This Week in Publishing 7/30/10

by | Jul 30, 2010 | Uncategorized | 33 comments

This Week! In Publishing!

This Friday I am actually out of town and thus may have missed some news from the last few days. Please feel free to fill in any links that I may have missed! (and please forgive iPad-generated typos)

First up, while I really love spam sandwiches, I do not love spam Tweets (see what I did there?). My real Twitter account now has a verified tag, so please make sure the verified one is the one you follow and not one of the phony imposter fakeries.

Mashabale recently polled their readership about their reading preferences, and found that a plurality still prefer paper books to e-books. Though dare I say I anticipate these results chnaging quickly in the coming years.

And speaking of which, the price of e-readers continues to tumble as Amazon debuts a WiFi enabled Kindle for $139 and a 3G device for $189.

If you’re looking for new ways to find good books, Lifehacker picked their five favorite book recommendation services: Shelfari, LibraryThing, Amazon, GoodReads and GetGlue. (via PWxyz)

Penguin is celebrating their 75th Anniversary, and Shelf Awareness had a great article about the history of the company, which famously helped popularize a crazy new fad in bookselling called the paperback.

And CNet took a look at e-book self-publishing options, so if you’re considering that option you might check that out because it’s quite a comprehensive and informative article. (via @JaneFriedman)

This Week in the Forums, the likability factor in TV and books, the temptations of the delete button, and how to write a character that’s smarter than you?

Comment! of! the! Week! will! be! pushed! to! next! week!

And finally, argh because the iPad makes it virtually impossible to use YouTube to embed videos, but here’s a link to one that has been making the rounds this week. Jane Austen Fight Club

Have a great weekend!


  1. Julia Rachel Barrett

    You know how you said you don't appreciate readers who say things suck? The Jane Austen fight club thing sucks. I am Jane Austened to death! Oops! Better watch my back, the Jane Austen Zombies may get me for this one!

  2. Nathan Bransford


    Have to say it wasn't my thing either, but so many people around the Internet liked it this week I figured I'd pass it along.

  3. D.G. Hudson

    Re- the Jane Austen Fight Club: Fighting, boxing, wrestling – all gladiator sports. Don't care for them — but seeing all the prissy ladies act out their 'real' unlady-like feelings was humourous.

    Jane Friedman's blog is always informative, although self-publishing isn't on my radar at this point. I also like how she rounds up all the best articles & tweets for the week.

    Enjoy the weekend, Nathan & all — we have lovely summer weather here on the northwest coast, and it's a long weekend for us British Columbians (Canada).

  4. Mira

    Oh no, the Jane Austen video is hilarious. At least to me. I laughed and laughed.

    I also admire the production values, and how much work a video like that would take. Who does this kind of thing?

    Nathan, I hope you're having fun being out of town, and it's very cool that you posted links anyway! You're so conscientious. I wish I owned a literary agency. I'd hire you, pay you a HUGE salary, and then take naps all day because you'd take care of everything!!

    So, I guess it's time for my regular "bug-Nathan-by-critiquing-research-that-he-linked-to-out-of-interest-no-one-said-this-was-high-science-it's-just-an-informal-survey-for-crying-out-loud critique. I took a class in research last Spring and I've been IMPOSSIBLE to live with since then. My friends won't let me critique research with them any more, so I have to do it here.

    So here's the thing about the Mashable poll and why it's not valid research. Anyone can vote multiple times at multiple comupters. The sample isn't random. And the results reall don't say they prefer paper books, anyway. 41.9 like paper, 23.24 like e-books, but 34.86 like BOTH. That means 58.1 like e-books. That's means e-books WIN. I could critique that conclusion as well, but I don't critique my own stuff. What would be the point of that?

    I very much like the recommendation system at Amazon. I don't know about the others, but I'll check them out. I rarely buy a book now (and since I got the Kindle, I buy ALOT of books, I love, love, love that thing) without checking the reviews.

    Yay for Penguin and paperbacks!

    Very interesting about the self-publishing possiblities. Thank you for linking that. You are so cool to link that, Nathan. I'm going to hire you and…wait. I already said that.

    So because there's no comment of the week, I assume this comment is in the running for next week? Awesome. I'll get my acceptance speech ready. This was definitely one of the best comments I've made ever.

    Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

  5. Kristi Helvig

    You know you've hit the big time when there are fake Twitter accounts out there w/ your name on them! I think I'm following the real Nathan.

    I think I'll always prefer paper to electronic books, but I realize I'm part of a dying breed.

    Thanks for the links. Happy Friday!

  6. Anne R. Allen

    I'm with Mira–I laughed myself silly watching the Jane Austen Fight Club. I think some people aren't getting the point. It's making fun of the all-Jane Austen-all-the-time craze–showing how silly it all is.

    Now I'm going to check Anon's Salinger link. Nathan, you are the hub of the book blogosphere!

  7. Travis Erwin

    I'm glad to see you getting the rock start verified status you so richly deserve.

  8. Livia

    Spam musubi FTW!!!
    I secretly hope for the day when my twitter account will require a verified tag.

  9. Kristin Laughtin

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who's a little sick of Jane Austen parodies lately. Don't get me wrong, I loved PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, but that was about all I needed.

    Haven't heard of Shelfari before. I'll have to check it out!

  10. Dara

    LOL, that Jane Austen thing was funny. Although I was never a huge fan of the actual Fight Club movie.

  11. Matthew Rush

    I have nothing insightful or even mildly entertaining to add … but I would like to thank you Nathan for all you do, posting from your iPad even while out of town? Awesome.

  12. swampfox

    Fight Clubs? Try being a Middle School teacher for a week.

  13. Sheila Cull

    Penguins have a dignified flippancy. Love it.

  14. Fawn Neun

    Gotta love the Jane Austen Fight Club, if only for the irony. It's a perfect combination of two novels about society's gender assignments.

  15. I know I came in here for something

    Big Austen fan here, and I enjoyed the JA Fight Club. Given the exuberance of her “Juvenilia” (“I murdered my father at a very early period of my Life, I have since murdered my Mother, and I am now going to murder my Sister.”), I think Jane would have enjoyed seeing some of her more deserving characters haul off and smack a few of the others.

    Thanks for the fun link!

  16. ryan field

    I wonder how far e-readers will go down. I saw an e-reader I'd never heard of in one of those unsolicited catalogues this week where they sell everything from training bras to computers. And this e-reader was less than 100.00.

  17. Megan

    fantastic links as always thank you! it must take you so long to do it!

  18. Ishta Mercurio

    Yay Penguin! Yay book recommendation sites! (I like Goodreads, because I can see what my friends like, and I know how their tastes compare to mine, so it gives me a solid base to work from.)

    Yay Nathan for more awesome links!

  19. treeoflife

    I know I posted here a while ago saying that I was waiting for ereaders to get cheap enough before I gave in and bought one. Well, $139 does it for me. I've got one pre-ordered.

    (and I like how it comes in graphite colour)

  20. K. M. Walton

    Nathan, you should add that Rock Paper Tiger was chosen as a "Looking For More Thrills?" read in Entertainment Weekly's July 30th issue. Exciting!!!

  21. Terin Tashi Miller

    Good heavens, I love Mira's comments.

    Seriously, that was some great critiquing as well on the Mashable poll.

    And regarding the Jane Austen Fight Club, seems lots of folks (including in a not-so-recent episode of the tv show "Chuck") taking the idea of the "Fight Club" without realizing the point of the story was that the club didn't really exist…but I won't spoil the book for potential readers…:)

  22. Terin Tashi Miller

    And Happy Birthday Penguin! Their paperbacks added mightily to my education when I was oversees without television and in long lines, and on long train rides!

    The paperback is/was the e-book reader of the past (in my humble opinion).

  23. Haste yee back ;-)

    Bezos of Amazon re: ereaders… "Color is not ready for prime time!"

    Well, lad, if Apple can do it, why can't you? I mean, after all, pixels do make color! I know… go here, the first three illustrations are nothing but pixels…

    And you can upload them digitally.

    Haste yee back 😉

  24. Mira

    Terin Tashi, good heavens, what a wonderful compliment. Thank you! Nathan's blog just makes me happy, so I have lots of fun here.

    And I like your comments too! I think it helps that we agree on lots of stuff. 🙂

  25. Haste yee back ;-)

    @ryan field…
    $100 ereader, that's because it's a "training reader!" Use size AA batt.

    Haste yee back 😉

  26. ryan field

    Haste yee back 😉 said…
    @ryan field…
    $100 ereader, that's because it's a "training reader!" Use size AA batt.

    HA!! LOL

  27. Dayana Stockdale

    Thanks for posting about the book recommendations. That should be helpful!

  28. BookWhirl

    Thanks for sharing this post! Great recommendations!

  29. BookWhirl

    I knew CNet has it all good articles to read.

  30. BookWhirl

    Well been watching this Jane Austen Fight Club and it's good! Actually it's amazing.


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Hi, I’m Nathan. I’m the author of How to Write a Novel and the Jacob Wonderbar series, which was published by Penguin. I used to be a literary agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. and I’m dedicated to helping authors chase their dreams. Let me help you with your book!

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