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Simon & Schuster get into the scammy vanity press business

Simon & Schuster Introduces Self-Publishing Service | The Passive Voice
Simon & Schuster announced Tuesday that it would become the first of the big six publishing houses to dive deeply into the booming self-publishing market. Self-publishing is a rapidly growing and lucrative sector of the publishing world; the number of self-published books has tripled since 2006, to about 235,000 titles annually, according to the research and consulting firm Bowker. But big publishers have been tentative about entering the market, partly for fear of tarnishing their brand by allowing content they have not reviewed to be published under their name. But Simon & Schuster has gotten around that problem by teaming up with Author Solutions Inc., a company based in Bloomington, Ind., that already has a robust self-publishing business. . . . . The two companies have created a separate house called Archway Publishing, which will be available for authors looking to publish fiction, nonfiction, business or children’s books. Simon & Schuster hopes to distinguish Archway from other self-publishing options as a premium service, at a premium cost to the authors. . . . . Authors can buy packages ranging from $1,599, for the least expensive children’s package, to $24,999, for the most expensive business book package.

November 21, 2012

Check out the Bad Sex Award 2012 shortlist

For awful sex scenes in novels. Bad sex awards 2012 shortlist leaves out JK Rowling and EL James | Books | The Guardian
• Back to Blood, by Tom Wolfe Now his big generative jockey was inside her pelvic saddle, riding, riding, riding, and she was eagerly swallowing it swallowing it swallowing it with the saddle's own lips and maw — all this without a word. • Rare Earth by Paul Mason He began thrusting wildly in the general direction of her chrysanthemum, but missing — his paunchy frame shuddering with the efford of remaining rigid and upside down. • The Yips by Nicola Barker She smells of almonds, like a plump Bakewell pudding; and he is the spoon, the whipped cream, the helpless dollop of warm custard. • Infrared by Nancy Huston This is when I take my picture, from deep inside the loving. The Canon is part of my body. I myself am the ultrasensitive film — capturing invisible reality, capturing heat. • The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine And he came. Like a wubbering springboard. His ejaculate jumped the length of her arm. Eight diminishing gouts. The first too high for her to lick. Right on the shoulder.

November 18, 2012

Bertolt Brecht's "O Germany, Pale Mother!"

Bertolt Brecht: O Germany, Pale Mother! (English) [Bryant McGill]
Let others speak of her shame, I speak of my own. O Germany, pale mother! How soiled you are As you sit among the peoples. You flaunt yourself Among the besmirched. The poorest of your sons Lies struck down. When his hunger was great. Your other sons Raised their hands against him. This is notorious. With their hands thus raised, Raised against their brother, They march insolently around you And laugh in your face. This is well known. In your house Lies are roared aloud. But the truth Must be silent. Is it so? Why do the oppressors praise you everywhere, The oppressed accuse you? The plundered Point to you with their fingers, but The plunderer praises the system That was invented in your house! Whereupon everyone sees you Hiding the hem of your mantle which is bloody With the blood Of your best sons. Hearing the harangues which echo from your house, men laugh. But whoever sees you reaches for a knife As at the approach of a robber. O Germany, pale mother! How have your sons arrayed you That you sit among the peoples A thing of scorn and fear!

October 25, 2012

Trailer: The Revisionaries

A documentary about the Texas board of education trying to revise history textbooks to more reflect their particular crazypants vaues. The Revisionaries Trailer (2012)

October 20, 2012

Textbook Publisher Pearson Takes Down 1.5 Million Teacher And Student Blogs With A Single DMCA Notice

Textbook Publisher Pearson Takes Down 1.5 Million Teacher And Student Blogs With A Single DMCA Notice | Techdirt
Textbook publisher Pearson set off an unfortunate chain of events with a takedown notice issued aimed at a copy of Beck's Hoplessness Scale posted by a teacher on one of Edublogs' websites (You may recall Pearson from such other related copyright nonsense as The $180 Art Book With No Pictures and No Free Textbooks Ever!). The end result? Nearly 1.5 million teacher and student blogs taken offline by Edublogs' host, ServerBeach. James Farmer at wpmu.org fills in the details. In case you don’t already know, we’re the folks not only behind this site and WPMU DEV, but also Edublogs… the oldest and second largest WordPress Multisite setup on the web, with, as of right now 1,451,943 teacher and student blogs hosted. And today, our hosting company, ServerBeach, to whom we pay $6,954.37 every month to host Edublogs, turned off our webservers, without notice, less than 12 hours after issuing us with a DMCA email. Because one of our teachers, in 2007, had shared a copy of Beck’s Hopelessness Scale with his class, a 20 question list, totalling some 279 words, published in 1974, that Pearson would like you to pay $120 for.