Two Great Graphic Novels Coming as Ebooks

I just got an email from Montreal comics publisher Drawn & Quarterly, a company that produces exceptionally fine graphic novels and comic nonfiction, announcing their first entry into the ebooks space with two books by artist/writer Chester Brown. I think their email is worth quoting at length, because this is a fine print publisher stepping in to ebooks and because of their ebook royalty, which they explain will be an equal share with their authors. This is especially topical, in light of Michael Chabon’s new arrangement with Open Road Media, which I’ve discussed in an earlier post today. Bravo to D&Q and Kobo! This is an exciting publishing collaboration. //more

Chabon’s Hyperbole Undermines his Fair Critique

I suggest that the book industry view the cost savings from the diminishment of print as a kind of “peace dividend” for authors and publishers and other stakeholders like retail booksellers. Parties should share fairly in whatever windfall is to come. I would accuse the major publishers of being shortsighted and dumb and in thrall to old ways, but I fear that hyperbole like Chabon’s will only further degrade the debate and discussion that must proceed between publishers and authors, lest Amazon eventually become the monopoly publisher and bookseller many bookpeople nowadays fear is looming in our collective future. //more

Why Vinyl is Today’s Most Dynamic Music Medium

Consider this remark from Dave W. of Wax Tracks Records in Denver: “I have noticed that at least two or three times a week some father or mother comes in saying that their kid asked for a turntable for their birthday or Christmas present. So it’s not a case of the older generation just giving their turntables to their kids and saying ‘Here’s what we used to play music on,’ but rather the kids saying ‘This is what’s cool and happening right now and I want in on it.'”

Literary and Cultural History Preserved in Wood, Paint, Ink & Graphite

“Mrs. Frank Leon Smith has a door for sale. On the door are the autographs of about sixty people who in the early Twenties were important, famous, talented, unusual. Im [sic] telling you, this is a fabulous door….Want a door? Ask Mrs. Smith at 321 East 52nd Street, New York 22. —’Trade Winds’ in the Saturday Review, 1960”

Lost American Writer Found–Jim Tully

Until recently, I had not read even one of the fourteen books by the early- to mid-twentieth-century American writer Jim Tully (1886-1947) and knew little about him. Given my personal interest in Tully’s subject matter, which included circuses, hoboes, and riding the rails, springing from his twin milieux, rural Ohio and early Hollywood, I’m surprised at myself for having been slow to pick up on him. Now having sampled his work and discovered what an important and successful literary career he made in his life by reading the excellent new biography of him, Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler, I’m going to do my part here to redress this widespread case of historical amnesia. I believe that now–especially in light of the Occupy movement and the attention it’s drawing to the economic distress afflicting millions in our society–is an ideal time for Jim Tully to be rediscovered. / / more . . .

Dr. Paul Epstein, RIP–Pioneer of Climate Science and Public Health

In June 2006 I was sitting in a parked car listening to Terry Gross’s “Fresh Air” while my wife and son were in a store finishing up some shopping. I didn’t mind the wait because I was transfixed by the interview and the voice of her compassionate guest. Dr. Paul Epstein was speaking about what […]

From Ash Heap to Top of the World

Gotta love a story like this: Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues was mired at bankrupt publisher Key Porter, then rescued by Patrick Crean at Thomas Allen Publishers, and now has vaulted to win Canada’s Giller Prize. Picador will be bringing it out in the U.S. A foundling to a prize-winner! This is what I’ve always loved […]

Bob Delaney, Helping People Live With Stress and Trauma

Covert, Bob DelaneyIn 2008 I edited and published NBA referee Bob Delaney’s first book, Covert: My Years Infiltrating the Mob. Co-written with Dave Scheiber, it was named a USA TODAY Best Book of the Year. While relating the dangerous undercover assignment that led to multiple indictments and convictions of organized crime figures, the book also chronicled how the assignment led to undiagnosed post-traumatic stress for Bob. This was in the 1970s, before PTSD was a familiar term in our lexicon. Bob’s path through treatment to healing has now led to his second book, Surviving the Shadows: A Journey of Hope into Post-Traumatic Stress, which I represented with Bob’s longtime agent, Uwe Stender, placing it with Sourcebooks. In a new op-ed Bob writes that vet-to-vet, first responder-to-first responder, peer-to-peer therapy is an effective bulwark against post-traumatic stress and full-blown PTSD.  This is just one of many promising treatments described in the new book. I’m so proud of Bob, now retired from the NBA, for working with medical professionals, veterans’ groups, and law enforcement and first responder associations to promulgate these treatments for survivors of stress and trauma.Surviving the Shadows, Bob Delaney