Novels Don't Have to be Hard to Read

Wall Street Journal. AUGUST 29, 2009, "Storytelling: Good Books Don't Have to Be Hard; A novelist on the pleasure of reading stories that don't bore; rising up from the supermarket racks." By LEV GROSSMAN


The Party's Over at the World's Biggest Book Show

In a sign of the economic times, Random House has canceled its famed curtain-raising soiree during the Frankfurt Book Fair. The party, long known as a lavish annual industry event, has been the financial responsibility of Random House and parent company Bertelsmann and was, this year, canceled by the CEOs of those companies.

A spokesperson for the publisher issued a statement saying that "this course of action is consistent with our not hosting any corporate social events this spring at the LBF or BookExpo America. Story from Publishers Weekly.

Yale University press caught up in censorship row

Yale University Press has been forced onto the defensive, amid accusations that it is unfairly curtailing a social scientist’s ability to publish her research.

Latest Magazine to File for Bankruptcy

The Reader’s Digest Association Monday became the latest magazine publisher weighted down by severe debt to file for bankruptcy protection. RDA said it reached an agreement in principle with a majority of its senior secured lenders on terms of a restructuring plan to reduce the company’s debt from $2.2 billion to $550 million, and expects to file a pre-packaged Chapter 11 petition for its U.S. business within the next 30 days.

RDA's lender group will also provide the company with $150 million in debtor-in-possession financing which, it said, will be convertible into exit financing upon emergence from Chapter 11.

But, there will always be Reader's Digests....won't there?

Bits of Destruction Hit the Book Publishing Business

Bits of Destruction Hit the Book Publishing Business: Part 4

In this fourth part of our investigation into the ongoing changes in the book publishing business, we look at the author's point of view. What are they getting today? What would they like to get? What can they reasonably expect to get as this drama unfolds? Authors are the creative juice of the whole eco-system. If they don't create material that people want to read, no one will make any money.

Full story at ReadWriteWeb

If you had not seen the previous parts here they are:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


No Images of Muhammad in New Book

The forthcoming book from Yale University Press, “The Cartoons That Shook the World,” will NOT contain the 12 Danish drawings that originally appeared in September 2005. A panel of diplomats and experts on Islam and counterterrorism unanimously decided not to include the cartoons that are the main subject matter of the book.

New York Times reports.

In a Digital Future, Textbooks Are History

Story in the New York Times

At Empire High School in Vail, Ariz., students use computers provided by the school to get their lessons, do their homework and hear podcasts of their teachers’ science lectures.

Down the road, at Cienega High School, students who own laptops can register for “digital sections” of several English, history and science classes. And throughout the district, a Beyond Textbooks initiative encourages teachers to create — and share — lessons that incorporate their own PowerPoint presentations, along with videos and research materials they find by sifting through reliable Internet sites.

Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web.

Full story here.

Did the American Association of Law Libraries Refuse Thomson-West Sponsorship Cash for It's 2009 Annual Meeting?

Yes, AALL did and did so because Thomson-West in no longer on the Association's approved sponsors list. Why? Because the Company refuses to provide pricing data for its annual price index (while enjoying operating profit margins in excess of 30%). Details on Law Librarian Blog.


Publisher says newspapers must charge for online content

The model of requiring online readers to pay for some or all of a newspaper's online content - which the Democrat-Gazette adopted seven years ago - is referred to as a "pay wall."

Hussman said during the webinar, titled "From Free to Fee," that the Democrat-Gazette's pay wall helps it remain the primary source of information for the state (Arkansas).

Full story here.


Library Journal, School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly For Sale

Reed Business Information is putting Publishers Weekly and its affiliated publications, Library Journal and School Library Journal, up for sale. The sale of the group is part of RBI’s strategy to divest most of its trade magazines in the U.S. Last year, Reed Elsevier, parent company of RBI, tried to sell all of RBI but dropped the sale when it couldn’t get the price it wanted in a depressed market for media properties.

In a related announcement, Tad Smith, CEO of RBI US, has resigned. John Poulin has been named acting CEO and he will head the sales process.

Who wants to buy some professional journals...Blake?


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