Recent Posts

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 […]

‘Go the F— to Sleep’: The Case of the Viral PDF

‘I just absolutely love this story. Here is a book that is only due to be published in mid June, the publisher admits to having done absolutely nothing to promote it, and yet it is already at the top of Amazon’s bestseller lists. How, you ask? Piracy! Read the story here: Go the F— to […]

Fontistry

Mixing Fonts | Hoefler & Frere-Jones. Oh, to live in a world where one is surrounded by beautiful things! South Africa has such scenic beauty, but I feel I am surrounded by such a dull aesthetic so much of the time. This is an environment wallpapered in dullness. In faux Tuscan houses. Comic Sans, Arial […]

Free African Media: A dream to fulfil

Bravo Branko! The guys at The Daily Maverick have launched a 30-day test on an initiative that I believe is really important: Free African Media. (Why is it, once again, somebody whose heritage is outside of our continent, that shows us how we can truly advance the African cause?) This is how Daily Maverick editor […]

Form celebrates function in great infographics

I am so impressed by the storytelling that designer Nicholas Felton has facilitated. His design serves up the facts clearly, simply and in a way that makes us want to dig deeper and to meet the man in question: his dad, Gunter, who passed away last September. Cliff Kuang, who profiled this ‘annual report’ for […]

How Google’s New eBookstore Might Save Indie Booksellers | Fast Company

via fastcompany.com Lots of people have been asking me about the ‘safety’ of epublishing – how do you prevent people ‘stealing’ your stuff? Of course, with your books stored in a cloud like this, it’s so much easier for a whole group of people to share that one account. But then we just need to […]

Sales of ebooks vs printed books: have we been a bit mislead?

Just came across a most revealing blog post, titled Is Amazon lying about eBooks Outselling Printed Books?, which seems to indicate that we all may have been just a teensy weensy bit mislead about Amazon’s ebook-to-print sales ratios. The numbers, it seems, are all based around hardcover sales, which are a small portion of the […]

Seth Godin ditches mainstream publishing. Why you might also want to.

“The business race is on to have the relationship with the reader,” says Seth Godin, explaining why he’s ditching his traditional publisher and moving to print-on-demand (POD). Also quoted by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg in the article in the Wall Street Journal was Mark Coker, chief executive of Smashwords Inc., an e-book publishing and distribution platform […]

Simple imagery says it all

What a great image used on the cover of the latest issue of World Press Photo’s ENTER online mag! Laura Boushnak respected her subject, who did not want to be photographed, and captured this image of his prosthetic limbs left behind on the sofa in a Palestinian refugee camp when he went to bed. This […]

Interesting vs Important

Journalists and editors should opt for the former rather than the latter, suggests Reg Rumney. In his column for The Media Online, Rumney recounts his days at the Weekly Mail in the 1990s and tells of the big question they grappled with then. I think it’s one that is not being grappled with sufficiently these days […]

The Mongoliad App: Is Neal Stephenson’s novel the future of fiction?

From Fast Company, an interesting piece by Kit Eaton: This may, possibly, be one future of the novel: as an app. And who better to push the limits of writing than Neal Stephenson, an author whose novels have already explored weird and unusual corners of sci-fi, including intelligent books. Late yesterday in San Francisco, at […]

“It’s Euro-sports, not politics, that’s shaking up Africa,” says Daily Nation’s Charles Onyango-Obbo

I appreciated the boldness and honesty of Onyango-Obbo’s blog on Kenya’s Daily Nation site. The article – read it in full below – was shared with me by one of the Twenty Ten Allstar journalists with whom I’m working, and it certainly does go a long way to articulating why our coverage of this World […]

The state of journalism in the soundbite age

“… they highlight slam dunks and fancy passes,” says White House comms guy Dan Pfeiffer in March 15 Time mag. “The current media culture doesn’t reward getting things done in government. It rewards saying the most outlandish things.” Ouch! What an indictment, but sadly so true, I reckon. Time mag’s writer describes the news cycle […]

“Amazon hates you,” claims FastCompany.

That’s a bit strong, don’t you think? The mag – or at least their writer Kit Eaton – goes on to claim that Amazon hates publishers too. In an online story featured in their newsletter today, Eaton summarises last week’s falling-out between prominent publisher Macmillan and the online bookselling behemoth. First, his summary of what […]

A is for ?

The Naming of Parts. It could have been the Slate. The Tablet. Even iTablet, although I do think the ‘i’ is getting a tad old. But, hey, it’s iconic. We can live with it. But iPad? Is it only me or are there other women out there who associate that three-letter word with an extremely […]

Adventures on rocky roads and memory lanes

The good news is that Dirck Halstead’s The Digital Journalist is still up and running, having received a good sum of cash through donations. Long may this continue! The bad news is that National Geographic Adventure magazine is folding. When Caroline Hirsch, the Deputy Photo Editor, mailed me the news yesterday, my heart sank. No, I […]

African Journalists Fight to Tell their Stories

A recent article in the Washington Informer looks at that difficult issue of journalism vs advocacy in Africa. This was an issue I found myself debating with some of the Reuters Foundation tutors at the Twenty Ten journalism training programme I was involved with a few weeks ago in Burkina Faso. The debate of course […]

Blogging vs Journalism

This just in: ‘Blogging is dead. Long live journalism!’ A powerful piece in today’s Fast Company newsletter gives some interesting numbers on remuneration: it looks like bloggers are making some good salaries in the US, while journalists still continue to be retrenched. Which leads of course to the question: what constitutes ‘blogging’ as opposed to […]

The Beast will show the way?

‘Each book will first go live as an e-book and, if that proves successful, the book will be published in paperback format.’ So says Tina Brown of her new publishing venture. See the full story in today’s The Media Online. It’s a model I’ve been looking at closely, as I think it has a great […]

‘Journalism is dead. Long live Journalism!’

‘It would be easy to suggest that the press believes its audience to be stupid, but that implies a level of arrogance that may not be deserved. It’s simply a matter of fact that any “elite” believes its existence necessary, because those not so fortunate as to be a part of the elite need them. […]