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Thursday News: A look at happy couples, a book for a good cause, two authors talk about publishing, and an economist’s adventures in online dating

Thursday News: A look at happy couples, a book for a...

The Loveumentary: True love exists . . . you just need to listen – Have nine of ten days you want to blow? Check out The Loveumentary, an ambitious project by Nate Bagley and Melissa Joy Kong to find successful and happy real life relationships (including polyamorous relationships) to better understand what made love work for these people. Blog posts, podcasts, love letters, interviews, and more. I’m not the most sentimental person in the world, but I think this is a pretty cool project.

Nate and Melissa are now embarking on a journey across America to record the 100+ greatest love stories in the country. By highlighting the relationships that are working, our ultimate goal is to reinvigorate the country’s faith in love, marriage, and one another. In addition to interviewing the most in-love couples we can find, we will also be interviewing relationship experts, marriage counselors, researchers, and psychologists who have dedicated their lives to the study of love and relationships. This journey is ultimately about intertwining storytelling and science to add context to our project. –Loveumentary.com

A COLLECTION OF LOVE STORIES TO BENEFIT WIN – Okay, so I’ll admit up front that I’ve never been the biggest fan of the whole myth that Romance authors must be living a romantic fantasy in their own relationships, but there is a really good collection of authors who contributed to this anthology, which was put together by Hope Tarr. Megan Frampton, Deanna Raybourn, Delilah Marvelle, K.M. Jackson, and many others share their personal stories, with ALL of the proceeds going to WIN (Women in Need) in New York City.

Hope and her fellow authors feel that “happily ever after” isn’t only the stuff of romance novels and fairy tales — it is every women’s birth right. This is why Hope feels strongly about supporting Win’s mission to transform the lives of homeless women who have overcome countless obstacles in the pursuit of their own happy ending for themselves and their children. –Win and Scribbling Women

The Write Spot Writers Forum – For those of you who live in Northern California, Romance authors Bella Andre and Carolyn Jewel will be speaking about traditional and self-publishing on February 20th. Among the topics they will address are:

* The pros and cons of each path to publication.
* How the very act of writing can change depending on “who” you’re writing for.
* How both paths can be fun and lucrative, but in different ways and for different reasons.
* Is there a difference between what NY thinks is commercial and what readers are willing to try?
* What’s better for niche writers?
* What a day in the life looks like for each.  –The Write Spot

Dating Sites Offer Chance At Love — And A Lesson In Economics – I know that the market is full of men who are ready, willing, and only marginally able to provide dating advice, but this story has an interesting twist: Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Paul Oyer used his own experience in the world of online dating to bolster his theories about economics. In other words, rather than using economics to explain dating, he uses his dating experiences to talk about economics. And I think he has some pretty interesting things to say about both.

A thick market is one with a lot of participants. And so you want your stock markets to be thick because then it’ll be easier to trade, there’ll be more supply and demand, and we’ll have a more efficient market where transactions will be easier and nobody will feel they’re getting ripped off. Now in the online dating world and the job market, it’s exactly the same. We want a thick market because we want better matches. And I want to go to one that has a lot of alternatives because I want people who are closer to what I’m looking for. –NPR

Monday News: HarperCollins sales down; Tournament of Books now Nook sponsored; GiveWell rates charities

Monday News: HarperCollins sales down; Tournament of Books now Nook sponsored;...

HarperCollins

In reporting results, News Corp. broke down HC revenue into consumer and other, although it doesn’t identify what other includes. In the quarter, consumer sales were $326 million and other $26 million, while in fiscal 2012, consumer sales were $1.12 billion and other $66 million. In providing background on HC, News Corp. said HC has about 100,000 SKUs with about 30,000 titles available in digital formats.

Each weekday in March, two works of fiction from 2012 go head to head, with one of our judges deciding—with elaborate explanation—to advance one title into the next bracket. At the end of the month, the winner of the tournament is blessed with the Rooster, our prize named after David Sedaris’s brother (because why not). Along the way, each judge reveals his or her biases and interests, any connections they have to the participating authors, and, most importantly, how they decided between the two books. Then our ToB Chairmen, authors Kevin Guilfoile and John Warner, weigh in with commentary, and finally leave it up to you, the readers, to add your own passionate thoughts and rebukes to the mix.

One of the things that’s striking about GiveWell’s list is that a lot of marquee charities — UNICEF, Oxfam, the Salvation Army, Doctors Without Borders, among others — aren’t on it. It’s not because GiveWell thinks those groups do a bad job, necessarily, but that it’s just not possible to know whether they’re doing a good one. Oxfam, for example, neither publicly releases evaluations of its programs nor focuses on areas where interventions would be particularly cost-effective. The next time you are thinking about giving to a charity, you may want to see what Give Well has to say about them.

To those who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas. Tomorrow there will be no news because a) it is Christmas but mostly b) I won’t be in a place that has internet access.  I know. Quelle horreur!  Pray for me.