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Paperback Dolls Publishing News Roundup

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PBD Publishing News Roundup

Welcome to PBD Publishing News Roundup – where we hope to bring you all the latest news from the publishing world.
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News Update April 23

This week’s highlights: Literary award season is in full swing, mansion linked to “Great Gatsby” bites the dust, Deutsch sprechen Kindles and is John le Carré out of mantle space?

Amazon Expanding Kindle to Libraries

Amazon announced it will be joining the library lending program in the US later this year, which is provided through the OverDrive system. This will allow e-book users to browse and download e-books from the local library just like a regular book; and just like regular books, e-books will have a due date and will be removed from the e-reader of customers fail to “return” then on time. The Kindle is one of the last e-books to join the service.
Also this week, Amazon said it launched its Kindle e-book store in Germany. The website’s catalog now has over 25,000 German-language e-books, more than the 14,515 available on the US site. In the US and UK, Amazon also offers e-books in Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.

Novelist Beryl Bainbridge Awarded Posthumous Booker Prize
Organizers of the Booker Prize have recognized often-nominated author Beryl Bainbridge with a posthumous “best of” award. The special prize, which saw five Booker-nominated Bainbridge’s books pitted against each other, went to “Master Georgie.”
The prize was set up after Bainbridge’s death last year. The book was picked through an online poll.

Canada’s BC Book Prizes announced
Vancouver celebrated the 27th annual BC Book Prizes this week. Award-winning journalist and author John Vaillant won the non-fiction honor for his latest title, “The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival.” Vaillant also won British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction in January.
Debut novelist Gurjinder Basran won the fiction prize for her book “Everything Was Good-bye,” which she based on her own experiences growing up Indo-Canadian in Vancouver. CBC Radio 3′s Grant Lawrence was honored with the Booksellers’ Choice Award for his debut novel “Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound.”

Mansion Linked to “The Great Gatsby” Razed
The Lands End mansion, said to inspire F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic 1925 novel “The Great Gatsby,” has been demolished. The Colonial Revival-style mansion was built in the early 20th century in Sands Point, New York, overlooking the waters of Long Island Sound. In the 1920s Lands End – then owned by executive editor of the New York World Herbert Bayard Swope, came to define its times; but in recent years it had stood empty.
Bert Brodsky, the founder of a healthcare technology company, bought the mansion in 2004. In January, the Sands Point Village zoning board approved plans to raze the house and divide the site into lots for five custom homes, starting at $10 million each. The mansion, or its representation, was featured in each of the six film versions of the “The Great Gatsby,” made between 1926 and 2007. The most famous version starred Robert Redford in 1974.

John le Carré Said to Refuse Man Booker Prize Nomination
British novelist John le Carré has reportedly asked to be taken off the short list for the Man Booker International Prize. Organizers of the near $100K literary award, announced their 13 finalists for its 2011 edition in Sydney last week.
Le Carré, the bestselling British author of famed espionage thrillers like “The Spy Who Came In From the Cold” said he was “enormously flattered to be named as a finalist of the 2011 Man Booker International Prize, however, I do not compete for literary prizes and have therefore asked for my name to be withdrawn.”
Chairman of the judging panel, Rick Gekoski, voiced disappointment at le Carre’s request and said his name would remain on the list.

News Update April 16

Swoon! Writer Proposes to Girlfriend in New Novel
Christopher Currie, a 28-year-old US-based novelist, decided to propose to his girlfriend in a very public, bold way: he popped the question by including it in the acknowledgments in his new book.

After thanking his publisher and various bosses at the end of “The Ottoman Motel,” the writer thanked his girlfriend. “If it’s possible to fall more in love with someone every day, then that’s what I do,” he wrote. “To my favorite, to the reason I live my life, Leesa Wockner, who, if she reads this, I hope will agree to marry me, despite the number of commas in this sentence.” Who could resist? Leesa, according to the Guardian, didn’t even try, and immediately upon reading said yes.

Canada’s George Bowering wins Literary Excellence Award
The West Coast Book Prize Society announced that revered Canadian author George Bowering has been named this year’s winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence. The LGA title recognizes British Columbia writers who have “made outstanding contributions to the literary culture of the province.”
The highly prolific 75-year-old Bowering has penned over 80 books in his career, spanning from poetry and novels to biography and youth fiction. He is also a professor with some of Canada’s most prominent universities. The award includes a $5,000 grant.

Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize Winners Announced
The Cleveland Foundation has announced the winners of the 76th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. The five include Nicole Krauss for “Great House,” Mary Helen Stefaniak for “The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia,” David Eltis/David Richardson for “Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade,” Isabel Wilkerson for “The Warmth of Other Suns,” and John Edgar Wideman for “Lifetime Achievement.”

“The 2011 Anisfield-Wolf winners are notable for the unique way each author addresses the complex issues of race and cultural diversity,” said a statement by the judges. “The books and authors honored this year stand out, not only for their creative and wide-ranging approach to difficult subject matter, but also for their underlying faith in our shared humanity.”

Techno thriller writer Craig Thomas dies
Welsh author Craig Thomas, who, throughout his career has been credited with inventing the techno-thriller genre, has died at the age of 69 from complications of pneumonia.
Thomas’ fame followed his 1977 novel “Firefox,” which launched his renowned Mitchell Gant series. “Firefox” was also made into a 1982 Hollywood blockbuster, starring Clint Eastwood.

Israeli author sues Google Books
An Israeli author Yonatan Bauner has sued Google Books for copyright infringement. Bauner’s lawsuit, filed in a Jerusalem District Court, alleges that the project, which makes millions of books publicly available for download, violated his copyrights.

Brauner, author of “Things you see from there” (in Hebrew), asked the court to rule the filing be considered as a class-action suit, saying that the 15 million books in 400 languages, which have been scanned into the project, include thousands of books in Hebrew, published in Israel and protected by Israeli copyright laws.

Last month, a federal judge in New York overturned a November 2008 agreement between Google, on behalf of its Google Books initiative, and several groups representing American authors and publishers involving a similar lawsuit, saying it gave Google too much of an advantage over competitors.

News Update March 26

‘A Dance with Dragons’ to Finally See Light of Day
George R.R. Martin has reportedly – finally – finished his epic saga “A Song of Ice and Fire,” with the highly anticipated fifth book in the series, “A Dance with Dragons,” to be published in the summer of 2011.
Fans have been clamoring for the final installment of the mesmerizing saga for over six years. Several release dates have been given for the book before, only to fizzle away; and many fans (yours truly included) were beginning to wonder if Martin would ever finish the series.
Martin has been quoted as saying that the delay had nothing to do with any exotic or nefarious reason, but rather with a simple case of writer’s block. He further said that “‘Dance with Dragons’… would combine beloved characters from earlier books with new characters and viewpoints.”

Google Books Search Project Takes another Hit
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected a proposed settlement between Google, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, which would have allowed Google to proceed with its Google Books Search project.
Both the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers sued Google separately for copyright violations. So far, Google has already scanned more than 15 million books for the project, launched in late 2004. The settlement would have allowed Google to make full books, registered with the US copyright office or published in the UK, Australia or Canada available online.
A press release issued by the Association of American Publishers following the ruling, said that “it plans to work with Google and The Authors Guild to draft a revised settlement.”

Simon & Schuster Announces Online Tween Book Club
Publisher Simon & Schuster Inc., announced it has partnered with a social media network for an online, interactive book club for tweens.
The publisher announced it joined forces with Everloop to launch a book club that would “connect tweens with favorite books and authors.” The club will be on the Everloop website, and book club members will be able to engage in online discussions with authors.
The New York-based Simon & Schuster is one of the four largest English-language publishers, alongside Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins. It publishes over two thousand titles annually under 35 different imprints.

Final Installment of ‘Inheritance Cycle’ Set for November
Christopher Paolini’s bestselling Inheritance Cycle will see its final installment this winter with the publication of the long-awaited fourth and final book, “Inheritance.”
Publisher Random House announced November’s release will number 2.5 million copies. In a statement about the new book, Paolini teased, saying, “All will be revealed!” Combined, the Inheritance Cycle serried has sold 25 million copies worldwide.

Pulitzer Winning Playwright Lanford Wilson Dies
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson, who penned such plays as “The Hot L Baltimore,” “Burn This,” “Fifth of July” and “Talley’s Folly,” died in Wayne, N.J. this week, at the age of 73.

Wilson was one of four founders of The Circle Repertory Company in New York, an incubator of off-Broadway works. He was nominated for Tony Awards for “Angels Fall” “Talley’s Folly” and “Fifth of July.” He was awarded the Pulitzer in 1980 for “Talley’s Folly,” the second of his Talley Family trilogy.

News Update March 19

China’s ‘Three Sisters’ Takes Man Asian Prize
Chinese screenwriter and author Bi Feiyu’s dramatic family tale “Three Sisters” has been named winner of the prestigious Man Asian Literary Prize for 2010.
A statement released by MAL organizers praised the novel as “a moving exploration of Chinese family and village life during the Cultural Revolution (of 1966-1976 ultraleftist Chinese political movement, PBD) that moves seamlessly between the epic and the intimate.” Bi stands to receive a $30,000 cash prize for his work. Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Lin, who translated the book into English, will share a $5,000 reward.

Green Thumbs Up: First Lady to Pen Book about White House Garden
US first lady Michelle Obama will write a book about the kitchen garden she started at the White House, and her efforts to promote healthy eating, a statement by Crown Publishing Group said this week.
The still-untitled book is set to be published in the spring of 2012. The First Lady will share her inspiration in planting 1600 Pennsylvania’s Avenue edible garden, as well as her family’s favorite healthy recipes. Michelle Obama stands to donate all the proceeds from her book to charity.

Julian Barnes Wins David Cohen Literature Prize
UK-based author, whose novels include “Flaubert’s Parrot” and “England, England,” has been awarded the prestigious David Cohen Prize for Literature.
Past recipients of the £40,000 prize, sometimes described as the UK’s Nobel Prize for Literature, include Harold Pinter and Doris Lessing. Receiving the prize at a London ceremony, Barnes, 65, said its value “lies in its list of previous winners”. Barnes further described the prize as “the greatest honor a British or Irish writer can receive within these islands”.

Deborah Eisenberg Named 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award Winner
Deborah Eisenberg’s “The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg” was awarded the PEN/Faulkner award for fiction. Eisenberg, has been an associate of the University of Virginia since 1994. She was named a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow in 2009. Eisenberg will receive $15,000 and recognition at a Washington ceremony set for May.
The four other 2011 PEN/Faulkner finalists will receive a $5,000 prize each.
More than 300 books published in 2010 by 125 publishing houses were considered for the award. The PEN/Faulkner Award was founded in 1980 by Mary Lee Settle, a National Book Award-winning writer who felt the literary establishment was unreceptive to Southern writers and that it valued “personality over achievement.”

PBD’s Paperback Best Sellers Highlights
Topping this week’s New York Times best sellers list was Sara Gruen’s “Water for Elephants.” “The Silent Sea,” by Clive Cussler ranked second, while Michael Connelly’s “The Lincoln Lawyer” ranked third, Jonathan Kellerman’s “Deception” was forth and Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” rounded up the top five.
Meanwhile, Borders Books online bestsellers were dominated by Todd Burpo’s “Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back,” followed by “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” (Rebecca Skloot), “The Hunger Games” (Suzanne Collins), “Water for Elephants” (Sara Gruen) and “Cutting for Stone” (Abraham Verghese).

News Roundup January 14

Mystery Writer Joe Gores Dies
Former San Francisco private investigator turned celebrated mystery writer Joe Gores died this week, at 79.
Gores received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 1970, for Best First Novel, “A Time of Predators.” He went on to win two other Edgar Awards: Best Short Story for “Goodbye, Pops” (1970); and Best Episode in a TV Series for the 1976 script “No Immunity for Murder,” featured in the hit a segment of “Kojak.” The author of “Interface,” “Wolf Time” and “Glass Tiger,” Gores also served as the president of the Mystery Writers of America.

Borders Says Close to Securing Refinancing
Bookseller Borders Group Inc has informed publishers that it was “close to securing refinancing from GE Capital and other lenders,” the New York Times reported, citing sources familiar with the issue.
According to the report, Borders appealed to publishers to provide backing for a substantial portion of the company’s needed loan; a plan some said was “not a convincing strategy” for turning the company around. Borders is using FTI Consulting Inc to assist in analyzing its finances.

Dashiell Hammett Story Gets Posthumous Release
An unpublished story by Sam Spade creator, author Dashiell Hammett, is about to be released, four decades after his death. “So I Shot Him,” a 19-page crime thriller is set to appear in the winter/spring issue of Strand Magazine, out Feb. 28. Hammett died in 1961 at age 66.

Amazon Launches E-book Series Exclusive to Kindle
Retail giant has launched the first installment in a series of e-books exclusive to its Kindle reader, describing it as “an intended new series of walking and eating guide books for different cities.” The first e-book – “Chef Walks: Seattle,” featurs celebrity chef and author Tom Douglas’ tour of the Emerald City.
Kindle’s “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” model allows books to be accessed on the third-generation Kindle as well as on iPads, iPod touches, iPhones, Macs, PCs, BlackBerrys, Windows Phones and Android-based devices.

Barnes & Noble Launch Contest Honoring Teachers
Barnes & Noble announced a new contest – Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher Contest – in which students can tell their communities how much they appreciate their teachers. Students can nominate a teacher by writing essays, poems or thank-you letters that share how their teacher has influenced their life and why they appreciate their teacher.
Teachers from kindergarten through grade 12 are eligible for nomination and awards include cash prizes for teachers and schools, Nook e-book readers and more. The contest will include local and regional winners along with the teacher of year.

News Roundup January 7

Publisher’s Censorship of Twain Classics Sparks Outrage
The latest edition of Mark Twain’s classics “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn,” by Alabama-based NewSouth Books, has been “cleaned up” of their original racial slurs, sparking controversy and outrage in the literary community and among readers alike.
In the “new” Huckleberry Finn, for example, the word “nigger,” which appears 219 times in the original, is replaced by “slave”; while in Tom Sawyer, “Injun Joe” becomes “Indian Joe,” among other changes.
The novels were reportedly revised by Auburn Montgomery University Prof. Alan Gribben, who said he wanted to “save the books, favorites of US children’s literature, from disuse because of the controversial language,” which reflects the social attitudes of the mid-19th century.
Since announcing the new edition, the publisher has been under proverbial fire by literary aficionados and especially by Twain fans, who insist the literary icon’s original language is part of what makes the classic novels a part of US history.

NYC Subway Service Ads Replace Poetry, Literature
Until recently, New York City subway riders, could enjoy a little added value in their day, in the form of poignant literary and poetry quote, dotting the cars among the slew of adds courtesy of the city’s “Train of Thought” program. But no more.

Transit officials have replaced the words of great thinkers such as Franz Kafka and Galileo with service announcements about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s improved new technology, equipment and infrastructure, saying the agency running the city subways and public buses “needs to communicate with our customers about what we’ve done in the past year to improve the system.”

US Court Dismisses Harry Potter Plagiarism Case
A US judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling with plagiarizing the work of another author in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” The suit was brought forward by the estate of late author Adrian Jacobs, claiming that the plot of the fourth Harry Potter book copied parts of the plot of Jacobs’ “Willy the Wizard,” including a wizard contest, and that Rowling borrowed the idea of wizards traveling on trains.
Rowling’s US publisher Scholastic Corp welcomed the ruling, quoting the judge as saying “(…) the contrast between the total concept and feel of the works is so stark that any serious comparison of the two strains credulity.” The publisher added that Rowling “had never heard of Jacobs’s book before the copyright claim was first made in 2004, almost seven years after the publication of the first book in the highly publicized Harry Potter series.”

Children’s author Dick King-Smith dies
Children’s author Dick King-Smith has died at the age of 88. King-Smith, who often featured animals in his books, was one of the UK’s most prolific authors, penning more than 100 books in a literary career spanning over 30 years. His 1983 book “The Sheep-Pig” inspired hit 1995 film Babe. During his career, he went on to sell more than 15 million copies of his works worldwide, winning numerous accolades and awards. In 2009, he was named to the Order of the British Empire (OBE), an honor his agent said he had been “delighted” to accept.

PBD’s Paperback Bests Sellers Highlights
Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo topped the New York Times Bests Sellers list this week, followed by Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. Larsson’s The Girl Who Played with Fire is ranked third, followed by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo’s Alex Cross’s Trial. Rounding up NYT’s bestsellers list is Sue Grafton’s U is for Undertow.
Stieg Larsson also headed Publishers Weekly Best Sellers list, with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo topping the chart and The Girl Who Played with Fire ranking third. PBW ranked Christine Feehan’s Ruthless Game second, David Baldacci’s Deliver Us from Evil was ranked fourth, and rounding up the top five this week is Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.

News Roundup December 31

Author Says Amazon Ranking Easily Manipulated
Author Thomas Hertog, who penned the Kindle book “Wealth Hazards,” warned he fellow writers recently agains placing too much faith in Amazon’s ranking, saying the system could easily be corrupted and claiming he manipulated the system by buying his book over 200 times and posting over 42 fake raving reviews for it. Hertog is now peddling a new e-book, “The Day the Kindle Died,” in which he describes how he pulled it off. Hertog said in his blog that “Amazon clearly has a problem with ranking books, creating the bestseller lists and making suitable recommendations to customers, but they don’t appear to be in a hurry to correct it.”

Children’s Books Author Donates Profits to Charity
Author Tom Roberts, who wrote his first children’s book – “Twas Night Before Christ” – while waiting at a truck stop during a blizzard, has donated the book’s profits to the Children’s Home Society. So far, book has raised over $250,000. Roberts also donated all the proceeds from his latest book, “Santa’s Prayer,” to charity.

Bush Memoir Sells Over 2 Million Copies
The Crown Publishing Group announced that former US President George W. Bush’s memoir, “Decision Points,” has sold more than two million hardcover and e-book copies since its release in early November. Former President Bill Clinton’s memoir, “My Life,” has logged sales of 2.2 million copies since it was first published in 2004.

Former WikiLeaks official writing tell-all book
Daniel Domscheit-Berg, the former spokesman for WikiLeaks, is writing a book that promises to “reveal the inner workings and tensions” within the secretive whistleblowing group, Crown Publishing Group said in a statement. Domscheit-Berg, also known as Daniel Schmitt, was the former right-hand man of the website’s embattled founder, Julian Assange, but he quit in September over disagreements about the management of Wikileaks. The book will be titled “Inside Wikileaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website,” and is expected to be released in mid February.

News Roundup December 10

Book Returned to California Library 74 Years Overdue
Ninety-five-year-old Hazel Severson of Sacramento, California, recently returned an overdue book to the Amador County Library; which wouldn’t be all that special – except for the fact that the book was 74 years overdue. Severson said it was her late husband who borrowed the book – “Seaplane Solo,” about Sir Francis Chichester’s 1930 flight across the Tasman Sea – back in 1936. The library was so surprised to get the book back it waived the late fee, which amounted to $2,701.

‘Birds of America’ Breaks Auction Records
One of the few privately owned copies of John James Audubon’s “Birds of America” recently broke all book auction records, fetching $11.5 million in a Sotheby’s London event, where the monumental four-volume work was the star of the night. Only 119 copies of “Birds of America,” which contains 1,000 illustrations of some 500 breeds of birds and took the author over a decade to complete, are known to exist.

‘Brenda Starr, Reporter’ Comic Issued Final Deadline
Brenda Starr, the tenacious cartoon journalist who has been juggling assignments and romances for over 70 years, will file her last story this coming January, as the Tribune Media Services, which syndicates her illustrated adventures, announced it was pulling the comic. Brenda Starr first appeared on the scene in 1940 and was modeled, in terms of her looks, after Hollywood legend Rita Hayworth.

Romance E-Books sales Thrive
Romance books have always been a robust sales arena for publishers, and it seems that both publishers and retailers have now begun pursuing the romance e-reader in earnest, heeding to the growing trend of readers’ move to digital editions. Sales figures for romance e-books have more than doubled this year. Leading US bookstore chain Barnes & Noble currently dominated the romance e-books market with a 25% share. According to industry figures, some 75 million people read at least one romance novel a year, with the majority of readership comprised of women ages 31 to 49.

News Roundup December 3

Debut Writer Amy Sackville Wins Literary Award

Debut novelist Amy Sackville has won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for Literature, one of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious literary awards, for her book “The Still Point.” The prize is awarded to authors who are aged 35 or under. Earlier this year Sackville, 29, was also longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction prize, another of the UK’s highest literary honors, awarded annually to a female author for the best full-length, original novel written in English, and published in Britain.

Author Rowan Somerville Wins Bad Sex Writing Prize

Rowan Somerville, who penned “The Shape of Her,” won the dubious Bad Sex in Fiction Prize for 2010, for his use of disturbing insect imagery in his novel’s sex scenes. According to the judging panel, it was “a passage comparing lovemaking to a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect,” that tipped the scales in his “favor.” Somerville now joins the likes of literary heavyweights such as Sebastian Faulks, Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer and the late John Updike, who was awarded a lifetime achievement Bad Sex prize in 2008.
Oxford English Dictionary Relaunches Online Version

The Oxford English Dictionary’s (OED) online version has been revamped and relaunched this week, exactly 10 years after its first internet appearance. According to an OED statement, the new version “contains 600,000 words, three million quotations and covers more than 1,000 years of the English language,” and allows readers to trace the evolution of the language using a Historical Thesaurus tool.
The Daily Record Names First Woman Publisher

Suzanne Fischer-Huettner has been named publisher of The Daily Record, becoming the first woman to head the 122-year-old legal and business newspaper, a company press release said. Fischer-Huettner, 37, is one of the youngest to ever step into the publisher’s shoes. She has been an associate publisher since 2000 and vice president of sales since 2003. She replaced Christopher Eddings, publisher since 1997.
Weekly Bestsellers Roundup

Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol still tops the New York Times’ Bestsellers List, while Publisher’s Weekly and the Wall Street Journal named The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney, their top sellers (respectively). The former, as well as Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire, were named the NYT’s second and third bestsellers, with Dean Koontz’s Breathless, and Debbie Macomber’s Christmas in Cedar Cove rounding up the top five. Publisher’s Weekly named Brown its second top seller, with Larsson’s Fire and Koontz taking third and fourth place and James Patterson’s I, Alex Cross rounding up the top five. Meanwhile, the WST named James Patterson’s Cross Fire its second weekly top seller, with John Grisham’s The Confession, Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus, Book 1; The Lost Hero and Stephen King’s Full Dark, No Stars, ranking third-fifth place.
News Roundup – November 26

French Publisher, Google Settle Book-Scanning Dispute

Internet giant Google and French publisher Hachette Livre have inked a deal ending a rights dispute concerning the former’s scanning out-of-print titles by the latter, for inclusion in its digital library project. According to the settlement, Hachette Livre will retain control of which titles Google may scan, and any book scanned will be made available for sale as e-books by Google or by one of Hachette Livre’s third-party retailers. The scanned books will also be included in France’s own national book-scanning protect.
Rare Batman Comic Sells for $500K

A rare copy of Detective Comics No. 27 featuring the debut of “The Batman” character sold for nearly $500,000 in a Heritage auction this week. The comic book was in 1939 by Robert Irwin, who was 13 at the time. According to the 84-year-old, it was the only comic book he kept from his youth. The item stirred a flurry of bids, with the winning one entered by phone, by a buyer who asked to remain anonymous. Earlier this year, Heritage sold a similar copy of issue No. 27, in better condition, for a record $1,075,500.
Bestselling Author Slammed for Sloppy Sex Scenes

Australian author Christos Tsiolkas’ critically acclaimed novel “The Slap” is up for a less than flattering honor – it has been shortlisted for the British Bad Sex in Fiction Award. The selection panel said that the book, which won the 2009 Commonwealth Writer’s Award and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, was riddles with repetitive sex scenes, indicating “sheer laziness… (and) slack writing,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The book is up against seven other novels, for the dubious award which notes ”poorly written, redundant or crude passages of a sexual nature” in literary works.
Ex-MI5 Chief to Chair Man Booker Prize 2011

Former MI5 boss Stella Rimington has been named head of the 2011 Booker Prize Committee. According to the Times, Rimington will be the only head of the judging panel to have had a book published in the same year they serve on the prize committee.
Emma Donoghue’s ‘Room’ Wins Trust Fiction Prize

Ontario-based author Emma Donoghue’s novel “Room” has been named winner of the 2010 Roger’s Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. The eerie “Room” is told entirely through the eyes of five-year-old Jack, who was born to a 19-year-old girl kidnapped and hel inside a soundproof, escape-proof room built in the back garden of a kidnapper’s house. One of the key notions of the book is that not only has Jack’s never been outside – he doesn’t even realize that outside exists. Other authors shortlisted for the prestigious Trust Fiction Prize included Trevor Cole, Michael Helm, Michael Winter, and Kathleen Winter.
Obama Kids Book Sells 50,000 Copies in 5 Days

President Barack Obama’s latest children’s book, “Of Thee I Sing,” has sold over 50,000 copies in the first five days since being released. According to a
Random House Children’s Books a was “the fastest selling picture book in the company’s history.” “Of Thee I Sing” is a tribute to Jackie Robinson, George Washington and other Americans. Obama announced he will be donating the proceeds to a scholarship fund for children of disabled and fallen soldiers.
George W. Bush Turns Bestselling Author

Former US President George W. Bush’s memoir ”Decision Point” has become a bestseller, selling over a million copies, thus rendering Bush a member of a rather exclusive club of presidential authors who have become best selling writers, US media reports said. According to the book’s publisher, Crown Publishing, the book has so far sold 1.1 million copies, with e-copies sales topping 135,000.
News Round up – November 19
New York Times Bestseller List to Include E-books

Everyone knows that the New York Times Bestseller List is pretty much the benchmark for what’s hot and what’s selling in the print literary world, but now, it aims to take to E-Reading world by storm as well: the print edition of the NYT Bestseller List will now include a rating of digital books, which will be listed according to their performance on the List’s classic categories. According to a NYT statement, “The Times’s eBook Best-Seller Lists are a natural extension of this important franchise as the proliferation of portable devices grows.”
US National Book Awards Winners Announced

The prestigious US National Book Awards were presented this week: Rocker Patti Smith was the surprise big winner of the night, for her memoir “Just Kids.” Author Tom Wolfe, whose list of bestsellers credit includes “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” and “The Right Stuff,” was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Author Jaimy Gordon was awarded the fiction award for “Lord of Misrule.”
Sarah Palin, Comic Book Star

Sarah Palin stands to be immortalized in a new comic book planned by Bluewater Productions. This will be the publisher’s second graphic celebration of the Republican politician turned celebrity, following their comic strip depiction of her exploits during the 2008 presidential elections – which Bluewater said was an instant hit. According to Forbes, the new comic book will explore the reasons behind Palin’s increasing celebrity, and the potential political threat she may pose to both Democrats and mainstream Republicans should she launch a presidential bid for 2012.
Putting Pens: Tiger Woods Turns Author

Superstar golfer Tiger Woods, whose notoriety now stems from his tawdry private life rather than his achievements on the golf course, has penned what has been described as a “frank account of his struggle to come to terms with the consequences of his cheating in his wife.” Wood’s account is to be featured in Newsweek Magazine, as is said to detail his personal journey in the wake of the past scandalous two years.
Paperback Bestsellers Highlights

Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol dominated both the New York Times and Publisher’s Weekly mass-market/fiction bestsellers list this week, followed by Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire, which ranked second and third (respectively) on both. Tami Hoag’s Deeper Than the Dead ranked fourth on Publisher’s Weekly’s BSL and fifth for the New York Times. The latter’s No. 4 was Danielle Steel’s Southern Lights, while Lee Child’s 61 Hours rounded up the top-five for Publisher’s Weekly.

Paperback Dolls is made up of women from different parts of the world, with different backgrounds, different tastes and beliefs that were brought together through a love of reading. We like to think of ourselves as a cyber version of "The View" that focuses on books, authors, and reading. We are proof positive that one common love can unite the most opposite of people and form lasting friendships that introduce other ways of life and perspectives to each other.
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  • Mona says:

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    Reply to this comment »
  • dan says:

    IN MY OPINION as expresso'd on December 1, 2010….

    Caveat emptor amazonia!

    [Commenter's note: Moi, a media observer, wonders if
    Amazon's popular and must-see book stats are just PR hype, and nothing
    more. My opinion here reflects my own personal hunch about how
    things operate in the land that Jeff Bezos runs.]

    The next time you read in a press release or newspaper that a certain
    book "has been propelled to the top 100 rankings among paid Kindle
    titles on," don't you believe it. And the next time you
    hear that a certain book "has been propelled to the top 100 rankings
    among regular print book titles on," don't you believe it,

    In both cases, you've been fed a can of worms — marketing hype white
    lies. Amazon stats do not mean anything, and even worse, they
    could best be described as "lies, damn lies and PR hype." These
    much-ballyhooed "stats" do not represent the number of books sold, as
    you have been led to believe. No, they merely represent the number of
    times surfers around the world have ''searched'' on Amazon for a
    particular book after reading a ''currently trending'' news story
    about the tome.

    Case in point, to illustrate this deception. When news broke worldwide
    last week about
    a controversial self-published eBook titled "A Peodophile's Guide to
    Love and Pleasure", triggering a ground swell of protest on social
    media networks from Twitter to Facebook,
    the vanity press title suddenly found itself being ''propelled'' to
    the top 100 rankings among paid
    Kindle titles on Amazon. But those ranking stats did not mean people
    were buying the book, or even ordering it, but merely that thousands
    of curious internet surfers from London to Louisana were clicking on
    the book's Amazon link just to see what
    the fuss was all about. And to catch a glimpse of the cover. Much ado
    about nada.

    Sales did not go up. Web searches for the book went up, that's all.
    Amazon's savvy PR department — and gullible news reporters who take
    anything a press release feeds them — wants you to believe that Jeff
    Bezos' cleverly-disguised ''stats'' mean something. They don't. It's
    the Great White Lie of the publishing busienss.

    Ask any honest publisher or book editor in New York or London.
    Amazon's book stats are not worth a hill of beans. They do not
    represent books sold or books pre-ordered. They merely reflect
    internet sufers' interests and curiosity.

    In the case of the peodofile guide, some ill-informed news reports
    were saying that "less than 24 hours before the book was taken down by
    Amazon, the virtually unknown digital book ranked well north of
    157,000" on the online book ordering site. Suddenly,
    the news reports erroneously "reported", the guide was up in the top100. Not.

    Reply to this comment »
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