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Archives: April 2009

Google and Authors Guild Agree on Extension

googlebooks.jpgFederal judge Denny Chin signed off on a four-month extension in the Google and the Authors Guild settlement.

According to Publishers Weekly, the legal deadline for writers to agree to the settlement or fight it in court used to be May 5, but has now been moved to September 2009. Both parties are working to finalize a settlement to the Guild’s lawsuit over Google’s efforts to scan millions of pages of books into an online database.

Here’s more from Wired Magazine: “A small coalition of copyright holders, including folk singer Arlo Guthrie, John Steinbeck‘s heirs and sci-fi god Philip K. Dick‘s trust, asked a federal court judge Friday to give all book authors another four months to comprehend and respond to the 334-page settlement proposed last October after the Author’s Guild sued Google for massive copyright violations in its Google Book Search product.”

Honor Moore Combats “Male Approval Desire”

Last week, Honor Moore, editor of “Poems from the Women’s Movement,” hosted a poetry reading at Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan–bringing together generations of renowned poets to celebrate the release of the Library of America anthology.

In this video interview, Moore explained how “Male Approval Desire” (or M-A-D) has hobbled women authors. She was joined by Susan Griffin, Toi Derricotte, Joan Larkin, Jean Valentine, Eileen Myles, Fran Winant, and Anne Waldman.

GalleyCat interviewed a number of these poets, getting their thoughts on publishing, feminism, and writing during the recession, including Erica Jong–who talked about the lack of publishing parity.

The Price Is Right

51acez+bCWL._SL160_.jpgThis week historian Ben Wilson and Faber & Faber launched a literary experiment, releasing “What Price Liberty?” as a pay-what-you-like e-book.

For the next six weeks, Wilson will offer the book on a website where readers can pay as much or as little as they like for the book. Following that introductory period, the book will retail for £14.99, the Guardian reports. When downloading a copy, tell us how much you paid in the comments–if you feel so inclined…

Here’s more from the release: “‘What Price Liberty?’ explores how civil liberty was constructed, and has been re-thought and re-fought, in a bid to debate and determine the value we place on it today … you can download the eBook and set your own price. How much will you pay?” (Via Digitalist)

Serpent’s Tail to Publish Hugo Chavez-Approved Bestseller

51WVPTQ6JFL._SL500_AA240_.jpgInspired by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez‘s sharing of “Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent” with President Barack Obama, a UK publisher will rush out a new edition of Eduardo Galeano‘s study of colonization and American influence in Latin America.

Serpent’s Tail will publish the book as as £10.99 paperback on May 21st with an introductory essay by novelist Isabel Allende. The book rocketed from #54,000 to #2 on Amazon’s bestseller list in a single weekend, exceeding the publisher’s wildest dreams.

Here’s more from Bookseller: “[The book] was bought by Pete Ayrton, publisher, in a pre-emptive deal for “high four figures” during the London Book Fair … The deal was struck via Mary Clemmey, who acted on behalf of the Monthly Review Press.”

Is Amazon Preparing for Apple’s Next Move?

droppedImage_5.gifWhy did Amazon.com, Inc. acquire the makers of the Stanza e-reader yesterday? Perhaps they saw the future over at at Apple Inc., a long-rumored “media pad” that could someday rival the Amazon Kindle.

A recent Business Week article gives a tantalizing glimpse of this potential development for the e-reader industry: “The [rumored] media pad is smaller than an Amazon (AMZN) Kindle electronic reader, but its touchscreen is bigger than the Kindle’s, says the person who has seen it. Carriers such as Verizon and AT&T are keen on striking deals to supply wireless Internet access to these new small computing devices, such as netbooks, which represent revenue growth opportunities.”

If that rumor should come true, it appears that Amazon wants a piece of both markets–owning the leading stand-alone e-reader and the two most popular e-readers for Apple mobile devices. For more speculation about what this means for the industry, Mike Cane and TeleRead both have insightful analysis. (Via Publishers Lunch)

2010 Christian Book Expo Canceled

christianlogo.gifAfter a low turnout in this publishing recession, the Christian Book Expo was canceled for next year.

According to Publishers Weekly, the sponsoring organization–the board of Evangelical Christian Publishers Association–has canceled the show until it can recover from the inaugural expo’s losses this year. Recently, organizer and Thomas Nelson CEO Michael Hyatt pondered why 1,500 readers arrived when organizers were expecting between 15,000 and 20,000 people.

Here’s more from ECPA CEO Mark Kuyper, from the article: “We want to clean up the debt before we consider future options.”

The Future of Book Publishing

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On Saturday, April 25, Beyond the Book‘s Chris Kenneally moderated the closing panel of the annual New York Round Table Writers Conference. The audience were treated to crystal ball readings and insights on technology, marketing and business models from Paul Biba, Laura Dawson, Mike Shatzkin and GalleyCat‘s Jeff Rivera.

To download the podcast of the session, click here.

What Should Writers Blog About?

wc09 copy.jpgAspiring authors around the country know they should be blogging and Twitter-ing, but many of them don’t know what to blog about. At the New York Round Table Writers’ Conference on Friday, a panel of professional web writers debated this tough topic.

Roy Sekoff, the founding editor of The Huffington Post, told attendees: “If you can blog about the thing you are writing about [in your book], even tangentially, that’s interesting.” The editor noted that a playwright called him last week, asking to write about the newly released torture memos–partly to promote his new play about torture, partly to blog his thoughts about the breaking news.

mediabistro.com managing editor Rebecca Fox suggested authors create Twitter accounts for fictional characters–blogging in character as they write the novel. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez from Spindle Magazine recommended that aspiring authors and bloggers follow one writer’s example: “Neil Gaiman is not pushing his new book, he’s blogging about things that interest him.”

FishbowlLA: Festival of Books

We couldn’t make it to this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, but fortunately mediabistro.com has FishbowlLA: Editor Tina Dupuy went to several of the weekend’s staged events, including the “Publishing 3.0” panel with (as seen above), David Ulin of the LA Times, ex-Publishers Weekly chief Sara Nelson, ex-Soft Skull executive editor Richard Nash, and Goodreads founder Otis Chandler.

Not pictured: Patrick Brown of Vroman’s, a local indie bookstore that ran a shuttle bus for its Pasadena customers to the UCLA campus where the Festival took place.

You’ll want to see the rest of Tina’s Festival coverage, while you’re at it; next year, we hope to resume tag-teaming the event with her, like we did in 2008.

Breaking: Amazon.com, Inc. Acquires Stanza Digital Reader App

stanzaamazon.jpgIn a shocking bit of late afternoon news, Amazon.com, Inc. has acquired Lexcycle, the company that created the iPhone reader, Stanza. The online bookseller now owns the two top Book related applications in the Apple App Store.

Earlier this year, Amazon unveiled a new, free iPhone application that allows customers to read Kindle books on mobile devices. While the program is intended to add mobile functionality to the Kindle, readers can use the app without purchasing the $359 digital reader. Previously, Stanza led that category with an e-reader that has been downloaded over one million times, and held the top spot on the Apple App Store for months.

Here’s more from Lexcycle’s statement: “We are not planning any changes in the Stanza application or user experience as a result of the acquisition. Customers will still be able to browse, buy, and read ebooks from our many content partners. We look forward to offering future products and services that we hope will resonate with our passionate readers. We are excited to join forces with a company that has innovated on behalf of readers for over a decade and is a pioneer in ebooks. Like Amazon, we believe there is a lot of innovation ahead for ebooks and we could not think of a better company to join during this exciting time.”

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