Friday, November 6, 2009

Bookish News for Friday

It looks like Fridays are going to be the Best in Blogland or Book News here at Thoughts From Botswana.

Big news this week was that Nigerian writer Seffi Atta has won the Noma Award for her short story collection Lawless and Other Stories published by Farafina. Short story collections seem to be coming into their own lately which is a wonderful thing. I must also mention the honourable mention given to my Zimbabwean writing friend Christopher Malazi for his book Dancing with Life: Tales from the Township.

Lately everyone is predicting the end of the publishing industry as we know it, but I'm sceptical. HarperCollins reports profits for the last quarter rose from $3 million to $20 million, while romance publisher, Harlequin, saw earnings jump a whopping 22.5%. Who said the book trade is dead?I don't think so.

Have you wondered about the reviews at Amazon? How independent are they? If this article is telling the truth those book reviews are not to be taken seriously since many of the reviewers are being paid to place the reviews. Good reviews of your book are just a few dollars away, or so it seems.

To end a very good blog post for those who would like to run literary festivals written from the perspective of the writer. Is it too much to ask that writers invited to speak or read at a festival be fed? How about a room with ventilation? Should all writers be paid the same fee? Author Amanda Craig makes some very interesting points.

To my dear readers, have a lovely weekend. Relax, have fun. Remember folks this life is not a dress rehearsal.


Sue Guiney said...

Thanks for the link to Amanda Craig's blog. Really terrific post! I had not heard of her before but clearly she knows what she's talking about. I'm such a wimp, though, that if someone asked me to speak at a festival I'd just be thrilled and ask for nothing. but I know that doesn't do anyone (including me) any good.

bonita said...

The comments/conversation on the Quill and Quire article are as informative as the initial posting!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I was at the book store the other day, and stopped by the YA section on my way to the restroom. It has grown immensely, I mean it's HUGE. That alone tells me that the publishing industry is not dying. Young girls are reading like crazy. I know that this section is growing because my niece was living with me and her reward was always a book, and I'd hang out a bit in the YA with her, that was a year and a half ago, and the selections now have quadrupled. Say what you might but Harry Potter and the Twilight series have turned many youngsters into readers. Yay!

bonita said...

This is a tangent, bookish news but related to earlier ebook discussions:
Level 26: Dark Origins features Steve Dark, the ultimate crime scene tactician on the tail of a killer so brutal law enforcement has invented a new classification of evil to account for him. Dark Origins can be read on the beach or on an airplane without any digital access . . . but where the traditional story ends, a deeper level of immersion is available at, exclusively to readers of the book. About every twenty pages, you will have the option of logging in to experience a digital cyber-bridge—a three-minute motion picture scene with A-list actors you might’ve seen in blockbuster films and award winning TV shows.

A bridge indeed.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the publishing industry is dead at all. Quite the contrary.

It is encouraging to hear about all these wonderful writers receiving their awards. Good on you all!

Helen Ginger said...

I don't think the publishing industry is dying, but it is evolving. Not that many years ago, no one had heard of e-books, let alone books that are interactive experiences on the Internet.

Straight From Hel