Month: May 2009

The Listowel Fringe Blog

Eoin Purcell

Links & Whatnot
About two years ago I had a wonderful strategy session with a group of arts professionals. It was led by the engaging and intelligent Paul O’Mahony who is from the O’Mahony bookselling clan. I recall that day because Paul was forceful in saying that “survival is not guaranteed” for a publisher like Mercier, a thought that had been floating in my mind but had not taken the form of a concrete reality.

Reasons
Anyway. The point in telling you this is that Paul has been engaged this week in an exciting blogging project: The Listowel Writer’s Week Fringe. I love the idea of a fringe blog for Listowel Writers Week Festival which I think is a fantastic festival but one I think prone to circles and groups (I don’t think it is alone in this. Given the nature of Irish society, most festivals here go that way), the kind that can damage a festival.

Paul and his collaborators are blogging and updating on the weeks events. You should go read some of their thoughts!
Eoin

I love new discoveries: New Books In History

Eoin Purcell

Something for the long weekend
If you have spotted a new blog widget at the side there linking out to this site then let me explain. I stumbled across the site last week and it offers the most incredible array of posts and podcast on history stretching back to January 2008.

It is good, quality material well worth listening to and reading. There is a facebook group that I’d encourage you to join and the creator of the site, Marshall Poe, has quite a bit to say on other topics too!

Go Read & Listen!
Eoin

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 29/05/2009

Eoin Purcell

A fascinating and learned piece on whether or not tweets are protectable in copyright terms. Well worth reading to the end. I’d love to say i remembered who sent me the link, but for the life of me, I cannot.

Here comes the wave folks. Google’s forthcoming beta product that attempts to tie together communication. Fascinating stuff. Got the link via Tim O’Reilly who also has an excellent post on the demo he and others saw.

There are a few articles on the future of books banging about worth reading. This one in Wired seems to be attracting a great deal of attention. The Times has a decent but newsy focused piece on publishers and ebooks. The Nation has a very good piece on the demise of the book industry but to my mind though, this one in Book Business is in every way superior in the sense that it looks at publishers rather than at books:

Publishers have little tradition of revealing what is inside their black box that isn’t focused on meeting specific author and title marketing goals. They have little practice of turning the spotlight toward their contributions in ways that are authentic in today’s marketplace—and that simultaneously support their authors and a community of readers. This is rooted in old conceptions of publicity as a department, as a discrete function with one-way, outbound messaging. Yet today, authentic, personalized, continuous engagement is the way the social economy works. Publishers need to be personally and organizationally engaged with the tools they are asking their authors to use. There are no wallflowers at this digital dance.

Links of Interest (At Least To Me) 21/05/2009

Eoin Purcell

Eucalyptus is a NICE looking forthcoming iphone book reading app. At least it was forthcoming until it was banned by Apple’s approval system for indecent content. It’s a frustrating and odd story but well worth reading.

Ivan O’Brien offers a glimpse of the hectic season that is presentation time. I find this just about the worst time of the year for a commissioning editor, you need to know everything about your forthcoming Christmas books, worry about sales for your currently released books and plan for the first and second half of next years books, damn awkward really. Still, Ivan gives a nice sense of what it is like in this post.

Wouldn’t it be funny if in creating a proprietary platform that locked content into their blocks of ugliness (ie the kindle) Amazon also smashed the one almost universally useful tool for making objective decisions in book publishing, Nielsen Bookscan. It wouldn’t and I’m also not entirely certain that the side effect was accidental if it came to pass. Amazon’s advantage in data on consumer behavior and actions would become even more pronounced if Nielsen perish. Still, read this post by Steve Weber for some more thoughts on this.

Michael Cairns offered some very useful and thought provoking notes on the future role for publishers in the tweeting age: The Digital Concierge. Mike Shatzkin expanded on them some more and Adam Hodgkin has some thoughts on the subject too. All told Twitter is high in my mind the last few days!

In case you feel there is not enough publishing information out there for you, there is a new newsletter, Publishing Perspectives, offering a clear view on international publisher. I think it’s worth giveing it some time to find its feet! No?

Finishing The Last Argument of Kings this evening!
Eoin

Quick Links for the day

Eoin Purcell

There is a great history timeline on BBC History site. It is well worth visiting and spending some time on. The internal links are excellent and the extra material is smashing!

Coming Anarchy has a fascinating post about the strange borders that make up the modern Malaysia. The comments offer some interesting bits too.

For those of us, slightly obsessed with the US Civil War, I offer A Civil War Blog and this fine example of the authors posts, a list of his top ten Civil War Blogs.