Sara Gruen

Why let your authors have all the fun? If you’ve been sitting on an idea for a novel, now is the time to do something about it—and fast. November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, during which thousands of people will push themselves toward completing what seems, to some, an entirely unattainable goal. The premise is simple: write one 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

Back in 2000, its year of inception, the event had just 21 participants and a measly 6 “winners”—those who reach the goal of committing 50,000 words to paper. Since then, NaNoWriMo has exploded; by the time 2011 rolled around, there were more than 250,000 participants and roughly 37,000 winners. NaNoWriMo has no judges, no prizes and nobody necessarily even reads the finished novels; in order to be a winner, you just have to get 50,000 words of fiction out of your brain and into a document. According to the rules, you are allowed to outline your novel as much as you want prior to November 1, as long as you don’t write anything that ends up in the novel itself.*

Today,, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced the launch of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. With an Amazon Prime membership ($79 annually), Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free – including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers – as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.

I recently attended the Book Industry Study Group’s Making Information Pay event (more coverage on pages 7 and 32), where Michael Cader, founder of Publishers Marketplace and Publishers Lunch, offered publishers simple, yet pertinent advice on engaging their audiences: “Leverage the damn book.” One example he gave: His son read a book from the “Alex Rider” series, so Cader went to the store to buy the series’ next book. To illustrate the point he was going to make, he projected a slide featuring the cover of every book in the series. There was nothing that told consumers which book to read next. The

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