Book Bits: Amazon sued over DRM restraints, ‘War and Peace’ on BBC, ‘Moon Over Edisto,’ Short story boom?
Do you ever worry about what happens to your e-books if the company making your e-reader goes out of business or upgrades the software over time making our model so out of date it’s no longer supported? What if you get tired of one e-reader and buy another? Well, you can say your Kindle library isn’t going to work on Nook is it? Several bookstores have filed a law suit against Amazon and large publishers based on these kinds of concerns (item 13) while Cory Doctorow suggests (item 15) the plaintiffs should have begun with a better understanding of Digital Rights Management.
I don’t own an e-reader, but I’ve always figured that the minute I buy one it will become the Beta-Max of e-readers. Plus, I never felt comfortable with the fact that most of the books in my e-reader library are maintained on the seller’s site and not on a device in my house.
- News: Crime writer wins lawsuit against money advisers, by Denise Lavoie – “A federal jury awarded crime writer Patricia Cornwell nearly $51 million Tuesday in her lawsuit against her former financial management company and a former principal in the firm. The author best known for her series of novels featuring medical examiner Kay Scarpetta claimed that Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP was negligent in handling her finances and cost her millions in losses or unaccounted for revenue. ” Associated Press
- News: War and Peace comes to the BBC in ‘epic’ Andrew Davies drama, by Hannah Furness – “Now Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace is to be turned into an “epic” six-part television series, written by the award-winning Andrew Davies and broadcast by BBC One. The ambitious programme will be the first adaptation of the novel on British television for 40 years, and promises all the drama of Britain’s best-loved soaps.” The Telegraph
- Review: “Moon Over Edisto,” by Beth Webb Hart, reviewed by Jackie K. Cooper – “There is a superbly talented young woman living in Charleston, South Carolina who spends much of her time writing novels. She weaves stories from the land that surrounds her and the people who populate her special portion of the world. Her name is Beth Webb Hart and her latest novel is Moon Over Edisto.” The Huffington Post
- Lists: 7 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Book Sales Without Even Realizing It, By Jonathan Gunson – “Okay, be honest – did you experience a pang of anxiety when you read the headline above? Don’t worry, nobody’s perfect, and we all make mistakes. (Trust me, I’ve made plenty of them in the course of my writing career…) But some mistakes can prove more costly than others, and you can easily end up sabotaging your book sales without even realizing it.” Bestseller Labs
- Commentary: Sorry, the short story boom is bogus, by Laura Miller – “The New York Times touts the Internet’s role in reviving interest in short fiction. Too bad it’s not true ” Salon
- Review: “The Tin Horse,” by Janice Steinberg, reviewed by Karen Cullotta – “hough more than six decades have passed since Elaine Greenstein’s twin sister, Barbara, disappeared without a trace, the octogenarian heroine of author Janice Steinberg’s new novel, The Tin Horse, is still reeling from the heartbreak endured by her fractured family circa 1939. Steinberg, the author of five mysteries, has transcended genre to weave a rich story that will appeal to readers who appreciate multigenerational immigrant family sagas as well as those who simply enjoy psychological suspense.” Book Page
- Feature: ABA President Becky Anderson on Winter Institute 8 – “KANSAS CITY, KANSAS CITY, HERE WE COME! I know that for me, as well as for many of you, Winter Institute is the highlight event on the calendar of bookselling gatherings every year! What I can’t believe is that we’re about to meet for the eighth time.” American Booksellers Association
- How To: Build a Social Media Platform: Your Facebook Page, by Janalyn Voigt – “As the world’s largest social networking site, Facebook is an essential plank in most authors’ platforms. However, its effectiveness depends on how it is used.” Word Serve Water Cooler
- Interview: Always a New World: A Conversation with Karen Lord (“Redemption in Indigo”), by Jeremy L. C. Jones — “As creator of this universe, I don’t have to be linear. I can create a culture with characteristics that will naturally lead to a particular kind of conflict, but I might also desire a particular kind of conflict to occur and go back and add a cultural quirk that will support those consequences. ” Clarkesworld
- Feature: How I Got a Six-Figure Twitter Following (and Why It Doesn’t Matter), by Jane Friedman – “It’s almost a running joke. Whenever my manager introduces me at an event, he always starts by saying how many Twitter followers I have, which is inevitably far more than anyone else in the room. Today, my follower number is a little over 175,000, and it grows by a few hundred every week.” Jane Friedman
- Viewpoint: Cloud Atlas: how Hollywood failed to put it on the map – “The film’s release should have been a global event, but its studio’s reticence over its fragmented form has led to disappointing box office returns” The Guardian
- Commentary: The New Essayists, or the Decline of a Form? by Adam Kirsch – In his consideration of four new essay collections, Kirsch considers whether or not the essay as a literary form is extinct. The New Republic
- News: DRM Lawsuit Filed By Independent Bookstores Against Amazon, ‘Big Six’ Publishers, by Andrew Losowsky – “Three independent bookstores are taking Amazon and the so-called Big Six publishers (Random House, Penguin, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan) to court in an attempt to level the playing field for book retailers. If successful, the lawsuit could completely change how ebooks are sold. “ The Huffington Post
- Review: “When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests,” by Leana Wen, M.D. and Joshua Kosowsky, M.D., reviewed by Laura Landro – “When it comes to diagnosing illness, doctors may turn a deaf ear to some of the most critical information: what the patient has to say.” The Wall Street Journal
- Viewpoint: Indie booksellers sue Amazon and big publishers over DRM (but have no idea what “DRM” and “open source” mean), by Cory Doctorow – “For some reason, they’re using “open source” as a synonym for “standardized” or “interoperable.” Which is to say, these booksellers don’t really care if the books are DRM-free, they just want them locked up using a DRM that the booksellers can also use. ” Boing Boing
- Quotation: For a long time, I’ve collected the bits and pieces of bookstore memories. In a white box with folded flaps, I’ve stuffed the stuff of approximately 4,800 days of Inklings life so far. Yesterday, I pulled it out and sat down in a sunbeam at my dining table for an afternoon of wonder, embarrassment, laughter and memories. Susan Richmond in “The Bookstore Box” at NW Book Lovers
- News: Cover Reveal: New Dan Brown Novel, ‘Inferno’ by Craig Morgan Teicher – “Mega-seller Dan Brown’s next novel, which comes out May 14, features Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon on another code-cracking quest, this one inspired by Dante’s seminal poem ‘The Inferno.’” PWxyz on Publishers Weekly
- Essay: Dr. Doolittle Calling: Do nonhuman animals have grammar? by Jessoca Love – “But do nonhuman animals have grammar? Grammar dictates how linguistic elements can be combined. Grammatical rules bring structure—hierarchy—to a language. And no doubt about it, hierarchical structure can be found in the songs and calls of plenty of other species.” The American Scholar
Today’s edition of “Book Bits” is brought to you by “The Seeker,” an earthy new contemporary fantasy by Malcolm R. Campbell coming in March from Vanilla Heart Publishing.