"While the iPhone’s business continues to grow, the iPad is showing signs of slowing. The tablet sold 13.3 million units in the quarter, down 9 percent year-over-year and down 19 percent from the period between January and March of this year."
Tonight I went to McNally Jackson Bookstore in SoHo Manhattan New York City on my way home and heard Edan Lepucki read from her new novel California.
italicsmine is her tumblr name. @EdanL is her Twitter handle. EdanLepucki.com is her website.
If I weren’t on Tumblr I would have still heard about this book. It was “buzzed about” in publishing circles. It was notoriously withheld by Amazon as a part of their conflict with publisher Hachette. It was heavily promoted by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report. And it’s part of the primary book club on Tumblr here.
And yet when I got to the front of the signing line at McNally Jackson, Edan recognized me, for no reason I could understand. She knew my name. She knew I was about to have a birthday. She was so already involved I felt as though I walked into an interview, or first date, or Internet club.
Then it hit me - I was a part of the same Internet club that Edan has been for years. And this relationship has only been building to this for years. It wasn’t as simple as putting it on my calendar and making a point to buy the book and get it signed (when oh so I would have wished to have already devoured this text by now) by the author, but she knew me and I knew her to an extent.
It was lovely. I wish her all the best and can’t wait to read her novel. And here’s (raising my glass as I crack the cover) to the new novelist 3.0, as we know and meet through Tumblr. Let’s be glad for that and make sure we keep reading (and buying) books.
In all frankness, I would like Colbert to have a regular F Amazon book segment because these terms wars are only just starting.
Moreover, congratulations to Edan Lepucki, whose novel California is in Cloud from publishing partner Little, Brown. Ride that Colbert bump.
Dear Tumblarians and Publishing Passionates: the above photos are the reason for my extended absence from this inviting forum. I fell a little bit in love with an old haunt, Hong Kong, where I went for a terrific book fair, and forgot I could share what I learned there *here*.
In brief, that part of the world, a cross between East and West, is both ahead of America and behind us. More people of all socioeconomic backgrounds have access to the internet (hotspots abound, from the many gargantuan, interlinked malls and skyscrapers to the mall-like Central Library). Local librarians rejected the idea of any “digital divide,” a reality in many parts of our country.
However, unlike in the States, a reader would be hard-pressed to get at an ebook of popular content. On that front, Taiwan and Korea lead. And moreover, a Hong Kong native is inclined to consume digital magazines over ebooks. The Hong Kong Book Fair, now in its 25th year, remains a hugely well attended civic event, where scores renew magazine subscriptions in exchange for choice gifts.
Never in my book-fair-going life have I seen so many members of the general public convene to buy pounds and pounds of printed matter. It was like going to the old Giants Stadium to see U2: the excitement was palpable and overwhelming. Paper books are still king. “Romantic novels” (what I would liken to new adult romances on our side of the world) are Hong Kong young women’s addiction, per my lovely translator, who asked about Comic-Con.
Traditional Chinese versus Simplified Chinese writing embodies the culture clashes happening between Hong Kong and mainland Chinese people. Hong Kong believes absolutely in using the former, and mainlanders the latter. Powdered milk and other resources unsafe to buy over the border in China disappear from shops on the weekends and cause outcries, I was told.
All in all, a truly enlightening and empowering experience for the library and publishing parts of my brain. I was lucky to go, and I didn’t take one breath of that hot and humid air for granted.
Did I mention the incredible kindness and generosity I was shown day by day? Now I have. Thank you, Benny Chan, Ellis Chow, Paul Kenny, Chicha, the MTR, and many more. One love.
"What we have in these stories is actually something less like a childhood photograph, or juvenilia, or apocrypha, and more like the miraculous discovery that the beloved book you’ve read a dozen times has an extra chapter you’ve somehow never noticed. These stories don’t feel different; they feel like just her."
TOP OF THE TBR PILE I’m fascinated at least in theory by a sub-subcategory that I am unofficially calling millennial fiction. First on my list is Maxwell Neely-Cohen’s debut, Echo of the Boom, which will be coming to Cloud libraries soon via our recent agreement with Perseus/Constellation, which distributes the author’s publisher, Rare Bird Books. (Check out the reading soundtrack on Large Hearted Boy.)
Strengthening my interest in this vein of angst is the paperback/ebook release of Kate Zambreno’s Green Girl, which garnered numerous accolades from no less than Roxane Gay, James Greer, and Elissa Schappell when it was first published by a small press in 2011. HarperCollins is giving it this second push.
From the marketing:
"Zambreno’s heroine, Ruth, is a young American in London, kin to Jean Seberg gamines and contemporary celebutantes, by day spritzing perfume at the department store she calls Horrids, by night trying desperately to navigate a world colored by the unwanted gaze of others and the uncertainty of her own self-regard."
I’d be lying if I said the eye shadow didn’t grab me either. I’m a Gen X’er with a Bowie fixation, after all.
Can’t Be Long Now
Discover the @groveatlantic eBooks that are now live in OverDrive Marketplace! http://t.co/oPGxbW3z53— OverDrive Libraries (@OverDriveLibs)June 25, 2014
Rule of thumb: if they’ve gone live with them, they’ll be live with us soon. Grove Atlantic comes to the Cloud via Perseus/Constellation. Many more small presses to follow.