The Amazon tablet rumor mill cranked up again yesterday as DigiTimes reported that notebook manufacturer Quanta Computer in Taiwan "recently received OEM orders from Amazon for its reported tablet PC," according to sources "from upstream component makers." The device's "monthly orders during the peak season are expected to reach about 700,000-800,000 units and Quanta is expected to start shipping as soon as the second half of 2011."
Forbes suggested Amazon could have the best shot at building an iPad killer, noting that while "the hardware probably won't be anything special, Amazon's services might give it an edge. While no one has managed to best the iPad's tight integration of software and hardware, Amazon's online music, movie, and digital book services rival--and in some cases surpass--Apple’s own. You can't say that for Motorola, RIM, Asus, or any of the other would-be iPad killers."
Andrew Morton's biography William and Catherine: Their Lives, Their Wedding made it into bookshops just 72 hours after the royal nuptials, and publisher Michael O'Mara Books has submitted its application for a record to Guinness World Records. The Guardian reported that Morton chose a jacket photo for the 200-page book "100 minutes after the couple kissed, completing the text for the book's final chapter on the day of the wedding. It was then sent for overnight printing in Italy, with the first copies in the 100,000 print run delivered to Waterstone's Charing Cross at 3 p.m. on Monday."
O'Mara said that in 1986, "we got into the Guinness Book of Records for a book on Andrew and Fergie's wedding. We did it in about 76 hours and that was a record for the fastest big color book ever published... As far as I know no one has ever bettered this until now."
If you have a job in publishing, you'll probably keep it for a while. Forbes reported that data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates "the median time employees stayed at their jobs reached an all-time high last year" of 4.4 years. The fourth-ranked category for longevity (behind utilities, telecommunications and durable goods manufacturing) was publishing at 5.0 years.
A sales manager at McGraw-Hill cited, as primary reasons for staying at her job, "excellent for working moms, flexible schedule allowed, high-quality product, they care about work-life balance [and] amazing benefits."
Forbes added that publishing jobs (excluding Internet publishing) are also the third "stickiest" in America: "The median number of years employees in the publishing industry had been with their current employer was 5.6."
To celebrate the publication of Sarah MacLean's Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's
Heart, Avon Books held a "virtual signing" on AvonRomanceLive.com,
MacLean and Eloisa James (When Beauty Tamed the Beast) met in a studio in the HarperCollins building
for a conversation that was broadcast via LiveStream to fans across the Internet,
many of whom had preordered books by both writers. "I'm always thrilled to
have a chance to talk about romance with people who love it as much as I do,"
MacLean said afterward, "and being able to do just that with Eloisa James
and online readers made my day. I could have happily continued that
conversation for hours!" (The conversation, roughly 45 minutes long, can
still be seen online.)
Sales for the online event were handled by Brooklyn's
WORD bookstore, which also hosted MacLean and James for an in-store event
immediately following. "This was a great example of the new opportunities
we have as bookstores and authors to work together," said WORD event coordinator
Jenn Northington. "Sarah MacLean is not only a local author but a staff
favorite, and providing books for both a national, online audience as well as
in-store at her launch party was a blast." Avon will follow this event
with a similar conversation between Julia Quinn and Elizabeth Boyle on June
Today's Wall Street Journal chronicled the Something Borrowed tour, in which "a group of rabid fans of [Emily] Giffin piled on a bus for a tour of a few of the Manhattan sites that crop up in the movie," which will be released Friday. Joining them was the novelist, who said she likes to create events with an interactive component: "I interact a lot with my readers. I really, genuinely enjoy it. It's actually hard to fake."
Cool idea of the day: to celebrate International Mustache Day, this afternoon from 4:30-6:30 p.m. anyone at Third Street Books, McMinnville, Ore., who sports facial hair, real or fake, receives a discount.
store commented: "Is there really anything more to say? Actually, there
is. Your mom called, she said don't forget to at least send her a card.
Oh, you forgot? Well get on down here and get something for your mom in
time for Mother's Day this Sunday."
Al-Balsam, Cairo's only children's bookstore, celebrated its first anniversary May 1. Owner Balsam al-Saad "has undertaken not just the difficult job of selling children's books, but the even harder one of igniting a passion for Arabic children's literature. Because of this, the store has a markedly different feel from other high-end bookstores in Cairo. While most stores relegate Arabic children's literature to a small shelf or corner, at Al-Balsam it is foreign-language children's books that get the less-desirable shelf space upstairs," Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.
In post-revolution Egypt, Saad envisions a brighter future for Arabic children's literature. "I am certain that, after the revolution, things will change. There is pride being rediscovered, in identity and in self. Even kids want to discover their Egyptian identity.... I think we have beautiful things, but I don't think we have enough. Still more work will have to be done."
The J.R.R. Tolkien estate settled a dispute with Stephen Hillard, author of the upcoming book Mirkwood: A Novel About J.R.R. Tolkien,
which "features Tolkien as a character and includes a critical analysis
of Tolkien's books," the Hollywood Reporter wrote, adding that the book
"is not only fiction, but also an exercise in 'literary criticism,' as
it is said to take issue with the lack of female characters in Tolkien's
The Tolkien estate had sent Hilliard a cease-and-desist
letter, threatening a lawsuit, but the settlement permits the book,
which the author is publishing with Amazon's BookSurge/CreateSpace
platform, to be released "with a modified reference to Tolkien on the
cover and will also include the disclaimer, 'This is a work of fiction
which is neither endorsed nor connected with The J.R.R. Tolkien Estate or
its publisher.' "
May the 4th be with you. (Today is the only day each year that joke is allowed.) DK Publishing has organized an ambitious children's book tour, the DK Star Wars Attack of the Authors East Coast Tour, that will encompass two weeks and 10 events, kicking off May 7 and running from Boston to Miami. Participants include DK authors, illustrators, 501st Legion and R2 Builders Club members, and a specially-commissioned R2 droid piece that will be auctioned off for charity at the end of the tour. Each venue has received an event kit containing raffle prizes, activities and giveaways (and those fancy patches you see on StarWars.com link, which will be given to all attending 501st troopers).
DK has arranged nearly 200 Star Wars events with the 501st Legion as their special guests in recent years, and to express appreciation to these troopers (who are all volunteers), DK makes an annual donation in their honor. You can read about last year’s donation here. The droid replica will be part of this year’s donation.
Linda and Steve Netschert have purchased book publisher Farcountry Press from newspaper chain Lee Enterprises. Formed in 1980, Farcountry publishes photography books, children’s series, guidebooks, cookbooks, and regional history titles nationwide, producing about 15 books annually, with a backlist of more than 300 titles. Sweetgrass Books, the custom publishing division of Farcountry Press, was included in the purchase.
Publisher Linda Netschert, who has worked for Farcountry Press since 1996 and became sales and marketing director in 2003, said, "We have retained all of the staff, and we’ve created two new positions, which will be filled very soon." The company has moved to its new office and warehouse at 2750 Broadwater Avenue in Helena, Mont.
Concord Free Press, which publishes original trade paperbacks and gives them away through a network of more than 60 independent bookstores and via website requests, will launch Concord ePress June 1 with a full slate of novels ranging from debut fiction to e-books of previously published works. In an interview with Digital Book World, CFP founder Stona Fitch said, "We’ll sell these books via the usual channels, Amazon and beyond, as a 50-50 split between authors and the CFP. We’re about writers banding together to take advantage of the incredible new opportunities opened up by e-books, while still holding on to the camaraderie and community that are so critical to publishing, which is, after all, a team sport."