No Books Enter Public Domain in 2014
January 3, 2014

A new year means a new batch of copyrights expire, and works like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Bell Jar become as free to use as Charles Dickens or Shakespeare. Unless you happen to live in the United States, that is.

As Duke University notes in its mournful annual report, no books will enter the public domain this year, or next year, or the year after that.  This situation is the result of Congress's decision to add another 20 years of protection for long dead authors, which means that no new works will become public until 2019.

Ereaders That Charge With Your Touch
October 14, 2013

WASHINGTON: Researchers have developed new flexible paper generators that use simple rubbing or tapping to produce electricity that can light up LEDs and activate e-reader displays.

The new approach to energy harvesting uses electrets, materials with special electrical properties that already are used in microphones and in tiny MEMS devices.

Christian Comics Leader Kingstone Now on No.1 Comic App - Comixology
July 10, 2013

LEESBURG, Fla. – July 10, 2013 –Kingstone—the leading publisher of Christian comics and biblical-worldview graphic novels—launches today on the iPad/iPhone’s No. 1 comic app—Comics by comiXology. This brings the first faith-based comics and graphic novels to the leading global digital comics platform.  

“ComiXology is the de facto leader in delivering comics and graphic novels worldwide,” said Kingstone Media CEO Art Ayris, who unabashedly aims to be the Marvel or DC of Christian comics. “We like putting Christ and the Scriptures in the mainstream of the comic conversation.”

Hachette Book Group Purchases Adult Imprint Hyperion, Backlist and Titles for Future Publication
June 28, 2013

June 28, 2013 — Disney and Hachette Book Group (HBG) announced today Hachette’s agreement to purchase Disney’s adult trade publishing imprint, Hyperion. When the acquisition is completed, HBG will become the publisher of more than 1,000 books published by the Hyperion adult trade book division since its inception in 1991, as well as approximately 25 books scheduled for future publication. Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW), the world’s largest publisher and licensor of children’s books, will retain all of its Disney and Disney-Hyperion branded children’s and young adult book titles, and will publish franchise-based titles from Disney/ABC Television Group upon completion of the transaction.

Why Maurice Sendak's stories were so scary
June 10, 2013

Maurice Sendak, who died last May, would have celebrated his 85th birthday Monday. His life’s work is being honored in a Google Doodle that sketches out his otherworldly creatures, un-childlike fangs and claws and all.

Mr. Sendak, whose much-lauded work was sometimes banned for its unsanitized take on the children’s genre, did not believe in childhood – at least not childhood in the way in which it is conventionally talked about, glossed in nursery-appropriate hues.

Book Publishers Poised for M&A, Says Providence Equity's Napack
May 31, 2013

The book industry, rattled by the surge in e-book sales through online retailers, is poised for consolidation, said Brian Napack, a former Macmillan president and senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners.

"We're in a major battle right now for the future of the industry," Napack said Wednesday at BookExpo America, the industry's annual convention held at the Javits Center in New York. "It will be very difficult for the existing major players to stand alone in the face of growing scale because they are competing for the same authors and competing for the same distribution channels. There are only so

Volunteers to Give Away a Half Million Free Books on Tuesday, April 23rd
April 23, 2013

From Kodiak to Key West, Concord to Carlsbad, Grand Forks to Galveston, in 6,200 towns and cities across America, more than 25,000 World Book Night U.S. volunteers will go out and personally hand out a half million free books to new or light readers on one day: April 23, 2013.

Scholastic Names Samantha Smith, Fiction Publisher, and Rachel Partridge, Group Marketing and Publicity Director, Scholastic UK
April 9, 2013

Samantha Smith will join Scholastic UK on May 20th as Fiction Publisher. Samantha is currently Editorial Director at Little Brown, where she has worked with authors including P.C. and Kristin Cast, Chris Colfer and Stephenie Meyer.  She will report to Hilary Murray Hill, MD of Scholastic Children’s Books, who has overall responsibility for Scholastic’s trade publishing in the UK.  

Hilary commented, ‘‘Samantha’s appointment will enhance our exceptional editorial team and take the Scholastic fiction list forward in new directions.  I am absolutely delighted that we will be working together”. Samantha said, ''I'm thrilled to be joining Scholastic. It's a house with a brilliant publishing history, one that I very much grew up with, but that remains a vibrant and dynamic part of children's publishing today and is incredibly well-placed to meet the challenges of the market going forward. I'm looking forward to working with the in-house team and their outstanding authors.”

Night Shade Books' would-be owners on their controversial deal: "We're the good guys"
April 8, 2013

Night Shade Books has published some of the coolest books of the past several years, but it's also run into financial difficulties. Now Night Shade is trying to sell out to two other entities, in a deal that authors and agents have criticized. We talked to the prospective buyers, and they explained their side of things.

"We're the good guys," insists Jarred Weisfeld with Start Publishing. "We're the ones who are coming in and trying to save something."

In our half-hour phone interview with Weisfeld and his partner in this buyout, Tony Lyons with Skyhorse Publishing, that theme came up several

Why does Angry Birds have a vice president of book publishing?
February 18, 2013

It should come as no surprise that there are official Angry Birds books, given its evolution into a brand spanning toys, clothing, sweets and hundreds of other products.

What may be more surprising is that Rovio doesn't simply license Angry Birds out to publishers and leave the details to them. There are licensing deals – Penguin is publishing seven Angry Birds books in 2013 – but Rovio also has an in-house book publishing team, headed up by vice president Sanna Lukander.