Da Vinci

Matt Steinmetz is the publisher and brand director of Publishing Executive.

CURIOUS strollers in early-16th-century Venice might have paused by the shop of the great printer Aldus Manutius only to be scared off by a stern warning posted over the door. "Whoever you are, Aldus asks you again and again what it is you want from him," it read. "State your business briefly, and then immediately go away." To state the current business at hand briefly, Aldus is the subject of a new exhibition commemorating the 500th anniversary of his death - and the birth of reading as we know it.

The internet changed reading. It was always possible, with enough work, to track down the names and places in a piece of text or to understand the cultural references being made. But easy access to information has lowered the bar dramatically. In a 2008 interview, author William Gibson referred to the "Google novel aura," in which authors expect their work to be looked up online: "It's sort of like there's this nebulous extended text. Everything is hyperlinked now. Some of it you actually have to type it in to get it, but…"

Inferno, Dan Brown's new book about Dante, is coming out on May 14, 2013 from Doubleday in the U.S., and Transworld Publishers in the UK (a division of Random House).

Brown announced that he was writing something new in May 2012. Though Brown had been cryptic about the topic of the book, he has now revealed more information.

The book will again feature The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons and The Lost Symbol's lead character Robert Langdon.

Given the pressure to reduce costs, something had to give in the formerly genteel world of book publishing, and it’s not the publishers. Rationalizing with mergers, capitalizing on global fads and making up in digital sales some of what they have lost in print, the big houses are stubbornly resisting their oft-foretold extinction.

The true dinosaurs of the new age are authors. Once happily enclosed in the “stables” of publishers willing to nurture and develop their talent, even if they never wrote a major bestseller, droves of so-called “mid-list” authors now find themselves roaming

Interactive books for kids hit the App Store every week, but mature readers have fewer options as most turn to iBooks and eBooks. But, that doesn’t mean a few gems that use digitization well without compromising content emerge every year. This sector is grossly under-reviewed and the offerings can be very pricey making it hard for readers to decide which book-apps are right for them. These are the best of the lot from 2011, which, if you read them all, should keep you busy well into the New Year.

Tuesday was considered "D-Day" by many in the book publishing industry—as in Dan Brown Day. The "Da Vinci Code" author's much-anticipated sequel, "The Lost Symbol," was released in both print and electronic versions. The book's publisher Doubleday, an imprint of Random House's Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, had announced previously that the book would have a first printing of 5 million copies, the largest first print in Random House history.

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