Last week, the head of Penguin Canada stepped down. This week brings to light allegations of sexual harassment against the former President by a female executive who alleged she was the subject of a long campaign of inappropriate emails, text messages, in office treatment, and finally, a forced entry into her hotel room at the Frankfurter Book Fair. More at Quill & Quire.
Amazon is offering new levels of service which would require publishers and third party distributors to pay more to get featured access on the Amazon site. One unnamed publisher said that this was extortion. Of course, it makes sense that no one would go on the record to accuse Amazon of criminal (and hence defamatory) conduct. What I thought was most ironic about the piece was the complaint that Amazon wasn’t pushing quality books instead of basing it on a pay to play. Coop has always been about quality? I had no idea. Via Publishers Weekly.
MediaBistro links to a USA Today interview with Glenn Beck whose book empire pulls in gobs more money than his tv empire. Beck promotes books on his TV show and he publishes books under his own name that are co written by several authors. If you recall, Beck has a copublishing deal with Simon & Schuster and is pulling in $13 million in for his publishing efforts. From Forbes:
He has managed to monetize virtually everything that comes out of his mouth. He gets $13 million a year from print (books plus the ten-issue-a-year magazine Fusion). Radio brings in $10 million. Digital (including a newsletter, the ad-supported Glennbeck.com and merchandise) pulls in $4 million. Speaking and events are good for $3 million and television for $2 million.
Is Beck the new Oprah? If so, how scary is that? Via MediaBistro.
You would think that Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore are the poster children for overexposed. Is there anything we really don’t know about them? In case your curiosity is not yet satiated, Demi Moore is coming to the rescue with her memoir that she sold to Harper Collins for over $2 million. Good luck with that. Via MediaBistro. I’m not sure what the trends are here in the US, but the Guardian reported that celebrity book sales were down in 2009.
Celebrity books sold badly last Christmas and their sales dipped steeply.
The Times said that the celebrity book sales were down 25-30%.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Blackberry platform might be ported to a tablet by the end of the year. Will Xmas 2010 be the year of the tablet? Last year it seemed everyone and their cousin gave or received iTouches. Via Gizmodo.
Starbucks will be offering free wifi at all its US locations beginning July 1. As if I didn’t already have enough excuses to go and get fattening lattes.