Book bits: Tools of Change, no more Collins, more on Kindle 2


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The O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing conference is underway in New York City. Trying to follow the discussion via Twitter proves, more than anything else, that everyone’s favorite 140-character social media destination has limits. It’s easy enough to fit in buzzwords, but the breadth and complexity of what, for example, Cory Doctorow said is lost between the tweets. So for many of us, the future of publishing remains a mystery.

Independent/experimental publisher FC2 has launched a blog, which so far is serving as a good place to learn about its multiple events at the Assn. of Writing Programs Conference, which begins later this week in Chicago. I hope there will be some real discussion of experimental fiction to follow.


If you find yourself wandering the halls of the conference and feeling lovelorn, the magazine One Story will deliver a valentine to the object of your affection. For just a buck! (Since the valentine will include a copy of One Story, you might have to cough up the money for that, too.) The real catch is that the object of your affection must also be at the conference, which means that all of Page 6’s hottest bachelors are out.

Steve Ross, who made the hot-bachelor list, found out this morning that Collins, his division, was being dismantled by HarperCollins in a cost-saving move. Along with an as-yet-unannounced number of other staff, Ross will be looking for a new gig.

Sara Nelson has found a new gig, of a sort. The former Publisher’s Weekly editor is now writing for the Wrap, the new independent entertainment news site, where she covered the Kindle 2 release. She brings a heap of (welcome) industry insight:

what was striking to me was the number of publishing “celebrities” in attendance.... somehow, even though some publishers have said privately that they prefer the Sony reader over Kindle, version 1, their attendance at the kind of event that used to be the province of geeks and publishing reporters (sometimes in the same persons) suggests that a shift is upon us.

— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo credit: Billy Rowlinson via Flickr