Stripping Covers off The Hunger Games

March 25, 2012

Destroying paperbacks instead of recirculating them is a curious and wasteful vestige of the days when most pocket books were sold on newsstands alongside magazines. Magazines are topical – they have little resale value. Books do. But freight and logistics costs mean that pulping paperbacks is not necessarily as wasteful as it first appears. (more…)

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Newspaper Asks Readers to Stop Buying Print Edition

May 16, 2010

It’s Sunday, so a good day to keep blog entries light and fun. I should save serious for weekdays.

I bought the June 2010 issue of ConsumerReports the other day. The inside back cover has a regular offering called Selling It: Goofs, Glitches, Gotchas featuring humorous reader-submitted illustrations of products and promotions that perhaps never should have come to market. Here’s one I could identify with:

sellingit-letters3

 According to the magazine: “Apparently, the Kansas City Star—a newspaper, after all—realized that the top envelope sent the wrong message. The bottom envelope, our reader said, arrived later.”

The overwrought headline for this post is inspired by David Carr’s Media Equation column in today’s New York Times. Titled “Taylor Momsen Did Not Write This Headline,” Carr offers a humorous analysis of how headline writing has radically changed from the days of print-only newspapers to today’s web. “Headlines in newspapers and magazines were once written with readers in mind, to be clever or catchy or evocative,” Carr writes. “Now headlines are just there to get the search engines to notice.”

Indeed Carr’s piece is already #1 in Google’s search results. (If like Carr and most of my readers you’re wondering who Taylor Momsen is check Carr’s article…or just Google her [that sounds slightly obscene].)

Carr concludes with a reminder of one of the great all-time headlines: “People who worry that Web headlines dumb down public discourse are probably right. But some of the classics would still work. Remember “Headless Body in Topless Bar,” perhaps the most memorable New York Post headline ever? It’s direct, it’s descriptive, and it’s oh-so-search-engine-friendly. And not a Taylor Momsen in sight.”

(If you enjoy funny headlines as much as I do, a Google search leads to some good sites.)

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Instant eBook Promotion: Try These Snappy Phrases on the Nay-Sayers

October 22, 2009

Having trouble convincing people to toss their Penguin paperbacks in the garbage and buy a Kindle? I know I sure am. Well Steve Jordan, the prolific author of Encephalopath, apparently a successful self-published eBook author offers, “Instant eBook Promotion: Try These Snappy Phrases on the Nay-Sayers”:

“The book of the 21st century is digital.”
“E-books are distilled writing.”
“Darwin would read e-books.”
“We need trees more than we need paper.”
“Print is static. E-books can be customized.”
“An e-book will never end up in a landfill.”
“I’ve got a roomful of books in my pocket.”
“If you can look at a computer all day, you can read an e-book.”
“E-books: The literature without the pulp.”
“You get used to… what you want to get used to.” —Jordan’s Theorem

An e-book will never end up in a landfill, but you can be sure that quite a few eBook readers will.

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Update on the Impact of Environmentalism on the Future of Publishing

September 8, 2009

I’ve updated the environmentalism section of my site, prompted by a well-thought-out entry by Richard Romano on the Print CEO blog, called “How Green Is My Media?

If you follow this trail further you’ll learn that print is being tarnished with a stiff brush, essentially stating that it is the source of most or allof the pollution evil when it comes to reading. E-media (eReaders, eBooks, etc.) are true angels by comparison: no trees are destroyed in virgin forests, blah, blah, blah.

Of course the truth lies in the middle. Yes, print production has a broad carbon footprint, but then so does e-media. People love to forget the amount of electricity that is sucked up by computers and the Internet grid, and they love to forget how large a percentage of environmentally-damaging hardware is abandoned or put out with Monday’s trash.

At the same time, the good news is that the ever-increasing public concern about this issue is cajoling both industries into broad innovative programs that I believe will truly make a difference over time. The story will have a happy ending (or as happy as it can be, within the limitations of technology and innovation).

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The Eco-Calculator Widget

January 14, 2009

Found this interesting new widget this morning while waiting for a phone call. It’s available here.

There’s a section of this site on The Impact of Environmentalism on the Future of Publishing. I’ve outlined the issues there, but I see it’s due for an update and some extra information I’ve been collecting on the story.

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