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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Just up at Future Tense

Future Tense, my volunteer stint with The Word Guild, a Canadian Christian writers' organization, helps chronicle the massive, worldwide changes in the publishing industry. Readers here may be interested.

Dan Gainor predicts mass death of dead tree newspapers.

Control over the Internet? Ontario Human Rights czar's controversial suggestion

Roger Simon explains why it is a bad idea for politicians to attack media.

Rick McGinnis, one of the most interesting film critics in Canada, has been let go by TorStar, in the continuing decline of newspapering, and he talks about the weird experience here.

He has been replaced by an unpaid intern. You know an industry is on the rocks when it is replacing paid staff with unpaid interns who hope for a job someday - a job that probably does not exist. Go here for more.

Amazon launches “the next chapter in wireless reading”… but only in U.S.
According to PC Magazine, there are two huge roadblocks to Kindle ever being available outside the U.S.: it uses a cell phone modem that is solely compatible with the American Sprint network, and Amazon would have to navigate the “nightmare” of negotiating with publishers to licence the content in other countries. - Wendy Elaine Nelles

Faith Family Books: new bookstore lures R. G. Mitchell’s customers in GTA with “a new brand of Christian retailing”
“We know that news of the plan to open a new super-sized Christian bookstore in a difficult economy and at a time when the two largest chains in Canada did not survive will be a surprise but also welcomed by countless GTA consumers, whose options for purchasing Christian and inspirational products have become considerably more limited in the wake of the industry’s troubles last year,” says Kern Kalideen, one of the new owners and a director of Strategic Risk Management with a large national financial institution. - release posted by Wendy Elaine Nelles
I am antsy about this venture because the main reason for the rise of Christian retailing was the fact that - decades ago - it was often difficult to get Christian books. Today, big box retailers and Internet retailers gladly sell them. Hence the decline in Christian retail stores, which parallels the decline in all types of specialty retail book stores. Of course I wish Larry Willard, my publisher for By Design or by Chance?, well - and hope he will prove me wrong.

All at Future Tense. Future Tense is The Word Guild's blog on the transitions under way in the publishing industry.

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