The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Powerful Hollywood writers, Archway Publishing, ‘The Buzzard Table,’ Cezanne biography

Welcome to “Book Bits” for Thursday, November 29, 2012, your source for links to recent reviews, interviews, publishing news, and how-to writing tips. Here are today’s links, complete with the odd spacing between list items inserted by the WordPress software.

  1. News: Simon & Schuster Opens Self-Publishing Service, by Jason Boog – “Simon & Schuster has created  Archway Publishing to help writers self-publish fiction, nonfiction, business and children’s books.” GalleyCat
  2. News: Authors Guild Teams With Indies for Booktalk Nation – “Through a partnership with independent bookstores, the Authors Guild has created a program called Booktalk Nation, which will feature phone talks with various authors. The program, which the Guild previewed last year, will allow readers to call in to speak to the authors, with each session hosted by a different indie. ”  Publishers Weekly
  3. Amazon Link

    Review: “The Buzzard Table,” by Margaret Maron – “Maron (Three-Day Town, 2011, etc.) adroitly melds ugly American (open) government secrets with classic whodunit intrigue and stirs the pot by itemizing domestic travails that will touch readers’ hearts.” Kirkus Reviews

  4. Lists: Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors – “’I don’t expect anything to be like ‘Twilight’ again,’ says Stephenie Meyer, who joins J.K Rowling, E.L. James and Suzanne Collins on the list of writers who have the industry hanging on their every word. ”  The Hollywood Reporter
  5. Feature: Writer Ann Patchett’s bookstore thrives in digital age, by Bob Minzesheimer – “When novelist Ann Patchett opened a bookstore here in her hometown a year ago, she wondered if she was ‘opening an ice shop in the age of Frigidaire.’ One year later, Parnassus Books is thriving in an age of e-books when ordering and reading is a click away and browsing takes on a new digital meaning.”  Courier-Journal
  6. How To: “Bind” Versus “Bond,” by Ashley Dodge – “In a physical sense, when you bind something, you are taking two things and tying them together, but that tie can be broken. When you bond something, you are also joining two things, but you are are unifying them, making them much harder to separate. ”  Grammar Girl
  7. Amazon Link

    Review: “Kin,” by Dror Burstein, reviewed by Jessica Henkle – “Two teenage parents give up their baby, Emile, and a childless couple, Leah and Yoel, adopts him. Simple in theory, but nothing is ever simple with family. In his new novel, Kin, Dror Burstein tracks Emile and his four parents as they move through the same city. For thirty-plus years, their paths never cross, though all are haunted by the knowledge of each other’s existence. ”  Bookslut

  8. Viewpoint: Do You Have the Imposter Syndrome? by Rachelle Gardner – “Who am I, anyway, to be advising anyone about anything? What do I know? I get mired in Impostor Syndrome more than you’d think. In fact, I think most agents do. And I’d bet most writers do too.” Rachelle Gardner
  9. Feature: Holiday books roundup: Fiction, by Meganne Fabrega – A look at five novels for your list: “Glaciers,” “The Healing,” “Mrs. Queen Takes the Train,” “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, and “Little Century”  – Star-Tribune
  10. B&N Link

    Review: “Cézanne: A Life,” by Alex Danchev, reviewed by Kolby Yarnell – “In Cezanne: A Life, British scholar Alex Danchev takes a skeptical look at the conventional wisdom about one of the nineteenth century’s most revolutionary and influential artists. ” Barnes and Noble Review

  11. Interview: 1/2 Dozen with Victoria Barrett, Editor and Publisher of Engine Books, by Julianna Baggott – ” Victoria Barrett, editor and publisher of Engine Books, a boutique fiction press, is here to answer a 1/2 dozen questions, giving an insider’s look at what editors are searching for, insights into the industry, and a glimpse into the life of an editor who’s also a writer and married to a writer.” Baggott * Asher * Bode
  12. Feature: Stand-Out Stories, by Beth Hill – “I want to consider today are those touches that make our stories and our writing stand out. I don’t want you to think about how your writing fits into a genre or an era or even how each of your stories matches the others in terms of your style. Instead I want you to look at ways you can make your stories push themselves out of the crowd. Get noticed. Make themselves special.” The Editor’s Blog
  13. Indie Bound Link

    Feature: Bon Appetit ~ Enjoy Your Meal ~ Eat Up ~ Dig In ~ Nush-E Jan, by Nicki Leone – “Cookbooks that seek to introduce an entire culture to new audiences have many roles to fill. They have to actually work as a useful cookbook. They have to give an accurate picture of a traditional way of life that is most likely foreign and mysterious to their readers. They have to overcome barriers of language and barriers caused by the unfamiliarity of techniques, equipment and ingredients. They have to explain the simplest of procedures and take care to spell out the most basic indicators, because they cannot trust that the reader knows, for example, the difference between oil, butter, and ghee in cooking. They have to do this, any yet not be so demanding about authenticity that a home cook with only the produce at her local supermarket at their disposal will simply throw up her hands in frustration.” BiblioBuffet

  14. Commentary: Publicist confirms it: Fox News banned book critical of George W. Bush, by Greg Sargent – “In his much-discussed mea culpa about the reality-denialism of movement conservatism, Bruce Bartlett made a striking claim: He wrote that he was not allowed on Fox News — where he had previously been a regular guest — to discuss a book he’d just published that was highly critical of George W. Bush.”  The Washington Posr
  15. Indie Bound Link

    Review: “The True History of Merlin the Magician,” by Anne Lawrence-Mathers, reviewed by Gillian Polack – “We can understand who we are (and who other people are) by looking at our culture heroes. Because of this, one of my goals with my book collection is to have core studies that teach me about key characters from the cultures I know and from those I wish I knew. This is why, when Anne Lawrence-Mathers’ The True History of Merlin the Magician hit my desk, I stopped most of the things I was doing and read it, from start to finish. I needed to know if it was one of those core studies, or if it was just another book about Merlin.” BiblioBuffet

  16. Lists: 10 Ways to Build Long-Lasting Traffic to Your Author Website or Blog, by Jane Friedman – “First things first: Your website, whether it gets a lot of traffic or not, is an essential part of a strong author platform. It serves as your hub—or command central—for all online activity, and should give your readers, as well as the media, a way to engage with you. ”  Jane Friedman
  17. Feature: Fire and Forget: After Homecoming, Veterans Collect Stories of War, by Roy Scranton – “We convened at the White Horse Tavern, under the glum and bleary eyes of Dylan Thomas, Norman Mailer, and Jack Kerouac. It was a warm March day, not spring yet but with winter fading, eight years and change since we’d invaded Iraq. Afghanistan loomed shadowy behind that, then 9/11, then the Cold War, Vietnam, Korea, World War II, Pickett’s Charge, the Battle of Austerlitz, the conquest of New Spain, Agincourt, Thermopylae, and the rage of Achilles—stories upon stories—stories of war.”  The Daily Beast
  18. Author’s web site

    Interview: Ania Ahlborn (“The Neighbors”) with Elaine Lies – “”The Neighbors,” Ania Ahlborn’s second novel, was inspired by a battered house and a fallen-over mailbox she passed every day, making her think of a perfect house on a perfect street that in fact is “where all the darkness is.””  Reuters

  19. News: Amazon plans to add a third distribution center in California. The Los Angeles Times reported that the online retailer’s next facility will be located in Tracy, “only about 30 miles from a second Amazon center being built in Patterson to the south.” The San Bernardino warehouse opened last month. – ShelfAwareness
  20. Upcoming New Title: New Suzanne Collins book in 2013, by Hillel Italie – “The multimillion-selling children’s author has completed an autobiographical picture story scheduled for Sept. 10, 2013, Scholastic Inc. announced Thursday. The 40-page book will be called “Year of the Jungle,” based on the time in Vietnam served by Collins’ father, a career Air Force officer.” The Huffington Post

“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of contemporary fantasy novels (“The Sun Singer” and “Sarabande”), and the recently published Kindle short story “Moonlight and Ghosts.”

Author Web Site

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