Articles from January 2007

In Which Victor Hugo Is Apparently Offended

January 31st, 2007 · 3 Comments

So, okay, your great-great-grandfather wrote this book. It’s been translated like a zillion times and made into a major musical and multiple motion pictures, some of which have more artistic merit than others. Along the lines, various and sundry liberties have been taken with your great-great-grandfather’s work. Such is the process of adaptation. You never […]

File Under: Square Pegs

Someone Else’s Money

January 29th, 2007 · 1 Comment

A long time ago in a job far away, we were schooled in the basics of distribution deals: at all times, you need to remember that it’s someone else’s money. You collect and report as if you are only passing the funds on to the real owner. For this, you get a percentage, a fee, […]

File Under: The Business of Publishing

The Great Paid Review Scandal, Follow-Up

January 25th, 2007 · 7 Comments

We were somewhat intrigued by Slate’s storyon self-published authors and Amazon’s BookSurge division. The fact that BookSurge offers paid reviews as part of the service didn’t make us blink. Sure, we wonder about the authors who believe this is a valuable service, but we’ll get to that in a moment. What gave us pause was […]

File Under: Reviewing Reviewing

Form Versus Function

January 23rd, 2007 · 1 Comment

Maybe it’s because we spent our childhood in a room lined with books. Truly, every wall, except for the ones that were really doorways, was filled with books. Eight feet of books, or maybe six feet*. Or maybe it’s because our schedule means that so much of our reading is done online. Really — there’s […]

File Under: The Future of Publishing

In Which We Are Not Excited About Book Digitization

January 18th, 2007 · 2 Comments

In between this and that this week (mostly that, hence so little this), we have been intrigued by the recent business venture announced by HarperCollins. As one of the few publishers who took a lead in digitizing its catalog, HC decided it could turn the free advice it has been offering fellow publishers into a […]

File Under: The Future of Publishing

Considering Accessibility

January 11th, 2007 · 9 Comments

Do you know that blind people use computers? This is not an idle question. Do you realize this? In addition to blind people, there are deaf people, people with cognitive problems, individuals with mobility problems, and, yes, people who are too vain to admit they need help reading tiny print. Normally, we would raise this […]

File Under: Non-Traditional Publishing

How The iPhone Can Save The Book Business

January 10th, 2007 · 34 Comments

Here’s how things work: yesterday, Paramount Pictures announced they’re going to make downloads of feature films available via iTunes. In other news, Apple changed its name and announced the long-anticipated iPhone. Lightbulb, on. Bad timing, Paramount. Great news, book industry. Omigosh, you’re saying, cellphone? Books? Hello? Apples, oranges, dropped calls, excessive fees, itty bitty screens. […]

File Under: Non-Traditional Publishing · Perennials

Did You Hear The Book About…?

January 4th, 2007 · 3 Comments

Say what you will about the New York Times, but covering the obvious is something the publication never fears. Okay, possibly a bit on the harsh side, but today’s story about audiobooks and technology shift had us giggling. A little. The gist of the story is that as more people get iPods, they turn to […]

File Under: Non-Traditional Publishing

Looking At The Future: The Price Of Books

January 2nd, 2007 · 2 Comments

We were sitting quietly, considering possibilities for the big stories of still-nascent 2007. What, we wondered, would people be talking about in the coming year? At first we thought to look back to 2006, but, well, this is a modern blog. It’s all about the future, baby! Where our crystal ball failed (we so want […]

File Under: The Business of Publishing