The Developers by Ben Woods

The Developers

Baltimore Book Festival school fundraiser

I plan to attend the 2009 edition of the Baltimore Book Festival ... as a customer, though, not as a vendor. But I still feel as if I should be more a part of the action. So, for the rest of September, I decided to give away a few copies of my workplace humor novel, "The Developers," in conjunction with raising money for Southwest Baltimore Charter School.

Publisher List

As a knockoff of my literary agent list, I have decided to supply you with the short list of publishers I have contacted for my latest book venture. After querying agencies for a few months, I started contacting more mid-range publishers with the hopes of avoiding agencies altogether. This is not to say that bypassing an agent is beneficial to everyone; I think it's worthwhile in my case for a few reasons:

Mapping the reviews

I meant to do this a long time ago, but I wanted to determine how many states I've covered with "The Developers" reviews. By this count, it looks like 18 plus Washington D.C. It would be pretty cool to hear from someone in every state, but let's face it, how many copies of my book are lying around in South Dakota?

'The Developers' flying off the shelves!

I haven't quite made the New York Times best-seller list just yet, but copies of "The Developers" are getting their places in the sky. I've secretly placed a few books on Southwest airplanes, so if you are flying Southwest anytime soon, make sure to check the seat pocket in front of you. Sorry, I didn't include any drink coupons!

Community website (like .comU) purchased by AOL

I found out the other day through an internal company email that AOL has recently purchased two companies as part of its local strategy initiative. I was immensely surprised when checking out one of them, Patch, which is essentially a community-based website geared toward providing info with a small-town flavor.

One thousand books

I remember reading or hearing something a few years ago that said only 10 percent of all books published ever sell 1,000 copies or more. I cannot seem to find exact numbers anywhere, however, I found a boatload of other statistics on the Para Publishing website. The self-publishing numbers are pretty low ... only 3.4 percent of Xlibris copies have sold more than 500 copies, for example.

First 2009 book stop: Baltimore CityLit Festival

In 2007, I had my first taste of the Baltimore book scene at the CityLit Festival. Last year, I was a part of the event, so I figured I might as well join in again! The festival takes place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 18 at the downtown branch of the Enoch Pratt library. I'll be there with colleagues Sean O'Connor and Brad Samuelson.

The humanity (or inhumanity) of data

A few glaring items came to mind as I finished reading Roszak's "The Cult of Information:"

New stalking, er, tracking, er, technology tool

Google recently announced a new product available for a number of cell phone devices called Google Latitude. The program allows you to see other people, assuming they have opted into the system, on a Google-generated map.

New year, new stuff

Things seem to be getting more hectic as each year passes. I suspect some day, we'll have 26 hours in a day, but until that happens, we'll have to settle with getting everything imaginable taken care of in a normal day. As for me, I have a few new projects going, which is why I haven't had as much time lately to write articles and respond to comments. Have no fear! In 2009, you'll see plenty on this site, including the following:

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