John Oakes sez, "Article in New York Business describing OR Books, a new sort of publishing house being started up by two longtime indy publishers. We plan to take existing tech and apply it to old-fashioned publishing values--and to commit to massive marketing for our authors, and to do so within a progressive framework, releasing fiction and nonfiction."
Believing that e-books and print-on-demand technology have reached a tipping point with the public, Messrs. Oakes and Robinson will launch OR Books this fall as a Web-only house selling straight to consumers. The plan is to operate at a drastically reduced cost--blowing up a model whose inefficiencies have helped make this past year so painful for publishers large and small. The Association of American Publishers reports that revenues from adult hardcovers fell 16% through April, while revenues from adult trade paperbacks plunged 26%, compared with the same period a year ago.
Some specialty publishers have built businesses around e-books, but OR would be the first general-interest press to try the model. The partners are betting that the new-media opportunities that all book people are rushing to exploit will let a startup thrive even in a dismal retail environment.
"The whole system of stuffing as many books as you can into stores, whether or not buyers want them--it's broken," says Mr. Oakes, who co-founded and ran the left-leaning Four Walls Eight Windows for 17 years. The press disappeared in an indie shakeout in 2007. A stint as executive editor at Atlas & Co. ended last fall when the small publisher ran into financing problems.
John published my first short story collection
, as well as books by Octavia Butler, Abbie Hoffman, Kathe Koja, Rudy Rucker and many other writers whom I adore and admire. This sounds like a great, exciting project!
Betting on e-books
The Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook is a 1965 classic: Famous Monsters of Filmland founder Forrest Ackerman tapped movie makeup legend Dick Smith to create guides for turning yourself into any of three Martians, two kinds of werewolf, a “weird-oh,” a “derelict,” a ghoul, a mummy, Frankenstein’s monster, Quasimodo, Mr Hyde, “split face,” and more.
These Japanese robots’ performance of “Robot’s Delight” — an extended, braggadocios riff on the state of AI learning-through-imitation research, with break-dancing — won Best Video at the 2017 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction. (via 4 Short Links)
Jonathan Coulton is known for a myriad of distinct accomplishments. The tech professional-turned-musician once conducted a Thing a Week experiment, in which he recorded and published a new song every Friday for a year, produced a cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” infamously adopted by the Fox series Glee, regularly contributes to the NPR quiz show “Ask Me Another” as its very own one-man band, and runs his own fan cruise aptly called the JoCo Cruise.
Maybe it’s entirely because of podcast ads, but drag-and-drop tools like Squarespace have gotten immensely popular in recent years. While it’s definitely a great tool for any non-coders who want to get a small website up and running quickly, managing content with a primarily visual interface can become a pain once you have more than […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]
What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]