News & Notes – 3/15/14

March 15, 2014 science fiction, self-publishing, Star Trek 10

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 raises the price of Prime to $99 per year.  According to the email they sent me, they haven’t increased the cost of Prime for 9 years… during which, the cost of shipping has gone up, and they’ve added Prime Instant Video and the Kindle Lending Library. (Just out of curiousity, how many of you use either of those services? I enjoy the 2-day shipping, but do most of my streaming through Netflix, which seems to have better quality. And since I have more than enough books to read, I haven’t made use of the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library yet.)
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction for Americanah. (GalleyCat)
  • “History of the Quidditch World Cup” now available to read on  You have to sign up to the site to get the content, then go through the books until you get to number 4. (GoodEReader)


Screenshot from the Pottermore site added to pottermore.wikia by Owlseer

Worth Reading: 

  • “Are Audiobooks Worse than Real Books? Let’s Ask Science” looks at a recent (and small) study that indicated that the minds of people listening to audiobooks wander more than the minds of people who read silently (and best for concentration is to read aloud.)  Rachel Smalter Hall is rightfully skeptical of the methodology and sample size, and would like more studies to look at other variables and outcomes — for instance, retention, new vs. longtime audiobook listeners, etc. To hers, I would add: comprehension; aural vs. visual vs. kinesthetic learners; generation and/or age; and narrator’s voice.  I suspect all of those may play a part in how well or poorly a person pays attention to, and processes, an audiobook. (BookRiot)

For Writers & Bloggers:


      Book Announcements:


      Awesome lists: 

        Really cool:

          Just for fun: 


            Bookish Quotes:

            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.

            10 Responses to “News & Notes – 3/15/14”

            1. Rita_h

              My husband has Prime, and got it before Christmas when it was still $79 a year. We don’t live near a big city and use it to get free 2 day shipping on many items not related to reading, and also to send gifts to our grandkids who live in another state. I use the lending library from it each month (regardless of how fast or slow you read, you only get one book loan per calendar month). At $99 a year, and with our moving next month, I doubt we will renew it though.
              By the way–love that T-shirt!!

            2. kimbacaffeinate

              As someone new to audio books initially my mind wandered and I found myself rewinding now into my 6th I am in love with them and could quote scenes so retention isn’t an issue. I think the fact that I can read amongst noise and tune the rest of the world out (much to the annoyance of my family which is evident in the raised cries of Mom) that it has aided me. I listen while doing mindless tasks like cleaning.

            3. George

              I use the Prime Video all the time. I also usually use the Lending Library every month. It’s great for reading various Sherlock Holmes pastiches.

              • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

                We’ve found that the quality of the Prime Video isn’t as good as that of Netflix, so we usually use Netflix for video. But I’m looking at the Lending Library, and we do use the shipping… quite a bit.

              • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

                It blew my mind, too, but it’s also too sad. I’m glad Rowling didn’t go with that. Though as my daughter Robin points out, Harry hasn’t reached the age where he would die naturally yet, so… we don’t actually know, do we?