Tuesday News: RNA rejects self-published authors, digital book design and economic advantage, new language difficulties, and top literary put downs

Tuesday News: RNA rejects self-published authors, digital book design and economic...

BALLOT REGARDING RNA MEMBERSHIP FOR INDEPENDENT/SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS – The Romantic Novelists’ Association, the UK organization for writers of romantic fiction, recently put to a vote the possibility of self-published/independent authors gaining eligibility for full membership rights within the RNA. Like the RWA, the RNA is clearly struggling to keep up with the changes in publishing, Unfortunately for self-published authors, there was not a sufficient majority to give them full membership within the RNA, and it seems like a bitter irony for those authors, since they have no voting say in their membership status within the organization.

a. 79 = 24% voted to keep the RNA membership categories as they are at present

b. 174 = 52.7% voted to allow independent/self-published authors to become full members of the RNA with voting rights if they fulfilled certain criteria

c. 77 = 23.3% voted to create a new category of RNA membership for independent/self-published authors without voting rights –RNA News

The superior economics of well-crafted ebooks – I’d love for anyone familiar with digital book design to weigh in on this post, much of which is beyond my limited technical understanding, because I pretty much love the central message, which is that better designed ebooks yield more money for authors and publishers. Safari books is an online, customizable streaming service for books and courses, and the post was written by Liza Daly, their VP of Engineering.

Digital book design is a hybrid discipline of web design, classical typography, QA, XML development, and abuse of regular expressions and/or alcohol. A lot of it is, sadly, treated as a cost center and heavily commoditized and outsourced.

Naturally most developers don’t like to think of themselves as a cost, and take pride in their creativity and knowledge borne out of experience. Ebook developers are no different, with the additional pride that comes from being the latest evolution in a publishing tradition extending back thousands of years.

I want to convince you that craft in ebook design is not just consistent with the ethics of publishing, but also makes good business sense. –Safari blog

What Are The Hardest Languages To Learn? [INFOGRAPHIC] – Inspired in part by the discussion in the Daily Deals post the other day about the difficulty of learning Hindi, here’s an interesting infographic that hierarchically arranges 23 languages according to the number of classroom hours and weeks it takes for English speakers to learn them. Hindi is actually not in the most difficult category, but I’m kind of surprised that Swedish and Dutch are among the easiest. Also a sad reminder that no one apparently learns Latin anymore.  –Voxy

Frankly my dear, Rhett Butler’s put-down is greatest of all – In addition to providing the ten top “literary put downs,” there’s also a voting option at the end, so you can vote for your favorite. I have to admit that my favorites are closer to the end of the list. From Coriolanus, “The tartness of his face sours ripe grapes,” and The Importance of Being Earnest, “The simplicity of your character makes you exquisitely incomprehensible to me.”

What’s yours, and is it even on the list?  –Telegraph