Critical Linking

Critical Linking: May 1, 2012

Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

“So in conclusion – I have been very happy with the overall editing, packaging, marketing, and sales with both St. Martin’s and Pan Macmillan for all three books in the Trylle series.”

Self-publishing symbol Amanda Hocking seems pretty pleased in the warm embrace of traditional publishing.

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“The app is a creative, subtle and sensitive adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic novella, and it has singlehandedly renewed this critic’s hopes for interactive fiction.”

Buying…….now.

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Did it increase Raymond and Yunker’s  sales? It certainly increased their author presence (and both books are now waiting on my nightstand.). Plus, how could you not love them after seeing the trailer? So perhaps, not unlike what people say about book store appearances, it’s not just about the books sold that moment. Perhaps trailers are another way in which book titles and authors’s names become embedded in our heads.

This current thinking seems to be that book trailers are a good idea, but hard to measure. Imagine that, something in publishing that is hard to measure.

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But, even more important, and so frequently elided in the discussions of the value of legacy publishing and whether it is worth an effort to preserve it, are the investments publishers make in books that would simply not be written if they didn’t.

Makes me wonder—how much do we really want books that wouldn’t exist without publishers? Not sure, but part of me likes the part of writing that happens without the thought or expectations of financial reward.

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Try to imagine what would have become of Hemingway, that shell-shocked World War I vet, if he hadn’t found work on the Kansas City Star, and later, the job as a foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star that allowed him to move to Paris and raise a family. The same goes for a writer as radically different as Hunter S. Thompson, who was saved from a life of dissipation by an early job as a sportswriter for a local paper, which led to newspaper gigs in New York and Puerto Rico. All of his best books began as paid reporting assignments, and his genius, short-lived as it was, was to be able to report objectively on the madness going on inside his drug-addled head.

How about a little history lesson: there were great writers and great literature long before there were newspapers. The death of newspapers as we know them might change what literatures looks like, but literature won’t be any lesser for it.