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Posts Tagged ‘Tina Brown’

The Daily Beast to Publish Rapid-Fire eBooks

dblogo23.jpgThe Daily Beast announced a partnership with Perseus Books Group yesterday, a new Beast Books imprint that will quickly produce digital books by the website’s authors–followed by equally rapid paperback editions.

The NY Times explains that authors would have a few months to turn around these timely titles. The article also takes a frank look at print sales for books that started as eBooks. According to BookScan figures, Daniel Gross‘ “Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation” sold 4,000 print copies, while George Soros‘ “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets” sold 50,000 print copies.

Here’s an excerpt from the article: “[Beast founder Tina Brown] envisioned most of the Beast Books titles as being 40,000 words, or about 150 pages…Perseus is paying The Daily Beast a five-figure management advance to cover the costs of editing and designing the books, and Perseus will distribute the titles through its existing sales force. The writers will receive low five-figure advances from Perseus, then split profits from the sale of both the e-books and paperbacks with Perseus and The Daily Beast.”

Barnes & Noble Follows Amazon’s E-Book Pricing Model

barnes-noble-logo.jpgTouching on one of the most controversial issues in 21st Century publishing, Barnes & Noble has set e-book prices to compete directly with Amazon.com, Inc.’s prices.

Information Week reports that eReader–one of Barnes & Noble’s digital book properties–sent members an email setting the majority of e-books are now priced very near to Amazon’s $9.99 standard price. That $9.95-9.99 price point drives Tina Brown (and some other publishing types) batty.

Here’s the eReader pricing scheme, from the article: “All new eBooks are $9.95 or less. No eBook over $12.95. They aren’t moving all ebooks to $9.95 or less, only newly published ones. Cutting to $12.95 is a substantial cut for many older books though. All books on the New York Times Bestseller list are $9.95, whether it is new or has been there a while.” (Via Publishers Weekly)

Amazon.com, Inc. Announces Kindle DX Ship Date

kindledx2.jpgNearly one month after Amazon.com, Inc. previewed the large-screen Kindle DX, the company announced that the new device will ship on June 10, 2009 on a first-come, first-served shipping schedule for pre-orders.

While the company thinks the new device could revolutionize both periodical and textbook reading, skeptics have emerged over the last month. Frank Lyman, EVP of marketing at CourseSmart, told GalleyCat that most students are reading e-books on laptops. During a BEA panel discussion, Daily Beast editor Tina Brown criticized the $9.99 price-tag that most Amazon e-books carry.

Here’s more from the Amazon release: “[Kindle DX features] a large 9.7-inch electronic paper display, built-in PDF reader to view professional and personal documents, auto-rotate capability, and storage for up to 3,500 books. More than 290,000 books are now available in the Kindle Store for convenient wireless delivery in under 60 seconds.”

Tina Brown Bashes $9.99 Digital Books

tina2.jpgDaily Beast founder Tina Brown and her husband Sir Harold Evans held a stuffy, packed BEA amphitheater in rapt attention yesterday–quizzing four CEOs about these difficult days for publishing. When Brown lost her voice halfway through the presentation, her husband stepped up to finish the panel. Before leaving, Brown railed against Amazon.com, Inc.’s pricing for the average Kindle book: “$9.99 is a paltry pitiful sum,” she said.

Her husband kept pace, urging the CEOs to “sue the hell” out of Google over the search engine’s controversial book-scanning initiative. Perseus Books CEO David Steinberger plugged his initiative to crash-publish “Book: The Sequel” in 48-hours during BEA. “This is the way you have to behave in the future,” he declared. Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy disagreed with this timetable for print books. “But you have to convince retailers to buy the [print] book–that takes six months.”

Macmillan CEO John Sargent worried about new media campaigns: “The majority of viral marketing doesn’t sell a ton of books,” he complained, referencing a hit viral video his company produced that only resulted in, by his estimate, sales of 210 books. He still thought the best bookselling strategy was a combination of word-of-mouth and front of store placement at bookstores around the country.

Are Serials Good for Your Publishing Health?

The New York Times’ Joanne Kaufman wonders if first serial rights – once so coveted by magazines that they were willing to pay six figures for the privilege of publishing exclusive excerpts from a highly anticipated book – have lost their luster. After all, when many such excerpts give away the juiciest bits of the book, why bother spending $25 for the rest, which may or may not live up to expectations?

Kaufman explains that magazine editors who five years ago would have reflexively bid for first serial rights to certain high-profile books are now exploring their options, choosing instead to run a feature about the book or an interview with the author. Some magazines – Time and Harper’s in particular – have turned to asking authors to write an article or essay that touches on issues raised in their book. “I think the whole model needs to be rethought,” said Richard Stengel, the managing editor of Time. “I’m less interested in buying headlines than a great reader experience.” PW’s Sara Nelson finds the disinterest extends to publishers. “I see more and more of them interested in the TV interview for their author rather than the book excerpt because TV has a greater reach than magazines.”

But even if excerpts may contribute to book sale decreases and magazines themselves aren’t what they used to be, not all share the doom and gloom. Alison Rich, the director of publicity at Doubleday, said she had no such concerns with regards to Tina Brown‘s just-published THE DIANA CHRONICLES – excerpted first in Vanity Fair. “Tina’s writing is extraordinary,” Rich said. “The book is an incredibly rich textured portrait of Diana and all the royals, and it’s our belief that readers will be anxious for more.”

This Summer, It’s All About Diana

The Wall Street Journal‘s Jeff Trachtenberg looks at the plethora of books that have something, anything to do with Princess Diana – just as the 10th anniversary of her death approaches. The article focuses primary attention on Tina Brown, as the end result of a seven-figure advance for her take on the princess – THE DIANA CHRONICLES – hits stores on June 12. Doubleday is printing 200,000 copies of the book, Trachtenberg says, deemed a comprehensive biography that promises new insights regarding Diana’s pursuit of Prince Charles, her sad early years and how she used the media to her own ends. Beyond juicy details, Brown says she set out to write a book that examined the princess in a media and social context while discussing the impact of celebrity culture: “Why Diana was important, why she continues to fascinate, and what we should make of her 10 years after her death.”

But some are skeptical that Brown will find success, considering a number of books – let’s not forget Paul Burrell‘s “embargoed” account – didn’t live up to sales expectations. “It’s a gamble for us,” said Vivien Jennings, owner of Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kan. “Will there be new information and pictures people haven’t seen before? And will there be so much news coverage that people won’t have to read the book?” Jennings says she has ordered 20 copies of THE DIANA CHRONICLES because those who are interested will want to buy the book immediately. “We can’t miss a sale,” she said. the Book Stall at Chestnut Court in Winnetka, Ill., has ordered only two copies, based on weak sales of recent Diana-related titles. “Publicity could save [it] but there isn’t a lot of enthusiasm in the heartland,” said owner Roberta Rubin. One potential bright sign: a customer has already reserved a copy. “Somebody has gotten word, so I’ll buy a few more,” said Rubin.

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