Happy 90th Anniversary, Writer’s Digest!

January 18, 2010

At 90, digest’s writerly as ever

Ninety years ago, one of the biggest questions facing aspiring writers was whether to write in longhand or type their material. Today, one of their biggest questions is how to use blogs and social networking to promote themselves.

But one thing hasn’t changed in the past nine decades: The magazine to which millions of writers have turned for answers to such questions is Writer’s Digest.

Published by Sycamore Township-based publishing company F+W Media, Writer’s Digest is celebrating 90 years in business… .

Read the rest of this entry »

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Video Of The iSlate In 1994: Yes 1994!

January 13, 2010

I get all sorts of grief from people for advocating digital books over the eCrap ePub eInk eBook model of today.

Maybe this video will get them to STFU. It’s from 1994 and shows not only an iSlate-like tablet, but a fully digital newspaper.

Mind you, there are flaws here. But I’m astonished at the breadth of the vision.

I can’t think that Knight-Ridder is pleased to have this video surface. What the hell did you do with all that talent and vision you hired, KR? Nothing!

— thanks to @wmacphail via Twitter


Desperate U.K. Newspapers Get Stupid

January 8, 2010

The Right to Link: the right to create, forward and follow links.

Why do we need a campaign to protect the right to link? Well moves are afoot in the marketplace that could lose us internet freedoms that we have taken for granted till now. Most of us aren’t even aware it’s happening.

This is absolutely stupid.

If UK newspapers think I’m going to land on their cloggy front pages when all I want to do is read one of their articles, they’ve got their heads stuffed up their bums.

As they withdraw from the Internet, I’ll see fewer and fewer of their items. Is that really what they want — fewer readers?


Jack Kirby Heirs Fight For Copyright Reversion

January 8, 2010


1987 San Diego Comic Con – Jack Kirby, originally uploaded by zilberhere.

Marvel Sues Over Copyright Claims by Artist’s Heirs (Update2)

The heirs in September filed dozens of termination notices with the U.S. Copyright Office in a bid to revert Marvel’s rights to them beginning in 2014, Marvel claims. The notices were sent under a law allowing authors and their heirs to terminate copyright deals after a long delay.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Get this:

The comic book publisher and movie producer claims Kirby’s contributions to the comic book superheroes and stories were made-for-hire works, making Marvel the sole owner of the copyrights, according to the complaint.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Go to hell Disney-Marvel.

I hope they win!

Additional:

Reclaiming Your Copyright After Thirty-Five Years

At Mike Cane 2008:

Writer 2.0: Realize Your Investment
Quote: Matt Fraction
Suit Bastard Print Publishers NAILED!
MammothMedia Loses Another Pair Of Balls
Tonight’s TV: Monopoly!
You CAN Fight And WIN!
Writers: Laugh Last, Laugh Best

Previously here:

You Won’t Be Published, You’ll Only Be Robbed
One Simple Question For All Book Publishers
In 2010 Give Some Back
Quote: Writer M.J. Rose
The Authors Guild Leadership: 21st Century Chamberlains
Writer Ursula K. Le Guin Nails Authors Guild
Edgar Allan Poe Knew The Score In The 1800s!
Writing Quote Of The Year: Paul Witcover
YOUR Creation, YOUR Work, YOUR Art
For Writers Only
Quote Of The Day: Guy LeCharles Gonzalez
TV’s Bonanza: With Charles Dickens
He Did Not Back Down
God Bless Marybeth Peters Of The Copyright Office!


Sell Your Dream And You’ll Live The Nightmare

January 5, 2010

Richard Nash: Book Publishing 10 Years in the Future

3. Most predictions for 2020 based on models derived from controlling the supply side, that is, from the monopoly on the means of producing and distributing books, will be wrong. By which I mean, the supply chain book publishing and retail model is ending. The book retail chains will disappear, just like Circuit City, Sharper Image, Tower Records disappeared. And the corporate publishers will likely all but disappear just as Atari, Digital, Wang disappeared though the backlists will be spun off to private equity companies looking for semi-predictable IP-based cash flow, and a couple of front list publishing enterprises will likely be operating trying to emulate the Hollywood blockbuster model with just about enough success to be able to stay in business.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

He is seeing farther out than I have.

And he is absolutely correct about that.

This is your future if you have a contract with a print publisher:

Enjoy watching private equity feed off your creations while you starve.


Print Lives! As Fuel.

January 5, 2010

Pensioners burn books for warmth
Hard-up pensioners have resorted to buying books from charity shops and burning them to keep warm.

Volunteers have reported that ‘a large number’ of elderly customers are snapping up hardbacks as cheap fuel for their fires and stoves.

Temperatures this week are forecast to plummet as low as -13ºC in the Scottish Highlands, with the mercury falling to -6ºC in London, -5ºC in Birmingham and -7ºC in Manchester as one of the coldest winters in years continues to bite.

Workers at one charity shop in Swansea, in south Wales, described how the most vulnerable shoppers were seeking out thick books such as encyclopaedias for a few pence because they were cheaper than coal.

One assistant said: ‘Book burning seems terribly wrong but we have to get rid of unsold stock for pennies and some of the pensioners say the books make ideal slow-burning fuel for fires and stoves.

A lot of them buy up large hardback volumes so they can stick them in the fire to last all night.’

A 500g book can sell for as little as 5p, while a 20kg bag of coal costs £5.

So, all you people who envision a future of used print books still being sold for decades hence — you better cross out that bit of your futurology.

Previously here:

Whiny Bookstore-Loving Hypocrites


You Won’t Be Published, You’ll Only Be Robbed

January 3, 2010

I am not rehashing this damned issue again. I’ve done it in several past posts. Go read those or just STFU when you’re left holding nothing because you stupidly signed a contract with a bastard print publisher.

At Mike Cane 2008:

Writer 2.0: Realize Your Investment
Quote: Matt Fraction
Suit Bastard Print Publishers NAILED!
MammothMedia Loses Another Pair Of Balls
Tonight’s TV: Monopoly!
You CAN Fight And WIN!
Writers: Laugh Last, Laugh Best

At The eBook Test:

Quote: Writer M.J. Rose
The Authors Guild Leadership: 21st Century Chamberlains
Writer Ursula K. Le Guin Nails Authors Guild
Edgar Allan Poe Knew The Score In The 1800s!
Writing Quote Of The Year: Paul Witcover
YOUR Creation, YOUR Work, YOUR Art
Quote Of The Day: Guy LeCharles Gonzalez
TV’s Bonanza: With Charles Dickens

Additional:

In 2010 Give Some Back
For Writers Only