"We are pioneers in the most old-fashioned way. We are at the beginning again," Dominique Raccah--founder, publisher and chief executive of Sourcebooks--told the Chicago Tribune, which profiled the company, noting that as "the book publishing industry undergoes a transformation... Raccah is embracing the change with a confidence grounded in creativity. By fostering an entrepreneurial workplace even as her company has become one of the largest independent book publishers in the nation, Raccah sees a bright future."
"Book publishing is in transformation," she said. "You have to explore lots of different areas because you're not going to know what's going to work upfront."
What's in a name? Lorraine Read, owner of Uppercase Books, Snohomish, Wash., told the Everett Herald that when she bought the business in 2006, "I wanted to name the bookstore 'Read Books' if it hadn't already had a name."
Asked how she knows when a customer realizes her name is an aptonym, Read said, "Their face sort of lights up and they sort of smile and nod. It's a facial thing. And then they might say something when I have to explain how to spell it because people want to spell it in many other ways. Like Reed or Reid are very common. And I say, 'No, it's Read, like read a book.' Then they might say, 'I suppose you were destined to own a bookstore,' and I say, 'Yes, I was.' "
A box of old books that Pat Saine, owner of Blue Plate Books, Winchester, Va., agreed to sell turned out to be a very special collection. The Winchester Star reported that the books, including "a history of the Confederate government by Jefferson Davis from 1881 and a life of George Washington by John Marshall published in 1832," were stamped "property of the U.S. Department of Justice and, in some cases, labeled 'rare.' "
Further investigation led to the discovery that the volumes "should have been in the library. They had never been withdrawn." The books will now be given back to the Justice Department.
"It looks like these rare books will be going home where they belong," Saine said, "and our historical record will be preserved."
No stranger to the possibilities of social networking (with 1.78 million Twitter followers and counting), Stephen Fry is taking full advantage of his digital obsessions and significant online presence with the release this week of The Fry Chronicles in the U.K. as a hardcover book, an enhanced e-book and as the myFry app for Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, the Telegraph reported.
"We wanted to produce a unique digital publication for his book," said Jeremy Ettinghausen, digital publisher at Penguin. "We've created the perfect format for dipping in and out of and exploring books in a more playful way. Every word of The Fry Chronicles is in the myFry app, but the design and technology have allowed us to create an experience that would not be possible in print, and discover a new way to present an author's work."
Fast Company asked, "Is This iPad Memoir the Future of Reading?"
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by President Barack Obama, illustrated by Loren Long, will be released November 16 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. The children's book is a tribute to 13 groundbreaking Americans, including George Washington, Jackie Robinson and Georgia O'Keeffe, the Associated Press reported.
"It is an honor to publish this extraordinary book, which is an inspiring marriage of words and images, history and story," said Random House children's president and publisher Chip Gibson. "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters celebrates the characteristics that unite all Americans--the potential to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths."
The president will donate any author proceeds to a scholarship fund for the children of fallen and disabled soldiers serving our nation, the AP wrote.
Late season beach e-reads. The most recent attack in the ongoing battle between Kindle and iPad comes from an Amazon TV commercial that "illustrates, in humorous fashion, the fact that the iPad isn’t nearly as easily visible in direct sunlight as the Kindle," TechCrunch reported.
Ah Pook Is Here, a graphic novel that William Burroughs abandoned almost 40 years ago, will be published for the first time in book form next year. The Guardian reported that the story, illustrated by with artist Malcolm McNeill, "appeared as a monthly comic strip in the English magazine Cyclops. After the magazine folded, they worked to develop the concept into a full-length book, which they dubbed a 'Word/Image novel' because the term graphic novel had yet to be coined. But no publisher was interested, and after working on the book for seven years the pair eventually abandoned it."
Fantagraphics Books, which acquired rights and will publish the book next summer, described it as "the kind of extrapolative, futuristic feat of imagination that a reader would expect from the author of Nova Express and The Ticket That Exploded--a mind-boggling tour de force, dramatizing outré theories with a science fiction patina."
The Vatican Library will reopen next Monday after a three-year, $12 million renovation, giving scholars access again to its "1.6 million volumes, including 75,000 manuscripts. The renovations were both structural--involving the reinforcement of foundations and floors--and technological," the New York Times reported.
"Power rankings are being rolled out, fantasy players are drafted, trash is talked, and stockpiles of microwavable snacks are being stuffed in the fridge of your friend with the big screen TV," Flavorwire wrote to introduce its reading list "of some of the best books about football."
In honor of Roald Dahl Day, author Philip Ardagh selected his top 10 children's books by Dahl for the Guardian, noting that "Dahl was the master. When he died, I was working in a library. A child asked me: 'Who will write Roald Dahl books now he's dead?' Fortunately, his books live on for whole new generations, while we oldies have the excuse of reading them to our children."
Publishing may survive, but will civilization? ReadWriteWeb reported that "boutique book publisher and geek James Bridle has printed the 12,000 edits made to the controversial Wikipedia entry for Iraq War between December 2004 to November 2009 as a 7,000 page, 12-volume set of books."
"This is historiography," Bridle observed. "This is what culture actually looks like: a process of argument, of dissenting and accreting opinion, of gradual and not always correct codification."
An updated version of Flavorpill's Official True Blood Drinking Game for last Sunday night's finale was released because "the entire show is about drinking. Vampires drink from humans. Humans drink from vampires. And don't even get us started on the werewolves.... So we wondered, if literally all of the characters are drinking something, why aren't we?"
Here's 2day's recipe from Workman's Eat Tweet by Maureen Evans (1020 rcps @ 140 chars each) culled from Twitter's @cookbook:
Café-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cream6T buttr/c brnsug; +egg/yolk/t vanil; c flour/¼t soda&salt/½c chocchip. Form9balls. 18m@325F.
Effective September 19, Ingram Publisher Services will distribute in
North America a range of language and travel products from Insight
Guides and Berlitz Publishing, both owned by APA Publications.
in 1970, Insight has published books on more than 100 destinations in
10 languages. Berlitz specializes in phrase books, language-learning
courses, dictionaries, children's language products, travel guides and
Melville House Publishing has added several new staff members:
Christopher King is now the company's art director. He was previously a designer at St. Martin's Press and at Doubleday.
Jason Bennett is the new director of publicity. Prior to joining Melville House, he had worked as the assistant library marketing manager at Hachette and was an associate publicist under Peter Miller at Bloomsbury.
Nathan Ihara joins Melville House as a publicist after working as eBook editor for Barnesandnoble.com. He is also a book critic who writes regularly for L.A. Weekly.
The publisher's new director of marketing is Siddhartha Lokanandi, who previously worked in marketing at Verso Books.