National Endowment of the Arts
The Pew Research Center reported last week that nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year. As in, they hadn't cracked a paperback, fired up a Kindle, or even hit play on an audiobook while in the car. The number of non-book-readers has nearly tripled since 1978.
If you are the sort of person who believes that TV and the Internet have turned American culture into a post-literate scrubland full of cat GIFs and reality TV spinoffs, then this news will probably reinforce your worst suspicions. But buried beneath it, I think
Today, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in the Department of Commerce and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released Preliminary Report on the Impact of Arts and Culture on the US Economy, its first study analyzing the arts and cultural sectors' contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment.
PubWest, the leading trade association of small- and medium-sized book publishers, has awarded its 2013 Jack D. Rittenhouse Award to Jack Shoemaker, Co-founder, Editorial Director and Vice President of Counterpoint Press. The PubWest Board of Directors selected Shoemaker in recognition of his extraordinary career and how his lifetime of work has shaped and inspired the book publishing community. PubWest Board President Dave Trendler said, “The Jack D. Rittenhouse Award was established in 1990 as a way to thank and honor those who have made a real contribution to the Western community of the book. Today, the Rittenhouse Award is truly a lifetime achievement award for those who have made long-lasting contributions to how books are made and sold. I'm truly pleased to welcome him into the company of Rittenhouse Award recipients.”
Around the time I started working in trade publishing, Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" was a huge bestseller, clocking sales at record rates. I was impressed, and still am, but my thinking on what these numbers meant was altered by the comment of a colleague: "Just because people are buying the book, doesn't mean they're reading it."
And, of course, it's true. Hawking's book was a trendy intellectual purchase. Drop a copy of this much-talked-about dense and brainy bestseller on your coffee table, and guests were sure to gain a favorable impression of your erudition. But speak knowledgably about black holes, quarks and antimatter? Mere ownership of the tome did not such conversations guarantee.
Open Road Integrated Media, a digital publisher and multimedia content company, today announced its partnership with Girls Write Now (GWN), New York City’s premier creative writing and mentoring organization for at-risk and underserved high-school girls. As part of this partnership, Open Road will sponsor CHAPTERS 2012, a public reading series showcasing a fresh season of talent at GWN with keynote speeches from women who inspire the teens, including two Open Road authors: the bestselling co-author of The Daring Book for Girls, Andrea J. Buchanan, whose upcoming novel Gift will be published this month; and Alix Kates Shulman, whose library of eight titles, including Memoirs of an Ex–Prom Queen and her new collection The Marriage Agreement and Other Essays, will be published as ebooks in May, on the cusp of her eightieth birthday.
Friday marks the end of an era. Some, like Warner Bros. executive Dan Fellman, compare its finality to the breakup of the Beatles.
When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the eighth and presumably final film based on the phenom that has sold 450 million books and close to a billion movie tickets, opens this week in theaters from Lahore to Los Angeles, it will be twilight in the Potterverse.
Amazon.com today announced that Amazon Publishing will publish 32 books in late summer and early fall under its various imprints.
As the recession trudges on, you may have noticed that the bookstore you pass every morning on your way to work has hung the dreaded “Going Out of Business” sign in the front window. Even larger book-selling chains, such as Borders and Barnes & Noble, have reported declining sales, despite their large inventories, events and in-store cafés. Sales are moving online, and e-books and e-readers are growing increasingly popular. What does this mean for the future of traditional book publishers and the print books they produce?
Judging from the prognostications that Pat Schroeder remembers hearing at publishing conferences a decade ago, most people today ought to be reading e-books and regarding print as a quaint relic of the past. That hasn’t happened, of course, and the president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) sees that fact as a useful caution when trying to predict the future of the industry. It’s easy to identify key factors, but misjudge their effect; trends that seem vitally important now could fade into obscurity, and the course of publishing could be shaped by things currently on no one’s radar screen.
For the first time in more than 25 years, American adults are reading more literature, according to the National Endowment for the Arts' (NEA) 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. For the first time in the history of the survey, which has been conducted five times since 1982, the overall rate at which adults read literature—including novels, short stories, plays and poems—increased, rising seven percent since 2002.