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Posts Tagged ‘Malcolm Gladwell’

Authors Making a Name for Brands

Ron Barrett for the New York Times

Ron Barrett for the New York Times

“Cultivating Thought” is a series of captivating short pieces written by ten noted authors, from Nobel prize winner Toni Morrison to Malcolm Gladwell, printed on Chipolte cups and bags and meant to be read in two minutes. They were the brainchild of Everything is Illuminated writer Jonathan Safran Foer.

In the New York Times, Teddy Wayne looks at “the branding of literature,” companies turning to “literary luminaries to form a collective ‘spokescribe’” as the perfect pitchmen. It can work well for the writers, too. According to Wayne, Moneyball author Michael Lewis told Conan O’Brien on “Conan,” “It pays very well to write a Chipolte cup.”

Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of eyewear company Warby Parker–two names picked from Jack Kerouac’s unpublished journals–told the Times, “We wanted to build a brand that stood for fun, creativity and doing good in the world, and we thought writers best represented that.”

It’s not a match made in corporate heaven for all authors. “Not everyone is willing to be the face (or prose) of a brand,” writes Wayne. Elliott Holt saw her first novel You are One of Them pubbed last year. When a company sought her out to endorse an e-cig (vape, anyone?), she declined.

“‘I felt like being the face of some product would somehow cheapen me as a writer,’ she said, also expressing her reservations about the merchandise’s potential health risks. The offer of $30,000 still gnaws at her, though.”

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Amazon Has Established a New Contract With Simon & Schuster

SimonSchusterAmazon and Simon & Schuster have established a new multi-year print and digital agreement. The previous contract was scheduled to expire in two months.

Here’s more from The Wall Street Journal: “Simon & Schuster, whose recently published works include Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators and Colm Toibin’s Nora Webster, will set the consumer prices of its digital books, and Amazon will be able to discount titles in certain situations, according to one person familiar with the agreement. Simon & Schuster titles also will be well promoted on Amazon’s website, the person said.”

Many speculate that this development will put more pressure on Hachette to wrap up the ongoing dispute. Several writers have publicly spoken about the situation including Stephen Colbert, John Green, and Malcolm Gladwell. Earlier this week, economist Paul Krugman wrote New York Times article criticizing Amazon’s business practices. How do you predict this will affect the conflict between Amazon and Hachette?

Malcolm Gladwell Speaks Out Against Amazon

amazon304Many members of the literary community have shown great concern about the Amazon vs. Hachette dispute. In an interview with the Financial Times weekend magazine, Malcolm Gladwell spoke out in disapproval of the online retail giant’s retaliatory actions.

While Gladwell did not voice an opinion about the actual feud, he objects to Amazon’s practice of making Hachette’s books unavailable for purchase and delaying order shipments. Gladwell “thought Amazon wanted to be nice to me. I thought their endgame was to woo authors. So, then why are they sabotaging us?”

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‘The Idiot’s Guide to Smart People’ Takes on Malcolm Gladwell: VIDEO

Thingstarter, a popular Kickstarter parody series from online comedy video network Above Average, has created a humorous video series called, “The Idiot’s Guide to Smart People.”

The series is a satirical animation about “smart people.” The latest episode is on author Malcolm Gladwell. We’ve embedded the video above for your entertainment.

Authors Unite in Full Page NY Times Ad Against Amazon

authorlistMore than 900 authors including Stephen King, Malcolm Gladwell and Suzanne Collins have signed a letter calling readers to email Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and ask him to end the company’s dispute with Hachette.

“We call on Amazon to resolve its dispute with Hachette without further hurting authors and without blocking or otherwise delaying the sale of books to its customers,” reads the letter published under the name Authors United.

The anti-Amazon letter ran as a full page ad in The New York Times yesterday. The ad campaign was spearheaded by thriller author Douglas Preston. Here is more from the letter: Read more

‘Humans of New York’ Blogger Photographs Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm GladwellHumans of New York blogger Brandon Stanton has photographed David & Goliath author Malcolm Gladwell (pictured, via). Follow this link to see Gladwell’s picture.

Stanton posted the photo on Facebook and it has received more than 131,000 “likes.” When Stanton asked if Gladwell could share a piece of advice, he replied: “Change your mind about something significant every day.”

Some of Stanton’s past subjects from the literary community include editor Yaniv Soha, literary agent Brian DeFiore, and PostSecret book series author Frank Warren. What do you think?

Malcolm Gladwell Shares Writing Advice in Reddit AMA

2d27f8963a986976120668a20215457cAuthor Malcolm Gladwell didn’t set out to be a journalist.

During a Reddit AMA session today, he revealed his professional experience and gave advice for aspiring writers. “I got into journalism by accident. I couldn’t get a job in advertising! My advice to anyone starting out is figure out what you WANT to write about first. What really interests you? All the best writing comes from passion.”

During the online conversation, he also revealed that he does a ton of interviews but he doesn’t always use them all. “I would say that probably half of the interviews I do end up on the cutting room floor–or, at least, are used in later articles,” he wrote. “The purpose of reserach is to cast as wide a net as possible. I tend to start researching something with only the vaguest idea in mind of where I want to end up. It’s a mistake to make up your mind too soon.”

Fast Food Gets Literary: Jonathan Safran Foer Curates Writing For Chipotle Packaging

chipotlebagsYou might think that eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill is a little bit low brow. But they want to change that. The fast food chain is now featuring original essays written by influential writers on its restaurant packaging.

The author series is called “Cultivating Thought.” Jonathan Safran Foer curated the list of contributors. Participating writers will include:  Judd ApatowSheri FinkMalcolm GladwellBill HaderMichael LewisToni MorrisonSteve PinkerGeorge Saunders and Sarah Silverman. The pieces are all meant to be read in two minutes. The idea is to entertain people while they are scarfing down a burrito.

Here is an excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell’s Two-Minute Barn-Raising:

I grew up in Canada, in an area of Ontario where there is a large community of Old-Order Mennonites. “Old Orders,” as they are known, are a religious group who live as if the 20th century never happened. They avoid electricity, drive horses and buggies, leave school at 16, and bail hay by hand. They dress in plain black and white, with straw hats over clean-shaven faces, and when a neighbor’s barn burns down, they gather as a community to put it back up. When I was little, not long after we moved to Ontario, my father heard about a barn-raising down the road. He decided to join in.

Plagiarism Scandal Pits Lemony Snicket Against Malcolm Gladwell

snicket & gladwell

In honor of April Fool’s Day, a plagiarism scandal has ignited between Lemony Snicket and Malcolm Gladwell.

According to a press release posted on Snicket’s website, Gladwell’s latest book David & Goliath contains original material sourced from Snicket’s new book File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents. To back up his accusations, Snicket has shared “evidence” on his website to support his claims.

Publishers Weekly sought after Snicket for a comment and he gave the following statement: “Every time I blink Malcolm Gladwell steals from me like an outright outlier. I’ve reached the tipping point. It’s like an old biblical story I can’t think of right now.” Gladwell himself has given this response: “Mr. Snicket is asking All The Wrong  Questions. He better watch out, or this will turn into a series of something or other.”

Amy Poehler Named 2014 Honorary Chairperson for World Book Night U.S.

amyGolden Globe-winning comedienne Amy Poehler has been named the 2014 honorary chairperson for World Book Night U.S.

Poehler (pictured, via) gave this statement in the press release: “I grew up loving books. In today’s digital world, it’s more important than ever to know how it feels to have a good book in your hands. I’m thrilled to be part of World Book Night.”

The organizers plan to kick off April 23rd with an author event at the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Some of the writers set to appear include Malcolm Gladwell, Garrison Keillor, and Walter Dean Myers.

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