Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015


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Introducing, the iKindle?
The big news this week was that this fall, to compete with Apple's iPad, Amazon is going to launch a tablet, reportedly called "Coyote" (wtf?). Normally I don't post about such stuff, because well, it's kind of like posting about the new line of shoes from Nike or the new hybrid car from Ford. Yawn! Predictable and overexposed with coverage elsewhere. But, I am deeply interested in the trends and forces in the world of ebooks that are transforming the world of writing, publishing, bookselling and reading. And this week, there was an unusually large amount of insightful coverage of the impact – and potential impact – of Amazon on the book market. If you're interested in this market, here are a bunch of recent stories worth reading — though it should be noted: they all may be obsolete by this time next week.

"If Amazon launches a tablet at a sub-$300 price point — assuming it has enough supply to meet demand — we see Amazon selling 3-5 million tablets in Q4 alone." (

"Amazon's annual revenue is close to Apple's but its profits are not." (

Amazon plans to integrate social media connectivity with authors via ebooks. (

"The economics of the book business are changing so rapidly the industry barely looks like it did just six months ago." (Wall Street Journal, c/o

I wonder if these are real previews, or just mock-ups. (

The End Is Nigh!
In a related story, at the Edinburgh International Book Festival last week, author Ewan Morrison spelled out what is perhaps the bleakest vision of the future of writing and publishing I have yet encountered. Is the book dying? At a debate entitled "The End of Books" Morrison argued a definitive yes: "...within twenty five years the digital revolution will bring about the end of paper books. But more importantly, ebooks and epublishing will mean the end of ‘writer’ as a profession."

"your circuit's dead, there's something wrong"
Remember Andrew Kolb, the guy I mentioned last week who decided to "share" – (ie: use copyrighted material without permission) – David Bowie's song Space Oddity by creating a downloadable pdf of a children's book that uses the song's lyrics? Well, it seems Mr Kolb has heard from the owners of that song and...oh, the pictures are still up on his site, but all the lyrics and all reference to Space Oddity have been expunged, and the download is gone. I guess copyright ain't quite dead yet, eh? (Says the guy who linked a pirated WSJ article above.)

Imaginary Friends
Be sure to check out this month's FICTION CRAFT on Open Book Ontario. • Imaginary Friends: How Writers Relate to Their Characters • With: Nathan Whitlock, Anne DeGrace, Nicole Lundrigan, Ashley Spires, d leonard freeston, Lena Coakley, Ashley Little, Dennis Foon, Annika Dunklee and Claire Tacon.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Shaun Smith

Shaun Smith is a novelist and journalist living in Toronto. His young adult novel Snakes & Ladders was published in January 2009 by the Dundurn Group.

Go to Shaun Smith ’s Author Page