Books

On Etsy, a Book Isn’t Always a Book

Teleread has a piece on hollowed out books that people are making and selling on Etsy

Excerpt: I fell in love with this idea and purchased one of the books on offer: a blue Reader’s Digest Condensed Books in which I planned to store my passport, checks and some cash we are squirrelling away for vacations.

I was impressed with the look and feel of the ‘book’ when it arrived. I liked that it was ‘authentic’ and can, of course, pass for a ‘real’ book on the shelf, since it was one.

Full piece

LibraryThing Offers Free Accounts through this Sunday, March 31

In reaction to the recent purchase of Goodreads by Amazon.com, LibraryThing announced the following:

In the wake of Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads, we’ve had some blow-back on the fact that LibraryThing charges for a membership to add more than 200 books. In fact, when you go to pay, it’s pay-what-you-want. The money helps pay for the site, and keeps us advertisement-free for members. Also, we believe customers should be customers, with the loyalty and rights of customers, not the thing we sell to our real customers.

However, some people don’t like it. And we want everyone. So, as a test and a welcome, we’re giving out free year’s accounts to everyone who signs up through the end of Sunday. We’ve also upgraded everyone who signed up since 4pm yesterday.

More on their site.

They neglected to mention however that they too are part-owned by Amazon.com (40% due to previous small business purchases by Amazon). This was referenced in the NYTimes article about Amazon's purchase of Goodreads.

"The deal is made more significant because Amazon already owned part or all of Goodreads’ competitors, Shelfari and LibraryThing. It bought Shelfari in 2008. It also owns a portion of LibraryThing as a result of buying companies that already owned a stake in the site. Both are much smaller and have grown much more slowly than Goodreads."

Murder, Murderers and the Death Penalty at the Supreme Court

A new book documents the murders, murderers and capital punishment overseen by the highest court in the U.S. Jeffrey Brown talks with veteran journalists Martin Clancy and Tim O'Brien about their new work, "Murder at the Supreme Court," about some of the most notorious crimes and subsequent penalties.

Interview with authors here.

Google reportedly halts print editions of Frommer's guidebooks

Were we really expecting a different outcome? Several months after Google bought Frommer's to bolster its location efforts, Skift hears that the iconic travel guide maker has completely stopped publication of print editions as its focus swings to the online realm.

Full article

Will this have any impact on your library? What do you think of this move by Google?

Classic music albums re-imagined as books

The Verge asks: "What if best-selling albums had been books instead? That's the question graphic designer Christophe Gowans asked for his new collection, The Record Books. Gowans took album titles and artist names and constructed a fictional backstory behind each. The full collection is up on Gowans' site"

An Emergency Room View of Inner-City Health



Author of "Living and Dying in Brick City" on PBS Newshour

NCAA tourney brackets with a literary twist

Just in time for the tournament, Bookreporter.com has some book brackets.

"As the NCAA brackets were announced we decided to have some fun with the lineups. While everyone was searching stats and scoring potential, we naturally looked at the selected schools another way, as bookworms are apt to do.

We researched alumni and faculty from each school --- as well as some notable facts. From there we culled a list of authors --- and their books --- and chose one to represent each school on our version of the “bracket.”"

Creating Room to Read

Book: Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy

What’s happened since John Wood left Microsoft to change the world? Just ask six million kids in the poorest regions of Asia and Africa. In 1999, at the age of thirty-five, Wood quit a lucrative career to found the nonprofit Room to Read. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “the Andrew Carnegie of the developing world,” he strived to bring the lessons of the corporate world to the nonprofit sector—and succeeded spectacularly.

Article about Room to Read

Authentic customer relationships and questionable Amazon reviews

New business book out by Bob Garfield one of the host of the radio program "On the Media"
The book is called -- Can't Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results

On of the major premises of the book is authentic customer relationships.

Excerpt from book blurb on Amazon: So what does work in this bewildering new era? Where do “authentic customer relationships” come from? The answers will make some leaders sigh with relief while others rip their hair out: Honesty. Transparency. Shared values. A purpose beyond profit. Sure you still need a high-quality product or service to offer, but that’s not enough. Now that people can easily discover everything that’s ever been said about your brand, you can’t manipu­late, seduce, persuade, flatter or entertain them into loyalty. You have to treat them like flesh-and-blood human beings, not abstract consumers or data points on a spreadsheet.

This is an interesting contrast when you look at the book on Amazon. The book has all 5 star reviews on Amazon. I challenge people to read the 5 star reviews on Amazon and find one that you think is truly authentic.

Sci-Fi's Underground Hit

Authors are snubbing publishers and insisting on keeping e-book rights. How one novelist made more than $1 million before his book hit stores.

Excerpt from article: In a highly unusual deal, Simon & Schuster acquired print publication rights to "Wool" while allowing Mr. Howey to keep the e-book rights himself. Mr. Howey self-published "Wool" as a serial novel in 2011, and took a rare stand by refusing to sell the digital rights. Last year, he turned down multiple seven-figure offers from publishers before reaching a mid-six-figure, print-only deal with Simon & Schuster.

"I had made seven figures on my own, so it was easy to walk away," says Mr. Howey, 37, a college dropout who worked as a yacht captain, a roofer and a bookseller before he started self-publishing. "I thought, 'How are you guys going to sell six times what I'm selling now?' "

Full article

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