Sep 2 2009
Confirmation of the layoffs of three Simon & Schuster editors has been made. (We had some concerns about layoffs on Monday). News of the Star Trek editor had leaked out last week with a suggestion that there were others in the offing. Yesterday publisher Louise Burke sent an email notice that Maggie Crawford along with another editor (the Star Trek one) and an editorial assistant were given the pink slip. Any more forthcoming?
One thing I find interesting about the Crawford layoff is that she was a well known women’s fiction editor and I know that Pocket was looking for women’s fiction writers. Will McKenna take the lead in this or will Pocket hire someone for less money than they were paying Crawford. Maybe Friedman can hire Crawford for Friedman’s new publishing venture.
Ross Rubin offers up his opinion that Sony can become a leader in the ebook industry if it can squeeze a 3G or wifi capability into the midrange units. Rubin also suggests that the Pocket Edition will be the big winner this fall with the bad economy.
Japan is spending $21B to build a power plant in space that will beam power back to Earth. Sounds very SFF to me!
Shannon Stacey responds to the article by Candy Tan at SmartBitches who was riffing off Meg Cabot’s hatred of the required reading list. Given the number of commenters at the Smart Bitches site who claimed that their teachers killed every desire to read, it’s a miracle that they are reading today. As for me, I read Romeo and Juliet, Beowulf, and Ayn Rand in high school because my English Lit professor made us. I still remember her instilling in me a love for the classics. Required reading lists are like vegetables. Good for you and an acquired taste. I think our friend Robin might have some further thoughts on this in an op piece later this month.
iRiver is working on cutting a deal with European and US Publishers to bring its iRiver Story eink reader to the US. It’s currently priced at $300 but only available in Korea. The Story looks like an elegantly designed device.
GMAIL went down yesterday and I feared that half the world ground to a halt. It signals the danger of cloud computing. When your access to information depends on someone’s computer health, it can mean problems from time to time.
JMC has a post about characters’ names and authors seeming desire to make them more and more unpronouceable and exotic.
Naming your protagonist Jayné and then telling that it is pronounced Zha-NAY? Monumental WTF moment.
CellStories.Net believes the future of publishing rests in cell phone delivery of short content. Having experienced Daily Lit which delivers short chunks of text in one sitting, I have to say that I am not a fan of this type of publishing but it’s something to watch for. When we did our digital publishing seminar in D.C. Kassia Kroszer of Booksquare talked briefly about chunking and I could see a number of blank looks in the crowd.
In distressing news, BBC wrote up a survey regarding girls and dating:
Nearly 90% of 1,400 girls aged 13 to 17 had been in intimate relationships, the NSPCC and University of Bristol found.
Of these, one in six said they had been pressured into sexual intercourse and one in 16 said they had been raped.
Lynn Raye Harris writes in her blog about winning the Harlequin Presents writing contest and gives her insight as to what she thinks makes a Harlequin Presents book. (There are three parts starting with this one.). Having read Harris’ debut book, I’m inclined to think that she knows what she is talking about as the Spanish Magnate, Red-Hot Revenge fit solidly into the HP ouvre.