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4 questions for Caroline Crofts, UK Rights Manager for HarperCollins [INTERVIEW]

With Amazon announcing in early September that they were looking at novel serialisation, we got to wondering what goes into getting the content to you, in a non book form. I mean, would you really have read John Major’s exploits if you hadn’t picked up a paper in your local, mid Sunday roast lull? Here, Caroline Crofts, UK Rights Manager for HarperCollins, talks seriously about serial…

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Why I love the Man Booker Prize (and you should, too)

I try not to read the comments sections of a lot of websites because generally they are filled with postulating jerks who have glanced at the headline and perhaps the sub-header of an article and become incensed enough to burst their self-righteous gland all over the internet. A marked exception to this is the yearly Booker backlash, which I watch with that sick pleasure usually reserved for early episodes of Masterchef. 

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Harper Voyager looking for un-agented submissions

HarperCollins’ sci-fi, horror and otherwise otherworldly imprint Harper Voyager has announced that, for the first time in over a decade, it will be accepting un-agented submissions from authors, with a view to building a backlog it can then publish as monthly e-books. For the fortnight spanning 1 October to 14 October, new writers can head to http://www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com/ and, having filled out the accompanying form and checked that they have complied with the publisher’s guidelines, submit their long-brewing masterpiece about the grim dystopian future where the hair cuts you!, or whatever.

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Kobos and Kindles: New Additions and Winning Combinations

Last week saw the release of a new Kobo range, and (not to be outdone) the yearly release of the new Kindle line. Despite Bezos’ insistence that he doesn’t need his customers on the ‘upgrade treadmill’, Amazon released an upgrade to pretty much every single one of their devices, including two new Kindle Fire tablets and the predicted backlit eInk reader. So, as readers, what are we looking at for Christmas this year?

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Mark Buckland of Cargo Publishing on the Edinburgh International Book Festival [INTERVIEW]

Mark_Buckland_CargoComprising the Jazz Festival, the Art Festival, the Film Festival and of course the world famous Comedy Festival; Edinburgh International Festival has just drawn to a close. It’s a month of make or break for the brash and the brave talents of the arts scene. The book festival itself has been going since 1983 and like a fine cheese, gets bigger (admittedly, this is not necessarily true of cheese) and better with age. 2012 saw upwards of 190,000 bibliophiles trying to dodge the street performers cluttering up the city’s streets and investing in cultural hangovers. The obligatory actual hangovers may still be clouding a few brows, but Mark Buckland, head of Cargo Publishing, the Glasgow based Indy and future publisher of @50shadesglasgow – managed a few coherent sentences.

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Cory Doctorow & Charlie Stross release novel for free download

As he has in the past, Boing Boing co-editor Cory Doctorow yesterday posted his new novel – co-written with British sci-fi author Charlie Stross – online for free download under a Creative Commons License. In a post on Boing Boing Doctorow provided a link to his own site, Craphound, which is hosting HTML and PDF files of The Rapture of the Nerds, and asked that those who enjoy the novel ‘buy a personal hardcopy at your local bookseller, or from your favorite online seller, or donate a copy to a library or school’, adding ‘if you’d like to reward us for our use of Creative Commons licenses, and reward Tor Books for its decision to drop DRM on all its ebooks, we hope you’ll buy an ebook at your favorite ebook retailer.’ The link was accompanied by further links to both physical and digital retailers.

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Wikipedia: Philip Roth ‘not credible source’ on Philip Roth

In a case we might call The Plot Against the Literati, were we at the intersection where readers familiar with the work of Philip Roth meet babbling, hyperbolic idiocy (we have never claimed to be familiar with the work of Philip Roth, ohohoho etc.), this past weekend saw the selfsame author of Portnoy’s Complaint and American Pastoral take to the pages of The New Yorker to pen an open letter/potential future memoir chapter directed at Wikipedia.

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Something something Fifty Shades, something something Bret Easton Ellis

In the latest in a series of slow news day-saving incidents that we might as well group together under the headline ‘Chris has had a long, tiring day and needs a big, fat, easy target’, full-time Fifty Shades of Grey cheerleader and occasional novelist Bret Easton Ellis has once again refused to let a piffling thing like flat-out rejection by its makers stand in the way of his weighing in on every aspect of the book’s forthcoming cinematic adaptation. Remember when people used to freely admit to reading Bret Easton Ellis? Weird times.

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The benefits of animation for educational publishers [VIEWPOINT]

This is a guest post from Nicola Esson of HL Studios, sponsors of BookMachine Oxford, happening this Thursday 6th September at the Ashmolean Dining Room.

Picture the technology available when you were a child… I dont know about you but, I dont consider myself to be that old (30’s ahem) and things were pretty shabby. 2D graphics with the only movement in a game being left to right, phone boxes (and calling the operator for a reverse charge call to your mum) no internet and a computer room at school where you could sit in front of a giant box and grow an electronic sunflower in double science (anyone remember that gem?!).

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