I’ve moved!

Update your bookmarks and RSS feeds, folks! I can now be found online at www.suzannegardner.ca (the .com has already been taken by an artist who also lives in Toronto, which brings the total to at least 3 Suzanne Gardner’s in the T.Dot when you include Suzanne Gardner Flowers). I’m still ironing out some tweaks in the new site and am working on adding portfolio pieces over the next week or so. But for now, the archives have moved over, my résumé is up, and there are more frequent bookish blog posts to come. Thanks for reading!

New literary agency for Canadian freelance writers questions rates and rights

Canada’s first literary agency for freelance writers, the Canadian Writers Group, launched today with a starting roster of 50 writers being represented. Since CWG founder Derek Finkle announced his idea to start the agency last fall, he has received hundreds of applications from freelance writers across the country. The agency has plans to represent more than 100 of those writers by the end of this year.

According to a press release issued today by Finkle, “the agency will negotiate terms on behalf of its writers [and] it will also act as a reliable resource for editors and commercial clients interested in finding suitable and proven writers.” The agency also aims to shift away from per word rates and will instead focus on the skill and experience of the writer, as well as take into account the time to complete the article and any required research.

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Suzanne, the Book Blog Queen

This post isn’t exactly commentary on the publishing industry, but rather an update on my own role within it.

bookshelfAs of May 1st, I am now the editorial intern at Quill & Quire and will hold this position until the end of August. I’ve been kept quite busy so far by blogging (three posts today, one yesterday, and my first one on Friday) and writing some short round-ups of awards and bestsellers for the subscription-only section of their site, Q&Q Omni. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to write for the print magazine as well, and I have a few ideas of other new jobs to create for myself here which I will divulge more on as they happen.

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Derek Weiler: 1968-2009

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Derek Weiler, editor-in-chief of Quill & Quire, passed away yesterday. He was 40 years old and articles posted today cite that he passed away suddenly at his home in Toronto. Quill & Quire posted an announcement about his death on their website this morning, and articles have popped up all over the internet throughout the day. Two of the most heartfelt and well-written articles I’ve found are by Martin Levin (Books Editor at The Globe & Mail) and Steven W. Beattie (Review Editor at Quill & Quire).

Without a doubt, Derek’s death will be felt throughout the Canadian publishing industry. His work at Q&Q was phenomenal and so crucial to publishers and authors across the nation. He was an extremely talented writer and editor, and even more importantly he was an incredible person. Every word I’ve read about Derek today has been exceptionally positive, praising his kind and gentle manner along with his quick wit. I only got to meet Derek twice, but from those two short meetings alone I can agree that all these assertions are spot on.

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Amazon receives major backlash as LGBT books unexpectedly removed from rankings

Update: Amazon has called this a “glitch in its sales ranking feature” and that there is “no new adult policy”. Read the full story at Publisher’s Weekly, but feel free to still be suspicious (as I am).

The Fail Whale: An Easter present for Amazon

The Fail Whale: An Easter present for Amazon

The Twitterverse has been all a-flutter this fine Easter Sunday as Amazon has unexpectedly removed sales rankings, listings, and search functionality of books with themes relating to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues. The hashtag #amazonfail has been used in tweets to document this event and is currently the second highest trend on Twitter, following after “Happy Easter”.

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Online author directory FiledByAuthor launches amidst controversy

filedbyauthorlogoA new author database site has hit the web in a public beta and already it’s not without controversy. FiledByAuthor claims to be “the most comprehensive directory of author pages anywhere. It’s also a place for authors to showcase themselves and their work, a place for readers to search and discover new works and a place for everyone to connect and discuss our favorite subject – authors and books, of course.”

So, basically, it’s Goodreads, LibraryThing, and Shelfari meets IMDB — but with a few hitches, all of which are discussed in this Los Angeles Times blog post. One of the biggest issues surrounding this site’s release is the fact that it seems like a not-very-well-disguised cash grab. The FiledByAuthor site has catalogued information for approximately 1.8 million authors so far, with each page including a bio, a list of works, and links to purchase the books online. Once these pages are created, the site then invites authors to “claim” their pages. And while the claiming process is free, if the author wants to gain anything more than minimal control over the content on their page they’ll be paying a fee of either $99 or $399 (!) per year. A full breakdown of the different membership options can be found here.

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Magazines + RFID tag: Have mags finally gone too far?

amusement-coverTech blog Engadget posted on Monday about an announcement from France’s Amusement Magazine that their new issue will be the “first ever connected to the internet!” The print version of the March issue will be equipped with a RFID tag, allowing readers to connect to the internet and access exclusive content online.

Of course, the first problem is that for Amusement’s readers to benefit from this feature they must own a home-based RFID reader, such as Violet’s Mir:ror which retails for $59. But the even bigger problem is how this so-called innovation is making consumers resoundingly ask, “WHY?”

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