Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Death Of Books

I was at a Book Fair in New Jersey yesterday. There was something strange and odd about it. There seemed to be no life to it. True, there were book publishers, book stores and authors, all with tables and books on display. But there was, to me, a lack of excitement--no buzz. What I also noticed was that most of the people were of the older generation. I didn't see that many young people there.Then all of a sudden, I got it. THE CLOUD! EBooks, Kindles, Nooks, IPads, IPhones. Twitter, IM'ing, Texting! Life in 140 characters and entire libraries in the palm of your hand. Books, the actual paperback page-turners are now considered prehistoric by many; especially those of the younger generation. 

When the first clunky eReaders came on the scene years back, most of us were ambivalent and apathetic. From what I was told, they weren't easy to use and were kind of bulky. Needless to say, they didn't catch on too well. But their manufacturers kept plugging away and refining them and the newer models became sleek, powerful devices that even displayed in color. The Kindle and Nook were primed to change the way the world read, and after a few false starts, they have now conquered the modern day book market.

Collateral damage has been the disappearance of Free Lending Libraries also. As a youngster in Brooklyn, I remember getting my first library card when I was around 9 years old. A fantastic world of books and reading opened up to me. Now, most city free libraries have gone the way of the vinyl record. The libraries that are still around make sure to have an access to eBooks.

Amazon, the gigantic online retail company is a major player in the book selling market. Last year it announced that eBooks have overtaken paper books in sales. More alarming is the recent decision by the government to pursue major publishers on antitrust charges. This has put Amazon in a powerful position: the nation’s largest bookseller may now get to decide how much an e-book will cost, and this has thrown the book world for a major loop.

Needles to say the entire state of books, publishing and writing royalties are in a tremendous state of flux and upheaval. But the bottom line is the printed book is doomed. It may not be next week or next month or next year; but it's coming.

Breaking: Microsoft ventures into ebook market with Barnes & Noble
April 30th 2012
Microsoft teamed up Monday with US bookselling giant Barnes & Noble in a venture aimed at grabbing a bigger share of the rapidly growing market for electronic books.
The world’s biggest software group will make a $300 million investment in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary focusing on the bookseller’s digital reading capabilities, including its Nook tablet, and its college businesses.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Kenneth Atchity was Our Guest on April 22nd

Author and Book Coach Dr. Kenneth Atchity was our guest on April 22nd. Listen to the Podcast:

Dr. Ken Atchity is former professor, producer, and writer of seventeen books. His recent film, “The Kennedy Detail,” was nominated for an Emmy Award. As a literary manager, he has been responsible for launching dozens of bestselling books, and for producing thirty films including the forthcoming “Hysteria.” His clients Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbins’ MRS KENNEDY AND ME is currently #2 on The New York Times Bestseller list. Ken divides his time between New York and Los Angeles, and speaks frequently at writers conferences. His next novel, THE MESSIAH MATRIX, a thriller about the origins of Christianity, appears in May.

William Diehl was a 7-time New York Times bestseller, whose PRIMAL FEAR and SHARKY’S MACHINE were made into major motion pictures. Diehl was at work on SEVEN WAYS TO DIE when he died three years ago, a story Atchity was working on turning into a film with Michael A. Simpson and Judy Cairo of Informant Media, producers of “Crazy Heart” and “Hysteria.”

Ken was asked to complete Mr. Diehl’s novel, and the result is a fast-paced detective thriller about a unique serial killer in Manhattan who sets out to defy NYPD’s TAZ unit, an inter-precinct unit devoted solely to serial killers. The book is a non-stop procedural, focused on the unique character of detective Micah Cody, whose half-Nez Perce Indian heritage comes to the fore when he stalks the killer in Central Park at night aided by the voices of the peregrine falcons and wolves in the zoo..
Ken Atchity
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Jesse A. Mayfield was Our Guest on April 15th

Author, actor and singer, Jesse A. Mayfield was our exciting guest on April 15th. Listen to the Podcast:

Jesse A. Mayfield is a versatile actor, singer and writer. He has appeared at both Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. While serving as the Artistic Director of the famed "Paul Robeson Theatre" in New York, Jesse produced and starred in many notable productions, among them "A Raisin In The Sun", "Ceremonies In Dark Old Men" "God's Creation", and "Of Mice & Men". He has spent much of the last decade in various stage productions. Jesse relocated to Los Angeles a few years ago to pursue greater acting, writing and producing opportunities.

Jesse's touching memoir "Away From My Mother's Watchful Eye" chronicles his experiences growing up in inner-city Brooklyn, New York during the turbulent, social unrest of the 1960s and his being one of the first African-Americans bused to a White school in 1965 in compliance with New York City Board of Educations' initiative to further integrate its' public schools. Always a New Yorker at heart, Jesse presently resides in Los Angeles where he teaches acting. He recently launched Greedy Reedy Productions to develop projects for television and film. His talent management company, LaMarr Talent & Literary Management represents and guides the careers of young, aspiring, entertainment professionals.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Robert Earle was Our Guest on April 8th

Author Robert Earle was our special guest on April 8th. Listen to the Podcast:

Robert Earle has written two novels, The Man Clothed in Linen: The Messiah or Herod's Son? and The Way Home, and a memoir of a year in Iraq, Nights in the Pink Motel. His short stories have appeared in dozens of literary magazines from Mississippi Review to Quarterly West, The MacGuffin, Main Street Rag, and Green Hills Literary Lantern.

He grew up in Pennsylvania, has degrees in literature and writing from Princeton and Johns Hopkins, and for twenty years was a U.S. diplomat in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. He now lives in Arlington, Virginia, and is at work on a cycle of stories that extends Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov to 20th century America.