Thursday, April 28, 2011

Around the Word

"Paging" all night owls: Archpriest and spokesperson for the Russian Orthodox Church, Vsevolod Chaplin, is known as an unorthodox thinker -- among his more out-of-the-pulpit ideas was a national dress code to prevent women from "confusing city streets with strip clubs." The New Yorker reports that Chaplin's latest creative notion, tapping into Russia's proud literary tradition, is to open a series of "spiritual nightclubs" stocked with books (and tea) instead of booze. Think this will play in St. Petersburg? How about Manhattan?

Snap, crackle, Push Pop: The digitalization of books is quickly evolving beyond the words on your Kindle. Wired reports that two former Apple engineers, Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, have set out to "blow up" the book with their new venture, Push Pop Press. Push Pop Press will create book apps which take advantage of the advanced sensors in the iPhone and iPad. Reading will be turned into a completely interactive experience where videos, interactive diagrams, and geotagged photos are just the beginning. To get a better idea of how these features this will enhance the way we read, Wired also features a video tour of the new book Al Gore recently produced with Push Pop.

Vlogging your work: If you're looking for new ways to raise their profile and expand their networks, you may want to give video blogging a try. So says Jennifer Wilkov, the host of the radio talk show "Your Book Is Your Hook" on WomensRadio, who has a persuasive post up today on Rachelle Gardner's blog on the benefits of vlogging for writers. Among other things, Wilkov says, it provides an especially efficient introduction of who you are and how you speak -- qualities important to editors and agents. To make the most of this medium, Wilkov advises, keep your video between 1-3 minutes, choose a pleasant backdrop, and minimize distracting background noise. Have you considered Vlogging or already do it? Tell us about your experience.

Sole proprietor, literary edition: First there was the pop-up book. Now thanks to enterprising author Andrew Kessler, we have the pop-up bookstore. According to the New York Times, the Brooklyn-based writer came up with the singular idea to open his own quicky shop in the West Village that only sells his own books. Customers can find 3,000 copies of Kesslers work, Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days with the Phoenix Mars Mission, which are available at $27.95 a pop. Kessler, who spent 90 days inside mission control during the Phoenix Mars Lander mission, wittily welcomes customers into the store with the sign, "We have one book, but we're not Scientologists."

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