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Archives: June 2010

UK Publishers Association Taps Music Biz Representative

pubasso.pngMusic business representative Richard Mollet–who currently serves as public affairs director at the UK recorded music business group BPI–has been picked as the new CEO of the UK’s Publishers Association.

Many experts have compared the publishing industry’s digital transition to the music industry’s struggle with digital music files–but this announcement turned the metaphor into policy. Mollet joined BPI in 2006, helping negotiate a number of tricky digital problems for the UK music industry. Previously, he had served as a public affairs consultant at agencies that included Fleishman-Hillard, Edelman and Ludgate.

Publishers Association president and HarperCollins UK CEO Victoria Barnsley had this statement: “At a time of huge change for the publishing industry, Richard brings a wealth of relevant experience and is already a familiar face in Westminster and Brussels. The years ahead will require all his considerable talent and application to successfully represent the interests of the £5 billion a year publishing industry as revenues continue to migrate from physical to digital, a challenge facing so many creative industries.”

Larry King to End His CNN Show

lk23.jpgLast night journalist, television host, and author Larry King broke the news he was leaving his show on CNN. TVNewser had the whole story.

King (pictured, via) is the author of numerous books, including How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: The Secrets of Good Communication and the memoir My Remarkable Journey.

Here’s an excerpt from King’s memo: “I’ll still be a part of the CNN family, hosting several Larry King specials on major national and international subjects. I’m incredibly proud that we recently made the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest running show with the same host in the same time slot. With this chapter closing I’m looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it’s time to hang up my nightly suspenders.”

Amazon.com Crash Drives Publishing World Batty

amazonlogocom.pngThis afternoon Amazon.com had problems loading–resurrecting the old #amazonfail tag on Twitter. UPDATED: The site has returned to normal as of this 8:55 pm EST writing.

Add your angry, confused, or sympathetic thoughts in the comments section. One anonymous tipster wrote: “Amazon has been down for an hour plus. So much for the world moving on with just Kindles. Bookstores never have this problem.”

Jane L waxed economical: “wonder how much money amazon loses each minute that it is down like this. Hundreds of thousands?”

Cecilia Tan tweeted: “Apparently there is some kind of massive #amazonfail going on? Even The DaVinci code shows as ‘currently unavailable’ in search results.”

As the publishing world struggles to cope with the digital outage, check out our Best Online Fiction Writers page and Free eBook of the Day feature at eBookNewser for lots and lots of excellent reading material.

Literary Remix Contest Winners

screen1small.jpgThe World’s Longest Literary Remix exceeded our craziest expectations–GalleyCat Reviews readers handed in amazingly creative entries and the remixed novel has been read thousands of times on Scribd.com. Check out the literary experiment here.

To celebrate this completely rewritten edition of a 100-year-old novel, we are happy to announce the winners of our contest–the twelve winning writers were randomly chosen from among the remix contributors.

Reader Elizabeth Gokey has won a prize package from the remixing experts at Quirk Books. The package contains an assortment of Quirk Classics books, posters, and audiobooks.

Reader Dorothy Distefano has won the “Electric Literature: Year One” prize package–a complete set of the first four issues of the literary journal.

Finally, ten lucky readers have won an actual printed copy of the remixed novel. Scribd.com and Blurb.com are donating 10 printed copies of the completely remixed novel, using the company’s new print-on-demand service. Find out who won below…

Read more

Barnes & Noble’s 4Q Numbers Show 51 Percent Increase in Web Sales

barnes-noble-logo1.jpgOver on eBookNewser, our colleague Dianna Dilworth reports that Barnes & Noble’s 4Q numbers continue to show growth on the web side, while in-store sales slowly decline.

From the post: “As store sales decreased by 3% to $962 million in the first quarter of 2010, Barnes & Noble.com sales increased 51% to $141 million for the quarter, as compared to the period one year ago.” eBookNewser also reported that, according to CEO William Lynch, the company would be redirecting a significant portion of its resources to invest in technology and sales and marketing.

Read the rest of the post here.

Punky Brewster Star Sells ‘Memoir/Manual’

Today CNN broke the news that former child star Soleil Moon Frye has sold a memoir to the Penguin imprint, Dutton.

Frye will write a “memoir/manual” about her “unconventional childhood” starring in the 1980s sitcom Punky Brewster. The show’s theme is embedded in the YouTube video above. The release is scheduled for summer 2011 and her platform is already in place. The actress has built up 1.4 million followers on Twitter–asking daily questions and sharing thoughts with fans.

Here’s more from the report: She said the book will also include thematically-linked anecdotes from her experience as a parent of two young daughters. ‘I’m nostalgic and love talking about my childhood and family so what better platform to share with others than a book close to my heart,’ Frye, 33, told CNN.’”

Jeff Bezos Predicts Publishers with Cheap eBooks Will Dominate

jeffbezos-1.gifThis week Fortune magazine landed an interview with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, talking to the executive during a crucial time for the company–considering the eBook price war and the Apple iPad’s swift rise.

In the interview, Bezos defended the Amazon Kindle as a unique device that will continue to captivate readers (despite one expert’s prediction that tablet computers will soon outnumber eReaders). In addition, Bezos issued a veiled warning to publishers about eBook pricing in the interview.

Check out his dramatic quote: “First of all, there are a bunch of publishers of all sizes, and they don’t all have one opinion. There are as many opinions about what the right thing to do is as there are publishers. So you’re seeing that some of them are being very aggressive on prices, pricing their books well below $9.99. Others are trying to do everything they can to make prices as high as possible. And what you’re going to see is a share shift from one group of publishers to this other group of publishers.”

Glenn Beck Sells Over 132,000 Copies of The Overton Window in a Week

beckfinalcover.jpgAccording to Nielsen Bookscan figures, conservative host Glenn Beck sold over 132,000 copies of The Overton Window in a single week–topping the bestseller list in the process. Follow this link to watch the thriller’s surreal book trailer.

Daily Finance profiled Beck’s literary track record in an article this morning, listing some serious bookselling figures from the literary lion. In a world of dwindling review and publicity outlets for authors, Beck has become a serious literary force.

Here’s an excerpt: “Beck has turned into a literary tastemaker and for the authors he’s interviewed on his programs and their publishers, the results are staggering. George Washington’s Sacred Fire, Peter Lillback’s 1,200-page biography first published by the tiny Providence Forum Press in 2006, has sold more than 45,000 copies this year, according to Bookscan. The vast majority of those sales coming after Lilliback appeared on Beck’s television show in mid-May.”

Author’s Book Title Inadvertently Becomes Facebook Fan Page Phenom

glevey.jpgGregory Levey, the author of Shut Up, I’m Talking, a memoir about his experience as a speechwriter in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, started a Facebook group for his book a couple of years ago. The group’s number of “fans” staggered along in the hundreds for a couple of years until recently, when, unexpectedly, it skyrocketed. To nearly 700,000 fans.

What happened? Over on TheNervousBreakdown.com, Levey explains: Even though the fan page shows the book’s cover and its synopsis, and informs visitors that it was published by Simon & Schuster, the vast majority of these supposed “fans” were somehow totally unaware that it was referring to a book at all. They had simply joined because they were fans of the phrase “Shut Up, I’m Talking.”

He goes on: “They were the sort of people, I soon discovered, who were also fans of such inane but popular Facebook fan pages as “Punching Things” and “I hate it when I get fingerprints all over my phone.” But each time one of them would become a fan of Shut Up, I’m Talking, their circle of Facebook friends would blindly do the same– causing its frighteningly viral spread.”

Levey (pictured, via) has yet to capitalize on his new, er, platform, but he probably could do so with a well worded message–”Hate when people interrupt you? So do I. And that was basically my job when I worked for the Prime Minister of Israel!” Or something. Either way, let this be an object lesson, marketing folks: It’s not a bad idea to title your book after a popular phrase that people might want to become “fans” of on Facebook. Not that that’s a secret.

Exit Hermione Granger, Pursued by a Hipster

Harry Potter actress Emma Watson starred in a music video for her boyfriend George Craig’s band, One Night Only. It provides a bizarre teen pop counterpoint to the brand new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows trailer.

The music video embedded above has a surprise canine-themed ending, so make sure to watch the whole thing. If you can manage. The video may be your only opportunity to see the Harry Potter love interest pursued by Brooklyn hipsters.

Here’s more from Gawker: “At first it seems like One Night Only made the Brooklyn version of “Come on Eileen,” the diamond-bejeweled uptown girl darting cautiously away from a pack of downtown boys eyeing her lasciviously. But this is Brooklyn, and there are no Too-Rye-Ay’s here, just playful romping and friendly street vendors who throw kebabs at your face, the latter of which is weird until Emma and George see their reflections…”

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