First up, there will be no Page Critique Monday this coming Monday as the blog (and its author) will be taking Memorial Day off. However, I'm pleased to report: CONTEST ON TUESDAY!!! I'm very excited about this one, which is in honor of the release of Lisa Brackkman's dynamite thriller ROCK PAPER TIGER, which oh yes received a fabulous starred PW review and is ten kinds of awesome (and quite possibly more). So see you on Tuesday!
Speaking of buzz, the iPad has gone on sale in Japan, some countries in Europe, and Australia, and wouldn't you know: lines abound.
Also in iPad news, B&N released their highly anticipated iPad e-reader app, and I have to say, in my opinion it's the best one yet and well worth the wait. It's eminently customizable - you can change fonts, margins, colors, sizes, create your own themes based on your preferences, or, if all that customization isn't your thing you can just click a button to use the publisher's settings. Books are searchable, notetaking is a piece of cake, you can highlight anything and look it up in the dictionary or on Google and Wikipedia, it incorporates the built-in Lend-Me feature, and you always know what page you're on with a nice little scrolling image at the bottom of the screen. Well done, B&N. Well done, indeed. The only drawbacks I noticed is that things seem to load just a bit more slowly than the other e-reading apps, there aren't page-turning customization options, and per CNet they haven't yet worked out iPad/iPhone syncing, but that's coming later in the year.
Meanwhile, amid word that Apple's iBooks is opening itself to self-publishers and B&N is launching a self-publishing program, Eric at Pimp My Novel takes stock of some of the lack the options for self-publishers at iBooks, and says that neither of these developments represent a death knell for publishers and agents. This clip seems relevant.
And swear this is the last e-book link, but via Moby Lives..... another e-reader debuts! This one has an LCD screen, runs Android and sells for $199. It also looks pretty nice. It's called the Novel, which shouldn't be confusing at all.
BEA was this week and there have been a ton of recaps and blog posts around the Internet, but by my money no one does BEA recaps and captures the spirit of the event better than agent Janet Reid. One Two Three Four - go!
Oh - also in BEA news, Garrison Keillor wrote the New York Times' 4,178,258,257th Op-Ed on the end of publishing as we know it (The cause: deluge of self-published books. The apocalyptic metaphor: "Call me a pessimist, call me Ishmael, but I think that book publishing is about to slide into the sea."). Flavorwire took a survey the industry reactions to the op-ed, and... yeah wow. Pithiest response goes to Marley Magaziner: “Having worked at NPR and in publishing, publishing pays better.” (via @Victoria Strauss)
In writing advice news, my client Jennifer Hubbard has an awesome blog post about how difficult it is to decide whether or not to take editorial guidance, and how at the end of the day it's your name on the book.
Author Hannah Moskowitz wrote a fantastic post about dealing with inevitable frustration at every level of the publishing process ("everyone feels like they're not as good as everyone else"), and how best to deal with it. Her secret isn't unplugging from the business (that's impossible) but instead finding supportive people outside of it.
And Livia Blackburne has a terrific summary of a chapter of a book called MADE TO STICK, about what keeps a reader's attention: a knowledge gap. Don't know what that means? Better click over to fill your knowledge gap!
In agent advice news, Rachelle Gardner has a great post for authors considering switching agents, noting that the grass is not always greener, and Jessica at BookEnds has some awesome ideas for ways to use your galleys.
This week in the Forums: the violent cartoons we watched as kids, whether or not flashbacks work, queries and voice, and um, seriously the show's over and I still have no idea what happened on Lost.
Oh - and the wonderful Tahereh was kind enough to interview me on her wonderful blog!
Comment! Of! The! Week! goes to Josin L. McQuein, who had a terrific comment on setting. An excerpt:
Terrain isn't a backdrop and shouldn't be treated like one. It requires navigation because of rises and dips. There are snaggling brambles and tree branches that can tickle or torment.
Surfaces have texture. They reflect light or shatter it, sometimes they devour it.
Setting is such a key component to the tone of a story it bugs me when people shrug it off as though it were no more than the shoebox used to house a first grade diorama of the Cretaceous Period.
And finally, via Serzen in the Forums, a hilarious song from author Parnell Hall about having a signing in Waldenbooks and nobody's there.
Have a great weekend! See you Tuesday!