The number of members of the American Booksellers' Association is slowly creeping up, a welcome sign after a steep decline from 5500 members in 1995 to 2191 in 2002. ABA is comprised of indie booksellers, and though the dominant narrative has it that the indies were slaughtered by Amazon, the numbers suggest that the decline had more to do with the rise of the big-box chain-stores (ironically, these are dead [Borders] or dying [B&N] and were almost certainly killed by Amazon).
More interesting is why the number of indie bookstores is growing:
Amazon doesn’t do author events or signings, their discoverability is still atrocious compared to a physical location, and their promotions with smaller publishers are nearly nonexistent. If Amazon is successful in driving physical bookstores out of business (which is their ultimate goal, let’s be realistic), it is highly likely that a smaller-name author would see a drastic drop in sales.
Amazon Slayed a Negative 77 Indie Bookstores in 2012 [Nate Hoffelder/The Digital Reader]
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 […]