Publishing Updates

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This week, the revised 1972 manual The Joy of Sex was released.  The New York Times also reported that for the first time in 391 weeks, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is off the list.  Perhaps, if the former gains momentum, the latter can make a comeback. 

Some good news, also from the NY Times:  reading is on the rise, with 50.2% of adults reportedly reading some piece of literature.  The number doesn’t meet the earlier highs of 1982 or 1992, but I feel confident that if Stephenie Meyer’s fans are able to completely infiltrate the public with their enthusiastic support for the Twilight series, earlier highs will be surpassed.  

The Chicago Sun Times reported that first lady, Laura Bush, has just landed a multi-million dollar book deal from Scribner for her memoirs.  (The President was not encouraged to seek a book deal at this time.)  Hopefully, the publisher will not print 500,000 copies upfront, since Harper Collins printed as many of Laura Bush’s children’s book (co-written with her daughter)  and it only sold 80,000 copies. 

Are online book bargain hunters (like me) killing the industry?  In this article, David Streitfeld discusses how the hunt for the best buy for a book online might be a question of scruples.  (Is it fair to the writer when someone buys her book for 25 cents?  Will online book buying shut down brick and mortar bookstores for good?)  I don’t know the answers to these questions, but it is an interesting debate.  And I must say that for every book I purchase on Overstock.com, I buy 5, in person, at chain and independent bookstores.   

And finally, at last night’s Golden Globes, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button didn’t take home any awards.  About that, I don’t care, but I do urge you to pick up a copy of the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald (or read it here.)  It is a sad, little beauty.

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