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There’s an un-blocked image of the statue now known as Momo if you scroll down the page. PopSci Staff

If you were on social media—or any kind of media—earlier this year, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with the bulging eyes, upturned nose, and eerily wide mouth of a character called “Momo.” That chill-inducing face appeared in countless sensational news reports and breathless social media posts about a “challenge” that’s infiltrating online channels like YouTube and WhatsApp. In fact, there are several movies in the works based on the unsettling bird creature. The challenge is largely a hoax, but the photo itself is undeniably creepy. That’s because it falls into a curious and somewhat controversial part of our neurological systems known as the uncanny valley.

“As things get to be more like humans, they get cuter to us, until they’re almost exactly like humans and then there’s revulsion,” says Frank McAndrew, a psychology professor at Knox College who studies the phenomenon of creepiness. “That’s why you see things like life-like dolls and ventriloquist dummies in so many horror movies. It’s the same for zombies, too.”

The phrase “uncanny valley” tracks back to a 1970 hypothesis from Japanese researcher Masahiro Mori‘s work with robotics at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Vaguely humanoid robots like the one that assembled your car track as neutral to our brains. As they get more like us, we start finding them cute like Wall-E. When they get too close to humans in appearance and movement, however, people start getting uncomfortable. That discomfort would theoretically dissolve once again if robots looked and acted exactly as humans do, like on Westworld.

The uncanny valley has a steep drop into creepy territory. Masahiro Mori

While Momo isn’t a robot, the picture fits similarly into our neurological patterns as a realistic android. “When you see something like momo, it mobilizes your attentional capacities,” says McAndrew. “You focus on something and you try to process it until you can figure it out.” That uncertainty is the foundation for the emotion that humans interpret as feeling creeped out. We recognize the general pattern of the human face, but the proportions are unfamiliar and impossible under normal circumstances in our minds.

“Humans love faces,” says sociologist and author of Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear, Margee Kerr. “We’re designed to recognize faces and analyze their expressions to quickly decide whether or not we can trust them. Something like this triggers a kind of error mode in our brain.” The system we typically use for categorizing and analyzing faces can’t perform like we’re used to, which creates unpleasant dissonance.

A 2011 study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience used an FMRI machine to analyze subjects as they tried to interpret various human and digital avatar faces that fall on either side of the uncanny valley. The results suggest increased brain processing time for faces that fall near the border of simulated and real, as well as activity in different parts of the brain depending on what the subject was observing.

In 2024, Stanford University researchers tried to find out exactly where the uncanny valley lies when it comes to robotic faces by showing subjects a variety of different bots. The subjects then rated the faces for likability and trustworthiness. The findings largely reinforced the idea of the uncanny valley. “To a point, likability increased with increasing human-resemblance beyond the nearly neutral reactions elicited by the most mechanical robots. But as faces became more human than mechanical, they began to be perceived as frankly unlikable,” the study says.

Momo’s face falls firmly into this too-human category, but only in the context of the now-infamous picture that’s currently circulating. Momo is actually a sculpture called Mother Bird created by artist Keisuke Aisawa at a special effects shop called Link Factory. After you zoom out to observe the whole statue, you find that it has a bird-like body and legs to go along with its humanoid face. “Once you see the whole thing and it looks more like a monster, it may actually lessen the creepy effect,” says Kerr. “If someone is fixating on the picture or the idea of Momo, it may help to look at the full sculpture to give it context and make it real. Even learning about the artist may help take away some of the mystery and replace the scarier picture in the mind. “

While contextualizing Momo’s actual existence may eventually help quell bad feelings about it, the first interaction you have with the picture can still have a visceral effect, which can linger with subsequent viewings. “It’s going to be most profoundly creepy the first time you’re going to look at it and think about it,” says McAndrew. “Once you make up your mind about it and categorize it, now you’re remembering that you think it’s creepy rather than reacting to it.”

So, while the media panic about Momo may be overblown, it’s totally normal to find the picture itself a little creepy, at least until your brain figures out what it’s actually looking at.

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Nine Creepy Apps For Android, Ios, And The Web

There was an old Andy Griffith episode involving a stranger who arrived in Mayberry and knew so much about the townspeople and the goings-on of the town that it was as if he’d lived there for years. Everyone was mystified, but it turned out that the stranger was getting his information from the local paper, which he’d been receiving in the mail.

I was reminded of that TV episode when I saw this new WhitePages app called WhitePages Neighbors. It also reminded me of Gladys Kravitz, the nosy neighbor on Bewitched, and the black comedy of the John Belushi/Dan Aykroyd movie Neighbors.

WhitePages is a public-records search company. It makes money by giving away a little bit of information on people for free, and then charging for a deeper look into public documents for things like criminal records, liens, and email addresses. But WhitePages Neighbors adds an aerial view to this, so that a user can see all of the houses in the neighborhood, along with the names, mailing addresses and phone numbers of everybody who lives inside those houses.

The app sugar-coats the information-selling aspect by offering a way to send invites to all your neighbors for a “block party.” The site also offers people a chance to “claim” and correct their WhitePages listing–yay! Thanks, WhitePages, for the opportunity to correct your false information and provide you with more of my accurate personal information to distribute.

I’m not accusing WhitePages of providing a hyperlocal tool for smartphone-carrying burglars or stalkers. But WhitePages is already a very nosy and nearly privacy-infringing service, and the addition of the aerial neighborhood views presented on a mobile device tips the service over the line into Creepyville, population 308 million.

Why not, they thought, write a little piece of code that makes it easy for get-’em-on-the-rebound types to be Johnny on the Spot when little Susie Creamcheese is at an early stage of her post-breakup life? Presto–new app. I wonder if using the app makes people feel like vultures circling high in the sky above a parched and staggering horse walking its last mile. I wonder what they do when they actually receive a breakup notification? Do they speed over to the newly single person’s page, pop open the chat window, and offer “heeeeeeeyyy. ’sup?”

Alright, alright. It’s just a hoax. But we had you going there for a second.

Okay–I downloaded this app to my PC, and without warning it installed a new toolbar on my browser. Aaaaaaaggh! Anyway, here’s how this gem of an app works: You upload pictures of yourself and your partner, and then MakeMeBabies uses “face recognition” technology to mash the two faces together into one child’s face.

Similar to the popular Date Check app, which allows you to run a quick background check on a potential hook-up, Background Check from chúng tôi does, well, pretty much the same thing.

You get two choices: a background check or an email search. To trigger a background check, you enter the first and last name of the person of interest, and the app spits out any relevant data it has on the person’s criminal record, property, relatives’ and neighbors’ names, and “also known as” aliases. To request an email search, you enter a person’s email address or select an address from your own address book, and the app seeks out any blogs, videos, photos, or social networking pages associated with that email address.

Sugar Sugar (Missing in Action)

Oh I so wanted to tell you about Sugar Sugar, but the app seems to have disappeared from the App Store, and the developer, Online Dating Systems, has temporarily or permanently taken down the Sugar Sugar website. Too bad because this might have been the first app that helped Johns find prostitutes using geolocation technology. Unlike eHarmony, Sugar Sugar wasn’t designed to set people up in long-term relationships. Nor did it attempt to establish a nostalgic Archies vibe. Instead, it was created to help men with money—sugar daddies—find “sugar babies”—young women willing to give it up in exchange for, uh, gifts. The app used GPS technology to plot on a map the location of women in the area interested in forming a ‘mutually beneficial’ arrangement.

If Sugar Sugar’s gone for good, there’s always chúng tôi which has stepped up to fill the void that the demise of Craigslist personals has left in men’s lives by letting them “bid” real money to hot girls in exchange for a first date. This screen grab from the website tells the whole story:

Evidently, you need a different URL to access all of the site’s frugal and unattractive members.

That’s right; there’s an app for that.

How To Create A Picture In Picture Effect In Photoshop

How to Create a Picture in Picture Effect in Photoshop

Learn how to create a picture-in-picture effect in Photoshop from a single photo by adding a smaller, cropped version of your image inside the original! A step-by-step tutorial.

Written by Steve Patterson.

In this tutorial, I show you how to create a fun picture-in-picture effect with Photoshop by taking a single photo and creating the illusion that a smaller, cropped version of the same photo is inside it. We’ll crop and rotate the smaller image around our main subject, add a border and drop shadow to make it stand out, and we’ll convert the original photo behind it to black and white.

Here’s an example of what the final picture-in-picture effect will look like when we’re done:

The final effect.

Let’s get started!

Download this tutorial as a print-ready PDF!

Which Photoshop version do I need?

For best results, you’ll want to be using Photoshop 2023 or later. Get the latest version of Photoshop here.

Step 1: Open your image

Start by opening your image. I’ll use this image from Adobe Stock:

The original photo.

Step 2: Make a copy of the Background layer

In the Layers panel, the image opens on the Background layer:

The Layers panel.

Make a copy of the image by dragging the Background layer down onto the Add New Layer icon:

Dragging the Background layer onto the Add New Layer icon.

A copy appears above the original:

A Background copy layer appears.

Step 3: Rename the copy Small

Renaming the layer.

Step 4: Turn the Small layer off Step 5: Select the Background layer

Selecting the Background layer.

Step 6: Add a Black & White adjustment layer

And choose a Black & White adjustment layer from the list:

Choosing Black & White.

The adjustment layer appears between the Background layer and the Small layer. This means it will affect only the Background layer below it, not the Small layer above it:

The adjustment layer is added above the Background layer.

And the image is instantly converted to black and white:

The result after adding the Black & White adjustment layer.

The controls for the Black & White adjustment layer appear in Photoshop’s Properties panel. You could fine-tune the black and white conversion by dragging the individual color sliders (Reds, Yellows, Greens, and so on) to adjust the brightness of different parts of the image based on their original color:

The color sliders in the Properties panel.

Step 8: Select and turn on the Small layer

Now we’ll create the smaller, full color photo inside the original.

Selecting the Small layer.

Turning on the Small layer.

The color version of the image reappears:

The result after turning on the Small layer.

Step 9: Select the Rectangle Tool

In the toolbar, select the Rectangle Tool. Don’t select the Rectangular Marquee Tool near the top since that’s a selection tool. We want the Rectangle Tool which is one of Photoshop’s shape tools:

Selecting the Rectangle Tool from the toolbar.

Step 10: Set the Tool Mode to Shape

In the Options Bar, make sure the Tool Mode is set to Shape, not Path or Pixels:

Setting the Tool Mode to Shape.

Step 11: Set the shape’s color to black

Set the shape’s color to black if it’s not set to black already. The color does not really matter, but black is easy to see as we’re drawing the shape.

Opening the Color Picker.

Choosing black from the Color Picker.

Step 12: Turn off the stroke around the shape

Choosing No Color for the stroke.

Step 13: Draw a shape around your main subject

Drag out a rectangular shape around your main subject(s). The shape will become the smaller version of the image, so make sure to surround everything that should appear inside it.

Drawing a rectangular shape around the main subjects in the photo.

How to reposition the shape

To reposition the shape as you draw it, keep your mouse held down and press and hold the spacebar on your keyboard. Drag the shape to where you need it, and then release your spacebar and continue dragging out the rest of the shape.

How to complete the shape

Release your mouse button when you’re done to complete the shape, at which point Photoshop fills it with black:

Releasing your mouse button completes the shape.

Step 14: Resize the shape if needed

Since the shape is completely blocking the image behind it, it’s hard to see if it was drawn exactly where we need it. So to see the image through the shape, lower the Opacity of the shape layer in the Layers panel to 50 percent. A quick way is to press the number 5 on your keyboard:

Press 5 to lower the shape’s opacity to 50 percent.

Resizing the shape by dragging the handles.

Resetting the shape’s opacity back to 100 percent

When you’re done resizing the shape, reset the shape layer’s opacity in the Layers panel back to 100 percent by pressing the number 0 on your keyboard. The shape will once again block the image from view:

Press 0 to reset the shape’s opacity to 100 percent.

Step 15: Drag the Small layer above the shape

Next, we’ll place the image on the Small layer into the shape. In the Layers panel, the shape currently sits above the image:

The shape layer is above the image.

Dragging the image above the shape layer.

Release your mouse button to drop the Small layer into place:

The image has been moved above the shape.

And in the document, the photo now blocks the shape from view:

The photo is now blocking the shape.

Step 16: Create a clipping mask

And choose Create Clipping Mask:

Choosing the Create Clipping Mask command.

Photoshop clips the image on the Small layer to the shape layer below it:

The Layers panel showing the image layer clipped to the shape layer.

And the full color image now appears only within the boundaries of the shape, while the black and white version on the Background layer reappears around it:

The result after clipping the Small layer to the shape layer.

Related: Learn more about Clipping Masks

Step 17: Select the shape layer

To help the smaller image stand out, add a white border and a drop shadow. We’ll start with the border.

In the Layers panel, select the shape layer:

Selecting the shape layer.

Step 18: Add a white stroke around the shape

And choose Stroke from the list:

Adding a Stroke layer effect.

The stroke color

Choosing white from the Color Picker.

The stroke position

Back in the Layer Style dialog box, make sure the stroke’s Position is set to Inside to keep the corners of the border nice and sharp:

Setting the Position to Inside.

The stroke size

Then drag the Size slider to set the width of the border. The size you need will depend on your image. I’ll set mine to 40 pixels:

Use the Size slider to set the border size.

And here’s the effect with the border around the smaller photo:

The effect with the border added.

Step 19: Add a drop shadow

Selecting the Drop Shadow effect.

The shadow’s angle and distance

Dragging the shadow down and to the right.

Or you can enter specific Angle and Distance values in the dialog box. I’ll set the Angle to 135 degrees and the Distance to 50 pixels. You may need a smaller or larger Distance value depending on your image:

Entering specific Angle and Distance values.

The shadow size

The Size value controls the softness or feathering of the shadow edges. I’ll set it to 15 pixels:

Softening the shadow edges by increasing the size.

The shadow opacity

And you can adjust the intensity of the shadow (how light or dark it appears) by dragging the Opacity slider. But I’ll leave it at the default value of 35 percent:

Leaving the Opacity at the default value.

The effect with the border and drop shadow added.

Step 20: Rotate the shape

Finally, you can add more excitement to the effect by rotating the shape around your subject.

In the Layers panel, make sure the shape layer is active:

Selecting the shape layer in the Layers panel.

And with the Rectangle Tool still active in the toolbar, hover your mouse cursor just outside one of the shape’s handles. The cursor will change into a Rotate icon (a curved line with an arrow on both ends):

Hover near a handle to get the Rotate icon.

Rotating the smaller photo around the main subjects.

Step 21: Make any final adjustments to the shape’s size

Check to make sure that the rotated shape is not cutting off parts of your subject, and resize the shape again if needed by dragging the handles.

When you’re done, hide the outline and handles around the shape by pressing Enter (Win) / Return (Mac) on your keyboard.

And here, after extending the bottom of the shape to avoid cutting off part of the woman’s thumb, is my final picture-in-picture effect:

The final effect.

Where to go next…

And there we have it! TFor similar effects, check out my step-by-step tutorials on how to turn a single photo in a collage, how to create a polaroid collage, or how to add a classic photo border to your images. And don’t forget, all of my tutorials are available to download as PDFs!

Find Out What Google Knows About You

Google search engine has been the most sought-after tool in the world, in fact for many; the Internet is synonymous with Google. That being said, lately, there have been concerns about the privacy and the way personal data is used by Google, and how Google tracks its users.  If you have the question What does Google know about me, then this post will tell you what it knows about your Location, History, Preferences, etc., & show you the ‘how to opt out’ settings.

What Google knows about you

You will get all or most of this information in your Google Dashboard.

1. Google Search History

Thankfully it also comes with an option to turn it off. Want to check it out? Head over to this link. The search history will also give you glimpses of which is your favorite thing on the Internet and how productive you are at work! If you are someone worried about privacy you can also toggle off the options so that your history will no more be stored on the Google servers.

You can also hide your address and phone number.

Read: How to remove your name and information from Search Engines.

2. Google Data usage by Third-Party Apps

The Account Activity page lets you in, on the third-party apps, and also other usual apps that are making use of your Google Data. Additionally, you can also see the degree of permissions granted to the apps, and you can also revoke/modify the same. Go here. I was personally surprised to see the number of applications, I had granted permission to access my data, and some of them looked shady, the first thing to do is revoke access to apps that you don’t use.

3. Exporting your Google Exclusive data

4. Your Location History

If you have an Android phone, then it is evident that Google keeps a record of your location history. The Location History feature also includes the location from where you log in to your Gmail account from a PC. The best part is that you can check out the locations you have visited over a year. So next time you forgot the name of the Coffee shop you had been to just check it out in the Google Location history. Visit Your Timeline and Google will show you all the places you visited.

5. Security and Privacy report from Google

Now, this is one of the most powerful features around, if you are worried that the account might be compromised at some point in time or even if you just wanted to take some precautionary measures. The report can be downloaded from this link. Furthermore, the report is also expected to improve your knowledge of how you can enhance your security.

6. YouTube Videos you search and watch

Google also keeps a history of your YouTube searches and video views. Check it out here.

7. This is what Google thinks about you 8. Voice searches are saved

Google will also store a history of your Voice searches including the recording of voice and audio activity if you opted in to use the feature.

You may want to delete your Google Voice Activity History.

To harden your settings further, use the Google Privacy Settings Wizard. Also, read this post on how to opt out and maintain your privacy when using Google Services. It gives you additional tips which you will find useful.

Ever wondered – What information is available about you on the internet when online?

The 4 Best Cryptocurrencies That You Can’t Miss Right Now!

Those who dabble in cryptocurrencies know that the best crypto to invest in at any moment keeps changing due to the volatile nature of these markets. Consequently, crypto enthusiasts always keep an eye out for what could be the next bitcoin-like crypto investment. But in an expansive market like cryptocurrencies, out of 12,000 altcoins, only a handful have the potential to reach the top. The process of separating promising crypto projects from overly hyped ones is a tricky one.

But to make things simpler, we have made a list of the best cryptocurrencies to invest in right now. Whether you are new to crypto or an experienced investor, the top 3 entries on the following list will prove to be a profitable addition to your crypto portfolio.

List of the hottest cryptos to invest in right now:

Dash 2 Trade (D2T)

– the best social trading platform of this year (IMPT)

– the revolutionary green crypto smashing its presale

Calvaria (RIA)

– the new P2E card game to look for in 2023

TamaDoge (TAMA)

– best play-to-earn meme coin already generating 100% profits

Battle Infinity (IBAT) – the most popular fantasy sports token and a Metaverse project

LuckyBlock (LBLOCK) – the most in-demand competition token for crypto investors

PancakeSwap (CAKE) – long-running and high-performance decentralized platform

Now that we have the names and a rundown of the best cryptocurrency to invest in right now, it is time to dive in deeper to know the benefits of investing in each of the aforementioned.

Dash 2 Trade

Dash 2 Trade is the most relatively new invention to hit the cryptocurrency market, and it is on track to become one of the most revolutionary and efficient Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs) for both experienced and newbie investors. The Dash2Trade presale, which began on October 19, has quickly gained traction and is continuing to do so. This means that participating in the D2T presale at this moment is a great investment for anyone hoping to extract value from it.

The Dash2Trade platform will be entirely backed by the D2T token, which will be available as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum Network. Dash2Trade is intended to take cryptocurrency trading to the next level. This platform will offer implementable trading signals, on-chain analysis, forecasts, and other trading tools required to exploit opportunities in the cryptocurrency market.

chúng tôi

IMPT is the latest blockchain initiative that allows users to monitor and minimize their carbon footprint. The platform has collaborated with over 10,000 well-known brands from around the globe, and when you purchase an item, you will obtain carbon credits. The credits can be used to purchase IMPT tokens or mint NFTs. Users will also have the option to buy these carbon credits directly from the IMPT platform.

It’s a new and significant carbon offset program that’s introducing the carbon offset industry to the blockchain. This creates a truly decentralized environment for carbon offsets, making them fully open and simple to trade while avoiding obvious fraud or double counting.


Calvaria plans to give a novel gameplay experience to consumers globally in order to encourage bitcoin acceptance as well as provide play-to-earn capabilities to its ecosystem. The Calvaria platform is releasing “Calvaria: Duels of Eternity,” a 3D battle card game.

It’s a fantastic new innovation that has yet to be imitated by other P2E games. It’s how Calvaria distinguishes itself from its competitors in the marketplace.


If you wish to invest in the most profitable project right now, then you cannot miss out on this unique play-to-earn investment. TamaDoge made its name quite recently after successfully completing its public offering and raising over $19 million in total. Once the ninth phase of the presale was over, investors new and experienced flocked to claim TAMA tokens and kept buying them to be a part of its ambitious journey.

Reasons for investing in TAMA:

TamaDoge has planned a P2E game launch and an augmented reality app.

TAMA tokens could be listed on LBANK and PancakeSwap.

Investors can buy TAMA tokens from OKX on both centralized and decentralized platforms.

Battle Infinity

One of the most trending crypto projects right now revolves around gaming that supports the Metaverse and that is exactly what Battle Infinity (IBAT) offers its investors. Battle Infinity has an interesting gaming metaverse which has attracted a record number of investors as well as users during its presale phase. The ecosystem of Battle Infinity is built around a fantasy premier league feature, and the platform also creates and hosts different types of games suitable for all.

Reasons for investing in IBAT:

The IBAT token is already listed on Coingecko, LBANK, CoinMarketCap, and PancakeSwap.

IBAT has been competing head-to-head with the top blockchain-based games.

In 25 days, this project raised up to 16,500 BNB (roughly $2 million).

Lucky Block

Lucky Block started at the beginning of 2023 and now it has become the No. 1 competition platform in the crypto space. That is not all. The LBLOCK token now has two versions and even its own NFT collection. Right from the start, LBLOCK has been outperforming its peers, and with its recent 2nd token version launch, it has been listed on various top-tier crypto exchanges like LBank, Pancakeswap, MEXC global, and chúng tôi Past performance and future plans point towards a spike in the demand for LBLOCK.

Reasons for investing in LBLOCK:

Max supply of LBLOCK is 1 trillion with an undisclosed market cap.

After getting listed, LBLOCK’s value has skyrocketed and continues to go up.

Both versions of LBLOCK tokens will be linked using a bridge to counter price differences and result in an increase in demand.


To be on the safe side while investing in the best crypto out there, you must have at least one investment opportunity that has shown consistent and stable growth. The best example of such a crypto investment has to be Pancakeswap, an automated market maker which continues to revolutionize the world of DeFi. Last year, the disclosed number of Pancakeswap users was 2.8 million, which signifies its position as the most popular decentralized platform.

Reasons for investing in CAKE:

The total amount of value locked (or TVL) at Pancakeswap is up to $3.8 billion.

Predictions by market analysts state that CAKE might undergo insignificant changes and act as a buffer to limit losses.


Book Publishers: You Can’t Beat Amazon — So Join ‘Em

Walk into your local bookstore, and all is peace and order. But the tranquility masks an industry on fire. The traditional book business is being burned to the ground by technology, by recession, by the Internet — but mostly by Amazon.

Here’s what’s going on.

The epicenter of the traditional book publishing industry is New York City, where you can find the headquarters of most major publishers.

Nine companies (and their various divisions and imprints) — Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin, Hachette, Thomas Nelson, St. Martin’s, Tyndale and John Wiley & Sons — control two-thirds of trade book sales in America.

In order to publish a first book, authors or their agents must submit a lengthy, detailed proposal that includes a few finished chapters. The vast majority of book ideas are rejected. A tiny handful is accepted, based on criteria that are changing rapidly as the industry evolves.

The tougher things get for traditional publishers, the fewer risks they take. So increasingly publishers look for authors with an existing “platform” — which means either fame or conspicuous credentials. That’s why thousands of literary geniuses and brilliant thinkers go unpublished each year while Suzanne Somers never fails to get her work published — even her poetry.

For the lucky minority that gets book deals, submission to acceptance can take six months. From acceptance to actual books in bookstores can take an additional year to 18 months.

Until recently, the alternative to getting a book deal was a slow suicide by alcohol poisoning. But thanks to digital technology, all that has changed. Now anyone can publish a book and put it up for sale to the public.

Several technology and business transformations have obliterated the industry’s monopoly on book publishing.

The “vanity press” has existed for ages. Any wanna-be author with money has always been able to get books published “privately.” But revolutions in digital layout, printing and manufacturing have brought the costs for self-publishing way down.

A newer kind of publishing, called print-on-demand or publish-on-demand brings the costs and risks down even further. With these businesses, the author sets up the book, ready to print, but no book is printed until somebody orders one. The per-copy cost is higher, but the up-front cost is far lower.

Self-publishing has moved from the shadows and into the sunshine. And today, it’s the most exciting new area of publishing. But let’s be clear: The legitimization of self-publishing is really attributable to Amazon, which lists self-published books for sale exactly as it does New York Times bestsellers.

But selling self-published books on Amazon is simply the better known aspect of the company’s threat to traditional publishing. Behind the scenes, upstart Amazon is fomenting two more revolutions.

First, of course, is the whole Kindle business. Amazon works hard to establish $9.99 as the de-facto price for eBooks. My understanding is that Amazon loses money on most books at this price, and pays the publisher a couple dollars more than it sells the books for, on average. Publishers typically make more for Kindle books than print books in the bookstore. But that gives them small comfort. Obviously this won’t continue, and at some point — once Amazon’s control has been solidified — the publisher’s share will likely come down.

To combat the growing threat from Amazon, publishers often delay Kindle editions by a few months to make them less attractive to eager buyers, who are essentially forced to get the paper version if they want a book right away. But this pathetic policy just makes the publishers look like the bad guys.

Meanwhile, publishing on Kindle is super easy — far easier and cheaper even than on-demand publishing. That’s yet another point in favor of self-publishing. Publishing electronically on Kindle brings the initial cost and the time to publish both down to approximately zero.

The second and most devastating revolution by Amazon is a company they own called CreateSpace. A roll-up of two self-publishing companies Amazon acquired, CreateSpace is aggressively evolving as Amazon’s soup-to-nuts self-publishing service, offering editing, proofing, design, printing, binding and widespread distribution, including into brick-and-mortar bookstores.

Aspiring authors put a properly formatted manuscript into one end of the CreateSpace system, and out the other end comes the Kindle edition, as well as a physical paper book for sale on chúng tôi and in smaller bookstores.

Theoretically, at least, CreateSpace does everything traditional publishers do. But they don’t do it nearly as well, and therein lies the opportunity for the publishing industry to survive, succeed in and even dominate the new world of publishing.

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