Monday, November 21, 2011

Around the Word

Libyan unbanning day: To great fanfare, Libya had a ceremonial book-unbanning last week, reports The Star. Accompanied by bagpipes, intellectual and political heavies gathered for the celebration. The ground floor of the palace-turned-library was lined with books, and tables were piled high with more. "This is a major moment for us because this is where we reclaim our intellectual freedom," said one attendee, human-rights activist Hassan al-Amin. "We say goodbye to an era where free thinking was forbidden, where ideas were dangerous."

Freelance tweeting: Everyone's trying to find the best, most effective ways to use social networking. For a freelancer, Twitter can be an invaluable tool. MediaBistro's AllTwitter blog has a great primer on the benefits Twitter offers to freelancers, from networking to marketing to finding work, as well as gaining some insight into the daily lives and schedules of other freelancers. How have you used Twitter in your freelance career?

Speech stunner: GalleyCat calls our attention to the standout speech at last week's National Book Awards. Nikky Finney, whose book Head Off & Split won the poetry award, spoke beautifully of history, slavery, and the people who have inspired her throughout her writing career. The whole of the awards are watchable on the site, and you can find Finney's speech around minute 17.

Navigating self-publishing: If you're a new writer, or a writer unfamiliar with the weird and wonderful world of book publishing, it can be quite overwhelming to decide how to proceed. If you're thinking about going the self-publishing route, check out Wicked Tricksy's roundup of great resources for newbies. In addition to the blogs of several self-publishing stars, they offer a reasoned argument against getting your data from writer forums. Do you know of any great self-publishing sites not included in this list?

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