An entertaining article as our students try to finish up their summer reading requirements.
By ALYSSA NEWCOMB (@alyssanewcomb) – ABC News.
High School Student Seeking Book Summary on Yahoo! Answers Gets Response From Author
A high school student posted online asking for a “complete review” — “including everything important” — of an assigned book she said she wouldn’t have time to read before school started in 11 days.
She posted a list of excuses as to why the 240-page novel was just too much for her to finish: She didn’t get her school’s book list until a month ago. She was busy. Her library was being remodeled. The book was on hold already. She was a slow reader.
The excuses didn’t cut it for D.C. Pierson, who wrote the assigned novel “The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To.” He replied to the student’s post on Yahoo! Answers on Sunday but didn’t let her off.
“First off, I’m really excited that my book is being suggested for summer reading. On the other hand, I’m bummed out that you don’t want to try and finish it, and not even because you think it’s bad, but just because it seems like work instead of like fun,” Pierson wrote.
The young adult novel is about a high school outcast who befriends a teenager with a secret — he never sleeps. Word of the friend’s unusual condition spreads, and the two are forced to go on the run. Read more »
Our guest post comes from Terry Odell’s blog (visit her blog). Author Sharon Hamilton wrote this post for Terry’s site. We hope you enjoy.
Truth is Stranger Than Fiction: Stories About Real Heroes
Today I’m pleased to host author Sharon Hamilton, who is going to give us some insight into writing military hero stories, Navy SEALs, in particular. What makes these men so compelling to read about, to write about?
Having relatives in the U.S. Navy SEAL community gives me an advantage when it comes to writing romance using those characters. But I have to chuckle a bit after making this point. I’ve actually had to alter the stories I’ve been told to make my fictional characters seem LESS fantastic, over the top, unbelievable.
I’m probably not the only writer who has had her work critiqued by someone who makes the comment, “that would never happen,” when we’ve had first-hand experiences identical to what we’ve written. In doing research for my Navy SEAL series, I had to change some of the accounts, or no one would believe them.
But alongside the fantastic comes the silly or common. Beside every warrior are those family members who love them, or try to love them. They go to ballet classes with their daughters, Read more »
A blog article from the online magazine Slate by Ray Fisman covering online reviews. We hope you find it interesting.
Can You Trust Online Reviews?
The Internet has fundamentally changed the way that buyers and sellers meet and interact in the marketplace. Online retailers make it cheap and easy to browse, comparison shop, and make purchases with the click of a mouse. The Web can also, in theory, make for better-informed purchases—both online and off—thanks to sites that offer crowdsourced reviews of everything from dog walkers to dentists.
In a Web-enabled world, it should be harder for careless or unscrupulous businesses to exploit consumers. Yet recent studies suggest that online reviewing is hardly a perfect consumer defense system. Researchers at Yale, Dartmouth, and USC have found evidence that hotel owners post fake reviews to boost their ratings on the site—and might even be posting negative reviews of nearby competitors.
The preponderance of online reviews speaks to their basic weakness: Because it’s essentially free to post a review, it’s all too easy to dash off thoughtless praise or criticism, or, worse, to construct deliberately misleading reviews without facing any consequences. It’s what economists (and others) refer to as the cheap-talk problem. The obvious solution is to make it more costly to post a review, but that eliminates one of the main virtues of crowdsourcing: There is much more wisdom in a crowd of millions than in select opinions of a few dozen.
Of course, that wisdom depends on reviewers giving honest feedback. A few well-publicized incidents suggest that’s not always the case. For example, when Amazon’s Canadian site accidentally revealed the identities of anonymous book reviewers in 2004, it became apparent that many reviews came from publishers and from the authors themselves. Read more »
Our guest blog post today comes from Stephen Woodfin (visit his blog) author of several books including his latest The Revelation Effect.
Vampires Unite to Fight Negative Campaigning
I just thought it was a good blog title.
Ever since I wrote GOD’S LOVE SUCKS: A Brief Memoir of a Born-Again Vampire, I have given a lot of thought to the massive amount of negative campaigning directed at vampires.
I don’t know why I used a picture of Karl Rove. So far as I know, he is not a vampire. (see a picture of Karl at the end of the article and judge for yourself).
It is a real travesty that I believe we as writers need to address.
My vast research into vampirism (okay, so I didn’t do ANY research) has convinced me that it is time to set the record straight. If we all join hands and make a concerted effort to debunk vampire myths that form an iron collar around the neck of American society, an Albatross of misinformation and negativism, perhaps we can rid the literary world of this terrible scourge and in so doing set mankind on a new path of freedom.
Here are few vampire facts I discovered (okay, I didn’t “discover” them, I made them up, but what the heck?):
1. Garlic doesn’t bother vampires, but peanut butter is a vampire killer. (Just think how terrible it would be to have to give up peanut butter.) Read more »
A blog post from In The Writing Grove by Kathy Lynn Hall author of Red is an Attitude.
Are We Leaving 10 Million Customers Behind?
So, today I read in the AARP magazine (yes, I’m old enough to get it) that 28% of those 67 and older use e-readers. I immediately headed for the 2010 census and guess what? There are 40.4 million people in the US over the age of 65. That means we Indie authors who publish digital copies of our books have a built-in audience of somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 million readers.
Wow! That’s a great audience to market to and yet, I can’t remember seeing any books advertised lately specifically for the older crowd. Can you? I have a work in progress right now that is a love story/mystery with two seniors as the main characters. Maybe I’m on to something! Besides, the fact that I love this story, that is.
So, this isn’t a big long post, but just a short and simple question: Are we missing an opportunity here?