Thursday News: unexpected books, marketing trends, profitable speech, and little library for kids
A Reading Resolution – Interesting post on the unexpected pleasures of reading books we wouldn’t necessarily choose for ourselves or even think would be interesting. In an ever-increasing field of options, it’s often easier to narrow rather than broaden our literary horizons, especially when we enjoy the dilemma of so much information and so little time to sort through it all (book covers, reviews, blurbs, etc.). This point, in particular, reminded me that I need to be more adventurous this year – how about you?
Steve Jobs was not necessarily my favorite book of the year (that title would probably go to Stefan Zweig’sBeware of Pity) but it affected me in the most significant way, and will probably be the book I end up recommending most often. It is a book which, for one pretentious reason or another, I considered to be outside of the realm of my interest, and it never would have occurred to me to read it had it not fallen into my lap.
It also reminded me of something that is easily forgotten: namely, that the unexpected book has the greatest potential to surprise you, and offers the greatest potential for learning outside of one’s normal cultural sphere. Without even noticing it, many of us are guilty of trapping ourselves into small pockets of literature. – The Millions
10 marketing predictions for 2017 – There is a lot here that match what we’ve been hearing about the increasingly personalized and targeted trend for consumer marketing, including a focus on the “customer journey,” aka how we shop, socialize, and share what we consume. And the continuing dominance of Facebook and Google (Yippee! Not). One intriguing prediction is that all that third-party data we currently squint at won’t be so blindly accepted:
With demands to prove ROI at an all time high, marketers require insight into the performance of their strategies in order to improve campaigns based on real insights. But with many companies being commercially incentivized to provide bloated data, marketers in 2017 will look outside of those providers for truth. No longer will they blindly accept data from publishers or social networks; they’ll demand direct access to the results through independent data providers on everything from branded content to social campaigns. Great news for companies like Moat. – Mashable
Milo Yiannopoulos’ book deal is publishing business as usual – Carolyn Kellogg’s article roots around the vexed intersection of issues driving both the publication of and the backlash to Yiannopoulos’s book deal, especially the issue of “free speech.” Part of the problem is that free speech in the sense that it’s being used here is related but not identical to the constitutional bundle of rights within (primarily) the First Amendment. We’re not talking about the government, but about the commercial arena, which is motivated by profit. And if provocative speech sells, it’s exponentially more publishable. So in this sense, diversity of viewpoint may dovetail with profitability, benefitting the marketplace of ideas. But to claim that Dangerous is being published on a “free speech” platform is profoundly unconvincing. That doesn’t mean the book shouldn’t be published or that S&S doesn’t have a right to publish it. It just means that there is a difference between politically valuable speech and speech that is political and therefore legally protected. And I would love to see S&S’s defense of Yiannopoulos’s rhetoric as politically and socially valuable.
Simon & Schuster is standing by the book and asked protesters to “withhold judgement.” In a statement to the Associated Press, the publisher noted, “We have always published books by a wide range of authors with greatly varying, and frequently controversial opinions.”
That’s not entirely the case. In 1990, Simon & Schuster responded to media protests three months before the publication of Bret Easton Ellis’ “American Psycho” by dropping the book. (The novel was later published by Vintage.)
Those who have objected to Yiannopoulos deal pointed to the size of his advance. “The right to free speech is different from the right to a $250,000 megaphone,” notes Morgan of the Chicago Review. – Los Angeles Times
Sunset Park book exchange targets young readers – I’ve always loved those little libraries on the side of the road, but this one, which is aimed at kids up to third-grade level, is genius. Premised on the idea that kids that young have a much harder time getting to the library than older kids, it currently has 350 books “in circulation,” and if kids want to keep the books, the group that sponsors the library simply replaces them. – 12 Brooklyn Live News