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Long Pen: Phoning it In, Literally

The New York Times has an article about Conrad Black’s successful videoconferenced bookstore signing. Mr. Black is bound, by law because of his conviction on charges of fraud and obstruction of justice, to Chicago and Palm Beach. (As an aside, did Conrad Black serve any time in prison? After all Martha Stewart had to go to prison.)

Because of his legal constraints, he is not able to do a book tour. Thus, he took advantage of the Long Pen, a system invented by Margaret Atwood that allowed her to interact with her fans, sign their books but not actually have contact with them. 150 fans showed up to engage with Conrad Black

It’s a weird commentary on the fan culture that we are so desperate for interaction that we’ll go to a video conference and get a xeroxed autograph. My take? I get to videoconference with my fave author? And get a photocopy of her autograph? No thank you.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

One Comment

  1. RLJ
    Dec 17, 2007 @ 15:31:32

    Conrad Black was sentenced last week, he hasn’t started to serve his time yet. I believe his lawyers are trying to keep him out on bail as they try to appeal his conviction.

    As for the long pen thing, not really my cuppa.

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