Archive for March, 2009


Amazon’s Kindle may be one of the most popular digital book readers out there, but the Sony Reader and applications made for the Ipod and Iphone are close behind. In fact Sony recently struck a deal with Google in hopes of increasing sales as well as popularity. According to an article by the NY Times by the end of the week, Sony hopes to include roughly “a half million copyright-free books available for its Reader device.” By doing this, Sony is attempting to divert attention from the Kindle as well as invite new digital readers to its Reading device as oppose to Kindle or similar devices/applications.

This will certainly be a difficult task for Sony. Amazon currently has 250,000 books that are available for the Kindle (and that number continues to grow). Furthermore, titles that are available for the Kindle are “books people are most interested in reading, like new releases and best sellers.” Whereas Sony’s Reader, with the help of Google, will allow individuals to download free non-copyrighted material. The reason that these titles are non-copyrighted are due mainly to the fact that the books are old- or have been in print long enough to lose the copyright once associated with them. The titles add up to roughly 7 million books that will be available for FREE!

“The books available to Reader owners were written before 1923 and include classics like “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” by Mark Twain, and “The Awakening,” by Kate Chopin, as well as harder-to-find titles like “The Letters of Jane Austen.””

If you happen to like reading classics, then this will be great. However you won’t find any titles by Editorial Campana or Campanita books.  Google is working to increase the copyright-free materials. In the meantime, through the Google Book Search Program, books that are copyrighted will be visible only with either selected pages/text or only the first few pages. 

Once Google and Sony team up, will readers turn their attention to the Reader for classics (and maybe one day new releases/bestsellers)? Or will Kindle’s emphasis to provide new books and hot releases over-power Google and Amazon. Maybe in the end- neither will progress- applications made for computers and mobile devices may turn out to be what’s on the next page!

Editorial Campana is pleased to announce another event!!

Monday March 16th, 4:00-5:15 p.m. This event is bilingual English/Spanish B.M.C.C. (Borough of Manhattan Community College): Room: S-605. Reading and conversation with Sonia Rivera Valdés (Casa de las Américas Award winner) author of Stories of Little Women and Grown-Up Girls (Historias de mujeres grandes y Chiquitas)

For more information please visit Editorial Campana or the BMCC website. Also look for future events hosted by Editorial Campana!

“We had a room with some books but nobody ever went in there.” This is a quote from Alan Cohen, P.S. 69’s principal. Imagine being a student in NYC and not having access to a proper library? Many students in low income communities face this issue daily. Rooms that are dedicated to being libraries, are often  found bare and deserted due to low or no funding and lack of materials- mainly books. With the economy tumbling and still uncertain, many budgets for NYC public schools have put Libraries at the bottom of the list. It seems there just isn’t enough money to support a program that is so essential to students.

There may be hope! A foundation known as the Robin Hood Foundation is looking to change the direction and image of many poverty stricken NYC public schools. The foundation over the past nine years has been:

 “dedicated to fighting poverty in New York City, and the city’s schools administration have built, with the help of private donors, libraries in 62 schools in low-income neighborhoods.”

The Foundation has had such success that many of the libraries that have been built in these schools have been adorned by murals from famous artists. These libraries and pictures have transformed schools that once seemed headed in a one way direction with the students having no choice but to follow the same dooming direction.

Another example of this transformation is Public School 47, located in the Soundview section of the Bronx. The school is in need of space. So much so that the gym has been transformed into classrooms and administrative offices have been created from bathrooms. Yet with the help of the Robin Hood Foundation, the school now seems to have a promising future- thanks to the addition of the new library located on the second floor. The room is described as expanding in a somewhat magical way. Above all, the new library (home to roughly 7,000 books) is the first “proper” library that the school has had in many years. All thanks to the Robin Hood Foundation.

Please visit their site to learn more information about how their program works and how their efforts have helped to keep literature within the NYC public school system. Foundations such as this one and books such as A Very Smart Cat/ Una Gata Muy Inteligente, My Brain Won’t Float Away/ Mi Cerebro no Va a Salir Flotando, and A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) aim to improve and inspire reading among young students and children.

The Kindly Ones, written by  Jonathan Littell is generating a lot of hype. For starters it is a gamble for the publishers. Why? Mainly because of the books content. In short, the book is:

“fictionalized memoir of a remorseless former Nazi SS officer, who in addition to taking part in the mass extermination of the Jews, commits incest with his sister, sodomizes himself with a sausage and most likely kills his mother and stepfather.”

Did we also mention that the author has won two awards? The Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary award, as well as a prize from the Académie Française.

Now that the book has your attention, this might be the route the publishers are going- hoping that the content of the book will generate the hype that will yield strong sales. Already, others are comparing the book to War and Peace. Others are saying that if you have any taste at all, you will not only read this book, but you will find this book to be great. And 700,000 copies have already been sold in France [2006] under the title Les Bienveillantes.

All this helps support why the publisher has so much faith that this book will sell. They better hope so too! The publisher has spent a lot of time pushing the book and making sure that book stores across the nation are stocking up. Such publicity tactics included were  sending out about 4,000 60-page pamphlets to booksellers outlining the book’s track record in Europe and including an interview with Mr. Littell and translations of some of the rave reviews from France; numerous advanced galleys; and speaking to stores on a personal level.

It will be interesting to see how well the book will do. With all the hype surrounding the book so far, it is almost fact that the book will sell. How many copies is the real question and will the publisher be happy with the decision and the effort put into getting this book out to the mass public?  The fact that the book is associated with two presigious awards may do very little for boosting sales:

“That such a novel should win two of France’s top literary prizes is not only an example of the occasional perversity of French taste, but also a measure of how drastically literary attitudes toward the Holocaust have changed in the last few decades.”

There are a number of controversial books out there to be read. This is just one of many. Also if you are looking for a good read, remember that editorial campana has several interesting titles! Anybody who has read this book, please tell us your thoughts.

“Small Press Month is a nationwide celebration highlighting the valuable work produced by independent publishers. Held annually in March, Small Press Month raises awareness about the need for broader venues of literary expression. From March 1st-31st, independent, literary events will take place from coast-to-coast, showcasing some of the most diverse, exciting, and significant voices being published today.” [More info…]

For more information please click on the picture above and do your part to support small and independent publishers!

Editorial Campana is pleased to announce the first event for MARCH 2009.  In Celebration of International Women’s Month with Margarita DragoJacqueline Herranz BrooksSonia Rivera Valdés(Casa de las Américas Award winner) and  Paquita Suárez Coalla.  The authors will read from their new works and chat with the audience. The event will take place Thursday March 5th, 8:00 p.m. at Librería Caliope, NY. PLease visit editorialcampana.com for more information and for directions.

 

 

Everywhere you go, either someone is telling you to check out their blog or to read this blog. Blogs have become mainstream ever since the web went 2.0. With the ability to easily add your own personal comment on a website, it seems silly not to make your mark on a website. Everybody is doing it. Many sites including wordpress have become phenomenon’s in the digital realm thanks to their ability to make anybody feel life an html expert. Thanks to the abundance of information flowing through fiber optic cables, bloggers are free to make their mark on just about any topic or subject. From the presidency to the Oscar’s you can comment on any article. 

However, some bloggers forget that there is an etiquette to blogging. Just like in school when you learned about plagiarizing and work’s cited pages, you can’t just cut and paste without making reference to the original source. If you do, expect that you will be found and you will get in trouble. In fact due to the alarming rise in copy infringement, many bloggers better be wary as to the un-sourced material they provide:

Copyright infringement lawsuits directed at bloggers and other online publishers seem to be on the rise. David Ardia, the director of the Citizen Media Law Project, said his colleagues kept track of 16 such suits in 2007. In 2004 and 2005, it monitored three such suits each year. And newspapers sometimes send cease-and-desist orders to sites that they believe have crossed the line.

As a blogger, we have the right to write and discuss on any matter we want, thanks to the freedom of speech amendment. At the same time however, we must exercise that right RESPONSIBLY. The information that we gather to create our stories need to be credited when and where the credit is due. Just like a research paper, you let your audience/reader know that the information you are providing is from another source. That source took the time to research the information and they deserve the credit. 

One must also keep in mind that when articles are cited or referenced from a newspaper article, in essence we (the blogger) are distracting the reader from the original source. Doing this gives less revenue to the newspaper or magazine. Despite the fact that these articles are online, there is a real person writing and/or editing those articles. They may depend on the money that is taken from that article and when we do not credit them or link a blog to their article we are preventing them from being paid. Sort of like pirating (a form on stealing digital media), when you do not give credit where it is due, you are stealing from the author.

picture-1In the end, the blogger needs to realize that when we refer to someone else’s work, we are hoping to improve upon and/or strengthen our own blog. With that said the blog that is created in essence would not be made possible without the article that is being cited or referenced. The whole blog is partly yours, but it is also made up of other people’s words/thoughts. As the picture illustrates (taken from the NY Times article that is referenced in this blog) a blog that has other articles is only whole when the parts are stitched together. Without providing correct links and credit, the blog is not whole, and even more severe- to many illegal. Keeping in mind that lawsuits are on the rise and the fact that newspapers and magazines are increasing their efforts to stop copyright infringement, bloggers need to take a minute to realize that when they are blogging, they should also be asking, “If I don’t provide proper credit to the source (if any) who am I hurting or preventing from getting paid?”

As a publishing company, Editorial Campana understands the importance of protecting copyright material. When we blog, we make sure to directly link to the source that we are quoting (or any material that we are using to enhance our blogs). As a service to readers and as a responsibility to the literary world, check out this site: COPYSCAPE. Simply type in your website address and you can see where your material appears on the internet (other than your own website).  Also check out the U.S. Copyright Office Website.