Archive for the 'factoid' Category

factoid | on digital publishing

Colm has two posts on downloadable books here (and here) following the post on Neil Gaiman and Harper Collins’ success .

I think books are the medium most likely to succeed with this kind of model - apart from the whole “owning the artifact” thing that applies to all media, I find that reading from a computer is much more tiring than reading from a book.

I hope that the advent of newer technology (e-Ink for instance)  will make the issue of reading from a screen obsolete. Until a product is developed with wider appeal, devices, like Kindle and Sony’s e-Reader, will appear on the horizon but continue to fall short of the mark. The iPod Touch, with it’s large, legible screen, could be the solution - or an indicator for others to build an e-reader that appeals to people.

The appointment of Bob Miller (Guardian and Telegraph) to Harper Collins is a sign of publishers willingness (despite scepticism in the industry) to diversify and develop - especially relationships with bookstores.

factoid | giving them away

As part of Harper Collins’ online book experiment they offered Neil Gaiman’s American Gods free for a limited time. The experiment generated a debate both on and offline on why publishers should offer free material online and whether or not it would undermine booksellers.

Gaiman’s book had 68,000 unique visitors and 3 million book pages viewed. The site traffic is impressive but the increase in sales is even more significant. Since the launch of the site sales of American Gods have risen 300%. (more)

An idea worth investigating for Irish publishers to promote books internationally, at little or no cost??

which came first? | finally an answer!

One of life’s greatest questions has been answered via Language Log:

If you type: Every chicken must logically have been preceded by an egg out of which it developed. Microsoft Word will ‘fix’ the sentence so that it reads: An egg out of which it developed must logically have preceded every chicken.

Now we can all rest easy. More here.

factoid | on making money

John Scalzi has ten practical money tips for writers looking to make a career out of writing. Scalzi has written a lot about money and writing on his blog - and the points he’s making are interesting:

  1. You’re a writer. Prepare to be broke. Sad but true. And even more unfortunate is the news that even Edison died broke and he was a genius.
  2. Don’t quit your day job. Best way not to be broke (see above point). You know it makes sense.
  3. Marry (or otherwise shack up with) someone sensible with money, who has a real job. Scalzi has come under fire for this one. Personally, I couldn’t agree more. Having a partner who is smart with money has saved my ass more times than I can count.
  4. Your income is half of what you think it is. This is one of those things that should be obvious - not that I had ever thought about it. There is one nice thing about Ireland - writers don’t pay taxes on money earned from creative works.
  5. Pay off your credit cards NOW and then use them like cash later. How many have fallen for that trap?
  6. Don’t have the cash for it? You can’t have it. Reluctantly I agree. No matter how shiny it is…
  7. When you do buy something, buy the best you can afford — and then run it into the ground. This point just makes sense, whether you’re a writer or not.
  8. Unless you have a truly compelling reason to be there, get the hell out of New York/LA/San Francisco. I’d make a case on this for Dublin too - except that I live there.
  9. Know the entire writing market and place value on your own work. Charge what you’re worth, not a penny more or a penny less. If you don’t know what that is - ask the union.
  10. Writing is a business. Act like it. Wear a shirt and tie to work? No. Just take it seriously.

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Something else worth reading: Harvard papers are to go online - free.