Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Book Marks: Book Fairs, Comics, And Publishing

"...the ebook story has turned out to have a twist in the tale. Sales of physical books increased 4% in the UK last year while ebook sales shrank by the same amount. Glance around a busy train carriage and those passengers who aren’t on their phones are far more likely to have a paperback than a Kindle.

"The e-reader itself has also turned out to have the shelf life of a two-star murder mystery. Smartphones and tablets last year overtook dedicated reading devices to become the most popular way to read an ebook, according to the research group Nielsen."

So the death of print has yet to arrive, based on this bit of news, which seems to have cheered UK publishers somewhat. The resilience of print appears to be the case in Malaysia as well, according to the Malaysian Book Publishers Association.



"'The content of many of these books is shallow, almost like a collection of tweets,' said 20-year-old Shurooq Hashim, leading member of a book club that participated in the [Riyadh Book Fair]. “When I feel I can write the same, I don't think it deserves to be published. These books are written by people who want to market themselves."

Not everything at the Riyadh Book Fair is good, apparently. "Brief chapters of trivial information in large print and images fill up pages of such books that the publishers deem to be popular among a segment of the population"? Sounds familiar.



According to O'Reilly's research department, computer-book sales have dropped 54 percent since 2007. In principle, the demise of professionally prepared support materials shouldn't be any cause for concern. It's just another sea change unleashed by the Internet, another in the list of casualties, such as printed encyclopedias, newspaper classified ads and music on discs.

"In reality, though, none of the tech industry's teaching channels—manuals, computer books, online sources—is universal and effective."


Also:

  • "People like me assumed that comic books were SUPPOSED to look like that. I assumed that the thick, blotchy lines were drawn that way. I thought the colors were printed outside of the lines on purpose. ... We looked at it as a style instead of the crappy quality that it really was. It wasn't until I began my job as a 'digital art restoration artist' that I began to see just how damaging the process of comic book printing could be to the art."
  • "Tung Nan Book Store was among the first few in Sabah to bring in English books published by Longman and Oxford in England after the Education Department sponsored them to a book fair in London. The books were imported from its supplier in Singapore and later, from Peninsular Malaysia." Now, it's closing down.
  • "Nothing, but nothing—profanity, transgender pronouns, apostrophe abuse—excites the passion of grammar geeks more than the serial, or Oxford, comma. People love it or hate it, and they are equally ferocious on both sides of the debate. At The New Yorker, it is a copy editor’s duty to deploy the serial comma, along with lots of other lip-smacking bits of punctuation, as a bulwark against barbarianism." Comma Queen Mary Norris talks about how a punctuation mark could cost a dairy company millions.
  • "What makes [Büşra Karayıl] different from her peers is the fact that she published a book, 'Esma'nın Günlüğü' (Esma's Diary), at the age of 14. Her story is about an illiterate mother and her daughter who reacts to this situation. When Büşra learned that her mother Şükran was not allowed to go to school because of her gender, she reacted, saying, 'What kind of rubbish is that? This will not happen to me. I will go to school.'"
  • "...books aren't commodities that you can purchase at a bargain. They are the living minds of brilliant people who have taken the time to share their world, their stories, with us, and all we want is a 'discount'!" Q&A with Priyanka Malhotra, owner of New Delhi's Full Circle Bookstore.
  • "Arimba [Kovelinde] was this character and I imagined him as the Anthony Bourdain of the rifts, because I like Bourdain's particular blend of seeking out interesting places and people, and the way food takes him to more casual places rather than making the rounds at only the big attractions like a travel guide would." An interview with the people behind webcomic site Deep Engines, which also publishes the webcomic about said Bourdain-esque character, Epicurean's Exile, that's fast becoming a favourite.
  • "Once the laughing stock of the literary world, self-published books are increasingly establishing themselves among the publishing heavyweights, spurred by the ease of online distribution and companies offering works tailored towards specific niches." Which still comprises genres such as romance, steampunk and, unfortunately, dinosaur erotica.

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