Books and Their Discontents

Tue, Oct 5, 2010

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This title is from a presentation by Peter Brantley at Firebrand’s recent conference. Anyone who quotes The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon is okay in my book.

Check out his slides:

I learned about this from Don Linn’s blog:

Your Old Job in Publishing Doesn’t Exist

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2010/your-old-job-in-publishing-doesnt-exist/

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I Produce Transmedia, Therefore I Am

Tue, Oct 5, 2010

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I have a confession to make. I now realize that I have been a transmedia producer for two decades, although it’s only this past year that a commonly accepted term for my behavior has emerged.

Working as a producer, I have spent the last 15+ years negotiating and impementing transmedia deals with book / comics creators and rights holders, setting up relationships for publishing them on all emerging digital platfoms.

I recognize that am powerless over my addiction to transmedia production. For years wondered why I was repeating the same behavior, expecting different results. Each time a new technology came along, I would enthusiastically embrace it in the misguided hope that a way had finally arrived to make a profitable business of digital publishing.

At last, there are signs that my behavior is no longer dysfunctional and the time has come for digital adaptations of books to succceed.

Now that it appears that my addiction can lead to different and better results, it seems that it may be healthy and productive. My inner skeptic keeps whispering in my ear, “So, what makes you think that this time it will be different?”

Figthting off my contrarian urge to hold back now that there is evidence that digital has arrived, I am currently producing and developing apps for comics and the movies that can be made from them.

The Operative Words were uttered ages ago by the immortal Samuel Beckett :
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

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A Personal Computer for Children of All Ages

Mon, Apr 12, 2010

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Think I’m talking about the iPad? Nope. I’m referring to a visionary idea from over 40 years ago.  The title of this article is actually the tag line for the Dynabook, a computer concept proposed by Alan Kay in 1968 long before it was technically possible to mass-produce.  To dramatize his dream of  “A Personal Computer for Children of All Ages,” he sketched two happy children playing with Dynabooks in a field.

Then, guess what Alan Kay did next? Here’s a hint. He fathered a genetic line that leads to the iPad, which  embodies the Dynabook concept more thoroughly than any device to date. (more…)

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App Store Overrun by Puritans

Tue, Mar 9, 2010

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App Store Overrun by Puritans

It’s something only a mullah could love. In an incredible turn of events, Apple has reportedly banned all sexual content from the App store, using an outrageously Puritanical set of rules.  No women or men in bikinis? No ice skating tights? Bye bye, Olympics apps? UPDATE:  Some sexy apps survive! How can it be? Read on….

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What Happened To Walley World?

Sat, Mar 6, 2010

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What Happened To Walley World?

Guest Post by Danielle K. Kelly

In today’s haze of banks too big to fail and the record store as an endangered species, there is something to be said about the economic impact of the recession on another industry: amusement parks. Whether witnessing the closure of Wild Rivers in Irvine, CA or the closure of Astroland at Brooklyn’s Coney Island, one is left to ponder: Where have the holy grails of thrill-seeking gone? (more…)

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Distribution of eBooks: More Responsibilities Shift to Publishers

Fri, Mar 5, 2010

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Distribution of eBooks: More Responsibilities Shift to Publishers

There is a fascinating change going on in book publishing, driven by the explosive growth of eBooks. It represents  yet one more fundamental shift of responsibility to the publisher in the evolution of print. A custom file or metadata table for each of potentially dozens of distributors is needed. The publisher pays for the customization now, but that is only one part of the evolution. The new workflow, staff and infrastructure required in-house or under the publisher’s direct supervision is far more significant. (more…)

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The Disactivated Activated

Thu, Mar 4, 2010

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The Disactivated Activated

It began as a dream. One of those clear ones, with strong visuals, like an immersive Fifth Element.

I was in a futuristic city, in an apartment. With me were some people of varying ages that I know from playing Aion, a MMO. I recognized their voices from hearing them over group voice chat.

We all had items, like doorstops or candy bars, emblazoned with a lightning bolt and a number. When pressed, the number lit up, and we became Activated. For a period of time, we were smarter, all our “things are right with the world” receptors were turned on, and we gained points. These points accrued to our overall score, that hackproof account with the points that you get from what you do in Real Life. The ones that count most for the Big Stuff: getting things you need to live, keeping loved ones safe, going down in history… (more…)

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Road Apple Live

Tue, Mar 2, 2010

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Here’s a rare video of a film made at Close Enough in New Hampshire of a jam session with some members of Road Apple, just before I joined them. I replaced jazz drummer Skeeter Camera who’s kicking it sweetly in this video.

The late, great Doug McClaran is playing piano and my longtime friend Casey Dennis is on the bass. Not seen here (probably making whoopee somewhere off camera), the other main Road Apples:  Band founder and singer Dan Gillmor and lead guitarist/singer Frank Williams. Unknown to me are the percussionists and the distant rhythm guitarist.

Road Apple at Close Enough (more…)

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Kindle 70-30 Deal for Self-Publishers

Sun, Feb 21, 2010

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Kindle 70-30 Deal for Self-Publishers

This looks like a major step, doesn’t it? Amazon is apparently trying to stay competitive with Apple, B&N and others. A 70/30 split in favor of the content provider seems to be the coming industry standard. But there are a lot of strings attached… .

See my analysis after the jump.

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