Saturday, September 19, 2009

Book Headlines

Here's a list of book-related articles I've discovered recently:

+ A few weeks back I happened upon this article where the world's second-largest publisher says eBooks will kill the hardcover. It's an interesting discussion because when Amazon can offer books for your Kindle for just $9.99, and you're the type of person who reads on a Kindle (I am not), why would you ever actually purchase a book again? I find it more interesting of a discussion as to how $9.99 was established as the price (similar to how did iTunes establish $0.99 for a song?). Because once that price is established, no other seller can really dare to charge more than that. (We can get into why this is a problem with the Internet, too: can't start charging people for online content when you've been offering it up for free for so long. But I won't go there.)

Some can suggest that physical books may go the way of the cassette tape, VHS or perhaps soon the CD or regular DVD, but I believe books will be around for a long time. Sure, publishers might have to renegotiate the ways in which they work, but who doesn't these days (i.e. newspapers/magazines)? Because, like the end of the article says, books have been around for hundreds of years, and you can't say that about the VCR or the CD player. I bet we won't even be able to say that about the iPod.

+ If you're into cooking, here's a list the Star Tribune put together: 20 cookbooks every cook should have. I don't own any of these, but then, I'm nowhere near a cook.

+ Minnesota Monthly has a nice Q & A with locally based, but nationally known author Vince Flynn. He offers up some great stories about the White House and other political figures. It's an interesting, quick read.

+ This was a big week in books because Dan Brown's sequel to Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol arrived on shelves. It broke a first-day record, selling more than 1 million copies. If you pay attention to big-time book news, it's no surprise that publisher Knopf Doubleday was counting on this book to make its year. I even heard rumors that a delay in the book's publishing actually caused the hurting publishing house to layoff a bunch of people several months ago. Can you imagine if your book was the lone book that was possibly keeping a publisher afloat? That's insane. What tremendous pressure. EW's review wasn't stellar, but I don't think that matters to Robert Langdon fans. I enjoyed the first two books, as quick, suspenseful reads, so I'd read this one too, though I don't think I'd purchase it for myself.


CMS said...

I had no idea that Knopf Doubleday was so reliant on the success of The Lost Symbol. That's crazy. (And you're right, what PRESSURE!)

And I agree with you. I think physical books will stand the test of time—esp. children's books.

A. said...

Yeah, it was a rumor and I read over the weekend that the rumor was exaggerated. However, why would a publisher ever admit to that? So, I still have my suspicions that they were counting on this book to be a hit.