Critical Linking: The Most Read Stories, April 17-21, 2012

The most read stories from the last week in Critical Linking…


E-book production “costs 10% less” than print book production, said Molly Barton, Penguin’s global digital director. Hardly the vast savings that many consumers imagine. “But the largest expense is author payment and always has been.”

I guess the real savings would be if you just didn’t have to worry about print book production at all. One production line always saves money. Some car guy from Michigan taught us that.


The project would convert the main library, now strictly a reference operation, into a hybrid that would also contain a circulating library, many computer terminals and possibly a cafe. The Mid-Manhattan branch and the Science, Industry and Business Library would be sold and their operations folded into the main building. To accommodate the new services, up to half of the three million volumes in the stacks under the main reading room would be moved into storage in New Jersey.

Critics are calling it a “glorified Starbucks.” But, heck “a glorified Strabucks”sounds pretty cool.


“As she will explain, she appears here in role as Toni Morrison, as distinct from Chloe Wofford, her birth name and real self.”

I would ask her approximately 10000 questions about this alone.


We find that customer reviews tend to be very positive at both sites and that they are more detailed at Amazon. We find that an improvement in a book’s reviews leads to an increase in relative sales at that site, and the (negative) impact of 1-star reviews is greater than the (positive) impact of 5-star reviews.

Easier to sink a boat than to sail it, as they say.

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