Friday, September 30, 2011

Report Sees Flat Consumer Book Spending in 2011

The latest Communications Industry Forecast report developed by the private investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson forecasts minimal growth for consumer book spending in 2011, with total expenditures inching up 0.1%, to $22.47 billion. The growth will be led by a 102.8% gain in spending on e-books that will offset a 4.9% decline in spending on new print books. Spending on used print books is predicted to rise 5.0%.
The consumer book segment will be hampered in 2011 by the sluggish national economy and competition from other forms of media, the report says. In 2010, the consumer book market represented 8.3% of the entertainment and leisure market, down from 10.3% in 2005, and report sees the consumer book segment’s share falling by just under another 2 percentage points by 2015.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MYSTERY TIMES TEN 2011 An Amazon Bestseller!

We have been dancing around our desks here, celebrating the news. Both the paperback (at #13) AND the kindle (at #12) editions of this book hit the Amazon Bestseller lists in their first week of release! Way to go authors!
We don't want to sound like a bad infomercial, "But wait, there's more!"
On October 1st we will be posting the rules and submission's call for the 2012 edition of this terrific book! WOOT!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Trident Launches eBook Division

Trident Media Group has become the latest--and by far the largest--literary agency to announce an initiative to help their clients epublish, often independently of established publishing houses. The new initiative, called Trident E-Book Operations, will "create, manage and implement innovative e-book strategies for its authors, including the distribution of a variety of e-books directly" to major etailers. (Though they also see establishing "new business relationships with traditional and non-traditional publishers.") Lyuba DiFalco and Nicole Robson will serve in the new position of co-directors of E-Book Operations, supervised by Trident's top executives.
Chairman Robert Gottlieb, who has been outspoken in the past about agents who establish publishing operations, says in the announcement, "Trident will devise strategies to maximize value for its authors in the new and complex e-book publishing field. Trident will not become a publisher, but will instead continue in its new e-book operations to have itself aligned with its clients whose interests we serve as an agent and manager." Trident intends to charge its standard agency commission on revenues generated for authors through the new unit.
The announcement indicates Trident will provide a "comprehensive suite of services" comprising much of what authors need in order to bring works to market electronically, from copy-editing, marketing and cover design to digital conversion. They foresee covering properties of all types (out-of-print, backlist, frontlist and unpublished short-form) in multiple formats (ebook; enhanced ebook; print-on-demand).
The move seems designed to serve authors in the alternate channels that epublishing provides as well as potentially strengthen the agency's hand in negotiating with traditional publishers. Asked if this would affect their approach to the standard ebook royalty terms from major publishers, Gottlieb said, "We are always looking to improve these terms where possible under all circumstances." And he responded affirmatively when we asked if developing robust epublishing capabilities was a prelude to seeking to split electronic and print rights for some clients.
Gottlieb will appear on an agents panel this afternoon at our eBooks for Everyone Else conference, where he said he would address some additional details.

*From today's Publisher's Lunch

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mystery Times Ten 2011 Now available for your kindle!

We're so excited to finally have this terrific collection of YA Mysteries now in kindle format for the bargain price of just $2.99! What are you waiting for? Check it out!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kindle Library Lending Goes Live

Amazon and library e-book vendor OverDrive announced this morning its recently announced plan to allow library lending via the Kindle and Kindle app is now live. The service, which will be available at some 11,000 libraries across the U.S. at launch, enables libraries to expand their e-book lending to the nation’s most popular e-reading platform. Until today, Kindle had been noticeably absent from library lending, as OverDrive’s service worked only with ePub-enabled devices, such as the Sony Reader, the Nook, iPads, and smartphones. The launch, meanwhile, comes as leaders from the American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers met this week in New York to discuss e-book issues.
Without question, the Kindle deal will dramatically expand demand for library e-books, demand that has surged over the last two years. In 2010, OverDrive, which manages the vast majority of public library e-book lending, noted that e-book lends increased 200% over 2009, with more than 15 million digital check-outs of nearly 400,000 titles, numbers that company officials say have risen further, and faster, in 2011 as reading devices—including the Kindle—continue to grow in popularity and drop in price, and, as libraries continue to shift more money to their e-book budgets to meet demand. “This is a welcome day for Kindle users in libraries,” said Marcellus Turner, city librarian for The Seattle Public Library.
Under the arrangement, Kindle users can now use their local library’s web site to search for and select a book, then choose the “Send to Kindle” option to borrow it. They are then redirected to, where they log in to their account, and the book is delivered to the device they select via Wi-Fi, or via USB. The lend period is two weeks. Library editions will offer virtually all the features of Kindle books, Amazon officials said, including the ability to save margin notes for readers—should the reader choose to buy the book at a later date, or check it out again, their notes would be “backed up and available."
Of course, not all books will be available to library users. Some publishers, including Macmillan and Simon & Schuster, still refuse to allow libraries to lend their e-books, and HarperCollins instituted a lend-limit earlier this year. These are no doubt some of the thorny issues that prompted library and publishing industry leaders to meet yesterday in New York to continue a dialog over how e-books will work for libraries. According to a report in Library Journal, representatives from Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin, Random House, Macmillan, and others attended. “We just said we are trying to open the door for conversation,” ALA president Molly Raphael told LJ, “and recognize that we would all be better off if we can figure out how to navigate digital content.”
That conversation, meanwhile, is about to heat up even further, as Kindle owners now turn to their public libraries for e-books.
*From today's issue of PW Daily

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

July Bookstore Sales Fall 4%

The impact of the closing of Borders’s stores is starting to show up in industry numbers. According to preliminary estimates released Wednesday morning by the Census Bureau, bookstore sales fell 4.2% in July, the steepest decline in 2011. Sales dropped to $982 million from $1.02 billion in July 2010. The July decline followed a 1.9% drop in June and as a result bookstore sales for the first seven months of 2011 were down 0.5%, to $8.03 billion.
Sales for the entire retail segment rose 6.2% in July and 7.9% for the first seven months of 2011.

Monday, September 12, 2011

E-book Sales Jump in June, Print Plunges

E-book sales rose 167% in June, to $80.2 million, at the 15 houses that reported figures to AAP’s monthly sales report and closed the first half of the year with sales up 161%, to $473.8 million. In addition to e-books, downloadable audio sales (up 25%), and the religious books and university press segments were the only categories to post gains in the month.
The major trade segments took big hits in June due in part to the closing of more Borders stores. Trade paperback sales had the largest decline, down 64%, while children’s hardcover sales were off 31%. Adult hardcover sales fell 25%, mass market sales were down 22% and children’s paperback was off 13%. Sales in all the trade segments were also off by more than 10% for the first half of the year.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Marketing Stunts to Promote Books

For some authors and publishers, the answer has lately come from attention grabbing stunts, such as novelist Jennifer Belle's hiring of several dozen female actresses to ride the subways of New York and laugh uproariously while reading her book. The stunt got a lot of press, with ample coverage in New York media including the New York Times and New York Post, according to Publishing perspectives editor Ed Nawotka. A stunt by German publisher Eichborn  had promotional banners tied to flies (the living, buzzing kind), which were released at the Frankfurt Book Fair. American author Brad Meltzer  put together a funny YouTube video mostly featuring members of his own family giving his books poor reviews - including a small child's comment: "Interesting premise if you don't think about it too much."

From an article in the Southern Review News & Bargain Book News. The links were added by us so you can read more & really enjoy these stunts!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Book Industry Revolutionized by Internet?

* This is an excerpt from an article in ZD Net

Amazon has completely changed the way most people buy books, and it’s done it in two ways. First, it made it fast and easy to buy books online, and at a huge discount. Because of Amazon, book-buying was one of the first things people become comfortable purchasing over the Internet. A big part of that was because Amazon offered deep discounts like the big chain stores, Barnes & Noble and Borders, but carried a much larger selection of obscure titles like many of the independent booksellers.
Second, Amazon’s Kindle has popularized e-books, which takes the process of delivering paper goods completely out of the equation. Instead, the Kindle delivers electronic files over the Internet to an e-reader, tablet, or smartphone.
While this has been a revolution for consumers, the Internet has done very little to revolutionize the publishing process for books. It is still ruled by publishing houses, who serve as the gatekeepers and filters for what gets published and decide which titles deserve the most promotion (and potential sales).
However, just as it did for news publishing, the Internet is about to completely democratize the publishing process for books. The combination of e-readers, electronic audiobooks, and print-on-demand have lowered the barriers to entry and made it so that authors no longer need publishing houses. They can take their work straight to the masses — or, more accurately, straight to their niche audiences, in most cases.
This completely changes the economics of book publishing for an author by making it very profitable to sell only 5,000-10,000 books. In the old publishing world, that’s about the average for most books and the author makes hardly any money and the publishing house considers it unsuccessful (the big titles are responsible for most of the sales and most of the payments for authors).
In the new Internet world, there are going to be a lot more books published (as e-books) and lot more titles to sort through, but it’s also going to become a much more democratic process and there will be room for more people to make a living as niche authors. The traditional publishers will morph into promotional agents for the really big titles.

To read the full article click here

So what do you think?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

80-Foot Tower Built from 30,000 Books

Recycling books has never been so monumentally beautiful — and ultimately lasting — as when 30,000 volumes were assembled to create the “Tower of Babel.”

Torre de Babel3 The 80 Foot Tower Built from 30,000 Booksmage: Estrella Herrera/Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires
An 82-foot-tall tower made out of thousands of books — 30,000 such “bricks” to be precise? We can see book lovers’ eyes light up with glee in view of all the reading material, only to be extinguished by the thought of such a waste. But bookworms and environmentalists can relax and rejoice! Not a single volume was harmed in the process of building this massive structure. On the contrary…

The “Tower of Babel,” as it is officially called, was the brainchild of acclaimed Argentinean artist Marta Minujín. Minujín devised the tower in celebration of Buenos Aires being chosen as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) 2011 World Book Capital. The used raw materials were donated by libraries and readers eager to help, as well as more than 50 embassies.

The 30,000 books, in dozens of languages, were draped over a seven-story metal scaffold structure, which stood from May 7 to May 28, 2011. For nearly a month, this “Babel of Books” was a place where many languages flowed together, allowing visitors from even the remotest locations on Earth to find a book in their language.

This visual experience was supported by an audio installation of Minujín’s music along with the artist saying the word “book” in dozens of languages. A full literary immersion, so to speak.

Just laying out the books like tiles on the walls of the tower took 10 full days, but the effort was well worth it. Minujín explains: “Building this tower has been a miraculous experience… A hundred years from now, people will say, ‘There was a Tower of Babel in Argentina… and it didn’t need translation because art needs no translation.’” A wonderful thought, indeed, and it got even better.
5 detail The 80 Foot Tower Built from 30,000 Books
Image: Marcus
At the end of the installation, some lucky visitors were allowed to take home a book each. And to make up for the fact that those who came to see the tower could not actually browse through the books (they had been wrapped in plastic to protect them from the elements), the rest will form the basis for a new book archive called the “Library of Babel.” Book lovers will know this to be the title of a popular short story by Jorge Luis Borges, one of Argentina’s most famous authors.
In our age of eBooks and eReaders — in which the number of brick-and-mortar bookstores keeps dwindling, making way for online enterprises — it is a joy to see an installation that celebrates books in their physical form and builds them into a monument, even if only temporary. Taking second-hand books that have been read and rifled through is the icing on the cake, confirmation that books need to be shared to be fully appreciated, and a reminder that recycling can take many forms.
The new library and archive will be another long-term haven for book lovers, uniting many languages and books under one roof. We’ll try to keep you updated when it ultimately open its doors.
Image: Marcus
Minujín is one of Argentina’s most famous artists. She studied art at the National University Art Institute in Buenos Aires and started exhibiting her work in 1959. In the early ’60s, a scholarship brought her to Paris, where she got the inspiration for her “happenings” — art installations as events that involve the community. Among the most memorable of these happenings were her assembled mattresses — “livable” artworks that were later destroyed by fellow artists as part of the installation.

After a decade in New York, where she rubbed shoulders with Andy Warhol and other contemporaries, Minujín returned to Argentina in 1976. Celebrating the country’s return to democracy in 1983, she created her first book structure, the “Parthenon of Books.” It too was made up of of 30,000 titles (in this case banned books) to celebrate the newly gained freedom of expression. More fascinating projects and happenings can be found on Marta Minujín’s website.
Additional sources: 1, 2

About the author

Simone is a writer and editor at Environmental Graffiti, an innovative green site currently looking for writers! Imagine having your work seen by up to 10 million people every month, writing for one of the Internet’s most trafficked environmental websites and getting paid for it. Whether it is extreme sports, conservation, art or freaky nature that floats your boat, Environmental Graffiti gives you a platform and a voice to share your knowledge, and meet people like you. You control the news, the news does not control you...…

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's Time for Those Random Acts of Publicity Again!

The 3rd Annual Random Acts of Publicity, September 6-8, 2011 is a week to celebrate your Friend’s book, or your favorite book, by doing a Random Act of Publicity: Blog, link, Like, review, or talk about the book . (BLLuRT!)

Daily posts on Fiction Notes ( will offer tips, wisdom and Prizes for your Friend!
Twitter: Use #RAP2011

September 6: Guest Susan Raab
"Brand Building Square One" by Susan Raab, President of Raab Associates,
One-day chance for you to enter your Friend to win one of 15 FREE Giveaways of a 15-minute book marketing consultation provided by Raab Associates.

September 7: Guest Barbara Fisch and Sarah Shealy
Many Hands Make Light Work - or How Two Heads are Better than One by Barbara Fisch and Sarah Shealy, Blue Slip Media,
One-day chance for you to enter your Friend to win a 15-minute book marketing consultation provided by Blue Slip Media.

September 8: Guest Deborah Sloan
Create Buzz by Connecting with Readers by Deborah Sloan of Deborah Sloan & Company.
One-day chance for you to enter your Friend to win a one-hour book marketing consultation provided by Deborah Sloan & Company.

September 9: Guest Dana Lynn Smith
How to Get Your Book Reviewed by Dana Lynn Smith of The Savvy Book Marketer.
One-day chance for you to enter your Friend to win a FREE copy of How to Get Your Book Reviewed by Dana Lynn Smith

ALL WEEK: Post your Friend’s name/book title on the Facebook page for Random Acts of Publicity to be entered to win a FREE The Book Trailer Manual by Darcy Pattison. One ebook given away daily; must post Friend’s name that day to be eligible and you can post it each day if you like.

NOTE: You may not enter your own name in any of these prize giveaways. By posting a person’s name you acknowledge that you have asked their permission and the post is with their knowledge. Please note carefully WHERE to comment for each giveaway. They all require you to comment on the POST at Fiction Notes ( The EXCEPTION is the ongoing drawing for The Book Trailer Manual; for this giveaway and this one only, please post on the Random Acts of Publicity Facebook page.

1. Who can participate?
Anyone who wants to help a book get noticed by readers. We are focusing on helping a Friend’s book get noticed, but you can also choose to help your favorite book get noticed.

2. What do I do?
BLLuRT or Post. Or both.

A. BLLuRT ( The basic tasks for book marketing online remain the same, BLLuRT! Do one of these each day for your Friend’s book or for your favorite book.

1. B is for Blog. Blog about a book, the author or anything related.
2. L is for Link. ( Link to something about the book, the author’s page, the book selling page, anything.
3. L is for LIKE. ( ) LIKE the book’s Facebook page, the author’s page. Or Add them to your Google+.
4. R is for Review. ( ) Review a book. Some experts suggest that books tend to break out when they get over 25 reviews on Amazon, GoodReads or other booksites.
5. T is for Tell or Talk. ( )Tell someone about a book. Your friend, a teacher, a librarian, anyone. Talk about the book—why did you like it? What excited you about this book? Why should I read it?

B. It’s also a great week to post something about book marketing, perhaps a personal experience, a tutorial, a tips sheet or a case study of book marketing. Put the URL of your post in the Random Acts of Publicity Facebook page for others to read

3. What books should I talk about this week?
Your Friend’s book or your favorite book. We are focusing especially on new books or less well-known books. Focus on a great book that not many readers know about.

4. Can Publishers participate?
Yes, you can BLLuRT about books, too. We ask that you focus on mid-list or new authors, those who could benefit from a boost during Random Acts of Publicity week. We know it’s your job to BLLuRT about the front-list, that and much more; as an individual working in book publishing, though, we are asking that you champion a dark horse during Random Acts of Publicity Week.


Random Acts of Publicity Week was created by Darcy Pattison (, writing teacher and author of Prairie Storms ( , as a way to help create an atmosphere of fun and collaboration in marketing books. It occurs each September, the four days following Labor Day.

*From FaceBook

Friday, September 2, 2011

'Unbroken' Tops One Million Sold in Hardcover, 650,000 in ebook

In comments about its strong six-month results Wednesday, Random House chairman Markus Dohle cited the number of bestsellers it had in the period as a key reason for the jump in earnings. One of its strongest performances was by Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, and today the Random House Publishing Group announced that the title has passed the one-million-copy milestone in hardcover copies sold.
The story of Louis Zamperini, a World War II bombadier who crashed in the Pacific, was marooned on a raft for 47 days and survived being tortured in a Japanese POW camp, was published by the Random House imprint in November 2010, and has also sold about 650,000 e-book copies. Random Group publisher and president Gina Centrello noted, "In this time of explosive growth in e-book sales, the mega-success of Unbroken in hardcover clearly underscores that the demand for print editions of great reads is still enormous."
*From PW Daily

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Book Clubs Go Digital with Skype

On a clear evening earlier this month, Meg Wolitzer, author of the bestselling novel The Uncoupling, sat down as the guest for Eat, Drink, Read, More magazine’s book club. Wolitzer was greeted in person by the members of Eat, Drink, Read, but she was also welcomed by nine other book groups around the country, participating in the event through Skype.
For the event, More magazine, a women’s lifestyle publication with a readership of more than two million, partnered with Skype, using their Premium Group Video Calling feature, which allows up to 10 people to connect on one video call. “Book clubs and reading are passion points among More readers, who tend to be extremely engaged and love to debate with each other,” said Lesley Jane Seymour, editor in chief of More. “I heard from many of More’s readers that they’d like to get to know the authors that we profile. We thought that partnering with Skype would be a fun and creative way to connect our readers with a high-caliber authors.”
Seymour was together with Wolitzer and members of her book club in one location, while nine other book clubs, in locations from Austin, TX to Shelbyville, TN, participated. More held a contest earlier this summer to select the other groups for participation.
While you might think the large number of participants and the remote locations might lead to some communication issues, the event went off without a hitch. “To avoid any confusion or speaking over one another,” said a Skype spokesperson, “book club members were asked to put their microphones on mute when a member of another club was asking a question or Meg was talking.”
For both book clubs and authors, having events through digital communication technology like Skype is mutually beneficial. “Most writers love to engage with their audience and hear feedback,” Seymour said. “With the help of new forms of technology and social media, writers now have the opportunity to reach their audience in a much more efficient and interesting way. Virtual book clubs are a natural next step for readers and authors.”
*From PW Daily