Denslow’s OZ




Of the 14 books in L. Frank Baum’s beloved Wizard of Oz series only one was illustrated by W.W. Denslow. As it turns out, it was a big one. For it was Denslow that illustrated the first volume, Wizard of Oz, published in 1900, and visually introduced us to Dorothy and the gang.


Though many of us think of John R. Neill when thinking of Oz illustrators it was Denslow’s  “depictions of Dorothy, Toto, and all the other creatures and landscapes of Oz have become so iconic as to be inseparable from Baum’s story.”1




“The success of “Oz” was due as much to Denslow’s pictures as to Baum’s story”, says Michael Patrick Hearn, author of the scholarly “Annotated Wizard of Oz2 

It has remained the most popular of all OZ books.


Hats off to The Public Domain Review for gathering Denslow’s seminal illustrations for our enjoyment.

See them all here.

The Collected Poems of Donald J. Trump



“I thought maybe I could turn the thing that has been weaponized into something beautiful,” says Gregory Woodman of Portland, the 29-year-old founder of the ad agency Weller Creative, who along with his business partner Ian Pratt have published The Collected Poems of Donald J. Trump.

The 373 page book compiles hundreds of Trump’s tweets and is arranged in chapters such as “Loathings,” “Free Verse” and “Introspective Musings.” 

Combining the measured contentiousness of Thoreau, the terse poignancy of Hemingway, and the incisive social commentary of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Toni Morrison, Donald J. Trump has emerged as one of the leading poets of his generation. Together with contemporaries such as Rupi Kaur and Haruki Murakami, Trump has helped bring about a revolution in twenty-first-century literary expression. Considered one of the most inventive poets in a digital world, Trump masterfully uses technology and the written word to reflect and shape the hearts and minds of his culture.

About 450 copies have been sold, “anecdotal evidence suggests a majority of sales are to conservatives” who see the book as “making fun of the art world and the liberal elite by using Donald Trump as the tool to wield against the art world.”

I trust Volume II  is coming soon.

Interview with Woodman about the project at Willamette Week

Book available here



A Tale of Two Cities: Amazon opens a bookstore while Indiebound adds a ‘Buy Now’ button

amazon booksPhoto: Sam Machkovech

Here comes the next tremor in the book universe., the world’s largest online bookseller, has opened it’s first physical bookshop!

Amazon Books has opened in Seattle’s University District just a few miles from Amazon headquarters.

It’s 5,000 square feet with a majority of the space dedicated to the almighty book. By combining new display tactics (all books are face out!),  a largely crowdsourced inventory, and a seamless ebook purchase option Amazon Books is open for business.

After all the years Amazon was paving the way to sell books online, completely upending the bookselling and publishing fields in the process,  they are now looking at perhaps becoming the model bookshop for the 21st century. 

I know the mere utterance of that possibility is considered sacrilege by many but I don’t think Amazon Books is going the way of the Fire phone.

As recent data has shown – the digital book revolution has stalled and might be settling into its new role alongside, instead of in place of, the printed word.

Amazon already sells the most print and ebooks online so what will stop them from doing this in the physical world?

Alyssa Boggs, executive assistant at Amazon, works inside of Amazon Books, the company's first brick-and-mortar store, Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. Amazon Books will open tomorrow Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 in Seattle's University District.Photo: Seattle Times

amazon books top 100Photo: Sam Machkovech

And then there is Indiebound, the marketing and branding offering for independent booksellers,  courtesy of the American Booksellers Association (ABA).


indieboundA recent blog post states that the Indiebound has begun a test “designed to increase traffic to member stores — and to their e-commerce websites — by improving the online shopping experience for an initial purchase on”

To do this – a ‘Buy Now’ button has been added to the product page so one can now buy a book right there on the webpage they’re at!

Yes, that’s right a ‘Buy Now’ button. 

While Amazon was patenting One-Click Shopping Indie Bound was perfecting the 5-click and out approach. “Very few customers who arrive at take the extra steps necessary on the site to find an IndieCommerce website, and, as a result, they are leaving the community of independent bookstores empty-handed,” – says ABA CEO Oren Teicher

Instead of trying to offer e-commerce options to their member sites the time has come for them to be the e-commerce option for their members. Of course, member stores should still  have their own web presence with e-commerce functionality but Indiebound has to become the go-to site for those of us who would like to support the independent bookshop community.

–  See a book

– Click ‘Buy Now’ button

– Checkout

– From a pop up menu choose from the independent bookshops nearest you (or pick other and type in your favorite)

– The proceeds of the sale go to that bookshop! 

Simple as that. 

Now with Amazon officially encroaching on the brick and mortar universe it is imperative that the response be swift and strong.

The window is almost closed.

The bottom line; however, is that with the advent of Amazon Books there will be more bookstores and with that more access to books for the community. Forget purchasing anything,  just having more book spots enriches everything around it.

Amazon opens first brick-and-mortar bookstore — at U Village – Seattle Times

Inside Amazon’s new brick and mortar store where books don’t have prices, online customers drive selection – Puget Sound Business Journal

Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar store: One big ad for the Amazon app –  ars technica

ABA Tests ‘Buy Now’ Button to Up Sales Through IndieBound – Publisher’s Weekly