On February 3 HarperCollins announced that it would be publishing a sequel to Nelle Harper Lee’s beloved 1960 classic To Kill a Mockingbird. In the wake of the news, speculation about Go Set a Watchman’s provenance abounded: Is it a sequel to Mockingbird, or a first draft? Did Lee’s lawyer actually discover the manuscript in a safe-deposit box after it was believed lost for decades? Was the timing of its discovery only two and a half months after the death of Lee’s sister Alice, often considered to be her protector, a coincidence?
After years of expressing concern about the potential impact that library lending might have on consumer sales, major publishers have good cause to take another look at the library market for ebooks, according to executives from library ebook distributors OverDrive, 3M, and Baker & Taylor. With consumer sales growth slowing, bolstering institutional sales will likely become more of a priority for major publishers. OverDrive CEO Steve Potash noted that publishers, like all for-profit companies, are always looking for growth, and “there’s still a lot a growth in institutions, and there [are] significant opportunities for growth in education…. If retail is flattening, you have to experiment.”
When David Talbot, founder and former editor in chief of Salon, told a writer friend about an idea he had for investigative books on critical issues that would fill a gap left by the devastating cuts at newspapers and magazines, his friend introduced him to a like-minded publisher, Skyhorse founder Tony Lyons. The result: a new investigative book imprint, Hot Books, aimed at “ignit[ing] national debate.” Launched in late May by Skyhorse, the imprint will have a cobranded digital platform created with Salon.
While your lIbrary probably already collects some of the many guides on how to write a book, this month I’d like to recommend three essential titles for your collection that can help aspiring authors take the next step to turning their finished manuscript into a clean ebook.
The first SELF-e collection of self-published titles chosen by LJ and hosted by BiblioLab’s BiblioBoard releases this month, in time for the American Library Association’s (ALA) annual conference. On the occasion, LJ caught up with Mitchell Davis, chief business officer of BiblioLabs, to hear how this collaboration originated and where both SELF-e and BiblioBoard are headed.
In a press release from the London Book Fair dated April 14, HarperCollins announced the expansion of its foreign-language publishing with the formation of HarperCollins Holland, HarperCollins Japan, HarperCollins Nordic (Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark), and HarperCollins Polska (Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia). The move, which builds on the Harlequin acquisition last year, gives the company a broader global reach by extending existing Harlequin publishing programs in those markets. It had been signaled April 10 with the appointment of Chantal Restivo-Alessi, HarperCollins (HC) chief digital officer, as executive VP, international.
One of the more exciting library projects—ONEBOOKAZ—is occurring under the leadership of the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State’s office. Many communities have sponsored a “one book” program, in which a whole city or county is invited to read a title at the same time. But ONEBOOKAZ has three twists that make it different.
The University of Minnesota Press and the GC Digital Scholarship Lab at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) in April were awarded a $732,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to launch Manifold Scholarship, a new platform that will enable the publication of iterative, networked, electronic versions of scholarly monographs alongside the print edition of the book.
The Open Access Network (OAN), a project set to establish a business model for OA in the humanities and social sciences, was the topic of a key session at “Knowledge Made Public,” a May 5 conference held at the City University of New York (CUNY) Academic Commons. The session featured a presentation by K|N Consultants principals Rebecca Kennison and Lisa Norberg, who were joined by Martin Burke and Jessie Daniels of the CUNY Graduate Center, and Ken Wissoker, editorial director at Duke University Press, for a lively and informative discussion of OAN, K|N’s newest initiative, which will launch in mid-May.