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Posts Tagged ‘Scott McLemee’

University Presses Share Problems at BEA

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At BookExpo America last week, most commentators focused on the big publishing houses–analyzing booth size and freebie production like tea-leaves. Over at Inside Higher Ed, critic Scott McLemee took a different approach, finding out what university presses thought about the major themes of the fair.

He uncovered some surprising, counter-intuitive bits of wisdom from these smaller houses. According to his article, printed books are still the best option for some small print-run presses and the digital book shift may be an expensive proposition for some university presses.

Here’s an excerpt from the essay: “It’s commonly assumed that e-books won’t incur the same down-the-pike expenses that bound volumes do — in particular, the cost of warehousing them. Server space isn’t free, however. And it’s worth keeping in mind the comment of one representative of a mid-sized university press who asked not to be identified. ‘We have two guys working in our warehouse,’ this person told me. ‘The payroll for both of them costs less than hiring another IT person.’”

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BEA: Reactions Online

Scene @ NBCC Finalists Announcement Party

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When I arrived a few minutes early to Housing Works for the National Book Critics Circle‘s annual bash to announce their award finalists, I figured – like most parties – there would be a few stragglers and the food & drink stations wouldn’t even be fully set up yet. Guess again. Already packed, within ten minutes the bookstore was fully SRO, and it was impossible to move a square inch without bumping into one notable critic after another. Amy Bloom (left, pictured with independent publicist Kimberly Burns and PW’s Charlotte Abbott) was on hand to announce the fiction finalists, which was met with the usual mix of positive responses and grumbling undertone. Francine Duplessis Gray, in announcing the memoir/autobiography category, remarked that this category honored those with a penchant for self-indulgence, while Eliot Weinberger cracked that the criticism category was “the most prestigious for the most contentious.” The greatest round of applause was reserved for Alison Bechdel‘s FUN HOME, one of two books (the other Michael Pollan‘s AN OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA) voted onto the shortlist by the membership.

Among the many, many literati making the scene were Lizzie Skurnick (who’s recently been hired on by New York Magazine), the Complete Review‘s Michael Orthofer, Viking publisher Paul Slovak, Soft Skull‘s Richard Nash, Eat the Press’s Rachel Sklar, Emily Gordon, Poets & WritersDoug Diesenhaus, and former Balakian winner Scott McLemee, on hand to announce Steven G. Kellman as the category’s newest honoree.