Saturday, July 24, 2010

Literary News: The Digital Battle, Publishing Houses in Peril?, Damnit Janet (Evanovich) and Animal Farm the Musical

  • The Digital Battle That loud cackle followed by uncontrollable laughter that you heard a few days ago was coming from on the day that it announced that for the first time since its Kindle had been released digital books had outsold hardcover books at the site. According to Amazon, one of most prolific booksellers in the country, in the last four weeks they have been selling as many as 180 digital books per every 100 hardback books sold. The announcement may not come as a surprise as the battle between the digital book and the traditional book has been going on for awhile now. It is interesting, however, to note that Amazon offers 630,000 kindle books as opposed to the millions of hardback books sold at the site. The Kindle has is still a relative newcomer to the Amazon site as it has only been sold for 33 months while the site itself has been in the book business for over 15 years. 
  • Publishing Houses in Peril? The battle between digital and traditional books is taking places on multiple fronts. Things have been heating up this week in the publishing world. It has been reported in the article "Random House Bullying Agents on EBooks - But Is It Legal?" by Mike Fleming over at that the power of the digital book has been creating quite a bit of angst over the place of traditional publishing houses in the future of the book biz. This controversy lands on the heels of Amazon's announcement as well as the announcement that book agent Andrew Wylie, the man behind a newly established electronic publishing imprint Odyssey Editions, has signed an exclusive deal with The deal would essentially cut out the middle man, the publishing houses, by selling Amazon sole e-book rights to titles like Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Vladimir Nabakov’s Lolita, Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, John Updike’s Rabbit Run series, Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. The books will only be available on Kindle for the traditional $9.99 price of digital editions. According to the piece's author Fleming, Random House responded with what he calls "sheer thuggery" by blacklisting Wylie in a"clear attempt to scare other authors and their reps from trying the same thing." Other publishers such as Macmillian, he writes, have taken similar measures. Fleming asks the question that is, undoubtedly, at the heart of the conflict: in the case of authors who signed contracts before the digital book was even a gleam in the eye of Amazon or Sony? The answer is one that is sure to cause debate. Hit reply and leave us a comment, what do you think? Read the rest of Mike Fleming's piece over at by clicking here.
  • Damnit Janet!  Janet Evanovich has been atop the New York Times bestsellers list a total of 14 times, has sold northward of 90 million books in her career and has been making quite a bit of news this week when news of her split with St. Martin's Press was announced. Evanovich, who has been with St. Martin's Press for the last fifteen years, recently asked for $50 million dollars for her next four books -- something St. Martin's just wasn't willing to do. News followed that her agent/son Peter Evanovich was shopping around at other publishers, the $50 million dollar ask still intact. According to a article Evanovich is one of the top grossing authors racking in an estimated $16 million dollars in book-related income last year. Her backlisted novels sell some 20 million copies a year. Evanovich's seperation with St. Martin's Press has perhaps come at a bad time for a number of reasons: the author's last novel, Sizzlin' Sixteen the latest novel in her very successful Stephanie Plum series, has had less than stellar reviews, receiving just two and a half starts out of a possible five over at, matters are only made more dire with the current state of publishing houses and their battle to stay profitable. According to there is a great deal of risk involved in signing deals like that requested by Evanovich: "such a front-loaded deal puts all the risk on the new books, and the publisher doesn't have the benefit of writing off losers against backlist books that remain at St.Martin's Press." While Dirk Smilie over at asks the obvious question, whether Evanovich is worth the steep price tag, he does point out that Pillars of the Earth author Ken Follett recently signed a $50 million dollar three book deal and that James Patterson also recently signed a whopping $100 million dollar deal over at Hatchette, although that deal was for an equally staggering seventeen novels. Evanovich, many argue, is on the same level as Follett and Patterson. All three prolific authors who have a reputation for churning out novels that consistently sell. Will Evanovich find a deal outside of the St. Martin's "family"? Is she the sum she's asking for fair? Share your thoughts by clicking comment and telling us how it is!
  •   Belt It Out: Animal Farm the Musical? This one could leave you scratching your head. According to the UK's The Daily Mail Sir Elton John and producing partner Lee Hall, the creative team behind the stage version of Billy Elliot: The Musical are planning to start work on a musical version of George Orwell's 65 year-old allegorical barn yard tale, Animal Farm. Lee reportedly told The Daily Mail that it had taken them about two years to secure the rights for the project, and that it would probably take another two years before the musical is finished. Consider yourself warned.


Anonymous said...

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9 days ago, accidentally, i had found the Mobile Phone TV...and I was so delighted with this application
that I decided to talk to you :)

I consider myself a bit of a road warrior. I am on and off jets and through airports at least twice,
usually 4 times a week. I can catch up on news, watch a Discovery program, check up on the stock market or just find something interesting.
The live guide works like cable at home and the connection speed is very good. All in ALL - I RATE A 5 Star program!

but I do not want to leave any links here, so you can email me
and i will give you the site of this unusual program :)

(but please don't PM me, because it's so difficult to communicate in such kind of way)

so, I hope I was helpful to you)) see you in next posts ..

your Alexis....

p.s. English is not my native language, so sorry for any mistakes :)

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