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Monday, January 28, 2013

Cyberflanerie: Newsletter, Mechanical Turk, Rose Mary Salum, Zack Rogow, William Kiesel on Occult of Personality, Agustin Cadena

I just sent out my newsletter which I used to say goes out 4 - 6 times a year but now say goes out 3 - 5 times a year. Probably more in the 3 x yr range. I figure everyone has too much email so I try to make it something worth surfing around in. If you haven't already signed up, check it out here-- all the new books (my dad's plus 4 -- count 'em-- new ebooks), new podcasts of interviews with Southwest Book Award-winner Sergio Troncoso and with Mary Baxter, painter in the Big Bend, a reading (tomorrow!!) in San Miguel de Allende, and recommended links for writers, news of Ann McLaughlin's novel workshop at the Writer's Center, and Marie de la Fere's eyewitness memoir, My Recollections of Maximilian, a rare circa 1910 English language manuscript from (and with permission from) the Bancroft Library, introduced and published by Yours Truly-- a free ebook. Just go to the newsletter and click to download it.

The photo is from Pinto Canyon Rd, a lonely but gorgeous drive from Marfa (right behind Paul Graybeal's Moonlight Gemstones shop) down to the Rio Grande, where, should you feel so moved, you could chuck a baseball into Mexico.

Cyberflanerie du jour:

An article on the Mechanical Turk (an oldie but goodie from
The future is looking mighty strange...

Rose Mary Salum does the Next Big Thing Round Robin
A Mexican writer, translator and editor of Literal Magazine, one of the finest bilingual literary journals ever

New over on the blogroll (look right) Zack Rogow's excellent "Advice for Writers"

Occult of Personality interview with William Kiesel of Ouroboros Press
The book as talisman and much more. And another, with more on talismanic publishing and the Library Angel

I am intrigued by what Kiesel is doing with Ouroboros Press. I sense that publishing is diverging, sharply, into 2 streams: artisanal publishing (what he does, but I would include some ebooks in this category) and mass market ebooks. And I think we're going to see a galloping development in both over the next few years. On that note, Agustin Cadena, one of my favorite and most prolific Mexican writers-- and my translator-- has just published his new novel, Maljuna Knabino, as a Kindle. This, seriously, is a big deal on the Mexican publishing scene. And I find that interesting because I live in Mexico, I write about Mexico and I translate Mexican writers-- but it's also interesting because Mexico is a leading emerging market. As goes Mexico, so goes the emerging world-- Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and so on.... Right now its digital marketplace is underdeveloped. Most Mexicans still get their books at Sanborns (a nationwide chain that might be described as a cross between Denny's and Walgreen's). Translation: huge potential. And the ebook market is going to develop-- I mean to say Mexican readers will start using iPads and Kindle and Kindle apps--- why just look at all the urban and suburban Mexican (mostly) middle class kids from Tijuana to Merida. They're all texting each other and facebooking with the ease of breathing itself. And I do believe every Mexican congress critter maintains a Twitter account. Watch the audience when (even) the President speaks to any urban business audience under the age of 60-- they're all looking at their laps. So when people say (and alas many Mexicans insist) that Mexican readers won't adapt to ebooks, I say, hooey. More about all this in the next post.

Comments? Please feel free to email me.