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Amanda Hocking, the darling of the self-publishing world, has been shopping a four-book series to major publishers, attracting bids of well over $1 million for world English rights, two publishing executives said.
Recently I found myself explaining to a group of surprised friends from Protestant and secular backgrounds that, despite being educated in the Catholic faith up to the sacrament of confirmation at age 14, I didn't read the Old Testament until I was assigned it in a college literature course. Traditionally, the Catholic Church did not encourage its congregation to read the Bible; we had the priests to explain it to us. In fact, the church once took such a dim view of the idea that, in 1536, the English reformer William Tyndale was tried for heresy, strangled and burned at the stake, largely for translating the Bible into English for a lay readership. Tyndale House, a major American Christian publisher, is named after him. -- Read More
I wasn’t planning to write a post this past weekend for Monday morning publication. But then Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler contacted me on Saturday to tell me what Barry is up to. I’ve read their lengthy conversation about Barry’s decision to turn down a $500,000 contract (apparently for two books) and join Joe (and many others, but none who have turned down half-a-million bucks) as a self-published author.
To use a metaphor that connects with the current news: this is a very major earthquake. This one won’t cause a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown, but you better believe it will lead everybody living near a reactor — everybody working in a major publishing house — to do a whole new round of risk-assessment. Because, in its way, this is more threatening than the earthquake that just hit Japan. This self-publishing author will much more assuredly and directly spawn followers.
As news of Eisler’s decision spreads, phones will be ringing in literary agencies all over town with authors asking agents, “shouldn’t I be doing this?”
Newly single Renée Zellweger spent some time shopping at a local book store on the Upper East Side where she bought an interesting choice: The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks. Looks like her break from Bradley Cooper has her searching for some guidance!
Libraries would own ebooks and offer purchase through catalog.
I'd like to take this time to put forward a grand unifying theory of libraries:
Librarians are not unified.
I was reading a discussion of at the Annoyed Librarian and some librarians continue to follow the dream of believing in a world where all librarians share the common goals of service to the customer, preservation of materials, intellectual freedom and open access to information.
And they are completely and totally wrong.
The primary goal of a librarian is to be a librarian. And that means getting paid to do it.
If you're not getting paid to be a librarian, then you're not a librarian. You might have a degree, but currently you're a barista. Or a teacher. Or a consultant.
But your number one goal is to get a regular paycheck.
And that is the dilemma.
Because to earn that paycheck, you have two main avenues of service: the private sector or the public sector. And that is where the problem exists.
The goals of the private sector are almost completely antipodal to the goals of the public sector. Since the public sector relies on public monies, or taxes, that are paid by the private sector, there's almost a perpetual battle to divide those assets. Because the private sector would prefer to pay less in taxes while the public sector would benefit from more being collected. And as one side grows stronger, the other tends to weaken.
From where does the money come? -- Read More
Review in the NYT Sunday Review of Books
Book on Amazon: The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
By Phoebe Connelly in the Atlantic
"Tech for tech's sake is over. In a year when social media is helping inform our coverage of everything from political upheaval in the Middle East to the unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan, your app better do something more than be cool.
I kept coming back to the librarians as I talked to people at SXSWi because this micro-track mirrored what I saw tweeted and written about the conference as a whole. Interactive didn't feel blindly focused on discovering the killer app. Tech didn't feel like an end unto itself -- rather, it was about processing data with a purpose; data for a greater good. ....." Read the rest here.
When I first entered library school, Librarian About Town‘s innovative Myspace page for her community college library was getting recognized on a national level. No one was using social networking as a promotional or engagement tool for their library yet, and my friend was ahead of the pack.
Just a few years later, almost all libraries have Facebook pages, and we are figuring out as a profession just how we’d like to use them. Are we engaging with our community on these pages, asking for feedback? Are we promoting programs? What exactly are these pages for?
Read the full piece at:
The 32-page issue, PDF but with most essays also available as HTML separates, includes:
Perspective: Writing about Reading pp. 1-24
Dipping one toe gingerly into the ebook/ereader waters, here's the first of a two-part megaperspective on the nature of books, reading and writing. (Anticipate the snarkier second part in the May 2011 issue, barring surprises.)
Trends & Quick Takes pp. 24-27
More predictions, the gap between tools and talent, the cost of "free," and seven quicker takes.
The CD-ROM Project pp. 27-30
Six title CD-ROMs about political and cultural leadership--and, unfortunately, the message is right in the title: "Sometimes They Just Don't Work."
My Back Pages pp. 30-32
Only three of nine snarky little essays have anything to do with audiophilia--and in one case, that's stretching things.
Due to circumstances beyond our control, Erie Looking Productions has suffered a catastrophic equipment failure. As we attempt to repair damage it must be noted that the regularly scheduled release for 14 March 2011 is cancelled. Barring disruptions the next programming release is set for 21 March 2011.
Cancellation Notice for 14 March 2011 by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
They're pulling VHS tapes off the shelf in Lubbock. I realize that you can't buy new ones any more, but is that reason to not check 'em out? I am guessing they don't get the check-out traffic they used to get, but it still saddens me. Kids (or their nimrod parents) are surprisingly good at ruining DVDs by inflicting lots of scratches. It's much harder to wreck a VHS tape.
From the Web Urbanist
"The meaning of a book goes far beyond mere printed words. Books are symbols – for knowledge, fantasy, curiosity and so many other things – and even in an increasingly digital world where many books are only available in electronic format, these collections of bound pages maintain their hold upon our collective psyche. Perhaps that’s why they make such a startlingly unexpected and emotive medium for art of all kinds, from towering art installations to delicate paper sculptures. These 12 works of book art and architecture transcend the messages contained in the pages, both celebrating the books’ intrinsic value and tearing it down to convey something new...."the rest is here - with pictures.
LIS707 – Organization of Information Materials by Cover– 3 credits
Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress classification systems are disregarded in this study that focuses on the concerns and techniques of organizing items by cover and the modern library users’ information-seeking behavior. Concentrates on the understanding and application of this in demand trend, including how to separate colors and the differences between scary and sexy vampires.
more at: http://www.closedstacks.com/?p=3258
Not really library-related but in my experience, librarians tend to be cat lovers (don't flame me....I know not everyone loves cats -- I'm speaking generally and from _my_ experience.)
Here's a chance to turn your cat loving tendencies into a travel career that might pay more than your library job...(at least for a while) courtesy of Purina. Read all about it here.
From the Chronicle of Higher Ed
March 8, 2011, 4:32 pm
By Ben Wieder
The developers of Mendeley, a research-management tool that has more than a million users, want to put more than 70 million academic papers, reader recommendations, and social-networking tags to new and innovative uses. The company announced Tuesday its “Binary Battle,” a contest for outside developers to build applications drawing from Mendeley’s collected information, with a $10,001 grand prize for the best new application.
“If you’ve ever thought, ‘You know, I really wish I could search the literature better’ or ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I could see how this idea evolved over time?’ or just ‘I wish I had $10,001 dollars,’ well, now’s your chance,” says the company blog.....More here...
From the Brain Pickings blog
By Maria Popova
2011 is barely underway and it’s already been a tumultuous year for the evolution of publishing. As entire industries struggle to plot the future of the book, we find it important to take a step back and take a look at its past. An 8-bit unicorn tipped us off to the priceless 1947 documentary Making Books — a joint effort of Encyclopedia Britannica Films and the Library of Congress that will make you gasp and wince and gasp again as it opens its treasure chest of retro technology, matter-of-factly industrialism and unwitting vintage sexism.
This book trailer got a good write up at Publisher's Weekly.
I just had an epiphany while resetting an old man's default browser to IE. He said the tech guy installed Google Earth for him but also installed Chrome and told it to be the default browser. The old guy was lost because Chrome didn't look the same and he couldn't find his favorites.
So I reset everything and explained that techies prefer Chrome. And then I had to explain what Chrome is. And then I explained again that techies hate Microsoft and prefer Google, but I didn't get into why because this old man seemed confused by the fact that there's more than one browser on his computer. And since old people get angry when they get confused, I left him to check his email and look at old lady porn.
But what I realized is that librarians are not professionals.
Librarians get along with everyone. We try to play nice. We make rules to accommodate everyone. We include everyone in the discussion. We call anyone who works in a library a librarian. We think all librarians are great and that they offer worthwhile contributions to the profession. We would never fill a sock with D batteries and beat a patron over the head for talking too loudly on his phone.
But real professionals argue with each other. When I watch those one-hour dramatic presentations on television, all the lawyers and doctors and computer guys and detectives all hate each other. The criticize other lawyers or doctors or computer guys or detectives and say how they suck at their jobs and how they're alcoholics or criminals or whores.
And that's what makes a profession. Infighting. -- Read More