Monday, May 18, 2009

Scribd -- a friendlier self e-book publisher for authors

I seriously don't know much about self publishing. All I know is that it's definitely getting more attention.

Today I read on NYT about Scribd, an Internet start-up that introduced today a way for anyone to upload a document to the Web and charge for it. Already Scribd is the most popular document-sharing site, the Times say, as it takes a YouTube-like approach to text.

But now there's a store too, which allows authors or publishers to set their own price for their work and keep 80% of the revenue, which apparently is a much higher percentage than higher services (I really don't know, does anyone know how much charges for example?)

Other features include security measures, or unprotected PDFs, which gives them the ability to be read on any device (not just the Kindle).

The Times writes:
So far, no major publishing houses have signed on to the store, though the company says it is talking to them. The independent publishers Lonely Planet, O’Reilly Media and Berrett-Koehler will add their entire catalogs.

The Scribd store will also give unpublished authors, or authors who are in a hurry, a well-trafficked Web forum on which to post their books, charge for them and see immediate results.
There have been some success stories of self publishing, although not many. Regardless, I definitely it's exciting there's another service for writers in the Internet age.

Anyone with some self-publishing experience can give a better insight into the new service?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Editors demistified

For those writers out there submitting stories, those interested in submitting and just for general knowledge, I found this: 5 Lies Writers Believe About Editors from Jeremiah Tolbert, an editor at Escape Pod:

LIE #1: Editors give every story fair consideration. OR: Editors reject stories without reading them at all.

LIE #2: Editors never reject a good story.

LIE #3: Editors don’t foster new writers like they did in the old days, and don’t care about new talent.

LIE #4: Editors are people too.

LIE #5: Editors (and critics) are failed writers.

Via Futurismic

Monday, May 04, 2009

Yay, the recession is almost over ... not quite

Yesterday, stock markets hit multi-months highs, erasing this year's losses. Today, Fed chairman Bernanke said he expects growth in 2009.

Ok, so there are definitely signs now, very early ones, that things have bottomed and stabilized, and that at least the rate of economic decline has lessened. Stock markets are forward looking and are reacting to that, but that shouldn't fool people into thinking we're about to find ourselves in a period of booming economic growth.

Stock markets are interested in the corporations, not in the people. Corporations start doing better also because they fire so many people. So, in fact, long after the recession is officially declared over, people will continue to suffer. Unemployment will likely continue to grow and peak a quarter or two after the recession is over.

So I find myself, as someone many would consider as socialist at the least (albeit a realistic one), in a bit of a conundrum here. As a financial writer and stock holder I cheer the market rally, adding to the positive sentiment. But at the same time I know so many who have lost their jobs and can't ignore the reality I live in. I hope that reality will change soon, but I seriously doubt that.

So no, the recession ain't over yet, and worse, the labour situation will get even worse before it starts getting better, and more people and families will continue to lose their homes, and delis will continue to accept food stamps.

But, hey, markets are up ...