Speaking of cool and crazy literary events, the literary blog HTML Giant is doing something totally nuts this Sunday to celebrate the publication of Long, Last, Happy: New and Selected Stories by Barry Hannah, which comes out tomorrow from Grove/ Atlantic. HTML Giant blogger Kyle Minor will be reading the book in its entirety in a live Webcast, which will not be recorded. This feat is expected to take 15-25 hours, in what will surely be a powerful tribute to a literary master, and a strain on Mr. Minor’s voice.
Here‘s more info. The reading will start at midnight on Sunday and continue until it’s over.
Long, Last, Happy is the posthumous selection of stories from all of Hannah’s previous books, plus a few new stories. Hannah was, of course, a major influence on the contemporary short story. He died in March (here‘s his NYT obit, and our post anticipating this book, and here’s our starred review).
What are you doing this Saturday? Maybe you want to spend the day at an unconference about book publishing. If so, consider Book Camp NY, coming this Saturday, 12/4, from 1-5, sponsored by Cursor, Kobo, Movable Type, Open Sky and O’Reily Media, a group that will no doubt inspire much talk about the digital future of books.
According to the sponsors, “Sessions will be suggested and hosted by attendees. If you’re looking to brainstorm an idea, spark a conversation, or learn something new, this is the place to do it”
This should be a very cool event. Also keep in mind MediaBistro’s eBook Summit, on which PW is a media partner. The event is on 12/15 and you can save 15% on registration with code EBPW.
I couldn’t help myself–I had to download a copy of billionaire Richard Branson’s new iPad-only magazine, Project. It represents a budding front in digital publishing–direct to iPad readables–and I knew it would be cool.
After reading it a bit this morning, I can confirm that Project is indeed cool, has an international viewpoint–one cool thing about a digital mag is you can easily distribute across borders–and features all kinds of multimedia enhancements, though if you’ve seen the Wired iPad app, Project won’t so much rock your world as confirm what you suspected: the iPad is a sweet spot for magazines. So lemme share a couple pages.
Right off, when you “open” Project, the cover does something surprising: Jeff Bridges starts moving and a kind of odd Tron montage billows around him then settles back into the static image of the cover. Very sweet. Then, once inside, you’ve got your navigation menus at the top and bottom, though headlines on the cover link right to the stories, which themselves feature various kinds of animations. Project is a magazine, meaning it’s full of the usual mag lists and nibbles, as well as Q&As and longer features. Here’s a page from a Q&A with someone who works at a cool new kind of record label. Note all the navigation tools at the bottom, which take you to Web sites mentioned in the articles and let you watch/ listen to bands:
Of course, it’s very magazine-y in its design and content. This isn’t an attempt to reinvent the kind of short attention span reading we come to magazines for.
Amazon Charging for Free E-books: The Washington Post reports on free Project Gutenberg E-books that are popping up as not-free Kindle books on Amazon.
Major Russian Poet Dies at 73: Bella Akhmadulina, an important voice in contemporary Russian literature, has died of a heart attack. Here is her NYT obit.
UK Booksellers Feel the Digital Pinch: The Bookseller reports on the stress felt by UK booksellers as the digital market grows.
Payout for a Fraudulent Holocaust Memoir: A judge has ruled that the publisher of a fake Holocaust memoir must pay its ghost-writer $10 million in a suit over the fact that the ghost-writer was not aware it was fake. From the Jewish Chronicle.
Amazing Book Donor: Here’s an amazing story about a college professor who has been donating books–$500 million dollars worth of them!– to needy places all over the world for decades. From the Lantern.
Virgin Magazine: Richard Branson’s iPad-only magazine, Project, hits the App Store today. From Pocket Lint.
Is there someone on your holiday gift list who’s got so much stuff to juggle they don’t have a free hand to hold their e-reader? Well, now there’s a solution: iArm, a fake gift idea from the hilarious folks at Prank Packs, makers of not the iArm but the empty box it (doesn’t) in.
What I’m trying to say is Prank Packs makes funny fake gift boxes, and this year the company has noted the e-reader/ tablet trend in one of its offerings. Other fake products include the Beard Beer and the Pet Petter, but I’ll let you take a look for yourself. These would be a hilarious way to make this year’s pack of socks for cousin Jeff seem uniquely exciting. The boxes are $8 each, or 5 for $25 on a special deal today.
Apple discounted the iPad $41 on Black Friday, and according to TUAW, which cites Piper Jaffray’s polling of 100 Apple stores to come up with the figure of 8.8 iPads sold per hour. Here’s more from the post:
iPads were selling at 8.8 per hour. Gene Munster noted for Piper Jaffray that the iPad was gaining traction among demographics that typically avoid Macs, though specifics on those groups were not provided. Munster concluded by calling the iPad “the Mac of the masses,” and it does seem to be becoming just that.
Did any of you out there take advantage of Apple’s BF iPad discount and pick one up, either in store or online?
Have you been buying your stocking stuffers over the past few days. It was Black Friday a few days ago–surely you were up at 4 a.m. to catch all the hot deals before the slouches who got up at 4:15. And hopefully you knew that in New York, at least, it was Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to shopping at small businesses–hopefully you bought some books at your local indie bookseller so that things like this don’t happen in your town. And today is Cyber Monday, a day to take to the Web and shop till you buy everything you couldn’t get the other two days.
Powells posted an awesome holiday gift guide (so you can shop indie and cyber at the same time). Apple’s got some deals on accessories so you can suit up the iPad you bought on Friday with a nice case. Amazon is using this weird counter-downer thingie to feature–and then unfeature–deals throughout the day: set it to “books” and see what comes up.
Do you know of some other cool places to find Cyber Monday deals? Post ‘em in the comments below!
It’s Cyber Monday!
E-Readers for Older Readers: The Minneapolis Star-Tribune looks at how e-readers are great for older readers.
Reading Apps Lack Imagination: The NYT contends that magazine and e-book apps for iPad aren’t as imaginative as the device itself.
Good Black Friday: CNN Reports that sales and shopper traffic were up this Black Friday weekend.
Better Black Friday: And Reuters reports the same trend.
The MFA Debate Since Forever: A Rumpus article points out that the contemporary debate over the value of MFA degrees–whether they are helping or destroying the art of fiction–has been going on at least since Victorian times.
A New Children’s Bookstore: The Elephant’s Trunk, a new kids’ bookstore, will open in Lexington, MA next month, according to Wicked Local Lexington.
Wimpy Kid on Parade: Get a first look at the Wimpy Kid balloon that will fly in tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. From USA Today.
HarperCollins and Gawker Settle: The two parties have resolved their disagreement over Gawker’s publishing excerpts from Sarah Palin’s new book. GalleyCat has HC’s complete statement.
Of Thee I Ca-Ching!: President Obama’s children’s book, Of Thee I Sing, has been proclaimed by Random House to be the fastest selling picture book in the company’s history. From Fox.
Deci$ion Points: And, George W. Bush’s memoir has sold 1.1 million copies, according to the Associated Press.
Palin of 2008: Finally, Slate says Sarah Palin’s new America by Heart shows that she hasn’t gotten over the 2008 campaign.