Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control

 Ted Striphas argues that, although the production and propagation of books have undoubtedly entered a new phase, printed works are still very much a part of our everyday lives. With examples from trade journals, news media, films, advertisements, and a host of other commercial and scholarly materials, Striphas tells a story of modern publishing that proves, even in a rapidly digitizing world, books are anything but dead.

From the rise of retail superstores to Oprah's phenomenal reach, Striphas tracks the methods through which the book industry has adapted (or has failed to adapt) to rapid changes in twentieth-century print culture. Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Amazon.com have established new routes of traffic in and around books, and pop sensations like Harry Potter and the Oprah Book Club have inspired the kind of brand loyalty that could only make advertisers swoon. At the same time, advances in digital technology have presented the book industry with extraordinary threats and unique opportunities.

Striphas's provocative analysis offers a counternarrative to those who either triumphantly declare the end of printed books or deeply mourn their passing. With wit and brilliant insight, he isolates the invisible processes through which books have come to mediate our social interactions and influence our habits of consumption, integrating themselves into our routines and intellects like never before.

Link to book on Amazon: The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control

Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century

For nearly five centuries, the world of book publishing remained largely static. But at the dawn of the twenty-first century, the industry faces a combination of economic pressures and technological change that is forcing publishers to alter their practices and think hard about the future of the book.

John Thompson's riveting account dissects the roles of publishers, agents, and booksellers in the United States and Britain, charting their transformation since the 1960s. Offering an in-depth analysis of how the digital revolution is changing the game today, Merchants of Culture is the one book that anyone with a stake in the industry needs to read.

Link to book on Amazon: Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business in the Twenty-First Century

Monday, November 03, 2014

Saccharin ebooks

What if a company paid to have their product placed inside the story line of a book?

If this idea leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you may find it ironic that this idea has been done and the company that did the sponsoring was Sweet 'N Low. The book is titled Find Me I'm Yours and the previously mentioned sugar substitute has been worked into the story line in several places.

The book is tied in with a series of websites. A small alternative media universe has been created to go along with the book. NYT article with additional details - E-Book Mingles Love and Product Placement

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Disclaimer in the book "In Cold Type"

The book titled "The Book Publishing Industry" had the following paragraph about "In Cold type" and the disclaimer.

Mike Shatzkin, son of the author, has the following blog post - Why Dad’s book had a disclaimer from the publisher

Leo's Book and Wine -- In Cold Type

I bought a copy of the book "In Cold Type" by Leonard Shatzkin. The book was published in the early 1980's. The sub-title of the book is "Overcoming the Book Crisis." For those that do not know crises in the book industry did not start with Amazon.com.

When the book arrived the first thing I noticed was the sticker on the front that at one time it had been sold at "Leo's Book and Wine Shop".

I knew nothing about Leo's but I found it interesting that a book about the publishing industry would be sold by a wine shop. I did some searching online and found that Leo's was a bookstore in Toledo, Ohio and was open from 1967 - 2009.

I found a 2009 article - Leo's writes final chapter for family's bookstore - that discusses the closing of the bookstore. The founder's son Daryl had taken over the business for his father. In the article he does attribute the current problems with the store to the changes in the publishing industry and online book sales but he also mentions another significant issue PARKING.

Excerpt from the article - Mr. Yourist said aggressive parking meter enforcement also contributed because it lessened customer traffic. He had a parking ticket on his desk that he said he would pay for his attorney, and lamented that the only way small businesses could survive in the area is to have their own parking lots.

“When people get a $10 parking ticket because they've stayed longer than an hour, they're not going to come here to shop,” he said. “And until something is done about that, there won't be any retail downtown for a long time.”

A picture of the closed Leo's store with a FOR SALE sign in the window. (Note the parking meter - please read the full article because I readily concede that the parking was only a piece of multiple things that impacted this business)

Leo Yourist, the store's founder, passed in 2011. Nice article with some details of his life and store can be seen here - Leo Yourist, 1920-2011: Bookstore owner a downtown fixture