During its first week on sale, ending November 2, The Confession by John Grisham sold 70,000 e-book copies while hardcover sales were approximately 210,000, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Overall first-week sales for The Confession--the first time a new Grisham adult title was available immediately as an e-book as well as hardcover--rose compared to The Associate, published in January 2009.
"The e-book sales are astonishing," Grisham told the paper. "Would anybody have thought that a year ago? The future has arrived, and we're looking at it."
Grisham had opposed selling his books digitally because "he worried it would cripple his book sales at the independent bookstores that were among his earliest supporters," as the paper put it. But many fans complained. "As an author, that hits pretty close to home," he said.
To emphasize the e-point made by The Confession, James McQuivey of Forrester Research wrote on PaidContent that in the company's five-year e-book forecast, "2010 will end with $966 million in e-books sold to consumers. By 2015, the industry will have nearly tripled to almost $3 billion," adding somewhat unnecessarily that "at that point the industry will be forever altered."
McQuivey argued that although now "just 7% of online adults who read books read e-books," they "read the most books and spend the most money on books." All of which means that "we have plenty of room to grow beyond the 7% that read e-books today and, once they get the hang of it, e-book readers quickly shift a majority of their book reading to a digital form.... even if we never get color e-Ink screens, if publishers never experiment with e-book subscriptions, and interactive e-book formats never succeed, we will still see digital get close to $3 billion in size by the middle of the decade."
Effective January 10, David Rosenthal is joining Penguin Group as president and publisher of a new, as yet unnamed general trade imprint. Rosenthal most recently was publisher and executive v-p of Simon & Schuster and earlier was publisher of Villard Books, executive editor of Random House, managing editor of Rolling Stone and executive editor of New York magazine. Penguin noted that Rosenthal "is also proud of being the only trade publisher to both play the viola and to have worked in the morgue at New York City's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner."
The new imprint will begin publishing next fall, put out 24-36 original titles a year and emphasize suspense fiction, popular biography, literary novels, humor, music and contemporary politics.
Rosenthal told the New York Times: "They're going to let me go after the kind of--I wouldn't say quirky--but the peculiar stuff that I sometimes like. What they want very much is for me to be able to indulge my passions, indulge my taste."
Penguin Group president Susan Petersen Kennedy said that Rosenthal's imprint will "represent and reinforce what we at Penguin believe: that people will always want to read great books, and that the ability of a publisher to find and mold these great books matters more now than ever before."
Rivendell Books, Montpelier, Vt., has opened a temporary store in the Berlin Mall that will stay open through January and may become permanent, depending on sales volume and customer enthusiasm, according to the Montpelier Times-Argus. The store will be in the former Game Zone space.
Manager Rob Kasow told the paper, "When Waldenbooks closed down, we didn't see the business filter downtown, but there's a customer base [at the mall] that doesn't shop downtown and we hope that they will be willing to support a locally owned bookstore."
Algonquin's Booksellers Rock! series is now profiling five independent booksellers in North Carolina's Triangle area (where Algonquin was born), including people from Flyleaf, Quail Ridge, Regulator, McIntyre's and Bull's Head. The first q&a is with Land Arnold of Flyleaf.
In answer to a question about what the store has that no other store has, Arnold said, "We have three functioning shower stalls, courtesy of a ladies' fitness center that preceded the bookstore. All three have the original dispensers filled with this magic liquid that acts as body soap and shampoo. A lot of sweat goes into running a bookstore, but with the aid of the showers, we hope people can't tell."
|At Pitchapalooza at Borders in Baileys Crossroads, Va.: Allan Fallow, books editor for AARP The Magazine and
AARP.org; Bethanne Patrick, aka the Book Maven, host of
TheBookStudio.com; Eckstut, agent with Levine Greenberg Literary Agency; (standing) Sterry.
Cool idea of the day: to launch their book, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published (Workman), David Henry Sterry and Arielle Eckstut, aka the Book Doctors, are holding a series of Pitchapalooza events, including one this Thursday, November 11, at 7 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble in New York City at 150 E. 86th St. Each contestant has a minute to pitch her or her book to a panel of judges that will include Sterry and Eckstut; agent Larry Kirshbaum; Bob Miller, head of Workman; and Jen Bergstrom, editor-in-chief of Gallery Books.
To see the winning pitch at a Pitchapalooza in St. Louis, click here.
Don Weise has founded Magnus Books, which will publish 15 to 20 fiction and nonfiction LGBT titles. Weise will serve as publisher. The first titles will appear in fall 2011.
Weise has been associate publisher at Cleis Press, senior editor at Carroll & Graf and most recently publisher of Alyson Press. He commented: "As owner and publisher of Magnus, I have complete freedom for the first time in my career, working entirely on my own and independent of parent companies or affiliations. I'm tremendously excited by this long-awaited opportunity. With 18 years in the business, the majority of that devoted to LGBT books, the path has been pointed in this direction for quite some time."
He called this "an especially exciting time in LGBT publishing. The literature is more varied and mainstream than ever before with more outlets to reach gay consumers, more publishing formats at hand, and more public awareness and support around LGBT issues. Magnus Books is proud to help lead our literature--and our readers--into a new epoch."
Congratulations to Kim-from-LA, aka Kim Dower: the weekly poem on the Art Beat blog on PBS NewsHour is currently "She Is Awakened by a Hair," from her new collection, Air Kissing on Mars (Red Hen Press).
Author Philip Carlo died yesterday in New York City of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. He was 61.
Carlo wrote Stolen Flower, The Night Stalker, Ice Man and the forthcoming memoir The Killer Within. He was considered an expert on serial killers, Mafia culture and sexual predators, and appeared on many TV shows and documentary films.
Viewing is at the Peter C. Labella Funeral Home, Brooklyn, N.Y., 2-5 p.m. and 7-9:30 p.m. tomorrow, November 10, and Thursday, November 11. Burial will be at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn on Friday, November 12, at 11:15 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can me made to ALS Worldwide or Project A.L.S.
Jeff Waxman of the Seminary Co-op bookstores, Chicago Ill., is one of the judges for the Best Translated Book Award. In a thoughtful post on the Constant Conversation
blog, he explored the recent "brouhaha" regarding Amazon's $25,000
grant to BTBA, which sparked a strong reaction from Dennis Johnson of
Melville House Publishing (Shelf Awareness, October 29, 2010) and subsequent response by Chad Post (Shelf Awareness, November 1, 2010) of Open Letter Books.
maybe, if the indie stores and presses, all of us, had kept our
commitment to the books and to the culture, Dennis and Chad wouldn't be
having this very public, somewhat unnecessary disagreement," Waxman
wrote. "They both want the same thing. Maybe if independent bookstores
had done more over the years to support independent presses, made that
extra effort to read and hand-sell independent press titles, there would
be more stories like the one behind Tinkers."
On the Huffington Post, David Morell, author of First Blood, made the first post from the group of five International Thriller Writers who, under the auspices of the USO, are visiting military personnel--the first time authors have been sent by the USO to a combat zone. (The other authors are Steve Berry, Andy Harp, Douglas Preston and James Rollins.)
The tour started on Saturday with a visit to National Navy Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where they spent six hours visiting more than 30 of the wounded. "If there are any doubters about the quality of America's youth, they need only to walk the halls of Bethesda and Walter Reed to be inspired by the courage and commitment of our combat veterans," Morrell wrote. "Moving from room to room, hearing their stories, hugging their loved one, we writers of invented action were humbled by meeting warriors who had lived the real thing, examples of heroism far beyond anything we could imagine."
In conjunction with the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Tom Clancy is launching a program that encourages the public to show support for veterans and current soldiers recovering at Walter Reed. G.P. Putnam's Sons, Clancy's longtime publisher, is paying for the program.
Under the program, called Send a Message to an American Hero, participants can write to a recovering soldier at penguin.com/americanhero. The message will be printed and enclosed inside an autographed copy of Tom Clancy's latest book, Dead or Alive (to be published December 7), which will be given as a gift to a soldier. The messages will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis; 500 books will be given on December 4 as part of the Walter Reed Holiday Party. Messages received after the 500-book cutoff can be posted publicly on the website and can be included in a digital guestbook. Additional copies of Dead or Alive will be distributed at other Walter Reed medical centers around the country. Putnam is also making a $10,000 donation to the Walter Reed Red Cross.
Clancy commented: "The U.S. military is us. There is no truer representation of a country than the people that it sends into the field to fight for it. The people who wear our uniform and carry our rifles into combat are our kids, and our job is to support them, because they're protecting us."
actor Kevin Bacon's philosophy of reading--"You can sit around and
complain that Hollywood doesn't make any good movies. But you can
generate your own material. So I read books."--Word & Film recommended a checklist of Bacon's movies "to find great reading material."
Leavesden, the London studio where Warner Brothers filmed all of the Harry Potter movies, will be refurbished and expanded. Deadline.com
reported that a "Harry Potter studio tour--offering fans the chance to
see the actual sets--will be part of the new Leavesden, which will