Publishing Tales: Stories about Literature from across the Web (March 20-25)

Each week, we collect stories about self-publishing and authorship in the digital age. These are some of our favorites. If we’ve missed a good one, leave it in the comments. Or send us a note.

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  • Infographic: Famous Writers’ Insults: Infographic includes Truman Capote saying “That’s not writing, that’s typing,” about Jack Kerouac’s work. Eight insults are shared in this visually appealing infographic.
  • THE FLIPSIDE OF MY WRITING TIRADE: While you need to push yourself and write and do the work, but at the same time you need to be nice to yourself. You need to make a realistic, fair and kind commitment to do the work necessary, but in the end you’re only accountable to yourself.
  • So You Want to Write a Book? Just Do It!: If you want to write a book, you need to just decide to do it, make the time, and then make a habit for writing. Author training sessions can include writing an article, short story, essay, and blog.
  • Love Bad Book Covers? Here Are Five Blogs Where You Can Get Your Fill: Kindle Cover Disasters is a blog by The Guardian that shows some of the horrible cover designs they found in the Kindle Store. But there are other sites and articles where readers can have fun laughing at bad covers such as the sites Lousy Book Covers and The Museum of Bad Book Covers.
  • 30 times the novel has been declared dead since 1902: Since 1902 novels have been predicted to be replaced by newspapers, has had its death predicted 26 times, and has apparently been in decay/crisis since 1930/1946.
  • How to win a literary feud: Antagonizing other authors is pretty easy with the Internet’s vast reach. You can use your Twitter followers for backup, call the other author a Nazi, and insult their work.

Websites + Platforms


  • Japanese company that owns Kobo buys OverDrive for $410 million: Insight Venture Partners sold OverDrive to Rakuten for $410 million. Rakuten is a rival of Amazon, and OverDrive is partnered with Amazon for library ebooks, so the partnership may be reconsidered.
  • WHAT READERS SAY ABOUT EBOOK PRICES: Authors need to be smart about their books’ prices by thinking about what the majority of readers would pay. The survey shows maximizing the amount of buyers means setting the price from between $2.99 and 99 cents, and after you sell a lot of books you can raise the price.
  • EU Approach to eBooks Is Nonsense: Books are books no matter their being digital or physical, and the way governments view books and tax them should be consistent for all the mediums.

Self-Publishing + Small Presses

  • Black Authors and Self-Publishing: While some see self-publishing as a cowardly surrender, industry gatekeepers marginalize writers and children characters of color low in traditional publishing. This children’s author self-publishes so that she can write about what she wants, and has decided to focus on social justice and issues people of color deal with instead of popularity or popularity.
  • Fringe Factor: Small Presses and Self-Publishing: There is an increasing number of authors who are either going the self-publishing route, or are going to small presses because they care more about writing good books instead of writing best-sellers. Libraries care most about quality and content, and these platforms are generating great work that certainly meets these criteria.
  • Asking whether Amazon is friend or foe is a simple question that is complicated to answer: Digital Media Group of the Worshipful Company of Stationers sponsored a discussion called “Amazon: Friend or Foe,” but Amazon is both in a number of ways. Amazon changed the industry by being the friend who consolidated the majority of online book buyers and creating the ebook business, and by being the foe who allowed self-publishing to be a commercially-viable option.

General Culture

  • MARKETING YOUR KINDLE BOOK: PART ONE – PLANNING A SOLID LAUNCH: Writing a book is the start, then you have to focus on marketing the book. Create a website, try a newsletter, talk about future books you have planned, use social media, try Kindle Select, but most of all be active and humble.
  • Library innovation and advocacy teams attend SXSW: EveryLibrary and lib*interactive librarians went to the South by Southwest conference in Texas for the library innovation-focused panels “Coworking, Collaborating, Creating at Your Library,” and “Anythink: The Brand that Sparked a Revolution.”