Wednesday News: POD bookstore, publishing errors, Shea Serrano’s Twitter army, and girl detectives
Famed publisher opens Paris’ first on-demand only bookshop – One of Paris’s most respected bookstores re-opened after more than fifteen years after it originally closed. Its renaissance is due to the availability of print-on-demand technology (note: Moriah Jovan had this idea eight years ago) :
While the PUF’s [Les Presses Universitaires de France] new bookshop is not as big as it used to be, its riches could fill the life of any reader. The few books on the shelves aren’t for sale, but around 3 million titles are available in the 72-square meter (775-square foot) store, which opened last week.
“This is the first all-digital bookshop in Europe that sells books on demand only,” PUF general manager Frederic Meriot told The Associated Press. “It is a model for the future, a model in which digital and paperback books can work together.”
PUF’s comeback in the City of Lights couldn’t have been possible without the Espresso Book Machine, the robot that prints, binds and trims books in a few minutes. Available since 2006, the first one was installed briefly at the World Bank’s bookstore. There are now more than 100 in bookstores and libraries across the world. – Saint Louis Post-Dispatch
Knopf Publishes History Book Which Confuses Woodstock, NY, With Town in Illinois – The publisher is under fire for a new book — The Catskills: Its History and How It Changed America — that mistakenly uses details from a Woodstock, Illinois source to reference Woodstock, New York. I actually disagree with Nate Hoffelder here that this is the publisher’s fault — at least not entirely. The authors, who should know their subject and their research are at least 50% at fault here, although clearly there was more than enough sloppy to go around.
A newspaper by the name of the Woodstock Independent is cited as a source, and that detail is interesting because there is no such paper in Woodstock.Well, there’s no such paper in Woodstock, NY, I should say, because this newspaper actually operates in Woodstock, Illinois. And sure enough, a quick search of that paper’s archives turned up Pribla’s fur shop on the “Square in Woodstock.”
The Woodstock Times contacted Knopf and informed the publishers of the errors, but there’s still no explanation as to how the errors slipped through the editing process. The book was penned by journalist
The real life crusade of a Twitter book hustler – When Shea Serrano, who made his own book, The Rap Year Book, an instant bestseller, it became clear that this guy knows how to work social media. He has more than 66K followers on twitter, and he has now turned them on to his former colleague, sports writer Jonathan Abrams, whose new book has been promoted by Serrano (I haven’t looked to see how the book did, but Serrano has had amazing success in book promotion, simply through his social media presence):
Over the next week and a half Serrano would keep prompting his followers to preorder Abrams’ book, and they would keep obliging, some of them tweeting him screenshots of their Amazon orders — partly as proof of purchase and partly as tribute. He rallied his forces and declared war: Tweeting, offering giveaways, and vowing to #MakeAbramsCry by getting him on the coveted New York Times’ best-sellers list. The formula for the best-sellers’ list isn’t cut and dry, but loading up your preorders before the book officially comes out is a way to up your chances. This will give a book a boost in sales, potentially making it a blockbuster within its first week.
Soon, Abrams and Serrano will be able to see if their campaign worked. Abrams’ book comes out on Tuesday and he estimates that his book gets roughly 75 to 100 pre-orders when Serrano makes one of his pushes. The book has edged its way into the No. 1 spot on Amazon’s Best-Sellers list for basketball books. Serrano can easily tweet more than 50 times on some days and for the last week, he’s been using a bulk of those tweets to promote Abrams’ book. – Marketplace
The Secret History of the Girl Detective – A nice piece on the history of the “girl detective” before Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew:
The surge in demand for mysteries came on the heels of a golden age of fiction for young people. Starting with Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1868), the fictionalized story of her own youth, and Mark Twain’s boy-hero adventures in Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), an audience grew for picaresque, message-laden tales for impressionable minds. Toward the end of the 19th century, a thriving publishing industry meant editors vied for the most addictive stories. Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), published in America five days after its British debut, was an immediate sensation. Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet (1887) introduced Sherlock Holmes to the world; six years later, when Conan Doyle killed off Holmes and nemesis Professor Moriarty so he’d finally have time to write historical novels, readers protested. Acceding to demand in both England and America, Holmes reappeared in The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1901.
Perhaps the first true girl detective made her debut in The Golden Slipper and Other Problems for Violet Strange (1915). The author, Anna Katharine Green, was an American friend of Conan Doyle’s, and had a string of best-sellers featuring female detectives. One of the major selling points of those books was that Green known for fact-checking every legal detail in her bestselling mysteries. Green created the first truly famous female sleuth in fiction, curious spinster Amelia Butterworth, in The Affair Next Door (1897), sketching the original pattern for Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. – Smithsonian Magazine