Category Archives: Media

Power to the people

Over the past couple of weeks Random House and Harper Collins have released web-based apps/widgets that are allowing folks to do some pretty cool things.

They both are offering ways for you to embed “Browse Inside” and “Search Inside” features of books into your own blog. If you’ve ever used Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature then you get the idea.

I haven’t put these new offering through their paces yet, but I have to say that I’m pretty excited.

Here’s a blog maintained by a developer of the Random House widget, but I have to admit he does a good job of offering reviews/links from both sides.

There’s plenty of talk of “the end of the book” and all that. I don’t buy it. But folks in the book biz better get on board with these new ways to “repurpose” “realign” and deliver content in “chunks” if they want to keep their head above water. Either way, these new tools are cool!

Is this a good idea?

Simon & Schuster is producing a new online “get published” site. It’s called First Chapters and is being touted as a web-based “American Idol for books”. Basically, unpublished authors submit works, then everyone votes, etc., etc. After weeks of narrowing the field a panel of judges awards the winner $5,000 and a publishing contract.

Here’s the NY Times full article.

I guess any publicity for the publishing industry is good. But this just seems like a convoluted way of arriving at a book with mass appeal via the “lowest common denominator”.

I’ll check in once the field has been cut to the finalists. The whole point of relying on publishers and editors is so they cut through all the crap for me and I don’t have to waste time wading through stuff that’s not any good.