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:
- The Writers Union of Canada is opening membership to self-published authors. I’ll be writing more about this on Monday! (press release)
- Apple argues Judge Cote is biased and shouldn’t decide damages in the ebook price-fixing lawsuit. Unlike any of the big Six publishers, Amazon seems determined to continue fighting. (Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly)
- S&S launched Off the Shelf, a “publisher-agnostic” book discovery website and daily email service. Daily essays and reviews will highlight books published at least one year ago, and will not be limited to Simon & Schuster titles. (press release) (Off the Shelf website)
- “L.A. Times Festival of Books Partners with Amazon”, much to the dismay of the Festival’s indie bookstore supporters. (Wendy Werris, Publishers Weekly)
- George Saunders wins the Story Prize for Tenth of December, a short story collection.
- A new update for Amazon’s Paperwhite 2 might solve the PDF crashing problem that has plagued the ereader since its release. Other improvements include managing your Cloud collections from your Kindle. (The Digital Reader; GoodEReader)
- Harlequin sales & earnings down in 2013 (Publishers Weekly)
- A new app trains you to speed-read. (Elite Daily)
- A Twitter user plans to tweet first lines for a year. Actually, he tweets the book and author first, followed by the first line. But what will he do if the first line is over 140 characters?
Worth Reading and Watching:
- Neil Gaiman talks about book piracy, and his views may surprise you.
- “Five Reading Rules for Book Lovers of All Ages” offers thoughtful advice. (Book Riot’s Rebecca Schinsky, on the Reading Rainbow blog)
- “Is genre fiction creating a market for lemons?” looks at self-publishing and how price point and Amazon reviews may no longer have a meaningful connection to quality. (Sunita on Dear Author) The comments range from meh to extremely thoughtful, and they’re worth reading too. Especially the ones by (self-published and well-respected) author Courtney Milan.
- “If so, Readers Sure Love Their Lemons” – Edward W. Robertson thinks the Amazon review system is working just fine.
- “Amazon buried my novel: Those search algorithms are for sale” (Stephan Eirik Clark, Salon)
- Ten Free Audiobook Sites to Get Your Bookworm On
- Reading With Your Eyes Shut: 20 Audiobooks For Young Listeners (BookRiot; links to Audible)
- Ten Great Gifts for Grammar Geeks (BookRiot)
- 50 Books That Will Change Your Life — Ostensibly aimed at teens, this book has everything from MG (Percy Jackson) and YA (The Fault in Our Stars) to adult (The Time Travelers Wife) and classics (1984). You can also view them broken into categories. (World Book Day)
Just for fun:
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.