Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, February 21 & 22, 2013

Quite a variety of Great Stuff today, from IndieReCon and elsewhere. Practical, thought-provoking, and even fun. All just a little bit down your screen. Enjoy!

ANNOUNCEMENT

One week to go before big changes—I mean, BIG changes—come to Great Stuff. The biggest changes will be a new location and a new look. For those of you who are following the blog by RSS subscription, I’m afraid that’s also going to mean a change for you, as you’ll have to resubscribe. Sorry! I don’t know how to transfer your subscriptions! (If you know how, please let me know. I’d love to make this a totally seamless process for you.) What won’t change is the frequency and the quality of the content. I truly appreciate every one of you who reads this blog and hope you’ll stay along for the ride on the new horse. Watch for more details in Monday’s and Wednesday’s posts.

FROM IndieReCon

IndieReCon finished yesterday and to be honest, my brain is more than full—it’s trying to explode. Fortunately, all the posts that were such a big part of the Con have been archived and will be available for at least a while, so one of the best things you can do is stop by the web site and browse. I have NOT mentioned every post that the contributing authors put up, so I may well have skipped the one that you were looking for.

Ali Cross’s (@ali_cross) Building an Author Brand is a long post but full of practical advice and examples.

Joel Friedlander (@JFBookman) lists 12 Steps to Blog Tour Success. Simple to list but they’ll take effort and focus to do well. Nothing new there, right? Kind of like writing.

There’s a whole ‘nother day of IndieReCon to cover but it’ll have to wait. I need to get this post out! So I’ll finish for now with Bookshelf Muses Angela Ackerman (@AngelaAckerman) and Becca Puglisi (@beccapuglisi) on Creative Book Launches That Command Attention. “Creative” and “Command” might not seem to go together, but they do if you think of command as “excite.”

CRAFT

In addition to being a contributor to Writer Unboxed, Ray Rhamey “flogs” (critiques) writers’ submissions on his blog—at their request! So for Flog a Pro: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks, Ray decided to take a look at the opening page of a successful, multi-published author’s latest book, with this question in mind: “does the first page compel me to turn the page?” [boldface and italics his] Take a look. You can even answer the question yourself in an in-post poll. (I had my answer before the end of the second sentence. What was yours?)

BUSINESS

Nathan Bransford (@NathanBransford) reports that Amazon has applied for a patent on a technology that would let people sell “used” ebooks (through them, of course). This has some authors up in arms, others wondering whether this is really going to happen (seriously? they’re wondering?), and Bransford himself (a former literary agent) wondering if there is such a thing as  “used” ebook (hearkening back to the model of physical book that can show signs of wear). Then there are people like Cory Doctorow and Joe Konrath who would wonder what the fuss is about because, they claim, free and/or DRM-free (not-copy-protected) books generate sales of the same work and others by the same author. The full story is in Should Consumers Be Able to Buy and Sell Used E-books? What do you think?

Scammers seem to be everywhere. The latest from Victoria Strauss (@victoriastrauss) on Writer Beware® Blogs is Close-up TV News/Close-up Talk Radio. For a mere $5,000 contribution, you—yes, you!—can be part of a “huge” radio promotion! Uh, yeah, right.

As mentioned last time, Joel Friedlander (@JFBookman) has developed templates for MS Word that you can use to properly format your ebook or print book. Now that the effort has launched, he’s doing his promotion tour, which includes a summary and video interview with Joanna Penn and on his own site, plus at a new, purpose-built web site, BookDesignTemplates.com. DISCLAIMER: I am NOT endorsing (or anti-endorsing) what Joel has done, merely telling you about it. I’m actually a little surprised it’s taken so long for somebody to do this. Whether any of these templates strike your fancy, whether you think the prices are acceptable, even whether you want to try to learn how to use one of these templates is entirely up to you.

THE WRITING LIFE

British poet (and recovering lawyer) Musa Okwonga (@Okwonga) says, “When you’re terrified in making a creative choice, that’s when [you’re] closest to getting it absolutely right.” Check out his short video on Kelly Russell Agodon’s Book of Kells blog.

FUN

You’d think a writing advice piece would go up in the Craft section, but when the title is What My Cat Has Taught Me About Writing, you just know it has to come down here. And I don’t even own a cat, claim to own a cat, admit to being owned by one, or even share the house with one (or more). No matter, for a smile and an understanding nod or two (or ten), check out Jordan Dane’s (@JordanDane) Kill Zone post.

Only we word geeks would consider Why the Plural of “Die” Is “Dice,” not “Douse” by Neal Whitman (@LiteralMinded) by way of Mignon Fogarty’s (@GrammarGirl) Grammar Girl blog to be fun. Whitman also explains why “wicked” (as in bad) is pronounced “wikid” and not “wict,” why “buck naked” is transforming into “butt naked,” and why these quirks of the language tell us about how it came to be what it is today.

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Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, December 13 & 14, 2012

Happy Friday, everyone, from snowy southern Arizona. You read that right—snowy. Not Minnesota-snowy, but we are getting snow showers today. Nothing’s sticking—the ground is much too warm—but yes, 10 miles from the Mexican border, we do get snow. The mountains should be gorgeous once the clouds lift enough that I can see them. Anyway, that makes today a good day to stay inside and WRITE!

CRAFT

Ever find your story wandering off not just into places you never intended but into the deep, dark, dismal forest, just lost, lost, lost? Yeah, me too. Lisa Cron (@lisacron) offers a path out of those woods (or a way to avoid getting into them in the first place) in How To Keep Your Story On Track: Chart “Who Knows What, When” on Writer Unboxed. Outliners may love this method, since its character-knowledge-lines tie directly to a story’s scene-by-scene outline but even pantsers will find it useful, although at a later stage in the development process.

Another way stories get slowed down is when the author inserts “filler”: sentences, paragraphs, scenes, even (gasp!) whole chapters that add nothing to the story. Fortunately, editor Laura Carlson comes to the rescue with How to Cut the Filler and Tighten Your Book on KM Weiland’s WORDplay blog. If you’ve ever written anything that turned out to be filler (c’mon, of course you have J), this post will be helpful.

Last Wednesday, after I’d put up my post, Gabriela Pereira (@DIYMFA) put up a 4-page Writing Goals Sheet, a downloadable PDF file that covers near-term and long range goals, funding and resources, and more. It’s all very pretty but you need to know how to turn on the typewriter function in Adobe Reader if you want to type directly onto the document. (To do so, in the latest Reader version, click on Comment on the right side of the screen, then click on the big capital T. That will give you a special cursor that you can place in the document where you want to start typing.) Of course, you can always print out the sheets and fill them in by hand.

BUSINESS

Writer Beware® Blogs! hosts guest blogger Mridi Khullar Relph (@mridikhullar), who provides useful information on International Writing Scams and How to Protect Yourself. It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that many of the overseas scams Mridi discusses have kissing cousins (or identical twins) here in the U.S. but working outside your home country always adds additional complications, so if that’s something you’re contemplating doing, or already doing, be sure to give this post a look.

The cover of your book, irrespective of format, is critical to whether it’ll be purchased or not. I know that seems unfair—that some graphic artwork can have more influence on a potential reader than your own words—but it’s true. If you’re publishing independently, what do you do? Design it yourself? Hire someone to do it? If so, who? Joanna Penn (@thecreativepenn) has invited guest poster GX (@graphiczsdesign) to discuss this in Want Professional Ebook Covers on a Budget? Try Ready-To-Go Options. GX discusses his (?)/her (?) own company’s work and how authors can use ready-to-go covers, and one of the comments also suggests three other sources.

THE WRITING LIFE

Jurgen Wolff (@jurgenwolff) retells a story originally told by Tim Ferris, the author of “The 4-Hour Work Week” in How big should your next writing or other creative goal be? (The missing reasons) on his Time to Write blog. The basic point is that if you aim for mediocre goals, that’s the most you’ll achieve. Aim higher and you have the chance (nothing guaranteed but the chance) at something far better. Thanks to my friend Lucinda for pointing out this piece.

Of course, if you aim high, there’s the risk of doing nothing but leaving a big splat mark on that tall building you tried to leap over in a single bound. Two posts address this fear: Nathan Bransford’s (@NathanBransford) Living on the Edge of Confidence and Self-Doubt and Rachelle Gardner’s (@RachelleGardner) 5 Ways to Deal with Failure on the Books & Such Literary Agency blog. Both discuss living with the fact that failure is a part of doing and that how you deal with failures is more important than the failure itself. If you’re needing a confidence boost about now, check out these two posts.

Rachelle then comes back with a post on her own blog about creating a realistic Holiday Writing Plan. Her five suggestions are nothing but common sense, but as the saying goes, sometimes common sense ain’t so common, which makes reminders like these valuable.

So what do you think? Have any thoughts or observations about any of these posts? Share them in the Comments below.

 

Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, November 17-19, 2012

Ran out of minutes yesterday to get my usual Monday post out, so here it is, just a little late. Lots of business stuff in this edition, but first…

CRAFT

KM Weiland (@KMWeiland) has been doing a series of posts on what she learned while writing her latest book, Dreamlander. Why Non-Writers Give the Best Critiques is worth passing along. Her point is that while other writers can give good critiques (although they don’t always), they (we) tend to get caught up in the technicalities and techniques of writing, while non-writer beta readers can, if they have the right turn of mind, tell you what’s working and what isn’t. Even better, Katie provides tips for how to choose non-writer beta readers, something I haven’t seen discussed elsewhere.

THE WRITING LIFE

Jan O’Hara (@janohara) continues her Stop Feeling Like an Author Wishbone series on Writer Unboxed by drawing on her medical background to advise you to First Do No Harm. What she’s describing in the long post is the process of deciding what you’re going to do in the way of marketing your book. “Harm” in this case isn’t necessarily physical but it is very personal: it happens when what you’re trying to do is out of sync with your personal goals, values, perhaps finances, etc. So, doing no harm means listening selectively to the “experts” and only doing those things that make sense for you. Wise advice, I think.

BUSINESS

And that provides the nice transition into the business-related posts. We’ll start with Gabriela Pereira’s (@DIYMFA) Four Steps to a Winning Query. This material comes from a series of query letter “bootcamps” Gabriela attended at the Backspace Agent-Author Seminar recently. After a few dos and don’ts, Gabriela gets down to the details of the four components, as propounded by Jason Allen Ashlock, the President of the Movable Type Management agency: “the hook, the book, the look, and the cook.” “The hook” should be obvious; “the book” is the one-paragraph pitch. “The look” is the title, genre, length, and the comparable books, if any. “The cook” is you.

Rachelle Gardner (@RachelleGardner) discusses a too-often-asked question, Can I Make More Money via Traditional or Self-Pub? Rachelle’s too nice to just come out and say this is a dumb question. Instead she politely says it’s too hard to estimate with any confidence what might happen. There are a lot of factors to consider, many of which are out of the writer’s control. (Note: this post is also a plug for Rachelle’s upcoming e-book on how to decide which path to follow, self- or traditional publishing.)

Why do people ask such questions? Well, because of authors like CJ Lyons, who has sold over a million self-published copies. Mark McGuinness (@markmcguinness) tells the story on CopyBlogger of How an Enterprising Author Sold a Million Self-Published Books. McGuinness discusses the seven things Lyons did (he calls her an “entreproducer” and “author-entrepreneur”) to reach this level of success. The thumbnail summary is that she wrote lots of books and did a lot of work (smart work) to market them. (But see the “do no harm” post above—does this amount of work make sense for you? Can you do that much work for that much work and retain your core self? You need to ask and honestly answer those questions.)

Since we’re on the topic of money, Nathan Bransford (@NathanBransford) offers a quick and clear summary of Separate vs. Joint Accounting when it comes to royalties. This has to do with multi-book deals and whether one or more books have to “earn out” (cover their advance(s)) before the publisher starts paying additional royalties.

I know this section has kind of bounced around, so let’s close with Some Perspective on 2012 from Dean Wesley Smith (@DeanWesleySmith). There’s been an awful lot of heavy breathing this year over the changes the publishing industry has been going through so it’s natural to think this year has been one of extraordinary turmoil and upheaval. Not so, Smith says. In fact, he calls this year’s changes “pretty minor and predictable and normal.” Surprised? Check out his explanations. Smith also discusses what he calls “impact events” that might happen in the near future and what might happen if they do. Or not. This is a long post, but a sane and rational one and worth your time.

Have you found anything interesting, stimulating, or exciting about the world of writing and publishing? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, November 10-12, 2012

Spent the weekend at the TusCon science fiction, fantasy, and horror convention. Had a great time and learned a lot, too. Many thanks and kudos to the Baja Arizona Science Fiction Association (BASFA) for putting on their 39th con!

The downside of convention-going, of course, is catching up, which I’m now doing…with these results:

CRAFT

Clare Langley-Hawthorne has an interesting piece on The Kill Zone about Unreliable Narrators. Inspired by the first-person narrator of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Clare discusses the key things that make an unreliable narrator someone we still want to spend time with. If you’ve ever considered writing (or tried to write) such a character, stop on by to check out Clare’s insights.

We all know the dictum that writing is rewriting. And rewriting means deleting—drowning your darlings, killing your kittens, all that. But deleting material doesn’t have to mean that it’s gone for good and forever. The mechanics and rationale for that are the subject of KM Weiland’s (@KMWeiland) Why Writers Should Never Hit Delete on her WORDplay blog. Her technique—moving to-be-removed material to a separate file—is one approach; there are others. In any case, it’s material you can get back if needed. And sometimes you need to.

Back at The Kill Zone, James Scott Bell (@jamesscottbell) discusses The Perils of Internet Information, especially how easy it is for something supposedly true can be spread around as if it were. Jim’s article centers around various famous quotes, but of course the message is much broader.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Nina Badzin (@NinaBadzin) has a terrific post on Writer Unboxed about How to Tweet so People Will Listen. What I particularly liked about this post was, rather than being a list of don’ts, it suggests good ideas and explains why they’re good (okay, plus some bad ideas and why they’re bad, but just a few).

Nathan Bransford’s (@NathanBransford) guest poster Jon Gibbs (@jongibbs) takes care of the negative side with his 10 Marketing Techniques That Annoy Potential Readers. Not all of these are done on social media (and, to be honest, I saw some of them used at TusCon) and some of them are just flat astonishing but yes, people really do them. (This is one of three posts that came to my attention via Joel Friedlander’s weekly summary on The Book Designer.)

BUSINESS

Robert Lee Brewer (@robertleebrewer) offers several great tips for how to Develop a Slogan to Help Your Author Platform on his My Name Is Not Bob blog. The key points are that a good slogan builds an identity and communicates value while distinguishing you from your competition. Big companies and political campaigns have known this forever but writers can benefit from it too.

That said, however, Dan Blank (@DanBlank) has an exceptional piece on We Grow Media titled What We Leave Behind—The Real Meaning of Your Platform as a Writer. The title is almost longer than the post but this one part is so good I have to quote it here: “The effect you have on others is the platform. The meaning and purpose behind your work is the platform. The information you share that reshapes someone’s understanding is the platform. The story that inspires and opens new doors – that is the platform.” Wow. Kinda puts things into a different (and better) perspective, doesn’t it? (This piece also came via Joel Friedlander.)

Finally, and again via Joel Friedlander, a very cool set of Tools for Testing Your Ebooks from the PressBooks Blog. The authors list 7 (and provide links to 6) tools that let you look at your ebook in EPUB and PDF formats as they will appear on various ereaders so you can be sure they’re okay before you actually publish. Man, can this ever save heartache!

That’s what I found. What have you found out there on the blogosphere that’s worth sharing? Post your suggestions in the Comments.

Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, November 8 and 9, 2012

Wouldn’t you know it? The day I need to hurry, there’s LOTS of great stuff to write about. To work, then!

CRAFT

Let’s start with Jordan Dane (@JordanDane) on The Kills Zone and Writing Dialog – Tips. It’s not that there are any astounding new insights here but Jordan’s compiled a lot of good ideas into one easy-to-access location.

Similarly, Gabriela Pereira’s (@DIYMFA) piece Read Like an Agent doesn’t break any new ground but provides a good all-in-one-place summary of why the first few pages of your book are so important and how to make them so strong they are, as she puts it, un-put-downable.

Robin LaFevers’ (@RLLaFevers) long but excellent article on Transformational Journeys—Working with Archetypes on Writer Unboxed not only lists and describes various archetypes, it also discusses how to use them to turn ordinary characters and writing into something far greater. Very well worth your time.

Also on Writer Unboxed, Lisa Cron (@lisacron) discusses 2 Ways Your Brain is Wired to Undermine Your Story—And What to Do About It. Her two main points are that we all have a tendency to write about the world the way we see it (to “see the world as we are” as she puts it) rather than how it really is, and we naturally resist any idea we don’t already hold to be true. Clearly, both of these things can work against us, especially if our characters hold significantly different views from our own, have different motivations, etc. Another terrific article.

Whether your manuscript is done or not, people are going to ask you, “What’s it about?” How can you answer without launching into your entire “elevator speech?” That’s where the one-sentence summary, or logline, comes in. Rachelle Gardner’s (@RachelleGardner) Writing a One-Sentence Summary provides an excellent—though not one sentence long—guide for how to construct it (courtesy of ex-agent Nathan Bransford), plus an example.

Finally for this section, Robert Bruce (@robertbruce76) and his commenters provide their lists of The Best Writing Quotes That Ever Existed on 101 Books. Okay, so maybe “ever” is a bit of hype and the quotes aren’t new, they’re still worth rereading every now and then.

BUSINESS

Just one business piece today. Top 5 Goals for your Book or eBook Cover comes from Joel Friedlander (@jfbookman) and is based on his experiences not only of designing covers himself but of reviewing hundreds of others. Quickly, the goals are: announce the book’s genre, telegraph its tone, explain its scope, generate excitement, and establish a market position. Of course, to get a fuller understanding of those goals, you need to hop on over to the article itself. It’s a quick and easy read.

THE WRITER’S LIFE

At the other end of quick and easy is Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s (@kriswrites) Want to Be Read 100 Years from Now? Here’s How. Now, from the title I thought this was going to be a piece on quality writing. Instead, it’s a very long piece on estates and copyrights. Not a happy topic but an important one. I just wish the post wasn’t over 3800 words long. SIGH.

That’s it for today. Monday’s post will be delayed as I’m (a) heading off to a science fiction/fantasy/horror convention in a few hours and then (b) taking part in a Veterans’ Day parade on Monday. We vets have made sure no foreign power has interfered with your right to read, write, and say what you wish (at least here in the United States) in the last 200 years. (This year is the bicentennial of the beginning of the War of 1812. Has anyone noticed?) I hope you’ll keep that in mind not just this weekend but throughout the year.

Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, November 3-5, 2012

It’s interesting how the best posts over the weekend had to do with the writing life. We’ll do a couple of others first.

CRAFT

There’s a genre that lives on the boundary between mainstream fiction and fantasy and incorporates elements of both. In Defining Magic Realism Harvey Stanbrough (@h_stanbrough) discusses the genre and its key characteristics. If this is a genre you’re interested in or just curious about, check out this post.

SOCIAL MEDIA

I’m not a Google+ user myself but Maria Peagler’s (@SM_OnlineClass) How to Use Google+ as an Author Platform on Write to Done is one of the most thorough yet practical and approachable articles of its kind I’ve seen. If you’re already a Google+ user or considering signing up, this is a must-read article.

BUSINESS

Nathan Bransford (@NathanBransford) posts a long-for-him piece on why The Publishing Industry Is Not Deserving of Special Protection. This, of course, goes back to the various lawsuits floating around regarding Amazon and the Big-6 publishers, and his point is that while there’s some reason to be concerned about a potential Amazon.com monopoly over book distribution, that’s no reason for protectionist legal rulings simply because an industry is going through changes. Books will still get to readers. The prices may be lower and the distribution methods different, but readers will still read. Will the publishing houses embrace change and help shape it, or will they fight it to their own deaths?

THE WRITING LIFE

I’m tempted to write that it’s sad we need etiquette reminders and what a reflection that is of this day and age and yada yada yada but I’m not so sure this time and generation is all that much different from those who’ve gone before. In any case, Rachelle Gardner’s (@RachelleGardner) Manners Matter: 13 Etiquette Tips deserves a look. My absolute favorite, and one we need to stand up for when we’re on the losing end of it, is #11: “Pay attention to the person with whom you’re interacting.” In other words, when you’re talking with someone in person and your cell phone rings, LET IT RING. That’s what voice mail is for! It’s rude and disrespectful to blow someone off to answer your phone, check the latest instant message or tweet, or whatever. Why we don’t understand that is beyond me. GRRRRR.

On the topic of personal interactions, James Scott Bell’s (@jamesscottbell) post Making Readers One at a Time is not only an great example of treating someone—in this case, a perfect stranger—with kindness and respect, he shows how he was able to turn that stranger into a new reader of his books.

Continuing with that theme, Becky Johnson (@beckyajohnson) writes about Stranglers or Wranglers? The Super Power of Encouragement on WordServe Water Cooler. Her story is about two critique groups at the University of Wisconsin. One called themselves “The Stranglers,” the other “The Wranglers.” Over the years, the members of the Stranglers, who had focused on criticism, never achieved any literary success, while the Wranglers produced a Pulitzer Prize winner. Johnson’s point: be sure to include encouragement in your critiques. Always good advice.

Finally, Mark Alpert issues a warning: Be Careful What You Read!!! It started when he noticed that after reading a log of Tom Wolfe’s writing, he began to write like Wolfe! Especially when it came to using exclamation points! To excess! Everywhere! What about you? Do you tend to pick up certain tendencies if you read a lot of one author’s work in quick succession?

Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, October 9 and 10, 2012

Plenty of ground and great stuff to cover today, so let’s jump right in.

CRAFT

Rachelle Gardner’s (@RachelleGardner) right when she says there aren’t very many articles on Foreshadowing out there in the blogosphere, so hers today, on that and “its black-sheep cousin, telegraphing,” is a very useful review of what they are, how they differ, and when to use or not use foreshadowing. Check it out.

KM Weiland’s (@KMWeiland) piece on How to Keep Your Fight Scenes Interesting is another one covering a rarely-discussed topic. As she notes, maybe it’s a surprise that a fight scene could be boring, but it can, and she offers a couple of easy techniques to keep your reader dodging those flailing fists along with your hero.

Our last selection today comes from Kelly Nichols, one half of the team who goes by the pen name P J Parrish. “Heed this advice now!” she warned desperately on The Kill Zone is a hoot, particularly if you, like me, are death on overusing adverbs and on dialog tags that explain too much. Tell us how many adverbs you found in Kelly’s post in the Comments below. Not all of them end in –ly, by the way.

WRITING TOOLS

Keith Cronin (@KeithCronin) loves how-to books, at least when they deal with writing. Who knew? Well, now we do, and in his Confessions of a “How-To” Junkie on Writer Unboxed he lists a baker’s half-dozen (OK, 7) of his favorites. Like me, you’ve probably read some of the books on his list but not others, and agree with some of his selections and not others. No matter, the main post and the comments are a good resource list for your own future reading.

Mike Fleming (@hiveword) guest posts about, or perhaps I should say, advertises his new—and free—online fiction organizing software called Hiveword on The Bookshelf Muse. I haven’t tried this tool and don’t know anyone who has, but if nothing else, Mike makes a case for planning before writing in Plan Ahead With The HiveWord Writing Tool.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND MARKETING

Joel Friedlander (@jfbookman) provides some very practical and QuickTips for Contests & Giveaways on The Book Designer. These ideas take away some of the mystery about marketing one’s book on line.

THE WRITING LIFE

At a recent writers’ meeting, we got to talking about the member of one group who seemed to be using the group as a place to vent her frustrations and stresses with a part of her life. She claimed, the group leader said, to want to write a book about what she was going through. While it seemed at first that she wanted to approach Writing as Catharsis, we learned later that maybe that wasn’t her primary motivation. Nathan Bransford (@NathanBransford) takes on this topic in his latest post. While not all writing is, or needs to be, cathartic, if done for the right reasons, it can help a writer make sense of his or her world.

BUSINESS

Today’s last post is no surprise. Last time I wrote about the settlement between Google and some of the “Big 6” publishers over Google’s scanning of books. Yesterday Victoria Strauss (@VictoriaStrauss) posted on Writer Beware® Blogs Writers Slam Secrecy of Book Publishers’ Deal With Google. The post is mostly a copy of a joint press release from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the National Writers Union, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America about their letter to the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, asking them to reopen an investigation on possible violations of federal law. The issue is still whether authors are going to be paid for their work if a reader accesses it through Google’s Book Search project. As I’ve noted before, this story is far from over.

Have you found any great stuff out there on the web? Share it in the Comments below.