Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: ebook

In Praise of #Libraries


I’ll start with a praise of libraries from Columnist and Author, Caitlin Moran in her article, Libraries: Cathedrals of Our Souls:

“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination.”

If you have the time, do go read her full article…

Now, a rather ironic offering from the site, No Shelf Required, What’s the Best Way to Get Indies into Libraries?

Just a few excerpts:

“…ever asked why your library had a Kindle bestseller title in print but not as an ebook?”

“…while libraries focus their acquisitions efforts on books from the Big Five, there is a parallel universe of publishing that generates bestsellers and sells them to the public. Some of these bestsellers get into library collections, but not all.”

“When an indie author is ready to publish a book, there are several options for creating and then distributing the ebook edition to major retailers and library sales channels.”

“There is no reason libraries can’t provide their patrons with ebook editions of most popular indie authors.”

Now, I’ll link to just a few of the many past posts about libraries on this blog:

E-books, Libraries, and the False Notion of Digital Scarcity…

Little Free Libraries All over the World

Even Small Town Libraries Can Afford to Self-Publish

Readers & Libraries

To read more about libraries, scroll down a bit in the left side-bar and click on “Libraries” in the Top Tags widget :-)
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The Best Book On How To Be Successful As A Writer?


What’s your definition of success as a writer?

Lots of money? Lots of books? Both? Something else??

I just may have discovered the best book to read, no matter how you want to be successful

And, even though it’s called The Newbie’s Guide To Publishing, I feel it can help those who’ve already attained a bit of publishing success to find even more.

The author is Joe Konrath, and, if you click-through on that name-link you’ll read stuff like this:

“Konrath…spent…12 years garnering close to five hundred rejections for nine unpublished novels.”

He now has 12 published novels, 15 tie-in stories, and 22 other stories.

If you want an independent and forthright blog to read, his is it!

In January of this year, Konrath wrote:

“One hundred grand [$100,000]. That’s how much I’ve made on Amazon in the last three weeks.

“This is just for my self-pubbed Kindle titles. It doesn’t include Shaken and Stirred, which were published by Amazon’s imprints. It doesn’t include any of my legacy sales, print or ebook. It doesn’t include audiobook sales. It doesn’t include sales from other platforms.

“This is from my self-pubbed books. The ones the Big 6 rejected.”

Needless to say, since I discovered him, Joe Konrath has been referenced on this blog many times.

So, that book by him has over 360,000 words. And, you can get The Newbie’s Guide To Publishing, only $2.99.

If you still feel hesitant, I’ll let Barry Eisler, best-selling novelist, speak to you from the forward to Konrath’s book:

“There’s no one in the industry more knowledgeable than Joe about both the craft and business of writing. A Newbie’s Guide is the result of years-worth of thought, research, discussion, and, most of all, experience. Want to know how to develop compelling characters? Write crackling dialogue? Run the kind of guerilla marketing campaign publishers only dream of? Put together a cost-effective, kick-ass book tour? Want to maximize your chances of getting and staying published? Then you need to read Joe. This is a guy who never accepts the conventional wisdom, who never does anything just because that’s the way it’s always been done, who’s totally unafraid to try new things, who’s remarkably honest in reporting the results of his experiments, and who’s obsessed with sharing for free his uniquely valuable insights. Yeah, you can get published without reading Joe. But you can drive a car with the parking brake on, too — it’s just not the fastest way to get there.”

And, if you still don’t want to download Joe’s book, here’s a video from 2009 with Joe giving quite a bit of advice:


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E-books & Libraries of The Future . . .


Most folks know what “going to the library” means.

Thing is, that phrase carries different meanings for different people.

Many go to the library to take out books; some to upload e-books, some to meet a sweetheart, some to find a quiet place to rest from the stress of homelessness

I’ve looked at libraries a few different ways in previous posts. Here are a few:

Libraries Weathering The Storm In Publishing

Should We All Self-Publish A Book?

Been To Your Local Library Lately?

However, not all is well with the relationship between legacy publishers and libraries

Take this recent excerpt from a post on DailyTech:

“Last month, Random House announced that it would be making some changes to the way it sells e-books to libraries, including price increases. But libraries didn’t expect cost boosts as high as 300 percent, where no titles are offered under $25. Some even go as high as over $100 per title.”

The piece goes on to say:

“…Hachette and Macmillan have only made part of their list of e-book titles available to libraries, HarperCollins puts a 26-use expiration on its library e-books, and others like Simon & Schuster and Penguin don’t even let libraries lend out their e-books.”

One particular institution, the Vancouver Public Library, has mounted a special campaign to deal with All  the changes happening in the publishing world, one which draws on the thoughts and feelings of their patrons—Free-For-All ~ Reimagining Your Library.

If you’d like an in-depth take on a modern’s library’s issues, check out this article in The Tyee, Libraries of the Future!

Do you still use a local library?

Do you have fond memories of a library?

Do you think libraries will be able to sustain their operations with all the current changes in the Book World?
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E-Books, Libraries, and An Experiment In Blogging


I’ve always been a rather Benevolent Maverick.

Recently, I broke a blogging “rule” and had a post that ran over 4,000 words—Author Interview ~ Shannan Sinclair.

Today, I’m going to give three brief references to articles about e-books and see how many folks take the links, read the articles, and make a comment

I need to start by referencing a WebSite that will help set-up the first e-book article—O’Reilly ~ Tools of Change for Publishing—a conference held in New York City, February 13-15.

The first e-book article, from NPR, is, At Last, They See: E-Books ‘Democratize’ Publishing, which begins with:

“Not known as a hotbed of experimentation, the world of publishing has been slow to embrace the transition from print to e-books. This past week in New York, however, the Tools of Change digital publishing conference attracted entrepreneurs and innovators who are more excited by, rather than afraid of, the future.”

The next article is from PCWorldEbook Publishers Want Library Borrowing to Be Difficult—and begins with:

“In an effort to make library ebook borrowing less convenient, Penguin Group has discontinued over-the-air library book downloads for Kindle users.”

The third article is from an “Annoyed Librarian” on the Library Journal and is called, Ebooks and Libraries Don’t Mix. Here’s the opening:

“Libraries certainly are living in interesting times, and last week was no exception. We were also provided with more evidence supporting one of my hypotheses, which is that if you want to get something done, don’t involve the ALA [American Library Association].”

I’m sure I’ll be back to my normal routine tomorrow—featuring one article and commenting myself; but, that’s my post for today

I may get no comments :-)
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What Will Happen To Print Books ?


Hold it in your hand

Feel it and smell it

Turn its pages

Dog its pages, if you dare.

I, personally, feel print books will stay with us forever.

One good sign of this is an article in The Guardian by Robert McCrum called Traditional books, dressed to kill…

It’s about publishers making hardbacks with covers that harken back to an age of marked respect for the printed book.

The standard, mass-market paperback may disappear but trade paperbacks could survive.

And, I certainly hope independent book artists survive—people like Mia Leijonstedt.

I met her on Google Plus and instantly fell in love with what she does with books.

This image is from her personal site:

Her comment on the next image is interesting:

“A dear friend and a truly wonderful human being inspired me with her request for a little book as a pendant… This one is covered in reindeer leather and incorporates a Sichuan Quartz (“Tibetan Herkimer”) with a type of jasper called African Turquoise.”

What do you think will happen to print books as ebooks continue to take the world by storm??
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