because of Hyperink's innovative strategy. And Silicon Valley is taking notice: according to TechCrunch, Hyperink won funding from one of the country's top venture capitalist firms, Andreesen Horowitz. How do you like them Apples?

Novel celebration: We thought November's National Novel Writing Month challenge could be a fun diversion for ghosts with novelistic aspirations. But e-book expert Kelly Kingman took NaNoWriMo and applied it to her life as a working writer, challenging herself to use the month of intense writing to create a year's worth (50,000 words) of blog content. She's calling her parallel task Contentpalooza, and gives tips on how to best tackle this novel challenge on ProBlogger. Do you have an equally novel way to celebrate?

Happy E-lloween! Still looking for a spooky read to celebrate All Hallow's Eve tonight? EBookNewser has a list of ten free scary e-books available today, enough reading to give you goosebumps for weeks. With classics like Dracula, Frankenstein and Fall of the House of Usher, these books will definitely get you in the holiday spirit.

Say hello to the "smart book": Atria, a Simon and Schuster imprint, is releasing its first "smart book" tomorrow. Hardcover copies of The Impulse Economy: Understanding Mobile Shoppers and What Makes Them Buy are equipped with a smart chip inside that can be read by a smartphone. Readers looking to purchase the book just tap their Blackberry or Android (iPhones don't work) to the sticker on the cover and are shown a website with further information about the book, reports Jacket Copy. Though the smart chip doesn't have much value once the book is purchased, it's kind of a nifty idea. Is this a step toward the digital future, or just a marketing ploy? Will you be buying a smart book?

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