151: WPC-151 – Rewriting Past Mistakes with David Gaughran
David Gaughran is an Irish writer, living in Prague, who spends most of his time travelling the world, collecting stories. He runs the publishing blog Let’s Get Digital and the South American history site South Americana, and his work has been featured in the Huffington Post, The Sunday Times and the Irish Times.
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Twitter handle(s): @DavidGaughran
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/David-Gaughran/e/B004YWUS6Q
THIS WEEK’S INDIE PUBLISHING NEWS
Brought to you by Draft2Digital
Traditional ebooks are down, Indies are up — That’s according to a story in GeekWire, which presents the oddly confusing yet comforting statement “Ebook sales are dying. Ebooks are insanely popular.” The story cites PubTrack Digital’s research results, showing a 10 percent decline in ebook sales from 2017 over 2016. The 450 publishers included in the study saw ebook sales from from 170 million units to 162 million in that one-year span. A second study released by the American Association of Publishers seems to jive with those results, showing a 4.7 percent drop in ebook sales in 2017, from more than 1,200 publishers. But all is not lost—because the article points out that those studies are both focused entirely on traditional book publishing. Factor in indie publishing, and you get a revolution of ebook sales. Big numbers are hitting the board, including one from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos: “Over a thousand independent authors surpassed $100,000 in royalties in 2017, through Kindle Direct Publishing.” — http://bit.ly/151-ebooks
Should we judge a work by its author? — In the wake of allegations of sexist misconduct, some are asking if we should ignore and invalidate work written by authors such as Junto Díaz, a Pulitzer Prize winner who was accused of forcibly kissing a woman years earlier. A recent editorial in the National Review argues that we shouldn’t dismiss a writer’s (or actor’s or comedian’s or artist’s) work because of that writer’s actions. I agree. Despite allegations, enough readers have resonated with Díaz’s work that it would be horribly dismissive to ban or boycott it. Instead, maybe we should consider that first all humans are capable of producing good work regardless of their past offenses, and second that we humans are not defined by the mistakes of our past. If we’re to grow and evolve, we have to accept that people can change. What do you think? — http://bit.ly/151-badwriter
What Can Algorithms Tell You About Your Writing? — In a recent Wall Street Journal post, machine learning has come into the spotlight as potentially “your next editor.” Computer algorithms can now be used to determine everything from reading level to mood to the complexity of your ideas. Could this lead to a revolution in automated editing? Maybe. Though the technology gives some pretty handy insights into improving a writing sample, it doesn’t necessarily account for when a writer deliberately wants to break the rules. Imagine Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer run through this thing and you’ll get the idea. On the other hand, for writers who may be just learning to hone their craft, this could be a life (and budget) saver. Check out the story and even test some of your own writing. — http://bit.ly/151-algorithm
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