Round up #115: Top 10 horror stories, Big Six and social media

Round up #115: Top 10 horror stories, Big Six and social media

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

The Big Six and social media

While the Big Six US trade publishers (Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Random House, HarperCollins, Penguin, Macmillan) are sometimes perceived by customers as being techno-primitives, that simply isn’t the case.

In this

ReadWriteWeb article

by Richard MacManus, you can see how they are using modern social media, including Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and more. It’s interesting, because one of the perceived advantages for independent writers is that they can have a more direct connection with readers, building a closer and perhaps more loyal bond.

However, the Big Six are also moving in that direction.

They are, after all, professional promoters. That’s been, to me, the challenge for independents…if something works, the Big Six can do it too, with certain exceptions.

One of the key things is production time…it simply will probably always take longer for a tradpub (traditional publisher) to publish a book than it will for an independent. The tradpub also has to look at the long term. They aren’t going to publish ten books by the same author in the same year, generally. An indie may do that…looking to get things in the market, and a trickle return for years.

The tradpub has to look at supporting a whole publishing house (and stockholders) on that successful author for decades to come.

I recommend the article: I think you might find some things you want to follow. 🙂

The Top 10 Horror Stories

Being a great anthologist is like being a great deejay. You can’t just find good pieces: you have to know how they fit together.

In a sense, being an anthologist is harder. A deejay can adjust, based on the room. The anthologist has to anticipate how each story will leave the huge diversity of readers feeling, and what would be the best thing to read next.

That’s why a new anthology can receive a new copyright, even if all of the stories are in the public domain. For that to happen, there has to be a new creative contribution in the arrangement.

One of those creative anthologists is Stephen Jones, who had edited or authored more than one hundred books. In this

Publishers Weekly article

the expert on horror picks the ten best horror stories.

One of the fun things about a list like that is that no one will ever agree with it. 😉

I will say that I would agree with the choice of authors, although I don’t know that those would be the only ten I’d pick. 🙂

I’ll leave you to look at the article…and you can guess before you go which Stephen King story Jones selected.

The Guardian: “JK Rowling: ‘The worst that can happen is that everyone says, That’s shockingly bad'”

This is a fascinating

interview with J.K. Rowlilng

in The Guardian.

With the release of The Casual Vacancy on Thursday, people are playing it like a great mystery as to whether the book will do well or not. They are acting like Rowling, moving from a putatively children’s series to a book intended for adults, has the same sort of transition as Shirley Temple into adult movies. 😉

I don’t think there is that big a risk…writing isn’t the same as going through puberty, although it can have the same impact on your social life. Yes, you can take that both as a negative and positive.

It’s nice to see that Rowling has great enthusiasm still…that doesn’t go away.

10,000 Kindle Serials sold in the first week?

Len Edgerly, of The Kindle Chronicles podcast, had Jeff Belle on a

recent broadcast

Belle reported that about 10,000

Kindle Serials

had sold already.

As you know, Amazon doesn’t usually announce sales figures, but Len does a great job of relaxing people and giving them a safe haven. There’s a reason Len gets invited to the Amazon pressers (press events)…The Kindle Chronicles is one of the important news sources on the Kindle beat.

Len also mentioned the tip I gave you on taking a screen shot on your Kindle Fire HD (hold in the lower volume and power buttons for about a second)…but that’s not why I’m saying nice things. 😉

By the way, one other little thing on the KFHD that’s nice…you can launch an item on the Carousel without getting it to the front. I know, I know, no big deal…but it does make things simpler.

Four problems with the KFHD

I know I’ve said a lot of nice things about the KFHD, but I wanted to give you the heads-up on some complaints I’m hearing.

  • Some people are experiencing a popping or crackling sound. I’ve heard it once myself, but this seems to be a bit unusual
  • When typing with a Bluetooth keyboard, letters are repeating. “That’s right” might look like “TTTTThhhhhhhaaaaat’s rigggggghhhhhhhtt.” I’ve had that, and I’ve been experimenting with it (and telling Amazon about my experiments). It seems  fine when I am using the BT keyboard in an app that’s not web-based. I only experience it on the web. So, I tested…I went to a website, turned off the wi-fi (but left the Bluetooth on), and I did not get the “echo letters” (as I call them). Turning the wi-fi back on, I did get them. That’s a small sample size, of course, and I’m hoping some other people repeat the experiment. My guess is that this a problem that Amazon can fix
  • There is no Flash support, and that’s throwing off some people who used it to listen to streaming radio stations and such at work (as well as other things). That’s an easy fix, from what I can tell…I got the Maxthon browser from the Maxthon website and installed it. I use it often on my Kindle Fire 1st Generation…it’s available for that model directly from the Amazon Appstore. I think Maxthon supports Flash…I’m not running into any problems using it…I can go to YouTube and just watch a video. Maxthon has not yet been approved for the KFHD through the Amazon Appstore, so you might want to wait…but I think it will be
  • Some people report items reappearing on the Carousel after they’ve been removed. I haven’t seen that yet myself, so I haven’t been able to look for a workaround

Have you had any of these problems? What would be one of your top horror stories? Do you follow any of the Big Six tradpubs on social media? Will you read J.K. Rowling’s new book? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

Update: thanks to a regular reader who in a private comment gave me a correction for one of the headlines. 🙂 The body of the story was right, I’d just had one of those pesky word substitution problems.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.


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