Amazon has a list of the most highlighted passages on Kindles and all you have to do is look at the list and you realize that highlighting seems to be dominated by women. I know, I know, that's a terribly sexist statement, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Suzanne Collins and Jane Austen appeal much more to women than to men. On a separate note who knew Suzanne Collins was so deep?
Reading one of Lenslinger's posts I came across some valuable writing advice:
"Ease off the adjectives. Good writing is all about the verb. Forget everything the jackholes with the MFA's and elbow patches have to say. You're a blue collar, Southern writer and they can't teach that shit in schools. Fiction, Memoir, you can write it all – but you CANNOT hold back. Readers will see right through it and you'll be stuck dodgin' lion piss 'til your back finally gives out…"
If I had an ounce of free time I'd also wonder how to score an invite to the next BOOKUP. Sounds like a lot of fun with some very interesting folks.
I pretty much agree on Seth Godin's assessment of the current state of the publishing industry:
Traditional book publishers use techniques perfected a hundred years ago to help authors reach unknown readers, using a stable technology (books) and an antique and expensive distribution system.
The thing is–now I know who my readers are. Adding layers or faux scarcity doesn't help me or you. As the medium changes, publishers are on the defensive…. I honestly can't think of a single traditional book publisher who has led the development of a successful marketplace/marketing innovation in the last decade. The question asked by the corporate suits always seems to be, "how is this change in the marketplace going to hurt our core business?" To be succinct: I'm not sure that I serve my audience (you) by worrying about how a new approach is going to help or hurt Barnes & Noble.
My audience does things like buy five or ten copies at a time and distribute them to friends and co-workers. They (you) forward blog posts and PDFs. They join online discussion forums. None of these things are supported by the core of the current corporate publishing model.
An interesting article (subscription required) in the Wall Street Journal about libraries' efforts to lend more books electronically.
Starting Tuesday, a group of libraries led by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library, are joining forces to create a one-stop website for checking out e-books, including access to more than a million scanned public domain books and a catalog of thousands of contemporary e-book titles available at many public libraries…
With its latest project, the organization is making inroads into the idea of loaning in-copyright books to the masses. Only one person at a time will be allowed to check out a digital copy of an in-copyright book for two weeks. While on loan, the physical copy of the book won't be loaned, due to copyright restrictions.
The effort could face legal challenges from authors or publishers. Paul Aiken, the executive director of the Authors Guild—which challenged Google's scanning efforts—said "it is not clear what the legal basis of distributing these authors' work would be." He added: "I am not clear why it should be any different because a book is out of print. The authors' copyright doesn't diminish when a work is out of print."
Mr. Kahle said, "We're just trying to do what libraries have always done."
I love this video produced by the New Zealand Book Council to promote Maurice Gee's Going West and the Council's "Where books come to life" message. (h/t to Guerrilla Marketing for the lead).