Lots of news today so my summaries will be very short. First off with the sad news. Eva Ibbotson passed away last week. Ibbotson is best know for her YA books. Her books are favorites of Janine.
She was shortlisted for the Carnegie medal for Which Witch? the story of a wizard looking for a wife, while Dial-a-Ghost describes how Fulton Snodde-Brittle comes unstuck when he tries to hire some “frightful and dangerous ghosts” to scare his young nephew to death. The Secret of Platform 13 features a mysterious platform at King’s Cross station that leads to another, magical world. Published in 1994, three years before JK Rowling’s Harry Potter set off for Hogwart’s from King’s Cross’s platform 9 ¾, the book’s possible influence on Rowling has occasionally been raised, though never by Ibbotson herself.
In other sad but stupid news is that Cook’s Source, a supposedly venerable magazine of cooking, lifted a blogger’s article and reprinted it in their magazine without her permission. When the blogger found out, she wrote the magazine asking for a public apology and small donation to Columbia University. An editor from Cook’s Source responded with this:
But honestly Monica, the web is considered “public domain” and you should be happy we just didn’t “lift” your whole article and put someone else’s name on it! It happens a lot, clearly more than you are aware of, especially on college campuses, and the workplace. If you took offence and are unhappy, I am sorry, but you as a professional should know that the article we used written by you was in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than was originally. Now it will work well for your portfolio. For that reason, I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me! I never charge young writers for advice or rewriting poorly written pieces, and have many who write for me… ALWAYS for free!”
Read more here and the original blogger’s story here. I don’t know if I have read a more astonishing response. You should be grateful we took your work without your permission because it sucked before and now it’s awesome? Cook’s Source isn’t fairing well over at it’s facebook page.
One writer for the Guardian is speculating that giving away the digital book for free may both feed pre paper book sales buzz and foster an entitlement of free culture. I’ve long advocated for a digital early program by publishers. Harlequin does this with its series categories and I suspect it does this because a) the series books are often available in retail locations before the onsale date of the 1st of the month and are mailed to direct customers early and b) early digital sales might foster some word of mouth for books that have a very short shelf life.
It is also a good way to get consumers to buy direct from Harlequin versus a third party retailer. I struggle with this quite a bit. In fact, I pay a premium by having my HP subscription with Harlequin. I get 8 titles for under $25 and delivered one month earlier. If I could wait one month, I could get the entire set from Amazon for $9.99. Simon & Schuster used to have one or two titles for sale early but again, you had to buy it direct from the site. I think that you could definitely charge readers for early access and still get that pre print sale buzz.
People in Australia have something to be a little happier about. Apple’s iBookstore is offering pay for local content. I don’t know if this content duplicates what Kobo and Kindle offer to Australian customers or it offers something new. Of course, everything is according to “Agency” pricing:
Among the first group of six Australian publishers making their titles available through the store is Hachette Australia, which has not previously sold ebooks on any platform in Australia. Hachette Australia managing director Malcolm Edwards told the Weekly Book Newsletter the company had made its titles available to Apple through "an agency model', and said around 100 Hachette titles would soon be available on the store.
In an interview with likesbooks.com, Lisa Kleypas reveals that nothing is coming out in 2011 which sounds like her contemporary series is being pushed back to begin publication in 2012. Given that she is publishing in hardcover for these contemporaries, I can’t foresee a back to back to back release of those books either.
What will readers see in the year ahead?
Since I decided to take a break, 2011 is going to be a quiet year for me. Nothing scheduled-’I'll just be working. And of course I'll be checking AAR to find out about the great new romances coming out every month!
In possibly the worst press release of the year (based on readability and grammatical correctness), Barnes & Noble is pushing its in store freebies for nook readers. The freebies appear to be original essays rather than original fiction. Will that drive you to the store? I’m guessing no, but some of the freebies that may be of interest to the readers include:
- How Not to Look Like a Frump, Tart or Freak by Clinton Kelly Whatever your style, Clinton Kelly can help. The author and host of TLC's What Not to Wear shares fashion advice and words of wisdom, exclusively for NOOK owners.
- Read Pink! by Eloisa James This fall, a group of romance authors have banded together with their publisher, Penguin Books, to help promote breast cancer awareness. Join New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James as she discusses the great strength and humor displayed by the heroines written by these queens of romance.
- Being Grateful for the Little Things by Lesley M. M. Blume In this reflection on gratitude, children's author Lesley M. M. Blume finds much to admire among the fairy world, mostly unseen by humans. In this exclusive essay, Blume shares what we can learn from fairies that will make us happier creatures.
Sarah Weinman discusses some possibilities as to why News Corp is burying the financial details of HarperCollins last quarter. Weinman notes that whatever the reason, NewsCorp. is treating HarperCollins like an afterthought and maybe this signals Rupert Murdoch’s desire to put HarperCollins on the sale block.
Finally, lostbooksales.com is up and running. Here you can enter information for each book you wanted to buy but couldn’t because of any reason: price, availability, regional restrictions, etc. You can also provide links to places that provide books without restrictions. Thanks to Suze for the grand idea. I knew that international issues were a big deal because I receive emails from readers about it regularly. But I don’t think I truly understood the scope until people like Sarah Tanner started entering titles of books that are not available to her. It makes me feel guilty at my own good circumstance and upset on behalf of the readers who aren’t as fortunate.