Bruce Sterling - Prophet and loss

The BBC site has an <A HREF="">interview with author Bruce Sterling,</A> "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?

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.

    Self-Publishers Flourish as Writers Pay the Tab

    The point may soon come when there are more people who want to write books than there are people who want to read them.

    At least, that is what the evidence suggests. Booksellers, hobbled by the economic crisis, are struggling to lure readers. Almost all of the New York publishing houses are laying off editors and pinching pennies. Small bookstores are closing. Big chains are laying people off or exploring bankruptcy.

    A recently released study by the National Endowment for the Arts found that while more people are reading literary fiction, fewer of them are reading books.

    Meanwhile, there is one segment of the industry that is actually flourishing: capitalizing on the dream of would-be authors to see their work between covers, companies that charge writers and photographers to publish are growing rapidly at a time when many mainstream publishers are losing ground.

    Full story here.


    PW Lays Off Top Brass

    Sara Nelson, the editor in chief of Publishers Weekly, the main trade magazine for the book industry, has been laid off in a restructuring by the publication’s parent company, Reed Business Information.

    According to a statement from Reed, which operates a broad range of trade publications, the layoffs affect about 7 percent of the staff (including executive editor Daisy Maryles, bookselling editor Kevin Howell, children's reviews editor Elizabeth Devereaux and director of business development Rachel Dicker ...Shelf-Awareness) .

    As a result of the restructuring, Brian Kenney, editor in chief of School Library Journal, will now be editorial director of three magazines: Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal and Library Journal. NYTimes.

    Amazon Limiting E-Books to Kindle and Mobipocket Formats

    Into e-books? Then you might find this of interest-

    Publishers Weekly reports that has notified its publisher and author clients that it plans to cease offering e-books in the Microsoft Reader and Adobe e-book formats.

    In the future, the online retailer says it plans to offer only e-books in the Kindle format (for wireless download to its Kindle reading device) and the Mobipocket format, both of which are owned by Amazon. The online retailer’s note asks publishers and authors to make sure that Amazon has written permission to offer their books for sale in the Mobipocket format.


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