Friday, June 25, 2010
In the News This Week
Today I offer a baker's dozen snippets--among them a PW piece on picture books and rainforests, several opinion pieces on the iPad, how the Kindle is making reading social, a report on e-reader price wars, highlights from the Book Bloggers Convention, record-setting tweets, and The New York Times covering gay YA.
Also, with the opening of ECLIPSE upcoming, the Huffington Post offers a slide show of a tent city erected as movie-goers awaited the premiere in LA. And GalleyCat reported that Stephenie Meyer is getting a little burnt out on vampires. (Um, join the club Ms. M. OK--so I'm already planning my opening weekend ECLIPSE outfit. But I just go for the spectacle. Go Team Jacob!)
Are Children's Publishers Destroying Rainforests? (PW)
"Do children's publishers deserve to wear green hats--or black ones? After all, it's tricky to make good-looking four-color picture books from recycled paper, or affordable ones from virgin paper that is certified as eco-friendly. The cost issue sends publishers to Asia, where paper and materials are cheaper. The problem: printers there may use fiber from Indonesian rainforests."
Lerner Goes Digital (PW)
"This weekend at the American Library Association conference in Washington, D.C., Lerner Publishing Group will unveil Lerner Digital, its new digital content brand for the school and library markets, by launching the company’s new line of fiction and nonfiction digital books for struggling readers, Lerner Interactive Books."
Why An eReader Can Succeed (MobileContentToday)
"While mobile professionals might debate the definition of what is a smartphone, smartphones are generally the classification given to phones that have an operating system and application program interfaces that enable third party companies to develop apps to run on the phone. In 1996 Nokia introduced the Nokia Communicator 9000, which essentially was the first commercially available smartphone. While smartphones had existed for more than ten years, it wasn't until Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007 that smartphones reached the tipping point of being a broadly used device."
Guest Post: David Rothman on the iPad Stimulus Plan (The Atlantic)
"Below, a guest essay by David Rothman, of the Teleread site and the DC roman-a-clef The Solomon Scandals. David was one of the journalism world's earliest adopters of computers and related technology. Since 1992, when many people (including me) could barely imagine what a Kindle/Nook/iPad-style 'e-reader' might be, he has been analyzing these devices and their social, economic, and political implications on his site. Previously on this site about such implications here and here. By the way, he is running a nice Fake Tony Hayward diary on his site."
Books With Gay Themes for Young Readers Take Off (NYT)
"At his Kentucky elementary school, kids taunted Brent on the playground about being gay, whatever that was. By eighth grade, he realized what they meant and came out to a friend--and vice versa.
She was an avid writer, he a voracious reader. They headed to their school library in search of stories that spoke to their lives: gay, gay in the South, gay and fearing stereotypes like 'disgusting' and 'worthless.'"
Eclipse Premiere: Twilight Fans Create Tent City Waiting For Premiere (HuffPo slideshow)
"Thousands of obsessed Twlight fans have literally set up camp in Downtown LA as they wait for the premiere of Eclipse, the newest movie of the series. KTLA reports: Hundreds of movie fans began lining up Monday, creating a tent city outside the Nokia Plaza for Thursday's premiere of 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.' Aproximately 9,000 wristbands are being handed out to the movie fans. According to Nokia officials, wristbands must be worn until the premiere is over. Any wristband that has been tampered with or removed will not be considered valid."
Stephenie Meyer: 'I'm Really Burned Out on Vampires' (GalleyCat)
"To promote the upcoming release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, author Stephenie Meyer toured four fan sites on a DIY promotional tour. Along the tour she confessed that work had been slow on Midnight Sun, an uncompleted manuscript from the beloved vampire series. The lucky sites chosen for the junket were: Twilight Series Theories, Twilight Source, Twifans, and Letters To Twilight."
The iPad and I: Of Love and Meh (Shelf Talker, by Elizabeth Bluemle)
"I think one of my bookselling colleagues thinks I have sold my soul to the Dark Side by purchasing an iPad. She practically ran away from it (and me) at a recent conference when I unveiled the thing.
It was a funny moment, because I absolutely understand her horror: the growing digital-book market is affecting all booksellers and we don’t know where and how the smaller indies will fit in--if at all--and what that will mean to our already challenged bottom lines."
Amazon Drops Kindle Price To $189 (eBookNewser)
"Let the price wars begin. Amazon has dropped the price on the Kindle from $259 to $189. The news comes after Barnes & Noble announced a new $149 version of the Nook series called the Nook Wi-Fi and speculation began about if Amazon would respond."
E-books, hardcovers, online booksellers and stores: Why everybody can win (Fortune--by Michael Edwards, CEO, Borders)
"We've heard it all before: digital content means the end of physical media. As consumers flock to the convenience of instant gratification and on-the-go content, traditional business models will be overturned, commerce will move online, and traditional retail outlets and the products on their shelves will go the way of the typewriter. Or maybe not."
Highlights From the First Annual Book Blogger Convention (HuffPo)
"The first annual Book Blogger Convention was officially held on May 28 at the Javits Center in New York City, immediately following the conclusion of BookExpo America. More than 200 bloggers, publishers, and authors attended. Among the topics covered in presentations and panels: Professionalism/Ethics, Writing/Building Content, Marketing, Social Responsibility, and Author/Blogger Relationships."
Yes, People Still Read, but Now It’s Social (NYT)
"'THE point of books is to combat loneliness,' David Foster Wallace observes near the beginning of 'Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself,' David Lipsky's recently published, book-length interview with him. If you happen to be reading the book on the Kindle from Amazon, Mr. Wallace's observation has an extra emphasis: a dotted underline running below the phrase. Not because Mr. Wallace or Mr. Lipsky felt that the point was worth stressing, but because a dozen or so other readers have highlighted the passage on their Kindles, making it one of the more 'popular' passages in the book."
Twitter Sets New Record: 3,283 Tweets Per Second (Mashable)
"Despite massive Twitter activity due to ongoing World Cup match play, Twitter's biggest tweets per second record to date was during last week's NBA finals. That record was shattered yesterday as Twitter users published 3,283 tweets per second at the close of Japan’s victory over Denwark in the World Cup."