Notes: Keen Keen on Wilderness; Al Roker's Pick
Wilderness Press, Berkeley, Calif., which specializes in books on backpacking, hiking, urban trekking and other outdoor activities, has been sold to Keen Communications, Birmingham, Ala. Keen is the parent company of Menasha Ridge Press, which publishes titles on camping, paddling, hiking, mountain biking and outdoor activities, and Clerisy Press.
Tom Winnett, who founded Wilderness Press in 1967, said that the house "will continue to publish and distribute great outdoor books and maps. We will remain in Berkeley, with the same staff. Our books will still have the Wilderness Press look and feel." Wilderness Press will operate under the direction of associate publisher Roslyn Bullas.
Richard Hunt, head of Clerisy Press, who founded Keen Communications with Menasha Ridge Press's Bob Sehlinger, said in a statement: "Strictly speaking, some will call this an acquisition; we see it more as bringing together two strong companies with complementary lists and letting us go to work on providing more for our readers. We firmly believe that the more people get out into the world around us, the better chance we stand to preserve and protect these national treasures, neighborhood green spaces, and an active way of life."
Al Roker has chosen as the eighth pick of the Today Show Book Club for Kids, Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng (HarperCollins, $6.99 paper, 9780060759766/0060759763; $16.99 hardcover, 9780060514068/006051406X). This launch title in Byng's series introduces an enterprising girl who escapes a British orphanage thanks to a book she discovers on hypnotism. For more, check out the Today Show website.
The Book Industry Study Group and the Idea Logical Company have begun a project "to measure and document the extent of experimentation and innovation taking place in publishing today." For more information and to take part in the survey, go to Survey Monkey.
Presentations based on the survey and other sources will be made at BISG's annual Making Information Pay seminar, to be held this year on May 9.
Effective immediately, National Book Network is distributing Audio Realms, Chapel Hill, N.C., which publishes audiobooks on science fiction, fantasy and horror, including stories by classic and modern writers like H.P. Lovecraft, Michael Moorcock and Robert E. Howard.
Arsen Kashkashian, head book buyer at Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colo., is one of our favorite bloggers, and New West agrees, recommending Kash's Book Corner
as a literary web destination: "I started reading Kash's Book Corner
and am now addicted--he doesn't update as frequently as some literary
bloggers, but each post is a carefully reasoned, well-written essay,
packed with interesting tidbits and insights into the world of
independent book stores."
To celebrate the publication of Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure by Larry Smith (Harper Perennial, $12, 9780061374050/0061374059), Carl Lennertz is encouraging people to send in six-word biographies of themselves. He promises to send "something" back. For more information, check out Publishing Insider. (incidentally Smith is on Talk of the Nation today.)
From Aimee Mann: Couldn't cope so I wrote songs.
From Joyce Carol Oates: Revenge is living well, without you.
From Elizabeth Gilbert: Me see world! Me write stories!
And our own contribution:
Carl Lennertz: Mr. Bookseller, WRITES lke This sumtimes!!!
Barney's Used Book Store, Baxter, Ark., has opened for business, according to the Baxter Bulletin.
New owners Janice and Albert Bradley purchased the business from
Mildred White. Janice had been manager of the bookshop, formerly known
as Barney's Book Store No. 3.
The Guardian offered eight rules authors should follow to avoid scandals:
- Do not use the word "memoir" unless you mean it.
- If you're not sure whether what you're writing is a memoir or not, guess what? It's a novel.
- No more than half a page of plagiarism per book.
- Don't make up exact dates that you can't remember. Instead, be general: "The most important day of my life was the day of my son's birth, in the summer of 2005 . . . "
- Just say no to sending a friend out in public with a wig as you.
- If you're in a flame war and you're about to go sock puppet, take a 10-minute break and go to a coffee shop without a wi-fi facility. Maybe the walk will cool you down.
- Go ahead and make up dialogue. Everybody except Tom Wolfe does.
- Pick a name. "Benjamin Black is John Banville" is just not a good look.
Joe R. Lansdale and Ardath Mayhar have been named Toastmaster and Author Emeritus, respectively, by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America for the 2008 Nebula Awards Weekend April 25-27 in Austin, Tex. Coincidentally both authors live in Nacogdoches, Tex.
Lansdale was cited by the association as "one of the most thoroughly Texan authors writing today." He has won a variety of mystery, fantasy and horror awards for his more than two dozen novels, short story collections and anthologies.
The SFWA said that Mayhar, author of 61 novels and many shorts stories and poems, is "widely known for her sweet, grandmotherly appearance which belies a quick wit and fast tongue." Her books span a variety of genres, including sf, fantasy, westerns, horror and contemporary fiction.
Sara Schneider has been named associate director of publicity of Cave Henricks Communications, a media relations and consulting firm for authors, and will head the company's digital media division. She was formerly an account executive. She joined the agency, which was formed a year ago, after working at Villard Books, Avalon Publishing Group, Dutton Books, the Free Press and PR21 (now Zeno Group), a subsidiary of Edelman Public Relations, where she worked with technology and new media companies.
Dennis Welch, Cave Henricks Communications's v-p and publicity director, will head the agency's Christian program. Earlier he was a senior staff writer and director of marketing for the Gallup Organization's Faith division for 12 years.
How about three credits for reading Oprah's Book Club picks? British students will be allowed to choose some of the books they read for English A-level. The Daily Mail reported that there are fears "the move could lead to a fall in standards after it emerged that the exam board involved is encouraging schools to consider titles featured on Richard & Judy's Book Club."
Belgrade is book crazy. According to Balkan Travellers, "whether from a nostalgia for its existence as an imperial centre or as an escape from reality, the literary obsession of the Serbian capital grows with every passing season. . . . While in Rome nightlife is based around the fountains, in Amsterdam around the beer locales and in Southern France around the bistros, in Serbia's capital the night begins and ends among books."
Not all booklovers' options are positive ones, however: "Beside simply bad literature, there are also examples that chill to the bones--one of the centrally-located bookstores until today specialises in the sale of books oriented against various ethnic and religious groups on the Balkans."