Two reading apps recently caught my attention, both of which aim to increase reading in our predominantly tweet-reading age: Rooster and Spritz. For $4.99 per month, Rooster offers “bite-sized installments” of a classic work and a contemporary book. It’s a serialized fiction app that, according to this short interview, will eventually open up its digital doors to self-publishers.
Spritz, on the other hand, is an app you may have already heard about. They claim to help you read a novel in less than 90 minutes using “rapid sequential visual presentation.”
Here’s how it works, running at an average reading speed of 250 words per minute:
And here it is at 600 words per minute:
No word yet on where or when the app will officially launch (an SDK is being made available tomorrow), how much it’ll cost, or how it might be integrated into other apps. Or how much you’ll comprehend after reading War and Peace in one sitting.
I doubt I’d want to read an entire book this way. You?
What does the existence of these two apps tell me? People want to consume content, but there’s so much available that they need digital assistance to get through it all, meaning that your book better be the best and most engaging it can be, or you will be lost in the noise.
Before our literary lives race past in a blur of words, let’s return to a simpler time when books were books, courtesy of BoingBoing:
I’ve opened a number of this guy’s books. Here are Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers, taken from his seminal work on writing called … On Writing. If you don’t already own this book, do your writing a favor and get it post-haste.
I thought this post was supposed to have links about self-publishing?
Here’s a good read about the necessity for self-publishers to think like a publisher:
… thousands of substandard books are entering the literary marketplace because a multitude of writers are sadly stuck not only in ego mode, but in the belief that producing a book is somehow not a craft and an art. If we don’t want to destroy the reputation of books altogether—and if we want to reap a financial benefit as an author—this mindset has to change.”
Some Scrivener users may appreciate this: How to preserve blockquote formatting in Scrivener .mobi and .epub exports. I remember having difficulties with this in my own book.
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And here are some interesting stats when it comes to pricing shorter ebooks: “45% of short (20-100 pages) ebook best-sellers are priced at $1.99.”
I thought Austin Kleon’s recent newspaper blackout poem was great advice for writers, at least sometimes:
His new book Show Your Work just released.
And lastly, in an image that may strike far too close to home for many a reader and writer, Lisa Simpson shares our pain: