Stuck In An Uncanny Valley of Disappointment

Kane Hsieh writes:

The problem with ebooks as they exist now is the lack of user experience innovation. Like the first television shows that only played grainy recordings of theater shows, the ebook is a new medium that has yet to see any true innovation, and resorts to imitating an old medium. This is obvious in skeuomorphic visual cues of ebook apps. Designers have tried incredibly hard to mimic the page-turns and sound effects of a real book, but these ersatz interactions satisfy a bibliophile as much as a picture of water satisfies a man in the desert. There is no reason I need to turn fake pages. If I'm using a computer to read, I should be able to leverage the connectivity and processing power of that computer to augment my reading experience: ebooks should allow me to read on an infinite sheet, or I should be able to double blink to scroll. I should be able to practice language immersion by replacing words and phrases in my favorite books with other languages, or highlight sections to send to Quora or Mechanical Turk for analysis. There are endless possibilities for ebooks to make reading more accessible and immersive than ever, but as long as ebooks try to be paper books, they will remain stuck in an uncanny valley of disappointment.

Michael Grant's Top Tip(s)

Michael Grant, the bestselling author of the Gone and BZRK series, tells it as he sees it when it comes to writing advice. From The Guardian:

Here comes the serious advice to aspiring writers: Dear Aspirer, if you want to write, write. I can't help you. Maybe someone else can, who knows? Writers often offer up helpful hints, and I've done the same in moments of weakness, but here's the truth as I see it from my own narrow and subjective perch: You can either come up with stories or you can't. You either have the ambition and work ethic to sit there typing for months on end or not. But you do it by doing it. There is no short cut. It's hard, and that's a good thing, because trying and failing, and trying again, and learning how your own mind works, learning the potential and limitations of your own talent, acquiring little tricks of craft, building your confidence through actual success, that's how you do it. That's how you write YA novels or anything else. The long road is the short cut.

Teen Wattpad Author Gets Print Deal

from Publishers Weekly:

Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books [US], has announced it will publish e-book and print editions of The Kissing Booth, a debut book by Beth Reekles, a 17-year-old from South Wales. The novel, which centers on a never-been-kissed teenager who comes face-to-face with her secret crush while running a kissing booth for her school carnival, first appeared to high acclaim on Wattpad, the self-publishing Web site. Random House Children's Publishing UK published the novel as an e-book in December 2012, and it quickly rose to the top of bestseller charts. On April 9, Delacorte will release an e-book edition of The Kissing Booth, and will bring out the first print version of the novel, a trade paperback released under the Ember imprint, on May 14. ... The author, who is currently studying for her A level exams, began writing fiction at the age of 14 on an old laptop her father had given her to use while doing her homework. Her peers clearly connected to her fiction when it appeared on Wattpad: with more than 19 million reads and 40,000 comments to date, The Kissing Booth has garnered more views and most comments than any other fiction title ever posted on the site. Last year, the novel won Wattpad's annual Most Popular Teen Fiction Watty Award, voted on by readers.

International Children's Book Day

Internationaler Künderbuchtag

Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, 2 April, International Children's Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books.

Each year a different National Section of IBBY has the opportunity to be the international sponsor of ICBD. It decides upon a theme and invites a prominent author from the host country to write a message to the children of the world and a well-known illustrator to design a poster. These materials are used in different ways to promote books and reading. Many IBBY Sections promote ICBD through the media and organize activities in schools and public libraries. Often ICBD is linked to celebrations around children's books and other special events that may include encounters with authors and illustrators, writing competitions or announcements of book awards.

Kindles To Be Powered By Remote Servers In (Distant) Future

report from

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has just submitted a new patent that will change the way our Kindle e-Readers and Tablets function. Right now these devices have reached a level where the hardware internals and battery life can't really get much better, without drastically increasing the cost.  The new patent will have your unit actually powered and major processes handled by a remote server or primary station.  Tablets and e-Readers will transform into all in one units to ultra portable display screens with all processes handled by base stations...