Price Wars! Walmart.com and Amazon.com are battling for hardcover book readers. Both have dropped the price on their top-10 preorder titles to $9. And Walmart is offering deep discounts on their top 200 titles.
In the market for an eReader, or just wondering what the fuss is about and curious to see what one looks like? Time Magazine did a photo survey of 9 ereaders currently on the market around the world.
NovelJourney, a writing blog that features author interviews, will sponsor a year-long writing contest in 2010, the NovelJourney Fifteen Minutes of Fame Contest. It's for unpublished writers in categories including historical fiction, contemporary fiction, suspense, YA, romance, and science fiction/fantasy. A winning author will be featured on the blog each month, and the grand prize will be submitted to a panel of agents and editors.
Want to know what readers really think, and whether they'd turn the page? Try the no-holds-barred reader voting at Flogging the Quill, led by author Ray Rhamey. You submit 16 lines. Readers of the blog get to vote as to whether they'd turn the page, and Rhamey gives you a mini-critique. Really, aren't the first 16 lines of a story enough to tell you if you want to read on?
Wondering what screams "amateur" to an editor? Alicia Rasley began compiling a list over at Editorrent.
Don't think the traditional publishers aren't trying to figure out a new business model, or rather cash in on an existing but largely pooh-poohed slice of the old one. Just this week I learned that two Christian publishers, Thomas Nelson and B&H Publishing, offer self-publishing services, via Westbow Press and Crossbooks, respectively.
I can tell you this last announcement has kicked off a maelstrom of comment from Christian writers. In the case of Thomas Nelson, the imprint was previously a traditional imprint, leaving a host of authors previously published under that imprint a bit peeved. (My thoughts? Potentially higher quality self-published fiction with better distribution. Positioning traditional houses with an inside track to signing new authors who do well? Maybe, but probably not as much as might be implied.)
Author and literary agent Donald Maass gives "4 techniques to fire up your fiction".
There's been so much discussion of reader preferences, traditional book vs. ebook. But, until now I've never seen anything about whether e-reading might actually be bad for us. Check out this NY Times article, "Does the Brain Like E-books?". I found Maryanne Wolf's perspective about the development of reading circuits and levels of reading particularly interesting.
Author Cindi Myers has moved her newsletter to a new blog. She gives the best publisher spotlights and market information.
Finally, what is really the role of those independent booksellers, slowly fading from the literary landscape?
Enjoy the weekend. The usual for me...a hair appointment, basketball with The Eldest, reading, writing, relaxing, and strengthening our faith.
Peace & Blessings,
Stay focused. Be deliberate. Believe.