Publishing Roll – Reading Fees, First Pages, and Weird Words

“So why,” you ask, “do you keep alternating the name of these round-ups between ‘links’ and ‘roll’?”

“Because sometimes they are spicy and meaty, and other times just a hearty helping of carbs!” 😀

You sigh at my dumb joke, and click the link below to see this week’s awesome publishing links. 

On a roll.

Moonrat, the Editorial Ass, explains “why the first page of your manuscript is so dang important.”

Victoria Strauss at Writer Beware! presents a well-argued case against agents charging reading fees.

Jason Boog at GalleyCat points us toward footage of Fox News Chicago attacking the local library system.

David B. Coe at Magical Words discusses the character portrait vs. the character sketch.

♣ In the spirit of my Archaic Definition of the Week, this week’s BEST PUBLISHING BIZ LINK award goes to S. W. Vaughn at Murder By 4 for this list of weird words for your writing pleasure.

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  1. Just took a look at the GalleyCat posting of the Fox News Chicago footage of the local Illinois library system, and it was billed on the site as “Fox Attacking the Local Library System,” but I didn’t see an attack at all. I saw both sides of a legitimate question presented equally. Where was the “attack?” That they even dared question what some see as an icon, not unlike apple pie and Chevrolets in some people’s minds? Just didn’t see any bias either way.

  2. Yeah, “attack” is way too strong. But, GalleyCat is a book blog.

    On the other hand, it’s a bit of a bait-and-switch on the station’s part to make the case that the library money could be used elsewhere (like schools) and then bring an anti-tax guy to argue the anti-library side.

    My take is that libraries should cut the internet access and stick to providing public access to books.

  3. I agree about the internet and books, J. I also kept waiting for one of them to talk about the biggest patrons of libraries in some burgs… winos and the homeless.

    As an author, I’m all for libraries, but there are excesses. Here in Ft. Wayne, the moneyed folk (with whom I’m not on chummy terms, but have seen them around town), conned the local populace into paying millions for a new library and the deal was, they billed it as for readers and little schoolkids and all that, but the majority of folks that use it are out-of-towners who see it as the third-biggest source for genealogy (which it is). Their sales pitch was two-fold. One, that all of these genealogy folks would flock into town, thereby swelling the tourist bucks. Well, most of those folks are old geezers and Golden Corral and Motel 6 would be their main destinations, and also, most of them do their research via the internet, even for the Ft. Wayne sources. Second, they came up with this poll that said Ft. Wayne was this “readin’ city” but when you saw what the locals read mostly, it was primarily James Patterson novels written by college students for him and romance novels. Nary a book is ever checked out if there are words with more than two syllables in them. But… some people in town made a boatload of money out of the deal. I’m all for libraries and if they’d spent it on something better… say books… I would have liked it better. As it is, half the time they don’t have the book I want and I have to go over to Toledo, Ohio to get it. Last month, I tried to find Books in Print and they said they’d discontinued getting it as it cost too much. Turns out they’d had to use the budget money on extra copies of romance novels…

  4. Maybe (and I know I’m really edging toward a snooty approach here) libraries should confine themselves to non-fiction and only that fiction which has proven itself “relevant”: classics and books that remain on the the best-seller list longer than X number of months. After all, should the public library be where people go to get their fix of third-rate escape fiction, or avoid paying for the latest Dan Brown novel?

    This way, the libraries provide an important public service without spending unnecessarily, and without unfairly competing with bookstores.

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