Speculations about Goodreads & Amazon (instead of eating lunch)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Mashable ran the headlineAmazon 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 >
Behind the Scenes & Technology / 15 Comments
March 29th, 2013 / 2:44 pm

Leaving money on the table

If you’re related to me, don’t read the rest of this sentence: I got most of the people in my family books this year for Christmas. I don’t usually do that, actually. For a writer, it seems rather hazardous. Because, for one thing, though I love my family and I want them to be happy, I’m not going to intentionally purchase things that I consider truly shitty on their behalf. But on the other hand I’m not going to go out and buy them, say, the FC2 catalogue just because I happen to like it; that would be a Real Dick Move. But even once I’ve negotiated that mess and found the place where my tastes and those of a given family member overlap, there’s still the risk that you’re essentially giving someone homework for Christmas. The fact that I want to read a book someday has nothing at all to do with whether or not I want to read it now. By giving someone a book, you either rob them of that decision or, more likely, give them something that they’re going to feel guilty about for several months (or even years) but likely never actually read. But this post isn’t about giving books for Christmas, really. It’s about ebook pricing. READ MORE >

Presses / 49 Comments
December 21st, 2011 / 6:21 pm

Two Weeks: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry

The editors of Linebreak are creating an all-new, ebook-only anthology of contemporary poetry. Beginning today they are accepting submissions which they will compile and design as a multi-format ebook. On January 25th, they will publish it. Details, here. Send your submissions here. Hop to it!

Web Hype / Comments Off on Two Weeks: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry
January 12th, 2011 / 12:00 am

Mess Section (umm)

(above) Wake In Progress / Finnegans Wake illustrated

(but) Dennis Cooper, interview, at Butt

(hum) Iambik audiobooks

(hai) 4chan / piracy is community, community is profit

(below) art of Ashkan Honarvar, from Faces 5

Random / 8 Comments
October 25th, 2010 / 10:19 pm

How the Tablet has Turned: A guest-post by Elliott David


According to this NYT piece yesterday, the book publishing industry, who have been ever so patient for a savior (likely because one isn’t remotely foreseeable) has finally arrived at the astrological alignment under which they can ceremonially raise the ghosts of Alfred A Knopf Sr., Roger Williams Straus, Jr., Allen Lane, and George Plimpton, who will then enter the machine and destroy the internet from within.


Technology / 8 Comments
February 10th, 2010 / 3:20 pm

Via The Reading Experience, here’s Alan Kaufman’s harebrained essay on the death of the physical book.

Oh man, I’m going to miss bookstores too, but this guy is just a nut. He says, “The book is fast becoming the despised Jew of our culture. Der Jude is now Der Book.”

I used to think snowboarding wasn’t going to last but it’s like 15 years later and people are still doing it and everyone is about the same amount of happiness.