Authors

History meets mystery

Bob Cox alerted us to History meets mystery, where they wonder Was \'The Bondwoman\'s Narrative\' written by a female former slave in the 1850s? Henry Louis Gates Jr. thinks it was.

\'\'I concluded,\'\' says Andrews, whose books include \'\'To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro-American Autobiography,\'\' \'\'that either this person is the most unusual white writer I have ever seen from the mid-19th century or a black narrator who had not yet turned her writing into something that would be sufficiently conventional to be published. I think that there is a lot of evidence that the author was a black woman. But it\'s not an open-and-shut case.\'\'

University promises ultimate Shakespeare resource

Charles Davis writes \"
The University of Birmingham is launching a comprehensive
website for devotees of William Shakespeare.

The Touchstone site aims to make the bard\'s life and works
available from a single source.

It will provide information on all professional, amateur and
academic activity and details of research collections.

The resource has been developed by the University\'s
Shakespeare Institute Library and backed by the British Library.

It launches fully on April 23, to coincide with the date commonly
regarded as Shakespeare\'s birthday in 1564.

The site is available at: www.touchstone.bham.ac.uk. \"

Amazon Used Book Sales Draw Author Ire

From the NY Times:

Authors are rebelling against new efforts by Amazon.com (news/quote) to spur sales of used books, a practice that has become a major source of revenue for Amazon but pays nothing to writers or publishers.

The Authors Guild, a trade group for writers, yesterday sent an e-mail message to its 8,200 members, advising them to stop helping Amazon sell books by linking to it from their own Web sites, citing Amazon\'s \"notorious used-book service.\"

More.

Selling off, selling out Malcolm X

Bob Cox sent along This Story on \"An extensive, historically-important archive of handwritten and typed speeches, correspondence and photographs\" that belonged to Malcolm X that was up from San Francisco auction house Butterfields, I just found This that says they are holding off, due to \"a possible irregularity.\"

J.K. Rowling on A&E Biography

"J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter and Me" will be presented on A&E\'s Biography tomorrow. Friday, March 22, 8:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. Check your local listings.

The blurb says the show includes video footage of Rowling painting pentagrams on church doors and offering blood sacrifices to Satan. Just kidding. It says she was influenced by The Simpsons, though.

Harper Lee sends rare letter to help one city, one book effort

Dave Lull passed along
This Story that says Duluth got an interesting endorsement for its \"Reading: Bridge to a Wider World\" program, featuring \"Mockingbird\".

A letter from Harper Lee, which is interesting especially in that Lee no longer gives public appearances or publishes anything. The letter was sent to the Duluth Public Library.
\"In these barbaric times what could be a more civilized adventure than for one city\'s people to come together to read one book at the same time?\", Lee wrote.

Homespun Authors Wonders of Florida

Bob Cox sent in This List of \"classics\" from St. Petersburg Times, Enduring stories that are passed from one generation to the next, building a lifetime of reading memories along the way.

They include Strawberry Girl, by Lois Lenski, Lion\'s Paw, by Robb White, Alexandra, by Scott O\'Dell, Tampa Boy, by George Ryland Bailey.

Stephen King\'s New Book Is on the Beam, Literally

the new york times says Stephen King is at it again.His publisher isoffering samples of the book, \"Everything\'s Eventual,\" to consumers with personal digital assistants via telephone kiosks on the streets Manhattan neighborhoods.
Those who point their gadgets at telephone kiosks equipped with the Streetbeam technology will get five or six paragraphs from \"Everything\'s Eventual\" downloaded onto the devices. They say it may also be shared with other owners of similar hand-held computers.

Are Authors Abused by Used?

This Wired Story talks about used books sales now that sites such as eBay and Amazon have been listing used books next to the new ones. They say publishers and booksellers take sales figures, among other factors, into account when they make decisions about future advances, print runs and orders on the author\'s next book. Unfortunately for the authors, proceeds from preview copies, remainders and used books don\'t go to the publishers; and thus aren\'t counted by the publishers as sales.

\"\"I have to admit, a little piece of me died each time,\" said Ursu, who has tracked sales of her book since its release three months ago. \"For a first-time novelist, every sale matters, and I think those used books that are right there on the page attract people who normally would buy a new copy.

\"

Author\'s Attempt to Promote Book Backfires

NYTimes Story on David A. Vise, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post and author of the new book \"The Bureau and the Mole.\"

He bought 20,000 copies of his book, then returned about 17,500 copies and asked for his money back. A rival publisher grumbled that Mr. Vise appeared to be trying to manipulate best-seller lists by bolstering sales of his book.

He said he never meant to manipulate best-seller lists or to profit from reselling his books, and conducted all transactions in the open, under his own name. \"My goal was to increase awareness of `The Bureau and the Mole,\' \" he said.

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