The List of Lists Phenomenon

list making

Was 2013 the year of the list, and was that such a bad thing?

Every year, I enjoy reading best of lists and reflections from authors on their year in reading. I participate in these almost every year, tweeting out my favorite end-of-year lists and creating my own lists as well. The reason I like end-of-year lists? They get me thinking about my personal responses to collective experiences, whether those are reading books, listening to music, or watching TV. Many people read the same books or watched the same TV shows as I did but experienced them in different ways.

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E-Book Returns and the Problem With the Subscription Model

Kindle Paperwhite

As Amazon cracks down on serial e-book returners, maybe it’s time to re-think the e-book sales model.

Lately, two recent trends are taking place in e-book publishing. First, several articles in the past few months indicate that e-book returns have grown among readers. Some readers are abusing Amazon’s generous Kindle book return policy in order to get their money back after purchasing a book. Continue reading →

Trapped inside the Novel? The Limits of Character and Narration

Moby Dick

Are we wasting our time thinking about the elemental role of fiction, narration, and characterization?

I read an intriguing article this weekend, and I’m still trying to process its meaning. But I feel compelled to process it here in this brief blog post, and see what readers think.

The article is “Trapped Inside the Novel” by novelist Tim Parks, which appeared in the recent New York Review of Books. In the article, Parks questions the role of novelistic narrative and storytelling. He explores some of the ideas brought up by David Shields in his book Reality Hunger, where Shields argues that the 21st Century novel is so far from portraying reality that we must redefine the purpose and goal of the novel and other forms of narrative. Essentially, he argues that because reality is broken, our approach to the novel is broken.

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Current and Future States of the Publishing Industry, Part 2: Advertising, Promoting, & Marketing a Book

Book Marketing

[This is part 2 of Andrew Doty’s series on the future states of the publishing industry. This time, Andrew focuses on book promotion.]

“. . . with over 60 thousand titles published each year, it’s a basic fact that if your book doesn’t achieve ‘Gone Girl’ status within a month or so, then it’s simply gone.”

Jennifer Miller

Social Media’s Impact on Book Marketing

Naturally, change occurs in an ever-expanding web of causalities: As technology has recreated the ways books are conceptualized and realized, it has also led to a similarly diverse spectrum of marketing and publicity approaches. Traditional book printing meant traditional book marketing. Now, as more books are being published in more formats than ever, the author, publisher, and marketer can all get involved in the promotion process in new ways.

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If Libraries are Dead, Then What Will Come of Books?

Death of the Library

With so many digital subscription options available, some tech writers are claiming the end of the library. But without libraries, we’re doomed.

This weekend, MG Siegler at Techcrunch claimed we’re seeing the end of libraries. Siegler bases this on reporting from Art Brodsky of Wired, who claims e-book price inflation is affecting library digital subscription services. Library patrons want more e-book choices, but libraries can’t afford to purchase e-books at the inflated prices. Effectively, libraries are leaching money by purchasing fewer e-books at higher prices to keep patrons happy (“The Abomination of Ebooks”).

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