At a luncheon today at Book Expo America, the publishing trade fair that opened yesterday at the Javits Center, the American Booksellers Association honored James Patterson as its Indie Champion Award Winner. The one-man best-seller factory might have been an unlikely candidate for the honor a couple of years ago, but this year Patterson pledged to give $1 million to independent bookstores nationwide. And lately he's become increasingly exercised about the biggest topic at the convention: the dispute between Amazon and Hachette (the conglomerate that happens to publish Patterson
Donna Tartt has won the Pulitzer award for fiction for her third novel The Goldfinch, which judges described as a book which "stimulates the mind and touches the heart".
Relating the life of a 13-year-old boy who survives an accident that kills his mother, The Goldfinch was chosen as the winner of America's most prestigious literary award ahead of Philipp Meyer's The Son, and Bob Shacochis's The Woman Who Lost Her Soul. It is, said judges Art Winslow, Ron Charles and Sabina Murray, "a beautifully written coming-of-age novel with exquisitely drawn characters".
The rise of self-publishing has already catapulted a few lucky writers to the top of bestseller lists. And major publishing houses often try to woo these stars into their fold. Swoon Reads, a new young adult romance publisher, is taking this dance a step further. It has added crowdsourcing to the mix, promising a contract to the writer whose book wins the hearts of a community of online readers.
On Friday - Valentine's Day - Swoon Reads announced the winner of that contract: Sandra Hall a teen librarian in Morristown, N.J.
Reading the original Oprah Book Club list is like throwing yourself into a dizzying cultural time machine. From Charles Dickens to Gabriel Garcia Marquez to Toni Morrison, her Book Club picks from the platform of her storied ABC television talk show imprinted a new generation of readers with classics, both new and old. When her talk show went away, her Book Club did too after a long 15-year run that spread "The Oprah Effect" across the lucky publishers of roughly 70 books.
The publishing industry has been challenged by the online sales success of Amazon, the rise of eBooks, print-on-demand and most recently by self-publishing. Though the overall unit sales and book revenues for traditional publishing held up in 2012, pricing wars have accelerated. The 2013 holiday season, for example, saw bestsellers like John Grisham's Sycamore Row discounted (in eBook form) all the way down to $3.29, as Porter Anderson notes in his story on eBook pricing.
I have written extensively on author and library reactions to this disruption, but the publishing industry itself is also morphing.
Amazon hopes to harness the large community of romance readers with a new weekly romance podcast, “Kindle Love Stories.” It will feature author interviews, reviews and trends in romance books, and is accompanied by a book discussion group on Goodreads, the reading social network that Amazon acquired in March.
The podcast is sponsored by Amazon Publishing’s romance imprint, Montlake Romance. The first two featured titles – Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan and The Second Chance Café by Alison Kent — were both published by Montlake…
Prize-winning investigative reporter Edward Jay Epstein will speak to true crime fans and conspiracy enthusiasts around the globe through a series of interactive online video chats discussing some of history's most intriguing unsolved crimes, which are the topic of his recent book, The Annals of Unsolved Crime.
The series will comprise an initial six online chats on Tuesdays at 5pm EDT and will be powered by Shindig.com, an interactive platform for large scale video chat events, allowing attendees to enjoy a live talk by a notable personality, share the stage to ask them questions face-to-face or to privately video chat with other participants in the event. "Shindig provides an extraordinary interactive means of directly answering questions provoked by the cases in my book," Epstein said. The discussions will be free, but are limited to the first 800 RSVPs who sign up at: www.mhpbooks.com/unsolvedcrime
While it’s odd to think of an organization backed by Penguin, Hachette and Simon & Schuster as a startup, Bookish, the new book-recommendation and -discovery site, is essentially that. After two years in development under three CEOs, it’s a new site where users can get recommendations based on titles or groups of titles they know they already like and then, in most cases, purchase them. Like the Random House project Book Scout, the idea, on one level, is to facilitate discovery across the industry, for the good of the industry. And while users can discover just about any book, the books they can purchase directly from Bookish are not limited to those published by the companies who footed the bill.
Lori Hettler is a passionate reader, tearing through about 80 books a year. But as a resident of a Pennsylvania town and with a preference for fiction from small publishers, she can have trouble finding new books to feed her habit.
She tried to start a book club, but there weren’t enough takers. For years she made a weekly trip to browse a bookstore 40 minutes away in a Scranton suburb.
But then she found a solution to her problem: Goodreads.com, a social media site for finding and sharing titles that has 15 million members…
On January 30th, subscribers to Publishers Weekly’s email newsletter received a special “News Alert” with a red rectangle across the top. “Simon & Schuster, Barnes & Noble in Dispute Over Terms” the headline declared. But the message itself was cryptic, offering no details about the terms involved or a clear explanation as to why there was a dispute to begin with. PW managed to get one quote from a B&N spokesperson: