Thursday, March 20, 2008

Publishing World Odds and Ends

Seems like there have been an inordinate number of interesting and creative people how have left us in the last month or so.  In my more depressive moments, I look around at the world we live in and wonder if they don't have the right idea.  And then I snap out of it.

Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke was someone who looked around and saw opportunities.  I think he saw the world and the humans in it as raw material. 

I am not a big Science Fiction fan but I am sure I have seen 2001:  A Space Odyssey at least ten times.  For my generation it was a rite of passage. 

Between the movie and his appearances with Walter Cronkite during the space walks I knew who he was.  As a bookseller he was hard to miss with over 100 titles that he either wrote or co-authored.

My main connection to him, however is more personal.  It is in the form of a placard on my desk.  It has been there for over 20 years and was given to me by a couple of programmers. Once in the middle of a project I asked them to explain to me exactly what they were doing and how the software they had written worked.  After listening to a long convoluted explanation I finally concluded that it was just easiest to say that what they did was magic.   

The next day they presented me with a placard that simply says:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology


indistinguishable from magic.”

Arthur C. Clarke was an original who produced his how kind of magic.

Another One Bites the Dust

I wasn't sure how to characterize this piece of information.


It's official:  Amazon now owns Audible.  Amazon has said they completed their acquisition of at the $11.50 a share offering price. Audible is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon.  Evidently media consolidation is proceeding everywhere; even on the Internet.

Audible just celebrated a solid ten year anniversary.  That is a long time in internet years.  It is hard to remember now, but 10 years ago MP3 was an unproven technology.  Players were primitive and CD's ruled the audio market. iPods did not exist. Most people saw this as a good idea, but no one was sure if it would really catch on.

So here were are ten year later.  MP3 music and books are ubiquitous.  It makes me very happy to see that the early believers in an unproven technology are getting compensation for their faith.

On A Lighter Note

This is too good to have made up. . .

Publishers assign each book to a specific category.  I routinely get lists that show me the Title of a Book, the ISBN number, the Author, the Publisher and the category (as assigned by the publisher).  Here is my current favorite:


I almost left it there; but then who would find it? 

No comments:


Subscribe Now: Feed Icon