Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Around the Word

The self-publishing plot thickens: Last week's Wall Street Journal piece on the destabilizing effect that self-publishing is having on book prices industry-wide is continuing to reverberate in the literary world. Today Mike Shatzkin, the CEO of Idea Logical Company and one of the top thought leaders on digital publishing, offers his two cents on the rise of the 99 cent book on his blog. But the real news comes at the bottom of Shatzkin's post, where he announces that self-publishing pioneer Barry Eisler will be speaking about his groundbreaking decision to go solo at the Publishers Launch conference at BEA on May 25.

It's about Time: The New Yorker is rejoicing in the fact that professional writers Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Franzen, George R.R. Martin, and Chinese investigative journalist Hu Shuli will all be featured in The Time 100 list this year. That's a 400 percent increase on the magazine's list of most influential figures over last year, when not one writer made the cut. Writer and Daily Show regular John Hodgman (you may know him as PC in the Apple commercials) attributes this void to the fact that "there isn't enough shaming of non-readers on our society." Do you agree?

Speed racer: If you find your writing frustrating or too time consuming, Ragan suggests that one trick you may want to try is using a kitchen timer. Revving up your writing speed, they contend, can help tap your creativity and improve your overall writing process. You'll be able to outrun any negative self-criticism, capture ideas and flashes of brilliance that occur spontaneously, and have more time to edit when you're done among other reasons.

Ads for an era: The new ad campaign for Barnes & Noble's Nook Color aims to put a shiny, reassuring gloss on the revolution shaking up the publishing world and the reading experience. The New York Times reports that the Nook campaign revolves around the tagline "Read Forever," invoking the hopeful message that reading is changing, but it's not going away. The commercials feature dreamy sequences of readers unperturbed by the world around them, and to add authenticity, casting scouts were deployed to find everyday people reading in public places (they number more then half of those on screen). Interestingly there are no B&N stores or storefronts in the commercial, a nod to the redistribution of consumers away from brick-and-mortar bookstores.

No comments: