Thanks again to everyone who entered the second Guest Blog Challenge! This was just as difficult to judge as the first contest, and there were many incredible entries. But there could be only five.
Monday: Carly Wells
Tuesday: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Wednesday: Regina Milton
Thursday: Peter Cooper
Friday: Rick Daley
You will be in great hands next week. Congratulations to the winners!
Meanwhile, in the publishing this week:
More digital ink is being devoted to the Kindle this week and there’s a wide range of opinion. In the skeptic camp, reader Scott Spem was the first to point me to an as-you’d-expect review of the Kindle in the New Yorker by Nicholson Baker: there’s plenty of sneering (a sample passage: “The problem was that the screen was gray. And it wasn’t just gray; it was a greenish, sickly gray. A postmortem gray. The resizable typeface, Monotype Caecilia, appeared as a darker gray. Dark gray on paler greenish gray was the palette of the Amazon Kindle.”), but despite all that he almost brings himself to liking it in the end.
Meanwhile, in the “Holy crap I love this” camp is blog reader/commenter T. Anne who posted her own review this week, called, appropriately, Confessions of a Kindleholic.
In still-more-fallout from the whole Amazon/Orwell thing, the LA Times has an ominous Op-Ed called “Amazon’s Troubling Reach,” which includes this whopper: “[I]t’s not the incidents themselves but their ramifications that are disturbing, the idea that Amazon can effectively alter the collective memory at will.” Wow. I was going to make a point about this BUT AMAZON ERASED MY MEMORY. RUN!! RUN!!!!! SOMEWHERE! I FORGET WHERE!!
Meanwhile, GalleyCat spotted a journalist who is not terrified of the Kindle and all The Dire Implications it represents! In fact, Paul Carr suggests that Amazon shouldn’t apologize for the Orwell Incident. He writes: “In the past, once illegal copies were in people’s possession, there was little the copyright owner could do about it. Now, thanks to technology there is. Now, thanks to ebooks and the Kindle and Whispernet, the rights of authors – and their reward for spending their lives creating ideas and entertainment that benefit the world – can be protected and actively enforced.”
Meanwhile in still more e-book news, the NY Times detailed how DRM opponents are using the Orwell Incident to advance the non-DRM cause, while Mike Shatzkin, incredibly presciently as always, notes that in the future the DRM debate is kind of beside the point. In our Cloud future, where our content is stored centrally and we access it via our multiple devices, DRM will be the method by which that works.
To further illustrate Shatzkin’s point, I now read books on both my Kindle and iPhone. And the books sync between the devices. As in, after I read 20 pages on my iPhone the next time I sync my Kindle the same book will already be turned to the page I left off on. Let me just say that this shows that DRM… um… hmm… what was I going to say again? CURSED AMAZON!! LEAVE MY MEMORY ALONE!
Meanwhile, more news about the coming Apple Tablet, which will surely not be collective-memory-erasing because journalists love Apple like Flavor Flav loves clocks.
Whew! I swear some things happened that were not Kindle related.
Over at Pimp My Novel is a terrific discussion of Comp Titles, those magical books that are similar but not too similar to yours and by which publishers establish expectations for your book. Basically you hope your book is compared to good ones.
Neil Vogler pointed me to a very interesting post by an author who made the very difficult decision to leave her publisher.
In agent news, Jennifer Jackson has a great comparison for all that manuscript reading and conference-attending agents do for non-clients: not our job per se, but more like research and development.
Fitzgerald and Hemingway are two of my favorite writers, and they had a fascinatingly complex relationship. In a review of the forthcoming book FITZGERALD & HEMINGWAY: WORK AND DAYS, Matthew Shaer notes how Fitzgerald helped Hemingway get published, but later in life Hemingway increasingly felt Fitzgerald was soft and squandering his talent, comparing him to a wounded butterfly.
Have a great weekend!