Yearly Archives: 2013

Seamus Heaney

In Memoriam: Seamus Heaney



There are the mud-flowers of dialect
And the immortelles of perfect pitch
And that moment when the bird sings very close
To the music of what happens.

                                                                                   —from “Song”

Summer Friday Links for August 16

How to Stand Out in a Crowd (of Crowdfunders)

Wattpad gives writers (and their fans) a funding platform. Given the number of literary projects that have been popping up on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, this seems like perfect timing and a great way for beginning writers to develop a writing community from the ground up.

Facebook Ads as Market Research

We have been using non-book comparisons as a way to identify and reach audiences for years, but Peter McCarthy has an interesting twist on the idea by advocating using relatively inexpensive Facebook ads to test different comps. It’s a good idea if you’ve got the budget to do it.

The New Yorker’s Running Full-Tilt

We see the numbers, so we knew that the New Yorker’s digital reach took a huge leap forward in 2013. This article does a great job explaining why.

Gorgeous Branding for a Favorite Bookstore

One of our very favorite indie bookstores within lunch-break distance is Idlewild, so we are thrilled to see them get press for their brand redesign. And such design! As in all the best branding, Andrew Colin Beck simply brought out qualities that were already present, but oh boy did he bring them out! The perfect combination of books and looks.

Summer Friday Links for August 9

The Ultimate Hothouse Review?

In which Robert Gottlieb uses a word we’d never heard of—“panjandrum”—to reference his old boss, Mr. Knopf. This is the review we’ve been waiting for.

The Return of the Comment?

After a good number of sites gave up on comments as a field for the worst in human nature, sites such as Quartz, Gawker and Medium are trying to make comments work with an in-story format coupled with a new name—“Annotation”. Even the New York Times is looking into it (gasp).

Measuring Twitter as a Driver of Consumer Behavior

Brian Stelter reports in the New York Times on a new Nielsen study that indicates Twitter is driving TV viewership. What does this mean for books? The report doesn’t speculate, and given the differences between TV and books that’s probably a good idea. TV remains at its heart a live experience with mass reach, while books live deeper in the niches, waiting more patiently and with greater memory than the most sophisticated DVR. While Twitter’s measurable influence on book buying remains elusive, the study’s implication is clear: Twitter is a driver of media consumption.

The “Untapped Marketing Opportunity” We’ve been Tapping for Years

Mobile Marketer suggests in-stream audio advertising is an “untapped marketing opportunity.” Really? We’ve been running campaigns for clients and touting the results for years.

Harry Potter as Allen Ginsburg?

We have mixed feelings about this, though early word is good. “Kill Your Darlings” with Daniel Radcliffe opens October 18.

Facebook to introduce video ads!

But book publishers might want to wait for the $2MM a day price tag to come down.

Summer Friday Links

Junot Díaz Puts the Genius into Rap Genius

From GigaOm: Junot Díaz has annotated a section of his 2008 book “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” on the interactive writing site RapGenius. Diaz added notes that explain his inspiration for the passage, including Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, Star Trek and a number of bad science-fiction movies. Sheryl Sandberg did something similar with her book Lean In.

How Does the Publicis-Omnicom Merger Impact Tech?

Ask GigaOm

How Does It Impact Small Agencies?

Dan Weiden thinks small agencies are the place to be:

“Giant agencies are wobbling like drunkards… the rest of you should be sharpening your knives.”

Can Social Media Sell More Books?

Pete McCarthy dares to use the words “wisdom” and “social media” in the same sentence.

U.S. Adults Now Spending More Time on Digital Devices Than Watching TV

This doesn’t account for screen overlap (e.g. tweeting while watching the Academy Awards), but it’s a big enough deal that it’s all over the media.

Good News for the NEW YORK TIMES

That is, “good news” in the sense that “the glass is half full.”

Never Count Oprah Out. Never.

OWN turns a profit.

Buzzfeed Puts Reza Aslan’s ZEALOT in Context

A list of books about a particular religion written by someone not of that faith.


Links to think by for a Friday afternoon

A shortlist of some of the articles we’ve noticed in the past week.

The Booker Longlist:  Every shortlist should start with a longlist, don’t you think? Our end-of-summer reading list is now locked up.

Our favorite review of the week:  OK, this actually came out a couple weeks ago, but Jess Walter’s NYT review of “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P” is still too much fun to pass up: “. . . The data are in. All precincts have reported. It’s official: men suck.”

Oh, the granularity:  In a piece on bookstores, Mike Shatzkin lays out what makes the book industry so crazy-making for newcomers (we won’t get into what makes it crazy-making for old-timers):  “The unique characteristic of the book business that frustrates just about everybody coming into it from the outside: its sheer granularity…”

Keep your TV ads alive on the 2nd screen:  Twitter is opening up its ad service Twitter Amplify to any U.S. advertiser that has a nationwide TV campaign, allowing them to create Promoted Tweets featuring extra content, such as behind-the-scenes clips and highlight reels, and sending those to users Twitter says are likely to have watched their ad. The company said tests of viewers watching TV ads and interacting with related Promoted Tweets revealed a 58% higher purchase intent compared with those who just watched the TV ad.

iPad users love ads (the feeling is mutual):  CNET reports that Apple’s iPad commanded 84.3% of all tablet-generated Web traffic in the U.S. and Canada in June.

Goodreads doubles user base:  In one year, Goodreads goes from 10 million users to 20. Those are some very impressive numbers!

The long view:  Publishing consultant Brian O’Leary waxes lyrical about Norm MacDonald, John Updike, Abraham Lincoln, Carolyn Forché & the universe.

Spring Newsletter

Verso’s spring newsletter is out. Highlights:

» App Advertising: Reach book buyers how and where they’re listening to relevant programming: NPR, Stitcher, Pandora, iHeart Radio

» Social Media: What’s Twitter up to now?

» Outdoor 2.0: Digital outdoor advertising gains the benefits of digital connectivity

» Print: A landmark publication, and its blue chip audience, gets affordable with an exclusive rate for Verso clients

To read the whole thing, follow the link.