Monday, December 2, 2013

"Tougher Than Mothers" Ep #312 Dec 2nd at 9: 30 pm, Life 25


Episode #312  "Tougher Than Mothers."

Tonight at 9: 30 pm on NYC Life, channel 25, Dec 2nd, 2013

Frank Debonair talks about alternative voices. What are they in an age when the Civil Rights movement no longer occupies the headlines of news?   What are the new trends?  What does “coming out” mean? Is it still relevant in those days of gay rights?  Can a male writer truly impersonate a female character?  What about women who meddle in men’s territories, such as war? What kind of writers are they?


To find out our Private Book Investigator interviews:  Christopher Shinn, about his new play “Teddy Ferrara;” Deborah Copaken Kogan, about her modern version of Harvard “The Red Book," and Alan Jacobson, “No Way Out,” a new Karen Vail story.

 
The Book Worlds segment is a special on actor-turned-playwright-turned-author: Jason Odell Williams, and his first YA novel, "Personal Statement."

Molly Haskell, “My Brother, My Sister;” Dr. Joe Wenke “Papal Bull;” Lionel Shriver, “Big Brother;”  Norman E. Rosenthal, “The Gift of Adversity,” are this week part of the Pick of The Week.

The Book Case Team


Monday, November 18, 2013

To Be, Not Be or Be Be? Ep#311


Episode #11                        “To Be, not be, or Be Be?”

Broadcasting Nov 18th, 2013

Frank Debonair addresses the current state of the nation regarding the invasion of computers, and most precisely of the digital technology, in our lives.  Being himself a man of the Sixties, he has a hard time fathoming what a computer is or even what it is for.  Nonetheless, he understands that it is a hot topic giving a wide range of social and research writers new insights and opinions about the becoming of our society.


To appease his concerns, you could say to gain clarity, Frank sends the PBI to interview Douglas Rushkoff, “Present Shock;”  Patricia Churchland, “Touching a Nerve,” and Jonathan Crary, “24/7.”


For the Book World, Gabriel Levinson from the Antibookclub discusses the pros and cons of micro publishing.

The POTW for this week reflects the serious tone of the episode.  Frank Debonair introduces provocative titles, such as the ones by Avi Tuschman, “Our Political Nature,” “The Value of Violence,” by Benjamin Ginsberg, “The Family,” by David Laskin, and finally Salvatore Esposito, “Abu Ghraib: after the Scandal.”

Looking forwards

The Book Case Team

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Book Case Lit Salon #3, Nov 12th, At the Underground


Do not miss out tonight.  Tuesday Nov 12th, 2013. Book Case Literary Salon #3, at The Underground, 955 West End Avenue (corner with West 107th St). 212-531-4759, Subway: #1 to 103rd or 110th St. 7 pm; Ticket: Free. http://bookcasetv.com/bookcase-salon/  Book Case TV host, Frederic Colier, takes to the stage to discuss Part III of “Swimming in the Fishbowl,” an evening with authors Peter Murphy, Julie Mannix Von Zerneck and Kathy Hatfield, and Paul Lynch, who will participate in a conversation and share a thought or two about their unique books, outlook on life and creative process.

Please note the Salon will be taped for future broadcast on NYC LIFE.  By participating you accept to be on camera and possibly to appear on TV.


In "Secret Storms," Julie Mannix von Zerneck and Kathy Hatfield are mother and daughter, lost and found. Their memoir narrates their extraordinary true story of how they were separated at Kathy's birth and reunited only forty-three years later. Julie, a pregnant upper-class 19 year-old from Philadelphia is confined against her will to a state mental hospital after she refused to abort.  On April 19th 1964, she gives birth to a little girl and is forced to give her up for adoption.
Julie Mannix von Zerneck worked as an actress on Broadway and TV for many years and now collects rare antic books.  Kathy Hatfield teaches high school World Literature in Florida.

Set in the small town of Murn, Ireland, up-and-coming literary talent, Peter Murphy's second novel, "The River and Enoch O'Reilly tells the tale of Enoch O'Reilly, Elvis Impersonator, self-made preacher, and the nine mysterious deaths caused by the flooding of the town's river Rua. Enoch, an ex-seminarian doesn't believe in God but instead prays to Elvis.

Peter Murphy is a rock critic and the founder of the spoken-word music ensemble the Revelator Orchestra, based on his first novel, "John the Revelator." His articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, The Irish Times amongst others.


In “Red Sky in the Morning," from, first-time author Paul Lynch, is a novel which opens in1832. Coll Coyle, a new father and small farmer, has incurred the wrath of the owner of the land that he works. Events escalate. He goes on the run, pursued by the landowner’s manager, John Faller. Lynch describes Faller as the “incarnation of rational evil.” There can be no emotional engagement with him. He is a clever and deeply logical man. As the book unfolds, we see how he will utilize any circumstance to advance his cause.

Paul Lynch is from the small town of Carndonough on the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal, Ireland. A film critic by trade, Paul saw his first novel auctioned in the UK.

Book Case TV is a TV program airing on NYC Life, Mondays at 9:30 pm.  The program features authors from all walks of life, fiction and non-fiction, as well as personalities and stories from the publishing industry.
We look forward to seeing you. 
The Book Case Team

Monday, November 11, 2013

"Brooklyn World of Books," EP#310


Episode #10                        “Brooklyn World of Books”

Tonight on NYC LIFE, channel 25, Nov 11th,  2013

We have a great panel of guests on our program.  First, Frank Debonair introduces his reasons to talk about the Book Fest, located across the East River.  Once a year, Frank admits to venture outside Manhattan to a place called Brooklyn.



Private Book Investigator interviews Anabel Hernandez, “Narcotic,” for her controversial investigation about the drug cartels plaguing Mexico; while Andre Aciman, “Harvard Square,” looks into the problem of identity and becoming an American;  Ayana Mathis, “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie,” tells the story of the Great Migration through the eyes of an unforgettable family (Oprah’s Book Club).


Book World: Jill Schoolman from Archipelago Books discusses the pros and cons of non-profit publishing.

POTW segment features some of he authors we did not have time to interview at the Fest: “BiblioDeath” by Andrei Codrescu.  Mircea Cartarescu, “Blinding,” Juan Gabriel Vasquez, “The Sound of Things Falling,” and Ursula DeYoung, “Shorecliff."

The Book Case Team





Monday, November 4, 2013

"Self Mirroring a Self-Image," EP #309


Episode #9                        “Self Mirroring a Self-Image”

(broadcasting Nov 4th,  2013)

Frank Debonair talks about folks that self-publish their life story.  Because Frank receives so many cases, he has to be finicky about what cases he finds the most compelling.  Below is the list of the best samples he has come across over the last month.


The Private Book Investigator, Frederic Colier interviews, Grant Harper Reid, “Rhythm for Sale” about his grandfather Leonard Harper, a major show producer during the Harlem Renaissance. Missy B. Salick “Claiming Jeremiah,” talks about her ordeal with adoption, and Donna Mae Depola, “Twelve Tins,” shares a moving account of her life as a victim of incest.


The Book World segment will take us to Detroit with Andrew Gulli, publisher of the Strand Mystery Magazine.  Andrew is Greek and lives in Detroit  . . . PBI talks about bankruptcy.

For the Pick of The Week, Dan Lilie, “Soccer in the weeds” kicks off the segment.  Followed by Rosalie T. Turner, “March with Me.”  Jerome Walford, “Nowhere Man: You don’t know Jack.”  Lani Hall Alpert, “Emotional Memoirs.”

The Book Case Team


Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Case Literary Salon #2, Oct 29th 2013


Please come and join us for a new literary evening.

Tuesday October 29th, 2013. Book Case Literary Salon, The Underground, 955 West End Avenue (corner with West 107th St). 212-531-4759, Subway: #1 to 103rd or 110th St. 7 pm; Ticket: Free. http://bookcasetv.com/bookcase-salon/  Book Case TV host, Frederic Colier, takes to the stage to discuss Part II “Swimming in the Fishbowl,” an evening with authors Deborah Copaken Kogan, Andrew Gross, and Lodro Rinzler, who will participate in a conversation and share a thought or two about their unique outlook on life and creative process.

Please note the Salon will be taped for future broadcast on NYC LIFE.  By participating you accept to be on camera and possibly to appear on TV.

Altered Ego Entertainment, the company behind Book Case TV, resumes its Book Case Literary Salon, a literary initiative bringing together the best authors with a live audience.

Book Case Salon is a literary series, started in 2012, for those tired of impersonal entertainment that leaves them bored and empty.  Twice a month, the salon will offer book lovers, the opportunity to mingle with their favorite authors and engage in passionate and intimated dialogues.  The aim of the salon is to create a new but old-fashioned literary experience, writers and readers in conversation in the style of the Round Table at the Algonquin, and to curate important works from a wide range of authors.
The main characters of Deborah Copaken Kogan “The Red Book,” like all Harvard grads, have kept abreast of one another via the red book, a class report published every five years, containing alumni autobiographical essays. But there's the story we tell the world, and then there's the real story, as these former classmates will learn during their twentieth reunion, a relationship-changing, score-settling, unforgettable weekend.

Best selling author Deborah Copaken Kogan, “The Red Book,” sparked a firestorm with her explosive essay in the Nation, and her experience as a 21st-century female author was marked by slut-shaming, name-calling and an enduring lack of respect.  After working as a war photographer, and publishing several books, notably “Shutterbabe,” Deborah is back to the frontline with a moving novel.

Lodro Rinzler, “Walk Like a Buddha,” very much a figure of Generation Y, speaks more candidly and honestly than most to the growing number of people in this country who, as the recent Pew Forum on Religion cited in 2012, consider themselves spiritual but not religious.  His book is packed with advices for the everyday spirituality.

Lodro Rinzler’s advice and relationship columns appear regularly in the Huffington Post and Marie Claire online, and he has been featured in numerous publications, including Tricycle and the Shambhala Sun, Bloomberg Businessweek and Real Simple.


In Andrew Gross, “No Way Back,” Wendy Gould is an attractive mother and wife, who after a spat with her husband, strikes up a conversation with a charismatic stranger.  While struggling with her senses after ending in his hotel room, she becomes the witness of the horrifying killing of the charismatic stranger.  Now she has to run away to save herself and prove her innocence . . . Everyone believes she committed the murder.

Andrew Gross is the author of the NYT and International Bestsellers, “15 Seconds,” “Eyes Wide Open,” “The Blue Zone,” “The Dark Tide,” “Don’t Look Twice,” and “Reckless.”  He is also the co-author of five #1 bestsellers with James Patterson.  His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages.

Come and meet these unique authors in person, ask them questions about their creative process, their characters, their explorations of life, unveil their limitations, and go home inspired.
The Book Case TV Salon.  When: Tuesday Oct 29th, from 7 to 9 pm.  Where: at the Underground, 955 West End Avenue (corner with West 107th Street). 212-531-4759, www.bookcasetv.com/bookcase-salon/ Subway: #1 to 103rd or 110th St. Tickets: Free. Must purchase ticket ahead to attend.  More info on www.bookcasetv.com
Book Case TV is a TV program airing on NYC Life, Mondays at 9:30 pm.  The program features authors from all walks of life, fiction and non-fiction, as well as personalities and stories from the publishing industry.

Monday, October 21, 2013

"French Flair" EP #308


“French Flair”  episode #308, broadcasting Oct 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm on NYC Life, channel 25

In this episode, Frank Debonair gets trapped in a nasty French business. He receives a phone call from the French President who laments the fact that he has lost his hat . . .  Frank promises to retrieve it.  Who could have the audacity to commit such a heinous act?  To help him with this task, Frank sends a Private Book Investigator to question the following French related suspects:



The PBI interviews: Antoine Laurain, “The President’s Hat,” a book about the ordeal of the president’s hat; James MacNamus, “Black Venus,” a fictional rendition of the life of Charles Baudelaire’s muse; and Christopher Launois, “L’Americain,” a book about his French-born father, fame post world war II photographer, John Launois.



The Book World segment goes into depth at Mysterious Bookshop, down in Tribeca, and our host talks with Ian Kern too see what he is hiding from the public.

In the Pick of the Week: “Mastering the Art of French Eating,” by Ann Mah, “The Suicide Shop” by Jean TeulĂ©, and “Where Tigers are at Home” by Jean-Marie Blas De Robles take the center stage.

The Book Case Team


Monday, October 14, 2013

"More Thrills Than Frills" EP #307


Episode #307  “More Thrills than Frills”

10-21-13, on NYC LIFE, channel 25, at 9:30 pm.

Dear Audience,

We are back with a new pack of six exciting episodes.  We had to take some time off to work on our new series, the Book Case Literary Salon, which we are currently shooting.

In tonight episode, we give the stage to women crime writers.  Frank Debonair introduce them as the next best things since Agatha Christie.  Recorded at Thriller Fest, 2013, you will meet Gayle Lynds, the co-founder of ITW, Heather Graham, Meg Gardiner, and Laura Caldwell.





For the Pick of the Week, we felt obligated to stay on theme with honoring all these hard at work female authors to promote some of the most intriguing releases this Fall.  These books are “Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, edited by Sarah Weinman”; “Seduction,” by M.J. Rose; “The Husband's Secret,” by Liane Moriarty, and “The Thinking Guide to Real Magic,” by Emily Croy Barker.

The Book Case Team       




Tuesday, September 10, 2013

First Book Case TV Salon, Oct 1st at the Underground


Dear Book Case TV aficionados,

We are in and rolling with our new season of Book Case TV Salon.

Tuesday October 1st, 2013. Book Case Literary Salon, The Underground, 955 West End Avenue (corner with West 107th St). 212-531-4759, www.bookcasetv.com/bookcase-salon/.  Subway: #1 to 103rd or 110th St. 7 pm; $20. Book Case TV host, Frederic Colier, takes to the stage to discuss “Swimming in the Fishbowl,” an evening with authors Slash Coleman, Ilana Garon, and Ophira Eisenberg, who will participate in a lively conversation about their newly published memoirs and diaries, and share a thought or two about their unique outlook on life.

Altered Ego Entertainment, the company behind Book Case TV, resumes its Book Case Salon, a literary initiative bringing together the best authors with a live audience.

Book Case Salon is a literary series, started in 2012, for those tired of impersonal entertainment that leaves them bored and empty.  Twice a month, the salon will offer book lovers, the opportunity to mingle with their favorite authors and engage in passionate and intimated dialogues.  The aim of the salon is to create a new but old-fashioned literary experience, writers and readers in conversation in the style of the Round Table at the Algonquin, and to curate important works from a wide range of authors.
Our first guests:  Slash Coleman, “The Bohemian Love Diaries.”  Descended from a posse of off-beat immigrants and raised in the capital of the Confederacy during the ’70 and ‘80s, young Slash sets out to find true love while remaining true to his creative spirit.  Unfortunately, he’s also his own worst enemy . . . Award-winning storyteller Slash Coleman produced and starred in the PBS special "The Neon Man."  He writes a blog for Psychology Today, is a regular contributor to Storytelling magazine and has appeared on NPR series, "How Artists Make Money."




Ilana Garon, “Why Do Only White People Get Abducted by Aliens?” To understand the plight of our public school, political correctness needs to get taken out with last week’s cafeteria leftovers.  Ilana discards the teacher-hero illusion found in popular culture
Ilana Garon is an English teacher at a public high school in the Bronx.  She also writes about education issues for Dissent Magazine, Huffington Post, and Education Week.






Ophira Eisenberg, “Screw Everyone, Sleeping My Way to Monogamy.” Believing she could outsmart and out-bed them all, Ophira approached dating like a science experiment . . . Ophira will bare it out, saying yes to everyone and everything, hoping to find the “real thing” eventually . . .  A stand-up comedian, writer, and host of NPR's new weekly trivia show, "Ask Me Another," Ophira Eisenberg has appeared on the “Late Late show with Craig Ferguson,” Comedy Central, VH1, E!, and TV Guide Network.




Come and meet these unique authors in person, ask them questions about their creative process, their characters, their explorations of life, unveil their limitations, and go home inspired.
The Book Case TV Salon.  When: Tuesday Oct 1st, from 7 to 9 pm.  Where: at the Underground, 955 West End Avenue (corner with West 107th Street). 212-531-4759, www.bookcasetv.com/bookcase-salon/ Subway: #1 to 103rd or 110th St. Tickets: $20. Must purchase ticket ahead to attend.  More info on www.bookcasetv.com
Book Case TV is a TV program airing on NYC Life, Mondays at 9:30 pm.  The program features authors from all walks of life, fiction and non-fiction, as well as personalities and stories from the publishing industry.

Monday, August 19, 2013

"Second Thrill Around," EP #306, Book Case TV


Dear Book Lovers

You can watch the trailer for the new Book Case TV,  Episode #6 “Second Thrill Around”  tonight on NYC Life 25, broadcasting Aug 19th, 2013, at 9:30 pm, click here below.


Frank Debonair is certain that most people who write and read genre fiction such as crime novels do not know the difference between a mystery and a thriller novel.  Frank hopes to clarify this misunderstanding.

On a visit to the annual Thriller Fest in NY, host Frederic Colier interviews Michael Connelly, whose new novel The Gods of Guilt will be released in the fall. 


He also sits down with Joseph Finder, whose novel Paranoia has hit movie screens nationwide. Michael Palmer, author of Political Suicide, takes the hot seat to talk about antibiotics and their increasing resistance to bacteria.  Finally John Lescroart discusses his novel The Ophelia Cut.



The Pick of the Week include: Sandstorm by Alan L. Lee,  The Silent Wife by  A.S.A Harrison, Seven for a Secret  by Lyndsay Faye, and Crime of Privilege by Walter Walker.
Looking forward


The Book Case Team



Monday, August 12, 2013

"Men on the Wire," EP #305


"Men on the Wire"  episode #305, Broadcast 08-12-13 at 9:30 pm on NYC Life channel 25.

Book private investigator Frank Debonair marvels at stories of courage.  But does he himself have any courage? Does investigating require him to be courageous?  He introduces his two guests who do not lack any of it.

The interview segment includes:  Philippe Petit, and his new book on knots, called “Why Knot?”  The book is replete with biographical anecdotes about all his famous climbs: the Eiffel tower, St John the Divine Cathedral, The World Trade Center.
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The second guest is a war correspondent for numerous magazines and a filmmaker:  Sebastian Junger, whose book “War” retraces his year-long rotation with Tim Hetherington in the Korengal valley in Afghanistan.  "Restrepo," the Sundance Award Winner for best documentary was shot during this year-long experience.
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Book World: Hutch Morton (Digital Premiere Publishing) discusses the reasons he created a brand new publishing company, just two years ago, especially when most people can self-publish and bypass publishers.

The Pick of the Week includes:  Daniel James Brown, “The Boys in the Boats.” Darryl Cunningham, “How to Fake A Moon Landing.” Jerry DeWitt, “Hope After Faith,” and  Jim Marrs, “Our Occulted History.”

The Book Case Team

Monday, August 5, 2013

"These Foreign Affairs," EP #304


Episode #4                        “These Foreign Affairs”

Broadcast Aug 5, 2013 at 9:30 pm on NYC Life, channel 25.

Book private investigator Frank Debonair reaches out beyond the borders to authors from other countries and books about foreign affairs, and all this without ever leaving New York.

Interviews include Ann Lee, the author of What the U.S. Can Learn From China, and Lori St John, who talks about how the Vatican helped her save a man’s life in Corruption of Innocence.  Nancy Kricorian, who was born in the U.S. and is of Armenian descent, narrates the French-Armenian resistance during WWII in All the Light There Was.

In the Book World segment, Canadian Marc Lefebvre from Kobo discusses the e-reading services company.
BCTV_EP304-13

The Pick of the Week selections include: The Rent Collector by Camron Wright, We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo, and Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller.  Matt Gross's “The Turk Who Loved Apples,” closes the episode.

The Book Case Team         bookcasethemelogo1.png

Monday, July 29, 2013

"The Belly of a Buddha" EP #303


Episode #3                        “The Belly of a Buddha”

Tonight July 29, 2013, at 9:30 pm on NYC Life, channel 25

Book private investigator Frank Debonair shares the ordeals he came across while searching for clues about books dealing with the food industry.

In a series of interviews, viewers meet Jayson and Mira Calton, the authors of Rich Food Poor Food as well as Ken Wheaton (Bacon and Egg Man) and Brooke Alpert (The Sugar Detox).

In Book World, Jenn Risko from Shelf Awareness, a free e-newsletter about books and the book industry, discusses her website, aimed at providing food for thoughts.


 In the Pick of the Week segment, the selections include: Simply Allergy-Free by Elizabeth Gordon, Easy Sexy Raw by Carol Alt, Betty Goes Vegan by Dan and Annie Shannon, Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet by Jamie Koufman, and Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson.

Looking forward

The Book Case Team 

Monday, July 22, 2013

"Still Young at Heart," EP #302


 Episode #2                         “Still Young at Heart”

Broadcast July 22, 2013

Book private investigator Frank Debonair realizes that to become a young adult author all you need is to be young at heart. He talks about his discoveries unveiled at Book Expo America.
Host Frederic Colier interviews NERDS series writer Michael Buckley (The Villain Virus), Michelle Tea (Mermaid in Chelsea Creek), and special effects designer Mark Woods and his charming monster, Gugor, from The Creatures Department, book written by Robert Paul Weston. He also learns everything about the Ice Age with Relic author Heather Terrell.

BCTV_EP302-02

In Book World, Acacia O’Connor from the National Coalition Against Censorship talks about banned children books in schools and libraries.

The Pick of the Week segment includes several young adult authors, including: Jessica Verdi (My Life After Now), Tyler Whitesides (Janitors), Holly Goldberg Sloan (Counting by 7s), and Laurie Boyle Crompton, the author of Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains).

The Book Case TV Team


Monday, July 15, 2013

Season Premiere, "American Voices Standing up" #301


Episode #1                        “American Voices Standing Up”

We are back with a great new season, great authors and books.  Tonight at 9:30 pm on NYC Life, channel 25. 

What's new and different.  First, we are introducing the new Book Case TV's private book investigator, Frank Debonair.  He talks about his investigation about New American Voices.  He manages to discover some of them at the yearly Book Expo America, original voices coming from different horizons and changing the face of the publishing industry.

AT BEA, host, Frederic Colier interviews romance writer: Bella Andre, “The Look of Love.”  Social Drama new comer: Koethi Zan, “The Never List.”  Erotica writer: Lisa Renee Jones, “Being Me,”  and sci-fi sensation: Hugh Howey, “Wool.”



For the Book World segment:  Steve Gottlieb from Shindig.com, a platform dedicated to live online events takes the stand.  He explains how the platform works.  The host takes a test drive with Mary Higgins Clark live.

The Pick of The Week segment focuses entirely on first-time novelists: Stuart Nadler, “Wise Men.”  Erin Morgenstern, “The Night Circus.”  Louisa Hall, “The Carriage House.” And Iris Smyles, “Iris Has Free Time.”

Don't miss it! 

Also we are almost done redoing our website. . .  Best way to keep in touch with us is to sign up for our newsletter.  Take me there

Looking forward to your feedback

The Book Case TV Team


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Should We Worry about the Big 6?


Should we worry about the survival of the six main publishing houses? This question has been occupying lots of minds, given the massive change in technology and arrival of new players. After reading Mark Coker's blog, which featured a compelling analysis of the pricing of e-books, I felt equally compelled to opine on the matter. Mark is the founder of Smashwords.com, a smashing online company, which helps individuals self-publish their works, in e-book format, through all the standard channels (except Amazon). The post is packed with useful information: notably that e-buyers prefer books that are over 100,000 words, and that $3.99 seems to be the price tipping point for volume sales. But Mark also makes some predictions about the future of the printed book, at least his tone implies it. He predicts that within five years most books will be sold to be read on a device, which intentional or not, appears to be a warning to the main publishing houses. I'm skeptical, because whether printed books disappear or not is irrelevant. Big behemoths know how to survive, and history teaches us that the biggest chance of survival lies in their camp.

Talking about history, I have lived through three technical and cultural revolutions, and I'm still in my 40s. Even though, the upheavals were in different industries, their progression towards change reflects the same pattern. When markets behave irrationally, their trends carry a definite logic. What is happening to the publishing industry is not that different from what happened to the music and film businesses.

I recall clearly the 80s when the four-track home recording studio landed like God's gift to hordes of frustrated musicians. Suddenly, there was an explosion of garage bands, all types of bands, making records, creating record labels. Some of these homegrown labels became important players. Remember Rough Trade Records in the UK or even IRS Records in the US? But how many of these indie houses still exist today? How many of the bands of this era survived? A handful: the Police, the Clash, Duran Duran, I dare say, being the only ones still playing . . . Not much for posterity given the amount of ink poured out. What happened was that the small fish were gobbled up by the large ones. Today the music business is ruled by just three main companies, mainly the result of its failure to adjust too late to new technology. Nonetheless, after all the commotion, the fears, stability has returned. The industry is controlled by even more powerful players. Of course it will never be like the good old days, but consolidations, mergers and acquisitions helped the big guys to survive. The music market contracted and corrected itself.

The same contortions have been underway in the film business. The arrival of the video camera gave birth to legions of filmmakers over the last ten years. Film companies and distributors were created overnight. An army of mushroom-like film festivals follow the demand in order to soak up the glut of film releases, leading obviously to the collapse of the minimum guarantee (the fee a distributor pays upfront) and shrinking theatrical windows. Today, it is virtually impossible to make a living as a filmmaker. The entire structure imploded under its own weight (supply and demand) and is nowhere near the light at the end of the tunnel. But the best companies were acquired during their heydays, Shooting Gallery, New Line Cinema, and so on. If there is a sign pointing at the future, the big Hollywood studios are smiling. Having turned their backs on the independent films, they have never fared better in worldwide box offices.

So where does this leave us in terms of our six major publishing houses? Are the big guys worried about self-publishing? I doubt it as well. They may see a temporary lack of earnings, but the long-term scale unarguably tips in their favor. Great companies are like tankers. They can only be involved with large projects to make their time worthwhile. To bring a tanker cruising to a halt takes miles. Big players can only get involved with big momentum. Like everyone who was playing in the band 10 years ago, and was making a film five years ago, these days, everyone is writing a novel. Writing a novel is the new trend. Anyone can do it and publish it. But to make a living out of it? How many have the patience, the burning desire to share what they believe they have to say, and the spirit of entrepreneurship? Very few. Besides, not everyone is creative or knows how to sustain a creative career. The writer's life is like free falling without a net. Few can withstand it. In the next five-10 year window, most of today's new writers will have retired. The future successful writers will be those who will have invested much of their time building a platform and proven their writing competence. Think of the Jeff Kinney, Hugh Howey types, exceptions who can sell mass volume through their own efforts. Writing will remain a hobby for the majority. The big publishers can wait for the natural selection to happen on its own, to scoop up the most promising commercial talents. Does the name E L James mean anything?

Likewise, are they worried about new companies on the block: the likes of Open Road Media, Argo Nevis or Diversion Books? I doubt this too, because they must appear like irresistible candies. Who would not want a new company producing great titles, hunting high and low for back catalogues, leading with innovative marketing plans, and capturing market shares? The laws of jungle still apply to the book market however. With so much competition around, the growth these companies are experiencing is just not sustainable. While for the time being, the sky is the limit, over time, the weakest of these new companies will go bankrupt, and the most performing ones will either sell themselves or accept to be acquired for mouth-watering premiums. Good Read took the lead and accepted to be taken over by Amazon. Penguin is merging with Random, while Amazon is buying back catalogues from smaller publishers. Consolidation is happening now.

This trend is underway in the media front as well. Dreamworks taking over Awesomeness TV (a YouTube channel!), TWC buying a chunk of Hulu, Yahoo acquiring Tumblr, are no coincidence. Should the publishing industry panic? The horizon for the big publishing houses looks pretty bright. The savvy and shrewd business people know that this evolution is just temporary bad weather. Why risk millions of dollars in investments and human resources, when someone maverick is willing to take all the risks on your behalf, for free? Why start new time consuming ventures, when once the new company's foundations have been laid and tested, you can simply buy it? The tendency is to jump on the bandwagon, afraid to be left behind or miss important opportunities. But there is wisdom in chaos. So whether print books disappear in the next five years is not important, because the new leaders will be annexed and consolidated along the way. And this is great news for Smashwords, because if the company keeps expanding drastically, it could become the lucky target of a much bigger fish, with Amazon or B&N ogling over, finding their business too seducing to resist. Shine bright and you will attract all the attention.

Frederic Colier