Whew! What a week! Paragraphs were read. Winners were crowned. Tiredness was reached.
But I still have a few links for you.
First up, I’m going to start with the sad stuff as there’s not one but two bankruptcies in the news. First is Borders, which is the subject of numerous rumors that it could declare bankruptcy as soon as next week, which could result in the closure of at least 150 of its 650+ stores. And Canada’s largest distributor, H.B. Fenn and Co. has declared bankruptcy, catching the Canadian publishing industry off guard.
Meanwhile, there is actually a looming potential crisis in the e-book world as well. In a not-enough-noticed move, Apple disallowed a Sony e-reader App on the iPad for reasons that could have some larger repercussions. Basically, if an app-maker sell e-books outside of the app store, a little known Apple contract clause states that they have to afford users the ability to buy those e-books within the app as well (which, of course, Apple gets a 30% split on). What does this mean? Well, it potentially means a major showdown with Amazon, whose Kindle app skirts this clause by selling e-books exclusively outside of the Kindle app. Amazon faces a tough choice between allowing sales through its Kindle app and splitting the revenue with Apple or foregoing Apple’s devices entirely. Slate’s Farhad Manjoo has an essential summary of what this all means.
In possible larger-than-all-that news, The Rejectionist has quit her day job and is embarking on new adventures in writing! She commemorated it with a post that is one of the greatest odes to New York I have yet read. Very awesome.
And speaking of awesome, thank you thank you again to everyone who entered and participated in the First Paragraph Challenge! In case you wanted further insight into what does and doesn’t make a good first paragraph, reader Elena Solodow also read all 1500+ paragraphs and has some terrific insight into some of the common pratfalls that fell some of the entries.
If you’re curious about what life as an editor is like (particularly editing prior to the current publishing crunch), Tom Dupree has a really terrific first person account of life working at Bantam in the 1990s. Great paragraph:
For the editor, there are two immensely joyous days in the life of any book. First is the day you call the author or agent and tell them they have a deal. (Or, after an auction, they call you.) Second is the day you get the first carton from the bindery, crack it open, and hold the finished book in your hands for the first time. I have known editors to cry at this second point. Heck, I’ve done it. But in between those two landmarks is the potential — not the certainty, but the serious possibility – of unholy hell.
And the great Bryan Rusell has an incredible and true post about how originality can kind of be like cover songs: Taking something old and making it new again in genius fashion.
Comment! of! the! Week! Let’s give it up again for Tamar Ossowski, aka Anonymous, our contest winner:
I was born during an electrical storm. They told me when Matilda saw me for the first time the lights flickered, and in that moment of blackness, my sister leaned over and whispered, “I missed you.” Like I had just returned from a trip.
And finally, if you haven’t already, please visit VolunteerJournals.com and enter the for the chance to win a $5,000 volunteer vacation!! My voluntourism trip changed my life, and it can change yours too (also: I’m in the video!):
Have a great weekend!