Recently I’ve been including more writing-oriented stuff in my bookish roundups. Do you have a preference for the sort of material (eg, publishing, about authors and books, about writing) that I include in these posts?
Other bookish stuff:
John Steinbeck was once approached to write a novel intended to sabotage Nixon’s presidential campaign Steinbeck was approached by Adlai Stevenson to write a political novel that would bring down then presidential candidate Richard Nixon. The novel was meant to be a sort of creative biography of Nixon that would expose his inner dastardly thoughts. Steinbeck said no, preferring to launch a direct attack rather than an oblique one. Thank goodness we have more sophisticated methods for lambasting politicians now…
Ned Vizzini on how being a geek wasn’t always considered cool ”It means being a social outcast — and the people who never confront it, or work through it, often turn into super-villains instead of super-heroes. That was the kind of geek I wanted to portray in The Other Normals — a hopeless one, true-to-life, headed for oblivion.”
Author and illustrator Krish Raschka on the importance of picture books Raschka asks us to try to imagine a world without pictures in books, where all pictures are deemed subversive or not worth consideration. Pictures are such an important part of our lives, he says, that it’s horrifying to think about. Even letters, he says, have their origins in pictures. (video)
Are small presses and self-publishers becoming harder to tell apart? The author notes that some small literary presses have been known to ask authors to subsidise production costs, something that’s now associated with vanity publishing. He then goes on to argue that by expecting such small presses to fold, we’re asking that the only books that be published are those from which editors can expect to recoup their production costs. What does this mean for valuable works of literature that aren’t necessarily going to reach the mass market?
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos on the future of the book ”When we bring new things to the market and consumers like them it does create change. And if you’re an incumbent change is scary but you have to lean into the future and embrace change.” The article also contains a video featuring Bezos talking about Amazon’s new products and its shift into other areas. Bezos says that Amazon isn’t attempting to make money from devices such as the Kindle, but rather from the products that customers purchase using these devices. Apparently people read four times as much once they buy a Kindle–and also continue to buy paperbacks.
Part two in Elena Johnson’s series on writing a trilogy. This one looks at, well, book two. A danger, she says, is that authors often write another “book one”. Instead, she says, book two needs to focus on the end of the trilogy, stretch the main character, and get into the heart of the main conflict.
Writing tip: if you’re sending manuscripts out, ensure that the metadata options have been filled in. Many people read on e-readers, and books without adequate metadata often show up as “Document1″ or something similar in the document list. Names and draft numbers don’t hurt, either!
The late Alan Watts asks: what would you do with your life if money were no object?
Booktrib is hosting a forthcoming chat with bestselling author Lori Foster: