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Bookselling

Author Elizabeth Cody Kimmel is Fundraising For Indie Bookstore Owner’s Cancer Treatment

scottmeyerYA author Elizabeth Cody Kimmel has launched a fundraising campaign to help independent bookseller Scott Meyer pay for his cancer treatments.

“The average out-of-pocket expenses for an insured cancer patient can exceed over $1,000 a month,” she explained in a statement. “The thought of how the family will pay for medical bills, living expenses and college costs while keeping Merritt Books open should be the last thing on their minds, as they focus on getting Scott through the next step, which is radiation treatment.”

Kimmel has created the “Book Lovers for Scott” fund through Giveforward.com to help collection donations for the Meyer family. Here is more about Meyer’s role in the book community from the crowd funding page: Read more

Readers Descend Upon UK Bookstore That Reports Sluggish Sales on Facebook

saltairebookshopA book store owner in the UK took to his store’s Facebook fan page to seek pity for the store’s dismal sales, and the post actually helped bring paying customers into the shop. The owner of the Saltaire Book Shop posted this cry for help on January 10th:

URGENT! We need customers. Yesterday the shop took £7.50 (that’s about minus 50 after cost of books and heating) and the day before £13 (about £6 after books and heating). Today we have so far taken £6 (about £2). It’s clear this cant keep going on like this and there is a serious question mark over the future of the shop. If you want Saltaire Bookshop PLEASE tell all your friends about us and get them to spend money in the shop (people putting up posters or trying to sell me books dont count!). This is an urgent appeal. The roadworks and blocked pavements before Xmas meant our trade was down 50%. Read more

Brazil Offers Publishers a Great Opportunity For Global Sales: Nielsen

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 2.06.09 PMMature markets are in decline and global growth will come from developing markets and growing middle classes, said Jonathan Nowell, president of Nielsen Book at the Digital Book World conference in New York today.

In his talk, Nowell spoke about the opportunity for publishers to sell books in Brazil. The country has the sixth largest economy in the world and a $1.2 billion publishing business. Brazilians are rapidly learning how to speak English and they are focusing on literacy rights. This is supported by a burgeoning middle class, and a strong government investment in supporting reading. There is also a strong desire to self-educate in the country.

Brazilians are big on books about religion. Last  year, 5 of top ten titles sold in the country were religious. However Dan Brown and EL James also made the top 10, reflecting the juxtaposition of erotica and religion in Brazil.

Simon & Schuster Sold eBooks in 200 Countries Last Year

simonSimon & Schuster experienced its greatest growth in the international marketplace last year, particularly in digital titles in English language countries abroad, according to Carolyn Reidy, President & CEO, who spoke on a panel at the Digital Book World conference in New York today.

The publisher’s international eBook business is growing at a faster rate than US eBook sales, because these countries are catching up, she said. Last year, the publisher sold eBooks in 200 different countries including a copy of The Sun Also Rises in Antarctica. Reidy said that the publisher is seeing an opportunity in these digital sales and that it is not affecting physical sales. She said that there is a great opportunity for foreign book retailers to sell English-language titles in non-English speaking countries, but they have yet to capitalize on this yet.

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French Senate Considers Banning Free Book Delivery

franceOne of Amazon’s many secrets to success is the ability to deliver books for free to customers that spend a minimum amount of money per order or to those that are members of Amazon Prime. The French government could take away this customer service perk.

The French Senate is considering legislation that would make it illegal to offer free book deliveries in France. The country already has strict rules limiting discounting on books, a law designed to protect publishers and small booksellers.

The Associated Press has more:

In essence, the Senate proposal would strip some of the convenience and financial advantage of home or office delivery of books ordered online. Ultimately, if approved, the legislation could weigh on the minds of customers when they decide whether to trek over to mom-and-pop bookshops instead of shopping online. The bill would allow online vendors like U.S.-based Amazon to cut the regular delivery price by up to 5 percent — but not provide free delivery. It differs slightly from a bill passed in the National Assembly, parliament’s lower house, in October, which said nothing about barring free delivery.

The Science Behind a Bestseller

books304Scientists from Stony Brook University in New York have concocted a test to help define if a book will become a bestseller.

As absurd as it sounds, the researchers created an algorithm to analyzed the words in classic texts from across genres and compared their findings to historically successful work to come up with a recipe for what makes a book sell.

The Telegraph has the story:

They found several trends that were often found in successful books, including heavy use of conjunctions such as “and” and “but” and large numbers of nouns and adjectives. Less successful work tended to include more verbs and adverbs and relied on words that explicitly describe actions and emotions such as “wanted”, “took” or “promised”, while more successful books favoured verbs that describe thought processes such as “recognised” or “remembered”.

Rejection Letters Received by Bestselling Authors

try-againDon’t feel badly if your book has been rejected. It’s happened to the best writers.

Alfred Knopf rejected George Orwell’s Animal Farm, on the grounds that it was “impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.A.” An agent told William Golding that Lord of the Files was “an absurd and uninteresting fantasy which was rubbish and dull.”

Mental Floss has put together an enlightening list of rejection letters from famous authors for acclaimed works. Check it out:

When Rand sent her manuscript out for The Fountainhead, a request from Bobbs-Merrill for her next work-in-progress came back with a curt “Unsaleable and unpublishable.” Not to be deterred, the author called upon Hiram Haydn, newly appointed editor-in-chief of Random House. After an “infinite number” of questions and an assurance that Ms. Rand would not be censored, she signed on with Random House and, to date, has sold over 7 million copies in the U.S.

Chang-rae Lee’s ‘On Such a Full Sea’ 3D Printed Edition Goes on Sale

3dslipcoverThe 3D printed cover limited-edition version of Chang-rae Lee‘s new novel On Such a Full Sea is now for sale.

The novel set is in a dystopian future America, and to celebrate the release the publisher Riverhead Books created an innovative limited edition case which was printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. There are only 200 editions available and it is available through book retailers for $150. Follow this link to get your copy.

This limited edition hardcover copy comes with the case, which was designed by Helen Yentus and MakerBot.

‘The Goldfinch’ is Inspiring Visits to The Frick Museum

thegoldfinchDonna Tartt‘s best-selling novel, The Goldfinch was named after the 17th century Carel Fabritius painting of the same name, and is helping to stir a renewed interest in the artwork.

The Frick Collection in New York is seeing record visitors thanks to the book. “I think the bird has now blown up in people’s minds because of the book,” Margaret Iacono, assistant curator of the Frick, told CBS News.

The painting was acquired by The Frick in 1896. Here is more about the painting from the museum’s website:

Fabritius uses a minimum of quick strokes to portray the house pet’s downy body. Such expert manipulation of paint to suggest form and texture may have been assimilated from Rembrandt, with whom he studied. Whatever the panel’s initial purpose — possibly a component of a birdcage or a cover for an encased painting — the little bird chained to his feed box is a masterpiece of trompe l’oeil illusionism. Vermeer — like Fabritius, a resident of Delft — was highly influenced by the artist’s pristine lighting and composed tranquility.

Will You Make a New Year’s Resolution to Support Independent Bookstores?

bustleHave you been trying to nail down your new year’s resolutions for 2014? Bustle writer Emma Cueto has a suggestion: “Buy your books from independent bookstores whenever possible.”

Cueto calls indies “community landmarks” and points out that “they do things like host author events, sometimes with local writers, sometimes with national names. They’re more likely to contribute to local non-profits or other forces for good in your area. They also sometimes have pets.”

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