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Back at the beginning of the month, Emily at Red House Books declared that July is NetGalley month and we couldn’t be happier! After all, what are the summer months for if not escaping the heat with a good book (and some serious air conditioning)? Emily set a challenge to read as many NetGalley books as possible throughout the month . . . what a great excuse to plow through the digital TBR pile!

Now that it’s nearly August, Emily will be hosting a Twitter chat to wrap up NetGalley month. Follow @WilowRedHouse and @NetGalley, and use #NetGalleyMonth to chat with Emily, Lindsey Rudnickas of NetGalley, and other declared NetGalley month readers! Here are all the details:

Date: Friday July 29th

Time: 5:00pm EST

Where: Twitter, #NetGalleyMonth

I also want to thank Emily and all the other bloggers and tweeters out there who declared themselves and have been spending July with their noses buried in their e-readers. Check out this massive list of declared NetGalley Month readers. . . if you’re not on this list, check out Emily’s post to find out how to DECLARE YOURSELF!

 

Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My!

Among Stories

Bookworm1858

Baffled Books

The ELIFYLOP

Mom Reads My Books

Musings From A to Z

Starry Sky Books

Miss Remmers’ Review

Classic Vasilly

The Novel Nymph

Words That Fly

The O.W.L.

Oh My Books

Smart Girls Read

Deea’s Journal

Ex Libris

Writing Crazy Me

A Journey In Reading

Book Savvy Babe

The Book Monsters

Javaintheam

Wicked Awesome Books

A Book and a Latte

Fade Into Fantasy

Urban Girl Reader

My Disorganized Ramblings

Librarian Mouse

Kimberfus

Vy’s Blog

Fridge of Books

The Paperback Princess

The Firefly Book Loft

Kaitlyn in Bookland

Bea’s Book Nook

Book Retreat

Amethyst Daydreams

Imaginary Reads

Imaginary Reads

Rachel Reader

Tink’s Place

Sapphired Dragon

Lisa’s World of Books

Overflowing Shelf

bookchilla

GothamGal

Hott Books

teeny104

Karen’s Book Reviews

Basia’s Bookshelf

The Cozy Reader

See Scoot Read

@ShutUpImReading

@Cubicleblindnes

@StuckInBooks

@BeckysWLblog

@whatchYAreading

Rachel L: via Facebook

 

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Special Guest Host(ess) Kassia Krozser Leads #FollowReader Chat with Guest Kevin Smokler this Thursday at 4pm ET

This week’s #FollowReader chat will be even more special than usual. That’s because not only will we have a fabulous guest – one Kevin Smokler (@weegee) of BookTour.com, but we will also have a fabulous guest host: BookSquare.com’s Kassia Krozser (@booksquare).

With the combined wondertwin “K” powers of Kassia and Kevin, you guys are in for a huge treat. The chat is largely in celebration of BookTour.com’s relaunch, but is more so a chance for authors, publicists and readers to talk about how books and readers are connecting, and ways to facilitate that connection. If you know Kassia and Kevin, you know this will no doubt be a fun-, and info-filled #FollowReader hour.

BookTour.com's @weegee

About Kevin Smokler
Kevin Smokler is an author, journalist, speaker and entrepreneur. He’s the editor of the anthology Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times (Basic Books, June 2005), which was a San Francisco Chronicle notable book of 2005. His writing has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The LA Times, Fast Company, and on National Public Radio.

In 2007, Kevin Smokler founded with Chris Anderson (editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine) BookTour.com, the world’s largest online directory of author and literary events. Kevin now serves as the company’s CEO, regularly speaking at publishing industry conferences and book festivals throughout North America. In April of 2008, Amazon purchased a minority stake in BookTour.com.

About Kassia Krozser

BookSquare.com's @BookSquare

Kassia Krozser has seen the future and it is good: more people are reading and writing than ever before. She knows that, unlike the dinosaurs, smart people in the publishing business can adapt to changing economics and reader behavior. Kassia dissects this world with love and skepticism at booksquare.com.

Helpful Hints for the #FTR uninitiated – To join the #followreader conversation on Thursday, here’s what to do:

  1. Just before 4pm ET today, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (We recommend Tweetchat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet you write.

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While the paper versus plastic battle continues to wage between purists from both sides, a newer, and more complex “discussion” seems to be rearing its hydra-like head lately: What is the right way to read e? This question/argument has also been phrased as, “what is the right way to “publish” (design, format, distribute) e-content?

Truth is (Kat’s truth, anyways), just as in the paper v. plastic kerfuffle, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the “best ebook reading experience” debate. Some folks roll like Dragnet: they want “just the text, ma’am.” Give them a scrollable, legible font, in a clean and easy-to-use format, and they’re in ebook nirvana.

Some people want bells and whistles and interactive experiences.  For these folks, incorporating gaming, and videos and social sharing into the e-reading experience goes without saying. You can have it all, so why wouldn’t you?

And, then there are a growing number of hep cats that want to replicate the booky-book experience digitally. Their holy ereading grail is a digital book read that immerses them in the psychological/emotional equivalent of a physical book read.

Of course, sometimes some of these people swap allegiances – the straight text Dragnet types will get suckered in by the offer of a free enhanced book app; or the have-it-all bells and whistles ereading folks will find themselves enjoying the relative calm of a no-distractions read — demonstrating once again, that the future of reading isn’t just about digital, and the future of digital isn’t just about one kind of digital. We are vast. We contain bookish multitudes.

All of this being a long way round to the introduction of tomorrow’s #FollowReader discussion topic: What does ereading done right mean to you (or, as a publisher, what does epublishing right mean to you)? Are you a fan of one particluar style of ebook? Are you promiscuous when it comes to your ereading habits? Would you rather gouge out your eyes than trade your Kindle in for an iPad?  Well, we want to know!

@EdNawotka

By we, I mean me and our special super wonderful guest for the hour, Publishing Perspective‘s Ed Nawotka, and all the other friendly folks who participate in #FollowReader.

So, join us on Twitter tomorrow (THURSDAY JULY 1) at 4pm EDT sharp for an online talk about what it means to read e.

Almost All About Ed

Ed Nawotka is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives, an online magazine for the international publishing industry that has been called “the BBC of the book world.”

Prior to launching Publishing Perspectives, he worked as book columnist for Bloomberg News and daily news editor of Publishers Weekly.

He has also served as the literary director of the Texas Book Festival, a judge for various book awards, and has worked as a foreign correspondent, a bookseller, literary magazine editor and advertising copywriter.

As a journalist he has reported from more than 30 countries. He continues to be a widely published freelance writer, with his work regularly appearing in publications across the United States, as well as overseas.

Ed’s reviews, essays and reporting have appeared in The New Yorker, The International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, Travel + Leisure, Los Angeles Times, Budget Travel, New Statesman, USA Today, and People, among others.

He has appeared as a guest on various television and radio programs, including those on NPR, PRI, BBC, and C-SPAN, and has lectured at numerous universities and institutions.

You can find him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Or write to him directly.

Helpful Hints for the #FTR uninitiated – To join the #followreader conversation on Thursday, here’s what to do:

  1. Just before 4pm ET today, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (We recommend Tweetchat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet you write.

Looking forward to chatting with you!

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BookSwim.com's Nick Ruffilo (@bookswim)

We bookish folks currently live in a funny and expanding universe. Funny and expanding because much of it, for many of us largely takes place virtually. Well, #followreader is one prime example. And, chatting about books and publishing outside of #followreader with fellow Twitter bookish tweeps is another. As are: all the groups and fan sites and friends of a bookish feather we hang out with on Facebook. Did I forget to mention book blogs? Perish the thought! Bookish blogs are a big virtual stop for many of us.

Added to this is the increasingly (again, for many – not all – of us), digital nature of reading itself. Ebooks and ibooks and book apps and whatever will electronic reading gizmo or format will come out in the seconds it takes me to finish typing this sentence — many things about the lit life have gone virtual.

So, it’s pretty fabulous to consider the flip side of all this online activity — it can lead to some wonderful real world interactions with real world books. Consider if you will: I’m in Cambridge a few weeks ago. I casually tweet about being in Cambridge. Not moments later, my Twitter buddy @ConMartin (whom I have never met in real life), direct messages me back, and asks if I’d like to meet for coffee. REALLY meet. For REAL coffee. Well, how cool is that? Long story short, we did meet (real coffee was nixed in favor of real frosty adult beverages). And Constance gave me one of the best tours of Harvard Yard and Harvard BOOKSTORE (definitely worth a visit) that anyone could ever hope for.

@conmartin + @katmeyer meet IRL

In addition, we have a really great conversation, and I learn more about Constance’s own love of books — real booky books– and “in real life” book clubs. I, on the other hand, was able to impart to her some of the reasons I’m crazy about e-reading opportunities and online reading communities.

This is but one example of a bonding with virtual book buddy in the physical plane — another being, just last night I got to meet @susanmpls for the first time in real life for a real dinner at a real restaurant. (more accurately: a really fattening and delicious dinner at a really fabulous Italian restaurant). We talked a lot. A LOT. Almost entirely about books and publishing, but also about chocolate, and family, and – come to think of it, it was mostly about books and publishing.

Begs the question, if virtual relationships can manifest in the real world, what of the connection between physical books and ebooks? I’m not one of those alarmists (I use the term with a tiny grain of salt – please do not take offense all you alarmists, you) who worry that the paper book will be obliterated from the planet. I think paper and plastic will co-exist nicely for as long as we flesh and blood readers remain more real than virtual. But, I have also been running into a lot of cool things happening with booky books lately that make me more and more excited about the book as a real life object. One is visual search, which is a technology that allows the physical to be married to the virtual via smart phones ( QR codes for example, only, visual search ot less bar code-y and a lot more seamlessly integrated into your day to day life).

I’m working on a post over at my day job (Tools of Change) that will offer a glimpse into just how cool this technology is, and how rapidly it’s evolving. So, go over there and check it out tomorrow. (Fingers crossed it will be up tomorrow — I swear, Jamey!).

I’ve also run into some booky-bookish touchstones lately that while are not in the least bit high-tech, do a fabulous job of blurring the lines of what a book is and what the physical book as object means to us as flesh and blood readers. Another story for you: Last month I’m frantically running around BookExpo America, and I have the good fortune of meeting up with the calm, cool and collected Nick Ruffilo of BookSwim.com. We catch up (in real life, for a change) — Nick telling me some of the very interesting things that BookSwim has in store in the near future, and before parting ways, we decide to do the proper IRL thing and exchange real papery business cards. In my usual uncool, uncalm, uncollected manner, I fumble through the black hole that is my purse, looking for one undamaged and mostly legible business card. Nick, on the other hand, reaches calmly into his messenger bag and pulls out an old, leather-bound book:

Nick's book

How odd, you might think – as did I.

But, Nick is full of surprises. Turns out his book is no mere book. His book hides many secrets.

Nick's business card holder

Yeah – that’s cool. As a hobby, and side-gig, Nick takes old, damaged books and converts them into really cool bookish artifacts-with-a-purpose.

It’s interesting how the virtual and the real worlds of books and the bookish tend to collide. Interesting in a good way, I think.

p.s. – Check out Nick’s etsy store. He creates his secret compartment books on request. I might have gone and gotten one. And I might love it to death and highly recommend getting one yourself, if you’re so inclined.

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I was speaking with a publisher yesterday who is all excited about plans to include book club guides in many of their forthcoming books.  Yes, book club guides sound like a nice idea, but the excitement she was expressing over the prospect kind of threw me for a loop. Reading guides?  Surely this is not something to get excited about.

A little more discussion proved that I am wrong. Reading guides are hot – largely because book clubs are very hot, and publishers are excited about any way they can think of to make a title a more likely prospect for a book club pick.

Further proof of the book club renaissance — I only recently noticed libraries stocking “Book Club Kits” — multiple copies of a book which can be checked out by a single member for an entire book club, along with discussion questions and background information on the author.  Apparently, libraries have been making such kits available for a while now, but lately — libraries who have these kits can’t keep up with the demand.

Another indication? I recently got an email from Peter, a fellow who runs Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations. Apparently he’s looking to expand his offerings of book club books. Why? Well, the book club community has recently discovered FlashLight Worthy’s book club lists, love them – and are clamoring for more.

What’s the reason for this renewed interest in, and popularity of book clubs ? Perhaps it’s because there seems to be a book club for everyone, and they are taking place in all kinds of forms. Some book club members are finding one another, and conducting discussions online. Others are holding on-site book club meetings during lunch breaks at work. There are Twitter book clubs (e.g.:TwitterBookClub; Picador Book Club, JBC Twitter Book Club); book clubs for mothers and  daughters; and even Twitter Book Clubs just for Moms.

Will the increasing prevalence of e-reading devices and social software make book clubs even more popular? Lots of e-book book clubs are already in existence, and with online book and reading communities like BookGlutton, book club members don’t even need to meet at the same time, much less the same place.

We’d love to hear from you — are you in a book club? Is it an “In Real Life” book club, or a virtual one? How did your book club form? What unites the members of your club – genre, relationships, geography? What do you love most about your book club? Why do you think book clubs are enjoying new found popularity?

Let us know in the comments below, and who knows? We just might be doing a #FollowReader discussion on the book club renaissance in the near future.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for new book club lists for Flashlight Worthy, please contact Peter: info@flashlightworthy.com.

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This Friday, December 18, look back at 2009 with Salon book critic Laura Miller, who will join our weekly #FollowReader conversation from 4-5pm ET to talk about her favorite books of the year, how she discovered them, and how social media and other technology has influenced the process of finding, reading, and discussing books.  Laura is also the author of The Magician’s Book: A Skeptic’s Adventures in Narnia, published this year, so we’ll also hear about how being an author has affected her role as critic. 

Salon's Laura Miller

 Laura has been reviewing books for Salon since 1995, when she helped found the online publication. Recently, she revamped Salon‘s review strategy to highlight books her readers are likely to love, and to bring more transparency to the process, so readers can see what books didn’t make the cut and why. Find out more here

Also worth checking out are Salon’s Best Fiction Picks for 2009, its  Best Nonfiction Picks, and its Best Books of the Decade

If you can’t join the discussion, watch this space next week for a recap of the highlights. 

To join the #followreader conversation on Friday, here’s what to do: 

  1. Just before 4pm ET,  log in to Twitter or whatever interface you use (we recommend Tweetchat)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking Laura Miller (@magiciansbook) a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet 

NOTE: TweetChat refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion. 

Please feel free to suggest topics for upcoming #followreader chats below.  

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Last Friday on #followreader, we were very fortunate to have the lovely AND smart, Laura Dawson join us for a discussion on the new Barnes and Noble dedicated ereading device, the nook, as well as some conversation about Laura’s new venture Bloggapedia, and the controversy surrounding the practice of sharing ebooks with friends — is it piracy?

 

Highlights from the conversation:
The Nook:

  • $259 (preorder online – not currently available for instore purchase)
  • Exclusive In-Store Content — nook offers users the ability to read any ebook b+n carries via wifi while inside a Barnes and Noble brick and mortar store
  • eBook Sharing — great idea: nook users can virtually loan their purchased ebooks – one at a time, for up to 14 days. Catches are, owner doesn’t have access to the title during the loan period, AND worse – publishers can opt out of the program (many have already indicated they will do so).
  • SD Slot — users can sideload content (get files from their own computer, etc) and device’s hardware memory need not be a problem
  • Free eBook with Pre-order –  Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point is yours for free when you pre-order a Nook.
  • Full Color touch screen AND eink screen — browse for books via color screen, read on eink screen.
Bloggapedia:

 

  • First curated blog directory
  • Users can rate and tag blogs (the more who participate, the more refined the blog curation becomes)
  • Bloggapedia blogs will be available via subscription formatted for reading on the nook AND free online for reading via webbrowsers

eBook Sharing VS. Piracy:

  • readers want to be able to loan their ebooks to friends
  • publishers and authors worry that ebook loans could cut into potential sales
The full transcript from the discussion can be found here.

 

Related links
the nook

Laura Dawson’s 1st impressions of the nook http://bit.ly/36TmDk

http://paidcontent.org/article/419-barnes-noble-wont-sell-nook-to-go-in-all-stores/

twitter nook contact (answers for your nook questions) @eBooksBN

Bloggapedia:

read more about bloggapedia http://bit.ly/PT1Bo

ebook sharing versus piracy:

from @dearauthor “readers have copyright rights 2″ http://bit.ly/Qd5fJ

“Trust Your Readers” from @brianoleary http://bit.ly/Mmdld

http://dealnews.com/features/e-Book-Readers-Cheat-Sheet-Amazon-Kindles-Barnes-Noble-Nook-jet-Book-more/321945.html

On e-Reading Devices in General:

E-Book Fans Keep Format in Spotlight http://bit.ly/2RyORD

http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009/10/25/should-i-buy-an-ebook-reader-this-year/

http://www.magellanmediapartners.com/index.php/mmcp/article/a_mobile_bibliography/

http://technologizer.com/2009/10/26/the-e-reader-explosion-a-cheat-sheet/

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