Forecast for 2011: It Will Begin This Weekend

December 29, 2010

’nuff said.


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If you can type, you can make movies…

December 5, 2010

Part of why the glass is more than half-full at The Future of Publishing: Xtranormal. If you can type, you can make movies…a very nifty site. I was going to make you a nice movie to prove it, but one runs into payment demands very quickly:

  1. The default actors and set for any Showpak (i.e. those that come with the starting scene) are free.
  2. You may use whatever actors, sets, and sounds you like and preview with them, for free.
  3. If you use premium (payable) actors or sets, you will see the points widget above the preview to indicate that they cost money.
  4. To publish and share your creations, you will need to pay for the premium actors & sets that you are using, or switch to free ones.
  5. You can buy actors and sets using Xtranormal Points, our new virtual currency, by clicking the blue ‘Buy more points’ button, or by publishing your movie.
  6. Points are available in value bundles of various sizes according to your needs.
  7. Buy a points bundle with a credit card, and then use the points to pay for your assets and publish your movie.

So instead I’ll show you someone else’s movie called, So You Want to Write a Novel (which I can’t find on Xtranormal, as there’s not a search feature. Google points of course to the YouTube version).

Voice of Reason: “You do realize it takes years of honing your craft before you’ll be ready to produce a publishable book? And that’s assuming you’ve spent the last twenty years reading hundreds of novels.”

Hopeful Writer: “I’ve been living my life. Not wasting my time reading. What do you think I am? Some kind of dork?”

The same Google search points also to a popular guidebook on this topic, by Lou Stanek, PhD.

UPDATE: January 10, 2011, A long-winded entry on eBooks, showing off another format, and the ability to ruin an animation through failure to edit:

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Head Over to the New York Times

November 30, 2010

The New York Times is positively bursting with fun and fascinating reading for publishing technologists. There’s a nifty little tablet comparison feature, which will allow you to create your own comparison chart like this one:


Your chart will be larger, and might just compare the two tablets you’re lusting after the most. Keep in mind that if your lust is still iPad-directed the rumor of the week is that the next version will be announced in January, rather than next April, so buying one for yourself for Christmas may lead to a New Years’ hangover. And then again, next week’s rumor could change that.

[12:18 pm: On ZDNet today:

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to pretend that tablets aren’t hurting PC sales….

In a statement, Gartner said:

Over the longer term, media tablets are expected to displace around 10 percent of PC units by 2014.]


David Pogue, the best all-around tech writer today, aslo celebrates ten years of writing about technology for the Times (and many more years elsewhere).

Pogue offers some choice insights “from the first decade in the new tech millennium.” Here’s a few:

1. The history of consumer tech is branching, not replacing…You want to know what the future holds? O.K., here you go: there will be both iPhones and Android phones. There will be both satellite radio and AM/FM. There will be both printed books and e-books. Things don’t replace things; they just add on.

2. Some people’s gadgets determine their self-esteem. (And they sure can get defensive!)

3. The same “breakthrough” ideas keep surfacing — and bombing, year after year. Some concepts’ time may never come.

And my personal favorite:

4. Nobody can keep up…if you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone.

I’ve been in the publishing business for over thirty-five years and in the tech side of the business for more than twenty-five. Publishing was relatively staid. Tech was always crazy.

I’m older now, but everyone I talk to who’s been on the circuit for more than a minute knows that the pace of technology change is still accelerating. If you want to understand the future of publishing bear this in mind. Technology is not a moment, it’s a process. And it’s a process that develops more rapidly than 99.9% of humans can absorb. Which should therefore slow things down. But it doesn’t.

If you can figure out why technology moves faster than people’s ability to absorb it you will be awarded a Bernoulli drive.


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1 of 60 Writers in 1 of 60 Places

November 22, 2010

Vivid words images from the film 60 WRITERS / 60 PLACES.

The writer is Giancarlo DiTrapano. He runs the New York Tyrant, “a tri-quarterly literary magazine based in Hell’s Kitchen, focusing on the immediacy of the short story. The pieces, coming from voices both new and seasoned, are concise, evocative, often humorous, and sometimes surreal. We believe in the power and urgency of the story and its ability to describe and illuminate the interior and exterior landscape. We believe in the power of narrative and its ability to make life more astonishingly alive.”

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Cooking with the New York Times

November 11, 2010

A sign of the times, as it were: three of the most popular stories on the New York Times site this morning are about cooking.


OK, we’re all planning our Thanksgiving feasts to be held two weeks from today. But isn’t there anything more important? Oh, yeah, there’s a story about the rapper Shyne, “the Sean Combs protégé who served almost nine years in New York prisons for opening fire in a nightclub in 1999.” And one on the top 10 must-have apps for the iPhone.

Meanwhile, over at Publishing Trends, Lorraine Shanley offers a provocative perspective on cookbook publishing on the web: Do Cookbooks Need Apps?

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