One of the highlights of the London Book Fair was the free stuff. I’m under the impression that the pure abundance of free stuff loses its magic as one progresses through the publishing industry but hey, while I’m barely on the first step of a career ladder that reaches dizzying heights, I’ll enjoy the free stuff while it still makes me happy. This year LBF was giving away hundreds and hundreds of tote bags emblazoned with gaudy orange typography that shouted “BOOKS ARE MY BAG.” In case you were confused as to what books are. What are they again? YOUR BAG, THAT’S WHAT. Continue reading
I am beginning to see a pattern. Famous person begins a Kickstarter project. Cynics spit feathers. People begin pledging money to project. Cynics spit blood. Project exceeds goal and expectations. Cynics spew fire and brimstone, declare rich famous people obscene and spread their bitter disease through blogs and laughable commentary.
Now, I’m not a hippy dippy “lets all get along” kinda person. Nothing I like more than a good debate. However, I have to draw the line at cynical “critics” (the word “critic” seems too loaded with credibility to be applied to these bitter people somehow) telling supporters of these projects that they need to be taught the value of the dollar, that they’re being bullied by the rich famous people and that they’re taking away from the smaller, more deserving projects.
These are all real accusations against Zach Braff’s recent Kickstarter project. I need not regurgitate the well circulated details of the project other than Braff has asked for $2m to fund his new film so as to maintain artistic control, the goal was reached in days, he has his film. A lot of people are unhappy about this. Continue reading
This post was written for the University of Stirling’s Publishing Studies course’s website, it can also be found there.
Alastair Horne’s visit to Stirling on March 28th was much anticipated on Twitter, with talks the night before of red carpets and royal carriages on the 8:30am Edinburgh to Stirling train which students and tutors alike frequent to make the 10am start. Those of us lucky enough to take the Digital Process & Product module had a double dose of Alastair as he taught a class on digital start-up business models before taking up his position as visiting speaker at 2pm.
So as to avoid spilling the beans of our innovative, game changing business models (sarcasm implied) I will focus on Alastair’s visiting talk on the wonders of social media. Alastair himself has 10 years of experience in publishing, is the social media and communications manager at Cambridge University Press ELT with a personal Twitter account of 3.6k+ followers, a professional global Twitter account, a Facebook page for CUP ELT with 33k likes, fortnightly webinars, I could go on. Let’s just say Alastair knows what he’s talking about when it comes to social media. Continue reading
(This review is sweary and obscene. Discretion advised if you’re sensitive to such content. Ya wimp.)
I don’t take credit for the title’s quotation, though it sums up Blackbirds pretty well. It came from a tag by Miss BookCunt, a sweary book lover on her review of Blackbirds. She sums it up better than I ever could.
It’s actually why I finally got round to reading something by Chuck. I’ve intently followed him on Twitter and his blog, so I thought it was about time to go for a hat trick. He also gave some insightful consideration to Amanda Palmer’s Art of Asking talk. The true way to my heart.
“I blog without promise of return, without certainty of financial gain, hoping and trusting that the readers here will eventually wind their way drunkenly toward my other work, hoping that I’m saying things that connect.” Congrats Chuck, that’s exactly what happened to me. I enjoyed the free material, craved the priced material. You sneaky bugger. Continue reading
In the blue corner! We have a well respected bookseller barely in its third decade of existence with nearly 300 stores across UK and Europe! Give it up for Waterstones! (Pause for applause)
In the red corner! A multimillion soul sucking corporation with only the depth of your pockets as their primary motivation for book selling! Throw your rotten vegetables and pitchforks at Amazon! (Pause for jeers)
Okay, I let some bias slip in there. I don’t honestly think Amazon are quite as bad as that, I’m just starting to become a parody of myself. This is what happens when you boycott a company as large and all-seeing as Amazon. I can get a bit giddy with excitement and tend to let the exaggerations flow. So imagine my elation when I find that Waterstones nearly matches Amazon’s pricing, efficiency and convenience. That’s my book needs fixed at least. Continue reading
Are ya sick of LBF yet? I kind of am, the further I roam from LBF memories and into coursework deadlines the blurrier and more irrelevant LBF already seems. However, I made a promise to myself that I would document these days and I’ll be damned if I stop now!
The annoying thing is that day three was phenomenally lazy. I don’t even feel bad about it, I was TIRED. Everyone else around me seemed to be feeling the same way. Finishing work at 10am left me with a lot of time to kill before my 7pm train back to Edinburgh. There weren’t a great amount of talks on that grabbed my attention and I really had grown attached to a seat I found outside of the Penguin Group stall. Can you blame me? Continue reading
It appears to be a universal feeling for LBF first timers (particularly for those students who feel a little out of place) to be overwhelmed on the first day. So on the second day you’re sauntering around like you own the joint. At least that’s how I felt when I arrived once again at 7:45am. I knew where the Publishers Weekly stand was, I knew where to distribute the magazines and we did so which such efficiency that we were done by 10am. I was pretty chuffed that this meant I’d be able to see the talk on gamification in publishing…except it was full up 15 mins before it started. Denied. Ouch. Lesson learned for next year, turn up not just early, but ridiculously early. Continue reading