The standoff between publishers and libraries over e-books is rapidly easing.
On Wednesday, Hachette Book Group became the fourth major publisher this year to announce it was expanding its digital offerings to libraries. Hachette, whose authors include Stephenie Meyer and Malcolm Gladwell, will offer its entire e-catalog to libraries after two years of pilot programs. New books will be available simultaneously in paper and e-editions, a policy also recently adapted by Penguin Group (USA). Hachette, Penguin and other publishers had previously restricted newer works out of concern for lost sales.
I think every publisher, no matter what their size, is wrestling with a rapidly evolving marketplace, with discoverability for their titles, with the digital transformation of the industry and a host of other issues. They're thinking about these big issues while keeping the boat afloat — working as hard as ever on the book they're publishing here and now. It often feels like everyone in the industry is now doing two jobs — their old job and their still-forming new job.
Given the exponential proliferation of free and cheap digital content in the marketplace — to say nothing of the platforms upon which one can consume that content — it's never much of a challenge to find something to read. But finding something you want to read at a great price? Therein lies the rub. Enter BookBub, a Cambridge-based email recommendation engine that delivers daily ebook deals, for titles across a wide range of platforms, to its million-plus members based on their tastes and interests.
Last September, author Junot Diaz spoke to a standing-room-only audience at Town Hall in Seattle. Within the first few minutes, he gave the city props for approving a $122 million library levy the previous month. That’s how Seattle rolls.
It’s a book town and proud of it. Seattle always ranks at the top of the list of the most literary cities, dueling with Minneapolis and Washington, DC. Amazon and Costco are headquartered here. We thought we’d head to the Pacific Northwest and see what the publishing scene is all about. And what we found was a vibrant literary community with a lot of publishing options. It just doesn’t look like what you’d expect.
NEW YORK, NY (April 24, 2013) — What makes books sexy? With “Fifty Shades of Grey” a worldwide literary phenomenon, Bookish (www.bookish.com), the popular site for readers, has launched a feature package devoted to sex in literature. The special includes exclusive contributions from celebrated authors and personalities:
· Acclaimed sex therapist and writer Dr. Ruth Westheimer reveals how “Fifty Shades of Grey” and similar reads impact real-life couples, and advises men that they should start behaving more like a good read if they want to be considered a good lover.
· Eric Van Lustbader, bestselling author of “The Ninja” and current author of the legendary “Bourne” series, discusses the art of writing a great sex scene.
· Award-winning novelist Deeanne Gist explains why her “inspirational romance” titles are filled with passion – but always stop short of the bedroom.
Terry Pratchett fans celebrated the fantasy novelist’s birthday yesterday. According to Tor.com, the beloved author of Discworld is also “the most shoplifted author in Britain.”
If you want to celebrate, check out the finalists for the first ever Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Award. The winning novelists gets a £20,000 prize as an advance on a publishing contract.
Book publishing has been famously slow to embrace technology, but some industry executives are hoping it's never too late to change. Taking a page from the tech community, an independent publisher and a top talent agency will announce Monday that they have joined forces to host the first-ever publishing "hackathon."
The aim will be to inspire programmers, designers and entrepreneurs to develop an app, widget or website that solves the riddle of how to expose potential book buyers to titles they didn't know they wanted. The issue has become a critical one for publishers as they face the decline of
Publisher–generated online communities, such as HarperCollins’ InkPop, Gollancz’s SF Gateway and Hachette’s Pick a Poppy, are set to almost double over the next two years, according to research by Bowker which was unveiled at yesterday’s “The Campaign Revolution: New Models for Reaching Reader Communities” seminar.
The report, presented by Jane Tappuni, business development director at Publishing Technology, showed that two-thirds of UK and US publishers already host reader communities, and that figure is set to rise to more than 90% over the next two years.
Simon & Schuster, together with The New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Library, announced today a one-year pilot program under which the publishing company’s complete catalog of ebooks will be made available to the libraries. Beginning April 30th, The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library will have access to such beloved classic favorites and current bestsellers as The Great Gatsby, Lonesome Dove, Team of Rivals, Steve Jobs, The Glass Castle, Still Alice, The Road Less Traveled, The Coldest Winter Ever, Clockwork Princess, Misty of Chincoteague and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The Queens Library pilot expected to begin in mid-May. The participating libraries can acquire any Simon & Schuster ebook title at anytime during the pilot’s one-year term, with each title usable for one year from the date of purchase. Each library can offer an unlimited number of checkouts during the one-year term for which it has purchased a copy; each copy may only be checked out by one user at a time. All of Simon & Schuster ’s front list and backlist titles that are available as ebooks are eligible for the program, with new titles being made available simultaneous with their publication.
On Monday afternoon, the Pulitzer Prize Board will announce the winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Or not. Last year, for the first time in 35 years, there was no prize awarded for fiction. Imagine Bono walking on stage to award the Grammy for Album of the Year and announcing that there wouldn't be an award for Album of the Year. It was like that. The snub earned the Pulitzer Prizes more publicity -- and not the good kind -- than the actual awards …