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

Bookish links 17 Dec: poets = weird, paying for free books, years bests more!

book news Bookish links 17 Dec: poets = weird, paying for free books, years bests & more!

RIASS stuff:

Please excuse the error message at the top of the siteWordpress has gremlins again, and Im working to resolve it. Ill be moving on to a bespoke CMS in the new year, so this shouldnt be a problem in future.

My top reads of 2012 (I anticipate a few additions, so stay tuned)

Romance on the ward: Lily's Scandal by Marion Lennox and Zoe's Baby by Alison Roberts

When book cover quotes are the critical equivalent of 'you've had a haircut'

Historical Holiday Blog Hop giveaway: Newes from the Dead by Mary Hooper'(last day!)

Other bookish stuff:

The ten most unlikely things that were influenced by JRR Tolkien'Who wouldve thought that a dinosaur would be named after Sauron?

Do publishers and self-published authors need each other?' In a statement, Sara Nelson, Amazon's director of books and Kindle, said it's interesting to note that four of the five contemporary romance titles in the top 10 list, including the Fifty Shades trilogy, were originally independently published and went on to become huge best sellers. That's true but leaves out what happened between the books being independently published and becoming huge bestsellers: A traditional publisher entered the scene.'The remaining five books on Amazon's list were traditionally published. There are no solely self-published titles on the list.

Love Tom Swiftys?'Add yours here.

A critics guide to literary Manhattan 'I strode across town to'Kettle of Fish,'a venerable bar on Christopher Street in the West Village, for a pint. By now, I'd had several. This is a Green Bay Packers bar (go figure) with a low ceiling, strung lights, a homey vibe and a bookish reputation. It's the only place I saw someone drinking while actually working on a manuscript. I might have struck up a conversation, but he seemed manic and tweaked. Perhaps he was editing E. L. James's next book. Best to leave him alone.

News site translates news into three levels of English proficiency


Poetry makes you weird. The great payoff of literary study [is that it] estranges us from our normal habits of thought and perception, nullifies old conceptual maps, and so propels us into uncharted regions, outlandish and bracing, where we must create, if we are to thrive, coordinates more capacious, more sublime than the ones we already know. The uncanny'not truth, beauty, or goodness'is literatures boon.

An excellent breakdown of the YA years best titles. Contains many graphs!


Infographic: people will pay to support creators, even when free is an option.

Bookthingo is looking for help in identifying publishers of category romance imprints.

Is technology changing the way we write?'Cover to cover, linear reading does not appeal to everyone, but I don't necessarily think this technological change is a bad thing. It means a higher probability of engaging non-readers in narrative consumption than traditional reading does. And if a young reader engages with text'in whatever format'that can only be a good thing.

An interview with Marion Keyes'I used to feel defensive when people would say yes, but your books have happy endings, as if that made them worthless, or unrealistic. Some people do get happy endings, even if its only for a while. I would rather never be published again than write a downbeat ending. I couldnt have something permanent in the world like a book with something that accepted that life is as painful as it really is.

Why good editing is a great marketing tool if you publish a book thats sub par, no matter how much money you throw at it, it will never succeed. Some critics might say that the'Celestine Prophecy'succeeded despite a poor editing job. Well, that may be true, but can you think of another book that reached bestseller status where people said, Good story, but it needed an editor? I didnt think so.

A great post on YA book titles'Ive been wanting to do a post on this for a while, but this post does a great job of it. Personal pet peeves: wishy-washy single world titles and anything about girls falling, dying and so forth.

An interview with Steph Bowe Promoting'Girl Saves Boy'was terrifying because of my shyness. I'm a lot more comfortable now with public-speaking and interviews and everything else one has to do to promote a book. I was a lot more excited about promoting'Girl Saves Boy'online than I am about'All This Could End'' I think the internet and author-marketing can be tiring after a while, and criticism on the internet brings up tricky emotions. So I think there's been a shift towards preferring in-person promotion over endless blog posts for me.

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