News You Can Use – Jan. 24, 2012

The Secrets Behind the Bestseller List – Ever wonder how those lists are compiled? The Sacramento Bee takes a stab at uncovering the secret.

3 Important Questions about Digital that No One is Asking – Nick Atkinson adds to the ongoing discussion in a sharp manner.

Do Book Bloggers Still Matter? – Beth Kephart asks whether this form of marketing has any influence any more.

10 Bits of Advice to Stop Giving Writers – Nick Mamatas presents a contrarian view of the kinds of things we are teaching at writers conferences and in our blogs. Agree or disagree?

Is Profanity Okay to Use as Part of Your Writing? – Relevant Magazine has this provocative take on profanity in music lyrics. My mom would have washed his mouth out with soap.

The New Logo of a Combined Zondervan and Thomas Nelson – Just Kidding! Robert Treskillard engages in some fun speculation and adds in his own graphic design talents.

Amazon is Gunning to Put Traditional Publishers Out of Business – An anonymous publisher spills his opinions to Sarah Lacy at PandoDaily.

Watch this quick video about the things that have all but disappeared because of technology:

4 Responses to News You Can Use – Jan. 24, 2012

  1. Timothy Fish January 24, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    Whoever put that video together needs to rethink it. While several of those things have been replaced. Many, if not most, of the ones he listed are still alive and kicking. By that, I mean that I see people using them on a daily basis. But even if the video were accurate, to make the leap from technology changing to the loss of leaders is pretty silly.

  2. Timothy Fish January 24, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Concerning what Nick Mamatas said, one thing I do agree with him on is that there are people who should be encouraged to give up. While no one likes to tell people they can’t write, the fact is that there are thousands of people spending laborious hours producing manuscripts that are painful to read. Writing isn’t some sacred thing and telling people you “can’t not write” doesn’t prove you can write. Rather than wasting their time writing something that even their mother hates, it would be better if they gave up on writing and found something they are good at.

    I don’t believe that Amazon is actively trying to put publishers out of business. isn’t in the publishing business as much as they are in the book delivery business. They got into POD with the idea that they could reduce warehouse overhead by printing books when they are ordered. What they wanted was for publishers to provide them with digital files from which they could print. Then Kindle came along, because it allows them to deliver books even faster and with even less overhead. is a long tail company, so while traditional publishers are making money from the most popular authors, turns that around and takes a loss on popular authors in order to attract people to their site, from which they will attempt to sell more books from less popular authors. And really, what’s wrong with that? If wants to pay popular authors more than traditional publishers are willing to pay, let them have them. Traditional publishers should aim for the middle ground. They should focus on developing potential, rather than fighting over the sure thing or reducing quality to the point where they publish everything that comes through the door.

  3. MPCallender January 24, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    I love news you can use days

  4. Roberta Hegland January 24, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    That video cracked me up. I sit here with my t.v. tray, my laptop atop it. Next to me is my landline phone – and my smart phone. Across the room is our digital/HD/cable t.v.- with rabbit ears – because it’s still the only way some shows come in – don’t ask me how!

    The swearing issue has become a real concern of mine – 3 of my 4 adult Christian kids have become occasional potty mouths – so sad…but just as we know words do matter, so does advice. Writing advice should usually be qualified. As should most advice. But I’ve found it interesting how people can get good, solid advice, but can’t utilize it until they are ready. Course this is true for most of us, huh?

    Great stuff, Steve!

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