New Frontiers: Winners of Digital Book Awards 2015

In Brooklyn, everyone you meet is, or wants to be, a writer, it seems. (Either that or they play in a band…). And with so much of publishing moving away from the printed book and onto mobile reading devices, lots of writers are looking to publish online.

This week a conference of some 1,500 publishing types, writers, and publishing software experts convened in Manhattan to learn what’s going on industry wide, to worry over what disruptions Amazon might yet introduce, and to hear what’s new in the amazingly promising digital K-12 educational book market.

And, because it’s award season, there were also over a dozen awards presented.

So, if you want to know what’s going on in the digital frontiers of publishing, check these out. They include the MOMA’s first ever digital book, and eye-candy about Yosemite (especially for those of us stuck in the concrete jungle). As more and more titles move to digital format, there will be more opportunities for both readers and writers online.

The titles with an asterisk can be read on multiple devices, a nifty and desirable feature that we will see more of in the future.

Winners of Digital Book Awards 2015

  1. Adult fiction winners were Chinese Whispers*, by John Ashbery and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman. Readable on an app: The Hope We Seek, by Rich Shapero, which the Village Voice called “a delirious fusion of fiction, music and art.”
  2. Adult nonfiction winners were, curiously, two thirds about women and fashion, and one third about how we live in a world of numbers:  Women in Clothes* by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton, and Penny Chic: How to Be Stylish on a Real Girl’s Budget, by Shauna Miller. Readable on an app: Incredible Numbers, by Professor Ian Stewart.
  3. Children: From the You Choose: Scooby-Doo! series,  The Terror of the Bigfoot Beast*, by Laurie S. Sutton, and Virginia Wolf, by Kyo Maclear, created by Danielle Mulhall and Laura Brady. Readable on an app: Loose Strands, by Darned Sock Productions
  4. Reference: Lessons Learned on the Audit Trail*, by Richard F. Chambers, and Study It – English as a Second Language , and Picasso: The Making of Cubism 1912-1914,  the first digital publication by The Museum of Modern Art.
  5. Transmedia” category, which is tech-speak for using different platforms to tell your tale, the winner was We Are Angry, by Lyndee Prickitt,
  6. Education and Learning The Discovery Education Techbook Series, by Alycia Chanin.
  7. Ebook cover design was the gorgeous Yosemite: A Storied Landscape, by Kerry Tremain. Part of the book sales proceeds will be plowed back into the Yosemite Conservancy.

In its 6th year, the awards, presented at  the Digital Book Conference,   were sponsored by Blurb  and Kobo.  Congrats to the winners!

Cheapo’s tip: Some authors and publishers may offer first chapters for free as a teaser, which might be a good idea if you just want to check out this brave new frontier for free.

Posted in Books & Movies |

Target First Saturday at Brooklyn Museum: Sched

BROOKLYN MUSEUM’S “TARGET FIRST SATURDAY” 
It’s the place to be, folks. Free. Fun. Always great. Here’s the schedule…The Brooklyn Museum hosts a monthly free event on the first Saturday of almost every month. If you want to really “see” and feel what Brooklyn’s all about, this is a great place to start.  It’s  family friendly, interesting and attracts thousands of people. It runs from 5 PM until about 10, and you need a ticket for some events–they’re free, but it is first come, first served…

 

FIRST SATURDAY SCHEDULE FOR FEB 2014:BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Race relations are in the forefront these days (and whenever not?) with all the heated discussions around the police and the mayor. And, it’s Black History Month too. So, talk about topical…In February 2014, Target First Saturday celebrates Black History Month. You can hear music by Bilal and Water Seed; screenings of Black Enuf, The Peculiar Kind, and Soul Food Junkies; and discussions with Kim Drew, founder of the blog Black Contemporary Art, and J. Ivy, Grammy Award-winning spoken word artist. (All the descriptions below are from the Brooklyn Museum website, go see for yourself….)

  • 5 p.m. Music: The New Orleans Treme band Water Seed performs sophisticated jazz infused with adventurous funk.
  • 6 p.m. Film: Soul Food Junkies (Byron Hurt, 2013, 60 min.) explores the love affair with soul food, a quintessential African American cuisine, and the relationship between food, family, and identity. Followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Hurt.
  • 6:30 p.m. Film: Animated documentary-in-progress Black Enuf takes a playful approach to questions of racial identity and self-acceptance. Followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Carrie Hawks.
  • 6:30-8:30 p.m. Pop-Up Gallery Talks: Join a lively discussion about artworks celebrating African American artists. Also, Hands-On Art: Use fabric to design a quilt square inspired by people and events in African American history and culture.
  • 7 p.m. Music: Soul Science Lab’s Chen Lo and Asante Amin present Soundtrack ’63, a multimedia, live music performance that honors the Civil Rights Movement. Also Discussion: The Black Poets Speak Out campaign presents a poetry forum in response to racial injustice and the police.
  • *7:30 p.m. Talk: Kim Drew, founder of the blog Black Contemporary Art, leads a panel discussion about the ways black contemporary artists engage social media.
  • *8 p.m. Film: The Peculiar Kind, a documentary developed from the eponymous web series, uses unscripted conversation to look at the lives of queer women of color.
  • *8:30 p.m. Book Club: J. Ivy, Grammy Award-winning spoken word artist, discusses his new memoir, Dear Father: Breaking the Cycle of Pain.
  • 9 p.m. Music: Classic R&B singer, songwriter, and producer Bilal performs tunes inspired by this month’s theme, including selections from his album Love Surreal.
  • For info on where to go, where to park, and where to eat, check the Brooklyn Museum website.

Posted in Brooklyn, News |

So, You Want to Volunteer Abroad?

written by Ellen Freudenheim, MPH

So, You Want to Volunteer Abroad?

OK, so it sounds absolutely fabulous. Instead of traveling 5,000 miles to an exotic destination to stay in an American chain hotel, you join a volunteer army of international voluntary service workers. You sign up to work on a project of indisputable value, like building a school. And in just a week you garner rare insights into the previously unimaginable lives of Kenyan goat herders or Costa Rican grandmas.

Read full article on www.boomster.com.

Posted in Travel Articles |

Combine Eco-Travel

with Volunteering in Costa Rica

written by Ellen Freudenheim, MPH

Combine Eco-Travel with Volunteering in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a popular eco-tourist destination, is such a tiny nation (just 200 miles in length) that it’s easy to combine a few weeks of international volunteering with a good old-fashioned vacation. Here’s a brief run-down of how volunteers can combine ecotourism with service work in Costa Rica.

Read the full article at www.boomster.com.

Posted in Travel Articles |

Green Jobs

Over 4 Million Green Jobs Predicted (If You Can Wait Till 2030)

written by Ellen Freudenheim, MPH

Green Jobs

Imagine spending the rest of your career helping reduce the carbon footprint of your hometown, or helping schools cut costs by using wind power.

Seeking to “give back” and engage in work that feels meaningful (and also pays a salary), many baby boomers would love to find employment in a field that enhances environmental sustainability.

Over 4 Million Green Jobs Predicted (If You Can Wait Till 2030) Optimists say that the greening of the US economy will also create a huge spurt in job growth. Some experts think it will produce three times more jobs than the Internet has in the past decade. That’s huge.

Read the full article at www.boomster.com

Posted in Travel Articles |