Never tell me the odds

November 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, everyone and their brother wants to write a book. The more seriously I’ve taken writing, the more aware I’ve become of this fact. If you don’t believe me, just follow #amwriting on Twitter for a day. The Twitter-verse is absolutely lousy with people who are working on their first novel, memoir, poetry book, whatever. If you have any doubts about this, follow #amwriting for an hour and allow your comfortable ignorance to be washed away in a sea of tweets.

Or for another example: I love to follow literary agent Jennifer Jackson’s blog out of some sort of masochism in this regard. Jennifer Jackson does something she calls “Query Wars” wherein she reports the statistics for queries she’s received and the number of manuscripts she’s requested. (For anyone not up to speed on how the publishing world works, once a fiction author has a completed manuscript, they “query” agents with a one page synopsis of what the story is about and who they are.) For example, last week « Read the rest of this entry »


A little e-reader evangelism

October 19, 2011 § 10 Comments

I don’t own an e-reader. Yet. I love buying books in bookstores, I love having books on the bookshelves in my house, and I love the smell of the paper, so I held out.  But here’s the thing: the smell of the paper is not my favorite thing about books.  My favorite thing about books is the opportunity they provide to experience the world (or different worlds) through the eyes of someone else and an e-reader can do that just as well as paper and ink.

The world of music changed with the creation of iTunes, Netflix changed movie rentals, and now the world of books is changing too, but change isn’t always a bad thing. Interestingly enough, there are lots of indications that e-readers are actually increasing readership.  « Read the rest of this entry »

Why don’t we read more?

October 12, 2011 § 32 Comments

Reading needs to go through some rebranding.  People think about reading as work or an obligation or something people do because that’s what cultured people do.  It’s not thought of as an opportunity for escape or relaxation.”But wait,” you say.  “There isn’t enough time to read.  Life is just too busy.” My answer is invariably: that’s the kind of thing you tell your spouse when they mention the house is getting dirty or your teacher when they’ve assigned an undue amount of homework.  According to Nielsen Research the average American watches 34 hours of TV a week.  That’s almost five hours a day, and practically the amount of time spent at a full time job. Something tells me the average American isn’t reading 34 hours a week.  The average American isn’t even reading daily. « Read the rest of this entry »

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