Friday, May 21, 2010

In the News This Week

Every Friday on the SCBWI blog, I share snippets of and links to some of the publishing-related news I've read during the week that I found interesting or helpful (or, perhaps, fun).

Several best-selling authors are in the news this week: Stephenie Meyer for her ECLIPSE press junket; Jeff Kinney about the fifth WIMPY KID book; and mystery author J.A. Konrath on his publishing deal (both e and traditional) with AmazonEncore. Some of the coverage on the Konrath story pondered whether the publishing industry has now jumped the shark as a major retailer has turned into a publisher, thus eliminating the middleman. To semi-quote Troy on last night's "Community": "There was an episode of 'Happy Days' where someone really did jump over a shark, and it was the best one ever!" (I know that's not helpful or illuminating. But it's funny.)

During a 2006 book festival, I saw Konrath get in a heated debate with Dennis Lehane during a panel on fiction writing. They argued over plot vs. character. Konrath was all plot, plot, plot--plot is king. Lehane argued that if there aren't great characters, who cares what they are doing? It seems Konrath is still all about thickening the plot.

If you've had it up to here with all this talk of electronic publishing, check out the video on eBook Newser on their Kindle Resentment post. It features three guys beating the tar out of one of the Amazon devices with baseball bats, Office-Space style. Then take a deep breath and  curl up with a good book.

Folio Unveils Children's Book Division (on PW)
"Four-year-old agency Folio Literary Management is expanding its presence in the children’s book market with the launch of Folio Jr., which will represent creators of middle-grade and young adult novels, as well as 'selective' picture books."

Best eBook News on Twitter (on eBook Newswer)
"Over at GalleyCat, we've been building a series of Twitter directories to help people find the best content. It's time to create a couple useful directories for the eBook world."

Sesame Street Starts Subscription Model for E-Books  (on PW)
"Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces Sesame Street, and e-content delivery provider Impelsys have launched a new online Sesame Street eBookstore. Readers can subscribe with Impelsys to get unlimited access to a library of more than 100 Sesame Street eBooks for an annual fee of $39.99, although the company is offering an introductory price of $24.99 through July 4."

Amazon Kindle Resentment (on eBook Newswer)
"Kindle and eReader anger is alive and well, from that video to publishing catalogs. Reporter Eric Engleman passed along the video embedded above created by a book designer--a Kindle smashing set to profanity-laden music."

Barnes & Noble to Offer Digital Self-Publishing (on PW)
"Barnes & Noble is entering the self-publishing business with the summer launch of PubIt! by Barnes & Noble that will allow independent publishers and self-publishing writers to distribute their works digitally through Barnes & and the Barnes & Noble eBookstore."

J.A. Konrath Signs with Amazon Encore (on GalleyCat) 
"J.A. Konrath, who writes the Jacqueline Daniels thriller series, has signed with's new publishing imprint, AmazonEncore. He'll release his new book, Shaken, on Kindle in October and in stores in February 2011."

Can Social Media Replace Verbal Communication? (on Social Times blog)
"If I told you that you couldn’t speak for one month, would you be able to do it? That’s the challenge entrepreneur Clark Harris, aka Silent Clark, has issued to himself as he sets out to raise $100,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by communicating only via social media channels."

Fifth Book in Wimpy Kid Series to Hit Stores This November
(on SLJ)
Mark your calendars. The fifth volume in Jeff Kinney’s hugely popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams) series is about to hit book stores on Tuesday, November 9.

The iPad Revolution (NY Review of Books)
"As just about every sentient being knows, Apple Computer launched its 'revolutionary,' 'game changing,' 'magical' tablet computer, the iPad, on April 3."

Book Trailer Awards Announced: MobyLives Names Best (And Worst) Book Videos Of The Year (on HuffPo)
"The popular book blog MobyLives, which is associated with the Brooklyn-based independent publisher Melville House, has announced the winners (and losers) of its first annual Book Trailer Awards. They awarded ten of the best and worst promotional book videos, ranging from authors reading over a still shot of the book cover to very cool stop motion animation."

Stephenie Meyer Invites 'Twilight' Fan Sites To Personal 'Eclipse' Junket (on "'Twilight' author Stephenie Meyer announced a rather surprising publicity move Monday (May 17): She will be hosting her own press junket to promote the upcoming release of 'Eclipse.'
According to the letter she posted on her website, Meyer explained that she wants to offer her fans something different for this movie release, so she is inviting four lucky 'Twilight' fan sites to her own 'mini-junket' on Friday, June 18, the week before the film's L.A. premiere."

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