Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How To Track Your Favourite Author’s New Book Releases Online

These days it’s becoming more and more easy to keep track of your favourite artist, whether it be a singer, band or author. We’ll come back to tracking music artists another time but for today, I want to take a look at how you can keep track of a book author’s new releases so you don’t miss a single thing.
I am a big fan of Fantastic Fiction – my reading list is so huge that FF helps me to keep on top of new releases by the best in the business. But up until now, the only way to check up on each author was to individually go to their FF page.
This as you can imagine was very time-consuming and I silently hoped that one day they would introduce RSS feeds. That hoping seems to have worked as each FF page now has its own unique RSS feed which will alert you to that author’s new book releases.
Using the site is simple. First, just use the search engine to find the author’s page. I will search for Jasper Fforde, one of my favourites.
You’ll then be taken to his page and part of the way down, on the right hand side, is a small RSS icon.
Click on the icon and you will be taken to your default RSS reader (mine is Google Reader) and you will then see his new book scheduled for release in a couple of months.
In this way, you can input all your favourite authors into FF and get all their RSS feeds running through your Reader. Then when a new book is announced, you’ll hear about it pretty much straight away. The only downside to Fantastic Fiction is, of course, that it is limited to fiction. So any non-fiction fans are not going to get any use out of this new feature.
If RSS isn’t your thing or if you’re more into non-fiction, and/or if you prefer email, then most authors nowadays have a web presence (it’s pretty much essential) and some even embrace social networking with fan pages on places like Facebook (Daniel Silva, for example, has a busy and popular Facebook page and so does John Grisham).
So check to see if your author has a personal website and if so, if they offer a mailing list. Big thriller authors like Ken Follett and Jeffery Deaver have websites and mailing lists for example (Deaver even offers an exclusive short story to his mailing list subscribers). Author sites like these will also feature other news such as upcoming TV / movie adaptations and perhaps even podcasts. When the author brings out a new book, they will immediately notify everyone on their mailing list.
Here are some more big fiction writers with websites and mailing lists. Stephen King’s site is particulary impressive with its artwork.
John Connolly
Michael Connelly
Stephen King
Dean Koontz
Dan Brown
Some authors though prefer to defer to their publishers to do things like newsletters. So if you went to John Grisham’s website, you’ll see that he promotes his publisher Doubleday’s newsletter. Virtually all major publishers have their own newsletters and if you subscribe, you’ll be kept up to date with their authors new books. For example, here’s Random House’s fiction email newsletter with an option to subscribe at the end. If you go here, you’ll get a complete list of all of Random House’s email offerings.
If you like to keep track of where your favourite author will be appearing in person to sign books, a good site is AuthorsTrack. It only shows US events though which is not so great for non-US fans. 7/09

Monday, July 27, 2009

Support your library, buy a brick.

A Dozen Creative Reasons to Buy a Brick!

1. Salute a new reader in the family.

2. Mark your child's completion of the summer reading program.

3. Remember your favorite event at the library.

4. State how much your family loves the library.

5. Celebrate coming from a long line of readers.

6. Commemorate reading a reading goal.

7. Pay tribute to the person who taught you to read.

8. Remember your favorite book.

9. Recognize that adventure is just a page away.

10. Honor the importance of reading together as a family.

11. Dedicate it to Once upon a time...

12. Honor your favorite author, present or past.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Grand Prize Winners are:

Creative Art
Reily Sieren

Creative Building
Shawn Yaeger

Theater tickets
Dante Josephson

Milwuakee Zoo
Haustin Baumeister

Day in the Village
Maisie Finnegan

Uncle Harry's
Hannah Aldrich

Creativity in Nature
Cassidy Kanter

Music and more
Brendt Runnells

Camera Prize Pack
Audrey Human

Fun with Pubppets
Hania Dahms

Ultimate Grand Prize
Gabby Bergeron

Monday, July 13, 2009

Creative Carnival
Thurs. July 23 from
5:00 - 7:00 pm
The final summer program for all ages will be filled with carnival games, crafts, and Jason Kollum the stilt-walker/
entertainer. Fun, fun, fun! All Grand Prizes will be announced at this program. Snacks will be provided.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Microsoft Versus Google: Battle of the Browser

Microsoft and Google have something in common. Both companies think the current state of the browser is broken. In a paper describing the admittedly dense browser concept that is Gazelle, Redmond justified its involvement in the project, stating, "The time has come to apply decades-old operating-system experience to the browser-design space." And in yesterday's announcement of its forthcoming operating system, Google echoed the sentiment, with a touch less subtlety: "The operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no Web. So today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome--the Google Chrome Operating System. It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be." The premise here is essentially the same: Browsers and operating systems don't play nicely together. The companies' proposed solutions, on the other hand, are decidedly different. Microsoft wants to fix the browser, Google the OS. Most analysts are regarding Google's announcement as a direct shot at Microsoft. And why not? Google has largely built itself on a strategy of taking down Microsoft product by product--and MS, in return, has spent much of the last decade responding to the shots. And if anyone is going to lead a successful grassroots (well, more like astroturfing) movement against the software giant, it's going to be Google. To fix the communication--or miscommunication--between our PCs and the Web, Google is suggesting something of a complete teardown of the OS. Redefine the concept by tailoring the basis of the operating system to the Web. In a sense, it's an OS that behaves like a browser. Microsoft is suggesting that, given its many years designing operating systems, why not apply those fundamentals to a new browser tailored to our current Internet needs--a browser that behaves like an OS?The dissonance between these two projects highlights a rift between the two companies that exists across a lot more than just this space. Microsoft insists on leveraging and building upon its experience, and Google suggests a rebuild from scratch. The solution almost certainly exists somewhere between these two schools of thoughts. And whoever can design a more compelling argument (and, naturally a real-world product to back it up) will have a jump-start on the next generation of browsers and operating systems.

PC Magazine July 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

Fishing Derby Winners!

Trent Pokorny - 11 1/2" Catfish
Prize- Ugly Stick
Kelly Oehler - 15" Carp
Prize- Zebco Fishing Pole
Sophie Hart - 14" Drum
Prize- Tackle Box
Natalie Horn 11 1/2" fish
Prize- Fishing Lures
Evan Krien 11 1/4" Bass
Prize- Fishing Net
Justice Falbo 8" Bluegil
Prize- Fishing Lures
-Caught a frog
Prize- Glow n' the dark Trout Bait

Thursday, July 2, 2009

2nd Annual Friends of WPL

Wine Tasting Party
Thursday, July 16th
5:30 - 7:30 pm
Preceding River Rhythms @ Village Park
Mark your calendar & Save the date!
Buy your ticket at the library!
Tickets $20 in advance/ $25 night of the event.