SXSW Publishing Panel Sparks Fireworks

Literary bloggers have been debating the SXSW Festival's "New Think for Old Publishers" panel all day. As the short video (by Books and Authors) illustrates, the one-hour discussion exposed a tumultuous, ongoing debate the future of publishing.


GWB's Non-Memoir out in 2010

Like many before him, the former head of state is writing a book...but rather than delivering a more traditional presidential memoir, he plans to explain twelve difficult personal and political decisions he has made.

According to Robert B. Barnett, the Washington lawyer who negotiated the deal with Crown on Mr. Bush’s behalf, the book will cover Mr. Bush’s decisions relating to Sept. 11, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Barnett said Mr. Bush would also write about why he ran for president, his decision to quit drinking, his discovery of religious faith, and his relationships with his parents, wife and siblings.

Mr. Barnett said Mr. Bush began working on a draft two days after he left office. “He’s already written 30,000 words,” Mr. Barnett said. “He has no collaborator, but he’s working with his former chief speech writer Christopher Michel.”

Sharing at Scribd

Online document sharing site Scribd has announced that it has partnered with a number of major publishers, including Random House, Simon & Schuster, Workman Publishing Co., Berrett-Koehler, Thomas Nelson, and Manning Publications, to legally offer some of their content to Scribd's community free of charge. Publishers have begun to add an array of content to Scribd's library, including full-length novels as well as briefer teaser excerpts.

Bruce Sterling - Prophet and loss

The BBC site has an interview with author Bruce Sterling, "The difficulty with interviewing Bruce Sterling is knowing where to start. His interests range from literature and design culture, to futurism, political activism, micro and macro economics, technology and 11th Century writers.

Perhaps the simplest starting point would be: The future? Explain.

He is the author of 10 novels, many short stories and is one of the most interesting, magpie bloggers of the modern-day techno-infused culture."

How To Save Newspapers

David Carr of the NYT imagines a secret meeting of top newspaper people complete with cigars and cognac. On the Agenda:

  • No more free content
  • No more free aggregators
  • No more commoditized ads.
  • Throw out the newspaper Preservation Act.

    United, newspapers may stand.

  • More Questions About the Blagojevich Memoir

    More about the soon-to-be-published book by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, mentioned in this previous LISNews story. The book is to be published by Phoenix Publishing.

    Publishers Weekly reported that a "Son of Sam" type of legislation is being considered by the Illinois State Legislature; the bill would require “any elected official who is convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving a violation of his or her official oath of office to forfeit any monetary rights derived from any media depiction or detailing of the crime for which the person was convicted as a term of their sentence. The forfeiture lasts during the term of the sentence and any period of probation, parole or supervised release.”

    The bill has the support of the full legislature, but opposition from First Amendment groups, led by the Motion Picture Association of America, is growing.

    Head of book trade association is stepping down

    The longtime head of the book publishers' trade association is stepping down.

    Former Rep. Pat Schroeder of Colorado, who has served for 12 years as president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers, says it's time for her "to move on."


    Chip Kidd

    Chip Kidd is currently associate art director at Knopf, an imprint of Random House. He is known for the book covers he has designed. There is a great video of a talk he gave at Google. The first ten minutes is about his new book that he wrote but the final fifty minutes is about book covers he has designed. He show slides of the different covers and talks about the thought process to create them. He also shows several slides of covers that never made it to production. This is interesting because you get to see what the cover to "The Road" might have been if Cormac McCarthy had liked the first proposal. Video here.

    A Newspaper? On a PC? That’s Crazy Talk

    NYT Bits Blog looks at a 1981 story about putting the newspaper online.
    Blog entry here.

    Youth Librarians Kate McClelland and Kathy Krasniewicz

    Since the first publicly-funded library opened in the USA in 1833, many generations of children have been inspired and nurtured by local librarians - none more so than the two generations of children in Old Greenwich, Connecticut who have had the privilege to be members of the Young Critics' Club at Perrot Memorial Library.

    Full discussion at BookBrowse. Entry contains a link to an interview with Kate McClelland.


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