News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, giveaways on this and other blogs, and other cool stuff.
Books & Ebooks in the News:
- “Amazon Executives Testify in eBook Price Fixing Case”, and their testimony upholds the DoJ’s contention that Apple and the Big Six publishers (or at least Five) conspired to fix ebook prices. The major publishers were aparently also sharing information about their individual negotiations with Amazon. (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- “Apple Attacks Google at Trial”. To be more precise, the Apple attorney grilled Tom Turvey, a Google executive who is one of the government’s witnesses, and turned him topsy-Turvey. The article goes on to describe more of the Amazon testimony referenced above, including an explanation of the Macmillan-Amazon conflict that led to Amazon temporarily suspending sales of Macmillan titles. (Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly)
- “Nook Media Debuts Nook Snaps, Curated Digital Short Content” — rather like Amazon’s Kindle Singles. (Publishers Weekly)
- “Self-Published eBooks Account for 12% of the Entire Digital Market” (Michael Kozlowski, Good EReader blog)
- “A. M. Homes wins 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction” for her book May We Be Forgiven. The organization also announced that Bailey’s Cream Liquor is the title sponsor for the next three years; the prize will be called the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. (womensprizeforfiction.co.uk)
- Shannon Hale will pen the first title in a new Little, Brown–Mattel partnership series, Ever After High. (Karen Raugust, Publishers Weekly)
- “IndieReader Announces the Winners of the 2013 “IndieReader Discovery Awards” at BEA”. There’s a complete list of the winners, including winners in each genre fiction category, so if you’re looking for a good indie book to read on your summer vacation, here’s a place to start.
- You may have heard about the controversy about overt sexism in the last three SFWA (Science Fiction Writers Association) bulletins. Writer E. Catherine Tobler gives a good precis of what happened in a blog post explaining why she is leaving the SFWA. (One article “told women to emulate Barbie, to ‘maintain our quiet dignity as a woman should’.” Seriously? In a professional journal?! This is 2013, not 1963!) Jane Litte has some interesting thoughts over at the Dear Author blog, with links. And i09 reports that Jean Rabe, the (female) editor of the SFWA’s bulletin, has resigned. Meanwhile, John Scalzi, the president of the SFWA, has issued an apology — although one that seems to oddly avoid acknowledging the actual behavior that was wrong and unacceptable. Edited to add (6/09/13): Ann Aguirre has written a powerful piece on her experiences at SFF conventions. The comments are also worth reading. I heard stories like hers decades ago, back in the early 80s when I was attending cons. It both saddens me and infuriates me that that 30 years later, women writers (and women in general) are still dealing with the same sexism, mysogyny, and lack of respect.
- “Gendered covers are failing young adult readers” (YA author Allison Croggon, The Guardian‘s book blog)
For Writers & Bloggers:
- “Getting a blogger to review the book you wrote, part deux” (Insatiable Booksluts blog) Candid, sometimes snarky. Food for thought for writers and bloggers alike.
- “How Best-selling Authors Use Email to Interact with Readers” discusses and links to CSPAN coverage of a panel discussion held at BEA.
- Jane Litte of the Dear Author blog discusses her reaction to BEA Bloggercon 2013 as well as her participation in the BEA 2013 Amazon Roundtable.
Free & Bargain books:
- Remember that the Sync free audiobook downloads begin May 30! You will need to download the Overdrive Media Console to be able to download the audiobooks. Here are this week’s and next week’s titles:
- June 6 to June 12: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book 1: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood (read by Katherine Kellgren) and Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (read by Wanda McCaddon)
- June 13 to June 19: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (read by Will Patton; Scholastic Audiobooks) and Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya (read by Robert Ramirez; Recorded Books)
- Benedict Cumberbatch reading Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale” — brilliantly.
- And while we’re listening to great literature, here’s A. A. Milne reading from Winnie the Pooh in 1929. Specifically, Chapter 3, “In Which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle.”
|What do you call a carbonated beverage: soda, pop, coke, or a soft drink?|
- A PhD student has created “22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak English Totally Differently From Each Other.” (Actually, he has created about 123 maps; the link to all the maps is available at the end of this sequence.) It’s fascinating to go through them and see where you fall on the map. I could see the influence of the places I lived in childhood in my pronunciation and word choices.
- Wrecked Writings, an Etsy shop, offers jewelry boxes made from used books. I’m not normally a fan of cutting up books, but these are pretty cool. Here’s a case made from the whole set of Harry Potter books:
- Adazing Design, a book cover design company for self-publishing authors, has put together three posts of inspirational book quotes. Many are quotes you may already know, but the graphics are exceptional. They also have a nice collection of Lord of the Rings covers from various editions. Check them out!
I’m always on the lookout for interesting articles, lists, and links for News & Notes, so please let me know if you see (or write!) anything that might be good for this feature. You can leave me a comment or send me an email — my address is on the About/Review Policy/Contact page.