Barnes & Noble today released its new $119 Nook black-and-white e-reader to positive reviews, but also to skepticism about the device’s ability to challenge the Kindle Paperwhite, given Amazon’s dominance of the ebook market and B&N’s own problems developing a solid digital business.
James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research, told the New York Times that the new Nook was “spectacular,” but added:
“If you were just engineering a device that you wanted people to fall in love with, then yes, it’s a great device. But the bigger problem is, will people perceive that Barnes & Noble as a company will be around to fulfill the promises that that device makes? It’s a shadow that hangs over the entire Nook enterprise right now.”
Do you miss the days when BookExpo America changed cities from year to year? Or are you glad it finally settled in at New York’s Javits Center and dread the thought of it returning to its nomadic ways?
Now you can go to BEA’s website and vote on whether the show, which is set to move to Chicago for 2016, stays permanently in the Big Apple after it returns. Your choices:
Yes, NYC makes BEA more compelling and delivers more value.
NYC is important, but it should be every other or every 3rd year.
NO, NYC is too expensive and difficult.
NO, BEA would perform better by traveling to new cities every year.
by Campbell Geeslin
Bernard Malamud published The Stories of Bernard Malamud in 1983. A long-time college teacher as well as author, he wrote in the introduction:
“Much occurs in writing that isn’t expected, including some types you meet and become attached to. Before you know it you’ve collected two or three strangers swearing eternal love and friendship before they begin to make demands that divide and multiply. . . .Working alone to create stories, despite serious inconveniences, is not a bad way to live our human loneliness.
“And let me say this: Literature, since it values man by describing him, tends toward morality in the same way that Robert Frost’s poem is ‘a momentary stay against confusion.’ Art celebrates life and gives us our measure.”
This week’s recent and upcoming releases by Authors Guild members include titles by Michael Albo, Annette Blaugrund, Marsh Cassady, Elisha Cooper, Monica Edinger, Elisa Kleven, David Leavitt, Christopher Lehman, Sara Paretsky, Gary Provost, Chris Raschka, Anne Rice, John Sandford, Michael Sears, Jane Smiley, Lee Smith, Elizabeth Strout, and Michael Wheeler. Titles under the jump.
[Updated to include Amazon's confirmation of story to Publishers Weekly.]
Two and a half years after recruiting a high-profile industry veteran and launching a general trade book publishing operation, Amazon is dramatically scaling back its publishing ambitions, Shelf Awareness reports:
“Shelf Awareness has learned that Larry Kirshbaum, editorial head of the company’s New York and Seattle adult imprints and children’s publishing, is leaving the company early next year and returning to agenting. In connection with his departure, the most ambitious part of Amazon’s publishing operations will be scaled back. Already several editorial people have left or been let go, and Amazon has not
This week’s batch of contests includes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, all with November 30 deadlines.
The Cider Press Review Book Award offers $1,500 and publication to a full-length book of poetry. The winner also receives 25 author’s copies. Submissions should be between 48-80 pages in length, written in English, and previously unpublished in book form (individual poems may have been previously published in journals, anthologies, etc.). Entry fee: $25. Deadline: November 30, 2013. For more information, please visit the website.
Bear Star Press is currently accepting poetry manuscripts for its 2014 Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize, which is awarded to a writer living west of the central time zone. Writers must currently reside in the Mountain or Pacific time zones, Alaska, or Hawaii. All work must be original and manuscripts should be between 50 and 65 pages in length. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: November 30, 2013. For more information, please visit the website.
Carolina Wren Press is currently accepting manuscripts
When Scott Turow stopped by CBS This Morning last week to promote his new book, Identical, co-anchor Charlie Rose turned the discussion to Turow’s “beef with Amazon,” while Norah O’Donnell brought up his April New York Times piece on “The Slow Death of the American Author.”
Turow said Amazon’s below-cost ebook pricing, “destroys physical bookstores and drives the reading public into the ebook, which of course Amazon dominates. They’re a great competitor and I don’t mind fair operation of the market. I don’t like unfair tactics.”
by Campbell Geeslin
The Provincetown, Mass., Public Library has become a publisher of e-books. The library did a test run last April with Laura Shabott, a local author. The title of her e-book is Confessions of an E-Book Virgin.
Library director Cheryl Napsha told PW, “Laura’s book is a self-published book about how to self-publish a book. What better way to begin our endeavor than with a work close to our hearts?”
The software, iBooks Author and Adobe Creative Suite, cost about $3,000. The library has bought 100 ISBNs and 21 barcodes for $1,415. Other costs are in staff time. The graphic design department at Cape Cod Tech helps with the cover designs.
An ongoing dispute over the trademark rights to “To Kill a Mockingbird” has a new venue and a sympathetic defendant. Harper Lee’s attorneys filed a trademark infringement suit earlier this month in Mobile, Alabama’s federal district court against the Monroe County Heritage Museum.
According to the complaint, the museum uses tokillamockingbird.com as its web address, touts its building as the model for the novel’s courthouse, and uses the novel to sell unlicensed aprons, hand towels and keychains. Despite the museum’s claim that its purpose is historical, Lee’s attorneys say “its primary mission is to trade upon the fictional story, settings and characters that Harper Lee created in To Kill a Mockingbird, and Harper Lee’s own renown as one of the nation’s most celebrated authors.”
This week’s recent and upcoming releases by Authors Guild members include titles by David A. Adler, Natalie S. Bober, Lisa Borders, Stephanie Calmenson and Jennifer Thermes, Marsh Cassady, Phyllis Chesler, Dorothea Jensen, Garrison Keillor, Maryann Macdonald, Dan E. Moldea, Shirley Nelson, Tracey Campbell Pearson, Wendy W. Rodrigue, Aurelie Sheehan, Pat Silver-Lasky, Joy Smith, Ira Stoll, and Diane Wakoski. Titles under the jump.