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The Year in Publishing: July 2008

  • Randy Pausch died. After being diagnosed with cancer in 2007, the Carnegie Mellon professor had skyrocketed to fame after delivering a “last lecture” to students; the Wall Street Journal article about that lecture led to a book deal for Pausch and WSJ reporter Jeffrey Zaslow, and when the book came out in April, it was an immediate bestseller.

  • Science fiction writer, poet, and literary critic Thomas M. Disch committed suicide, in between the publication of his last novel and a collection of short stories.
  • Twelve publisher Jon Karp wrote an article about the state of the industry, which argued for establishing a quality niche rather than trying to be everything to everybody; Richard Nash of Soft Skull expanded on the idea.
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