This should really be titled This Week in the E-books because there was some pretty significant e-book developments this week. The biggie is that after much anticipation, Google launched its e-bookstore this week in a format that can be read on pretty much any browser or device other than the Kindle. Since indie booksellers can utilize the format to sell to consumers, they cheered the news. The eBookstore is being billed as a more open format, but Farhad Manjoo of Slate disagrees with that assessment, noting that Google's format still employs DRM and doesn't truly offer more reading options than Amazon.
And speaking of Amazon, as Google was announcing its foray into e-bookselling, they announced a Kindle web app that will allow readers to read their Kindle books in any browser (disclosure: link is to CNET, I work at CNET).
In print book news..... yeah. Borders lost $74.4 million in the 3rd Quarter.
I love books and I love San Francisco, and I don't know if I've seen a better journalistic take on San Francisco and books than Gregory Dicum's exhaustive and accurate survey of the lively SF literary scene. Whether you're planning a visit or live in the city, definitely check it out.
Books about writing have a long and storied history, and Slate had a fascinating survey of one of the first popular ones: a 1895 Victorian-era guide called How to Write Fiction. Even more interesting, it was written by a 26-year-old with no previous publications other than a self-published poetry chapbook.
There will soon be an onslaught of end-of-the-year best of lists, but all will be hard-pressed to top Flavorwire's survey of the Year in Disturbing Celebrity Book Deals. Oh my.
This week in the Forums, your catch phrases, creating an agent search spreadsheet, sharing your editing tricks, getting through the middle, and a really great question, can you enjoy the book when you can't stand the author?
Comment! of! the! Week! goes to Chuck H, for a hilarious riposte to my post about the importance of exercise:
I'm a grumpy old man. The most exercise I get is rolling out of bed and snagging a cup of coffee. Would more exercise improve my creativity? Probably, but why take the chance?
And finally, John Ochwat passed along an entertaining explanation of one of the mystery of the ages: how the New York Times Bestseller list is created.
Have a great weekend!