Read Pasadena Bookstores Pushed to Brink by Pandemic (pasadenanow.com)
Bookstores across the Southland and the nation have long been challenged by a changing marketplace increasingly dominated by online giants such as Amazon, but the increased pressure placed upon local brick-and-mortar booksellers by the ongoing pandemic is pushing some to the brink of closure.
Read Iran and Russia obtained U.S. voter registration data in effort to influence election, national security officials say by Dan Mangan,Kevin Breuninger,Spencer Kimball (CNBC)
The warnings about Iran and Russia came less than two weeks before the election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Read Why we're making the age of our journalism clearer at the Guardian (the Guardian)
To improve transparency and contextualise our journalism accurately even off platform, we’ve introduced two specific changes
I’ve noticed how they highlight these changes in the past. Pretty cool that they’re working at creating this sort of additional context.

I wonder how they’re doing the portion for the images on the social media cards. Are they simply replacing them outright or doing it programatically somehow?

Read That’s Yikes…Chillian J. Yikes! by Jillian C. York (jilliancyork.com)
In possibly the funniest thing that’s ever happened to me on the Internet (and please remember that I’ve been called a fattie by the daughter of the Uzbek dictator and crowdfunded my ticket to troll a Thomas Friedman event), the New York Times, that paper of record, has today issued a correction that’s been called “the best thing on the Internet this week.”
I know this Twitter Halloween name phenomenon has been going on for several years. This is one of the earliest examples I’ve seen. Interesting that it caused a correction in the New York Times.
Read Hollywood has a talent pipeline problem. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard have an app for that (Los Angeles Times)
Impact Creative Systems, an offshoot from Imagine Entertainment, is launching a new app called the Creative Network, a LinkedIn-meets-Slack for screenwriters and studio heads.
I’ll have to take a look at this, but I’m not really sure what the direct problem is that they’re solving for. The bigger problem is usually filtering through a load of crap to find the actual talent, and I’m not sure how this app is fixing that particular problem. They may be making the net wider which is good, but there’s still the filtering problem which is the bigger problem. 
 
Naturally getting talented people to help mentor people is a good thing, but it’s also the piece that almost never happens because it takes a lot of time and effort and doesn’t always pay off. I’m not sure where their system is adding value aside from a few links.
 
This definitely disintermediates the agent in the system, so perhaps the extra value is seen in circumventing them to take advantage of the unwary writer one is mentoring?
Read The Kairos Mechanism (Arcana #1) by Kate Milford (Kickstarter)
A self-published (print and digital) novella companion to my second book, THE BROKEN LANDS. Both will be released in September.
Looking back at older Kickstarters makes me wonder why they don’t have an “ongoing” functionality which allows those who could continue building and distributing Kickstarted products even after the initial fundraising has finished. 
 
Presumably the user would have a separate site set up to do this so they save the fees, but why wouldn’t Kickstarter offer functionality like this? 
Read Get a story and do some good. Buy The Kairos Mechanism PDF and I’ll donate the full amount to BINC. by Kate Milford (ClockworkFoundry)
Observant folks have noticed that one of my books is much harder to find than others. The Kairos Mechanism was my first self-published book, meant as a sort of semi-sequel to The Boneshaker that would connect it to the events of The Broken Lands. It’s also a sort of sequel to Bluecrowne, if you were to follow Trigemine’s adventures rather than Lucy’s and Liao’s. I funded it on Kickstarter and used a startup e-book platform (which has since gone defunct) as well as McNally Jackson’s Espresso Book Machine (which has since been discontinued at that location). So Kairos has been basically out of print since, oh, 2018ish. I get emails almost daily from readers asking where they can find it, to which I always have to answer, with mixed feelings, “Unfortunately it’s basically out of print. The good news is, there’s an illustrated PDF available.” Mixed feelings because I don’t like that Kairos basically doesn’t exist in real-world form, so that makes me sad; however, the illustrated PDF is a very cool thing that includes art from some amazing young illustrators, so that makes me happy.
Interesting to see that her book disappeared ostensibly because the web platform that she had it stored in shut down. 

I funded it [The Kairos Mechanism] on Kickstarter and used a startup e-book platform (which has since gone defunct) as well as McNally Jackson’s Espresso Book Machine (which has since been discontinued at that location). So Kairos has been basically out of print since, oh, 2018ish.
—Kate Milford

Read Your Local Bookstore Wants You to Know That It’s Struggling (nytimes.com)
Independent booksellers are desperate for customers to return, and not just for an online reading.
Bookmarked on: Oct 15, 2020 at 20:19


Avid Bookshop in Athens, Ga., sends personalized URLs to customers with a list of handpicked recommendations. 

Perhaps if they went the step further to set up domains for their customers, they could ostensibly use them not only as book blogs, but also to replace their social media habits?

An IndieWeb friendly platform run by your local bookseller might be out of their wheelhouse, but it could potentially help solve their proximal problem while also solving one of society’s problems all while helping to build community.
Annotated on October 16, 2020 at 12:51PM

Take Vroman’s Bookstore, a 126-year-old institution in Pasadena, Calif. It has more than 200 employees, 20,000 square feet of space and the rent to go along with it. In a normal year, it hosts anywhere from 300 to 400 events, bringing in authors for readings and signings, along with customers who buy books and maybe a glass of wine from the bar. But none of that is happening this year. 

Coincidentally I bought two books at Vroman’s yesterday and it looked reasonably busy for mid-day. (Maybe because of this article?)

It’s a bit disingenuous to mention wine at their bar as their wine bar was only finally open for a minute before the pandemic shut everything down.
Annotated on October 16, 2020 at 12:54PM

Like many other stores, Vroman’s is hosting online events to promote new books, which can attract attendees from all over the country but generally bring in almost no money. 

Maybe they need a book paywall for admission into those events? Buy a book to get the zoom code to get into the event?

David Dylan Thomas essentially did this for his recent book launch.
Annotated on October 16, 2020 at 12:55PM

In the best of times, the margins at a bookstore are paper thin — traditionally, a successful shop hopes to make 2 percent in profits — but operating during a pandemic is even more expensive. 

Yes—they said paper thin…
Annotated on October 16, 2020 at 12:57PM