Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Link-mad Monday

* The Guardian notes various methods of organizing your bookshelves. (The ALP and I tend toward the author's own methodology, "according to where I can jam them.") (via Bookninja, who always leads me to the cool Guardian articles)

* Literature In the Internet Age category, #1: I'd normally be skeptical of a trailer for a short story -- but the story is by Jim Shepard, the publisher is the very intriguing new multi-format literary journal Electric Literature, and the video itself is somewhat breathtaking. Watch.

* Literature in the Internet Age category, #2: our Brooklyn visionary of the literary future, Richard Nash, writes in Publishers Weekly about Cursor, the new print/digital, publisher/community hybrid creature he's working on creating. I'm still wrapping my head around it, but it seems to come down to the fact that writers are readers and vice versa, and thus offering tools for refining and publishing one's writing while also selling the written works (and the rights thereto). Looking forward to seeing how it all plays out -- like ours, I imagine the business plan evolves constantly, and I trust Richard to come out with something fabulous.

* Literature in the Internet Age category, #3: another visionary, Kevin Smokler (his anthology Bookmark Now! was one of the reasons I started blogging, AND thinking that bookstores have the potential to be viable and progressive) announces a leap forward for his brainchild, BookTour: author tour listings on BookTour will be automatically listed on the author's A****n page. I've had some interesting email volleys with Kevin and other indie booksellers this week about what this new feature, undeniably a publicity boon for authors, means for indies, and how we can continue to work together. Importantly, BookTour's partnership with site-which-shall-not-be-named does NOT prevent them from also showing this info in other places. And at the moment, indie bookstore data compiled from IndieCommerce sites does NOT appear (partly because they have to figure out how to filter out the "Jane Austen" and "Barack Obama" listings when a bookclub is listed; partly because the booksellers aren't sure they want them to). At some point they may reappear on Amazon, which would delight authors; at some further point, BookTour data may show up on IndieBound in some form, which would delight bookstores (cross your fingers for that). I'm impressed with Kevin's grasp of all the various stakeholders in this situation, and his commitment to continue to serve indie bookstores, as well as authors and readers.

* Didja notice -- Greenlight Bookstore is now on IndieBound! Also, our storefront is turning green.

* And finally: my scarily witty ex-colleague/successor Dustin Kurtz does some terrible things to books in the video below. If you notice the camerawork is a bit shaky and there are some snorty, chokey sounds in the background, it's because he let me hold the Flip camera and I was kinda laughing. He seriously did eat those book pages. Buy him a drink sometime. (And don't try this at home.) As he put it on Twitter, "booksellers are the new circus freaks." Long may we live in passionate weirdness.



Okay -- back to the daily round (emails, faxes, applications, inquiries, catalogs, breaks for iced tea...)