I was going to go get Subway for lunch today, but then I started thinking about what was more important: eating or social media? I decided eating, but then I remembered that I used to be a social media consultant, so whatever, here’s some thoughts on this Goodreads/Amazon thing that a lot of people (thirty-five, maybe) are really worked up about:
- Amazon isn’t Google, which does a really fantastic job of buying the cutest startups at the pound and then leaving said startups on the side of the road after they get old and ugly and start pissing on the carpet. Jeff Bezos invests and improves his acquisitions–just look at how Audible integrated with Kindle so that users can switch back and forth between listening and reading. Nothing is going to happen overnight, but expect some serious changes in your Goodreads user experience.
- Mashable ran the headline “Amazon Buys Goodreads to Make Reading Experience More Social.” This sounds utterly terrifying, because the last thing I want to do when I’m reading is socialize. But I guess it also sounds gorgeous, because it might create some dystopian world where we see status updates like “Fat Jim checked into His Bathtub, Bitch! (with Georges Bataille and A Diet Coke).” READ MORE >
Sometimes I have too many things I want to post about and not enough time and then I spend more time thinking about all the posts I’m not writing so in order to focus on a few upcoming posts, I need to clear my mental decks of these tidbits I do not have the time to turn into longer posts.
According to The New York TImes, literary magazines are thriving. I wonder if that’s true. I don’t disagree but I would love for us to have a broader conversation about this topic. The magazines noted in the article are all Bay Area (SF) magazines with significant readerships that are fairly well-established, although The Rumpus and Canteen can certainly be considered newcomers that are thriving. What does it mean for a magazine to “thrive”–financially and editorially? Do other editors feel their magazines are thriving? Publishing is supposedly not thriving (though I disagree). What can book publishers and magazine publishers learn from one another about thriving?
A friend sent me this great link to a Lifehacker article about why it is futile to compare ourselves to others. At The Rumpus, Sugar offers some really timely and pointed advice about begrudging the success of other writers through peer jealousy. These things are connected and also remind me of several conversations I’ve seen around the “blogosphere” in recent months about writing, success, feeling the pressure of social networking as a writer, and how we measure ourselves against other writers and so on.
1. ASU’s online literary mag yawps for submissions for short fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art for its 7th issue, which is scheduled to come out in May 2011. The guillotine (a term I argue should now replace the tired deadline) is March 31. For accessories, check out www.superstitionreview.com.
1. Hey listen:
(Two nights ago someone offered to buy me a Kindle. I just couldn’t. But I am thinking on it.)
5. Today is President’s Day so go compartmentalize, punks.
The Amazon crew are being such infantile shitheads with the whole Macmillan thing. Aw, Apple is going to make your ugly, stupid Kindle obsolete? It’s like when a new baby comes home and the older, less cute kid throws a tantrum. (Analogy via my roommate.) Wipe the oatmeal off your chins and grow up.
In today’s Observer Business column, John Naughton discusses what a ripoff it is for ebook vendors to “sell” you books with abusive, multi-thousand word “license agreements,” pretending that because you bought your book over the network, it wasn’t a sale, and so you don’t get to own it. These “licenses” aren’t about upholding copyright (if they were, you could replace thousands of words of lawyerese with four simple words: “Don’t violate copyright law”). They’re about overriding copyright — which has all kinds of guarantees for the rights of book-owners — with a private law that gives every advantage to the publisher or retailer, converting you from a noble reader to a wormy, contemptible licensor who doesn’t deserve to own books.