Saturday, August 28, 2010

Beautiful photos of people reading, and more

I'm trying to get into the habit of posting a round-up of bookish bits on Saturdays. So here are the latest nifty things from the intarweb.

  • From the Literary Platform, news that the Man Booker prize has an iPhone app, "a first for UK literary prizes. The app, created by award winning digital agency Vexed Digital, will be free to download and will offer access to the Man Booker Prize archive – offering a full chronological history of the prize including information about the judges and the longlist, shortlist and winning authors and books. App users will be able to access exclusive author interviews, video content and audio and text extracts from selected Man Booker Prize titles."
  • A zillion people have weighed in on the Wylie-Amazon vs. Random House game of chicken over ebook royalties. Who blinked? Hard to say. Who won? Difficult to tell--though I think, for a change, it's writers who stand to do best from this. Though there's a way to go. Read this from Publishers Weekly. Though I think they're wrong to say a new rate is born. This is backlist we're talking about. As Kassia Krozer points out, the real fight comes with frontlist.
  • Also, at PW: news of the venerable book journal's venture into reviewing (for a price) self-published titles with it's new outlet, PW Select. "The registration fee of $149 entitles authors to a listing that includes title, author, illustrator (where applicable), pagination, price, format, ISBN, and a description of the book's contents--all of which will appear in the supplement and online database. Authors should also include the online location or phone number at which to place orders for their book." Sigh.
  • Mike Shatzkin takes a look at royalty arithmetic. The most intriguing part is the author's percentage of margin (calculated on a cost-of-sale basis). "Looking at these numbers it is easy to see why publishers are fighting to hold the line on ebook royalties. But ultimately the determination of what will work will not be based on what is fair or equitable; it will be be based on what the market says is the right level." Go take a look. It's pretty damn interesting.
  • My most splendid discovery this week is Steve McCurry's beautiful photographs of people reading (via Prospero). Mostly men, which is ironic on many levels. My favourites? The man with the elephant, and the bent old woman. Please go look. It will give you so much hope for the world. A reading world is a world with culture, a humane world. A world I want to live in. There's a Part II as well.
  • And finally, as always, over at Sterling Editing our usual links of interest to writers: unicorns, it seems, are ready for their fifteen minutes of fame.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend planned. I'm finishing up an editing project and then soon, oh soon, Hild Hild Hild! Life is good.

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