$25 offer a mistake, admits Reed Elsevier

Reed Elsevier officials have admitted that it was a mistake for the STM publisher's marketing division to offer $25 (£15) Amazon gift cards to anyone who would give a new textbook five stars in a review posted on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

More here.


Stepping on Your Toes With Book Publicity?

An appellate court has reversed a lower court decision that had exonerated Simon & Schuster of breaking federal telecommunications law when it sent cellphone text messages to promote the novel “Cell,” written by Stephen King, three years ago.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled on Friday that the United States District Court for the Northern District of California had erred in its ruling in Simon & Schuster’s favor in a class-action suit brought by Laci Satterfield, a woman who objected to receiving an ad for “Cell” as a text message.

More from the New York Times.

Book publishers make a move toward mobile to attract teens

The Hills' Lauren Conrad— TV reality star, author of a new novel for teens and a Kindle user — says her BlackBerry "lives" in the palm of her hand.
It's the reason she thinks technology that links books like hers to mobile devices is "a really cool idea."

"Most people my age kind of live on their phones," says Conrad, 23.

Book publishers hope other young people think it's cool, too.

Publishers, engaged in the oldest of the old media, are turning to mobile technology and online social networks as a way to reach young readers.

Full story here.


Author Responds to Salinger Lawsuit

The New York Times has an update on the legal battle between 90-year old author J. D. Salinger and Swedish writer Frederik Colting (pictured below), author of “60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye.” Colting claims that his novel is not a sequel to “Catcher in the Rye,” but rather “a complex and undeniably transformative exposition about one of our nation’s most famous authors, J.D. Salinger, and his best known creation, Holden Caulfield.” Salinger says "it is a rip-off, pure and simple".

Here is Colting's p.o.v. (legal documentation).

The “shift” speech

Publishing Industry Consultant: Mike Shatzkin:

On May 28, I gave a speech called “Stay Ahead of the Shift: How Content-Centric Publishers Can Flourish in a Community-Centric Web World” at BookExpo America. From today (June 12) through Monday morning (June 15), we are able to show you the video of the speech. We have also put the slides and full text on the speeches page of our site.

Presentation can be seen here.

Presentation can also be found here as an MP3 download. This link is at the BookExpo podcast site and doesn't look like it will be taken down on Monday like the video is. Since you can download the MP3 at the BookExpo site you can listed on a portable MP3 player instead of being tied to your computer.


Simon & Schuster to Sell Digital Books on

In another sign that book publishers are looking to embrace alternatives to’s Kindle e-book store, Simon & Schuster has agreed to sell digital copies of its books on, a popular document-sharing Web site.

Simon & Schuster, a division of CBS, plans to announce Friday that it will make digital editions of about 5,000 titles available for purchase on the site, including books from best-selling authors like Stephen King, Dan Brown and Mary Higgins Clark. It will also add thousands of other titles to Scribd’s search engine, allowing readers to sample 10 percent of the content of the books on the site and providing links to buy the print editions.

Full story in the NYT

Cambridge University to Make Incunabula Available Online

You won't have to leave your chair to see the Gutenberg Bible (1455) anymore.

That and the first printed edition of Homer's works are among ancient books being published online by Cambridge University Library over the next five years.

The money for the project has come from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation.

At Publishers' Convention, Is the Writing On the Wall?

If you wanted to think about the future of the written word, the publishing industry's annual convention, held at Manhattan's Javits Center, was the place to be over the past few days.

There was a problem, though.

BookExpo America was almost guaranteed to make your head hurt.

This was especially true if you were a traditional publisher or bookseller, a late-adapting lover of physical books, or just someone inclined to wrinkle your nose at the mention of the word "twitter."

Full story in the Washington Post


News For Sale? Online Journalism Fees May Return

Executives at major news companies from The New York Times Co. and The Associated Press on down are arriving at the consensus that they will simply have to find a way to charge people who read their articles online.

But it's not such a simple sell.

In Denver, after the Rocky Mountain News was shut down, a group of several dozen former staffers joined a new Web site called InDenverTimes. They would cover investigative news, sports, features and the arts. In essence, they intended to create something approximating a newspaper experience, online, without a print equivalent.

An Experiment For $5 Per Month

Excitement built as they were convinced they could make a go of it with less than a fourth of the Rocky's old circulation, at a fraction of the cost. All they needed were 50,000 people willing to pay $5 a month.

Fewer than 3,000 people signed up.

Full story on NPR (Audio available approx. 7:00 p.m. ET)

Company's 'ATM For Books' Prints On Demand

Story on NPR:

Have you ever had that frustration of walking into a bookstore, looking for a specific book, and being told it's out of print or not in stock?

One company wants to put an end to that. In a move some are calling the most significant step in publishing in the last 500 years, a New York company is trying to make books available on demand, printed out locally, rather than centrally as they always have been.

On Demand Books has installed a trial machine in a central London bookstore. It's called the Espresso machine, but it has nothing to do with coffee beans. This baby's grinding out books.

See additional text and listen to 4 minute audio piece at NPR.



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