Smashwords Website Revamp And Scribd Deal – Not only did Smashwords dramatically update and revise its website, but it has also entered into a distribution deal with Scribd, including Scribd’s new $8.99/month subscription service. According to Smashwords founder Mark Coker:
“For Scribd’s subscription ebook service, authors will earn 60% of the list price on all qualifying reads, and here they’ve added a cool twist. With subscription services, the author or publisher earns credit for a full read when the reader reaches a certain trigger point, measured by the percentage of the book that is read.” Forbes
The 10 Most Ridiculous Holiday Gifts Money Can Buy – It’s a little late for Christmas or Hanukkah shopping this year, but you still may get a kick out of some of these prospective gifts. From the excess of a single truffle for a mere $104, to a “cat DJ scratching deck” for under $30 (my favorite of the bunch), there’s something here for everyone. Or no one, depending on your budget and taste. The Wire
Triumph of the English Major – Book editor Gerald Howard has written a very interesting op-ed piece about the importance of economically investing in cultural production (e.g. publishing books), because we (should) value cultural wealth as much as economic gain. Even if you’re not on board with this broader argument, his insights into Penguin during the 1980′s are definitely eyebrow raising.
“I’ve tried to suggest that at least a portion of that pursuit can have gratifying economic results. (Plus it will not plunge us into an endless recession!) But that’s not really the point. The point is truth and beauty, without which our lives will lack grace and meaning and our civilization will be spiritually hollowed out and the historical bottom line will be that future epochs will remember us as a coarse and philistine people who squandered our bottomlessly rich cultural inheritance for short-term and meaningless financial advantage.”New York Times
NSF study shows more than 90% of US businesses view copyright, patent and trademark as “not important” – Last year, the USPTO released a study made a much different case regarding the importance of IP to U.S. industries. This study has much different findings than a previous USPTO study, which Biong Boing notes was methodologically “farcical,” as opposed to the current — and much less promoted and circulated — study. Among its findings, the NSF study found that trade secrets are regarded as much more important than patents for the vast majority of businesses. In regard to the study’s methodology:
“The NSF study doesn’t merely totally refute the USPTO’s findings, it does so using a well-documented, statistically valid, neutral methodology that was calculated to find the truth, rather than scoring political points for the copyright lobby. It’s a study in contrasts between evidence-based policy production and policy-based evidence production.”Boing Boing
Let’s Be Radical – This is more an antidote to that idiotic article on Romance readers from last week than actual news, but it’s just so smart and so relevant, I decided to post it here. Melissa McKewan’s clarion call to women to be less judgmental of each other and more trusting of female autonomy is a pretty inspiring and empowering read.
“Liking women, respecting women, trusting women to make the best choices for themselves is a radical act in a misogynist culture. Being comprehensively pro-choice instead of policing women’s choices is a radical act in a culture in which we are exhorted to judge and condemn other women. And, in a world that hates women and holds us in contempt, perhaps the most radical feminist/womanist act is creating space for women to love ourselves.” Shakesville
isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnÊ¼t know, didnÊ¼t think about, or didnÊ¼t feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!