Archive for the ‘News’ Category

I find it absolutely fascinating that a single word can cause so much anger and controversy. Such is the tale of Mark Twain’s “Huck Finn” novel. One of the most popular works of fiction has been continually barred, banned, and censored from public schools because of the prevalent use of a single word: Nigger/Nigga. The word, as defined by Miriam-Webster dictionary means: usually offensive: a black person or member of any dark-skinned race. This word is actually long-derived from the Latin word niger, which means ‘black’.

So what’s the big deal with the use a word that simply means black? Well, connotation is everything. In the “Slave South” when many people owned black slaves, people would refer to them as niggers; Nigger=black=slave. So through the lines of language evolution, the word came to be considered a racial slur, an offensive to anyone of dark skin. Now the word can hardly be spoken without repulsion or reprehension. Such is the way of our language; words come and go, definitions alter and change, connotations are molded to fit modern culture.

So where am I going with all this? Well back to Huck Finn, since the book has constantly been banned from public schools due to the use of that word, Alan Gribben and NewSouth Books have finally taken it upon themselves to release a ‘censored’ version of the classic. The ‘revised’ version will replace the offensive ‘n’ word with ‘slave’. Releasing ‘revised’ versions of classics for new/younger generations is nothing new and if this will help get classics like Huck Finn into schools, I’m all for it. On the other hand, degrading classic literature just to fit our ‘modern’ molds seems a little ridiculous. Why do we need to change everything to our modern way of thinking? Can’t we just accept the fact that something was written in a different time and different place and therefore will be different from our modern philosophy/culture?

Anyway, thus concludes what might possibly be the longest article I’ve written:) If you agree or disagree, feel free to sound off in the comments.

*Update* Thanks to Rosa Sow of Newsy.com for pointing this out this excellent video on their site:

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I am extremely proud to announce that I will be a guest host on Twit’s Tech News Today open mic episode this Monday! Myself along with two other guest hosts will be talking about this year’s top tech stories with the regular hosts of TNT. Come watch us live Monday @12PST at http://www.live.twit.tv and join the chat to be part of the conversation:) Or if you miss it, it will be available in podcast form at http://www.twit.tv/tnt over the holidays:)

Okay, so I'm not the main star......

Another quick update; I’m beginning preliminary work on the Warped & Wired audiobook, but am going to need some voices for the different characters. So I’ve decided to take to the internet for my talent:) I am not able to offer any kind of pay (other than a free book maybe:) but it could always be a resume builder for any aspiring actors/voice actors out there.

Here are the few requirements for the audition:

-Recording software (built-in most if not all computers)

-Decent microphone that doesn’t capture a lot of  “noise”

-Skype connection to do the audition/recording over the internet. (optional; only if you aren’t comfortable doing the recording yourself)

-Copy of my book, Warped & Wired*. Only .99 for ebook: all devices. (*Preferable, otherwise I can set up a custom googledoc)

-Previous voice acting experience is not at all required, but certainly welcome:)

If you’re interested, you can contact me on twitter (JoshuaCalecb75) or email me: JoshuaCaleb (at the address of) TheWryterChronicles (da-dot) com.

 

 

 

 

Greetings, I am proud to announce the official launch of my custom t-shirt store Verbositees! Are you tired of wearing boring old t-shirts? Do want to make a statement to the world without looking like a wall of graffiti? Then check out Verbositees! Plain simple shirts with quips, quotes, and other useless babble. Plus, you can support your favorite independent person/producer by purchasing a matching shirt!

Also, for any authors out there, I have a special section of QR novel-Tees. Have the text from your book made into a QR code that links to your website or where to purchase your book.

Check it out www.Verbositees.com to start wearing the talk.

 

If you are interested in having a custom shirt made for your site/blog/podcast/book/etc contact me at JoshuaCaleb(at)Verbositees(dot)com

Amazon has announced yet another form of ebook for reader consumption: the Kindle Singles. These are to be shorter works, generally of 1ok to 30k words. In other words, bigger than a blog post but smaller than novel, almost like a novella. They say this will encourage authors to write intelligent works of “natural length” and not be forced to condense or artificially lengthen their ideas to meet marketing demands.

Amazon has put the call out to “serious” authors, scientists, politicians, business leaders, historians, and publishers for pieces. The interesting thing here is that they are reaching out to writers directly, completely bypassing publishers. This is likely due to the fact that this is a somewhat new format (for ebooks and this era) and may not be covered in author-publisher contracts so Amazon doesn’t have to deal with the curmudgeon-y publishers and their old-school thinking. A very smart move and likely highly profitable for both Amazon and the writers. Interested parties are to contact digital-publications@amazon.com

The possibilities of this format are nearly endless, from bringing the revival of the serialized novel, to political manifestos and scientific essays to the masses.

As for price, nothing has been set, but Amazon did mention that the price will be “much less than that of an ebook” .

I personally think this is a great move on Amazon’s part, it really opens up the field for writers and other “thinkers” to publish content quickly and easily. I’m especially intrigued by the serialized novel aspect and could see myself participating in that segment.

So what do you think? Is this completely and utterly boring or the revival of a dead format you’ve been waiting for? Sound off in the comments.

Barnes & Nobel has just opened up its own self-publishing ebook platform, PubIt! This is similar to Amazon’s Digital Text Platform and Smashword.com
The process is relatively simple and similar to other e-publishing services. You upload your doc/txt/rtf/html file, BN will convert the file to epub, and within a matter of days your book will be available to purchase on the Nook or any of the BN e-reader apps.

Now there are some distinct differences in this service. The biggest of which is the royalty split. If your book is priced between $2.99 and $9.99 you will get a 65% cut of the sales. If you book falls outside of that margin, your royalty falls to 40%. By comparison, Amazon’s DTP offers a 70% cut if your book is priced at $2.99 or higher. If it’s lower than that you only get 35%. (Amazon also has other restrictions and don’t offer a conversion tool) Apple and other platforms also use the standard 70/30 split when doling out royalties. It’s kind of an odd move for B&N; they almost seem to be marketing this at indie authors who want to charge less for their ebooks to get them to the masses, while penalizing bigger names who want to charge premiums on their books. Are they trying to foster self-publishing indies or stifle their growth by capping their royalties based on their list price?

Then, for comparison’s sake, there’s Smashwords.com They offer a third, very compelling option if you’re looking to self-publish your ebook. There, you upload your doc file and it will be converted into every e-book format imaginable plus, if you meet their formatting guidelines (clearly laid out in a pdf manual) your book will be distributed to Amazon kindle, BN e-bookstore, Sony’s e-bookstore, Apple ibooks, Kobo, Stanza, Diesel ebooks, etc. This is a great all-in-one e-publishing option that offers competitive royalty splits (differing for each retail outlet) and is currently the only way (that I’m currently aware of) to self-publish your books on Apple iBooks.

So which platform are you most interested in? Does the strange royalty split turn you off? Or do you prefer Amazon’s larger user base and global distribution. Sound off in the comments. I use both DTP and Smashwords for more granular control over my book and might also try out PubIt! and see what they’re about.

 

image via google images.