New model(s) for publishing?

One author, Robin Sloan, is financing his new book project through Kickstarter, and it’s working. It’s an interesting distribution model because readers get to choose whether they want a digital copy, a digital copy and a hard copy, or more. You have until midnight Oct. 31st to get in on the action and to get a copy of the book (detective story about the “digital and the occult.”)

It helps that Sloan has compelling previous work up online, a la his short story “Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store,” which convinced me his new project was worth a look—and worth financing.

Robin writes a book and you get a copy
Robin writes a book and you get a copy

I like the idea of Kickstarter, but is it a viable option for many? A few? Or only people who already have a cult following, guys like Joss Whedon? Joss Whedon’s “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” came out last year. It was made as a work of love—with no budget, had no publicity…yet it succeeded, to most people’s surprise. Does this present a new alternative for movie-making, tv-making, media-making that can bypass the studios? Whedon himself acknowledges (in this awesome interview with Ira Glass*) that the model doesn’t scale very well for Hollywood. We haven’t seen a lot of people inspired by this model and following it to stardom.

Similarly, is Felicia Day’s “The Guild” a model (build it with love and they will come) or an exception?

I don’t know, and I don’t really have any answers, just lots of questions…
And I just wanted to point you to an author/book that might be worth following.

*”We did this [interview event with Ira Glass and Joss Whedon] hoping to raise money to teach writing to kids. We’re kind of, you know, into writing. If you listen, and you’re against helping schoolchildren with their homework and expanding their literary horizons, then certainly do not click the donate button. Everyone else, please click. Throw in a buck, or five bucks. We think we might be able to raise enough this way to cover all of 826NYC’s costs for a month which would be incredible and also incidentally blow their minds. Help us do that! Help us shock them with the generosity of strangers on the Interweb.”


Make every picture count

Double Yellow Lines
"Double Yellow Lines"

Martin Wilson is crazy…in an amazing way. What patience and planning! No Photoshop or editing involved in these whole-roll(s) photos. If he messes up a frame, he redoes the whole thing. He recounts that on the Boxing Day he received his first camera, his dad, worried that they would run out of film before the day was out, kept saying, “Make every picture count.” So he does.

"New Life"

Check out “Oranges and Lemons”

Lockdown Drills

The elementary school where I was tutoring today had a “Lockdown Drill”! Can you imagine? Huddled together in the corner, in silence, lights off, jumping when the doorknob rattles once. And again five minutes later. The students and teachers seemed unconcerned, as if this were just another fire drill. They’ve probably practiced this all before. Are they as unreal to these kids as tornado “Duck and Cover” drills were to us? They say they started doing these “Lockdown Drills” about a year after Columbine, so of course that’s what was running through my head. I, personally, was a bit frightened, a little creeped out.

Crossed & Worded

I thought myself into a corner, and gave myself a head cold last (last?) weekend. I know I’m probably not the only one out there who can bring on the sniffles with stress and negativity.

But an upside to that weekend was my newfound addiction to crossword puzzles. Badside…it’s also a might addictive form of procrastination.

the paper NYTimes ones are more fun
the paper NYTimes ones are more fun

Check out these beauties: