This article states that floor traffic has been heavy at BEA 2014, and it's the most active, the most popular, and the best BEA ever to hit the face of the planet. I almost expected to read that a choir of literary agents stood up and sang Let It Go. This information also comes from the VP of Publishing Strategy at St. Martin's Press. I've heard other versions.
The one thing that remains consistent from everything I've read and everything I hear from people at BEA this year is the Amazon-Hachette dispute is a big part of conversation. James Patterson offered a few interesting words:
When Patterson was announced for the award, he received a standing ovation for the support he has shown independents with his million-dollar grants. A second ovation at the end of his talk came for his remarks, which opened with, “Hi, I’m Jeff Bezos.” He added, “All we can ask of people is that they try to do the right thing, the best thing.”
But according to Patterson, it also means taking a stand. “There is an evolution, revolution going on and it affects everybody,” he noted. “Every publisher is feeling a great deal of pain and stress. I’d like the press to think about this: publishers are not terribly profitable.” If publishers don’t make money, he said, they won’t be able to support good literature.
Once again, Amazon must be doing something right. I'm still rooting for publishers. I really am. I just wish that kind of thinking would go away. Steve Jobs wouldn't have been slamming Bezos with snark and telling us something we already know. Jobs would have been eating him for breakfast.
Actually, I've been doing searches for interesting things to share about BEA 2014. I've asked people I know who are there to let me know if anything interesting happens. But since nothing earth shattering seems to be happening at the biggest publishing event of the year and at the most exciting time in the history of publishing, I won't bore readers anymore with future posts about BEA until next year.
You would think just one publisher, just one, would grand stand in at least one hugely significant way with a major announcement that really means something to readers and authors. Something about the future of publishing that would rock everyone sideways. Like maybe lowering the prices of digital books because they literally cost a fraction to produce compared to print books.
At least someone is worrying about the future, the future of penis caps that is. There's a guy who invented a new scaled down version of the condom that he thinks will improve sex. It's a cap for the tip (head) of the penis. I'm not sure if it comes in different sizes, though.
Just one problem: It may not be as good as conventional condoms at stoping STIs.
This invention was spawned through a competition sponsored by Bill Gates and his wife. But the guy didn't win any funding from Gates and now he's turning to crowdfunding at indiegogo. Of course I have about a million questions about this penis cap. But I'll refrain for now.
There's more here, with a video and a more in-depth explanation of how the penis cap is actually used. It's very well presented and interesting.
The comment thread is a real gem this time.
Maya Angelou Sex Work History
Ever since news broke about the death of Maya Angelou there have been hashtags, articles, and so many things trending it's hard to keep up with them. But according to this next article no one has bothered to mention that Maya Angelou was a sex worker. It is by no means a negative article, and it in no way, shape, or form judges or slams Angelou. If anything, it supports what Angelou spoke about openly.
We can, once again, boil it down to respectability politics and stigma. I am angry about it. I find myself ruminating, considering, wondering: If her work had been talked about as much as her dancing with James Baldwin or even her considerable, commanding and lovely height of six feet, what would the sex work community look like today? If we had talked about her wonderful compassion for sex workers, how she never looked down on them, and her refusal to be intimidated by invasive and obnoxious questioning about her sex working past, what would sex workers around the world be saying today in memory of her life?
There's even a quote about this from Maya Angelou. Angelou spoke about her past openly and never hid it from anyone.
It's a good article about respectability politics and how the facts are often distorted in one way or another after someone dies.
There's more here.