P – Publisher

PAfter a fun diversion yesterday, I guess I am back at it with a more serious topic! Today I wanted to consider publishers, an industry we have had around probably since the printing press, and which is full of big publishers and independent. I am even helping finalize and edit a book right now which will probably at first just be locally published, at the printer’s, and distributed from there. Hmmm… should make sure we end up with a copy at the library…

As someone who is not published, and not yet at the point to try or be turned down, I am still new and bright-eyed and optimistic about the world of publishing and publishers. Well, other than all of the stories around being turned down by publishers. Those leave one feeling a bit nervous.

Listing myself as a “writer” on Twitter has led to an additionally interesting connection, though, as I see so many authors there, who are talking about their publishing, or else I am seeing the independent (and big) publishers there. Probably a good starting place for figuring out how/where to try to get published, and trying to make a direct connection.

So what advantages do there seem to be with the big publishers? Well, there’s the marketing they have behind them, and their ability to let people know about your book. Whether that’s in publishing catalogs or through all sorts of advertising channels, they can help make these sorts of things happen. I wonder how this relates to getting books at libraries, since there is the added layer of the vendors generally, and of the librarians making decisions.

But increasingly, you have people turning to e-publishing options, which seems to be increasingly dominated by Amazon. Amazon will help promote these books, or at least the ones that get popular, and then they are readily available on the Kindle. And if your goal is “to be published,” this seems like a fantastic route.

By this point in the challenge, however, I have writers and bloggers aplenty reading this site (say thankya), and I would welcome any and all of your thoughts on publishers or the publishing decision process. Self-Publish? Big publishing houses? Independent? Weigh in with your thoughts!

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E – e-Book

ESo part of the goal in the A to Z Challenge is to keep the posts short, so I’m not 100% sure why I decided to tackle e-books in a short format! What sorts of topics could I discuss on e-Books?

I think really, the point of this post, to keep it short, really just needs to be, aren’t e-Books neat? The ability to have a whole bunch of books, on a single device. Being able to carry a virtual library with you wherever you go. Great for travel, which is when I get a lot of my reading done. Which might be bad, since I don’t travel enough…

But are e-Books neat enough? The answer is probably, not yet. What do you do when you’re done with it? Keep it forever. Okay… that’s a long time. So no donating it to the local library, no loaning it to a friend, no giving it to someone as a gift. No downsizing your collection – since, after all, it’s portable, so who would want to ever reduce the size of the collection? (Librarian Sarcasm)

Okay, there’s elements of some of those things you can do. And, better yet, there is a growing capacity for checking out e-Books from libraries. However, there is by no means an industry standard to this yet, as some publishers want to charge a ton for electronic access – something that’s done with print journals in databases, as well – because more people can access the book then. Or, they’re limiting access to how many people can have the book at a time. Or they’re adding a limit to the number of times a book can be checked out before it must be bought again. So it isn’t perfect yet.

So while I like my convenient books, I like my free access to books too – maybe especially books I’m not sure about, or books I know I won’t be reading again.

Where are you at? Completely adopted e-Books? Waiting to see? Half and half? And have you checked your local library for e-books? Let me know in the comments below!

Reviewing the Reference Interview

Tonight I start my first evening at the reference desk, and I was brushing up on the Reference Interview and found an old assignment I had done on the subject. It looks like it had been my duty to read everyone’s write-ups and post a collection of our experiences. We had played at “secret shoppers” talking to librarians, seeking their help with a question of our own choosing.

It looks like I had a lot of data to go through! Lots of insights. I am going to share this write-up, figuring it’s helpful insight about one of the more important and constant aspects of any librarian job: reference. I am making a couple of edits, but for the most part, with a bit of intro here, I figure it’s pretty good. This is something originally written by me, and the data is mainly from students in my course with me. If I had kept up my blogging more while getting the degree, this might have ended up posted far sooner! I do have a couple of references, and I will leave those as-is.

It’s also kind of fun to read it and think that it’s definitely in my same “voice,” something that is solidifying more with more and more time spent writing on a constant basis! Read more of this post

What goes on at a Library when it’s late?

That is all.

New Year’s Malaise

The New Year is supposed to be full of cheer, new possibilities, a new lot in life. I think that’s why, when it doesn’t feel that way for you, it’s even worse – not just that you don’t feel optimistic, but that you don’t feel optimistic, AND you know you’re supposed to.

I’m in a funk, and I feel like talking it out through writing. Writing is my outlet, my dream job, something I take pride in when working other jobs. I haven’t written a lot over here in a while, most of my efforts centered on Comparative Geeks and some fiction world-building. However, I would like to get more over here – and write more fiction – and overall just write more. Three posts a week on Comparative Geeks was just the beginning!

So if you feel like, read on and move through my malaise with me, and join me at the end where I try to find hope and an outlet.

Read more of this post

Bookless Library? Nice!

Read this today: http://www.themarysue.com/bookless-public-library/

Have to say, that is exciting. Not necessarily that I feel like all libraries should become e-libraries — far from it! I am, after all, working on a degree in library and information science! That means that libraries and library districts thinking of new ways to reach users, keep up with technology, and be relevant? That’s good.

This sounds like job security to me. Now all I need is a job at a library…

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