Archive for February, 2009

The revolution will be analyzed

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

The Casual Optimist has a serious breakdown of the state of the eBook industry. Great article for getting your head around what the big boys are offering, what’s coming up, and what challenges lay ahead.

“It actually takes a great deal of time and expertise — often in short supply at small presses — to put a digital program in place. And although the cost of creating, marketing, and selling e-books may be low once the infrastructure is there, getting to that point requires a lot investment.

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Also on the topic of e-books: it turns out that John Siracusa of Ars Technica (my favorite blog for news of Internet and all things IT-related) was a web developer for Peanut Press, the firm that took the best, earliest shot at creating an e-book market. Siracusa has written a comprehensive look at the past, present and future of e-books. On the topic of “e-book inevitability”:

All of the arguments about screen quality and medium/content separation crumble to dust in the face of these inconvenient truths: broadly speaking, people aren’t buying e-books; people don’t want e-books; people do not want to read book-length texts off of a screen. Or, to paraphrase a long-forgotten but nevertheless surprisingly applicable movie from the 90s, people love their books.

But the truth is, these things always turn out the same way. And I have some bad news for the bibliophiles. The beloved, less technically sophisticated information conveyance with the pedigreed history doesn’t win. To put it bluntly, people die.

Ars Technica is notable for combining an alpha-nerd understanding of technology with special attention to human factors and lay-person’s language; they’ve published articles on the intricacies of microprocessor architecture that my grandma could grok. This is required reading.

1000 Covers (!)

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

1000 Covers

Three things worth noting this evening:

1) We just finished uploading our 1000th cover. Woo!

2) The entirety of the Pocket Penguins 70th Anniversary box set is now up for display. They’re currently on the front page or you can see them in the Penguin Books Ltd publisher page.

3) Stephen Coles has been hard at work identifying the fonts used on all the covers in the Archive. He is just shy of 200 covers identified at this point. Check out the Futura and Trade Gothic pages for a preview of things to come.

*Every* issue of McSweeney’s

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: Seattle’s The Stranger is auctioning a set of every issue of McSweeney’s Quarterly to date, including a copy of extremely rare first issue autographed by David Eggers. Holy Mackerel!


Proceeds from the auction go to Treehouse, a charity that provides clothing, tutoring and school supplies for foster children.