Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Book Publisher Goes To Court To Recoup Hefty Advances From Prominent Writers | The Smoking Gun

A New York publisher this week filed lawsuits against several prominent writers who failed to deliver books for which they received hefty contractual advances, records show.
The Penguin Group's New York State Supreme Court breach of contract/unjust enrichment complaintsinclude copies of book contracts signed by the respective defendants.
The publisher is seeking repayments from:
* "Prozac Nation" author Elizabeth Wurtzel, who signed a $100,000 deal in 2003 to write "a book for teenagers to help them cope with depression." Penguin wants Wurtzel, seen at right, to return her $33,000 advance (and at least $7500 in interest).
* Blogger Ana Marie Cox, who signed in 2006 to author a "humorous examination of the next generation of political activists," is being dunned for her $81,250 advance (and at least $50,000 in interest). Her Penguin contract totaled $325,000.
* Rebecca Mead, a staff writer at The New Yorker, owes $20,000 (and at least $2000 in interest), according to Penguin, which struck a $50,000 deal in 2003 for "a collection of the author’s journalism."
* Holocaust survivor Herman Rosenblat was signed for $40,000 in 2008 to describe how he "survived a concentration camp because of a young girl who snuck him food. 17 years later the two met on a blind date and have been together ever since, married 50 years." While Rosenblat’s story was hailed by Oprah Winfrey as the "single greatest love story" she had told on the air, it turned out to be a fabrication. Penguin wants him to repay a $30,000 advance (and at least $10,000 in interest).
* "Hip-Hop Minister" Conrad Tillard signed an $85,000 Penguin contract in 2005 for a memoir about his "epic journey from the Ivy League to the Nation of Islam," and his subsequent falling out with Louis Farrakhan. The publishing house's lawsuit is seeking the repayment of about $38,000 from Tillard.*

*From The Smoking Gun, Sept 25, 2012

We can sum this up in a few sentences: Too often Big Names + Big Advances = Big Flops!
At the same time, talented, but unknown writers receive blanket rejections from the big houses. That's why we left big house publishing. We at Buddhapuss Ink, are always looking for new, talented, authors that we can grow!

What's your opinion?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bookstore Sales Up Again in July

Bookstore sales rose 1.2% in July to $981 million, according to estimates released Friday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau. The July increase followed a 3.8% gain in June and resulted in a 0.6% increase in bookstore sales for the first seven months of 2012. In the January-July period, bookstore sales hit $7.96 billion. For the entire retail segment, July sales rose 3.0% and sales for the first seven months of 2012 were up 5.9%.
Bookstore sales include results from retailers that generate at least 50% of their revenue from books.

*from today's issue of PW Daily

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Will Never Forget

  Eleven years later and it is still so fresh in our memories, but today for the first time my thoughts turned to the future. How much longer will the memorials continue to be covered live on all the networks? I thought as I watched today. I'm struck by the fact that many of the children reading the names today were just babies, toddlers when this all happened. How much longer will this memory-which seems seared permanently onto my brain-live on?
  Children grow up, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, move on and pass away until at some point there will no longer be anyone who remembers this day because they lived it, there will only be the pictures, the videos and timelines, to bring it into the collective consciousness. In a way, I envy these future generations. They won't have that pit of the stomach churn, the tears, the nightmares and fears. For them it will be a memorial of something tragic, something awful, that happened once, but not to them.
  And so, eleven years later, as I listen once more to the seemingly endless list of the victims names being read one more time, I pray that these future generations will never experience anything even approaching the horror of that day. I pray that we will all finally figure out how to live peacefully with one another, no matter how farfetched and impossible that thought might seem.
  At the same time I pray that we will truly never forget all those people-who just like me-got up on September 11, 2001, grabbed breakfast and hurried off to their jobs or flights, but never came home again. Those of us who did come home will never be the same. We carry their thoughts, their memories, their lives, their deaths, forward with us into that great unknown-the future.

  Dedicated to all my former fellow workers at NorthSouth Books and NordSued Verlag who witnessed this day from our office windows. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

 To view the interactive timeline of the events of September 11, 2001, click here

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Trade Books Sales Rise in May-ebboks Set New Record

The AAP monthly sales reports remain relentlessly cheerful, with May statistics released Wednesday morning showing strong trade sales and another burst in ebook sales. Total trade sales from the reporting publishers were $535 million, up 17 percent from $457 million a year ago. In contrast to some previous months, the gains came from higher true shipments/sales in multiple categories, rather than just fewer returns.

eBook sales, which had been growing at a slower pace since last fall, hit a new record for the month, at $133.7 million overall--well ahead of the previous high mark of $121.1 million in January. Since the whole trade is healthy, though, ebooks remained at about 25 percent of all sales, consistent with the year's pattern. And the gain, while big, was up 77 percent compared to a year ago--still below the doubling that had been common when the market was smaller.

Adult ebooks alone rose to $106.3 million--up from $70.1 million a year ago--though they were still outpaced by both trade paperbacks ($135 million) and hardcovers ($106.6 million). They comprised 27 percent of all adult sales. Children's ebooks of $27.7 million comprised 20 percent of sales across that segment (a new high), up sharply from $7 million (and 5.5%) a year ago. Here are updates of our standing charts to visualize the ebook sales trends. Updates of our standing charts that visualize the ebook sales trends are available at the PM site.

*From Today's issue of Publisher's Lunch