Abecediary — Steven Heller on alphabet books (Die Flucht Nach ABECEDERIA by the French comic artist Blexbolex pictured above).
Imprints in the 21st Century — Admittedly HarperCollins new Imprint It Books is an easy target (NB use of “tap into the zeitgeist” in a sentence = fail), but Mike Shatzkin does a good job of explaining why their strategy is past its sell by date (and beginning to smell):
General trade publishers need to see, and apparently don’t, that their legacy brands are B2B [business-to-business]. They should be exploited that way. They need brands that can work B2C [business-to-consumer], but it will require discipline, focus, and an audience-first picture of what to publish to accomplish that.
Writing for a Living — Luminaries such as Will Self, Joyce Carol Oates, and AL Kennedy (quoted below) discuss whether writing is a joy or a chore in The Guardian:
“The joy of writing for a living is that you get to do it all the time. The misery is that you have to, whether you’re in the mood or not.”
Hugh at BookOven is angry this week. He wants to know why publishers are not selling directly to customers from their website and why they make e-books so complicated. I think Hugh underestimates the time/money/skill-deficit obstacles publishers face in regard to both problems. I suspect Hugh thinks I’m an apologist and will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes.