Can Radiohead's experiment work for books too? I like any idea that involves selling directly to the public without middlemen, who, especially in the world of publishing, seem increasingly not to get it. ("It" being how to sell books.) Of course, these days writers have to do most of their own publicity anyway, which raises the question of what a publisher actually does for a writer that's so great, besides bestowing the imprimatur of "publication" and hopefully getting their books into Barnes and Noble. But, of course, Radiohead has the privilege of already being quite popular, and therefore have a "platform" (to use publishing parlance) of people to sell to. Can someone with nothing but sheer talent and ability sell a creative work on the Internet and be successful at it?
Similar questions are brought up in Michael Moorcock's fascinating analysis of how we got here, a run-down of the publishing business since 1960 (or so) which raises questions about how to get good books out to people in a world of generic best-sellers and huge, conglomerate bookstores. (via Warren Ellis)
On a completely different note, here's some French humor at the expense of Michel Houellebecq.
Curious about Creative Commons? Here's some information about how to use it.
So does this, a collection by the excellent Jim Shepard which includes the story "Sans Farine" which I recommended when I read it in Harpers, and was since anthologized in The Year's Best Short Fiction.
And finally, Ed gives a thumbs down to the new book about book blogs.