Books

Romance Writers of America and their work

rteeter writes "Public radio's This American Life is broadcasting a piece on romance novels and their writers this weekend. Did you know some romance authors out-sell Stephen King, et al.?

If you miss it, you can catch the audio at This American Life next week."

Rochelle heard this piece on This American Life and really enjoyed it.

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When Books Break the Bank

Gary Deane notes a NYTimes Story on the soaring price of college text books.
They say in the past two decades, the price of textbooks has soared. The price of educational books and supplies has risen 238 percent, while the price of consumer goods over all has increased only 51 percent.
So now more and more students are sharing books, using library copies or going online to find cheap used copies. Indeed, about 20 percent no longer buy all their required texts, according to the National Association of College Stores. And that percentage is growing fast enough to worry both textbook publishers and college bookstores.

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Liberal authors triumphant as US bookshelves lean left

Bob Cox spotted an Article that says In a sales surge that surprised politicians and booksellers alike, five liberal books will be among The New York Times's top 15 hard-cover nonfiction bestsellers on today's list, mounting what some sales specialists see as a left-wing assault on the conservatives' decade-long hold on popular culture.

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The big influence of four book review magazines

Sarah Johnson writes "A recent article in Slate reports on the "big four" among book industry trade journals - namely, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and Booklist. Their influence might finally be waning, says the article - and reviewers for Kirkus and PW are toning down the harshness of their reviews as a result."

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The Economics of On-line Bookselling

Gary Deane spotted The Internet Book Race from over at The NYTimes.
The author, Virginia Postrel , says authors love the rankings at Amazon and its competitor, BarnesandNoble.com (also known as BN.com), because they give us real-time information on how well a book is selling. Aside from satisfying anxious curiosity, the rankings provide immediate feedback on the effect of reviews and media appearances.

In an article in the June issue of Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Professor Goolsbee and Judith Chevalier, an economist at the Yale School of Management, figured out how to turn the book rankings into sales figures.

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National Hispanic American Read-In Chain

Mock Turtle writes "The fourth National Hispanic American Read-In Chain is coming up, September 15–18, 2003. At libraries, schools, and other community sites all across the USA, people will gather to read works authored by Hispanic American writers. The International Reading Association has information on how to host an event as part of the chain."

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Festival of Books in a Land of Waterfalls

Festival of Books in a Land of Waterfalls an article from AlllAfrica.com covers Zimbabwe, or, 'Bookland,' which they say is a very fitting description.
The Zimbabwe International Book Fair has run consistently for some twenty years now, and it is made up of several parts. This year, the Zimbabwe International Book Fair drew a vast array of publishers, authors, scholars, and many persons interested in the book trade.

"There is a need, a felt need throughout the continent, that Africans do not read for leisure, not enough Africans actually read for leisure. Even though the intellectuals who read may enjoy it, but they usually read as part of their work. So I think a book fair can be a way to stimulate that interest in books and in reading."

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New Age Books

Anonymous Patron writes ""New Age is no longer becoming mainstream; it is mainstream," says Katie McMillan, publicity manager at Inner Ocean Publishing Company. "Let's face it, between the war, terrorism and the economy, people are dealing with issues that they may not have ever had to deal with before, and they are looking for the tools that will help them." Adds Deborah Balmuth, editorial director at Storey Publishing, "This is leading more people to focus on the present moment (through mindfulness practice) and on fostering peace within themselves as a vehicle for world peace. The greatest challenge publishers face is how to respond to the growing mainstream interest in yoga, Buddhism and other Eastern spiritual practices in fresh ways with new voices, formats and viewpoints."
More at:
Publishers Weekly."

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Professor: Never ban any books

The Bennington Banner has This One on Catherine Burns, who says far from being a relic of history, restrictions limiting which books are allowed on library shelves or made available for sale at bookstores may actually be a growing problem.

"The most current problem right now is parental influence," she said. "Parents or school administrators will not have read the full book, but just have heard about some offensive language in one scene and jump to conclusions."

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Bookseller of Kabul

Anonymous Patron writes "The Bookseller of Kabul, a fictionalised account of life in Afghanistan by Ã…sne Seierstad, Norwegian journalist, will not be published in the US until Oct. 17, but is already attracting considerable attention in Europe. This Sunday, Aug. 31, the Observer, published in London, ran a major review describing how she "lifts the lid on Afghan family life". For English-language discussion of the book from a Norwegian source, see: Main character shocked by Seierstad's book, here, also:Ari Behn supports Ã…sne Seierstad, here."

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