Monday, 18 June 2012

News: Self-Publishing, Book Criticism and Summer Reading

Last week, I re-installed Diablo II to compensate for my ineligibility to play the sequel: you have to log onto Blizzard's server to play, apparently, and my broadband Internet service needs improvement. For one, the line drops on occasion.

No, I haven't forgotten about the several pending book review assignments. Yet.

Self-publishing stories
Here are 25 things this guy thinks you need to know about self-publishing. He also has a guide to self-publishing that ... looks like it's being updated as time rolls by.

As in traditional publishing, there are various pitfalls in self-publishing, including reviewers who won't read your self-published book. But don't be discouraged; there are some successes, though not in the same league as that gussied-up piece of Twilight fan-fiction.

For Matt Forbeck though, one book a year is slacking. So he's writing 12. Not sure if he can do that next year. Not long after I tweeted my misgivings, Forbeck responded:

Let's wish him all the best! (I'm giving this tweet-quoting format a la Daily Kos a whirl - I love fiddling with CSS.)

"Show us what he does and how."
TNR book critic Ruth Franklin, among other things, bemoans the 'taming' of book reviews and calls for sharper commentary. The recipient of the 2012 Roger Shattuck Prize in literary criticism sounds like she wants reviewers to go back to being the gatekeepers of standards, instead of helping to selling books.

"Not all books are worth reading; some are dull, some are poorly written, and others can actually have a pernicious effect on our culture," she said at the ceremony. "It’s the task of the critic to champion books that deserve to be championed, and to take a stand against those that have the power to harm. And anyone who doesn’t believe that books have the power to harm is not taking them seriously enough."

Season's flavours and picks
Haagen-Dazs is calling for contributions to what is promised to be the next "great summer read". Sounds like it will involve ice cream. For those who are stil figuring out what to read this summer (and can't wait for the Haagen-Dazs book), here's a (really long) flowchart to help you decide.

And hey, guys! Here are some books to pick (and avoid) for luck with girls, especially you hound-dogs at the beach or public park. Might be hard to do with e-readers, though.

Summer Hay fever and book exposé
Writing about sex: women do it better, according to Martin Amis, who spoke at the recently concluded Hay Festival. That's some validation for EL James, et al. Also at Hay, a new, more 'realistic' Bond novel was announced by William Boyd. It's expected in autumn 2013.

Across the Atlantic, we have a dispatch from the recently concluded BookExpo America, where musicians discussed the digital future of music and print.


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