Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road...

Well, it's happened again... say goodbye to Editor & Publisher and Kirkus Reviews.

Here's a NPR blog Obituary for these two publications.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"I will eat the moose / I don't care"

Why is Tao Lin so awesome?

Here is an article about the man behind the cuteness from New York Magazine (a fine publication). Of course I love Mr. Lin for his depictions of hamburger-holding sasquatches, but I wonder if he wouldn't be just another hipster with a cutesy haircut if it weren't for self-promotion made possible by the internet.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Magazines and Newspapers vie for space in the Digital Age

I came across an article in the NY Times boasting that 5 mjor magazine and newspaper companies are coming together to build an industry-standard electronic platform to "to present their work on the Web, smartphones and electronic readers in a richer, more flexible and more lucrative form than is possible today."

Among those included are Time Inc., Condé Nast, the Hearst Corporation, Meredith and the News Corporation

Sounds pretty interesting! Check it out here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

"we store information like an escher painting

-- it shouldn't all fit in there, but it does."

this is just a fun link... make sure to play the 3rd row 1st column one, which presents an interesting take on the future of the web.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Not Academic, but Quite Entertaining

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus : A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon : It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido : All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

And the winners are:

1. Coffee, n.. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4 Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6.. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7. Lymph, v.. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men

Monday, November 23, 2009

Today on the Diane Rehm show

11:00Robert Darnton: "The Case for Books" (PublicAffairs)

The future of books in a digital age. How the digital revolution and electronic books will affect the marketplace of ideas.


Robert Darnton, Author, Librarian at Harvard and founder of the Gutenberg-e program. A former professor of European History at Princeton University, Darnton is also a regular contributor to the "New York Review of Books."

Hope for Newspapers?

I heard about this on NPR this morning:

Here's the scoop first from the Financial Times online. Below, has a different opinion.

Microsoft and News Corp eye web pact

By Matthew Garrahan in Los Angeles, Richard Waters in San Francisco and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York

Published: November 22 2009 23:01 | Last updated: November 22 2009 23:01

Microsoft has had discussions with News Corp over a plan that would involve the media company being paid to “de-index” its news websites from Google, setting the scene for a search engine battle that could offer a ray of light to the newspaper industry.

The impetus for the discussions came from News Corp, owner of newspapers ranging from the Wall Street Journal of the US to The Sun of the UK, said a person familiar with the situation, who warned that talks were at an early stage.

News Corp and Microsoft, which owns the rival Bing search engine, declined to comment.

One website publisher approached by Microsoft said that the plan “puts enormous value on content if search engines are prepared to pay us to index with them”.

Microsoft’s interest is being interpreted as a direct assault on Google because it puts pressure on the search engine to start paying for content.

“This is all about Microsoft hurting Google’s margins,” said the web publisher who is familiar with the plan.

But the biggest beneficiary of the tussle could be the newspaper industry, which has yet to construct a reliable online business model that adequately replaces declining print and advertising revenues.

In a possible sign of negotiations to come, Google last week played down the importance of newspaper content.

Matt Brittin, Google’s UK director, told a Society of Editors conference that Google did not need news content to survive. “Economically it’s not a big part of how we generate revenue,” he said.

News Corp has been exploring online payment models for its newspapers and has taken an increasingly hard line against Google.

Rupert Murdoch, News Corp chairman, has said that he would use legal methods to prevent Google “stealing stories” published in his papers.

Microsoft is desperate to catch Google in search and, after five years and hundreds of millions of dollars of losses, Bing, launched in June, marks its most ambitious attempt yet.

Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft, has said that the company is prepared to spend heavily for many years to make Bing a serious rival to Google.

Microsoft has sought to differentiate Bing by drawing in material not found elsewhere, though it has not demanded exclusivity from content partners. Bing accounted for 9.9 per cent of searches in the US in October, up from 8.4 per cent at its launch, according to ComScore.

James Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corp Europe and Asia, hinted last week that the company was making progress with its online plans. “We think that there’s a very exciting marketplace, potentially a wholesale market place for digital journalism that we’ll be developing,” he said

Microsoft Offers To Pay News Corp To "De-List" Itself From Google (MSFT, NWS, GOOG)

Tags: Media, Microsoft

Microsoft (MSFT) wants to pay News Corp (NWS) and other large publishers to de-list their Web sites from Google's (GOOG) search index, the Financial Times reports.

The idea is to force Google (GOOG) to pay for content, thinning its currently fat margins.

Problem is, we can't imagine Google going for it.

For one, the FT reports that Google’s UK director Matt Brittin told a conference last week that Google did not need news content to survive.

“Economically it’s not a big part of how we generate revenue,” he said

For another, we can't imagine links to worthwhile stories originating from News Corp not finding their way onto sites that will happily remain indexed in Google's search engine free of charge.

Still, if News Corp were to "de-list" from Google, we'd expect to see all kinds of ads touting Bing as the only place to find the Wall Street Journal and MySpace pages online. Maybe that'd swing search engine share some, but we doubt it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Review of "Going Rogue"

To sum up, Jordan Carr of The Standford Review is a GENIUS.

Best line: “Kid Rock, for instance, is very pro-America and has common sense ideas.” -Sarah Palin

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

September Bookstore Sales Increase 7%

-- Publishers Weekly, 11/16/2009 8:24:00 AM

Bookstore sales jumped 7.0% in September, to $1.58 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday morning. The increase was most likely due to gains at college stores and the release of The Lost Symbol in the middle of the month. Despite the September increase, and an upward revision in the August numbers, bookstore sales through the first nine months of the year were still down, albeit only 0.7%. Sales for the period were $12.52 billion. For the entire retail market, sales were down 6.5% for September and 9.7% for the year to date.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Found This on "The Casual Optimist"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Marketing Plan humor

from the New Yorker

Instant News

News outlets are becoming the middlemen. Are we headed towards getting our news from Twitter?

BREAKING: Possible hostage situation in Jeff City

Statehouse correspondent Jason Noble just called in to report a possible hostage situation in Jeff City.

Noble said law enforcement officials told him the event is occurring in a building known as the Governor's Office Building across the street from the governor's mansion on Capitol Avenue (not the state Capitol building).

(UPDATE: Here's Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder on Twitter talking about the incident.)


More as we get it.

The Internet is Killing Storytelling

Heard about this article on Morning Edition today. It was on Tina Brown's must-read list. An article by Ben Macintyre on Times Online.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Invitation to Shelby's Book Club

Hello all. Just wanted to send out an invite to you all to see if you'd like to join my Book Club -- I think I've mentioned it before. If you have time, and are interested, please let me know if you would like to participate. It's totally casual, but really fun. We're called The Vikings and generally meet every six weeks or so for a pot luck-style dinner, wine and book chatter (occasionally a game of Apples to Apples).

This month we are reading In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje (author of The English Patient).

"Bristling with intelligence and shimmering with romance, this novel tests the boundary between history and myth. Patrick Lewis arrives in Toronto in the 1920s and earns his living searching for a vanished millionaire and tunneling beneath Lake Ontario. In the course of his adventures, Patrick's life intersects with those of characters who reappear in Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning The English Patient." (Google Books)

The Meeting Date is set for Thursday, December 10th, 7:00pm in Arlington, VA. 

Love to have new members!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"What We're Reading"


NPR has a new feature called "What We're Reading" brought to my attention on of their blogspots. Sounds like they could use some help sorting through the stacks or books collected by staffers...

"Welcome to the first issue of "What We're Reading." At NPR, we cover a lot of books every week. Among those, there are always a handful of standouts — the great reads as well as the books whose buzz-level makes them impossible to ignore. "What We're Reading" brings you our book team's shortlist of new fiction and non-fiction releases, along with candid reactions from our reporters, hosts and critics."

Wonder if they're reading them online? Most interesting.... this is one of the first books reviewed.


The End of the World As We Know It

By Ken Auletta
The subtitle of Ken Auletta's book is The End Of The World As We Know It, which gives you some idea of just how important he believes Google to be. Googled is not the first book about the rise of the titans of search (and other businesses), but Auletta, a media columnist for The New Yorker, prides himself on his 2 1/2 years of research and broad access to the company. Combining anecdotes about the founders and others who make the company work with efforts to use Google as a metaphor for the broader digital revolution, Auletta attempts to explain the company's functioning and mind-set while drawing lessons that apply beyond its very famous doors.
I've met some of these people, and Auletta really does nail something about them — a peculiar mix of goofiness, arrogance and brilliance. My only critique is that sometimes he falls victim to the Silicon Valley spin army. But I was not bored. For someone who wants to understand what is without a doubt one of the most important companies in history, this is a very readable way to get a grasp of the players, the technology and its implications.
— Laura Sydell, digital culture correspondent

Given the absence of a shapely narrative or a strong point of view, Googledreads as a timeline skimming across the key moments in the company's history and providing rote miniature profiles of the key players
— Troy Patterson, NPR reviewer

Hardcover, 400 pages, Penguin Press, list price: $27.95, pub. date: Nov. 3

Monday, November 2, 2009

Simon & Schuster Sell E-Chapters

Simon & Schuster has started to sell individual e-chapters to its bestselling You series of titles written by Dr. Michael F. Roizen and Dr. Mehmet C. Oz. The initiative was developed as part of a broader effort by Dr. Oz to provide answers about health on his the "Ask Dr. Oz" section of his Web site. For answers to questions that appear in one of the You titles, S&S created an e-commerce widget that will allow consumers to purchase just the chapter in which the answer was found as well as providing the opportunity to buy the complete book in digital, physical, and audio formats.Prices for the chapters will range from $2 to $3 based on the number of chapters and list price for the complete book. The chapters will come with DRM protection. Currently, the e-chapters are available for sale only through the site, which is part of a new venture, Sharecare Inc., put together by Oz and Jeff Arnold, a WebMD founder and Discovery Communications's chief of global digital strategy. S&S spokesperson Adam Rothberg said being part of Sharecare puts the e-chapters in a "robust marketplace," making the material part of a platform that contains a variety of health-related information. S&S is willing to offer digital material on health or other subjects to other specialized sites, according to Ellie Hirschhorn, executive v-p and chief digital officer for S&S. S&S is also willing to offer the new e-commerce capability to other publishers and authors. In addition to the You books from S&S, chapters from the first book, You: The Owner's Manual, published by HarperCollins, will be available for sale through askdoctoroz.

Ayn Rand still hits home for most Politicos and Jonathon Safran Foer goes veggie.

I keep hearing the same story about Ayn Rand being the voice of politics, especially during a economic depression, especially bringing Atlas Shrugged out to fight with. So I thought maybe you guys had been hearing the same thing... if not. check this out from NPR, or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Also out this week: Jonathon Safran Foer abandons his fiction style seen in Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close for his new book Eating Animals. I'm curious as to how he reads as the new Omnivore's Dilemma.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Kindle and a Croissant

I thought it interesting that the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown offers its guests the Kindle rather than the drab, black-and-white daily paper to read during breakfast and brunch. I can't say for sure if they offer one to each table or each guest, but it's certainly an option.

Ink-stained fingers during brunch are so uncivilized.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Hey guys,

I got this deal on my email this morning and thought you all might be interested. It is a $10 ticket to the Newseum, instead of spending the $20 that is usually costs (isn't $20 a bit much for a museum?). You have to get the ticket today, but you can use it until the end of the year. It looks like fun, especially for us newcomers to the DC area!

Random House Dominates PW's Top Ten

Publishers Weekly has named their top ten books of 2009 (comprised of fiction and non-fiction).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tale From A Very Different Time

Saw this on my Forgotten English Word-a-Day Calendar for today and thought you all might find it amusing:

Bibliothecary: Keeper of a library. -- Elisha Coles's English Dictionary, 1713

Thoreau's Big Library

On this date in 1853, six years after leaving the solace of Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal: "My publisher has been writing from time to time to ask what disposition should be made of the copies of A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers still on hand, and at last suggesting that he had use for the room they occupied in his cellar. So I had them all sent to me here, and they have arrived to-day by express, filling the man's wagon--706 copies out of an edition of 1000 . . . I have now a library of nearly nine hundred volumes, over seven hundred of which I wrote myself." Looking on the bright side, the reclusive philosopher added: "Sitting beside the inert mass of my works, I take up my pen to-night to record what thought or experience I have had, with as much satisfaction as ever. Indeed, I believe that this result is more inspiring and better for me than if a thousand had bought my wares. It affects my privacy less and leaves me freer."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A coming new obsession: how to handle a smaller print-book business

Found this blog posting while researching for the book report. Interesting thinking.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Nook

NPR wrote a nice little piece on The Nook... check it out here. Apparently Apple is working on a "Super iPhone" that will be their eBook.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Publishing Axioms

Some familiar phrasing:

Death to the Dictionary?

I think not! Check out this little Word Journal... or this little Word Gem.

Monday, October 19, 2009

High Schools Experiment with Digital Textbooks has a front page article about our nation's high schools experimenting with digital textbooks in the classroom. It shares a few of the advantages and disadvantages that could come about from the dismissal of traditional textbooks. Check it out here.

Making old new again--INNOVATION

I wonder if this concept would work with "old" publishing technologies--books, magazines, newspapers, etc.

Piano stairs - -

Kalb Report

I posted a couple of weeks ago that there was going to be an edition of the Kalb Report focused on print organizations in the digital age. While we had class that night, GW posted the show on their youtube account. Check it out if you have the time (about an hour long):

Ink on the Brink
On October 5, four top newspaper industry insiders joined Marvin Kalb at the National Press Club to discuss how the venerable print organizations of our time will survive and thrive in the digital age. Guests: David Hunke, President and Publisher, USA Today; Anne Bagamery, Senior Editor, International Herald Tribune; Cynthia Tucker, Columnist, Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Marcus Brauchli, Executive Editor, The Washington Post.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Google Settlement Debate Heats Up in Frankfurt

This Publishers Weekly article sums up the “European and American Positions Towards the Google Settlement” panel that took place at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Barnes & Noble e-reader

This is one of the first photos of the Barnes & Noble e-reader from today's Huffington Post.
The B&N e-reader is likely to give the Kindle and the Sony e-reader run for its money.
The layout features a black-and-white screen like the Kindle and a multi-touch display like an i-Phone and will also feature a color screen approximately the size of a paperback book.

Curling up with a nice... e-book?

Does the Brain Like E-Books?

A NY Times discussion involving three professors, an author, and a computer scientist.

Off the Shelf and Onto the Laptop

Libraries and Readers Wade Into Digital Lending

NY Times
article discusses how libraries are attracting readers with downloadable e-books and audio books.

Freelance editing has a new post for freelance content editors. Check it out

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


These Microsoft ads made me think of our class discussion on Monday. This first one gets pretty good at about the 2:30 mark.

"The Short Story as Dress Rehearsal"

Or Why Book Publisher's Love Short Stories. Thanks, New Yorker... for leading me to Alan Rinzler.

Free Press?

Was China the right choice for the Frankfurt Book Fair?

Free For All--Business Models

An interesting news segment from Sunday Morning on CBS.;featuredPost-PE

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Journal of Cultural Conversation

Yet another really cool online community to check out. The Journal of Cultural Conversation

"The Journal of Cultural Conversation is an online magazine dedicated to featuring original commentary that highlights a colorful range of cultural topics. Authored by a team of fascinating storytellers, TJCC puts a creative lens on the people, places and things that make our world so cool."

I found it whilst looking around for reasons to like this city. Outside of starting school, I wasn't sure what else I really liked about ole DC anymore. Turns out, the District isn't dead, it's just a little hard to wake up from a nap.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Show & Tell

As some of you are aware, after the Donnelley plant trip I boarded a train and headed up to the Boston area for the weekend. While my host was at work, I explored a bit of the area on foot and ended up on the Harvard campus. I did in fact hike along Mass Ave to the Harvard Bookstore, where I saw the Paige M. Gutenborg (we so could have done better with the name!) POD machine at work, and got one of the $8 GoogleBooks titles made up. (It's neater in person than on the video.)

As I will be coming straight from Union Station to class on Monday night (I hope my train is on time!), I'll have a POD book with me if anyone's interested in taking a look at it. (I had to be a little careful with it on the way back to the T as the spine-glue hadn't totally hardened yet.) The cover is rather generic as they didn't have one archived for the particular book I got; I was told very clearly by the bookstore staff that "this is the one Google makes us put on, we want to design a nicer one!" :-)

I was rather surprised to see that Paige was fed by two commercial printers as opposed to having some sort of internal mechanism for that; I don't believe that was in the video that was posted a few weeks ago -- what essentially amounted to an actual copy machine fed the text-block pages into it (and what took the longest for my book was calling up the scanned files) and a Canon color printer fed the cover in on more durable stock.

I got to talk to the bookstore owner too (he was hovering over the machine since it's only been up a few weeks and there are still a few small glitches occasionally involving the cover somehow, but they've fortunately so far been rare) and he was discussing how as a bookstore owner he believes that eventually bookstores will be more like a showroom, and that machines like Paige will be standard issue for those that need actual books. (He also was interested in finding out that he had what I believe to be one of the few ones of these machines -- for instance in the DC area I think the only ones are the ones like Megan was mentioning that end up used almost as short-run presses for some nonprofits.)

While I was there, there was also someone telling a small group about the machine in French -- unsurprisingly, there's been quite a bit of interest in this machine!

Review: The Cult of the Amateur

I had mixed feelings about Andrew Keen's book The Cult of the Amateur. He begins with an introduction in which he both admits that he is an elitist and assures the reader that he doesn't believe all amateur art is bad. It feels a bit lame, like a person who prefaces an offensive comment with "No offense, but..." As though this preface neutralizes the offensive comment.

Yes, Keen comes off as very elitist. And his "OK, you got me. I'm an elitist" confession didn't really make it OK for me. As a narrative voice I found him shrill and annoying. Moreover, his claim in the introduction seemed contrived, as his attitude throughout the book is that no art, film, music, or writing is worth anything but those of the mainstream.

As a big fan of indie music and film, I found this attitude pretty shocking and ignorant. I'm sure there are plenty of awful blogs, videos on YouTube, and artist MySpace sites. But there are also likely many talented people who would have otherwise been overlooked by major labels, production companies, etc. and who now have a vehicle to get their name and work out there. He seemed worried people would stop appreciating real, quality art and all just watch animals doing stupid things on YouTube. This shows a real lack of faith in people. Frankly I see nothing wrong with having access to low-brow comedy. Moreover, I think there will always be a place for the high-brow, the thought-provoking, and the boundary-testing.

As Shelby mentioned in her review, Keen also seems to believe that no opinion or news is worth anything unless it comes from a PhD or a veteran journalist. While these sources obviously are more easily trusted, it's unfair to think that everyone else in the world lacks knowledge or perceptive opinions. It doesn't help that when he refers to knowledgable, educated people, he is clearly drawing a line between us and them. That is, he feels he is part of this educated group and is worried about information and art getting into the hands of the rest of America. The simpletons I guess.

I thought his concerns that Joe Shmoe news blogs will take over from the traditional trusted news sites were unfounded. My thought is that people who do care about news and world events are savvy enough to know who to trust and who not to. I do understand his dislike of Wikipedia I guess, but I feel that most people use Wikipedia as a reference site with an asterisk. We know there is a chance that everything is not completely accurate.

Luckily, the second half of the book is devoted to some more worthy concerns. Namely copyright and privacy of information. These are things that I definitely agree need to be monitored and considered.

And I think, in general, I mirror his hesitance about Web 2.0. I'm not a technophile by any means, and I sometimes get annoyed with the way things advance online, be it the internet or gadgets. I feel like we are culture that really idealizes convenience. If anything is mildly inconvenient to us, we just download an app to our iPhone so that we no longer have to deal with that minor inconvenience or even use our brains. (I sometimes envision a world where we all sit at home on our computers and never have to leave the house for everything ever). I also wonder how much of technology is just self-fullfilling prophesy. That is, sometimes it just feels like we are trying to advance things, like the Google book search, because we can, not because we really should.

I agreed with Keen that there should be some regulation online to prevent the various dangers such as piracy and identity theft. Likewise, I think we should think and have a conversation as a society about what we really need and what is good for us, instead of just jumping blindly in.

Bottom line: the goal of The Cult of the Amateur is stated to be to start a conversation about Web 2.0. In this respect, it does alright but would be much more palatable coming from a less biased, elitist, and obnoxious writer.

Friday, October 9, 2009

open access

A coworker sent me some info on this free open access webinar with five publishers on October 20th.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kindle Goes International; U.S. Price Lowered

By Jim Milliot

Amazon made its long-awaited move into the international market, announcing last night that it will begin shipping a new device with U.S. and international wireless access October 19. The new Kindle, priced at $279, will be available in more than 100 countries, Amazon said, and will have more than 200,000 English-language books. Amazon also said it is lowering the price of its U.S.-only Kindle from $299 to $259. The U.S. Kindle now has more than 350,000 titles available, with Lonely Planet one of the newest publishers to sign on.

Titles for the international Kindle come from a wide array of publishers, including Bloomsbury, Canongate, Faber and Faber, HarperCollins and Quercus. A major holdout is Random House, though spokesperson Stuart Applebaum told the New York Times the company was in discussions with Amazon. The e-tailer said more than 1,000 rights holders now have books available through the Kindle store. The international Kindle will also carry a number of foreign newspapers.

Google book debate back to the drawing board

AP article

NEW YORK – Lawyers on both sides are poised to continue their court battle over Google Inc.'s effort to get digital rights to millions of out-of-print books.
A hearing is set for Wednesday in Manhattan federal court.
Judge Denny Chin plans to set a schedule to define how the debate will proceed.
A $125 million agreement between Google and U.S. authors and publishers is being renegotiated. The parties agreed to return to the drawing board after the U.S. government said it seemed the agreement would violate antitrust laws.
Justice Department officials will be part of the new negotiations.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


In the rapidly changing publishing industry, former editorial assistant Makenna Goodman (who traded her gig in a fab NYC house for the dirt, pigs, and IHOPs of Vermont) says less is more, and that going green in publishing is going to really take off. Sustainability is not just a new craze, it's something that will become more and more important as resources become more precious. Read her article from The Huffington Post here.

New audiences for digital books--TEENS

Simon & Schuster today launches Pulse It (, a social networking site for readers 14 to 18. Registered users can read free e-books and discuss them with other teens and authors.

This week, Penguin launched an online network on its website ( offering book-related entertainment for readers of all ages, with teen-specific material. "YA Central" features interviews with authors and book club discussions. It's being marketed to schools, libraries, parenting websites and mommy blogs., a fledging firm looking for new ways to connect the worlds of video and books, says it's smart for publishers to experiment with new formats, especially for teen readers. The format isn't important it's the fact that they're reading.

Digital publishing provides an outlook for discussion and employment. Check out their discussion on the future of digital publishing.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Has it Begun?

Gourmet Magazine closing its doors.

xml at AGU

Some people have expressed some interest in seeing some of the developments that AGU has been working on with xml, so I'm extending the opportunity to anybody that would like to visit and see for themselves. If anybody is interested, please let me know so I can make the proper arrangements.


Coolness, Sweetness!

Short, concise audiobooks that you can soon download on your iPods? How cool is that! What a fun way to brush up on your general knowledge...Read on!

iMinds Launches Eight-Minute Audiobooks

MP3s offer compact overviews of general knowledge subjects

By Lynn Andriani -- Publishers Weekly, 9/29/2009 2:19:00 PM

In an attempt to capitalize on people’s short attention spans and ever-increasing dependence on iPods and other MP3 players, a new company, iMinds, has launched a series of eight-minute audiobooks that offer compact overviews of general knowledge subjects ranging from the history of whale hunting to creationism. There are currently 72 iMinds MindTracks available for download at Audible and the iTunes store, and iMinds plans to roll out hundreds more by the end of 2010. The audiobooks, or "tracks," are available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia.

Tracks cost $0.99 each, or customers may buy them in bundles, paying $3.99 for six, $5.99 for 12, $14.99 for 36 or $24.99 for 72. The tracks cover 12 categories: ideas and concepts; politics; law and business; the arts; history; people and places; medicine and inventions; sports and action; crime; war and conflict; pop culture; science and nature; culture and religion; and mystery and conspiracy. Initial titles include The Federal Reserve, Epidemics, D-Day Invasion, Seven Wonders, Film Noir, Stockholm Syndrome, and Evolution.

Olivia Wood founded iMinds in Sydney, Australia, earlier this year. She had previously worked in magazine publishing in Australia and at NewsLink, an Australian book retailer, and wanted to create a place for nonfiction content to be formatted for MP3 players. iMinds employs researchers, writers and topic experts to create content, and editors and fact-checkers to ensure accuracy. Voice-over artists read the content against a backdrop of music and sound effects. The company does not collaborate with book publishers for content. A spokesperson said that in the future, iMinds may partner with other content producers, but currently that is not a main objective, nor does it have plans to release its content in print or e-book format.

Wood believes iMinds MindTracks are “the perfect companion for busy MP3 owners who utilize technology to get the most out of life.” Additionally, as part of an initiative called The KUE Project, iMinds will send tracks free of charge to any nonprofit, library, school, teaching college or non-government organization that qualifies.

The company has hired a national PR agency and is working with Audible’s marketing efforts. MindTracks went live earlier in September, and while the company would not release the number of downloads, a spokesperson said that in the U.S., so far both the Anime and Film Noir tracks have landed on iTunes’ Arts & Entertainment Top 100 list. Christina Harcar, director of editorial business development at Audible, called iMinds “a compelling new category of content that will appeal to a broad range of consumers.”

Digital publishers and the law

As more states consider the legal ramifications of distracted drivers, I have to wonder what responsibility digital publishers have to both their craft and the consumer. More and more media (newspapers, web sites, radio, publishers, etc.) encourage their market to use hand-held devices to "stay connected." But do the media also have an obligation to society to encourage safe and responsible use of technology that goes beyond piracy of books, music, and apps to ensure that everyone arrives safely at their destination? YES seems the obvious response, but I'm sure publishers feel the pull of market share and entertainment value as more people spend time commuting and less time in the "real" world.

Friday, October 2, 2009

NPR and Kindle

Here is a real review of owning a Kindle. I thought it was funny. Thanks again, NPR.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Should Newspapers Die???

As print versus electronic media has been a continuous topic during our class discussions, I thought I’d share with you this article I came across on Newsweek Blogs. The article is entitled Don't Bail Out Newspapers--Let Them Die and Get Out of the Way. The author is strongly against any type of bailout that would be of assistance to the newspapers by giving tax breaks if they become non profits. He expresses his desire for newspapers to be discontinued altogether because they are old forms of media and not thriving compared to Internet news sources. He stated “Fact is, I only care about a tiny percentage of what those papers publish, and I can read them on my computer or my iPhone. And I can rely on blogs and Twitter to steer me to articles worth reading.”

So, take a look at the article and share your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Flip Side of Google Book Search

I know we've somewhat beaten this subject to death in class, but here is an article bringing up the somewhat less-talked aspect of the infinite Google Book Search drama: it will bring back out-of-print books. If it works this way, it might be used as a public utility (Sorry libraries!)

Take this Kindle


For those of us who are soooo fortunate to ride the Metro to school, check this out. through out October, WMATA is scheduling track maintenance on all lines not only on weekends, but week days too! See you in class, if we can make it. Geez.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This American Life, October 2:

This week's This American Life is entitled "The Book That Changed Your Life". It is a rerun of a show that originally aired a decade ago, so it should be an interesting listen (and Arnie says the radio is dead!).

In short, this broadcast will feature: "Stories of people who believe a book changed their life. It's a romantic notion, and one reason we believe it is because we want to believe our lives can be changed by something so simple as an idea — or a set of ideas contained in a book."

You can stream it for free here (or whoa- actually catch it live on Friday?)

What book changed my life? No lie, "The Velveteen Rabbit". You?

Survey Finds Publishers In Search of New Business Models

Just over 72% of publishers taking part in a survey on the impact of digitization on book publishing said the development of new business models, new multimedia products and effective marketing strategies are the biggest challenges facing publishers as they make the transition from print to digital. The survey was conducted by the Frankfurt Book Fair and the German trade magazine Buchreport in cooperation with PW, and received responses from 840 publishers across the globe. What forms the new business models should take and how publishers will charge for content generated no consensus.

Charging readers a flat rate that would allow them access to all of a information provider’s online content similar to a traditional subscription model was favored by 25% of respondents, especially those from Europe. Paying for snippets of content through micropayments was favored by 23%, with that method backed the most in Great Britain and the U.S. The premium model, under which users would pay for selected online content, found support from 16% of respondents.

At present e-books are generating the most revenue, although publishers remain unsure on how to price those titles. The survey found that the majority of publishers support pricing e-books below the price of print books, with only 19% saying e-books should be as expensive as the print book or more expensive. What the discount should be below the print price had a wide range of responses with the highest percentage, 30%, saying e-books should be priced at 30% off the print price.

Sixty percent of publishers said sales of digital products are expected to represent less than 10% of total revenue in 2009, although that is expected to change in the next two years with 58% saying that believe that in 2011 digital sales will account for over 10% of revenue. By 2018, about 50% of respondents said they believe more of their revenue will come from digital products than print.

The majority of responses came from Europe (74%), followed by the U.S. (11%) and Great Britain (4%). Trade houses accounted for 32% of respondents, with information publishers second at 20% and educational publisher third at 10%.

By Jim Milliot -- Publishers Weekly, 9/28/2009 1:46:00 PM

Book Sales

The AAP reports gains for July.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Don't know how many of you are aware of National Novel Writing Month, which takes place every November under the guise of NaMoWriMo.

The goal is to write a 175 page novel (50,000 words) in just one month! I've signed up for about 4 years now, only actually starting once (it's a lot harder than at first glance, and well, life gets in the way sometimes). Despite my years of failure, it's pretty fun to talk yourself into, and the website is full of all kinds of encouraging things -including trying to tackle other insane writing and editing challenges, and what to do after you've written this amazing novel (Hmmm! Get it published any way you can! Tips and scares included here).

Even if you never want to write a novel or script or whatever, it's a great idea that encourages the creative process- something I'm a fan of. Here, check it out: NaMoWriMo.

More authors turn to Web and print-on-demand publishing

While I was researching for more information about on-demand publishing, I came across this article that I thought was an interesting read. Check it out when you get a chance...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Digital Book World Conference Set for Jan. 26-27, 2010

up2date: The Future of Digital Publishing Starts Here

Digital Book World is a dynamic 2-day event that addresses the radically changing commercial environment for book publishers and their trading partners. The industry’s top insiders—all experts at the forefront of digital publishing—will discuss how they are overcoming the challenges presented by the digital age and using its benefits to create a new business model that positions their companies for immediate success and future growth.
26-27 January, NYC

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Michael Jackson Opus Book

This is a YouTube video of the Opus book chronicling Michael Jackson's life to be released in December 7 for $165. The print book includes pictures that when held in front of your computer move and play as a video. This 400 page book introduces a new technology to publishing. Watch the clip below for a demonstration from the publisher, Kraken Opus Publications.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who you gonna call?

Editors of some medical journals are using "ghostbusting" to fight the number of articles coming from ghostwriters with ties to drug companies. Articles are being billed as the work of "independent academic authors" instead of the work of company-sponsored writers, resulting in articles that are more a part of a company's marketing scheme than scholarly work. Definitely a study of the acquistion and editorial stages of the publishing process.

Aptara, ScrollMotion Team to Convert Content for the iPhone

Aptara, ScrollMotion Team to Convert Content for the iPhone
By Calvin Reid -- Publishers Weekly, 9/23/2009 6:18:00 AM
Aptara, an international developer of content conversion, authoring and management systems, is teaming up with iPhone applications developer ScrollMotion to create a streamlined and comprehensive system to transform book content into interactive e-book material for the iPhone. ScrollMotion is the creator the Iceberg Reader, an e-book reader for the iPhone.

Aptara CEO Dev Ganesan said the partnership with ScrollMotion will offer publishers a way to minimize production and distribution costs, add a variety of interactive content features customized for each publisher, and create a new revenue stream through the growing popularity of the iPhone and the convenience of the iTunes store, as well as through other mobile reading devices.

Ganesan said the venture is aimed at getting Aptara involved “from the beginning of the editorial process; we can help to plan how the content will be used—graphics, multiple languages, composition, educational content and how to deliver it—and make the process more cost effective for conversion to mobile devices.” Aptara currently works with the content of such publishers as Random House, McGraw-Hill, Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Penguin Group USA.

In ScrollMotion CEO John Lema's view,“Aptara delivers the absolute highest-quality e-book conversion capability,” and emphasized that the new partnership will allow “publishers to work with Aptara to convert their content and with ScrollMotion to monetize it.”

ScrollMotion’s Iceberg Reader is being used on “hundreds of thousands” of iPhones, Lema said and he also emphasized the importance of working with publishers very early n the conversion process to create detailed interactive functionality around their content. “As conversions become more complex, you need to add value earlier in the process,” he said. The Iceberg Reader, said Lema, not only offers the usual stuff—fonts, pagination, color and images—but can also provide searching, e-mail sharing, textbook content, quizzes, editable text and multimedia.

“Combining this application with Aptara’s e-book production expertise now offers publishers a new option for delivering content to the iPhone market in a highly cost effective manner,” said Ganesan.

IREX Unveils New Wireless Digital Reading Device

IREX Unveils New Wireless Digital Reading Device

By Calvin Reid -- Publishers Weekly, 9/23/2009 7:20:00 AM

IREX, a European developer of digital reading devices, will today release the details about the new digital reading device it plans to launch in the U.S. market that will allow consumers to wirelessly download e-books as well as newspaper content through a partnership with Barnes & Noble. The device will be unveiled at a roundtable discussion in New York City featuring IREX CEO Hans Broder, B& president William Lynch, Penguin CEO David Shanks and others (including this reporter).

The new device has a 8.1” black & white e-ink touchscreen; offers wireless 3G connectivity through the Verizon network and will cost $399. The IREX DR800SG and will be available for sale through Best Buy chain by next month.

The new device has been developed to compete directly with the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader devices. Better known in Europe than in the U.S., IREX is entering the U.S. market a bit late. But the company hopes to overcome that disadvantage through its partnership with B&N, the unique size and quality of the touchscreen device and a long history of developing and enhancing e-ink technology. The device will also offer wireless access to more than a 1,000 newspapers through the NewspaperDirect service.

The new IREX device has another advantage: it has a Qualcomm Gobi chipset that allows the device to use wireless networks outside of the U.S.—unlike the Kindle or the Sony Reader. IREX is also reportedly planning to offer an affordable color-screen—current color e-ink devices can cost nearly $1,000-- as early as 2011.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The "O"prah Effect: A Marketing Dream

Back home after class yesterday night, I tuned into the television only to come across --- and very aptly so --- a documentary on CNBC titled “The Oprah Effect.”

Some of you may already be in the know about this phenomenon, some others may not. I was only enlightened about it yesterday. Truth be told, I’m not much of a TV watcher, much less a talk show junkie or even a pseudo-believer in the mass mania of celebrity cult hood. But the documentary was intriguing enough to hold my attention --- especially after our “marketing-themed” class discussion. The show talked about Oprah’s Midas touch in the world of marketing and soon after tuning in, I found my jaw drop and my mouth look---yes, what else, but like a very large “O.” Reason enough for me steal a few moments from a busy enough day to simply blog about it.

“The Oprah Effect,” as it turns out, is the most powerful marketing force. It’s origin lies in the inception of her “book club” segment in 1996 but it’s influence is limited not only to books but to any product that has the good fortune of being liked, enjoyed, appreciated, and subsequently mentioned by her on her talk show --- it could be a bar of soap, a beauty product, a garden tool, pantyhose --- even cake! A handful of products and book titles actually make it to her show but if (and when) they do, they end up striking not gold but platinum. Check some facts I picked off the web/show to chew on them from a sales & marketing standpoint:

1. In 2000, Oprah chose Spanx shape wear as one of her "Favorite Things." The Atlanta-based clothing company quickly sold their 8-year inventory in just three months.
2. In 2002 and 2005, Oprah selected Garrett Popcorn as one of her “Favorite Things.” The afternoon of the broadcast in 2002, the company had 100,000 web hits and the sales for the month of December increased by 100 percent. Garrett Popcorn went from making popcorn 8 hours a day to 24 hours a day.
3. The mention of Lori Karmel’s struggling "We Take the Cake" bakery shop on The Oprah Winfrey show in 2004 pulled her company back to life and out of bankruptcy. Today, the company’s sales are more than $1 million a year.

Yes, now I can envision your jaws drop and your mouths look like a very large “O.”

As regards to what’s dearer --- Book Publishing, a heartfelt recommendation of a book in her “Book Club” segment is known to guarantee sky-rocketing sales and transform a seemingly obscure title into a wildly successful best seller. Titles, such as “The Deep End of the Ocean” and “The House of Sand and Fog” that made it to Oprah’s book club became so successful that they were adapted into films. Her latest pick is an African story collection called “Say You’re One of Them” by Uwem Akpan. A more spectacular example of Oprah’s magic dust effect is with none other than the most talked about gizmo in publishing --- the Amazon Kindle. Last fall when she mentioned on her show how smitten she was by it, sales exploded through the roof and into the stratosphere. Amazon sold out of its entire inventory for the holiday season. Little wonder that it was on backorder for the longest time on

Well after all, Oprah is the most influential TV personality of her time. Supposedly, about 44 million people watch her show. And I don’t happen to be one of them. (Wow, ok, the thought weirded me out for a second.)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Here Comes Everybody

When I began reading “Here Comes Everybody” by Clay Shirky, I thought that the theme of the book would be convergence, or how multiple technologies work together and/or in sync with one another to maximize the coverage or exploitation of a resource, like ABC covering a news story through radio, television and the internet. I quickly realized that this preconceived notion of this book was incorrect. Rather than focusing on “convergence,” the theme was more about “proliferation.”

As I began to think about the two terms, I understood how my line of thinking was flawed. From a corporate standpoint, convergence may be a core principle that they use in order to reach diverse audiences. As the habits of those audiences evolve with increased technological functionality, their need to integrate the usage of such technologies into their portfolio grows. The constant development of new ways to reach these audiences becomes necessary for the survival of their business.

What Shirky illustrates is the way these same evolving habits formed from new technologies empowers each individual user to become the purveyor of information. No longer do we have to wait for Brian Williams to report the nightly news when an average citizen in Thailand can Tweet real-time accounts of government activities or natural disasters. The old ways of collectivizing are now challenged with the possibility (and reality) of flash mobs and Meetup Groups. Group-forming can be done quickly, effectively, and still dissolve just as fast.

According to Shirky, we’ve adapted a formula of “publish, and then filter,” radically different from traditional models of communication. This new structure results from the immediacy of available information and the abundance of voices that compete for our attention. Time taken to properly edit information is time away from reaching the audience. Put the information out first, and then correct it as you go along. ,especially now, when we’re in a stock-market like global environment where information becomes short-lived and outdated as quickly as the Dow Jones Average jumps up and down.

A business model that adapts to these new times is the open-source formula utilized by Linux, which allows anybody to contribute to the success of a program. Linux is self-policed by a loosely-formed and tightly-knit body of computer programmers who seek to solve any number of complex problems. Everybody has the potential to resolve an issue or add input, becoming as important as anybody else within the group. The proliferation of contributors, similar to Wikipedia, is why Shirky calls his book “Here Comes Everybody.”

What to do with all those old books?

Give them to an artist of course! There is an artist named Cailtlin (founder of Rebound Design) who appears nearly every week at Eastern Market (and often at other art venues like Crafty Bastards) that takes books and recycles them into purses, wallets, buttons, and all kinds of other fashion items. I actually have a wallet that this crafty lady made- One of my favs, The Great Gatsby. They are a little on the pricey side, but a nice collectible if you want to somehow save a favorite novel from the tyranny of old age, or if you see one on her list that suits your fancy! Here's one of the wallets below. Check out her website for more information about the artist, and the reason she sees fit to seemingly destroy and recreate.

The Cult of the Amateur

Though it might very well be the point, Andrew Keen's well-informed, but completely biased attitude throughout his book, The Cult of the Amateur, is extremely irritating. He sets out to provide the reader with a dissection of the current digital age we live in by exploring the various problems with sites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Myspace, Craigslist and the like. While some of the arguments he makes against these types of "user-generated" information pools is eerily truthful, the bottom line is, Keen seems to believe that most things online cannot be considered fact unless backed by higher education and a title.

Much like Mom used to say, "Too much TV will rot your brain", Keen argues that this "Web 2.0" state of being is next to cause intellectual decay. While no one can argue that plagiarism and information overload have become far too easy to fall prey to because of the amount of data available at the click of a button, one can say that this does not make an individual inable to decide what is truth and subjective opinion. Keen's fierce discredit of any one who has not been properly educated - and has documented proof of said education - was a little overwhelming. Though I will admit, my roommate- who happens to be younger-enough than me to be categorized in another generation- often references Wikipedia as her go-to source of valuable information and fact. And she is well educated. that further proves Keen's argument I suppose, and brings some backing to my cartoon.

Keen's not the only one who believes that the digital age is dangerous. Most of those who consider themselves to be anti-user-generated sites all agree on the fact that authenticity is at stake. And for that, I cannot dispute. However, suggesting that the mere presence of too much information leads to less knowledge, is hard to swallow. I can't stand to establish fact before allowing for proper research. But that's just me, and we are talking about the masses here. The masses tend to believe whatever it is that is most popular. That might be the most frightening of all, and perhaps what is genuinely at the heart of Cult of the Amateur. While I cannot say it will ever make it to the top of my suggested reading list (mostly due to author voice and tone), it is interesting to hear how those in the trenches of technology feel about the democratization of knowledge as found in Web 2.0.

Children's Publishing in the Digital Age

Hi everyone,

I came across an interesting article about the prospect of publishing childrens' books in digital formats. Click on to take a peak at it.


The Latest on Google Settlement

The following is from today's "Shelf Awareness":

Notes: Google Settlement Legal Advice

The Justice Department recommended Friday that the proposed Google book settlement "not be approved by the court without modifications," the New York Times reported, adding that the department encouraged all parties involved to "continue talks to modify the agreement and overcome its objections." The Times also noted that the Justice Department "is not a party to the case but legal experts say the court is likely to seriously consider its views.""As presently drafted the proposed settlement does not meet the legal standards this court must apply," the department concluded. "This court should reject the proposed settlement and encourage the parties to continue negotiations to comply with Rule 23 and the copyright and antitrust laws.""Clearly the Justice Department sees the tremendous value that this settlement would bring to readers, students and scholars," said Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild. "We don’t want this opportunity to be lost."A joint statement from the guild, the Association of American Publishers and Google said: "We are considering the points raised by the department and look forward to addressing them as the court proceedings continue." The Times reported that Federal District Court Judge Denny Chin has scheduled a hearing on the case for October 7.

For more information, follow this link to Publishers Weekly:


The AP has an article this morning about newspapers beginning (again) to charge for online access. I started to write that the article was in the Post, then realized it was only on the website.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

When Publishing Had Scents and Sounds

A quick glance back into the good ol' days. Or were they?

This New York Times article explores the sights, the sounds, and the onion skin carbon paper involved in publishing before the computer age (or, as the author likes to explain), before the "atomic bomb that wiped out typewriters... [and] phased out calendars, address books and calculators."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The September Issue

Last night I saw the film, "The September Issue," directed by R.J. Cutler. The film documents the production of the September Vogue issue through the viewpoints of Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief, Grace Coddington, Creative Director, and others. Although I think the girls with whom I accompanied to the movie were solely interested in the fashion elements, I was hugely intrigued by the magazine publishing theme (and, I can't deny it, the fashion too). New to the publishing genre in general, I got to see some different elements of the magazine publishing process, along with attitudes and characteristics of the people in the business. I really enjoyed the film and would recommend it to fashionistas interested in publishing!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Espresso Book Machine

Hi Everyone!

In regards to our class discussion on the Espresso Book Machine here is a video I found that shows a close-up view of the machine and how it works. The video describes each step of the book making process and shows how the book is made. Enjoy!

A Kalb Report Relevant for You

The new season of "The Kalb Report" opens October 5 with “Ink on the Brink: The Future of Print Journalism.” Unfortunately, its 8pm start time runs too close to the end of the e-publishing course that Monday night, but it should be broadcast later on.

For more information on "The Kalb Report" and this specific episode follow this link to the news release on GW's own website:

Speaking of Dan Brown... and Oprah!

Good ole NPR loves the Publishing world (thankfully)... calling it "a giant week in the publishing industry, one that publishers and booksellers hope might give their business a needed boost." NPR writer Lynn Neary goes on to discuss exactly what we talked about last night, the impact of blockbuster books like Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol.

She also mentions Oprah and her book club... oh yeah, that. Personally, I don't look to Oprah for advice on what to read, but if it will help the rest of lazy America pick up a book, yay Oprah.

Check it out here.

Espresso Book Machine Naming Contest at Harvard Bookstore

O my. We could definitely win this contest.

"As we prepare for the arrival of the machine, we’re stumped by what to call it. Calling this remarkable piece of machinery “The Book Machine” just sounds so…cold. So we’re asking for our community’s help in naming our new book-making robot.* Submit your book machine name to bookmachine@harvard.comby September 24th and, if your entry is selected, you’ll be eligible to any six public domain or print-on-demand books in our catalog, printed straight off the machine. The winner will also receive public recognition at our unveiling ceremony on September 29th. "

See article online here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Journalistic Standards at The NY Times

An interesting look at The New York Times' standards as reported by Craig R. Whitney, the assistant managing editor.

Readers' questions referring to content (standards, partisan reporting, research involved), advertising, design (too few photographs of women, a crowded masthead), and more.

The Casual Optimist

I just thought this website was really cool. Created and maintained by Dan Wagstaff, this site offers all kinds of interesting book and publishing-related items. As per About the Author:

"The Casual Optimist is a blog about books. I write about book trade and all things book-related, but mostly I want to share ideas about creativity, innovation, and best practice in publishing and the book-trade.

Digital technology presents many challenges for authors, bookstores, publishers, and book distributors. It is also creating some remarkable opportunities. I don’t have the answers, but I’m optimistic we can figure it out together. Let’s talk."

Check it out.

The Casual Optimist