Book reviews, new books, publishing news, book giveaways, and author interviews

Bookish links 30 Oct: too many awards, small v big publishers, rejection bingo more!

book news Bookish links 30 Oct: too many awards, small v big publishers, rejection bingo & more!

RIASS stuff:

Parallels between Drabble's The Millstone and Jan Murray's Goodbye Lullaby

Interview: Steve Rossiter on editing an anthology spanning a hundred years of a character's life

A multiplicity of points of view and The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony

Literary Blog Hop Giveaway: Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald'(open to all);'Giveaway: Arcadian Genesis by Greig Beck'(open to all)

Other bookish stuff:

Random Penguin has happened (but without the cool name)'According to my highly veracious Twitter stream, Penguin Random House will command almost 40% of market share in Australia, and 30% in the UK.

.so, what does this merger mean?'Possible issues include the cutting of jobs and merging of departments, and also the driving down of advances as greater profits are sought from what is a fairly static market.

Small publishers vs big publishers: which is best?'Interesting snippet: As an author, you should know that it is slightly easier for a small publisher to take some kinds of risk: it is, quite simply, easier for us to make a profit because our costs are lower than those of a big publishing company.

Literature is not data: against digital humanities'Google Books, in its way, represents an even more profound shift than the printing press, because it ends the relationship to the codex which began much earlier, in the fourth centuryThe ferocious squeamishness of hundreds of librarians and writers and scholars who resist this disbinding of literature today isn't mere self-interest. The end of the book is a kind of sacrilege to them, and they're not wrong. Cutting open the book is literally a return to the forms and modes of paganism.

Bookshout is a new book app that lets users import Amazon and Barnes & Noble purchases into an iOS, Android and web apps.'Bookshout has backing from the major publishers, and is doing its thing without breaking DRM. Readers who use the app can keep their books in one place, and take advantage of Bookshouts social sharing capabilities.

With every day a new award: a look at the growth in literary awards'Even though it appears to be all chop and change in the book-awards world two aspects remain certain: the choice of whoever is finally the recipient of a major prize will, typically, only satisfy half the critics and reading public; and there certainly seems to be room for more high-profile awards of this nature. All in all this can only benefit those of us who love books.

and another post that asks whats the point of literary prizes?'The panel seemed to agree that book prizes were a force for good. Yes, there will always be someone who disagrees with the overall winner of a literary prize, because people will naturally have a favourite that they feel'should'win, but that at least means they are engaging with the prize process, and therefore reading. Ultimately, authors are recognised, books are praised and readers find a new favourite for their bookshelves, or eReader.

An interview with Orhan Pamuk'I have always thought that the place where you sleep or the place you share with your partner should be separate from the place where you write. The domestic rituals and details somehow kill the imagination. They kill the demon in me. The domestic, tame daily routine makes the longing for the other world, which the imagination needs to operate, fade away.

An interesting article on when to expose children to challenging cultural fare''The author talks about taking his kids to the new play Virginia Woolf and his concerns over whether the material will be appropriate for them. Having always erred on the side of permissiveness, hes felt the stare of judgement from others, but has wanted his kids to have the opportunity for adventure and sophistication while still feeling to a degree protected. His kids came away having enjoyed different aspects of the play, as well as having enjoyed the experience of watching a play itself, even though its likely that some elements went over their heads.

Joe Hill and Stephen King have teamed up to write a short story'together.'In the Tall Grass begins with a sister and brother who pull off to the side of the road after hearing a young boy crying for help from beyond the tall grass. Within minutes they are disoriented, in deeper than seems possible, and they've lost one another. The boy's cries are more and more desperate. What follows is a terrifying, entertaining, and masterfully told tale, as only Stephen and Joe can deliver.

Amazon has first quarterly loss in 9 years'The $274 million loss is a far cry from its income of $63 million at the same time last year. Much of the loss is due to writing off floundering start-up Living Social, and presumably a good deal is to do with its cut-price rates on products in order to gain market share.

Rachelle Gardener on why its more important than ever to master your craft'With slashed editorial staffs and a rising self-publishing contingent, theres the risk that a lot of work wont receive adequate pre-publication editing. However, readers can tell the difference between books that have been properly edited and those that haventeven if they cant quite pinpoint whats wrongand theyre vocal about those issues when writing reviews.

An interview with Maureen McGown, author of'Deviants, published through Amazon Childrens'I was interested to hear about why Maureens agent chose to submit to Amazon Childrens: My agent knew that each of the traditional publishers already had several post-apocalyptic-set novels on their lists. We figured there was a good chance that, even if one of those editors picked up the series, it was unlikely theyd be able to give the books lead title treatment.'So to increase the chance for the books to find a wide audience, he suggested we try something different and submit to Amazon who, at the time, were just getting ready to announce plans to ramp up their publishing arm. Maureen was sceptical at first until she saw some of the big name authors who were being published through Amazon.

Seven unexplained movie moments youll only get if youve read the book

John Pages on the future of reading'Books are now more accessible, but with more books being published, its also more difficult to choose what to read; similarly distractions from reading are also growing. Ebooks, however, offer more reading opportunities and are less intimidating to many people than a printed book. Yet ebook technology is still in its infancy, with most ereaders attempting to recreate the experience of reading a printed book. Device connectivity offers more options for the way that ebooks are enhanced: crowdsourced illustrations, for example, are just one option. Readers will also learn that cheap prices can often mean cheap quality, and may begin to demand better quality products.

Rejection bingo!'(My favourite rejection is still, Stephanie, this is the most charming story about pus Ive ever read. However)

Unpublished female author over the age of 21? You might be interested in the Lucy Cavendish award.

Okay, so I know were all a bit over this gangnam style thingo, but guys! This one has a cameo from Noam Chomsky!

p5FoO Bookish links 30 Oct: too many awards, small v big publishers, rejection bingo & more!

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