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16Mar/110

Eagle Gala back for another run at funds, fun|Lastest Kindle News]

Eagle Gala back for another run at funds, fun
Raising ,000 to help boost high school sports is definitely something to crow about. And its definitely something Broomfield High School hopes to duplicate March 18 when it holds its second annual Eagle Sports Gala.
Read more on Broomfield Enterprise


11Mar/110

Foner Books – Another Victim of the Google Update|Lastest Kindle News]

Foner Books – Another Victim of the Google Update
We're hearing a lot of interesting stories regarding the fallout of Google's recent search algorithm update , which was aimed at reducing the rankings of lower quality content. We noticed Morris Rosenthal,owner of Foner Books had some grievances , expressed on his blog. We reached out to hear more of his story, and he was happy to share quite a bit.  Continue reading →
Read more on WebProNews


11Mar/110

On literature and nations: Another angle

Louis-Ferdinand Celine

A few weeks ago, a post on MobyLives discussed our inner desire to worship our favorite writers as heros and our deception when they fail to behave as such. The post referred to Camus and Sartre and expressed regrets towards the fact they published under the Collaboration. I can’t deny that Vercors‘s conduct was much more praiseworthy. But still, The Myth of Sisyphus and Caligula (1941), The Stranger (1942), and Being and Nothingness 1943)The Flies (1943) and No Exit (1944) — the books Camus and Sartre published at that time — clearly stated the fundaments of their political commitment whose strength, courage and sincerity have modeled the figure  of the public intellectual in the 20th Century. Given the fact that World War II and its cortege of atrocity had shaped their thought and writing for the rest of their life, can we really hold against them that they have submitted their texts to the German censorship?

In the same post, a harsh comment by Jean Guéhenno‘s on writers’ eagerness for fame and official recognition caught my attention. I feel this statement conceals another reality tackled by a controversy recently broken out in France following which Louis Ferdinand Celine has been taken off a governmental collection announcing the national celebrations for 2011. To make a long story short, the collection is meant to list “figures whose life, work, moral behavior as well as the values they represent, are today acknowledged as remarkable”. You wonder why Céline was part of the first version of the list in a first place? Well, you’re not the only one!

The university Professor and writer Philippe Roussin emphasized in Liberation how complex the relationship between art and territory was. All along 19th Century, a large part of French literature has been willing to embrace and represent the nation. Kafka, Joyce and Beckett‘s masterpieces have symbolized the end of this coincidence. Philippe Roussin quotes Sartre saying that “government’s representatives are inclined to consider writers as ‘national properties’ and a tendency to transform any of their writings in a ceremony” and he calls this phenomenon “the patrimonial inflation.” As he points out “the patrimonial inflation says our obsession with the literary legacy.”

Taking it a step further, the French writer Marc Weitzmann writes (in another article for Liberation): “The fundamental purpose of a writer is not to be a good citizen. His moral — supposing he has any — is too intimately bound to his writing to merge, even at a distance, with the values used by a society to define itself, since every national commemoration is nothing else but the celebration of these values. A writer couldn’t stand farther from this position.”


As Roussin concludes, “there’s certainly nothing wrong in celebrating Le Voyage au bout de la nuit as a literary work. But we have to think twice before entrusting literature to the single logic of the political patrimony that binds together literary commemoration and national officialization.”

I am curious to know whether the creation of an American Writers Museum — if it ever comes to pass (see the earlier MobyLives post) — will raise similar debates here.

23Feb/110

Another Language: Mind over machine|Lastest Kindle News]

Another Language: Mind over machine
Another Language: Mind over machine By ben fulton The Salt Lake Tribune Updated Feb 21, 2011 05:46PM MDT For Elizabeth and Jimmy Miklavcic, the computer is the elephant in the room that few in the theater world want to talk about. So when the wife-and-husband team behind Another Language Performing Arts Company set sights on their next theater piece, it was time to look past the monitor and ...
Read more on The Salt Lake Tribune

17Feb/110

Lendle – Yet another site for people to lend and borrow ebooks for Kindles





For you lucky Americans another website to lend and borrow ebooks.

Since Amazon introduced the possibility to lend and borrow ebooks purchased from them at the beginning of the year, more and more groups are being set up to make this easier and better organised, and most importantly, to spread the possibility beyond the range of friends and family.

The idea behind these sites is to bring people together to share their ebooks…  A sort of “contact point” really.   From what I am seeing they tend to originate in Social Sites, such as Face Book, which is an interesting use of such sites.

Lendle, the latest of these sites is one such, where you can place a list of the ebooks you own, and are prepared to lend, or place requests for a particular ebook you want to read.  And then these ebooks are exchanged online. While the ebook is lent, the lender looses the ability to read the ebook for the 2 weeks that it is lent, while the borrower happily reads the ebook.  At the end of that two weeks, it is automatically deleted from the borrower’s computer, and the lender can once again read the ebook.   A simple idea, but brilliant!

What makes it even better, is that you don’t need to actually own a Kindle to take part in this idea, any device that has a Kindle App on it will also work fine.

Only for Kindle  ebooks:

But, all the titles are in Amazon’s own ebook format, so this only works for Kindle (or Kindle App) owners…  No use if you have a Sony or Kobo or Nook……

Currently Lendle has about 1800 titles available to borrow, but this number will increase rapidly as more and more people join in with the idea.

Obviously it is all free as well, which makes it even more attractive to us.

Only for the USA……

Sadly, this is only available to people living in the USA, but I am sure that it will spread to the rest of the world quite quickly.

Ownership:

One very interesting point about this new development, which will obviously grow and grow, is that it begins to give us ebook “owners” more ownership of the ebooks we buy.  Until this idea came along, the ebooks we bought were not really ours, as if we wanted to let a friend read an ebook we had particularly enjoyed, we had to lend them our ereader for them to read  it on… a daft and obviously unhappy situation.   Amazon, with this idea (Nook have a similar scheme by the way) have given us at least the power to lend people any ebooks we wish to lend, albeit it with restrictions, but it is a step in the right direction.  If somehow we could all work out a method to give us the same degree of practical ownership of our ebooks as we have with our paper books, then ereaders and ebooks will have come of age finally.

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What are your feelings about this interesting development in the ebook world?  Do let us share them here.




7Feb/110

Another established author comes to self-publishing

valdezPublishing Perspectives has a piece written by an established author who is taking her first experimental steps into the world of self-publishing. Alisa Valdez has written a number of books, including a two-book series called The Dirty Girls Social Club, both of which have proven to be half-million-sellers so far.

Valdez’s fans and her publisher don’t see eye-to-eye on some matters. Her fans want more Dirty Girls, she says, but her publisher, St. Martin’s Press, is reluctant to commit to a series on something that doesn’t fit into an established serial genre like mysteries.

After following her publisher’s advice led to declining sales, Valdez has decided to go it alone. She has “incredibly loyal” fans, and if she can produce and self-publish a book on her own, she will keep considerably more money from each copy sold than St. Martin’s Press would have given her. She knows people who can do the editing work, and feels she could assemble a perfectly serviceable cover from licensed stock photography. And she was already doing the bulk of the publicity for the book herself.

She tested the waters with another book she’d had available, All That Glitters, and discovered that formatting and uploading the book was remarkably easy, and with no more promotion than word of mouth on her mailing lists and social networking groups, it sold at least as well in the first few days as a paperback that St. Martin’s had published the month before.

In less than a week, I had taught myself how to publish a book that was comparable in quality to what you might get from a traditional publisher, all the while keeping most of the money myself. I’d uploaded my novel All That Glitters as an experiment. Within the first 48 hours, I’d earned 0 – with no fanfare whatsoever.

So her plan is to self-publish the third Dirty Girls book in May and see if her loyal fans prove her publisher wrong. While she still plans to go with Harper Collins for her young-adult books (she’s under a 3-book contract with them now), the experiment with Dirty Girls will decide how she plans to publish her adult novels in the future.

Of course, Valdez is in a different position from a lot of would-be writers who decide to self-publish today. Like J.A. Konrath, she has the benefit of an audience built through publication by a big publishing house. Newcomers to the industry won’t have that.

But when you’ve already gotten that boost, Publishing Perspectives Editor Edward Nawotka wonders, what can big publishers offer? After all, services like editing and cover art can be contracted, and authors themselves have already been doing a lot of marketing and publicity anyway. Compared to the 70/30 split Amazon offers, the low royalty rates that publishers are pushing are really starting to stick in people’s craws.

2Feb/110

Another outbreak of the memoir debate

Certain literary debates are like herpes. They flare up periodically and receives lots of attention, cause lots of consternation, and then go away… for awhile. “The Death of the Novel” debate is one of the classic literary STDs. The “Are Memoirs Trash?” debate is another.

The most recent flare-up of memoir distress comes courtesy of Neil Genzlinger whose New York Times article “The Problem With Memoirs” bemoans “the age of oversharing” and lambastes the “sea of people you’ve never heard of, writing uninterestingly about the unexceptional, apparently not realizing how commonplace their little wrinkle is or how many other people have already written about it.” He follows this up with four memoir maxims (using four new memoirs as illustrative scapegoats):

1. That you had parents and a childhood does not of itself qualify you to write a memoir.

2. No one wants to relive your misery.

3. If you’re jumping on a bandwagon, make sure you have better credentials than the people already on it.

4. If you still must write a memoir, consider making yourself the least important character in it.

Good advice, as far as it goes, but if this feels familiar, it is. This sort of complaint goes as far back (and surely further) as when Edmund Burke bewailed “the new sort of glory” Jean-Jacques Rousseau‘s Confessions received ”from bringing hardily to light… obscure and vulgar vices.” I’m stealing this example from Daniel Mendelsohn‘s illuminating New Yorker article about memoirs which tracks the evolution (or devolution as some would have it) of the genre from the religious Confessions of St. Augustine to the secular confessions of Rousseau, Twain, Levi… Andre Agassi, Chelsea Handler, Snooki, etc. While deeply critical of modern memoir (Mendelsohn also employs water-metaphors to describe the phenomenon, referring to the “flood” and “tsunami” of modern memoirs) and its exhibitionism, commercialism, and desire for cheap redemption, he also admits that “sometimes memoir may be the only way to cover a subject effectively.” Ultimately, his article provides a much more complex appraisal than Genzlinger’s harangue.

Though the timing must be a coincidence, it’s easy to imagine that Deb Olin Unferth, (author of the new memoir Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War) is responding directly to Genzlinger in her “Memoir Manifesto” in the February issue of Guernica when she writes “Let’s have no more insults hurled at the memoir, shall we?” She then goes to talk about the many diverse, delightful, formally and artistically challenging manifestations that memoir has taken throughout recent history, from Gertrude Stein through Tobias Wolff up to Dave Eggers and the young writers she has included (as guest editor) in Guernica who “each explore memoir in a decidedly contemporary manner, while at the same time showing an understanding of the past tradition.”

It’s tempting to view Unferth and Genzlinger as pitted in some fierce and diametric aesthetic battle, but I suspect that’s not the case. Indeed, I see them as being fundamentally on the same team: both want well-written, intellectually engaging, emotionally complex, literarily worthwhile pieces of writing. Genzlinger is taking a corrective approach, trying to blast out the sins of the genre. Unferth employs a curatorial tactic: she ignores the troughs of narcissism and hackwork that so infuriate Genzlinger to shine a spotlight on the writing she finds fine and rare and good. Though I sympathize deeply with the corrective desire (“Please. Stop. Writing. So. Much. Crap.”), it can lead to some fallacious and miserable thinking. Among Genzlinger’s missteps: 1. He slips into the dreaded “good old days” mentality. “There was a time when you had to earn the right to draft a memoir” he writes, as if once writers obeyed honorable codes of behavior and no one was ever motivated by greed, self-satisfaction, and solipsism to pick up a pen. 2. He mistakes the problems in memoirs as the problem with memoirs (“the fallacy of composition”). In other words, he points to the distasteful qualities of many memoirs as a way to suggest something awry with the genre as a whole and perhaps modern culture in general. This same loose logic could be used for any number of essays titled “The Problem With Novels,” “The Problem With Music,” “The Problem With Humans,” and so on. Once you realize that things of value are rare and that most art is worthless then the hopelessness of his position becomes clear. There’s no point in lecturing stones for being more abundant than diamonds. Even those who have lived “interesting” lives by his standards are highly unlikely to write good memoirs. Even those who heed his maxims are likely to embarrass themselves in myriad other ways. Genzlinger worries that good memoirs are “lost in the sea” of bad ones, but it is art’s fate to be lost in the sea. Alas, the exceptional is often the exception.

25Jan/110

Another ereader App, Multireader – Let your Android devices read ebooks to you





MultiReader, an Android App that will read your ebooks aloud……

I received a press release the other day about this rather intriguing little App for your Android based devices.

Currently I am not the happy owner of any Android toys, so I can only report to you on what the maker of this apparently rather neat little App has to say about it, and leave it up to you to download it and try it out.   Since it is free, that doesn’t seem to me to be a great problem.   So in this case, I see my function here is to merely draw your attention to this rather entertaining App.

Bernard Segonne, who I gather wrote this App has the following to say about it:

  • MultiReader speaks Word, Power Point, EPUB, PDF, RTF, text documents in several languages.
  • There is also a direct access (search & download) to Gutenberg, download-book.net  and online libraries.
  • Currently available voices are : English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Finnish, all Android TTS Engines & languages…
  • This application can be usefull in public transportation, to listen to documents while driving, while doing sports, for people having difficulties with fine characters on mobile phones, for eLearning, etc

Sounds good to me.

Obviously I don’t know what sort of voice(s) it has, but I hope it doesn’t have one of those mechanical computer type of voices, as I can’t imagine having your ebooks read to you in a sort of monotone machine voice would be much fun.  It is a pity he didn’t include a sound file in his press release, so we could all hear what it actually sounds like, since that seems the main point of this App.

In passing I would remark that I love the idea of speaking “Word”,   as if this was some  sort of language….   I wonder what it sounds like?

Anyhow, you can obtain this App at the following places:

Available on Android Market and

http://www.handango.com/catalog/ProductDetails.jsp?storeId=2218&deviceId=2073&platformId=80&productId=242990

Official web site :

http://bsegonnes.free.fr/multireader/en_multireader.html

Share with us:

If you do try this App out, please come back here and leave a comment about it, so that others can benefit from your experience with it.




21Jan/110

Another Sign E-Readers have infiltrated Popular Culture – Kobo e-reader on NBC`s `The Office`

Jan

20

By Michael

E-Readers have gone from being a fringe gadget from only a few years ago when the major players in the game were Amazon and Sony in North America to a popular culture phenomenon. We now see daily commercials for various e-readers, such as Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook. Another sure sign that e-readers have infiltrated popular culture is the recent appearance of the Kobo e-Reader on the popular NBC series ‘The Office’

Tonight’s episode dealt with new years resolutions and how Darryl vowed to read more and decided to do it on his new Kobo e-reader! The main premise of the episode is where many of the guys in the office at Darryl`s prompting go to the bookstore in an attempt to pickup women. He tries to pickup the store counter lady and she sells him an e-reader. She mentioned it holds close to 10,000 books and he exclaims `its lighter then a which is a sure sign that electronic book readers are no longer a mysterious gadget only available online, but now is available at retail stores across the world.

Its pleasing to see the Kobo brand represented more in the media world, their technology is sound and their applications are some of the best in the industry.

Related posts:

  1. Kobo eBooks now available at Chapters
  2. Kobo and Swindon team up to bring Kobo Wireless e-Reader to Hong Kong
  3. The new Kobo e-Reader to be launched in May
  4. The Kobo E-Reader is having Lots of Problems
  5. The Original Kobo e-Reader is no longer being Manufactured
  6. Win a Kobo Wireless e-Reader with Good e-Reader

Categories : Electronic-readers, e-reader

20Jan/110

Scribd Raises Another $13 Million, Aims To Bring Social Reading To Every Device|Lastest Kindle News]

Scribd Raises Another Million, Aims To Bring Social Reading To Every Device
Scribd , the document sharing hub that launched as a 'YouTube For Documents' and has since added other key features, including an online bookstore and a publisher analytics platform , has raised another big round of funding: it's just closed a million Series C round led by MLC Investments and SVB Capital, with participation from existing investors Redpoint Ventures, Charles River Ventures ...
Read more on TechCrunch

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