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:
- “Ebooks Now Make up 1/5 of U.S. Book Sales” (Lauren Indvik, Mashable.com)
- And, from the same report, “Trade Sales Rose 6.9% in 2012” (Jim Milliot, Publisher’s Weekly.) Ebook sales are up 44.2% for the year, which is impressive.
“U.S. Now Paints Apple as ‘Ringmaster’ in Its Lawsuit on E-Book Price-Fixing”, and Apple may have pressured Random House, the last holdout, into agreeing. (Random House was not part of the original lawsuit. All five publishers originally included in the suit have settled out-of-court. Apple is the sole defendant remaining.)
- New Report Confirms Benefits of Reading” [National Reading Campaign (Canada)]
- Rita Meade wrote “A Librarian’s Response to ‘What’s a Library?'” “What’s a Library?” was a mostly dismissive/negative piece, more-or-less about the closing of a library, by Michael Rosenblum. Meade does an excellent job of pointing out the flaws in Rosenblum’s… well, I can’t quite call it an argument, because it’s not terribly cohesive, but he does make a number of uninformed or poorly-thought-out assumptions. (Both pieces are from The Huffington Post.)
- Dear Author’s Jane Litte posted an interesting opinion piece on “Barnes & Noble’s Nook Dilemma”.
- What do you do “When You Realize You Can’t Read All the Things” (and let’s face it, which of us hasn’t bumped up against that reality)? (Jill Guccini, BookRiot)
- “Famous Authors’ Handwritten Outlines for Great Works of Literature” with photos. I love J. K. Rowling’s HP and the Order of the Phoenix spreadsheet. (Emily Temple, Flavorwire)
- “Why You Should Give a $*%! About Words That Offend” is actually more about the evolution of taboo words and why we have them, drawn from a recent book by Melissa Mohr. (NPR Books)
Free & Bargain books:
- I just found out about SYNC, a service that posts free audiobook downloads (one per week throughout the summer) “to introduce the listening experience.” Some are classics; some are relatively recent YA releases like The False Prince, Grave Mercy, and The Raven Boys. You can see the complete list of this summer’s titles and dates here. This would be a great way to pick up a few audiobooks to review! Heads-up: you will need the Overdrive Media Console software to download the mp3 files to your computer, but they should be DRM-free when you get them.
For Writers and Bloggers:
- Jennifer at The Relentless Reader is putting together a Pinterest board for book blogs. If you’d like her to add your blog, just let her know! Meanwhile, it’s a great place to browse for new blogs that might interest you. Hint: pay more attention to the blog names than the pictures, which are often of reviewed books.
- The Book Monsters posted a list, with descriptions, of their favorite WordPress plugins. I’ve been idly knocking around the idea of switching the blog over to WordPress, and after looking at these? Let’s just say I’m a lot more interested.
- “5 Ways Writing Short Stories Can Boost Your Writing Career” (Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn)
- If you’re a fan of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, a small game company in Texas is using Kickstarter to fund development and production of a set of The Name of the Wind playing cards. These will be regular playing cards, but with original art related to The Name of the Wind and, from the look of the card above, The Wise Man’s Fear. The minimum donation gets you one limited-edition deck of cards (once they’re actually in production.) If you’re into these books, the art so far is seriously cool.
- Vintage school library posters from the 1960s, from Buzzfeed. (Thanks to Jennifer at The Relentless Reader for pointing me to these.)
Just for Fun:
- You’ve probably already seen it, but if you haven’t. . . the Audi car commercial starring the two Spocks is priceless.
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.