MediaBistro Rockets to Jupiter, The Publishing Contrarian Drydocks and the iLiad eReader Takes Tolstoy to the Beach!
I’m back. The streams are low. The fish are lying on their sides at the bottom of the river with their tongues hanging out. No self-respecting trout is biting. Whoops, ‘striking.’ I’ve hung up my waders until the fall.
So what did I come home to from Pine Creek in Pennsylvania? Mediabistro rocketing nonstop to Jupiter(Media), as well as scads of query letters and book review requests piled up. And a trendy new eReader to drive me mad with 90-pages of instructions.
MediaBistro Goes Corporate
Mediabistro.com gets sold to publicly held JupiterMedia Corporation, a Darien, Connecticut-based, internet media company that sells photos and art. Laurel Touby falls into the clutches of Alan M. Meckler, Chairman and CEO. Twenty-three-million dollars! (Cash? Stock? A combo? It’s enough to keep Laurel eating out every night at trendy Spice Market Restaurant in New York City. No more doggie bags for her!) And guess what? Laurel gets to stay on as a Senior Vice President at JupiterMedia. (Er, okay, Laurel, but maybe you should convert some of those dollars into gems and sew them into the bodice of your frock. That way you’ll have a protective vest on when the first volley hits you after the honeymoon period ends. I can’t think of many entrepreneurs who survive more than two years once their company is acquired. Can you?)
And guess who else JupiterMedia also gained? Yep, Galleycat’s Ron Hogan and Sarah Weinman. (Actually I would have thought that Reed Business Information, parent company to Publishers Weekly, would have snapped up MediaBistro.com when it became common knowledge in August 2006 that MediaBistro was looking for suitors. MediaBistro’s online job board and the Galleycatters’ daily following would have given PublishersWeekly.com a much-needed and immediate boost in the unique-visitors and page-views categories.) Ron and Sarah have a real following, including Grumpy Old Bookman in the UK and, of course, The Publishing Contrarian. What I like about Ron and Sarah is that they are all around town and about much more than just loving and recommending books. They are not afraid to take the occasional shot or poke at people, including authors and powerbrokers. I’m still laughing at the August 2nd crack Sarah made about Jane Friedman, CEO of HarperCollins: “…very smart in a terrifying sort of way….” Ain’t that the truth? Just the thought of being in the same room with Jane Friedman makes my hair stand up. Of course, I’m sure Jane Friedman liked the soft-focus headshot that knocked twenty years off her!
A Gmail Bundle of Book Manuscripts and Query Letters to Be Reviewed.
Crikey, all those backed up attachments among my emails. Usually, I routinely forward requests for book reviews to other people, but the stack was so high and a few had bounced back because the reviewer wasn’t interested in the book genre or because the reviewer was on vacation. So I broke my rule about reviewing self-published books and cherry picked a few in order to reduce the stack. And I’m glad I did—for two reasons:
First, I found some really good books that defy logic regarding why they shouldn’t have a traditional publisher. But when you’ve got that oft-repeated 180,000+ number of books actually getting published each year, you can only imagine the total number of authors deluging literary agents and editors in an effort to get published. A good book gets lost as easily as a bad book gets found. By the way, you should definitely watch for Eclipsed by Shadow by John Royce. And then there were those painfully written query letters coming over the transom from my GetPublished Web site. Yep, time to get back to work and remind writers that they should pretend literary agents and editors are morons, and adjust the pitch to do the thinking for everyone.
Second, I got my hands on an eReader demo—the iLiad—so it appears that there is some hope that I can bask in the sun at Georgica Beach in East Hampton while plying my trade at the same time. I plowed through the 90-page iREX online manual, complete with diagrams, and, suddenly, I was “in” the demo’s full-length version of that breezy beach read, War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy, and “getting it” as I figured out how to page forward and back. Okay, okay, I had to email Jeffrey Paleczny, President of eReader Outfitters, a few times to help me get started, but his latest email provided me with instructions that will enable me to wield the slim stylus that slips into a sleeve on the iLiad and make notes that will appear embedded in the manuscript itself exactly where they are supposed to be. Everything will transfer seamlessly and in-position via email back to the writer if he or she just downloads some free software from iRex. I hope.
Note from the Wicked Witch of Publishing (TM): Ok, ok, to all of those who keep asking me about Terrible Ted, The Maine Coon Cat, here’s what he has been up to while I’ve been fishing: