The second life of literary agents
La Stampa, 16/7/2011
[Translation via Google translate:] “I talked to many authors,” says Julie Ortolon, “and all seem to agree that it is not a good idea for agents to become publishers. But as we consider the staff assisting with the self-publishing authors?”
Stanford Math Professor Tests A New Book Publishing Equation
Paid Content/GigaOm, July 13, 2011
by Laura Hazard Owen
When a section was cut from Stanford mathematics professor Keith Devlin’s new book The Man Of Numbers, Devlin could have pitched it as an article to Scientific American or Wired. Instead, he decided to self-publish it as an e-single, “Leonardo & Steve: The Young Genius Who Beat Apple to Market by 800 Years.” And his publisher, Bloomsbury, went for it.
In 1202, a 32-year old Italian finished one of the most influential books of all time, which introduced modern arithmetic to Western Europe. Devised in India in the 7th and 8th centuries and brought to North Africa by Muslim traders, the Hindu-Arabic system helped transform the West into the dominant force in science, technology, and commerce, leaving behind Muslim cultures which had long known it but had failed to see its potential. The young Italian, Leonardo of Pisa (better known today as Fibonacci), had learned the Hindu number system when he traveled to North Africa. The book he created was Liber abbaci, the “Book of Calculation,” and its publication led directly to large-scale international commerce and the scientific revolution of the Renaissance. Now in The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution, NPR’s “Math Guy” and one of the great math popularizers of our time, Keith Devlin, recreates the life and enduring legacy of an overlooked genius, and in the process makes clear how central numbers and mathematics are to our daily lives. (Walker & Company/Bloomsbury)
In this short e-book (about 14,000 words), Stanford mathematician and NPR’s “Math Guy” Keith Devlin presents the fascinating similarities between 13th Century mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, more commonly known as Fibonacci, and Steve Jobs, the 20th Century founder of Apple computers. A companion to Devlin’s book The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution, Leonardo & Steve: The Young Genius Who Beat Apple to Market by 800 Years shows the uncanny parallels between Leonardo’s arithmetic revolution that took place in Tuscany centuries ago and the one that began in California’s Silicon Valley in more recent times. It is a story about the personal computing revolution that occurred in the 1980s, but with the novel twist that it was actually history repeating itself.