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Archives: February 2012

Publishers To Invest In Reader Data For Marketing

According to a new survey by Digital Book World and Forrester Research, almost two-thirds of publishers plan to increase their investment in acquiring reader data.

The poll also found that almost 71 percent of publishers agreed with the statement, “To be successful, the publisher of the future must have a database of individual customers it can have a relationship with and even contact directly.’”

The survey polled publishers who represented 74 percent of U.S. publishing revenues in 2011. Digital Book World has more: “Many publishers already have customer information. Only 13% of those surveyed said they had not collected any customer emails and only a quarter had no idea where their readers lived.”

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Mass Market Paperback Sales Down Nearly 41%

According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP) net sales revenue report for December (chart embedded above), adult mass market paperback sales dropped 40.9 percent compared to the same period the year before. Overall trade sales declined almost three percent, dipping from $561.3 million to $545.1 million.

As you can see by the year-to-date chart embedded below, overall trade book sales saw a four percent drop and mass market paperback sales declined nearly 36 percent for the year. While eBook sales increased 117 percent last year, they still have not closed the gap with declining print sales.

Here’s more from the release: “The December report represents data provided by 77 publishers and only sales of the participants are reported. NOTE: All numbers have been rounded to one decimal point and may not add up to 100%.”

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UK Royal Mail Issues Six Roald Dahl Stamps

With a few days left in the Month of Letters Challenge, the UK Royal Mail has issued six “gloriumptiously” collectible stamps for Roald Dahl fans.

Here’s more from the description page: “Six of Dahl’s most popular children’s stories feature on the Stamps – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr Fox, James & the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Twits and The Witches. As many of Dahl’s best loved stories have been illustrated by Quentin Blake it made perfect sense to use his illustrations for these Stamps.” What is your favorite stamp?

Each stamps contains a pivotal moment in the Dahl stories, from Mr. and Mrs. Twits‘ upside-down escapades to Charlie Bucket‘s golden ticket discovery. Prices for the stamps start at 66 pence (approximately $1.03 USD). A sheet of six sells for £4.66 (approximately $7.30 USD).

Copia Runs Sale on eBooks Dropped by Amazon

The publishing industry has responded since Independent Publishers Group (IPG) announced that Amazon did not renew its contract last week—removing almost 5,000 books from the Kindle store.

Author Jim Hanas, whose book was removed from the Kindle Store, reacted by removing the Amazon buy button from the website for his book Why They Cried. Now eBook social networking site Copia is running a sale on some of the eBooks that were removed from the Kindle Store.

The Copia newsletter explains: “Recently, a very big bookseller has stopped selling eBooks from the Independent Publishers Group. Why? Allegedly because the scrappy, innovative IPG refused the bookseller’s ‘laws of the jungle’ pricing demands. Copia salutes IPG for protecting their authors. Check out our sale of IPG classics and bestsellers.”

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Figment to Manage HarperCollins’ Inkpop Writing Community

Starting next month, the online writing community Figment will manage HarperCollins’ Inkpop writing community in a new partnership.

Here’s more from the release: “Figment will assume control of all inkpop activity and operations … In addition, HarperCollins will join the many other publishers currently marketing their titles on Figment by signing a multiyear marketing partnership with the site, which will include opportunities for members to publish the creative work they submit to Figment.”

Both writing communities are aimed at teenage writers and readers. HarperCollins opened Inkpop in 2009 and Figment launched in 2010. HarperCollins Children’s Books president Susan Katz explained the move: “We approached Figment because we’ve admired what they are doing in the digital space. Together we can broaden our marketing reach for our authors and their stories by tapping into this highly engaged group.”

Ben Marcus & Book Savvy Conference Get Booked

Here are some literary events to jump-start your week. To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please announce your event one week prior to its date.

Editor Shelly Reed will heading a group reading of her collection, American Creative Writers on Class. Hear them on Monday, February 27th at the powerHouse Arena starting 7 p.m. (Brooklyn, NY)

Author Kate Hosford will be launching her second Annabelle picture book, Big Birthday, at Books of Wonder. See her on Thursday, March 1st from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

Writer James Sheridan will headline a signing event for his book Lucille Ball FAQ. Check it out on Thursday, March 1st at the Dolphin Bookshop starting 6:30 p.m. (Port Washington, NY)

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How to Build a Group Book Tour

Authors Marie Lu, Beth Revis, Jessica Spotwood and Andrea Cremer teamed up for Penguin Books for Young Readers’ annual “Breathless Reads” tour this year.

The tour ends tonight at 7 p.m. in Los Angeles at Once Upon a Time bookstore. Here’s more about the event: “This event is free and open to the public. In order to go through the priority signing line, though, you must purchase one of the authors’  books from us.”

We covered the tour last year and Macmillan launched a Pen Fatale group tour this year, so we wanted to find out more about how to run a group book tour. We caught up with Penguin Books for Young Readers assistant marketing director Lisa Kelly to find out more. Her answers follow below…

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J. K. Rowling’s New Book ‘Very Different to Harry’

After exploding the Internets yesterday with news that she will publish her first novel for adults, Harry Potter creator J. K. Rowling made a rare Twitter appearance to talk about the book.

She tweeted today: “As you may have heard, I have a new book out later this year. Very different to Harry, although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much.”

At the same time, the dramatic news generated a stream of posts from fake Harry Potter characters on Twitter. The Washington Post Style section rounded up these reactions on Storify. Read the tweets below (Via Julie Bosman)

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Jim Hanas Is ‘Kicking The Amazon Habit’

Frustrated by the contract lapse between Amazon and IPG, author Jim Hanas has decided to remove the Amazon buy button from his website for the book Why They Cried.

Hanas explains how the removal from Kindle has affected him in a post on Google+: “This is frequently described in the press as ‘removing the buy buttons,’ but in my case — since my book has no print edition — it is much worse. My book page has vanished entirely. Reviews, summary, everything.”

Hanas is “kicking the Amazon habit” altogether. He continued in the post: “I blew my entire Amazon gift card balance on — and this is the delicious part — a Kobo Touch eReader. That’s right. Amazon doesn’t handle these directly, of course, but you can spend gift card balances with Amazon merchants, which is how I was able to buy the Kobo. It should arrive in a week and then, as a reader at least, I’ll be Amazon-free.”

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Jeremy Lin Spawns New Literary Genre

Yahoo News interviewed this GalleyCat editor about a crop of rushed books about basketball star Jeremy Lin. We singled out “Jeremy Lin: Advice from Sun Tzu on Basketball and the Art of War!!!“–a $1.99 “e-pamphlet” that basically repackages quotes from a public domain classic and addresses them to “modern day basketball warrior Jeremy Lin.”

We do not recommend buying this eBook, but we think it has created a new literary genre: “The possibilities for this mash-up genre are literally endless: ‘How Sherlock Holmes Solved the Amanda Knox Case!!!’ or ‘What Rick Santorum Can Learn from the Poetry of Walt Whitman!!!’”

What famous public domain books should be repackaged as advice books for celebrities? Share your suggestions (complete with triple exclamation points) at the #linerature hashtag, we’ll post our favorites.