Monthly Archives: November 2012

Booktalk Nation Launches

We’re proud to announce the launch of Booktalk Nation, a service that organizes nationwide phone-in author talks hosted by independent bookstores. Our starting lineup of events includes Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry discussing her final book in The Giver quartet, Roy Blount Jr. interviewing Ian Frazier about his first novel, The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days, and D.T. Max discussing his acclaimed biography of David Foster Wallace.

Booktalk Nation, which we briefly previewed last year, is intended to supplement book tours and other efforts promoting new books. provides an e-commerce platform in conjunction with its events, allowing readers to order books that authors will personally sign at host bookstores. Proceeds from these sales are divided between the host store and any affiliate brick-and-mortar bookstores that brought the reader to the site.

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Scott Turow on Penguin Random House

We’re back in business: power kicked in for our office Saturday morning; our email server came online late that night.

Here’s our storm-delayed member alert on last Monday’s unsettling announcement that Random House and Penguin, the two largest trade book publishers in the U.S., are merging.

Although Random House has said that the combination would control 25% of the book market, that appears to significantly understate things. The companies’ share of the U.S. trade book market for fiction and narrative non-fiction likely exceeds 35%. Their share in certain submarkets is no doubt even higher. The merger merits close scrutiny from antitrust officials at the Justice Department or the FTC.

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