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Archives: July 2013

OED Seeks Early Example of ‘Def’ Usage

The editors of the Oxford English Dictionary have reached out to readers around the globe, seeking an example of “def” used in popular culture before 1981. You can read the current “def” definition at this link.

Do you remember reading or listening to that word before 1981? You could get your find added to the prestigious dictionary. Here’s more from the editors, but you should read the whole fascinating post:

The word def, meaning ‘excellent; outstanding; “cool”’ is one of the earliest and most prominent terms to come to mainstream slang from hip-hop, but its early history is shrouded in confusion. The first clear example recorded in the OED is actually from language writer William Safire … it seems likely that def originated among rap musicians as a variant of death in expressions like to be death on in the sense ‘to be extremely good at’.

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WriterDuet Helps You Collaborate Online

Ever wish you could work together online with your writing buddy?

WriterDuet lets you write at the same time, giving you many common word processor features like pagination, notes, headers and footers, spell check and auto-save. You can test the free software at this link and export your work after a writing session. Check it out:

WriterDuet is a real-time collaborative screenwriting app that allows any number of writers to (privately) work together on a screenplay … WriterDuet offers video chat when you’re both online, and text chat is always available .. We import/export Final Draft, Celtx, Fountain and PDF files. 

Indie Publisher ‘Zombies Need Brains’ on Kickstarter

Editors Patricia Bray and Joshua Palmatier hope to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter to launch a new small press called Zombies Need Brains LLC.

Not only will the funds be used to launch this venture, they also intend to publish a short story collection entitled Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens Anthology. We’ve embedded a video about the project above–what do you think? Here’s more about the project:

Backers of this project will be creating a new force in the SF&F field, a publishing house that will fill a gap in the genre that we feel is growing by creating a market for original anthology projects open to outstanding authors, regardless of their publishing house affiliations. While some publishers still offer anthologies featuring their house writers, the market for open anthologies has been shrinking. With your help, we’d like Zombies Need Brains LLC to fill this gap.

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Google To Boost Starbucks Wi-Fi

Do you use Starbucks as your writing base? You are about to get a Wi-Fi boost as Google brings new Wi-Fi infrastructure to 7,000 Starbucks outlets.

AppNewser has all the details:

The internet is getting faster at Starbucks now that Google is replacing AT&T at the nation’s largest coffee chain and home away from home workstation. Google is promising a 10x boost in speed with up to 100x boost in speed in Google Fiber cities like Austin. The transition will start in August and take about eighteen months to complete. Just look for the “Google Starbucks” SSID.

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What Is New Adult Fiction?

Our Self-Published Bestseller List has been packed with books labeled as “new adult fiction” and we’ve spotted some articles about the evolving genre.

To help GalleyCat readers, we created a quick primer on new adult fiction, complete with free samples of books by leading adult fiction writers.

The label was first used in 2009 when St. Martin’s Press hosted a contest looking for stories that could be marketed to both YA readers and adult readers. The contest described for new adult fiction as books “with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience.”

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Never Buy Email Addresses To Promote Your Book

I would like to suggest a simple rule for writers: NEVER buy email addresses to promote your book.

Last week, I discovered an online outlet offering to sell lists containing the email addresses of over 15,000 HubPages members and  more than 20,000 Amazon forum members so writers can spam unsuspecting readers. The outlet offered to sell these addresses for $15 and $20 respectively.

As someone who receives hundreds of unsolicited emails every week, I will not link to this site and I STRONGLY advise aspiring writers not to use these services. The only way to find new readers is to earn them honestly through social network outreach, author readings, online writing and other conventional promotional routes.

If Books Had Ice Cream Flavors

Today (the last day of July) marks the end of National Ice Cream Month. Philadelphia-based publisher Quirk Books designed a list of “ice cream flavors inspired by books” which includes “Berry Potter & The Container of Secrets” and “War & Peach.”

“Whirled War Z” ice cream boasts a flavor profile that consists of gummy worms crawling “through a swirl of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream. Beware of the random splattering of cherries.”

What book-themed ice cream recipes would you whip up?

Barack Obama: ‘those old times aren’t coming back’

Amazon has released a free Kindle Single called President Barack Obama: The Kindle Singles Interview.

In the short digital book, Kindle Singles editor David Blum interviewed our President, getting some commentary on the state of the writing industry. President Obama had this comment in the eBook:

It used to be there were local newspapers everywhere. If you wanted to be a journalist, you could really make a good living working for your hometown paper. Now you have a few newspapers that make a profit because they are national brands, and journalists are having to scramble to piece together a living, in some cases as freelancers and without the same benefits that they had in a regular job for a paper. What’s true in journalism is true in manufacturing and is true in retail. What we have to recognize is that those old times aren’t coming back.

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Hip Hop Star Prodigy Launches Imprint with Akashic Books

Albert Johnson, better known as Prodigy from hip hop duo Mobb Deep, has launched his own urban and crime fiction imprint, Infamous Books.

The imprint was formed through a partnership with indie publisher, Akashic Books.

The imprint opened with Prodigy’s novella, H.N.I.C. The hip hop star collaborated with UK fantasy writer Steven Savile on this book.


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CBS Renews Stephen King’s ‘Under the Dome’

CBS has decided to renew its adaptation of Stephen King‘s Under the Dome, leading with an episode written by King next summer.

The show currently averages and Amazon 13.84 million viewers and Amazon reported that it is the most popular show on its Prime Instant Video streaming service. Here’s more from the release:

“We’re excited to tell more stories about the mystery of the dome and the secrets in Chester’s Mill, and are thrilled to have the master storyteller himself, Stephen King, tell the first one of next season,” said CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler.

 

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