Monthly Archives: September 2013

Amazon Might Be Even More Disruptive Than You Think

30 September 2013

From The Motley Fool:

For as much as the headlines dissect’s new Kindles and adventures in streaming, it’s easy to forget that the company’s original business — i.e., selling books online — is expanding in creative ways, and that’s good news for investors.

Take digital publishing. Amazon has built an entire operation out of helping authors self-publish, and earn cash from, original works. Novelist and comic-book writer John Jackson Miller, whose work is usually set in the Star Warsuniverse, recently used the e-tailer for his first self-published novel, Overdraft: The Orion Offensive.

“The editor I’m working with is one of my former editors at Random House on the Star Wars books, so working with him has been great. Their proofreaders have been world-class. I’ve just been astounded,” Miller said in an interview. “The fact that Amazon understands its own data allows me as a number-cruncher myself to really know what’s going on in the lifecycle of this product, and where I need to do my PR.”

. . . .

With Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, Miller wrote the novel like he would a comic book — 12,000 words every two weeks. He’d then release the latest novel “episode,” selling thousands of copies directly through Amazon. Miller had decent sales numbers even before the final product was available for purchase.

Link to the rest at The Motley Fool

F. Scott Fitzgerald reads John Masefield’s “On Growing Old”

29 September 2013

F. Scott Fitzgerald reads John Masefield’s “On Growing Old”

I am a drinker

29 September 2013

I am a drinker with writing problems.

Brendan Behan

Finding a replacement for Goodreads

29 September 2013

From Dear Author:

After Goodreads deleted content – both reviews and shelves – of readers as well as indicated that they would continue to do so in the future (only this time they’ll provide notice), many readers feel like Goodreads is not a safe place for them.  Ironically, many many authors hate Goodreads feeling that the place is unsafe for them as well.  Undoubtedly sites like Stop the Goodreads Bullies which has defamed and doxxed reviewers allowing them to be called at their place of business and at home bu approvingly cited by so many purported reputable journalism sources, ratchet up the tension making both sides targets.  Nonetheless, the question is where can readers go to discuss books they don’t like as well as the ones they do without interference from authors complaining about mistreatment?

. . . .

Riffle is essentially Pinterest for books.  You can search their catalog, select a book, and add it to your shelf.  This is designed for graphic oriented readers.  There is no place to leave reviews and no place for interaction (other than repinning).  Pinterest is the large social sharing network.  You have to find the book you want to add to your shelf and then “pin it”.  You can create different “boards” such as A Reads | B Reads and genre based boards.  The advantage of Riffle is the already created catalog source.  The benefit of Pinterest is that you aren’t limited to what is in the Riffle catalog (ie., a lot of indies aren’t there) but you lack the built in reading community.

. . . .

Library Thing  is a similar source on the internet to Goodreads.  It allows you to create an account, add books to your catalog, create lists, write reviews, and share those with other members. The interface isn’t as elegant as Goodreads and there is a cost.  A free membership allows you to add 200 books to your shelf. You have to pay $10 per year to have an unlimited bookshelf or $25 for life.  The social aspect isn’t as strong.

. . . .

Most of the people who I follow at Goodreads have left for Booklikes.  Booklikes has a tumblr like interface, almost blog-like. There’s a lot to like about Booklikes. You can customize the look and feel of your “shelf” by installing a new background design.  A downside is I saw a lot of promotional things on the site and that might just be who I followed accidentally or by default.  While most of the content created on Goodreads was book related, Booklikes allows you to create posts and status updates that are completely general.

Link to the rest at Dear Author

Social media leaders rely upon lots of people for their success. Once a site like Goodreads comes to dominate a social media niche, it’s hard to build a significant competitor unless a new new entry does something cool in a way that will draw large masses of people away from the category leader. You can persuade small groups to move, but large groups are much, much harder.

PG doesn’t think the vast majority of Goodreads users are terribly upset about a few offensive items being removed from the site. Most have not even noticed anything. It will take a killer new concept to pull significant numbers of Goodreads regulars to something new.

Self-Publishing Could Become a $52 Billion Business

29 September 2013

From AppNewser:

The self-publishing industry has created a new publishing market that could potentially reach $52 billion, according to a new report from media technology firm New Publisher House. According to the report, this is twice as much money as the traditional book publishing industry in the U.S. brings in in its current total annual sales revenue.

. . . .

“Traditional methods of sizing the publishing market have hidden the real industry impact of the self-publishing movement,” stated James O’Toole, founder/CEO of New Publisher House.

Link to the rest at AppNewser and thanks to J.M. for the tip.

This is the first PG has heard of New Publisher House, but it seems to be a potential competitor for Smashwords that may be looking for crowdsourced funding.

Why Elvish, Klingon, Dothraki, and Na’vi are real languages

29 September 2013

From CNet:

If you’ve spent a couple decades studying, learning, and speaking Klingon, then you probably already know in your gut it’s a real language. Linguist John McWhorter has your back.

McWhorter explains in a short Ted-Ed lesson how certain made-up languages can qualify as real languages. He investigates Elvish from “The Lord of the Rings” books and movies, Klingon from “Star Trek,” Dothraki from the “Game of Thrones” world, and Na’vi from “Avatar.” These all qualify as fantasy constructed languages, better known as conlangs.

McWhorter looks for certain qualities in conlangs. To qualify as a real language, you need more than a lot of vocabulary words. You need grammar. Elvish, which McWhorter calls the official grandfather of fantasy conlangs, is held up as an example here for the way it conjugates present-tense verbs into past-tense.

Link to the rest at CNet and thanks to Felix for the tip.

The Ebook Market No Author Should Ignore: Think Globally!

28 September 2013

From Anne R. Allen’s Blog:

One of the biggest changes the e-reader has brought to the publishing industry doesn’t get much cyberink in the online book community.

It’s the huge international market that’s opening up now that we don’t have to pay to ship physical books around the world.

If, like me, you’ve ever experienced that terrible moment on vacation when you discover you have nothing left to read in your native tongue but a copy of Henry James’ The Golden Bowl you got in trade for your last Agatha Christie in that Athens hostel…you know how tough it used to be to find English language books abroad.

But no more!

The e-age has given us a global book market.

. . . .

In the 21st century, exile is not so harsh. As Jay and the crew at Ebook Bargains UK tell us in this week’s post: a whole lot of people all over the world now speak English.

They read it, too.

Which means there’s a global market for ebooks in English that indie authors can tap into—with no worries about translation, shipping, or “foreign rights.”

But most authors who write in English still focus on selling exclusively in the U.S. That worked for some of the big indie success stories a few years ago, but this is a rapidly changing industry.

. . . .

[From a guest post from Ebook Bargains UK]

Given we only launched Ebook Bargains UK (EBUK) this summer, on a shoe-string budget from a bedroom in Bedford, with the impossible ambition of promoting English-language ebooks to a world that supposedly doesn’t know ebooks exist, we’re pretty pleased with how things are going.

We started the first EBUK newsletter because we were tired of seeing newsletters that only linked to Amazon—usually only Amazon US. We’d search for the book on or another UK site, and find it wasn’t on sale to us.

We also wanted to know about ebook bargains to be found at our own UK bookshop sites, like Foyles, Waterstones, W.H. Smith, Tesco etc.

We soon realized such a newsletter would be useful in Canada and Australia and India…and English speaking countries all over the world. So our one newsletter rapidly expanded to ten. We hope to have twenty by the end of the year.

. . . .

The S.E. Asia newsletter (Not just the Philippines but Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc) will join daily promo newsletters already shipping to:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • India
  • Ireland
  • the Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • UK
  • USA

Ebook Bargains France, Italy and Scandinavia will be following next month, with another five to add before the year’s end.

Link to the rest at Anne R. Allen’s Blog and thanks to L for the tip.

You can’t use up creativity

28 September 2013

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have.

Maya Angelou

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