A gathering of the minds

1. CAMP. 2. Bookstores: Who Needs ‘Em

You’ve never seen so many iPhones in one place. At this afternoon’s Book Camp NY, “an Unconference to Discuss Books and Publishing,” name tags featured titles and twitter handles, and the #bcnyc hashtag was presented to the crowd along with the opening remarks. In one panel, an audience member went to the white board to make sure everyone knew the discussion leaders’ handles (in this instance Lauren Cerand and Richard Nash, a.k.a, @luxlotus and @r_nash, respectively). Instead of nodding heads, good points were indicated by the number of smartphones that emerged to tweet in agreement (caught redhanded, that’s me, @benasam, tweeting: http://twitpic.com/3cxuf3).

1. Paul Biba of TeleRead framed by Bookgluttons. 1. @ami_with_an_i@R_Nash

But it wasn’t all tweets and retweets. Book Camp was an Unconference for “bookish people working in all different areas of publishing” where each bookish participant was invited to suggest or host a session to discuss the the perils and progress of today’s publishing world.

Meanwhile, on Twitter.

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Attendees were varied, among them were editors and publicists, writers and programmers, and the discussions prompted a mixture of hand-wringing and hands saluting the future. Jason Boog gave a presentation called: “Love Is a Mixtape: What Publishers, Authors and Journalists Can Learn from Indie Rock and Music Blogs,” which can be found online here. Lauren Cerand and Richard Nash hosted an insightful but irreverent discussion on Post Media Publicity. Nash, in particular, had some tweetable tidbits: “The problem is the solution,” “Twitter is fairy dust,” “literary publishing is a community based on saying ‘no,’” and “we’re making culture, not pimping books” (the last of which I’m considering as a tattoo).

–Benjamin Samuel is Electric Literature’s Assistant Editor & also a man about town.

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