Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Some Links to Thinks

In the past we’ve mentioned that we get information about publishing from outside the field almost as often, if not more often, than from inside it (see More Fuel for the Genre Fire), and today we’re reiterating that.

We read lots and lots of magazines, both online and print versions, and one of our favorites is the Smithsonian. The current issue commemorates their 40th anniversary, and, wow, they outdid themselves with tidbits of unconventional and conventional wisdom that we wanted to pass along. However, to keep this short, here are some highlights.

Reading in a Whole New Way

This fascinating article by Kevin Kelly, who has a book coming out from Penguin in the fall, is another take on the evolution of reading. There’s so much here that you have to read it yourself to sift through all the gems.

Listening to Bacteria

The subject of this article is wildly intriguing as well; however, it’s the writing you should pay attention to here. The author, Natalie Angier, is a Pulitzer Prize winning science writer as well as a book author. Pay attention to how she constructs her piece. At once both engaging and informative, her style makes the complex world of organisms and research accessible to the lay person.

Carl Hiassen on Human Weirdness

If you’ve ever read this author, you’ll want to read his take on the de-evolution of humankind. It's kind of a quirky bit to include; however, it serves as an example of how fiction writers, strangely, sometimes become the chroniclers of humanity.

Move Over Gutenberg: Will E-books Spell the End of Paper and Ink?

Author Paul Levine offers his insights on e-books and print books in this piece for the Huffington Post. More fuel for the digital revolution inferno.



Anonymous said...

Is there any better source of inspiration for writers than the sciences? Liberal Arts majors (of which I was one) beware. Biology, history, archaeology, physics, astronomy - these are my best friends. As luck and sense would have it, I listened to the poet, Dan Langdon ...

Brad Jaeger said...

Thanks for that. Those were quality reads :)

#167 Dad said...

Quick question:How many copies does the average book published my the one of the big six publishers actually sell?
I've come acoss conflicting numbers...

book publishers said...

It depends on the author. Random House just did a 500,000 book printing for Obama's children's book as it's OBVIOUSLY going to be a bestseller - but for most normal authors - usually about 5,000 - 10,000 copies for a first print run. It varies heavily, hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

#167 Dad,

It's amazing that many of the novels major publishers print end up in a land fill. Returns over the last few years have been astronomical, many times reaching as high as 50%.

Now if a major pays an author seven figures for their book, as they probably did for the OBVIOUSLY, possibly, maybe bestseller that book publishers mentioned and the book doesn't pay out, then the publisher might end up in the red. This might be especially true with a picture book on which there might not be a huge demand for sub rights.

So much depends on luck these days that sure things don't always materialize.