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4.17.2012

You Want This Book: 'Celebrities with Big Dicks Like Jay-Z, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, and Many More'

You know you want this book:



In a recent article from Gawker, the books, its editor and publisher are explored. In reality, the books are Wikipedia articles, the editor(s) are Craiglist surfers looking for extra money (in real life Dana Rasmussen runs a snow cone stand), and the publisher is a print-on-demand company who sees themselves not as publishers, but as technological innovators.
When we talk about the future of book publishing we talk about ebooks and the move from print to digital; here in front of me is the stunted result of a move in the other direction, an analog artifact of a weird moment in the history of publishing.
The article goes in depth with details about the company publishing these books (Bibliolabs) and its co-founder Mitchell Davis.

The idea is: there is so much information out there; why not put some of it in a book? For the company, it's a great way to make money: get free domain material, make it nearly presentable, sell it! The article also mentions other similar business ventures, including books written by algorithms.

But of course there's problems. Highlighting one particular company:

 "VDM's publishing methods have received criticism for the soliciting of manuscripts from thousands of individuals, for providing non-notable authors with the appearance of a peer-reviewed publishing history, for benefiting from the free contributions of online volunteers, and for insufficiently disclosing the free nature of their content. VDM responds that Wikipedia is a valuable, quality resource, that the company has no problem asking authors for content, that buyers are informed of where information comes from, that books are a convenient form to collect articles about interesting subjects, and that its customers are satisfied with VDM's products." 

Beyond making a product for the sake of having a product, these books serve no purpose. They're interesting as objects, as Max Read states, but beyond their titles they have not purpose and are perhaps short of a scam.

These are ideas of books. Yet not books. Their non-books, or parodies of books. Books are coherent (or attempt to be). These are not. Looking inside the book (the table of contents) is like clicking aimlessly on Wikipedia. There's no glue sticking the facts together. It hops from subject to background information, never returning--it's an finished circle. Thus, most importantly, the book has no proof that Jay-Z or Liam Neeson have big dicks. (I've seen Colin Farrell's sex tape, nothing to write home about). It's probably the worst case of abusing print media and publishing.

It's a step up from all those plagiarized erotica on Amazon(?)

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