Thursday, May 28, 2009

May Links & Things

These links are from my previous tweets for the month. I've listed them here, all in one post, and with additional detail (and occasional editorial comment, since I am an editor!). This allows me to have a somewhat permanent file of all these links. And hopefully you'll find something of interest here, especially if you're not following me on Twitter.

  • Author Jeremiah Tolbert writes about "5 Books on Writing and Science Fiction That Made Me a Better Writer." The books are by Damon Knight, James Gunn, Donald Maas, Robert McKee, and an anthology edited by Robert Silverberg. The "comments" include additional books by Nancy Kress, Stephen King, and Michael Shurtleff (and probably many more by now). (via @charlesatan)

  • From the Book Publicity Blog: "Sending Review Copies of Books to Bloggers." This piece answers some of the most frequently asked questions bloggers have about receiving review copies of books; there is also a list of considerations that publishing houses use to determine whether a blog is worthy enough of receiving a review copy. Some excellent comments, too, from other publicists, agents, etc. (via @thecreativepenn)

    And the follow-up on sending review copies of books to bloggers:
    Part II. A list of critical information that book publicists/publishers will need from bloggers.

    And here's
    Part III: Not all book reviews blogs are created equal; publicists look to specific blog statistics when determining which blogs will receive review copies.

  • What Sundance does for indie films and filmmakers, hopes to do for indie (re: self-published) books and authors: "Making what's outside the mainstream cool." There is a fee, of course! You can read their initial PR notice on the web site along with the details of the author agreement and corresponding payment. (via POD People)

    Editor Unleashed blog has an
    interview with Amy Edelman, found of

  • Self-Publishing Review has a guest post from Kent Anderson, who works in scholarly publishing (and has, in fact, worked in some aspect of publishing his entire working life) and runs The Scholarly Kitchen blog. Kent has self-published his first novel: Spam & Eggs: A Johnny Denovo Mystery under the pen name Andrew Kent. Read what Anderson has to say on his reasons for, and the process of, self-publishing.

  • Write to Done blog has a great piece entitled "Writer's Block... A Thing of the Past" in which the author tells of her experiences with writer's block and how to avoid it. She presents a great quote by Hemingway on the subject: "The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every will never be stuck.... That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start." As of this point there are thirty-seven worthwhile "comments" as well. (via @thecreativepenn)

  • Author Kristine Kathryn Rusch posted another entry to her online Freelancer's Survival Guide: this latest topic is "When To Give Up Your Day Job." And Kris's answer to the question, When do you quit your day job? "You quit your day job whenever you damn well feel like it." (Ah, but what if you're literally forced into freelancing because you lost your day job?)

    New entry to The Freelancer's Survival Guide:
    "Staying Positive." Kris writes: "As freelancers, we have to keep track of the good and the bad.... My first and best tool for this is my calendar. I have a New Yorker desk calendar, encased in leather and embossed with my name, at my right hand, just past my computer's mouse. I write every single good thing that happens to me in a day on that calendar. I keep track of fan mail, covers, publications, awards, and the amount of money I receive.... I also keep track of good comments, even from people who have rejected my work."

    And the next entry on
    "Insurance." Kris talks about insurance for health, home, business, etc. Kris writes: "Think you're relatively healthy? Good for you. Exercise a lot? Eat right? Take vitamins? Even better. Never been sick a day in your life? Wonderful. Get the damn insurance."

  • From United Airlines's Hemispheres Newsletter: an article entitled "Self publishing is becoming respectable -- even for the pros," written by journalist Willa Paskin. "As the chances of landing a book deal dwindle, even tweedy literary elites are whispering that self-publishing might be an acceptable path to legitimacy."

  • Author Charles Stross presented the Keynote Address at the LOGIN 2009 Conference (that's "online gaming industry"), held in Seattle, May 11-14. The address was entitled "Gaming in the World of 2030" -- and for our mutual edification, Charlie was kind enough to post the entire speech online. This is what Charlie had to say on "bandwidth": "Here, the physical limits are imposed by the electromagnetic spectrum. I don't think we're likely to get much more than a terabit per second of bandwidth out of any channel, be it wireless or a fibre-optic cable, because once you get into soft X-rays your network card becomes indistinguishable from a death ray."

  • In author Neil Gaiman's journal entry on "Entitlement issues," he explains that authors -- and George R. R. Martin in particular -- do not work for their readers. When a reader essentially complains that GRRM isn't working hard enough to deliver the next volume in his "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, Gaiman essentially tells him to get a life, because that's most likely what GRRM is doing. (You'll need to scroll down on the web page, for the bold text that begins "Hi Neil.")

  • Self-published author Christopher Meeks's most recent short story collection, Months and Seasons (White Whisker Books, 2008) is on the longlist for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, one of the most competitive -- and lucrative -- literary awards in the world. The link provides the history of the award, and lists all the authors, worldwide, who made the longlist. (via Self-Publishing Review)

    Self-Publishing Review has a lively and entertaining
    interview with Christopher Meeks.

  • From Amazon launches a new reprint publishing program, AmazonEncore. The first title will be self-published fantasy novel Legacy, the first of a trilogy (who would have guessed!), by teenager Cayla Kluver. (via MediaBistro)

  • Brad Grochowski and is trying to do for independently published books what Derek Sivers and has done for indie music! If a self-publisher lists their book on, Amazon pays the publisher $7; that same book listed on will pay the author $12.00. Also, AuthorsBookshop has a partnership with ABE Books, so listing a title on AuthorsBookshop also gets the title listed on ABE.

    Read an
    interview with Brad Grochowski conducted by Self-Publishing Review.

  • From Self-Publishing Review: Where to Find a Self-Published Book Editor. This article reviews a few self-publishing book services and individuals. My suggestion: Find an editor in the field in which your book falls; i.e. don't ask a nonfiction editor to review your genre fiction novel. Be sure to read my comment at the end of this article.

  • an online newsletter focused on bringing you the latest international publishing news and opinions. You can subscribe to their daily e-newsletter, so check them out.

    As a counter point to, I have also just learned about another similar blog:
    Beyond Hall 8 is a platform for discussion about book publishing from an international perspective and for an international audience. On this blog, you will find comprehensive coverage of groundbreaking news from English-speaking book markets, critical analysis of developing trends, and the witty opinions of erudite bloggers. (via @ sarahw)

  • Author Dean Wesley Smith on "Life After Returns" (Part One) in which he helps us understand bookstores' book returns policy and then suggests an interesting alternative: "In the book publishing industry, the bookstore owners are in a rare and wonderful position of having to take no responsibility for their own inventory. This burden is held completely by the publishers. The bookstores can get between a 40% and 55% or more discount off the cover price and take no risk other than their own overhead. If the product doesn't sell, they simply send it back for full credit."

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