Archive by Author

The e-Reader Dead-End (Temporarily)

There are too many conflicting formats in the growing e-book growing sector It’s not quite Betamax versus VHS or even Blu-Ray versus whatever other DVD player was trying to make inroads in a tight marketplace, but the proliferation of competing reading devices may be yet another quandary for publishers grappling with the young but rapidly […]

Behind the Electronic Eight-Ball

Publishers grapple with the conflicting demands of the digital age. The other day I noticed a man sitting next to me on the subway reading a book. Nothing unusual there. Just about everyone on the New York subway reads something. But this guy was reading a book on his iPhone, and was as engrossed in […]

Another Publishing Dodo: Book Catalogs

Face it—you have a love-hate thing going on with book catalogs.You love seeing the individual write-ups, the cover art for the titles, the sense of possibility that every new season of publishing brings. You love discovering that a favorite author is returning with something new. You are intrigued by the description of a debut novel, […]

Of Author Names and Bylines

During the many years I worked at The Wall Street Journal, I wrote about books, the publishing industry, theater, television and music. I also covered the art and auction market, among other areas. In the first few years of my tenure there (I left last October to concentrate on my own writing), my byline was […]

Communication, Censorship, Corruption and Courage

How to create an atmosphere where writing is dangerous: censorship. How to suppress the creative spirit: censorship.How to build a following despite censorship: online. Even in an authoritarian state that wields enormous economic muscle and instills fear in free markets, the writer Murong Xuecun (a pseudonym for the writer Hao Qunhas) managed to build a […]