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Monday News: BAM’s POD experiment, fandoms and empathy, Hugo hosting controversy, and 1950′s marriage tips

Monday News: BAM’s POD experiment, fandoms and empathy, Hugo hosting controversy,...

BAM Espresso Pilot A Success, So Far – Books-A-Million has been conducting a 90-day experiment with the Espresso Ebook Machine, a print-on-demand technology installed in stores in Maine (one of its top-earning stores) and Alabama (its flagship location). The company claims that use is still on the increase, and according to the employees who assist customers with the machines, family history and genealogy are among the most popular projects. Apparently a handwritten copy of Alice in Wonderland (in Carroll’s script) was among the public domain works printed. Apparently BAM will keep these two machines installed for a year before expanding, although if they get more publisher involvement, that timeline could be expedited.

Certain titles are available through partnerships with Google, Lightning Source, HarperCollins, and Hachette, while select content comes from publishers like Random House, W.W. Norton, and Simon & Schuster. Gallagher said she talks with publishers “every day” about making more content available on the EBMs. “We do wish we were doing more volume [on the machines] in copyright situations with books that are available through standard publishers,” she said. “But they haven’t gotten on the bandwagon yet, and the lion’s share of the business is really from the self-publishing community.” –Publishers Weekly

On Fandom, Parasocial Relationships, and What We Don’t Know – Although this post by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is commentary on another post — Sarah Rees Brennan’s exploration of the way female fan fiction writers can be perceived when they write original fiction  – it’s a pretty interesting argument about whether participation in fantoms, in particular, may create a false belief that one may be able to “read” people in real life the same way one reads fictional characters and situations. I’m very, very, very, very, very, very, very wary of ‘influence’ arguments, but I do think community norms can influence behavior, so I think it’s important to talk about those norms and how individuals are situated relative to them.

Reading Sarah’s post made me wonder if those of us who engage with fiction frequently and passionately and, yes, through fandom, writing stories and daydreaming about characters and diagnosing their motivations—I wonder if that level of engagement could potentially have very real cognitive effects on us, beyond what has already been studied. On the one hand, that kind of engagement might actually make us better at understanding people. But at the same time, I think it quite possibly increases our perceptions of how good we are at doing that, beyond what is actually possible. Regular engagement with fiction—particularly active engagement through fandom—might fool us into thinking, even more than people who are less engaged with fiction, that we really, truly know what other people are thinking or intending and who they are deep down. –

WorldCon 2014 announces Jonathan Ross to host Hugo Awards, controversy follows, Ross withdraws – In the midst of all of SFF conflict over sexism, diversity, and inclusion, LonCon announced that the Hugo Awards ceremony, which will be held in London at WorldCon 2014, would be hosted by British comedian and talk show host Jonathan Ross. Ross has a reputation for offensive and divisive comedy, even though he has also advocated for greater diversity within the BBC. However, Ross quickly stepped down once the widespread online uproar over his selection began.

For the purposes of hosting the Hugo Awards, I can understand why LonCon decided it’d be a good idea to employ Ross (though it should be noted that he is not being paid). Ross is a huge, bona fide celebrity. It’d raise the profile of the Hugos and Worldcon in the UK more than almost anything else would, and would ensure wider newspaper and television coverage. Ross is certainly one of us, as his personal, extensive collection of vintage toys, games and comics should attest. But he’s also a divisive comedian, one whose humour seems to rely too much on belittling others, often on the grounds of gender or sexuality; almost certainly not from some deep-seated prejudice, but more a lazy reliance on obvious sources of humor. –The Wertzone

7 Tips for Keeping Your Man (from the 1950s) – We all need a good laugh on Monday, right? So here you go. A collection of marriage advice from the mid 20th century (you just can’t make this stuff up) – written by men, natch. Why seven tips? For luck, maybe. Including tip # 4, titled, DON’T BE A SEXUAL VAMPIRE OR A FRIGID FRANNY:

Just as the vampire sucks the blood of its victims in their sleep while they are alive, so does the woman vampire suck the life and exhaust the vitality of her male partner—or “victim.”

It is to be borne in mind that it is particularly older girls—girls between thirty and fifty—who are apt to be unreasonable in their demands when they get married; but no age is exempt; sexual vampires may be found among girls of twenty as well as among women of sixty and over. –Mental Floss

Friday News: An author’s writing process, DBW survey results, fan fiction makes the NYT, a blast from your reading past, and some clever bookish gifts

Friday News: An author’s writing process, DBW survey results, fan fiction...

“So I don’t listen to music, but I do use music in a sense. There’s an improvisational quality to some of my writing. If I know a dramatic point is supposed to happen, I’ll try to figure out a slick way to get there. My latest novel has a kind of improvisatory approach to telling an old story. In jazz, lots of people play the same songs. But it’s the way you play it is what distinguishes you from the next man or woman who plays it. “ The Daily Beast

For aspiring and self-published authors, the next most popular answer was “to satisfy a lifelong ambition.” In contrast, traditionally published and hybrid authors were more likely to choose “to make money from my writing.” As a priority, “sharing my personal experience” or “sharing my particular expertise” were more popular choices for self-published authors than for others, but these priorities were not at the top of the list for most self-published authors Digital Book World

“He does come off as a likable cove, this Faulks. There’s an “Author’s Note” — I gather that’s the prologue-bit where the author clears his throat and says: “Well, gosh, here I am. Deuced tricky, this homaging business. Hope you like it, but no refunds if you don’t. Ha!” He says it’s intended as a tribute, he’s just a fan, understands what a minefield he was walking into. Didn’t want to “drift into parody,” only trying to “provide a nostalgic variation” on the “peerless originals.” Etc. Hopes to introduce the old oeuvre to those what haven’t yet had the pleasure. Etc. As I say, likable. Not one of those pec-thumping literary types — I won’t get into names — who give the impression you’re bloody lucky they bothered to write the thing in the first place.” New York Times

“There were a handful of female musicians who graced the “READ” poster in the late 90s and early 00s, including Ani DiFranco, pictured above. Others included Melissa Ethridge, Britney Spears in 2001, and the Indigo Girls in 2000. DiFranco is reading Woody Guthrie: A Life. Many other celebs did their part in promoting libraries and literacy in the 1990s on “READ” posters, too, including the Olsen Twins, Whoopi Goldberg, The Power Rangers, Michelle Kwan, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Allen, Antonio Banderas, and Roseanne Arnold, to name a few.” Book Riot

Also, DA is accepting bookings for 2014. The ad slots go pretty fast. The good news is that all our ads will be 200×300 next year. Please contact [email protected]