Week #4 – Books & Magazines

Week #4 – Books & Magazines

Did you miss week #3 < — go here

In more Media Consolidations news… Design Software Giants ADOBE set to acquire FIGMAArticle via Forbes

**Here is the class zoom recording from 9/21 below –

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/X6WcmwVrEbRng86NmtK4VfiIPtOM1pIUiFh8CW-PdT1ei69wgzrLtacnFEmOE2Wg.ZVgfT_oJBkrscMVU

Passcode: Mt7Wut!v

Its time to talk about our semester’s Final Term Paper, the process and time-line of submissions! Exciting times!

Here are the details via the Syllabus:

  • Final Term Paper Details – Students are required to write one term paper on a topic related to media (6 pages – NOT including the bibliography). All essays must document their sources. I suggest following the APA style to document sources (Reference: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/). All essays (including the draft) must be submitted to me via e-mail – rseslow@york.cuny.edu – the essays will incorporate a “scaffolding” process to guide students toward longer written assignments. The scaffolded assignment structure pulls first from the courses reflective blog posts; you will select one of these topics to expand upon for your formal final term paper. Students will first submit a final paper topic proposal via e-mail. (Brief 1-2 paragraph description of the topic and how it will be researched and discussed) After your topic has been approved, you must submit a rough draft at specified due dates; at this time, the professor will propose revisions to the rough draft and a classroom writing workshop will allow students to engage with the material and learn from each other in improving elements of style, organization, content, and editing. Following this process ensures the professor and students remain engaged in an ongoing dialogue that continuously progresses and improves the final drafts which will be turned in at the midpoint and end of the semester.

Final Term Paper Time-line:

  1. Between 9/21 -10/7 students will work on and submit a final term paper topic proposal via e-mail. (1-2 paragraph description of the topic and how it will be researched and discussed)

2. During the week of 10/19 – Students will submit a final term paper Bibliography / sources page (yes you can more as you go)

3. During the week of 11/9 – Students will submit a final term paper draft

4. During the week of 12/7 – Students will submit their final term paper

Books & Magazines

Let’s watch this report from CNBC about book sales in the U.K. – (2019)

In comments section below, please answer the follow questions:

What is your overall reaction?

  1. When was the last time you purchased a book (paper or digital) that is not a textbook? What book was it?
  2. What is your preferred way of reading? Paper or digital? Explain why?
  3. Recommend a book to your fellow classmates. Explain why you think they should read it.

Please write a 150 – 300-word response and post it into the comments section below, preferably by our next class time. You will also need to comment on one of your classmates’ responses by the following week as well. Engage!

(***I strongly suggest that you generate your response(s) using a word processing application like ms word, pages or notes first, make the necessary spelling and grammatical corrections and then copy and paste your work into the comments section below***)


CHAPTER 3 -> Excerpts

BOOKS AND MAGAZINES

Excerpts from CHAPTER 3

**Although the textbook is not mandatory for our class, I will reference it and share excerpts and info from it – I do find that you may find it helpful as a companion, as well as a resource for your final term paper. (The book’s info is on the course syllabus page.)

EARLY PRINT MEDIA
Greek epics (Odyssey)
Japanese Tale of Genji (11th Century)

CHINA: INVENTION OF PAPER
105 CE (AD 105)
Tsai Lun – Also developed brushes and ink
Carved printing blocks in pieces of wood
By 1051, the Chinese put together a metal, clay and wooden press.
Check this -> Video link

IMPORTANCE OF MONKS
Many devoted their lives to copying text and creating beautiful illustration
Book of Kells (800 CE)
Illustrated manuscript
Gospel book in Latin
Housed in Trinity College Dublin
Video Link

THE GUTENBERG REVOLUTION
Gutenberg Bible (1455)
Mass production of books, newsletters, handbills at low cost (one-fifth the cost of copying by hand)
Earliest publications: Bible, prayer books, hymnals

Beyond religious works: broadside ballads, chapbooks, entertainment Libraries
First lending library in 1602; England
Bookstalls – Located in railway stations

FIRST AMERICAN PRINT MEDIA
Bay Psalm Book (1640)
Harvard Press
Poor Richard’s Almanack (1732)
Benjamin Franklin
“moral advice”
Paine’s Common Sense
Sold 100,000 copies in 10 weeks

Subscription libraries
Again, B. Franklin
Magazines
Gentleman’s Magazine (1731)
“elegant and amusing writing”
Miscellanies
Small, far-flung, diverse audience

Copyright Act of 1790
Gave authors, publishers exclusive rights
Royalties paid to reproduce work
Magazines limited to better-educated, wealthy elite, and a small, growing middle-class

Publishers took up political causes: “Federalist Papers”
Port Folio – Federalist Party
First magazine with substantial national circulation

Literary miscellanies: Saturday Evening Post (early 1800s)
Introduced American writers
Illustrated weeklies: Harper’s Weekly introduced Civil War drawings

America reads
Improved conditions for books, magazines
Higher wages
Urban middle class
Economies of scale
Improved printing technology
Greater demand for print media

Last of the Mohicans (1826)
Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)
Dime novels: Horatio Alger
The Postal Act of 1879
Reliance on advertising
New genres, “pulp” fiction (pushed social bounds)

MODERN MUCKRAKING
Investigative reporting
Reformers pushed for justice
Targets corruption, abuse of power
The Nation
Mother Jones
Web magazines
Blogs

MODERN MAGAZINES
After 1920s, magazines competed with radio and film
Some magazines tried mass appeal; others targeted narrow, loyal audiences
Advertising shifted to television, though many magazines thrived

After the Great Recession of 2007, magazines were considered “luxury” items
Fewer ad pages
Lower circulation
Began a rebound in 2012

Proliferation of specialized magazines
1950: 250 magazines
Today, there are more than 20,700 magazines
Desktop publishing & Web lowered barriers to entry

BOOK PUBLISHING GIANTS
As printing costs declined and more Americans could afford books, publishing grew
“Book” rate for mailing books
Book clubs popularized reading
WWII began paperback era

Image of book publisher is changing
Definition of “book” has changed
e-book
audiobook
number of books continues to rise

Publishing industry growing
Publishers selling directly to public
Bookstore chains publishing own books
On-demand public domain titles
Amazon Kindle Direct
Google Books

Publishing industry growing
Technology is helping conventional publishers
Social media, consumer databases
In China, mobile devices/Internet more popular than e-readers
Cell phone apps needed

FROM CHAPBOOK TO E-BOOK
After Gutenberg
Rotary press (1846)
Photoengraving (1861)
Offset printing (post-WWII)
Computer to plate (1970s)
Desktop publishing (1990s)
Bar-code/“QR” scanners (2000s)

PUBLISHING
Four evolutions
E-commerce (Amazon)
Kindle’s impact on e-books
On-demand and self-publishing of books
Google’s digitization of books

Readers mixed on e-books
Easier to read on e-readers than computer, tablet
Problems with e-books
Piracy, illegal swapping
Magazines moving online, adding video, audio, animation

INDUSTRY: GOING GLOBAL
Magazines target readers
Audience = circulation X readers per copy
Most revenue (60 percent) is from advertising
Other revenue:
Subscriptions (30 percent)
Single-copy sales (10 percent)

CIRCULATION AND ADVERTISING
Consumer magazines
Subscriptions = 90 percent of circulation
Single-copy sales = more revenue per copy
Trade magazines
Highly-targeted audience
Often subscription only

Some magazines struggling
Circulation has dropped
Free information online
2007 recession
So has advertising
Magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media

Influence of magazine wholesalers, distributors
Places magazine in store, in particular location on newsstand
Exception: Wal-Mart bypasses distributors

MAGAZINE INDUSTRY
New magazines must appeal to new market segment
Many new magazines acquired by conglomerates
Time Warner owns 19 magazines (13 percent of company revenue)

BOOK PUBLISHING ECONOMICS
Growing industry ($26 billion in 2017)
Thanks to movie business
Books to movies
Movies to books
Search for best sellers

Publishing houses
Bookstores
Physical
Online
Women buy more books than men (printed, e-book, audio)

MAGAZINE AND BOOK GENRES
Magazines for every taste
Even small-circulation magazines can be profitable
Major book categories
Trade, professional, textbooks, paperback, religious, book club, mail-order, subscription reference, multimedia, scholarly presses
Top book genre is fiction

MEDIA LITERACY
Books: ideas vs. commodities
Redefining role of magazines
Distribution issues
Intellectual property and copyright
Libraries, censorship, free speech, First Amendment

TOP-SELLING BOOKS
NY Times
Amazon
Barnes and Nobles

TOP-SELLING MAGAZINES
https://www.agilitypr.com/resources/top-media-outlets/top-10-american-magazines/

 

30 thoughts on “Week #4 – Books & Magazines”

  1. I wasn’t really surprised with the outcome that the video showed. Although digital ways keep progressing over time, things such as books would never lose its physical value. Last time I purchased a book was about a year ago at Barnes and nobles. The book is called The Brightway by Diana Rowan. My preferred way of reading would definitely be paper. I say that because I feel like I just concentrate more on it and there’s more of a connection with it. Perhaps this is maybe a generational thing? Growing up, digital items were not really used (for education wise). All I remember was the leap pad and we didn’t even use those often. So I feel like because of that, I’m more used/comfortable to having the physical book rather than the digital option. Maybe the kids growing up post covid would say the opposite. I recommend reading the book I mentioned above . I initially picked this book because it was my first time back into reading and I wanted something different and where I could learn something from. It dives deep into finding your creative side even in moments where anxiety may be present. This book was targeted just for me because I at times let my anxiety get in the way of doing things I love.

    1. Wonderful suggestion! Thank you, haha, I agree, generations play a role, Im so used physical books, even though I work on computers 95% of the time, I stall want to read books by holding them 🙂 – perhaps this is also “nostalgia” based and reflective to childhood 🙂

  2. I believe the last time I read a physical book was “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah. One of my favorite TV show hosts documented his experience during apartheid in South Africa. He informed the readers about the strict policies that did not allow interracial coupling/marriages. However, he is a person with a white father and a black mother. He was born in South Africa under apartheid and had to face the risk of being executed for his parent’s crime of birthing a mixed baby boy. How would they categorize him? My preferred way of reading is in the hands of a physical book because when it comes to reading recreational books that are not textbooks, I feel more engaged in the reading, and I also feel like I have the real book. It feels antique in a way, but it’s also very relaxing and it is a great way to relieve stress from the media, or your phone from time to time. This book is not. only teaches you a history lesson based on the laws of apartheid, but also shows the struggles of a strong-willed mother protecting her son from danger. Trevor Noah is also a comedian and I am certain you guys would enjoy the book.

    1. Excellent! Trevor Noah is so great, for so many reason, Im a fan too and will absolutely get this book! He is a bringer of awareness, so crucial and important – thank you!

  3. The last time I purchased a book was actually gifted but I’ll count it as I’m not a big reader. It was given to me this January from my cousin. It’s based on a true story about the author of her life growing up in occupied Palestine. It was actually given to me because it took place in the city that my parents named me after. I prefer reading paper books as digital copies will lead me to using outside apps and forgetting the book. I easily get distracted and I don’t have a big hobby of reading so it’ll be easy for my mind to go elsewhere. I’d actually like to recommend this book because it truly gives a detailed experience of the Palestinian perspective in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. News channels and overall America’s view on the conflict is so one sided and people don’t really understand the situation as whole. I may be biased because I grew up in the culture that supports the Palestinian side but it does honestly show an accurate representation of how the situation truly is and gives both perspectives. The name of the book is called Mornings in Jenin. I gave myself the goal to finish it by the end of last semester but with finals and exams I got distracted and haven’t given myself the time to pick it back up. It was one of the first books in a long time that gave me excitement to read something.

  4. The last time I purchased a book that wasn’t required for class was just recently. I started to read the digital version of Jrr Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring. I watched the original trilogy of movies when I was a kid but never truly understood the themes of sacrifice and trauma & overall plot of the story as much as when I started to read it. I don’t know if it’s maturity or just connecting with the source material on a deeper level through reading it the way the author intended but the story seems so much better to me besides seeing all that action and mysticism on screen.

    I would say that I prefer digital books because of the convenience of having an entire collection on your device, similar to a library of music on your phone. I understand the love for physical copies. Nothing could beat that for a collector, but for me I like to keep it simple. If anyone wants to, I’d highly recommend the LOTR books. The world building and themes are actually great and the story is ancient but doesn’t even feel like it while reading.

    1. I definitely agree with you that digital books are easier to access. i feel like if i were able to concentrate more on digital books i would’ve loved it because its just so convenient.

  5. The last time I purchased a book in 2020 before the pandemic was “The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas. This book was about teen girl Starr Carter that moved between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. His death is a national headline. Some call him a thug, a drug dealer, and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night. And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. I prefer to read paper because I get distracted easily by notifications and calls when I read digitally. When my head is in a book I can easily block off things around me. I recommend reading the same book I spoke about, some of you may have watched the movie but for those who have not. It’s about the justice inequalities in America which have contributed to movements like Black Lives Matter and others.

    1. Good work, and thank you for the recommendation! This assignment is sharing really great recommendations! I too get too distracted on my device for reading, even with notifications turned off, I still check!

    2. Hey Faith,
      I have the same issue with digital copies of books. It’s so hard to keep your focus on the book and read it with an empty mind. Also that’s a really interesting recommendation and it honestly reading that at the right time with the Black Lives Matter movement that rose again in 2020. Thank you for sharing.

  6. The last book that I can recall that I’ve bought was Fahrenheit 451. I enjoyed in perusing the book and it alludes to a dystopian society. Guy Montag is a fire fighter who consumes books in a modern American city. In Montag’s world, fire fighters light fires as opposed to putting them out. Individuals in this general public don’t understand books, appreciate nature, invest energy without anyone else, think autonomously, or have significant discussions. All things considered, they drive extremely quick, watch inordinate measures of TV on wall-size sets, and pay attention to the radio on “Seashell Radio” sets appended to their ears.

    1. Hey Umar,
      This book has been recommended to me so many times and I think you sharing about it has given me the final push to read it. I actually really enjoy books about a dystopian societies as it leaves the mind to imagination. Last dystopian book I think I read was 1984 by George Orwell, and although I didn’t understand it right away it was nice to read about a society so different from ours. Thank you for sharing

  7. The video had some interesting points that correlate with me. Before speaking on that though, I didn’t realize that technologies for E-readers started in the 70s. I can’t say I am surprised about physical book outselling purchases online. I like having the physical book over purchasing online. I can’t explain why but I just do. The problem with me though is I tend to fall asleep a lot quicker when I am reading a book. When I’m reading off of a device such as a kindle I read a lot faster and I rarely fall asleep. Sometimes, I take pictures of the pages so that I can read them at work during downtime. In the past few years, I haven’t read much of any books in a while but if there’s a book I would recommend it would be 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. Although I’m not the biggest self-help fan it was popular a few years ago and I decided to give it a try. It was a great read in my opinion, although some laws are pretty extreme the one that spoke to me the most was to “enter action with boldness”. He states being bold will gain you respect and admiration. The opposite of that would be being timid which can affect your reputation among other things. The book gave me an arsenal that I decided to apply to my everyday life. I don’t think this is the holy grail of books but there are things in there that I found helpful.

    1. I agree, I didn’t know that e-readers were being developed so long ago! Funny, when I read on my phone or ipad past 8pm I fall asleep! haha, but when its a physical book I dont.. Thank you for the recommendation, Im going to check it out!

  8. The last time I bought a book was just last week and the book was called “The Alchemist” by Paolo coelho. The book is a story about a boy who is on a journey. The book is about dreams and goals and how much it takes to accomplish your goal. I loved the book and I thought the book was amazing to read and analyze as it inspires people to keep on pushing and inspiring them to fight for their dreams. My preferred way of reading a book has to be getting a physical copy of the book rather than a digital copy. I prefer this way because I like to have the physical copy on hand and take notes on the book that I am reading. I like to take notes and point out certain things that I like about the book and make my own notes so that I can remember what I like about the book. I also like the fact that how it feels when I hold the book as I’m reading what is on the pages. The book that I recommend is a book called “Die with zero” by Bill Perkins and the book is about how to live your life getting the most out of it and to die with getting the most experiences you can out of life. That is the book I would recommend.

    1. Excellent!
      Ohhh I loved “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho and have read it about a dozen times over the years! Thank you for the recommendation as well, Good stuff! I too love holding the book in my hand!

    2. Hi Ray, I totally agree that having a physical book to read is the way to go. In the first place, they are eye-friendly. In addition, they provide a more satisfying reading experience that connects the reader with the book. Lastly, it doesn’t need to be powered, so you can use it anywhere and at any time. In contrast, e-books, on the other hand, are the opposite of these reasons that made it difficult for them to read and also caused their eyes to strain as they were to read them!

    3. Hi Ray,
      Many people over the years have recommended that book. I told myself to read the book before I graduate but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. This book is on my list of books to read. I also like having the physical book rather than ordering it online. There is something about having the physical book that I can’t explain, but I feel like going through the book after reading it is easier or just more fulfilling.

  9. My senior year of high school was probably the last time I purchase a book that wasn’t a textbook. There was an assignment given that involved choosing a book and writing a four-page allegory essay based on the reading. The book was “The Great Gatsby” by Novel American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story follows Jay Gatsby, a man who orders his life around one desire to reunite with Daisy Buchanan, the love that he lost five years before, the woman he loved so dearly. There is no doubt that Gatsby’s quest leads him from poverty to wealth, into the arms of his beloved, and ultimately to his demise. This was a great book, since this story’s setting was right here in NYC, which made the story that much more enjoyable and interesting to read. My preferred way of reading is paper because to me it feels more genuine and authentic. Two, it also reduces screen time, staying away from any devices while reading and you are able to absorb the reading rather than being distracted by your phone, tablet, etc. A book I would recommend to a classmate is, “The mountain is you” by Brianna Wiest. This book provides an understanding of what causes self-sabotaging so that solutions can be found. You can strategically take charge of your happiness if you understand how the mind and body react to change. I read this book last summer, it was great!

    1. Excellent!
      I loved the Great Gatsby! I too had to read it in high school as a part of our reading curriculum.
      Thank you for the recommendation too, I’ll check it out, I love spiritual growth and personal development books! SO much to learn about ourselves!

      1. yes! those books give you lots of information and insight on how to improve your life, ways of thinking, and how to just be a better person for yourself.

    2. SARAH
      I HAVE PURCHASE MANY BOOKS IN THE PAST AND IM LIKE YOU I CANT REMEMBER THE LAST TIME I PURCHASE A BOOK OTHER THEN A TEXT BOOK, SAD BUT TRUE, I DO AND HAVE RELIED ON AUDIO BOOKS, WHEN SOME NEW OR SPICY COMES OUT.

    3. I agree I love the great gatsby and his story is about the rags to riches and Gatsby doing everything in his power to be with the one that he loves. Gatsby is my favorite character in the book because He works hard and smart to get to where he’s at and theres nobody holding him back.

    4. Hi Sarah,
      I also read The Great Gatsby in high school and if I remember correctly my teacher at the time spent a long time reviewing the book and we also watched the movie once we were done reading. I also prefer reading from a book on a digital device. “The mountain is you” sounds interesting and I will consider that.

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