The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Apple comics, Scott Turow, Dickinson online archive, Remembering JFK

BookBitsNo offense intended for those (including myself) who self-publish their work, but those claims listing famous authors who were self-published are, at best, misleading. The implication here is that, if ABC and XYZ began by publishing their own work and later became famous, so can you. If you’re tired of those claims, then you may enjoy Peter Winkler’s article (Item 7) as it takes the myth to task. Meanwhile, a new self-publishing how-to book by Melinda Clayton provides the nuts and bolts of getting into print without claiming that John Grisham and Tom Clancy started out that way (they didn’t). (Item 5)

Here are today’s links:

  1. applelogoNews: Are Comics Too Hot For Apple? by Brigid Alverson – “Sales of digital comics have soared in the past three years. Readers love the look of comics on the iPad screen and they also love the convenience of in-app purchasing, which allows consumers to buy and store their comics within a single app. So it’s a big deal when Apple bans a comic—usually because of sexual or mature material or nudity—and it has happened to at least 59 comics this year.”  Publishers Weekly
  2. HiddenWhiteHouseReview: “The Hidden White House,” by Robert Klara, reviewed by Terry Hartle – “Historian Robert Klara tells the compelling, surprising story of Harry Truman’s little-known battle to preserve one of America’s most famous buildings.”  The Christian Science Monitor
  3. News: Psychic And Author Sylvia Browne Dies, by Annalisa Quinn – “Sylvia Browne, the bestselling author of dozens of books about the paranormal, died Wednesday in San Jose, Calif. She was 77. Browne, who claimed to be psychic, said she frequently worked with police on missing persons cases.”  NPR
  4. Contests: LEE SMITH NOVEL PRIZE – Entry Fee $20, Deadline November 30, 2013, Prize $1,000 plus publication.  Carolina Wren Press will choose one unpublished novel to receive the Lee Smith Novel Prize. The award will be presented to a novel by an author from, living in, or writing about the American South – authors need only meet one of these qualifications, not all three.
  5. selfpublishingNew Title: Self-publishing Made Simple: A How-to Guide for the Non-tech-savvy Among Us, by Melinda Clayton – “Self-Publishing Made Simple is a plainspoken, nuts and bolts instruction booklet to help guide learning, non-tech-savvy authors through a maze of confusing information. Written in everyday language for those who, in the author’s words, “…grew up with sporadic access to a rusty old Royal typewriter (with an ‘e’ that always typed midway up the line) and a gummy bottle of Liquid Paper,” Self-Publishing Made Simple was designed for those who were born well before public use of the term ‘online.'”
  6. Feature: HarperCollins UK boss tells publishers: take storytelling back from digital rivals, by Jennifer Rankin – “Charlie Redmayne warns that publishers must take their space back by going beyond ebooks to apps, games and video.”  The Guardian
  7. Viewpoint: Famous Writers Who Self-Published: Busting a Self-Publishing Myth, by Peter Winkler – “Book promotion guru John Kremer introduces his Self-Publishing Hall of Fame by writing, ‘You could stock a superb college library or an incredible bookstore just from the books written by the some of the authors who have chosen to self-publish [sic],’ then proceeds to reel off the names of 52 famous writers who published their own works, including L. Frank Baum, Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe, William Strunk Jr. and Mark Twain. (Kremer misspells Poe’s middle name and omits ‘Jr.’ from Strunk’s name.) ”  The Huffington Post
  8. IdenticalReview: “Identical,” by Scott Turow, reviewed by Robert Wiersema – “I’m a Scott Turow fan. I think he’s one of our great contemporary novelists, his considerable talents often overlooked because he writes in genre – albeit one he helped create, the contemporary legal thriller…In the spirit of continuing candour: Turow’s latest novel, Identical, is something of a disappointment.”  The Globe and Mail
  9. Essay: A Library of the Mind, by Sam Allingham – “There is perhaps no more fitting summer job for a writer than processing books in the basement of a university library. To get up before the real heat of the day begins and descend into the air-conditioned cool of the dimly-lit basement archives is a particular kind of atmospheric trick, but emerging after a full day’s work into the thick evening is even better, since it mimics the way writers feel when they get up from a long grapple with a manuscript; your eyes are bleary, your head is half-dazed, and the hot summer night feels overly sharp, hyper-real, cluttered with shouts and sirens.”  The Millions
  10. JFKbooksFeature: Honoring the 50th Anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s Assassination: 20 Books About JFK’s Life, Death and Legacy, by Tom Donadio and Nate Einhorn – “Fifty years after his assassination, scholars, government officials and tin hat-wearing Bigfoot enthusiasts continue their efforts to solve the mystery: who exactly was John F. Kennedy? Over the decades, fact has melded with fiction as this man is remembered.” Book Reporter
  11. News: Emily Dickinson’s works gathered together in online archive, by Jennifer Schuessler – “The manuscripts of Emily Dickinson have long been scattered across multiple archives, meaning scholars had to knock on numerous doors to see all the handwritten drafts of a poet whose work went almost entirely unpublished in her lifetime. The online Emily Dickinson Archive promises to change that by bringing together on a single open-access website thousands of manuscripts held by Harvard University, Amherst College, the Boston Public Library and five other institutions.”  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Book Bits is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of “The Seeker,” “The Sailor,” and “The Betrayed.”

$4.99 on Kindle

$4.99 on Kindle


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