Leave it to the internet

There Is an Academic Journal for Adventure Time Research

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Adventure Time, a show about the adventures of a “butt-kicking” human kid Finn and his dog Jake in the algebraic land of Ooo, is beloved by children, stoners, and Netflix bingers alike. Another audience for the show is the Internet’s cultural critics, who have sifted through its themes and characters in a smattering of essays.

Now, those essays have a singular home on the web: the Adventure Time Forum, which bills itself as “the Leading Journal of Adventure Time Research, Commentary, and Analysis.” Read More

Digital Publishing

From Zero to 35,000: How I Built A Big Email List Exclusively About Books I Liked

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­In May 2009, I sent an email to a friend. I’d been posting book recommendations on my website for the last couple years, but what did he think of the idea of doing it as a monthly email instead? It was a bad idea, he said–because people wouldn’t be able to share the blog posts anymore. People are protective of their emails, so who would want to sign up for that?

I considered his advice and decide to ignore it. In the five years since, that list, known as the Reading List Email, has grown from 50 friends to roughly 35,000 people with a 50% open rate (which is crazy compared to most lists). It has readers from all over the world, ranging from high school students to Fortune 500 CEOs, NFL coaches, bestselling authors, publishers and entrepreneurs. I’ve sent close to 100 emails to a “total” audience of 400,000+ over the years and sold a few hundred thousand dollars worth of books for retailers over the years. Read More

Amazon

Publishing Professionals ‘Insulted’ By Amazon Brick-and-Mortar Store

7 W. 34th Street, the rumored location of Amazon's brick-and-mortar store. (Google Maps)

Tech fanatics might be excited about the brick-and-mortar Amazon store opening on Manhattan’s 34th Street, but if the store decides to stock best-selling novels alongside Fire phones and e-readers, we won’t be able to say the same for New York City’s publishing community.

“New York publishing, for better or for worse, is very cordial,” Tin House editor Rob Spillman told Betabeat. “Amazon is more, ‘We’re going to crush all of you.'” Read More

Digital Publishing

Vox Media May Open Their Coveted CMS To the Wider WordPress-Plagued World

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Every blogger, writer and reporter has a love/hate relationship with their content management system. If your professional life belongs to WordPress, for example, the woes of formatting overkill and half a dozen SEO fields have no doubt caused you to look up to the sky and ask: why isn’t there a better way?

Vox Media, the network of mostly profitable news sites that includes The Verge, SB Nation, Curbed and Vox, has its own coveted in-house system called Chorus. In a recent post about the future of blogging, Vox Media Editorial VP Lockhart Steele hinted that Vox could be preparing to open Chorus up to the rest of the publishing world: Read More

Books

Simon & Schuster’s New Online Venture Is Sure to Be Another Expensive Failure

Part of a photo on 250 Words' Facebook page.

It comes as a surprise that Simon & Schuster is launching yet another new books site, called 250 Words. 

The publisher’s first foray into literary websites was Bookish, a book recommendation site started by the Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster and Penguin USA.

Last month, we learned that Bookish had been sold to the e-book retailer Zola. It seems it was unable to compete with huge sites with Amazon, and struggled to draw in readers since its significantly delayed 2013 launch. 

Our sources tell us the publishing groups sold Bookish, which had reportedly received $20 million in funding, at a pretty serious loss.

So the debut of 250 Words seems strange, given that the last attempt at a books site was hardly a best-seller. Mediabistro reported yesterday that the publishing company has just launched 250 Words, a site that aims to become “a hub for intelligent business thinking, with a focus on books.”  Read More

The Future of the Ebook

Could Amazon Interest You in a Used eBook?

(Photo: flickr.com/justbecause)

Oh boy, the big six are just going to love this: Geekwire reports that Amazon has secured a patent for a “secondary market for digital objects,” meaning anything from ebooks to mp3s.

That means Amazon has hammered out the basics of a system that would, according to the abstract from the patent application, let you transfer the ebooks you don’t want anyone into someone else’s Kindle library. In short, you can sell ‘em. Read More

The Future of the Ebook

O Pioneers! Twitter Launches a Virtual Fiction Festival to Help Storytellers Get Experimental

Awaiting the future of fiction. (Photo: Plympton, via Instagram)

Still more evidence that Twitter means business about its positioning as a media brand: In an event today at the New York Public Library, head of editorial programming Andrew Fitzgeraldannounced a Twitter Fiction Festival, a wholly virtual event that’ll run November 28 to December 2.

The goal, according to Mr. Fitzgerald, is to “push the outward bounds of what people thing of when they think of content on Twitter.” Read More