Blog archive

Is an "ingenious plot" enough?

This is the argument made by the critic D.C. Myers. Myers valorizes plot above all else because, in his view, it's a vehicle by which writers convey messages about how and how not to live, or put to the test strategies for doing so. The "greatness," or not, of a writer, then, is for such critics a matter of how well, or poorly, that writer builds a plot, makes it "airtight," and uses it for this purpose. Thus Myers's view, in the cited post, that Wharton's The age of innocence

Our Tenth Anniversary Cocktail Hour and Reading - April 9, in Denver

Going to AWP in Denver? Join us April 9, from 4 'til 6:30, at the Mercury Cafe, for our Tenth Anniversary Cocktail Hour and Reading, featuring 952, 401, and 267. We look forward to seeing you there!

Now this is an author website

Most authors' websites are either rough on the eyes, filled with PR and no real content, or both. Not this one, from 112 - it's a worth a long look, from both web designers and authors. Nice work, Ravi Rajakumar.

A best, again

Terese Svoboda's story "Swanbit," which we published last July, has been selected for inclusion in the next edition of Dzanc's Best of the Web. Congratulations, Terese!

Apple will drive ebook priceslower than Amazon would dare

At TechCrunch the other day, Erick Schonfeld posted that Apple, by allowing book publishers to charge what they want for ebooks, is gaining a critical advantage over Amazon in the battle to be the top ebooks retailer. This may well be true, as Apple, by building good relationships with publishers, would be well-positioned to get better terms, i.e. take more per sale, as well as get the chance to sell hot new titles before Amazon can, and so forth.

Was Stefan Zweig enough of a twitthat we shouldn't read his work?

That seems to be the basis of Michael Hoffman's argument that we should all stop reading Zweig's work. Though he adds, by way of buttressing his case, that Zweig was a shameless fame-hound and suckup, and among Zweig's contemporaries, those whom we (presumably) most admire, including Thomas Mann, found Zweig's work saccharine and pedestrian both.

What was JD Salinger writing?

Did JD Salinger leave behind a pile of unpublished manuscripts? And if so...

More appropriate formatting, lower prices, and bundling will sell more e-content..

...not a new device, iPad or whatever. Apple, though, may revolutionize text publishing by using the iPad's launch to rope text publishers into making the changes they've needed to make all along. Namely, increasing their publications' substance-to-fluff ratio, by publishing more stuff in articles (non-fiction) and stories or novellas (fiction) rather than in books. Setting prices in accord with demand, rather than tradition.

Book publishers still use paper galleys? Really?

It's been a while since I was an editor at a traditional print publisher, and whenever I talk to friends who still work in that world, or read about it, I marvel at how little has changed. I'm not usually surprised, per se - continuity, for many of these folks, including the people who run most houses, is one of the selling points of print publishing. But occasionally I do happen on some bit of trivia that's smack-me-in-the-face stunning.

Thom Didato is an accessory to cat murder

Did you know that our own Thom Didato, in a previous editing life, put out not one, but a whole slew of cat murder mysteries? Sad - so sad - but true...