Showing posts from June, 2012

Writing more and more books per year...Why should you bother?

Books (Photo credit: henry…) Is it madness? American writers are gearing up to writing more than one book per year - some set themselves the goal of 4 books per year! Of course big name writers who have long been on the NYT best seller list and have the means can do it: they use teams of assistants to help them - people who do the research for them and (probably) write up pieces that they can then use with a minimum of editing. But the others?

Why should any author aspire to writing 4 books a year? A writer on a popular blog, Author Culture, recently wrote that he would "love to be in a position where [he] could churn out upwards of eight titles a year". Why would he ever want to do such an apparently insane thing? Because he is extremely ambitious, that's why: he's planned on producing some 50 to 60 titles over his lifetime as a fiction author, and by speeding up yearly production, he'd be able to achieve his life goal much, much sooner,  in seven years instead …

Euro Crisis: Is Grexit Off the Table?

With the narrow victory of New Democracy, a pro-bailout party in Greece, relegating the anti-bailout radical left Syriza party to second place, can we expect "Grexit" - meaning the exit of Greece from the Eurozone - to be off the table?

Not really. Citigroup's chief economist, Willem Buiter (the one who coined the term "Grexit") doesn't think so, and he gives the chances of exit anywhere between 50% and 75%. That's as good as saying it's going to happen for sure, and a lot of the financial world (read: speculators) are of this opinion. They don't see how Greece still mired in debt and with a fast contracting economy can ever dig itself out of the hole's it's in. With 50% unemployment among its youth and the collapse of the welfare state (some 400,000 children are reportedly suffering from hunger), it is difficult to see how the so-called "seeds of dystopia" will not blossom in Greece.

Dystopia? Yes, that is where the Eurozone i…

Can You Make it as an Indie Author?

How to Be Indie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Book Expo of America (BEA), the major annual book pageant in the US, has just concluded and left behind  some interesting indications of where the publishing industry is heading, in particular confirming that self-publishing is the "new frontier for writers" (to use agent Rachelle Gardner's words). 

A new frontier? Maybe but not a very friendly one if we are to believe Author Jennifer Weiner, the keynote speaker for the Book Bloggers Conference, who said and I quote:  "very few indie authors will make it!


And here's another unnerving observation made at the IDPF Digital Book conference about online discovery of books: if a book is not discovered in the top 10-20 results of a query, no chance of discovery! Furthermore, if you consider that it is accepted wisdom that most digital books are discovered by search, then we are all wasting our time marketing on Internet. No need to tweet, blog or post on Facebook...For…

What is the Source of the Euro Crisis: Public Deficits, Cultural Divergences or Globalization?

Explosive Spain: the next challenge to the Euro? (Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video) We all know how the Euro crisis began: with Greece and lies about its public deficit. Then over the next two and a half years, the drama expanded to include Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain. Now the Spanish banking system threatens to collapse and take with it the Euro. But what is really causing the Euro crisis?

Is it "just" a problem of sovereign debt and speculative attacks fed by the bond markets conviction that the Euro is not defended by credible institutions and financial power the way the US dollar is? Or are other factors at work here, in particular cultural divergences and globalization?

Let's take them in turn.

Public Deficits

On June 2nd, Soros, in a memorable and much-discussed speech in Trento (Italy) has made the point that Angela Merkel is the one single source of the crisis: she put a stop to Germany in its traditional role as the engine of a federated Europe. …