- “R E S P E C T”: Artist Lee Moyer answers author Jim Hines’ questions about sexism and objectification in his art and SF/fantasy art in general. It’s a thoughtful, well-articulated argument that recognizes the issue while pointing out that artists are, in general, responding to industry demands — which in turn may be a response to consumer demand. My own assessment, having followed this argument for a while now, is that SF/fantasy’s attitudes toward women reflect those of society as a whole; we may have ‘come a long way, baby,’ but there’s still a long way to go. (Lee Moyer’s blog)
- Speaking of which… Jessica Luther explores the tangled and often uneasy relationship between the romance genre and feminism in “Beyond Bodice Rippers: How Romance Novels Came to Embrace Feminism.” (The Atlantic)
- Author Charlie Stross explains “Why I don’t self-publish,” reminding us once again that the decision to self-publish is not an easy one, and should take into account the amount of time required to both publish and market your books as well as writing them. It’s not for everyone.
- Nate Hoffelder argues “The Best Reason Not To Use Google Keep: Google Reader” — the company’s arbitrary decision to kill the apparently successful Google Reader has resulted in a widespread lack of trust in the company. (The Digital Reader)
- “What You ‘Like’ on Facebook Can Be Revealing”: Your Facebook likes, when put together, can give clues to your age, your political persuasion, even your sexual orientation. (Raphael Satter, AP, via finance.yahoo.com)
Books & Ebooks in the News:
- In a six-to-three vote, The Supreme court ruled against the publisher in Wiley v. Kirtsaeng, the case concerning the first-sale doctrine. This is an important decision; had it gone the other way, the implications for resale of lawfully-obtained, copyrighted goods were dismaying and potentially far-reaching. The bottom line for you and me is that if you bought a book published (legally) in another country, you can legally resell it here. (Ronald Mann, SCOTUSblog)
- “Small online merchants file suit against Amazon.com” for withholding payments for up to 90 days in violation of Washington state law. (Amy Martinez, Seattle Times)
- Amazon Publishing promises to pay royalties monthly, according to a letter sent out by VP Jeff Beale. (Nate Hoffelder, The Digital Reader)
- “In Latest Twist, Penguin Demands Jury Trial in State Price-fixing Case” (Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly)
- “The Best-selling eBooks of 2012” is an extremely long list, ranked by sales figures (units, not dollars.) Anyone who still thinks ebooks are a passing fad, or that they won’t continue to gain market share, needs to look at these numbers. (Publishers Weekly)
- “The Best-selling Children’s Books of 2012” similarly ranks unit sales of children’s and YA books. Sales figures, where listed, include both print and ebook sales. (Some publishers gave figures for ranking purposes; the actual figures do not appear.) (Publishers Weekly)
- Publishers Weekly reports a large increase in mass market paperback sales last November.
- The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, is currently free for Kindle, Nook, and at Kobo (which means it’s probably free at other ePub stores as well.)
- Joseph Robert Lewis (who also writes as Joss Llewelyn and Jordan Lockhart) offers several standalones and fantasy series on his website, absolutely free. I haven’t read them, but the Goodreads ratings, while not extensive, are pretty good, and some of the series look intriguing.
News for Bloggers:
- Amazon has a new button you can install on your blog which will allow readers to send your posts to their Kindle. Just curious — what do you think of this? Is it a good idea, or not?
- Great Girls Your Daughter Should Know (Molly Makes Do blog)
- “How to Type Symbols Using the Alt Key” I’ve always wanted to know how to do this.
Finally, 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.