Thursday, June 25, 2009

The BookScan problem

As we watch the infrastructure of publishing collapse into a smoking hole, it's difficult not to see a connection to the industry's seeming overreliance on the sloppy numbers provided by BookScan.

Recent posts on the subject:
Author alert! What you don’t know about BookScan can hurt you (The Book Deal)
What You Need to Know about Bookscan (A Writer's Life)
The Lie that is Bookscan (All That's New(s) from A to Z)

The worst is that part where "BookScan numbers are like an author’s credit rating." Because a credit rating is primarily a result of choices made by the consumer -- but BookScan numbers are a result of a lot of stuff completely out of the author's control. (Choices made by the publisher, the distributor, the retailers, and a hundred other factors in the marketplace.) To saddle the poor author with all that is either stupid or lazy.

Related posts:
By Any Other Name ...
The Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Mid- to Low-Selling
Should You Self-Publish?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shalhoub on MONK: 'Everything does come to an end'

Actor Tony Shalhoub talks to Hollywood Exclusive about filming the final season of USA Network's Monk:
"We've all agreed there’s only so much you can mine out of this character. Nobody wants to move into the area where it starts to feel stale or the quality starts to drop. Since everything does have to come to an end, we want it to happen in the right way, where we’re in control of it, not a situation where the plug gets pulled. I think it honors the audience this way."
Full story: With 'Monk's' Days Numbered, Shalhoub Getting Nostalgic/Is Series Work Losing Its Luster for Neil Patrick Harris? (Creators Syndicate)

Related:
'Monk' returns Aug 7
Crime TV on DVD
Kenneth Branagh is WALLANDER
The next 'Level' of thriller fiction
Mr. Monk and the Final Season
Watch CASTLE on ABC

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

75,000 visitors!

Today, Learning Curve welcomes its 75,000th visitor! Readers have come from all over the world -- the last 10 visits alone included surfers from Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Ukraine, and Australia.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Publishing news (June 19)

Another week's worth of links from the world of publishing, including a face-off between Michael Connelly and Janet Evanovich ... USA TODAY's plan to start running comics (in a way) ... authors who solve crimes ... and more. (Digital publishing news will be posted as a separate entry.)

FICTION
PT 1: Michael Connelly and Janet Evanovich: Author One-to-One (Amazon Omnivoracious)
PT 2: Janet Evanovich and Michael Connelly: Author One-to-One (Amazon Omnivoracious)
2009 Barry Award Nominees (Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind)
Learning Library Gives New Insights into Big-Name Authors (International Thriller Writers)

Cozy Mysteries with Authors as Sleuths, Pt. 1 (of 3): A-D (Cozy Mystery List Blog)
Cozy Mysteries with Authors as Sleuths, Pt. 2 (of 3): E-L (Cozy Mystery List Blog)
Cozy Mysteries with Authors as Sleuths, Pt. 3 (of 3): M-Z (Cozy Mystery List Blog)

COMICS
Superman to leap off these pages (USA TODAY)
Webcomic Unravels a Colonial-era Forensic Mystery (Booz / Allen / Hamilton)
New Webcomic Announced: Mystery Solved! (Mystery Solved!)
Washington Post Writers Group to launch Fort Knox (Daily Cartoonist)
Who are the top subscribed comics on GoComics.com? (Daily Cartoonist)
Kidjutsu: A Kid-Safe Site for Webcomics (Publishers Weekly)
Links: Farewell, MySpace (Digital Strips)

MARKETING / BIZ
Social Networking: Unlocking Behavioral Disorders (Wildfire Marketing)
Scalejacking (Seth Godin)
Textbook Rant (Seth Godin)
A Dozen Questions about Writing Conferences (Chip MacGregor)
Sandra Confesses: "I'm a Facebook Flunky!" (Chip MacGregor)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

'Monk' returns for final season Aug 7

TV news site thefutoncritic.com reports that the eighth and final season of Monk kicks off August 7 on cable channel USA Network. Also on the network, the fourth season of Psych kicks off the same night, Burn Notice airs its mid-season finale August 6, while Law & Order: Criminal Intent and In Plain Sight conclude their current seasons August 9.

Related links:
Crime TV on DVD
Kenneth Branagh is WALLANDER
The next 'Level' of thriller fiction
Mr. Monk and the Final Season
Watch CASTLE on ABC

Monday, June 15, 2009

Best Mann 1.17: "What are you trying to do -- KILL US?"

TitleTrakk.com has posted the latest installment of Erica's and my crime/mystery comic Best Mann For The Job. The series stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of Hope Falls, Tennessee. We like to think of it as a cross between a rural Dick Tracy and Gasoline Alley. (Or, for you couch potatoes, try a cross between The Andy Griffith Show and Northern Exposure ... with a little T.J. Hooker thrown in.)

Latest strip exclusive at TitleTrakk.com
Missed an episode? Catch up at StudioWell.com/BestMannForTheJob

Watch the trailer on YouTube at Channel StudioWell

Become a fan on Facebook

More comics by Chris and Erica at StudioWell.com/Comics
Tooncast Best Mann For The Job on your blog or website!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Publishing news roundup (June 12)

More news from the world of publishing, including the discovery of two unpublished Agatha Christie stories starring Poirot, Robert Liparulo signs 30,000 books, and Dick Tracy gets his own statue:

Lost Christie Stories Rediscovered (Publishers Weekly)
HC uncovers lost Agatha Christie stories (Bookseller)

Elmore Leonard: A conversation with James Mustich (Barnes & Noble)
What Elmore Leonard Tells Us About Character Ownership (Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind)
Elmore Leonard: It Never Gets Easier (A Writer's Life)

Robert Liparulo to sign 30,000 Books (International Thriller Writers)
Between The Lines with David Baldacci (International Thriller Writers)
The Wind-Up Charlie Bird Parker Chronicles (GalleyCat)

Dick Tracy statue to stand guard over Naperville Riverwalk (Chicago Tribune)
Scourging the Underworld: Rick Remender Talks Punisher (Comic Book Resources)
Aguirre-Sacasa Talks Marvel Divas (Comic Book Resources)

Soapbox: How to Be A Great Local Author (Publishers Weekly)
10 Questions about Proposals (Chip MacGregor)
Five Questions Writers Are Asking (Chip MacGregor)

COOL-ER eBook Reader: the Future of Book Publishing? (GalleyCat)
$99 iPhone Rocks E-Book World (GalleyCat)
Scroll Motion Brings 1M Books to New iPhone (Publishers Weekly)
You Can Become a Kindle Millionaire (A Writer's Life)
More on the Amazon Kindle (A Newbie's Guide to Publishing)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Trailer! BEST MANN FOR THE JOB

Archiving BEST MANN

Erica and I feel like we're starting to find the rhythm for BEST MANN FOR THE JOB. (We now have the first 100 strips outlined!) If you need to catch up, we've created an archive page on our site -- just click on over to StudioWell.com/BestMannForTheJob.

We also got a nice write-up from the comics news service CCI:
Husband/Wife Team-Up Works Well
A new weekly web strip entitled Best Mann For The Job is being produced by crime fiction writer Chris Well and comics veteran Erica Well of Tennessee USA. The comic stars Grace Mann, "a woman with a complicated past," who has returned home to be her small town's new sheriff. "We like to think of it as a cross between a rural Dick Tracy and Gasoline Alley," explains Chris, who co-writes the series with wife/artist Erica, a former staffer for DC Comics and creator of The Miller Sisters comic strip. "Not only is Grace the new sheriff, her dad is the town minister and her mom will soon run for mayor," Chris adds. "As the series progresses, we hope to explore the friction that can happen among the three offices -- the law, the church, and the state." In addition to the Best Mann website, there is also a Best Mann fan page on Facebook. (CCI News)

Monday, June 08, 2009

Spotlight: PENULTIMATE ADVENTURES

With the relaunch of StudioWell.com, we're highlighting all the content. Our June spotlight is Penultimate Adventures -- a zany mash-up of superheroes, sci-fi, romance comics, home security, and snack advertisements. We even added a brand-new pop-up text commentary track -- if you're using Internet Explorer, hold your mouse over the images and the words should appear. (Firefox users: To read the commentary, control-click each image and check "Properties." You'll find it under "alternate text.")

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Best Mann 1.16: "WATCHIT! WATCHIT! WATCHIT!"

TitleTrakk.com has posted the latest installment of Erica's and my crime/mystery comic Best Mann For The Job. The series stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of Hope Falls, Tennessee. We like to think of it as a cross between a rural Dick Tracy and Gasoline Alley.

Latest strip exclusive at TitleTrakk.com
Missed an episode? Catch up at ComicSpace.com/EricaWell
Become a fan on Facebook

Tooncast Best Mann For The Job on your blog or website!

More comics by Chris and Erica at StudioWell.com/Comics

Friday, June 05, 2009

Well Read Newsletter 2.1 Summer 2009

This went out Monday to members of Chris Well Readers Group:

WELL READ: The Official Newsletter of Novelist Chris Well
Vol. 2, No. 1 Summer 2009
http://tinyurl.com/ChrisWellReadersGroup

"I don't *recall* ever fighting Godzilla, but that is SO what I would have done." -- Bender, FUTURAMA

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
IN THIS ISSUE
1. WELCOME!
2. WHAT'S NEW!
3. THE NEW-AND-IMPROVED STUDIOWELL.COM
4. BEST MANN FOR THE JOB

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
1. WELCOME!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
After a lengthy absence, we're relaunching our "Well Read" newsletter here on Facebook. (Or, if you're reading this on the old Yahoo! Group -- Surprise! We moved to Facebook.)

Feel free to join or, er, unjoin at this link:
http://tinyurl.com/ChrisWellReadersGroup

We will continue our ongoing policy of not sending these out nearly enough -- and pass the savings on to you!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
2. WHAT'S NEW!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
If you haven't heard, I have a new murder mystery coming out from Barbour in 2010: THE KENTUCKY GEEZERS MYSTERIES. It's actually a trilogy being released as a 3-in-1 mystery omnibus edition. (Long story.) The important thing is that we put three times the mystery-solving goodness inside one convenient spine -- and pass the savings on to you!

Find details online at the new-and-improved StudioWell.com:
http://StudioWell.com/Fiction


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
3. THE NEW-AND-IMPROVED STUDIOWELL.COM!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Which brings us to the next piece of news -- we've spent the past two weeks updating, upgrading, and uploading the all-new StudioWell: The Official Site of Chris and Erica Well.

See the bold colors!
Click on things!
Read stuff!

Seriously, it's easier to navigate, Erica's and my various projects are grouped more cohesively, AND we've added more content. Check it out and tell us what you think!

HOME
http://StudioWell.com

CHRIS
http://StudioWell.com/ChrisWell

ERICA
http://StudioWell.com/EricaWell

ART
http://StudioWell.com/Art

COMICS
http://StudioWell.com/Comics

FICTION
http://StudioWell.com/Fiction

LINKS
http://StudioWell.com/Links

CONTACT
http://StudioWell.com/Contact


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
4. BEST MANN FOR THE JOB!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The folks at TitleTrakk continue to host Erica's and my weekly small-town crime/mystery series BEST MANN FOR THE JOB. It's co-written by Erica and me, but she does all the rest -- pencils, inks, letters -- all by herself. (Meanwhile, I'm on the couch watching MANNIX. Hey, these DVDs don't watch themselves.)

BEST MANN FOR THE JOB stars Grace Mann, a woman with a complicated past who returns home to Hope Falls, Tenn., to serve as the small town's new sheriff. Hijinks ensue!

Latest strip exclusive at TitleTrakk.com
http://www.TitleTrakk.com/index.htm#bestmann

Missed an episode? Catch up at
http://www.ComicSpace.com/EricaWell

Become a fan on Facebook
http://tinyurl.com/BestMann-Facebook


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Well, I think that covers it for this time. Thanks for your friendship. Have a wonderful week (and next several months). God bless!

-Chris

Chris Well
http://StudioWell.com
http://chriswellnovelist.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Crime TV on DVD

Updates from the folks at TVShowsonDVD.com:

The Mentalist
Simon Baker Slyly Smiles on The Complete 1st Season Cover Art
Press Release Reveals Specific Release Date & More for Season 1 DVDs

NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Release Date for The 6th Season of the CBS Series on DVD

C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation
Laurence Fishburne Joins the Cast with The 9th Season on DVD

The Untouchables
Release Date for Season 3, Volume 1 of the Classic Robert Stack Series

Lie to Me
Did Amazon Lie To Me? CORRECT Date, plus Details/Extras/Box for DVD & Blu-ray
Release Date Revealed for DVD and Blu-ray Disc Season 1 Sets

The F.B.I. Files
Hi-Res 3D Package Art for Most Wanted: The Best of Seasons 1 & 2

Wiseguy
Mill Creek Picks up Cannell Shows

Prison Break
Fox's Official Press Release for The Final Break on DVD & Blu-ray Disc

Simon & Simon
Details, Pricing and Package Art for Shout!'s Season 3 DVDs
Season 3 DVD Set Will Heat You Up Late This Summer!

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Box Art Now Available for the First DVD Release of HBO's Series Starring Jill Scott

Ironside
Shout! Sub-Licenses to Mill Creek; Early Eps Planned for Single-DVD Release

Adam-12
...1-Adam-12, 1-Adam-12: See the Man About Season 3 Package Art
We've Copped to a Street Date for Shout!'s 3rd Season DVDs

Dollhouse
Fox's Official Press Release Gives Disc-by-Disc Contents for Season 1 DVD & Blu-ray

Charlie's Angels
HOT Box & Press Release for the 4th Season, Including Farrah's Final Episodes
Long-Awaited Season 4 is Finally Coming to DVD, with a Love Boat Crossover!

Zorro
The Original '57 Black-and-White Series Coming in 2 Walt Disney Treasures Limited Ed. Tins

The Sopranos
Be a Wise Guy: Place Your Pre-Order Now for a Fall Season 1 Blu-ray Release

Armchair Thriller
The Classic British Show, Seen on PBS's Mystery, Comes to DVD

Marple
Series 4 DVDs in August, starring Julia McKenzie as Agatha Christie's Sleuth

Early Edition
2nd Season Formally Announced: Specs and Package Art Revealed!

Steve Canyon
Delayed Volume 2 Release Finally Winging Your Way!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Actress, author Lyndsay Faye in Nashville

Tomorrow night (Wed, Jun 3, 6:30 PM) actress and mystery writer Lyndsay Faye will be at Nashville's Mysteries & More Bookstore to discuss and autograph her debut novel, Dust and Shadow, which pits Sherlock Holmes against Jack the Ripper in 19th Century London. The book is getting rave reviews from likes of Caleb Carr, and even got an endorsement from the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: "Lyndsay Faye's depiction of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and their world is exceptional in Dust and Shadow, an exciting and grimly vivid tale that confronts the murderous Jack the Ripper with A. Conan Doyle's immortal detective better than ever before."

Mysteries & More is in Lenox Village, 6965 Sunnywood Drive, Nashville, TN 37211. Call (615) 837-3300 or get directions here.

Related links:
Sherlock Holmes: The Trailer
Sherlock Holmes: Don't Call It A Comeback
Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong
Beating Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple

Monday, June 01, 2009

Best Mann 1.15: "Just hold on!"

TitleTrakk.com has posted this week's installment of Erica's and my crime/mystery comic Best Mann For The Job. The series stars Grace Mann, an ex-pro lady wrestler with a complicated past who returns home to become sheriff of Hope Falls, Tennessee.

Latest strip exclusive at TitleTrakk.com
Missed an episode? Catch up at ComicSpace.com/EricaWell
Become a fan on Facebook

Tooncast Best Mann For The Job on your blog or website!

Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction

SHE'S THE SHERIFF!

A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at StudioWell.com. Watch the trailer on YouTube.