Sunday, March 6, 2011

Boingboing Link dump

Doodling, good for you.
...Brown says, the fact that they are doodling means they probably are paying attention. "Doodling is a pre-emptive measure to stop you from losing focus." Research has shown that you retain information better when it is combined with some kind of stimulus. Doodling helps with retaining information, because when you are doodling it engages four types of stimulation: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic.

On to more contemporary authors and modern publishing methods.  Amanda Hocking couldn't find a publisher so she self-published online, is charging a low rate because she has little overhead and because she collects almost the entire fee herself.   Boingboing, USA Today and Novelr.
From Novelr:
Amanda Hocking is 26* years old. She has 9 self-published books to her name, and sells 100,000+ copies of those ebooks per month. She has never been traditionally published.
From Novelr, but I think quoted from her own blog:
If you’re an indie writer, you get to sell books at a price way, way lower than what a Traditional Publisher can sell at. And yet you make more money, because your only costs are to an ebook and cover art designer (whereas the traditional publisher has to support a legacy system, plus the traditionally published author gets a 30% cut, while you get 70%).
In the meantime, readers are more inclined to buy your stories, even if you’re an unknown author, simply because your book prices are cheaper. So you get high sales, low ebook prices, but high revenue once you’ve hit sufficient scale. And the best thing is that it’s infinitely scalable: your ebooks are out there, getting sales every single day. No shelf-space, no print runs to worry about.
I had figured this out some time ago.  Offering a low price, but selling many copies is entirely possible with e-books and I foresee this occurring more and more.  I will soon buy one of her books to be able to comment more knowledgeably because I do have a concern.  Quality.  As she wrote, with a low price, more people will be able to take a chance.  Traditional publishers offer some degree of quality control.
John Scalzi, an author published in traditional and self-/e- format, has made a bingo card of most of the arguments for and against e-publishing.

I read an author who followed the low-tech path in this regard.  He published his own books in hard-copy ( but softcover) and the one I read, Frozen Beneath, was terrible.

Another literature project is the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume Two.

And some advice for writers (this one isn't form BB but from Salon): Skip the scenery.
By far the most common gripe from readers was too much description, particularly environmental description -- that is, of landscape, weather and interiors. This complaint struck me as especially pertinent because at that very moment I was trying to decide whether or not to recommend Tea Obreht's "The Tiger's Wife" in our weekly book column, What to Read. Obreht, recently named one of the New Yorker's 20 best writers under 40, is undeniably talented, and the novel has much to recommend it. Yet no sooner does Obreht's narrative work up a little momentum or present a masterful scene than it hits a patch of long, dozy paragraphs filled with way too much detail about the scenery.

As a child, I daydreamed in class of building a submarine from an oil tank - the one's I saw were long and cylindrical with a lump for where a conning tower would go - and imagined the adventures I would have in it in Georgian Bay.  This story isn't so cute, but I still found it interesting: Columbian Narcotics Submarine.

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