Amazon, Algorithms and the Art of Book Publishing

Amazon, aggressively expanding its publishing efforts, can sell a lot of books. But many writers don't want to publish to an algorithm, they care about making culture and art.


What's the Latest Development?

The news that Amazon would aggressively expand its publishing efforts by signing up authors has ruffled the feathers of many agents and publishers. In Room for Debate, the NYT asks if publishers are still needed. Dennis Johnson says they must be, "or why would Amazon go to such lengths to build a publishing program?" 

What's the Big Idea?

Amazon is expert in algorithms and can shift a lot of books, but beware of letting it put publishers out of business, warns Johnson, a publishers himself. "Dominating the industry is bad for all kinds of things we hold dear—free speech, great art and a rich and diverse culture. All of which is to say that yes, there is a need for publishers. Many of them."

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less