Banned books, comic books (sort of), branding, and films

Books

One more reason to like social media.

Grassroots response to banning of Invisible Man in Randolph County, North Carolina

7 Reasons Your Favorite Books Were Banned

Ways to Celebrate Banned Books Week

Comic books (sort of)

French Can Now Get Current Events as Digital and Print Comics

Branding (Personal)

Looking around I ran into the Book Whisperer Blog and one of the posts there has to do with what I consider personal branding. It’s a riff on the Kardashians but still I like it. It’s aimed at teachers and school librarians, but, you know, most of it applies to everyone, including you.

Bryan Cranston from the TV series Breaking Bad was profiled in the September 16, 2013 issue of The New Yorker. One paragraph begins: “Cranston says, matter-of-factly, ‘I often find myself in a pickle and having to apologize, because that’s what risk-takers have to do.'” This reminded of a quote that I first saw on a Tom Peters slide: “Don’t ask for permission; beg for forgiveness.” I often wondered who said that first. Turns out it was Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. Always a good mantra to keep in mind. Of course you have to be prepared for the trouble your actions may cause.

Maine!

Camden International Film Festival begins tomorrow, September 26. Camden, Maine is a beautiful place to visit this time of year. You could see a lot of great films, too.

Facebook page

Miscellaneous

The Scrabble Diet

Scrabble

flickr photo credit: Alex_untitled

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(A few) links about books, bookstores, & self-publishing

bannedbooks

Continuing with the Banned Books theme of the week:

[Not your usual list of banned books]
Five Banned Books That You Should Read (That You Probably Haven’t)

Bookstores

What do bookstores supply that Amazon and other online retailers can’t? Personalized advice from a live person. And community. Events. People getting together with other people to talk about books. A place to hear authors speak and to meet their dogs. (I heard Theron Humphrey, author/photographer of Maddie on Things, speak at my local independent bookstore, The Brookline Booksmith. It’s a book of pictures of his coon hound Maddie standing on things all over the United States. He spoke about his adventures and what got him started and all the while Maddie the dog was wandering around and among the attendees. Very sweet. And personal. And something that just is not going to happen online.

The indie bookstore resurgence

Self-Publishing

Man recovering from an accident finds himself bored and writes a book for his grandchildren. I include the link because I think the important part of this little tale of success is that the book was written for specific people. The author knew his audience and he wrote it for them. It just turns out that what might interest his grandchildren probably interests a lot of other kids that age. But he knew precisely who he was writing for. That’s key.

Wordsley man who wrote a book for his grandchildren lands publishing deal

Not a book recommendation, since I haven’t read it, but it does sound kind of amusing:

Of course I thought all reading was a cure for something, but these women have been running a “bibliotherapy” business. Specific books for specific illnesses.  Who knew?

The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You

One man’s guide to printing his self-published book

CreateSpace, Lightning Source, Lulu—Where Should YOU Self Publish Your Book: The Ultimate Resource

flickr photo credit: Okanagan College Library

Links about books, publishing, self-publishing, marketing, video, & photography

High Brow

Excavated Site in Denmark May Be The Royal Hall From ‘Beowulf’
Reminds that it may be time to re-read Beowulf. Last time I did that I was a freshman in college. Also happen to have a copy of the verse translation by Seamus Heaney (R.I.P.) sitting here on my bookshelf. (Though one of the commenters at Amazon thinks that the translation by Frederick Rebsamen is superior to Heaney’s.)

Self-Publishing

Self-Publishing An E-Book? Here Are 4 Ways To Leave Amazon’s 30% Tax Behind

Self-Publishing A Legal Casebook: An Ebook Success Story

(As evidenced by the two different versions of e-book/ebook above, Forbes copy editors may want to look into standardizing the spelling of that pesky word.)

Still banning books?

North Carolina school board bans “Invisible Man”
(from @DavePell’s NextDraft newsletter 9/20/13)

Still reminding us that books are banned

Did you know it is banned books week?

How banned books week is being observed in my neck of the woods:

Read-Out for Banned Books Week

Video

Video provides payday for publishers
(thanks to @jwikert for the link)

Proof of what Joe describes is happening at the New York Times, where one of the video features is called Op-Docs. One of the recent videos there is:

56 Ways of Saying I Don’t Remember

Louie C.K. on Conan about cell phones
There’s actually a great line in here about letting yourself getting completely sad, embracing it, crying, in order to produce the “happiness antibodies” that will make you completely happy. But screwing around with the phone rather than just sitting there “being human” gets in the way of complete sadness, therefore getting in the way of complete happiness. Brilliant in a way.
(thanks to @DavePell’s NextDraft)

Photography

This Guy Turns OCD Hoarding into Amazing Photos
(thanks @Dooce)

Marketing

New Album “Sparks” Announced
Another musician doing some interesting stuff on the marketing front.
@imogenheap

Miscellaneous

Spam comment at this blog:
Now I am going to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming yet again to read more news.

Links about books, publishing, marketing, photography, and Brookline, MA

First Jonathan Franzen published an article about Karl Kraus, “an Austrian satirist and a central figure in fin-de-siecle Vienna’s famously rich life of the mind” that veered into an attack on our current lives, technology, Twitter users, and Amazon.com, among other things. Jonathan Franzen: what’s wrong with the modern world

Then Jennifer Weiner, called out as one of those “yakkers and braggers,” responded with: What Jonathan Franzen Misunderstands About Me

And then Porter Anderson weighed in with this summation and compilation of many of the different voices that joined the discussion. Writing on the Ether: What’s Wrong With Franzen

While on the subject of books, this from Publishing Perspectives. Leah Price, professor of English at Harvard University, answers the question, “what is  a book?” What Exactly is a Book, Anyway?
Quote: “This is one reason that UNESCO defined ‘book’ in 1964 as ‘a non-periodical printed publication of at least 49 pages, …made available to the public’… [I guess meaning that a 48-page document cannot be a book.]

But maybe books are just too long:

The big short—why Amazon’s Kindle Singles are the future

But then again, Tom Junod writes an article for Esquire titled: “The Dominance of Looooooong In the Age of Short.” (While theoretically about long-form written pieces, this article seems to be speaking more to our TV- and movie-watching habits.) [Thanks to Dave Pell’s NextDraft newsletter]

And speaking of new ways to tell a story, the New York Times publishes an illustrated article: Tomato Can Blues

Making it easier than ever to grab Tweet-able text from articles. Quote me: How digital publishing is getting straight to the source

Two words to guide you in your Tweeting:
A Super Simple 2-Word Social Media Strategy: Be Useful  [from Inc.com]
[thanks @jimstorer]

And if you should find yourself speechless, head over here: Fill the Silence

Ah, Brookline:
The turkey tenace temporarily at bay, Brookline mobilizes to fight creeping Allstonization

Though my photo here is at odds with the headline above:

Wild turkeys, Brookline, MA

Ah, Brookline (II):
Man Arrested for Using Leaf Blower in Brookline

(Since it’s after September 15, I’m guessing these guys were leaf blowing before 9 a.m. on Yom Kippur. That’s a no-no.)

Lastly, a link to the New York Times photo blog, a series of hometown photos taken by teenagers.

Links about books and marketing and publishing

Some random links about books and business of books and marketing of books. (And don’t forget it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day.)

Hugh Howey comes to Boston. Hugh Howey is a sci-fi writer who is massively popular. I’m not quite sure why. Clearly people like his stories. And he’s one of those self-publishing success stories. His writing style leaves something to be desired. Too many words. Even one of the commenters at Amazon says that Howey’s descriptions of things often go on too long and that reader has gotten in the habit of skipping over those parts. Hmmm. Whatever happened to editors?

Win a Literary Tour trip to NYC, courtesy of Kirkus Reviews. Just for fun. And who knows, you might win a trip to NYC. Even if you win, they don’t have the rights to your image or name to infinity and beyond, which seems to be the case with many of these prize giveaways.

Five Reasons to Use a Facebook Profile (Not a Page) to Build Platform
From Jane Friedman’s excellent writing/publishing website/blog, a guest post by Lisa Hall-Wilson.

On a slightly related front: The Very First Step to Building a Business Around a Lifestyle Hobby (This guy says Facebook first, then a blog.)

My 11 Questions about Publishing E-books on Amazon’s Kindle

How to Host a Virtual Book Tour

Is bad book publicity better than no publicity at all? [Though the article really is about plagiarism…] I include this because the writer mentions Eugene Tobin, president of Hamilton College, who resigned over a convocation speech that contained some plagiarized sections. I graduated from Hamilton College.

Self-Published Title from Jim Carrey Very Telling about the State of Publishing
Jim Carrey has written a children’s book and the author of this article thinks it’s interesting that the self-published aspect is not the story. I think it’s odd that the book has a web page where pages are still under construction.

National Book Awards Long List for Non-Fiction

Collaborate with a Loved One Without Ruining Your Relationship Because I know Tom and David Kelley, who are mentioned, and because I know someone who might be writing a book about staying married while running a business together.

Two books about cities, New York and San Francisco, authored by men who did a lot of discovery by walking. I like the idea of long walks in cities. It is the best way to find things you don’t know about. I haven’t read either one of these books, but they both sound good.

A Walker in the City (An article in the New Yorker)

The New York Nobody Knows

The New York Nobody Knows (book cover)

San Francisco Treats (A book review from the New York Times)

Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco

CoolGrayCityofLove-cover

Links (about books, lobsters, death and cheating death, among other things)

Some various and sundry links I ran into (looked into? clicked on?)  Tuesday, August 20:

Writing

Suddenly all hell broke loose!!! (You’ll “get it” once you see rules 5 + 6. From The New York Times) (This article showed up all over the place after Elmore Leonard died. While there are endless “10 Rules of Writing” articles out there in the world, I like the way his is written.)

Lobsters

Why lobsters are so expensive even when there are so many of them. (The New Yorker)

Death

Social media makes death more accessible? (The Atlantic.com)

While some people are getting more comfortable with death, these guys want to do away with it altogether. (Thanks to Dave Pell and his NextDraft newsletter for that link.)(The Daily Beast)

I call this a video about cheating death, but really it’s all about persistence. (Thanks to Kris Krug’s Facebook page for this link.)

Books

Five Reasons Social Media Will Always Sell More Books… (authored by Peter McCarthy, from the Digital Book World site)

Top Ten Book Recommendation Platforms (Isabel Farhi, from Digital Book World)

I include this link because I’ve used a couple of these places (Goodreads and Book Bub) recently to find books.

Cemetery Guy

I’ve been working on a short documentary film tentatively titled “When Dogs Die.” It’s about the end of life of dogs and how we humans deal with that loss. One of the people I’ve interviewed for the film is Mike Thomas, caretaker at the Pine Ridge Pet Cemetery in Dedham, MA. While working on this project I began taking a class in documentary film making since I quickly learned how much I didn’t know. One of the assignments for the class was to create a video portrait of someone. Since I already had an extensive interview with Mike, and I liked him as a subject, I decided to do my portrait about him. I spoke with him a couple more times while he was at work at the cemetery. This short film then is about Mike and the work he does. It’s not exactly an excerpt of “When Dogs Die,” but portions of this short film will no doubt appear in the longer final film. At one point while interviewing Mike, he said he’d “become the cemetery guy.” I liked that line and so made it the title for this short piece. Unfortunately the line itself didn’t make it into the film.