Apologies for the delay in getting you This Week in Books. The week: Hectic is an understatement. On Tuesday I was on a social media panel at the Search Engine Strategy conference, and in case you're curious about what I've been up to at CNET, ClickZ has a very nice summary.
And welcome to everyone who is arriving via Felicia Day's retweet of the E-book/Hardcover Pricing post! Grab a drink from the cooler and make yourself comfy.
Meanwhile... yeah we have a lot of links stored up.
Harry Potter was in the news quite a bit this week. The first screenshots of Pottermore began surfacing, and some real-life policy experts wrote a simultaneously hilarious and educational paper for Foreign Policy Magazine on what the reconciliation process should look like in a post-Voldermort society (via io9). And in a seriously bizarre story, after POD publisher Publish America offered to put books in front of J.K. Rowling (for a fee, of course), Rowling's spokesman called the claim completely false and promised appropriate action. Publish America then threatened a lawsuit. Sigh.
In Amazon-as-publisher news, the Internet giant is set to publish the next book by self-help guru Timothy Ferris. The 4-hour publisher disruptor perhaps? (Actually it's called 4-hour Chef).
And speaking of book deals, arguably the most famous cat in the world, Maru, just got one.
Who topped the Forbes list of highest paid authors? The same guy as last year: James Patterson, with $84 million (via GalleyCat).
In social media news, Jane Friedman has a great post on some important principles and best practices for Facebook fan pages, and Jessica Faust at BookEnds makes the case that social networking really does work.
In writing advice news, author Kiersten White has a great post on the rules of genre in YA, and agent Sarah LaPolla says you don't need an MFA as long as you follow these steps.
Katherine Eastland profiled the sordid! shocking! scandalous! history of the world's most widely-used font, Times New Roman (note: it's not that sordid, shocking or scandalous, but it is interesting). (via The Millions)
And my (alas former) colleague Erica Ogg has a great article on the End of the PC Era, which has been aided and abetted in large part by the rise of the tablet. What does this mean for books? Well, if you don't have a tablet now it's highly likely you'll have one in the future. And when those tablets become positively ubiquitous pretty much everyone will have an e-reader.
This week in the Forums, the difficult process of snagging e-book reviews, is it a good or bad idea to serialize your work online, listing your 10 favorite books, do you take a couple of weeks off while writing, and the Forum meet and greet has been scheduled for March 3 - March 8 2012. Brainstorming for workshop topics in full effect.
Comment! of! the! Week! There were many great posts on the most important qualities writers possess, and I was especially struck by Bill's:
Respect. The single most important quality of any successful writer; really, of any successful artist. Many others here have quoted things like perseverance, determination, discipline, etc. All these are byproducts of respect. When you respect the art and the challenge of writing, then you treat like a vocation that demands your maximum effort. But we need to also remember the other lesser advertised byproducts of respect. Things like humility, a sense of humor, and the much overlooked gratitude. Sheer talent might grant you some of the rewards that would traditionally require perserverance, determination, and discipline. But without respect, you'll come to see your success as something owed, rather than something earned. The result; arrogant and dim-witted one-hit wonders who's flash of success caused them to self-destruct. But if you respect the difficulty of writing; if you resepct both those who pan and praise your writing; if you respect the sacrifice; then you'll find success wherever your writing takes you.And finally, if you are one of the three remaining people who haven't heard of Maru the cat, well, here you go. Also: You're welcome.
Have a great weekend! Er, I mean week!