SHORTER STORIES: FEWER WORDS, MORE WORK?
"Conventional wisdom says that short stories are less complex than full-length novels, an idea with which I strongly disagree. Not when done well, they aren't. In fact, good short stories are actually much harder to write than a full-length novel. But it's a lot fewer words so it _must be easier, right?_ Wrong. There is no margin for error in a short story. Just one misstep, one weak link will cause the whole thing to implode."
AGGREGATION KILLED THE JOURNALISM STAR
"[...] in the shift from an old media model to one of engagement and interaction, we’ve also shifted from telling stories to creating content. We’ve turned “self-expression” into self-promotion, and “active participation” into a means for everyone with an Internet connection and an opinion to be considered on par with journalists, which dilutes the importance of those who deeply probe the issues and privilege information about ideas and events above their online brand."
THE SUBSCRIPTION MODEL FOR EBOOKS HASN'T EMERGED YET, BUT IT WILL
"We’ve reached the point where Amazon with their Kindle and B&N with their Nook are perfectly positioned to make a subscription offer. Publishers will have mixed feelings about it and the agents for the top-selling authors have good reasons to be against it, but the proposition seems (to me) to be one that will be compelling to many consumers and will offer tremendous advantages to the retailer that offers it. In fact, I’m a bit surprised it hasn’t happened already. Here’s how I imagine it working."
10 SCIFI NOVELS TO GIVE PEOPLE WHO HATE SCI-FI
"If you're a voracious sci-fi reader, and your friend or significant other is not, you know the pain. You wish you could share the latest great novel you read, but they just roll their eyes and say, "I don't read science fiction." You've tried introducing them to the greats like Dune or Neuromancer, but they don't get past the first page. This list is for them. Most of these novels are so popular and universal, they put them in the mainstream section of most bookstores. Think of them as appetizers. Once they read these, they may be ready for a deeper novel as the main course."
SELLING BOOKS BY DAY, WRITING THEM BY NIGHT
"It’s safe to say that the staff of the average independent bookstore contains at least a few aspiring writers. But Straub and other bookseller-authors like her don’t necessarily need their bookstore paychecks to survive. They have already been published, enjoying (in some cases) sizable advances and (in many more) critical praise. For the most part, they view bookselling as more than just a steppingstone."
The New York Times Sunday Books Review
THE WEB ALLOWS STORIES TO BE SPUN IN NEW WAYS
"The simple truth about the book in the 21st century is that this is a golden age of reading and writing. As Umberto Eco puts it in his latest publication, This is Not the End of the Book (Secker Harvill), "the computer returns us to Gutenberg's galaxy; from now on, everyone has to read"."
Robert McCrum on books - guardian.co.uk
IS DESKTOP PUBLISHING ERODING GRAMMAR AND SPELLING?
"Think about it. In the old days, when you wanted to put a “No admittance” or “Authorized personnel only” sign up, you had to pay a fairly large sum of money to have it fabricated. When you were paying that much money, and getting a permanent artifact in return, you (and the artifact makers) would make damned sure that everything on it was right."
NO TAX ON IMAGINATION
"In the UK, VAT is charged on ebooks but not on printed books – and in fact, right across Europe the ebook rate is higher. It’s a glaring anomaly and a very unpopular tax: search Google for ‘ebook VAT‘ and the words you’ll see headlined are unwanted, idiotic and Why? Why indeed? Most ebooks have the same content as their printed equivalents. So why should the consumer pay more tax on the version that doesn’t require us to cut down trees (or fuel transport or power warehouses and shops)? In our green-alert society, the ebook tax clearly fails the ‘common good’ test."