Cites & Insights 11:4 (April 2011) available

Cites & Insights 11:4 (April 2011) is now available for downloading at

The 32-page issue, PDF but with most essays also available as HTML separates, includes:

Perspective: Writing about Reading pp. 1-24

Dipping one toe gingerly into the ebook/ereader waters, here’s the first of a two-part megaperspective on the nature of books, reading and writing. (Anticipate the snarkier second part in the May 2011 issue, barring surprises.)

Trends & Quick Takes pp. 24-27

More predictions, the gap between tools and talent, the cost of “free,” and seven quicker takes.

The CD-ROM Project pp. 27-30

Six title CD-ROMs about political and cultural leadership–and, unfortunately, the message is right in the title: “Sometimes They Just Don’t Work.”

My Back PagesĀ  pp. 30-32

Only three of nine snarky little essays have anything to do with audiophilia–and in one case, that’s stretching things.


2 Responses to “Cites & Insights 11:4 (April 2011) available”

  1. Steven Kaye says:

    Did a quick read of the writing about reading section, which I’ll revisit – I’d add is that ‘content’ and ‘container’ do have some interplay, dependent on genre, and that seeing ‘content’ as an undifferentiated thing to be poured into different containers seems to play more into the hands of parties wishing to pay less for it (publishers as well as some readers). But I may be overly pessimistic and conspiratorial in my thinking here.

    Still mulling over whether smaller publishers are de facto better than the Big Six. They *may* be able to push editorial selection and guidance as a differentiator, but whether they’re more able to do this than conglomerates I don’t know. I’ve certainly seen horror stories of authors waiting years for payments from smaller publishers, but again not sure if this is a function of size or not.

  2. walt says:

    1. Content and container: At this point, since I didn’t need to dwell on it and find the whole topic both complex and philosophical, I didn’t.

    2. As an Asimov fan, I’m well aware that small publishers have had (and have) problems too (the first publisher of the Foundation trilogy was apparently allergic to paying royalties), but simply having more voices and less of a conglomerate feel strikes me as generally good. I’d like to think smaller publishers might actually publish books; the Big Six (mostly) strike me as Pushing Product. There’s a difference.