Category: Japan

Japan Digital Books; Berenstain Bears’ App; Self-pubbed Bestseller DBW

Japan Digital Books

The other night while watching an installment of HGTV’s House Hunters I saw a young professional woman who works as a mortgage broker looking for a small apartment in Manhattan. When she entered one apartment and saw vast walls of built-in bookcases she said the bookcases would be the first thing she took down if she bought the place. Her reason was, “Who reads print books anymore? Didn’t these people ever hear of e-books or Kindle?” And this article about how e-books are moving forward in Japan is interesting because it seems to go along with the way reading habits are changing…not to mention the significance of e-books.

The Diet enacted a bill Friday to revise the copyright law to recognize publishing rights for electronic books. Under the revised law, which is set to take effect in January 2015, rights holders will be able to file suits to stop pirated digital books from being distributed on the Internet. Copyright holders of books and other publications have already been allowed to file such suits over electronic versions. The revised law is also designed to promote the distribution of digital books, whose market is growing due mainly to wider smartphone use.

You can read more about it here.

Berenstain Bears’ App

For those who have followed my Chase of a Lifetime series the Berenstain Bears are a favorite with Jim and Len’s son. The author of the children’s books also came from Solebury, PA, which is where I live (New Hope is the main post office for everyone.) And now there’s a BB app for Mother’s Day.

We Love Our Mom! is designed for 4-8 year olds. The interactive app includes tools to help teach vocabulary, as well as a feature that lets readers record their own narration.

It’s interesting to me mostly because I once read on a literary agent’s blog that technology and children in publishing would never come together. What that agent failed to understand is that most children between the ages of 4 and 8 can run circles around her when it comes to technology.

You can read more here.

Self-pubbed Bestseller DBW

Divergent has been holding its own on the DBW bestseller list, but it recently slipped in the ranks thanks to a self-published digital book.

Divergent is this year’s runaway top best-selling ebook in the U.S. — but it’s not the best-selling ebook this week. (In the UK, at the London Book Fair, the buzz around HarperCollins is about why Divergent is selling comparatively well abroad.)

The juggernaut has been stopped and sits at No. 2 on the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller list, making way for Fixed Trilogy Bundle, a collection of titles by self-published author Laurelin Paige.

It kind of has a Fifty Shades look to it, but I don’t know much about it. I just hope it didn’t reach this bestseller point due to more gaming. I don’t mind a little author/publisher subterfuge, within reason. I don’t think anyone selling anything commercial can claim sainthood. But I’m not fond of the all out vicious race we’ve been reading about and hearing about recently.

More here.

Brent Corrigan "Truth;" Orgasm Wars; Locker Room Culture

Brent Corrigan “Truth”

I’m going to be following this for a while, but I wanted to introduce the basics for anyone who hasn’t heard about it yet. Brent Corrigan is an adult entertainer who has been successful in an industry that many say is getting harder and harder to find success in thanks to the Internet and free content. In any event, Corrigan is making a film that’s not considered adult entertainment titled, Truth, and he’s having a fundraiser at in order to finish up and get the film released. I’ve posted about kickstarter and how people are raising funds for various artistic endeavors there, but never about Indiegogo. But what I find most interesting is that Corrigan is moving away from adult entertainment and he seems to be doing a very good job at applying his film experience to something that’s out of his proverbial box.

A suspenseful, psychological thriller, “Truth” exposes the hidden demons buried deep inside each and every one of us. After a chance encounter over the Internet, Caleb (Sean Paul Lockhart, “Milk”, “Judas Kiss”, “Chillerama”) meets and falls head over heels for Jeremy (Rob Moretti, “Crutch”, “An Affirmative Act”, “Snapshot”), and soon the line between love and lies blur.

You can read more here, and donate if you wish. I can’t promise anything, but I’m going to try to lobby Corrigan for a personal interview about the film.

For photo attribution at Wiki Commons click the photo itself.

Orgasm Wars

In Japan there’s a late night TV show called Orgasm Wars. The general theme revolves around a gay man trying to get a straight man off.

Dramatically narrated for a jokey effect, the variety program features straight Japanese porn star Ryou Sawai meeting his “opponent,” Takuya, in a warehouse. They exchange boasts of who will win and then get down to business. Takuya performs oral sex on the porn star but all the graphic action takes place discreetly in a covered box. Takuya has 40 minutes to finish the job as university students cheer on the contestants. (Quite the field trip.)

This isn’t exactly all that new. It might be for TV, but there have been adult web sites doing this for a long time. And it doesn’t take that much to get the alleged straight man off from what I’ve seen.

You can check it out here, where there’s a video.

Locker Room Culture

There isn’t much written about what’s being dubbed these days as locker room culture, and that’s partly because it’s considered private and kept toned down for reasons few want to discuss in public. But this article to which I’m linking gives a few good examples of what happens behind the closed doors of locker rooms in professional sports.

The rewards of acceptance in an NFL locker room are plentiful — players become part of a unit, have a chance to become secure financially and play a game they love. But, to fit in an NFL locker room means being able to survive a whirlwind lifestyle of mental stress, physical violence, egomaniacs and rampant testosterone. There’s constant teasing, taunting and testing to sort out who can take it. When everything works right, it leads to the strongest of bonds, the strongest of teams.

Sounds like high school to me. Instead of the mean girl cheerleaders you have the big bad bully jocks. Because, from what I gather if you try to buck this system…or ritual…it doesn’t end well. And there seem to be more who are willing to play by the rules of locker room culture than there aren’t just for sheer survival.

You can read more here. It’s a fascinating piece about how some players are bullied and hazed for sport and for ritual. And I would guess this is why most professional players who are gay remain hidden in the closet.