How Mergermania Is Destroying Book Publishing
November 29, 2012

The recently announced merger of Penguin and Random House, which is owned by Bertelsmann in Germany, sent shock waves throughout Western publishing circles. This new leviathan will publish a quarter of all books appearing in English, with annual sales of close to $4 billion, yet it is being treated by The New York Times and other media as a routine and perhaps even beneficial development.

Author Nicholas Sparks Sets Up Three Cable Dramas (Exclusive)
October 31, 2012

Don't cry for Nicholas Sparks. The author of 16 New York Times best-sellers, including such tear-jerkers-turned-movie hits as The Notebook and Dear John, is expanding into TV.

Sparks, 46, has put shows into development at three cable networks through Nicholas Sparks Productions, the shingle he started in April with his longtime literary agent Theresa Park. (UTA’s Elise Henderson joined in July as head of TV.)

Sparks and Park will act as executive producers on all three projects. UTA and attorney Scott Schwimer represent Sparks and his Nicholas Sparks Productions shingle.

Publishers Aren't Innovating Fast Enough
September 21, 2012

When I saw Jason Ashlock take part in a panel on the future of book publishing at the Aspen Summer Words conference a few months ago, I immediately noticed something different about him: He lacked that black cloud of doom floating over his head that many people involved in the book industry tend to cower under these days.

Ashlock, who makes his living as a literary agent and multimedia book packager, was downright chipper even as he discussed the demise of bookstores, book reviews, and the traditional publishing model.

A Novel Asks Seattle to Laugh at Itself
August 15, 2012

Maria Semple made an instant, jarring discovery when she moved with her boyfriend and daughter from Los Angeles to Seattle, a city whose Patagonia-clad inhabitants like to talk about bicycling, the environment and the eternally dull question (in her opinion) of whether it might rain.

“It’s just not a funny place,” said Ms. Semple, a novelist and veteran comedy writer who worked on the television shows “Arrested Development” and “Mad About You.”


In Posnanski’s ‘Paterno,’ a Biography With Bad Timing
July 23, 2012

On Thursday afternoon, the Free Library of Philadelphia was ready to go with a Sept. 6 event for Joe Posnanski, the author of Paterno, a forthcoming biography of the famed and vilified football coach. On Friday morning, the books publisher told the library to cross it off the calendar. Theyre holding off on the tour, Andy Kahan, the director of author events for the Free Library, said on Friday, adding that the publisher, Simon & Schuster, had said Mr. Posnanskis work obligations prevented his appearance. Simon & Schuster is backpedaling quickly in the final weeks before the publication of

What Publishers are Launching in the Mobile Space
July 1, 2012

Based on the series “The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod” by New York Times best-selling YA author Heather Brewer, High School Bites allows users to enter into the blood-sucking world of Vladimir Tod, Brewer’s hero whose human mother and vampire father perished in a fire. Special features of High School Bites include two different ways to play—either swiping the screen or tilting the device—and three different levels of difficulty, which users can increase as they progress.

For an Independent Bookseller and His Peers, a Time to Innovate
April 23, 2012

The story of P.K. Sindwani and his suburban Philadelphia bookstore is a saga of the beleaguered bookselling industry: good intentions, crazy times, and anyone’s guess as to how things will turn out.

For nearly two decades, Sindwani had done well at his shop near Ursinus College. But in 2010, with an anchor supermarket dying next door and the industry transforming at an exasperating pace, things got so tough that the onetime accountant and lifelong book lover was planning an exit strategy.

iTextbook rumors float before Apple event
January 4, 2012

Big Apple rumours are flying in advance of the tech company’s upcoming announcement in NYC, but don’t expect an iPad 3 or iTV. Instead of hardware, this event could focus more on Apple’s role in education, according to tech bloggers John Paczkowski at AllThingsD and Clayton Morris at Fox. Education was a cause near and dear to the late Steve Jobs, who spoke about revolutionizing America’s school system. Jobs had plans to make textbooks accessible on iPads, according to his biographer Walter Isaacson. His idea was to hire textbook writers to design digital versions of their work. The event

HMV makes a profit from Waterstone's, as losses deepen
December 19, 2011

The HMV Group made a profit of 11.5m from the sale of book chain Waterstone's, but the fillip did not prevent the CD and DVD retailer sinking further into the mire with operating losses for the six months to end-October up 25% to 30.4m after sales fell 18%. Total sales were 364.9m, down 17.6% on 2010 (442.7m). Like for like sales for the first half were down 11.6%, compared with a 15.5% drop in 2010. HMV sold Waterstone's to Alexander Mamut for 53m in June, and also sold HMV Canada at the same time. The trading loss from these