Dog-Eared and Dispatched: April 5, 2015
Welcome to National Poetry Month and to another edition of “Dog-eared and Dispatched.” This week we take a look at two very different sets of publisher/retail agreements, and give the footnotes on copyediting, crowdfunding, and more book fairs than one likes to think about. Ready? Set? Read!
Just when you thought Amazon was going to settle down to fiddling with drones, it looks like another publisher disagreement is looming. Amazon has sent the same terms recently agreed to by Hachette (and others) to HarperCollins, but it appears Harper is not satisfied with the terms. Publishers Weekly reports speculation that this news, first broken by Business Insider – in which Jeff Bezos in an investor – is Amazon’s first gambit in the negotiations. It comes at a time when Amazon is already receiving attention both for its silly instant order buttons and for its deal with Purdue University, where local bookstores want more information about a potential partnership between the university and the online retail giant. [Shelf Awareness, Galleycat, Publishers Weekly, The New Yorker, MobyLives!]
Ebook seller Emily Books has just finished a successful Kickstarter campaign to make “a website that will actually be a place for the community that’s emerged around our books to gather and connect. We assign and edit essays and interviews about our books and their authors and in the past we’ve experimented with distributing these via Tumblr and via iOS app, but we want a place where they can live alongside the books we sell, where they belong. We also want our website to be capable of supporting our eventual goal of becoming a publisher of original books, and of serving our readers by eventually supporting more reading formats.” Such a website apparently costs $30,000 to design, and judging by the chosen firm’s previous work, is not likely to be readable on your phone – although it will be very pretty. This marks a new stage in Emily Books’ expansion, building on their announcement a month ago of a new imprint with Coffee House Books (which has also started a writers residency program). We’ll keep you updated on the results. [Kickstarter, Publishers WeeklyX2]
- “Take the comma. The New Yorker is fond of commas. ‘We get a lot of letters from people who think we use too many commas,’ Ms. Norris said. In the book she uses an example of what she calls ‘a discretionary comma’ in the following sentence: ‘It gives starch to the prose, and can be very effective.’ ¶ In such cases, ‘I always think: “The writer likes that comma. That comma is doing something,” ’ she said. ‘And sometimes I take it out, and sometimes I leave it in.’ ”
- If you’re in Minneapolis for AWP, don’t forget to check out Graywolf’s guide to the area’s independent bookstores.
- The Paris Review is still calling for applicants to its writer-in-residence program; the deadline is April 8, 2015.
- It seems George R. R. Martin’s claims of settling in to really work on The Winds of Winter are true – he’s released another excerpt (from the point of view of Sansa Stark) on his website.
- The Bologna Book Fair – focused on children’s books and YA – is going on this week.
- Crowdfunding platform Patreon has acquired Subbable, John and Hank Green’s platform for subscribing to creators’ content.
- Chain bookstore Books-A-Million saw revenue increases of about 1.8% in the fourth quarter.
- Sven Birkerts interviews himself about Saul Bellow (he would, wouldn’t he).