Better off Without ‘Em: a Review

Better Off Without ‘Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Independence by Chuck Thompson was something of a guilty pleasure that I picked up in a moment of pique from the iBookstore a little while ago. When I was very young,…

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Challenges in Self-Publishing: Marketing

When was the last time you dug around the eBook listings on Amazon? If you’re a typical reader, your answer is “never.” The best data I’ve seen suggests that you go to Amazon when you know what you want. In…

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Steven King on Writing

Steven King, one of the most important American writers of the twentieth century, recently gave an interview to Jessica Lahey over at The Atlantic. He explores his views on writing and teaching, and makes offers up some interesting perspectives. Check…

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The Curious Genius of HP Lovecraft

“Atmosphere, not action,” said Howard Phillips Lovecraft, “is the great desideratum of weird fiction. Indeed, all that a wonder story can ever be is a vivid picture of a certain type of human mood.” Today is Lovecraft’s birthday. I felt…

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The Anatomy of the YA Novel

Today I found myself reflecting on the YA novel, and the underlying formula that makes them work. After all, a lot of writers really want to develop these – partly because the market is so active (and likely over saturated,…

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Hatchette Responds

Just a brief update on the Hatchette/Amazon dispute. Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hatchette, has released a letter in response to Amazon’s last public notice to the reading public. In it, he offers a pretty good description of a why book…

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Mr. Palomar

Italo Calvino has learned to be dead. Like the subject of his novel Mr. Palomar, we have had to see how the world has gotten on without him. In fact, he left us some time ago, much to the consternation…

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Amazon and eBooks

Amazon is really concerned about ebook prices. And its not hard to see why. As a company, Amazon has a really tough time recording profits, despite steady growth in overall revenue. In fact, considered as part of Amazon’s sales, media…

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Unbroken

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand has already had a great deal of ink spilled over it, and deservedly so. The masterful storytelling and elegant attention to detail mark this as a work of great skill and talent. It tells the story…

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Barnstorming Bookstores

In my last post, I talked about the frustration that comes with virtual monopoly retailers like Amazon, and how, despite the convenience factor, there are inherent dangers to allowing any organization blanket control over an industry, especially one like Amazon…

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