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Rediscovered Dr. Seuss Book Set for July Release

What Pet Should I Get will be the late writer’s first full book published in 25 years

Good new for sneetches, star-bellied and otherwise—a lost Dr. Seuss work, recently discovered in the beloved writer’s old home by his widow, will be published this summer. The new book, What Pet Should I Get?, will confront a dilemma that has plagued children since the dawn of time, hopefully finally settling the “dog versus cat versus goldfish” debate that has raged through the centuries. The Seuss website calls What Pet Should I Get?, “the literary equivalent of buried treasure,” and says the book uses the issue of pet choice “to illuminate a life lesson: that it is hard to make up your mind, but sometimes you just have to do it!”

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Why Antitrust Lawyers Don't Need to Worry About Publishing Yet

So there's a merger of two giant publishers. Says Adam Davidson: So what?

How different is publishing right now? Different enough that one can—and by one, I mean Adam Davidson—make the argument that even if mergers didn't stop at Penguin-Random House but continued on, gobbling up all of the major publishers into one big super publisher, it might not be worth antitrust lawyers' time to get involved:

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The Four-Hour Author Now Poster Child For End of Books

The holidays are a battleground for the publishing industry.

Look, I don't want to be the guy who writes about holiday shopping before the presidential election is over, but I sat through three different Santa Claus-themed Mercedes commercials while watching football on Sunday, so here we go anyway.

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We all do it. Our favorite magazine arrives, we dutifully place it on the coffee table in anticipation, looking forward to spending a leisurely Saturday morning devouring every page. And then, life happens. Turns out this Saturday is that brunch you forgot about. Sunday’s no good either. And so the weeks pass. The magazine gets buried under the detritus of your day.

We now have constant and universal access to information; we pay for connectivity, but we very seldom pay attention. But what if media required our undivided focus? What if journalism became something you couldn’t put down for later? What if that much-anticipated issue became ephemeral? Would it be more valuable if it existed for just one night? Douglas McGray thinks so, which is why he and a group of friends founded Pop-Up Magazine, a unique endeavor that refuses to gather dust on your coffee table.

Pop-Up is a magazine upon a stage, an experience that unfolds with an impressive collection of nationally acclaimed journalists, commentators, photographers, radio producers, filmmakers, and artists. Nothing is taped or recorded, nothing tabled for later—you leave the issue with no proof of your experience, no artifact of the stories you’ve seen.

As Pop-Up’s Editor in Chief, McGray wants to push and expand the conceptual limits of traditional media. “We are all lovers of magazines and photography, and art, and documentary film and radio. With Pop-Up, we aren’t so much addressing a flaw in magazines but rather trying to see what all a magazine could be. Our love of the form inspired a little bit of experimentation. We wanted to know, what would a magazine be if you did it live? For one thing, the contributors will be there and they will feel close to the audience, and the audience will feel close to them, and that connection will allow us to do things that are uniquely suited to the live space.”

What kind of things? Any number of magazines invite you to read a recipe for a hot new cocktail, but in Pop-Up, that recipe includes a live drink demo followed by that same drink being imbibed by the audience after the show. How about a fully-immersive infographic, like when the folks from Wired enlightened the audience on the extreme use of energy at Disney World by cranking every light in the venue to “11” and explaining that to reach the amount of power the theme park uses in just one day, you would need to leave those house lights cranked up for more than 10 years. Another more somber story documented the budding Facebook relationship between a former Guantanamo prison guard and a released Guantanamo prisoner.

In a stand-out moment, a journalist shared a piece on her elderly father becoming a competitive weightlifter. She wryly recounted his unlikely national and international victories in his age bracket. The story was uplifting and people applauded, but when she suddenly surprised the crowd by introducing her father and he stepped onto the stage, the audience erupted into a joyous and extended standing ovation. Remembering the moment, McGray asks, “How often do you get the chance to cheer for an article?”

The magazine is structured like its more traditional cousins. Shorter stories open each issue, followed by gadget and product reviews. Articles on food and family might lead to travel and then on to infographics or sports, culminating with its feature stories. “We like to include both personal and larger issues; we like to do stuff that’s heavy and intellectual, as well as stuff that’s light and funny; we like each issue to teach us about all kinds of subjects,” says McGray.

Based in San Francisco, Pop-Up has so far wrapped three issues, the last of which was held in mid-April before a nearly 1,000 person crowd at the sold-out Herbst Theatre. In an age where our digital footprints are permanent, information a mere click away, Pop-Up thrives because it is unexpected and momentary: There are no back-issues, it can’t be Tivoed, and good luck trying to google it later. “When everything gets thrown online…instantly documented, archived, available in web browsers forever and ever, it takes away the specialness a bit,” explains McGray. “We don’t do Pop-Up frequently. When we have it, people are excited about it and excited to come out and have an experience together. It’s participatory. It’s a community.”

And don't expect it to be online any time soon. But will it visit other cities? “It is really tempting; we are seriously considering it. If you are interested in finding out about when and where we will be having our next issue, sign up for the mailing list, follow us on Twitter, fan us on Facebook—I promise, you’ll be the first to know.”

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A new submission model—wherein writers must buy a book if they want their work to be considered for publication—is shaking up the literary world.

The publishing industry faces an odd set of supply-demand imbalances. Supply of printed books outstrips demand, which is why remainder tables get piled sky-high, publisher layoffs abound, and author advances have wilted. Supply of writers also outstrips demand for their services, which is why the statistics about getting an agent for your book are so dismal.

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