September 9th, 2010

When a newspaper cuts reviews, bookstores come up with a solution

Newspapers are slashing pages (the Monday Oregonian is a sad shadow of what it used to be). And in many cases, what has been cut is book reviews.

When the San Diego Union Tribune laid off its arts and books critic, local independent bookstores despaired about the lack of book coverage. And then they came up with a creative solution.

“Now several San Diego-area booksellers – Warwick's, Mysterious Galaxy, The Book Works, and The Yellow Book Road – are partnering with the Union Tribune (UT) to provide the content themselves.”

Read more here. [Full disclosure: as a freelance reviewer for the Oregonian, I hope it doesn’t come to that here.]



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But they had the same title....

You can't copyright a title. And it's even harder to come up with a unique title these days, when publishers seem to adore one-word titles.


Over at Publishers Weekly a bookstore owner talks about what happened when she ordered three cartons of Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains for a school and got instead three cartons of a very adult book about S&M by the same name. [At least she didn't have them shipped to the school!]



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Who would Jesus shoot?

I'm on Twitter - @aprilhenrybooks. So I got a new follower today. Her Tweets are mostly Biblical quotes and then this: "Hey Louisvillians -- have you checked out the new gun shop on Hurstbourne Parkway yet? 111 Gun Shop. Nice selection, good prices. FYI."

The juxtaposition seems a tad jarring.



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Writing through the pain

Author Cheryl Rainfield’s Scars - a book that touches on several fraught topics - has met a warm reception. In an essay for Hunger Mountain, Cheryl talks about why books were a lifeline for her during her awful childhood, as well as her journey to publication.



In part, she says, “Many of my early drafts probably had too much raw and unrelenting pain, because that’s what I knew. But I wanted my book to be a good read—emotionally connecting and compelling as only a story can be. And I wanted to make sure people could hear my story—that there was enough light and hope to get them through. If I put too much pain in, people would turn away. But if I put too little in, I wouldn’t be true to myself or my experiences. I wanted people to understand what it’s like to be sexually abused—the effects, the trauma of it—and what it’s like to use self-harm to cope.”

She also reveals that the arms on the cover of the book are hers.

Read more of her moving essay here.



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