Random’s random blogging

Eoin Purcell

First the good news
Random House surprised me a little. They have what look like decent title based blogsites:

    Blood River
    The Gods That Failed
    The Book of Surfing

But the bad news follows on quickly

But all three lack a little something. They don’t feel like really interactive blogs designed to build a conversation. They feel more like marketing efforts.

And their Sophie Kinsella forum feels the same too. It’s not heavily used for one and seems to suffer from a lack of attention

They do have a huge list of links to authors sites. They also have a ton of mini-sites. Most of them slightly dull and a little wasteful to my mind.

Where are they at?
Still, there is enormous promise here. The sheer volume of digital output here is mind blowing. There is no question that a more focused and slimline digital policy would pay dividends. And there is even a precedednt within the Random House group. As a book buying site their rbooks always impresses and I suppose as a publisher that has to be a good thing!

More importantly if all the imprints can be corralled into one digital home for selling books, might the same not be done for all their digital outreach efforts? I think they would benefit from it, at least for now.

Unlike Macmillan who appear to be really at home with blogging, what it can do and what it cannot do, Random seem a little at sea or perhaps, behind the times.

Listening to Bon Iver and loving it. Remembering the Loire valley and hating being back in Ireland so very much!

Obama book links

Independent Booksellers ‘Disheartened’ with Chelsea Green
Publishers Weekly.

Many independent booksellers are outraged with Chelsea Green’s decision to sell Robert Kuttner’s new book, Obama’s Challenge, by offering a discount coupon at the Democratic National Convention redeemable exclusively on Amazon.com via POD until the regular print run is available for national distribution.

And now B&N have cancelled their order
Oh the drama:

Barnes & Noble has cancelled its 10,000-copy order of Obama’s Challenge, a book by Robert Kuttner that Chelsea Green is making available early exclusively through Amazon.com. Chelsea Green president and publisher Margo Baldwin said the chain will make the book available on BN.com and will special order it, but that it will not stock it in its stores.

Oh and the Obama e-book
From The Guardian a little bit ago:
Aides say the book, Change We Can Believe In: Barack Obama’s Plan to Renew America’s Promise, is meant as a political souvenir, and envisage an initial print run of 300,000. It is scheduled for release on September 9. An ebook version will be released a day earlier.