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Archives: May 2010

Penguin and Amazon Reach eBook Agreement

p2323.jpgDuring a busy BEA week, Penguin and Amazon have finally struck a deal. In April, we reported that Penguin could not reach an eBook agreement with for the sale of Kindle editions of Penguin books.

Almost two months later, the standoff has ended. Reuters reports that Amazon and Penguin have struck an eBook deal, but the terms of the new agreement were not revealed.

Here’s more from the article: “‘We have reached an agreement with Amazon and we are pleased that a full selection of our books will be available on the Kindle,’ David Shanks, chief executive of Penguin Group, said in a statement. A Penguin spokeswoman would not comment on the specific terms of the deal.”

David Foster Wallace’s Undergraduate Thesis to Hit Shelves in 2011

app.jpegColumbia University Press announced recently that its fall catalog will include an unpublished book by David Foster Wallace. No, not The Pale King, which will be published by Little, Brown next year; it’s Fate, Time, and Language: An Essay on Free Will.

The book (cover picture, via) is adapted from Wallace’s undergraduate thesis in Philosophy at Amherst, “Richard Taylor’s ‘Fatalism’ and the Semantics of Physical Modality.” According to an aside in a 2008 article about the paper in the New York Times Magazine, “The formal apparatus that Wallace developed in the thesis, a so-called intensional-physical-modality system, would have been a novel contribution to the philosophical literature; [his advisers] each expressed to me their regret that Wallace never published the paper.” The introduction to the book is by James Ryerson, who wrote that Times Magazine article.

The book will reproduce the Taylor essay, as well as a few other works to which Wallace refers. And it will have a companion website,, which will include interviews with both philosophers and fans. Publication is set for January 2011, three months before The Pale King, the author’s real last work, hits shelves.

Marvel Executive on iPad: “Digital Books Are Actually Leading to Physical Purchases”

After months of iPad hype, publishers are finally starting to share preliminary results from iPad digital readership. In a BEA panel discussion yesterday, Ira Rubenstein, the executive VP of Marvel Entertainment’s global digital media group, explored the company’s early experiences with an iPad app. Watch his comments in the video embedded above.

“It’s been tremendously successful, tremendously well received,” he explained about the iPad app. “What we are seeing is that in-app purchases are actually increasing week over week. People are downloading the app, finding content, and downloading more. What we’ve see also with some of the research is that digital books are actually leading to physical purchases.”

Rubenstein spoke at a panel discussion entitled “Bringing Literature Online and Comparing Experiences Between China and the US.”

BEA Will Return to Three Day Format in 2011

bealog2010.pngToday BookExpo America announced that the annual publishing conference will return to a three-day schedule next year, stretching the festival over three weekdays in 2011.

BEA Show Director Steve Rosato shared the news on the BEA blog, The Bean. Rosato noted that a number of guests “genuinely like the 2 day format,” but the change will help ease crowded schedules.

Here’s an excerpt from the announcement: “While our mantra has been quality versus quantity–there is a reality of what people can accomplish in 2 full days … In the end while many people liked BEA as a 2 day show – more people need BEA to be a 3 day show. We will remain mid week with the show days being Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday. My plan right now is to keep the conference program on Monday because the impact of the conference this year running on Tuesday without competing with the show floor was tremendous.”

Justin Cronin, Lee Child, and Karin Slaughter Share Thriller Wisdom at BEA

bio.jpgAt BEA this morning, literary journalist (and former GalleyCat editor) Sarah Weinman hosted a panel discussion with two celebrated thriller authors the new thriller writer on the block.

Bestselling thriller novelist Lee Child shared some thoughts about series writing: “With a series, the huge danger is getting lazy or phoning it in. The other danger is that the author falls in love with their main character.”

Bestselling author Karin Slaughter (pictured, via Author photos by Alison Rosa) explored the tricky side of bestseller status: “I worked my whole life to get published,” she said. “It was the best and worst thing to happen. Because the question then is, ‘What’s next?’” She concluded: “You can’t focus on the pressure.”

Author Justin Cronin just broke into thrillers with his buzzy book, The Passage. He spoke about his new status as a thriller writer: “I used to have readers, but now I think I’m going to have fans. I wanted a book where people could fall into the story … Now, your imaginary friends become [readers'] imaginary friends.”

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David Baldacci on 15 Years of Rejections!

David Baldacci author of Deliver Us From Evil and 18 other New York Times bestsellers seems to be living every writer’s dream. However, life wasn’t always that easy.

In today’s interview, Baldacci talks about how he received 15 years of rejections before he made his first sale, how people said he would never make it and how he almost gave up.

43 Million Registered Users Reading Shandra Literature in China

The BEA presentation entitled Shanda: Bringing Literature Online and Comparing Experiences Between China and the US was sparsely attended, but it focused on a major reading community that American publishers should understand.

In the video embedded above, Shanda Literature CEO Zhou Hongli shared some publishing intelligence about readership, mobile phone usage, and Internet reading habits in China.

Here’s more from the company: “SDL has already accumulated the copyrights to the astonishing figure of almost 500 million pages worth of original Chinese literature, which is still increasing at the incredible rate of 60,000 pages a day. The average daily page view volume is around 400 million while the highest has exceeded 500 million. SDL has taken up more than ninety percent of the online original literature market in China. It has attracted more than 43 million registered users, which are from more than 200 different countries and regions of the world.”

Oh, the People You Meet at BEA Parties

bealog2010.pngYesterday we prowled BEA parties with Garrison Keillor‘s dour “Publishing is about to slide into the sea” pronouncement ringing in our ears.

Our night began at The New York Times‘ literary party where Ryan Chapman discussed upcoming projects and P.E. Logan chatted about book reviews. Carolyn Kellogg pondered the long night ahead of us, Thomas Rogers critiqued Sex and the City 2, and Leslie Koppenhaver cheered Graywolf Press‘ good year. Laura Miller shared her feelings about the Lost finale and Jonathan Lethem suggested we read a certain biography of the late, great Nathanael West.

At the Harper Perennial blogger apprecition party in the historic Algonquin Hotel, we talked with Ron Hogan about his reading series and debated publishing profits with Levi Asher. Jurgen Fauth chatted about Fictionaut while Marcy Dermansky explained her upcoming novel. Kevin Smokler talked about book tours. Susan Henderson showed off her new galley and Robin Slick said her son had joined the rock band Dr. Dog.

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BEA 2010: GalleyCat Strikes Back

As the publishing world stumbled through another day of bookselling, panel discussions, and parties, GalleyCat continued to provide the best coverage of publishing’s biggest conference.

Here are some links to our ongoing coverage.

In a video feature, author Jennifer Egan explored the future of PowerPoint fiction.

Four bestselling paranormal authors explained how they found inspiration.

In the video feature embedded above, the CEO of Figment explored the art of cellphone fiction.

Keep following all the action on eBookNewser and our GalleyCat Twitter feed.

Gov. Jindal Delays Release of Book

bobby-jindal-1.jpgThose of you who are overwhelmed with excitement for the release of Bobby Jindal‘s book in July are going to have to take a cold shower and calm down for a while, because he’s pushing back the release date.

According to CNN, Jindal asked his publisher, Regnery Publishing, to delay the release of Real Hope, Real Change so that the Louisiana governor can focus on his job, and the giant oil slick floating around off the coast of his state.

Jindal’s book was announced in April 2009. The book deal, says CNN, “immediately sparked chatter about Jindal’s national ambitions.”