This week's news includes PW's coverage of SCBWI 40th Annual Summer Conference (which is technically last week's news, but I didn't want you to miss it); Little, Brown and Holiday house entering the leveled reader realm; magazine editors reaching out to the young and wired; syncing posts on multiple social networks; some e-reader-related news; Twitter contest tips; indie bookstore coverage including some fun from The Daily Show's John Hodgman; and more.
SCBWI Conference Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Record Turnout (PW)
A surprise guest appearance by Judy Blume at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators annual summer conference in Los Angeles made the 40th anniversary of the organization even more meaningful to the record-breaking number of attendees, which included writers, illustrators, publishers, editors, and agents. Nearly 1,350 people were on hand for the conference, which was held August 4-8 at the Century Plaza Hotel.
Two Leveled Reader Programs Debut This Fall (PW)
A phone call from a librarian friend at the Boston Public Library allegedly prompted Ursula Nordstrom in the mid-1950s to launch Harper & Row’s I Can Read! line of beginning readers. After the librarian told the legendary editor that there was a dearth of simple books that new readers were able to tackle on their own, Nordstrom set out to fill that void. The first I Can Read! title, Else Holmelund Minarik’s Little Bear, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, was released in 1957. That same year, Random House debuted Beginner Books with Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. In subsequent years, many other early reader programs entered the marketplace, including Random House’s Step into Reading, Scholastic Readers, HMH Books’ Green Light Readers, and most recently Square Fish’s My Readers, which launched this spring. This fall, two new leveled reader lines join their ranks: Little, Brown’s Passport to Reading and I Like to Read Books from Holiday House.
Liberty Buys Barnes & Noble Stake (MCN)
Liberty Media said it has agreed to purchase $204 million of Barnes & Noble preferred stock, a deal which would eventually give it a 16.6 % stake and trumps a $1 billion bid the media giant had made for the troubled book retailer in May.
iPad Killer: Amazon Goes Razor Blades On Tablet Landscape (PWxyz)
This October is likely going to be a defining moment for tablets. That’s if, as expected, Amazon drops its tablet into the increasingly crowded fray, which at the moment is only slightly more organized than the Wild West. Many are expecting Amazon to set things straight, eliminating the pretenders and giving us a better idea of what exactly buyers want out of a tablet. But before we get to what might happen, let’s get caught up on what already has happened.
Easily And Automatically Sync Posts Between Twitter, Google+ And Facebook (AllTwitter)
We’ve written before about how to tweet your Google+ posts to Twitter, and now we’ve got an even more robust way to sync up your various social media profiles.
4 Things To Remember When Running A Twitter Contest (AllTwitter)
Twitter is a fantastic place to host a contest. You have a direct line to your customers and fans, you can easily set a time limit, and you can even use a hashtag to track it easily. However, there are some things you’ve got to consider when setting up your Twitter contest, or else the scammers, hackers, and otherwise deceptive people will start coming out of the woodwork and ruin all your best intentions.
HARRY POTTER CHAINED to new Sony reader (Register)
Sony will bundle its next generation e-reader with the entire series of Harry Potter stories from November, The Register has learnt. The bespectacled wizard debuts in digital format in October – the same time as the Sony-sponsored Pottermore "online reading experience" goes live – according to well-placed sources in the vendor's retail channel.
Editors Face Teen Angst (WWD)
Magazine newsstand sales were revealed last week by the Audit Bureau of Circulations and the numbers were bleak. Editors are desperate to engage the younger generation — those tweeters, Facebookers, text messagers and Web surfers who will ensure that titles have a future beyond the Baby Boomers. But what do they have to offer this prized demographic? More pictures of Lady Gaga or Kim Kardashian?
Independent bookstores add a new chapter (WaPo)
The brick-and-mortar bookstore is, like most of the economy, dead or close to it. See: Amazon, growth of. See: Borders, tanking of. Everybody knows this. So here’s Eileen McGervey, owner of One More Page bookstore in Arlington, standing next to her gourmet chocolates and a nice little wine selection, right across from the food and travel section, and she . . . opened in January of this year?
John Hodgman Shares Tips for Indie Bookstores (GalleyCat)
Author John Hodgman poked fun at the demise of Borders in a Daily Show appearance (video embedded above) this week, urging booksellers to “replace their old-fashioned bookshelves with beautiful, well-appointed downloading pods.”