Publishers Rush to Release Books About Fallen Generals
November 14, 2012

In the wake of the scandal around David Petraeus and his "All In" biographer, Paula Broadwell, The Atlantic reports that Penguin moving up its publishing schedule for  Gen. Stanley McChrystal's memoir, "My Share of the Task," and Simon & Schuster has moved up the release date of "The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War."

It will be interesting to see if either publisher decides to make ebook versions available earlier, and when/if "All In" will be updated to reflect the scandal it's become synonymous with.

—Brian Howard

Book Awards Seek a Bigger Splash, Red Carpet and All
November 11, 2012

The National Book Awards ceremony is getting the Oscars treatment, reports the New York Times. In addition to adding a red carpet, hiring a DJ and inviting celebs like, ahem, Molly Ringwald, the awards board appears to be making a push toward higher-profile nominees, noting, as per the report: “Fame or obscurity, small press or large, should have no bearing on your deliberations."

In addition, as per the Times' Leslie Kaufman, the finalists (Junot Díaz, Dave Eggers, Louise Erdrich, Ben Fountain and Kevin Powers) were announced on Morning Joe. —Brian Howard



Getting Your Words' Worth: Turning Radio and Television Interviews into Book Sales
November 9, 2012

Two concepts determine your relative success in answering questions during a television or radio performance: preparation and flexibility. In most cases you will not know the questions you will be asked during the interview. But if you know your topic and know beforehand what you want to get across to the audience, you will be able to perform more successfully.

What makes a good guest for the show does not always make a good show for the guest. If all you do is answer the interviewer's questions informatively (whether or not they lead to meeting your goals), the host will think you are a great interviewee and perhaps ask you to return. But there is no future in being a professional guest if you do not sell your books in the process.

Nate Silver's book sales jump 850% after the NYT statistician predicts outcomes in 49 of 50 states
November 8, 2012

Have you been following the "Drunk Nate Silver" Twitter meme? Well, vanishing buy button or not, here's news that's bound to make Mr. Silver—the NYT blogger/statistician who predicted the election results witih uncanny accuarcy— intoxicated… with cash:

"On, sales for [Silver's book] The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don’t were up 850% the day after the U.S. election, according to CNNMoney. By Thursday, it was #2 on the site’s U.S. best seller list and #8 in Canada."

Then again, the odds are good that he predicted, that, too. —Brian Howard

Putting Fans To Work: A new tool for successful author events
November 7, 2012

For authors, one of the risks of doing promotional events is sitting at a table stacked high with books and reading to an empty room. Even in this era of social media, getting out into the meatspace to build an audience is vital for authors. But not only is it demoralizing when the book you've poured your passion into is met with a shrug (or worse), it's a big waste of time—time that could have been spent, say, promoting a more successful event.

What's an author to do? Andrew Kessler—entrepreneur and author of "Martian Summer," his first-hand account of shadowing NASA's 2009 Phoenix Mars Lander mission—thinks he has an answer.

Creators of Internet Phenomenon Talk New Book and Hollywood Hobnobbing
November 6, 2012

What started with asking for a blanket on a chilly evening grew into a collection of lady-like quips about everything from hummus to doilies, as well as a web presence that boasts more than 1.8 million Twitter followers and 30 million YouTube views. And now, they can add one more notch to the bragging post: a book.

Sh*t Girls Say has used its feminine persuasions and hilarious one-liners to break from the pack of Internet memes, and elbow its way onto bookstore shelves.

LitPick, A Startup Founded By A Harvard Lad And His Dad, Aims To Rate Young Adult Literature
November 2, 2012

The founders of LitPick have known each other since birth. Seth Cassel and his dad Gary founded their first company, FlamingNet in 2002 when Seth was in fourth grade. Designed as a book review site, Seth and his dad Gary built the site themselves and began taking a profit.

“I reviewed books on the site and gradually publishers began to find out about us and started sending me their titles to review.”

Amazon Freaks Out About Sock Puppet Reviews And Deletes A Bunch Of Real Reviews
November 2, 2012

For a while now, there has been a bit of a kerfuffle at Amazon over so called "sock puppet reviews" or reviews purchased by an author to help pad their books' rankings. We hadn't been covering any of it because, frankly, it was a non-story. There never was a threat to the publishing industry and it was always questionable how widespread the problem really was.

Unfortunately, Amazon took these complaints a little too seriously.