Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Literary Adventure!

I had such a bookish day yesterday!  First I was lucky enough to attend an Ebook Summit while at work and listen to a bunch of really smart people talk about how ebooks are changing the publishing industry and the future of libraries and how libraries can/should adapt for the future.  It is something seriously interesting to think about, and I think it’s going to be a really exciting and interesting next few decades.  Also probably scary.

M.T. Anderson
One of the coolest things was getting to hear M.T. Anderson as the keynote speaker.  I loved Feed and have had the Octavian Nothing books on my TBR list for a good long while.  Let me tell you, the man is a fabulous speaker.  If you ever get a chance to go to an event with him or hear him speak?  Do it.  I laughed, I nodded vehemently, and I really, really wished I could possibly speak even half as articulately as the man. 

He talked about how the changes in the publishing industry affects authors.  I knew that ebook numbers don’t count for the New York Times bestseller lists (which is one of the reasons I try to buy new releases in hardcover), but I’d never really made the connection between a greater proportion of new releases being sold as an ebook at $9.99 (or $10.99 whatever) lowers the author’s 15% (or so) commission compared to the same number sold at the hardcover price.  I mean, duh, it’s obvious when you think of it that way, but I’d never put the two things together.  So if ebooks take over a large market share, authors lose quite a bit of their possible commissions and (especially for mid-market or genre authors) may either earn out their advance much more slowly or possibly not at all.  Which could lead to advances getting smaller or the only people writing books full-time are ones who already have money or are the massively popular authors.  It’s an interesting thought and possible conundrum for authors choosing traditional publishing. 

He also talked for a long time about changes in storytelling and long form narrative driven by things like ebooks, iPads and the internet, all of which was really interesting - and funny! - but nothing I can even begin to summarize.  Here - go check out the man’s website and definitely take a look at the Tourists’ Guide to Deepest, Darkest Delaware.  Because it is hilarious. 

Lisa McMann
After leaving the library, I drove down to Holland to see the fabulous Lisa McMann speak and do a signing on her The Unwanteds book tour.  I really enjoyed her Gone trilogy, but I haven't had a chance to pick up The Unwanteds yet so I leaped at the chance to both meet her and get a signed copy!  She visited a Barnes and Noble, and I SO wish I’d brought a camera, because that store was packed - and mostly with preteens!  It was so cool seeing all the kids gripping their books and totally geeked out about seeing an author.  I sat next to a 12 year old boy who couldn’t stop telling me about how he’d only read a little of The Unwanteds but how he really loved it and he especially liked Ms. McMann because she’d come to his school!  People talk a lot about what it takes to get boys to read - apparently Ms McMann’s got it!

She gave a short talk about her writing background and how she’d thought of the idea for The Unwanteds after her kids’ school system cut money for the arts.  Ms. McMann’s a funny and engaging speaker.  She absolutely held all the kids’ attention as she talked about how she and her kids brainstormed for magic spells and the books.

And the best part!  I got a signed book and prize pack for me and one to giveaway here!  I figure it’ll be a 100 follower giveaway unless I decide to be a hockey dork and make it for 96 followers.   ...because that’s Tomas Holmstrom’s number.  Shhh, I admitted I was a dork.

So yes!  That was my awesome book-filled day.  Today I have the library and get to work with a class of kindergartners.  I love class visits so much.


  1. I will be entering said contest when and if you run it!! I want to read The Unwanteds. I love the idea for it and I am sooo excited about reading it.

    Beth ^_^

  2. I totally will run it in the next week or so! I've got the book and the little gifts with it just sitting on my bookshelf looking impatient for a home!

    I've only read the first 50 pages or so thus far, and it's really good! Definitely middle grade, but it feels Harry Potterish so far.


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