And Speaking of Vanity Publishing…

Writer Bewareby Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

…heeeeere’s Tweetbookz!

Tweetbookz will turn your tweets–those 140-character electronic messages about what you had for breakfast this morning or maybe something more interesting or important, but either way, quickly written and just as quickly forgotten–into Real Paper Books. That’s right. Your evanescent 140-character pearls of prose (or not) can be enshrined for the ages in softcover or hardcover.

You can include up to 200 tweets (though you can’t add new ones or alter old ones to make yourself look smarter or more witty), and choose from four different designs. The cost: nothing upfront. But if you want to buy the books–as gifts, maybe, ’cause, yanno, all your friends who are already following you would love to have a permanent version of the tweets they missed because they were tweeting too, and maybe an actual physical book o’ tweets might convince your parents or your spouse that “twittering” isn’t a waste of time (oh wait, maybe not)–it’s $30 for the hardcover and $20 for the softcover.

Curiously, you cannot buy others’ tweetbookz. But you can buy gift certificates, to encourage your friends to create their own.

Really. I mean, really. Does anyone need this silly service (apart from its founders, who hope to make money from it, and no doubt will)? Could vanity publishing get any more vain? On the other hand, I do find it kind of interesting, in that we’re daily bombarded by paeans to the brave new digital world–yet here it is, defaulting back to print.

Please, if anyone is thinking of gifting me with their tweetbook(z), or with a gift certificate for one of my own…don’t. Just…don’t.

Because of the lack of reader eyeballs over the holidays, I won’t be blogging again till next week. Happy holidays, everyone, and safe travels!