Frustration and blogs

So I was going to blog about this article from Robert Gray when it appeared in the Shelf Awareness newsletter last Tuesday, but I completely forgot why it was so interesting. . . .


I guess that's what comes from having a newsletter that refers to site before said site has updated the articles.

I will leave with this quote from the article on why bookstores may want to make a blog. Good advice for libraries as well:
If someone who had never been to your store called you (or emailed you) and asked why they should shop your store rather than buying a book at Barnes & Noble or even Wal-Mart, what would you tell them? No, no, not the four-letter expletive, I mean what makes your store YOUR store? What makes you get up in the morning and do the often thankless job of bookselling? Okay, that answer? That's your blog. That's your direction. Every bookstore is unique, and all that uniqueness makes for an interesting read. Whether it's fascinating to you writing it or not is really secondary. The things we view as mundane can be, to others, the most interesting stuff in the world.


Fall Preview

The San Francisco Chronicle has a list of what we should be reading this fall. There's a lot of worthwhile stuff coming out in the next few months. Personally, I've been waiting since the last millennium for the next Junot Diaz book.




Damien Hirst's skull may be pretty and worth close to $100 million, but it has nothing on this book. Talk about knowing your market.



University Publishing in a Digital Age

"Publishing in the future will look very different than it has looked in the past. Consumption patterns have already changed dramatically, as many scholars have increasingly begun to rely on electronic resources to get information that is useful to their research and teaching. Transformation on the creation and production sides is taking longer, but ultimately may have an even more profound impact on the way scholars work. Publishers have made progress putting their legacy content online, especially with journals. We believe the next stage will be the creation of new formats made possible by digital technologies, ultimately allowing scholars to work in deeply integrated electronic research and publishing environments that will enable real-time dissemination, collaboration, dynamically-updated content, and usage of new media."

There's 60 more pages on publishing goodness found within University Publishing In A Digital Age, an Ithaka Report, by Laura Brown, Rebecca Griffiths, and Matthew Rascoff.

I've started to read it and find it a start to understanding what publishing is going to need to do to stay relevant.

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Found via BoingBoing, a little mash-up site that helps you find lunch using yelp and Google maps. May I never go hungry again.

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Favorite new book of the day

American Salaries and Wages Survey, 9th Edition. great resource to see how well you are doing in your area of expertise in your geographical area with a low, mid and high range. and for all you editor types out there, the mid-range for an Editor in the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy area is $58,870.


Galleys Galleys Galleys

I've tried to ignore the rise of the galleys for too long.

Let's see how these marketing tools have clawed their way out of the piled inboxes at Oprah and into the hands of common people everywhere.

  • LibraryThing's Early Reviewers started the belief that common people should be allowed access to galleys.
  • Amazon decided to pay homage to LibraryThing's great idea with Amazon Vine, which is essentially the same program with a wittier name.
  • Unshelved recently took a look at what happens when you let loose the galleys of war. Start here.
  • And now there's a class* that may have actually found a way to get people to read the galley and provide feedback!
I will say in defense of the class that galleys really are the only way most people get a chance to see what's next from their favorite author. It's not like most publishers, agents, and authors work to put pipelines online for people to see. We're used to the IMDB telling us what a director or actor is working on for the next three years, why not an author? Why the secrecy? **

With that out of the way, I don't see how this class helps anyone. Yes, it's market research but research based on an artificial setting. Liking a book and liking a book because you paid $95.00 and discussed it in class are very different. For the students I'm not sure what they get out of it other than reading badly proofed galleys. I would think it would be much easier and a little less expensive to start a blog and send a request for the galley to a publicist. I'm sure they're thrilled to find someone who might actually review the thing.

*Found on Galley Cat who was told about it by the Millions.

**Rhetorical. I know how much the pipeline changes from season to season and how much confusion this could bring to the marketplace as a book undergoes it's transformation from a manuscript called "I Shot the President" to a book in the marketplace called "You Talking to Me?: Taxi Driver, Jodie Foster, Ronald Reagan and Me, a Memoir."