June 17, 2011

Kindle self-publishing smacked by spam

I suppose it was only a matter of time before this got on readers' nerves: Spam is hindering Amazon's foray into self-publishing.

Newkindlle A Reuters story posted on Yahoo! reports that "Thousands of digital books, called ebooks, are being published through Amazon's self-publishing system each month. Many are not written in the traditional sense. Instead, they are built using something known as Private Label Rights, or PLR content, which is information that can be bought very cheaply online then reformatted into a digital book.

These ebooks are listed for sale - often at 99 cents - alongside more traditional books on Amazon's website, forcing readers to plow through many more titles to find what they want."

Click here to read the whole story.


Posted by Connie Ogle at 12:11 PM in Book news
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Tim Tebow ready to invade "enemy territory" (Miami)

Tim3 Tim Tebow knows that not all college football fans will welcome him when he arrives in Miami to tout his new memoir.

“It’s definitely enemy territory,” jokes the former University of Florida quarterback and current Denver Broncos player, who will appear Monday at Books & Books in Coral Gables. “But there are a lot of Gators down south who are very supportive.”

At 23, Tebow is an awfully young memoirist, but he believes he has plenty to tell. In Through My Eyes (HarperCollins, $26.99) he writes about football (first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, he won two national championships and once ran for a touchdown with a broken leg in high school); growing up with his missionary parents and his Christian faith. Too good to be true? Just wait. He also founded the Tim Tebow Foundation and supports an orphanage in the Philippines. He wore Bible verses in his eye black (causing the NCAA to ban the practice). Even his underwear ads for Jockey are clean-cut.

We talked to Tebow about all this stuff.

Tebow How has the tour affected your routine?

It’s a little different than most people think. They think you’re busy all day. But really you have a book signing for two hours. I still train all day and work out.

Why did you write this book?

So many other people have written stuff about me, and all those stories aren’t accurate. I wanted to set the record straight. But the main reason was somehow to encourage and inspire or put a smile on someone’s face, whether that’s a kid trying to follow his dream or an adult who needs a role model for his kid. To have an impact on people’s lives in a good way.

Why is being a role model so important?

It’s the most important thing to me, period. If I just play football and just try to win games and championships, if that’s all I do, then at the end of my life it’s not going to mean very much. It’s just a game. … I love it, but if you take the platform, and you can influence someone’s life and inspire them to go after their dream, then what you’re doing is worth it. You’re having a life of success and meaning.

Eyes What was it like returning to Gainesville for a signing?

It was pretty crazy, very rowdy. A lot of people showed up; they were sleeping on floors and in shopping carts. I signed the whole time, and when the time was up they told me, ‘There are another 600 people waiting,’ and I was like, ‘Well, we’re gonna be here awhile then.’ But it was cool.

How do you deal with people who say you’re too good to be true?

I learned going into my sophomore year at Florida you can’t worry about what you can’t control. I’m a people pleaser, and I like people supporting me, but at the same time there are always going to be naysayers who say you’re fake or not real. … I honestly can’t worry about it. … I know who I’m affecting. I have to keep those kids in mind and keep my goals and dreams in mind. The only reason people are naysayers is they’ve had setbacks, and they want to pull other people down. I’m staying positive and listening to the support staff around me, my family and friends.

Any predictions for the Gators this year, now that coach Urban Meyer is gone?

I really like coach [Will] Muschamp. He’ll do a good job. I think we will have one of the top five defenses in the country.

Tim Tebow appears from 7-9 p.m. at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Book-voucher purchase required; 305-442-4408 or www.booksandbooks.com.

Posted by Connie Ogle at 09:34 AM in Authors, Books & Books, Dade County Bookstores, Events, Miami author appearances
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June 16, 2011

Samuel L. Jackson audio of "Go the Bleep to Sleep" blows up

Sam Oh, we love our cursing! A free version of the Samuel L. Jackson-narrated Go the Bleep to Sleep has been downloaded 160,000 times since it became available two days ago on audible.com.

That's not a Harry Potter style record - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was downloaded more than 200,000 times in its first 48 hours, says the Associated Press - but it's pretty respectable. And if you disagree, take it up with Jules over there on the right.

Meanwhile, the hardcover version of the book by Adam Mansbach is No. 1 on Amazon. 

Posted by Connie Ogle at 03:05 PM in Audiobooks, Book news
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What the heck is Pottermore.com?

Jk We know what it's not - a new Harry Potter book (or so a spokesperson from J.K. Rowling's camp says). So then, what is Pottermore.com, the new website set up by Rowling and Co.?

Rowling gave out coordinates out on 10 Harry Potter fansites, leading eager Potterphiles on a romp to find the name of the new website.  Right now Pottermore.com consists of a placeholder page and a "coming soon" promise of...what?

Spokesperson Rebecca Salt told the Associated Press that no new Potter book was involved and that the website is "not directly related" to the final film in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, which opens July 15.

Posted by Connie Ogle at 02:25 PM in Book news
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June 14, 2011

What are you reading now?

Jean “I’ve been reading Tim Johnston’s great short story collection Irish Girl. These are stories both menacing and heartfelt, about small town life and its buried secrets. And ‘buried’ is sometimes meant literally.”

Jean Thompson, author of The Year We Left Home

Posted by Connie Ogle at 06:27 PM in Authors, Recommendations
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Samuel L. Jackson reads "Go the Bleep to Sleep"


Some things were meant to be.

Samuel L. Jackson, who drops the F bomb like no other, reads the audiobook of the hit book Go the Bleep to Sleep by (extremely tired) dad Adam Mansbach. The audiobook went on sale Tuesday.

The book has touched a nerve with parents weary of battling determined toddlers at bedtime.

Posted by Connie Ogle at 03:53 PM in Book news, Fiction
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Tim Tebow to appear at Books & Books

Tim2 Get out your orange and blue, Gator fans. Tim Tebow is coming to town.

The Denver Bronco quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner will appear from 7-9 p.m. Monday (that's June 20) at Books & Books in Coral Gables.

Did I mention he was the first sophomore ever to win the Heisman?

Customers must purchase Tebow's inspirational new memoir Through My Eyes to get in line for the signing. You can buy Through My Eyes at any Books & Books location or on the website; only two copies per person allowed. Click here for further details.

Timbook Tebow won't be able to sign your championship T shirts, jerseys or any other memorabilia due to time restraints, so you can leave that stuff at home. No word yet on whether you'll be allowed to do the "Two Bits" cheer.

Posted by Connie Ogle at 12:32 PM in Books & Books, Events, Miami author appearances, Sports
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June 03, 2011

What are you reading now?

LauraDave credit Allen Murabayashi "I just finished The Year of Fog, Michelle Richmond’s absorbing novel about a woman who loses her fiance’s daughter while they are taking a walk on a San Francisco beach. I’ve also been poring over Thomas Keller’s fabulous and very comforting Ad Hoc at Home cookbook, gearing up to make his buttermilk fried chicken for Sunday night dinner."

Laura Dave, author of The First Husband







Posted by Connie Ogle at 03:37 PM in Authors, Recommendations
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"The Year We Left Home" by Jean Thompson - a review

Year The Ericksons, who form the center of Jean Thompson’s terrific new novel, may not be exactly like your family, but many things about their lives are strikingly familiar. The irksome duties. The simmering discontent. The odd moments of grace. Moving up. Moving on. Comedy. Tragedy. You know, all the things that make up a life, yours, mine, everybody’s.

The Year We Left Home is about leaving the place where all this commotion begins, but Thompson also skillfully examines the elements that drag us back to our pasts, no matter how much time has passed or how far we’ve traveled. Unsentimental, enlightening and quietly brilliant, the novel examines three decades in the lives of the Ericksons of Grenada, Iowa, no dirt under their fingernails but still tied to the tough, earlier generations that farmed the land (which makes them vulnerable to the looming economic disaster due to strike farm country in the 1980s.) They are quintessential middle America — blond, stoic, thrifty — and Thompson deftly captures their various discomforts during times of incessant change as the 20th century winds to a close.

Two wars bracket the story set over 30 years, one in Vietnam and the other in Iraq, neither taking center stage but instead indirectly affecting the characters. Each chapter is so finely drawn it could stand as a story, though The Year We Left Home is best absorbed as a whole to appreciate its incisive exploration of how we become who we are and why we come home.

Click here to read the whole review. And READ THIS BOOK!

Posted by Connie Ogle at 02:42 PM in Fiction, Recommendations
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June 01, 2011

James Patterson e-book sales top 3 million

Patterson Prolific author James Patterson has hit the 3 million mark in 3-book sales, according to his publisher the Hachette Book Group.

The author, whose latest book is 10th Anniversary with Maxine Paetro, releases a few books every year, often with other writers (like Paetro). Two million of the books were purchased in just the last 11 months, according to Hachette.

And you think e-books aren't the wave of the future?

Posted by Connie Ogle at 03:03 PM in Book news, Fiction
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