Friday, October 30, 2009

John Le Carre leaves Hodder …

an interesting article in The Guardian here,

which ignores independent publishing. It's a common journalistic error to overlook the most interesting part of the industry

Thursday, October 29, 2009

celebrity bios

It's good to hear that Michael Parkinson believes that "many showbiz memoirs aren’t worth the paper they are written on". quoted in Crikey

Friday, October 23, 2009

Anonymous writes a book

Wayne Carey's dreams of an anonymous life [this morning's Sun-Herald] and has written a book to prove it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

eReader is slow but nice

My Sony eReader is nice but slow - slow to load and then re-index - and the battery has drained inexplicably on occasion. I can't get it to work smoothly with my Mac, as, say, the Mac does so very sweetly with the iPhone. Signs of a nascent technology with Sony?

The ink is not as nice to read as ink on the page but I can carry so many manuscripts at a time. I am growing to like it

Talking of Macs it's nice seeing Apple doing so well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Barnes and Noble are launching an eReader

called the Nook. Now taking pre-orders. Is it available internationally or US only?

editing children's books

The challenge I find is reading a manuscript (which I'm doing right now on a manuscript I'm loving) with an adult mind and from the point of view of a reader of the target age. Then I'm challenged by figuring out what the target age for a particular book really is - and accurately filtering that is a key editorial task in children's books. If I read the book with the wrong age in my head or with too much of an adult mind I come up with the wrong editorial decisions, and suspending the adult mind is like suspending my critical faculties on how to make a book better.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

eBooks in Australia

Here's a press release from the APA - well worth reading!

Australia needs to get its ebook walking shoes on - we're behind developments in the UK and the US, especially the US and we need to be able to read our books in the form we want to. Without a development like this we could be shut out of reading many of our own books as ebooks.

Media Release

18 October 2009

eBooks to go on over-the-counter sale in Australia

Australians will be able to buy digital books over the counter at bookstores from next

year using a digital distribution system constructed for Australian book publishers.

The move will bring easy availability of eBooks in Australia a step closer, says the CEO of the

Australian Publishers Association, Maree McCaskill.

“Right now, take-up of eBooks in Australia has been hampered,” she explained. “Sales of

eBook readers have been slow because of cost and availability issues, and there is no simple

system for eBook distribution.

“This new system will allow Australians to download digital books quickly and simply via

participating bookstores. This will make a wider range of eBooks more freely available,” she


All booksellers using the APA’s TitlePage program will be able to access the system.

Customers wanting to buy eBooks can go to a participating retailer, check the title they want

is available in the right format and price using TitlePage, then give the store their email

address and pay for the book.

The new system will email customers a unique web address they can access to download the

book at their convenience.

Ms McCaskill said the system is expected to be operating in the first half of 2010.

“TitlePage was a world industry first, and this addition will be a groundbreaking industry

solution for Australian retailers and consumers,” she added.

“Australian booksellers have been looking for an industry solution to enable them to

participate in this market, and this system will minimise risk for them in a fast-moving


The CEO of the Australian Booksellers Association, Malcolm Neil, welcomed the move,

saying: “This innovative initiative taken by the APA will ensure Australian readers have

access to the choice of retailer which suits them in this exciting new market.”

Ms McCaskill said the APA expected to be working closely with booksellers on the

implementation of this new digital distribution system.

“The decision demonstrates the importance of maintaining territorial copyright for books in

Australia. This is what gives publishers the security to make this major investment in new

technology, ultimately to the benefit of consumers,” she said.

Media contact: José Borghino 0413 998 033

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Social Media comment from the lovely Shop Sui

Down the road in Gertrude St is Sylvia Tai's delightful Shop Sui - all things whimsical, especially, as the name suggests, an Asian take on something Western. And there's this gorgeous child's tee that I noticed yesterday.

This is worth a look …

Results of NMC Two Minute Survey on eBooks

And here are my questions (for Australian readers):

Have you started reading your first ebook this year but not completed it and not attempted to read another?
Have you downloaded an audio book online this year?
Are you planning to buy a Kindle?

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Garret enviromental scorecard

Yes to fourth uranium mine Four MIle in SA.
Yes to Tasmanian pulp mill, subject to the affluent level regulations being met - let's see, if the mill is built, whether the affluent levels are breached.
No to saving single-species. Links here and here.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

ebooks = the reading experience

The success of the ereaders/ebooks will in the end be about the reading experience. An ereader offers a lot - lots of books in a convenient package. Will most book buyers - those that buy a book on holidays or for a plane ride - buy a dedicated device? I don't think so. They'll stick to the occasional paper version purchase.

Where ebooks will replace the paper version is on the phone. And reading Persuader and Jack Reacher on the Iphone hasn't convinced me that it's a desirable reading experience, even for a plot driven thriller. A back lit screen and titchy little pages interferes with my willing suspension of disbelief: I not getting lost in the book. It's paper for me for pleaure reading, with a book on the phone as a back up.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

underworld memoirs

What's a not-for-profit university press doing publishing the memoir of an underworld figure? What social merit is there in the book? How credible is the content really? The pendulum has swung too far from "not" towards a (hopeful) "profit". It's a failure of the imagination.