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Just over a week ago Jeff Bezos, the mastermind behind Amazon.com the largest bookseller on the planet made the announcement that Amazon was looking into the possibility of offering expedited deliveries some time in the future by drone. That’s right, picture a drone flying up to your house with a package containing the latest novel by Nora Roberts, or that ink cartridge you needed for your printer. Sounds like science fiction, right?
Of course this mention of Amazon drone deliveries by Bezos has gotten a ton of press. People are still talking about it. Which leads this observer to observe that the timing was perfect and that this was more of a well-timed PR stunt that anything else. Here’s why I think that: Bezos made the announcement on the big shopping weekend after Thanksgiving. The next day was the humongous internet sales day; Cyber Monday. Amazon is the beast of the internet. All their billions in sales are executed on-line. Bezos was hyping Amazon and thus hyping Cyber Monday. The press ate it up. Mission accomplished. Drone delivery was actually PR delivery. Smart guy this Jeff Bezos.
Will we ever see drone delivery by Amazon? Perhaps. But I think in this case we were seeing another example of Amazon hype delivery by their clever founder. And not much more than that… what do you think??
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what do you think?
Buzz Aldrin was the second man on the moon. With the passing of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the lunar surface, Buzz is now our senior moon walker. I interviewed Buzz on my radio show back in the 1990’s. Actually, I interviewed him on two separate occasions about books that he had written. I have also interviewed the astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man on the moon.
Buzz put out another book in May, “Mission to Mars.” It was published by National Geographic. I was excited about the possibility of interviewing him again. Neil Armstrong was still living when I interviewed Buzz Aldrin. I am curious to hear what Buzz has to say about Neil now.
When I talked to Buzz I had asked him if it bothered him at all that Neil got to go first. Buzz was diplomatic with his reply but one still got the sense that it bothered him just a little bit. I was excited about the prospect of talking to him again.
National Geographic sent me some press material on the book and indicated that Buzz was available for interviews. I had an e-mail correspondence with his publicist. She said that he had a busy schedule but she would see about booking an interview with me.
I waited a while and when I didn’t hear back I e-mailed her again to indicate I was still very interested in an interview. She wrote me back and said that Buzz would not be in my area any time soon. I was surprised at that response. I reminded her in an e-mail that the other times I talked to Buzz he was on the phone. I didn’t expect him to come to Ohio just to see me.
She never replied. The other day I got an e-mail from her to promote a different book. I wrote her back and reminded her that I was still hoping to talk to Buzz. I still am hoping.
She hasn’t responded so far.I was thinking that since I had interviewed Buzz twice before that might give me a slight bit of leverage. I guess not.
Actually, I would be surprised if she even told him I was interested in another interview. This was surely a case of not being able to get past his gatekeeper.
Buzz is an American hero. I wish I could tell him that again… did I ever tell you about the time I interviewed John Glenn? That’s right, I have interviewed four different astronauts.
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The melting slushpile
Best-selling author Tom Clancy has died. He was 66. I never interviewed him. Actually, I never really tried to book an interview with him. He was already too famous by the time I started interviewing writers. Here’s his obit from the NT Times: click here
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If you had asked me what are the chances that music legend Kenny Rogers would ever write a novel I would have answered: nope, no way, won’t happen. Well, apparently I was wrong.
“What Are the Chances” (Forge) is his first novel. It is set in Nashville and the main character is Ronnie Breed, a musician who has just experienced the break-up of his chart-topping rock band.
Some of you might recall that Kenny Rogers first came to musical fame as the singer with a rock band called The First Edition. Write what you know, write?
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what do you think?
Sad news this week, the novelist Elmore Leonard died at his home in the Detroit area. He had a long and distinguished career. He wrote some classic westerns back at the beginning. Many other great novels, too. I always wanted to interview him. I never really tried to get an interview. I figured that there was little chance of that ever happening. Some writers are just too famous or truly sacred to approach.
I just picked up the new novel by Carsten Stroud. The book is called “The Homecoming” (Knopf). I noticed that Elmore gave it a nice blurb. Here’s what he said: “Terrific dialogue, oddball characters, and a wild story make this a great read.”
Do you ever read books because somebody who you admire has given them a good blurb? I do. Some authors give so many blurbs that it tends to dilute the power of them. Elmore Leonard was never a big blurber. I respected that. Then there are guys like Lee Child. He’s really generous with his blurbs. Maybe a bit too generous.
James Lee Burke hardly ever gives blurbs. Ian Rankin never does. If I ever see a blurb from Rankin I will be reading that book right away.
So I am wondering… was that Elmore’s final blurb? Probably not. These things seem to take on lives of their own. I’ll be watching to see if any others turn up.
Missing you, Elmore.
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J.K. Rowling published “The Cuckoo’s Calling” earlier this year. This crime fiction novel was published under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith. The book got good reviews but it wasn’t selling very well. Nobody realized that she had actually written it.
Then the word leaked out that she was the actual author and the book vaulted into the best-sellers. I was just listening to the Scottish novelist Ian Rankin talking about the book on BBC Radio 2. Rankin’s US publisher also distributes “The Cuckoo’s Calling” in the US. Rankin lives in Edinburgh and Rowling was his neighbor for many years. He seemed a bit sad to relate that the publisher never sent him an advance copy of “The Cuckoo’s Calling.” One can only imagine that an “advance” copy of the book would be a highly collectible item.
Have you read “The Cuckoo’s Calling” ? What did you think of it?
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Publishers send out catalogs to promote upcoming book releases. The Rodale Press just sent one out. One of the books they are promoting will be out next February. Check out this press release then please leave a comment with your opinion of this book. Thanks.
Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight
The Science-Based Diet for Chocolate lovers
by WIll ClOWER, PhD
“An innovative plan that teaches readers how to lose weight by indulging in a “guilty” pleasure:
Dispelling the myth that chocolate is just a “junk food,” Dr. Will Clower uses cutting-edge research to
highlight the health benefits of consuming chocolate on a daily basis. Readers will learn how the anti-
oxidants found in chocolate can boost metabolism and how, by eating chocolate in specific ways, they
can pull their “sweet tooth” so they eat less sugar and control cravings. Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight
features the Chocolate Challenge—an 8-week, science-based plan designed to help readers relieve
stress, promote heart health, lower blood sugar, stop cravings, increase metabolism, and shed pounds.
Featuring a 6-week meal plan and more than 50 delicious chocolate recipes, Eat Chocolate, Lose
Weight contains meal options for days when readers can’t get enough of their favorite flavor, as well as
times when they may want to hide chocolate in other foods while still taking advantage of its health
benefits. The book also includes information on which chocolate provides the most health benefits and
weight loss and the optimal amount of daily chocolate intake. Complete with stories and tips from real
people who have tried the plan and lost more than 75 pounds, readers can finally have their chocolate
and eat it too! “
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that's what they say
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