Monday News: John Lewis, women writing men, piracy, and Noir Reads
Rep. John Lewis’s books sell out following Donald Trump’s attacks – In the war of words between John Lewis and Donald Trump, Lewis has scored at least five bestsellers, as all of his books hit the top 20 on Amazon this weekend, including the National Book Award-winning March. Which is particularly fitting given that today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Amazon listed both books as “temporarily out of stock” on Sunday. Sales for both had ballooned more than 100,000 percent, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Disclosure: Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, is also the owner of the The Washington Post.)
In all, five of Lewis’s books were among the top 20 best sellers on Amazon, including several versions of the “March” trilogy. The hardcover edition of Lewis’s “Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change” was also sold out, though an electronic version was available. – Washington Post
IF WOMEN WROTE MEN THE WAY MEN WRITE WOMEN – I thought I posted this already, but apparently I did not. We talk a lot about men writing women and women writing women, but something about this simple exercise brings into focus a lot of the ways women are essentialized through imagery and descriptive language in very specific ways. For example:
Brett pulled his tank top up over his head and stared at himself in the full-length mirror. He pushed down his jeans, then his boxers, and imagined the moment when Jennifer saw him nude for the first time. His feet were average-sized, and there was hair on his toes that he should probably take care of before tonight. He liked his legs just fine, but his thighs were wide and embarrassingly muscular. He tried standing at an angle, a twist at his waist. Some improvement. In that position, it was easier to see his ass and notice that it was not as pert as it had been at 22. He clenched both cheeks, hoping that tightened its look. He sucked in his tummy and pulled his pecs up high, trying to present them like pastries in a bakery window. Would she like him? Were the goods good enough? He pouted his lips and ran his hands over his thighs, masking their expanse. Maybe. – McSweeney’s
New Study Essentially Suggests That Publishers Should Do CwF + RtB Instead Of Going Legal To Combat Piracy – I haven’t had a chance yet to read the study, but excerpts in this Techdirt piece will not be surprising to those who believe that “fighting” piracy is generally counterproductive. Instead, creators should be engaging fans and consumers such that the “moral equation” around downloading digital content is shifted in favor of the copyright holder.
The International Journal of Business Environment recently released just such a study suggesting that content providers are far better off reaching out and connecting with fans, including those pirating their works, rather than trying to fight piracy legally.
. . . there is something natural in deciding that something that can be reproduced infinitely in a digital manner at no cost differs from a physical good that cannot. It’s the reason why piracy and theft simply aren’t the same thing. This doesn’t make copyright infringement or piracy morally acceptable, of course, but it explains why the moral equation for those doing the piracy is inherently different. Everyone knows this intrinsically, even if some major content industry players want to pretend otherwise. – Techdirt
New Book Service Delivers Stories From The Black Diaspora To Your Door – Created just last week by Derick Brewer and Zellie Imani, Noir Reads, which will deliver its first box in early February. Both fiction and non-fiction books will be included in each box (2-3 for each shipment), and they will be curated to represent experiences across the African Diaspora:
“Our aim was to create a resource comprised of narratives on the black experience and the multiplicity of Blackness,” Imani told The Huffington Post.
With nearly 100 subscribers already, the company has sold nearly half of the 200 boxes they’ve prepared for its launch. Subscriptions are offered at $35 per month or $100 for three months. . . .
To ensure their subscribers will enjoy the selections, Imani and Brewer choose books focusing on specific themes and survey readers to see what they’d prefer. The books that aren’t chosen are then placed under the “recommended reading” section of their reading guide. – Huffington Post and Ebony