First up, if you are in the San Francisco vicinity I will be on a panel hosted by the good people at GigaOM regarding Disintermediation in Publishing the morning of August 25th. It's free, the panel I'm on is with the CEO of Smashwords, author Simon Wood, and the Director of Marketing at RAND, it's free, the other panel is with the CEOs of Vook and Scribd and the Director of Digital Publishing at Adobe, it's free, did you notice how I'm the least qualified person in attendance, it's free. Register here!
Oh, and you may have noticed a few blog enhancements that I instituted this week. At the bottom of every post there are now suggested links for your perusing pleasure, and yes, I know lots of them are This Week in Publishings and I will soon append dates to these so at least you'll know where you'll end up when you take a ride on the This Week in Publishing Time Machine. Bellow those links is a fancy dancy Facebook Like button for your sharing-with-friends pleasure, and down below and to the right is a new official Tweet button that will easily allow you to post the link to Twitter should you so desire.
For the latest on the whole B&N is possibly up for sale thing, as per usual Michael Cader is there with a completely essential rundown of their boomerang end of the week (subscription). A quick summary: CEO/founder Len Riggio has been resisting efforts by billionaire shareholder Ron Burkle to increase his stake in the company. After the announcement last week it appeared a settlement was close, then at the last minute negotiations broke down. Meanwhile a judge ruled that the poison pill that prevented Burkle from increasing his stake was valid. Then Burkle announced a proxy fight to remove Riggio. Cader feels that all this means some sort of deal to take the company private is the most likely outcome. Please check out his summary for more info, and if you don't already subscribe to Pub Lunch please consider it.
In other industry news, Eric from Pimp My Novel predicts the end of a print format and it's not the one you'd expect, Gina Frangello posted a fascinating take on life in the indie trenches, the Plastic Logic e-reader Que está muerto, and Slate's Farhad Manjoo is predicting e-readers priced at $99 in time for the holidays.
Time Magazine is featuring novelist Jonathan Franzen on the cover, the first time a novelist has been on the cover in a decade, ahead of the publication of his highly anticipated novel FREEDOM. Oh. He's also in Vogue. No, really.
Anticipating the publication of Suzanne Collins' MOCKINGJAY, The NY Times featured an article noticing the trend of adults reading children's literature, including a tres exclusive bookclub circle in New York devoted exclusively to kids books. Even more scandalous, though unaddressed by the article: lots of adults are writing children's books too. You didn't hear it from me. (via @EdwardNecarsulmerIV)
"H to the izz-O, V to the izz-A. That's my memoir, get your damn hands up." Actually it's not really a memoir as much as part/memoir song-lyric-demystification. And it's called DECODED, which means I lost my bet in the "What will Jay-Z call his memoir" pool. Argh. I had my money on HARD KNOCK LIFE or THE BLUEPRINT.
In writing advice news, there were two takes on said/non-said dialogue tags, and they agree. Both Rachel Cotterill (via @lkblackburne) and Eric from Pimp My Novel spoke in favor of sticking to "said" and "asked" or even just "said," and Rachel Cotterill explains why sticking to "said" and "asked" does not feel repetitive: they're stop words. They're so common (like "the") that when they're there no one even notices. "I agree with both of them," Nathan said.
And if you have some time on your hands, ohdeedoh turned some old paperbacks into snazzy looking hardcovers and shows how you can do the same! (via Katherine Arathoon)
This week in the Forums, the hilarious keywords people use to arrive at your blog, ten reasons why e-books won't take over the world (agree? disagree?), counting down to MOCKINGJAY, how do you motivate yourself to write, and of course, the most hilarious advice you've received from non-writers.
Comment! Of! The! Week! Goes! To! Adam.Purple. I went verbose last week, but Adam's pithy response to the Keith Hernandez Rule made me chuckle:
I'm afraid I'm more familiar with the Bill Buckner rule.
And finally, two images that will have you smiling for the weekend. The first is the amazing site Better Book Titles, which re-imagines the covers of retitled classic works (via The Rejectionist):
And finally finally, John Ochwat pointed me to an amazing merit badge for sending off your query letter from Merit Badger:
And yes, that is a recently ripped out heart and an envelope.
Have a great weekend!