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Posts Tagged ‘publishing’

Sunday Serial: Five-Dollar Words, Quitting, Facebook Passwords & Texts from Hillary

Sunday morning paper by f_where

Sunday Serial is a semi-regularly weekly installment of the best articles written and read around the Internet during the past week or so. I try to introduce each article so you know what you’re getting in to before you click, though sometimes my synthesis goes a little bit deep. You can read previous Sunday Serials here.

20 phrases you can replace with one word by Laura Hale Brockway on PR Daily

Read this because: I’m a fan of brevity, and you should be too. As George Orwell said, never use a ten-dollar word when a five-dollar one will do. Whether that’s in every day speech or in your writing.

What I Learned From Quitting My Job…Twice. by Amber Nashlund on Brass Tack Thinking

Read this because: You’re on a path few have traveled. You are ready to shake things up, you’re ready to say “I quit,” but uncertainty is holding you back. Here are some great lessons to move you away from “un” and closer to “certain.”

I hereby (fictionally) resign by Reginald Braithwaite on raganwald’s posterous

Read this because: Last month, recruiters and hiring managers starting asking candidates for their passwords to their personal Facebook accounts. Why? So they could do a more thorough background check on the candidate’s personal life.

Then Facebook came out and publicly stated that asking candidates to give out their passwords is an invasion of the candidate’s privacy and that of their friends. And last week, the state of Maryland became the first state to ban employers from asking for Facebook passwords.

Don’t HR managers know to keep their hands off of our personal Facebook pages?

If you’re reading this, mouth agape, wondering “WTF?” read the above post. While a fictionalized account, it’s a good story about “what if.”

Bonus: Here’s what you should do (in the real world) if your employer or hiring manager does ask for your password.

Publishing is no longer a job or an industry — it’s a button by Mathew Ingram on GigaOm

Read this because: It’s no secret that I come from the book publishing world, so the advent of blogs, eBooks, online publishing, etc., anyone can be “published” and the assets that the old book publishing world used to bring to the table are no longer valuable. Digitization has killed this industry and turned it into a button. And I’m left wondering, would it have been better to be outsourced to China or replaced by a machine than a button?

But there’s hope – yes, the industry is dead. The mystery, allure, and “secret sauce” of what makes a best seller still exist, but the tools for production and sales channels are accessible to all. It’s not so much that publishing needs to disappear, but pivot. Instead of being the “process of distribution,” become the services that authors need – editorial, marketing, access to readers, and design.Ryan Gosling texts Hillary Clinton

Texts from Hillary on Tumblr

Read this because: It’s not every week that a meme is started and the subject of the meme, memes herself. As the final post says, “It turns out that memes really do come true,”

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: f_where

Wordstock: Ode to the Black Shirt Team

Wordstock Festival Black Shirt Team

Wordstock VI, October 2010

The success of every organization relies on the hard work and dedication of its staff. This is especially true for nonprofits, most of which are volunteer-run.  My career began while interning for one, and I’m serving on the leadership team for another. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to talk about a very specific group of volunteers—the Black Shirt Team.

The power of volunteers

The Black Shirt Team is a group of individuals who spend countless hours and infinite email threads planning, coordinating, launching, and managing the massive book festival that is known as Wordstock. They are professionals looking to stay involved in their community, they are graduate students gaining experience to launch their career, and they are passionate individuals looking to support a cause they believe in.

On Sunday night after the festival closed the doors on its sixth season, the Black Shirts went out to celebrate. I looked around the bar at people who I have known in various ways throughout my involvement with Wordstock—the event manager who has been with the festival from the start, the executive director who has shaped what the festival has matured into, core volunteers who I worked with during year one, and new faces who I deeply respect for the fresh ideas they bring. (more…)

Book Publishers are Not Tech Companies

My biggest gripe about people who write about “revolutionizing” the book publishing world is that it’s written by people who don’t know the publishing world. And my biggest frustration with the book publishing world is that the industry is broken.

Publishers are steeped in tradition and stuck in the ways that were started during the golden age of publishing in America, which began in the 1920s. This was when Mr. Alfred A. Knopf was President of Knopf Publishing before it was acquired by Random House in 1960. This was the time when authors were truly wined and dined by the publishers as a way to nurture to their brilliance. Publishers see books as representations of our culture and the intellectual property of the authors. Art.

While this is true, book publishing is also a business and books are commodities that are developed, invested in, promoted, and sold. And for some reason publishers have not caught up with magazine publishers who see what they work on and create as part of a business that should adapt and change with the times. My hypothesis is that it’s apparent that magazine publishers are a form of media because they are dependent on advertising dollars to subsidize their printing; books are supported by book sales.

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Wordstock: Where it began

Before I can tell the story of what happened at this year’s Wordstock, I need to tell the story of what happened at last year’s festival.

If you know me, you know the story of Wordstock and how I wrangled way-too-many authors during the first two years of the festival (2005 & 2006). If you mention my name to the founder, he’ll tell you how Norman Mailer was impressed by how well I dealt with authors, even though I was 18. If you talk to any of the four author coordinators now, they may tell you the story of how their job was once performed by one single person (oh, hi there!). I was the first intern and as such I was given an enormous opportunity to shape author-relations and process as it stands today and also set the foundation for the type of work that drives and fulfills me in everything that I do.

The first Wordstock team with Norman Mailer, April 2005

The Wordstock team with Norman Mailer, April 2005


Wordstock V, October 2009

Last year, 2009, I was asked by my dear friend to come back to Wordstock and help her run event management for the festival. This was my first time working the book fair and so many things were different since 2006: there’s a new executive director, new core volunteer staff, book fair structure, etc. I was nervous, as anyone would be, walking into something familiar yet still unknown. Plus since I lived in Seattle and would only be in Portland for the week of festival, I was essentially “arriving and driving” instead of being a part of the months and months of planning leading up to the event.

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Chew On This: What is Authorship?

Yesterday morning a friend clued me in to this article from the great Laura Miller at Salon.com: Plagiarism: The next generation: A 17-year-old novelist defends herself in the latest copycat scandal. Are we just too old to understand?

Photo credit: bopuc

[cue Star Trek: The Next Generation theme song]

That’s right, kids, these are the voyages of an ever evolving enterprise known as artistic inspiration, authorship, taking creative license into your own hands, and, well, owning it. I come from the school of thought that every story has been told before and there are no new stories. I think this skepticism was instilled on me from my first creative writing professor (thanks, GVB) and it’s why I had a hard time appreciating “Avatar” as a stand alone-movie and not as a rehashing of “Pocahontas.”

In literature and in life, “you are not a beautiful or unique snowflake.” Everything that you have ever thought of, want to do, and will do has been done before. The difference is in the details―the how and the way you tell your story.

I believe that I have become the person I am in life because of the people I met along the way. If we have had a conversation or shared an idea or worked on a project together, chances are it left an impression on me. I have incorporated your influence into the make up of who I am and who I will become next. I believe that inspiration is everywhere and everyone has the opportunity to be my muse. At our core, we are all “intertextual.”

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