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Publishers, We Need to Talk

There are very few things in life that make my blood boil more than someone tearing down the industry I work in with false accusations of collusion, underhandedness, and evil doing. So when I see a headline like ‘Why Book Publishers Hate Authors‘ in the Huffington Post, it’s all I can do to stop myself from going into a blind rage and throwing my computer into the ocean, finding the nearest rocket, and blasting myself into the face of the sun. Because what the hell, guys.

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National Book Award nominations announced

Potentially ending our long national nightmare of not having heard Lorraine Kelly read aloud from Fifty Shades of Grey, the nominees have been revealed for this year’s National Book Awards. The ceremony, which takes place on December 4th as a special birthday treat for Jay-Z, probably, will indeed feature the hugely popular, scandalising controversy magnet, but only in a hosting capacity, arf arf . (DISCLAIMER: This is obviously an unfair characterisation. I’m sure Lorraine Kelly’s lovely. And she can probably hook you up with a stylist who’ll give you a wonder of a dye job and get those fifty shades down to fewer than ten.)

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Philip Roth retired last month and no one noticed till now

In what may or may not be a hissy fit reaction to yet another Nobel snub (legal note: it isn’t), Philip Roth kind of sort of announced his retirement from writing last month in an interview with French publication Les Inrocks, a revelation which seemingly went unreported in the English language press until Salon picked it up on Friday, because French, amirite? (legal note: I am wrong)

By the by, if you were willing to give anglophone journos the benefit of the doubt and assume that they took the time to have such a monumental announcement dilligently translated, well, Salon would like you to know ‘The interview is published in French; we used an Internet program to translate his quotes into English.’

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5 questions for Caroline Moore on mobile language learning [INTERVIEW]

Increasingly, Publishers and content creators are getting their material onto mobile devices. It makes perfect sense to be doing so, putting learning tools directly into the hands of learners, but it’s not as easy as just creating a great product. I met up with Caroline Moore, Director and Co-Founder of LearnAhead to find out more about mobile language learning and how their company is on a mission to get better language acquisition apps into the market.

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Technical Lead, in Woking [JOB POSTING]

BookMachine Jobs

Our client, the UK’s leading provider of services for the book industry based in Woking, is looking for a Technical Lead to coordinate and manage a range of complex application software. This is an integral role aiding the translation of the business requirements to system requirements.

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#Amazonageddon Halts US Online Book Purchase For… Several Hours

At some stage last week while I was asleep, buy buttons were removed from Big 6 (5?) publishers Hachette, Penguin, Random House, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster. What followed was a brief turd storm of concern, blame and speculation about what these publishers had done to bring forth the wrath of Bezos, followed by a ‘statement’ from Amazon a while later saying it was a technical glitch (ie: they sent out an email with ‘technical glitch’ as the subject line and blank body text, probs).

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Macmillan Dictionary moves definitively from print to digital

Macmillan Education has announced that, as of 2013, its dictionaries will now only be released in digital formats, thus forever depriving future generations of schoolchildren of the opportunity to discover which pages have the naughty words by their folded down corners. The last print editions of its English language dictionaries were printed this week. In lieu of physical copies focus will shift instead to Macmillan Dictionary Online, which combines the content of the company’s dictionary and thesaurus and presents it alongside a regularly updated language blog, a weekly ‘Buzzword’ column and, most tellingly, the Open Dictionary, a crowd-sourced resource that appears to operate in a manner similar to Urban Dictionary only presumably with fewer descriptions of nauseating sex acts. Presumably.

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