26 March 2007

I Don't Like Mondays

... or, at least, my kids don't, particularly the Monday after Spring Break. It seems strange to be looking forward to a Monday, myself: I get the house back. At least during the school day.

In any event, I'll have some sporadic postings here over the next few weeks awaiting the passing of a few deadlines on a frivolous SLAPP suit that has been filed against several of my clients. I am representing at least one, but less than all, of the defendants in Bauer v. Glatzer et al. (described in general in the fifth paragraph of this posting on Neil Gaiman's blog). Certain procedural matters simply won't go public immediately. And if you're one of my clients — you know who you are — consider this a gag order (as if you didn't already know that).

On to the miscellaneous updates, featuring a lot of stuff from other segments of the entertainment market this morning.

  • Back in my college days, I never went to Tower, or Sam Goody, or any of the other big-chain record stores. (By calling them "record stores," I suppose I'm giving away something of my age.) Instead, I did my shopping at Streetside Records, a short walk from campus. Streetside — which, as I understand it, is no more — was started by two alumni and run with student tastes and needs in mind. That is, one could find Renaissance, Pentangle, Fairport Convention, Al Stewart, and U2 as easily as one could find Kiss (and, fortunately, more easily than one could find KC and the Sunshine Band, but that's another story entirely). The great consolidations have had their day; here in Chambanana now, virtually the only choices for buying physical copies of recorded music are big-box stores. That trend may be reversing, at least in larger urban areas, as indicated by this story out of Seattle. This may have some implications for the publishing business in about three or four years; it's worth thinking about.
  • Over across the pond, various items in the Guardian (and its sister The Observer) over the last few days indicate that the publishing industry continues to live in the past. Joel Rickett's weekly column "The Bookseller" (which, unfortunately, usually notices trends about a month after everybody who works inside the industry is already talking about them at wine-and-cheese receptions) notes both the publishing industry's resistance to use of Internet marketing and the continuing problems with availability of books in nonmegaseller niches. Conversely, the Guardian's "book blog" discusses pop-style promotions for authors, and another column discusses what allegedly makes or breaks first novels, with an interesting — if ultimately myopic — follow-up via an official blog.
  • The there's the Daily Telegraph, a paper so depressing that it can be counted to rain on everyone's parade — even a cynic like mine. Much of the time, that rain comes from a remorseless pessimism about the direction of society, quite possibly because the House of Lords no longer controls British society. Other times, the despair comes from one's reaction to the Pollyannish fluff pieces that the paper prints, probably in the name of a "balanced" approach. You can decide for yourself whether this profile of a publishing-industry figure who isn't actually in the publishing industry fits into one (or perhaps even both) of those categories.