Tuesday News: Streaming audiobooks from the cloud, brain dumps, and missing Hong Kong publishers
Daughter of ‘disappeared’ Hong Kong book publisher won’t be silent – For the first year she can remember, Gui Minhai’s daughter, Angela Gui, did not get a call from her father on her birthday. Gui is one of the five missing Hong Kong publishers — he is the naturalized Swedish citizen who made a public “confession” that he had “fled China while on parole for a 2003 vehicular homicide of a young woman in his hometown.” The problem is that Angela has no knowledge of such an incident, and she believes that her father was taken against his will. And earlier this week, three of the missing publishers, including Gui, were seen on Chinese television confessing to shipping banned books to the mainland. Angela’s mother has been pressuring the Swedish government to intervene, but thus far they have not been able to meet with Gui and discern the truth of his circumstances.
Sometime around mid-October, just a few days after father and daughter had their last biweekly Skype chat, Gui was apparently taken from Thailand to mainland China. Thai authorities confirmed Gui had entered on his Swedish passport on Oct. 6, but had no records of his departure, leading to speculation that he had been taken to China by extrajudicial means. . . .
Angela Gui said she received a Skype text message from her father’s account a day or so after his TV confession on Jan. 18, when she was widely quoted in foreign media as saying she had never heard of the vehicular homicide case he cited. The message told her to “please keep silence.” Judging from the grammatical errors, Gui said she didn’t believe her father was the author. – Los Angeles Times
How to Stream Audiobooks and Podcasts From the Cloud on the iPad and iPhone – Nate Hoffelder provides options for audiobooks not purchased from the likes of Audible or Overdrive.
This is not widely known, but the iOS apps for OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Amazon Cloud Drive can all stream the audio files you store on their servers.
(iCloud Drive and Box can probably also stream audio, but I am having trouble with uploading the files.)
Of the four apps I have tried, I would recommend either Dropbox or Google Drive. Both apps can play an audio file in the background, and will remember where you were when you last stopped listening to an audio file.
One Drive and Amazon Cloud Drive can play an audio file, yes, but they will stop playing when you exit the app. – The Digital Reader
When a Publishing Expert Opens a Bookstore – Former Ballantine editor and literary agent Lynn Rosen decided to open an independent bookstore. I always find these stories interesting, because I don’t ever think success in one arena provides a sound foundation for success in another. Rosen has some interesting comments about Amazon as competition and about the challenges of a brick and mortar store, as well as the changing ways in which authors and bookstores are working together to promote books.
Q: Do you feel that in-store author events and book tours are valuable for book promotion?
A. Yes, I do. I have seen over and over how excited readers are to meet authors in person, and it definitely incentivizes them to buy the book. But I think the traditional reading is a bit of a hard sell. We try to organize our events around themes, seasonal events, or fun activities. For example, we recently hosted a launch party for a new novel that takes place in London and in which the main character is a food writer, so we served tea and had a scone bake-off. It was a huge success! – Huffington Post
How the Brain Dumps Its Trash – This is just a really cool video, covering many different topics related to the brain and neural health (including traumatic brain injury, which may be relevant for anyone writing sports heroes/heroines) and its moral is this: don’t get your head pounded and get enough sleep! – Scientific American