Dec 24 2012
Monday News: HarperCollins sales down; Tournament of Books now Nook sponsored; GiveWell rates charities
In reporting results, News Corp. broke down HC revenue into consumer and other, although it doesn’t identify what other includes. In the quarter, consumer sales were $326 million and other $26 million, while in fiscal 2012, consumer sales were $1.12 billion and other $66 million. In providing background on HC, News Corp. said HC has about 100,000 SKUs with about 30,000 titles available in digital formats.
Each weekday in March, two works of fiction from 2012 go head to head, with one of our judges deciding—with elaborate explanation—to advance one title into the next bracket. At the end of the month, the winner of the tournament is blessed with the Rooster, our prize named after David Sedaris’s brother (because why not). Along the way, each judge reveals his or her biases and interests, any connections they have to the participating authors, and, most importantly, how they decided between the two books. Then our ToB Chairmen, authors Kevin Guilfoile and John Warner, weigh in with commentary, and finally leave it up to you, the readers, to add your own passionate thoughts and rebukes to the mix.
One of the things that’s striking about GiveWell’s list is that a lot of marquee charities — UNICEF, Oxfam, the Salvation Army, Doctors Without Borders, among others — aren’t on it. It’s not because GiveWell thinks those groups do a bad job, necessarily, but that it’s just not possible to know whether they’re doing a good one. Oxfam, for example, neither publicly releases evaluations of its programs nor focuses on areas where interventions would be particularly cost-effective. The next time you are thinking about giving to a charity, you may want to see what Give Well has to say about them.
To those who celebrate Christmas, Merry Christmas. Tomorrow there will be no news because a) it is Christmas but mostly b) I won’t be in a place that has internet access. I know. Quelle horreur! Pray for me.