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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Steve Jobs Stars in Another Comic Book

Bluewater Productions has released a new comic book biography called Steve Jobs: Founder of Apple. The 32-page comic features cover art by Joe Phillips, pencils by Chris Schmidt and a script by C.W. Cooke.

According to Bluewater, the comic was inspired by success of a successful comic profiling Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. Bluewater also has a comic book biography of Microsoft mogul Bill Gates slated for release in March. The title, Bill Gates: Co-Founder of Microsoft, was written by Martin Pierro and illustrated by Zach Bassett.

The Bluewater comic writing was completed prior to Steve Jobsdeath in October. Jobs now stars in Amazon’s most popular 2011 holiday book and two comic books. As we previously reported, Forbes published a 60-page graphic novel called The Zen of Steve Jobs.

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Jay-Z Memoir Pages Scattered Around World in Scavenger Hunt

If you’ve got time to spare, money to burn, and an desire to read Jay-Z‘s memoir Decoded before its release date, join the new Bing.com sponsored advertising campaign.

Specific pages of Jay-Z’s memoir will be available at different locations. Fans can join the scavenger hunt and locate these pages using the Bing.com/Jay-Z site. There are prizes as well. Players who discover the pages first can win signed copies of Decoded. The grand prize is a trip to Las Vegas to see Jay-Z and Coldplay play a New Year’s Eve in concert.

The New York Times spoke with David Droga, the Droga5 creative director who oversaw the New York campaign. An excerpt: “While about half of the pages will be displayed in traditional outdoor advertising like billboards, the rest will be offbeat, printed in one instance on the bottom of a hotel swimming pool, in another on the lining of jackets in a store display window, and in another on the felt of pool tables in a pool hall.”

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The Corporate Side of Booksigning

When Kim Ricketts launched her Book Events company more than three years ago in Seattle, no one else was connecting authors with corporations like Starbucks, Microsoft and Real Networks in a formal way. Now these things are much more commonplace, but that isn’t keeping Ricketts from a hectic schedule that ends “by 11 PM or midnight,” as she tells the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s John Marshall in a brief Q&A.

Her biggest success? “When those inside companies write to me and say things like ‘I used to think of myself as a reader and went to author events, but then I got too busy with my career or having kids, but now with authors at my workplace, it reminds me how much I love to read,” she says. “I like that conversionary experience. I am evangelistic on this point. That’s when I feel like I have won.” And as for what’s next, expanding what we do to other companies in other regions,” namely in Minneapolis, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Boston. In other words, expect a lot more author/corporation matchups to come…

Authors At the Workplace to Read, Not Work

The SF Chronicle’s Tamara Straus looks at the recent trend of publishers sending authors not to the bookstores, but to the workplace to tour. Since the fall of 2005, for example, Google has joined several large West Coast companies such as Microsoft, Starbucks and Yahoo in hosting authors for weekly, sometimes daily, book-selling events that were once the sacred realm of bookstores. Although writers have long given lectures at universities and community centers, growing demand for them at the office is forcing publishers to rethink the traditional author tour and inducing booksellers to create ties with the corporate campus next door.

“There are so many distractions out there,” said Yelena Gitlin, publicity manager for Bloomsbury Books, who started bringing authors to Microsoft and Starbucks in 2003. “It’s hard to get people into bookstores these days, so book publishers and sellers have to come to readers — and they are often at work.” And the approach is working, according to Kim Ricketts, who runs her own company organizing non-bookstore events in Seattle and San Francisco. “At public bookstore events, 10 to 20 percent of the people buy books. At corporate events, 50 to 80 percent buy books and attendance tends to be higher,” she said. Plus, some companies, like Google, buy the books on behalf of their employees, often in orders of a hundred copies or more.

Which may make some bookstores shake in their boots, but not Bay Area stores. “I don’t see it as a threatening thing. I think it’s a good thing,” said Karen West, events director of Book Passage in Corte Madera, which holds about 100 in-store author events a month and has been steadily developing corporate partners. “But if publishers become booksellers, that’s a whole other phenomenon. … Nobody wants to see that happen, and I think publishers are aware of that.”

Ingram Partners with Microsoft Live Book Search

The Book Standard‘s Kimberly Maul reports that Ingram has agreed to partner with Microsoft, providing high-volume scanning, content acquisition, metadata management and account management for publishers in Microsoft’s Live Search Books Service. “We are delighted to announce this major alliance with Ingram Digital,” said Danielle Tiedt, general manager of the Live Search Selection Team at Microsoft Corp. “Its deep industry knowledge and proven expertise in delivering a wide range of high-quality services to the publishing community makes Ingram the ideal partner at a time when we are significantly expanding our Live Search Books service.”

Google Gets Attacked on Several Fronts

With the Association of American Publishers‘ annual meeting in full swing today, the prevailing theme is what to do about Google‘s plan to digitize all books ASAP. Which is why, as the Financial Times’ John Gapper reports, Microsoft plans to launch a fierce attack on Google over its “cavalier” approach to copyright, accusing the internet company of exploiting books, music, films and television programs without permission. Tom Rubin, associate general counsel for Microsoft, will say in a speech in New York that while authors and publishers find it hard to cover costs, “companies that create no content of their own, and make money solely on the back of other people’s content, are raking in billions through advertising and initial public offerings.”

Further, according to the speech published in today’s WSJ, Rubin will say that Google’s plan “systematically violates copyright, deprives authors and publishers of an important avenue for monetizing their works and, in doing so, undermines incentives to create”. It a sentiment that the University of California, Berkeley now seems to agree with, according to Peter Brantley‘s blog. “Can we say it was a mistake?/For it was a mistake/The goal is undeniably grand, and good/The means have left much to be desired” Brantley states, poetic-style, in rather blunt fashion. And in case the message wasn’t clear, he later adds “Can we say it? The deals are not fair. We were taken advantage of. We are asked to be grateful for something wondrous where we could have achieved more for ourselves and demanded more from others. We let this happen and we should not have. Now we must count on the beneficence of others. We need speak of the bitterness, laugh at our own stupidity, and move forward.”