Tech Tip: A Roundup
Last week was a big one for digital literature. Amazon released its much-anticipated Kindle Fire, a big-six publisher embraced self-publishing, and a tech-savvy writer won the National Book Award.
Here’s what you need to know:
Kindle Fire on fire: The tablet arrived on the market last week with nothing less than the typical Amazon fanfare. The device is, of course, seen as a direct competitor to Apple’s iPad. It is also predicted to be one of the hot items of the 2011 holiday shopping season, with the company on track to sell over 4 million of the tablets by the end of the year.
In the week following the release, technology reporters have given the device positive, but not glowing, reviews. Some complain about its limited memory and number of available apps. Others complain about its physical design and navigation system. But most praise it for its low price and web browsing capabilities.
Book Country goes big: It’s a sign of the times. Penguin Group recently released a new suite of self-publishing tools on its Book Country website, making it another one of the “Big Six” publishers to take the plunge.
The service is designed to help aspiring writers launch their work on both print and digital media platforms. At prices ranging from $99 to $549, as well as a share of future profits, authors receive help formatting their books and distributing them to Amazon, Apple, and other book retailers.
The move places Penguin in competition with Amazon’s self-publishing service. It has also ruffled a few feathers in the self-publishing community.
Jesmyn Ward loves the social webs: After she won the National Book Award for her book, Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward has been launched to star status in the world of arts news and book blogs. We’d just like to add this detail to the extensive reporting: She’s no wallflower when it comes to social media. She tweets prolifically about everything from rap to Bukowski and blogs regularly about her writing process.
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