The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: New J. K. Rowling novel, ‘An Officer and a Spy,’ Wayne Dyer, ‘The Forever Girl’

BookBitsWhile book buzz, as reflected by the media reviews displayed on Amazon’s book listings, reviews in major newspapers and websites, and the focus of reading lists and discussions on GoodReads make it appear that the most lucrative (though difficult) route for authors is via agents, mid-sized and huge publishers, a growing chorus of authors has been telling us that various forms of indie publishing are better. They just might be right. Take a look at the data comparisons in Hugh Howey’s report (Item 15). As a sidebar to this, see also the Tim Grahl viewpoint that major bestseller lists are out of sync with the real world (Item 14).

Here are today’s books and authors links:

  1. amazonpublishingNews: Amazon Publishing’s advances move ahead of the market – “The web giant’s books imprint flexes its muscles after scoring an e-book No 1, but the little guy may yet win the day”  The Guardian
  2. Interview: Where’s The Rage? Kamila Shamsie in conversation with Pankaj Mishra – “Kamila Shamsie and Pankaj Mishra discuss the absence of political anger in Western literature and why we shouldn’t be so quick to condemn writers like Mo Yan.”  Guernica
  3. silkwormNew Titles: New thriller due from J.K. Rowling: She’s back as her alter ego, Robert Galbraith. – “J.K. Rowling is back with a novel involving a writer whose acid-tipped pen may have led to murder.”  USA Today See also: JK Rowling to publish second novel as Robert Galbraith in The Guardian
  4. Feature: You’re Missing Out on Great Literature, by Anna Clark – “Only three percent of everything published in the U.S. each year is translated from another language—and the majority of that is computer manuals and other technical material. Why don’t Americans read beyond their borders?”  Pacific Standard
  5. News/Promo: Dreaming of a book deal? ABNA is happening right now and your chance to win starts here – “The seventh annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) Contest is now open. Don’t miss your chance to win a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing.”  CreateSpace
  6. officerspyReview: “An Officer and a Spy,” by Robert Harris – “Labyrinthine machinations having to do with the Dreyfus Affair, the late 19th-century spy case that disclosed a latent anti-Semitism in French culture…Espionage, counterespionage, a scandalous trial, a coverup and a man who tries to do right make this a complex and alluring thriller.”  Kirkus Reviews
  7. Feature: Last Chance To Read ‘Grapes Of Wrath’ Before It Turns 75, by Nicole Cohen – “John Steinbeck’s Dust Bowl saga has been on required reading lists for decades, but somehow a lot of us at have never read it. (We know! We know!) So when we realized the 75th anniversary was coming up on April 14, we thought: What better way to pay tribute to Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic than to actually crack it open?”  NPR
  8. CharlesParisLambInterview: Chris Parris-Lamb with Brad Listi – “Chris Parris-Lamb is the guest. He is a literary agent at The Gernert Company in New York City. His clients include Chad Harbach (The Art of Fielding) and Garth Risk Hallberg (City on Fire).”  Other People
  9. Workshop: Writing From Your Soul ~ A Weekend for Writers With Wayne Dyer, Reid Tracy, and Nancy Levin – The workshop will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the Broward County COnventiion Center May 3-4, 2014.
  10. on the list

    on the list

    Lists: The Best Books on President Lincoln, by Allen Barra – “Two years ago, Paul Tetreault, director of Ford’s Theater in Washington, declared that there are more books written about Abraham Lincoln than any other person than Jesus Christ…This makes the life and legacy of our 16th president intimidating to the newcomer, but here’s ten nonfiction works and one novel that will guide the novice through the halls of Lincoln lit..” The Daily Beast

  11. Essay: On Not Going Home, by James Wood – “I have now lived 18 years in the United States. It’s a bit feeble to say I didn’t expect to stay that long; and ungrateful, or even meaningless or dishonest, to say I didn’t want to. I must have wanted to; there has been plenty of gain. But I had so little concept of what might be lost.”  The London Review of Books
  12. forevergirlReview: “The Forever Girl,” by Alexander McCall Smith, reviewed by Monica Stark – “Fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s internationally beloved Ladies Detective Agency novels may find themselves confused by his latest book, The Forever Girl (Knopf Canada/Random House). Not an entry in either of McCall’s long-running series, The Forever Girl explores the nature and nuance of love through interlinked stories involving a couple and their daughter.”  January Magazine
  13. Feature: Hemingway’s favourite burger recipe – found in the documents being digitized is a rather complicated recipe for a tasty burger. BBC
  14. Viewpoint: The NYT and WSJ Best Seller Lists Must Die. by Tim Grahl – “n various roles I’ve bumped into the  New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller lists many times. I’ve helped launch two #1 New York Times best sellers, several top five best sellers and, at one point last spring, had 5 clients with books on the NYT list at the same time. While I haven’t tracked the Wall Street Journal list as closely, I’ve had quite a few hit that list as well. I also have my hands in a few launches right now – some finishing up and some just getting prepped for later this year – and more and more I’ve become incredulous at the complete disaster that is the major best seller lists.”  Hugh Howey
  15. hughoweyCommentary: Comparison of Large Traditional Publisher vs. Indie Publisher Author Earnings and Sales, by Hugh Howey – “The first run grabbed data on nearly 7,000 e-books from several bestselling genre categories on Amazon. Subsequent runs have looked at data for 50,000 titles across all genres. You can ask this data some pretty amazing questions, questions I’ve been asking for well over a year [link]. And now we finally have some answers.”  Author Earnings See also: Hugh Howey calls for author earnings revolution in The Guardian

“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of “Emily’s Stories” (available in print, audio, and e-book.


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