Numbers Game

Back on June 6th, 2007 Google announced that the Committee on Institutional Collaboration (CIC), a library consortium representing the Big Ten and the University of Chicago, agreed to participate in their Book Search Library Project. This partnership agreement brought the number of participating research libraries to twenty-five. According to the Google announcement, the CIC libraries [...]

Show, Not Tell

Fiction writers are urged to show, not tell, that is have the characters do something that demonstrates their personality, state of mind and the situation, rather than simply describe these things.
Dan that work in a nonfiction book? In a business book?
Yes. Rather than think in terms of how characters display their personalities, think of how [...]

A Personal Remembrance

I’m not in New York for this year’s September 11 remembrances. I’m in Paris for a couple of months, far from the site where I stood 13 years ago. But the sky here reminds me of the sky then, a clear, hopeful blue under an unwavering sun.
But I will think of what happened. I cannot [...]

A New Site for News: A Good Thing

A new journalistic site, or organization, is about to launch, and that’s good news.
We don’t have enough independent voices in journalism. And different voices bring different opinions and the search for the truth (whatever the truth is, but that’s another story).
The journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the news about the NSA leaks and much more, [...]

Literature and Social Skills

We all know that reading books is a good thing. But apparently reading literary fiction is also good for your social skills (maybe not social media, but what works in the real world can work in the virtual one, too).
A study published in Science, and reported in The New York Times, has found that by [...]

Book Recommendations: Traditional or Not

Does your local newspaper carry book reviews?
Do you even read them if they happen to appear?
The answer to both is probably no.
Chances are you rely more on word-of-mouth and Internet browsing to come upon new works. Or you read blogs by favorite writers or entrepreneurs who might recommend something. Or you have your own platform, [...]

The Da Vinci Tweet

You may have heard that a new Dan Brown novel will be published in May.
This is a publishing event, certainly. I heard about it because I got an email this morning alerting me to the event, and that the title would be revealed on social media.
It’s a cute use of social media to get people [...]

Are Literary Agents Necessary?

Who holds the keys to your career?  You or an agent?
Do it yourself. The more writers who take their careers in their own hands, the more likely in the near future that the wider world will notice that self-publishing creates as many first-rate works as regular publishing.
A friend of mine, a writer whose short stories [...]

The Consolidation of the Lumbering Giants of Publishing

If you can’t innovate, consolidate.
That’s what two large publishers are doing as they face stiff competition from Amazon (as retailer, powerful publisher and enabler of increasingly popular self-publishing) and the world of e-books.
Random House and Penguin Books will combine forces to battle the… what? The fact that they couldn’t figure out e-books and so need [...]

We vs. Me

While it may not single-handedly solve all the economic problems facing the world today, a new model of community and networking may well be the key to pulling the global economy out of the effects of the long-term global recession.
Networking has always been a powerful strategy to get business by giving business and connecting with [...]

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