Reminder: I optimized this newsletter for subscription. If you’re reading this on my blog or Medium (via website or email), please subscribe at https://www.sandlertechworks.com/ for the best user experience.
While I focus on Technology, Innovation, and Publishing, because I have a platform, I also flag items that I think are important and try to include a bunch of resources & opportunities. I’d love to hear what you think of this newsletter.
RT @pronounced_ing Parents reporting teachers for mentioning Nazis. A monetary bounty offered by right-wing groups. Think this stuff is only happening somewhere else? It’s all over. Even in the northeast.
MT @FLFreedomRead “As state Republican leaders push to give parents more control over public schools, they’ve shifted the terms. Instead of having concerned parents opt out, they want all parents to opt in.”
MT @PENamerica Three days after the EU announced that X had the highest ratio of disinformation posts of all large social media platforms, owner Elon Musk has ditched X’s election integrity team.
MT @PENamerica As of Sept 29, X will collect new user data including “employment and educational history, as well as biometric data. The company also plans to use that data in new ways, most importantly to train AI. Have this in mind before you hand over your data to X.”
NIH-funded research sheds light on link between COVID-19 infection and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
MT @AlizaFreud The influencer industry has been built by women. If 84% of creators today are women why is there a 30% pay equity gap in the industry?
HT @SStaaterman The impact of female leadership on corporate culture is profound. It fosters a more inclusive and diverse work environment, which has been shown to enhance creativity, productivity, and employee satisfaction. Women leaders also tend to prioritize corporate social responsibility, ethical practices, and work-life balance, which are increasingly important in attracting and retaining top talent.
A faction of scribes is putting guardrails around AI’s encroachment on their work. The effects will echo in industries far beyond Hollywood.
Use our new search tool to see which authors have been used to train the machines.
This week, many authors discovered that their books were used without permission to train AI systems. Here’s what you need to know if your books are in the Books3 dataset, as well as actions you can take now to speak out in defense of your rights.
MT @PublishersWkly Our Artificial Intelligence web conference, held 9/27, found book publishing and technology experts taking a long look at new AI technologies and determining that, despite concerns, they ultimately augured positive change for the book biz.
Oh, and it can ‘see’ you now.
This is my favorite — but there are a bunch of other cool examples.
Spotify partners with OpenAI to launch an AI-powered voice translation feature that reproduces podcasts in other languages using the podcaster’s own voice.
The time-synced text transcripts will enable listeners to visually follow along as the podcast progresses
Madison and Jackson are AI narrators or “digital voices” soon to be reading some of the audiobooks on Apple Books.
MT @TheTiltNews Tilt Take: Be transparent with your audience. Attribution — whether it’s AI or human — is a must to earn credibility and trust.
AI elevates the skills of the lowest performers across a wide range of fields to, or even far above, what was previously average performance. Via @emollick
Google is moving to zero-click search, which means that consumers don’t need to click on a link, which will affect publisher revenue.
Getty Images has entered the AI race with its own AI image generator. The platform is trained on the company’s vast trove of images and developed in partnership with the AI computing powerhouse Nvidia. Along with letting customers create AI-generated images through its website, Getty Images is also offering the tools through an API. It’s also developing a way for brand clients to incorporate their own IP and custom-fit the AI model, which will begin testing later this year.
The St Louis Post-Dispatch joined the artificial intelligence debate by allowing a robot to pen an op-ed against the use of AI in journalism.
Book spamming, sometimes with multiple bogus titles going online in one day, has hit writers.
Amazon has taken some steps to stem the tide of books written with artificial intelligence, but another solution may already exist.
Amazon faces landmark monopoly lawsuit by FTC: The Federal Trade Commission has filed a long-awaited antitrust lawsuit against Amazon and asked the court to consider an asset sale.
Amazon Prime Video will include advertising during shows and movies starting early next year, joining other streaming services that have added different tiers of subscriptions. Members of Amazon Prime can pay $2.99 per month in the U.S. to keep their service ad-free
HT @Saahil_Desai “What happened to Amazon? The company no longer excels at the thing it’s supposed to be best at: shopping.”
Publishing & Media
The results of this year’s Association of American Literary Agents (AALA) biannual membership survey indicate that the agency sector of the book business is diversifying more rapidly than its counterpart in the publishing houses. Still, the sector remains predominantly white, and other issues — including anxiety over the state of the book business, burnout, and inequity in pay for agents of color — remain of concern for members.
HT @LauraB7 A new series of children’s books, funded by Vision Australia, are the first children’s Braille books to be sold in Australian mainstream bookstores and taught in primary schools.
The author of “A Visit From the Goon Squad” and “The Candy House” guides us through her personal library.
“Given the impact that reading for pleasure has on children’s outcomes, and that storytime can help turn children into readers, this is a must-have debate.”
American Express is discontinuing Departures, its nearly 40-year-old upscale travel lifestyle magazine for cardholders.
MT @michellemanafy Book bans in public K–12 schools intensify. In the 2022–23 school year, PEN America recorded 3,362 instances of books banned, an increase of 33 %from the 2021–22 school year. Over 40% of all book bans occurred in school districts in Florida.
MT @pbromberg This is not parents movement, it’s a political operation: “Individuals who filed 10 or more complaints were responsible for two-thirds of all challenges…The majority of the 1,000-plus book challenges analyzed by The Post were filed by just 11 people.”
A Texas law that requires book sellers to assign sex-content ratings to all books they sell and have sold to public schools can be enforced after the Fifth Circuit temporarily suspended a trial court ruling that blocked it.
Charlotte County Superintendent Mark Vianello wrote “[t]hese characters and themes cannot exist.” MT @BookRiot “With this latest move, they are saying the (not so) quiet part out loud. It’s not about shielding children from inappropriate sexual content and it never has been. They simply want to erase the existence of people they wished didn’t exist. Period”
RT @FLFreedomRead “After 12 years, White handed in a letter of resignation…Standard parting words. But it was about more than just a career shift — it was an escape from FL Legislature that was making YA literature the enemy…”
MT @FLFreedomRead There is a reason that Clay County leads the nation in book banning, and it’s more than just the one man filing hundreds of challenges. The district is complicit in promoting ignorance and compromising the freedom to read.
RT @FLFreedomRead “I think most will agree: no parent should be making decisions about what books & subjects are off-limits for another’s child. By inserting their political views into libraries, the activists behind these restrictions have set a dangerous precedent.”
MT @EveryLibrary They’re moving books if the author’s NAME is Gay The book’s author is Marie-Louise Gay so the call number of the book is “E GAY.” That’s all it takes to move this book — without examination — to the Adult Nonfiction section.
RT @LibraryL “Studies show students tend to perform better academically with a certified librarian in school.” -All students deserve access to a school with a school library staffed by a certified school librarian.
Library workers and advocates are turning to new policies, lawsuits, and legislation to stem the tide of book bans
RT @sljournal “Confronting White Nationalism in Libraries: A Toolkit,” created by the Western States Center, cites steps libraries can take, from signage & collection displays that embrace difference to educating the community about the threat of white nationalism.
“We know that stories are powerful, but unlike advocates of book banning, we believe that’s a good thing…free people have the right to choose for themselves.” — NYPL President Tony Marx
MT @Zorrah Penguin Random House, partnering with the Freedom to Read Foundation, PEN America, and Little Free Library, launches The Banned Wagon Tour of the South for communities affected by censorship. Books to the people who need and want them most. Atlanta, Nashville, Houston, NOLA. #teamPRH
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating books. Suffice it to say that not every book is for everyone. #teamPRH
We in Florida are Ground Zero in a new, cynical attempt to gain and maintain political power by weaponizing books.
HT @mollyflatt “In a world where libraries and public spaces dedicated to literature are vanishing, the gap between those who have access to literature and those who do not is ever increasing.”
Resources & Opportunities
Come one, come all — and now you can come at the member price of $20 with discount code WMG-FRIEND 10/3 5:30–7:30pm ET at Penguin Random House offices. There will be time to network and wine & cheese before the program. Hope to see you there! Profit from this event supports the Women’s Media Group Educational Foundation.
Kevin Bacon, Blythe Danner, Edie Falco, Neil Gaiman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mandy Patinkin, Kyra Sedgwick, and B.D. Wong Among Headliners to Join Effort with Writers Guild, PEN America, and Unite Against Book Bans
MT @marcelalandres Free event: El Festival de Libro, 215 East 99th Street, 10/4 and 10/7
HT @john_w_warren Free hybrid conference.
This is one of >400 items! Auction closes 10/3. MT @diversebooks Jacqueline Woodson is not only one of the most lauded authors alive today, but an incredible host and generous supporter of WNDB. Why not get together with three friends and bid on an evening you won’t forget AND help WNDB fight book bans at the same time?
MT @sangeeta_editor “Writers are invited and encouraged to submit twenty-five pages of an original adult novel using the online form below…In March 2024, the author of the selected novel will be awarded the opportunity to enter into a $50,000 book deal with Atria Books.”
MT @LatinxKidLitBF WRITERS Enter this giveaway by SCBWI! Unparalleled in their support for the kidlit illustrators & kidlit writingcommunity, SCBWI is a holy-grail hub of resources and community building for children’s book creators.
MT @LatinxKidLitBF Get your applications in now! Brought to you by Penguin Random House, the LKBF School Visit Fund connects Latinx authors and illustrators with students, bringing stories to life! The application for 2024 visits is now open! #teamPRH
Proposals are now being accepted to host Meg Medina, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, in 2024
HT @marcelalandres Deadline 10/5
The Publishing Triangle Awards: Submissions Now Open. Deadline 12/11/23. Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Trans/Gender-Variant, and Children’s/YA awards given for books published between 1/1/23–12/32/23. @pubtri
Join NYPL during this year’s Banned Books Week, October 1–7, for free programs, events, and more for all ages.
RT @FLFreedomRead In honor of Banned Books Week, Celeste Ng and the Blaze Writers Project will turn Belmont’s Trinktisch beer hall into a school auditorium of sorts for Spell-O-Rama, an adult spelling bee for local writers and bibliophiles.
HT @FindingAda Ada Lovelace Day is held every year on the second Tuesday of October. See events around the world here.
Want to read my old newsletters or subscribe? Go to my blog here.