When News Doesn’t Make News

Editor & Publisher‘s Greg Mitchell reports on how and why the media kept silent about the kidnapping of a New Y ork Times reporter in Afghanistan. The reporter was freed just hours ago. Full story is available at E&P. The New York Times report of the kidnapping and rescue operation is now online as well.

Farrell with his aide Sultan Munadi were seized on Saturday and freed just hours ago in a daring raid by British commandos. Munadi and a commando were killed. Farrell is fine (see other stories on this site).

Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Against ‘Catcher in the Rye’ Sequel

A U.S. court has imposed a preliminary injunction against the publication of an unauthorized sequel to J.D. Salinger’s classic Catcher in the Rye. Salinger is suing the author of the sequel for copyright infringement, and sought to stop publication of the work until the copyright case can be heard. The sequel’s author is appealing the injunction.

More details are available at The Book Blog.

Are Pixels Greener Than Paper?

Bill Reusch has some surprising insight:

The brochure I have on my desk in front of me asks the question, Are Pixels Greener Than Paper? I never really thought about it, but if I had I suppose my answer would be, “Of course, pixels are greener than paper.” After all you don’t have to harvest a tree for a blip on the screen.  Right? Well I was surprised to learn:


Smashword Publishers Get Wider Distribution for eBooks

From Joe Wickert’s Publishing 2020:

If you thought the eBook market was hot before, it just went super nova with Smashwords newest distribution to "major online retailers, the first of which is Barnes & Noble and their various properties including Barnesandnoble.com, Fictionwise, and their eReader app."

Smashwords is an eBook publishing service that is free for authors and publishers. Readers can purchase eBooks contributed by authors and publishers through the Smashwords store.

One of these things is just like the other…

Guest post by my wife Paula

Lately I’ve been seeing more and more book and CD covers on the very amusing web site, totallylookslike.com. What’s behind this severe case of deja-vu? Stock Photography. While sites like istockphoto and stock exchange have made quality photography available to even the author on a budget, there is a pitfall to using these images. 
Everyone else on the planet can use them too!
It’s sort of like showing up at the party of the year, only to find three other ladies wearing the same dress.
While a great image can set the tone for your entire book, simply picking an photograph and plopping some text on top of it is not design, it’s shopping.
Every book is unique. Shouldn’t their covers be?
Check out the following examples from Amazon.com: (click the Read more link):

Authors, Publishers Continue to Struggle With Google Books Settlement

I can’t proclaim any special significant knowledge of the legal system or whether Google’s plan to create a digital library from copyrighted material is a detriment to authors and publishers. The Writer Beware blog has a good account of one author who opted out of the now famous Google Books Search settlement and her reasons for doing so.

It’s not the display of bibliographic information, or even snippets, that I object to–it’s the possible uses the settlement empowers Google to make of my work down the road (including selling my books in electronic and POD form). If those uses were limited and clearly defined, I might not have a problem–but they aren’t, and I just can’t see allowing such a sweeping license to my work, where the implications of granting that license are so unclear.

Some more information about the Google Books settlement with the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild is available at The Guardian.

Making Time

I’m close. So close.

After writing just three more chapters, I will become one of the storied 8 percent of would-be novelists who ever actually completes a first draft. I do not know from where that figure comes, nor am I particularly inclined to research it just now. But it does feel good to think that I am almost to a place where I can count myself among those who have had the spark of inspiration for writing a novel, and then gone on to actually do the work of writing it.

The past week has been a particularly devastating one in terms of making time to sit down and type on a keyboard outside of work. Bad news, sad news, illness, accidents, and simply life in general can all step in front of a writer’s "me" time, which is the time he uses to physically put those thoughts and ideas that have been rolling around like boulders in his head all day into narrative form in a word processor. The past week, for me, has been a doozy.

Fortunately, we are still near the beginning of the long Labor Day weekend here in the United States. And, after building some shelves in my garage this afternoon and doing some other maintenance around the house, I plan to spend a great chunk of some "me" time working on my third-to-last chapter for the novel I started back in 2008 (or 2004, if you count the 1,500 words I initially wrote while on vacation for a week in Myrtle Beach).

I can’t wait to write the last chapter, so I can find out what happens.

Publishers: Don’t Be Afraid of Change

An interesting piece on embracing change in an industry that traditionally eschews it appeared in Book Business:

For the last few years, we have watched the world around us changing, but within the industry’s walls, we have seen just glimmers of change surfacing along the horizon. Now, we are going to watch this industry evolve around us in a massive blaze.



As I write this, the Book Business Extra e-newsletter reported developments in mobile content, MP3 audiobooks and free book downloads. The fi rst story covered digital book distributor OverDrive’s new offering of downloadable audiobooks (for retailers, libraries and schools) in MP3 format that will be compatible with nearly every mobile phone and MP3 player, including the iPod. Borders will be the fi rst to offer the audiobooks at Audiobooks. Borders.com and at Digital Centers inside select Borders stores.