News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Lawsuit decided based on missing Oxford comma (The Write Life) A class action lawsuit brought by a dairy’s drivers for overtime pay was decided in their favor, all because the relevant Maine law lacked an Oxford comma.
- Let Me Address This. Nora Roberts talks about the reasons why low-cost, often ghostwritten and/or plagiarized ebooks hurt both self-published and traditionally-published authors who take their craft seriously. To be clear, she is not dismissing self-published authors or ghostwriters in general, nor is she down on offering occasional sales or pricing the first book of a series at a lower price to tempt reader to try an author or series. Rather, she’s concerned about the way across-the-board low pricing, particularly by people looking to game the system rather than write good books, is making it much harder for dedicated writers to make a living from their books. That problem is also addressed by the next post in this list:
- The Problem with Amazon Is… systemic, according to author Suzan Tizdale on her blog, The Cheeky Wench. Her post is a sobering read, especially for those of us who depend heavily on Amazon and Kindle for our reading material. (Full disclosure: I have a Kindle. I don’t subscribe to KU. I own nearly two thousand Kindle books; I’ve bought many of those at bargain prices… but from legitimate, i.e. real, authors, not stuffers/packagers/people scamming the system. Most are traditionally published, or are backlist titles re-released by a trad-published author, but some are self-published by authors I like and respect. And I am willing to, and do, pay full price for books I really want to read.)
- Also check out this Twitter thread from David Gaughran (mentioned in Suzan’s post.)
- Secondhand books: the murky world of literary plagiarism. In the wake of recent high-profile plagiarism accusations, The Guardian’s Alison Flood looks at the larger picture of plagiarism. She focuses more on the borrowing or theft of ideas than of actual text. The former is harder to prove (it is alleged in the case of The Woman in the Window by A. J. Flynn aka Dan Mallory); the latter has been substantiated in the case of Cristiane Serruya, though as of now, I don’t know of any lawsuits against her.
- The Plight of Translation in America takes a look at how translated books are doing in America. (Publishers Weekly)
- Book Journal, Goodreads, or Both? On Keeping Reading Records (Blaga Atanassova, Book Reads)
Book & Movie Announcements
- The Folio Society held an artist contest for Howl’s Moving Castle, and The Guardian published an image from each artist. It’s well worth looking at the Guardian post; The Folio Society’s Instagram has more images from each artist who submitted. The winner picked by the judges is Marie-Alice Harel. The Folio Society also held a People’s Choice Award, won by Lulu Chen. My personal favorites were Lulu Chen and Marina Evlanova.
- Read Harder 2019: An Historical Romance by an Author of Color (Book Riot) Yes, there are historical romances by authors of color. Yes, they are absolutely worth reading. Even if you don’t normal read historical romance.
That’s it for this week!