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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Book News Tidbits

The world of publishing can be a fascinating one. It's such a richly diverse industry--and one that always seems to have a dark cloud of pessismism hanging over it. In an article about how book sales increased 3.8 percent last year to 3.1 BILLION, there is a quote by a publisher talking about how the general population has a declining interest in books and that the younger generation doesn't read. A researcher talks about how books are losing market share because the emerging generation isn't going to spend money on books.

It's a song that's been sung for so many generations that it's hard to put much credence in it. Reading habits change, but you'll never convince me that books are going to disappear or people are suddenly going to lose the need for storytelling.

Radio didn't kill books. Television didn't kill books. The Internet didn't kill books. Neither will any new media development. They'll change publishing, but we'll always still want a story.

Speaking of publisher news, here's a few tidbits from around the Web today:

  • A contract has been signed for a sequel to the 1963 novel, The Graduate. Charles Webb will be getting $56,000 to publish the next book in the United Kingdom.
  • Hatchette Books (the French publisher that now owns Time-Warner, Mysterious Press, etc.) will be publishing Ted Turner's life story. His agent was disappointed in that the publishing rights sold for only $4.5 million.
  • Lee Iacocca is coming out with a third book, "Where Have all the Leaders Gone?". It's due to come out on Father's Day 2007.
  • Bill Clinton is publishing a book on community service.
  • Dan Brown's Angels and Demons is going to be made into a movie. Is anyone surprised?
  • Zadie Smith's third novel, On Beauty, won the Orange Prize for Fiction. The Orange Prize comes with one of the biggest literary prize pots and is open to women who publish novels in English.


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