2014 San Francisco Writers Conference

SFWC logoI’m gearing up for this year’s San Francisco Writers Conference Feb. 13th-17th at the Mark Hopkins Hotel—and getting psyched! It’s the only writers conference I attend each year (besides BEA). It’s classy and conscientious. SFWC  includes esoteric stuff like poetry jams and panels on using writing to make the world a better place—along with great practical panels and big name presenters. I love that about it!

Here’s a PDF of the official conference flier: 2014 SFWC Flyer

The conference provides insight and guidance for traditional, self-published, and aspiring writers.

You can attend the conference as a whole (learn more here), or purchase one or more of the pre- and post-conference workshops separately, or both.

I’m teaching: [Read more…]

Apple to Highlight Self-Published Books

Self-Published Books Pushed by Apple

Apple recently announced its new program of “Breakout Books” as reported in The New York Times.

According to the piece, “popular” self-published books will be featured under a banner on the iBookstore for the first few weeks, and then will become a regular feature.  Not mentioned in the article: exactly where these books come from. The piece interviewed Smashwords founder Mark Coker, who said the books “were nominated to Apple’s editorial team.”  Given the happy Smashwords/Apple relationship,  “were nominated” probably means “nominated by Smashwords.”

Smashwoods’ Reach Extends

Smashwords’ importance as a sales and discovery channel for self-published works is ever-growing. Mr. Coker recently also allied with many public libraries to make thousands of self-published ebooks available to the library market.

Can We Trust the Books?

The titles Apple will  highlight are selected based on: “criteria including sales performance and reader reviews” although the Apple “editorial team” has “final say” on the selections.

The world needs [Read more…]

Publishers, Band and Brand!

U.S. ConstitutionA plea for the formation of a far more perfect publishing body; one that protects literature and may contribute to the bottom line, even if not signed by Benjamin Franklin.

Book Publishers, Collude!

We, the readers, in order to “discover” the most perfect books, establish the value of editorial, design and production skills, provide for the common defense of the critical mind, promote the general intellect, and secure the Blessings of  Quality Literature (known as “Content”) for ourselves and our Posterity, do suggest the establishment of an industry label for books published by the Professional Publishers of the World. [Read more…]

I’m Very Unique. Hopefully.

Grammar PoliceVery, Exceedingly, Exceptionally Unique

Now, I’m not the world’s leading grammarian, and I’ve been known to mal a few apropisms myself. But the proper usage of some key words must have been beaten into my brain at very impressionable times, because every time I hear them misused, my blood pressure rises. Unfortunately it seems every few years, like an eclipse or volcanic eruption, the words I most hate to see used incorrectly also happen to be the ones most publicly mangled.

Hopefully, Hopefully

A decade or so ago, “hopefully” was the one that drove me to the hypertensives. HOPEFULLY DOES NOT MEAN “I HOPE!” Actually, I guess it does, now, as it’s been misused into common usage. So I’m getting past it, but NOOOOOO!  Enter, stage left: “very unique.” [Read more…]