Current news stories from the independent book industry

The Japanese Cellphone Novel Phenomenon

“Japanese got Jesus robots telling teenage fortunes.
For all we know and all we care they might as well be martians.”
Elvis Costello, “Tokyo Storm Warning”

That may be a little harsh (though it’s on my favorite Elvis Costello record), but CNN reports on the cellphone novel phenomenon that has swept Japan, a phenomenon that might not translate to the U.S. …

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The Future of the U.K. Book Market

I wrote an article over Christmas about book retailers in Ireland performing marginally better in 2008 than on previous profits for 2007. Early figures suggest that the UK book retail trade recorded similar results, but that they still were marginally down last year.…

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Osprey to Refer Writers to AuthorHouse

Via Pod Peep comes the news that Osprey, a leading Military book publisher, is going to refer rejected books to the self-publishing service, AuthorHouse. This comes on the heels of Chronicle Books, primarily known as a publisher of illustrated books, though they publish others, to Blurb, which specializes in photography and other graphic-based books.…

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Kindle 2 Released Today

The Kindle 2 was released today to some fanfare and one very major problem: it costs the same as the first generation kindle – $359.  Last week, it was rumored to go down by $100.  Though the Kindle has made significant improvements on the first generation Kindle, the main criticism of the device is its cost. …

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Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Contest Swings into Gear

The subject of some amount of controversy, this week signals the beginning of submissions for Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award.  People have accused Amazon of creating the contest merely to get people to publish via CreateSpace and BookSurge.  This may well be true, but Amazon fires back saying that 4 out of the 10 finalist from last year’s contest were offered publishing contracts. …

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