Friday, August 27, 2010

In the News This Week

Fridays on the SCBWI blog, I share snippets of and links to some of the publishing/media-related news I've read during the last week that I found interesting, helpful, and/or fun. Click titles to get to the full articles.

Below you'll find news on digital publishing for young readers, Sneed Collard III's new publishing venture, a resolution to the Wylie/Amazon/Random House adventure, authors who make lots of dough (guess which children's authors made the list?), low-priced e-readers in time for the holidays, some tips on using Facebook Places (I've been checking in!), teens grumbling about Facebooking parents, a roundup of MOCKINGJAY reviews, and more.

Digital 'Firsts' from Random House and HarperCollins (PW)
Children’s book publishers continue to push forward into digital publishing, and both HarperCollins and Random House revealed new e-products earlier this week. Random House Children’s Books is publishing its first e-book original, a tie-in to Michael Scott’s Nicholas Flamel series. The Death of Joan of Arc: A Lost Story from the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel is an e-book original from Delacorte, arriving between the fourth book, The Necromancer, which was published this past May, and the fifth, The Warlock, due in 2011. The Death of Joan of Arc went on sale this past Tuesday for 99¢; the story posits that rather than being burned at the stake, Joan of Arc was rescued by Scathach the Warrior.

Montana Author Launches Publishing House (PW)
After his latest book, The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale, was turned down by 15 publishers, Sneed Collard III, the author of 50 books for children, who received the Washington Post-Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award in 2006, decided to take matters into his own hands. Collard, who lives in Missoula, Mont., has formed his own publishing company, Bucking Horse Books, and is publishing the 64-page picture book himself this fall. The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale will be released in October, with a retail price of $18 and a first print run of 5,000 copies.

The RH/Wylie Showdown Ends, New Digital Royalty Rate Is Born
The news that Random House had "won" its showdown with The Wylie Agency, over the inclusion of titles by its authors in Wylie's backlist digital publishing business Odyssey Editions, spread through publishing circles quickly on Tuesday, after Random House and Wylie released a joint statement. The statement said that Random House will now be the exclusive e-book publisher of its 13 titles originally part of Odyssey Editions and that, as a result of the agreement, Random House will lift its ban on doing business with the agency.

The Highest-Paid Authors (Forbes)
Publishers are feeling the heat, with hardcover sales weak and the rise of e-books promising to upend their business models. But the world's 10 top-earning authors are making out just fine, earning a combined $270 million over the 12 months to June 1.

PW Select: Opportunity or Exploitation? (Writer Beware Blog)
Print on demand technology has done a lot over the past 10 or 12 years to change the publishing landscape. Among other things, it has created an explosion of fee-based publishing options, small publishers, and micropresses. These ventures in turn have driven an intense proliferation of services targeted to writers, all of them intended (theoretically, at least) to offset the minimal marketing and limited distribution that's typical of POD publishing services and small presses.

Seth Godin on Non-Traditional Publishing (GalleyCat)
Last week, author Seth Godin generated headlines around the world when he told GalleyCat: "I've decided not to publish any more books in the traditional way." This week published a long interview with the bestselling author, entrepreneur, and marketing consultant. In the interview, GalleyCat correspondent Jeff Rivera discovered that the last book Godin read was Nothing Sacred by Douglas Rushkoff.

Amazon Loses E-Book Deal (WSJ)
A month after jolting the book industry with a deal to give Inc. exclusive digital access to some of the country's best-known literary works, literary agent Andrew Wylie is largely abandoning the agreement. The Amazon deal was struck after Mr. Wylie failed to agree to terms with publishers for electronic rights to his authors' existing titles. It was a notable step in the battle between Amazon and its two main rivals in e-books, Apple Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc.

The Sharper Image Introduces $159 eReader (GalleyCat)
This holiday season is gearing up to be a busy one in the eReader wars. Now, The Sharper Image is entering the eReader game with the new Literati, a color eReader slated for release this October.

Teens on Facebook GOL (grumble out loud) as mothers become friends (LA Times)
Mothers have found a even better way to humiliate their children than showing baby pictures: becoming a friend on Facebook. Like the cyber version of being picked up in an uncool car, teens are now mortified by nagging chats and clueless comments left by their mothers on their online profiles.
Nearly a third of Facebook teens are ready to unfriend their parents on the social networking site and are twice as likely to want to avoid Mom as Dad, according to an AOL study released Tuesday.

How To Use Facebook Places (All Facebook)
So you’ve spent the weekend watching your friends check in from various places around the world and it’s showing up in your news feed but you can’t figure out how to check-in somewhere yourself. Have no fear, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you get up and running and sharing your location.

'Mockingjay' Review Roundup (HuffPo)
The last installment in Suzanne Collins' wildly popular "Hunger Games" trilogy hits stores today. Here's an early sampling of what people are saying:

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