Is Metadata Magic?

September 20, 2012

When I began researching The Metadata Handbook I believed that metadata was magic. I believed that if you could add rich and accurate metadata to a title listing you’d all but guarantee big sales. I’ve since learned that while metadata is enchanting, its powers are far more down to earth. (more…)

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What’s Worse Than Sock Puppet Book Reviews?

September 3, 2012

The ongoing scandal of phony book reviews on Amazon now has a name, Sock Puppets. Perfect! (more…)

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Worse Than Paying for Online Reviews

We’ve seen a lot of righteous indignation following David Streitfeld’s recent New York Times article on the occasional practice of paying for positive book reviews on Amazon. I read the story and moved on without giving it much thought: I assumed that everyone knew that the review system on Amazon was rigged. (more…)

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Conversations on the Future of Publishing

September 2, 2012

Finn Harvor, a Canadian writer and artist living in South Korea, publishes a blog called Conversations in the Book Trade. He’s interviewed Rolf Maurer, publisher of New Star Books, noted journalist Ian Brown, Richard Nash from his Soft Skull days, provocateur Edward Champion and numerous others. Harvor asks each interviewee mostly the same questions and so I found myself pondering issues such as whether literary prizes reduce our ability to think in a critically complex fashion (they do, but the benefits outweigh the problems). (more…)

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