Book blogs weekly round-up (July 30)

Your weekly round-up of the best in book blogging:

1) Fantastically bad Sci-Fi covers of yesteryears

A taste:

The proud history of science fiction publishing offers a near-limitless supply of WTF book covers, it seems. Flickr user Zimpenfish just uploaded some real masterpieces of dementia, including one that might be NSFW.

2) Dan Dos Santos talks about designing the Mercy Thompson covers

A taste:

So much of creating a striking cover comes down to what the publisher does after the painting is complete. One might argue that it is even more important than the painting itself. When a publisher expects that a book will debut at the top of the bestseller list, they are much more inclined to throw money at the project. This means I can spend more time on the painting, and that the image is going to get extra special treatment when it comes to type design, print quality, advertising, point of purchase displays, etc. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts, and in the end, everyone ends up looking pretty good.

3) Tess Gerritson (Rizzoli & Isles) talks Hollywood as a bookseller

A taste:

We’ve long been fascinated by the effect that Hollywood has on book sales.  Fourteen years ago, I was advised to write only stand-alone novels because it allowed each book to be an individual property for sale to the movies.  If you linked the books as a series, when you sold just one of those books, the producer would own the rights to the characters — and to that whole string of novels.  Feature film deals were the gold standard, and John Grisham’s career was the ideal.  We all wanted to see our books on the big screen.  TV deals might be nice, but they just didn’t have the same cachet.  From my conversations with authors whose books did make it to the big screen, I learned that a feature film could net some pretty nice book sales.  One author told me that when his book was adapted into a modestly successful feature film, it translated to an extra 750,000 paperback sales of his book.

4) Talking ghosts with Stacia Kane

A taste:

I write each book by the seat of my pants, but I do have an overall story arc for nine books, if not more. But nine is my basic plan, the number I hope I get to do. Of course there’s never a guarantee for that, which is why I tend to do smaller three-book-arcs inside the longer story.

5) Kristen Cashore answers a question about writing steamy scenes

A taste:

I’m willing to share some thoughts on this, but with the caveat that this is a subjective matter, and another writer with another writing style could give opposite advice that’s just as valid and that you’ll like better. Okay? There are many ways to, um, get the job done. And the job you do is not going to please everyone. :)

6) Gordon Andrews (half of the Ilona Andrews writing team) sneaks out snippits of Magic Slays, the upcoming Kate Daniels #5

Part One:

& Part Two:

7) Neil Gaimain returns to blogging (almost)

A taste:

Somewhere in there I decided that I would simply stop blogging until Anansi Boys and Doctor Who were handed in. The blog would be one less thing to worry about. And that blogging again would be my incentive to finish.

8 ) An experiment in YA – the online serial that will become a book

A taste:

Loser/Queen is an online interactive serial and a groundbreaking publishing event. The beginning of the story has been written and posted—but it’s up to you to decide what happens next. Cast your vote by 5 p.m. (EST) Thursday night of each week. Then, check back Mondays at 10 a.m. (EST) to see the poll results—and how the story was affected by your choice!

9) More people get DVDs from libraries than Netflix

A taste:

Once upon a time, libraries were a place for books. A Netflix representative said just that — “I think of libraries as places for books” — but that, apparently, is now a minority perspective. According to a survey by the Online Computer Library Center, more people get DVDs from libraries than from Netflix, and more than Blockbuster and Redbox combined.

Consumerist reports the survey’s numbers: Every day, public libraries loan out 2.1 million DVDs, slightly more than Netflix’s 2 million daily rentals.

10) The fight over e-book royalties

A taste:

But along with the device competition, the iPad and its iBooks platform added a new business model called Agency. And, under Agency, the pricing of ebooks at retail theoretically becomes standardized across the web, not subject to discounting by individual retailers. This visibly upset Amazon, which appeared to pick a fight with Macmillan over the terms. It looked to those of us with no inside knowledge of their conversations to be an attempt to bully publishers to give up the Agency idea. In retrospect, this was perhaps a bad fight to have picked. Amazon’s threat was to stop selling the print editions of titles from those publishers who sold ebooks on Agency terms. Since five of the top six publishers were moving in that direction, and none of them blinked, Amazon had to, in their own words, “capitulate.” (On the other hand, we are not aware of any other publisher, beyond the Big Five, to whom they also capitulated, so the final score on this fight isn’t in yet.)