Friday, July 1, 2011

In the News This Week

Happy holiday weekend, friends. Before you don red, white and blue, view parades, and marvel at fireworks, check out some of this week's news stories. 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.

This week's tidbits include dwindling library budgets, tons and tons of tweeting, John Green signing and signing and signing, a literary agency repping self-pubbed authors, ALA in pictures, eReader stats, THE GIVER on the big screen, census news on your future audience, a psychologists weighing in on GO THE F**K TO SLEEP, and more.

In Lean Times, Schools Squeeze Out Librarians (NYT)
Budget belt-tightening threatens to send school librarians the way of the card catalog. Students at all six high schools at the Martin Luther King Jr. campus in Manhattan must share the resources of one library. The schools superintendent in Lancaster, Pa., said he had to eliminate 15 of the district’s 20 librarians to save full-day kindergarten classes.In the Salem-Keizer school district in Oregon, all 48 elementary and middle school librarians would lose their jobs under a budget proposal that faces a vote next week.

200 million Tweets per day (twitter blog)
Halfway through 2011, users on Twitter are now sending 200 million Tweets per day. For context on the speed of Twitter’s growth, in January of 2009, users sent two million Tweets a day, and one year ago they posted 65 million a day.

YA Author John Green to Sign All Preorders of Next Novel  (PW)
After revealing Tuesday on a YouTube video that the title of his next novel is The Fault in Our Stars, YA author John Green made a second announcement that has some of his 1,140,780 Twitter followers, 61,714 Facebook friends, 525,676 YouTube subscribers, and other fans buzzing today. Not only buzzing, but also rushing to preorder The Fault in Our Stars, even though its tentative pub date isn't until May 2012, and the cover art hasn’t designed yet. Within hours of the announcement, the book shot to #1 on and, where it remains on both sites as of press time.
ALA 2011: Photos from the Show (PW)
The Big Easy played host to librarians, publishers, and writers who ventured to New Orleans June 23-28 for the ALA's annual conference. Library Journal reported that attendance was down this year, with 20,186 attendees and vendors at the show, but there was no shortage of excitement for children's books. The Newbery-Caldecott banquet bestowed top honors on Clare Vanderpool, winner of the Newbery Medal for Moon Over Manifest, and Erin Stead, who was awarded the Caldecott for A Sick Day for Amos McGee
For the iPad, Books That Respond to a Child’s Touch (NYT)
There may never come a day when book apps, as interactive books for tablet computers are known, are more appealing to children than games. But the apps are getting more engaging. The latest book apps to appear on my iPad include The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore ($5), Angelina Ballerina’s New Ballet Teacher ($1), The Wrong Side of the Bed in 3-D ($3), Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! ($4) and Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe ($6).

Specific Media Buys Myspace, Timberlake Takes Stake (Online Media Daily)
Marking the end of a social era, ad network Specific Media on Wednesday announced the acquisition of Myspace. And in a strange twist, music star-cum-actor Justin Timberlake is also taking an undisclosed ownership stake in the company, and is expected to play a key role in re-imagining the MySpace brand.
While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, multiple reports put it at about $35 million--far less than the $580 million News Corp. paid for the then-high-flying site back in 2005.

eReader Adoption Hits 12% In U.S. Says Pew Research (GalleyCat)
The share of adults in the United States who own an eReader doubled in May 2011 to 12 percent from 6 percent in November 2010, according to the Pew Internet Project. Tablets haven’t seen the same level of growth in recent months. In May 2011, 8 percent of adults report owning a tablet, up only 1 percent since and 3 percent since November 2010.

Bridges giving 'Giver' another shot (Variety)

Jeff Bridges and producer Nikki Silver are taking another stab at a bigscreen version of Lois Lowry's young adult novel "The Giver." They had been developing a feature version of the popular book for nearly a decade before it wound up at Warner Bros., which ponied up nearly $1 million to set up the tome with Red Wagon's Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher in 2007.

Twitter and Publishing: How the Industry is Faring (PW)
Last week, PW’s article “The Top Five Twitter Feeds for the Six Largest Publishing Houses” asked publishers to send us data regarding their Twitter feeds, and, on June 6, we ran an initial article featuring a small sampling of imprints on Twitter. While these previous articles were meant to show a basic overview of publishers' presence on Twitter, the table below is meant to be as an inclusive listing of publishers as possible of varying sizes and in a full range of categories. 

A Gateway to Great Books on Your iPhone (NYT Gadgetwise)
Penguin Classics, that more-than-1,500-titles collection of English-language literary classics, has a new free app for iOS devices available on Tuesday. The paperback publisher, celebrating 65 years of the Classics collection this year, has created a catalog of its titles (which basically includes every author you have heard of, ever) and put it into an easily searchable database.

DGLM Elaborates on Plan to Rep Self-Published Authors (PW)
After announcing on its blog Tuesday that it would be working its clients through the digital self-publishing process, literary agency Dystel & Goderich has had publishing insiders buzzing. What did the announcement mean? How would the agency take commissions from authors who are self-publishing? Would the agency become a publisher itself?

Census estimates show minority babies now outnumber white babies, part of sweeping race change (WaPo)
For the first time, more than half of the children under age 2 in the U.S. are minorities, part of a sweeping race change and a growing age divide between mostly white, older Americans and fast-growing younger ethnic populations that could reshape government policies.
Why Has Go the F**k to Sleep Struck Such a Nerve With Parents? (HuffPo)
I admit, it's funny. And there's another thing I like about Adam Mansbach's Go the F**k to Sleep: It exposes the underbelly of parenting -- that dark, secret part of us that needs a little time to ourselves when we can do grown up things -- or maybe just crawl into our own bed for some desperately needed sleep.

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