Kirkus responds to an instance of plagiarism by a self-published writer.
B. Mitchell Cator plagiarized from the work of Sergio Troncoso, among others, in his recent novel.
The same day I’d read the Atlantic’s coverage of the problem of plagiarism within self-publishing, I got an email from Dave Clapper, founding editor of SmokeLong Quarterly, an online literary magazine. Clapper said that B. Mitchell Cator, author of All the Good that Remains, a novel that Kirkus Indie had starred, had plagiarized the work of more than a dozen authors, some of whom he’d published in SmokeLong. Clapper was appropriately distressed and provided evidence both alarming and incontrovertible ...
An insight into copyright law.
Jan Constantine is the former general counself of the Authors Guild.
American copyright law has never been exactly crystalline, and there is no shortage of lawsuits as a result. How do you copyright your work (mail it to yourself?), and what are the benefits of doing so? Jan F. Constantine recently stepped down from her position as the general counsel for the Authors Guild, which advocates for the rights of writers, but we talked to her while she was still with the organization and asked her about copyright issues.
Jan F ...
David Sandberg of Porter Square Books.
Porter Square Books opened in 2004 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and immediately fostered intense loyalty among their customers. Two of those customers, married couple Dina Mardell and David Sandberg, bought the general bookstore in 2013 and continued Porter Square’s formula for success—encouraging rampant consumption of books and coffee. Here, Sandberg talks about “Puff the Magic Dragon,” H Is for Hawk, and the ongoing “shop local” movement.
If Porter Square were a religion, what would be its icons and tenets?
Our icons ...
We talk to the indie bookstore's owners.
Andrea Avantaggio and Peter Schertz of Maria's Bookshop.
Like indie bookstores everywhere, Maria’s Bookshop reflects the interests and inclinations of its community. Dusty Teal opened the Durango, Colorado, store in 1984 and set the bookshelves among Navajo rugs, an Old Town canoe, original art, and antiques. There is no “Maria”; the store’s name originated from Teal’s affinity for the work of potter Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso, New Mexico. Current co-owners Andrea Avantaggio and Peter Schertz bought Maria’s in 1998. Here Avantaggio talks about Edward Abbey’s visit to ...
A few self-published poetry collections worth paying attention to.
The rise of self-publishing has given short story collections, which have been notoriously tough to sell to traditional publishers, a chance to find their readers and, in some cases, traditional publishers (see White Man’s Problems by Kevin Morris). Self-pubbed poetry collections are also on the ascendance. One promising voice in Indieland is L.C. Williams, a sharp-eyed Southerner who writes of endurance, race, love, gender, acceptance, and mason jars of sweet tea.
The title of Williams’ debut collection, Quite ...
Judging a book by its cover.
When designing a book cover, keep in mind that the image—both full size and thumbnail—must stop readers in their tracks. “Ensure that it stands out on an Amazon page next to 10 other covers, all postage-stamp size,” said Guy Kawasaki, author ofAPE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book. “This means bold graphics, big sans-serif font. Don’t even bother looking at it 6” x 9” printed on paper. Hardly anyone will see it this way.”
It’s not ...
Q&A with Pete Mulvihill at Green Apple Books.
Kevin Hunsanger, Pete Mulvihill, Mergatroid and Kevin Ryan in front of Green Apple Books.
San Francisco’s Green Apple Books was founded by Richard Savoy in 1967. He expanded the store into its current three buildings and 8,000 square feet and gradually sold it to current owners Kevin Hunsanger, Pete Mulvihill, and Kevin Ryan. Green Apple won Publishers Weekly’s Bookstore of the Year in 2014; that same year, they also opened their second store, Green Apple Books on the Park. We spoke with co-owner Mulvihill about Green Apple’s many virtues—occasional offerings of free ...
Some tips on writing self-published children's books
Captain No Beard
On a recent Kids Roundtable discussion hosted by Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing at the Bryant Park Hotel in Manhattan, several bestselling indie children’s authors—Carole P. Roman, E.G. Foley (husband-and-wife team Eric and Gael Foley), and Ally Nathaniel—talked about getting started writing children’s and young-adult lit.
Roman’s son Michael Phillip Cash, a bestselling self-help author, dared her to write her own book. She did, but it didn’t sell. “I saw all other children’s books that were selling well had series ...