Last week at BEA I spoke with a number of publishing people about 50 Shades. I was beginning to feel sanguine about the book. A book that made women feel more comfortable about their sexuality was a good thing. A book that got people reading was a good thing. The publishing path of 50 Shades was instructive and enlightening. But my equanimity with the book was utterly destroyed when I read this earlier this week:
Louisa May Anonymous’s 50 SHADES OF LOUISA MAY, imagining the secret sex life of an iconic 19th-century American novelist and the Transcendentalists (Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville) after whom she lusted, to John Oakes at OR Books, by Dan Conaway at Writers House
For many woman, Louisa May Alcott represents a very innocent and precious time in her life. I feel like my childhood is being despoiled with the mere mention of this deal. Worse? It seems like it is now a trend. Pan Macmillan in the UK acquired Jane Eyre Laid Bare: Jane Eyre with an erotic twist. This isn’t the first time Jane has been bastardized in such a manner. There was Pride/Prejudice, the slash fiction version of P&P. But two historical female authors being sexualized in real person fan fiction because publishers think women just want sexed up versions of everything? That’s a trend I want to see die early and yes, I blame this on 50 Shades.
Update: I’ve been told LMA wrote erotica under “A Well Known Author”. Consider my innocent youth debauched.
Fear Factor, the Print Supply-Chain, and the Espresso Book Machine – – Ampersand Marketing & Publishing Services Ampersand Marketing & Publishing Services – “If publishers would allow Espresso to have access to their files, then the local bookseller would be able to provide something Amazon can’t–any book available now, printed in 5 minutes, for pick up or delivery. With that advantage, booksellers could actually tackle their fundamental problem: Any potential customer knows that if they want a particular book their local bookstore is quite likely NOT to have it and Amazon certainly does. If the book buying audience could be habituated into thinking differently about what their local retailer has to offer, then the bookstore could also be preserved as a place of discover and community.”
Ampersand Publishing .
PN: I didn’t realize that publishers weren’t making their files available for instant printing. I suppose in the case of new titles, publishers want bookstores to order stock. In the case of backlist titles, though, I’m not sure I see the downside.
Amazon could own .book as domains up for grabs | The Bookseller – “Icann, the US-appointed company which decides which new domains can be added to the web, revealed yesterday (13th June) that 1,700 new domains such as .app, .kids and .love as well as .amazon and .google could come online early next year…. Amazon and Google have made bids to control hundreds of the domains including .shop, .book, .love, and .map, the Guardian reports. The most popular is .app with 13 organisations including Amazon and Google staking a claim. The domains .book and .shop have nine applications each.” The Bookseller
PN: Barnes & Noble owns book.com. I’m surprised that they didn’t put in a bid for .book. Maybe they will yet.
State Department speaks out on Amazon Kindle deal — paidContent – “On Monday, I reported that the U.S. State Department was signing a $16.5 million agreement with Amazon to provide Kindles, content and service for overseas English language programs. Yesterday I was able to get on the phone with State spokesman Philippe Reines, who explained more about how the program will work and clarified some things that aren’t included in the available public documents. Some questions remain unanswered, and I’ve listed those at the end of this post.” Paid Content
PN: Because of the DOJ lawsuit, the government’s no bid contract with Amazon is under a lot of scrutiny. Some are suggesting that there is some shady relationship between Amazon and the government which led to the filing of the DOJ suit. Not sure whether they are going to allege the same thing with the States’ Attorneys General.
Terry Goodkind to Self-Publish Next Novel – “Bestselling fantasy author Terry Goodkind is self-publishing his next novel, The First Confessor. The author has been releasing tidbits about the book via social media–he has shared links to two book trailers through Twitter and his Facebook page–and, on Tuesday, unveiled the title of the work. The book will be available on July 2. PW
PN: Terry Goodkind has been published by Tor in the past. I think Goodkind has to be the biggest author to self publish. I think it is interesting that he is going to self publishing first when the popular self publishers are signing book deals with traditional publishers. I wonder if the trend for bigger name authors will be to self publish digitally and then move back to traditional publishing for print.
HarperCollins Launches Global Publishing Program – AppNewser – “Publishing company HarperCollins has launched a new global publishing initiative called HarperCollins 360 that will make sure that all HarperCollins books are available in print or eBook form in all English-language markets. The press release explains: “When the program is fully implemented, the HarperCollins global catalog — 50,000 print books and 40,000 e-books — will be available, limited only by the rights held, not by technology or geography. Authors published in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, India, and Canada will be listed, published, and available to booksellers and consumers in the U.S. through the HarperCollins global print and digital platforms that include regional warehousing with on-site printing machines.”” Media Bistro
PN: Is this fantastic or what? Possibly the best “for reader” news I’ve seen in a long time.
Barnes & Noble Chairman Riggio Will Pay $29 Million To Settle Shareholder Suit Over College Acquisition | Publishers Lunch – “The long-running litigation surrounding Barnes & Noble’s August 2009 acquisition of BN College from company founder and chairman Leonard Riggio is finally over, as Riggio has agreed to settle a series of lawsuits launched by shareholders with a $29 million payment from personal fund.”
PN: This is subscription only link but the shareholder suit arose over B&N’s acquisition of Len Riggio’s college textbook business that the shareholders obviously felt did not benefit the company but instead Riggio’s own pockets. This should not affect the bottom line for BN given that the $29 is coming from Riggio’s personal funds.