concept to publication

Month: January 2009

Updike links

john updike

So many people admire John Updike — one local editors says he should win the Nobel for literature — that I am almost afraid to voice my dissenting opinion that he will one day be viewed as one of the twentieth century’s most overrated authors. “I like middles,” Updike once asserted, whereas I prefer borders.

But let’s not speak ill of this dedicated man of letters now that he’s gone. Following are some of the best Updike links (and a few brief ones) I have found from the first wave of appreciations. Soon, I am sure, we will have more in-depth retrospectives.

Friday roundup

“Honour commercio’s energy yet aid the linkless proud, the plurable with everybody.” — Finnegans Wake

Duly quoted

Dear World,

The United States of America, your quality supplier of ideals of liberty and democracy, would like to apologize for its 2001-2008 service outage. The technical fault that led to this eight-year service interruption has been located, and the parts responsible for it were replaced Tuesday night, November 4th.

— more at The Ester Republic

Recent inbound links


Driving traffic

heavy traffic

Today’s guest post at ForeWord Magazine is about how book publishers can increase traffic to their websites.


Friday roundup

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”  ~Anatole France

Latest inbound links


On the beach

on the beach on anna maria island

This image of Anne (with ukulele) and Carol (with cell phone) on the beach on Anna Maria Island has been run through the machine.


Internet book marketing

The next installment of my series of columns that is running at Foreword Magazine this month is up. This one looks at why publishers should try to optimize direct online sales. The next column will look at some ways to improve numbers from this segment.


Out to lunch

"out of office" sign (welsh translation eror)

Remember the restaurant known in English as Translate Server Error? Well, be thankful the directions for finding it were not in Welsh.

Why are Americans reading more literature?


If in fact they are — but so claims the National Endowment for the Arts.

For the first time in more than 25 years, American adults are reading more literature, according to a new study by the National Endowment for the Arts. Reading on the Rise documents a definitive increase in rates and numbers of American adults who read literature, with the biggest increases among young adults, ages 18-24. This new growth reverses two decades of downward trends cited previously in NEA reports such as Reading at Risk and To Read or Not To Read.

Why might this be? Several theories have been advanced, but as yet I haven’t heard anyone who shares my take.


Sure, it’s a little overcast, and it rained a bit earlier. But wouldn’t you expect there to be someone on the beach at 1:00 in the afternoon?





sling chair on white sand beach, anna maria island, florida

I guess this week I’ve got a sort of travel blog — a bit bare-bones since for some reason I’m feeling a little lazy. (Although I did write a guest blog for Foreword Magazine today–more on that when the post goes live.)

Overwrought iron

elaborate ironwork is an architectural feature seen in charleston, sc

Cities on the southern U.S. seaboard feature a lot of what I call “overwrought iron” work. The image above is from Charleston, South Carolina,

Barrier Islands in January

I mentioned I’m on the road. Soon we’ll be heading down to Florida, where I guess it’s in at least the mid 70s, but for the moment we’re enjoying Beaufort, South Carolina, home of grand houses set on big lots full of live oaks that are draped with Spanish moss.

a historic house in beaufort, south carolina

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