Technology • Innovation • Publishing — Issue #215

Kathy Sandler
13 min readOct 17, 2022

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Important Items

We need to hold enough state legislatures to prevent Republicans from potentially overturning the outcome of the next presidential election

Races in state legislatures are often quiet and turn on local issues like roads or schools. But a Supreme Court case could give these legislative bodies nearly absolute power over federal elections.

Election 2022: Be informed, not misled

Develop the skills needed to recognize false information about elections, candidates & issues with this resources page from The News Literacy Project.

In Fight for Congress, a Surprising Battleground Emerges: New

HT @justinhendrix After a haywire redistricting process, NY has more congressional battlegrounds than nearly any other state. Even the Democratic campaign chairman is locked in a dead heat.

Be a

Are you ready to vote? Make sure you’re registered. Look up your ballot and make a plan today. I just saw that there are 4 proposals on the NYC ballot, I read them to understand what I’d be voting on, + I put the dates for early voting on my calendar.

Get Out The Vote Infographic & Assets | the American Booksellers

RT @ABAbook Get out the vote! As a small business owner, you know that every election matters to you, your community, and especially your business. We’ve created an infographic sharing top tips for booksellers to help get out the vote!

Another Bad GOP SCOTUS Decision

RT @mjs_DC Justice Sotomayor — joined by Justices Kagan and Jackson — dissent from the court’s refusal to take up a case in which a racist jury sentenced a Black man to death.

Federal Officials Trade Stock in Companies Their Agencies Oversee

In the most comprehensive review of stock trades by senior executive branch officials, a WSJ investigation found that more than one in five of these officials invested in companies overseen by their U.S. agency or department.

These Republican Candidates Questioned the 2020 Election. Many Will Win

A vast majority of Republicans running for the highest state and federal offices have questioned, and at times, outright denied the 2020 results, despite evidence to the contrary, The NY Times found. Together they represent a growing consensus in the Republican Party, and a potential threat to U.S. democracy.

Florida K-3 teachers who discuss LGBTQ issues will lose their
The new rule is part of how the state will enforce the Parental Rights in Education law, labeled by critics as the “don’t say gay” law.

Status of Abortion Laws, State by

RT @MsMagazine We’re tracking the status of abortion laws across the U.S. in the wake of Dobbs. Some recent updates:

Clinics offer free vasectomies, citing a surge in demand

Nearly Half of Covid Patients Haven’t Fully Recovered Months Later, Study Finds

MT @DrEricDing Huge 10k Scottish study finds 1 in 20 people who had been sick with #COVID reported **not recovering at all**, and another 4 in 10 said they had not fully recovered from their infections many months later. #LongCovid is damn serious and real.

Long Covid Symptoms and Treatment

Nearly one in five U.S. adults who have had Covid still struggle with at least one lingering symptom months after their initial bout with the coronavirus, a recent analysis by the CDC suggests. Here’s what we know about long Covid so far.


Snap a photo of your living room, and InteriorAI will redesign it

Facebook’s Meta unveils $1,500 VR headset: Will it sell?

The Meta Quest Pro headset sports high-resolution sensors that let people see mixed virtual and augmented reality in full color, as well as eye tracking and so-called “natural facial expressions” that mimic the wearer’s facial movements so their avatars appear natural when interacting with other avatars in virtual-reality environments. #VR

Apple’s mixed reality headset reportedly uses iris scanning for payments and sign-ins
Apple’s mixed reality headset is rumored to use iris scanning for payments, and might beat Meta’s Quest Pro in key areas..

This is an important step forward in the metaverse: Avatars that can persist cross

Ready Player Me has launched its Avatar API that improve interoperability for cross-game avatars so they can roam the metaverse. More than 4,000 indie game companies use its avatars for a variety of applications.

Building Partnerships with NFT Projects and Communities

MT @a16zcrypto Want to partner with an NFT project? We put together some tips on how you can reach out, work with them, and make the most of your partnership.

Publishing and the

It is time for the industry to consider the storytelling opportunities that may exist in the fledgling virtual universe, @digimaja, chief innovation officer at Hachette Livre, argues.

The Metaverse Meets Publishing

Hybrid learning with immersive technologies is coming soon, per the Ludenso company in Norway.

How Book Publishing Startups Have Fared

HT @scottkoegler An upcoming report from @ThadMcIlroy tracks trends in tech-based newcomers over the past 15 years.


What is BeReal and why are TikTok, Instagram trying to copy it?
Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok are racing to copy key features of BeReal, which prompts users to share a candid photo at a random time each day.

Meta will integrate Zoom and Microsoft Teams into its VR
At Meta Connect, Mark Zuckerberg showed off upcoming integrations with Zoom and Microsoft teams, along with a slew of other features meant to make the headset more appealing to businesses..

Meta Meets Microsoft

Microsoft is bringing its Teams-based ecosystem to Quest, along with enterprise tools like Azure Active Directory and Intune device management, w Xbox Game Pass thrown in. Microsoft gets to piggy-back on Meta’s massive investments in hardware. #VR

Meta, NBCUniversal Partnership Will Bring ‘The Office’ to the Metaverse

The deal also includes content from Blumhouse, Dreamworks, and Peacock. #Meta

AI-generated imagery is the new clip art as Microsoft adds DALL-E to its Office
Microsoft is adding AI art generation to its Office suite with a new app, Microsoft Designer. The app uses OpenAI’s DALL-E model to generate images which Microsoft says can be used for stock illustrations and drawings. Just like clip art.

Is Design Becoming A Writer’s Medium? Meet The AI Creators Changing Creativity
We think of design as a skill for people who are talented at using paintbrushes. But as the age of artificial intelligence (AI) design dawns, it might be good prompt writers who make the best work. 160over90’s Leroyson Figueira tracked down some of the best AI creators in the business to ask how their unbelievable images come to be.

TikTok chases Amazon with plans for U.S. fulfillment centers

TikTok plans to build its own product fulfillment centers, creating an e-commerce supply chain system that could challenge Amazon. #TikTok #Amazon

TikTok Parent ByteDance Sets Sights on Spotify With

ByteDance plans to expand its Resso music streaming service globally, negotiating w labels. They plan to start with over a dozen markets but not the US, and integrate it into TikTok.

TikTok Challenges Instagram With Massive Photo/Video

TikTok announces important and surprising new features.

Meta adds more ads to Facebook Reels, plans revenue split with creators

Why strangers are adding you to their Instagram Close Friends and Twitter Circles

“That little green glow that surrounds an account’s avatar tells you one thing — you have been granted exclusive access to content that others are left out of.”

Facebook plans to discontinue support for Instant Articles in mid-April 2023, giving news publishers six months to readjust their Facebook strategies.

It’s part of a broader effort by Meta to move away from investments in news content on its apps.

You Hated Your Cable Package. Your Streaming Services Are Bringing It

RT @michellemanafy The a la carte streaming menu is adding up and the industry’s major players are finding it harder to grow in such a crowded market. They’re realizing they need to package their offerings in new ways. That means a new era of bundles.

Elon Musk has plans for X, his idea for an ‘everything app’

If Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter closes, the billionaire will have taken the first step toward something he calls “X,” his vision for a new kind of social media platform that most in the US haven’t experienced before. An “everything app,” as Musk puts it. The Tesla CEO has said the acquisition will act as “an accelerant” to creating X — jump-starting the process by three to five years.

6 robot makers promised not to weaponize their tech to ‘threaten, harm, or intimidate’

This ‘thermal attack’ can read your password from the heat your fingertips leave
Researchers detail an attack technique combining thermal imaging and AI — and warn that increased access to innovative technologies will be abused by cyber criminals.

Coroner’s report into UK schoolgirl’s suicide urges social media regulation
A coroner’s report into the suicide of a British schoolgirl who killed herself after viewing content on social media websites which promoted self harm, has recommended the government looks at requiring age verification on sign-up to ensure the separation of age-appropriate content for adults and children online.

Publishing & Media

Unlock media innovation by experimenting every day

Innovation is the go-to buzzword for ambitious publishers, but there’s no such thing as plug-and-play innovation. Experimentation is the key, per @PurpleGrayKJS

Publishing 2030 Accelerator to Address Climate Crisis

The Publishing 2030 Accelerator wants to accelerate publishing’s execution on sustainability. It’s a one-year project hoping “to drive systematic change within the publishing sector,” which will “to support and test early-stage ideas that will positively contribute to the wider publishing sector’s sustainability.” Three initial workstreams include:

  • Calculating the carbon footprint of an individual book
  • Distributed printing
  • Reimagining the accounting of revenues

What should you read next?

HT ⁦@craicer While no one needs a book reco engine, Ingram is a founder investor in this #AI app + you can buy the book from inside the app and Ingram will print it and ship it to you.

Crowd Funding for Indie

MT @craicer The Alliance of Independent Authors has a comprehensive article on crowdfunding for authors. Via @IndieAuthorALLI

10 ways authors collaborate to promote their books

HT @craicer A smart post from @samatlounge on author collectives and how authors can collaborate #amwriting

Bookstore Info

MT @thejeffbishop ATTN Authors expecting to do a lot of their own marketing: I put together a comprehensive(ish) spreadsheet with the names/addresses for a bunch of indie bookstores around the US/Canada + some other relevant info. You can find it here + a map.

HT @victoriastrauss A policy change re: returns #Audiblegate

How Bookstores Can Celebrate Jólabókaflóð
If only there was a holiday all about gifting books…Luckily, Iceland has this covered with Jólabókaflóð!

‘A Wrinkle In Time’ Set For Stage Musical Adaptation

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved and acclaimed children’s book classic, is being developed as a stage musical.

Creative Artists Agency has expanded its publishing operations in London, bringing the agency’s translation rights business in-house

Best Books of the Year 2022 — B&N

Reading on People and Topics Outside Traditional Gender
Share these books during LGBT History Month and keep them in the collection for much-needed representation as LGBTQIA+ titles face protests and calls for book banning.

Apple, Spotify podcast feeds pose challenges for growing subscriptions

Podcasters are waiting for Apple and Spotify to offer more flexibility and features to grow listenership and discovery for show subscriptions. #podcasting

Is Spotify’s podcast exclusivity strategy working?

A look at Spotify’s podcast exclusivity strategy, which led to 75% audience drops for some Gimlet shows and caused others, like the Obamas, not to renew deals.

Top audio tips from Publisher Podcast Summit: Work hard, be confident, avoid silos and give it ten

Warner Bros Discovery Makes U-Turn On Closure Of Writers & Directors Workshops, Moves Initiatives To Diversity Unit

Warner Bros. Discovery performed a quick U-turn on its decision to close its Writers and Directors Workshops. The company has said that that the two schemes will be houses within WBD’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion unit, in partnership with WBTV.

Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch Discusses Condé Nast’s Global Transformation

“In 90 days, we decided to change 80% of the management.” #magazines

How digital platforms impact trust in news: Key findings from Reuters

Please stop calling it the ‘newsletter economy’

Per Substack Founder: Don’t compare Substack to other newsletter services; compare it to services that give creators direct relationships with fans, like Twitch, Patreon, and Shopify

Newspaper ownership shifting back to local

A group of regional newspaper chains and family-owned newspaper groups are beginning to buy back newspapers from major groups like Gannett, Alden and Lee Enterprises, which are trying to reduce their footprints to save costs. #axiosmediatrends

Gannett announces new cuts including mandatory unpaid leave and buyouts

The company also will pause overall hiring and temporarily suspend matching 401(k) contributions. (While the CEO made $7M.)

Nearly 1,000 news industry jobs cut in UK, US and Ireland since June

Qatar World Cup accused of imposing ‘chilling’ restrictions on media
Conditions restrict where international broadcasters, including BBC and ITV, are permitted to film

Resources & Opportunities

Free virtual panel How to Advance Your Career in Publishing

RT @diversebooks How do you advocate for yourself at work? What if you want to switch roles or reinforce boundaries? Join us on Tues, 10/18 @ 8pm ET for our next Rise Up panel to discuss these q’s and more with HR reps and publishing execs at @HachetteUS & @BeaconPressBks!

Free webinar: The Freedom to Learn in Historical Perspective.

What can history teach us about educational censorship today? On Fri. 10/21 12pm ET, join @madebyhistory & PEN America. #FreeSpeechWeek

Michelle Obama Award for Memoir

The Michelle Obama Award for Memoir will recognize one high school senior who attends public school with a college scholarship of $10,000 for their original literary composition in English in the category of memoir/personal essay. This award is one of five creative writing awards given by Penguin Random House. Other categories include fiction/drama; the Amanda Gorman Award for Poetry; the Maya Angelou Award for Spoken Word, and a NYC-area award. #TeamPRH

Free Digital Access to Beloved and The Bluest Eye through

RT @nypl In honor of Toni Morrison’s tireless commitment to anti-censorship advocacy, NYPL is providing unlimited, instant digital access to two of her most challenged works, ‘Beloved’ and ‘The Bluest Eye’ through October 31.

Working w Indie Authors Course Scholarship

RT @EditorTanya I have one scholarship spot available for an editor from a background or community historically underrepresented in publishing. If that’s you, and you could use some help paying for professional development, I hope you’ll apply! (Deadline: Oct 20)

Beyond the Ivory Tower

RT @joseph_fridman We’re hosting three writing workshops for academics in 2023 with the @nytimes’ James Ryerson, @daviddesteno and @LFeldmanBarrett! All will pay $2k to 12 attendees, who leave with a workshopped piece + years of support. Apply for our March workshop by Dec 1!


MT @WritersforDA DEMOCRACY BOOK CLUB with @Dahlialithwick and @sirihustvedt Thursday 10/27, 7 PM ET Free Registration. Hosted by @BooksandBooks. #BookTheVote #VoteReady

Resources to Prevent Online Harassment of Women

Via @womensmediacntr

Using the Power of TikTok to Promote Books

Come hear about the magic behind the scenes of #BookTok content creators at @WMG_NYC’s virtual event 11/2 6pm ET hosted by @miralsattar. FREE for members, $15 non-members



Kathy Sandler

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