Random Notes For September 11, 2009

These will not seem eBook-related, but they are.

American Fork teen author on verge of making it big time: High school senior signs a 10-book deal.

When M’Lin finished her second book, her mother, author Deborah Rowley, who wrote Family Home Evening for Newlyweds and other books , submitted the two roughly 70-page chapter-books aimed at children ages 6-10 to her publisher.

Assuming the books were penned by the elder Rowley, Schoebinger skipped the cover letter. He read both books and wanted to publish them before he realized the writer was a high school student.

“At first I thought [Deborah Rowley] was kidding me,” said Schoebinger of his reaction to learning the author’s true identity.

The books were polished and the dialogue was realistic — and yet, Schoebinger acknowledges he likely would have rejected the books because of a prejudice against young writers.

Celia Fremlin: author who wrote The Hours Before Dawn

Her first book, The Hours Before Dawn (1958) won the American Edgar Prize for best crime novel. It was reprinted as a Virago Modern Classic almost 40 years later, in acknowledgement not just of her ability to create an atmosphere of simmering fear and wickedness amid the trivia of daily life, but also of the meticulously observed dilemma of her heroine, a young wife so exhausted by her baby’s interminable crying that she is persuaded that her fears are psychotic.

There’s another book to put in my queue to read.

A review of Bob Garfield’s “The Chaos Scenario”

Garfield offers several examples of the power of the consumer, arguing that future success will be “Listenomics.” His campaign against Comcast forced them off the cliff to dive into using the internet for CRM. Jeff Jarvis’s campaign against DELL also converted DELL into an internet CRM activist. A Lego user group helped to turn around the company. A passionate I-Pod user’s viral video was seen by Millions. All of these examples have one thing in common: they were spontaneous, authentic engagements, initiated by consumers. Brands who responded were rewarded.

And then there’s this, which shows that things never change —

As someone I read said recently (and I apologize for the lack of attribution and the paraphrase), “I see lots of great thinking but not a lot of demand for it.”

— never change for those determined to be losers!

Crowdsourcing strategy

At its annual meeting on September 9, the Book Industry Study Group announced plans to provide its members with an annotated summary of major, minor and desired initiatives, a list that currently exceeds 100 items. BISG plans to give every member “points” to allocate to desired or favorite initiatives, with the expectation that the collective will correctly and sustainably help BISG divine strategy.
However, the wisdom of crowds is best used to solve problems that are bounded. If the question or choice is narrow enough, individual members of the crowd can reasonably understand and embody the context in which decisions can be made.

They’re No Bodice Rippers, But Amish Romances Are Hot

Beverly Lewis, who sets her novels among the Amish in Pennsylvania, has sold 13.5 million copies of her books. Wanda Brunstetter’s novels take place in Amish communities in Ohio, Indiana, Missouri and Pennsylvania, and have sold more than four million copies. Publishing house Thomas Nelson plans to release five Amish novels this fall, and six more in 2010.

Barnes & Noble book buyer Jane Love said Amish novels currently account for 15 of the chain’s top 100 religious fiction titles. “It’s almost like you put a person with a bonnet or an Amish field in the background and it automatically starts to sell well,” Ms. Love said.

Via olympiapress on Twitter:

Isidore Liseux and
let’s get liseuse recognized as a real word

the book: terms of service

I. Privacy

What takes place in the exchange between your brain and the contents of The Book is your exclusive private concern. The Book will never download the contents of your brain, either whole or in part.

SiriusXM BookRadio

The best of books … Feel the drama. Live the suspense. Hear the story unfold.

I didn’t know they had that.

Ten typographic mistakes everyone makes

Grammar nazis are so last century. Welcome, friends, to the brave new world of the typography nazi. Below are ten mistakes that everyone makes, an explanation of why each is wrong, and details on how to fix them. At least, you’ll see how to fix them on the Mac; under Windows, you’ll need to dig through tables of Alt characters. Have fun.

Nathan Myhrvold’s Evil Genius

Last year I wrote that Intellectual Ventures is a kind of reductio ad absurdum of our flawed patent system. It’s a firm that literally does nothing useful, its only business is the acquisition and licensing of patents. Not only does it have no intention of commercializing the technologies it “invents,” its business model is based on minimizing the amount of research performed per patent obtained. In Malcolm Gladwell’s brilliant (if inadvertent) exposé of IV, he describes how IV hires smart people to participate in brainstorming sessions and then has patent lawyers immediately file patent applications for every idea that comes up during the discussion, without bothering to actually implement any of them, or even devoting much effort to verifying that they actually work. IV then approaches firms that are doing the hard work of implementing “their” ideas and demands a cut of their profits.

Mhyrvold is a physicist. He should be doing authentic work on things like superconductive batteries, not being a Patent Pimp.

If You Printed The Internet …
— but don’t even try!

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