All posts by Sarah-Jane Wilson

CUP bursary outcome

Last month, I outlined in my first post why I decided to start this blog. I’m pleased to announce that I came second place in the CUP bursary competition, and will be receiving £200 to go towards my university fees! I’m really grateful and happy to be recognised for the effort I’ve put into my blog. It was also good to hear some feedback, and I will work on the areas of my blog that the judges felt needed some improvement. Continue reading

YA fiction and oversexualisation

Yesterday, Young Adult fiction author Sarah McCarry exclusively shared the cover for her upcoming novel, About a Girl, with MTV. The cover features two girls kissing, and MTV believe that ‘images like this need to become the norm’. I think images like that are already the norm, and teens especially seem to be becoming more accepting of people’s sexual preferences. However, I don’t think that kissing needs to feature on a book cover. Continue reading

Wattpad and the book deal

Next month, Simon & Schuster will release After in the UK. After is the first book in a series by Anna Todd, and the cover boasts that the novel has already had ‘1 billion reads’. How has this book already achieved such fame? The answer is Wattpad, an online writing community Todd joined as a teenager with a passion for the boyband One Direction. Continue reading

Blloon-in’ marvellous

A new reading app aimed at young adults launched in Britain a few days ago. The app, called Blloon, is the product of a Berlin startup company and follows a freemium model. You can download the app now for free and you are given 1000 pages worth of credit to start reading with straight away. After the 1000 page trial is up, you can gain more credits by reviewing books that you’ve read and by sharing books on social media platforms, or by paying for them.

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‘Get a free ebook today!’

It is a common misconception that ebooks are cheap products, and are less valuable than their printed counterparts. To the consumer, it perhaps seems that all a publisher has done is copy and pasted the text of a printed novel into a piece of software, saved it, and uploaded it to an ecommerce site. What the consumer might not realise is that there are costs involved in the publishing of ebooks, just as there are costs in making a physical product (have a look at this article on The New York Times’ website for some information about the costs of publishing an ebook). The misunderstanding that the price of an ebook is mostly profit for the publisher is problematic, and it needs to be addressed. Continue reading

A response to Matthew Yglesias

Matthew Yglesias posted aImage of Amazon logo powerful article on his website, Vox, on Wednesday in which he attacks book publishers. His argument is very clear and one sided to an extreme, with strong subheaders like ‘Publishers are superfluous’, and ‘Book publishers are terrible at marketing’. Yglesias’ article, in my opinion, fails in many areas. To a reader with knowledge of the publishing industry, there are lots of inaccuracies in what he says, and to a reader without knowledge, the article seems to be too biased to be credible. Continue reading

The Kindle Owner’s Lending Library

There is lots of discussion about Amazon, the publisher, and the author. It is generally thought that Amazon is not fair to the publisher or the author but by being unfair, monopolising competition, and underpaying the author, Amazon is great to the customer, and can provide products at a low cost because of this. I find it unusual, therefore, that the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library is a service which, in my opinion, sounds like a good idea but just fails to deliver. Continue reading

My top reading devices for students

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I might be on the lookout for a Kindle. Since then, I’ve realised perhaps that a tablet would be a better choice than a simple ebook reader. For either the same price or a little extra, I could get a tablet and download various ebook apps (and also be free from guilt in class when we inevitably end up discussing evil Amazon and their publishing takeover with an Amazon product in my bag!). I still love buying books and borrowing them from the library, but, as I said earlier this week, it makes my commute a lot heavier. I also think that, as I read a lot of out of copyright books, I could save a small fortune by making myself a free digital library instead of purchasing print copies. I thought it might be interesting to do a little round-up of what I think are the best devices to read on from a strapped for cash student’s point of view. Continue reading