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Web & Tech

St. Martin’s Press & Swagbucks Launch the READ Digital Literature Channel

St. Martin's Press LogoSt. Martin’s Press has teamed up with the Swagbucks website to launch a new digital literature channel called READ.

According to the press release, “READ connects authors with potential readers using rich data on genre preferences, favorite subjects, news content and other behavioral trends to match individual titles to the most relevant prospective readers.”

Some of the authors that will be featured include Mary Kay Andrews, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Rainbow Rowell, and more. Visitors will be able to access excerpts, book trailers, bonus content, and newsletters. What do you think?

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Fashion Writing

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Essayist Linda Tirado in Talks to Pen Memoir

789775_1384450733.85Writer Linda Tirado has signed with Foundry Literary & Media agent Mollie Glick.

Tirado became an internet sensation due to the popularity of her essay, “Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, poverty thoughts.” According to The Huffington Post, the piece has attracted “several million reads.”

In November 2013, Tirado set up a GoFundMe page to raise money so she could write a book about the issues presented in her essay. Penguin is in talks with Tirado and Glick to publish a memoir reportedly entitled Hand to Mouth. The book will chornicle Tirado’s “time on the lower rungs of the economic ladder.”

How To Control Your Email

jillduffyI know from personal experience that a flooded email inbox can seriously disrupt your writing process.

Author and software expert Jill Duffy just published Get Organized: How to Clean Up Your Messy Digital Life, so we asked her for some pointers about keeping email under control. She offered this advice:

The most important way I keep email at bay is to not believe that email is too important. The more we believe that email is “crucial,” than a life-changing opportunity might be buried somewhere in that inbox, or that we are letting down every single person who is awaiting a reply, the more email gets us. Being in control of email is so much about letting go. In the grand scheme of things, email isn’t that important. You don’t need to tend to it all day long. You can delete messages—you don’t have to save everything.

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Why Talking Points Memo Left Flipboard

tpmThe political news site Talking Points Memo (TPM) is no longer available at “Flipboard, Google Currents and a number of other similar aggregator sites.”

In a letter to readers, TPM founder Josh Marshall explained his logic and asked: “Are Operations Like Flipboard Scams Against Publishers?” Check it out:

But say you find TPM on Flipboard, decide it’s great and add it to your viewing routine on Flipboard. Probably you just keep reading us on Flipboard. Clearly you like Flipboard or you wouldn’t be using it. So why would you start visiting TPM? You likely won’t. That may be great for you. It’s definitely great for Flipboard. But is it great for us? Not really. It boosts my ego, I guess. And more people may know about us. But where and how does that turn into our ability to convert that ‘audience’ into a revenue stream that allows us to create our product? I don’t think it does. Or it does in so in such a trivial and unquantifiable way as to be meaningless.

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Wayback Machine Archives Sites Closed by Shutdown

iaThe federal government shutdown has closed a number of important websites, but the Internet Archive can help.

Using the site’s Wayback Machine, you can access captured copies of the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts or NASA. Here’s more about the public service:

Many government sites are displaying messages saying that they are not being updated or maintained during the government shut down, but the following sites are some who have completely shut their doors today.  Clicking the logos will take you to a Wayback Machine archived capture of the site.    Please donate to help us keep the government websites available.  You can also suggest pages for us to archive so that we can document the shut down.

(Link via)

StoryArena Helps Writers Test Ideas

penpaperlife304

StoryArena is a new site to help writers test their story ideas within a growing community of readers.

The site works on credits, rewarding readers for providing feedback to writers. If you don’t want to read other writers’ work, you can pay for credits to get your ideas reviewed. The developer explained:

Try different variations of your story to see which perform best. Find out what people think, and how it makes them feel. Earn achievements. Climb the leaderboard. You retain all rights and ownership to the work you publish. You have full control over your work at any time. Each submission is limited to 1600 characters, approximately 200-300 words, depending on your writing style.

(Image via qisur)

Scott Berkun Shares Advice for Writers Working Remotely

In his new book, The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work, author Scott Berkun outlined what he learned while working as a manager at the major blog company.

On today’s Morning Media Menu, Berkun shared insights that can help editors, publishers and writers cope with the rapidly changing digital workplace. Press play below to listen, but here’s an excerpt:

Working remotely at all is considered taboo at some companies, but I think that is foolish. It should all be focused on the results instead of these superficial characteristics. If someone can work well remotely, then where they are in the world shouldn’t really matter that much. It should be focused on their output and their results.

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Mike & Judy Radio Show Relaunched as Arts & Seizures

Authors Mike Edison and Judy McGuire will relaunch their Mike & Judy radio show as “Arts & Seizures” this weekend.

The founders have recorded 100 episodes on the indie network, Heritage Radio Network. ”We thought it was time that the name of our show better reflect our content,” explained co-host McGuire.

Mike & Judy will continue to feature an incredible range of guests, across a broad spectrum of the arts – from high-minded writers to professional wrestlers, actors, comedians, chefs, musicians, journalists, directors, and producers … The first episode of Arts & Seizures debuts live on the Heritage Radio Network on Sunday, September 15 at 2pm, with special guest Roger Clark, performing with his band, Perp Walk. Clark is one of New York’s favorite television journalists, having consistently broken new and often mind-boggling ground on NY1.

BookVibe Recommends Books Based on Your Twitter Feed

The tech company Parakweet has launched the beta version of a new book recommendation engine called BookVibe.

BookVibe users will receive book suggestions based on information culled from the streams of their personal Twitter accounts. At the moment, the developers are currently building technology that will search through Facebook pages as well. Here’s more about the service:

BookVibe digs through your Twitter stream to show you books being discussed by your friends (the people you follow)…We compile this for you on one handy page and send out a weekly email digest highlighting books from your book stream.

Feedly Sold Nearly $500,000 in Subscriptions in 8 Hours

How much would you pay for a lifetime subscription to your RSS reading service? RSS reader Feedly raised nearly $500,000 by selling a limited edition lifetime subscription for $99.

AppNewser has more:

Delivering RSS feeds got a lot more interesting and profitable now that Google has left the building. As of July 1, 2013 when Google reader shuttered its RSS service, Feedly has seen a drastic increase in users and now the company managed to raise nearly $500,000 in subscriptions in a span of eight short hours. Feedly introduced its premium lifetime RSS service was priced at $99.99 sold out within the first day – a total of 5,000 happy backers. The money will go toward better hardware to run Feedly.

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