Tag Archives: books

Camille Leproust publishes book that redacts itself

8 Sep

Well, hello, readers! Long time, no speak, but I have an exciting story to share.

The London Art Book Fair is coming up soon, September 26th through 28th, and an artist, Camille Leproust, has created a book that slowly blackens as it is exposed to heat, giving the reader about four hours to read the book before it fades completely to black. The book will contain the words of poet Alissa Valles alongside T.S. Eliot’s The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock (a personal favorite from adolescence). This cover is created by a separate artist, Vince Koloski, who made it to look like the drawer chest of Prufrock himself, filled with tattered, well-worn clothing.

This redaction achieved by thermal paper and heat may sound a little familiar, as Davis Schneiderman of Jaded Ibis did the same with his book Ink. and I wrote about it last year.

Bringing together artists and authors often makes for interesting projects, to deconstruct and reconstruct the book in a way that is unexpected. The London Art Book Fair is an amazing place to explore these concepts, and to see artists who are working at the cutting edge of the book medium, to see how authors and books can explore and reach more dark corners of our lives.

More info on the London Art Book Fair below:

http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/book-fair/the-london-art-book-fair

And as a reminder, my new book Desert Nights is available in all your favorite formats. Details at stackhousebooks.com. Read the review at Kirkus as well.

Desert Nights is HERE!!!

4 Jul

Hey friends! My brand new suspense book Desert Nights is here! It’s got sex, drugs, punk rock and psychos. I literally don’t know what else you’d want in a book.

You can get the book in paperback from at the Createspace store, or on the big online retailer websites, and in all sortsa e-versions on Smashwords. Please pick it up, and if you like it, tell a friend!

More information on my website www.stackhousebooks.com. Just check the books section.

Happy reading!

ckstackhouse_desert

Kobo and WH Smith Pull Self-Published Booksp

16 Oct

After moral uproar, mobile-device giant Kobo and its partner UK vendor WH Smith culled thousands of self-published works from their service and website (respectively). A single tabloid article touched off the furor that then lead to the cull. Self-published authors publishing through Draft2Digital, Smashwords, and Kobo’s direct upload service Kobo Writing Life (KWL) were affected.

bannedkobo-read-freely

The tabloid article focused its moral outrage on the (disturbingly quickly) growing number of erotica selections available from self-published, e-book authors being available for purchase alongside children’s books in WH Smith’s e-bookstore. WH Smith responded by apologizing and taking down their website until they can remove every self-published book from their online store (not just the “offensive” ones). The company now has a holding page in place of their website.

Instead of fighting WH Smith’s decision, Kobo has pulled ALL self-published works from its UK e-bookstore.  This decision affects not only self-published authors, but small publishers who use Smashwords or KWL for electronic upload of legitimate (sorry, erotica writers) books. This seems like a harsh limitation of free speech, even if it is happening 3,000 miles away.

The author of the infamous tabloid article typed “daddy” into the search box on WH Smith’s website and came up with a varied selection of books from different genres (like adult, juvenile, children’s, etc.).  That issue could be dealt with by insisting on genre-specifications during book search. Remove the “show all books” option. The end. Why remove all self-published material when what WH Smith had was a sorting issue??

Here’s the scary (scarier) part: the trend has spread. Whitcoulls, a Kobo partner in New Zealand, has taken down its ebook website until Kobo removes all self-published, inappropriate material. And Amazon and Barnes and Noble have apparently quietly taken down the targeted, offending material from their sites as well.

I can’t help but draw parallels between WH Smith and, say, Walmart.  Walmart, an originally southern, Christian, family company, refuses to carry certain music albums (unless edited for content) or movies, but even there you can pick up 50 Shades of Grey from their shelves, or order erotica on their online store. Society, lately anyway, has generally balked at censoring distribution of the written word – no matter how asinine that word is.  But a response like this in the UK does not bode well for the US. We kinda corner the market on moral outrage. Fox News could pick up the story, extend it to Walmart (“I thought you were a Christian, family company!”), and I can imagine they would go to the same extreme of shutting down the self-published book-smut trade on their website.

But WH Smith is a BOOKSTORE. I can’t imagine a company whose sole purpose is to disseminate the written word folding like a house of cards over one article.  There must have been other pressures I am not aware of.  There HAD to be, right? The only appropriate response right now is vigilance, in case the same issue comes to the surface here in the US. Self-published authors and small publishing houses should be ready.

UPDATE: Looks like Kobo is taking down all self-published works while they enact a “thorough review” to make sure authors and publishers are in compliance with their policies. They will definitely be removing the material directly in question by the media, and, depending on these review criteria, more may be removed from their service. It’s a wait-and-see situation right now.