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.
There’s a lot of book news this week!
Books & Ebooks in the News:
- Goodreads will start deleting content focused on “author behavior”. In other words, if your review talks about how the author was rude to you or to a blogger, or threatened someone, your review can and probably will be deleted. If you have a shelf labeled “nightmare authors”, that’s probably going to go away, too. (Apparently some people keep Goodread shelves for the books they don’t want to read. This had never occurred to me. I have enough to do to wade through the huge numbers of books I do want to read.) However, if an author’s behavior toward you is inappropriate and you complain to Goodreads about it, the author may be removed as a “Goodreads author,” so the censorship is going both ways.
- “Judge Limits State Penalties in Apple E-Book Case” (Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly)
- The Library of Congress will close all buildings and its website if the government shuts down on Tuesday.
- “Google Books Case Appears Ready to Be Decided” This is the case brought by the Author’s Guild regarding Google’s scanning and digitization of library books. The article explains the case well. (Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly)
- The FAA might ease restrictions on e-reader, phone, and tablet use during takeoff and landing. (Michael Kozlowski, Good E Reader)
- 47% of adults read some form of literary work in 2012, according to the NEA’s Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. The category covers fiction, poetry, and plays. That’s the same rate as in 2002, and down from 50% in 2008. If you include nonfiction (read by choice, not for work), the rate goes up to 54%.
- “Sony Abandons the eReader Market in the United States”. Because it can’t compete with Amazon, B&N, and Kobo, Sony won’t sell its new PRS-T3 in the U.S. (Michael Kozlowski, Good E Reader) I guess that decides it; when I have to replace my trusty PRS-505, I’ll have to go with either a Kobo or a Kindle.
- “Kindle Book Reviews Fool Buyers (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- Penguin is finally opening up ebooks to libraries again — but Kindle owners will have to sideload the books. (Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly)
- Scholastic donated one million books to Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit that works through medical providers to get books into children’s hands. (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- “Kobo Writing Life: A Year Later” looks at Kobo’s self-publishing arm and self-published prices as it passes the one-year mark. (Calvin Reid, Publishers Weekly)
- “Smartphone Reading May Help Dyslexic Readers” (Mercy Pilkington, Good E Reader)
- Kids have read over 3 million books on the Reading Rainbow app. (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- Google Play opens ebooks to 7 Asia Pacific countries and New Zealand. (Michael Kozlowski, Good E Reader)
Worth Reading or Watching:
- Goodreads will start deleting content focused on “author behavior”. In other words, if your review talks about how the author was rude to you or to a blogger, or threatened someone, your review can and probably will be deleted. If you have a shelf labeled “nightmare authors”, that’s probably going to go away, too. (Apparently some people keep Goodread shelves for the books they don’t want to read. This had never occurred to me. I have enough to do to wade through the huge numbers of books I do want to read.) However, authors are also being asked to respond to reviews appropriately (or better yet, not respond at all) and can be removed from Goodreads if they don’t, so the censorship cuts both ways. The change has sparked more than a little protest, judging by the comments. You can read Goodreads’ Review Guidelines and Author Guidelines for more information.
- Personally, I’m of two minds about this. I don’t like censorship in general, but as Goodreads points out, the reviews are supposed to be about the books, not the authors’ behavior. It seems to me that the company is trying to discourage bullying and meanspiritedness by reviewers and authors alike. And to be fair, there have been abuses of power on both sides.
- “What Ever Happened To Book Editors?” Veteran editor Marjorie Braman muses on the editor’s role(s) and why she went freelance. (Publishers Weekly)
- “How Technology Empowers Blind Readers” (video of a TED talk by legal scholar and activist Ron McCallum.)
- Trying to define YA is tough, but the folks at Publishers Weekly‘s Shelftalker have come up with a pretty good one.
- “Where Do You Donate Your Books?” (Megan Frampton, Heroes and Heartbreakers)
- “Can’t Sign a Kindle” (Josie Leavitt, PW’s Shelftalker)
Book & Movie Announcements:
- Jim Carrey self-published a children’s book (Mercy Pilkington, Good E-Reader) and is publicizing it using his character from “Dumb and Dumber.” (Jason Boog, GalleyCat)
- Michael Bloomberg and Paul Ryan are both coming out with books. (GalleyCat)
- Jennifer Lawrence will star in ‘East of Eden’ remake (Bill Carter, New York Times)
- The Cutest (and Smartest) Bookish Animals (Retreat by Random House)
- 15 Classic Children’s Books That Have Been Banned in America (Buzzfeed)
- The 20 Best Books in Translation You’ve Never Read (Publishers Weekly)
- 17 Best Book Nooks for Grown-Ups (Retreat by Random House)
- Periodic Table of Storytelling chart (Click here to get an enlargeable version)
That’s it for this week!
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.