July 29th, 2010

If you don't need books on shelves, do you need publishers?

NPR has been looking at the revolution going on in publishing. Lynn Neary says, “As somebody said to me, What you need the publishing houses for is to put books on shelves. If you don't need books on shelves, you don't need the publishing houses. So everybody's trying to figure out how many books do we need on the shelves? How many are going to be e-books? And if it's going to be mostly e-books at some point in the future, what's the future of the publishing companies?”

This is kind of a simplifying things. I need an editor and a copyeditor, and my need for them (and every writers need for them) is never going to go away. But I also need a publisher to get me into bookstores. But if bookstores go away or are greatly reduced in number, then what?

Read the transcript of the story here.



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You can make a big difference in a kid’s life

Do you write or read books for middle schoolers or young adults? There’s an organization in the San Antonio area, Haven for Hope, that helps the homeless. Josie Martinez, who volunteers as a librarian there, says, “We rely on donations to add to our library collection.  We receive lots of kids books but we rarely get books appropriate for middle school or high school students. We set up story time for the younger readers and book discussions with the older kids while their parents are attending workshops on Saturday morning.”

This is the Haven for Hope website:  http://www.havenforhope.org/.
 


Books can be lifelines for kids, showing them a world outside their own. I’m packing up some copies of Shock Point
and Torched to send to her.

Won’t you help? You can send new or used books in good condition to:
Josie Martinez c/o Yolanda Edwards
Haven for Hope Children/Teens Library Program
1 Haven for Hope Way
San Antonio, Texas 78207
(210) 220-2100




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I don't know what to think

My mechanic says the headgaskets on my 2000 Outback are leaking.

The Subaru dealer (which replaced head gaskets 32,000 miles ago) says they are only "seeping." And that he would let his own mother drive my car without worry.

What do you say?




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Pangaea Project takes counted-out kids and makes them leaders

Portland has something called The Pangaea Project. The Oregonian reports, “The organizers seek out kids who often feel they've been discounted and pushed aside by their peers, their traditional schools and sometimes their families. Those youths, the organization's staff say, are fertile ground to become leaders that can help battle some of society's most intractable problems. For many students in the program, school was little more than a hassle, yet they willingly spent three months trying to understand some of the world's toughest issues -- poverty, water shortages, child labor -- while battling to overcome their personal challenges -- depression, drug relapses, fragmented families, foster care court hearings.”

A group of students from the project is in Ecuador, exploring environmental justice, and doing community service.

Read more here.



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Couldn't the copywriter come up with a better image?


I used to write ad copy. I imagine this copywriter. The assignment: "Tout the benefits of this cat litter that won't stink up your house and is meant to be used by multiple cats."

But was this really the eureka moment? "I know! I'll talk about how you can make chocolate chip cookies and enjoy their aroma! Yes, tan cookies studded with black dropping-shaped chips."



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