FishbowlNY FishbowlDC LostRemote InsideMobileApps InsideSocialGames 10,000 Words TVNewser TVSpy AgencySpy PRNewser MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Archives: June 2009

Shaman Drum Bookstore Closes on Twitter

shaman1.jpgIn a nostalgic and bittersweet set of Twitter posts, Shaman Drum Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan blogged its final day of operation. In the Twitter-sphere at large, tributes poured in all day.

The bookstore had struggled with steep declines in textbook sales and a rough bookselling climate. Owner Karl Pohrt sought support in a February column, but decided to close at the end of the June after selling books for nearly 30 years.

Among the memorable posts, the workers left this tweet (summing up this GalleyCat editor’s expression years ago): “The look on the freshman’s faces (and their parents) was the best part of the school year.” The day’s posts ended with a hip-hop tribute: “Pour a 40 on the ground for us tonight!”

Mediabistro Course

Personal Essay Writing: Master Class

Personal Essay Writing: Master ClassStarting October 21, work with the senior editor at Marie Claire magazine to polish and publish your essay! Whitney Joiner will help you to develop your voice, narrative, and identity, draft your pitch, and decide where to market your essay. Register now!

Minnesota Court Rules for Al Franken

200px-Frankenidiot.jpgThis afternoon the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously decided that comedian, author, and Minnesota Senate candidate Al Franken should receive the election certificate that would give him a seat in the United States Senate –ruling that Franken won the highly-contested race.

According to the Star Tribune, the ruling upheld a lower court’s decision rejecting Republican Norm Coleman‘s claims that he had unfairly lost the close election last fall. Franken is the author of bestselling political books like “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right” and “Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot”

Here’s the court’s ruling: “Franken received the highest number of votes legally cast and is entitled [under Minnesota law] to receive the certificate of election as United States Senator from the State of Minnesota.”

Reforming Real Estate Coverage

How did the mainstream media miss the real estate bubble? On today’s Morning Media Menu, journalist Alyssa Katz talked about her new book, “Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us“–criticizing journalists’ failure to report on foreclosures and bad housing loans before the recession.

In the book’s reviews, journalists and scholars have repeated the same refrain: we needed this book before the foreclosure crisis. During the interview, Katz gave publishers and authors clues to writing future books about real estate–helping avoid the mistakes that plunged this country into a deep recession.

The show was hosted by GalleyCat editor Jason Boog and AgencySpy editor Matt Van Hoven. You can listen to all the past podcasts at the Morning Media Menu page.

One Rock Band’s Twitter Story Experiment

PAPER044_72.jpgRock & roll frontman and novelist Chris Eaton will launch a Twitter publishing experiment on July 4th–intertwining his rock & roll tour with Rock Plaza Central, microblogging, and his writing career.

While touring with his folk/rock band, Eaton will publish 21 Twitter stories–encouraging readers to contribute their own twists and turns to the story on Twitter. The collaborative results will be published in Steel Bananas‘ upcoming anthology GULCH: An Assemblage of Poetry and Prose, a Tightrope Books release.

Here’s more from the article: “Anyone who follows Chris’s Rock Plaza tweet is also asked to reply to any story with one of their own, using the rhizome model to intertwine the two stories so that they both are a part of each other. The story need not follow the original in theme. All that is asked is that replies should contain 1/3 of the words from the original text.”

Amazon Ends Affiliate Program in Rhode Island and North Carolina

amlogo.gifAmazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) has terminated its affiliate program in Rhode Island and North Carolina–cutting out website owners who earn money by featuring Amazon products on their site.

According to The Street, Amazon cut off the two states in recent days. The massive online bookseller had already warned affiliates that they would end the program in both states if new sales tax laws were passed.

Here’s more from the article: “Amazon, it’s worth noting, decided to keep its affiliate program in New York when it passed a similar bill last year. Currently Amazon only collects sales tax in a handful of states, and some say it’s taking advantage of a loophole for online retailers.”

Another Author Stokes Book Review Debate

pleasures_of_work.jpgIn the 21st Century, can one bad print review spoil years of hard work? Following yesterday’s Twitter-versy about a Boston Globe book review, another author railed against a book critic online.

According to the LA Times, author Alain de Botton left an angry message in the comments section of Caleb Crain‘s blog after a harsh review in the NY Times Book Review last week. The author argued that the review would wreck The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work‘s U.S. sales.

Here’s an excerpt from the scathing comment: “it is a review driven by an almost manic desire to bad-mouth and perversely depreciate anything of value. The accusations you level at me are simply extraordinary. I genuinely hope that you will find yourself on the receiving end of such a daft review some time very soon–so that you can grow up and start to take some responsibility for your work as a reviewer. You have now killed my book in the United States, nothing short of that. So that’s two years of work down the drain in one miserable 900 word review.” (Via Jesse Sunenblick)

Rob Weisbach Has a Posse

rob-weisbach-hires.jpgNearly four months ago, publishing industry veteran Rob Weisbach launched his own management agency, promising “an overall strategic plan for self-promotion, long-term financial stability and a sustained creative life in the arts” for clients in addition to literary representation. Today, Rob Weisbach Creative Management announced three new hires to help fulfill that mission statement.

David Groff (top), a former senior editor at Crown, will scout fiction and nonfiction writers, along with continuing the editorial consulting practice he’s long been conducting on his own. Erin-Cox (center) will, in addition to her agenting work, develop publicity and promotion services; she was a publicist at Scribner and then the Book Publishing Director for The New Yorker. And Jake Bauman brings expertise on the film and television industries to the table—he’s worked for production companies based at major studios like Dreamworks and Sony.

““I’ve always admired the work of Erin, David, and Jake,” Weisbach says in a press release announcing the group hire. “Each brings to the company distinct expertise—in promotion, editorial, and dramatic development. At the same time, they share several qualities invaluable to the business: a seasoned eye for identifying and positioning talent; a skill for nurturing artists and their work; and a
palpable entrepreneurial drive.”

(all photos from Facebook)

ScrollMotion Publishes Digital Stephenie Meyer Titles in U.K.

iceberg_01_intro_318.jpgYesterday Scrollmotion and Little, Brown Book Group launched digital U.K. editions of Stephenie Meyer‘s bestselling Twilight series, a breakthrough for international distribution of digital versions of Meyer’s work.

According to the release, U.K. readers can now download “Twilight,” “New Moon,” “Eclipse,” and “Breaking Dawn” via ScrollMotion’s Iceberg Reader. The Iceberg Reader works with the iPhone and iPod Touch, and the trial program will also include digital titles by Iain M. Banks, Patricia Cornwell, Dorothy Koomson, and Alexander McCall Smith.

David Shelley, the digital publisher at Little, Brown Book Group, had this statement: “I am really delighted that we’re now able to offer readers the opportunity to own some of our key titles on the iPhone. I think the quality and readability of the apps is superb, and I imagine that many will be as seduced by them as we all are here. To be able to add to the range of ways consumers can read their favourite authors feels like a particularly exciting development.”

Alice Hoffman Regrets “Heat of the Moment” Tweet

hoffman.jpgAuthor Alice Hoffman apologized yesterday for printing critic Roberta Silman‘s telephone number and email address on Twitter (the page has since been removed)–urging her fans to respond to a review of “The Story Sisters” in The Boston Globe.

Her action prompted a stream of responses about author interaction in the age of Twitter. On stranger, somewhat related note, Gawker posted about Richard Ford‘s violent reaction to one of Hoffman’s reviews.

Here’s Hoffman’s apology, via Christian Science Monitor: “I feel this whole situation has been completely blown out of proportion. Of course I was dismayed by Roberta Silman’s review which gave away the plot of the novel, and in the heat of the moment I responded strongly and I wish I hadn’t. I’m sorry if I offended anyone. Reviewers are entitled to their opinions and that’s the name of the game in publishing. I hope my readers understand that I didn’t mean to hurt anyone and I’m truly sorry if I did.”

This Is Why You’re Fat “Much Like Food Porn,” Co-Founder Admits

FishbowlLA co-editor Tina Dupuy has an interview with Jessica Amason, the co-creator of the website ThisIsWhyYoureFat.com, which has a print tie-in coming from HarperStudio this fall. Amason says there will be a book party, at which they might possibly serve foodstuff like the In’N'Out “animal style” fries pictured below, along with other items featured on the site. “There will also be a number of contributors in attendance,” she says, “because, much like the site, this book is about highlighting this trend and the community behind it—the junkfood lovers,haters and creators—that have made This is Why You’re Fat what it is.”

The real question is to what degree the book will replicate the visual aesthetic of the website, which Amason describes as “simple—much like food porn—to have the images be the focus… This is Why You’re Fat is not message-driven (admittedly the title is a bit cheeky), but we are simply highlighting a web trend that was already in existence.”

NEXT PAGE >>