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Archives: May 2009

Amazon.com, Inc. Rumors

amlogo.gifIs Amazon.com, Inc. looking to build? According to TheStreet.com, the bookseller won’t comment on financial blogger rumors about a mysterious filing: “The online retailer received a patent earlier this week for a mini-building design that has sent rumbles throughout the retail world — or, more specifically, on several online financial blogs — of a possible brick-and-mortar business venture by the company.”

GalleyCat has been tracking the stock performance of the major companies that influence the bookselling business. We created this chart with eight publicly-traded publishing stocks hand-picked by GalleyCat readers–including company name, symbol, current stock price, and price increase or decrease at week’s close.

The McGraw-Hill Co. MHP 30.09 -0.06
Books-A-Million, Inc. BAMM 7.03 0.05
Borders Group, Inc. BGP 2.67 0.18
Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN 77.99 0.34
Barnes & Noble, Inc. BKS 24.71 0.01
Wiley John & Sons Inc. JW.A 31.61 0.47
Scholastic Corporation SCHL 19.6 0.11
News Corporation NWS 11.23 0.23

Mediabistro Course

Nonfiction Book Proposal

Nonfiction Book ProposalStarting September 4,work with a literary agent to complete a full proposal that wins an agent and a contract! Ryan Harbage from The Fischer-Harbage Agency, Inc. will teach you how to convey your idea in a winning book proposal format, write your proposal letter, understand the nuts and bolts of the nonfiction book industry, and more. Register now! 

Inside the Blogger’s Studio

More than 40 bloggers registered for the first ever blogger signing session at BookExpo America–including two GalleyCat editors. In this video, GalleyCat senior editor Ron Hogan chats with author Isobella Jade.

At BEA booth 4077, Firebrand Technologies is hosting autograph sessions, interviews, and Q & A’s with online literary curators. In addition, the company will give away two free Sony Readers to lucky participants.

Check out the schedule and read more here: “It’s clear from how quickly this idea went from concept to reality, that book bloggers need and want to create community-to-community relationships with publishers, retailers, and readers. This is an incredibly exciting time in publishing! We invite every publisher at BEA to review this schedule and mark their calendars, so they have a chance to meet the bloggers who are helping to sell their books.”

James Patterson Sets World Record

jamesPatterson.jpgWith 31 hardcover novels reaching number one and 45 total books on the list, author James Patterson has earned the Guinness World Record for the “Most Entries on The New York Times Best-Seller List.”

Guinness will bestow the award tomorrow (Saturday May 30th) at BookExpo America in New York City. The record will be recorded in “The Guinness World Records 2010,” which comes out in September.

Here’s a statement from Craig Glenday, EIC of Guinness World Records: “Patterson’s success is a bright spot in the publishing world … He’s a prolific writer who has been able to deliver quality work with astounding consistency throughout the years.”

BEA Writing Advice from Richard Russo and John Irving

irvingrusso.JPGA massive crowd gathered around a BEA stage this morning for a headline event that featured novelists John Irving and Richard Russo in conversation with journalist Charles McGrath. GalleyCat covered the panel, following a reader request.

The two novelists focused primarily on writing craft, explaining how they conceived their books. Irving said his upcoming novel “Last Night in Twisted River” was inspired by Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue,” and explained his method: “I always begin with last sentence and work myself backwards to what the first sentence should be.” Russo said he chooses characters carefully: “I don’t want to spend four or five years in the company of bores. I surround myself with characters I care about.”

Both writers explored early influences. Irving explained: “As a young writer in his 20s, I felt like a dinosaur. It was Dickens, Hardy, and Melville that made me want to be a writer. You can’t worry about being on the right or wrong side of taste. Russo concurred: “In grad school, everybody was reading the meta-fiction writers…but it wasn’t what I wanted to be good at…It was hard to find my voice. I latched on to Richard Yates like a lifeline.”

Iggy Pop’s Literary Album

header_03 copy.jpgRock star Iggy Pop‘s new album was directly inspired by Michel Houellebecq‘s novel, “The Possibility of an Island.”

The former lead singer of The Stooges released “Preliminaires” this week, a jazz and rock infused album. According to Google News, the singer was approached to write music for a documentary about the French novel, and the project evolved into a solo album.

Here are Iggy Pop’s thoughts, from the article: “Literature’s like coke and music’s like heroin! Literature sharpens the mind, music stupidifies … The book had soul and at the same time it showed great skills in just calmly illustrating some things that were inside my mind about sex, death and the opposite gender.” (Via Maud Newton)

Party Like It’s 1975

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BEA week is like a business convention, county fair, prom, and class reunion all rolled into one for the publishing world. Like a business journalist, high school reporter, small town newspaper, and nerdy kid from high school all rolled into one, GalleyCat covered a few pre-BEA parties last night.

The night began the Melville House, Small Beer Press, The Feminist Press, NYRB Classics and Little Bookroom, and Stop Smiling Books party in Brooklyn. Melville’s publisher Dennis Johnson worked the bar all night, as agents, artists, writers, and journalists mingled on the raining evening.

GalleyCat concluded the night at the Overlook Press’ “Party Like It’s 1975″ party for Allan Tannenbaum‘s “New York in the 70s” photography collection. Gorgeous black and white photos covered the walls, and literati were packed elbow-to-elbow at the popular party. In the photo above, Details writer Ian Daly, Village People cowboy Randy Jones, Overlook’s Vida Engstrand, and GalleyCat senior editor Ron Hogan attempted to spell “YMCA” for posterity.

Haruki Murakami’s New Book More Than 1,000 Pages

hmimage.jpgThe literary bloggers at The Millions report that the Japanese version of Haruki Murakami‘s new novel will be a whopping 1,055 pages and published in two volumes.

As the release date for the Japanese novelist’s new book nears in Japan, fans around the globe have combed the Internet for clues about “1Q84.” The blog notes that Japanese translations usually run up to 1.5 to 2 times longer than the source material.

Here’s more from the post: “While size isn’t everything, it seem to be working in the book’s favor; published in two volumes, it currently occupies the top two spots on Amazon Japan’s book rankings…The book comes out this Friday in Japan. Check in next week for a roundup of reviews and commentary.”

Tina Brown Bashes $9.99 Digital Books

tina2.jpgDaily Beast founder Tina Brown and her husband Sir Harold Evans held a stuffy, packed BEA amphitheater in rapt attention yesterday–quizzing four CEOs about these difficult days for publishing. When Brown lost her voice halfway through the presentation, her husband stepped up to finish the panel. Before leaving, Brown railed against Amazon.com, Inc.’s pricing for the average Kindle book: “$9.99 is a paltry pitiful sum,” she said.

Her husband kept pace, urging the CEOs to “sue the hell” out of Google over the search engine’s controversial book-scanning initiative. Perseus Books CEO David Steinberger plugged his initiative to crash-publish “Book: The Sequel” in 48-hours during BEA. “This is the way you have to behave in the future,” he declared. Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy disagreed with this timetable for print books. “But you have to convince retailers to buy the [print] book–that takes six months.”

Macmillan CEO John Sargent worried about new media campaigns: “The majority of viral marketing doesn’t sell a ton of books,” he complained, referencing a hit viral video his company produced that only resulted in, by his estimate, sales of 210 books. He still thought the best bookselling strategy was a combination of word-of-mouth and front of store placement at bookstores around the country.

From BEA: Stitches – A Memoir by David Small

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One word. Phenomenal. I didn’t really expect to like this book for a number of reasons. First of all, the cover: plain, some would say boring at first glance, until you read this brilliant graphic novel, Stitches (W.W. Norton) by David Small and realize it is so fitting.

Full disclosure, I’ve never read a graphic novel before. So, some may ask, how could I call it brilliant? But a good story is a good story, and Stitches is not a good story, but rather a great one.

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GalleyCat Exclusive: $199 EBook Reader

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BE Book gave GalleyCat and TeleRead an exclusive first look at their $199 Mini Ebook Reader by BE Book which BE Book CEO, Johan Hagenbeuk said will be “available for purchase by June 30, 2009.”

Hagenbeuk stated that GalleyCat’s Jeff Rivera and TeleRead’s Paul Biba were the “very first Americans to test the unit out”. Rivera found the unit to be incredibly easy to use, light and portable.

This small unit (about 5″) would be perfect for the busy executive who wants to stuff it in his jacket pocket or purse. The attractive price will make a great stocking stuffer come Christmas and its easy interface simple enough for middle school or even an elementary school student to use.

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