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Comment from the book world in May 2012

May 2012

'The engine rooms of fiction'

27 May 2012

'The sprawling fan fiction groups of the internet cover everything from films to TV shows to pop stars, and the strongest tend to cluster around imaginative teenage fiction such as Harry Potter and the Twilight series. It's from these groups that Fifty Shades of Grey has emerged, in the original version, the lead characters were Stephenie Meyer's Edward and Bella, their names later changed for publication.

Published free online, it began its slow burn to bestseller status surrounded by a passionate peer group of fellow fans and writers, more female than male, who are not merely consuming literature, but remixing and co-producing it.

As publishers hunger for popular content while cutting promotional budgets, such ready-formed, literate and ebook reading groups are likely to become the engine rooms of fiction.'

James Bridle in the Observer

'Scrubbing one brick at a time'

21 May 2012

 'I wouldn't use the word "fun" to describe the process (of writing). It's like someone has said "OK, you have to scrub St Paul's Cathedral. Now here's your toothbrush." It looks overwhelming, but you think in terms of scrubbing one brick at a time. One chapter, one sentence, one word at a time, and eventually you'll get there.'

'It's only with fantasy and science fiction that you get this wholesale condemnation: "Well, it has dragons in it, so it's not worth watching." To my mind, that's infuriating. It's ignorance, it's prejudice and it's stupidity.'

George R R Martin, author of Dance with Dragons 2: After the Feast and many other bestsellers, in The Times.

'Born in the analog era'

14 May 2012

‘Although it may sound surprising, neither Amazon nor Apple are 2.0 oriented companies. And this is their weakest point. Both were born at the end of the analog era and although their corporate cultures may be highly innovative, their strategic focus is still very traditional. Both have created totally restricted ecosystems that only permit limited co-operation with other companies. The future success of any venture in the new digital era will depend on its ability to create an ecosystem which may be entirely open to all kinds of companies that may wish to collaborate in the development of the project with an agnostic viewpoint vis à vis formats and devices.’

Javier Celaya, CEO and founder of Dosdoce, an online portal which analyses the use of the new technologies in the cultural sector, in Publishing Perspectives