So yesterday the article I read about Jane Friedman’s $3 million capital venture gave me the impression that she was looking to move books into movies. Today on Galley Cat, there is some suggestion that her new venture is a digital publishing one and that she is looking to bring out of print titles into the digital marketplace. Possibly she is talking to Kensington (Kensington had been in talks with Samhain at one time but that fell through). Jane Friedman’s future business ventures sound a lot like rumors about the Apple Tablet. Something is happening but no one is quite sure what. There are existing digital publishers doing what Friedman is purportedly investigating. Belgrave House specializes in republishing Regency titles. Rosetta has struck deals with authors like Terry Goodkind. New publisher Quartet Press is looking for more legacy titles to bring out in digital. In any event, if this is true it means that someone besides the rest of us thinks that romance + digital = win.
Publishers Lunch had an interesting article (subscription link) regarding the rise of the author speaker’s bureau. One thing I’ve heard in denouncing comparisons between musicians and authors is that musicians can make money touring and authors cannot. According to Publishing Perspectives, however, authors can command between $5,000 and $20,000 per event.
Exact Editions explores the idea of online book clubs. I’ve often wanted to host a book club chat monthly here at Dear Author but for one reason or another (usually lack of interest) we can never sustain one. Exact Editions discusses the challenge of maintaining one on the internet due to the technological impediments.
But a more serious, and remediable problem with these book clubs is that it is very hard to share the reading experience through the web if the club is using a print book or even a traditional eBook. eBooks dont generally facilitate straightforward citations and bookmarks.
There’s a lit fic discussion taking place on the issue of dust jackets. Some publishers are imprinting a design straight on the cardboard cover and eschewing the dust jacket. I always removed the dust jacket when I read a hardcover because it tends to get damaged in the reading but I admit to some affection for them. My preference, though, is the imprinted cardboard cover that has the same look as the dust jacket so that the jacket is optional.
Even though romance is selling well at Borders, the economic situation is not rosy. Sales are down by a whopping 17.9% and losses are higher than expected. Part of the reason (but definitely not the entire reason) that sales were off from last year is that music and DVD sales are declining dramatically as Borders decreases the multimedia section and increases the children and teen section. Borders also acknowledged that its stock was too low something readers here have complained about time and again.
Nathan Bransford has a very neat article about how a book gets from author to the shelf.