Dog-Eared and Dispatched: May 3, 2015
We hope that your pocketbook isn’t hurting too much after yesterday’s Independent Bookstore Day celebrations. We’ve got a wide-ranging selection of footnotes for you today, from authors disapproving of awards, to Amazon’s share prices, and why you should be reading more Anthony Trollope. We’ve also got a feature story about the press that might have climbed out the window with the royalties and disappeared. Ready? Set? Read!
The British publisher Hesperus Books has received quite a bit of attention this week as British courts have ordered the firm to “cease publishing, printing, and selling” the popular title The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared after alleged failures to pay its author, Jonas Jonasson, royalties – and this order, as of Friday, had been complied with: the book is no longer mentioned on the publisher’s website. The press’s other authors are also concerned about their royalties; as Roma Tearne, whose book Hesperus recently published, said: “The thing I want is that this book doesn’t die. It isn’t about the money. I went to a small publisher for the TLC, and I got it, so this is tragic. I found out as the publishing date was coming up. The editor was in tears telling me – they were terribly upset. My agent is now investigating. More than anything, I want the book to live.” This fracas follows the resignation of all four members of the press’s staff – leaving no one to comment on the situation. We’ll let you know if anything comes up. [The Guardian, Indiebound affiliate link, The Bookseller, MobyLives!]
- Authors are refusing to attend the PEN/America Award Gala because of the organization’s decision to honor the magazine Charlie Hebdo [NY Times]. (See also.)
- Why yes, you (and everyone you know) should be reading more Anthony Trollope.
- Amazon shares rose 14.1% last Friday because the company’s cloud storage service is profitable.
- A schoolgirl in Canada was chastised for reading on the school bus [CBC].
- The Association of American Publishers reports that book sales were down 7.3% in January 2015 compared to January 2014, with ebook sales down 10.2% while trade paperback sales rose 10.3%. Educational materials – both K-12 and college-related – fell the most, 20.7% and 18%, respectively [Shelf Awareness]
- The Eisner nominations have been announced.
- Apparently physical books are a lesson in humility (which the TNR could probably use…).