Blueprint for Transition

Blueprint for Transition

Can we quit our crowing and our bleating now? And can we plug our ears with beeswax to avoid the sirensong still luring the simpleton to islands of Old or New media? As if the waters were treacherous and we had to pick one safe shore. Enough of the cocksure arrogance of those who’ve crossed […]

Forests for the Publishing. Dreams for the Making.

Forests for the Publishing. Dreams for the Making.

They’re not seeing the forest for all of the trees. That Amazon focus: they see the books but not the creation. The products rather than the process… “Eco-system”, says Irish Chick, interrupting my musing. “It pisses me off that everyone uses that word. It’s not a god-dammed eco-system if it’s not about the environment.” Irish Chick is the female […]

Lessons in Creativity & Success from the Majority World

Lessons in Creativity & Success from the Majority World

In response to all the queries I’ve had for a version of the presentation I did at SXSW last month, here’s a transcript of my talk, and copies of my slides. I’d really value any feedback you have for me as I refine this for a broader audience. My aim is to arm creative professionals with the knowledge and inspiration that will […]

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

First, a publisher and editor have a a huge impact on the creative process. Some would argue that editors have as much creative impact as a movie director has on a film. Manuscripts are not the same things as books. Authors create manuscripts, publishers and editors create books. So says Peter Hudson of BitLit. I’m a fan, albeit a […]

Publishing is War: the Art of Wrestling at Chess

Publishing is War: the Art of Wrestling at Chess

In a weeks old (print) copy of The Week, an article on ‘Russia’s secret game plan’ strikes me as an apt lesson in publishing. “Russia’s campaign to destabilize Ukraine, and the rest of Eastern Europe, is turning conventional military thinking on its head,” the summary states, going on to explain that, though war has not […]

On Paper. Ritual, tradition and a new old way

On Paper. Ritual, tradition and a new old way

Out on a wide river tonight, candles float. Little floral platforms of light and hope. And, as they cruise by at surprising speed, they carry worlds and dreams of calm. These fresh carnations of an ancient ritual delight me. Especially since in the foreground it is white light and cars and noise and fireworks and […]

The Burden of Genius

Extremely moved by the death of Malik Bendjelloul – he of Searching for Sugarman fame and Oscar. Let’s discuss this elephant in the room: we are losing some of our brightest and best storytellers – film makers, writers, photographers, musicians – to suicide. Mental illness is killing our artists. And here is the crux: failure could have kept […]

The God of Amazonia

“Amazon are undoubtedly the most important player in the book world today. Whether print books or e-books. They really are the central platform around which the whole publishing industry is operating these days. Publishers think about Jeff Bezos kind of like how they might think about God – as a very distant, inaccessible figure who is […]

Will video games give documentary photography a shot in the arm?

Very interesting to read about some new video games being developed (and there’s the thing: this is still at development stage and we have not seen the market response) that tell important stories using real documentary footage. In ‘Are Video Games the Future of Storytelling’, Meghan Ahearn references Marcus Bleasdale and his work to create a […]

Crabby. Snarky. Hero-less.

I feel winded by the force of the venom (see below for links) directed at a 28-year-old Brooklyn-living Bulgarian who could or should be held up as a role model and pioneer. A woman leading a simple life, working damned hard at something she dearly loves. A woman who gives away the refreshingly-positive and deeply-detailed […]

On Stoicism and Journalism

Stoicism. Journalists need more of it. That was my Pop Idols epiphany last week. (Thanks to Derek Sivers and his great reading list that catalyzed my further exploration of this subject.) Let me backtrack and explain. The Pop Idols:  On Saturday I was part of a four-person jury evaluating the final project submissions of 11 […]

Multimedia: The State of the Industry

The short answer: all change. The short term: no money. Key insight: Good journalism has always been subsidized. That’s my quick-and-dirty summary of a report into the state of the multimedia and visual storytelling industry recently released. But don’t let that put you off. What’s also clear is that there is some hope for the visual […]

Love. And letting it be known. And finding the gold.

There’s something brewing in my head. A triumvirate of ideas that speak into passion, people and the power of media. It starts with this image, now embossed on my heart. Two people embracing. Two factory workers. Bangladesh. In a far-off shopping mall, destruction is lighter: my trousers are torn from use and my shirt has […]

The Automaton has no emotion, thus no responsibility?

I was sickened this morning, while reading an NBC story via Pulse about the “traumatic amputations” and legs being blown off at the Boston Marathon, to see an awful ad placement that illustrates both the pros and cons of content-specific advertising. Set right into those paragraphs describing the extent of the horrific lower leg injuries, […]

Some reflections on experiences of my publishing journey as a first-time author

By Derek Botha [Note: Derek is a client of Moonshine Media. Hearing him enthuse about the journey of publishing his first book, I asked him to note his thoughts down. After all, he will never publish a first book again, but it’s a path many others might stumble or skip down. – Dominique] Some years ago, […]

Pride – Confessions of a Publishing Aid in Africa

Warning: gushings ahead. Sorry, I can’t help myself. After how many years in the business, I still just love, love, love that moment when you unwrap that single proof copy of a new book from the printer, and feel the weight of it in your hand, and you page carefully through it, possibly remembering to […]

‘There’s a gap in the market’

This is the number one motivation my clients tell me they’ll give a publisher when pitching for a new book contract. As if publishers, with all their experience, don’t know the market, and this never-before-been-published person really is the expert. [Fact is, this might well be true. I don’t necessarily believe publishers are market experts. […]

Tall Poppy Syndrome: Kony2012

(“Emotions recollected in tranquillity.” That was Wordsworth’s famous definition of poetry. Well, last night was a “spontaneous overflow of emotion”. Tonight is tranquillity. Cutting and pasting last night’s lines here does not make them poetry, that’s for sure. It just makes them unedited.) Kony2012: Thoughts on Like Form follows function. Facebook gives us the option […]

New school old school

One of the reasons that I am so excited about the arrival of digital in the publishing world, is that it gives all the old-fashioned values and hand-crafted treasures the breathing room they need. If I’m buying a book for its content only, then I want that delivered immediately. Make it easy for me. To […]

Hephaestus Books is a scam

Indie publishing. Still a concept that’s little-known here in South Africa, where I keep explaining to people that somewhere between self-publishing and mainstream publishing there might just be a rich, rewarding and authentic space for them. And quality is what I harp on about. Self-publishing, at its baser self, is that on-the-cheap product that Mom […]

Thinking, um ‘out the box’?

First there was the alternative approach to the print publication. And then a really neat (or not!) way of taking that to the electronic form without losing the essence. Great work, Visual Editions! Check out the videos by John Pavlus of Fast Co Design: Composition No.1: An iPad Art Book You Read On “Shuffle”

On Teaching Self-expression

“I don’t have any problem with using others’ concepts and putting your vision onto them but straight out shooting to look like someone else isn’t going to get you (or anyone else) very far. Surely we are photographers because we want to share our personal vision of the world with others, much like writers and […]

Partnership in Publishing

“In essence, that’s what we all are, I think, publishers, authors, and booksellers: partners in the quest to find and engage readers. It’s a difficult task, but as long as I keep the attitude that we’re in it together, it’s easier to deal with the vicissitudes of being an author,” writes accomplished author Lisa Tucker in […]

Mobile web content in East Africa

Mobile web content in East Africa [Report] | memeburn. Erik Hersman’s report is short and to the point, making the case that there is possibly too much focus on fibre-aided connectivity and too little on mobile. He summarises as follows: “The success story of mobiles in the developing world is well known. Yet in the […]

Amazon: ebooks, print books, more and me

Amazon Says Now Selling More E-Books Than Print Books – Eric Savitz – The Tech Trade – Forbes. As of 1 April, says Amazon, they were selling 105 e-books for every 100 printed books. The good news, though, is that they’re also selling more books in total. People really are reading more, it seems. This […]