Publishing

Amazon Limiting E-Books to Kindle and Mobipocket Formats

Into e-books? Then you might find this of interest-

Publishers Weekly reports that Amazon.com has notified its publisher and author clients that it plans to cease offering e-books in the Microsoft Reader and Adobe e-book formats.

In the future, the online retailer says it plans to offer only e-books in the Kindle format (for wireless download to its Kindle reading device) and the Mobipocket format, both of which are owned by Amazon. The online retailer’s note asks publishers and authors to make sure that Amazon has written permission to offer their books for sale in the Mobipocket format.

See the Web Site, Buy the Book

Do elaborate Web sites and videos really sell books? As in so much of publishing, no one really knows.

Full essay in the New York Times

Mad Magazine Becomes a Quarterly

Will E-Books Really Bring Back Dickensian Lit?

A piece appearing on the Time magazine site looks at the future of traditional and 21st century publishing and reading habits.

"A lot of headlines and blogs to the contrary, publishing isn't dying. But it is evolving, and so radically that we may hardly recognize it when it's done. Literature interprets the world, but it's also shaped by that world, and we're living through one of the greatest economic and technological transformations since--well, since the early 18th century. The novel won't stay the same: it has always been exquisitely sensitive to newness, hence the name. It's about to renew itself again, into something cheaper, wilder, trashier, more democratic and more deliriously fertile than ever."

The Science Fiction Blog io9 has a shorter post summarizing the Time article.

Books Unbound

Article in Time that discusses the changes in the book industry. There is a discussion about self publishing and what is wrong with the publishing industry.

Will We Get to Know the Real Laura Bush?

As we now know, the outgoing first lady is writing a book, and Scribner is publishing it. It is supposed to offer "an intimate account of Laura Bush's life experiences, including eight years in the White House."

Her husband remains a captive of his own spin, which explains the lack of publisher interest in a memoir by an ex-president. Perhaps Mrs. Bush is more inclined toward introspection and honest disclosure, although according to the Boston Globe, evidence at the moment is slight.

During a recent interview with his wife, President Bush told CNN's Larry King that he likes President-elect Barack Obama.

"But he was so critical of you. Do you take that personally or don't you?" King queried.

"I did," Laura Bush quickly answered.

Publishers turn page with big cuts

Publishers turn page with big cuts: For decades, the New York publishing world promised a romantic life of fancy lunches, sparkling parties, sophisticated banter and trips to spots such as the Caribbean to pitch books to sales representatives.

The cushy way of doing business, however, is winding down.

Amid a string of layoffs and pay-freeze announcements, book publishers are clamping down on some of the business' most glittery traditions.

Self-Publishing Company Acquires Its Rival

Author Solutions, a publisher of print-on-demand books based in Bloomington, Ind., has acquired Xlibris, a rival self-publisher, expanding its footprint in one of the fastest-growing segments of publishing. Author Solutions, which owns imprints including iUniverse and AuthorHouse, last year published 12,000 titles and sold more than 2.5 million copies of its books, according to Kevin Weiss, the company’s chief executive.

Full piece in the New York Times

Here is another story about this news at Online Insider. This article mentions Walt Crawford.

Scribners wins Laura Bush lottery

It would seem the first and last actually famous librarian, soon-to-be-former First Lady Laura Bush, has found a home for her memoir, despite an apparent lack of enthusiasm from several NY publishers.

Scribners is the lucky lady. You can read about it here at Yahoo: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090105/ap_en_ot/laura_bush_book

I wouldn't give a festering bowl of dog snot for her husband but I always liked her. Smart, classy, rational, diplomatic. Seems the wrong Bush went into politics.

She got a lot of money for the book too. More than her husband and close to what Hillary got.

Bargain Hunting for Books, and Feeling Sheepish About It

Article in the New York Times:

Book publishers and booksellers are full of foreboding — even more than usual for an industry that’s been anticipating its demise since the advent of television. The holiday season that just ended is likely to have been one of the worst in decades. Publishers have been cutting back and laying off. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced that it wouldn’t be acquiring any new manuscripts, a move akin to a butcher shop proclaiming it had stopped ordering fresh meat.

Bookstores, both new and secondhand, are faltering as well. Olsson’s, the leading independent chain in Washington, went bankrupt and shut down in September. Robin’s, which says it is the oldest bookstore in Philadelphia, will close next month. The once-mighty Borders chain is on the rocks. Powell’s, the huge store in Portland, Ore., said sales were so weak it was encouraging its staff to take unpaid sabbaticals.

Full article here.

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