Note: don't miss our last interview to Kaaron Warren » Horror is About Not Having Room for Hope
WILL HACHETTE BE THE FIRST BIG-6 PUBLISHER TO DROP DRM ON E-BOOKS?
"DRM «doesn’t stop anyone from pirating,» Hachette SVP digital Thomas said in a publishing panel at Copyright Clearance Center’s OnCopyright 2012. «It just makes it more difficult, and anyone who wants a free copy of any of our books can go online now and get one. There’s a misconception that somehow the digital format of books has made piracy increase, or become logarithmically more serious. But piracy was always very easy to do, because scanning a physical copy of a book [takes] a matter of minutes. A physical book doesn’t have DRM on it.»" PaidContent | @laurahazardowen
SOCIAL DRM IS AS BAD AN IDEA AS TRADITIONAL DRM
"«My first thought is that this form of social DRM provides a similar false sense of security as traditional DRM. Anyone who wants to put this content on the torrent sites is just going to strip the watermarking out, the same as they'd do with the regular DRM. And I find it ironic that so many publishers say they're not concerned about torrents as much as they're trying to prevent customers from sharing the books with friends. Well, watermarking is going to make that much easier (than regular DRM), and I doubt many customers will feel guilty about doing it. They'll probably simply tell their friend, 'it's OK for you to read this too, but please don't pass it along to anyone else since it has my name embedded in it,' for example. As far as I'm concerned, there aren't degrees of DRM. You either have it or you don't. It's just like being pregnant. You're not 'sort of pregnant.' And social DRM is as bad an idea as traditional DRM. I'd like to think that this Harry Potter situation will cause other publishers to feel they can ease up on their need for DRM, but I'm not sure that will happen.»" O'Reilly Radar | @JennWebb
IS MAKING BOOKS SOCIAL A GOOD THING OR A BAD THING?
"As virtually every form of media from newspapers to television shows becomes more socially aware, the book remains stubbornly anti-social. Despite the rapid growth in e-books and the launch of a number of services designed to add social features to books, the act of reading is still a fairly solitary thing. Author and tech blogger Clive Thompson says he sees a future in which books become just as social as other forms of writing, with comments and conversations integrated into them or revolving around them — but is that what readers want?" GigaOm | @mathewi
MINI-EBOOKS: A NATURAL HOME FOR ARTICLES THAT NEED A LITTLE ROOM
"Step forward the mini-ebook: a new home for ideas that need a little bit of space. Amazon announced this month that sales of Kindle Singles, its digital platform for novella-length fiction and non-fiction, have passed the 2m mark. Americans, a year ahead of us in ebook terms, have been going mad for the format, the New York Times heralding "what almost feels like a new genre". Mini-ebook publisher Byliner, which boasts Ann Patchett and Margaret Atwood among its authors, hopes to sell 1m in the next year. Mishka Shubaly, a writer who's made $130,000 from three Singles, says he plans to call his first child Amazon." The Guardian | @annabaddeley
SHORT FICTION: SHORT, NOT ALWAYS SWEET, BUT PERFECTLY FORMED
"Advocates for the short story have long stressed that the form has its own integrity and identity. But there is no doubt that writing short fiction can also be a valuable testing ground for ideas, styles and approaches that sometimes grow or morph into longer works: «'Where the Gods Fly' was my first foray into weaving together the themes of art, cultural differences and poverty» says Kwok. «It taught me a great deal and my next novel is also about a Chinese girl who becomes a professional dancer. It is a completely different story from this one but it shares the same roots.»" The Huffington Post
THE SECOND SHELF - ON THE RULES OF LITERARY FICTION FOR MEN AND WOMEN
"The top tier of literary fiction — where the air is rich and the view is great and where a book enters the public imagination and the current conversation — tends to feel peculiarly, disproportionately male. Will the literary habits of a culture change as younger readers take over? Will more literary women be able to persuade their publishers to keep that photo of a longhaired young girl in a summer dress facing shyly away from the camera off their book jackets and replace it with a neutral illustration and bold typeface? Will VIDA’s statistics dramatically improve? And will “Women’s Fiction” become such an absurd category it’s phased out entirely?" The New York Times
ON SLOW WRITING
"I’ve heard the advice that you should plough through the first draft without editing or looking back. Like much writing advice, I’ve opted to ignore it. It doesn’t suit the way I write. The best thing about writing every day is that I’ve got a much better sense now of how I build stories and weave plot, character, theme and language. What I find is that they all influence each other and develop in tandem, in the same way that a tadpole doesn’t grow its head, legs and abdomen in sequence, but all at once, evolving as a complete organism. If I concentrate on one element of a story to the exclusion of the rest I end up with a malformed, one-dimensional, unsatisfying piece of fiction." Gordon Darroch's Unreal Domain