Notes: Thunder Down Under; E-book Timing
Not surprisingly, reaction from the Australian book industry to the Productivity Commission's recommendations that parallel importing rules be abolished and writing and publishing subsidies be reviewed--mentioned here yesterday--was united and negative, according to Bookseller & Publisher Magazine's Weekly Book Newsletter.
Australian Booksellers Association CEO Malcolm Neil said, "Other than an ideological debate between various economic think-tanks, we see no evidence of a call from the rest of the community that justifies the introduction of yet more uncertainty into our industry."
Michael Heyward, head of Text Publishing Company, called territorial copyright "the very thing that underpins one of the most successful cultural industries we have" and said the free-market approach advocated by the Commission would "make it harder for Australians to be published and paid fairly, and will provide a big free-kick to foreign-based publishers and wholesalers."
Publishers are debating the timing of the e-book version of titles, particularly new books with large printings by big name authors, the New York Times wrote today. One of many examples: Doubleday is publishing five million hardcover copies of The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, which will be released September 15. But the publisher hasn't yet decided when to release an e-book version of the book. Among the familiar questions: will e-books, which are much less expensive than hardcovers, cannibalize sales of the printed book?
The discussion mirrors that on Peter Brantley's list serve, some of whose regular participants are quoted by the Times and oddly labeled bloggers.
Last Words, a book that comedian George Carlin had been working on--in collaboration with Tony Hendra--for the final decade of his life, will be published by Free Press in November, according to USA Today. Carlin died last year.
Attending the birth of a publisher. On the Guardian's Books Blog, Sam Jordison observed: "Last weekend, I drove down the Suffolk coast to Aldeburgh to witness the launch of an increasingly rare phenomenon: the first book of a new publishing house. This new venture is Full Circle Editions, set up by Bloomsbury co-founder and Harry Potter discoverer-in-chief Liz Calder, together with TV producers John and Genevieve Christie and a former editor of the Bookseller, Louis Baum."
Jordison added that the debut title, The Burning of the Books, "is also a collaborative effort between the poet George Szirtes and the artist Ronald King. . . . Setting up a new publishing house in the teeth of recession seems therefore almost like an act of rebellion--especially when the house in question is dedicated to the promotion of the value of books as objects, and whose first release is--significantly--a reworking of Elias Canetti's book-destruction nightmare, Auto da Fé.
"What was Ian Fleming's first field assignment as an officer in Naval intelligence during the second world war?" If you know the answer, test your espionage skills in Guardian's quiz: "How much do you know about literary spies?"
Effective immediately, Simon & Schuster is handling sales, distribution and fulfillment for all new backlist BOOM! Studios titles to trade and specialty accounts in the U.S.
Founded in 2005, BOOM! Studios publishes both periodical comic books and graphic novels. BOOM!'s new imprint, BOOM! Kids, made its debut this past spring.
Michael Selleck, executive v-p, sales and marketing for Simon & Schuster, called BOOM! Studios "an excellent fit with our existing list, and we look forward to helping them expand their presence in traditional bookselling and specialty outlets.”
BOOM! Studios CEO Ross Richie said, "This is a critical step in our plan to build a mass market presence via newsstand and the book channel to represent some of the biggest and best brands in the world." These include the company's Pixar and Muppets comic books, Farscape, Die Hard and Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.