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Entries in Seattle (7)

Wednesday
Apr122017

The authorly equivalent of a soon-to-be parent showing that first ultrasound.

It's a book! Due date, September 12. And you can win an advance copy at Goodreads.

Tuesday
Nov032015

Black holes, dark matter, Amazon, and other mysteries of the universe

Ardent Amazon critic, Sherman Alexie, has books on display. Ironic photo by the Seattle Times.It's weird. It's mysterious. And it’s official. Amazon has opened an actual, honest-to-betsy, retail location in Seattle—a physical bookstore—the very thing that was anathema to all things Amazon for the last decade.

And no one knows quite what to make of it. 

When looking at photos of the new bookstore my first thought was of the Final Fantasy movies. The producers used the latest, greatest, state-of-the-artiest technology to create what was then deemed to be the most “life-like” animation ever. But the characters on screen, while beautiful and gorgeously rendered, lacked a certain spark. Their souls were missing. One reviewer called them “cadaverous.”

That’s how Amazon’s bookstore feels to me. It appears to be a data driven replicant of a bookstore experience. A facsimile—like Frankenstein’s monster. On the one hand, the sheer audacity and genius is amazing to behold. But on the other hand, you’re left wondering when this creation will break loose and start eating villagers.

And yes, I am colored by my personal experiences with Amazon.

That is to say, I sell a ton of books via the giant online retailer. (So...yay!)

But I also once created a tiny promotion aimed at supporting Indie Bookstores and was told that by doing so I had jeopardized my chances of being one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month. (So...boo!)

And a year later I was curious about all things Amazon, so I flew to Seattle to meet with their head of publishing, who was quite wonderful and told me how much she loved working there. And then she quit a month later.  (So...huh?)

I guess that's a fancy way of saying that I have more questions than answers. Like you, I'm left wondering...why a bookstore?

  • Is it to test drive/sell more Kindles?
  • Is it like sending in the infantry to mop up the retail battlefield that’s been crushed by Amazon's online cavalry charge? 
  • Is it just a PR stunt to further augment stock price?
  • Of has Amazon renewed its vows and actually fallen in love with printed books?

Who knows? I certainly don’t. And maybe Amazon doesn't even know. But either way, I’ll be making popcorn and watching curiously from the sidelines.

What’s your theory, wiseguy?

Friday
Mar062015

On the road again

As I'm winding down the new book, I'm winding up a bit of book travel, including a panel on diversity at Emerald City Comic Con, the latest stage adaptation of HOTEL at the CATS theater in Nevada City (directed by Annie Lareau), and even a high school commencement speech

(God help us all).

See you soon!

3/28/15

Literary Lions Gala
Hyatt Regency
Bellvue, WA
Black Tie Optional

6:00 pm
Fundraiser

 

3/29/15

Emerald City ComicCon
Washington Convention Ctr
Seattle, WA
emeraldcitycomicon.com

10:30 am
Panel Disc.

 

4/18/15

Southern KY Book Fest
Knicely Conf. Center
Bowling Green, KY
sokybookfest.org

10:00 am
Panel Disc.

 

4/25/15

CATS
Nevada Theatre
Nevada City, CA
Catsweb.org

7:00 pm
Stage Prod.

 

4/30/15

IHC Humanities Lecture
Turf Club
Twin Falls, ID
idahohumanities.org

6:00 pm
Talk & Signing

 

6/5/15

Great Falls High
GFHS
Great Falls, ID
Commencement

TBD
Speaker

 

Monday
Oct202014

High Plains Literary Drifter

Howdy pardner, I'll be winding down four weeks of travel with a quick stop in Seattle for this year's Lit Crawl (I'll be at the Hugo house, reading for exactly seven minutes).

And then I'll be in Billings for the High Plains Book Festival.

I'll be enjoying Friday's big gala event and then doing my thing on Saturday. Also, Songs of Willow Frost is up for an award (but remember, no wagering).