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Feedmag has an Interview with André Schiffrin, Dave Eggers, and John Donatich on the state of publishing, and the impact emerging technologies might have upon it. They talk about how Amazon.com, ebooks, and print-on-demand will change the role of the editor, and if large corporations will change fundamentally the way we read and what books are available to us.
\"More people are literate, college educated, and book buying than ever before. We have a greater number of publishers in business, and stats released just last week revealed that independent presses produce seventy percent of the books in a U.S. market that generates more than forty billion dollars in sales annually. \"
The world\'s largest book fair is going on in Frankfurt, Germany, and in an Interview in Upside German Publishers and Booksellers Association President Roland Ulmer said the printed word will be just fine.
\"Gutenberg\'s printed paper book will continue to hold its own, .... \"But when it comes to fiction, buyers and readers are more inclined to hold back and over the coming years, we will continue to read our novels and short stories in printed versions,\"
Of course being president of a booksellers assoc. might just give him a slanted view on this.
\"The literary magazine presses seem like nothing so much as a return to Epstein\'s cottage industry; in both their structure and their sense of responsibility to the writer, there is something profoundly nostalgic about these publishing projects, while their attempts to draw around them a creative community seem haunted by memories of other, now extinct New York bohemias.\"
Ben Crowell has written an excellent article on Open Source Books.
How will the internet change book publishing? This article examines a new crop of math and science textbooks that are available for free over the internet, and discusses what they have to tell us about whether the open-source software model can be translated into book publishing. -- Read More
Here is an interesting article from the New Press. A mother of a prisioned man has bought 50 books for a section of the jail that is without them.\"Rocky Graziano, a spokesman for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, said mentally ill inmates are kept out of the jail’s general population for safety reasons.
Unfortunately, isolation meant to protect them also keeps those inmates out of the jail’s library, said Bette Scruggs, an education program coordinator at the jail.\" -- Read More
Here is an interesting article from SF Gate. School trustees may want to put ratings on required reading, which will inform parents about their contents.\" Several trustees say they want to do a better job of alerting parents to content that they might find inappropriate for their children. They are also reviewing how the Fairfield- Suisun school district selects required reading and responds to community challenges to books on the list.\" -- Read More
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has this article on Banned Books Week (September 23-30).\"Harry Potter made the list. So did \'\'The Catcher in the Rye\'\' and \'\'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.\'\' The most popular children\'s books? No. The ones adults most wanted removed from library shelves in the 1990s.\" -- Read More
The Straits Times of Singapore reports that various sources show books may be losing out to videos. One factoid about the US says that \"in 1998, the number of videos rented each day was double the number of library books checked out.\" Well, sure -- it takes more than 90 minutes to read a book.
\"Research into reading habits in Japan shows children are reading fewer books each year. In the US, people are twice as likely to [rent] a video than borrow a book from the library.\"
\"Einstein has revealed that he got it wrong about quantum mechanics and God does play with dice. And Fyodor Dostoyevskywrites that he still likes his work even though he\'s dead.\"
They call them \"an amusing fake author posting\", I think they are real! The dead speak to us through the web. -- Read More
The NY Times has a Story on plans from Houghton Mifflin, Merriam-Webster and Microsoft, and Oxford University Press (The OED Folks) to sell electronic versions of their dictionaries, in one form or another.
\"Stifled for years by low margins and flat sales, publishers are salivating over digital licensing as a new source of revenue growth and promoting new features like audible pronunciations. But word scholars worry that the new pressures of the online market may end up favoring well-connected or well-positioned dictionaries -- some sniffingly cite Microsoft\'s Encarta -- over more authoritative lexicons. \" -- Read More