Hello from a plane leaving Las Vegas, where I had a fantastic time at the kickoff of the Bransforumfest 2012 writing retreat! Some of the great people who met in the Forums are in Vegas talking writing, drinking caffeinated beverages, occupying Starbucks, sampling some of Vegas' fine cuisine, and generally being rather awesome. I already can't wait until next year!
Meanwhile, yes, this be big book news: Apple is hosting an iPad event on Wednesday in San Francisco (disclosure: link is to CNET I work at CNET). Will the number of people with tablets continue to grow? And will they read on them or play Angry Birds?
Adding to the growing canon of "Do Authors Still Ned Publishers" posts, Alex Rider author Anthony Horowitz wrote a wide-ranging article for the Guardian. His conclusion: Yes, they do. Well, sort of.
So you want to work in the publishing publishing? Jessica Faust at BookEnds has suggestions for someone thinking of packing up and moving to NYC to pursue the publishing dream.
Over at the Dystel & Goderich blog is an awesome conversation between agent Michael Bourrett and editor Molly O'Neill. The topic: Everything you ever wanted to know about middle grade... and were willing to ask.
In life of the author news, Natalie Whipple has a really great post on the 10 things she wishes she would have done differently on her way to publication.
And in quite intriguing news that combines two of my favorite things, Downton Abbey director Brian Percival may adapt The Book Thief.
This week in the Forums: Which characters did you wish dead, RIP Jan Berenstein, do love interest characters need to be sexy, and how you deal with the am-I-crazies.
Comment! of! the! Week! There were lots of thoughtful and interesting posts on whether publishers have a perception problem, but for some counterbalance I thought I'd go with Jo Eberhardt:
Are they plagued by a public perception problem? Amongst writers, certainly. But the average non-writer (whether they read or not) has no idea who or what the "Big Six" even is, let alone how the publishing industry actually works.And finally, you know you're sad you didn't get Bransforumfest swag:
The entire debate reminds me of my days at university (about a billion years ago) where I spent a lot of time with IT geeks. Oh, the heated debates about the evils of Microsoft vs the integrity of Apple and the stability and geek-chic coolness of Linux as an operating system. Start an IT geek talking about reverse engineered operating systems and you'd be treated to a veritble diatribe proclaiming the inevitable end of draconian companies in the light of open-source alternatives.
But fast-forward to today and Microsoft is still around. Why? Because all the general public wants is an inexpensive, user-friendly computer system that allows them to check Facebook and watch videos of cats.
As long as traditional publishers provide a quality product at a reasonable price, through expected distribution systems, the "public perception problem" is going to remain largely confined to writers.
Have a great week!