Tuesday, April 25, 2006

While I was away, part 94

OK, I'm going to just zoom through these bookmarked posts otherwise I am never going to make it to the finishing post. Grumpy Old Bookman has rightly praised Skint Writer's writing -- go for it, Skint. He has also told the story of the Star Wars fan's "tribute book" which was all over the blogs at the weekend but has probably all disappeared now for legal reasons. The GOB has some telling observations about Amazon sellers' tactics revealed by this book's listing. Via the Big Bad Book Blog, I discover a site called Self-Publishing, and a posting about why one can't make money out of print-on-demand publishing. It is a very useful post about the financial perils of POD (as it is called), and advises authors instead to use a "self publishing" service or advice. As Ron Pramshufer, the blog author, says: "As a self publisher, you will put in the time as the author as well as the money as the publisher but remember, you are not only making the royalty, you are also making the profit." There is a healthy debate in the comments. Incidentally, look here if you want to know why there is no comma in Big Bad Book Blog. Here is a beautiful site on book cover design, via Books, Words, and Writing , a blog whose title has a plethora of commas (to English English eyes, that is). Books, Words, and Writing is a lovely blog which I came across via Books, Inq, who featured an article on it about gardens and reading. Here is an entry about rogue agents and other nasty life-forms -- there sure are a lot of sharks out there preying on poor authors. What a life. A more upbeat entry on the same blog concerns a reading list to help you save the world. Dave Pollard lists "80 books and articles that have forever changed my worldview and my purpose for living. The fifteen most critical readings have a numbered triangle in front of them, with the numbers reflecting the order that, I would suggest, it makes most sense to read them in." Very useful, also useful is the one-sentence summary of the books on the list ;-). Dave Pollard's blog is called "how to save the world", consisting of his environmental philosophy, creative works, business papers and essays. Impressive stuff. Via Brandywine books, I discover the WritingFix site, which among other things provides automatic plot creator. I think I'll just set it up and send off the result to those rogue POD publishers and agents.... The Brandywine books posting is worth a look, as it is Lars Walker's first anniversary blog, and he lists the sites from something called "writer's digest 101" that caught his eye, as he puts it. The links are in his posting, and many of them look well-worth checking out. One of these is "bookcrossing" -- Minx and others have commented about leaving books behind after one has finished them and lurking to see who picks them up. Well, bookcrossing is an actual organised site for this activity, with labels, stamps and indexing, so that a book's journey can be followed after you leave it. A really lovely idea. How am I doing? There is one of these "memes" on Collected Miscellany (list at this link) which looks quite fun. You have to look at a list of books, make the ones you have read bold, italicise the ones you might read, underline the ones you have on your bookshelf, and put parentheses round the ones you have never heard of. I don't often like doing these memes, as they often tend to be rather too self-referential for my taste, but this one looks quite interesting, if I could ever find the time to do it. Mapletree7 over at Book of the Day has a great review of Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. I laughed at the part about her mother (Mapletree7's, not Rebecca's or DuMaurier's). I know just how it feels. (As I mentioned in an earlier post, I did not remember how many of Muriel Spark's books I had read until I read the obits.) Maud Newton has a very interesting post about Affluemza, a link to an excellent deconstruction of the "mommy wars" debate, by Sandra Tsing Loh. "Twenty years later, gone are big hair, big diamonds, and big shoulder pads. In their place, among America's most affluent mothers, is a kind of gnawing, grinding anxiety and a mediacentric conviction that this fretfulness is somehow that of every woman. Or so it appears in the just-published Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families, edited by Leslie Morgan Steiner. " See here for a link to the full review in Atlantic Monthly -- and at Powells.com. Maud concludes: "The review includes some unfortunate generalizations about red staters and about "rabidly focused women." Also, the conclusion is confusing and it doesn't present a solution. (Universal child care, anyone? Financed by repealing all those tax cuts for the rich?) But there's some powerful writing here, and I share the disgust she leads with." I'm almost there now! There is a fascinating account on that wonderful blog Deblog (discovered via Ian Hocking of This Writing Life) of what happened to Debra Hamel when she posted a negative review of a book on Amazon. But not as bad as the legal action threatened to Read Roger under similar circumstances. Amazing. My head is spinning from this whirl through the many, many interesting blogs and posts that happened during my absence. There may be one or two more, but for my own sanity I have to stop here. Back soon (maybe)!