Technology • Innovation • Publishing — Issue #203

Kathy Sandler
10 min readJul 18, 2022


Reminder: I optimized this newsletter for subscription. If you’re reading this on Medium (via website or email) or on my blog, please subscribe at for the best user experience.

A few weeks ago, I referenced my Twitter feed at @ksandler1 for examples to let you know how you could donate your skills or products (e.g., to edit someone’s query letter, run an AMA, send a signed book) if someone shows you a receipt for a donation to abortion funds. Hope you’ll still consider that. This week I’d like to highlight some smart auctions and other fundraisers for abortion funds that are still open, the new nationwide mental health hotline, and other important issues.

Important Items

Authors for Abortion

Auction ends 7/26.

Artists Unite For Reproductive Rights

Via @HillaryMonahan

Using Comedy to Push for Abortion
Lizz Winstead, the “Daily Show” co-creator, has marshaled her contacts in the standup world to help supporters turn protest into action.

Pregnant Women Can’t Get Divorced in Missouri

This is so crazy, and was true before Roe was overturned. If a woman is pregnant in Missouri, even if her husband is not the father, she has to wait to get divorced until after the baby is born. With Roe overturned, it’s even crazier.

The Fringe Legal Theory Heading to the U.S. Supreme Court

HT @marceelias The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case next term that embraces the independent state legislature theory, with significant implications for the future of American elections. Here’s what you need to know.

What to Know About the New Mental Health Crisis Hotline

Starting July 16, people in the U.S. who are experiencing mental distress will be able to dial just three numbers to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Employees and volunteers staffing the 24-hour hotline will be trained counselors.

Now back to our regularly scheduled newsletter….


Shopify “Reset button” for your room

HT @neilperkin We’ve all seen the ‘use-AR-to-see-what-this-sofa-looks-like-in-your-living-room’ apps like IKEA’s. This ‘Room reset’ AR tool built by the AR/VR specialist at Shopify takes this to a whole new level. #AR

Purpose Driven Tokens: Solving the world’s problems with crypto — 6 leading examples and lessons learned

Purpose-driven tokens are digital tokens that incentivize individual behavior to contribute to a collective goal.

The Future of the Internet

MT @rishad Web 3, Metaverse, Tokens (NFT’s), DAO’s are different though connected. They are a huge part of The Third Connected Age we are in. Here is my perspective on the Future of the Internet. How to understand its implications and the underlying driving forces.

Is Hollywood ready for the 3-D internet? What ‘Metaverse’ author Matthew Ball says

An investor and tech futurist thinks the metaverse will revolutionize everything. That includes Disney and the rest of entertainment. #Metaverse

Meta open sources early-stage AI translation tool that works across 200 languages

AI researchers at Facebook-owner Meta have created a translation tool that works between 200 different languages. The company is open-sourcing the project to encourage others to build on their efforts. #AI #Meta


Spotify is acquiring Heardle, a music recognition trivia game played by millions

Spotify announced it’s acquiring Heardle, a music recognition trivia game that’s shot up in popularity in the past year, for an undisclosed amount.

Wordle is being turned into a board

Hasbro is partnering with the New York Times to create “Wordle: The Party Game,” a board game that “delivers Wordle gameplay.”

Expert GeoGuessr Players Know That Google Maps Spot
In a game called GeoGuessr, competitors try to pinpoint where in the world a Google Street View image has been taken. Some can do it in seconds.

YouTube TV has surpassed 5M paying + free trial subscribers, bringing it to the top of the list compared to other virtual rivals like Hulu + Live TV

Amazon Drone Deliveries Coming to Texas City as Prime Air
It’s the second Amazon Prime Air location after Lockeford, California, that will get drone delivery service later this year.

How to easily turn all your articles into audio articles

RT @AndyKowl Pretty compelling to see this growth when audio reads were offered: “Within two months 40% of (article) consumption was audio, in less than 6 months it was 50%. And within a year 70% of all the consumption was audio.” via @BoSacks

Publishing & Media

Finding a Place for Disability in Publishing
Too much work, too little money, and career decisions made in response to health care precarity: this is the reality of people with disabilities in book publishing.

For Blind Internet Users, the Fix Can Be Worse Than the

HT @LauraB7 Companies say their A.I.-powered tools are the best way to fix accessibility problems online, but many blind people find they make websites harder to use.

‘Is That Ableist?’ Good Question.

HT @LauraB7 No one likes to be scolded for using the “wrong” language. But we must be willing to change our habits as attitudes and language change.

Apple Books is getting a bunch of new features in iOS

HT @LauraB7 via @goodereadermike #eprdctn

How Penguin Random House mastered TikTok for 7X book

Learn how a 95 year old publishing company mastered their TikTok and influencer strategy to increase book sales sevenfold. #teamPRH #BookTok

To Fight Book Banning, Support

RT @PENamerica In this @nytimes letter to the editor, a retired school librarian reflects on the current surge of book bans and challenges, calling it “the most vicious and vociferous in my career of 30 years.”

The book ban movement has a chilling new tactic: harass teachers on social media

Educators who stand up to conservative activists are being harassed and called “groomers” online, turning them into potential targets for real-world violence. Via @tanyabasu

The Queer Children’s Books Targeted By the “Don’t Say Gay”

RT @PENamerica In this week’s Politics and More Podcast from @newyorker, @winterjessica speaks with guest host @tylerfoggatt about books that are targeted under the #DontSayGay law, how their banning will affect the lives and education of young people, and more.

Freedom to Read Fight Continues as Florida Library Media Specialists Face Summer of Fear and

RT @sljournal School librarians await the interpretation of three new laws that will impact what and how they teach as Florida Freedom to Read Project founders fight for books to stay on the shelves.

What’s Happening With The Vinton Public Library

RT @LailaLalami A library in Iowa has closed after nearly all of its employees quit due to anti-LGBTQ harassment against-staff, complaints about LGBTQ titles, and whipped up controversies. The town now has no library.

NYC library: Youths read banned books online free

RT @AP The Brooklyn Public Library is offering a free library card to anyone in the U.S. aged 13 to 21 who wants to check out books digitally. Called Books UnBanned, the program was created in response to a nationwide wave of book bans and restrictions.

Publishing Gets the Reality Show Treatment with ‘America’s Next Great Author’

Yes, really.

KKR’s barely noticed RBMedia-BookBeat deal has broader meaning for the global audiobook markets

HT @craicer

The Information launching social network for subscribers
“I think it’s clear networking on the internet is a mess.”

Morning Brew Tops $36 Million First-Half Revenue and Launches Its 10th Newsletter

Morning Brew, an Axel Springer property, Tops $36 Million First-Half Revenue. It launched its 10th newsletter, a product called CFO Brew that aims to reach readers in strategic and corporate finance.

BBC Posts Record Income of $6.4 Billion, Welcomes ‘Informed Debate’ on Future Funding Model

The BBC has declared a record income of £5.33 billion ($6.4 billion) for the 2021/2022 period, up from £5.06 billion last year — and a surplus of £206 billion

The Atlantic Digitizes Its 165-Year-Old Archive, Unlocking Potential IP

The new material technically spans a time period of 133 years.

Harper’s Bazaar Italy Launches Print Edition

What surprised me here is that there wasn’t already a print edition in Italy. Bazaar Italy first launched as a digital title only in fall 2020. #magazines #print

Wake Up And Smell The Bacon! Oscar Mayer Launches Scratch-And-Sniff Ads

Oscar Mayer has reinvented scratch-and-sniff ads in entertainment magazines that emit the aroma of sizzling bacon. #AdvertisingBiz

Hearst’s House Beautiful Podcast Explores Haunted Houses

Gymshark’s Move Into the Barbershop Business Is Surprising, but Important

MT @Adweek @Gymshark’s research found men feel more comfortable opening up to their barber than their doctor.

Analysis of @nytimes recent investor deck

MT @shaneoleary1 The @nytimes recent investor deck is a fascinating read with great insights on trends in journalism, product & digital ads. Shows a really clear strategy and approach to sustainable growth, focused on subscriptions & smart acquisitions.

The Rise of the Large Regional Newspaper Barons

RT @michellemanafy Privately owned regional chains have snapped up dozens of newspapers shed by the mega-chains, as well as smaller family-owned operations. For example, 2/3 of the 82 papers Gannett sold in the past 2 years were bought by CherryRoad or Paxton @LOCALNEWSINI

In West Africa and Beyond, Mali’s Famed Manuscripts Are Put to Use

After years of careful preserving, cataloging, and digitizing, more than 40,000 pages from one of Timbuktu’s biggest libraries have been made available for the public.

Resources & Opportunities

Using the Power of TikTok to Promote Books

DO.NOT.MISS this awesome #BookTok panel on 7/19 6pm ET. Join > 100 of your colleagues to hear BookToker @miralsattar, Shannon DeVito from @BNBuzz, Kristen McLean from @npdbooks, and Brianna Yamashita from @ScribnerBooks. FREE for @WMG_NYC members, $15 for non-members.

Panels, Pages, and Polyglots: The Rise of Bilingualism in Comics

RT @nybookforum Introducing The Rise of Bilingualism in Comics: On Wednesday, July 20, 2022 — at 7PM EDT / 4PM PDT — join as we examine the marriage between comics and multilingual professionals!

Pitch Tweaked by a #PitBLK Pro

RT @_Pitch_Blaque Hi Black authors — it’s pitch party prep time! Have a draft Twitter pitch that’s good but could be great? Submit your pitch to #PitBLK and have it tweaked by a pro during our “How to make your pitch pop” workshop! Details here.

#PitchMe Twitter Pitch coming in September

Publishing Contests

RT @LoebDavon If you’re thinking of submitting your writing to any publishing contests right now, there are some really, really exciting opportunities available! As a resource, check out this thread &/or contribute with a literary magazine/journal & the link/guidelines. Good luck submitting!

Disability in Publishing — Virtual Town Hall Launch Event

A new organization run by, and for, disabled publishing professionals is set to officially launch with a virtual Town Hall on 7/22 at 8pm ET, during Disability Pride Month.

Call for Proposals for PageBreak Conf.

MT @PageBreakConf The PageBreak conference planners are still accepting proposals to speak in San Francisco in October 2022. #PageBreak

PEN America Prison and Justice Writing Mentorship

RT @PENamerica Calling all emerging and established writers, MFA students, journalists, editors, and writing teachers! Apply now thru Aug 1 to mentor an incarcerated writer through our 50-year-old Prison and Justice Writing Mentorship Program.

In-Home COVID vaccination

MT @MarkLevineNYC Reminder: In-home vaccination is available in NYC for those who are homebound or aged 65+. (And anyone else in household at time of visit). Can do any dose, including boosters. Uses Moderna. No cost. To request your in-home vax: or call 877-VAX-4NYC

MT @MarkLevineNYC Big expansion in mobile sites in NYC where you can get a covid test and, if needed, receive paxlovid pills *on the spot*. No cost, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Now in all five boroughs.



Kathy Sandler

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