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There are thousands of magazines out there, ranging from animal care to zoos. Magazines can be informative or they can be an easy fun read for someone who doesn’t have time to read a whole newspaper. Most people buy or subscribe to a magazine that they relate to, such as an outdoors-savvy person would subscribe/read Outdoors. Yet what happens if on the off chance you wanted to make your own magazine that specifically targeted what you like- say books you enjoy? Who knows, maybe this will help spark the creation of an Editorial Campana magazine as well as a Campanita Magazine.

It used to be that you could create a magazine, but at a high cost. If you wanted to print your own magazine, the cost could start at about $2,000 dollars. That’s a lot of money for a magazine that probably wont get the same wide-spread attention as Maxium or People Magazine. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. H.P. has created a new web-based service that will lower the price of creating a magazine. MagCloud, as the new service is called, “hopes to make it easier and cheaper to crank out a magazine than running photocopies at the local copy shop.” How is this possible you ask? According to the company, by charging about 20 cents per page (which is paid by ONLY when the customer orders a copy) magazines can be created for roughly $50.

This new program may help revolutionize the magizine industry. At a time when magazines are begining to decline due to the Internet and the abundance of free material.

It is not clear how big a market there is for small runs of narrow-interest magazines when so much information is available free on the Internet. So far, users of the service, which is still in a testing phase, have produced close to 300 magazines, including publications on paintings by Mormon artists, the history of aerospace, food photography and improving your personal brand in a digital age.

For now it looks as though the magizine still has a function in our society. Magazines serve as a great outlet, especially for small companies and organizations looking to expand their visibilty (whether within the community or around the world). Programs such as MagCloud could help companies and organizations improve thie popularity while at the same time saving money (which is something that everybody is thinking about first).

H.P. understands that this new printing format may NOT work. The point is to see what type of mrket there is for personalized magazines. If there is none, H.P. plans to simply move on to another  type of media.


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.

Magical Realism.

picture-2After reading the description as to what “Magical Realism” is, here is an interesting article from the NY times: Staging Latin American Magical Realism, Complete With Songs.

Generally we write about literature, but this article was of interest for the simple fact that it deals Latin American arts. In particular is the play based on the book (that was also made into a movie), “The House of the Spirits,” which opens on Wednesday at Repertorio Español’s theater on East 27th Street. The play is scheduled to be performed in Spanish with a simultaneous English-language translation available, through June. 

The play and movie are based on the book that was written by Isabel Allende. She has written over a dozen books, including the ever popular Zorro. Please take some time to look at her site as she has contributed a lot to the latino/latina community.

Revisiting one of our posts dated April 14, 2008, we talked about our books going digital and a new device known as “the Kindle.” Since then we’ve wondered how popular this cousin to the iPod would do? Some stated that they would continue to read traditional books, while others noted that this device was more practical and space saving. So what has become of the Kindle?

An article posted on June 2nd discussed how an electronic device (a.k.a kindle) had stirred some questions at a recent book fair. Although it was a BOOK fair, Kindle got most of the attention:

Electronic/digital books have been around since 1968. They became popular when authors such as Stephen King started to dive into this area (with his book Riding the Bullet). So why now are publishers and bookstores concerned about books being turned into digital format? “Much of the expected growth in electronic books can be tied to the Kindle.” Furthermore, publishers are saying that they are seeing a dramatic increase in sales from digital books- many publishers have now doubled their digital selection and sales (in total) are reaching past $1 million. 

As Kindle increases to grow in popularity (and similar devices such as Sony’s Reader Digital Book so will digital books. Although it may take a while before digital books become the norm, it seems safe to say that we are getting a glimpse of the future. Digital seems to be the new standard. Is this good or bad? 

Editorial Campana has several titles that are in Kindle format– seeing as this new technology will one day revolutionize the literary world, getting a head start seems like a good idea.

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The Very Smart Cat continues to work on her book (with help from Mario Picayo). She has been busy going around Catskill asking local businesses to advertise. She has had roughly 18 businesses decide to advertise (so far). This project, inspired by Mario’s daughter, Cristina Friedman-PIcayo, gives a more realistic feeling. As you will discover when you read this funny piece of children’s literature, there are three pages dedicated to classifieds (one ad that even puts the Very Smart Cat up for adoption- free!).

Besides making the book realistic, the concept behind this project is as follows: “The “ads” will be a permanent part of the book, so your “ad” will be seen locally, nationally and internationally for years to come!” Mario, his wife Carla, and Cristina went to local businesses in the Catskill area and asked if they would be interested in being a part of Catskill literary history by having an “ad” in the newest children’s book from Campanita Books titled A Very Smart Cat/ Una gata muy inteligente. The outcome was what we hoped. 

Mario is currently working with illustrator Yolanda V. Fondura to have the businesses ad’s inserted into the classifieds. When you read the book and see these ads, it will be as though you were looking at a real classified section. People will see that the very smart cat is is based on real life, They can even visit the businesses that are advertised in the book. This is where the book becomes interactive.

Besides the book being based on a real cat, that was rescued by animal lover Cristina and besides the fact that the farm is real, people will have the ability to visit many of the stores that the cat and Cristina have visited. Some of the stores that have decided to advertise in the book are located in Woodstock and Saugerties, NY. That is how successful this project was.

We’ll keep you updated (we are currently working on promoting the well being of cats around the nation with this book). June is national Adopt a Cat month. This book hopes to make people more aware of cats, the need to respect them, and to have fun while reading a wonderful book.

Just how real does the picture from the book look like the actual farm, Willow Bark Farms?

And don’t forget about the Very Smart Cat…

Last week, Mario Picayo went to the Virgin Islands to present his book, A caribbean Journey from A to Y (read and Discover what happened to the Z). You can read the press release at our website. Besides spending a lot of time in the sun and enjoying the wonderful weather and sites the Virgin Islands has to offer, Mario Picayo was busy presenting his book to schools in the area. The schools included, Lockhart Elementary School, J Antonio Jarvis Elementary School, and the Joseph Sibilly School. Author Mario Picayo was invited by Office of Cultural Education to present the book at the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts gathering. As part of  author Mario Picayo’s visit to the Virgin Islands, the Department of Cultural Education has donated one copy of A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) to each elementary school library in the Territory- making this a very successful event and visit. You can read an artilce about this event from the St. Thomas Source. On Saturday May 24th, there was also Book signing at the Dockside Bookshop – Havensight Mall. Individuals had the chance to meet with author Mario Picayo as well as get a copy of the book signed.


We are very glad at Editorial Campana that the event went so well. We are also in the process of finshing our study guide version of A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover what happened to the Z). We hope that educators and parents will use this resource to enhance children’s knowledge of the Caribbean. This title has had major success- just recently the Americas Award Recognized A Caribbean Journey From A to Y.

Here’s where the Smart Cat has been recently- busy enjoying the second cat-n-around art festival We are still trying to finish the book, but it looks as though at the moment the very smart cat is too busy looking at all the pretty cats now on display in Catskill, NY. Come join her and all the excitement….


According to a article in the online version of the New York Times, Microsoft will be ending it’s efforts to provide a book-based search engine. Unable to compete with Google, Microsoft stated on Friday that they will be “ending a project to scan millions of books and scholarly articles and make them available on the Web.” The project so far, according the article, has digitized over 700,000 books and indexed roughly 80 million journal articles.  

The decision to end this project was based on the following:

“Given the evolution of the Web and our strategy, we believe the next generation of search is about the development of an underlying, sustainable business model for the search engine, consumer and content partner,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s senior vice president for search, portal and advertising, wrote on the blog.”

This statement may throw people off since Google continues to maintain and improve its book search engine. In fact, Adam smith (product management director at Google) stated that, “[we] are extremely committed to Google Book Search, Google Scholar and other initiatives to bring more content online.” As you may know from reading a previous entry , all of Editorial Campan’s titles are searchable and to some extent viewable though the book search program. So it looks as though users who once used Microsoft’s program will click to Google in order to continue their book searches. Is this a smart move on behalf of Microsoft? According to one individual, although this program was used on a small scale, it was still used, especially by libriarians.

“Mr. Sullivan said that the number of people using book search services from Microsoft and Google was relatively small, but it included librarians, researchers and other so-called early adopters who often influence others. These users are now likely to turn to Google with increasing frequency, he said.”

 Microsoft will slowly faze out their book search engine. Eventually funding for this project will have to come from else where. Is this proof that Google will forever be known as the ultimate search engine and how will this affect how people search for books?

Editorial Campana currently has 2 children’s book that are available through Amazon (and another one is in the works to be released later this Summer). These titles include,  A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z) & My Brain Won’t Float Away/ Mi cerebro no va a salir flotando. Want to learn who the finalists are for the 2008 Children’s Choice Book Awards?

Lets go back in time for to the year 2007. Why this date? Librería Lectorum shut down in September as well as Librería Macondo.  These were latino bookstores located in Chelsea. Librería Lectorum had been in business for about half a century, while Librería Macondo shut its doors after 35 years. What was to come from the closing of these bookstores? In an article written for the daily news, concerns were expressed regarding the closing of these spanish-language bookstores and how resources for spanish literature were shrinking. 

‘“I am in total shock,” said Raquel Chang-Rodríguez, a professor of Spanish-American literature at CUNY’s Graduate Center and City College. “We live in a city that is supposed to be the capital of the Hispanic world in the U.S. and we lack two of our main Spanish-language bookstores. What can we do?”’

For others (especially stores that fell into the same niche as the two stores mentioned above), the closing of these stores would help to increase their popularity and therefore their sales. In the same article, one owner stated the following:

‘“Now I can’t refer people to Lectorum anymore,” says César González, the owner of Librería Caliope, on Dyckman St. in the heart of Washington Heights. “It means more business, but so much work.”’

So even though west 14th St. in lower Manhattan lost a bit of its history, others gained some publicity and were able to benefit. However, with the rise of the internet, what would come of these other stores? Many stores have seen their sales plumit as the internet has taken more and more momentum. This may be the number one reason why bookstores geared toward specific people (such as spanish bookstores) have become highly endangered. An article from the New York Times noted the following in regards to the internet’s affect on bookstores, specifically spanish bookstores.

“In a city — and a country — that has seen dozens of bookstores close in the face of online competition and dwindling customer traffic, the demise of Lectorum comes as a particular blow to the Hispanic literary community in New York.” 

On the flip-side, the internet may help to bring back spanish bookstores. Once, when we were limited to buying spanish books from stores such as Librería Lectorum or from going to a Spanish country, we are now able to go online, search for any book that we want and buy it. No longer do we need to search bookstore after bookstore in search of our favorite author or to find rare books. Even book clubs and outreach clubs have benifitted from the internet. One might even say that the internet has helped organizations such as Editorial Campana to be where they are today. True that the internet has helped Editorial Campana’s publicity. Our books are  available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble since there is no physical store for Editorial Campana. With prices the way they are today, affording rent for a store that may or may not sell a lot of books is a gamble that nobody wants to fund. The internet has allowed stores, where by other means, there would be no access.

This all would seem to point us in the direction that soon there will only be online stores and physical stores will be a thing of the past. The comes La Casa Azul, which just recently celebrated the launch of its website. So just like Barnes and Noble, La Casa Azul has a physical building and an online store. But better than many popular bookstores, La Casa Azul is geared toward books from and for the latino community. There are other stores out there such as, Librería Caliope, Librería Continental, Barco de Papel, Cemí Underground, Librería Cuarzo, and Librería Donatina.

Yet the fact remains that if you go to Barnes and Noble or Boarders, how much of a selection do they have on hispanic literature and how easlily can you find a rare book or an author that is not as popular a Gabriel Garcia Marquez (author of 100 years of solitude)? In fact if you go to any major bookstore, there is no “real” section for spanish books, the ones available have been incorparted into the shelves with similar books. A different article in the New York Times noted that,

“Chain bookstores carry few Hispanic titles. There are no important best-seller lists.”

What the internet is allowing chain bookstores to do is look as though they have a huge spanish library without having to give up their physical shelves. This makes it seem, to the consumer, that when you go to the online bookstore, you can find many titles that would be otherwise difficult to buy. At the same time, the internet is allowing stores such as La Casa Azul, to prove that even though the internet is enough, a physical store helps to reinforce what hispanics pride themselves on- community. These stores allow for book readings, places to meet, networking with real people, and an actual place people can relate to. These are the stores that we need and the internet should not replace them nor should larger and more popular bookstores take advantage of the internet to promote themselves as something they are not.