Archive for the ‘publishing’ Category.

Been busy with NaNoWriMo?

Then, get ready to polish up your work and submit it for the Amazon breakthrough novel award this Feb.

Have an unpublished novel you know readers will love? Enter your manuscript in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for a chance to win a $25,000 publishing contract with Penguin Group (USA) and the distribution of your novel on .

And, is your library doing any NaNoWriMo programming? What a nifty and natural tie-in — if not, maybe next year!

Opposite world

Sometimes, the publishing industry just baffles me. As does what qualifies as “peer reviewed” literature. Is it just me, or are you also reading these things and saying WT*?

AL froze over!

American Libraries, that is, not the Annoyed Librarian:

American Libraries, the flagship magazine of the American Library Association (ALA), celebrated the first Open Access Day, Oct. 14, by opening up its content on the Web and making its companion weekly e-newsletter, American Libraries Direct, available to anyone for the asking.

“Opening up American Libraries’ searchable PDFs at is just the first step toward making all future features and columns available on the site in HTML format in 2009,” said Leonard Kniffel, editor in chief. The current issue of the print magazine will be open to all, as will back issues through 2003; they were all formerly accessible only with a member log-in. — American Libraries Lifts Access Restrictions.

Well, good for them! (Even if their stupid ebrary reader plugin doesn’t work in Firefox on Vista.)

Going to Internet Librarian 2009?

… in Monterey next month? I am, so, if you’d like to meet up, grab lunch, talk over a book idea, or just talk, drop me a line. One of the main reasons I go to these ITI conferences is to meet potential new authors. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to kick around ideas in person, so don’t be shy about taking the chance to chat if you’ve had one in the back of your mind. (Plus, they have really good food there!)

Random writing-related ramblings

This is somewhat old news, but HarperCollins has launched a new site, Authonomy, that aims to be a sort of social slushpile:

authonomy invites unpublished and self published authors to post their manuscripts for visitors to read online. Authors create their own personal page on the site to host their project – and must make at least 10,000 words available for the public to read.

Visitors to authonomy can comment on these submissions – and can personally recommend their favourites to the community. authonomy counts the number of recommendations each book receives, and uses it to rank the books on the site. It also spots which visitors consistently recommend the best books – and uses that info to rank the most influential trend spotters.

We hope the authonomy community will guide publishers straight to the freshest writing talent – and will give passionate and thoughtful readers a real chance to influence what’s on our shelves.

This site cracks me up, partially because the #2 book on their charts right now is titled Vlad the Inhaler:

Full of dark humour, Vlad the Inhaler tells of an eleven-year-old vegetarian and asthmatic hupyre (half-human/half-vampire) who has to overcome cowardice to rescue his friends.

Well, why not? If you’ve ever wanted to spot — or be noticed as — unsung new talent, here’s your chance.

And, if you need some fodder for your Authonomy submission, Debbie Ridpath Ohi today sings the praises of mining your own spam folder for character names. Talk about reuse/recycle!

Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

I’ve had Brian Kenney’s An Open and Shut Case sitting around in a browser tab for days now, and its appearance today on LISNews prompts me to finally post about it. In a nutshell, he writes:

This is all, of course, very ironic. After all, librarians are the most vocal advocates for open access to journal content—except, apparently, when it’s their own publications. I suspect this is because of ALA’s outdated, carrot-on-the-end-of-the-stick, publishing model: keep the publications locked away as the supreme benefit of membership.

Well, yeah. For how many of you reading this right now has American Libraries been the swing vote in your decision to retain membership in ALA? OK, maybe a bad example… but, what divisions or roundtables have you joined largely for their literature? I’m surely guilty of this: I joined LAMA for a while mainly because I liked reading Library Administration & Management so much, but, no more.

The real question here becomes: What can associations offer us so that their publications become a bonus, rather than a sine qua non?

(Psst — want some free LIS-related reading material? Check out today’s Info Career Trends for a bunch of articles on nontraditional careers.)

Pop Quiz!

What’s the logical next step for Pop goes the Library, the blog?

A. Pop Goes the Library, the book!

B. Pop Goes the Library, the book blog!

C. Pop Goes the Library, the Flickr pool!

D. Pop Goes the Library, the wiki!

E. Pop Goes the Library, on Twitter!

F. All of the above!

…You’ve probably figured it out, but here’s the deal: Sophie Brookover and Liz Burns have written a most awesome book, and I’m so pleased to have had the privilege of working with them on it! It’s releasing August 11, so reserve your copy now :) .

Now THIS is a rant…

Ever get mad at an editor? Read this for kicks and giggles (and profanity; you’ve been warned).

And watch the copyright lawsuits fly…

Have you all seen yet?

Mygazines is your free place to browse, share, archive and customize unlimited magazine articles uploaded by you, the Mygazines community.

If you prefer print to video, you can now upload scans of your magazines here, rather than uploading stuff you’ve grabbed off the DVR to YouTube. They also incorporate some social networking features, and if you create a free account you have the ability to create your own “mygazines” of favorite articles, in addition to browsing articles and reading entire issues.

(It’s heinous slow at the moment; they have an “experiencing technical issues” note on the homepage. But fascinating, nonetheless.)

On the setting of goals

Someday, I hope to write a post that starts out similarly to this one from John Scalzi:

I made $164,000 last year from my writing. I’ve averaged more than $100,000 in writing income for the last ten years, which means, for those of you who don’t want to bother with the math, that I’ve made more than a million dollars from my writing in the last decade.

Unfortunately, that day is not today! :) But I’ve been thinking about what separates a Scalzi (or Dr. Frankel – props on the egosurfing, by the way) from the rest of us who make some part of our living from writing and/or speaking — other than the obvious limit, in the library field, of our own market. Scalzi points out that he’s an outlier when it comes to writing income and provides a ton of useful advice about the business of writing and the choosing of markets at the original and a followup post.

I think a good part of this comes down to the making — and pursuing — of long-term goals. I often talk to library folks who don’t want to be where they are — but either don’t know where they actually do want to be, or think it will be too much work to get there, so discourage themselves from even trying.

Five and a half years ago, when my first son was born, I scaled back my “day job” to part time with the long-term goal of working for myself. Three years ago, I quit that part-time job. (I currently gross a bit over what I did when I left my full-time department head position in 2002, but self-employment taxes and lack of benefits leave me significantly further behind.) With two small children at home, this works for now; my new long-term goal is to scale up and start doing more work outside of libraryland, after the younger one is in preschool in a couple of years and I have the necessary blocks of time.

So here be some of my own thoughts, for what they’re worth:

  1. Set achievable goals. How much did you make from your freelance endeavors this year? Set a slightly higher goal next year, and figure out how to get there.
  2. Start out by saying yes. Say yes to things that are unpaid, or that pay badly, or that require you to go out of your way — at the beginning, this is how you build name recognition and a portfolio.
  3. Value yourself and your work. Yes, this does seem contradictory. But at some point, once you have built up a body of work and contacts, you need to start saying no and being more choosy about where you expend your energy.
  4. Get a little help from your friends. You hear about networking’s importance in job hunting — well, freelancing is like going on tiny job interviews, all the time. How do people find out about you? How do you find out about opportunities? Most often, through people you know.
  5. Do ask. Get yourself these two books by Linda Babcock: Women Don’t Ask and Ask for It. Convince yourself of the power of negotiation — and your ability to do so. (Probably more on this later; I just finished Ask for It and am thinking back on where negotiation, or my failure to negotiate, have figured into my own career.)

You may or may not want to work for yourself, but: What are your goals? Where do you want to be in 5 years? If you don’t have any idea, then how do you feel about the thought of being just where you are now, only 5 years older? Now, what are your goals?