Worth Noting: Author gets $4.20 (print book) vs $2.27 (ebook)

The upshot: From an e-book sale, an author makes a little more than half what he or she makes from a hardcover sale.

The new economics of the e-book make the author’s quandary painfully clear: A new $28 hardcover book returns half, or $14, to the publisher, and 15%, or $4.20, to the author. Under many e-book deals currently, a digital book sells for $12.99, returning 70%, or $9.09, to the publisher and typically 25% of that, or $2.27, to the author.


What’s the deal with Banned Books Week?

Every year during Banned Books Week I get asked specifics about what books have been banned and who has banned them.  Many times books we now think of as classics were banned by school systems or even public libraries in the past.  For example, one of my personal favorites, “To Kill A Mockingbird” has been challenged and taken off the shelves of school libraries when parents didn’t like the language used in the novel.

Although books rarely get “banned” in libraries today, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and reminds us of the importance of intellectual freedom.  Basically intellectual freedom means that everyone should have the right to access and express ideas, even if the ideas are unpopular.

This idea comes through in this year’s theme for Banned Books Week:  Think for Yourself and Let Others Do the Same.

Stop by the library to browse our collection of challenged books or pick up a Banned Books Week pin.

Two ways to read [a banned book]

Un libro, una sensación, una canción.

Hmm, how intriguing: we apparently have two ways to read…including reading a banned book:

It turns out that the literate brain contains two distinct pathways for making sense of words, which are activated in different contexts. One pathway is known as the ventral route, and it’s direct and efficient, accounting for the vast majority of our reading. The process goes like this: We see a group of letters, convert those letters into a word, and then directly grasp the word’s semantic meaning.

The second reading pathway – it’s known as the dorsal stream – is turned on whenever we’re forced to pay conscious attention to a sentence, perhaps because of an obscure word, or an awkward subclause, or bad handwriting.
Although scientists had previously assumed that the dorsal route ceased to be active once we became literate, Deheane’s research demonstrates that even fluent adults are still forced to occasionally make sense of texts. We’re suddenly conscious of the words on the page; the automatic act has lost its automaticity.
Read more at Wired’s Frontal Cortext blog


‘Third World America’ : How the world (or, er, one magazine in Canada) see the US

third world america

The Sept. 20, 2010 issue of Maclean’s Magazine (a Canadian newsweekly, much like Time or Newsweek) offers us an article entitled “Third World America: Collapsing bridges, street lights turned off…:the decline of a superpower.”

Do you you agree or disagree with that sentiment?

A pull-quote from the article:

A pared-down police force, how can people be safe, a county judge was asked: “Arm yourselves.”

So, is this the unvarnished truth or merely scare tactics?  What do you think?  Where are we headed as a country, economically- and culturally-speaking?