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By Bob Minzesheimer
The movie version of The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence, won’t be released until March. But thanks in part to growing online chatter about the film and its cast (which includes Lenny Kravitz and Woody Harrelson) all three titles in Suzanne Collins’ teen series, set in a dystopian future, are in USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list’s top 10. Games, released in 2008, is No. 4. Catching Fire (2009) is No. 8, and Mockingjay (2010) is No 10. Publisher Scholastic reports 9.6 million copies in print.
By Carol Memmott
“Broet laureate” Brian McGackin writes in the introduction to his slim volume, Broetry that “Broetry is a literary chili cheeseburger.” Broetry, he says, “is poetry for dudes. It’s poetry for people who don’t like poetry.” I’m wondering if that’s actually a good thing? Isn’t reading broetry better than not reading poetry? McGackin, who has a master’s in professional writing, writes that broetry embraces “manlier topics” than poetry. He prefers to riff on “beer, sex, video games, sports, celebrities and songs you can’t get out of your head even though you’re not quite sure how they got there in the first place.”
Last week, PW’s article “The Top Five Twitter Feeds for the Six Largest Publishing Houses” asked publishers to send us data regarding their Twitter feeds. While the previous article was meant to show the large publishers’ presence on Twitter, the table below is meant to be as an inclusive listing of publishers as possible of varying sizes and in a full range of categories. Please note that we’ve only included individual feeds—we haven’t combined numbers from the same publishers though some of the imprint feeds are from the same company.
By J.P. Leventhal
Ninety-five members, associates, guests and family of the Motovun Group Association met in the beautiful and historic setting of Santiago de Compostela, Spain June 24-27 to discuss new challenges facing illustrated book publishing and to share experiences that mutually benefit all members.
The Motovun Group Association was founded in 1977 with ‘a spirit of East meets West’ and a desire to reach out and begin communication with countries within the Soviet and Yugoslav spheres of influence. Today MGA is an association of 80 invited members who publish illustrated books representing 24 countries from across the globe. The annual meeting embraces lectures, seminar-style meetings, shared experience break-out sessions, and plenty of time for one-on-one meetings to conduct business. The organization is named after the medieval hilltop town Motovun in Istria, Croatia where the annual meetings were held in the early years and was the site of the meeting once again in 2010.
This year there were 20 first-timers attending the annual meeting, a record. One of the newcomers, Ralph Möllers of Terzio/Möllers & Bellinghausen Verlag, Munich, stated, “I am completely impressed by the warmth, openness, and cooperation among the members of MGA.”
Members can participate in optional excursions in and around Santiago, as well as group breakfasts, lunches, dinners and opportunities to enjoy ample supplies of local wine, to enhance the spirit of mutual partnership and camaraderie.
By Judith Rosen
After a dozen years, independent booksellers and other brick-and-mortar retailers in California prevailed when Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law yesterday afternoon requiring out-of-state retailers with a presence in the state to collect sales tax on California sales beginning July 1. For California residents the pain of paying online sales tax to Amazon and Overstock will be amerliorated somewhat by a 1% sales tax drop on Friday, when it returns to 7.75% after a two-year temporary increase.
As reported by TechCrunch.com Seattle-based Amazon wasted no time in firing its affiliates in California. In a letter sent to members of the retailer’s associates program, it wrote: “We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It is supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors.” They also noted that they are looking at alternative ways for California residents to monetize their Web sites. As a result of similar legislation, Amazon closed associates programs in Illinois, Hawaii, Connecticut, and North Carolina.
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I’ve recently subscribed to George RR Martin’s blog (http://grrm.livejournal.com/) in the hopes of getting some inside information regarding when the next “Song of Ice and Fire” book is due to be released. I love the series but since subscribing to the blog I’ve become increasingly frustrated with Martin’s lack of communication on the next novel’s publication date. In fact, it’s almost as though he is doing everything in his power to avoid working on his latest novel. Which poses a few questions:
1. With blogs and twitter and other forms of social media do you think the audience has too much input when it comes to scrutinising the actions of an artist? If you had announced a new book two years ago and were yet to deliver do you think avoiding the topic on your blog would lead readers to believe you were being “slack”? By blogging about your work and life do you have more of a responsibility to deliver on your commitments?
2. When writing a series of books, like Martin is with “A Song of Ice and Fire” what responsibility does he have to finish the story? Is it unrealistic to think that by not writing the next chapter Martin is letting me down, even though if and when the book gets written is completely up to him?
Would be very interested in your insight.
Thinking inside the box ... a careless cliche user reflects on their usage while trying to escape Adam Horovitz's cardboard punishment. Photograph: Getty
Last year Ledbury poetry festival asked poets to name their most hated words. For this year’s festival – running from 1 to 10 July – they’ve asked for the expressions that have become such cliches that they have lost all meaning. Here are their responses:
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On this day in 1936, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind was published. It had been extensively promoted, chosen as the July selection by the Book-of-the-Month Club, and so gushed about in pre-publication reviews — “Gone With the Wind is very possibly the greatest American novel,” said Publisher’s Weekly — that it was certain to sell, and to provoke parody.