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The Year in Publishing: June 2008

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The Year in Publishing: February 2008

The Year in Publishing: January 2008

A $530 Laptop Case? That’s Not Punk, It’s Cyberpunk

william-gibson-laptopbag.jpg

Think you’re a big William Gibson fan? Sure, you’ve read all his books; maybe you even saw Johnny Mnemonic in a movie theater in 1995. (We did!) But are you willing to spend $530 dollars for a nylon bag to carry your laptop computer in? Would it help if we told you it was the same nylon used in military-grade bulletproof vests, and that the bag also had genuine horse leather accenting?

The bag (along with a $340 shoulder bag) are the result of a collaboration between two Japanese designers, bagmakers Head Porter and the Buzz Rickson line of historical reproduction clothing. Gibson has lent his name to a line of Buzz Rickson jackets for a while now, ever since he gave a character a jacket they never made, a black version of a U.S. Navy flying jacket. Buzz Rickson got so many requests for the black jacket that they went ahead and created one; since then, they’ve created Gibson-endorsed versions of at least three other jackets with “all the styling and detailing of a superior-grade military jacket design in a non-military color, and lacking the military insignia markings.”

And, this just in: Buzz Rickson has also made $160 William Gibson athletic shoes. All these items are available in the United States through a single boutique, the punningly-named denim specialist Self Edge.

(via Cool Hunting)

It’s a Book Trailer! It’s a Cat Picture! You Can’t Say You Weren’t Warned

Yes, it’s a two-minute film in which mystery writer Roger Morris (who, in his not-so-secret identity as R.N. Morris, is crafting sequels to Crime and Punishment) tries to work with a cat hanging on his shoulder. You’re either going to love it or hate it.

Be sure not to miss the earlier installments in the series, where Morris enjoys a nice cuppa after he gives a guided tour of his desk.

FishbowlLA: Bad PR Techniques in Action!

If there’s one thing for which the GalleyCat editors are grateful, it’s the overall civility of the people who want us to write about the things they’re doing. Not like the pitch FBLA got yesterday for a local bookstore appearance by the author of How to Woo a Bi’aaatch. As Tina Dupuy notes, it’s a real charmer:

“I noticed a big notice for ASK A MEXICAN book signing. Did he pay for that?”

The publicists (and authors) who write in to GalleyCat are much more pleasant to deal with—thanks, folks!

How to Judge a Book By Its Cover (and a few other factors)

“People send me lots of books,” writes 43 Folders editor Merlin Mann, “so I have to decide rather quickly whether one should be added to the ambitious pile of stuff I already really want to finish reading.” GalleyCat has the same problem; fortunately, Mann’s got a checklist of questions readers can ask themselves, whether they get books in the mail or have to look at them in a bookstore, to make the yea-or-nay vote “easy and obvious.” Some of the highlights:

⇒”Is the author’s large, whitish face the primary feature of the cover?”

⇒”Can you find the word ‘secret’ anywhere on the cover of the book?”

⇒”Does the book suffer from the overlarge margins, giant type, two-paragraph pages, and ‘inspiring quotations’ that often suggest a rushed, shoddy, or lazy manuscript?”

Perhaps most important of all, “can you imagine a future in which closing this book on the last page will make you angry that you didn’t just go back and re-read A Confederacy of Dunces instead?” But those are just Mann’s criteria—how do you make these decisions?

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