Sep 28 2009
Kate Duffy was the backbone of romance at Kensington. As editorial director, she created the Brava line and discovered a multitude of authors. A no nonsense, tell it like it is, sort of person, Kate was so devoted to her job that illness took no place. Unfortunately, Kate succumbed to a difficult battle she had been having with her health. Kate was a tireless supporter of the genre and we will all be poorer because of her death.
CBS Evening News carried a piece on digital books which apparently means that it’s gaining some traction in the public consciousness. I expect that it will be a big gift this year. After all, how many iPods/iThings can you buy a kid?
It’s Banned Book week and there are several blog posts around the web:
- Donalyn Miller describes a few thwarted attempts at censorship and a list of ways that the community can help combat book banning.
- Romance BookWyrm blogs about Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - why she likes it and why she thinks it was on the list.
- Marjorie Kehe at the Christian Science Monitor links to an op ed piece in the Wall Street Journal arguing that there is no need for the ALA to spend so much time and money promoting the cause against banned books because the banning of books is largely ineffective. (Maybe because there is a force mobilized against the banning of books? Oh, WSJ, really, this is an editorial you want to print?)
New Yorker contacted Fred Benenson who is attempting to crowdsource the translation of Moby Dick into Emoji. Emoji is the icon form of texting and communication started in the East, particularly Japan. The whole project is being sourced out of Kickstarter, a site that allows authors and other artists to offer up proposals for the consuming public to pledge money toward. Kickstarter is a fascinating concept and somewhat related to a John Scalzi post of a year ago in which he ponders whether 1,000 “True Fans” could support an artist.
The French fashion industry has been attempting to reduce and/or eliminate the emaciated model. In another effort to combat the falsity presented by touched up images, the French have proposed a law that would require any ad that has been photoshopped to display a disclaimer. I haven’t thought this through yet, but I kind of like it.
A Chicago mother has sued four students for setting up a false facebook page under her son’s name. The counts include defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The facebook statuses included racist statements and description of sexually explicit acts with other males. Calling someone gay or a racist isn’t always defamation but I can see the intentional infliction of emotional distress being successful.
The Times UK has a great account of the history of the paperback. When the paperback was first introduced, the book industry was appalled and believed that the low pricing would doom the entire trade.
The book trade was, largely, appalled at this notion. Cheap paperbacks -’ Penguins were priced at 6d at a time when most new hardback novels were 7s 6d -’ would not only be unprofitable themselves, but would also undermine the entire industry. Publishers including Victor Gollancz and Stanley Unwin, the head of Allen & Unwin, refused to sell Lane rights in their books.
Woolworths ordered 63,500 copies. There was a stampede for the new books, which sold 150,000 copies within four days of publication in August 1935. Within a year, Penguin’s sales were at three million.