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

Bookish News & Publishing Tidbits 19 May 2012

book news Bookish News & Publishing Tidbits 19 May 2012

RIASS stuff:

A giveaway of Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter (Aus only, ends 27 May)

A guest post with best-selling author Diane Chamberlain'about balancing writing and a second career.

Last chance to enter our'giveaway of'Barry and the Fairies of Miller Street!

Other bookish stuff:

Flowchart: How to Write a Dan Brown Novel

Frankenstein as a choose your own adventure app!

George R.R. Martin answers fan questions on Reddit'

5 ways to kill a book club

The Typewriters of Writers

Two weeks left to enter the Text Publishing Prize. Quick! Bring NaNo forward a few months!

Lauren Olivers Delirium world has its own Facebook app

..and speaking of silly games, how about I shot the serifbut I did not shoot the sans-serif?

Nothing to pooh-pooh: Pooh house for sale

Would you use as an editors name as a cue to help pick out your next read? A movie poster lists the key cast and creative heads of department.' Television shows top and tail with similar credits, including the in-house role of 'executive in charge of production' or equivalent.' Turn over a (yes, physical) CD and spot the credit the album producer.' Everyone who touched the album gets a mention in the liner notesBut pick up any paperback and the author's name dominates the cover. Big authors are 'brands' unto themselves, even though the final prose was a collaborative effort.' Flip the book over the cover designer and illustrator get credit (in quite small print) but search for the editor's name and you'll be lucky to find it in the acknowledgements (at the author's discretion).' How are we to value the role of the professional editorial process if publishers themselves don't even celebrate their most crucial contribution to a book's creation?

The thorn in the New Yorker (this took me back to my uni days): It started with the fact-checker, who looked up the source of the quote and showed it to the editor:'Wel gay watz ?is gome gered in grene. The editor came to me and asked, Can we do this? I didn't see why not. It is just the kind of perfectionism our shop specializes in. We have used characters from the Greek alphabet, some of which require not one but two accents, and the Cyrillic alphabet. Two weeks ago, we put a simplified Chinese character into a piece by Evan Osnos (its shape was crucial to illustrate a point, and the fact-checker on the piece, fortunately, spoke Mandarin). For a while, we tried faithfully to reproduce the backward R in Toys R Us, but it went rogue and ran loose on the page every time we turned our back.

An interview with Deborah Coates, author of Wide Open: As I've known more published authors and as my own publication date approached, I began to realize how much most authors appreciate knowing that readers liked their books (because I know I like knowing when readers like something I write). I'd always kind of figured that buying the books was the important thing, and it's definitely important. But I decided that if I really liked someone's book, I should write and tell them so.

Sales show that ru ro (aka rural romance) is a solid contender: While true crime, sci-fi and spec-fic still dominate sales, writers such as Palmer, Fleur McDonald and Tasmanian Rachael Treasure, considered by many to have kick-started the genre a decade ago, are nonetheless notching up impressive sales figures as a growing number of city readers get lost in the romance of the bush. The phenomenon is also being fuelled by clever marketing where authors blog on their websites about daily life on the land, helping develop reader loyalty and keeping fans connected to their favourite writers.

An interview with Michelle Mead, 'on adapting her work to graphic novel format:'It is tough, and fortunately, I didnt have to do it! The books were adapted by Grant Alter, who has a really good eye for pulling out the main beats of a story and streamlining key dialogue. Its great having someone who has those skills, since mine tend to be about making stories longer, not shorter.

On animals in Australian writing: Writers have long been wise to the usefulness of animals to enrich their stories, whether as the agents of wonder and estrangement in fairytales or amplifiers of emotion.It is the strangeness, the freshness given them by their innocence of language, that makes these animal'human relationships so touching, and bypasses any suspicion of emotional manipulation on the part of the reader. Perhaps we also have a native sense that with animals we're living on extended credit: we rarely deserve the friendship they give us.

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