PUBLISHING INDUSTRY: WAVING OR DROWING?
"In this chaotic world, only the boldest would forecast the impact of the Random House–Penguin merger. In more traditional times, reducing the number of big players in an industry and putting a significant share of the market in the hands of the new company would be interpreted as a direct attack on consumer choice. In a move that might hint at a little anxiety about the attentions of the OFT, both parties to the merger are insisting their imprints will maintain their distinctive identities, and deny talk of anything other than back-office cuts." The Guardian
LITERATURE IS NOT DATA: AGAINST DIGITAL HUMANITIES
"The implications of literature as resistance to data extend well beyond the mostly irrelevant little preserve of literature and literary analysis. Algorithms are inherently fascistic, because they give the comforting illusion of an alterity to human affairs. “You don’t like this music? The algorithms have worked it out” is not so far from “You don’t like this law? It works objectively.” Algorithms have replaced laws of human nature, the vital distinction being that nobody can read them. They describe human meanings but are meaningless." Los Angeles Review of Books
THE BOOKSTORE BRAIN
"We have probably passed the point where there can be any credible objections to the existence and use of electronic readers. (I like the feel and smell of books as much as anybody, but come now: you can keep all of Montaigne and Tolstoy on a phone in your pocket. That’s amazing.) And booksellers have wholeheartedly embraced the online selling that keeps them in business.
Yet bookstores provide something irreplaceable that we shouldn’t easily relinquish. Their knowing charms and surprises (even, admittedly, their parochialism and occasional cluelessness) spring from the people who run them and who decide what they will carry. Bookstores are, in essence, personal libraries. In this way, they are macrocosms of the books they contain—there is life inside them." The New Yorker
SELF-PUBLISHING SEES MASSIVE GROWTH
"«This is no longer just vanity presses at work – self-publishing is out of the dark corners and making its way into the mainstream,» said Bowker's Beat Barblan, adding that earlier this summer, four self-published authors had seven novels on the New York Times ebook bestseller list. In 2011, America's 148,424 self-published print books accounted for 43% of the total print output, Bowker said. A comparison for ebooks is impossible to provide as there are no reliable figures for the total number of ebooks published in the US." The Guardian
HOW AUTHORS WRITE
"At a time when new media are proliferating, it is tempting to imagine that authors, thinking about how their writing will appear on devices such as electronic readers, tablet computers, or smartphones, consciously or unconsciously adapt their prose to the exigencies of publishing platforms. But that's not what actually happens. One looks in vain for many examples of stories whose style or form has been cleverly adapted to their digital destinations. Stories on e-readers look pretty much as stories have always looked." MIT Technology Review