Acquired Hollywood at the Races: Film's Love Affair with the Turf by Alan Shuback (University Press of Kentucky)
Horse racing was so popular and influential between 1930 and 1960 that nearly 150 racing themed films were released, including A Day at the Races, Thoroughbreds Don't Cry, and National Velvet. This fast-paced, gossipy history explores the relationship between the Hollywood film industry, the horse racing industry, and the extraordinary participation of producers, directors, and actors in the Sport of Kings. Alan Shuback details how all three of Southern California's major racetracks were founded by Hollywood luminaries: Hal Roach was cofounder of Santa Anita Park, Bing Crosby founded Del Mar with help from Pat O'Brien, and Jack and Harry Warner founded Hollywood Park with help from dozens of people in the film community. The races also provided a social and sporting outlet for the film community -- studios encouraged film stars to spend a day at the races, especially when a new film was being released. The stars' presence at the track generated a bevy of attention from eager photographers and movie columnists, as well as free publicity for their new films. Moreover, Louis B. Mayer, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Betty Grable, and Don Ameche were all major Thoroughbred owners, while Mickey Rooney, Chico Marx, and John Huston were notorious for their unsuccessful forays to the betting windows.
RSVPed Attending April Webinar: Inside Pressbooks with Steel Wagstaff

The next Cooking with H5P and Pressbooks webinar takes place Thursday, April 29 at 9:00 am PT (check for your local time). For this episode, we invited into the kitchen Steel Wagstaff, Educational Product Manager for Pressbooks. From his position, he will be able to share much about the features and capabilities of Pressbooks, how H5P integrates with it, examples worth looking at, and maybe some insight into future directions for the platform.

Replied to a tweet by Remi Kalir (Twitter)
My one hot take: A book about annotation should have had bigger (better) margins. Being part of a pre-existing series understandably made that difficult.

Let’s hear it for the electronic versions, which give us infinite space though!

A Twitter of Our Own at OERxDomains 2021 Conference

The Association of Learning Technology and Reclaim Hosting hosted the OERxDomains 2021 Conference last week.

They’ve just opened up the entire conference program with links to all of the sessions and videos for those who’d like to watch them.

You’ll see my presentation video embedded above. If you’d like you can also watch it in the custom player made for the conference, though I notice that it doesn’t replay the live chat.

Due to scheduling issues beyond my control just before the conference, I had to shorten my hour-long workshop down to a 20 minute talk. I intend to do a couple of separate hands-on workshops at upcoming Domain of Our Own meetups so that people can implement the moving pieces I demonstrate into their own websites. Let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll let you know when they’re scheduled.

I’m hoping that when the next conference rolls around at least some of us can participate using our own domains and not need to rely on Twitter’s infrastructure.

I posted a link to the slides last week if you’d like to follow along that way and have links to some of the resources. (You should also have access to some of my notes/rough transcript as well as alt-text for some of the images included.) The slides still have some context and links to portions of the original version that got cut out.

For those unaware of the conference or topics, it was two days of great presentations about the topics of Open Education Resources (OER) and A Domain of One’s Own which is focused on giving teachers and students to websites and underlying technology of their own for daily personal and professional use. Those interested in the IndieWeb may particularly find the Domains track enlightening. Others interested in teaching, pedagogy, and publishing will get a lot out of the OER tracks.

Bookmarked Modern Publishing: Digital Tools for Modern Publishing Processes (Modern Publishing)
The publication of scientific results is an essential task of scientists. The peer review of a publication by other scientists ensures its quality. Their publication is proof of their achievements. In addition, it provides the basis for discussions within a scientific community and serves as a basis for further findings. It is therefore desirable for the publication to be dissiminated and received as widely as possible.
Katharina Schulz in domains21 ()
Read The Future of Publishing? by Dan AllossoDan Allosso (History4Today.com)
I got a note from the senior executive editor at Yale, who has been my main contact throughout the process of getting my book published. Peppermint Kings has not been flying out of the warehouse so…
Sorry to hear this Dan, but I might be able to help in terms of providing some perspective for moving forward.

These days the idea of bestseller means selling in the range of 10,000 books. The average book released these days sells only 250 copies, so if you’re over that, you’re doing well.

It’s also incredibly uncommon for any publishers to put any serious money behind promoting their titles unless PR opportunities are falling off the trees for them. (This means that unless you’ve been selling a million copies of everything you write, they probably don’t care.) Many publishers will assign you a pro-forma publicist to help when they can, but don’t expect much from them. Most publishers will tell you to hire your own book publicist (usually for about $1,500-3,000 a month).

My guess is that the first run of your book was probably 1,000 to 2,000 books, which will bring the cost of raw printing down to $2 a copy. If you need copies of your book and they’re remaindering them, you might offer the publisher $1-2 a copy plus shipping to get 50 or 100 copies for yourself for hand sales over the next decade (for speaking engagements, etc.) or selling a few copies from your own stash on platforms like Amazon, Abebooks, Alibris, etc. The cost of keeping a book in print these days is usually around $12 a year and then they print them on demand.

Some of the methods you mentioned, talks, online readings, etc. can be useful marketing for both you and your book(s). Look around your local community/state for book events, fairs, bookstores that invite authors, etc to supplement this.

Depending on your next title, it might be worth hiring a publicist if you’re going the route of a text accessible to a broader public.Often this can be a reasonable risk but getting copies into reviewers’ hands can be helpful, as can radio or print appearances. Another option is to pay for adds in appropriate print magazine outlets related to your material.

It’s an uphill slog, but getting a publisher to take most of the risk and offering you all the free amenities of editing, proofreading, typesetting and distribution can be worth it in the end to get your material out.

When choosing your next publisher/editor, have a bit of this conversation with them at the outset to see what expectations they have for themselves. Don’t tip your hand though by letting them know prior sales numbers.

Since you’ve got your own website/newsletter/social media presence, you should also look into affiliate accounts with the bigger online platforms. Chances are you’re actually selling most of your own copies, you may as well get a 4% or larger cut of the referrals you’re giving. Your link on this page alone could give you a reasonable little return on top of the boilerplate 7% you’re probably getting from the publisher.

Read Podcasting, RSS, Openness, and Choice by Michael MignanoMichael Mignano (Medium)
In the coming months and years, we’ll be working to further enable choice for creators, including giving them the power to choose not only how someone wants to create or monetize audio, but also where specific content is able to be consumed, ensuring creators have an opportunity to decide if they are aligned with the platforms distributing their content.

The open RSS standard has provided immense value to the growth of the podcasting ecosystem over the past few decades. 

Why do I get the sinking feeling that the remainder of this article will be maniacally saying, “and all of that ends today!”
Annotated on April 19, 2021 at 09:34AM

We also believe that in order to democratize audio and achieve Spotify’s mission of enabling a million creators to live off of their art, we must work to enable greater choice for creators. This choice becomes increasingly important as audio becomes even easier to create and share. 

Dear Anchor/Spotify, please remember that “democratize” DOES NOT equal surveillance capitalism. In fact, Facebook and others have shown that doing what you’re probably currently planning for the podcasting space will most likely work against democracy.
Annotated on April 19, 2021 at 09:13AM

In the coming months and years, we’ll be working to further enable choice for creators, including giving them the power to choose not only how someone wants to create or monetize audio, but also where specific content is able to be consumed, ensuring creators have an opportunity to decide if they are aligned with the platforms distributing their content. 

So this means you’re going to use simple, open standards and tooling so that not only Anchor and Spotify will benefit?

Or are you going to build closed systems that require the use of proprietary software and thus force subscriptions?

Are you going to Balkanize the audio space to force consumers into your product and only your product? Or will producers be able to have a broad selection of platforms to which they could easily export and distribute their content?
Annotated on April 19, 2021 at 08:57AM

Thus, the creative freedom of creators is limited. 

And thus draconian methods for making the distribution unnecessarily complicated, siloed, surveillance capitalized, and over-monitized beyond all comprehension are beyond the reach of one or two for profit companies who want to own the entire market like monopolistic giants are similarly limited. (But let’s just stick with the creators we’re pretending to champion, shall we?)
Annotated on April 19, 2021 at 09:07AM

tl;dr: Anchor: We’re doing this not so much because creators say they want it, but because we really, really want it. P.S.: We don’t care at all what our listeners think, and so have nothing to say about their freedom.

Watched "McMillions" Episode 1 from HBO Max
Directed by James Lee Hernandez, Brian Lazarte. With Tim Adams, Mark Devereaux, Jan Garvin, Chris Graham. An anonymous tip to FBI agent Doug Mathews speaks of a con surrounding the much beloved McDonald's Monopoly game and its mysterious mastermind; a man going by the moniker of "Uncle Jerry."
I remember reading the sprawling article this documentary was roughly based on. While this first episode is generally entertaining, it feels a bit over-the-top in terms of its presentation. The main FBI agent is definitely a character and is entertaining, but it feels like this would have been better served as a three part thing rather than the six that I can see available. There’s almost too much re-enactment and the directing is a bit on-the-nose.

I’ll give the rest of it a shot, but for those who don’t have time, read the article instead.

I’ll also note that this documentary is a separate effort from the feature film that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are developing.

Listened to Unlearning White Jesus from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Examining the consequences of 'White Jesus' in America.

In a time where monuments are being toppled, institutions and icons reconsidered, we turn to a portrait encountered by every American: "White Jesus." You know, that guy with sandy blond hair and upcast blue eyes. For On the Media, Eloise Blondiau traces the history of how the historically inaccurate image became canon, and why it matters.

In this segment, Eloise talks to Mbiyu Chui, pastor at the Shrine of the Black Madonna in Detroit, about unlearning Jesus's whiteness. She also hears from Edward Blum, author of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America, about how the image came dominate in the U.S., and psychologist Simon Howard on how White Jesus has infiltrated our subconsciouses. Lastly, Eloise speaks to Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, womanist theologian and Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary, about the theology of the Black Christ.

This is a segment from our October 1st, 2020 program, God Bless.

Replied to a post by Patrick Rhone (patrickrhone.net)
I created a shop on Bookshop.org for all the books I read this year for easier browsing and, if interested, purchase.
I like this idea Patrick. I’d recently used Bookshop to create a list of books I’m currently reading. Having finished one or two, perhaps it’s time to start a read shelf like you have?

It might be interesting to see them build out some UI to make a less corporate Goodreads-esque site as well.

Read Why I’m no longer linking to Amazon for books… by Patrick Rhone (patrickrhone.net)
For a long time now, I’ve linked to Amazon when linking to books, especially on my /reading page. The reasons: It was an easy default and I always knew that if something existed at all there would be a greater than 99% chance one could find it there. As an author, I know from direct experience tha...