Friday, June 18, 2010

In the News This Week

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

Below you'll find an editorial director asking indie booksellers to get behind picture books, Twitter selling trending topics, stats on eBook sales, a review of children's book iPad apps (which sent me straight to the App Store), why teens love vampires (again), an editor move (again), and more--including a link to Starbuck's announcement that free wi-fi is upcoming. (As Stephen Colbert said: It's good news for people who can't afford wi-fi because they're spending $6 on a cup of coffee.) And be sure to check out the amusing Slush Pile Hell and do your best to not wind up there.

Click titles for links to the full articles. Happy Friday and happy reading!

An Impassioned Plea for Picture Books (PW)
"The symbolism was not lost at this past Tuesday’s meeting of the New England Children’s Booksellers Advisory Council, held at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Mass., that Ken Geist, v-p and editorial director of Orchard Books and Cartwheel Books and author of the picture book The Three Little Fish, should choose this setting to ask independent booksellers to get behind picture books. 'I’m not finishing this year until we move the needle and sell more picture books,' said Geist, who added that he was not speaking on behalf of Scholastic. “I’m here to talk about what we can do collectively to raise the profile of picture books.'"

Disney/Pixar Buys The First Twitter Trending Topic Ad (TechCrunch)
"Since April, Twitter users have grown accustomed to Twitter’s first ad revenue play: Promoted Tweets. Today, the second phase of that strategy is starting to be tested: Promoted Trending Topics. The first such topic? Toy Story 3, promoted by Disney/Pixar. As you can see in the right hand toolbar of, at the bottom of the Trending Topics area there is now an 11th topic, “Toy Story 3.” Next to it is a big yellow box letting you know that it’s a promoted Trending Topic.

Children's Book Apps Get Curiouser and Curiouser (WJS)
"I'm crazy about Web browsing, movie watching and other activities on the iPad, but the idea of reading ordinary books on Apple's device just doesn't appeal to me. I prefer the old-fashioned experience of reading in the printed form. I'm intrigued, though, by the idea that the iPad, and eventually other tablet devices will give rise to a hybrid medium—call them book apps—that mix text with video, sound and game-like interactivity. After sampling several early examples of these books apps, I've seen some tantalizing hints of the creative possibilities for authors and publishers who recast themselves as app makers."

Conescu Joins Dutton Children's as Executive Editor
"Nancy Conescu will return to the company where she first began her children’s publishing career, when she joins Dutton Children’s Books as executive editor on July 6. Conescu has been a senior editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for the past six years, but began working in children’s books as an assistant to the publishers of the Puffin and Grosset & Dunlap imprints."

eBook Sales Up 127 % in April (eBook Newser)
"According to the Association of American Publishers (AAP), eBook sales jumped 127.4 percent in April compared to the previous year--totaling $27.4 million in sales. In comparison, audiobook sales were $11.7 million for the same month."

Free, One-Click Wi-Fi is Coming (Starbucks site)
"At Starbucks, we love to give you more of what you’ve asked for. So soon you’ll be able to enjoy Wi-Fi at Starbucks in a way that goes beyond what we currently offer.
Starting July 1, you’ll be able to enjoy free, one-click, unlimited Wi-Fi at all company-operated Starbucks stores in the United States."

Why teens love to sink their teeth into vampire books, movies (Sify)
"An English lecturer has examined why teenage vampire books and movies have gripped youngsters' imaginations nowadays and taken the crowd by storm. Jolene Zigarovich, Cornell visiting lecturer in English, says, "The reasons for the teen vampire craze are multifold. There is a Shakespearean, tragic element, in the sense that not only is young love forbidden in teen vampire films, but also that love and death are conjoined. Sacrificing oneself for love seems to be a perpetual, human theme."

Graphic Novels in the Spotlight at ALA (PW)
"Graphic novels will take center stage, literally, at this year's American Library Association Annual Conference in Washington DC on June 24-29. While graphic novels have become a mainstay at ALA and other library events, this year’s annual conference will feature three days of panels, author events, previews and other scheduled programming all focused on comics and graphic novels and the continued growth and development of the category in libraries."

Grumpy Literary Agent Publishes Bad Query Excerpts (GalleyCat)
"A self-identified 'grumpy literary agent' just opened a Tumblr blog to highlight awkward moments in author queries. It's called SlushPile Hell."

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