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September 29, 2009

Tina Brown looking to publish books five times faster

The Daily Beast Seeks to Speed Up the Publishing Process for Books - NYTimes.com Tina Brown's mission to destroy fiction is nearly complete!
Having ramped up her metabolism from magazines to online journalism with The Daily Beast, Tina Brown now wants to speed up book publishing. In a joint venture with Perseus Books Group, The Daily Beast is forming a new imprint, Beast Books, that will focus on publishing timely titles by Daily Beast writers — first as e-books, and then as paperbacks on a much shorter schedule than traditional books. On a typical publishing schedule, a writer may take a year or more to deliver a manuscript, after which the publisher takes another nine months to a year to put finished books in stores. At Beast Books, writers would be expected to spend one to three months writing a book, and the publisher would take another month to produce an e-book edition.

University students given free kindles, hate them

Kindles yet to woo University users - The Daily Princetonian To be fair, they hate them as academic tools.
But though they acknowledged some benefits of the new technology, many students and faculty in the three courses said they found the Kindles disappointing and difficult to use. “I hate to sound like a Luddite, but this technology is a poor excuse of an academic tool,” said Aaron Horvath ’10, a student in Civil Society and Public Policy. “It’s clunky, slow and a real pain to operate.” Horvath said that using the Kindle has required completely changing the way he completes his coursework. “Much of my learning comes from a physical interaction with the text: bookmarks, highlights, page-tearing, sticky notes and other marks representing the importance of certain passages — not to mention margin notes, where most of my paper ideas come from and interaction with the material occurs,” he explained. “All these things have been lost, and if not lost they’re too slow to keep up with my thinking, and the ‘features’ have been rendered useless.” Wilson School professor Stan Katz, who teaches Horvath’s class, said he is interested in whether he “can teach as effectively in using this as in using books and E-Reserve material and in whether students can use this effectively,” adding that “the only way to find out is to try it.”

September 28, 2009

In his new book, Douglas Coupland plagiarizes ZeFrank

ze's page :: zefrank.com: douglad coupland rips off the earth sandwhich While I loved Generation X when I was fifteen, I've thought every book Coupland wrote after was a bit crap. This just solidifies that notion. Ze asked Coupland to include some attribution, but Coupland refused. What a hard-charging douche. Is there anyone on the internet that would be a worse person to mess with? Ze Frank built up enormous stockpiles of good will during his year-long The Show. Coupland should know better than to fuck with that.
[In the linked video] starting at 3:43 and again with a DEMO at 4:54 - the earth sandwich is also featured in his new book. there is a tiny credit on the bottom right after the demo - but it is still infuriating - do you think i could get away with doing something he did VERBATIM and them putting a tiny credit? it would be one thing if he extended the idea, or commented on it, but he simply repackages it to sell his book. the attribution is weak at best, and feels like he was using what he considered to be the bare minimum to get away with it.

Fuck yeah! James Ellroy's first book in eight years out now: Blood's a Rover

I mean, c'mon. The first part is entitled: "Cluster Fuck" I have a fanboy hard-on for James Ellroy. I may actually have to buy this one in hardcover. Obsession, conspiracy, junkies, perverts, tortured reds, right-wing goons, twisted cops, tabloid sleaze, ultraviolence and that staccato bop voice -- yeah. 1968 nearly killed the USA. Maybe it should have. Blood’s A Rover by James Ellroy | Knopf Doubleday - Knopf
Q: How does this book differ from the other two books in the Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy? The plot is quite complex, and there are tons of characters. How did you keep all the story lines straight? A: Truth be told, it’s markedly less complex than The Cold Six Thousand and slightly more complex than American Tabloid. The historical period–1968-1972–is less iconic than the periods covered in the first two books; thus, I had greater latitude to fictionalize. Again, this is a novel of outward revolution and revolution of the soul. There is greater dialectic in this novel than in my previous twelve novels combined. How did I keep the storyline straight? I wrote a 397-page outline [!!], that laid out the action, down to the most minute detail. Meticulousness, diligence, profoundly rigorous work habits all contributed to the greatness of this novel. During the odd moments that my super-human resolve faltered, I stared at the numerous portraits of Beethoven that adorn my pad and at the photo of Joan that I keep on my nightstand (the left side, of course).