Conventional wisdom says e-books are destroying the traditional publishing business model. But the story's not that simple. For one thing, flexible pricing allows publishers to hold what amount to one-day-only sales on any given title — which means more people will discover that book.
About three-quarters of public libraries offer e-books, according to the American Library Association. But finding the book you want to read can be a challenge when every publisher has its own licensing rules for libraries — and several major houses don't sell e-books to libraries at all.
Charles Dickens wrote many of his greatest works in serial form, but serial publishing has fallen by the wayside since his day. Now, it's being revived online, and Margaret Atwood is publishing a future-dystopia novel called Positron in installments via the literary website Byliner.
The publishing industry has been in flux for years. First chain stores, then Amazon, then e-books — all combined to create dramatic change. Industry consultant Mike Shatzkin outlines some of the biggest changes, like the recently announced merger of Penguin and Random House.
Cliches are often criticized as the most overused and contemptible phrases in the English language. But writer Hephzibah Anderson says there are times when cliches are not only useful, but also create a sense of camaraderie. And sometimes, she writes in Prospect magazine, only a cliche will do.
Internet memes used to stick around for months on end (remember "Charlie Bit My Finger"?). But in 2012, the shelf-life of an Internet sensation became increasingly fleeting. Funny videos and games are now enjoying only brief moments in the cultural spotlight before they're forgotten.
The Law & Order creator's detective fiction debut isset in New York after the killing of Osama bin Laden. Although The Intercept borrows stylistically from Wolf's television background, he says novel writing allows him "to tell bigger stories on a bigger canvas."
Hyde Park on Hudson tells the story of a love affair between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his distant cousin Margaret "Daisy" Suckley. Historian Geoffrey Ward evaluates the accuracy of the new film and finds it lacking. "It's a very odd film," he says.
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