Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Great Regulars: Sherman Alexie, author of the fantastic

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, tapped into the internet's obsession with grammar on Tuesday when he tweeted: "Grammar cops are rarely good writers. Imagination always disobeys."

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Do grammar police arrest the imagination?


A public appeal has been launched to save the hundreds of thousands of ancient manuscripts smuggled out of Timbuktu during the crisis in Mali, which are now facing a more insidious threat: moisture damage.

Dating back over 700 years, the fragile manuscripts range from poetry to commerce records, and are from Andalusia and Southern Europe, Arabia, Egypt, Morocco,and Arab trading ports on the Indian Ocean as well as the region of Timbuktu itself.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Librarians in Exile group launches appeal to save Timbuktu manuscriptsLibrarians in Exile group launches appeal to save Timbuktu manuscripts


Describing itself as a "hybrid publishing model that combines the best of traditional and independent publishing", Notting Hill Press allows authors to maintain "the solid working relationships they have with their traditional publishers, while also recognising that some books are better-suited to independent publishing in some situations".

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: New press hits on 'third way' between traditional and self-publishing


Not only are authors not paid by the government when their ebooks are borrowed from libraries--they are paid around 6p per loan when physical books are borrowed, but digital titles are not yet part of the agreement--the Society has also found that publishers may inadvertently be underpaying authors for ebook loans, meaning they may be losing up to two-thirds of the income they would have received on the sale and loan of a physical book.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Philip Pullman: 'Authors must be paid fairly for ebook library loans'


[Ben] Cort, who illustrates the bestselling Aliens Love Underpants children's series, is the artist who has been chosen to render into pictures [Ringo] Starr's famous lyrics about being "warm below the storm/In our little hideaway beneath the waves/Resting our head on the sea bed/In an octopus's garden near a cave".

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Ringo Starr song Octopus's Garden to be turned into children's book


But just as there is a one in 14m chance of winning the lottery, he [Andrew Franklin] said, so writers think they will be the ones to hit the self-publishing jackpot.

"I was very shocked to learn you can buy Facebook friends and likes on social media. That is what passes for affirmation in what I think is the deeply corrupt world of self-publishing," he said, stating his belief in the need for the publisher as "gatekeeper".

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Self-published ebook sales reach 20% of genre market


"I have two children. Dickens had 10--I think Tolstoy did, too. Did anyone for one moment worry that those men were becoming too fatherish to be writeresque? Does the fact that Heidi Julavits, Nikita Lalwani, Nicole Krauss, Jhumpa Lahiri, Vendela Vida, Curtis Sittenfeld, Marilynne Robinson, Toni Morrison and so on and so forth (I could really go on all day with that list) have multiple children make them lesser writers?" said [Zadie] Smith.

from Alison Flood: The Guardian: Zadie Smith criticises author who says more than one child limits career


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