Publishing

Steal This Book (for $9.99)

David Baldacci, the best-selling thriller author, learned what some of his fans think when “First Family,” his latest novel, went on sale last month. Amazon initially charged a little over $15 for a version for its Kindle reading device, and readers revolted.

Several posted reviews objecting that the electronic edition of the book wasn’t selling for $9.99, the price Amazon has promoted as its target for the majority of e-books in the Kindle store. Hundreds more have joined an informal boycott of digital books priced at more than $9.99.

Full piece in the New York Times.

Contrasted with this story: Amazon losing money on $9.99 e-books and this one: Amazon Enters Publishing with AmazonEncore it will interesting to see how things shake out.

New Book Series Shakes Up Traditional Publishing

A breakthrough in book publishing is hitting print at a time we need most: RAND Publishing introduces The Skinny On(TM) - a series of books that give the "skinny on life's most important lessons." Inspired by the Japanese literary form, Manga (whimsical, illustrated story-telling) and easily read in an hour.....

Says President of RAND Publishing, Katie Rose Hope, "We're conforming to the technology-centered Twitter-and-Facebook-Age. Readers are updated once an update to the book has been made via a medium that they choose - email, text, Twitter, any new form of technology.. We intend to keep our content up to the minute. Our books will evolve with the times."

Full press release here.

Website: The Skinny on

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BOOK: The Sequel

BOOK: The Sequel is a Perseus Books Group project to be achieved later this month at BookExpo America (BEA): a book that will be compiled and published during the span of the expo.

From the website:

"It’s a book that asks the world to write the first sentence for a yet-to-be-written sequel to any book ever published...A book that will be created...collaboratively. A book that will be published into as many formats as possible in about 48 hours. The publishers, editors, publicists, marketing partners, printers, technology and distribution partners [at the BEA] will all help to generate this book by 4PM, Saturday, May 30."

Royalties from BOOK: The Sequel will go to the National Book Foundation.

You can follow BOOK: The Sequel on Twitter and submit a sentence for the book at the BOOK: The Sequel site.

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Publicly-funded research for a price

Publicly-funded research doesn't seem so public when taxpayers must pay to read the results in a journal. A new law may help publishing companies preserve their business models, but will limit public access to the research.

Story on Marketplace

Trade paperbacks thrive in tough times

Some books are skipping hardcover and going straight to trade paperback. Story at USA Today.

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Get That Book Deal: Three Books Tell You How

I needed advice before I tried to write a novel. The usual axiom — write what you know — wasn't helpful. I spend my days driving my older children to school and changing my younger one's diaper — not exactly best-seller material.

So I turned to experts. Three books gave me invaluable writing advice. One, by a best-selling writer; one, by a top New York agent; and one, by a guy who struggled for years to learn how to write a book and wanted to make it easier for the rest of us.

Full story on NPR

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Six good technological ideas for improving publishing

Here's Michael Tamblyn, the CEO of BookNet Canada, presenting six technology initiatives that could radically alter the course of publishing for the better. It's a refreshing presentation, focused on selling more paper books using better technology that improves workflow and marketing, while acknowledging that there's lots of room for improvement in ebook readers as well.

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Publishers Face Pressure From Libraries to Freeze Prices and Cut Deals

From the Chronicle of Higher Education comes an article about possible price freezing for libraries.

"LET'S MAKE A DEAL (MAYBE): The publishers' hall at the recent Association of College and Research Libraries conference, held in Seattle in mid-March, was a study in give-and-take: how much publishers such as Elsevier and Oxford University Press will give in this lousy economy, and how much budget-strapped librarians can take."

A small press with growing appeal

The Crumpled Press is a small press that was born out of the minds and hands of some University of Chicago alumni. This article in the University's magazine talks about the press, their book binding parties, and how it is possible for a small publisher to thrive. As co-founder Alexander Bick says in the article, " 'The standard line is that digitization kills books,' says Bick. 'I think it's more accurate to say there's a symbiosis...our success contradicts the idea that bookmaking no longer makes sense.' "

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Do-It-Yourself Magazines, Cheaply Slick

For anyone who has dreamed of creating his own glossy color magazine dedicated to a hobby like photography or travel, the high cost and hassle of printing has loomed as a big barrier. Traditional printing companies charge thousands of dollars upfront to fire up a press and produce a few hundred copies of a bound magazine.

With a new Web service called MagCloud, Hewlett-Packard hopes to make it easier and cheaper to crank out a magazine than running photocopies at the local copy shop.

Charging 20 cents a page, paid only when a customer orders a copy, H.P. dreams of turning MagCloud into vanity publishing’s equivalent of YouTube. The company, a leading maker of computers and printers, envisions people using their PCs to develop quick magazines commemorating their daughter’s volleyball season or chronicling the intricacies of the Arizona cactus business.

Full story in the New York Times

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