Articles from November 2005

Taft? We Had A President Named Taft?

November 16th, 2005 · 3 Comments

Lewis Lapham is retiring from Harper’s Magazine. Or rather he is becoming an editor emeritus. Which we think means working just hard enough to cover health insurance premiums. Or to justify keeping the corner office despite the fact that it only gets used once a month. Probably we should look this up in the dictionary. […]

File Under: Publishers and Editors

In Which We Regretfully File Our Application For A Patent On The Universe

November 16th, 2005 · Comments Off

There is something disquieting about the recent patent awarded to Amazon.com for its customer review technology. While we can’t recall if the online giant was the first to offer a form to post reviews, we do know that the practice rapidly became all the rage. In addition to those programmers who faithfully attempt to duplicate […]

File Under: The Business of Publishing

Next Up: Fun With Headlines

November 15th, 2005 · 2 Comments

Here is what scares us: a major newspaper asks “Can NEA plan help literature?” and it doesn’t seem to have a whiff of irony. This question appears, based on our not-very close reading of the article, to be genuinely sincere (probably because this is an opinion piece, but that’s not fully clear until the final […]

File Under: Square Pegs

Library, Community Win

November 15th, 2005 · Comments Off

Because the timing is wrong, we won’t share our notions on taxing with you this morning. Except, of course, to note that Salinas has voted to increase local taxes to pay for its libraries. In most communities, this type of increase would be unnoticeable; in a community like Salinas, it reflects a major commitment. The […]

File Under: Square Pegs

Online Book Renting: Questions Without Answers

November 15th, 2005 · Comments Off

Normally, we eschew such behavior as jumping to conclusions*, but, really, what can one do when the news fails so miserably? Google has (apparently) approached a publisher (unnamed) about the possibility of renting books (in an unspecified format) for 10% of the list price. Tell us, does that final bit seem a bit too specific […]

File Under: The Future of Publishing

Writers Against Product Placement

November 14th, 2005 · Comments Off

Those of you who watch television on a regular basis have surely noticed a trend: brand names everywhere. They’re in the movies, too. Rising production costs and declining ad sales have lead to an increase in product placement. It’s the future of motion picture entertainment or so we’ve been told. And when a new trend […]

File Under: Square Pegs

Building An Intimate Relationship: Writing Partnerships

November 14th, 2005 · Comments Off

In our long career, the only writing partner we’ve had is the husband. As far as collaborative processes go, it worked surprisingly well. Unlike traditional fiction partnerships, we wrote in a shared editing environment. This, of course, meant the poor man had to wait until we were satisfied with his commas and apostrophes before we […]

File Under: Tools and Craft

A Day Without Tim O’Reilly Is Like. . .

November 11th, 2005 · Comments Off

It’s hard to tell when we fell in love. Was it the marmot? Or the camel? The nuthatches, spiders, or horses? Or was it the fact that Tim O’Reilly publishes books with covers that make us happy*? O’Reilly is one of those pro-electronic publishing guys who talks the talk and walks the walk. We imagine […]

File Under: Our Continuing Fascination With Copyright

Rumor Mill Resurfaces From The Dead

November 11th, 2005 · Comments Off

The Rumor Mill tells us that Tor is not looking for NC-17 books — they are seeking straight erotica. While you will find many useful explanations of this distinction, in situation like this, we always turn to the Supreme Court: you’ll know it when you see it. For those keeping score at home, there are […]

File Under: Publishers and Editors

A Different Kind of Reading

November 10th, 2005 · Comments Off

All week long, we’ve been bringing you stories and glimpses into the wonderful world of the future. Which reminds us, not a single story on a flying cars has crossed our desk this year. What’s up with that? We really want our car to float high above traffic. We’ll work out those pesky, plaguing navigation […]

File Under: Our Continuing Fascination With Copyright