Michael Connelly

Devotees of Sherlock Holmes are a famously obsessive bunch, and in the 126 years since Arthur Conan Doyle introduced his coolheaded detective they have certainly had plenty of real-world intrigues to ponder alongside fictional ones like “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.”

There have been fierce battles over control of Conan Doyle’s estate and the preservation of his former home in Surrey, England — to say nothing of the wild speculations surrounding the mysterious 2004 death of a prominent Holmes scholar who was found garroted with a shoelace shortly before a controversial auction of Conan Doyle papers.

Bookish (www.bookish.com) a one-stop, comprehensive online destination designed to connect readers with books and authors, launches today, providing visitors with exclusive content and insider access to A-list writers. Notable launch stories include: A joint interview with legendary crime fiction writer Michael Connelly and prize-winning suspense author Michael Koryta, revealing that Connelly had begun a book centering on a school shooting prior to the tragedy in Sandy Hook. The article also features juicy tidbits about both Connelly and Koryta’s upcoming books: www.bookish.com/connelly

New deals signed last week between Hachette and Simon & Schuster and their ebook retail partners have driven down prices of ebook best-sellers.

This week, both Hachette and Simon & Schuster inked new retail contracts with Amazon and their other partners, giving up pricing control per a settlement both publishers signed with the Department of Justice over the issue of ebook price-fixing. The retailers have wasted no time discounting some of the publishers’ ebook titles.

Michael Pietsch, Publisher of Little, Brown and Company and Executive Vice President of Hachette Book Group, announces the launch of ChapterShare, a new Facebook application designed to make the sharing of book excerpts a highly social experience.

The book business clearly is being transformed. Electronic copies of books now outsell print editions at Amazon.com, where the price of e-readers is well under $100. Apps for reading electronic books, magazines and newspapers are on almost every smartphone, tablet and computer platform available. The book business is not changing fast enough, though. Most of the changes still involve readers paying a publisher for one book, written by an author. Digital formats can enable more creative and reader-friendly innovations.

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