Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

11/11/2011

Is New York’s Hold on Publishing Smothering It?


Oh, New York, New York!

No denying, New York is the publishing center of America … And, it might even have been a good concept at one time under older business models that were more horizontal and where grouping tangental businesses in close proximity was desirable for expediency.

But, todays publishing landscape is everywhere, instantly … So, why does New York still have such a hold over the publishing industry? 

Good question … Reluctance to change. Old habits are hard to break. Old power brokers don’t want to give up power (although it’s been steadily seeping away), etc., etc.

Anyway, here is a good insight on this subject by Edward Nawotka in PublishingPerspectives.com:

Is Publishing Too New York-centric?

New York’s outsized influence on publishing is felt across the US, but is it good for the other 99%?

The outsized influence New York, and Brooklyn in particular, has on the current literary scene is undeniable.  It is the center of publishing in the United States.

But is it good for the other 99% of the country?

New York publishers have been accused of publishing books for each other – and the writers, for writing for each other. Has a kind of group-think has set in where people — consciously or not — are perhaps working to impress each other rather than a wider audience?

You often hear publishing personalities and literary journalists on the coasts moan that “the rest of America” doesn’t read books. To this I say, the rest of America does read, they just don’t necessarily want to read the books New York sometimes publishes. How many novels can someone in, say, Chicago or Atlanta, read about a twenty-something Manhattan editorial assistant, junior Wall Street trader, or cupcake shop owner in Cobble Hill looking for love?

But isn’t some of this our own fault. After all, with the end of the year lists, how is it that book critics in Denver, Minneapolis, Kansas City and San Diego all manage to come up with basically the same “top ten” book lists? Shouldn’t they be looking at more worthy regional titles? Nah, cause if they don’t weigh in on the big important books of the year, they won’t be taken seriously by their more-influential colleagues in New York.

Read and learn more

Get this stupendous Publishing/Writing Blog on Kindle 🙂

Advertisements

03/27/2011

Do Books Exist in Alien Worlds?


Aliens Dialing Up an E-Book on Their Palms!

Ever wonder about that? Ever wonder about the very existence of alien intelligence? (Hell, I wonder about it’s existence here on this planet!)

“Nature is often richer and more wondrous than our imagination”…Excerpt from referenced article below. 

One thing’s for sure, with the ever-increasing discoveries of other planets and stars in completely new and larger galaxies utilizing more and more sophisticated technical equipment, we are feeling smaller and smaller and smaller…You do realize, of course, that our little planet is peanut-sized when compared to other planets within our own earth’s galaxy (look at galaxy as a celestial neighborhood). Damn, man, we are not even the biggest planet in a smaller galaxy!

Talk about NOT being the biggest fish in the pond…

Pretty damn insignificant are we…AND, we can’t even seem to live together in some kind of semblance of peace on this peanut planet in this peanut galaxy…much less accept a pretty puny new tech format in e-publishing!…We in bad shape, Kimosabe.

I thought everyone would enjoy this insight from a New York Times article by Ray Jayawardhana, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of Toronto AND the author of “Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life Beyond Our Solar System.”:

Alien Life, Coming Slowly Into View

I REMEMBER the first time the concept of another world entered my mind. It was during a walk with my father in our garden in Sri Lanka. He pointed to the Moon and told me that people had walked on it. I was astonished: Suddenly that bright light became a place that one could visit.

Schoolchildren may feel a similar sense of wonder when they see pictures of a Martian landscape or Saturn’s rings. And soon their views of alien worlds may not be confined to the planets in our own solar system.

After millenniums of musings and a century of failed attempts, astronomers first detected an exoplanet, a planet orbiting a normal star other than the Sun, in 1995. Now they are finding hundreds of such worlds each year. Last month, NASA announced that 1,235 new possible planets had been observed by Kepler, a telescope on a space satellite. Six of the planets that Kepler found circle one star, and the orbits of five of them would fit within that of Mercury, the closest planet to our Sun.

By timing the passages of these five planets across their sun’s visage — which provides confirmation of their planetary nature — we can witness their graceful dance with one another, choreographed by gravity. These discoveries remind us that nature is often richer and more wondrous than our imagination. The diversity of alien worlds has surprised us and challenged our preconceptions many times over.

It is quite a change from merely 20 years ago, when we knew for sure of just one planetary system: ours. The pace of discovery, supported by new instruments and missions and innovative strategies by planet seekers, has been astounding.

What’s more, from measurements of their masses and sizes, we can infer what some of these worlds are made of: gases, ice or rocks. Astronomers have been able to take the temperature of planets around other stars, first with telescopes in space but more recently with ground-based instruments, as my collaborators and I have done.

Two and a half years ago, we even managed to capture the first direct pictures of alien worlds. There is something about a photo of an alien planet — even if it only appears as a faint dot next to a bright, overexposed star — that makes it “real.” Given that stars shine like floodlights next to the planetary embers huddled around them, success required painstaking efforts and clever innovations. One essential tool is adaptive optics technology, which, in effect, takes the twinkle out of the stars, thus providing sharper images from telescopes on the ground than would otherwise be possible.

Read and learn more

JOHN’S NOTE: So, are there books out there in galaxy-land where no man has gone before?…I believe so.

Kindle owners, don’t forget you can get the “Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue” blog delivered right to your Kindle here

 

12/26/2009

Is Publishing Becoming a Minimum Wage Trade?


It’s no secret today…many publishers are hurting to the point of hemorrhaging due to the (probably long over-due) upheaval in their industry caused by new technological advances affecting all logistics, suppliers, readers desires and, in the process, birthing new attitudes and procedures.

And NOT lost in all of this is the major publishing houses abandoning real artistry and content for superficial glitz vomiting forth from celebrities writing their own stories, mostly ghost-written anyway, for the sure buck. And expounding on and pushing the concept that a writer must have a “platform” before s/he can get published; in other words…forcing you into doing their job of marketing you into a position for a chance at successful sales!

This new-tech leveling of the playing field, if you will, has empowered new writers and authors in numerous ways…one of which is the fallout of self-publishing becoming much more professional and accepted…and fast; allowing the writer to cut out the middle man and pocket all, if not most, of the profits.

Anyway, now the entire publishing industry is being downgraded somewhat both in remuneration and prestige…

Phew! Let me get off my soapbox. Here is an editorial by Matt Kinsman, Executive Editor of FOLIO magazine:

Is Publishing Becoming a Minimum Wage Trade?

The memo received by BNP Media staffers this week alerting them to 25 percent salary cuts for the foreseeable future includes a line that jumps off the page almost as much as that “25 percent” figure: “Minimum wage will be the floor for this reduction.”

It’s a line that assures employees the company won’t be cutting below minimum wage (which of course, would be illegal), and only applies to those support positions that may be hovering around minimum wage after the 25 percent cuts.

But still, are things so bad that we have to be assured now that salaries won’t be cut to minimum wage? Salary cuts usually start at the top and the Henderson family (who owns BNP) have taken theirs as well. However, an associate editor making $40,000who is hit with a 25 percent salary cut is suddenly making $30,000. Forget trying to live on that in publishing capitals like New York City-that’s a tough hit anywhere (BNP) is based near Detroit.

As publishers continue to make cuts to keep their businesses alive, they need to be mindful of labor rules and regulations in their state, particularly with employees below a certain salary level. As Southern Breeze editor Mark Newman noted in FOLIO:’s March issue, many high level employees (particularly editors) need to “stop being figureheads and do some work.” But for those entry and associate level employees, for whom the historic trade-off has always been “low pay but great experience,” the returns are getting harder to justify.

The company leaders who impose these cuts will need to balance their contribution margins against the eventual pushback: The unwillingness of their teams to tolerate major pay cuts even as they’re being asked to do significantly more work. It’s a dangerously narrow line to walk.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: