Technology • Innovation • Publishing — Issue #151


Got a Pile of Lego Bricks? This AI-Based App Can Scan and Offer Build Ideas in

HT @ChappellTracker Brickit uses an AI-powered camera to rapidly scan a pile of Lego bricks and then suggest things you can quickly make. Brickit app will even point out where a particular brick is lying in your pile of Lego blocks. Available on Apple App Store as of now, the app is expected to be available on Android soon.

How Big Tech Is Finally Tapping Into The Creator Economy

TikTok Jump lets creators enhance their videos with ‘mini-app’

TikTok Jump is a new way for creators to enhance their videos.

Error Found in the NFT of Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Code — the angle brackets turned into HTML code!

Turns out the anonymous buyer paid millions for code that doesn’t even work. (Of course, maybe that makes it even more valuable!)

Twitter is making NFTs now, apparently

The catch with today’s Twitter NFT drop is that nobody can buy them — Twitter users can reply to the tweet for the chance to get one of 7 NFTs, which were minted on Rarible, an NFT marketplace, in editions of 20, which makes 140 NFTs total. #NFT

The First NFT To Be Minted from Human Poop Will Fund Autism

​File this under crazy NFT stunts.

Michelle Phillips of Mamas and the Papas releases first NFT series for $100,000

The Rise of the Crypto Writer? On What Literary NFTs Might Mean for the Book World


These social audio upstarts are trying to build a better Clubhouse


Facebook is testing drastic changes to Instagram to make it more like TikTok

Facebook’s Instagram Reveals New Pivot to Video — “We’re no longer a photo-sharing app,” says Instagram head Adam Mosseri, describing TikTok and YouTube as rivals #Instagram

TikTok rolling out longer videos

TikTok says it will triple the length of time for videos on its platform to up to three minutes, a move expected to appeal to advertisers. #TikTok

Apple quietly buys Roku remote button for its struggling Apple TV+ app

Apple has put its branding on a competitor’s hardware for the first time by buying a button for Apple TV+ on the Roku remote.

ViacomCBS Unveils Wearable NickWatch for

The NickWatch, a wearable consumer smart watch with Nickelodeon characters, will connect kids and parents via voice and text

Spotify may move into virtual and live concerts as way to differentiate from Apple Music

Over the last two months, Spotify has dabbled with in-app paid virtual concerts. Now a new report from The Information says that the streaming service is exploring not only getting further into virtual events but possibly live events as well.

Pinterest Bans Weight-Loss Ads

Pinterest is first major social platform to ban all weightloss ads, citing COVID’s impacts on people with eating disorders

Twitter reveals e-commerce and data strategy in ad pitch

RT @adage Twitter is looking to play catch up to social media rivals in areas like performance marketing, e-commerce and ad tech, making moves in recent weeks to woo direct-to-consumer brands.

Instagram is developing its own version of Twitter’s Super Follow with ‘Exclusive Stories’

Instagram is building its own version of Twitter’s Super Follow with a feature that would allow online creators to publish “exclusive” content to their Instagram Stories that’s only available to their fans — access that would likely come with a subscription payment of some kind. #Instagram

Hair cut at the Amazon Salon

AR mirrors for testing how different hair dyes might look on you; shelves of beauty products fitted with QR codes for point-and-click shopping; and an employee commanding Alexa to play “only happy music.”

Amazon Delivery Companies Revolt Against Amazon, Shut Down
The recent shutdown of two Amazon delivery companies in Portland appears to be the first public example in the United States of such companies using their leverage to protest against Amazon.

Publishing & Media

Substack signs ex-Forbes writer as it seeks to disrupt book publishing

Substack Inks Deals with Writers to Serialize Books — A former Forbes writer says he has received an advance to write a book for Substack, with chapters dropping once a week.

Fewer than 1% of GCSE students in England study a book by a writer of colour

MT @penguinplatform The Lit in Colour Report Findings:

- Just 1% of GCSE English literature students study a book by a writer of colour.

- No more than 7% study a book by a woman.

#LitinColour aims to help change that. #teamPRH

S&S Offers Job Preview Program to Graduates
Starting July 12, Simon & Schuster is running a week-long Publishing Prologue program, which will offer 25 recent graduates a behind-the-scenes look at day-to-day careers in book publishing at S&S.

S&S Launches Black Celebrity Imprint

Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Book Group has announced the launch of 13A, a new imprint dedicated to publishing renowned, relevant, Black voices in culture and politics.​

Hachette Book Group staff will be required to work in-person at HBG offices at least two days a week


Barnes & Noble College Takes Over Notre Dame Bookstores From Follett

RT @PublishersLunch

Allure Officially Opens First Retail Store in New York
The Allure store will offer a selection of over 270 makeup, hair care and skin care products curated by its editorial team.

The New York Times is using Instagram slides and Twitter cards to make stories more digestible

HT @paulkbiba

Resources & Opportunities

End Book Deserts — Free Aug

HT @drmollyness

Hachette Book Group Virtual Open House for Mid-level Professionals

MT @HBGJobs Are you passionate about books and want to learn about transitioning to a career in publishing? Please join our LinkedIn Virtual Open House for Mid-level Professionals!

LeVar Burton Reads Origins & Encounters Writing Contest —

@fiyahlitmag is partnering with the LeVar Burton Reads podcast for their first-ever writing contest! Do you write speculative fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, horror)?


MT @KarenMusings OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS! I’m looking for a new voice to contribute a short story to the YA anthology COOL. AWKWARD. BLACK. Unpublished and unagented Black writers send me your stories! Submissions open on June 15th.

Soft Skull Open Submissions

MT @softskull Some news! Beginning today, through July 20th, Soft Skull will be open to unagented, full manuscript submissions for adult literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and hybrid projects. There is no submission fee. See our Submittable for details.

Roxane Gay Books is open for submissions

Pitch Wars Mentor Applications

HT @PitchWars Apply to be a #PitchWars mentor.

WNDB Announces Three New Walter Grants in

Graduate Membership by JAWS

RT @womenjournos 2020, 2021 journalism grads who identify as a woman (cis or trans) or non-binary! JAWS wants to gift you a discounted one-year membership plus access to both the 2020 CAMP on Demand content and this year’s Conference And Mentoring Program.

NYT photo editor job

RT @bfnyt The NYT is looking for photo editors with news experience to work on an as-needed basis to help cover vacations and busy times. Please send CVs/resumes to deputy photo editor Beth Flynn photoediting [at] nytimes [dot] com. You can work remotely, but you must be in the US.



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Kathy Sandler

Kathy Sandler

Sr Mgr, Content Applications, Penguin Random House * Innovation * Technology * Publishing * Opinions expressed are my own