Friday’s Links: book pricing controversies, m-readers, and what we mean when we talk about bad writing

I’m Matt Staggs, Jeff’s publicist and a writer here at BookLifeNow. As this is my first post, I thought I might take this as an opportunity to tell you a little bit more about myself, and what you can expect from me here at the site.

The first thing you should know is that books are my life. I live, eat, breathe and sleep the printed word. I’m utterly and helplessly smitten with books. That, as a matter of fact, led me to my work as a book publicist. See, the simple fact of the matter is that I just can’t stop talking about the things I’ve read and the authors I enjoy, and spreading the word is as much a way of life as it is a vocation. And I want the same for you.

If you’re here, then chances are you’re a writer, or someone that cares as much about books as I do. Like Jeff says, you’ve got a Booklife to nurture and protect, and learning to promote your work in an organic and consistently productive manner is an essential part of that nurturing process. Another part is knowing what is going on in the world of books at large: developing an awareness of the literary ecosphere as a whole and building a place for yourself there.

On every Friday I’ll post 10 links to items of interest in the literary world. Think of it as an intelligence report, if you will. We’ll look at the major trends, occasional controversies and developing issues as they occur; information that you can use to develop your career on every level. You’ll help with this, too, by commenting and asking questions.

Today’s links:

  1. Literary agent Colleen Lindsay is offering a chance for readers to win their own copy of Booklife by submitting their own book publicity tips, secrets and stories. Drop by her blog, The Swivet, today.
  2. The internet and social media offers numerous opportunities for interaction among readers and authors, and the micro-blogging platform Twitter is growing into the medium of choice for many. The High Spot Inc. blog offers a post on ongoing literary chats via Twitter, and how you can join in on the conversation.
  3. In an age where an author can reach out and touch a reader with only a handful of key strokes, the question of whether one may revile a writer yet still love his or her work is more important than ever. The Christian Science Monitor looks to a historical example.
  4. The controversy regarding mega-retailers Walmart, Target and Amazon’s decisions to offer cut-rate prices on bestselling books continues to unfold, as both retailers choosing to limit quantities sold to smaller retailers, according to Publishers Weekly.
  5. Many publishers are turning to mobile devices as a means of distribution for their books. Future Perfect Publishing reports on how this could possibly change the industry.
  6. Meanwhile, authors themselves look to the iPhone to promote their work. Smart Bitches, Trashy Books shows how one author has developed an app for that purpose.
  7. Poets & Writers recently release their list of the top 50 MFA programs.
  8. Editor and consultant Alan Rinzler shares his top five secrets to getting a book deal.
  9. Writer Bill Ward examines some common generalizations about “specialist readers.”
  10. The Blood Red Pencil bloggers asks what we mean when we talk about “bad writing.”

n653213921_1671825_1056996Matt Staggs is a literary publicist and the proprietor of Deep Eight LLC, a boutique publicity agency utilizing the best publicity practices from the worlds of traditional media and evolving social technologies. He has worked in the fields of public relations and journalism for almost a decade. In addition to his work as a publicist, Matt is a book reviewer and writer whose work appears in both print and web publications.

One thought on “Friday’s Links: book pricing controversies, m-readers, and what we mean when we talk about bad writing

  1. Pingback: Ask the editor: Top 5 secrets to getting a book deal « Encourager

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