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Archives: February 2010

French-American Foundation Celebrates Rick Moody

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Earlier this month, the American and French publishing industries came together at the Libertine restaurant in New York City to celebrate author Rick Moody.

The French-American Foundation hosted the reception, the conclusion of a publishing summit for French and American publishers. The party featured a cast of literary stars: Emma Archer, Paul Morris, Maja Thomas, Jeff Seroy, Andy Hunter, Evan Schnittman, Marion Duvert, Alice Tassel, Jonathan Rabinowitz, Calvin Baker and Molly Barton.

GalleyCat missed the reception, but the foundation kindly passed along some pictures from the party. Above, pictured left to right, are Schnittman (Oxford University Press), Morris (Bomb Magazine), and Thomas (Hachette).

Here’s more about the event: “A week of meetings, events and panels organized for a delegation of French publishers–in town on a reciprocal tour planned by the Foundation–to discuss the evolving landscape of the book business. Specifically, the group examined the powerful economic and digital forces transforming modern publishing, and the comparative perspectives in France and the U.S..”

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The Collected Criticism of an Intoxicated Superhero

incrdiblehulk.jpgYesterday GalleyCat Reviews readers debated Arianna Huffington‘s keynote Tools of Change speech about the future of the book review.

The heated comments section drew a response from a Twitter user who claims to be an intoxicated comic book character, DrunkHulk. The green hero typed in all caps, reminding this GalleyCat editor of a childhood memory: “DRUNK HULK NO BE THIS EXCITE ABOUT BOOK SINCE PIZZA HUT MAKE BOOK IT PROGRAM!”

Turns out Drunk Hulk has contributed a few thoughts on this site in the signature style of the Incredible Hulk (pictured, via). As we recover from a long week of publishing conferencing, we have decided to archive the collected literary criticism of Drunk Hulk.

When looking at GalleyCat Reviews list of the Best Book Reviewers on Twitter, he typed mightily: “UNLESS IT PYNCHON! BOOK REVIEW SHOULD HAVE NO MORE CHARACTER THAN IN REVIEW BOOK! IT SCIENCE!”

Finally, he speculated about James Cameron’s upcoming Avatar novel with fearsome logic: “JAMES CAMERON WRITE AVATAR PREQUEL! HE NO PUBLISH UNTIL POP-UP TECHNOLOGY ADVANCE TO SATISFACTION!”

Bedtime Story 2.0

With digital books, smartphones, and the highly anticipated iPad, the bedtime story could change forever. At the Tools of Change conference, Hillel Cooperman unveiled “A Story Before Bed,” a way to read a child a storybook via webcam videos.

In this exclusive GalleyCat video, Cooperman walks the viewer through his simple interface, allowing children to read along with a loved one–no matter where they are.

Here’s more about the innovative product: “The service lets parents and grandparents who can’t be there for bedtime record videos of themselves reading children’s books. The kids can watch the videos synchronized to the pages of the book right on screen anytime they like, as often as they like.”

St. Martin’s Press Buys Lady Gaga Fashion Book

48270.jpgLady Gaga will get a literary close up this year. In an auction, St. Martin’s Press bought Lady Gaga: Critical Mass Fashion from the book producer becker&mayer!. The company will rush the title for a Fall 2010 release.

The book will join a crowded slate of Lady Gaga books. Among others, Amazon already lists Lady Gaga: Behind the Fame by Emily Herbert; Fame: Lady Gaga by Dan Rafter and Tess Fowler; and, in the UK, Lady Gaga: “Just Dance”–The Biography by Helia Phoenix (pictured, via Orion Publishing Group).

Here’s more about the book: “Featuring 120 images of Lady Gaga and her garb, the highly stylized, modernly designed book is an examination of the pop star’s extreme couture and her success in constructing an image through fashion as well as music. Extended captions scattered throughout the book will break down specific costumes, while the main text of each chapter will explore a different thread of her wardrobe: masks, bodily functions, un-wearable shoes, and more.”

German Judge Grants Six Publishers an Injunction Against Rapidshare

rapidsharelogo23.jpgRecently six publishers from around the world were granted an injunction against the filesharing site Rapidshare AG by a German judge. The lawsuit was filed by these publishers: Bedford, Freeman and Worth Publishing Group; Cengage Learning Inc.; Elsevier Inc; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; and Pearson Education, Inc.

The injunction went into effect on February 17, 2010, compelling Rapidshare to monitor and prevent the sharing of 148 books named in the lawsuit. Earlier this year, a Publishers Weekly article examined the extent of digital book piracy on Rapidshare.

Here’s more from the publishers’ press release: “The court ruled that Rapidshare must monitor its site to ensure the copyrighted material is not being uploaded and prevent unauthorized access to the material by its users. The company will be subject to substantial fines for non-compliance. Rapidshare collects monthly fees from many of its users and encourages the unauthorized uploading of content with a variety of reward programs.”

Email Newsletter for the Literary Set

lipsite.pngTo help promote Sam Lipsyte‘s new novel, Farrar, Straus and Giroux is experimenting with a new kind of email newsletter–The LipSite.

Lipsyte’s The Ask focuses on the life of an unemployed university officer struggling to support his wife and family–comically exploring themes of “work, war, sex, class, child rearing, romantic comedies, Benjamin Franklin, cooking shows on death row, and the eroticization of chicken wire.” The publisher has broken these meditations into bite-sized morsels, sending out weekly, witty email excerpt from the book. In addition, subscribers can win a free, signed copy of three Lipsyte novels.

Here’s more about the email initiative: “Our brand new weekly dose of Lipsyte wit, delivered precisely at the most depressing point of your workweek. In addition to excerpts from Lipsyte’s fiction, we’ll also feature interviews and maybe a note or two from the man himself. We promise to keep the emails short and simple, so you’re not too distracted from your job.”

Author Launches Online Writing Community and Bookstore Platform

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This week author and NBC veteran Scott Weisenthal launched OffTheBookshelf.com, a writing community where authors can build an online bookstore for their digital books.

The community site opened with a selection of eBooks, ranging from Chick Lit to mystery to biography. In the “new books” section, prices range from $2.00 to $9.99 for an eBook.

Here’s more from the release: “OffTheBookshelf.com is a one-stop shop for everything a writer needs to publish a book: assistance with copyrights, editing, proofreading, marketing and publicity tools, and cover art creation. With OffTheBookshelf.com writers can offer their work as ebooks, audiobooks and print-on-demand paperback copies. Members can set up an online bookstore, sell books at the price they choose, and connect with like-minded writers.”

If you want to read more, the entire press release is embedded after the jump.

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What eBook Readers Want; Building the Ideal Online Bookstore

_@user_44673.pngAt the Tools of Change conference in New York City, Jane Litte (Dear Author), Angela James (Carina Press), and Sarah Wendell (pictured, from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books) unveiled the results to a reader survey.

The trio asked more than 2,700 readers a simple question: “Do you feel like publishers care about you as an ebook reader?” In a problematic result, 75 percent of the respondents answered “No.”

The survey polled some dedicated readers–50 percent of the respondents bought between one and five new books every month. At the same time, 73 percent of the readers said they had not read pirated books. You can see the whole slideshow here.

Analyzing the survey results, the trio pointed to two online marketplaces that illustrated best practices for improving eBook reader relationships: Zappos and Fictionwise.

At Fictionwise, they appreciated how customers could preorder the eBook and use wishlists to keep track of future purchases. At Zappos, they liked how shoppers could compare purchases with other shoppers. “Being informed what other people are buying creates a community around that product,” Sarah Wendell concluded.

Tools of Change Tweet-Up: Publishing Karaoke Unleashed

tweetuppic.pngAs we blog our way through the Tools of Change conference in New York City, we’d like to remind all Manhattan-bound literary folk about tonight’s TOC tweet-up.

If you are in New York City for the convention, be sure to sign up for the TOC Tweet-Up. Here’s more about the event: “TOC Tweetup will feature fun, conversation, and rock ‘n twang live band karaoke from the Wicked Messengers! Check out the song list and come ready to impress (we know there are some golden pipes among you!): Live Band Karaoke Song List from Wicked Messengers. Where: Hill Country NYC 30 West 26th Street NY, NY 10010 (the party will be downstairs in the bar).”

If you aren’t in NYC, don’t worry–we’ll post about the festivities tomorrow. In the meantime, catch up on our TOC coverage. Meet the two-screen eReader and the possibility it presents for enhanced eBooks.

Read Arianna Huffington’s thoughts on the future of the book review.

Catch up on the day’s keynote speeches.”

Take a a look at socially networked e-reading with Copia.

Look at the eReader, 2010-style
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Tune in tomorrow for more TOC coverage, both here and on Twitter.

“Strong” Nook Sales Boost Barnes & Noble

features_wifinook.pngToday Barnes & Noble reported that total sales for the third quarter had risen to $2.2 billion, 33 percent above the same period last year.

Launching the Nook eReader last quarter, Barnes & Noble.com reported that sales increased 32 percent to $210 million over that time period, recording a 67 percent “year-over-year for the month of January.” However, during the third quarter, Barnes & Noble store sales fell 4.7 percent to $1.4 billion.

CEO Steve Riggio had this statement: “nook began shipping only in the middle of the third quarter, and, as evident in our sales, we are thrilled with how customers have embraced our product and our digital eBook platform … In addition to the accelerating online sales trends, nook sales have been strong at our bookstores since the product became available earlier this month.”

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