Sunday, March 30, 2014

NYT: Best Writers Under 40; Readmill Shutters; How We Read/Share News

NYT Best Writers Under 40

This is just one more reason why I'm glad I stopped reading the NYT almost altogether about five years ago. The NYT and Guardian UK are claiming that the best writers are, indeed, under the age of 40. Guardian even titles its post: "Let's Face It, After 40 You're Past It." And the NYT actually said: "They often compose their best and most lasting work when they are young," among other things that will make most sane people cringe. So Randy Susan Meyers did a little research in an effort to disabuse these idiots at these publications and she came up with a list of 41 authors all over 40. Bravo!

I tried to resist writing this -- especially after my plea against categorizing authors. Plus, so many of us hide our age in this world of never-get-old, unearthing this information, even in our Google-ized world, was difficult.

I can tell you from over 20 years experience that I don't think it's possible to tell when a writer is peaking. John Irving has been around since I studied his books in college and he wrote the best book of his career last year...In one Person...that won awards. Once again, yet one more reason to stay away from the NTY altogether. And many authors over 40 won't even show you what they wrote before 40.

You can read the list of 41 who are over 40 here. And there's an easier post with the list here...no ads.

Thank you, Randy Susan Meyers for spotting this and putting the list together.

And one thing is both ironic and for certain: the idiots who wrote these articles clearly have not reached their best moment in time.


Readmill Shutters

This is interesting because we've been seeing what we thought were other established online businesses shutter and close all month. Now Dropbox just acquired Readmill and is doing away with it.

“Readmill’s story ends here,” writes Henrik Berggren, co-founder & CEO of Readmill on the company blog. “Many challenges in the world of ebooks remain unsolved, and we failed to create a sustainable platform for reading. For this, we’re deeply sorry. We considered every option before making the difficult decision to end the product that brought us together.”

There's more here.

You can read a full final letter from Readmill here.

For those who never heard of Readmill, here's a good description from their web site.

I think we're entering a new phase, and only the strongest will last. Hint to authors: if you haven't already done this, you might want to look into indie publishing to have that back up plan if your publisher or small e-press doesn't stick around. It would be a shame for an author with a following and a decent readership to be rendered helpless because a press couldn't figure out how to survive. When you're an author you're in business for yourself. I know it's nice to be part of a team of authors with a small e-press at times. But they only look at you as part of a team, not as an individual.

How We Read/Share News

This article talks about how Americans share news stories, and how often they do it.

 The graphic features new research that delves into American news consumption. According to the survey, 60 percent of Americans read or watch 3 to 10 news stories a day. The research also revealed that 56 percent of those surveyed still pay for a print news subscription and 68 percent of those people subscribe to a local newspaper.

I don't know anything about the company that did this survey, but I have a feeling someone who owns stock in the print newspaper business. I could be wrong about that, but it doesn't make sense to me on just a small scale. It states 60% still read newspapers. The only people I know who still read print newspapers are all over seventy. Many are computer illiterate. And just locally we've lost all our print newspapers completely and we can't even get local news anymore unless we go online. And then there's a cost factor. Newspapers aren't cheap anymore; online news sources are in most cases free as of right now. So there's something not right about this particular survey. I hope it wasn't done at Shady Pines Rest Home.

But there are a few interesting things about sharing news. And I do think the TV stats are accurate. Most of us still do look to TV for news.

You can read more here.





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