Friday, November 12, 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.

This week's news includes two in-case-you-live-under-a-rock stories---one on Amazon's removal of a pedophile guide (they listened to the Twitter uproar), and another on a career shift for agent Nathan Bransford. Also a few best books lists, ebook in New York Times, NYT on interactive books (minus the E), a new publisher at Scholastic, two ebook devices aimed at kids, and more. Also a count/counterpoint pieces on NaNoWriMo--which are slightly over a week old, but I gave you no news last week during my vacation, so enjoy them now, and keep at it, NaNo-ers!

'Pedophile's Guide' Removed from Amazon (GalleyCat)
The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure, a controversial title that generated boycott threats on Amazon yesterday, has been removed. The old link now opens the image embedded above. The Today Show covered the story this morning. The author, Phillip R Greaves 2nd, spoke to reporters during the segment, adding: "Everytime you see them on television, they're either rapists or kidnappers. It's not accurate of that particular sexuality." BNet and TechCrunch have both written about the removal.

PW's Best Children's Books 2010 (PW)
Shark vs. Train
Chris Barton, illus. by Tom Lichtenheld (Little, Brown)
This is one of those elementally brilliant ideas that evokes a "Why didn't I think of that?" response. By pitting a cartoon train and shark against each other in a series of increasingly ludicrous challenges (the train's heft is a liability in a hot air balloon race, but very effective on a seesaw), Barton and Lichtenheld tap into kids' innate ability to turn anything, anything into a competition.

Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2010
Annually since 1952, the Book Review has asked a panel of judges to select 10 winners from among the several thousand children’s books published during the year. The judges this time around were Robert Sabuda, a co-creator of the best-selling “Encyclopedia Prehistorica” series and twice the recipient of a Times Best Illustrated award; Elizabeth Bird, a children’s librarian with the New York Public Library, whose first picture book, “Giant Dance Party,” is due out next year; and David Barringer, a novelist and designer who is the author of “There’s Nothing Funny About Design.” —The Editors

Interactive Books (‘E’ Not Included) (NYT)
Years ago, I was a supporter of a new literary movement, one that uprooted the traditional tenets of narrative in modern fiction: Choose Your Own Adventure. The books in that series, which first appeared in 1979, did so much more than simply tell a tale: by offering the reader choices at critical junctures, each one gave a rapt fourth grader like me the opportunity to shape the story. (If you decide to use turbo boost, turn to Page 48. If you decide to use shields, turn to Page 50.)

Benton Named Scholastic Trade Publisher (PW)
Lori Benton, whose career in children’s publishing includes a long run at Harcourt’s children’s division where she rose to v-p and publisher, has been named v-p and publisher for the Scholastic Trade Publishing division. In her new role, which begins January 3, Benton will oversee direction of the publishing program for all imprints. She succeeds Suzanne Murphy, who moved to Disney Publishing in June, and will report to Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade Publishing.

Public Libraries by Design: Creating teen-friendly spaces with a gaming area (SLJ)
Library design and services frequently include welcoming spaces for teens. Why should a designated place for teens be considered? According to Kimberly Bolan, author of Teen Spaces: The Step-by-Step Library Makeover (American Library Association, 2009), it builds positive, safe environments for studying, socializing, and leisure activities; encourages community involvement and library appreciation; expands the library’s customer base; and is an effective way to market the library and draw teens to other services the library offers.

Social Books Hopes to Make E-Reading Communal (NYT)
Outside of a book club, reading a book is a pretty solitary affair. Two entrepreneurs, Jason Johnson and Jason Illian, are trying to change that with a new mobile application called Social Books. "Short-form content on the Web is very interactive, very dynamic," Mr. Johnson said. “You can see which of your friends read the same article and what they thought of it. It made us ask, 'Can this be applied to long-form content? Can we take the advent of social media and apply it to the way we read books on tablets?'"

E-Books to Join The New York Times Best-Seller List – (WIRED)
he New York Times will begin reporting the best selling e-books in new fiction and non-fiction lists early next year, the newspaper reports. The Times has published best-seller lists since 1935 and they have been a significant driver of book sales for decades. Bricks-and-mortar stores post the list and, space permitting, section off these titles outside the fiction and non-fictions aisles as close to the cash registers as is humanly possible. The same has become true with advent of e-book stores, where lists and search are key entry points, and browsing is somewhat more problematic. So expect these lists to be a boon to e-book merchants on day one.
eBook Sales To Grow To $2.8 Billion In 2015
(eBook Newser)
eBook sales in the U.S. will grow from just less than $1 billion in 2010 to more than $2.8 billion in 2015, according to a new report from Forrester Research. The study found that the digital publishing category has more than doubled from 3.7 million users in the US at year-end 2009 to more than 10.3 million a year later.

Barnes & Noble Pushing Nook Color To Kids In Test Stores (eBook Newswer)
Looking to reach families, Barnes & Noble is expanding the Toys & Games departments in its stores nationwide and is testing new children’s play spaces in five test stores. The playrooms will be a great gateway drug to get kids hooked on the upcoming Nook Color, as the playrooms will be stocked with the devices.

Fable maker to target youth e-book market (Boston Globe) is making a fortune selling electronic books, presumably to adults. Now, Concord start-up company Isabella Products Inc. and Boston publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are planning to cash in on an untapped market: e-books for children. Next summer, Isabella will introduce the Fable, a combination tablet computer and e-book reader aimed at children. Unlike the black-and-white screen found on's popular Kindle e-reader, the Fable will feature a full-color, 7-inch touchscreen that can display the colorful illustrations found in most children’s titles.

Nathan Bransford Leaves Curtis Brown & Joins CNET (GalleyCat)
Curtis Brown agent Nathan Bransford told his online community today that he will no longer be a literary agent. He explained in a post: “I am leaving the world of publishing to work at the tech news/review site CNET, where I will be helping to coordinate social media strategy.”

Better yet, DON'T write that novel (Salon)
For me, the end of October is always slightly tinged with dread -- provoked not by Halloween spooks, not even by election season, but by the advent of something called NaNoWriMo. If those syllables are nothing but babble to you, then I salute you. They stand for National Novel Writing Month.

12 reasons to ignore the naysayers: Do NaNoWriMo (LAT)
If you want to write a novel in 30 days, don't let anyone stop you. Not even Salon's Laura Miller. Miller, who I usually find thoughtful and sweet, has written an anti-NaNoWriMo column -- "Better yet, DON'T write that novel" -- that is at best wrongheaded, and at worst, smallhearted. Miller would lay the blame for too many writers -- and not enough readers -- at the foot of NaNoWriMo, the project that challenges would-be authors to write a 50,000-word novel during the month of November.

No comments: