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May 2012

Home delivery

At 5 am this morning, a stranger drove up to my house, got out of his car and walked up to my front door. Something that happens nearly every day. This is the insane last step in the almost crazy notion of the home-delivered newspaper. Hundreds of reporters and editors and then thousands working in [...]

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The future of the cover

Great essay by Craig Mod on how ebooks change the role of the cover. The divergence between the homemade covers that indicate the junkiness of what’s inside by being junky on the outside, and the handcrafted covers that communicate care and taste in an iconic way continues to get wider and wider.

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Amazon bans junk ebooks

Just got a note from them highlighting this rule: Some types of content, such as public domain content, may be free to use by anyone, or may be licensed for use by more than one party. We will not accept content that is freely available on the web unless you are the copyright owner of [...]

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Using ebooks to promote ebooks

It sounds like an infinite loop, but it’s actually quite smart. The people most likely to buy an ebook are people who are already reading them, and unlike blads, galleys and other printed samples, the cost of producing one more copy of a sample is precisely zero. Some authors have had success promoting new books [...]

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Book content as a solo endeavor

Some would argue that books need to evolve into apps or other forms of multimedia–that books won’t be appreciated by large numbers of people until appreciating a book ceases to involve reading it. While this may be an accurate discussion of the public’s habits (far more people saw the Hunger Games than read it), it [...]

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It’s nice to be nominated

No, actually, not so much. About 20 years ago a film/VHS project I produced was nominated for a prestigious American Film Institute Award. I know it was prestigious because they told me it was, and because a lot of celebrities were going to be at the gala. I got my tux, used money I didn’t [...]

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The real threat to (big time) book publishing

The people who run the big publishing houses feel threatened by Amazon and by ebooks and by pricing and by the death of chain bookstores, not to mention the Justice Department. All of these are contributors to the future, but they cloud the core issue. The narrative of their fear is that book publishing will [...]

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Powerful (and powerless) merchants

The following things are so commonplace that they are almost beyond noticing: A visit to Costco turns up quite a few items produced by a brand called “Kirkland,” which is owned, naturally, by Costco. Checking out of Barnes and Noble in many large cities and you’re likely to see the Zagat’s restaurant guide near the [...]

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Brick by brick–building a digital platform right

Amanda Palmer (leaving out her middle name, which is a story for another day) didn’t used to be a superstar. She is now. Her Kickstarter project is instantly oversubscribed. Her concerts sell out, wherever she goes in the world, and she goes everywhere. Her Twitter account has more than half a million followers. Classic overnight [...]

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