Your friendly neighborhood Amazon had a banner quarter in the first three months of 2010, as their revenue rose a rather significant 46%, to $7.13 billion, and net income rose 68% to $299 million. The Kindle continues to be their largest-selling item.
Meanwhile, in some non-iPad Apple news that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere around the Internet, I received an interesting e-mail the other day that seems to indicate that Apple is getting into the self-publishing (or at least book printing) game. In the latest version of iPhoto they are making it pretty easy to design and print a book using your photos. Prices range from $9.99 for a medium sized wire-bound book to $49.99 for an extra large hardcover. UPDATE: Apparently this has been possible for a long time! Who knew! Um. I guess everyone but me.
The science fiction blog io9 spotted an awesome blog dedicated to the worst Science Fiction and Fantasy book covers in history, and the great Charlie Jane Anders has an awesome list of four danger signs to look for before you send it out to agents.
Author and former editor Jason Pinter challenges the notion that men don't read, and argues that some structural and marketing issues in publishing are preventing the industry from adequately reaching male readers.
Further to my post on the Science of Buzz, Ben Casnocha had a recent post on some research into what makes things interesting. Essentially it's novelty in an easily comprehensible fashion, and interest can be heightened with increasing familiarity and knowledge. Which, uh, I find interesting. (via Andrew Sullivan)
Writing for the Atlantic, David Corn has a post on the overwhelming information we are assaulted with in the era of the Internet, and how hard it is to actually find time to enjoy media for frivolity's sake. Spontaneous Public Service Announcement: Please remember to have fun with your Interwebz!!!
And speaking of frivolity, Tahereh has a pretty spectacular mockup of the cover of the first issue of Querypolitan Magazine, including 50 query tips and "Signs the Rejectionist is into you and/or your novel." Genius!!
Over at Rachelle Gardner's awesome blog, she asks her readers why they want to be published, and as always the responses are very interesting.
This week in the Forums, some awesome new videos of the sun, whether to craft symbolism or not, when you should call yourself a writer, and while we still aren't sure what's happening on Lost, on his blog reader Steve Fuller has a hilarious ode to Lost in the form of rewritten lyrics to "We Didn't Start the Fire."
Comment(s)! Of! The week! go to Carol Newman Cronin and Susan Fletcher, two of the many lives touched by Emmy Jacobson:
Carol Newman Cronin:
I never met "EJ," but we exchanged some correspondence (real letters on paper) that were very special to me. She was my grandmother's agent in the 1970-80's and when I decided to pursue a fiction career, I sent her my novel-that-should-have-stayed-in-the-drawer. She was very generous with her time and tactful with her advice. I'm so glad I sent her a copy of my first published fiction, "Oliver's Surprise," last fall as a thank you, and I hope she enjoyed it. RIP, EJ. Curtis Brown and the fiction world will continue, but an era has ended.
Thanks for this, Nathan. Emmy was my agent. She kept me grounded. She had no time for the latest new trend, maybe because she'd seen so many of them come and go. "Write the book you want to write," she said. "Can't wait to read it." Thank you, Emmy.
Almost finally, Michelle Kerns tallied 50 of the greatest literary insults of all time. There are some really amazing quotes in there, including Lord Byron calling John Keats' poetry "trash," but wow, never realized how much Faulkner disliked Mark Twain: "A hack writer who would not have been considered fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven sure fire literary skeletons with sufficient local color to intrigue the superficial and the lazy." (via the DGLM blog)
And finally finally, please stay tuned next week for Be An Agent for a Day II: A Sort-of-Scientific experiment!
Have a great weekend!